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« The idea of Oxburgh | Main | More from Heartland »

American Spectator on McIntyre

The American Spectator has picked up on the Heartland conference's muted reaction to Steve McIntyre's keynote presentation. was an extremely odd audience reaction: McIntyre received a standing ovation upon his introduction, thanks to his dogged research and unrelenting demand for information and accountability, but then his blase' attitude about scientists' behavior -- particularly Mann's -- left most of the audience cold and some even angry. The applause for McIntyre was tepid upon the conclusion of his remarks. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

As Roger Pielke Jnr has explained, the Nature trick doesn't seem to amount to fraud "as it is defined in the academy". I must say, I'm not sure I understand how the academy defines such things, but there are clearly many who would apply real world definitions in these circumstances rather than one used solely in academic circles. The question is, who is right?

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Reader Comments (85)

I note with extreme amusement that the Mighty Hockey Stick, magnificent meme and illustrious icon, is reduced to discussions of its fraudulence or fudgicleness.

Not with a boom, with a drip.

May 18, 2010 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Steve Mc is a lefty, but an honest lefty. His honesty has helped him produce the critiques of the stats used by the alarmists like Mann. His lefty instincts are what influence his views on the politics of responding to what Mann has done.

May 18, 2010 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

Here's Steve's original post on the Cuccinelli attack on Mann.

In my opinion, using the law to close down discussion will not help the cause and will be seen as corrupt. Nobody who supports this blog has any time for Oxburgh, ignores his findings, and believes they are politically motivated. Nobody on the other side will see the legal attack on Mann any differently - it will polarise things still further and in the unlikely event of it being successful will produce a martyr for the warmist cause.

May 18, 2010 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid C

Perhaps, David C. But the Piltdown Mann is a poor candidate for martyr. His feet of clay are those of a scapegoat. His only chance for redemption is spectacular global warming, and with the cooling concatenation of oceanic oscillations and the chesire grin of the sunspots, what's the chance of warming?

May 18, 2010 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Steve, besides being a lefty, is very civil and polite. They are admirable qualities and at the same time, infuriating.

Steve believes that bigger government is better government. I've always found that stance amusing coming from a stats expert - there is definitely a negative correlation between the "bigger" and "better" arguments.

May 18, 2010 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterNandra Das

Like it or not, science is full of conscious and unconscious bias in the selection and analysis of data. The difference in climate science is not how selective the arguments are but the fact that the majority of the workers in the field share the same aim of proving that CO2 is the cause. Confirmation is seen as a good thing, alternative theories are not seen as career enhancing.
Both sides are guilty of selective presentation of data - and to some extent progress may require that a dataset which was previously assumed valid (e.g. ice cores) is discarded from the initial analysis, then only explained later once a more complex interaction is assumed.

May 18, 2010 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean Houlihane

I think you have to regard Steve as "data.Steve". You don't have to agree, politically or otherwise, with him to recognise the empirical value of the information that comes from him.

I think it's probably inevitable that an event in Chicago, sponsored and attended predominantly by Heartland-oriented political thinkers, are going to be a little nonplussed by Steve's dispassionate standpoint. He doesn't concern himself with the politics - in fact, as he said in the Q&A, he determines to avoid dwelling on stuff. He doesn't get angry, or determine to get even when affronted, he. just. is. Steve.

But it is so very much because Steve is. just. Steve. that it is impossible to diminish the value of "data.Steve" for political purposes, from either side. There's no ulterior motive, no secret funding, no nothing untoward at all. We have to accept - and, I propose, celebrate - Steve for being just. Steve. Even if/when that means we can't use him as our political lump hammer. Nobody can. "data.Steve" is demonstrably incontrovertible.

Case in point, actually: "data.Steve" indicates that there is a difference between real-world and academic standards of disclosure, reporting accuracy etc. It is enough that "data.Steve" shows this. It's up to others (us, for example) to take that "data.Steve" and determine/dictate if that should be or should not be allowed to continue. Steve doesn't visit that question or offer an opinion on it. He doesn't need to, because Steve. just. is. Steve.

May 18, 2010 at 1:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonH

Who's right?

Unfortunately, whoever has the most money...

May 18, 2010 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterphoto ex machina

Yeah, right, pem; the love of truth is the root of all evil.

May 18, 2010 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Agree with SimonH. I think people are trying to drag Steve Mc into the political debate when he prefers to act more as a scientist should and focus on the facts, and what can be proved or disproven. What happens to those conclusions is up to the political types to deal with, and I also agree with him that the Cuccinelli approach is not the best one.

On the Roger Pielke Jnr thing, I think that's a little more 'nuanced'. In the science world, it may not constitue fraud as they define it, just a fudge, bad science or naive presentation. I'm not a scientist so I don't know the academy definition. More general defintion would be an intent to deceive for personal gain, which hasn't really been proven. Mann has gained, has perhaps shown some intent by robustly defending his work, but that still doesn't really prove fraud. If he still believes his work is correct and right, then it should be reasonable for him to try and defend it.. Despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Cuccinelli may find some evidence of fraud, but it still risks being seen as a witchunt victimising a poor, hard working scientist simply trying to save the world, thus creating a martyr for the more zealous AGW believers, as it's already being portrayed.

If the hockey stick is finally buried, then so is one of the key pillars of AGW theory that our current climate is somehow unprecedented. If that happens, it starts looking more like natural variation that we can see in other paleo stuff. So what's the problem again? Why do we have to invest billions tilting at windmills?

May 18, 2010 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Mr McIntyre has never taken sides in the AGW debate. He will not point fingers, pass judgment, or embark on ad hominum attacks on scientists. While he doesn't suffer fools, he remains objective. I listened to his presentation and it was a dispassionate summary of his results and I'm OK with that. His observation about the difference between disclosure in the public vs. academic worlds, though distressing, is correct, and until the entire scientific community changes its position on it, the practice will continue—to its detriment. The skeptics (or whatever term Dr. Lindzen comes up with), however, must use this reality to challenge the findings or forecasts of those scientists who do not disclose methodologies or data. The Public must also be made to realize that non-disclosure means unproven and invalid.

May 18, 2010 at 2:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSean Peake

I've read CA for quite a while now and I've never seen him espouse his political views. IMO, the strength of SMs analysis is that it is apolitical and sticks to the facts, rather than trying to analyse motivation etc. The closest I believe he has come to a political view is in stating his contempt at the interference of politics in scientific matters, believing, rightly or wrongly, that they are likely to make the situation worse, rather than better.

I'm in no position to judge what kind of reception SM got, but if the audience were expecting him to call out Mann on anything other than the state of his science, they haven't been paying attention to his work. It is scientists treading the fine line between being "effective" and honest, and failing miserably, that has led to this sad state of affairs. Don't expect SM to do "effectiveness".

May 18, 2010 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveJR

SimonH encapsulates it for me. It's the science that matters, if, as I believe, the hockeystick was the artefact of cherrypicking data and unproven statistical techniques then that will wash out in the course of time. Making Mann a matyr will not help, for that's what he'll be. Don't forget that people will always defend their corner, the quite extraordinary support, Dr. Jones got in the face of some of the most damning evidence you're likely ever to see demonstrates that even if found guilty Mann will be seen as a martyr.

Dr. Peilke, on the other hand seems to have dug a hole for himself and the solution he's adopted is further digging. There almost certainly is bias in science, but the preponderous of fudging does not excuse fudging, that's a no-no.

Wait for Mann to implode, he will in time, don't forget that he's produced a diagram that shows Greenland some 1C cooler than today, eventually someone will wake up to the fact that it is well known that there were farms in Greenland in 1000AD, and there is no possibility of farming there now when it is 1C warmer and ask the obvious question.

May 18, 2010 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Amen, SimonH. You made it clearer to me, who has been reading CA daily for four years now, how important it has been -- and will continue to be -- for Steve to stay off the political fence and concentrate on the social and scientific questions raised by the malfeasance of the AGW scientists.

Anyone have the link to his presentation?

May 18, 2010 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterphilH

Left fudge, right fraud,
Hay foot, straw foot.
The Piltdown Mann trudges
Forlorn down the Road.

May 18, 2010 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"..Steve Mc is a lefty, but an honest lefty..."

My reading is that Steve fervently believes (as do I) in the primacy of the scientific method. So emotion, rhetoric and allocation of blame must be completely suppressed, and each side should treat the other with a steely politeness. It does not matter one whit to the scientific argument whether you are trying to usher in a new Eden for all humanity, or slaughter all the inhabitants of a continent - the maths must be right.

That, and Steve has lots of self control. A major selling point on his side is that he steadfastly refuses to make political statements. His opponents accuse him of being a 'denier' - those accusations cannot stick if he stays 'clean' and does not descend to name calling. If he were to agree to what all of us (including Steve) know is true - that Mann's attempts to rescue his hypothesis have crossed the boundary of outright fraud - he would probably be sued in a politically-motivated attempt to ruin him and waste his time.

So don't knock him for playing the game properly...

May 18, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

I get the data.steve thing, but it's one thing (and probably a good thing) for data.steve to remain in his cloister - quite another (and not a good thing at all) for him to deprecate people like and the rest of us out here who have to deal with the ruinous consequences of the deceit Steve has revealed.

In the case of Cuccinelli, Steve and his cohort seem to prejudge the AG's prejudgement. As I understand it he is investigating the use of Virginia state funds by a man he and all of us have good reason to believe resorts to deceit in his profession. Steve et al are free to believe that Mann's misdeeds, such as they may be, should be dealt with "in collegium", although why they should hold such a belief after the laughable string of inquisitorial whitewashes we have seen remains a mystery. Attorney-Generals of states that have funded Mann's activities, on the other hand, probably aren't, whatever their private feelings in the matter.

May 18, 2010 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterTomFP

Why should the hangman be asked to hang a dead man?

May 18, 2010 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Penetrating insight, SimonH, and I find it persuasive. I've only rarely posted at CA, primarily when on one occasion I posted a well-meaning and supportive, but off-topic, message. Steve ripped into me pretty witheringly, I thought, calling me "extremely impolite".

However, I forgave him because of what he does, not who he sometimes comes across as. He may sometimes win few plaudits for his character, but frankly my dear, who gives a damn? It's probably only someone with his character who would have possessed the fortitude to pursue single-mindedly the hockey stick issue and its progeny. The things he has in spades are the right statistical skills, tenacity, and the ability to focus on the data. Let others deal with political and motivational issues.

May 18, 2010 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael larkin

It's not 'nuanced' it's just that Pielke Jr is wrong. Any academic doing what the 'hide the decline' team did would be run out of most academic professions....though not climate science.

May 18, 2010 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

You need people like Steve McIntyre to stand up for science as science.

Science should not be the pawn of the eco-loons nor right-wing nutters.

McIntyre in giving his technical opinion on this matter has delivered a great deal of credibility to this conference.

Scientific conferences should not be cheer-leading societies, nor annual doom-fests.

People should tell it like it is.

May 18, 2010 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Interesting that the argument has become "Fraud" vs "Fudge".

For me, the issue is how much it is costing me. We are not dealing with a polite little scientific debate over how many angels can dance on a Higgs Boson, but how much more we have to pay to heat our homes and drive our cars.

May 18, 2010 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

I watched SM on PJTV , I was impressed, he came across as remarkably calm and level headed and free of any political agenda. He was a fish out of water. The other speakers came to work the crowd, he came just to say what he had to say. His responses were the only ones that weren’t a calculated claptrap.

So far as the “f” word is concerned, he appears to subscribe, like R Pielke Jnr, to a social construct theory of fraud and considers that within the sub-culture within Mann, Briffa, Jones etc operated what they didn’t amount to delinquent behaviour. He acknowledged that there‘s difficulty when they’re addressing the wider world rather than one another: whose construct of fraud should then apply? - but the bottom line for him was that he, personally, was interested in correct methodology and accurate computation rather than assigning motives to error. An eminently reasonable position, but not calculated to get the Heartland delegates on their feet cheering.

For whatever reason, there are a great many people, many at the Heartland conference, many at R Pielke Jnr’s blog, who believe that certain persons should be held to account at least for fabricating data, and there are clearly 2 occasions on which this was done, if for nothing else. Many believe this passionately and for many the passion appears to be engendered by reason of domestic politics which I can neither understand nor empathise with. I don’t understand their emotion and I suspect neither SM or RP Jnr do either.

The problem is, those accused lack the moral fibre to acknowledge, on any basis, that they erred in what they did and any panel that has been convened to enquire into their conduct has gone to considerable lengths to duck the issue. It’s shameless public misconduct, like an adulterer brazenly appearing in the public square with his mistress and daring anyone to call him immoral.

The more those responsible for the fabrication duck and dive and the more those invited to pass judgement on their conduct seek instead to give them cover the angrier some people get.

I think it’s a poor show on their part that they don’t come clean, particularly since everybody who cares knows what they did, and it only redounds further to their discredit that they don’t explain and apologise, but I don’t care whether they are formally called to account.

However, if people, angry or not, chose to call their conduct fraud it seems to me that is a perfectly fair comment in the light of their admitted conduct and the fact that they’ve declined to give any exculpatory explanation. Even flakes are entitled to hold an honest opinion on a matter of public interest.

May 18, 2010 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterbobdenton

I like bobdenton's view. After suffering frequent frustration with McIntyre's refusal to be drawn into characterizing the acts of the miscreants, I remembered an observation of my brother regarding the business of auditing.

When he was first employed by one of what used to be called "the big eight" public auditing firms, he was encouraged to understand that the activity of auditing was not intended to detect fraud or other forms of crime, but to provide assurance that the books had been done consistently from year to year in accordance with the standards of the day.

This became problematic when he did detect purchasing kickbacks and collusion in a public agency under audit and was discouraged from doing anything about it.

Steve does call his site "Climate Audit." I think he takes his charge to be to appraise or establish the efficacy of the numbers and not to deal in blame or characterizations of motive.

Shouldn't that be sufficient?

May 18, 2010 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

"as it is defined in the academy" always difficult times when it becomes necessary to define the words in order to avoid guilt. cf. Clinton's "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is"

Anyway, kudos to Steve for remaining above the political melee.

May 18, 2010 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

I was surprised to see on climate audit the other day, non-statistical commentaryby Mr. McIntyre concerning the AG of Virginia. The comments of SM were forcefully critical of the AG and just about defending MM. The saintly Mr. McIntyre was no dubt surprised for being criticised by his readers for his defence of MM. So what does SM do. Cuts off the comment stream. Theological purity is a lefty characteristic first and foremost. So I think SM should not venture into the hot citchen from now on.

May 18, 2010 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Steiner

The whole reason for the Hockey Stick and the IPCC is to persuade governments and ultimately the public to buy into CO2 reduction. Defining fraud or fudge may matter in a court of law or in academia but it doesn’t score points with the public.

The reason for not pursuing Mann is so that he doesn’t acquire the status of persecuted little guy. The (BBC?) interview that Anthony Watts was subjected to was obviously trying to start a war of insults between sceptics and warmers. Not good.

However, I’m not sure how sceptics attack the bad science without it segueing into an attack on the scientists who cling to it.

May 18, 2010 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Three things:
Firstly, many skeptics suffer from a severe case of the Stockholm syndrome, having been in this climate pressure-cooker, cooped up with the foul-mouthed alarmists. Skeptics have been vilified no end - they use this and that opportunity to try to 'redeem' themselves.

Secondly, the Cuccinelli case would be an easy out for Mann and help the alarmists score a moral victory by martyrdom. This seems to be SM's perspective. This *is* a valid reason to object the Cuccinelli hearing. Please note, Nature magazine, editorially encourages the University of Virginia to refuse Cuccinelli - in other words, to break the law. Which is the more dishonorable approach?

Third, those with honor never kick their opponent when he is down.

"When feeling hatred, women are more dangerous than men. First and foremost because once their hostile feeling has been aroused, they are inhibited by no considerations of fairness but let their hatred swell undisturbed to the final consequences; and second, because they are practiced in finding sore spots (which every man, every party has) and stabbing there: then their rapier-sharp mind performs splendid services for them (while men, when they see wounds, become restrained, often generous and conciliatory"

Now, think what you will of what Nietzsche's views of womanly kindness are, but there are many who become, "restrained, generous and conciliatory" when you see their opponent's 'wounds'.

When VK Raina and his wife were interviewed after Pachauri's public humiliation, his wife said about Pachauri: "Let him be. He has taken a beating after all".

May 18, 2010 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub Niggurath


the hangman will hang a dead man if he is being paid by the body.

Once, in 18thC Chester, the hangman lost one of his 'clients' who made a dash for the River Dee, where he drowned 'cos of his hands still being tied. The hangman dragged him out of the river up the bank to the gallows so he could collect his fee.

Perhaps there is a 'fee' political or publicity to be collected here?

May 18, 2010 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDannyL

Re: John

"It's not 'nuanced' it's just that Pielke Jr is wrong. Any academic doing what the 'hide the decline' team did would be run out of most academic professions....though not climate science."

But as we heard Jones say at the parliamentary enquiry, climate science isn't quite like any other science. So who should do the running out? His peers and fellow climate scientists? Science has been self-regulating, but perhaps that isn't working in such a highly political environment.

The academic community doesn't seem to know how to deal with the issue so it's opened the door to a possible opportunist like Cuccinelli. Maybe he'll find some grant money spent on a taxi fare to a book signing and claim financial impropriety but that does nothing for the scientific claims. Same was true with suggestions about Schmidt and running RC while working for NASA. That's an employment issue and doesn't change the science.

As I understand it, the issue in the Spiegel article concerns the hiding the decline trick in the TAR graphic, but as the hockey team responded it's hidden in plain sight, the divergence problem is known, the error bars are there. It's carefully crafted to present the best impression, but that isn't necessarily fraud.

Other aspects of Mann's works may have bigger problems but I don't think they're what the fraud vs fudge comment from Pielke are about.

May 18, 2010 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Interesting reading. We should save it and revisit it once the smoke clears. I suspect there will be significant changes in opinion by some.

May 18, 2010 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Personal opinion: if the academic community had shown any inclination to police itself, I'd be on McIntyre's side on this.

But they haven't, even when the scientists moved on toward attempting to dictate public policy.

So I support Cuccinelli's efforts to drain the cesspit, though I'm more concerned with just seeing the materials put into the public eye than in seeing Mann hauled up on charges.

Lisa Jackson, on the other hand...

May 18, 2010 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

That's the feeling I have as well, he's a bit of a lefty.
It's a mystery to me how he just refuses to believe that Mann is what he is. They've insulted and beliitled him for years, and yet he keeps turning the other cheek. I'm not even sure the Pope would let it go that far.
I must admit there's something about him that annoys me. But what the hell. If it wasn't for Steve, we'd all probably be in the rice fields by now.

May 18, 2010 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterP Gosselin

...picking rice as ordered by the other lefties.

May 18, 2010 at 9:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterP Gosselin

Wanting freedom from political interference is not a leftist perspective!!

May 18, 2010 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub Niggurath

I don't think it's Steve M's job to hang labels on what Mann did. The remarkable thing to me is how unconcerned other scientists appear to be by his work.

May 18, 2010 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

Perhaps McIntyre isn't a closet leftie, maybe he's just playing a very long game with impressive self-discipline.

May 18, 2010 at 10:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

I don't think that Steve McIntyre is a lefty, more like a conscience libertarian. The muted response is because McSteve did not gave in to the call for blood by the bloodthirsty audience. He, rightly, thinks that this kind of behavior will cause a lot of damage to the skeptic case and only distract the search for honest and unbiased science.

May 18, 2010 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoi Polloi

I've noticed this about Steve McIntyre. After doggedly exposing a fraud, he not only refrains from calling it as such, but comes down heavily on those who do.

I wonder if thats in part because he is an auditor and not a scientist. He is unable or unwilling to connect the final dots, leaving himself exposed to the criticism on RealClimate that he is just scoring inconsequential points, while the big picture remains the same.

Its almost like Wellington after having defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, then allows him to withdraw with his army, counter attack and claim victory.

May 18, 2010 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Academic fudging? Academic Fraud? Outright Fraud? A case of what is happening in Academia.

You decide. Here

May 18, 2010 at 11:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

remember barbara hollingsworth, the only journalist to expose the strange case of fannie mae's involvement in cap and tax patents?

20 April: Fannie Mae owns patent on residential 'cap and trade' exchange by Barbara Hollingsworth

Hollingsworth now has this piece about U.Va claiming to have deleted Mann's emails, but not Patrick Michaels, etc:

18 May: WashingtonExaminer: Barbara Hollingsworth: U.Va.'s dishonorable double standard
University of Virginia students pledge not to lie, cheat or steal under the nation's oldest student-run honor system -- and to report any of their peers who do.
But U.Va. administrators apparently don't think they have an obligation to do the same. On April 23, university officials received a subpoena from Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli requesting the e-mails of former U.Va. climatologist Michael Mann in an investigation into whether Mann fraudulently used manipulated climate data to apply for $500,000 worth of taxpayer-funded research grants.
At first, they indicated their intention to comply. However, angry protests from academics around the country accusing Cuccinelli of a "witch hunt" convinced them to take a second look at their "options." But those options boil down to two: Turn over the documents subpoenaed under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act by the July 26 deadline, or ignore Cuccinelli's request for any "correspondence, messages or e-mails" between Mann and 39 other prominent scientists between 1999 and 2005...
(Patrick) Michaels was treated more harshly than the Vatican treats heretics and was eventually forced out of U.Va. In a strange twist to this story, Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre, whose analysis of Mann's hockey stick graph helped expose Climategate, is on Mann's side in this dispute.
McIntyre believes academics should be allowed to police themselves. That would be fine if they were all treated equally by institutions of higher learning, which is clearly not the case here.
And when scientists use public funds to promote an ideologically driven agenda like global warming that has profound implications outside the ivory tower, public officials like Cuccinelli have not only the right, but the duty, to protect the taxpaying public from being ripped off.

SteveMc is brilliant. however he is not apolitical in that he defended Mann, when he could have simply said nothing on the matter. at least he should have realised how the CAGW crowd would exploit his position. the "harshest critics" below is a link to Steve's May 2nd defense of Mann on CA headed "Cuccinelli v Mann", which began with: "This is a repugnant piece of over-zealousness by the Virginia Attorney General, that I condemn.":

13 May: Wapo Editorial: University of Virginia should fight the Va. attorney general's inquiry
The university plans to seek an extension of the deadline for challenging the attorney general's "civil investigative demand." But it must file a challenge. Moreover, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell should join the dozens of others -- including some of Mr. Mann's harshest critics -- in condemning Mr. Cuccinelli, lest he be implicated in this assault on reason.

May 18, 2010 at 11:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

As a fellow Canadian, non-Canadians need to realize a couple of things.

1) Most Canadians hate or are jealous of Americans unless they are cheering on lefties like Obama.

2) And most Canadians reserve the most hate for anything considered right wing in the USA. You would not believe the hate that emanated towards the USA after 9/11 when Canadians were talking among themselves. They really did think the USA deserved it after electing Bush.

Therefore Steve, being a lefty from Toronto, hates republicans more than he hates dishonest scientists like Mann because in his mind lefty AGW types are just statistically challenged people on the "right" side - ie the left.

May 19, 2010 at 1:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Kim said on 18 May. "Why should the hangman be asked to hang a dead man?"

Well, they certainly dug up and hanged Oliver Cromwell and a few other prominent - but dead figures from the English Civil War - so there certainly is a precedent there.

May 19, 2010 at 2:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterKimW

Has anyone ever heard of Steve expressing anything like "hate" for anyone? I don't think that you are doing yourself any favours by ascribing extreme attitudes to a man who has displayed incredible patience in numerous situations where an explosion of fury would have been an understandable reaction.

May 19, 2010 at 3:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

IF Mr. Mann did the deed under the belief that what he was doing was only an internal academic paper with results of interest only to the academic world I would agree with Mr. McIntyre. Unfortunately for both Mr. Mann and Mr. McIntyre, Mr. Mann KNOWINGLY produced his Hockeystick to be used in the IPCC reports and as a propaganda tool to further an International movements cause in twisting the worlds governance.

Let the chips fall where they may in COURT!!!

May 19, 2010 at 5:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterkuhnkat

My guess is that SM was pleased by the reaction he got at the Heartland conference. Opinion polls show that sceptics are winning the political argument and one of the reasons this is happening is that the "climate science community" is perceived as feeding politicians with the sub-set of the facts they want to hear. If SM was to do the equivalent and come out strongly in support of the wider aims of some of the Heartland sponsors his case would inevitably be weakened.

P.S. The system does not recognise my web site address, , is legitimate.

May 19, 2010 at 6:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterRon Manley


Well, I'm a Canadian, and I have no idea why you have chosen to use such simplistic (and very wrong) characterizations of me - and our fellow citizens. While your own sentiments may reflect that which you unthinkingly attribute to others, such extreme polarization is certainly not the norm - nor does it contribute to civil discussion.

As for the issue at hand, I was as surprised by Steve's (and others') strong response to Cuccinelli as I was by RP Jr's adamance on the "fraud" vs "fudge" issue. But I'm with our gracious host on this one: who is right?

Making such a determination is probably not in the cards, nor is it likely to change anything. Although the now apparent absence of standards in academe goes some way towards explaining why the outcomes of the various post-Climategate enquiries have caused so few academic eyebrows to be raised.

That being said, considering what we now know about the absence of standards - combined with the inadequacy of "peer-review" (to the extent that it is not a process whereby data and methodology are examined to ensure reproducibility) - perhaps the National Post's Rex Murphy's recent conclusion, "The science of global warming needs a wholesale outside review," is the best way forward.

May 19, 2010 at 7:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

“Why should the hangman be asked to hang a dead man?”

‘cause he ain’t dead ‘til he’s hung.

May 19, 2010 at 7:12 AM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

Gee folks. Go write on the science blackboard 1,000 times. "Don not make a political statement unless you're willing to take the heat". Something like what Truman said and being in the kitchen.

About Mann and UVA, the VA AG and the VA law (and yes, I've read the VA law and yes, I'm a member of the bar):

In lay terms we have a publicly funded agency of government that was solicited by a private person to receive public money and we now have some who are outraged that an audit is initiated by the legally constituted government agency with authority to conduct such an audit.

No one likes an audit except auditors. The investigation under VA law the AG is doing is an audit. Just like the one which hopefully will be conducted on the US Federal Reserve and their TARP funds. Surprise! The Fed doesn't like it and neither do a lot of others.

About the VA law:
Why did the legislature pick the AG's office? For those lost in the beta's and the R-squared and such, an audit includes the examination of the "accounts" but also all underlying documents by professionals. The legislation was directed at public monies spent based on fraudulent contracts (go google it). The professionals that assess contracts are lawyers. VA picked the AG for this task.

Anyone opposing what the AG is doing needs to ask themselves the question of who should be conducting audits on public contracts of public agencies disbursing public funds. Surely someone and VA picked the AG. This makes all the sense in the world. Actually, it's one of the few things that one agency of government can do that can corral another agency and those that prey on public funds.

Political? Maybe you should find a nice quiet sitting room in a nice quiet library and stay away from the kitchen?

May 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

cedarhill, I can only speak for myself. In the simplest terms I can offer, my problem is that having declared my objection to the involvement of Mann's politics, ideologies and agenda in (and steering) the scientific process, I cannot in good conscience then condone the involvement of Cuccinelli's politics and agenda-driven motivation.

It isn't that I don't suspect Mann of having done bad things - I'm entirely satisfied that he has - and it isn't that I don't want his ideological, anti-scientific activities exposed. I do. But Cuccinelli makes things complicated.

If it transpires that Cuccinelli's pursuit of Mann is a result of whistle-blowing, bringing clear and specific information of financial misconduct with specific regard to VA grant monies received by Mann to the attention of the AG - evidence so compelling that failure to investigate would be seen by all as a failure in the AG's duties - then, for me, that could feasibly change my view.

But all the information I have to date indicates that this is a politically and/or ideologically inspired "fishing trip". And, if I am to be able to continue to condemn Mann's ideological influence over his paleoclimatological endeavours, I MUST reject Cuccinelli's ideological pursuit of Mann for his paleoclimatological endeavours. The last thing I need in my head right now is a dichotomy.

Politics and science must remain distinct. It doesn't matter whose ideology it is that is crossing that line, all who venture over must be condemned for the sake of all science.

May 19, 2010 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonH

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