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Discussion > Merry Christmas, Mr Steyn

But then Mr Clarke links to a Climate Audit article which was not even about the book. Phil, you are all over the place

You have to read the whole post. McIntyre's points about the book, both bogus, start about para 5.

Jan 2, 2017 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"But then Mr Clarke links to a Climate Audit article which was not even about the book. Phil, you are all over the place

You have to read the whole post. McIntyre's points about the book, both bogus, start about para 5.

Jan 2, 2017 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke"

Huh?? Less than an hour ago your post lead to this link at Climate Audit.

Now it leads to this link.

Phil Clarke, please tell me that you are not an incorrigible liar who would edit their own mistakes to make it appear they never happened. Michael Mann is not a good role model.

Jan 2, 2017 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I dunno, perhaps we might get EM to talk to him about the basics.

Jan 2, 2017 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I don't know how to edit a post here, once submitted. I suspect one has to be registered, which I am not.

Jan 2, 2017 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Are you even one person, Phil-Clarke-at-Bishop-Hill? Or might one of your alternatives be not above that? Otherwise, it looks like you got very strangely unlucky.

Jan 2, 2017 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Phil - Yes, if registered, you can edit a post up to 14 minutes after its initial posting.

Jan 2, 2017 at 9:09 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

michael hart 5:15, those 2 links to Climate Audit are both good reads. Some of the Comments also raise further doubts on the credibility of the Hockey Stick, prior to ClimateGate.

Jan 2, 2017 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Hi Phil, Mann won't go to trial because that will make him comply with the discovery phase. I've outlined just a few reasons why that would be difficult for him. (By "difficult" I mean him having to provide everything the evil climate deniers want under discovery). Believe me, he has too much to lose. If you'd like to wager, name the sum, if I can meet you I will.

Jan 2, 2017 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Heh, you do your science in your customary manner, and we'll follow our scientific customs.

Jan 3, 2017 at 4:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Oh, nice links, mh, @5:15. I've got a haiku on one of them and Steven Mosher mentions me on the other, and then, voila, presents a link to an '06 post where Rob Wilson shows up. Those were the days my friends, we thought they'd surely end but here we are, still waiting for the bus.

Jan 3, 2017 at 5:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

I've outlined just a few reasons why that would be difficult for him.

And you used a phrase 'easily proven untruths', and I challenged you to provide one or two that would stand up in court.

The challenge is still open; you still have time to salvage your credibility.

By the way, have you actually read Climate Wars? (4* on Amazon)?

Jan 3, 2017 at 6:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"...the Court has already determined that Dr. Mann has supplied sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find, by a preponderance of the evidence, that statements in the articles written by Mr. Simberg and Mr. Steyn were false, defamatory, and published by appellants to third parties, and, by clear and convincing evidence, that appellants did so with actual malice."

It's called "prima facie" evidence, and is based on not knowing what the defence will be. These have to be tested in front of a jury of reasonable people who will hear both sides of the case. I don't believe Mikey wants to go to trial, however the only way out of it now is for Steyn to withdraw from his counter claim. If it does then the reasonable jury will be the first unbiassed people to assess MHB 1998, so who knows what will happen when they hear:

1. The Mann used a PCA methodology rarely, if ever used, to find principal components;
2. That the methodology has been roundly criticised by the most eminent statistician in the field of PCA;
3. That the methodology mined for hockey sticks;
4. That the contention that the PCA methodology used by Mann did not differ from the normal methodology was because he'd used bristlecone pines as a proxy;
5. That bristlecone pines are not recommended for use as a temperature proxy because of CO2 fertilisation and other environmental factors
6. That the removal of the bristlecone pines resulted in the disappearance of the hockeystick shape from every time series in the US record;
7. That Mann had shown only one verification statistic, RE. It would be reasonable to ask why he hadn't carried out more verifications using r2 and CE to ensure this seminal work was rock solid.
8. That MM2005 and AW2007, a paper supposedly critical of MM2005 came up with near identical verification statistics which effectively junked Mann's hockeystick. Amman and Wahl may be called to explain why they left the adverse statistics out of AW2007.
9. You can't waffle under oath and Gerry North will have to explain why, in their own words, the methodology was wrong, the verification statistics showed the methodology was wrong, but the answer was right.
10. North and Bloomfield are already on record as agreeing unequivocally with Wegman's scathing report, and they'll be under oath, so don't expect any waffling from these two.
11. Then there are the climategate emails, and whatever comes from discovery. Mikey is not likely to get painted as the honest scientist fighting against the vicious oil funded deniers he'd like to present himself as.

Will a reasonable jury see through him? - dunno - Would I take the risk if I was him? Emphatically not.

If Mikey wins the case will go to the Supreme Court. The reason that Steyn has so many amici briefs that a large number of organisations see a Mann win as a loss of freedom of speech. If you become an amicus curiae in a case you don't have to believe the person you support is right or wrong, in this case the amici are supporting Amendment 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Jan 3, 2017 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

geronimo 12:20

Would a win for Steyn then allow others to sue Mann (and others?) for defamation/libel/slander for some of the written and spoken comments, made attacking the honest work of those pointing out the hopeless inadequacies of the Hockey Stick?

This could run for years after Climate Science has run out of money and sympathy. If anyone in Court is revealed to have based a judgement on a Wikipedia article, deliberately "adjusted" in the Hockey Team's favour, the extent of Legal Action may not be limited to the USA.

Jan 3, 2017 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Hockey Teamster devotees may want to look elsewhere at squirrels

There really, really, really was a Medieval Warm Period, and it was global. That has to put a might big dent in the shaft of the Hockey Stick.

Jan 3, 2017 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Science scopes
With springs and hopes
And reasoning ropes
To forward truth, it onward lopes.

Jan 3, 2017 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Kim possible second verse:

Science tropes
Attract many folks
But somehow cope
To make others mope

Jan 3, 2017 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Has anyone read QB VII by Leon Uris? It's many decades since I read it, so I've been lazy and summed up the plot by reference to wikipedia:

"Adam Kelno has made it to England in the days following World War II. Having escaped from a death camp in Nazi Europe, he finds that his identification with anti-communists in Poland has made him a target of the Soviet Government, which brings up war crime charges against him in England. When the witness is unable to identify him as one of the doctors who castrated him, he is released. Kelno takes his wife and young son to Sarawak where he labors for years upgrading public health standards. Upon his return to England he is Knighted. Twenty years have passed and he has just begun to enjoy his life of renown when a book is published that names him as a willing participant to Nazi medical experiments on Jews in the camps. He sues for defamation and finds that not only can he not escape his past, but that the plaintiff in a defamation case has his own reputation on trial."

Before anyone gets the wrong idea and lambasts me, I am categorically not equating Mann or any climate scientist with war crimes! But the last words summarising the plot (above) could be what happens to Mann if the case ever gets to trial: "...the plaintiff in a defamation case has his own reputation on trial."

I was young and impressionable when I read the book, so it might not be as good as I seem to recall, but if you have time and inclination it's probably worth a read.

Jan 3, 2017 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson


I hope the Court does get to hear some of your talking points, as Mann or his lawyer will knock them out of the park. I've dealt with most before but to take say, No 10

North and Bloomfield are already on record as agreeing unequivocally with Wegman's scathing report, and they'll be under oath, so don't expect any waffling from these two.

At the press conference the three NRC panellists said they found no evidence supporting the allegations of inappropriate behaviour such as data manipulation, or "anything other than an honest attempt to construct a data analysis procedure". Bloomfield as a statistician considered all the choices of data processing and methods to have been "quite reasonable" in a "first of its kind study". He said "I would not have been embarrassed by that work at the time if I'd been involved in it". In response to a question from Edward Wegman on the MBH use of principal components analysis, Bloomfield said this had been reviewed by the committee along with other statistical issues, and "while the issues are real, they had a very minimal effect, not a material effect on the final reconstruction.

Bloomfield would be a great witness for Mann, as would North.

Jan 4, 2017 at 8:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Hi Phil, for the second time here's what they said under oath, because a court room is about evidence, not what they think, or assume to be true:


CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that. It looks like my time is expired, so I want to ask one more question. Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman's report?

DR. NORTH. No, we don't. We don't disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report. But again, just because the claims are made, doesn't mean they are false.


MR. BLOOMFIELD. Thank you. Yes, Peter Bloomfield. Our committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his coworkers and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate. We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.

Yes they're definitely going to kick Steyn's ass in court, especially when the jury see that he cut short Briffa's reconstruction because it went down, not up, after 1960. "Hiding the decline" I believe is the phrase.

I'm only touching on what the defence will dredge up on Michael Mann. He is a pretty unpleasant fellow who's made a lot of enemies over the years, and been quite outspoken and nasty about his detractors, so there will no doubt be a stack of other evidence against his personality.

I don't believe Mann intended to go to before a jury, he's got too much to lose, Mark Hodgson was spot on, if you sue for defamation you become the defendant (love Leon Uris, by the way, Exodus was a classic). My take is Mikey's intention was simply to bankrupt Ball (successful) and Steyn (looking grim because of counter claim) and then walk away before it got to court. If that was his strategy it looks as though he's in trouble.

Jan 4, 2017 at 12:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Pinning your hopes on Wegman is an error. Nobody disagrees with Wegman's arithmetic, just the inferences drawn, both North and Bloomfield (and von Storch and numerous others) concluded that his conclusions had a negligible impact on the HS

But, and this is where the missing piece comes in, no-one (with sole and impressive exception of Hans von Storch during the Q&A) went on to mention what the effect of the PC centering changes would have had on the final reconstruction – that is, after all the N. American PCs had been put in with the other data and used to make the hemispheric mean temperature estimate. Beacuse, let’s face it, it was the final reconstruction that got everyone’s attention.Von Storch got it absolutely right – it would make no practical difference at all.


Why doesn’t it make any difference? It’s because the PC analysis was used to encapsulate all of the statistically relevant information in the N. American tree ring network and so whatever patterns are in there they will always influence the final reconstruction.

So what would have happened to the MBH results if Wegman and his colleagues had been consulted on PC centering conventions at the time? Absolutely nothing.

Can we all get on with something more interesting now?

Jan 4, 2017 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Heh, Phil, CO2 controls climate like Genesis controls evolution. The Scopes of this trial could embiggen a bit.

Jan 4, 2017 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Phil Clarke, if you are confident about depending on Real Climate, aka "The Hockey Team" for science and/or legal expertise, about Mann's chances of success, why isn't Mann?

Jan 4, 2017 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Kim. I always wonder whether those using the Scopes Trial to make a point really know the historical truth rather than the legend (as portrayed in the "Inherit the Wind" film). Scopes was found guilty (and quite rightly so) and fundamentalism claimed the victory. Scopes was only later cleared on appeal on a technicality. The oddest thing about the trial is that Scopes probably never taught evolution before being accused, but then deliberately did so to ensure the trial took place.

Controversial science and politics have long histories.

Jan 4, 2017 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

"Pinning your hopes on Wegman is an error."

Keep your eye on the pea under the thimble guys. Wegman criticised the statistics, but as I mentioned above they would indeed have gotten a hockey stick shape regardless of the methodology because Mann used bristlecone pines in the data set. There is no clear temperature signal in bristlecone pines and their use as proxies was not recommended by the dendrologists that collected the data Graybill and Idso, who made it clear that BPs were subject to CO2 fertilisation and other environmental factors. Without the BPs there is no hockey stick and Mann knew this, because he'd run his code without them and got what was essentially noise.

Nice try, but no cigar.

Jan 4, 2017 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo


Is there a single McIntyre Myth you haven't swallowed hook, line and sinker? The strip-bark/bristlecone/foxtails myth was busted by Wahl and Ammann, or if you prefer something for the general reader, Mann's book deals with it.


Jan 4, 2017 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke