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Monday
Jul262010

HSI in NWT

I've also uncovered a review of The Hockey Stick Illusion in Natuurwetenschap & Techniek, the Dutch popular science magazine that played such an important part in bring McIntyre and McKitrick's work to prominence. I'm grateful to Marcel Crok for arranging this translation:

Assuming that the climate is changing due to human activities and that quick and substantial global policies are necessary to counter what many scientists characterize as a catastrophically changing climate, one might think that the transparency in climate science has the highest priority. Nothing is further from the truth.

The book The Hockey Stick Illusion of British science writer Andrew Montford, shows a staggering picture of how the "official" climate science is dealing with criticism. The subtitle, “ClimateGate And The Corruption of Science”, was perhaps added at the last possible moment, as was the final chapter about ClimateGate, the leaking of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. This institution provided data for the infamous "hockey stick" graph that played a major role in the third report of the UN climate panel IPCC.

The hockey stick is a reconstruction of climate from the year 1000 onwards. The graph shows that until about 1850, the global average temperature had been dropping slightly, then rising sharply afterwards. Many scientists think that it is not likely a coincidence that the temperature has been rising since the start of the Industrial Revolution, hence the increase has to be man-made.

However, critics argue that the data have been cherry picked, thereby effectively erasing a very warm period during the Middle Ages, as it were. That warm period, before people began their mass injection of the greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere, would prove that the current warming is part of a series of natural fluctuations.

The leaking of the emails has led to an increasingly mounting pressure on the IPCC has to finally be complete open and disclose how the assessment of the role of humans in climate change has come to be. Montford's book, a skeptic, is a meticulously detailed report of ten years of climate science based on written sources in the style of a webblog. Montford has been given access to the electronic correspondence of, among others, Canadian researchers Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick and U.S. climate scientist Michael Mann, the man who was the first to publish the hockey stick graph.

The Canadians were in 2002 among the first to annoyingly follow climate science. Unfortunately we hardly read about the personal motivations of McIntyre himself to dig into the Hockey Stick. It looks a bit like a revenge of a retired mathematician for a missed brilliant academic career when he was younger. The question about his motives is relevant because climate scientists have often argued that skeptics such as McIntyre have ties with the oil industry, although even if it were true, should not detract from the scientific nature of their criticism. Arguments and facts are either correct or incorrect.

Montford was also unable to talk to the climate scientists who are criticized. You would like to hear from scientist like Michael Mann why - if they genuinely believe that they have the science is on their side - they sabotage criticism by refusing to share their data and methods with their critics in order for an independent reproduction of their proof. Such pettiness does not help the credibility of the urgency of "the climate crisis”.

Nevertheless, despite all the investigative journalism, the book does not get to the heart of ‘Climate Gate’. Are we dealing with tunnel vision and fear of reputation damage among climate scientist or with real scientific fraud? Such a book has yet to appear.

Erwin van den Brink

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Reader Comments (13)

Well done on getting the word about climate change corruption through the barricades!

Jul 26, 2010 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterEd

Very sad that Mr Van Den Brink criticises the book for something it did not really set out to achieve?
The book was a history of the Hockey Stick debate NOT a full expose of climategate e-mails and data.

Jul 26, 2010 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

I take your point Dung - but I see the last sentence as more of a "why has this not yet been checked" question rather than an overt negative critism of what is currently published.

Yes the book was written before the "climategate" emails burst upon the scene and the last chapter only references them back to the relevent sections within the book. But from where I stand - what the book makes so so so clear - is the motivations BEHIND the emails.

What makes the whole thing so damn wonderful - is the fact that the book is a blinder on its own. The other revelations just make the like of Erwin van den Brink want more!

But coupled with the email content and the fact that the CRU at the U of EA only got away with not being charged for a criminal offence on the technicality of a ridiculous 6 mth deadline means that far more people are reading the book - in the context of what has happened and the content of the released emails.

As such the synergy between the separate individual facets can not be underestimated.

The book is a major work.

If it makes people think and ask further questions - That has got to be a good thing.

Jul 26, 2010 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug

Dung & Doug, it is my understanding of the HSI book that it was almost ready for printing when Climategate occurred. The Bishop decided to add a chapter (Chapter 17, The CRU Hack) to briefly cover some of the more important emails.

It is, as you say, A Major Work and will in time, I hope, be recognised worldwide as such. My copy is carefully protected in a "bubble mailer" envelope and has been since I bought it on 15th Feb 2010 from Amazon. I even kept the Amazon invoice!

Peter

Jul 26, 2010 at 10:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

Hopefully the PR for the Your Grace's forthcoming "review of the reviews" will be landing on the desks of many journalists here and abroad. It will be interesting to see how the media play it.

Talking of the media - as the BBC dominates the UK scene, and its massive website has global reach - is there room in the review for a chapter on media treatment of ClimateGate so far - especially the BBC's continuing attempts to play it all down, to present the various whitewashes as fair and complete. We know who the biased journalists are, their endless flow of warmist propaganda and their refusal to analyse objections to the Hockey Stick etc - maybe their output could be put under a little focus, to show the bias so far ? As an example of more general media bias.

That might pre-emptively force some of them to give fairer coverage of Your Grace's review than they may have intended. Get the retaliation in first ?

Jul 26, 2010 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohninLondon

"Unfortunately we hardly read about the personal motivations of McIntyre himself to dig into the Hockey Stick. It looks a bit like a revenge of a retired mathematician for a missed brilliant academic career when he was younger. The question about his motives is relevant because climate scientists have often argued that skeptics such as McIntyre have ties with the oil industry, although even if it were true, should not detract from the scientific nature of their criticism. Arguments and facts are either correct or incorrect."

What a pointless, self-contradictory paragraph (assuming translation is correct). "The question about his motives is relevant" except that it is irrelevent because it "should not detract from the scientific nature of their criticism. Arguments and facts are either correct or incorrect."

Jul 27, 2010 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterDocBud

Mosher and Fullers 'The CRUTape Letters" does a pretty good job of examining the emails, IMO

Jul 27, 2010 at 1:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndyScrase

bish -
all reviews help. what is telling is how the MSM pretty much ignores all the books dealing with CAGW "anomalies" and climategate.
today, the MSM in the US is obviously making a pitch to the so-called anti-immigrant right! this is all over the MSM within hours:

26 July: LA Times: Anna Gorman: Climate change linked to possible mass Mexican migration to U.S.
Lower crop yields and agricultural production could drive as many as 6.7 million across the border by 2080, a study finds
"Assuming that the climate projections are correct, gradually over the next several decades heading toward the end of the century, it becomes one of the more important factors in driving Mexicans across the border, all other things being equal," said study author Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-immig-climate-20100727,0,1362570.story

none of the articles mention Oppenheimer's IPCC and other CAGW connections:

Wikipedia: Michael Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, serving as a Lead Author on the Third and Fourth Assessment reports. He is currently a Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC special report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Adaptation. Oppenheimer currently serves on the board of Climate Central. Oppenheimer has authored more than 100 articles published in professional journals and is co-author (with Robert H. Boyle) of a 1990 book, Dead Heat: The Race Against The Greenhouse Effect. During 2009, he became Editor-in-Chief of a new journal section, Climatic Change Letters...ETC
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Oppenheimer

according to Wikipedia, Oppenheimer even gets to go on Oprah and Colbert Report. u have to laugh.

Jul 27, 2010 at 2:55 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

google Oppenheimer and BP.

Jul 27, 2010 at 3:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Steve McIntyre

Sometimes you are too modest. So I will do it for you HERE

Jul 27, 2010 at 5:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

The reason the AGW opinion leaders are defending the HS so hard is that they know that if there is no climate crisis as they illustrate in the prop Mann and pals put together, then the policy demands they make are without any justification.
They will allow the hockey stick to be removed from their grasp when it is pried from their cold dead fingers.
RC and the other organs of AGW orthodoxy will fight meaningful reviews of Mann and all other pro-AGW work to the last. They will use phony commissions, circular reasoning, ad hom, false invocations of academic freedom, etc. to the very end.

Jul 27, 2010 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

The reviewer perhaps does not understand the importance of scientific serendipity and simple human inquisitivenes and wish to see the truth presented is motive enough. "Hockey Sticks" were to Steve a well known phenomenon, "too many dubious mining promotions and dotcom revenue projections" had used them. Steve had the knowledge and experience of statistics to challenge it. The fact that Ross McKitrich, with the interest, knowledge and skills to help,lived close by was pure chance. Anyone who has listened to Steve and has knowledge of how he runs his blog would know "revenge" is not in his makeup.

Jul 27, 2010 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered Commentercloud10

Not exactly on topic, but relevant, ie the press will just ignore everthing, they do not like (any revies for HSI, Guardian, Times?) Rather than talk/write about the climategate meeting that he chaired...

George Monbiot, choses to go in for a bit of class warfare!!!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/26/evidence-real-war-motorists-look-mortuary?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

"For evidence of the real war involving motorists, look in the mortuaryThat cameras reduce road accidents is indisputable. Conservatives hate them because they catch the rich as well as the poor"

Why wouldGeorge not talk about ihis climategate meeting, bit too surprised, that it wasn't full of eco activists, chanting hate at the 2 sceptics present...

Jul 27, 2010 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

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