Posted by: Barry Bickmore | January 27, 2014

Free Speech 101 for Sulky Teenagers

Yea, Michael Mann hath prevailed upon the court to allow his defamation suit to go forward.  And there was weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.  (The Apocalypse of Barry 62:3)

Ever since climate scientist Mike Mann filed a defamation suit against defendants Mark Steyn, the National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Rand Simberg, the reaction among the defendants and their climate contrarian audience has been predictable.  Although the case is REALLY about the fact that the defendants published an accusation that Mike Mann had fraudulently manipulated the data that went into his famous “Hockey Stick” paleotemperature reconstructions, this fact never seems to make it into their public whine-sessions about their “free speech” rights.  Steyn says he is being sued simply because he “mocked” Mann’s Hockey Stick work, or alternatively that he is accused of “the hitherto unknown crime of defaming a Nobel Laureate“.  No, he’s just accused of defamation, which has been on the books for a while, now.  All of this is to be expected, because you see, Steyn and co. want to lead the charge for “First Amendment Rights”, but they don’t want to foot the legal bills, so they are begging the rubes in their target audiences for money to mount their legal defense.  After all, they can’t be seen to back down and apologize, add a caveat or two, or label their accusations as opinion, because then they would lose street-cred with the mouth-breathing conspiracy theorists who read their publications.  Therefore, they publicly pretend that Big Brother is out to quash their right to disagree with New-World-Order-mandated science, so they can get the black-helicopter-watchers to hand over their stashes of gold bullion from their bunker safes.  

Others are playing along.  Conservative pundit and Constitutional Law professor (!!?) Hugh Hewitt asked Steyn, “How can people help you protect the 1st Amendment, because while the intricacies of this buffoonish trial are too impossible to explain, from my perspective as a Con Law professor, it’s outrageous what is going on.”  (It’s not that complicated, Hugh. Keep reading.)  Judith Curry sees “frightening implications of this case for free speech,” and whines that if accusing Mann of fraudulently manipulating his data qualifies as defamation, then so should Mann’s comments that she is “anti-science”, and a “serial climate misinformer”.  (No, Judy, those comments merely indicate that Mann thinks you are pigheadedly wrong on a regular basis. He did not flatly accuse you of criminal conduct, or conduct that could get you fired from your job.) 

All of this reminded me of an experience I had when I was a stupid teenager.  About this time, my parents were cracking down on my curfew, and things like that.  What right did they have?  Ok, I sometimes got up to no good, but they couldn’t prove anything.  I wanted FREEDOM, and to me that meant a lot fewer restrictions.  Well, one day I was watching MTV, which is what stupid teenagers did in the 80’s, when they did a segment in which they asked some teenagers what the greatest problems were in the world.  One skateboarder/stoner replied, “Censorship.”  Within a parade of “Uhhhhs” and “likes” and such, he explained that any sort of limitations of any kind of “free expression” are evil.  Brain-addled as I was, I still snorted and said, “That’s stupid.”  Because, even at that stage, I was capable of recognizing that some forms of “free expression” trample on other people’s rights.  Nowadays, these things are even easier; e.g., if I look up “freedom of speech” on, I find that it is “the right of people to express their opinions publicly without governmental interference, subject to the laws against libel, incitement to violence or rebellion, etc.”  Lots of caveats on their Free Legal Dictionary, too.

Now, that isn’t to say that I had any clue about the intricacies of free speech laws when I was a teenager, but I’ll tell you how I got a bit of an education about that when I was almost three decades older.  I had recently provided detailed evidence that His Worship, Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount of Fantasyland, had been telling Congress and anyone else who would listen that the IPCC had made certain temperature projections, which in fact they had not.  Monckton’s predictable response was to explode in a mushroom cloud of bluster to impress his constituency (conspiracy theorists who wouldn’t know how to check his claims even if they wanted to).  Among (a LOT of) other things, he said

Some have said that the IPCC projection zone on our graphs should show exactly the values that the IPCC actually projects for the A2 scenario. However, as will soon become apparent, the IPCC’s “global-warming” projections for the early part of the present century appear to have been, in effect, artificially detuned to conform more closely to observation. In compiling our graphs, we decided not merely to accept the IPCC’s projections as being a true representation of the warming that using the IPCC’s own methods for determining climate sensitivity would lead us to expect, but to establish just how much warming the use of the IPCC’s methods would predict, and to take that warming as the basis for the definition of the IPCC projection zone.

So in essence, I had accused him of falsely claiming that the temperature projections he cited were from the IPCC, and he came right out and admitted that I was right (underneath a truckload of gratuitous self-justification).  They weren’t the IPCC’s projections, as he had claimed, but rather the projections Monckton thought the IPCC should have given.  

Shortly thereafter, I discovered that one of my U.S. Senators, Orrin Hatch, was promoting Monckton’s fake IPCC temperature projections to excuse his climate change inaction.  I fired off a couple of op-eds in local newspapers, and in one of them I complained about “Hatch’s use of fraudulent data.” 

Monckton then wrote a letter to my university’s administration, threatening to sue for libel, and I got called down to my dean’s office.  The dean told me that the university legal team didn’t think Monckton had any case, so they were going to ignore him, but they asked that in the future I should avoid using words like “fraud”, which can have some legal implications.  In other words, I was using the word “fraud” with the common definition, “a piece of trickery; a trick,” but the word also has some specific legal definitions, like this one.

A false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.

Now, my pride was telling me not to back down.  Heck, I could represent myself, and my defense would simply be that Monckton had admitted to fudging the facts (TO CONGRESS!!!).  Given the non-legal definition of “fraud,” that is a perfectly reasonable thing to call what he did, I would say.

But the fact is that I’m not some sulky, stupid teenager, anymore.  I didn’t want to drag my university into any row with Monckton, and after all, I didn’t really think I could prove “fraud” by the legal definition above, because for all I know, Monckton really believes in the climate nonsense he peddles… just like he might really believe that he is a member of Parliament and has invented a cure-all for quite a number of serious diseases, including AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Graves’ Disease, influenza, herpes, and the common cold.  How should I know?  Being an adult, since my visit with the dean I have avoided using the words “fraud” and “liar” in connection with Monckton.  I figure that I can still call his fudged data “fabricated,” or call him “truth-challenged,” or a “crackpot,” etc.  I don’t have to know his motives to say any of that, and legally, there is no way to trump up those words into anything actionable, as long as I provide substantial evidence for any factual claims I make.  And I don’t feel like my “free speech” is being trampled upon just because I have to consider how my words might be misinterpreted to be a charge of criminal behavior.  If Monckton had carried it any further (don’t worry–he threatens to sue his critics all the time, but never follows through,) I would have even offered to make this apology:  “I apologize for calling what Lord Monckton claimed to be IPCC temperature predictions ‘fraudulent’.  By that, I meant only that the data was false, and fabricated by him.  Some definitions of the word ‘fraudulent’ imply malicious intent, but I really have no idea why His Lordship fabricated said data.”  

Now let’s take another look at Michael Mann’s case.  I thought the online legal dictionary’s definitions “libel” and “libel per se” were helpful for understanding the issues involved.

libel 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander which is oral defamation. It is a tort (civil wrong) making the person or entity (like a newspaper, magazine or political organization) open to a lawsuit for damages by the person who can prove the statement about him/her was a lie. Publication need only be to one person, but it must be a statement which claims to be fact, and is not clearly identified as an opinion. While it is sometimes said that the person making the libelous statement must have been intentional and malicious, actually it need only be obvious that the statement would do harm and is untrue. Proof of malice, however, does allow a party defamed to sue for “general damages” for damage to reputation, while an inadvertent libel limits the damages to actual harm (such as loss of business) called “special damages.” “Libel per se” involves statements so vicious that malice is assumed and does not require a proof of intent to get an award of general damages. Libel against the reputation of a person who has died will allow surviving members of the family to bring an action for damages. Most states provide for a party defamed by a periodical to demand a published retraction. If the correction is made, then there is no right to file a lawsuit. Governmental bodies are supposedly immune for actions for libel on the basis that there could be no intent by a non-personal entity, and further, public records are exempt from claims of libel. However, there is at least one known case in which there was a financial settlement as well as a published correction when a state government newsletter incorrectly stated that a dentist had been disciplined for illegal conduct. The rules covering libel against a “public figure” (particularly a political or governmental person) are special, based on U. S. Supreme Court decisions. The key is that to uphold the right to express opinions or fair comment on public figures, the libel must be malicious to constitute grounds for a lawsuit for damages. Minor errors in reporting are not libel, such as saying Mrs. Jones was 55 when she was only 48, or getting an address or title incorrect. 2) v. to broadcast or publish a written defamatory statement.


libel per se n. broadcast or written publication of a false statement about another which accuses him/her of a crime, immoral acts, inability to perform his/her profession, having a loathsome disease (like syphilis), or dishonesty in business. Such claims are considered so obviously harmful that malice need not be proved to obtain a judgment for “general damages,” and not just specific losses.

Here are a few points I took away from these helpful definitions.

  1. If DC is like “most states,” all the defendants had to do was print a retraction (like the apology to Monckton I wrote above), and Mann couldn’t have sued.  But no, they must FIGHT FOR FREEDOM AND JUSTICE!
  2. That’s ok, though, because all the defendants have to do is show that Mann really did manipulate his data!  Oh, but since a number of scientific, governmental, and academic panels (including one from the National Research Council) have already examined the charges and found that any mistakes Mann made didn’t affect his results much, maybe that’s sort of unlikely that they can come up with the goods.  And given the fact that Mark Steyn apparently thinks the “Hockey Stick” is a “global-warming climate model,” I would put that probability at exactly zero.  
  3. Given that charges of academic fraud could lead to the firing of even tenured professors, Mann can claim “libel per se” and not even have to prove malice.   In fact, the judge in the case has already ruled that he will not dismiss the case because a jury is likely to find that the false accusation “was published with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard of whether it was false or not….”  If all Mann has to prove is that the accusation was published with “reckless disregard of whether it was false or not”… did I mention that Steyn thinks the “Hockey Stick” is a climate model?
  4. If the defendants had thrown in a few weasel words in the first place, clearly indicating they were providing opinions, rather than factual accusations, they couldn’t have been sued.

So while it’s really entertaining to watch the defendants squirm and posture, I wish they would put on their big-boy pants and admit fault, because even black-helicopter-watchers don’t deserve to be bilked of their money under a false pretenses (i.e., the pretense that the case is really about something other than run-of-the-mill defamation, or the pretense that the defendants even know enough about the “Hockey Stick” controversy to say anything coherent about it).  And if people like Judith Curry and Hugh Hewitt really do want to protect human rights, they should find a better persecuted-poster-boy-for-free-speech than Mark Steyn, for heaven’s sake.


  1. “No, Judy, those comments merely indicate that Mann thinks you are pigheadedly wrong on a regular basis. He did not flatly accuse you of criminal conduct, or conduct that could get you fired from your job.”

    I think this misses — as does Curry –the main difference between what Mann said of her and what Steyn said of Mann … the former is true. If she disagrees, she can take him to court and try to prove that she isn’t a serial misinformer about climate science

    • I agree about which statement is true or false, but I really doubt whether Curry could get Mann into court to prove she isn’t a serial misinformer, etc. It would get thrown out before the suit ever got to that stage, because Mann’s statements are clearly protected speech.

      • Moreover completely supported by the difference between Curry’s statements to the panel and the contents of her few climate-related papers on the same topic.

        Curry vs Curry would indicate that at least one of her is fabricating complete fiction in her statements either to the scientific body or to congress.

  2. So Monckton was successful in intimidating BYU and you by his baseless threat. He quashed your free speech. You did not claim he invented data as I understand, only that he engaged in manipulation of the data to his own advantage. Torturing the data like what happens all the time in science. Not libel at all. Same deal as Steyn. Except he won’t be intimidated.

    • fitzc,

      No, he made up the data. And I can still say that, because I have the goods on Monckton. If I thought I had the goods on him to prove “fraud” in the most stringent, legal sense, maybe I would still use the word. But I don’t think I do, because I think Monckton is just nutty enough to believe what he says. Therefore, I don’t make the claim. The moral: Don’t write checks you can’t cash.

      • I should also add that the reason Steyn can’t give in is that his constituency consists of people like you, who would abandon him if he ever tried to act like an adult.

        • OK I am confused. You just said “No, he made up the data. And I can still say that, because I have the goods on Monckton.”

          Making up the data is scientific fraud of the most serious sort, and you just posted this on your website. Yet Steyn accuses Mann of manipulating (torturing) data which is not scientific fraud, a far less less serious charge, and you think he should apologize?

          And you are OK with that, as I understand from your post, that a person like Monckton should be able to threaten you?

          Ah well, easy for me to say. But I really think Steyn wants to have it out, he’s not being forced into it.

          • fitz,

            You are leaving important information out. Steyn and co. didn’t just accuse Mann of “manipulating and torturing data”. They accused him of doing it for political ends, which clearly implies nefarious intent, rather than stupidity.

            In Monckton’s case, I can prove that he fabricated his data. I can show how he did it, and I have him on record admitting it. But there are a number of indications that he might be a bit loony. Like I said, he thinks he is a member of Parliament (despite an open letter from Parliament asking him to knock off claiming that) and that he has invented a miracle cure-all. Some (not all) definitions of “fraudulent” imply criminal intent, and I’m not sure I could prove that. So while I am pretty positive that Monckton would lose any lawsuit against me, using a word like “fraudulent” might allow the case to drag on longer than it should. Therefore, I avoid words that imply nefarious intent, because I am an adult trying not to step over a legal line.

          • fitzc, Monckton’s use of made-up data doesn’t rise to the level of ‘scientific fraud’ because he is not doing science, he is doing rhetorical ‘science’, [and he sucks at that, too].

            Monckton is not working under terms and conditions in a certified scientific research facility or place of education, has no legal strings attached to his funding, and has not published his ‘work’ in a peer-reviewed journal. A charge of fraud against Mann, who is employed and works under all those conditions, is a real issue of reputation, and prospects.

            • Nick, even if the claim made were that Monckfish was committing fraud in his claims, it would not rise to libel per se, because he has no position that would consider such fraudulent actions to be enough to terminate his employment.

              Indeed, given his sources of funding DEMAND fraudulent nonsense (given that accurate assessment would be “devastating to their case”), such claims would ENHANCE his reputation with his employers.

              Monckfish can claim libel all he wants to those claims, what he can’t do is claim it’s damaging him or his reputation.

  3. […] Bickmore has a fascinating update and comment on Mike Mann’s libel case against a particularly offensive attack on his […]

  4. Denier glee over how they’ll get to see everything Mann did (because he’s the accuser) disappeared pretty quickly into “DISMISS THIS! PLEASE!!!”.

  5. you are mistaken in your analysis of the trial. mann has been declared a public figure by the court, and therefore the “actual malice” standard applies. in order to win, the defendants do not have to show that mann manipulated data or committed fraud. all they have to show is that they BELIEVED mann did those things. and that will be easy.

    in order for mann to win, he must show the defendants KNEW they were lying. however, since the defendants truly believe mann is a fraud, and they have a lot of evidence to back them up, it will be impossible for mann to win this case.

    • That’s not what the judge said. Read the linked court document where the judge refuses to dismiss the case.

      • I read the court document. the judge was required to view the evidence in the most favorable light to the plaintiff. that was why he did not dismiss the lawsuit. the judge also wrote in the order “if made with actual malice, they are actionable.” so mann has to prove actual malice during the trial, like I said. he won’t be able to show any evidence that the defendants knew they were lying. no malice, no case.

        • Thanks, rspung, I was confusing my definitions in my reply to you. However, the legal dictionary definition you cited says that actual malice implies that the defamatory statement was made “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard to whether it was false or not”. As I implied in the post above, at least in Steyn’s case it isn’t hard (even without discovery!) to prove such reckless disregard. He doesn’t even know what the heck the Hockey Stick is, but he’s willing to accuse Mann of using fraudulent means to create it!

        • Does not claim that ONLY if it were done in malice.

          Since the claims are such that would have him sacked, and this is a concrete loss of status and money, it can be per se and malice is assumed and the defendant has to show why it isn’t.

          E.g. someone he trusted said so, and showed proof.

          • nyt verses Sullivan in 1964. the us supreme court established that for public figures, actual malice must be shown. actual malice requires the defendant to be aware that the statement is false or very likely false.


            this is an extremely famous case and it is common knowledge among anyone with a legal background. if you don’t believe me, research it yourself.

            • Yes, you do realise that the judge knows case law better than you, right?

              Yet their statements refute your assertions.

              Malice isn’t needed to win a libel suit. Only to get general damages from it, rather than proven special damages.

              Moreover, malice isn’t needed to win a libel pro se suit for general damages.

              Lastly, the defendant cannot believe with zero evidence that a factual statement is true. There has to be evidence that “the reasonable man” could be led to the conclusion of (mistaken) fact. Merely not looking and making things up is NOT a matter of belief, but of malice aforethought.

    • You are very concerned with the ability to defame and lie.

      Why do you support charlatans, hoodwinkers and other lowlifes?

  6. […] pay attention, sometimes it becomes apparent which is which.  I believe this is now true for the Mann v. National Review et al. case, for instance.  (The defendants are the National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, […]

  7. While “fraud” may mean “trick” (=nouns), “fraudulent” never means “tricky” (derived adjectives). So your paragraph in which you defend the use of your term “fraudulent” by discussing the dictionary meanings of the word “fraud” is, well, at least a bit – tricky.

    • So you agree with me that it was a good idea for me to avoid that word in the future? Or are you just reaching to find anything, no matter how trivial, to criticize?

  8. Barry, you are coming over like a nasty hypocrite. You claim it is acceptable to accuse Monkton of fraud because you have the “goods on him”. OK, then what do you think about someone who used a proxy series upside down (likely just a bone headed error), but when called on it, not only refused to acknowledge the obvious error but called the criticism bizarre (in an official comment response in the highly reputable journal that published the original study) and then repeated this indefensible claim in his later book? Would you accept that is also “the goods”? How do you contrast this behavior with Kaufman, who when informed of the exact same mistake, immediately issued a correction?

    • laxer,

      You aren’t quite getting my points right. First, I have Monckton admitting he DELIBERATELY used fake IPCC data. And yet, I still don’t claim it is “acceptable” to accuse Monckton of fraud. I claim that I don’t think he could win a libel case against me based on that, but I STILL said that I wouldn’t do it, anymore, just to be safe. Because I’m not an idiot.

      Second, I can’t comment on McIntyre’s “upside down” charges, because I haven’t checked on them. Sounds like an interesting charge to follow up on when I get the time. However, if Mike was in error about that, I suspect he just brushed off McIntyre out of habit, because McIntyre has been trying to nitpick him for quite a while. Once again, I wonder what difference any of that made in the overall results?

      • Barry,

        You are misstating my comments – deliberately I fear. It is not a matter of Mann just “brushing off” McIntyre. It was a published response. In PNAS. Plus repeating this claim in a longer explanation in his book. If McIntyre’s claim turns out to be true (and nearly everyone who has looked at the issue believes this is the case), then Mann faces a rather steep hill in claiming actual malice, no? Your comments above then also look rather foolish. If you feel Monkton could not sustain a libel case against you, then Mann is in no better position

        You wonder what difference this makes. For someone running a climate blog, you seem remarkable ill-informed on an issue that has been extensively debated. In summary
        1. without Tiljander, the non-dendro CPS reconstruction has a MCA at modern temperature levels. (this means no hockey stick)
        2. Without Tiljander, the non-dendro EIV reconstruction does not validate before 1500 at 95%

        Seems pretty material to me.

        As an aside, I note that refer to “Mike” but to “McIntyre”. Not a very subtle display of your bias.

        • Hi laxer,

          I apologize if I misstated. As I said, I haven’t examined this particular claim, and the consequences, myself. I have personally looked at one or two of McIntyre’s claims, and I haven’t been impressed, so I’m not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on something like this. I’d rather trust the actual tree-ring experts–and there are others besides Mann.

          The problem Steyn and co. have is that all this sniping from amateurs like McIntyre probably won’t cut the mustard in a courtroom. Judge Combs-Greene already indicated that the multiple scientific panels that have examined the charges (some at the instigation of the defendants) probably are enough to establish that the defendants don’t care about the truth or falsity of the charges.

  9. It made no difference since the algorithm was guaranteed to produce a hockey stick no matter the data input. –AGF

    • No it didn’t. This was only demonstrated to happen in a few cases, with the result that the “blade” of the hockey stick would look a little steeper than it should, but otherwise it didn’t affect the results much. When other groups have used different proxy data and different statistical techniques, they have very often gotten reconstructions that are within Mann’s originally reported error bars.

      • And did they use Mann’s program or their own? –AGF

    • You’re talking about M&M’s paper, not MBH.

      M&M selected a NONrandom number generator that would produce memory, hence a hockey stick trend
      M&M selected one out of every hundred that had some “hockey stick”-like appearance and mentioned only those 100 existed.
      M&M selected 12 out of those 100 that comprised 1% of the original “random” data set to show hockey stick strength
      M&M STILL DIDN’T MANAGE to get a hockey stick signal as strong as MBH got.

  10. “CO2 Science” runs a project to tally peer reviewed studies that debunk the hockey stick. They’re up to a thousand now:

    • > co2science
      More for the annals of climate misinformation.

      Relying on co2science as your source is <a href="; fooling yourself

      Don’t be fooled again. Ask a librarian for help.

    • Here’s your homework, AG. Start looking up the authors of those papers, and ask them whether they think their research “debunks the hockey stick”. Report your tally after you get 50-100 answers, from randomly selected papers.

      • The hockey stick claim consists of two parts: a handle and a puck putter. The claims include two analogous points:
        1) Late 20th century warming exceeded anything seen in the last two millennia.
        2) There were no global MWP and LIA.

        I’ve checked a dozen so far; all show either a MWP warmer than the present or a handle with a substantial WMP (and I concentrated on SH proxies). But here’s Tom Wigley (Phil Jone’s boss) on the subject (from Michael Kelly’s compilation):

        “Focus. Wait, it is juicy, it is devastating, it is priceless stuff. Tom Wigley to Jones:


        I have just read the M&M stuff critcizing MBH. A lot of it seems valid to me.
        At the very least MBH [the hockey stick] is a very sloppy piece of work — an opinion I have held for some time. [Although not in public.]
        Presumably what you have done with Keith is better? — or is it?
        I get asked about this a lot. Can you give me a brief heads up? Mike is too
        deep into this to be helpful.

        “Phil’s reply:

        you cannot trust anything that M&M write. MBH is as good a way of putting all the data together as others. …

        ” Bottom line – their is no way the MWP (whenever it was) was as warm globally as the last 20 years. There is also no way a whole decade in the LIA period was more than 1 deg C on a global basis cooler than the 1961-90 mean. This is all gut feeling, no science, but years of experience of dealing with global scales and varaibility.
        “Must go to Florence now.”

        End quote. Later:

        “Tom Wigley: ‘If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted.’ ”

        More from Phil: “‘Don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites,’ he warns, ‘you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs [McIntyre & McKitrick] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.’ ”

        Here’s Tom Wigley in a moment of conscience–he is not so much neutral or moderate as bipolar:

        “Dear Eleven,

        “I was very disturbed by your recent letter, and your attempt to get
        others to endorse it. …

        “This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a
        dis-service. To someone like me, who knows the science, it is
        apparent that you are presenting a personal view, not an informed,
        balanced scientific assessment. What is unfortunate is that this will not
        be apparent to the vast majority of scientists you have contacted. In
        issues like this, scientists have an added responsibility to keep their
        personal views separate from the science, and to make it clear to others
        when they diverge from the objectivity they (hopefully) adhere to in their
        scientific research. I think you have failed to do this.”

        The letter goes out and is endorsed by hundreds of gullible scientists. Bickmore chimed in with the BYU 17. Did any of them read ANY of the emails? The insiders are well aware of the quackery.

        And now Bickmore wants be to do his dirty work–send out a hundred irrelevant emails. Rather let me challenge him to find a single example from CO2’s collection that does not show a MWP. Easy. Smart. Foreign to Bickmore’s thinking. –AGF

        • Rsprung,
          I read many of the emails, and I read numerous comprehensive analysis by climate deniers. I was very impressed (though not surprised) by how ideology managed to distort the analysis of those emails.
          I am pleased that you know enough to pick relevant emails with the most damaging text.
          I would think that in these emails, which no one expected would ever be public, there would be SOME indication of fraud from the scientists involved if there was indeed any indication of it.
          the emails you posted just indicate one scientist who is not happy with.
          “I have just read M+M” see that is the important factor. MANY people have read M+M. and as far as I know NO expert on pale reconstructions has made ANY complaint worse that “it’s sloppy.
          so your “DAMNING” email just shows that there are other scientists who do not think that they did a very good job.
          YEt since ALL reconstructions show the huge ncrease in temps in the 20th century, and the most recent reconstructions do not show a MWP as being a large as current (21st century) temps,
          this is certainly no basis for fraud
          as I have said elsewhere the IMPORTANCE on MBH was the rise in current temps, the MWP is just a propaganda issue for either side.
          what many people ignore with these emails is that this is an incredibly politicized issue and people on both sides therefore exaggerate their position. the emails CLEARLY show scientists very angry at deniers and doing whatever they can to deny them “ammunition” against them. I do not approve of such behavior, but in my view it was perfectly understandable considering the ridiculous attacks that had already been aimed agh them in the past. Deniers of course point to this attitude and pretend that it is historically separated form the context. It is not.

        • “The hockey stick claim consists of two parts: a handle and a puck putter.”


          The claim consists of a rise unprecedented over the period reconstructed that occurs at the end of the period.

          “And now Bickmore wants be to do his dirty work–send out a hundred irrelevant emails.”


          When McI called for his loyal cohorts to spam FOIA requests, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT UK CITIZENS to the UEA and exhorts them to ask for only a few places and to record with him which areas were asked for SO THAT THEY DO NOT DUPLICATE, YOU come along and whine about “send[ing] out a hundred irrelevant emails.”…!

          • This “Wow” clown, whose wisdom is limited to knowing enough to remain anonymous, says, “Incorrect.” Let me say it more simply: a hockey stick consists of a straight handle and a putter.

            Michael Mann’s “Hockey Stick” also consists of a straight handle, meaning no MWP and no LIA. As even Wigley (CRU insider) points out, this is a hopelessly idiosyncratic claim, debunked by Soon and Baliunas, the “CO2 Science” project’s thousand or so proxies, a significant number of glaciers that have receded far enough to reveal pre-LIA forests, and so on.

            Everybody knows Mann’s Hockey Stick is junk science–everyone but Wow, that is (and BB). At least BB has the guts to reveal his identity. At least Wow has the smarts not to reveal his. –AGF

            • That would be because you’re incorrect.

            • AG,

              You are wrong. The original “hockey stick” consisted of “a straight handle, and a putter,” AND error bars. The newer reconstructions (with more and different kinds of data and data analysis techniques) still lie within Mann’s original error bars, even though some have a more prominent Medieval Warm period. None of them (at least the ones done by real paleoclimate experts) would change Mann’s original, basic conclusions.

        • Oh, and why is your post there? It doesn’t actually answer the query.

          All you did was ignore the query. A query any *skeptic* would undertake because they do not take claims on their merit without evidence and testing.

          • Why don’t YOU see if you can find any of CO2’s proxies that doesn’t have a MWP? I wonder how many angels could dance on the top of your head. There’s not a competent scientist on the planet who takes the climate hysteria seriously. –AGF

            • All of them have a MWP. NONE of them have one that globally averages out to warmer than the 1950’s, let alone more recent times of greater warming.

            • Meaning that none of the people who are paleoclimate experts and publish in journals that specialize in that sort of topic are “competent scientists”? Interesting. What are your qualifications to make that judgement?

  11. BB at 1225:
    “You are wrong. The original “hockey stick” consisted of “a straight handle, and a putter,” AND error bars. The newer reconstructions (with more and different kinds of data and data analysis techniques) still lie within Mann’s original error bars, even though some have a more prominent Medieval Warm period. None of them (at least the ones done by real paleoclimate experts) would change Mann’s original, basic conclusions.”

    BB, as usual you are talking gibberish. If Mann’s handle is so fat as to comfortably accommodate the MWP we can conclude two things: the error bars are so large as to render the study meaningless, and the average is so straight as to render the study meaningless. You are resorting to dishonest arguments to defend the indefensible. (And I haven’t said a word about MM’s cherry picking.) This is par for the course for the believers, which is why I can honestly say there are no competent scientists who take the climate hysteria seriously. –AGF

    • What you say is only true if you take seriously the amateur reconstructions that produce some gigantic MWP that is not seen in the other, professional reconstructions. But then, given what we know about the solar forcing, etc., from that time, taking these seriously also means you should believe the climate sensitivity is much higher than previously thought. Oh wait. I forgot that climate contrarians don’t generally argue in terms of “physics”. They argue in terms of “Nature” vs. “Human”.

      • None of S&B’s hundred or so proxies collected, and none of CO2 Science’s thousand or so proxies show a hockey stick (of course few of them grafted on a modern T record). All of them show a MWP. These are usually calibrated. “Gigantic” is not calibrated. These are peer reviewed. These are not done by amateurs. Mann is the amateur. If you are ever to come clean you will have to admit that. Wigley did, at least in private. –AGF

        • CO2Science is a fraudulent pack of lies.

          • Says the fraudulent sack of lies. Look, fool, all they do with their project is list studies and show their graphs. See everyone, one hopelessly sick and twisted minds these pro-GW anonymous trolls have? And the sorry truth is they well reflect the star originators of this sorry science, like the leaked emails show. –AGF

            • Nope, you can verify what I claim and it is supported by evidence.

              Which CO2Science doesn’t have, and you have no care to determine the facts of the case because you’re a sick and twisted man who is ruled by their avarice.

        • So you are saying that these data do falsify the Hockey Stick, but the authors of those studies won’t admit it? Because the black helicopters are coming?

          • I don’t understand why you have such a snarky, arrogant attitude. the hockey stick is obviously a flawed piece of work. the mwp has been thoroughly documented to have occurred all over the globe.

            • I have no idea why you’re claiming lol when that link doesn’t even support your claim, though it makes many insinuations.

              It even manages its own faked graph. Which it knows is unsupportable, hence it isn’t attributed to any dataset or paper. After all, if you had that, you’d have the method and then you’d have why it’s faked.

            • False authority fallacy there, old dear.

              Mann’s work is obviously fine otherwise those 9 investigations and nearly score of alternative investigations would not have found the result robust.

              Given the people involved all have many postgraduate degrees and many patents, their authority exceeds yours by the metric you perceive to be correct.

              You’ve said it before, but that doesn’t make it true.

            • lol…


            • The problem is you don’t understand honesty and are moreover a mad and twisted indivudual whose only coping mechanism is to take your own personal failings and project them on everyone who doesn’t agree with you, thereby making you “normal”.

              The hockey stick is supported by nine investigations and nearly a score of alternative treatments have shown the same feature.

              Meanwhile you have only “It’s OBVIOUSLY a fraud!”, but no evidence.

              Please, if you have this “thoroughly documented” evidence, please show it.

            • I have a chemical engineering degree from the highest ranked undergraduate engineering school in the country. I was awarded u.s. patent #5348662 for developing a process that cleans contaminated wastewater. so much for my failings.

              there are hundreds of published peer-reviewed studies that confirm the presence of the mwp globally (on every continent). in addition, you are incorrect about those “investigations” “clearing” mann. in fact, at least two of them heavily criticized his methods and agreed with each other that his work was heavily flawed. other investigations didn’t even bother to audit his data, equations and computer code. and the “alternative treatments” you mention were shown to have some of the same statistical errors and flawed data usage that was contained in the original work

              as I said before, mann’s work is obviously flawed. and most of what you have said in your comments here is either an obvious lie or a pathetic series of random insults that reflects your inability to discuss this topic with any degree of rationality or maturity.

            • From the NCS study:

              The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on icecaps and the retreat of glaciers around the world, which in many cases appear to be unprecedented during at least the last 2,000 years.

  12. the problems with this case are as follows:

    both sides of the case have many, many supporters and most supporters are heavily invested in the case. for some reason, the topic of “climate change” creates extreme, visceral and emotional feelings in both supporters and opponents. discussions quickly degenerate into slugfests. not just here, but at virtually every climate blog, pro- or con-AGW.

    the pace of the case is extremely slow. we still have to go through a lengthy discovery phase and then a lengthy deposition phase. both sides will probably want to introduce more witnesses than the court will allow, there is no shortage of supporting experts and literature buttressing both sides of the argument. after the depositions will come the pre-trial hearings, where both sides will seek to disqualify the other side’s experts and exhibits. these hearings will be lengthy and contested, and there good very easily be several appeals of rulings to higher courts, which will even more cause lengthy delays.

    the end of the trial won’t even be the end of the trial. the losing side, whichever it is, is guaranteed to appeal the verdict, which could delay the final resolution YEARS after the trial ends.

    all of which is guaranteed to drive all of us stark raving mad, because we really, really need a resolution to this. it is just too consuming.

    in other words: bummer, dudes… there’s a 90+% chance of nothing but anger and frustration ahead for years to come.

    • “…anger and frustration ahead for years to come.”

      Not to mention, starvation, for the poor whose grain has been hijacked to make ethanol, and who can’t afford cooking oil or gasoline due to rising energy costs, while we subsidize expensive alternate energy sources. And while Obama talks about the settled science of certain climate doom if we don’t reduce our consumption by xx% within y years. All this at the same time Sen. Boxer’s star witnesses cannot assent to Obama’s claim that climate change is accelerating.

      Junk science is nothing new, but it’s getting more expensive all the time. We are always flirting with a rerun of the Dark Ages. –aGF

      • AGF,

        the corn “hijacked” to make ethanol has been condemned by climate activists since shortly after it was instituted. The fact that the corn lobby and it’;s legislators continue this has nothing to do with climate sincere. however it does show that large scale distribution of biofuel is quite feasible.
        I love these conservatives who “discover” their love of the poor ONLY when it will increase profits for the richest corporations in the world. Yes, energy prices will go up, but that will actually reflect some of the cost of the externalities, and it is something for public policy to decide how to deal with people whom that impacts.
        there is no point in discussion subsidies for only ONE side of the coin. What are the actual relative costs of energy.
        One also has to consider 100 years of the development of infrastructure, processing, exploration, and financial structures (as well as political lobbying relationships) for the largest industry in the world. the fact that renewables are even close and the benefits of renewables are very clear in terms of just the costs of health for fossil fuel related illness, indicates that in the future the differences will become less and less and as infrastructure and all these other disadvantages wane there will be hardly any justification for using fossil fuels in most capacities.

        I also find it funny that deniers lambast those that accept ACC for being alarmist, and then out of the other side of their mouths declare the destruction of the economy and impending dark ages for changes that pale compared to the destruction of wealth from the last economic collapse, and yet we did not descend into the dark ages in 2008.

    • One side has facts on their side (hint: the science), the other has histrionics, hysterics and conspiracies on thiers (your side. that’s a hint).

      QUOTE > the end of the trial won’t even be the end of the trial. the losing side, whichever it is, is guaranteed to appeal the verdict, which could delay the final resolution YEARS after the trial ends.

      Rather betraying Steyn’s whines about how he’s concerned only about free speech.

    • Well and fairly said rspung.

      I just find it all curious. In economics, for example insults abound:


      Yet nobody has sued Krugman nor has Krugman sued anyone.

      Physicists don’t sue, biologists, psychologists, chemists or astronomers…

      What’s up with climate scientists?

      • Ever checked the Monckton Files here on Barry’s site?

        Monkfish goes all slap-happy with the lawsuit threats at the drop of a hat, the swivel-eyed loon that he is.

        What’s up with deniers?

        • you have issues

          • Yes. And what’s wrong with that?

            Those accused by McCarthy of “Anti-American Activities” had issues.

            The crew of Appollo13 had issues.

            Was this some form of failure on their part? Or is it that you haven’t got anything better to say?

      • I’ll tell you what’s up with climate scientists, since you asked. Some of them are mercilessly hounded with charges of fraud by a bunch of ignoramuses who couldn’t tell the difference between good and bad scientific work, even if they wanted to actually sift through the totality of the evidence. And these ignoramuses are persuasive enough to get some ignoramus politicians to stage witch hunts against the scientists, who have to suffer through the intrusion, annoyance, and stress until they are exonerated. They think the whole thing is over with, but no amount of evidence, and no amount of official inquiries, will ever satisfy the ignoramuses that there isn’t a fire behind all that smoke, which they generated in the first place. The Illiterati are, as the Catholics say, “invincibly ignorant”. So the scientists have to suffer through even more witch hunts and hate mail, until one day, some of the most prolific witch hunters among the Illiterati make the mistake of publicly accusing a scientist of a very specific crime committed with malice–a crime that he’s been exonerated of by any number of official inquiries. The scientist threatens to sue for libel, and the Illiterati ringleaders could easily avoid the suit by changing their wording. But the problem is that their supporters are people who can’t understand the distinction between flinging insults and making actionable false accusations. (You know the type. They come onto blogs discussing the case and keep trying to equate run-of-the-mill nastiness with actionable libel.) So the ringleaders can’t back down, and the scientist follows up on his threats. The scientist, in all likelihood, wins his case, because it’s pretty much a textbook libel case, the scientist and all the lawyers get richer, and the ignoramuses shoveling money at their spokesmen all get a little poorer, and the losing side still doesn’t learn anything. Queue up the next round.

  13. Will BB ever get around to reading the CRU emails? Devious malice abounds. And fraud? By just about any definition but BB’s. –AGF

    • I’ve read lots of them. And I was mighty impressed by the lengths to which some will go to misinterpret them and blow them out of proportion.

      • That comment goes beyond competence into the realm of honesty. BB is poles apart from Michael Kelley, whose honesty and intelligence shines through with dazzling brilliance. For another compilation, see John Costella’s. –AGF

        • I take it you mean this one:

          not the artist or the actor, right?

          Where is his “intelligence” shining through? All I see is head-in-the-sand masquerading as care.

        • I read through Costella entire analysis. He points out the most egregious examples and none of them come close to indicating fraud. What they do show is scientists REALLY pissed at people they consider to be enemies hell bent on distorting any science they can find in order to support an ideological agenda that denies any significant danger from increasing CO2.
          they then respond as normal humans do by trying to protect themselves. they do say and respond in ways that are not consistent with an idealized view of human behavior. Some of which is in some minor ways reprehensible. The illegal denial of FOI is certainly wrong, as well as suggesting that people’s research be kept out of professional journals.
          Now the fact that none of these things happened (except the runaround re FOI) seems to show that scientists are terrible conspirators.
          He also ignores the outright lies and constant distortion and misrepresentation by deniers too numerous to mention, as well as the inability of most deniers to accept incontrovertible evidence, and how this would impact the reactions of these scientists

          • “The illegal denial of FOI is certainly wrong”

            No such thing happened.

            There are multiple reasons coded into law not to submit to a FOI demand. For one, breech of copyright. It wasn’t the CRU’s data to hand off.

            • My understanding is there was at least one case where it may have been illegal but by the time of the investigation the statute of limitations had expired. I do not remember the details.
              Even if it is so, I have much sympathy for them considering what they were being put through.

            • Well someone could claim “may have been illegal”, but all that requires is someone to say “Is that illegal?”.

              However, if it’s found not to be illegal when looking into it, then it was never illegal.

              CRU didn’t do anything illegal and their refusal was entirely justified by the FOIA, which doesn’t say “If someone asks you for something, you have to give it to them”.

              I’ve already given one.

              Another is that if a request comes in from data that could be gotten more easily from a more authoritative source (e.g. asking CRU for NOAA data because CRU has NOAA data to work with) can be denied with “You can get it from the owner [here]”.

              A third is you do not have to submit to demands that are obviously vexatious and since Steve exhorted ON A PUBLIC WEBSITE a DDoS and even gave out a location where people could ensure that there was no duplication and that each request was not answerable by a limited amount of work, those too were FOI requests that were legally allowed to be denied.

    • Will you ever get round to reading them?

      Rather than the cherries and “interpretations” that denier blogrolls have paraded for your comfort?

      • Wow, don’t you understand that you sound like a retard? BB may not be intellectually honest or brilliant but as least he’s not retarded. Do his blog a favor and shut up. –AGF

        • Yes, like with half-spung dirt technik, you’re only coping mechanism is to project your own personal failings onto others and insist that they are merely “normal discourse”, though not enough for you to claim the high ground.

          Do the world a favour and Darwin Award yourself.

  14. I see “Wow” repeats the Mann’s quackery about glaciers. I’ve shown on other threads around here how absurd is this melting glacier nonsense. In both hemispheres glaciers have been revealing the remains of forests that grew before the LIA, which LIA doesn’t even show up on Mann’s Hockey Stick. It is precisely this acceptance of such junk science which marks our return to the Dark Ages–we see it everywhere on BB’s blog alone. –AGF

    • What quackery, ducky?

      “I’ve shown on other threads around here how absurd is this melting glacier nonsense”

      Yes, that there is a great example of the nonsense you’ve put on other threads.

      Really. Well done.

      “In both hemispheres glaciers have been revealing the remains of forests that grew before the LIA”

      Nope. Wrong. So wrong it’s really hard to work out what you’re talking about here.

      But lets just say that we’re far hotter than pre-LIA, therefore there’s absolutely no validity to the claim “we’re coming out of the LIA!”.

      “which LIA doesn’t even show up on Mann’s Hockey Stick”

      Oh, no, it definitely does. I think you’re getting your denier memes mixed up. You’re supposed to claim that the MWP was removed from Mann’s hockey stick (since the deniers love the CET reconstruction – note Central England Temperature, where it has a much more visible MWP but one that appears at different times across the globe), not that he removed the LIA!

      “It is precisely this acceptance of such junk science which marks our return to the Dark Ages”


      However I don’t think you seem to realise where the junk is.

    • you are SERIOUSLY contending that glaciers are not retreating?
      do you not understand what regional variation is?
      Is it possible that you have read accounts form fanatic websites that only give partial information, and distort sicnec in a way to promote an ideological agenda?
      SO you are accusing ALL glacial experts and all scientists that can follow the peer reviewed science of massive fraud.
      Please write a paper exposing all of this.
      I have asked this over and over of deniers who prove, with hardly any effort hat some aspect of ACC is blatantly wrong.
      Yet they NEVER publish their results in peer reviewed journals.
      My contention is that THEY are the real traitors. the ones that should;d be hung when it turns out that ACC was all a hoax form the beginning.
      Because it is people like you that have allowed the socence to be corrupted and allowed our gray country to be destroyed by the one world socialists.

      • that’s an awesome comment. I didn’t realize our country was gray.

        • There’s a whole slew of things you don’t realise, ducky.

          What I don’t think anyone realised was that “I didn’t realize our country was gray.” was some sort of valid riposte to Tony’s information there.

          • you’re funny. you keep acting like you know something, but based on your comments, that’s obviously not the case.

            • Andrew,

              You are a deceitful little troll. I already showed you where YOU had claimed your list refuted Oreskes, so I refuse to let you troll-tantrum me into not saying that your list is meant for something YOU use it for. And one CAN use the Web of Science to filter out review papers and opinion pieces–I know this because I HAVE DONE IT BEFORE. Finally, I never said JSE wouldn’t publish an anti-astrology paper. I said they WOULD publish a pro-dog-astrology paper. Which they did.


              Now bug off.

            • When are you going to post the OISM figures, springy?

              Where Dr Ms Ginger Spice signs up to “prove” AGW wrong!

              (PS even Roy Spencer has tried to no effect to get Poptart to remove a paper that ROY HIMSELF says is not disagreeing with AGW)

            • I remember when I was about ten years old. some kid my age thought he was being really smart when he called me “springy”.

              you sound and act like someone with his level of maturity and intelligence. maybe one day, when you grow up, you might be able to carry on an adult conversation. but it looks like that day is still a long way off. years and years.

              p.s. you are lying about roy spencer.

            • rspung,

              As I said, the comment was directed at Poptech, so perhaps you could be so kind as to allow that maybe every single sentence doesn’t need to address one of your points. In any case, my main point was that lists like Poptech’s are artificially padded to give big-sounding numbers, but they NEVER, EVER do a survey of the literature to turn that into a percentage. Because the percentage would sound too small.

            • yeah, I got that after re-reading it a couple of times.

            • Thank you for that meaningless, but heartfelt dribble, poptart.

              “ACC/AGW Alarm: (defined)”

              By whom? Webster?

              PS your list has nothing to do with anything, it doesn’t even have anything to do with what you claim it is for, despite many reversions of “what it’s for” from you.

              Nobody denies there are papers from crackpots out there that disregard the science and regard AGW as false.

              NOBODY denies this.

              Therefore your “list” is merely saying nothing.

            • “I remember when I was about ten years old. some kid my age thought he was being really smart when he called me “springy”.”

              I doubt it. I suspect they, too, were completely bored by the assumed preening of yourself in public and your overwhelming approval of yourself in your own mind, therefore went to the rhetorical trick of getting your name wrong to indicate how worthless you are outside your own ego.

            • They are also considered wrong by the authors who disagree with poptart’s attribution of the list.

              Oddly enough, this is a complaint by many deniers about the several studies into the consensus of science over AGW: “they’re including people in the wrong group!”.

              But poptart gets a pass on that because, well, because he says it proves AGW a big scam or something. Nobody really knows, because not even poptart can decide what the list is supposed to show.

            • Wow. The projection is strong in durr-spring here.

              Clueless, there’s a place you can go to find a clue. If you dare.


            • you mean the site run by the indian pornographer? lol, that’s funny.

            • Dog… Astrology…

            • Barry, how come you do not know that the Web of Science does not have an option to filter for peer-reviewed content nor does it have a “research” paper option.


              The article document type includes non peer-reviewed content.

            • “They are also considered wrong by the authors who disagree with poptart’s attribution of the list.”

              Woo, which author disagrees with which paper and how is that paper attributed on the list?

            • Make sure to take special note of any papers on Poptech’s list from the Journal of Scientific Exploration, which also publishes papers about dog astrology. I’m serious.

            • Oh, boy, Andrew’s (aka Poptech’s) famous list!!!! Shall I ask you, rspung, whether you’ve actually tried to examine any of the papers on that list to see if Andrew was playing fair? Because I have.

              I had the temerity to criticize Andrew’s beloved list in the video linked here:


              … and Andrew descended upon me in the comments. He was so annoying that he spurred me to further research. Here was one of my comments.

              Hi Poptech,

              I was intrigued by your statement that “Where ever Orseskes published her fraudulent paper is irrelevant, as her claims are debunked by my list as you can easily find papers within her time frame that reject her alleged consensus.” I was also intrigued by your claim that Oreskes intentionally wrote that her search phrase was “climate change,” when it was really “global climate change.”

              My contention all along has been that you and others have used your list to argue against Oreskes (2004), and my criticism has been that your only quality control was peer review. Our conversation here shows that my criticisms were on the mark, but I have decided to go further. I want to do a complete, apples-to-apples comparison to see the extent to which your list challenges Oreskes’s conclusions.

              I first took your list, and removed all references to papers published outside of Oreskes’s 1993-2003 window. I then removed the ones that were obviously just comments on other papers and such, and cut out any that are not on the ISI master list for the Science Citation Index, which is what Oreskes used. This left something like 250 papers.

              Next, I went to the ISI Web of Science (just like Oreskes did) and searched for research papers (not opinion pieces, review articles, or comments) using the search phrase “global climate change” over the period of 1993-2003. I got 931 hits, whereas she got 928, so ISI must have expanded their database slightly since 2004. I then searched using the same criteria, except that the search phrase was “climate change”. I got 9553 hits this time.

              Now, I have to note here that this does not represent the full literature on climate change over 1993-2003, even in the ISI Science Citation Index, any more than Oreskes’s original 928 papers did. What if the parts of some papers in the database only had the phrase “climatic change,” rather than “climate change”? They wouldn’t show up. There are likely to have been several tens of thousands of papers on the subject during that time period, but what we are doing here is taking a REALLY LARGE random sample of the literature, and seeing what percentage of it challenges the mainstream about climate change.

              I have now gone through all the papers on your list that were left, and I looked to see how many were listed in the sample of 9553 papers. That number is 57, which represents 0.6% of the total sample.

              But I’m not done, yet. I’m now going through and examining all of those 57 papers to see how many actually challenge the consensus. I’ve already found a number that don’t. E.g., a number of papers are about the “lag” between temperature changes and CO2 changes in the ice core records of the last million years. But the mainstream opinion has long been that the glacial-interglacial cycles were driven by changes in the amount and distribution of sunlight hitting the Earth, due to changes in the Earth’s orbit, tilt, and so on, and changes in CO2 were acting as a feedback in the system. So while those papers may “support a skeptic argument,” that “skeptic argument” is not addressing the scientific consensus about climate change.

              I expect that the final tally will be considerably less than 0.5%.

              So there you have it, Poptech. You’ve done a great service by keeping a more or less comprehensive list of “skeptical” papers, because it allows someone like me to show that even if we take the papers you list into account and select a much larger sample of the literature, Oreskes was right on the money, in that a survey of the literature DOES strongly support the idea that there is an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists. There’s no question about it.

              What’s more, this also shows unequivocally that your conspiracy theory about Oreskes (2004) is idiotic. If less than 0.5% of the literature is contrarian, then it’s not all that unlikely that a smaller sample like Oreskes (2004) used would turn up none. In any case, if the true answer is less than 0.5%, then why bother manipulating generic-sounding search terms until you get 0 hits?

              Finally, let me just conclude by acknowledging that I recognize your primary purpose for the list is to debunk the common notion that there is no peer-reviewed contrarian literature. I have no problem with that, but the fact is that you also use your list (or at least the papers in your list from 1993-2003) to argue that Oreskes (2004) was wrong, which she clearly wasn’t. I also acknowledge that the ISI database doesn’t cover every single good journal, and that you have papers on your list from 1993-2004 that would have shown up with a different search phrase. But since I was going after a percentage, not just a number, I had to use a well defined sampling technique. There is no reason to believe that using either search phrase (“global climate change” or “climate change”) would bias the results.

            • lol, you realize 2004 was ten years ago, right? you realize the number of published, skeptical, peer-reviewed studies has increased dramatically since then, right?

              I never used the list to argue anything about oreskes. I don’t give a rat’s ass about oreskes or anything she may have said or done ten years ago.

              have a nice day.

            • No, I mean a site that collects the available scientific reports.

              But I guess you don’t do science unless it appeases your sensibilities.

            • oh, you mean like this?


            • 1. My list has nothing to do with Oreskes paper and you were repeatedly told this many times, yet continue to lie about it.

              Barry, why did you leave out the most important part, which discredited your argument,

              “I did the search [in Web of Science] for “anthropogenic climate change” the other day and got something like 108 papers.”

              2. Why do you keep making an ad hominem about the general interest journal, “Journal of Scientific Exploration”? When it includes a paper debunking astrology?


              Using the “Bickmore Criteria” (a journal is defined by a paper it publishes) – JSE is a astrology debunking journal.

              Didn’t they teach you about logical fallacies during your university education?

              3. EBSCO and Scopus both index the Journal of Scientific Exploration as a peer-reviewed general interest journal.

              4. There are only two papers on the list from JSE and both deal exclusively with climate change.

        • It is possible that was a misspelling. I wil try to reconstruct my mental processes at the time and determine what other word “grey” could have been in this grey age when the grey accomplishments of our grey country are so common….
          wait I think I figured it out.

  15. […] Mann v. National Review et al. case (which I have previously written about here, here, and here) has the Free Speech Brigade out in force.  These people have, or at least pretend to […]

  16. Barry, although most of your piece is well-based on facts, I must disagree strongly with one opinion:
    ” even black-helicopter-watchers don’t deserve to be bilked of their money under a false pretenses’

    You are too nice. I think people far gone into the depths of pseudoskepticism, ridden by Sauron-class Morton’s Demons ought to display the courage of their convictions by donating as much as possible to Steyn, so he can fight on, and help this case get into discovery as any platiff lawyer’s dream defendant.

    Those of us who’ve had to rely on public records have found lots of history of NR and CEI efforts towards Mann, Bradley and Hughes, although not as much history as their much longer work to <a href=" tobacco companies. Unlike many commenters, I’ve spent hours talking with good lawyers on libel law. I *so* wish this case gets to discovery.

    A lot of people wanted to donate to Murry Salby during the Salby blog storm, and I almost regret crushing that after a few days, Monckton was strongly acclaimed as a possible savior for Salby, maybe he can ride to Steyn’s rescue instead.

    I think it is quite fair to encourage any real person put real money where their Internet handle(s) mouth(s) are, and even better, have their contributions proudly displayed on some website of Steyn’s.

  17. […] it summarily dismissed, I would be shaking in my boots, wondering if Steyn would sue me because I mocked his explanation of the Hockey Stick, quoted above.  You see, the Hockey Stick isn’t a […]

  18. […] there was no such investigation. Much later, he did actually send a couple e-mails to my university threatening a libel suit and saying and saying I was mentally imbalanced, but the administration essentially ignored […]

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