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Discussion > Soon, Baliunus, de Freitas, Etal

I certainly don't set out to antagonise anybody on this board. I think that if BBD were only a little more tolerant of other people's views, less abrupt / more polite to other contributors and genuinely tried to take on board the extent to which he is over-reliant on a single fallacious debating tactic (i.e. ad hominem) he will find that the behaviour of others will be self-correcting.

The trouble is, he genuinely believes that ad hominem attacks are not only valid but necessary.

.

Dec 9, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Gixxer

They won't listen to you, but thanks for trying.

Good summary at Dec 9, 2011 at 3:49 AM, but you are missing somethings(s) ;-)

1/. Willie and Sally shilling for big oil is a big problem. Since some here don't seem prepared to understand why, no matter how plainly it is set out (or how often it is repeated), I'm a bit stuck. But, once more with the bleedin' obvious: when a couple of astrophysicists - copiously funded by vested corporate interests and deeply involved with 'think tanks' that promote same - start turning out contrarian paleoclimate papers, alarm bells should be ringing. I know you know this because you are clearly among the grown-ups present. So if you could just take the last step and say so, it would be immensely helpful.

2/. The shills are a problem because they succeed. Inhofe used S&B03 to 'prove' that C20th warming was within the range of natural variation which is exactly what the corporate vested interests behind its creation wanted. Create uncertainty, delay/derail legislation that will hurt their profits.

3/. The shills have exceeded expectations. Here we are, nearly nine years later, still dancing to their tune. It's been a wonderfully effective distraction from what really matters. We're all still arguing about MBH98/99 and S&B 03 as if they mattered but of course they don't. There's more than enough evidence that RF from CO2 is causing warming. We can look at OHC, the cryosphere, 110 years of surface temperature, 30 years of satellite data and see it. What we cannot see is any alternative cause for the warming. That's what matters.

4/. Creating uncertainty is what the oil shills do. It's relatively easy compared to the challenge before the Earth System Sciences which is to attempt to quantify uncertainty. Once they get something (however poor) into the literature (thanks Chris!) then the next level of disinformation starts up. In this case, it was Senator Inhofe attempting to bamboozle the US Senate in 2003.

And it worked! The US has never done anything substantive about emissions at a federal level, and still looks unlikely to do so.

Hats off to the shills, everyone.

Dec 9, 2011 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I agree: if only we could get rid of the uncertainty, the science could be said to be settled.

Dec 9, 2011 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

BBD
You are always insistent on sources which is fair enough but in that last post you have used the words "shill" or "shills" or "shilling" at least five times and nowhere do you provide evidence to back up the assertions you make. "Bleedin' obvious' won't do, I'm afraid.
You are hung up on the idea that there is such a thing as funding that is "pure" and funding that is either "dirty" or "contaminated". Can you provide evidence that S&B's funding source has resulted in their producing a paper that is incorrect or are you saying, as it appears you are in this post, that papers which challenge MBH98 (or any other research which denies the existence of the MWP) ought not to be allowed to see the light of day?
As I said in my post on the last page, S&B may well be flawed in many respects but it is a synthesis of 152 other papers — good, bad or indifferent — that produce evidence for the existence of a MWP more extensive than Mann et al would like.
So you are saying either that those 152 papers are wrong or that Soon and Baliunas were wrong to carry out the meta study. Which is it and why?
I don't think I'm alone on this site in getting just a little tired at this constant refrain from the alarmists that anyone who disagrees with them is "a shill for the fossil fuel industry". My own view is that too many climate "scientists" are shills for the enviro-nutters and for Big Government but I try not to argue the science on that basis. Though why they should be any less likely to ensure that their research pleases their paymasters than the "shills" you're referring to escapes me.
Have you never noticed the extent to which all the major energy companies have leapt enthusiastically on the AGW bandwagon? It's the most profitable game in town. Stick the word 'green' on it and everyone thinks you're wonderful.
If you genuinely believe that anyone who doesn't fall down and worship at the feet of Mann, Trenberth, Jones, and the IPCC is doing so because he/she is corrupted by money then I have serious concerns for your mental health — and that is not intended to be offensive, though you will no doubt manage to take it as such.
As for your comment that "creating uncertainty is what shills do", science is mainly about uncertainty. You reject every piece of climate research that does not fit with your belief system. Yes, you read them (some of them), but you don't absorb anything from them that might cast doubt on your faith in the evil powers of CO2.
Even "The Team" have expressed doubts.

Dec 9, 2011 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

"Is there any chance we can reboot from here? "

Gixxerboy, sure we can. Just a quick reminder before we proceed. This thread was started in order for BBD to not derail the Betts thread, by discussing Soon and Baliunas. Here, all BBD has to say is, that Soon and Baliunas are 'shills'?

So in effect, BBD wanted to derail the other thread with hoary cries of "oil shill"? Why? I just don't get it.

(Just to be explicit BBD, these are very weak arguments, and perhaps even non-arguments and they are beneath the regard you are (still) held with)

Even on this thread, I don't see BBD bring anything new to the table. Post-Climategate I, there was an unique opportunity to cross-examine the official storyline about Soon and Baliunas using the background material available in the emails. Climategate II brings more details into light. The supposed 'incompenent' noble cause corruption doesn't look incompetent. The whole reason why Mann doesn't want his 2003 state of Virginia emails public and has been the cause of an expenditure of a million dollars is in all likelihood linked to this storyline.

Why doesn't BBD examine the actual storyline?

The whole thing is just begging for a clear-eyed analysis but no one will do it. A NZ blogger recently started part of it, and just gave up from disgust. McIntyre keeps saying he'll do it...maybe he will someday, but there is nothing yet. I've looked the timeline myself: numerous details from the official version of events *do not* fit with what the emails reveal.

One can be well-read and be a zealot.

Dec 9, 2011 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Bit of a crosspost there, Mike!

Dec 9, 2011 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

I have yet to understand how Mann (who knows so much about dendrochronology) can justify including a tree series upsidedown as a temperature proxy presumably because what would have been a decline in the data then reflects an uptick instead.

Alarm bells ringing yet?

When the r-squared statistic is not reported because had he done so it would have indicated such a spurious level of fit that the analysis would never have seen the light of day, yet he still put the analysis into a paper.

Alarm bells ringing yet?

Dec 9, 2011 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Shub

So in effect, BBD wanted to derail the other thread with hoary cries of "oil shill"? Why? I just don't get it

I made several substantive comments to the other thread as well as engaging about S&B. In fact if you go and look, you will see another. As usual, you are distorting things. Facts. You know - like it says on your blog.

You are beyond disingenuous. You don't like what I say because by and large you cannot answer it. So as per, you spew falsehoods to try and make me look bad. As per, it rebounds on you.

I'm beginning to wonder if you are even capable of learning. No evidence so far.

'Forcing'. 'Sensitivity'.

Fool.

Dec 9, 2011 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Mike

As I said in my post on the last page, S&B may well be flawed in many respects but it is a synthesis of 152 other papers — good, bad or indifferent — that produce evidence for the existence of a MWP more extensive than Mann et al would like.
So you are saying either that those 152 papers are wrong or that Soon and Baliunas were wrong to carry out the meta study. Which is it and why?

NEITHER. If you read my comments this confusion would not arise. As I have said, again and again, S&B went too far in claiming that C20th warming is in line with natural variation and their paper did not actually show this. This misrepresentation is what they were being paid for. See 1/. and 2/. above.

Shills: picked up from Gixxer @ Dec 9, 2011 at 3:49 AM, final para. Which you also apparently didn't read. I started off light-heartedly but it is the correct term.

You reject every piece of climate research that does not fit with your belief system. Yes, you read them (some of them), but you don't absorb anything from them that might cast doubt on your faith in the evil powers of CO2.

This is the heart of the problem. You won't even countenance the core (correct) science. But you will read any and every weak study that purports to cast doubt on it. And your fear of the facts - gestated in ignorance - prompts you to attack me because I know roughly what I am talking about and you don't want to hear the truth.

And whenever I get fed up with the torrent of ill-informed, vindictive nonsense from you and others - it's all my fault! I'm the bad guy!

You people would make a saint swear. Believe it.

Dec 9, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Of course I "countenance" the core science. I just don't agree with you about what the core science is.
I am also open to other possibilities as papers come forward giving different possible explanations for a warming period that may well have ended. You aren't. (And don't start cherry-picking data on woodfortrees; I can play that game as well).
And you can't wriggle out of the question: you are saying, in effect, that either the conclusions reached by the 152 papers that Soon & Baliunas were wrong (which strikes me as highly unlikely) or the results of their meta study should not have been published because it didn't serve "the cause". It's got to be one or the other.
If they went "too far" in their conclusions then the correct protocol (in science) is to rebut with a paper of your own, not as Mann did, to throw your toys out of the pram, bully and threaten journal editors, and generally behave (as I have said elsewhere and more than once) for all the world like a five-year-old caught with your fingers in the cookie jar.
I have also used the notorious quote: "The louder he spoke of his honour the faster we counted the spoons." What was there in Soon & Baliunas that so undermined Mann's work that he had to destroy it and everyone connected with it? And like all bullies and fanatics all he did was draw attention to the fact that he was wrong. As McIntyre and McKittrick proved a year later.
If there was a MWP and it was at least as warm as the late 20th century then the AGW hypothesis that "it's never been like this before" is, if not disproved, at least called into question. And that applies whether S&B "went too far" or not.
I might add that if you were to say "the misrepresentation is what they were paid for" about any work that I had done, I would sue or possibly, a la Santer, look to meet you up a dark alley somewhere.
You have not a shred of evidence to back up that statement which is needlessly defamatory.

Dec 9, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike

Before we go any further, you need to provide uncontentious support for this:

If there was a MWP and it was at least as warm as the late 20th century then the AGW hypothesis that "it's never been like this before" is, if not disproved, at least called into question. And that applies whether S&B "went too far" or not.

My understanding is that:

- Modern warming is simultaneous and global. The MWP was regional and happened at different times within the 800CE - 1200CE span usually labelled 'MWP'.

- The evidence suggests that while there were brief regional episodes of warming that may have been at or higher than late C20th levels, global average temperatures did not exceed mid-C20th levels during the period 800 - 1200CE.

There has been a great deal of confusion about this, and it's important that we nail it down. So, your references, please.

Dec 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Mike

Of course I "countenance" the core science. I just don't agree with you about what the core science is.

Then you don't agree with the mainstream view of what the core science is. But since the mainstream defines that view, you are in trouble. Never mind me. I'm just the bearer of unwelcome news.

I am also open to other possibilities as papers come forward giving different possible explanations for a warming period that may well have ended. You aren't.

Of course I'm not. Because I know that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is rising. This means the associated radiative forcing is increasing. This means that energy is accumulating in the climate system, which is heating up as a measurable consequence.

Natural cycles may offset or even weakly over-print AGW, but only on short timescales. Given what is known in great detail about the physical properties of CO2, warming will continue, with brief pauses, until CO2 levels cease to rise and (eventually) equilibrium climate senstivity is reached.

Mann being an unpleasant chap who was also wrong about the hockey stick has exactly no bearing on any of this. But sceptics refuse to notice, and keep on about the whole sorry affair as if it had some bearing on the laws of physics. It. Does. Not.

Can you understand this?

Sod 'the cause'. Nature doesn't care.

You have not a shred of evidence to back up that statement which is needlessly defamatory.

Yes I do. It's summarised here. You just won't admit it. That's not the same thing at all. And threatening people on-line is beyond fatuous. Just stop.

Dec 9, 2011 at 5:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The only reason I even bothered to say anything at all on this thread, was that the guy is a 46-year old. What do they do over in the UK when you get to being like this, and be 46 years old?

ciao. This guy is your problem now.

Dec 9, 2011 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Of course I'm not.
At which point further discussion becomes useless.
You confuse "mainstream" with "consensus": you are not open to any alternative point of view regardless of where it comes from: you give us all hysterics by trying to quote Greenpeace as an objective and reliable source on what is going on in Willie Soon's mind (or indeed on anything else to do with climate).
Further laughs from the idea that I was "threatening" you in pointing out the needless offensiveness of your suggestion (yet again) that Soon reached the conclusion he did to please his paymasters.
Yet again, the remark was needlessly defamatory and you have no evidence to back it up just the biased ramblings of an environmental activist organisation with an obsessive interest in stopping technological development and therefore blind to anything except that anyone who has ever received funding from any of their bogeymen must be corrupt.
I shouldn't bother replying if I were you.
We're finished here.

Dec 9, 2011 at 6:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Dec 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM?

Dec 9, 2011 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The Ljungqvist paper is as far as I know uncontentious, and provides a number of reasons for caution over the understanding expressed @ Dec 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM. At the very least, it seems unlikely that we will be able to nail this issue down tonight!

Dec 9, 2011 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Modern warming is simultaneous and global. The MWP was regional and happened at different times within the 800CE - 1200CE span usually labelled 'MWP'.

2010 Britain is bracing itself for one of the coldest winters for a century.
2010 After the record heat wave this summer, Russia's weather seems to have acquired a taste for the extreme. Forecasters say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years.
2010 Coldest Winter in 1,000 Years on Its Way! NZ Snow Hits Farmers Big Time! Hundreds of Thousands of New Lambs Dead !
2010 Snow in Brazil ! Millions of Dead Fish, Alligators, Turtles… Floating Down Bolivian Rivers! Argentina Has Colder Winter Than Antarctica!
2010 New York City set a record for the snowiest month since its records began

I thought the idea of a 'global' warming phenomenon had been put to bed a long while ago.

Dec 9, 2011 at 8:52 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Ah, well. Guess that reboot didn't work.

BBD, one slight point of correction. Modern warming is not entirely simultaneous and global. It hasn't happened where I'm sitting - NZ's NIWA records were being 'adjusted' upwards (and we know who was doing it - he no longer works at NIWA) and, once that was exposed and removed...no warming.

Antarctica, as far as we know, is not warming except on the peninsula.

And if we look at Soon and Baliunas 2003 ;-), their presentation of proxies in the C20th shows 81 studies that do not find an extreme warming signal against 22 that do. (Okay, I know the limitations).

Even sticking to the instrumental records, 'simultaneous and global' warming is a bit of an over-claim.

Dec 9, 2011 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Philip & Gixxer

Even Ljungqvist admits that:

Since AD 1990, though, average temperatures in the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere exceed those of any other warm decades the last two millennia, even the peak of the Medieval Warm Period

But the real question is whether the MWP is relevant here. This presumes equivalence with the present.

The MWP might have been caused by increased TSI. So is there evidence that TSI is the main driver of modern warming? The mainstream view is that there is not.

A substantial body of work points to increased radiative forcing by CO2 as an energetically sufficient cause for much recent warming.

Observations have not revealed an alternative, and even if they did, the effect of increased RF from CO2 would still have to be taken into account.

This is where the S&B magic works so well. We forget to think about these things.

Dec 9, 2011 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

matthu & Gixxer

matthu @ Dec 9, 2011 at 8:52 PM

These are strange but short-lived cooling episodes. And whatever is going on (SC24?) it isn't reducing global average temperature.

NZ may not be warming but does that make it a proxy for the rest of the world? Obviously not, because global average temperature has risen.

UAH/RSS annual mean tropospheric global average temperature.

The last decade is clearly the warmest in the satellite record. Again, why?

Dec 9, 2011 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

@Gixxerboy Dec 9, 2011 at 11:31 AM

In the meantime. Hillary, I know how prickly BBD can seem but please try to be polite.

Hmmm ... Gixxer, I always try to be polite in my posts and comments - as do others who have attempted to engage him. I do hope it's not the case that our resident zealot's perpetually recycled diversionary attention-seeking whines 'n rants 'n walls-of-text - in lieu of rational discussion - have coloured your perceptions!

By all means, do feel free to continue to portray his behaviours in a kinder, gentler light. But I'm a Bridgeplayer, and I'll always call a spade a spade!

In the meantime, I note that the accumulation and escalation of his predicted litter in this thread has happened, well, faster than I thought.

Hilary [with one <l>, if you don't mind ;-)

P.S. wrt your Dec 9, 2011 at 3:49 AM

My underlying interest in all of this is not the background character and motivations of the players - though we should be aware of them

which followed my Dec 8, 2011 at 11:48 PM ... I'm not sure if this was a direct response to my post, but if it was, perhaps I should have been more clear: since Philip had named the thread "Soon, Baliunus, de Freitas, Etal" - and Hulme has now been revealed to be very much at the centre of The Team's machinations on S&B and de Freitas - I thought it would be on topic to share some findings and observations on Hulme's choices.

That being said, if you and others disagree - unlike the zealot - I'm quite willing to drop this particular aspect of this discussion and retire/return to my quiet little corner of the blogosphere.

Dec 9, 2011 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

Hilary

Gixxer, I always try to be polite in my posts and comments

Of course you do. The zealot forgives.

Neither of us is particularly polite these days, so why pretend to the high ground?

I do hope it's not the case that our resident zealot's perpetually recycled diversionary attention-seeking whines 'n rants 'n walls-of-text - in lieu of rational discussion

Okay, let's have a rational discussion. What about something concrete on Dec 9, 2011 at 10:14 PM?

Dec 10, 2011 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Hilary, with one 'l', I do apologise.

And no, my post was not a direct reference to yours, rather BBD's (and others') concern with the backgrounds and apparent motivations of Soon, Balunias, Chris de Freitas etc. As I have tried to express, people on all sides of the debate can point to connections they are suspicious of. Perhaps rightly.

I mentioned on the other thread Hulme's apparent Marxism and the clear political positions of Team members. To me, this no more or less undermines their findings than the affiliations or intentions of Willie Soon, Sallie and Chris dF. BBD seems not to agree.

In any case, the point I tried to make was that - 'corruption' notwithstanding - a fair bit of S&B 2003 was reliable. Not all, by any means.

Chiefly, I think Soon and Baliunus's work was useful in showing there IS a substantial body of evidence in paleo proxy studies for a MWP (and LIA) that was not confined to Europe or even the Northern Hemisphere.

Meanwhile, if you want to stick the boot in to dear old Mike Hulme, step right on up to the microphone...

;-)

Dec 10, 2011 at 12:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

Bloody hell!

Baliunas, Baliunas, Baliunas...Get it right, Gixxerboy!

I think I spelled her name three different ways in the last two postings.

Poor woman, the least I could do is get her name right. Especially as you just know she'd have been called Balloon-ass at school.

Dec 10, 2011 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

@Gixxerboy Dec 10, 2011 at 12:30 AM

Tsk! Tsk! Some have suspicions of - and have chosen to label - Hulme's ideological leanings; I, OTOH, don't care about the labels (or leanings); with the notable exception of the ludicrously anti-historical "denier" and variants thereof, which AFAIK Hulme - to one of the few credits I might grant him (at least until I've further examined his inadvertent contributions to CG2!) - has not chosen to use.

But, based on his performances that I've seen, this particular choice - i.e. not to invoke the Big Oil "denier" meme - on Hulme's part could be because it lacks a sufficient number of syllables to fit into his "plastic" paradigm [she says somewhat cynically]

I am more concerned with - and have provided evidence of - Hulme's very own words and choices!

For better or for worse, I'm also a pattern-picker-outer from way back when. And the view from here, so to speak, is that this particular pattern became firmly established (and, as we have seen in subsequent disputes, repeated ad nauseam) in The Team's "response" to S&B - aided and abetted (if not led by) the teflon-coated Mike Hulme.

All of the above being said, I am not a climate scientist (nor have I ever pretended to play one in any medium), common sense tells me that it would be utterly foolish to disagree with your conclusion that:

'corruption' notwithstanding - a fair bit of S&B 2003 was reliable. Not all, by any means.

Soon and Baliunus's work was useful in showing there IS a substantial body of evidence in paleo proxy studies for a MWP (and LIA) that was not confined to Europe or even the Northern Hemisphere.

P.S. I forgive you for the double <l> ... you were not the first to make this mistake, nor are you likely to be the last ;-) I count my lucky stars that (as I so often did in my days on IRC) you didn't ask me "where's Bill"!

Dec 10, 2011 at 7:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001