2012-01-13 03:16:57Patrick Michaels: Serial Deleter of Inconvenient Data
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I put together the post on Michaels' repeated deletions of inconvenient data from figures in scientific publications (Hansen '88, Schmittner '11, and now Gillett '12).  I've sent it along to Gillett to see if he'll give me a quote I can use, since I have quotes from Hansen and Urban on the other two examples.

Patrick Michaels: Serial Deleter of Inconvenient Data

2012-01-13 05:19:27
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

Hi Dana,

Nice, but I am worried that it needs to be more forceful.  Wasn't that first graph shown in testimony to Congress?  that is pretty egregious.

Check thjoughout for the spelling of "Gillett"

I am also woried that the deniers will now jump at every and any opportunity to claim that we have ignored, removed, dismissed inconvenient data.  They, like Mosher yesterday, will then try and defelct attention by referring to the infamous WMO graphic. I do not know what to do about this.  Maybe my suggestion of being more forceful is not the best strategy-- maybe the tone should be one of concern.  Adapting graphs is one thing, and we have unfortunately made the mistake of misrepresentig the data for the temperature projections when digitizing them-- so I don't kow, people might use that against us.  Except we took repsonsibility for that and fized it promptly.

There must be more exmaples out there of him altering data and or figures.  Anyone?

I did find this, but it is tenuous and involves not inlcuding possible inconvenient data.

 

2012-01-13 06:00:46
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Yeah Alby, the text talks about Michaels presenting the fudged Hansen graphic to Congress.

My thought is that we can't control the denier spin, and they're not our target audience (we know we're never going to convince anyone at WUWT that they're wrong), so I don't even worry about it (other than to make sure we get our facts right).  Just take it for granted that they'll bring up 'hide the decline' and other crap like that, but our target is the truly skeptical audience that needs to know that fake experts like Michaels can't be trusted, and that sites like WUWT and Forbes are feeding them misinformation from these fake experts.

I'm open to suggestions about being more or less forceful.  I thought I struck a pretty good balance of being critical without calling Michaels a liar (even though he is).

2012-01-13 20:14:51
Ari Jokimäki

arijmaki@yahoo...
192.100.112.211

Last paragraph is a bit too much I think. At least you haven't shown what the odds actually are so the base of your statements there is not very strong. I would leave out the last paragraph. There's nothing much relevant or new being said in that paragraph and the article ends rather well even without it.

First sentence is quite awkward. I would cut it down to smaller sentences and perhaps replace "who" with "he" or "Michaels" (usage of "who" felt slightly unclear there to me first, so I had to stop and think the sentence more closely before continuing reading).

2012-01-14 01:20:55
thingsbreak

things.break@gmail...
66.7.151.194

Dana, this is a good start, but I'd suggest some revisions.

 

First, this:

Schmittner 2011

There may well be other examples of Michaels' serial data deletion, but we at Skeptical Science are only aware of two recent cases.

Unnecessarily weakens the case against Michaels. Simply say something to the effect of "two more recent examples are..." Don't say we're "only aware of two", just talk about the two.

I also think the last paragraph doesn't work that well. The way it is phrased now makes it sound like if the reader checks and there is no figure deletion, then Michaels' post will necessarily be okay (which in all likelihood, it won't). Also, most readers won't have the ability to read the actual paper Michaels typically posts on because he so often posts on papers that are still in print (and most readers don't have institutional access to journals regardless).

2012-01-14 01:26:25
thingsbreak

things.break@gmail...
66.7.151.194

It's probably also useful to contrast Michaels' bias against actual skepticism from real scientists. Real scientists don't accept their own data at face value, unquestioning- and it's silly for others to do so. Contrast Michaels uncritical repsonse to Schmittner et al. with Nate Urban's response. Follow up by pointing out the same model (UVic) and some of the same authors (e.g. Urban) published a subsequent paper showing canonical sensitivity in JGR and Michales said nothing about it.

The narrative of this post should be that Michaels misrepresents science to support his industry-sponsored cause. Everything that's relevant to the narrative can be included, even if the prime examples are figure deletions.

I would also consider not talking about Chip Knappenberger. The WCR site is Michaels' responsibility. I think it's unnecessarily confusing to throw Chip into the mix.

2012-01-14 02:54:48
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Okay, have deleted the last paragraph and tweaked the first sentence slightly, and got rid of the 'we only know 2 other examples' comment.  I'm a little on the fence about Knappenberger because on the one hand, I don't want to draw attention away from Michaels, but on the other hand I don't want to give Chip a free ride, because he's behaving just as poorly as Michaels, and he's published peer-reviewed studies, so people should know that he's a liar.

But I'm open to deleting that part if people think it detracts from the post.

2012-01-14 03:15:56
thingsbreak

things.break@gmail...
66.7.151.194

In the grand scheme of things, Knappenberger is a nobody. Michaels is the face of WCR, he is the name on the bylines at Forbes, National Review, et al. People know who he is.

Just my opinion, obviously.

2012-01-14 03:22:49
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

To add to what TB said,  I do not think we can expect to find Michaels reporting on a climate sensitivity paper that shows evidence for higher EQS.

2012-01-14 03:34:05
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
2.33.129.147

I agree with thingsbreak on the dropping of Chip's reference.

If you want to add one more example, in the video (Climatecrck has it or google for it) of the recent Santer and Michaels testimony you'll find him considering only the cooling effects to correct the temperature trend. It should be within the first five minutes or so.

You could shorten the post (expecialy if you'll add more examples) by going more directly to the point instead of telling the full story in each case.

2012-01-14 04:13:03
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Chip just commented on my Gillett post apparently accusing me of deception - the same guy who deleted data from one of Gillett's figures.  Makes it hard for me not to mention the SOB in my post here ;-)

Riccardo - that example wasn't exactly the same.  Certainly deceptive, but not blatanly deleting data.

2012-01-14 08:54:03
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

A small nit Dana:

"Patrick Michaels is a scientist"

I am loathe to call him a "scientist". Anyways, his official title there is "research fellow".

Another point that I think these incidents highlight is that thse fake skeptics look only at certain papers  that lean in their favour and in isolation too.  They do not look the big picture of consider the body of evidence.  And even when discusding one paper, by deleting the data/doctoring graphs or ignoring key text they are ignoring the body of evidence.  I thought it would be good to tie this is inot the post somehow, as it is a theme in our investigations at SkS and something that resonates with people.

2012-01-14 09:11:30
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

He has published some peer-reviewed studies - I think it's fair to call him a scientist.  A crappy one, but a scientist.

I agree it's an important point that the fake skeptics only look at the convenient papers.  However, remember KISS.  If you start introducing that point, then you detract from the simple point that Michaels deletes inconvenient data.

If you say Michaels deletes inconvenient data and then on top of that he only looks at papers that seem to support his position...now you're detracting from the simple "data deleter" message.  Remember the Debunking Handbook - less is more.

2012-01-14 10:48:01
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

Hi Dana,

Yes, a crappy scientist and that is being generous.

OK, no worrries, it was just an idea-- by deleting inconvenient data you are intentionally ignoring the body of evidence.

You handled Chip well, he did not get to run the show and disassemble too much.  Hopefully he does not come back.

2012-01-14 10:51:56
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Thanks, I was surprised Chip eventually conceded that I was right about the future warming projections, since that was the entire focus of the Michaels post.

After all this, I am kind of tempted to do a post about Michaels et al. 2002.  I don't know if it's worth the effort though.  We're already showing Michaels is a serial liar on Monday, so the question is whether it would be worthwhile to show he also does shitty research.

2012-01-14 11:03:06
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

"so the question is whether it would be worthwhile to show he also does shitty research."

I would say yes....it shows he is dishonest and a crap scientist too, so credibility ZERO.  It won't be much effort, let us see we'll just arbitrarily half climate sensitivity b/c of Lindzen's iris hypothesis (which was dead in the water from the start).

Also, I see benefits from keeping the pressure on...keep their feet held to the fire.

2012-01-14 14:24:40
thingsbreak

things.break@gmail...
98.204.66.145

As catty and unfair as it might be to those in interdisciplinary work, I don't think it's a bad idea to rephrase from "scientist" to "research fellow in 'Policy and Economic Development'". Michaels' raison d'être is about promoting economic and political outcomes. What he does day to day has far more to do with that than hard science.

I don't think it's fair in general to demean those outside of canonically hard sciences as non-scientists, but I think categorizing Michaels in the economic/policy sector is a more accurate depiction of his present efforts.

2012-01-14 14:32:48
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

Dana,

Where did you source Michael's doctored version of Hansen's figure?  Specifically, are you absolutely positive that this is what he showed to Congress?

I'm just playing devel's advocate here and making sure that they have nothing to fire back with.

2012-01-14 16:19:25
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

It was on a Cato website along with the rest of his testimony, Alby.  It's linked in the post.

2012-01-15 04:38:30
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

Duh, follow the damn link Alby!  Sorry dana...

2012-01-15 05:46:32
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

No problem Alby, good to make sure we've got our butts covered.

I changed Michaels to research fellow as suggested, and deleted the Chip paragraph to keep the focus on Michaels.  I think this should be good to go for Moday.  I'm going to email this one and the comprehensive review of attribution studies to Romm, to see if he'll re-post them.

I've got at least one more post to do first (revisiting McLean, and looking at 2011 temps), but maybe I'll look at Michaels 2002 after that.

2012-01-15 07:38:39
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.104.224

"However, there are two strong caveats associated with their results. First, they estimated a smaller temperature change from the LGM transition than most previous studies, which was the main reason that their climate sensitivity estimate was relatively low."

Don't consider this bit is particularly clear. Maybe:

However, there are two strong caveats associated with their results. First, based on their interpretation of the geologic data, they estimated a smaller temperature change from the LGM transition than most previous studies, which was the main reason that their climate sensitivity estimate was relatively low.

Unlike Riccardo, given the intent and title of your article (flying close to the wind that one), I think you do have to cover each case of Michaels dishonesty with  the amount of detail you have.

Great work as per usual.

2012-01-15 11:16:46
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

Thanks Rob, change made.

2012-01-15 12:11:38
michael sweet

sweetdreamfiji@hotmail...
71.180.96.4

Dana,

Is it worth your time to debunk Michaels 2002? Who currently refers to it?  Don't give Michaels more publicity than he deserves.

I like this article. 

2012-01-15 16:58:30
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.107.206

Thanks michael. 

That's why I'm wondering whether it's worth the effort.  Nobody really references Michaels 2002 except Michaels, but he does bring it up a lot.  And Watts re-posted this Michaels article which was centered around his '02 paper.

So I don't know, it's sort of gained traction because Michaels has drawn attention to it himself.  Maybe it's worth debunking at this point, or maybe doing so would just draw unnecessary attention to it.  Hard to say.

2012-01-15 17:18:55
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.45.100

"Nobody really references Michaels 2002 except Michaels"

This should accompanied by a mournful-sounding violin performance. Sob, so sad. 

2012-01-18 10:05:46
thingsbreak

things.break@gmail...
98.204.66.145

A Response to “ Patrick Michaels: Serial Deleter of Inconvenient Data”

2012-01-18 10:39:29
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

Thanks TB,

My God the man is a professional liar!  

"I invite you to compare the “before” and “after” images from these two papers as detailed by Dana Nuccitelli with the descriptions made in summary by the paper’s original authors and you’ll see that I was being true to their work."

Bullshit. Nate Urban would beg to differ as would Hansen.  No official statement from Gilett et al.

No comments allowed at WCR of course.

"When the battle is being lost, there is a tendency to try to raise a level of distraction to shift the attention away from the desperate situation at hand."

Projection and strawman.

 

"The apocalyptics and the gloom-and-doom crowd are losing both the science battle and the policy war."

Just empty rhetoric and more projection.

 

"Dana Nuccitelli (aka dana1981) over at the website Skeptical Science has recently written a screed purporting that I delete “inconvenient” data in order to make my points."

No, actually he demonstrated that fact.

 

"In fact, what I have done is to highlight the major findings of the studies I have commented on—findings that have indeed strengthened the case that global warming in this century will be in the lower end of the range of projections issued by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

So he admits that he has an agenda and is biased...And that was the first two paras.....

Later he says this:

"Mr. Nuccitelli, as a contributor to Skeptical Science—a website dedicated to trying to bolster the alarmist claims of human-caused climate change—realizes that it is in his best interest to try to obliterate evidence which paints a less than alarming picture of our climate future."

More nonsense.  Dana showed all the data.  James Annan shares the same concerns about Gillett et al.  What we should all be asking is what is in Patrick's best interest?  Oh yeah, trying to vindicate his ridiculous  2002 "paper" and affirm his belief that EQS is low.  Actually his interest is to keep getting paid to obfuscate and fabricate doubt-- Dana has no fiscal incentive to lie or delete data or doctor grpahs.  But Patrick does....

2012-01-18 10:41:21
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Hehehe, we got under his skin :-)  I love this first sentence, I thought he was talking about himself and his fellow deniers for a second:

"When the battle is being lost, there is a tendency to try to raise a level of distraction to shift the attention away from the desperate situation at hand"

His comment about Hansen's Scenario A being BAU is nonsense.  Hansen said that Scenario B was the most likely to occur and he was right.

This is good too:

"Mr. Nuccitelli, as a contributor to Skeptical Science—a website dedicated to trying to bolster the alarmist claims of human-caused climate change—realizes that it is in his best interest to try to obliterate evidence which paints a less than alarming picture of our climate future. Anyone who both produces and synthesizes such findings will be his target. That’s just the way the game is played by alarmists like Dana and the ever-obnoxious Joe Romm (who probably has done more damage to his cause with his over-the-top vitriol than he can possibly imagine)."

I'm a little tempted to respond, mostly to point out that Scenario A wasn't BAU, or even if it was, it didn't come to fruition, which is what matters.  Plus to point out that I didn't obliterate any evidence whatsoever.

2012-01-18 10:44:29
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

Someone needs to solict a response from Gillett et al. Are they OK with what Michaels did.  Yes or no?

2012-01-18 10:46:56
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I tried Gillett again with a link to this post and never heard back.  I think he decided it's not worth a response.

2012-01-18 10:52:50
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
23.17.186.57

Ugh, that is annoying these guys need to call the deniers on their BS.