I’m at a bit of loose end today. I should really be out of the office, as there are important things happening, but I have no control over them and so have come in anyway. I have, however, looked through my notes for tomorrow’s lecture more times than I need to, and have proofread, edited, and changed my recent paper so many times that it no longer says the same thing it did when I completed the first draft (it’s my first proper single author paper and so I’m going through the “what if the referee says I’m talking complete bollocks” phase). I do need to do a bit of marking, so will get around to that at some stage.
My attempt to withdraw somewhat from the online climate debate also mostly failed. It was partly because I’m really not good at sticking to my resolutions, and partly because it turned out that there are things that can happen that make the online climate debate – rather than being the most stressful thing in one’s life – a fairly nice distraction.
So, I have found it somewhat interesting that Steven McIntyre has taken an interest in things I’ve said about his paper. To be fair to Steven, my understanding of his paper has changed a great deal since I made most of the comments he’s highlighted. I still think his paper is being misinterpreted by some (which was one of the points I was suggesting in one of the comments he’s highlighted) but I don’t really care. Our current understanding of our millenial temperature history is not based on papers published about a decade ago (or longer), but is based on papers published much more recently (which, broadly speaking, show the same kind of temperature history as illustrated in Mann, Bradley & Hughes, 1998). I also find it somewhat ironic that Steven is accusing others of playing ClimateBallTM while misinterpreting my comment, still going on about a paper published 16 years ago, and both suggesting (in his post) that Michael Mann’s work was fraudulent and that Wahl & Ammann committed plagiarism (although I couldn’t work out how he concluded that).
Sometimes people suggest that I should go and comment on posts like those written by Steve, but you just need to see JeanS and Stephen Mosher’s responses to Nick Stokes, to see why I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with being a jerk. Many people are and I can be one myself at times (this might be one of them), but I certainly don’t need to interact with them. If I had Nick Stokes’s patience, maybe I could; but I don’t. I could choose to respond in kind but I have no great interest in doing that. I might if I thought it could actually achieve something, but it almost certainly wouldn’t. I also have no real problem with such people commenting here, but then they’d need to put up with whatever moderation decisions happen to be made.
Anyway, this is just a post to kill some time and to make some observations. FWIW, I went to an interesting talk recently about Dansgaard-Oeschger events, that I may write about in due course. They’re interesting as they appear to be internally forced, and so there is much they can tell us about internal variability. I had also booked tickets to another climate science related talk, but that was cancelled because the speaker had to go to the UN meeting last week. So, that’s all from me for the moment. I will probably have more to say in due course 🙂