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« Haunting the sickroom | Main | Diversionary tactics »

The Beddington challenge

Judith Curry has taken up Sir John Beddington's challenge to scientists to stand up and be counted in the battle against pseudoscience, with a long post on the subject of the Trick to Hide the Decline.

It is obvious that there has been deletion of adverse data in figures shown IPCC AR3 and AR4, and the 1999 WMO document.  Not only is this misleading, but it is dishonest (I agree with Muller on this one).  The authors defend themselves by stating that there has been no attempt to hide the divergence problem in the literature, and that the relevant paper was referenced.  I infer then that there is something in the IPCC process or the authors’ interpretation of the IPCC process  (i.e. don’t dilute the message) that corrupted the scientists into deleting the adverse data in these diagrams.

McIntyre’s analysis is sufficiently well documented that it is difficult to imagine that his analysis is incorrect in any significant way.  If his analysis is incorrect, it should be refuted.  I would like to know what the heck Mann, Briffa, Jones et al. were thinking when they did this and why they did this, and how they can defend this, although the emails provide pretty strong clues. Does the IPCC regard this as acceptable?  I sure don’t.

It's pretty interesting to see Sir John Beddington, Sir Paul Nurse and rest of the scientific establishment, as well as most of the sci-bloggers in the UK, all lining themselves up on the side of pseudoscience on the Climategate issue and Hide the Decline in particular. I wonder how long they can sustain the charade that everything is well in UK climatology?

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Reader Comments (116)

"A truly biblical post by Judith

And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables. John 2:15"

First she was Jeanne d'Arc. Then, she stormed the Bastille. And now she is a saint, with a passage from the scripture to prove the point.

What an embarrassing thread!

Feb 24, 2011 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Mann (I do believe it's him, but unconfirmed) is coming more and more unstuck in Judith's thread. He's interjecting really quite bizarrely. I'm seriously thinking he's even more wedded to the pseudo-scientific methodology of "hide the decline" than most of us have considered. [masheyesque conjecture] Could Mann believe that, without pseudo-science, he is nothing? [/masheyesque conjecture]

Feb 24, 2011 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Who is Mann in the thread?

Feb 24, 2011 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub Niggurath

Oh dear, as Gavin makes a fool of himself trying to defend the indefensible, the BBC's Richard Black sets a new record for biased reporting:

The claims used to back the [Republicans] proposed IPCC cuts are easily countered. Launching his "de-funding" amendment, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer described the panel as:

" entity that is fraught with waste and fraud, and engaged in dubious science..."

E-mails taken from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in November 2009 showed, he said, that:

"...leading global scientists intentionally manipulated climate data and suppressed legitimate arguments in peer-reviewed journals. Researchers were asked to delete and destroy e-mails so that a small number of climate alarmists could continue to advance their environmental agenda."

The IPCC has never been found fraudulent by any investigation - indeed, successive reviews, notably by the InterAcademy Council, have found just the opposite.

That being so, to make the allegation outside the legal protection afforded by the political process would potentially lay the speaker open to action for defamation.

Neither has it been shown that UEA scientists intentionally manipulated data - again, the opposite conclusion is eminently more defensible - nor that they had an "environmental agenda"

Feb 24, 2011 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Simon, if that (you mean "Michael" I assume) is him, you're right, he has flipped. High five!

Feb 24, 2011 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterj

And somehow I missed Richard Black's first line:

"The latest flirtations of the US political right with "climate denial" look set to marginalise the country even further within the global community of nations - at least when it comes to climate change."

BenVorlich has pointed out this unashamed bias in the comments but no response from Black yet.

Feb 24, 2011 at 6:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Simon Hopkinson - Shub Niggurath - J

Maybe he is trying to turn Judy's blog into a Tree Ring Circus?

Feb 24, 2011 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Shub, j confirms it.. "Michael". :o)

@Green Sand.. LOL!

Feb 24, 2011 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Professor Jones

Thank you for posting your views here. I am glad to see that Nurse and Singh are not entirely representative of UK 'scientists'. I have to put the word in parenthesis when applied to people who have betrayed the scientific tradition.

Good on you, mate

Feb 24, 2011 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Posting on Judith's blog, Richard Tol (February 23, 2011 at 9:25 am) sets forth his measured logic.

'Having compared the graphs with and without the Briffa data, I conclude that the graph as published by the IPCC is indeed misleading. Having read the unauthorisedly-released emails, I find that the misleading information did not arise by accident. Not having been in the room when these decisions were made, it is difficult to say whether dishonesty was involved. The prima facie evidence, however, suggests there was. Typically, people own up to honest mistakes. The vigorous defense of the IPCC graph, through smear and diversionary tactics, further corroborates the suspicion that something is not quite right.'

Feb 24, 2011 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

To Professor Jonathan Jones

Thank you for speaking on this subject and making it fundamentally clear what the real problem is, not whether AGW is true or not, but whether bad science and serious research misconduct of a few can and will fundamentally undermine the scientific enterprise of many if it is not addressed.

Feb 25, 2011 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn A

Lapogus quotes Black as writing:

"The IPCC has never been found fraudulent by any investigation - indeed, successive reviews, notably by the InterAcademy Council, have found just the opposite.

That being so, to make the allegation outside the legal protection afforded by the political process would potentially lay the speaker open to action for defamation."

Not in the good old USA, the one bastion of free speech on Earth. Here you have to prove intentional malice.

Feb 25, 2011 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Re 'Michael'

I just thought he was an idiot who'd wandered in out of the snow to keep warm.

Now I know better and that he's an idiot from the IPCC who'd wandered in out of the snow to keep warm.

Feb 25, 2011 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

If any scientist reading need moral support, someone else just outed themselves and said 'hang the consequences' - The well known alarmist Micahel Tobis challenged him to prove his credentials.

The discussion had drifted to Judith Curry's hide the deline article.

Blair Says:
February 25th, 2011 at 6:47 pm
Tobis and Tom,

Fair enough, here we go, I’m a regular lurker and only sometime commenter by the name of Blair King.

I am a Professional Chemist and Professional Biologist and am registered as an R.P.Bio and PChem. in the Province of British Columbia, Canada (both easily verifiable with a search of the appropriate web sites).

I earned my PhD in Environmental Studies and Chemistry from the University of Victoria where I was lucky enough to take a graduate course partially taught by Dr. Andrew Weaver (a man I respect and admire take that as you will) and spent many hours drinking coffee with his and other graduate students from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and took the opportunity to get educated about the science behind, limitations of, and theories supporting the models being used to make these critical policy decisions.

My research was in QA/QC systems and the use of scientific information in environmental decision-making.

I developed tools to establish the reliability of information being stored in the early environmental information management systems now used by our provincial and federal governments to archive the data collected by government scientists.

A decade ago I moved into the private sector where I now work as an environmental consultant in the field of contaminated sites.

I suppose now that I’ve gone this far I will add this text and a bit more info to Dr. Curry’s “Denizens” section so I can send people there when they doubt my existence.

Feb 26, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

For the record, Donna Laframboise has a post specifically applauding the comments on this blog by Prof Jonathon Jones, below

Mar 5, 2011 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Also just for the record, Barry Wood likewise commends Prof Jonathan Jones at:

Mar 5, 2011 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

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