Climategate

Climategate is a topic I’ve rarely discussed on this blog. Mostly because it’s clear that it’s not possible to have a constructive discussion with those who have different views about its significance. However, since I watched the BBC show about it last night, I thought I might risk it. It’s a bit of a pity that they decided to cover it, since it really doesn’t have much significance when it comes to climate science specifically. It does illustrate the lengths some will go to in order to undermine our scientific understanding, but it’s not clear how we really benefit from reminding people about this fake scandal.

What struck me was how difficult it was for some of those involved. Phil Jones clearly found it a very difficult time and it was pretty obvious that Tim Osborn found it difficult to talk about some of what he had experienced. One of the main things it highlighted in the emails was Mike’s Nature trick….to hide the decline. This is typically misrepresented by those who promote it. The context was the cover of a report which showed the temperature history for the last 1000 years. Most tree ring series ended in 1980, so Mike’s Nature trick was simply the addition of the instrumental temperature record after 1980.

However, one tree ring series diverged after 1960 and showed cooling. This is clearly wrong, since we know that temperatures kept rising after 1960. Hence the instrumental temperature record was added to this series post 1960, rather than post 1980 as per the other tree ring series. If this was a figure for a scientific paper, you’d expect this to be made clear in the paper itself. However, this was for a cover of a report, the resulting figure was a reasonable representation of our millenial temperature history, and showing the diverging portion of the tree ring series would have been wrong.

The show did illustrate that the stolen emails did indicate that some of what was going on was sub-optimal. In particular, some of the scientists weren’t as open as they could have been. However, we do keep getting told that science is social, and this seems to be an illustration of that. As scientists we have some obligation to engage with critics of our work. However, we do have jobs that require quite a lot of attention, so there is a limit to how much time we can spend responding to people who question what we’ve done. We’re also not obligated to engage with those who do not appear to be engaging in good faith.

Similarly, we should be willing to share what we’ve done with others, but – again – there are limits. A key aspect of scientific research is that others should be able to reproduce what you’ve done so as to check your results. However, this simply requires that it be possible to do so, not that researchers are obligated to share every bit of what they’ve done with those who are trying to reproduce their work. In some cases it may not be straightforward to share everything. I’ve on occasion used codes that you need to ask to use. If someone else wanted to use the same code, they’d need to go to the source, rather than expect me to give it to them. In most cases, this is simply because the developers would like to keep track of who is using their codes, not because they’re aiming to limit who can actually use them.

So, as far as I’m concerned, Climategate is mostly an indication of the lengths some will go to in order to undermine our understanding of an important topic. It may also indicate that some of the conduct by the scientists involved was not ideal, but science is a social endeavour and scientists can get as frustrated as anyone when faced with a barrage of bad-faith requests. There is absolutely no indication that anyone engaged in anything nefarious when it came to the science itself, and attempts to check the results from the groups involved have confirmed their results and further strengthened our scientific understanding.

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138 Responses to Climategate

  1. dikranmarsupial says:

    Good summary.

    “It may also indicate that some of the conduct by the scientists involved was not ideal”

    The conduct of some of the skeptics was decidedly sub-optimal as well, which got rather less coverage in the documentary, partly because Prof. Jones did not want to elaborate on the nature of the email exchange, other than to say it had gone on for some months (presumably before they managed to get the mildly intemperate response from him that was the focus).

    It is a shame the documentary didn’t go beyond he said this, he sad that. Rashomon.

    I just hope Prof. Jones wasn’t pressured into appearing – he certainly didn’t look as if he wanted to be there. I’ve worked with him as a (very) minor contributor on a couple of big projects – he is a really nice chap and I wish I had said and done more in his defense at the time.

  2. Where was Dr Muller in the programme? Funded by Koch brothers etc to try to disprove the published warming, but ended up confirming it.

    #awkward.

    … ditto other published studies. The Hockey Stick is beyond any reasonable doubt.

    And where was basic physics? Because of course a Nobel Prize for anyone who refuted 200 yrs of science – Fourier, Tyndall, Callendar, Manabe, etc – that demonstrates that more CO2 means more warming.

    Parsing emails to provide jargon that can be twisted for media provides 0 value to science; and in falling for this stunt journalists proved themselves not up to the task of engaging with science. It is not clear they have improved much.

    This is a story more about the naivety of scientists when confronted by bullying ideologues, backed by powerful malign forces. Scientists had to learn a new kind of resilience dealing with this shit – which hasn’t gone away – so we cannot blame Dr Phil Jones for being one of the first to face such an onslaught.

    As for advancing our knowledge of the science, Mosher, McIntyre, Watt, et al, added the square root of f’all to our understanding. Merely character assassinations and disinformation. They will live in history – if they succeed in appearing in a footnote – as having helped to delay action on global warming … ‘what did you do grandpa about the climate emergency’ #awkward!

  3. mt says:

    I refuse to use the word “Climategate” in any context other than refusing to use it. The name itself conveys a sense of scandal which is utterly disproportionate. The whole business was a Denial of Service attack from the beginning. And no attention should be paid to anything besides the motives and modus operandi of the perpetrators and the credulity of the press, which are the real story here.

    I worried at the time that if this treachery succeeded we’d see similar efforts on an even larger scale. I think my worries have proven sound.

  4. MT,

    I refuse to use the word “Climategate” in any context other than refusing to use it.

    Yes, this is fair point. I should have probably pondered my post title a little longer.

  5. Joshua says:

    > I worried at the time that if this treachery succeeded we’d see similar efforts on an even larger scale. I think my worries have proven sound.

    By what measure do you think it “succeeded?”

    I think it had no significant effect, other than to convince the already convinced that there conviction was correct.

    Surveys showed that a relatively small # of people even knew what the hell it was 10 years ago, let alone know what it was now, let alone show some differential impact. A mountain in the “climate-o-sphere,” a molehill in the real world.

    Tying it to other, subsequent developments requires a high level of evidence, imo.

  6. So am I reading all this correctly? Nothing has been done, or accomplished, so far as finding out who actually did the computer hacks and who was in charge of it’s dissemination? If I’m wrong please share a link.

  7. Steven Mosher says:

    “Similarly, we should be willing to share what we’ve done with others, but – again – there are limits. A key aspect of scientific research is that others should be able to reproduce what you’ve done so as to check your results. ”

    yes that is at the heart of the dispute.

    The facts are as follows.

    1. prior to his first publication as a skeptic
    jones gave McIntrye data.
    2. after his GRL publication jones refused to give Mc data.

    3. jones privately contemplated methods to
    avoid FOIA requests before any requests were ever made.
    4. jones released temperature data to webster and rutherford.
    5. mcintrye found out and requested the
    same data.
    6. His request was denied on the grounds that he wasnt an academic.
    7. mckitrick, and other academics then
    made requests. They were denied
    8. then readers suggested that mcintrye
    FOIA the agreements CRU claimed to
    have that prevented the release of data
    to third parties.
    9. Mc told readers he was tired of doing
    all this work himself. he had readers
    each pick 5 countries and put in
    a FOIA request for AGREEMENTS those
    countries had with CRU.
    10. CRU posted 3 agreements complying
    with the FOIA request.
    11. only 1 agreement with one country
    had a restriction against non academic
    third parties.
    12. Johnathan Jones, oxford physcist
    requested the data. denied
    13. mcintrye appealed his denial.
    14. the hacker found one of the
    files mcintrye had previously requested
    and ended his exfiltration of mail.
    15. mcintrye appeal was denied by CRU.
    16. 2 years later J Jones appeal to ICO was
    granted and the ICO issued a strong
    rebuke to CRU. Data was released.

    Little known fact. CRU employee guidelines at the time, that shit you never read, prevented staff from accepting confidential data unless.
    A. the data was mission critical.
    B. the counter party was informed
    that FOIA requests for the data
    could result in its release.
    C. CRU had no records of informing
    any of the three countries that their
    confidentiality aggreements could
    be trumped by FOIA.

    TL:DR Read your employee handbook
    Don’t think about ways to avoid
    the law. Don’t fib. call your mother.

    Funny story. I was being interviewed by another team working on this. General Flynn
    was just pleading guilty to one of the process crimes of the mueller investigation.

    interviewer lost her mind when i called this
    little FOIA episode a process crime.

    but ya. no underlying wrong doing, but
    fumbling, thwarting, etc an FIOA process.
    not good. dont do this, seriously do not
    try to be clever about legal requests of any kind about data, files, records, etc.

  8. Joshua says:

    > 1. prior to his first publication as a skeptic
    jones gave McIntrye data.

    That’s one way to say it. Another way might be…… Prior to his first publication made in bad faith Jones gave McIntyre data…

  9. Joshua says:

    > 2. after his GRL publication jones refused to give Mc data.

    That’s one way to say it. Another might be… After McIntyre made it obvious he wasn’t acting in good faith, Jones refused to give Mc data.

  10. izen says:

    @-SM
    “The facts are as follows…. ”

    TL’DR
    I think this is the longest post I have seen you make here.
    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” W.S.

  11. verytallguy says:

    The main things it showed were that academics bitch about each other behind their backs, and “sceptics” are a pain in the arse to zero scientific effect.

    In other words the Pope *is* catholic, and bears do, indeed, shit in the woods.

  12. vtg,
    Yes, in fact an irony I’m starting to recognise is that some of the criticism seems to come from those who sometimes complain that scientists don’t realise that science is social. Climategate seems to illustrate this. However, this doesn’t then seem to be how it’s then interpreted by those who often like to highlight that it’s social.

  13. Just to follow up on the above, maybe one of the lessons of Climategate is that even though scientists are human and can sometimes behave sub-optimally, there is no real indication that this had a major impact on the science. Subsequent work has largely confirmed the work of those involved and there really isn’t any suggestion that they did anything wrong while actually undertaking their research.

  14. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Steven Mosher

    ‘The facts are as follows.

    1. prior to his first publication as a skeptic
    jones gave McIntrye data.
    2. after his GRL publication jones refused to give Mc data.”

    SOME of the facts. We have only seen a one-sided account of this because Prof Jones hasn’t revealed what McIntyre said. Given his behavior on his blog, I suspect it wasn’t very cordial.

    Rashomon.

  15. Dave_Geologist says:

    Steven, when you try too hard to convince people you did nothing wrong, you may leave them wondering (hoping?) that it’s yourself that you’re trying to convince.

  16. Chubbs says:

    Emails are perfect for false narratives, because the “true believers” are not going to bother to go back and read the originals for context. 10 years later this type of conspiracy theory/fake news/spin is old hat. Makes one wonder if any rational problem solving is possible.

  17. I love the adoption of the term ‘sub-optimal.’ It’s just… glorious as an escape phrase. Almost musical. Onward to victory, men of the 7th!

  18. Until your band of happy warriors learns to distinguish between ‘sub-optimal,’ unethical and illegal, the skeptics and yes, we lukewarmers, will still require your gentle moderation.

  19. Tom,
    FWIW, I don’t particularly care what “skeptics” and Lukewarms feel that they require. As far as I’m concerned, if we pander to such people, we will get nowhere.

  20. I don’t see where I asked for pandering. Mr. Mosher and I both feel that Phil Jones was an unhappy victim of his own efforts. I personally think what he did was illegal without really being bad. I doubt if he had criminal intent in the sense that he wanted the world to think something was true that wasn’t.

    I personally think that what Trenberth and Wigley said about Michael Mann and his work would not escape moderation on this blog. I believe what Mann has repeatedly written is not illegal, but very unethical.

    I think 99% of climate scientists are ethical, legal and strive for optimality. I don’t think they get discussed in public very much. There’s a lesson there…

    When Tamsin Edwards makes cogent points that are not in strict alignment with consensus tropes, Eli Rabett says she’s a careerist and tosses her under the bus. There’s a less in that, too.

    Lessons everywhere, if one is interested in looking.

  21. an_older_code says:

    I think Professor Lenski has a much better way of dealing with mendacious and bullshit requests for data

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Lenski_affair

    also as with all these conspiracy nutters they demonstrating the opposite of their fantasies because although they had the “mother lode” of data all they could come up with was a few out of context quotes and the fact that sometimes people are rude about each other – who knew!!!

    the counter factual is that it actually demonstrated how sold the science and consensus actually was/is

    since confirmed by observed reality

  22. Tom,
    There’s a lot of rhetoric that I find unnecessary and unpleasant and I do think it would be better if people moderated what they say in public or what they say in a forum that could become public. On that note, I don’t think “skeptics” and Lukewarmers have some kind of moral authority.

  23. I don’t claim, don’t want and would not accept moral authority. I do try to live by my own moral code, as I’m sure you do as well.

  24. Just to avoid a suggestion that my earlier comment might imply some agreement with Tom, I don’t think Phil Jones did anything illegal. If he had, you might expect one the many inquires to have concluded that he had. Also, the decisions about the FOI requests were not made by him. Similarly, I have never encountered any writing by Michael Mann that is remotely unethical, or even close to being illegal (although I’m not quite sure what illegal writing, in this context, would be).

    In some sense it’s ironic that Tom seems comfortable throwing around accusations while complaining about others supposedly doing the same. As Joshua might say: if only those poopyheads stopped calling us poopyheads.

  25. Tom,

    I do try to live by my own moral code, as I’m sure you do as well.

    Yes, but it’s not clear that it’s consistent with the moral code you’re imposing on others.

  26. I don’t believe I have ever attempted or advocated anyone living by a specific moral code. Codes of law and ethics are published, including by CRU. Adhering to those would more than satisfy me.

  27. Tom,
    Not that I want this to go to far, but you’re still suggesting that someone behaved illegally despite them having been cleared by many inquiries. What sort of moral code is that? Continue libelling people just because you want to?

  28. Joshua says:

    > I do try to live by my own moral code,…

    And

    > Until your band of happy warriors learns to distinguish between ‘sub-optimal,’ unethical and illegal,…

    ————–

    What’s the moral code of naked tribalism, using demeaning labels, denigrating those who disagree with you was being unable to grasp your insights, implying a lack of depth to others’ depth or consistency of morality, etc?

    > I love the adoption of the term ‘sub-optimal.’ It’s just… glorious as an escape phrase.

    One perspective is that it’s an escape phrase. Another perspective is that it is a phrase that helps to distinguish between immoral, illegal, unethical, and, well, less than optimal.

    Here’s the thing. Tom – if you don’t grant people your good faith, then of course you won’t see them distinguish between those categories of behavior. If you paint people making those distinctions as trying to “escape,” then of course you won’t see them as seeing those distinctions.

    It’s self-fulfilling, if you are fulfilled by something like that.

  29. [Mod: I don’t believe that this claim is true, so I have no intention of posting it.]

  30. Willard says:

    > I think my worries have proven sound.

    Not sure how it succeeded, which means the worries may not be valid. By CGIII (the Return of the Miracle Worker), the auditors themselves lost interest. Having to spin “trick” in a press conference like the Auditor did (right next to teh Keenan himself) does not bode very well either, at least insofar as we’re in the business of selling smoking guns.

    #ButCG certainly isn’t a thing that helps contrarians control the ClimateBall clock anymore. Most of those I meet on the field (i.e. it’s now the tweeter) can’t barely cite and quote from them properly. Easier to retweet conspirational memes than to understand them. In fairness, it would require an effort even our dynamic duo could not really pull.

    We can at least thank them for that.

  31. Joshua says:

    > As Joshua might say: if only those poopyheads stopped calling us poopyheads.

    Perhaps my legacy from years of blog comments.

  32. Willard says:

    > One perspective is that it’s an escape phrase. Another perspective is that it is a phrase that helps to distinguish between immoral, illegal, unethical, and, well, less than optimal.

    The first perspective would be interesting, for it refers to how RyanO evaluated his own behavior during the Antarctica episode:

    https://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/Antarctica

    In a nutshell, this episode features a paper from a bunch of auditors, and Eric Steig. (The Oxford comma matters here.) The auditors published a paper. They received reviews. From the start they strongly suspected the first was from Eric. RyanO asked Eric. He promised not to tell anyone. Eric told him he was. Then Eric said something RyanO disliked. RyanO then revealed the identity of the reviewers. He reviled him so much the Auditor had to zamboni the post.

    Then we got a round of ClimateBall around the ethical justification of revealing the identity of reviewers. It may have been the only time John Nielsen-Gammon entered the fray. One does not simply mess with NG, the Bobby Orr of my fantasy draft:

    https://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/JohnNielsenGammon

    In the end, RyanO came to his senses. He also disappeared from the ClimateBall world. Since the audits never end, the Auditor returned to his business, which was at the time to find another smoking gun. These days he’s more into Assad intrigues and teh Donald impeachment hearings.

    ***

    How do I know that the auditors suspected the identity of reviewer A right from the start? They wrote it in their own backchannels, I mean their blogring comment sections. Nobody else but themselves really reads them, so they’re safe to conspire right in the open. But even if we did read them, why pay attention to auditors’ dramatizations? From a theatrical perspective, it’s quite good. Sometimes there are also interesting philosophical questions raised. But beyond that? From a scientific perspective, it’s mostly footnotes to platitudes.

  33. dikranmarsupial says:

    tomasfuller “I love the adoption of the term ‘sub-optimal.’ It’s just… glorious as an escape phrase. ”

    no, it is meiosis. If you understood English humour a bit better you would also understand “even if I have to redefine peer review” was not meant remotely seriously and anybody who thinks it was is clearly cognitively sub-optimal (that was also meiosis).

  34. verytallguy says:

    “These days he’s more into Assad intrigues and teh Donald impeachment hearings.”

    It’s almost as though climate “scepticism” is correlated to belief in other conspiracy theories.

    Maybe someone should see what they think about the moon landings?

  35. BBD says:

    I personally think what he did was illegal

    False claim. As ATTP said, if there was illegality, one or more of the plethora of subsequent investigations would have found fault. None did. I personally think that making false claims is unethical, as do most people.

  36. speaking of Michael Mann: “Uncertainty is not our friend here,” said Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann. “We are seeing increases in extreme weather events that go well beyond what has been predicted or projected in the past. We’re learning that there are factors we were not previously aware of that may be magnifying the impacts of human-caused climate change.” Among those are “subtle mechanisms involving the behavior of the jet stream that may be involved in explaining the dramatic increase we’ve seen in floods, droughts, heat waves and wildfires,” he said.

    “Increasingly, the science suggests that many of the impacts are occurring earlier and with greater amplitude than was predicted,” Mann said, after considering new research since the milestone of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment, which served as the scientific basis for the Paris Agreement.

    “We have literally, in the space of a year, doubled our assessment of the potential sea level rise we could see by the end of this century. That is simply remarkable. And it is sobering,” he said.

    Those quotes are a couple of years old and are found here: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26122017/climate-change-science-2017-year-review-evidence-impact-faster-more-extreme

    The headline from that piece: New research suggests human-caused emissions will lead to bigger impacts on heat and extreme weather, and sooner than the IPCC warned just three years ago.

    Attp said on Oct 24th: ” I, on the other hand, think that Oreskes & Stern are asking an interesting question; are we properly estimating the potential impacts of climate change? I will say, though, that I’m not convinced that they’re correct that the effects of climate change are appearing faster than scientists anticipated.”

    Michael Mann appeared to be convinced in 2017 that “many of the impacts are occurring earlier and with greater amplitude than was predicted.”

    Do you remain unconvinced that Oreskes & Stern are correct in their assertions regarding climate change?

    Cheers

    Mike

  37. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    > It’s almost as though climate “scepticism” is correlated to belief in other conspiracy theories.

    Brandon has written a few posts critical of Stevie Mac’s conspiratorial beliefs related to use of chemical weapons Syria, Russian involvement in the 2016 elections, etc.

    I tried to convince him that someone so deeply engaged in conspiracy beliefs on a collection of political topics might also lean towards conspiracy-influenced thinking on the issue of climate change. I didn’t get very far.

    That said, I think it unlikely that (heavily-engaged) “skeptics” as a group are more inclined towards conspiracy thinking than other groups of highly politicized and thus “motivated” activists.

  38. This I believe to be true: Global warming is bad for us and we are all going to die. Some will think this is false for one reason or another. There does not appear to be much that a person can do about some parts of these matters. Reading carefully, thinking clearly and communicating in good faith is worth a try.

    I agree completely with this: “there is a limit to how much time we can spend responding to people who question what we’ve done. We’re also not obligated to engage with those who do not appear to be engaging in good faith.”

    Mike

  39. Willard says:

    > I think it unlikely that (heavily-engaged) “skeptics” as a group are more inclined towards conspiracy thinking than other groups of highly politicized and thus “motivated” activists.

    Agreed, as long as we don’t equate motivated activism with extremism, or unless we can identify something like extreme centrism. Even then, I don’t think it’s fruitful to attach activism to what appears to be rigidity in behavior:

    This episode features a vaxxer attacking dog that has been called by David Grimes on Brian Earp, who made the mistake of retweeting an editorial about Peter Gøtzsche. Brian is a nice chap. He’s also sensitive. So what ought to happen happened:

    Anyone who reads back the exchange will recognize common ClimateBall techniques, e.g. peddling, lobbing, just asking questions, “I’m just stating facts,” etc. All this to dodge one question.

    Also, look at the contributions so far in this thread by our dynamic duo. One can observe that if rigidity was a gas, it would not be that well mixed within it. One fellow is much more constructive than the other. The other sometimes tries, seldom here.

  40. MarkR says:

    I’m more interested in the science than in who said what to whom, or who feels like they’re not getting enough attention.

    Since 2009 my takeaways from this are:
    1) Science needed to improve on openness of data. This is expensive and time consuming, but it’s worth doing.

    2) The science was solid. After a decade of rooting around stolen private correspondence, attackers found some nice soap opera quotes if you want to whine about emotions, but I’m not aware of any change to any scientific conclusion or deception in any paper.

    3) There is false balance in the media, groups like WUWT that claim interest in accuracy act like they’re completely full of shit, and the scientific community is held to far higher standards than those who are attacking them.

    Finally, the warming trend since 2009 is now >0.3 C (i.e. two thirds more than the 1970-2009 trend), where are the Mail and WUWT articles panicking about recent temperature changes? If they truly believed their “no warming since X!” claims, then shouldn’t they now be panicking about the recent trends?

  41. Mark,

    Finally, the warming trend since 2009 is now >0.3 C

    I’d missed that. Of course, one shouldn’t make too big a deal of short-term trends.

  42. izen says:

    @-ATTP
    “Of course, one shouldn’t make too big a deal of short-term trends.”

    Of course, that argument had little traction during the ‘pawz’.
    There is a glaring asymmetry in the polarisation on this issue.

  43. JCH says:

    Just about every aspect – GMST, sea ice, sea level, OHC, etc. – has experienced aggressive changes since November 2009. I made a bunch of graphs a couple of days ago:

  44. angech says:

    ATTP
    “FWIW, I don’t particularly care what “skeptics” and Lukewarms feel that they require. As far as I’m concerned, if we pander to such people, we will get nowhere. I do think it would be better if people moderated what they say in public or what they say in a forum that could become public. On that note, I don’t think “skeptics” and Lukewarmers have some kind of moral authority.“

    But are we not people?
    Do we not act, think and feel about things in the same way you do?
    How could you gain the moral authority to both judge, in the first instance here and then rule us as second class citizens or less?
    Note, I am not talking about your rights unlimited as the blog host, I am talking about the morals and ethics Tom and you both claim to be important in dealing with people.

  45. Steven Mosher says:

    ‘Since 2009 my takeaways from this are:
    1) Science needed to improve on openness of data. This is expensive and time consuming, but it’s worth doing.”

    yes.

    Ironically, skeptics did not learn this lesson and routinely deny data requests

    I was going to write a piece that basically argued this

    Science is self correcting. folks made mistakes ( duh) and learned. Progress.
    science corrects for the behavior of individuals.
    Skepticism is NEVER self correcting unless its takes its self ( skepticism qua skepticism)
    as its object. Thus skeptics did NOT LEARN about openness in data. Quite the opposite.
    And they never questioned their own interpretation of the mails. they took everything at face value
    cause they liked the story. One could argue that skepticism can never learn or improve, because
    it is certain that its stance of doubt is correct.

  46. Steven Mosher says:

    “That said, I think it unlikely that (heavily-engaged) “skeptics” as a group are more inclined towards conspiracy thinking than other groups of highly politicized and thus “motivated” activists.”

    I see some of that. but then I see folks talk about WUWT and Mc and Oil funding and I laugh.

    Psst The Koch foundation team members who green lighted our research had NO CLUE
    about climate change. ZERO IDEA what we were talking about. Strange but true.

  47. Steven Mosher says:

    ATTP

    ‘Similarly, I have never encountered any writing by Michael Mann that is remotely unethical, or even close to being illegal (although I’m not quite sure what illegal writing, in this context, would be).”

    The only thing that comes close is this.

    David Holland made an FOIA request for correspondence between Briffa and Whal and Amman.
    The reason he did this is there was textual evidence that Briffa had cribbed from a paper that
    Whal and amman were working on that made its way into Ar4.

    Basicallly Briffa is writing his chapter. He needs to address McIntyres claims.
    He needs Ammaans help.
    BUT he has instructions from Overpeck that he cannot reach out to authors directly
    That he must use the official IPCC process.

    So he writes to Amman lableing the email “confidential” and gets Ammans help
    with the chapter, basically plagarising.

    Anyway, Holland figures out that Briffa and Amman MUST HAVE TALKED because of the
    textual similarity of the IPCC report and ammands paper. So he FOIAs for the email.

    Jones talks with Palmer ( the FOIA head officer) about methods for denying the request.
    This is a no no.. and they dont respond to Holland within the proscribed time period.
    As an example when I did a FOIA to Noaa the officer made it clear that the
    scientists in charge of the correspondence had NO SAY WHATSOEVER in the release
    of the information and it would be improper for them to talk to her.

    Next Jones writes to Mann and says something like “I lost whal’s email can you
    tell him to delete his mails with Briffa WRT Ar4” and they ask amman as well

    mann later testifies that he passed this note to Wahl
    Whal later testifies that he deleted his mail.

    So, probably the worst thing he did was pass a note… err co conspirator to a uncharged
    contempt of court charge? meh.

    The ICO would later decide that Hollands request was valid, but that the statute of limitations
    on contempt of court had run its course so nobody was prosecuted for contempt.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2010/01/climatic-research-unit-broke-british-information-law

    Does any of this change the physics of c02?

    Nope.

  48. mrkenfabian says:

    It seems to me that true scientific skeptics will say “I don’t know”, but do not say “everyone else doesn’t know”. Not even as the take the effort to check to be sure – that checking being the application of skepticism. They do not claim established scientific knowledge is wrong until and unless they do know otherwise with enough confidence to stick their neck out. Faux skeptics – the armchair experts – tend to say established science is wrong until and unless they are personally satisfied, which becomes a way to reject anything they do not, cannot or choose not to understand.

    Scientific skepticism looks to me like a valuable error checking technique, but one that requires actual expertise or appropriate skills for the matter being examined skeptically but is most of all something used by working scientists to avoid embarrassing themselves.

  49. AndyM says:

    “In particular, some of the scientists weren’t as open as they could have been.”

    The people attacking the scientists for this are generally now Trump supporters. That’s an administration whose opacity does not allow penetration even by light beams that have subpoenas.

    The scientists were just being normal scientists. What was different was the scumbaggery deployed against them.

  50. Chubbs says:

    Climategate showed how susceptible polarized groups are to disinformation.

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/12/climategate-wikileaks-russia-trump-hacking/

  51. Joshua says:

    > That’s an administration whose opacity does not allow penetration even by light beams that have subpoenas.

    Trump is “the most transparent president in U.S. history” and “skeptics” care about scientific ethics and morals, as Tom explains.

    If only those leftard activist climate scientists stopped politicizing the science, Trump could clean up all this corruption, for the good of the people.

  52. Joshua says:

    AndyM –

    FWIW –

    From that ARTICLE (bold added) :

    > Public trust in the science was already on the decline in the months before the emails came to light. But according to a study by researchers at Yale and George Mason University, Climategate appears to have “deepened and perhaps solidified” Americans’ growing skepticism. That was especially true on the right. Fully 80 percent of conservatives who followed the scandal said they had less trust in scientists as a result. Seventy-three percent said it made them more certain that global warming wasn’t happening. A whopping 69 percent of all respondents who followed the story, and 94 percent of conservatives, agreed with the statement that “scientists changed their results to make global warming appear worse than it is”—an allegation later proved to be unequivocally false.

    Not very many people (conservative or otherwise) “followed it closely.” Consider the potential of that inclusion criterion to skew the representariveness of that sample. And just because clinate-activated “skeptics” self-reported that it significantly affected their opinions doesn’t make it true. Consider that their minds were already made up and the “scandal” served as a convenient bias confirmation. Consider that the George Mason study showed that libz felt that “Climategate” increased their confidence that global warming risk is a problem.

    People should be careful about concluding that “Climatgete” had a significant (differential) impact on public opinion.

  53. Joshua,
    Gavin his written a Realclimate post about climategate that should a Google search trends plot. It basically spiked in 2009, and then very quickly dropped. Little interest in the years since 2009.

  54. Joshua says:

    Sorry – that was for Chubbs

  55. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    “Clinategate” must be significant. Look at all the comments in the “skept-o-sphere” talking about how significant it is 😊

    Never underestimate the power of people to generalize from unrepresentathve samples, or to project their own beliefs onto the general public.

  56. AndyM says:

    “Trump is “the most transparent president in U.S. history” and “skeptics” care about scientific ethics and morals, as Tom explains. ”

    I am assuming this is a Poe. Just in the last few days we have another Trump associate – Roger Stone – found guilty on all seven counts. Lets review them:

    1. Obstruction of justice. ie. Not wanting the truth to come out

    2-6. Making false statements. ie. Not wanting the truth to come out.

    7. Witness tampering. ie. Not wanting the truth to come out.

  57. Willard says:

    > I am talking about the morals and ethics Tom and you both claim to be important in dealing with people.

    Not sure why you’d want to go there, Doc.

    Should we start with the time Groundskeeper said that combing through emails wasn’t a dignified activity, or with all the times you said one thing here and another elsewhere?

  58. Joshua says:

    > I am assuming this is a Poe.

    What gave it away?

  59. Chubbs says:

    Joshua – If your goal is inaction, maintaining polarization is sufficient.

  60. AndyM says:

    What gave it away-

    “leftard activist climate scientists” was just a Poe too far.

  61. Willard says:

    > The only thing that comes close is this.

    Time flies like an arrow:

    The criminals are not limited to The Team, the climate scientists and paleoclimatologists whose emails and files were leaked to the public.

    http://www.keithkloor.com/?p=9269#comment-69644

    Fruit flies like a banana.

  62. Willard says:

    > Little interest in the years since 2009.

  63. It was nice of Michael Mann to point out that cLiMaTeGaTe was a turning point in the coverage of climate science ‘debate’ (there is none as you know I know).

    So it would be good if some support for the release of Assange was forthcoming from the climate science community because this is really just inhumane. Whatever your opinion of him is.
    I’m sorry but I specialise in unpopular opinions….if this is one…..

  64. dikranmarsupial says:

    One (hopefully) final observation about the documentary. One thing that was clear was that the scientists at CRU were able to admit their failings. The skeptics on the program were not. It isn’t as if they did nothing wrong, e.g. distributed denial of service attacks misusing FOI, publishing hyperbolic books and blog articles that adversarialy misrepresented the communications (e.g. “Mike’s nature trick”) – if you want to know why Jones and Osborne etc. got death threats, it wasn’t that they had done anything to deserve them – they didn’t happen in isolation – they were egged on by the hyperbolic partisan rhetoric.

  65. dikranmarsupial says:

    To be fair – that could be the editors to blame for that rather than the participants. I gather the CRU scientists had no editorial control, so I doubt the skeptics did either.

  66. an_older_code says:

    haven’t the “sceptics” been vindicated by 20 years of falling temperatures

    /sarc

  67. JCH says:

    The rate of SLR since cLiMaTeGaTe is 4.52 mm/yr:

    I believe this acceleration was caused by all the pissing over hide the decline.

  68. an_older_code says:

    clearly if the scientist had knowingly used erroneous proxy temp data they would have been accused of misleading people – with justification considering the ongoing warming the earth has experienced since

    it is always heads they win tails you lose when dealing with conspiracy theorists

  69. Michael 2 says:

    Willard says: “Fruit flies like a banana.”

    Love it!

  70. Willard says:

    > Love it!

    A closet Marxian, I see.

  71. Pingback: Elisabeth for President contro Chairman Cao - Ocasapiens - Blog - Repubblica.it

  72. Steven Mosher says:

    “distributed denial of service attacks misusing FOI”

    err no.
    Recall the history.
    The multiple FOIA requested the same thing.
    by law if the request required more than 18 hours of work, it could be denied
    and the requestor would have to pay fees.

    The requested information was retreived and posted.

    as interested parties you and I may never agree on this. The ICO decided. I’m happy
    letting processes work as they are designed to work.

  73. thomaswfuller2 writes: November 16, 2019 at 2:14 pm:
    “I believe what Mann has repeatedly written is not illegal, but very unethical.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I’m wondering if Thomas, can you provide any specific instances – including references?
    What exactly is that Dr. Mann repeatedly did that was so bad?
    Can you explain?

  74. Willard says:

    > Can you explain?

    Beware your wishes.

  75. dikranmarsupial says:

    “by law if the request required more than 18 hours of work, it could be denied
    and the requestor would have to pay fees.”

    AIUI per request. 50 requests 50*18 hours. Sending in requests by proxy is a clear misuse of FOI regardless of that. Asking for information you have no intention of using is a misuse of FOI and IMHO harassment.

  76. dikranmarsupial says:

    ” I’m happy
    letting processes work as they are designed to work.”

    I would have been happy with that as well, but it isn’t what happened, and not all because of CRU. It is a shame that skeptics can’t accept that they didn’t do anything wrong, but frankly that is plus ca change…

  77. AndyM says:

    “haven’t the “sceptics” been vindicated by 20 years of falling temperatures”

    It seems they feel vindicated by 20 years of rising temperatures. Like all cheap comedies, that should come with a laughter track attached.

  78. an_older_code says:

    it is a singular facet of conspiracy theorists, they will always (rhetorically) “go to ground” as soon as possible and focus on the minutia of any event – these tiny details are then exalted to some sort of pseudo religious meaning and importance for them – (which is why they wont let go of them)

    engage any 911 twoofer and you will inevitably end up discussing the physical/chemical properties of nano thermite and the exact context of Ron Silverstein’s “lets pull It” quote, never the basic physics of a gravity led collapse or the absurdity of secretly rigging a multi story building for demolition

    indeed the twoofers did actually manage to find a few minor errors in the NIST report on the WT 7 collapse – wow!!!!!!!!!, a slam dunk conspiracy (or the bland reality that you can always find a few errors in any report)

    Ditto a moon hoaxer – the endless NASA (them again!!) quotes about the Van Allen belt and tiny details of the moon photographs

    Ditto every single conspiracy “EVA” – climategate seems no exception

  79. Willard says:

    In general, audits should be fine, including those by hoaxers. When it becomes a genre, however, it’s not fine anymore. This is what gets us Internet history buffs whose main reference sources are cable TV history shows. What powers D’Souza’s grift is definitely not OK:

    On the other hand, Kevin and other historians may not give us such splendid threads if it was not for Dinesh’s crap. So we should not be too inconsiderate for his role as the recurring red shirt. We all should welcome more presentations outside ivory towers and other kinds of economic moats.

    That lack of consideration also extends to our own laziness. It’s too easy to dismiss the work made by contrarians while doing nothing oneself. This kind of incredulity is no less annoying when done by the good guys. I guess venting is required from time to time. But it gives nothing.

    Imagine if all the ClimateBall threads were dominated by venting.

    Wait.

  80. Steven Mosher says:

    “It is a shame that skeptics can’t accept that they didn’t do anything wrong, ”

    except the ICO found otherwise. even gavin said telling people to delete mails was wrong.
    the science was sound and withstands everything the sceptics throw. The other stuff,the human stuff, the process flaws..wrong. thankfully those too have been corrected. those who admit these were a problem get kudos.

    its pretty simple. science :no problem.
    handling data requests, foia: problem. admit
    fix. move forward. others have. I reccommend it. ur choice, however. peace

  81. dikranmarsupial says:

    “except the ICO found otherwise. ”

    rubbish. The ICO are not the arbiter of right and wrong, merely legality.

    “fix. move forward. ”

    the skeptics have not been fixed, and won’t be until they admit their “sub-optimalities” (e.g. FOI by proxy, hyperbolic attacks on scientists, adversarial misrepresentation of the emails), they are more than happy to move on though, evidently.

  82. dikranmarsupial says:

    I have to say, I don’t think the ICO decision was right in some respects. Has anybody used the Trinidad and Tobago data in verifying CRUTEMP? Does it substantially change the science in any way? Is there really sufficient public interest in having the data from one small area of the world that justifies over-riding their Met Offices IP rights, against their explicit objections to it’s release? I’d say “no”.

    AIUI, the ICO was not investigating the skeptics, so obviously they can’t be used as an indication that the skeptics did nothing wrong.

  83. Chubbs says:

    JCH – Yes, there has been an acceleration. The temperature rise over the past decade chews up roughly 20% of the median ECS from Lewis & Curry (2015 or 2018) – ouch

  84. an_older_code says:

    https://www.chemtrailsprojectuk.com/freedom-of-information-request-aircraft-trails/

    As part of the research into our forthcoming app, I have just sent this Freedom of Information request to the UK Department for Transport.”

    In relation to your “Aircraft contrails” (26 April 2018) publication, currently available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/contrails-and-chemtrails-frequently-asked-questions/contrails, I have a number of question that I require you to answer.

    This FOIR is quite lengthy and requires an in-depth response – not just because of the serious implications of the subject matter, but also because I represent thousands of other UK citizens, many of whom have already written to you with similar concerns and are dissatisfied with the responses they have received so far. blah blah blah blah, nonsense ad nauseam

    I contend that humouring these FOIR fantasist is a total waste of peoples valuable time – you can’t win and it only encourages them

  85. I am lost in this discussion about what the “ICO” refers to. Googling climate change and ICO, only hits for Initial Coin Offering come back.

  86. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Speaking of audits:

    https://www.sei.org/featured/the-fossil-fuel-production-gap-climate-goals/


    The findings:
    The fossil fuel production gap is large: the world is currently on track to produce far more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be compatible with a 2°C pathway and, especially, with a 1.5°C pathway. Specifically, countries’ current plans and projections for fossil fuel production would lead, in 2030, to the emission of 39 billion tonnes (gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide (GtCO2). That is 13 GtCO2, or 53%, more than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway. It is 120% or 21 GtCO2 greater than fossil fuel production levels consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.
    This gap grows even wider by 2040, when production levels reach 110% and 210% higher than those consistent with the 2°C and 1.5°C pathways.

    Nevermind all that stuff though… Some scientists deleted some e-mails 10 years ago!

  87. Thanks Mike. Why would non-citizens think they have right to the internal affairs of the UK and it’s tax-funded organizations? See the Trump impeachment for more info

  88. Willard says:

    > humouring these FOIR fantasist is a total waste of peoples valuable time

    While there may be PR drawbacks to invoke them, there are procedures to prevent DOS-like efforts:

    Section 14(1) is designed to protect public authorities by allowing them to refuse any requests which have the potential to cause a disproportionate or unjustified level of disruption, irritation or distress.

    https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1198/dealing-with-vexatious-requests.pdf

    Indicators include abusive or aggressive language, burden on the authority, personal grudges, unreasonable persistence, unfounded accusations, intransigeance, and deliberate intention to cause annoyance.

    For those who want to make sure how it works, sharper00 provides an how to:

    I miss Sharper00.

  89. [#ButGreta – W]

    Willard, you’ll like this development. Seriously.

    “A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet.
    Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/heliogen-solar-energy-bill-gates/index.html

  90. Willard says:

    > Willard, you’ll like this development. Seriously.

    Looks good. We’ll see. No need to punch hippies along the way.

  91. Steven Mosher says:

    “I am lost in this discussion about what the “ICO” refers to. Googling climate change and ICO, only hits for Initial Coin Offering come back.”
    Information Commissioner’s Office

    These would be the guys who decide these matters, as opposed to DK types on blogs.

  92. Steven Mosher says:

    “I have to say, I don’t think the ICO decision was right in some respects. Has anybody used the Trinidad and Tobago data in verifying CRUTEMP? Does it substantially change the science in any way? Is there really sufficient public interest in having the data from one small area of the world that justifies over-riding their Met Offices IP rights, against their explicit objections to it’s release? I’d say “no”.”

    Its nice that amatuers have opinions about legal matters.

    Again. Investigations by various ad hoc commitees found no SCIENCE wrong doing.
    Skeptics of course reject this..
    Investigations by professionals charged with investigating FOIA requests, Did find
    PROCESS wrong doings by CRU. defenders of course reject this.

    I find this odd and funny and illogical.

  93. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Its nice that amatuers have opinions about legal matters. ”

    yawn. I note you evade the substantive point which is that the ICO decide on legalities, not what is right and wrong and that they also were not investigating the skeptics and hence their ruling is not an indication that the skeptics did nothing wrong.

    I didn’t say anything about the *legalities* of the ICO ruling, I just said that I didn’t think it was right (you mention your academic background frequently, so I am surprised you don’t grasp the distinction between “legal” and “right”), so your response is a misrepresentation anyway.

  94. dikranmarsupial says:

    ” as opposed to DK types on blogs.”

    yay, insults.

  95. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Investigations by professionals charged with investigating FOIA requests, Did find
    PROCESS wrong doings by CRU. defenders of course reject this.”

    Do they? I don’t. I don’t think Jones or Osborne reject that either. As I said the scientists involved in the documentary were able to acknowledge their failings, the skeptics were not.

  96. David B. Benson says:

    What does ICO abbreviate? Does not appear to be standard.

  97. dikranmarsupial says:

    Information Commissioners Office (who adjudicate on FOI disputes in the U.K. as well as GDPR etc)

  98. Dave_Geologist says:

    At least it’s a slightly better article than the Guardian one, which mistakenly said it would let you make carbon-emissions-free cement. It won’t. And seriously, what have they patented that isn’t just Newtonian optics?

    Cement starter material: limestone (CaCO3) and clays (AlxSiyOz). But they won’t react so you have to calcine the limestone: CaCO3 + heat = CaO + CO2. Now they’ll react: CaO + AlxSiyOz = CawAlxSiyOz. Getting it hot makes the reaction go faster, but its main purpose is to drive off the CO2 from the limestone and make it reactive. No CO2 in the end product. Where did it go? Up there. More of it than you released from the fuel, assuming you’re using a reasonably efficient kiln. To be truly zero-carbon you need CCS. Preferably at the flue, where capture is easier.

  99. Dave_Geologist says:

    Oops, I missed out OH from the clays. So you also drive off water, but that will just rain out somewhere.

  100. Dave the geologist- The focus on cement was a bit odd, but calcination is 50% of the CO2 emissions from cement. A 50% reduction in emissions isn’t bad.
    You have to read down further to see that the folks who actually built it envision this being an engine to produce hydrogen at scale.
    Looks like the patent is on the mirror controller software.
    Limitations are kinda obvious- it works fine as long as you don’t mind building your factory in the desert. Pittsburg, home of steel in the US, needs something that works in the rain and snow.
    Who knows, maybe Los Angeles and Phoenix will be the next capitals of steel and cement.

  101. Ben McMillan says:

    The two big things with cement/concrete are
    1) reducing Portland cement and partly replacing it with pozzolans. Some of them need to be made at high temperature like high-reactivity metakaolin.
    2) enabling aggregates that absorb CO2 (a kind of accelerated weathering), so the final product is CO2 neutral.

    Also, making pre-fabricated concrete-like products using thermal bonding (sintering) rather than chemical cement allows a lot of CO2 reduction. No need for cement blocks/bricks to actually have cement in them.

    So cheap thermal energy could be pretty helpful.

  102. Willard says:

    > cheap thermal energy could be pretty helpful

    If only to suck all the wind into the sail of those who’d argue that renewables don’t have the raw power to generate it.

    Joshua Rhodes remains incredulous:

  103. David B. Benson says:

    An EU equivalent of ghost coal power plants:
    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/China-Adds-Wave-Of-New-Coal-Fired-Power-Plants.html

    Take that, Bill Gates!

  104. Ben McMillan says:

    Well, looking for ways of providing industrial heat is potentially pretty useful. Thermal energy is 2c/kWh or so, so hard for electricity to compete (at >150C where heat pumps don’t help).

    Something has to give, and running cement-making intermittently doesn’t sound too bad. Not like the equipment (a tin to roast limestone in) has a high capital cost.

    Things like electric arc furnaces already run when electricity costs are low.

    Of course, these kind of solar facilities would need to be purpose-built, rather than retrofitted.

    I’d still bet on solar PV getting so cheap that solar thermal is irrelevant though…

  105. Dave_Geologist says:

    jeff, yes, the numbers I’ve seen are typically 50% CO2 expulsion, 40% fuel and 10% other (mining, trucking, grinding).

    Ben, yes alternative fillers such as volcanic ash or blast furnace slag, particularly for hydraulic cements. As an undergraduate I went on a field trip to a volcanic coastal area nearby to see the difference between lavas, tuffs and agglomerates. We were led with a straight face from an agglomerate across an almost imperceptible transition to something that looked the same but had builder’s rubble among the natural cobbles, and steel reinforcing rods. It was part of the sea defences, with crushed slag cement. However pozzolans are the stuff that reacts with the calcium oxide/hydroxide, not a replacement for it. To the extent that you can get the same strength by using less limestone in the mix than with fired clay, that can reduce the CO2 emissions but not eliminate them. If you want a photocell-free process, you could use molten salt storage at 500-600°C with existing mirrors, but then you have efficiency losses with a steam turbine powered either directly by the sun or by the hot salt. No harm in trying them all and using what works best. But fundamentally, without CCS you’re emitting about half a ton of CO2 for every ton of limestone used.

  106. Ben McMillan says:

    Dave: Have you seen any promising alternatives to Portland cement (ie other than just not making things out of concrete)? The geopolymer stuff looked like it might have potential but my recollection is that you ended up with some nasty waste products…

    Also, what do you think of ‘store CO2 in the aggregate’?

  107. Dave_Geologist says:

    Not my field Ben. There’s a reason we’ve used concrete for thousands of years. It’s easy, cheap and reliable, and the raw materials are everywhere.

    I don’t see how you can store CO2 in the aggregate. Quartz won’t react, and reacting it with other aggregates like granite, dolerite etc. would be too slow and is basically doing the same as weathering. Granite makes a good aggregate. China clay doesn’t (although it’s a nice colourant 🙂 ). Dolerite makes a good aggregate. Laterite soil doesn’t.

  108. “If only to suck all the wind into the sail of those who’d argue that renewables don’t have the raw power to generate it.”

    Hilarious. Activists spend 30 years demanding rooftop solar panels and windmills hundreds of miles from factories, that everyone knows don’t have the raw power. Then when something completely different pops up and claims to have solved the very real issues activists have been denying for 30 years, they say “see, we were right all along!”
    Play your game better: “now jeffn likes bird roasters?”

  109. Ben McMillan says:

    Yeah, the ease and cheapness or concrete is going to make it a tough one. Bit like moving beyond burning stuff to keep warm.

    The idea is exactly the same as weathering: use silicates to absorb the CO2 emitted from the calcination process. Not sure if that is practical for hot gravel sized bits at high CO2 pressures, but may be for sand. Actually a lot of the CO2 gets reabsorbed anyway once the concrete is crushed at end-of-life, but that’s a long-term prospect.

    Part of the issue with concrete that is carbonated is that the steel isn’t protected, so other kinds of reinforcement might be necessary (eg basalt rebar).

  110. Willard says:

    > Activists spend 30 years

    You spent half of that in blog comment sections, JeffN. They’re not here. Why are you still punching them here? I’m not here for you. I’m here for the argument. And the argument that only fossil fuels can produce high thermal energy is busted. Isn’t life great?

    Enjoy Elon’s new thing:

  111. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    “Activists”.

    Who exactly are these mysterious, but ubiquitous, always-demanding, and very-real-issue-denying people anyway?

    And: Is there _anyone_ that they can’t provoke?

    30 years is the blink of an eye for an activist:
    Greta may be a time-traveller.

  112. Joshua says:

    > Who exactly are these mysterious, but ubiquitous, always-demanding, and very-real-issue-denying people anyway?

    They’re the ones who set all policies. Especially all those policies that victimize corporations and conservatives, who have no power influence over anything – in particular over energy policies. Hippies control everything.

    President Trump in particular is a powerless victim.

    Isn’t that completely obvious?

  113. verytallguy says:

    “Enjoy Elon’s new thing:”

    We’re doomed.

  114. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    Isn’t that completely obvious?

    Before Climategate, so, so much was hidden from our view, Joshua.

    Thanks to the Mosher-Fuller-Delingpole-Curry-Pielke paradigm shift, we now have open data and code, evermore endless audits, and we can finally get rid of those stealth-advocating, always-demanding, very-real-issue-denying hippies, and Make Activists Great Again.

  115. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    We’re doomed.

    Not so fast…
    With the tailgate down, Elon’s new thing will hold a sheet of drywall, so there’s still some hope for us yet.

  116. anoilman says:

    Dave Benson: This story isn’t really true.
    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/China-Adds-Wave-Of-New-Coal-Fired-Power-Plants.html

    China had a plan to peak sometime 2020 (?)… but when the global financial melt down hit, they eased off. Now they are simply hitting the original goals. This isn’t news or really news worthy, and its often pointed at as though China is surging ahead in coal, when they are simply following the original plan.

    I’d also like to point out that all the coal power plants are using Western environment gear, and in many cases are accompanied by the removal of old factory coal power plants (the kinda that don’t track anything). So China’s coal power plants are an environmental\efficiency upgrade.

    jeffnsails850: I’m not sure what you think isn’t working or doesn’t work. Renewables work, and are available 24/7. This has always been the case. A pile of solar panels for miles on roofs does indeed have the ‘raw power’. Perhaps you’re using a different definition from the rest of us?

    In general what is going around in circles with renewables is not whether it works. (Electricity works, do you need a wiki link?) Its whether or not it is cost effective compared to cheap dirty fossil fuels. In the mean time, there are many places currently producing steel with known old technologies like electric-arc furnaces. In Quebec… that means its being done with water… Hydro power.

    Storage and transportation of renewable energy is still a concern. Toyota built hydrogen fuel cars, but that ended because the cost of generating the Hydrogen was too expensive. (Solar PV powered electrolysis to pipes\transportation and storage was expensive.)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Mirai

    The fact that a company has been able to generate concentrated heat which could have a direct use in producing hydrogen which can be stored and transported is interesting news. But as teh Willard says… “We’ll see.”
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/heliogen-solar-energy-bill-gates/index.html

    At least renewables can already do all the work of fossil fuels.

  117. anoilman says:

    I think Tesla’s truck is a big miss. I can’t imagine a construction worker with one. (At all.) These are not guys looking to make a fashion statement with their truck, and most certainly not a bad one.

    I’m also not surprised the windows broke. I’m reminded of a Darwin award for some guy testing Kevlar with a knife; (They aren’t the same thing as bullets you know…)
    https://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2006-10.html

    .. and WTF do they think construction workers do with their windows anyways? Yo! Lets see if we can shoot bob’s car with the nail gun! Yeah Jim.. Crack up the pressure and go for it!

    Seriously, right now, all Ford has to do is run some joke ads with construction workers abusing their trucks.

  118. anoilman says:

    Maybe Tesla’s building it for the Canadian market?

  119. verytallguy says:

    “These are not guys looking to make a fashion statement…”

    Au contraire.

    The truck is nothing if it isn’t a fashion statement.

    You think the average truck driver is a construction worker??

  120. Willard says:

    I think cool kids call it the borken window fallacy:

  121. Steven Mosher says:

    “Do they? I don’t. I don’t think Jones or Osborne reject that either. As I said the scientists involved in the documentary were able to acknowledge their failings, the skeptics were not.”

    ah I misread your sentence.

  122. Steven Mosher says:

    “Thanks to the Mosher-Fuller-Delingpole-Curry-Pielke paradigm shift, we now have open data and code, ”

    Ah weird. Not what I’d argue at all. but you go ahead and pummel that strawman. after some practice you can join the professionals at WUWT who specialize in this.

    I spoke about this to the BBC.. did they air my view on this?

  123. Joshua says:

    > Thanks to the Mosher-Fuller-Delingpole-Curry-Pielke paradigm shift, we now have open data and code, evermore endless audits, and we can finally get rid of those stealth-advocating, always-demanding, very-real-issue-denying hippies, and Make Activists Great Again.

    Not to mention the most transparent administration in US history. Amazing that the most transparent president, ever, is also the one who has been the biggest victim in US history. Funny how that works.

    Stevie Mac’s embrace of the deep state coup theoriea (for example, the Ukranian-aided DNC plot to get Trump) and the deep state conspiracies over at Lucia’s have been a remarkable window into the mechanics of “skeptics” self-victimization at the hands of the all powerful hippies.

    I think that five years ago, even after years of reading the pearl-clutching at places like Climate Etc., I would never have imagined the depth and breadth of just how far the self-victimization mindset among online “skeptics” might actually extend.

    Maybe I just lacked a wild enough imagination – but perhaps also, there is a “multiplier effect” from the growth of social media which has added energy to the system that wasn’t there before.

  124. izen says:

    @-SM
    “I spoke about this to the BBC.. did they air my view on this?”

    No.
    They did highlight your involvement in the BEST efforts to do a temperature reconstruction from scratch.
    They also used your statement as a framing device, that at the end of the day the science of CRU and Mann was vindicated, even if the process was flawed by the scientists involved trying to exclude those with a contrarian axe to grind.

    There is a common thread that emerges in this.
    To split it into a unrealistically clean binary dichotomy, there is one group who are concerned with the purity of the process. And another group concerned with the pragmatism of the outcome.

    In the UK the FOIA was primarily set up as a means to counter the tendency of GOVEMENT to hide information that was politically embarrassing or of policy that would harm the public.
    The attempt to use it to get scientific data from scientific researchers was a novel and unanticipated development. That it could be used to extract information from scientific research above and beyond what was conventionally shared by the scientists involved was viewed as dubious and possibly not a legitimate use.

    Joshua has identified the characteristics of those who insist on (their) definition of the process rather well. They point to how they claim it SHOULD be done and then claim victim-hood when there is any deviation from this idealised process. It is evident in the TRump impeachment issue. One side has largely ignored the content of the investigation and hearings. Instead they complain that it fails to meet some criteria of ‘Due Process’ or a ‘Fair Trial’.

    The ‘happy median’ does not lie halfway between process and pragmatism. It is much closer to ensuring the utility of the outcome than policing conformity with the process.
    Another example of this is the economeretricians devotion to mathematical formalism over empirical utility. Which has rendered them unable to hindcast and incapable of prediction as the failure to forecast the 2007 crash revealed.

  125. Dave_Geologist says:

    Don’t want to spend too long OT Ben, but I’m sceptical. Going from silica or orthosilicates to carbonates, hydroxycabonates and zeolites is dropping three steps on the Moh’s hardness scale and about an order of magnitude in strength. Not what I’d want in my foundations. Nor would I want something that dissolves in rainwater exposed to the weather.

  126. Ben McMillan says:

    Dave: thanks, have been reading a bit about attempts to do ‘green cement’, apart from the obvious CCS option. There is a big ‘wedge’ of carbon emissions reduction needed there. It is definitely OT though.

  127. izen says:

    @-DG
    “Going from silica or orthosilicates to carbonates, hydroxycabonates and zeolites is dropping three steps on the Moh’s hardness scale and about an order of magnitude in strength”

    This has not prevented at least three Sci Fi writers (Hamilton, Niven, Barnes) to describe buildings made with ‘Air Coral’. In which with hand-waving and little explanation, Gene engineered or nanobots grow (calcium carbonate ? hydroxyapatite?) walls from CO2 in the air.

  128. Dave_Geologist says:

    There’s a long SF tradition of using unobtanium and handwavium izen. I doubt if coral could be as strong as marble (about 1800psi UCS). The sort of concrete you’d mix in your backyard is about 2000psi, commercial-building concrete about 4000psi, and speciality concretes up to 10000psi. Of course they’d argue that it’s a metamaterial like nacre. Sucking the CO2 out of the air would be the hard part.

    What we really need is scrith.

  129. Steven Mosher says:

    “Joshua has identified the characteristics of those who insist on (their) definition of the process rather well. They point to how they claim it SHOULD be done and then claim victim-hood when there is any deviation from this idealised process.”

    huh. I would say I never insisted that anyone do it the way I thought it should be done.
    folks are so far away from that it’s really not even funny.
    Rather, I insisted that they do things the way THEY DEFINED it should be done.
    The process was not idealized, it was written down. not by me, by them. The
    ICO did not refer to moshers process.

    in any case, my suggestion was that the whole affair was rather akin to folks (like Flynn) getting
    busted for a process crime in the Mueller investigation.
    The underlying crime ( collusion with russia) ( faking data) never happened
    But during the process certain violations (lying to fbi, screwing up FOIA process)
    happened.

    Its silly to ignore 1/2 of the story, silly to try to explain the difference as relating to folks
    who love process vresus those who are more pragmatic.

    The pragmatic outcome is that science is a little bit better on sharing data. Not ideal, but you
    take what you get.

  130. Steven Mother do you think that mass submission of FYI requests by proxy to get around the limitations on FOI requests, designed to protect the recipients was part of the process as intended? I don’t.

  131. apologies for the autoincorrect

  132. Joshua says:

    > The underlying crime ( collusion with russia) ( faking data) never happened
    But during the process certain violations (lying to fbi, screwing up FOIA process)
    happened.

    Collusion with Russia is not necessarily, technically a crime. But that doesn’t mean that a failure to prove illegal collusion means nothing concerning outside of”process crimes” occurred.

    And how do you know what “never happened?”. Actually, you don’t. You know what could and couldn’t be proven in the investigation.

    Whats fun to watch is when people who object to, in one case distinguishing between what can and can’t be proven being as being the point of focus (i. e., Mann is unethical even if it can’t be proven), and in another case dismiss behavior in the basis of simply what can and can’t be prove (i.e., Flynn was railroaded even though collusion wasn’t proven because….unimportant “process crimes”)

    Bottom line: Find another analogy. Analogies can be used in two ways. One is to help explain a perspective to people who might not understand it otherwise. Another is to rhetorically prop up a weak argument by analogizing to another situation which can be simplified by conveniently leaving relevant aspects out.

    I notice that you use analogies quite a bit.

    Hmmm.

  133. Joshua says:

    > The pragmatic outcome is that science is a little bit better on sharing data.

    There might theoretically be a variety of ways to achieve that outcome. I’d suggest that some of those ways are more pragmatic than others. More or less optimal, if you will (don’t want to appear to be building escape routes to sharp-eyed observers).

    Some ways might actually be somewhat counterproductive – inclining scientists to feel defensive, that they’re under attack from people engaging in bad faith.

    Walking that line might be tricky. For example, people can feel that they’re under attack even if they’re interacting with people who are engaging in good faith.

    Sometimes we can reverse engineer to gain a window. If the outcome of someone’s engagement continuously results in defensiveness rather than openness, then we might reverse engineer to question the pragmaticism of that person’s approach (or, alternatively, question what their actual desired outcomes truly are; perhaps, if when defensiveness consistently an outcome, then maybe their approach actually is pragmatic).

  134. Mal Adapted says:

    jeffnsail850:

    Hilarious. Activists spend 30 years demanding rooftop solar panels and windmills hundreds of miles from factories, that everyone knows don’t have the raw power.

    You’d think anti-global-warming-mitigation activists would learn the difference between statements of fact about climate change on the one hand, and rhetorical tactics in a fantasy culture war against imaginary hippie enemies on the other. It’s not like the straw man fallacy hasn’t been exposed once and for all. That leads me to

    Steven Mosher:

    “Thanks to the Mosher-Fuller-Delingpole-Curry-Pielke paradigm shift, we now have open data and code, ”

    Ah weird. Not what I’d argue at all. but you go ahead and pummel that strawman. after some practice you can join the professionals at WUWT who specialize in this.

    Steven, I’ma call you out for misappropriating the definition of strawman this time, see above link. Very Rev listed some identified Lukewarmers, all on record promoting the paradigm I think he’s referring to, i.e. that it’s necessary for self-appointed ‘skeptics’ to keep trained and disciplined scientists from conspiring to fool the rest of us about global warming. I don’t think I’ve exaggerated their common position, either. IMHO “The Crutape Letters” places you on the list: at least prior to your (along with Richard Muller’s) demonstration of genuine skepticism via BEST. FWIW.

  135. jeffnsail850:

    Hilarious. Activists spend 30 years demanding rooftop solar panels and windmills hundreds of miles from factories, that everyone knows don’t have the raw power.

    You’d think anti-global-warming-mitigation activists would learn the difference between statements of fact about climate change on the one hand, and rhetorical tactics in a fantasy culture war against imaginary hippie enemies on the other.

    It’s been more like 45 years than 30 years. In the 1970’s, the push to renewable energy started based on known concerns about the inevitable fate of finite and non-renewable fossil fuels, just note the oil shocks of that era. That obviously had nothing to do with climate change but on the fear of depending on scarce oil. But that ended with the Reagan/Thatcher revolution as Reagan foolishly removed the solar panels from the White House that Jimmy Carter had installed and Thatcher was blessed with North Sea oil. Yet, the reality is that FF depletion concerns are just as valid now as they were then.

    Saudi Aramco is now offering the biggest IPO in history but investors are balking, because they realize it’s a grift as the Saudi’s oil reserves are severely depleted.
    https://fortune.com/2019/11/24/greenshoe-saudi-aramco-ipo/

  136. EFS

    re API video at 11:55

    Thanks for showing us where North Dakota’s infamous “Meth: We’re On It ”
    video came from.

    If it wins a Clio as most viral TV ad of the year, The American Petroleum Institute should claim credit for their seminal ” Methane : We’re On It ” campaign .

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