The Hack That Changed the World

After airing the movie, The Trick, the BBC has also broadcast a series of podcasts on Climategate called the Hack That Changed the World (H/T Dikran Marsupial). I’m not sure if all can listen to them, but I thought they were pretty good.

Apart from “skeptics”, and a few scholars who still choose to write about Climategate, most seem to now accept that the emails were hacked, have been cherry-picked and taken out of context, and may well have played a role in delaying effective climate action. What’s not known is who actually carried out the hack, and even though that was a focus of these podcasts, it’s still completely unclear.

What might be of most interest to regular commenters here is the final episode, which focuses on the skeptics who were involved in trawling through the emails. It focuses partly on Steven Mosher, who has been a regular commenter here and has published a couple of guest posts.

Although most here may already know this, the podcast highlighted that after Climategate Steven worked with Berkeley Earth and pretty much confirmed that there were no major problems with the global temperature datasets. Steven also acknowledged that he learned that you need to be more than a data analyst to understand complex issues; you do also need some expertise in the relevant field.

Towards the end of the final podcast, Steven was asked what he would say to Tim Osborn and Phil Jones today, and he basically said that he would apologise, mostly for the way in which he characterised them at the time. Given how Climategate impacted some of those involved, I suspect some would still not accept this. However, since people rarely seem willing to acknowledge their errors, this seemed worth highlighting. It would be nice if people could be more charitable all the time, but being willing to acknowledge, and apologise for, a lack of charity is maybe a reasonable step.

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119 Responses to The Hack That Changed the World

  1. dikranmarsupial says:

    Kudos to Steven. Even if an apology won’t/can’t be accepted, making it is still the right thing to do.

  2. saying he would apologize… is that the same as saying? I apologize to Tim Osborn and Phil Jones for the way I characterized them. I regret the things I said about them. If he would apologize, I guess I am inclined to ask, have you apologized to them? Maybe this is on the record already?

    this feels like one of those “mistakes were made” type of apologies to me. ??

    Cheers

    Mike

  3. dikranmarsupial says:

    I’m going back to lurking now, but if someone apologizes for doing something wrong, it is best to to do so without mitigation or counter accusations if you can. Likewise, if someone does their best to apologize, it is best to just accept it without criticism, IMHO, even if criticisms aren’t too difficult to find. Otherwise it is basically punishing someone for changing for the better, which seems a bit counterproductive.

  4. yeah, I am sure you are right about.

    I think, aside from the personal apology piece, there is the larger question of general harm done to our collective challenge to address global warming by the folks who exploited the hack. Did that come up in the interviews? I guess I could watch them, but I am not feeling much inclination that way.

    Cheers
    Mike

  5. Jim Hunt says:

    Mike – Actually you would listen to them.

    Also freely available (worldwide I believe) via the BBC Sounds app on your favourite mobile device.

    I first discovered about the hack that allegedly changed the world via Roger “Tallbloke” Tattersall, who appeared in the first episode. He humoured me for a while on his eponymous blog, but I am now definitely persona non grata there.

    Messrs McIntyre & Tattersall seem to be tabby cats unwilling and/or unable to change their stripes:

  6. As Steven’s co-author on the book in question, I don’t think we were too tough on Jones or Briffa. We were much tougher on Mann and even Tom Wigley, I am personally sorry for the adverse effects Jones suffered as a result of Climategate, but I don’t think our book was a direct or indirect cause of what he had to go through. And, while sympathetic to his plight, what he did was not legal and that’s what led to his troubles. (Also, the emails were leaked by an insider at CRU, not hacked.)

    However, I am not going to get drawn into yet another discussion of either Climategate or our book.

    Enjoy the thread, everybody.

  7. izen says:

    Saw the program, I thought it was a good and reasonably neutral retelling of the events and how it influenced the climate conference of the time along with its wider effects.

    One element that was not explicitly described but was evident from the program was the intense escalation of pressure on the climate science community from the contrarians. As Mcintyre acknowledged, his interactions with Phil Jones started off well, it was only when he started demanding to see the proprietary data that was protected by agreements with the foreign government sources that he got blocked. At that point he got his blog community to make several FOIA request a day. That insistence that climate scientists MUST reveal all sources and methods elicited the resistance to this imposition on the scientists time and efforts by people who they correctly viewed as out to get some ‘dirt’ on them.

    The contrarians then were able to portray that resistance to their inquisition as ‘evidence’ that the scientists had something to hide.

    Its a common trope. A group objects to some new viewpoint. They badger the proponents until they elicit an equally antagonistic response, and then complain that the proponents of the new view are maliciously resisting them. While failing to reveal that the resistance has been generated by their own actions.

    It is a classic way of generating a ‘persecution’ narrative, first harass a group, then when they respond in kind, proclaim to all and sundry that THEY are resisting your ‘perfectly reasonable’ requests and must have something to hide.

  8. Willard says:

    I’m not sure it was covered in the program, but it might be of some importance:

    In response to your point that I wasn’t “diligent enough” in pursuing the matter with the Russians, in fact, I already had a version of the data from the Russians, one that I’d had since 2004.

    https://climateaudit.org/2009/10/05/yamal-and-ipcc-ar4-review-comments/#comment-197561

    It’s always a good thing to Remember Yamal, as Eli is wont to say.

    I prefer Mosh’s apology to the Auditor’s Too bad, but I don’t think that it would have made any difference.

  9. listened to the podcasts earlier today. Will see if I can watch The Trick tonight. I wasn’t particularly surprised by anything in the podcasts. I think I knew this story too well. Bad faith actors going after scientists with every tool in the book. I have generally considered this stuff to be “culture wars,” but I have started to refer to it as the Red State Virus more recently. I think it’s pretty contagious. I appears to cause average folks to think they know more about climate than climate scientists, or more about election security than the secretaries of state who oversee elections, or more about airborne viral pathogens than scientists at the CDC. It’s very strange.

    I think the Red State Virus is easily confused with Dunning Kruger Disease. I think they are not really the same, but share some symptoms. RSV has been shown to increase susceptibility to infection with Covid 19. Some folks who recover from Covid 19 have also shown reduced signs and symptoms of RSV, but others simply get over Covid 19 and show no reduction of symptoms of RSV.

    Cheers
    Mike

  10. Chubbs says:

    Would be interested to see an evaluation of Climategate’s impact. A core belief for skeptics/deniers yes, but they are inclined to discount climate science anyway. Did Cgate move anyone into another camp?, or merely strengthen the differences between camps? I suspect mainly the latter but haven’t seen any data.

  11. dikranmarsupial says:

    For anybody that hasn’t seen “The Trick” yet, I think they made a mistake in advertising it as a thriller. It isn’t, it is a drama about the people involved, there is no “thriller” aspect whatsoever, and it probably views better without that false expectation.

    I saw Phil Jones during the time covered*, from what I saw then, the documentary is accurate in depicting the effect it had on him.

    I think izen’s first comment is spot-on.

    “As Mcintyre acknowledged, his interactions with Phil Jones started off well”

    Having had numerous interactions with those involved myself, I think I have a pretty good idea who was responsible for the interactions becoming adversarial (it certainly isn’t Phil), but it’s still a bit like watching Rashomon, but only being given a full account from Tajōmaru.

    * I was a minor contributor on a couple of EU projects and always found him to be very generous with his time and data – he is a thoroughly good egg IMHO and I regret not having spoken out more in his defence at the time.

  12. Willard says:

    > Did [CG] move anyone into another camp?

    It moved Mike Hulme from “we need a Champion” to “alright, I will become the Champion.”

    Topping Tom Wigley in getting the direction of the Tyndall Institute might have helped smooth his personal sacrifice.

  13. Tom,

    And, while sympathetic to his plight, what he did was not legal and that’s what led to his troubles.

    Given that there were 8 enquiries and none of them found that anything illegal had taken place, this claim of yours would seem to not be true. Maybe you could be more careful when making such claims here.

  14. I appreciated the point made in the podcasts that the hack of the CRU emails ushered in a new era in the culture wars where a cyber hack of data could be leaked and distorted as a very effective propaganda tool. I don’t know if there was a reasonable solution to deal with the bad actors who abuse the truth and misrepresent matters for political and personal gain. I will note that even so many years later, some of the bad actors are still at it, misrepresenting what happened, asserting illegality where none exists, maligning scientists and continuing to poison the public well with half truths or misrepresentations. That’s pretty telling.

    My partner and I could not find The Trick last night on our sort-of-smart tv. If anybody has a link that works in the US, share please. I think the video won’t tell me much new and is likely to just make me dislike the bad actors more, but I guess will attempt to watch it anyway. We got the video American Dharma from the library and watched it last week. Errol Morris movie about Steve Bannon. Another person who I think is primarily a bad actor, a bad faith agent of a particular political scheme. The documentary about the documentary on the disk had Errol talking about how much flack he got about giving Bannon a platform. Errol thinks he can interview, run film clips and ask questions that will betray the bad dharma driving his subjects, but I don’t know if it worked in this movie. It did with McNamara.

    Very disturbing stuff.

    Cheers
    Mike

  15. dikranmarsupial says:

    The human distributed denial of service attack that flooded CRU with FOI requests was technically legal, but obviously unethical as it was exploiting a loophole in the law in order to circumvent statutory protections against harassment. I think there may be a reasonable case for resisting attempts to circumvent your statutory protection even if the letter of the law suggested a response was required but the intention of the law did not. IMHO.

    Personally, I think technically legal but obviously unethical is decidedly more reprehensible than technically illegal but ethical and conformant with the intention of the law if not the letter. However I do realise that some do not see a distinction between legal and ethical.

  16. gator says:

    Thomaswfuller2 – not my fault, “it was leaked”, ” not legal” —
    “However, I am not going to get drawn into yet another discussion of either Climategate or our book.”

    That’s not really how that works. You could have just not posted.

  17. dikranmarsupial says:

    Example of how interactions with scientists can start of well, but then become adversarial (rather quickly):

  18. “… and may well have played a role in delaying effective climate action.”

    Really? We’re now at COP 26. I assume this Copenhagen meeting was one of these COPs. That would mean there were about 15 COPs before Climategate and about 10 since. Why didn’t any of these other COPs produce this so called climate action? IMO any action produced by the people who attend these meetings is likely to be ineffectual at reducing CO2 and may even be counter productive.

  19. Willard says:

    Just Asking Questions is boring, Canman.

    While we wait for your likeliness estimates, readers might like:

  20. dadofwinter says:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=cliscep

    “John Ridgway on BBC Lying Scam Cult Hoax Fraud Poo Bottom Smelly Fart Climate Reality Check…”

    You’re REALLY delivering on that promise of a better class of climate skeptics after all these years, Mikey.

    Well done.

  21. russellseitz says:

    DM: The human distributed denial of service attack that flooded CRU with FOI requests was technically legal but obviously unethical as it was exploiting a loophole in the law in order to circumvent statutory protections against harassment.

    It seems odd that those lawyered up against the oil and coal companies did not consider the possibility of disbarment action for encouraging barratry against Chris Horner, and others serving as the usual climategate suspects consiglieri

    OTOH ,said oil and coal companies have long since noticed the coordinated and concerted legal action against them— cue Stoat.

  22. dikranmarsupial says:

    Another modicum of kudos, in this case for Stephen

  23. dadofwinter says:

    [Mod: Not sure what link you were trying to post, but it doesn’t seem to work.]

  24. Joshua says:

    Didn’t watch. Not gonna. Can’t imagine it will provide anything new that’s meaningful.

    Two reactions, though.

    The first is kudos to Steven.

    The second:

    >.. and may well have played a role in delaying effective climate action.

    A pet peeve of mine…I’ve looked for evidence that statement’s true and I can see a common sense logic behind the thinking – I doubt it’s true.

    The evidence I’ve seen suggests that “climategate” merely served as a post-hoc rationalization for “skeptics,” who already had their minds made up, to use as they argued that a hoax was afoot and that climate scientists are corrupt.

    On the other side, for climate “realists” “climategate” was merely further evidence of something they were already were convinced of – that climate “skeptics” are ideologically motivated to dismiss AGW no matter the science.

    Maybe there was some movement in the margins but my guess is that any effects canceled countervailing effects out, and the underlying dynamics of public opinion formation on climate change are quite complex and at least multi-factorial (which wouldn’t be exclusive with your conjecture).

    Imo, we may as well ay that “climategate” caused “skeptics” to be opposed to carbon taxes or think that poors are starving because renewable energy.

  25. Ben McMillan says:

    The aim of these tactics is mostly to create fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst people who are not actively engaged with the climate debate, not move already-engaged people from one side to the other (which is indeed largely not going to happen). e.g. in your relatives, not the people chatting on science or antiscience blogs.

    Basically, allow people who have a preference for just continuing their comfortable fossil-fueled lifestyle with a justification for not taking climate change too seriously. They have all now half-heard that there might be a problem with the science, because it is covered heavily in most media.

    Climategate was able to effectively create the impression of scientific malpractice and controversy in a decent fraction of the public. Figuring out exactly how much difference that makes is impossible, but the inactivists pushing this misinformation sure seem convinced that it is helping their cause.

  26. Joshua says:

    Ben –

    > Climategate was able to effectively create the impression of scientific malpractice and controversy in a decent fraction of the public.

    Imo, they key word there is “create.”

    I’ve seen no evidence that “climategate” created that impression in people who didn’t already have that impression.

    Almost everyone who says that climategate created that impressions for them, could be predicted to have that impression based on many other indicators (i.e., identity markers)..

    Polling shows there’s another set of people – with diametric ideological views – who – say that “climategate” actually strengthened their confidence in the scientific “consensus” on climate change (and that only a small fractiiom of people have a clear and coherent concept that “climategate” even exists).

    I think you’ll find that a more or less congruent set of people say that the Imperial College COVID modeling created the impression of scientific malpractice and uncertainty regarding NPIs as government COVID policy. That same sat is likely to have an impression of scientific malpractice related to scientific views on a whole hosf of issues where they have strong ideological views in association with scientific controversy. Which came first, the chicken or the impression of scientific malpractice?

  27. dikranmarsupial says:

    I suspect the dip in the public acceptance of the scientific consensus on climate change in 2009 and 2010 may be attributable to climategate.

    [source https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/gender-differences-in-public-understanding-of-climate-change/ ]

    And also on whether the climate is actually warming

    [source https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/nearly-half-americans-sure-global-warming-happening/ ]

    Note these don’t appear to be samples of a skeptcal minority, but of the population of the USA.

  28. Joshua,
    You’re probably right that Climategate may not have played an obvious direct role. However, it does seem to have given “skeptics” some ammunition that might have sounded much more convincing than it actually was and maybe gave their arguments more apparent credibility than would have been the case had it not happened. Of course, we can’t really do that test. What seems clear, though, is that those who used it, regarded it as important.

  29. dikranmarsupial says:

    Mod: sorry I should have left a space before the ] on those two URLs, please could you replace the %5D on both with a space and a ]?

    [Mod: should be fixed now.]

  30. dikranmarsupial says:

    “I suspect the dip in the public acceptance of the scientific consensus on climate change in 2009 and 2010 may be attributable to climategate.”

    is too strong a statement, perhaps

    “I suspect climategate significantly contributed to the dip in the public acceptance of the scientific consensus on climate change in 2009 and 2010”

    There are other possible causes, such as the financial crisis that happened a year or so earlier. The problem is that we are *all* skeptics in the sense that this isn’t good news for any of us (at least unless we are hedge fund managers), It seems reasonable to expect the general public will be unduly accepting of evidence against climate change, not just “skeptics” – it is just our cognitive biases in action.

  31. Ben McMillan says:

    Joshua: I tend to think that there is at least some aspect of some people’s opinions that is not a foregone conclusion based on fixed ideological alignment.

    Or at least, it seems worth fighting for ideas and reason, even in a dark place where only pure power seems to count. Indeed, making reason seem futile is a key strategy of the people who are only interested in power.

  32. dikranmarsupial says:

    “I’ve seen no evidence that “climategate” created that impression in people who didn’t already have that impression.”

    what evidence would change your position?

    Personally, back in 2009 I would say that most people had no strongly held position on climate. They will all have an impression that climate change is not happening, because they would have heard climate skeptics in the media. They would also have the impression that climate change is happening because they have heard scientists and activists in the media. The balance between the two will largely depend on the media.

    It seems hard to argue that climate gate did *create* “impression of scientific malpractice” for which there was little evidence (spurious or otherwise) prior to climategate, but not so much “controversy” for which evidence had been manufactured already and discussed in the media for some time (c.f. Luntz memo).

  33. dikranmarsupial says:

    “It seems hard to argue that climate gate did *create* ” should be “It seems hard to argue that climate gate did NOT *create* ” sorry, obviously too tired to be posting.

  34. Joshua says:

    Ok, I’ll apologize in advance for a long response…

    I remember a study from back in the day – I think out of Yale – where they did a more in-depth look at this issue. I don’t really remember the details but I do remember that when I read it, it confirmed my “prior” (which is basically we’re psychologically and cognitively designed to find causal relationships among correlates).

    As I recall, at least in the US, something like 25%??? of the American public followed “climategate” in any detail so as to be able to really understand it much. Of that group, a relatively small subset said that it significantly reduced their sense of the likelihood that anthropogenic emissions pose a significant risk. Another subset said that it actually reinforced their confidence in the “consensus” viewpoint. Those two subsets didn’t quite balance out (the former subset being somewhat bigger than the latter) but the balance saying “climategate” significantly lowered their sense of the risk of climate change was a small % of the general public.

    Even more to my point, those who said that “climategate” significantly lowered their concerns about climate change were almost uniformly ideologically oriented towards a “libertarian”-type identity. Self-report on this kind of assessment is notoriously unreliable. My guess is that the majority of those who said that “clmategate” significantly lowered their concerns about climate change were – likely not consciously – using “climategate” as way was to justify preexisting beliefs (thus explaining WHY they saw “climategate” having one particular implication – in direct opposition to the implication inferred from those who had a different ideological orientation).

    Ideally, to look at this issue we would have needed pre-test/post-test type data on people’s attitudes (obviously not possible), and studies that would be subjected to basic controls for factors like social desirability or recall biases.

    I’ve encountered this a lot on the Interwebs – something along the lines of “I just assumed that climate scientists were right about climate change but then when “climategate” happened, and I saw how fraudulently the climate scientists were acting, whoa Nelly, I looked into the science myself and found out that ‘CAGW’ is just one big house of cards.” Comments about one-world government and pal review and Al Gore’s weight and Lysenkoism, etc., sometimes follow.

    My guess is that the number of people whose views were actually altered by “climategate” is quite a bit smaller than those who say their views were altered by “climategate.” I don’t doubt it may have happened in some instances, but it’s really hard to get a solid picture of this from within the climate wars, because being involved in the climate wars predisposes us to generalize from an outlier sampling.

    Other data seem to show that other factors, such as the state of the economy, or recent shorter-term weather events, have a pretty significant correlation with public opinions on many environmental issues, with climate change being one of them. Looking at trends in public opinion and contemporaneous trends in specific domains, and then inferring causality (no less direction of causality) in how the trends interact is something that I think should be done with a high level of circumspection and only based on high quality, longitudinal data.

    It might be useful to compare trends in public opinion on climate change in the US to trends in other countries, where there’s less of an ideological signal in views on the issue.

    No, I don’t think that ideology is destiny on all questions of scientific interpretation – but in areas that are highly, highly polarized, I tend to think the overwhelming political signal is quite important to consider. Of course, causality is hard to interpret. For example, it could be that “skeptics” are ignorant people, and ignorance also explains a “libertarian” viewpoint of the world, and so it’s actually ignorance which explains what looks on the surface like a “climategate—>anti-“consensus” viewpoint causality (that was a joke, folks).

    I’m not exactly saying that political ideology “explains” views on climate change. I think that the causal factor is “motivated reasoning” mixed with basic human psychological and cognitive attributes, and that “political ideology” serves a mediating (or at least moderating) role. And the strength of that role is often proportional to the degree to which a particular issue has become one that functions as an identity marker for people.

    Somewhat related – a podcast on public opinion/voting on abortion in Ireland, and how opinions changed over time:

  35. Joshua says:

    dikran –

    > what evidence would change your position?

    For me, given the very complex set of inter-related interactions at a societal level, the direct causal mechanism would have to be studied directly. Of course, that’s an extremely tall task in this context. But there would be ways to approach it – such as whether an contemporaneous signal in public opinion seems to be associated with the strength of the political signal in views on climate change. IMO, that would help to disaggregate wether “climategate” in itself was causal, or political orientation was causal and the association between “climategate” and public views is explained by “climategate” as a mediator or moderator, or even just a spurious variable – where the trends were better explained by other factors.

  36. dikranmarsupial says:

    Joshua. Unless we have a time machine, how would we do that, all we have are surveys of peoples stated views? Especially as you have indicated that you don’t accept peoples stated opinions:

    “My guess is that the majority of those who said that “clmategate” significantly lowered their concerns about climate change were – likely not consciously – using “climategate” as way was to justify preexisting beliefs”

  37. Joshua says:

    dikran –

    > Joshua. Unless we have a time machine, how would we do that, ….

    I don’t think we really can. So my position is basically that we don’t know, and also that people are inclined for a variety of reasons to infer more certainty about the mechanism of causality than what is really supported by the evidence

    >…Especially as you have indicated that you don’t accept peoples stated opinions:

    Hmmm. It’s not quite that. But the unreliability of self-report, and social desirability bias and recall bias are well described phenomena in survey-based research. You can’t just look at the results of polling without taking those factors into account.

    And in this context, we have probably have a multiplier effect supplied by strong ideological overlay in a highly polarized context.

    For example, it would be my guess that if you took all the libertarians who said that “climategate” changed their views, you would find a kind of “dose-effect,” whereby those who are the most strongly identified with a libertarian viewpoint are those who say it had the biggest effect.

    When I look at the skept-o-sphere, I think what I’m seeing is exactly that subset – a group that is highly, highly ideologically oriented and who feel very strongly that “climategate” played a significant role in affecting their viewpoint.

  38. dikranmarsupial says:

    “I don’t think we really can.”

    O.K., so your position can’t be changed by evidence.

    “Hmmm. It’s not quite that. But the unreliability of self-report, and social desirability bias and recall bias are well described phenomena in survey-based research. ”

    I’m a big fan of Rashomon, so I do know that. However re-interpreting self-reports to match our position is likely to risk confirmation bias.

    As I said:

    “It seems hard to argue that climate gate did *create* “impression of scientific malpractice” for which there was little evidence (spurious or otherwise) prior to climategate, but not so much “controversy” for which evidence had been manufactured already and discussed in the media for some time (c.f. Luntz memo).”

    Do you have any evidence (even spurious) of scientific malpractice prior to climategate?

  39. dikranmarsupial says:

    doh! ““It seems hard to argue that climate gate did NOT *create* “impression of scientific malpractice”

  40. Joshua says:

    dikran –

    > O.K., so your position can’t be changed by evidence.

    Lol. No. My position could be changed by what seems to me to be good quality evidence, that supports a determination of CAUSALITY – and obtaining that level of evidence in this circumstance seems extremely difficult to me. I don’t consider a graph of concurrent trends with speculation about causality to be high quality evidence.

    For example, I would be much more convinced by some kind of dose-effect, akin to what Bradford Hill identified as a “biological gradient.”

    As Anders said:

    > Of course, we can’t really do that test.

    > Do you have any evidence (even spurious) of scientific malpractice prior to climategate?

    The last time I looked into this, data suggest that overall levels of “trust” in scientists (in the US) has been fairly stable over time. But to the extent there’s been a shift, there has been one that predates “climategate” among “conservatives,” and in particular among “conservatives” towards the more extreme right-hand side of the political spectrum, in conjunction with (here’s my focus on particular correlates) a growth of the religious right.

    On a parallel track, in my view, is an increased politicization in the public’s view of the scientific research endeavor in itself. Over the past few decades, more and more “conservatives” seem to think that scientific researchers basically comprise a left-leaning academic cabal trying to impose an authoritarian government onto freedom-lovers.

    But these data are very, very noisy it seems to me. But in the end, I do think that there is a growing trend towards less trust in “experts” – to some degree in association with people thinking that Googling something equals doing “research”- where people have an increased trust in themselves that they can form an expert opinion on very complex topics. As such, yah, I think that “climategate” is just one piece of an overall picture – in the same sense that climate change has become a proxy war for a larger-scale ideological battle.

  41. dikranmarsupial says:

    ” My position could be changed by what seems to me to be good quality evidence, ”

    but you have just said that “I don’t think we really can” obtain that (at least without a time machine).

    “The last time I looked into this, data suggest that overall levels of “trust” in scientists”

    that is not the question I asked – I asked specifically about misconduct.

  42. dikranmarsupial says:

    oh dear s/misconduct/malpractice/g – I really ought to give up and have a nap!

  43. Willard says:

    Since there’s no real malpractice code among scientists, Dikran, I’m not sure that request can be met. At some point sealioning can be self-defeating: any contrarian can come here and use your questions as a springboard to relitigate CGI, II, and III.

    Just agree to disagree and be done with it.

  44. Joshua says:

    dikran –

    > Do you have any evidence (even spurious) of scientific malpractice prior to climategate?

    I thought I was answering a closely related question. A general impression of large-scale misconduct/malpractice would be associated with a general lack of trust.

    Now I realize I’m not sure what question you’re asking. Are you asking me for an example of larger-scale focus, in public discourse, on scientific malpractice – that occurred prior to “climategate?” Are you making an argument here – perhaps that none similar exist and thus indicating “climategate” had a unique level of influence?

    Are you simply asking for any example of scientific malpractice prior to “climategate?”

  45. Joshua says:

    Sorry Willard –

    I didn’t see your comment. I’m quite content to agree to disagree.

  46. Willard says:

    Just so to be clear, J, the back and forth is fine with me. What isn’t is to do the contrarians’ work for them. They lost “But CG” – no need to return to the details, which very few know. That’s Climateball malpractice.

    Let’s focus on what would improve everyone’s life instead. We all want more transparency and more collegiality. We all need more deliberation in general, less forensic and epideictic rhetoric.

  47. It seems to me that there isn’t a way to really resolve this issue. Certainly Climategate was used by some to justify their objections to climate action. Was it effective? I don’t know, but it seems that some thought that it was. We can’t, however, run a parallel world to see what would have happened in the absence of Climategate.

  48. Willard says:

    One way to run a parallel world might be to compare with a similar auditing project in a very different world. Take Audio Science Review:

    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?reviews/

    Amir reviews and tests audio gear with instrument devices. He does not believe in Hi Fi snake oil at all, and he belongs in a camp that calls itself objectivist. That’s not exactly what the term means, but it stuck, and there are flame wars between objectivists, subjectivists, and those in between, which don’t call themselves luckwarmers.

    If we look back at the first reviews, Amir ruffled a few feathers. His reviews did not please everyone. Schiit for instance received bad reviews, which led commenters to many cheap puns.

    Yet companies learned their lesson, including Schiit. The products we see nowadays tend to satisfy the basic requirements he set up as standards. That does not solve Goodhart’s Law, but at least it gives us an idea of how to conduct an auditing gig that leads to more constructive resolution than the acrimony we witnessed with the Auditor’s exploits.

    I could write a post on this if y’all want.

  49. Susan Anderson says:

    While I agree wholeheartedly – “Let’s focus on what would improve everyone’s life instead. We all want more transparency and more collegiality. We all need more deliberation in general, less forensic and epideictic rhetoric.” – I have to wonder, having looked up epideictic, whether it would be more telling to say something like showing off or clever-clever.
    More later (it’s late). And this (hoping image will come through):

  50. russellseitz says:

    W:
    One of the scary things about the evolution of 21st century climate rhetoric is the increasing ease of repurposing things as memes.

    Practitioners of semantic aggression right and left seldom make use of classical modes of rhetoric — epideitic declarations take far more words that postmodern sound bytes. The new style is to weaponize existing memes or characterizations as compact & compulsory epithets like ‘crisis’ or ‘hockey stick’.

    Quine was a fan of Kenneth Burke’s Rhetoric of Motives trilogy, and I think he wrote in Quiddities to the effect that even Milton’s poetics are designed to persuade, a spin not lost on the producers of His Dark Materials, who confess to having reimagined its heroine as an avatar of Greta Thunberg.

  51. Ben McMillan says:

    Think there are likely to be a whole bunch of Lyras born over the last couple of decades who are similarly obstinate. And they and their friends might yet change this world with subtle cuts.

  52. Willard says:

    Right on, Russell. Don’t forget that teh Van also thought that the Moon landing was a hoax.

    There are no heroes anymore.

  53. russellseitz says:

    Try again Willard- Van knew a reliable eyewitness to teh Moon Takeoff

  54. russellseitz says:

    Just so Ben, after two decades, Pullmans fan base is right up there with Harry Potter , his most conspicuous hero is a climate statesbear.

  55. Willard says:

    > Try again

    That’s common knowledge, Russell, at least amongst logic Twitter. It’s hard for me to search back since I don’t have an account anymore. I’m not saying he never changed his mind on the matter. Beliefs coalesce communally, which for Van means Ohio conservatives.

  56. Jon Kirwan says:

    I recall the cartoon that Susan mentioned and, at the time as still now, I thought it was a close fit to the bad actors’ gotcha behavior.

    I really enjoy Susan’s contributions on RealClimate when I’m blessed to see them on those occasions she offers something there. Always worth reading every word.

  57. Ben McMillan says:

    Rather than bears, I was thinking more of the powers-that-be taking something from children that can never be replaced. And the general sense of looming doom and lost innocence.

    Also, lighter than air flight. The airships also come up in “The Ministry for the Future”, although their magisterium is at the other end of Switzerland.

  58. russellseitz says:

    W:
    ” I’m not saying he never changed his mind on the matter. Beliefs coalesce communally, which for Van means Ohio conservatives.”

    Gosh , A Counterfactual !

    Now you can be pointed to, as a rigid designator , in the real set of Willards who ran afoul of a real member in the real set of friends of W,V. Quine, who looked through real lenses, to take real photographs of things, Van had only seen second hand as TV scans, and was glad to hear described first hand by eyewitnesses.

    Why persevere in endorsing here say as to his nonagenarian views, when, for just eight bucks, you too can see what I saw and described at first hand to to Van?

    [Source:] https://www.amazon.com/Analog-Science-Fiction-Russell-Seitz/dp/B07G3KSX57

  59. Willard says:

    “Conterfactual” and “rigid designators” might not mean what you make them mean, Russell. A change of mind implies at least two states of mind. Once we can identify both, nothing much runs contrary to facts. And there’s no need to identify them in all possible worlds to identify them properly.

    If this belief is too esoteric, consider the following:

    1.1 Expressions and their Occurrences. The question of how to individuate linguistic expressions is a delicate one. Here is a famous sentence from the section ‘Use Versus Mention’ in Quine’s Mathematical Logic-one of our sacred texts. Quine is talking about expressions and how we refer to them.

    To mention Boston we use “Boston” or a synonym, and to mention “Boston” we use “”Boston” ” or a synonym. “‘”Boston” ” contains six letters and just one pair of quotation marks; “Boston” contains six letters and no quotation marks; and Boston contains some 900,000 people.

    I would have thought that a logician like Quine, who is used to distinguishing variables from their occurrences, would have immediately seen that “Boston” contains six letters is false. I only count five letters in the name “Boston”: a “B”, an “o”, an “s”, a “t” and an “n”. There are, of course, two occurrences of the letter “o”.

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/aristoteliansupp/64.1.93

    By that logic, I count only four letters in “But Greta”: H, I, P, and E.

  60. Umm, should your “I” in fact be a “Y”?

  61. lerpo says:

    High Internal Phase Emulsion. Obviously XP

  62. Willard says:

    Y belongs to the word representing the central square of the contrarian bingo:

    “But CAGW”

    For instance: if the 3K quads we’ll consume by 2075 all come from coal we’re ruined.

  63. Ben McMillan says:

    More to the point, any environmentalist aspect of Pullman’s Dark Materials is at most subsidiary to the anti-authoritarianism of it (and this is where it reflects Milton’s epic most); the damage that is done for the sake of control is not just to the world at large, but also at the personal and intimate level.

    People who are at war with their inner demons, and with the world at large, who seek to dominate rather than to collaborate, are a danger to everyone, and a large part of the reason we are in the position we are. A key aspect here (which is why Pullman’s books hit a nerve with certain religious folk) is that people will cloak themselves in moral authority in order to justify base behaviour.

    i.e. this is what the young in our world are going to be forced to work around in order to mitigate further damage. Authoritarians who claim that what they are doing is morally correct by appeals to tradition, tribal allegiance or narrowly defined patriotism.

  64. Jim Hunt says:

    I thought I’d just pop in again to point out that “Tallbloke” has evidently still not changed his stripes:

  65. Willard says:

    OK, Jim. I’ll bite: what are the deficiencies of #HADCRUT4 when it comes to #Arctic surface temperatures?

  66. Joshua says:

    Thought some folks here might get a kick out of this:

  67. Brandon Gates says:

    The other day I chanced upon this article in Ars Technica, Keeping science reproducible in a world of custom code and data. Neither climate papers nor Climategate are specifically mentioned but the themes will be familiar to veteran climate warriors.

    The crux of the problem is contained in these paragraphs:

    These sharing requirements are often held to an “available upon request” standard. But requests can go unheeded.

    From 2017 through 2019, Tsuyoshi Miyakawa, the editor-in-chief of the journal Molecular Brain, replied to 41 article submissions by requesting that the authors provide their complete source data for review, as per the stated policy of the journal. Only one author did so.

    The journal Science has had a policy that data and materials like code must be available upon request. Victoria Stodden and her co-authors tested this system. Out of 204 papers they selected from the journal, Stodden’s team successfully accessed materials for 89 articles; requests to the authors of the other 115 received no reply, unfulfilled promises, fruitless redirections, or a sometimes aggressive refusal.

    Based on his efforts to replicate papers from other statisticians, Thomas Lumley, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, says of the phrase data available upon request: “When people put it in their papers, what they typically mean is ‘data not available.'”

    As a result, an increasing number of funders and journals now require that researchers have a formal plan for publishing their data.

    Real Science ™ peddlers pointing to the replication crisis in psychology as a proxy critique of climate literature may delight that their position is even stronger than they already imagined.

    The article moves on to a discussion about how data access is not the only problem. The penultimate sentence made me smile.

    The code has to run on a computer with an operating system, code platform, add-ons, and packages matching the versions used by the original researchers. Breaking into their lab and carrying out their computer is one way to replicate the environment, but when this is logistically difficult, the next best thing is a prebuilt virtual instance with the requisites in place. Copy the instance, launch it in a virtual machine, and you are effectively in the lab with the original authors.

    One thing the author does not mention in the subsequent discussion is proprietary closed-source software packages their vendors surely would not want freely distributed and executed in those virtual machines.

    If I have any overarching point other than sharing for general interest it’s that climate science is not unique to researcher reticence to share data and code, and that the underlying reasons are not probably not due to some nefarious intent peculiar to the field.

  68. Brandon Gates says:

    Willard, I took Jim’s point to be that the HADCRUT4 problems in the polar regions are so commonly known that Tallbloke is obviously being disingenuous. I can tell you what I think is the relevant citation if that is useful and won’t step on your toes.

  69. Willard says:

    BG,

    Having citations always help my Climateball Bingo, in this case the But This Odd Place square. Jim has to oblige unless he is willing to grant Rog’s point. There’s no downside to promote science for someone who’s in it for the science.

  70. Willard says:

    Scratching my own itch, Jim seems to have cited later on, after Rog blocked and unblocked him:

    The Met Office temperature record, HadCRUT4, is widely quoted as a measure of global warming. However observations are only available for about 84% (five sixths) of the planet. The omitted region includes the Arctic, which is warming much faster than the rest of the planet. As a result, HadCRUT4 underestimates the rate of warming in recent years.

    We have developed a method for using satellite data to fill in the gaps in the Met Office data. Our global record suggests that surface temperatures have been warming two and a half times faster than Met Office estimates over the past 16 years. Temperature trends starting in 1997 or 1998 are particularly affected.

    The temperature change for any individual year is not very large (and less than the Met Office uncertainty estimates), but together they make a significant difference to recent temperature trends. This highlights the danger of drawing conclusions from trends calculated over short periods.

    https://www-users.york.ac.uk/~kdc3/papers/coverage2013/background.html

    That’s good enough for me.

    Thanks, Jim!

  71. Brandon Gates says:

    Willard, you wound up virtually the same place I did, the literature citation is Cowtan and Way 2014, Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends. It is open access.

    Interestingly in HadCRUT5 the Arctic shows more warming than in HadCRUT4, raising the possibility that the observations available to the previous analysis were also biased low, compounding the problem further. I have not found any mention of that particular wrinkle in either C&W14 or the paper describing HadCRUT5 methods.

    I’ll see your But This Odd Place and raise you a But All Adjustments are Warming. Cheers.

  72. Dave_Geologist says:

    Now there’s a puzzle, given that all adjustments are not in fact warming.

    Perhaps I need to delve deeper into the rules of the Game?

    I also note the important context at the end of the quote, and the fact that it refers to the period from the warming deniers’ favourite El Niño year, 1998, and to a very short time series of four or five years after that. Too short a time period to extract a meaningful trend, which is why the uncertainties overlap (IOW there is no statistically significant difference between the two methods over that short time period). HadCRUT4 is also old hat: they’re now on HadCRUT5, which has the last decade as the ten warmest years on record and shows 0.3°C warming since 2013, and 0.35°C warming since 2012, which was the newest data CW14 could access. I would guess that the large short-term discrepancy, mainly due to the Arctic data gap, was down to some quirk of Arctic amplification and Jet Stream behaviour during powerful El Niño years. Wonder if anyone’s investigated that?

    More of that context:

    Scientific context
    Climate scientists have traditionally looked at climate over long periods – 30 years or more. However media and public interest in shorter term trends has focussed attention on the past 15-16 years. Short term trends are much more complex because they can be affected by many factors which cancel out over longer periods. To interpret the 16 year trend, it is necessary to take into account all of these factors, including volcanoes, the solar cycle, particulate emissions from the far East and changes in ocean circulation. The bias addressed by this paper is just one piece in that puzzle, although a largish one.

    Most of the other factors affecting the recent temperature trend were discussed in a recent Met Office meeting.

    IOW angels, pinheads. And it’s good to see the overall congruence between the two datasets.

  73. Dave_Geologist says:

    I am surprised that climate scientists have not made more use of century-old geospatial interpolation techniques. Kriging was specifically invented in the mining industry to interpolate between very irregularly sampled data with big gaps, with a major aim being to sensibly infill where you were so far from control points that you can meaningfully infer nothing from them (the default is to plug in the global average of the control points, or of those sectors which are close enough to control to be meaningfully interpolated, which is probably still conservative because of Arctic amplification). I suspect in part it’s because “All Adjustments are Warming” made them cautious about introducing less intuitive adjustments.

    My only quibble with CW14 is that I would have displayed the experimental variogram, which is a good visual tool for showing why and where you should stop extrapolating, and the rules you should follow where you do extrapolate. It makes for a very good demonstration that kriging is an objective and data-driven procedure. You can also make a spatial uncertainty map rather then relying on a global average, which could be useful to counter “But This Odd Place”.

    There was a paper a few decades ago which displayed variograms (possibly under another name as they’d re-invented the wheel), and as I recall one issue was that the variogram range was latitude-dependent, so you should really sector it as with some ECS calculations. The problem then is that the more you sector the lower the S/N ratio, and how to handle the joins.

    It might also be interesting to do kriging with external drift, which introduces an additional observational or model-based map or function, kinda analogous to a Bayesian Prior. Distance from shoreline to distinguish land from sea, average annual cloud cover, ice-free or not, latitude, absolute temperature, or the output of a physical model (probably Monte Carlo average) come to mind. The risk there is that as with any external prior, garbage-in gives garbage-out.

  74. Dave_Geologist says:

    Of course my final suggestion risks introducing a new game, Priorball.

    The central square would presumably be “My prior is Objective”.

  75. Steven Mosher says:

    saying he would apologize… is that the same as saying? I apologize to Tim Osborn and Phil Jones for the way I characterized them. I regret the things I said about them. If he would apologize, I guess I am inclined to ask, have you apologized to them? Maybe this is on the record already?

    at one AGU anthony watts came up to me and said Eli rabbet is over there.

    SM: damn if i stay here i have to apologize
    AW: ignore him.
    SM i cant, i’ll be right back

    so i went over and apologized for being an ass online
    Eli insisted no harm no foul.

    my sense was a public apology on BBC kept my side of the street clean.
    Id bee inclined to do it in person if chance put us in the same location.

    I apologize to Tim Osborn and Phil Jones for the way I characterized them. I regret the things I said about them.

    on another topic.

    consider how quicly the world economy tipped

    one bird, one ship

  76. Steven Mosher says:

    It might also be interesting to do kriging with external drift, which introduces an additional observational or model-based map or function, kinda analogous to a Bayesian Prior. Distance from shoreline to distinguish land from sea, average annual cloud cover, ice-free or not, latitude, absolute temperature, or the output of a physical model (probably Monte Carlo average) come to mind. The risk there is that as with any external prior, garbage-in gives garbage-out.

    I’ve played with a bunch of these. distance to coast is interesting, but not straightforward.

    if you look at our formalism you see we do the following

    T= f(x,y,z,t) temperature is a function of x,y (lat lon) elevation and time or season.

    we call this climate: in a geophysical sense.

    subtract this from the measured temp and you get a residual

    we can then look for structure in this other variables like distance from coast or urban land cover
    that explain the residual

  77. Ben McMillan says:

    Well, BEST does use Kriging.

    The modern way to force people to use Kriging is to claim that it is a Bayesian “Gaussian Processes” methodology, and blather on about how, because it allows interpolation uncertanties to be constructed, your point-estimates are now “actionable”. There’s a whole framework for incorporating large-scale trends etc…

  78. Steven Mosher says:

    Well, BEST does use Kriging.
    yes and with an external drift

  79. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    What the hell happened to your boy?

    You can just skip to 1:05. Sheece. That’s really, really, really bad.

    I kind o’ liked Campbell. I saw his ivermectin video and assumed he was out over his skis but couldn’t make a technical assessment.

    Yikes!

  80. Brandon Gates says:

    Dave G.,

    > I would guess that the large short-term discrepancy, mainly due to the Arctic data gap, was down to some quirk of Arctic amplification and Jet Stream behaviour during powerful El Niño years. Wonder if anyone’s investigated that?

    Yup, since at least 2012. The leading researcher seems to be Jennifer A. Francis at Woods Hole, for a pretty good summary see Francis et al. 2017, Amplified Arctic warming and mid-latitude weather: new perspectives on emerging connections:

    Years with a positive PDO and above-normal surface temperatures in the Chukchi Sea region exhibit stronger ridging near Alaska and deeper troughing in eastern N. America (Figure 3, middle) compared with years that exhibit below normal Chukchi temperatures (Figure 3, right). A schematic illustrating the relationship between the position of a naturally occurring ridge and above normal Chukchi temperatures is presented in Figure 4. This ‘Two to Tango’ scenario is believed to have exacerbated the observed persistent warmth and drought in the western United States along with cold spells in the east during winters of 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 that were popularized as the ridiculously resilient ridge and polar vortex (Figure 5; Ref 59). We submit that neither of these factors alone may have been enough to elicit the extreme jet stream pattern that dominated for nearly 2 years, but rather that the regional AAW associated with a reduced ice cover in the Pacific sector of the Arctic helped amplify the existing ridge associated with a positive phase of the PDO. Clearly additional model simulations are needed to test this hypothesis.

    New methods and metrics reveal that highly amplified jet stream conditions appear to be occurring more frequently since the advent of AAW,14,28,29,32 and blocking highs may be occurring more frequently in the North Atlantic,60 perhaps in response to sea-ice loss.61 Other recent studies focused on attribution of summer extreme weather events suggest that continental jet streams tend to split and stagnate under conditions of weak zonal flow 62,63 and that surface pressure features are weakened as poleward gradients decline,24 both of which favor persistent heat waves and flooding events. New work also reveals changes in the relative importance of the tropics versus AAW in influencing recent shifts in the mid-latitude circulation. Particularly timely are findings that report a robust wintertime relationship between winds and temperature over land, and the loss (advance) of sea ice (Eurasian snow cover), while the correlation with the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Index is absent.64 These findings support previous analysis 65 that suggests the role of AAW has recently become dominant over ENSO in driving winter continental weather patterns. Figure 6 (from Ref 64) illustrates the relative importance of influences from the Arctic (Figure 6(b)) versus ENSO (Figure 6(c)) in explaining recent trends in zonal winds and temperatures over Northern Hemisphere continents during winter (Figure 6(a)). The striking similarity of Figure 6(b) to observed trends, along with the striking lack of similarity between Figure 6 (c) and (a), suggests that ENSO’s influence is relatively weak.

  81. Joshua says:

    A fascinating study in conspiracy ideation. Did something happen to Campbell to change him? Was he like this all along? Is there something inevitable about this – a product of the adoration he’s gotten? The “Galileo effect?”

    It will be interesting to see how he reacts. Will he go “I’m just Galileo askin’ questions” like certain unnamed former Evergreen College professors? Like certain Canadian psychology professors? Like certain meditating neuroscientists? Like certain comedian/podcasters?

    Will he join that IDW and go anti-woke?

    Will he actually be accountable?

    What are the odds here?

  82. Brandon Gates says:

    Dave G.,

    > Now there’s a puzzle, given that all adjustments are not in fact warming. Perhaps I need to delve deeper into the rules of the Game?

    It might be interesting to compare experiences. In mine the general rule is that any adjustment which improves correlation with anthropogenic forcing is Biased by Theory. This leaves open the opportunity to cast shade on adjustments which cool local trends, perhaps no better exemplified by cooling the warm spike centered on the WWII years. I don’t know that she is the source of the meme, but Judy is the most prominent contrarian I can think of who frequently plays that card, often if not usually relying on statistical tomfoolery by the usual suspects.

    Another popular riff is that each successive version of GISTEMP shows greater warming over the entire global record than prior versions, particularly Karl et al. 2015 erasing Teh Paws for maximum political influence (while ignoring that UAH at the same time adjusted that period several times more in the opposite direction and released the results in a rush sans peer review). Then RSS, once the coolest satellite record, did their own Paws nullification. Now we have HadCRUT in better agreement with GISS and Berkeley, lions and tigers and bears oh no.

    Finally there is the relentless picking on individual land station warming adjustments, Reykjavík being the poster child, while ignoring the > one third which are adjusted in the cooling direction. There are even a handful of stations that were cooled from a positive to negative trend, surely an example of But This Strange Place, but never in my recollection cited as such since But All Adjustments are Warming seems to take precedence.

  83. Willard says:

    Nice vid, Mosh. I am biased toward sparrows. In return, you might like:

    https://summit.cardano.org/sessions/blockchain-for-climate-environment-and-social-impact

    This project changed my mind on cryptos.

  84. I think Steven Mosher has apologized in public in clear language. I respect that kind of clear language. I don’t know about no harm, no foul… or whether the parties who may felt they were injured have accepted the apology or feel that this has been made right in any way, but it’s pretty clear the offered apology is out there. As others have noted, it is not possible to know how much harm, if any, was done by the stuff that is the occasion for apology. I hope if/when we make errors, we own up to it, apologize and learn from the errors, maybe avoid repeating them. I saw a cartoon once where I guy said maybe he had been on the same job too long because he was starting to recognize errors as he made them again. Time to move on to a job where he would not have enough experience to recognize errors as he made them. Clean slate, etc.

    Nice apology there, SM. To avoid confusion, I do not think you look like the guy in the cartoon… a clear apology on recognized errors was not in that cartoon, it doesn’t fit easily in the repetitive narrative.

    Cheers
    Mike

  85. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “I kind o’ liked Campbell. I saw his ivermectin video and assumed he was out over his skis but couldn’t make a technical assessment.”

    I saw the Dr Campbell ivermectin video, suspected his analysis was dubious, but lacked the detailed knowledge to assess it.
    Many thanks for the Greg Tucker-Kellog video, it was most helpful in showing where Dr Campbell allowed his bias to lead him astray.
    I had been doubtful of Campbell after a video he did on masks, I did not find his analysis of the stats convincing. In fact I thought it betrayed a certain disdain for the limits of stats that tended to favour the anti-mainstream (for want of a better term) viewpoint. I had not realised that his Dr title comes from a doctorate in philosophy rather than medicine.

    Why he has this bias is an interesting question. It could be a distrust of the ‘mainstream’ narrative, it could be an attempt to cash in on the anti-covid crowd. Or some combination of the two.
    Whatever, it showed a pre-existing assumption that he then ‘confirmed’ by examining a few papers, and cherry interpreting them.
    A pattern duplicated by many in the contrarian universe in climate as well as covid.

  86. Joshua says:

    izen –

    It’s a great example of what we’ve seen so many times with “skeptics.” Someone who allows himself to think he knows more than he does – with the misplaced confidence to portray himself to others from that place of having fooled himself.

    Campbell must have known in some sense he was out if his depth, weighing in on technical material he knew little about. That he flat out didn’t even understand the very pharmacokinetic metrics he was using to discuss the properties of Ivermectin is a remarkably incriminating statement on is intellectual qualifications. Why would he consider himself, as someone with that obvious limitation, in a position to weigh in – in disagreement with someone like Boulware here? :

    “Pfizer’s 3CL protease inhibitor is nothing like ivermectin,” Dr. David Boulware, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Minnesota, told us in an email.

    https://www.factcheck.org/2021/10/scicheck-merck-pfizer-covid-19-antivirals-different-from-ivermectin/

    I’m not really interested in besmirching his integrity and couldn’t possibly know his politics, but why do we see these patterns play out over and over and over? Just coincidence? Seems unlikely.

  87. Brandon Gates says:

    Willard, you might also like blockchain coming to an Internet near you.

  88. Dave_Geologist says:

    Thanks for the reference Brandon. If an amateur like me can think of it, experts are bound to have too.

    “Biased by Theory” of course has two sides. Biased by the laws of physics, some of which haven’t changed in a century and a half, is a good bias. Ditto observations of stadials and interstadials, in the sense that you have Milankovitch cycles, but the physics says they’re too weak to do it without a positive feedback, which mean ECS must be greater than zero, which means a prior that it is zero and that it can even be negative is objectively unphysical. (The fact that the IPCC excluded ECS calculated from the end-points of that process because we don’t have huge ice and snow cover to lose does not negate that, because the hard part is making the ice cap in the first place, and Mother Earth had to do that in conditions with less ice than today, and pass through today’s ice on the way to those massive ice caps.)

    Biased by a solar cycle theory is also fine as long as you only allow the impact to be 0.1-0.2C, which we already know it is from physics and observations).

  89. Steven Mosher says:

    willard cardano is cool i owned some for a brief moment.

    my favorite right now is shiba inu. the started by minting 400 trillion coins ( like a penny stock)
    and the goal is to burn as much as they can. deflationary currency. worth .00004 per coin
    but every day coins are destroyed/ burnt ( think ghost money in Buddhism). whic reduces the ciculating supply and raises the value.

    the tech to watch is NFTs and how that will spread to physical goods

    lastly HNT the helium network. proof of location. solves problems of centralization of minting process.
    in usd the fed controls printing
    in btc a few miners control printing
    in ETH the wealthy control things
    in HNT its more like 1 person one vote. or 1 location 1 vote

  90. Steven Mosher says:

    @-Joshua
    “I kind o’ liked Campbell. I saw his ivermectin video and assumed he was out over his skis but couldn’t make a technical assessment.”

    ya you try to communicate science everyday and sooner or later you catch an edge and face plant

    i only use his channel for links to papers since he jumped on the ivm train

  91. Steven Mosher says:

    Willard, you might also like blockchain coming to an Internet near you.

    web3.
    one cool thing is IPFS interplanetary file system

    no more dead links
    no more out of date files.

    basic idea. you take a hash of the file thats a guid, a fingerprint: if you change one thing in the file the
    fingerprint changes.
    instead of using urls we use these hashes to locate files or name them.
    the merkle web

    i

  92. Dave_Geologist says:

    Thanks Steven. As per my previous comment, if I could think of it…

    I’d forgotten how BEST did it, although I presume that also was a set of outside eyes saying “why don’t they do this?”. And maybe “is there some structural feature of the existing methodology which makes them all wrong in the same way?”.

    Props both for accepting the reality of an answer you didn’t expect and at least some of the funders didn’t want, and for the BBC apology (I recorded the shows but haven’t had time yet to listen – for those with access they’re only up for another week or so).

    In reservoir models porosity and permeability are the obvious pair to, err, pair, because they’re usually strongly correlated but one has much more extensive data coverage than the other. Although in that case cokriging would usually be the method of choice.

    When you start using a map of some geological interpretation like facies variation, distance from paleo-shoreline, etc, you do run the risk of getting something which is more a realisation of your input model than of hard data. 3D shape-curvature (i.e. saddle, dome, bowl, plane, antiform, synform, not just magnitude of curvature) is one I’ve experimented with for fractured reservoirs, although in stochastic models not kriging. That can be powerful and there are places it can be shown to work, but you’re making a very strong assumption about the mechanical process of fracture formation which we know does not apply everywhere and arguably not even in most places. So you risk GIGO of you’re not careful.

  93. Dave_Geologist says:

    Thanks for that video link Joshua. I watched it through, dredging up my old chemistry knowledge.

    Mostly molecular computer simulations, something Campbell missed in all but one paper (but the modulz!).

    The takeaway for me is about an hour in. Even if we accept that IVM binds to the SARS-CoV-2 protein, and that doing so is therapeutic, it does so 50,000 times less effectively then it binds to its anti-parasite target, and 100 times less effectively than it does to other things which are kinda important for biological functioning like GABA (which rang a bell and is vital for regulating neural impulses). A therapeutic dose would need to be 10,000 times the current maximum clinically approved dose, and with that GABA effect you never be allowed to trial that because you’d be expecting things like convulsions, paralysis and epileptic fits (my inference) long before you got there.

    And it may be physically impossible to get there orally because it’s not well absorbed by the blood from the stomach, which is why it’s safe at current approved levels for topical and oral use. So it would have to be IV which means no, not $6 a go. And I bet it’s not $6 a pill at 10,000 times the dose currently sold.

    And in those places where humans were taking it for stomach worms they were taking it at thousands of times less than the in silico modelled dose required to have an effect on SARS-CoV-2, at least by the mechanism Campbell proposes. So whatever was responsible for their alleged lower death toll, it wasn’t that.

  94. Dave_Geologist says:

    Oops, I realise I phrased part of that post badly (OK, wrongly)

    He shows typical dose-response curves and they’re not linear. Typically flat with no effect, then a steep rise in response over a short range, then flat again, presumably saturated.

    So IVM may well bind strongly once you get past the steep part of the curve. It just takes thousands of times the approved dose to get past the steep part of the curve. They compare IC50, the dose halfway along the steep part, when comparing drugs or targets.

    Again the video didn’t make the point, but out of the half dozen non-Covid targets tested in the first paper, all showed similar responses to Covid. At that point my mind was screaming “widespread side-effects”. Only later did it become apparent that it was such a ridiculously large dose, of course widespread side-effects.

  95. Jim Hunt says:

    The pleasure is all mine Willard,

    My apologies for my tardy reply, but I’ve been extremely busy post COP26. My Twitter enforced digital performance art alter ego has been busy trolling @Jack, amongst numerous other things:

  96. Dave_Geologist says:

    Oops, another slip. Protease not protein.

    Principle the same, obviously. To get the desired effect you need such a large dose there will be a gazillion off-target effects.

  97. Steven Mosher says:

    brandon web3.0

    today if your a star on youtube your content might be viewed by millions

    google builds huge data centers and collects ad revenue. you get a tiny share.

    at any time google can turn off your money.

    imagine a world where people who subscribe to your channel host your data and serve it
    locally.

    your fans become your publisher. and broadcaster.

    revenue splits change; creators and their fans get google ad revenue.

    fans wont depltform their favorites.
    data is distributed, control is distributed, power is shared

  98. Brandon Gates says:

    Dave G.,

    You’re welcome. I thought it a good question and you are due credit even though you are not the first one to ask it. I enjoyed finding and reading the papers; there’s some fascinating stuff in there and much I wish I understood better.

    I’m also enjoying your back and forth with Mosh about kriging, though as usual there’s much I don’t understand about the details. Some key differences between your field and his occur to me. First, it seems to me that in geology you’re needing to work in three dimensions whereas by definition the output of a near surface temperature anomaly is 2D. (Even though Berkeley contains an altitude component, weather stations still sit on the surface, and even in modern times with radiosondes and remote satellite sensing, z-axis information is even more sparse than surface data.) Second, if I’m understanding correctly you are solving only for a current state whereas weather is dynamic over a comparatively short period of time.

    The upshot of all this is that a very good surface temperature product might ask the questions: Where did this parcel of atmosphere come from? What influenced it on the way? Essentially, can looking back several days or even weeks of observations we do have (including additional things than temperature like humidity, cloud cover, and wind velocity) give a better estimate of missing grids at a point in time?

    Is this what reanalysis products already do?

    I know that GISS has toyed with this using weather forecasting models to estimate absolute surface temperature, and they don’t particularly like the results. I myself tried predicting absolute surface temperature with kriging and the results were awful (critically I think because I didn’t take surface altitude into account) whereas kriging anomalies gave results very close to Berkeley’s when I used their land mask.

    ***

    Biased by Theory is of course heavily ironic. I recall a Twitter thread where Eli told the story of a GCM being used in (I think a paleo reconstruction) and ultimate it was found to be closer to the truth when data became available for that location. It was a good troll.

  99. Joshua says:

    Dave –

    > showed similar responses to Covid. At that point my mind was screaming “widespread side-effects.

    I thought he discussed that in the video but maybe it was in the comments; That their modeling showed so many responses suggested to him their modeling was flawed.

    Bottom line is that they done have in vivo evidence. There’s a long winding road between in silica and in vitro, and in vivo. That Campbell never even discussed dosages was a red flag.

    Re worms:

    Interesting twist on the ivermectin saga:

    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2021/11/18/ivermectin-may-help-covid-19-patients-but-only-those-with-worms

    Not efficacious for covid but might help patients taking corticosteroids for covid if they live in areas where they’re likely to have worms

    Also, somewhat flawed (at least on the politics) but detailed review of the literature by Scott Alexander

    https://astralcodexten.substack.com/p/ivermectin-much-more-than-you-wanted

  100. Joshua says:

    Also, people with domain relevant knowledge:

    > “Pfizer’s 3CL protease inhibitor is nothing like ivermectin,” Dr. David Boulware, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Minnesota, told us in an email.

    https://www.factcheck.org/2021/10/scicheck-merck-pfizer-covid-19-antivirals-different-from-ivermectin

    > Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said, “It’s unclear what mechanism of action ivermectin has” when it comes to SARS-Cov2. There is at least one study postulating it blocks the viral protease, he said, but “none of this is clear and has to be coupled with the fact that there has not been evidence” that ivermectin is effective in treating COVID-19.

    “The Pfizer compound, by contrast, was designed explicitly to target the protease of the virus,” he said. “Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that has a distinct mechanism of action against parasites and may happen to have some similarities, by chance, with the Pfizer compound.”

    https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/sep/30/blog-posting/drug-pfizer-studying-covid-19-not-suspiciously-sim/

    Looks like Campbell is way out of his depth. What’s hard to explain is why he doesn’t know it.

  101. Joshua says:

    Jesus. In his latest video he’s just noticing the “coincidence” that cases have dropped dramatically in Japan aims 12 days after, he said, docs in Japan could write scripts for ivermectin.

    He does grudgingly tall about widespread vaccination and widespread mask-wearing, but somehow he manages to never say he actually has NO IDEA howamy scripts have been written/taken. But that doesn’t stop him from putting out a video to millions of followers clearly suggesting that the drop in cases is attributable to ivermectin.

    He has to know how unscientific that is.

    OK. The jury has returned a verdict. He’s a fraud.

  102. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “OK. The jury has returned a verdict. He’s a fraud.”

    He has also published videos declaring vitamin D is a key component of resisting Covid, and that the vaccination causes stillbirths.
    Both assertions are based on statistics that are dubious to say the least. Higher vitamin D levels are associated with better lifestyles/diets, stillbirth/miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy is a common finding when it is looked for.

    Does he have an interest in a vitamin supplement suppler ?
    Or has he just got addicted to the attention, the comments section of his videos are now infected with the worst of the conspiracy crowd.

  103. Jim Hunt says:

    Afternoon Willard (UTC),

    Changing the subject only marginally, what has my Arctic alter ego missed?

  104. Dave_Geologist says:

    Thanks Brandon. It can be 2D (e.g. a depth or porosity map) or 3D (a 3D geocellular model).

    Horses for courses. For the equity determination or dispute process it’s almost always least-squares fit for properties and least-squares gridding for maps or volumes. Usually because that’s written into the contract or agreement. It’s a litigious environment and the ultimate judge or special expert will often be a legal domain expert not a technical domain expert, so KISS rules apply. Something he can read about in a high-school textbook. Bayesian methods would be greeted with exploding heads. And in my experience it’s only lawyers who get to do the talking, and the actual experts sit mum at the back and talk to their lawyers during breaks or overnight. That’s fine for in-sample interpolation, but not for out-of-sample extrapolation where I’ve seen some crazy things happen.

    Most modelling packages can do anything from linear interpolation through least-squares to kriging, with or without extra bells and whistles like co-kriging or external drift. Gocad is the exception and defaults to B-splines, because of the background of the original inventors. But it will do linear or least squares and even arbitrary powers if you want be very peaky around the data points. I found splines OK for surfaces but properties tend to be too spiky, and you end up relaxing the spline fit so much that it’s too smooth elsewhere. The trick is to draw a polygon round the problem region and subject it to multiple rounds of brutal smoothing. But by then you’re into data manipulation not just processing, and it’s almost unreproducible*. But Gocad has an extremely powerful scripting language so you could write your own kriging script, or use a standalone variogram-determination tool and then it’s trivial to write the mapping part. In fact you can do some things from a script which you can’t do from the GUI, even with Expert User mode enabled. It also has the best data interrogation tools of any of the common packages. If you’re familiar with SAS-JMP, it’s similar in that all the windows talk to each other and a selection in one is selected in all.

    RMS probably has the most capable property mapping, in particular I think it’s the only one which can do normal-scores where you don’t have anything like a standard distribution, e.g. it’s bimodal and you know the geological reasons for that, but the nature of the data means you can’t split it into two. It assumes the observed PDF is “reality” and simulates that where you have no observations.

    * It’s technically reproducible because the scripting language is the same as the macro-recording language: you can open a text shell in the app where you can see the command-line equivalent of every GUI operation as you execute it, and copy-paste it into a text editor. Every app should have one! But that’s not reproducible in the sense that someone else starting from the same point would have made the same choices. Or me, three weeks later.

    (Steven will like this.). I was obsessive about recording workflows as a script even if it was all mouse-work. For documentation, and because I’m lazy and I liked re-using as much as possible. I had scripts that went all the way from reading raw data to producing complex graphs for dozens of wells, as .pdfs or image files, all kicked off with the click of a button. But that’s not reproducible in the sense that someone else starting from the same point would have made the same choices. Or me, three weeks later.

  105. Dave_Geologist says:

    Incidentally my * above goes to why repetition not replication, and consilience not Auditing advances science (except in rare cases of fraud). Hence BEST good, M&M bad (especially when they committed an egregious error and weren’t even replicating, but were going off on a tangent with a noise function no expert would have chosen because it wildly disagreed with observations).

    The important thing is not whether I made a typo in the second or third significant figure for some parameter, or excluded this observation or averaged those three. It’s whether another expert, acting independently, would have made the same or equivalent decisions at each step where there was a choice. To do that the other experts have to follow their own workflow, using the same or equivalent input data. It’s still important to have an audit trail for both, because then you can you can say “Oh, that’s where we diverged. I chose whatever for whichever reason, why did you choose what you chose?”. That can then lead to genuine insight about missing pieces of the jigsaw, genuine lack of knowledge about some effects (certain clouds positive or negative feedbacks, for example), and structural uncertainties between models as well as numerical uncertainties within models.

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  110. Steven Mosher says:

    saying he would apologize… is that the same as saying? I apologize to Tim Osborn and Phil Jones for the way I characterized them. I regret the things I said about them. If he would apologize, I guess I am inclined to ask, have you apologized to them? Maybe this is on the record already?

    this feels like one of those “mistakes were made” type of apologies to me. ??

    Cheers

    actually wht I said was even if i have to make the apology remotely on the bbc im happy with that

  111. Willard says:

    Meanwhile, elsewhere:

    They are playing a game. They are playing at not playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me. I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.

    They are not having fun.
    I can’t have fun if they don’t.
    If I get them to have fun, then I can have
    fun with them.
    Getting them to have fun, is not fun. It is hard work.

    RD’s right about the hard work. So I’m gonna take a break from commenting in December. See you next year!

  112. I, on the other hand, do not apologize for what I/we wrote about Phil Jones. I regret that he faced unpleasant consequences, but I believe those consequences were a direct result of his actions, not my/our writing about them.

    I wish him a bright future and happy holidays.

  113. Tom,
    FWIW, I think that shows a rather sad lack of basic humanity. The emails were almost entirely taken out of context and the research has stood the test of time. Quite what you think he did to deserve some of what he was exposed to is beyond me, but I have little interest in exploring this further.

  114. Tom,
    And, to be clear, I’m not suggesting that you should apologise. I’m objecting to your suggestion that he deserved to face unpleasant consequences. There are many in the climate context who, in my view, have behaved appallingly. This doesn’t mean that I think they would then deserve to face unpleasant consequences.

  115. Tom,
    Sigh, and just to clarify further, I wasn’t suggesting above that Phil Jones has behaved appallingly, I was suggesting that even if someone has done so, I still wouldn’t think that they deserved to face unpleasant consequences.

  116. Joshua says:

    Tom –

    Steven said:

    I apologize to Tim Osborn and Phil Jones for the way I characterized them. I regret the things I said about them.

    Now please note – Steven didn’t say he thought that he was responsible for the things that happened to them. He apologized for how he characterized them.

    And you write.

    > I, on the other hand, do not apologize for what I/we wrote about Phil Jones…I believe those consequences were a direct result of his actions, not my/our writing about them.

    I can’t say I’m terribly shocked that you wouldn’t apologize for a lack of charity, and instead moved the question to whether or not they did something wrong/you were responsible for what happened to them.

    Yah – that seems about in character with my observations of you. So at least you’re consistent.

  117. I suspect there isn’t much point in taking this discussion any further.

  118. Joshua says:

    Got it.

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