In-Process Review of Climategate: The CRUtape Letters

I bought the book Climategate: The CRUtape Letters a few hours ago. I've long intended to read it since it is a book on Climategate, and that was one of the biggest events in the global warming debate. I've never gotten around to it because I thought there was little need. I figured I'm probably familiar with everything it would cover, so I wouldn't learn much from it.

I was wrong. It turns out the book has many factual claims I had never considered. I can offer no excuse for my ignorance, not even that these ideas exist only as figments of the authors' imaginations. Similarly, I can offer no excuse for previously being unaware of the fascinating possibilities available in the English language if one is willing to simply ignore basic rules of grammar and punctuation.

Recognizing my failures, I would like to remedy them by taking special note of the many things I could never have imagined, no matter how hard I might have tried, prior to reading this book. I'll be using the comments of this post to do so.

72 comments

  1. I'm copying over some remarks I made over at Lucia's site before deciding I wanted to collect my thoughts on this book here. This is how my thoughts began:

    That reminds me, I need to stop being a cheapskate. I’ve still never read that book because I didn’t like spending money on climate stuff given how much time I already waste on it.

    (Aside: I’ve gotten ~10% of the way through the book so far. It is horribly written. I get people will offer the excuse of how quickly it was written, but my in-class high school essays were edited better than it. It makes me miss reading Michael Mann’s book because, as many problems it had, its writing quality was far better. If this book had a significant effect on anything, I’d be surprised.)

    (Second aside: The first aside had nothing to do with any feelings I may have toward Steven Mosher. The writing in this book is terrible in an objective sense.)

    (If you have me change the subject to something of my choice, I may start ranting about things like how horrible an idea it is to use an appositive set off by commas before an independent clause if that appositive begins with a noun which shares a form with a verb. You can tell I’m working toward a ranting state by the fact I’m losing my ability to write in plain English. Suffice to say while my comment may mean nothing to you, if you understood what I was describing, you’d understand why I want to strangle the authors for doing it.)

    But this is the comment which led to me creating this post:

    Alright, I figure people probably don’t care to read me commenting on this book over and over, so I’ll try to make this my last comment on the subject. I have to make this one though. You see, I’ve never done a spit-take in my life. I’ve seen it used as a comic technique, but I never understood how anyone could do it for real. Then I read something Steven Mosher and Thomas Fuller said in their book. Before I get to that though, last month a commenter said:

    There were two things going on. One was the misleading portrayal of earth’s temperature. The other thing was that a group of people at East Anglia started sending out emails attacking their critics.

    Mosher responded:

    I will never tire of abusing skeptics who continue to mis-portray climategate as a story about temperature series. The central issue was and remains Chapter 6 of Ar4. The clearest crime was and remains the thwarting of Holland’s FOIA request.

    You know as much as I would have liked to find more mails about temperature series in the stack, the fact remains. There was one good story in the mails. That story centered on Briffa, Wahl,Jones, Mann, Mcintrye and Holland, chapter 6 Ar4.

    I’ve seen him make this point many times in the past. Steve McIntyre made the same point, responding to a commenter inline:

    Mr. Mosher, I see that you never tire of being abused by skeptics, in fact it seems you thrive on it. This entire affair, climategate included, is about temperature series and the mathematical abuse thereof.

    Steve: this is way OT to the post, but I’ve repeatedly pointed out that the Climategate emails have nothing to do with temperature data and criticized people who tried to coatrack their disputes about temperature data onto the emails. Please take this issue to a relevant thread or discuss elsewhere.

    It is abundantly clear Climategate had nothing to do with temperature data. Mosher enjoys abusing people who think they do, happily laughing at their foolishness.

    That is the context of what comes next. You see, Mosher and Fuller wrote this about CRU:

    its staff of around thirty research scientists and students has developed and published a number of the data sets widely used in climate research, most importantly the global temperature index, or CRUTEMP. The data and methods surrounding this critical piece of evidence of climate change is the principle focus of Climategate.

    According to Mosher and Fuller’s book, the global temperature index (and there’s only one) is a “critical piece of evidence of climate change” which was “the principle focus of Climategate.”

    I had to do a spit-take at these skeptics who continue to mis-portray climategate as a story about temperature series.

  2. One of the strangest parts of reading this book comes right at the beginning. The eBook I have shows a page with the book cover, a title page, then a copyright page. The first two are actually fine. The third is where things get weird:

    All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, including illustrations, in any form (beyond such copying as permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press) without written permission from the authors.

    Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law deals with Fair Use. Section 108 deals with reproduction by libraries/archives. You don't need to add a caveat for them as they are the law, but there's no harm in it either.

    There is, however, harm in the second caveat this page offers:

    and except by reviewers for the public press

    This caveat means any reviewer for the public press can reproduce the book, in whole or in part, including illustrations, in any form. That means any reviewer for the public press can copy this book as much as they'd like. They could go to a printing company and have the company print new copies of the book.

    That means if a reviewer for the public press uploaded a full copy of this book to their website, there is absolutely nothing Steven Mosher and Thomas Fuller could do about it.

  3. I'm not going to harp on every minor punctuation in the book. It'd be pointless. If I were reading a paper copy of the book instead of a digital one, the thing would be covered in red ink. I will give examples from time to time though, especially if they stand out.

    The first example can be found on the first page with more than one sentence. The Acknowledgements page says:

    We’re also grateful to Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts, for speaking with us, giving us permission to use material from their weblog and much more besides. And we’re grateful to Lucia Liljegren just for existing.

    That's nice, but why is that first comma there? It has no grammatical purpose. Pausing at that point while speaking would sound stupid. The first page of text, and they're already adding commas for no reason. Since commas are going to be an issue, it should probably be noted they don't use the Oxford comma here. That's fine, but it will be interesting to see if they stick with that.

    Anyway, the next paragraph says:

    For Steven Mosher, the posters at Climate Audit for educating me with special notice to: bender, UC, RomanM, Lucia, JeanS, and Willis Eschenbach; My friends for supporting and encouraging me: Charles Rotter, Jimmy Detels, Jayne Jones, Hutton Moffitt, Chris Pavis, Ron Preston, Sam Naughton and Ian King.

    There's no verb here. "For Steven Mosher" what? Presumably it's a list of people Mosher is grateful to, but if so, why does the paragraph go on to say "for educating me"? If Mosher is talking, hence "me," then why is the section for Mosher? Is Mosher speaking in the third and first person in the same sentence? Does the speaker of the sentence change midway through?

    That's the third paragraph of text in the book if we exclude the Copyright notice. Three paragraphs in, and they've added one extra comma to a sentence and written an incoherent paragraph. (The next paragraph is also missing the verb.)

  4. The preface of the book shows something of the writing quality which is to come. It begins:

    In late 2009, over 1,000 emails, attachments and files containing computer code were posted on an anonymous internet site. A few weblogs that focused on global warming received comments alerting them to the existence of these files. News of their existence quickly spread, and thousands of people downloaded the documents. This is the story of this event.

    This is the story of this event, seriously? The first this is a pronoun referring to an antecedent which has yet to come. It refers to what will be said later in the book. The second this refers to everything which came before the first.

    It's fine to use the same pronoun multiple times, but you need to transition between those usages. If you don't, you can wind up with silly stuff like what the authors did. Because their first this refers to what comes after the second this, it is effectively never defined. You don't get to find out what the first this is referring to until the authors start using "this" in a different way.

    The worst part of this is the solution is so simple. If you were referring to something as "this" before, and you want to continue referring to it after referring to something else as "this," you refer to it as "that." In other words: This is the story of that event.

    Minor grammatical issue? Maybe. However, it's the first paragraph. It's kind of an important one. If you make a mistake there, you suggest to tell your readers they should expect mistakes throughout your book.

    Though that's sort of a good thing given how many mistakes there are in the book.

  5. The second paragraph of the preface:

    The emails and documents were communications between a small team of elite climate scientists and paleoclimatologists that had heavily influenced the IPCC’s view of climate change. They had radically changed the IPCC’s views in fact, and had almost convinced the world that temperatures had never been higher than they are today, and that they were climbing rapidly.

    Confuses me. Who are the "elite climate scientists" it refers to? Paleoclimatologists are listed separately so I have to assume it's not referring to people like Michael Mann.

    Regardless of the answer to that question, are we seriously supposed to believe all of the people involved in these e-mails "heavily influenced the IPCC's view of climate change"? There were dozens of people. Did they all work together to "radically" change the IPCC's views on climate change? What this some sort of conspiracy amongst them all?

    And I get Michael Mann's hockey stick was dramatic, but did people looking at a graph which extended back only 1,000 years really think the graph proved "temperatures had never been higher than they are today"? Is that how the world works now?

    The next paragraph makes things worse:

    But the leaked files showed that The Team had done this by hiding how they presented data, and ruthlessly suppressing dissent by insuring that contrary papers were never published and that editors who didn’t follow their party line were forced out of their position. And when Freedom of Information requests threatened to reveal their misbehavior, the emails showed them actively conspiring to delete emails to frustrate legitimate requests for information. Worst of all, one scientist threatened to actually delete climate data rather than turn it over—and that data is still missing.

    This sentence shows the authors capitalizing "The Team" as a proper noun (capitalizing the, really?). They haven't actually listed who is on "The Team," but they clearly refer to the paragraph before which said the e-mails "were communications between a small team of elite climate scientists and paleoclimatologists."

    That means they're labeling everyone in the Climategate dossier responsible for all this behavior. All of them are guilty of "ruthlessly suppressing dissent" and "actively conspiring to delete emails." It's not just a few bad apples in the bunch. According to the authors, everyone whose sent an e-mail in the dossier were part of a conspiracy.

    Which is stupid. Some people who sent some of the e-mails did some bad things. That doesn't mean they are all guilty of all the things.

    .

    Oh, and for the record, that should be "the emails show they actively conspired" not "the emails showed them actively conspiring."

  6. The next paragraph begins:

    We are writing this in December 2009, long before the story is over, and even before the implications can be truly evaluated. But given intense interest in the subject, we thought it would be useful to tell this story in order to deepen understanding of what happened, who were the principal actors, and why this took place.

    The sentences are cumbersome, but what matters are the commas. Namely, the authors used an Oxford this time. That means in two pages of text, the authors have both used and not used the Oxford comma. I don't care if people use the Oxford comma, but they really need to pick one and stick with it.

  7. I'm skipping some of the next little bit because it'd make me cry if I tried to point out every example of bad writing. A couple quick thoughts though. The authors say global warming

    is worth $1 trillion a year, the amount that many environmentalists consider the appropriate sum to throw into the fight against global warming.

    I am sure many environmentalists put pricetags on many different things. I don't think that determines how much those issues are worth.

    We’ve provided narrative summaries which we call ‘Cheat Sheets’ at the beginning of several chapters to try and help. But it’s important to realize that the audit trail shows a pattern of improper (to say the least) behavior—and so we’re asking our readers to do a little extra work. This is not a narrative—it is a case. If you stick with us, you’ll understand at the very least why we thought it was important enough to approach in this way.

    I'm at a loss as to why the importance of this issue determines whether the authors would approach it as a "narrative" or as a "case." Then again, I'm not sure what the authors think they mean by either of those words because almost immediately after saying this, they proceed to give a narrative, not make a case.

    But—and it’s a big but—although we are harsh in our criticism of the actions of this group of climate scientists and paleoclimatologists known as The Team, readers need to understand two things:

    Hey, once again we have "The Team" making an appearance. I sure wish I knew the roster of "The Team."

    1. Our criticism does not extend to criticism of the theory of global warming. Both your authors believe global warming exists, is a problem and needs to be addressed.

    Again, we find the authors switching between first and third person. Or at least, I assume that's what they're doing. I guess it's always possible the authors meant for "[o]ur" and "your authors" to refer to different people.

    We are tough on the scientists we call The Team, and we think deservedly so.

    "We just don't think you need to know who is on the team."

    The response from the scientists involved in this controversy and their defenders is that critics have taken emails out of context, which makes their emails and behavior look worse than it actually is. That’s one reason we’re writing a book rather than a magazine article or a paper—to make sure that the context is there. For we believe that putting the emails into context shows that what happened is actually worse than what has been reported so far in the media.

    Alright, I've skipped over a number of grammatical issues, but come on guys! Tenses are not that hard. And why would you start that sentence with for? You just took a grammatically correct sentence, added a word to the beginning of it and made it a sentence fragment for no reason. And did you seriously just use the superfluous "that" four times in a single paragraph? Really? I feel like the word "that" makes up 1% of this book's word count.

    (I started those two sentences with conjunctions as a jab at the authors who seem to start every other sentence with one.)

    • The scientists known as ‘The Team’ hid evidence that their presentation for politicians and policy makers was not as strong as they wanted to make it appear, downplaying the very real uncertainties present in climate reconstruction.

    I'm not sure why The Team suddenly got quotation marks, but it is good to know the people on it hid evidence their presentation was not as strong as they wanted to make it appear. I was worried the evidence being hidden dealt with how weak a case they had for what they said in their presentation.

    Yes, I know what the authors meant. However, I don't care. If you're going to add that many useless words to a sentence, you better at least make sure the sentence still says what you want it to say.

    The tree ring data discussed below was useful to The Team because it appeared to indicate that the most recent warming we have experienced was unprecedented and dramatic. But it inconveniently declined during the last few decades when they wanted it to increase the fastest; so they replaced the tree ring data with instrument data.

    There is little one can do to appear more pretentious than use a semicolon when you have no idea how to use them. This isn't me nitpicking. I just thought it funny in two sentences we get a superfluous "that," a sentence starting with a conjunction and a misused semicolon. It's like all the book's themes are gathered together in one spot for demonstration purposes. I figured I should take advantage of that before pointing out these two sentences are misleading. The next two paragraphs say:

    Michael Mann: But that explanation certainly can’t rectify why Keith’s data, which has similar properties to Phil’s data, differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s does from ours. …So, if we show Keith’s line in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case.

    Phil Jones: I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temperatures to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

    The authors said "[t]he tree ring data" would be "discussed below." They said "it inconveniently declined." Anyone reading that would take it to mean "[t]he tree ring data" is the data used in "Keith's line." The problem with this is all three lines used tree ring data. The Mann line and the Jones line just happened to use non-tree ring data as well. Maybe people are okay with such vague references, but I think if you're going to write a book explaining things, you need to be more clear than to refer to one reconstruction as "[t]he tree ring data" while pointing at three reconstructions which use tree ring data.

  8. I'm skipping over some stuff again. Next up is:

    This book tries to use a scandal to tell a wider story. It’s very current—the Climategate scandal broke in November of 2009, and the broader story isn’t even close to finished yet.

    But wait, we were just told the book isn't telling a story. The authors said this topic is so important they're making a case not creating a narrative. Which is it? Are the authors going to make a case or tell a story? (They tell a story.)

    Global warming has produced several ways of looking at the world. Here’s one: If you take the highest temperature of a day (TMax) and add the lowest temperature of that day (TMin), you get a number. Divide that number by two and you get an average for the day. If you add up the numbers for a month and plot them on a chart and compare it to the previous year, you get a better idea. If you add up all the numbers for a year and compare it to previous years, you get the chart below:

    Or do you? What if the temperatures are taken with different thermometers and thermocouples, and some of them are near a hot piece of asphalt and others have been moved to a busy airport? What if the first part of your series isn’t from thermometers at all, but from estimates of temperature derived from analysis of the thickness of tree rings? And what if those estimates are suspect, declining during a period when we know temperatures rose?

    The chart they refer to which I'm not showing is from MBH99, the infamous hockey stick graph. I take issue with how they describe it. There's a small issue in that I think the authors should be clear their rhetorical questions are not just empty questions. I think the readers deserve a clarification as to just what the grpah shows.

    But that's a small issue. The bigger issue is the authors use rhetorical questions to suggest the MBH99 reconstructed temperatures are "derived from analysis of the thickness of tree rings" and "are suspect, declining during a period we know temperatures rose." That's a false description. That's a description which would apply to Keith Briffa's reconstruction, not the reconstruction by Michael Mann.

    By using rhetorical questions to suggest things about the MBH99 figure without ever clarifying what the truth is about the figure, the authors create a misleading portrayal of it. This isn't just a harmless conflation either. The authors go on to say:

    The chart above was used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their 3rd report on the state of the Earth’s climate, called TAR and published in 2001. Its dramatic shape and ominous upward slope in recent times made it a perfect illustration of a particular point of view—that temperatures were rising faster than they ever had—that we were moving into uncharted and dangerous territory. That we needed to act now. But there are, as we will see, problems with that chart.

    Meaning their conflation of Briffa's reconstruction with Mann's is very much important.

  9. The book goes on to say:

    Here’s another way of looking at the world—and it’s the way we looked at temperatures for close on to 40 years, before worries about global warming made the previous chart so popular.

    Showing a figure which goes back 11,000 years. This is highly misleading. The reality is before Michael Mann published his hockey stick graph, people looked at other figures to estimate temperatures up to 1,000 years ago. The IPCC even published such figures.

    So when Fuller and Mosher say:

    In the figure above we see a rapid temperature rise in the first 1,000 years after the end of the last Ice Age and then fairly gentle fluctuations within a narrow band of temperatures after that, including the present day. According to this view of the world, what’s happening to us now has happened before—without our emitting vast quantities of CO2. If this view is accurate, then worries about global warming seem, at best, premature, and the use of the term ‘Optimums’ to describe times when it was warmer than today may indicate that some warming is not all that bad.

    Realize this was not something hidden because of Michael Mann's graph. The IPCC has long distinguished between ~1,000 year and ~11,000 year temperature records. Fuller and Mosher are just pretending the IPCC switched from one to the other to exaggerate the effect of Mann's hockey stick. This is incredibly weird because at the same time they do this, they fail to note all the ways in which the IPCC gave Mann's figure undue attention.

  10. After showing three different graphs of the planet's temperatures, each with its own scale (1,000 years, 11,000 years and 150 million years), the authors say:

    But the differences in these ways of looking at the world may have caused media savvy climate scientists to act in very unscientific ways to push their view of the world to the top and to ‘disappear’ competing views. This could be the first scandal caused by a PowerPoint chart. High crimes indeed.

    I'm not sure that needs any comment.

    Interestingly, both sides seem to sincerely feel that they are opposed by strong interest groups with an agenda that extends beyond the issue of climate change. For environmentalists, the skeptics are characterized as being funded by big oil and as tools of the conservative agenda. Skeptics look at the dispute as a well-funded assault on both reason and liberty. Readers should at least entertain the possibility that both sides are correct.

    I don't know if it is bad writing or bias, but the difference between how the authors describe the two views is interesting. The authors say skeptics are portrayed as "tools of the conservative agenda" while global warming alarmism is portrayed as "a well-funded assault on both reason and liberty." Somehow there's no mention of a "liberal agenda" despite the discussion being about the groups perceiving each other as being part of a larger agenda.

    That might not indicate a bias on the authors' parts. It could just be bad writing. This paragraph has a number of problems beyond using the superfluous that twice. For instance, why does the second sentence begin with, "For environmentalists"? Are the authors saying skeptics are characterized a certain way for environmentalists? If so, by who? This paragraph doesn't give any indication. After indicating this is done for environmentalists, not by environmentalists, it simply says, "the skeptics are characterized." This is passive and doesn't indicate who did what.

    Then again, maybe this is an example of bad writing revealing bias. The next sentence is not passive and it clearly says who does what, saying, "Skeptics look at...." This could easily be viewed as indicating bias. The authors used passive language and said characterizations were done "for" instead of "by" environmentalists. They said environmentalists view skeptics as being part of a conservative agenda. That is a very different treatment than they give the skeptics. Skeptics are clearly labeled as being responsible for the characterizations of environmentalists, and yet the characterizations listed by the authors are weak, avoiding any mention of what agenda environmentalists have.

    I find the difference in how the two groups are treated rather remarkable. It seems to suggest a pretty clear bias in the authors' views, but with how bad the writing in this book is, I can't be sure of anything.

  11. Continuing with the book, I find the next paragraph says:

    For many, the fight over global warming is just an extension of previous struggles, over other environmental causes or tobacco or geopolitics, and they came to this debate with agendas fixed and weapons ready.

    I try not to harp on grammar, but seriously? I'd want to strangle myself if I wrote such a terrible sentence in a comment on a blog. How does it make it into a book? Were the writers and editor drunk? This paragraph, and the couple after it make me feel like the entire editing process was, "Ran spellcheck."

    This is important because editing isn't just supposed to deal with writing quality. It's also supposed to ensure things said in the text are true. That apparently didn't happen in this book. This is most of what the book says in the next section :

    You are about to enter a world where people in white lab coats don’t play fair—not with facts, not with figures and certainly not with each other. Climategate is more than a scandal—it is the climate wars in microcosm. We’ll give you an example that is both more than a century and less than a month old as evidence.

    In 1895, Svante Arrhenius published a paper that described CO2 as a greenhouse gas and estimated the effect of a doubling of its concentrations. His calculations showed that worldwide temperatures would rise a hefty 6 degrees Celsius.

    Al Gore, in his film An Inconvenient Truth, made much of this, saying it showed that claims of global warming were not new. But in 1906, Arrhenius had recalculated his figures, and published a new paper saying that doubling CO2 would only cause 2 degrees Celsius of warming. For some reason, Gore’s film didn’t pick up on that.

    This embarrassing omission was picked up on by the skeptic community, and is one of the reasons that An Inconvenient Truth can’t be shown in UK schools without a ‘health warning’ about films being used for political propaganda.

    It's been quite a while since I saw An Inconvenient Truth so I can't tell whether or not it said what Mosher and Fuller claim it says. I can, however, say they are apparently full of **** when they claim it "is one of the reasons" for the ruling against the film. The judge's ruling regarding the film is readily available online, and it never does anything to suggest anything like the authors claim.

    Normally when there is a question of facts, one would check the citations/references used to support those facts. This is impossible with this book because the book conveniently fails to offer any support for most of what it says. This is one of those examples.
    .
    And that brings us to the end of the Preface of the book. All the problems discussed in this review so far come before the first chapter of the book. Continuing at the level of detail I've used thus far may be impractical because it'd take more words to explain what the authors did wrong than they used to do it all.

  12. Chapter One begins:

    (From ‘Fire and Ice, Business and Media’) “It was five years before the turn of the century and major media were warning of disastrous climate change. Page six of The New York Times was headlined with the serious concerns of “geologists.” Only the president at the time wasn’t Bill Clinton; it was Grover Cleveland. And the Times wasn’t warning about global warming – it was telling readers about the looming dangers of a new ice age. The year was 1895, and it was just one of four different time periods in the last 100 years when major print media predicted an impending climate crisis. Each prediction carried its own elements of doom, saying Canada could be “wiped out” or lower crop yields would mean “billions will die.”

    First, you might not realize it, but that's the entirety of the quote. The paragraph begins with a quotation mark, but it then never closes out the quote so you can know when it ends. Even worse, it uses double quotation marks to set off the quote then uses more double quotation marks within the quote (yet used single quotation marks outside the quote). It's a mess.

    Second, that is not how you cite a source. Would anybody know what "(From ‘Fire and Ice, Business and Media’)" means when they first read it? I had no idea. The authors put "Fire and Ice, Business and Media" in quotation marks. That means it should be a single name, like the name of an article. Only, it's not. It's apparently the name of an article (Fire and Ice) published by an organization (Business and Media). You can only find this out by reading on:

    The same article, found on the website for Business and Media, talks of the New York Times headline reading, “Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures.” But the date was Feb. 15, 1959.

    Once you get past the confusion caused by the authors not indicating the end their quotation, you can work out what the actual source is. You just have to realize "for Business and Media" is supposed to indicate the text "Fire and Ice, Business and Media" within the same set of quotation marks is supposed to refer to two different things.

    I'm curious how many readers even bothered to try to figure out that mess. I'm also curious how many readers realize the next sentence is straight-up copied from the Fire and Ice article:

    Glaciers were melting in Alaska and the “ice in the Arctic ocean is about half as thick as it was in the late nineteenth century."

    I get it's only seven words followed by a quotation, but compare those two sentences to this paragraph in Fire and Ice:

    This warming gave the Eskimos more to handle than cod. “Arctic Findings in Particular Support Theory of Rising Global Temperatures,” announced the Times during the middle of winter, on Feb. 15, 1959. Glaciers were melting in Alaska and the “ice in the Arctic ocean is about half as thick as it was in the late nineteenth century.”

    I find the text disturbingly similar. It borders on plagiarism. But look at the next two sentences of the paragraph from Mosher and Fuller's book:

    In 1953 William J. Baxter wrote the book “Today’s Revolution in Weather!” on the warming climate. His studies showed “that the heat zone is moving northward and the winters are getting milder with less snowfall.”

    Now look at a paragraph from much later in Fire and Ice than what Mosher and Fuller copied before:

    That wasn’t the first time warming was blamed for influencing agriculture. In 1953 William J. Baxter wrote the book “Today’s Revolution in Weather!” on the warming climate. His studies showed “that the heat zone is moving northward and the winters are getting milder with less snowfall.”

    Mosher and Fuller straight-up copied the second and third sentence of this paragraph. That means Mosher and Fuller rewrote part of one sentence from Fire and Ice, copied the next sentence then jumped a ways further into the article and straight-up copied two more sentences.

    The last sentence of this paragraph of Mosher and Fuller's is:

    But it wasn’t just warming that caused changes—cooling of 1 degree ‘trimmed a week to 10 days from the growing seasons’ between the 1940s and 1974, according to Time magazine.

    Notice the change from double quotation marks to single quotation marks. Every quotation in this chapter thus far was marked with double quotation marks. Now we see one marked with single quotations. If we look in Fire and Ice for a similar quote, we find this:

    Time magazine delivered its own gloomy outlook on the “World Food Crisis” on June 24 of that same year and followed with the article “Weather Change: Poorer Harvests” on November 11.

    According to the November story, the mean global surface temperature had fallen just 1 degree Fahrenheit since the 1940s. Yet this small drop “trimmed a week to ten days from the growing season” in the earth’s breadbasket regions.

    Which shows Mosher and Fuller rewrote the text and, for whatever reason, changed the double quotation marks to single quotation marks.

    Presumably, what happened is Mosher and Fuller copied text from the Fire and Ice article, intending to reword it to fit in their chapter, but somehow forgot to rewrite some of it and instead just used what they had copied. Then, in the editing process they somehow failed to notice the improper and inconsistent use of quotation marks in this section, causing them to miss the fact they had plagiarized their source.

    But no matter how inadvertent it may have been, it is still plagiarism.

  13. Chapter One continues with its next section beginning:

    In 1979 the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) convened the very first conference on climate change, the World Climate Conference. That conference concluded that “continued expansion of man’s activities on earth might cause significant extended regional and even global changes of climate”. In this conclusion we see the underlying premise that persists to this day: that mankind can change the climate. Within this frame of reference it becomes very difficult to suggest, study or publish contrary views—that the changes in climate are due solely to non-human causes or some combination of human and non-human causes.

    I didn't feel like looking up a 1979 report to check what the authors said, but I did immediately notice the strange punctuation in their second sentence. Their second sentence ends with a quotation with the period concluding the sentence following the closing quotation mark. This is an acceptable style of punctuating when using quotations, but it is not the one the authors have been using thus far. A quick internet search showed the explanation. A WMO page says:

    In 1979 the first “World Climate Conference” organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expressed concern that “continued expansion of man’s activities on Earth may cause significant extended regional and even global changes of climate”. It called for “global cooperation to explore the possible future course of global climate and to take this new understanding into account in planning for the future development of human society.”

    Which is apparently where Mosher and Fuller got the quote they used. This becomes more obvious if we look further in their text:

    The conference also called for “global cooperation to explore the possible future course of global climate and to take this new understanding into account in planning for the future development of human society.” And in this we see a premise that still holds in many quarters: global climate change requires global cooperation: mankind working together to save the planet.

    In one quote, Mosher and Fuller put a period after the quotation mark. In another quote, they put the period before the quotation mark. This is exactly the same as how the WMO page punctuated its paragraph. It seems clear Mosher and Fuller copied this paragraph, split it into two pieces, rewrote the phrasing introducing the quotations then and added remarks afterward.

    Is that bad? People might be comfortable with the extent of Mosher and Fuller's revisions. I'm not. It seems classless to me, but that's not what troubles me. What troubles me is if Mosher and Fuller just copied what other people said, they likely didn't verify it. The Fire and Ice article they plagiarized didn't provide documentation or links to allow people to verify what it said. How likely is it Mosher and Fuller looked for them? How likely is it Mosher and Fuller checked the WMO's claims?

    I'd say unlikely. I'd say regardless of whether or not Mosher and Fuller plagiarized text, the lack of research shown by simply copying other people's ideas is troubling. This is especially true since Mosher and Fuller don't seem to understand what those ideas say. In regard to the first quote, they say:

    In this conclusion we see the underlying premise that persists to this day: that mankind can change the climate. Within this frame of reference it becomes very difficult to suggest, study or publish contrary views—that the changes in climate are due solely to non-human causes or some combination of human and non-human causes.

    Maybe Mosher and Fuller understood the quote they refer to, but if so, their argument is baffling. The "premise" they refer to is a trivial truth. Of course "mankind can change the climate." Anyone who argues mankind can't change the claimte is an idiot. The idea that acknowledging mankind can change the climate causes a problem for people studying climate change is absurd. Even worse, however, is what Mosher and Fuller say about the second quote:

    And in this we see a premise that still holds in many quarters: global climate change requires global cooperation: mankind working together to save the planet.

    This is not what the quote they discuss says. That quote calls for "global cooperation to explore the possible future course of global climate." That is, everyone should work together to figure out what will happen. That doesn't say any action is necessary "to save the planet."

    Neither does the next part of the quote which says "to take this new understanding into account in planning for the future development of human society." Nothing about this says we need "to save the planet," much less that we need to work together to do it. Mosher and Fuller try to argue:

    Again, within this frame of reference it becomes difficult to suggest that countries may act locally in their own interest to prevent climate change in ways amenable to their citizens or to take actions to mitigate potential hazards.

    But they're just creating a false dilemma. There could be global cooperation to try to figure out what will happen in the future which leads to countries concluding the best solution is to take no action to combat global warming and for each country to deal with the consequences of global warming on its own.

    Now, I can't argue what the authors say is an unfair representation of the document they're referring to. I don't know. I spent 15 minutes trying to find a copy of the document and couldn't. I'd need to before I comment more on this section. In the meantime, all I can say is it appears the authors were quite lazy in this section. They appear to have just copied what other people said about this report and added standard talking points saying how horrible it is, despite those talking points being stupid/misguided responses to the text they quote.

  14. There is a bit more discussion of the 1979 report discussed in my comment above, but without having access to the actual text, I don't want to comment on it. I don't think Mosher or Fuller tried to find the context of what they quote, and without it, I'm not prepared to judge what was actually said.

    Moving onto the next paragraph instead, we find:

    In 1985 the WMO and others organized another conference and put carbon dioxide (C02) and other green house gases (GHGs) squarely in the crosshairs, concluding “as a result of the increasing greenhouse gases it is now believed that in the first half of the next century (21st century) a rise of global mean temperature could occur which is greater than in any man’s history” This focus on man’s changes to the atmosphere has shaped the science that follows in that other factors, such as land use changes, are nearly ruled out or given short shrift as causes of climate change. Ruled out as well is the possibility that our measurements of the climate are contaminated by land use changes, including what is known as the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI). This well known phenomenon is one of the focal points in the Climategate controversy.

    The logic of this is highly questionable. Even if factors other than greenhouse gases significantly affected global temperatures, greenhouse gases could still cause unprecedented amounts of warming. Claiming there is a dilemma would require suggesting the observed warming was (almost) entirely caused by things other than greenhouse gas emissions.

    Moreover, attention should once again be drawn back to the fact these authors are claiming the temperature index is the central issue in the Climategate controversy. As we saw above, one of those authors (Mosher) responds to people who suggest the temperature index is important:

    There were two things going on. One was the misleading portrayal of earth’s temperature. The other thing was that a group of people at East Anglia started sending out emails attacking their critics.

    By saying:

    I will never tire of abusing skeptics who continue to mis-portray climategate as a story about temperature series. The central issue was and remains Chapter 6 of Ar4. The clearest crime was and remains the thwarting of Holland’s FOIA request.

    You know as much as I would have liked to find more mails about temperature series in the stack, the fact remains. There was one good story in the mails. That story centered on Briffa, Wahl,Jones, Mann, Mcintrye and Holland, chapter 6 Ar4.

    It's not clear how the Urban Heat Island effect could be "one of the focal points in the Climategate controversy" if it is wrong to say Climategate was a story about temperature series. Similarly, it's not clear why the authors would go on to say:

    In fact, Climategate as a story starts with the lengths one scientist, Phil Jones, (director of the Climate Research Unit and member of what we call The Team) went to in an effort to prevent others, principally Warwick Hughes, Steve McIntyre and Willis Eschenbach, from effectively reviewing his work and others on the Urban Heat Island effect.

    If temperature series weren't important. On a quick diversion, the authors go on to say:

    In addition we see the claim made prior to any rigorous investigation that the expected climate change of the first half of the 21st century will be greater than any in man’s history.

    Which is a blatant misrepresentation of what the WMO actually said. Mosher and Fuller quoted them as saying such "a rise of global mean temperature could occur," not that it will occur. There is no reason to interpret "could" as "will." Mosher and Fuller have simply exaggerated what people said in order to claim those people exaggerated things.

    Gross misrepresentation aside, we can get back to the main issue as the authors now say:

    This claim of unprecedented warmth and the science in support of that claim is also a focal point of the Climategate controversy. And again as the Climategate story unfolds we see two scientists, Keith Briffa and Michael Mann, working in conjunction with Jones to prevent McIntyre from reviewing their work on the climate of the past.

    Which shows Mosher and Fuller clearly believed there were two different major issues in the Climategate controversy, not just one like Mosher now insists.

    People are free to change their opinions over time, but it is pathetic for Mosher to shamelessly attack people for saying things he said in a book he published. If he wants to criticize people for saying what himself has said, he should at least show some humility and acknowledge that he too got it wrong.

  15. The next section has some boring, poorly written text about the nature and origin of the IPCC. The only notable part is we get to see another reference to The Team:

    the IPCC is more or less forced to contract with the scientists who wrote the papers to edit their own work and submit it to the IPCC and then write the appropriate section of the official reports. Even worse, the group is so small that they end up reviewing their own papers before they are originally published. Perhaps the central thesis of this book is that The Team, this group of scientists, didn’t handle this situation well. We think the emails show they succumbed to ‘groupthink’ over a period of time, became defensive to any criticism, and resorted to increasingly desperate measures to protect their initial hypotheses.

    Even though we've still never been told just who is on The Team. The next notable part is when the authors say:

    Since the publication of AR4 (the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment report, published in 2007) individuals both inside and outside the IPCC process have had to fight and take legal measures to publish the proceedings of these expert reviews.

    One interesting aspect to this is there is no antecedent which goes along with the phrase "expert reviews." The only reference to reviews prior to this is that shown in the previous quote where the authors say scientists in small fields "end up reviewing their own papers before they are originally published."

    That's clearly not what Mosher and Fuller are referring to here. They're referring to reviews done as part of the IPCC process. Even with that figured out, it's difficult to understand what the authors are saying. They claim individuals "have had to fight and take legal measures to publish the proceedings of these expert reviews." Think about that. Why would these individuals need to fight to publish these things? If they had them already, they could just publish them and accept any consequences.

    Presumably, the authors mean people have had to fight to get the IPCC to publish the proceedings of these expert reviews. I'm not sure how a reader is expected to come up with that interpretation, especially since the authors never said what reviews they're talking about.

    The rest of the section is made up of barely grammatical sentences and accusations toward people with no names or details provided, meaning they're impossible for people to check. I can't say the authors are wrong in their accusations, but it's incredibly lame to make vague, unverifiable accusations about unspecified people in order to smear a group, especially in a book.

  16. Now, a little under 10%, of the way through the book, we find a section titled, "Meet the Team." The first sentence is:

    As we talk throughout the book about The Team, we should at least introduce them.

    Call me crazy, but perhaps the book should have introduced them before it referred to The Team, in capital letters, 14 times. Thus far, a reader would have no way to know who The Team is other than the horrible definition given earlier where Mosher and Fuller say:

    The emails and documents were communications between a small team of elite climate scientists and paleoclimatologists that had heavily influenced the IPCC’s view of climate change.

    Which we'll now see is not the definition they actually use. Mosher and Fuller explain:

    The original ‘Hockey Team’ was named by Real Climate back in 2005, in the early days of triumph after the publication and subsequent popularity of the Hockey Stick Chart. This early team consisted of Michael Mann, R.S. Bradley and M.K. Hughes. They have since disavowed the name.

    But this is not true. I don't know that anyone has disavowed the name, but I don't know that they haven't. What I do know is the "early team" did not just consist of the three authors Mosher and Fuller list. That would be stupid. The point of saying there was a "Hockey Team" was to show the work done by those three people was supported by an entire "team" of papers.

    Not only is this a stupid idea, it is an idea even the most basic of research would show is false. For instance, a quick internet search pulled up this RealClimate post from February 2005 which says:

    This guide is in two parts, the first deals with the background to the technical issues raised by McIntyre and McKitrick (2005) (MM05), while the second part discusses the application of this to the original Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) (MBH98) reconstruction. The wider climate science context is discussed here, and the relationship to other recent reconstructions (the ‘Hockey Team’) can be seen here.

    If Mosher and Fuller had thought to look on Climate Audit, a blog they discuss, for information about The Team, they'd easily find a post titled "The Origin of the [Term] 'Hockey Team'." In it, they'd find another quote from RealClimate:

    Rather, as demonstrated in IPCC(2001) [see this comparison here] and numerous additional studies since, it is what is perhaps more aptly termed the “Hockey Team”–that is, the multiple independent reconstructions and model simulations that now indicate essentially the same pattern of hemispheric mean temperature variation in past centuries, that support a “Hockey Stick” description of past temperature changes.

    And a quote from McIntyre based on this:

    Now it seems that we’re playing against an entire Hockey Team. First things first, what should the team be called: the Kyoto Flames? the IPCC Heat? the Blades? the Fever?

    But instead of doing any research, Mosher and Fuller just made **** up and sold it to their readers.

  17. After that last ridiculous remark, Mosher and Fuller go on to say:

    The Team as it is today still includes Michael Mann, Bradley and Hughes, but others have come on board. They include Keith Briffa, Phil Jones, Gordon Jacoby, Schweingruber, Rutherford, Crowley, Cook, Osborn and perhaps others who float in and out. For the purposes of our story, the principal characters are Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Keith Briffa.

    Which is a bit better, but these people have always been on The Team. So have a number of other people that don't get mentioned. More importantly though, this list doesn't come close to covering all the people involved in the Climategate e-mails. That means when Mosher and Fuller smeared everyone in those e-mails by saying:

    The emails and documents were communications between a small team of elite climate scientists and paleoclimatologists that had heavily influenced the IPCC’s view of climate change. They had radically changed the IPCC’s views in fact, and had almost convinced the world that temperatures had never been higher than they are today, and that they were climbing rapidly.

    But the leaked files showed that The Team had done this by hiding how they presented data, and ruthlessly suppressing dissent by insuring that contrary papers were never published and that editors who didn’t follow their party line were forced out of their position. And when Freedom of Information requests threatened to reveal their misbehavior, the emails showed them actively conspiring to delete emails to frustrate legitimate requests for information. Worst of all, one scientist threatened to actually delete climate data rather than turn it over—and that data is still missing.

    They were just being pricks. Either they were lazy with their accusations, which is horrible, or they intentionally smeared people they knew were uninvolved with these accusations, which is even more horrible.

  18. The next paragraph discusses who Michael Mann is. It's shows a peculiarity I can't get over. Mosher and Fuller apparently felt the need to provide a (sort of) citation for a basic biographical description:

    Michael E. Mann, according to his biography on the Real Climate site, is a renowned climate scientist and author of more than 80 journal publications. His specialty is paleoclimatology, reconstructing the climate of the past by using “proxy” data such as tree rings, ice cores and sediments.

    Even though it should be completely uncontroversial. At the same time, they repeatedly make more controversial claims while providing no references. And as we've seen, this allows them to make false claims.

    For instance, they go on to say:

    He is most famous for a graph that has come to be known as the “hockey stick graph,” a graph that assumed iconic status for believers in global warming, which ostensibly shows that the current warming we see is unprecedented in human history.

    This is beyond stupid. The original hockey stick graph only extended back to 1000 AD. It cannot possibly show anything "is unprecedented in human history." Even Young Earth Creationists agree human history extends back before 1000 AD.

    In short, his work shores up the claims made in 1987 at the WMO conference.

    I am literally dumbfounded at this statement. There's some text I didn't quote earlier which refers to a 1987 WMO meeting or whatnot, but it only says:

    Two years later, in 1987, at the 10th Congress of the WMO, the stage was set for the creation of the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Together with UNEP, the United Nations Environment Program, it was decided that a new intergovernmental mechanism was needed, an organization focused on the scientific understanding of climate change and focused on actions that can be taken to prevent it. In 1988 the IPCC was born under the auspices of the WMO and UNEP.

    There is no discussion of any claims having been made at it. After this paragraph, the section goes on to discuss other things:

    The Role the IPCC set for itself is detailed in the 2004 bulletin. Probably the biggest misconception held by those who don’t follow the global warming debate very closely is the idea that the IPCC does research themselves. They don’t--they review established science and report on the results to policy makers every few years:

    Which means Mosher and fuller never discussed any "claims made in 1987 at the WMO conference." Despite that, they now claim Michael Mann's work shores up these unspecified claims. There is no way a person reading this book could possibly know what Fuller and Mosher are referring to, much less hope to verify it. It's absurd.

    And for added giggles, the paragraph finishes with this great example of class:

    As of this writing his employer, Pennsylvania State University is investigating his role in the Climategate controversy.

  19. After their discussion of Michael Mann, Mosher and Fuller move on to Phillip Jones:

    Phillip Jones (born 1952) is the director of CRU and, according to his biography on CRU’s website, is a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at East Anglia in Norwich.

    Seriously, they say what year the guy was born in. Why?! They don't tell us the year anyone else was born in. It's just completely random addition that serves no purpose and makes no sense.

    And hey, thanks for telling us where you got your information about where the guy works from. Providing useless references like this is sure to help people overlook all the many times you fail to provide any reference for the things you just make up.

    His papers on the Urban Heat Island (UHI) from the 1980’s to present play a vital role, not only in the IPCC understanding of the climate, but also in the Climategate controversy.

    Hey, would you look at that! Again, we find out how important the modern temperature record is to the Climategate controversy. I can't wait for Steven Mosher to come by and tell us how stupid Fuller and Mosher are for believing it is important to the Climategate controversy.

    It’s no understatement to say that almost every major paper written about the issue of the Urban Heat Island and every reconstruction of the climate of the past has relied on the foundational work of Phillip Jones. It’s a cornerstone of climate science.

    Um, yeah, no. It's no understatement to say that. It's an overstatement. A massive one. While Jones's work certainly influenced some things, it is ridiculous to say all the papers on these subjects "relied" upon his work. It's even more ridiculous to say his work was "a cornerstone of climate science."

    The only way a person could innocently write something like this is if they had no actual knowledge of climate science.

    (Naturally, Steven Mosher currently goes around insulting people who say anything like what his book says here.)

  20. There's some stuff I'd like to comment on in the next couple paragraphs, but I can't. I always read ahead a little from what I'm commenting on to make sure context doesn't clarify things. While doing so, I came across the most obnoxious sentence I've ever read in my life. Even with having ranted a bit about this sentence earlier, I still can't contain my annoyance.

    As such, I need a break. And a few shots. In the meantime, enjoy trying to figure out the grammar of this sentence:

    Under his direction, East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit lost vital data, protected data at considerable cost to his organization, and Jones personally threatened to delete data if the law required him to turn it over.

  21. After that last terrible sentence, Mosher and Fuller go on to say:

    In addition to compiling the global temperature index, the staff at CRU are dedicated to understanding the climate of the past. One claim underlying the founding of the IPCC, it should be recalled, is that the climate change we are seeing is unprecedented in human history.

    It's about this point I feel like the authors are just delusional. Two pages before, they tell the reader a graph which only goes back to 1000 AD shows recent warming is "unprecedented in human history." They say this "shores up the claims made in 1987 at the WMO conference," claims they had never referred to before so nobody could possibly know what they're talking about.

    Now they tell us "it should be recalled" the IPCC was founded upon the claim recent climate change is "unprecedented in human history." How could anyone recall that? The book never said it before. They never quoted anything showing it before. Mosher and Fuller are effectively saying:

    "You should remember this thing we never told you or provided reasons to believe is true."

    The worst part is it is complete BS. The IPCC was not founded on the idea recent changes are unprecendented in human history. Leaving aside the stupidity of claiming "human history" only covers the last 1000 years, the first IPCC Assessment Report showed recent warming as less than that which had been seen in the last millenium.

    That graph was the source of a lot of discussion because of various issues with it. There is no reason anyone following the hockey stick controversy should be unaware of it. Even if one somehow was, any internet search for what the early IPCC reports said about paleoclimatology would have turned it up. I have no explanation as to how Mosher and Fuller could have been unaware of it.

    But then, I have no explanation as to why Mosher and Fuller feel the IPCC was founded on the idea recent changes are "unprecedented in human history." They don't provide any basis for the claim, and I can't find anything which supports it. It appears all of this is just a figment of the authors imaginations.

    And when someone repeatedly publishes figments of their imagination as true, it makes them seem delusional to me.

  22. The next person Mosher and Fuller discuss is Keith Briffa. Skipping the introductory stuff I highlighted with the last two people, we find:

    His particular area of expertise is in using tree ring data to reconstruct temperature records going back a thousand years. This field of science, known as dendroclimatology uses a variety of tree ring data, ring widths, wood density and isotopes to estimate or reconstruct the climate of the past.

    What's with the second sentence? Did the authors just provide "tree ring data, ring widths, wood density and isotopes" as a list? I would assume so since that make the grammar work, but if so, why are "tree ring data" and "ring widths" listed separately? Are the authors saying tree ring widths aren't part of tree ring data? In fact, aren't all the things they list covered in "tree ring data"?

    Whatever. Let's move on to something more substantial:

    Those reconstructions play a role in supporting some of the founding claims of the IPCC, namely that the change we see today in the climate has not been seen before in human history, the implication of course being that most of the change can be attributed to human activity.

    Again, what are Mosher and Fuller talking about? They keep saying a founding claim of the IPCC is that recent changes are unprecedent in human history, but they've provided absolutely no basis for that idea, the idea rests upon pretending "human history" extends back only to 1000 AD, and the entire idea is seemingly contradicted by the very first IPCC report.

    By all appearances, the authors have just taken a figment of their imagination and built part of their narrative upon it. Similarly, the authors claim:

    One critical part of these reconstructions is the present day temperature record. This record, the data set created by Jones, is the lynchpin of many climate reconstructions. Without reliable data about the state of the climate in recorded history, reconstructing the past becomes impossible.

    But this is beyond misleading. Mosher and Fuller claim "the presdent day temperature record" is "created by Jones," but there were multiple (five?) modern temperature records at the time they wrote their book. Mosher is now part of a team that makes yet another.

    There is no reason anyone should have thought there was only one modern temperature record or that the modern temperature record was built solely upon the work of one man. Anyone who knew anything about this subject should have known this was wrong, and yet Mosher and Fuller go on to repeat the claim when discussing the Hadley Centre:

    In this role the Hadley Centre publishes the global temperature index created by CRU and Jones and this made them a target for Freedom of Information requests.

    And again:

    Throughout the world various other organizations work in support of the goals of the IPCC. The key organization at the center of the controversy is the Climate Research Unit or CRU. CRU is a component of East Anglia University in England (EAU) and is recognized as one of the world's leading institutions studying natural and human induced or anthropogenic climate change. According to its web site, its staff of around thirty research scientists and students has developed and published a number of the data sets widely used in climate research, most importantly the global temperature index, or CRUTEMP. The data and methods surrounding this critical piece of evidence of climate change is the principle focus of Climategate.

    The authors clearly say the modern temperature record is "the principle focus of Climategate" (though one of them now abuses anyone who says the same thing), claiming there is only one, the one created by the East Anglia University (which on the page before they called the University of East Anglia).

    There are some more paragraphs repeating much of the same points, then the authors write this baffling paragraph:

    The last two organizations, NCAR and GISS, play a slightly more tangential role in Climategate. NCAR or the National Center for Atmospheric Research is home to some of the scientists involved in the emails uncovered and GISS, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies run by noted scientist James Hansen is also home to Gavin Schmidt, a renowned climate scientist who runs the Blog “Real Climate.” Dr. Schmidt is a climate modeler at NASA GISS and he specializes in modeling the past, present and future. While Schmidt is a principal and vocal defender of climate science, his role in Climategate is relatively minor and he is not implicated in any wrongdoing at all.

    I'm not going to argue over whether or not Gavin Schmidt was implciated in any wrong doing in the Climategate e-mails. I'm not even going to argue over whether or not it is appropriate to claim he "runs the Blog 'Real Climate.'" Those are unimportant issues. The important issue is GISS publishes a modern temperature record.

    Mosher and Fuller repeatedly portray the the CRU temperature record as the only modern temperature record, then they immediately go on to discuss an organization that publishes a different one. It is mind-boggling.

    There are two possibilities: 1) Mosher and Fuller were completely unaware GISS had been publishing a modern record for a decade prior to them writing their book, an oversight of monumental proportions; 2) Mosher and Fuller covered up the existence of GISS's work when writing their book to make their story more sexy, an intentionally dishonest misrepresentation.

    Either way, anyone who bought this book deserves a refund.

  23. Again, I try not to harp on grammar, but:

    As the IPCC was coming into being during the 90s, the Internet was blossoming, and in the mid 90’s the print genre of the diary or personal journal was transformed into an electronic version known as a “weblog” which quickly got shortened to ‘blog.’

    Why in the world would the authors switch from double quotation marks to single quotatation marks in a single sentence? What, are they saying part of shortening "weblog" is taking the overly long, double quotation marks around it and replacing them with the shorter single quotation marks?

    And what is this:

    Whereas the IPCC is a centralized, rule governed body with policies and procedures, with aims and missions, with guidelines for publications and timelines for publication, and with budgets, the blogs are loosely organized, affiliated by common interests and readers, with varied emergent rules for conduct, with individualistic charters, with no guidelines for publication and most often no budgets at all.

    Seriously. What is that? I know a guy with a severe stutter who speaks more fluidly than that sentence. I challenge anyone to diagram that sentence out like they had us do in elementary school. I'm not sure it's possible, but it'd be interesting to see the resulting Escher-like diagram.

    Also, I'm pretty sure they used an Oxford comma in that sentence. What dicks.

    In the same way internet journalism challenged print journalism and mainstream media, the way science enthusiasts analyzed and reviewed events and publications on blogs challenged the way science and scientists communicated.

    You know, if Mosher and Fuller had averaged this sentence and the last sentence together, they might have wound up with an acceptable amount of commas throughout.

    Just saying.

  24. I'm going to skip over Mosher and Fuller's description of the Real Climate blog. That doesn't mean it is an okay section. I just don't have the energy to harp on the multitude of minor errors in it since none of them really change the content.

    I'd like to skip their section on Climate Audit too, but toward its beginning it says:

    McIntyre’s Wikipedia page notes, “McIntyre attended the University of Toronto Schools, a university-preparatory school in Toronto, finishing first in the national high school mathematics competition of 1965. He went on to study mathematics at the University of Toronto and graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in 1969. McIntyre then obtained a Commonwealth Scholarship to read philosophy, politics and economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduating in 1971. Although he was offered a graduate scholarship, McIntyre decided not to pursue studies in mathematical economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    McIntyre worked for 30 years in the mineral business, the last part of these in the hard-rock mineral exploration as an officer or director of several public mineral exploration companies. He has also been a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada. He was the president and founder of Northwest Exploration Company Limited and a director of its parent company, Northwest Explorations Inc.

    As McIntyre explained when interviewed for this book, he has not taken a paycheck from any company in the past 23 years. Financially, he stands to gain in an economy that moves away from petroleum products. Economies based on electricity drive demands in the metal markets which in turn benefits the kind of mining interests that he is occasionally involved with.

    I'm a bit thrown off by the idea someone may receive a scholarship "to read philosophy, politics and economics at Corpus Christi College," but maybe that's just some phrasing I'm not familiar with. What I am familiar with is the idea of closing my quotations so people know where they end. I challenge anyone to explain how they know, with certainty, where the Wikipedia quote ends.

    McIntyre’s interest in climate science began when advocates of the Kyoto Protocol used the now famous “hockey stick graph” from Michael Mann 1998 paper.

    The infamous hockey stick graph was not "from Michael Mann 1998 paper." Bad grammar aside, Mann wrote more than one paper in 1998 so this is an unclear reference. Moreover, Mann's 1998 work was followed up by a 1999 extension. The infamous hockey stick graph uses that 1999 extension so this reference is not just unclear, but wrong.

    The Climate Audit blog started in 2005 after the founding of RC according to McIntyre he started the blog because of attacks on his work published at RC.

    Do the authors know what sentences are? Also, why do the authors ignore the site Steve McIntyre ran before Climate Audit? That site existed months before RealClimate did. Surely it deserves some mention. If nothing else, it deserves mention because there were blog posts attacking Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick's work before Real Climate existed, and Climate2003.com posted responses to some of them.

    Are Mosher and Fuller unaware of the history before Real Climate exited? If so, what are they doing writing a book on this subject? Why didn't they do even the most basic of research? Heck, they interviewed McIntyre. Did they somehow fail to discover bloggers discussed this issue before Real Climate was created?

    Or did the authors just ignore the history and pretend none of it happened? Did they decide it'd be a sexier story if it all began with Real Climate's creation? I don't know. It'd be troubling if so, but every explanation I can come up with is troubling.

  25. After quoting an e-mail from Michael Mann about Real Climate's moderation policy, Mosher and Fuller say:

    That means that RC reserves the right to publish comments from readers or not, a right they exercise frequently.

    Um... yeah. If their right is to publish comments or not publish comments, they're bound to exercise it frequently. They're going to exercise it every time they get a comment. I get this was meant to say Real Climate censors people, but that's not what it actually says.

    Climate Audit has several contributors in addition to Stephen McIntyre. These authors include retired statistics professors and specialists in time series analysis. At times the blog posts are only comprehensible to those with advanced degrees in mathematics or statistics. Perhaps first among these co-authors is Ross McKitrick, who co authored a paper with McIntyre in 2005 on Mann’s “Hockey Stick”.

    First, what in the world is the third sentence of this quote doing there? It doesn't fit at all. It's like it just randomly tossed into the paragraph.

    Second, what are the authors smoking? I was in high school when Climate Audit started, and I've been able to comprehend every post on the site. I have no special mathematical training. The highest level class I ever took was AP Calculus. I was still able to follow everything. It took some work, but... really? You'd have to be smoking something to think an advanced degree in anything was necessary to understand Climate Audit posts.

    McKitrick is a lightning rod for The Team’s defenders, as his past connections include work at organizations they despise. (For some environmental activists, a one-time association with the wrong company or think tank taints you forever, and they will refuse to even listen to you based on your history. We write more about this below.) Our reading of McKitrick’s work shows no discernible political bent or bias, but readers are urged to form their own opinions.

    This paragraph is... I don't even know what. Let's just call it stupid writing and move on.

    Both McIntyre and McKitrick share a common attitude toward the principles of disclosure with respect to the data and methods they use in their publications. Taking their lead from requirements in econometric journals, both stress the vital importance of backing up their claims in published work with the actual data used in their calculations and the computer codes required to perform the calculations. As a result, posts or articles at CA come complete with the data required to replicate the results shown and the computer code to generate those results.

    This is just more of Mosher and Fuller making things up. Some Climate Audit posts come with code and data. Others don't. McIntyre is good about providing them if people are interested (or he thinks they will be), but he's often not provided code/data along with posts.

    From his entry into climate science McIntyre has focused on getting access to the data and methods of key climate scientists: Phil Jones’ temperature data and code and paleoclimatologists’ data and code.

    Earlier we heard Phil Jones's work was "a cornerstone of climate science," but now the authors go even further. After referring to "key climate scientists" in the plural, Mosher and Fuller refer only to one person: Phil Jones. Apparently Jones is so important, he's more than one climate scientist!

    Maybe Phil Jones is not just a cornerstone of climate scinece, but every cornerstone 😛

    His approach to getting access to the data and code is as follows. He writes to the scientists publishing the results and asks them for the data, and follows up requests that are denied with a request to the journal that published the paper.

    Mosher and Fuller manage to paint McIntyre as obnoxious by pretending he doesn't check to see if authors have archived their data prior to asking for it.

    If neither the scientists nor the journals are forthcoming, McIntyre has availed himself of legal methods of getting the information he desires, namely Freedom of Information requests.

    As opposed to the illegal methods he availed himself of prior to trying the legal ones, I guess?

    (I'm starting to skip more stuff now. I'd like to get through this without having to copy 80% of the book, so I'm not going to say everything I think.)

  26. At its inception in 2007, WUWT was focused primarily on a volunteer project organized by Watts. That project, surfacestations.org, had one goal: document the state and condition of every station in the US used by climate scientists to record temperature and examine the problem of UHI, the Urban Heat Island effect.

    Um, no. Let's just be clear about one thing: the authors are idiots. The Urban Heat Island effect is the effect where areas with more development tend to be warmer than they would be without. The predominant causes of it are the change to surface area (e.g. cement as opposed to grass) and waste heat from energy consumption.

    The Surface Station project dealt with far more than that. Namely, much of what it dealt with are things known as microsite problems. These are issues which affect only a small area, such as that around a temperature station. For instance, temperature sensors were found next to air conditioners. That could obviously affect the sensors' recordings.

    But things like that do not require UHI. You do not need an urban environment to have a microsite problem. You could have a temperature sensor located in the middle of a field, a hundred miles from the nearest human structure. That could be free of UHI, but that doesn't mean it would be free of microsite problems. A tree could grow up next to the temperature sensor and influence its results.

    Mosher and Fuller simply conflate these two different things. This is best seen shortly after the quote I provided when they say:

    After visiting a few stations in California Watts was shocked by what he discovered: the stations which were supposed to be located in areas free from UHI were in fact located in areas where their readings could be influenced by non climatic factors. Stations which were supposed to be located away from buildings and trees were found next to trash burning bins, on rooftops, under trees.

    Despite what Mosher and Fuller argue, trees do not cause an Urban Heat Island.

  27. I skipped the end of Chapter One so I could jump into Chapter Two. I'm hoping I won't have as much to say about these later chapters. However, Chapter Two begins with a talking point we saw over and over in Chapter One:

    The IPCC was founded to advise politicians on how bad global warming was going to be and based on the assumption that recent warming was the most extreme in history. They assume global warming is real—they do not question its existence. This leaves skeptical scientists out in the cold, for the most part.

    Again, Mosher and Fuller tell us the "IPCC was founded... based on the assumption that recent warming was the most extreme history." They have never provided a shred of evidence for this claim, and I've shown the first IPCC report contradicts it.

    The next paragraph is basically more repetition of stuff from Chapter One. Then we get one which is unimportant:

    The major problems faced in creating and maintaining an accurate historical record of temperatures are essentially good housekeeping, and we see that data might be better off if placed in the hands of an objective third party, something Steve McIntyre pointed out on his weblog.

    Aside from the bad writing, I don't actually have a problem with this paragraph. I just wanted to highlight it because one of the authors of this book, Steven Mosher, is now part of a third party group which creates its own temperature record. When his group was asked to archive data and results, Mosher refused.

    The next couple paragraphs are worth commenting, but I'm going to skip them because three paragraphs later we get:

    As the IPCC came into being there were two fundamental beliefs that structured the science that was to follow. First was the belief that the historical temperature record showed an increase in warming. The second was the belief that the warming scientists were predicting would be unprecedented in the course of human history

    Compare this to the first quote of the chapter. Originally Mosher and Fuller said the IPCC was founded on "the assumption that recent warming was the most extreme in history." Now they say this fundamental belief of the IPCC is "the warming scientists were predicting would be unprecedented in the course of human history."

    Originally Mosher and Fuller claimed the IPCC assumed changes thus far were unprecedented in human history. Now Mosher and Fuller claim the IPCC assumed changes we will see in the future will be unprecedented in human history. That is a huge shift in position.

    It gets worse though. The quote they provide to justify their position is:

    The conference concluded, that “as a result of the increasing greenhouse gases it is now believed that in the first half of the next century (21st century) a rise of global mean temperature could occur which is greater than in any man’s history.”

    Could. Could occur. Warming which is greater than in any man's history could occur.

    Mosher and Fuller somehow changed "could" into "will." Then, in some parts of their book, they changed "in the first half of the next century" into "thus far." And that is apparently how they were able to say things like:

    One claim underlying the founding of the IPCC, it should be recalled, is that the climate change we are seeing is unprecedented in human history.

    The extent of Mosher and Fuller's exaggeration is incredible. Even worse, they seem to be unaware of it. They genuinely seem to believe they are accurately describing the founding beliefs of the IPCC. It's insane.

  28. I want to copy something over from the comments at lucia's blog. Referring to the same point I made just above, I said:

    By the way, I’ve been trying not to say much about this book, but I just came across something incredible. In Chapter Two, Steven Mosher and Thomas Fuller quote a statement saying:

    The conference concluded, that “as a result of the increasing greenhouse gases it is now believed that in the first half of the next century (21st century) a rise of global mean temperature could occur which is greater than in any man’s history.”

    And conclude this indicates a:

    belief that the warming scientists were predicting would be unprecedented in the course of human history

    But just a few paragraphs before this, Mosher and Fuller said:

    The IPCC was founded to advise politicians on how bad global warming was going to be and based on the assumption that recent warming was the most extreme in history.

    And Chapter One had a number of statements like:

    One claim underlying the founding of the IPCC, it should be recalled, is that the climate change we are seeing is unprecedented in human history.

    The WMO statement is largely unremarkable. Back in 1985, scientists said we might see warming by 2050 that is unprecedented in human history. Mosher and Fuller somehow distorted this into, “We will see warming by 2050 that is unprecedented in human history” then further distorted it into, “We have seen warming that is unprecedented in human history.”

    After reading things like that, Mosher’s non-responsive comments about BEST are a lot less surprising.

    One of the authors of the book, Thomas Fuller, responded:

    Brandon, now I begin to see why others are reluctant to engage with you. Your post #135339 is pretty much garbage.

    I was obviously unimpressed by this response, so I said:

    Tom Fuller, that’s a very compelling argument. Maybe next you can tell everybody, “Don’t listen to Brandon. He’s a poopyhead.”

    In case the sarcasm doesn’t make my point, dismissing an argument a person makes with nothing but a derisive remark is lame. If someone is actually wrong, you should indicate in what way they are wrong. Ideally, you should also indicate why people ought to believe they are wrong in that way.

    It is easy to check my claim your book repeatedly says the IPCC was founded on the assumption global warming thus far had been unprecedented in human history. If one does, they’ll find your book even claims the infamous hockey stick shores up this assumption (That would be the hockey stick which goes back to 1000 AD, apparently the advent of human history. Actually, it might only be the one which goes back to 1400 AD since you guys attributed it to the 1998, not the 1999 paper.)

    If my argument is actually “garbage,” someone should take five minutes to check what I said and explain how it is wrong.

    But you won’t, because you’re wrong you poopyhead!

    It will be interesting to see if that winds up being the grand total of the authors' responses to my commentary on their book. In the meantime, I'm going to get back to the review.

  29. Continuing on from where Mosher and Fuller misrepresent the underlying assumptions of the IPCC process, we get this paragraph:

    The two fundamental beliefs—that greenhouse gases are warming the planet and the warming will be unprecedented—are behind the entire Climategate controversy and there are two FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to investigate each of these beliefs—one targeted at the historical record of temperatures and the other aimed at understanding how Chapter 6 of the IPCC’s AR4 came to be written. But for the efforts of a few scientists and engineers who sought this information, Climategate would never have happened.

    I'm not going to rehash what I said before. Instead, lets focus on the new material. Supposedly "there are two FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to investigate each of these beliefs." I'm not sure if their use of "are" instead of "were" is a grammatical mistake or if the authors were claiming there are currently FOI requests. Normally I'd try checking the facts of the situation to get an idea, but that won't work here. There were never just two FOI requests. There were quite a few more than two. I 'm not sure just what the authors were trying to say, but there is no good way to interpret this paragraph.

    Fortunately, the next few paragraphs are better. In fact, we can skip the next couple pages. The next couple pages explain what the Urban Heat Island effect is, and they do a fairly good job of it (strangely, they don't conflate UHI and microsite issues like they did earlier in the book).

    The next problem worth examining comes when the authors describe some obstacles in creating a modern temperature record:

    Obstacle #1, “access to data in a usable form” is not unique to climate science; Obstacle #2, quality control is likewise not unique to climate science. Obstacle #3, homogeneity of data does require some understanding of climate measuring systems and the ways in which those measurements can be corrupted, and specifically it requires some understanding of measurement devices, thermometers, and problems such as UHI. Obstacle #4, area averaging in the presence of gaps is a purely statistical problem with a large body of standard statistical procedures one can rely on. In short, the problems of the surface record are just the kind of problems that many, including many skeptical engineers, have solved in their everyday jobs.

    This is okay, but immediately after it, we find this:

    Posted at Climate Audit by Steve McIntyre

    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 10:44 PM | Permalink | Reply #78.

    Both CRU and USHCN temperature calculations are more like accounting systems than scientific research. The science is relatively trivial compared to the accounting – and is limited to things like calculating the difference between canvas and wooden buckets.

    Calculating a temperature index is a lot like calculating a Consumer Price Index. In the real world, the Consumer Price Index is calculated by a professional statistical service, not by academics writing little papers for journals. In bizarro-world, the temperature indices calculated by scientists working part-time as amateur accountants and obviously not doing a very good job as accountants – as witness, the lack of audit trails, the inability to locate (say) key diskettes, their either losing the original unadjusted data or their failing to take care to collect unadjusted data in the first place (or to collect/save the adjustment process where adjusted data was used.) Temperature indices should be calculated by a professional statistical service, who understand data integrity, not climate scientists who are untrained in statistical management and doing it on a seat-of-the-pants basis. Also the accounting obviously shouldn’t be done by people who are also advocates. It taints the ability of third parties to trust their results.

    The authors did nothing to introduce this comment. They don't explain why they're including it or anything. They don't even refer to the comment, before or after. It's just randomly included. If the comment was removed, you would never notice the absence in Mosher and Fuller's text.

    I get the comment makes the same point they want to make, but if they wanted to use a comment to make that point, why didn't they use the comment? Why didn't they reference it in their discussion or at least point to it and say something as trivial as, "This point was made in a comment:"? It's baffling. Aside from adding a couple hundred words, or an entire page, to their book, this accomplishes nothing.

    Even worse, they included hyperlinks for the Permalink and Reply buttons. We've gone through nearly 20% of the book without a single link for a source, but now we get two links in the most useless moment possible.

  30. " There were never just two FOI requests. There were quite a few more than two. "

    Without taking the time to search the Climate Audit site, and relying purely on my fallible memory, I believe the flurry of FOI requests was to some extent spearheaded by Steve Mosher himself. At some point the CRU refused to provide data based on "confidentiality agreements" with various nations. So the CA community requested copies of those agreements. ("I know you SAID it, but I have no reason to BELIEVE what you said. I'm a skeptic, remember?" ) Then the CRU said their legal experts restricted the release of such documents to five, or fewer, per request. So, (only if I recall correctly, Mosher, but in any case some outspoken and well-regarded commenter at the CA community) provided a list of all the world's Meterological Nations (or whatever) and asked for each interested commenter to ask for five (and ONLY five) "confidentiality agreements" for those nations. Classical crowd-sourcing. So one FOIA request for a big stack of about 150 documents, denied, became instead about 30 FOIA requests for 5 documents each. Then, of course, the CRU replied they couldn't possibly deal with so many requests...

    Note this was much about the modern era of instrumental temperature readings -- "raw data" -- and not about the CRU's various obstructions with Yamal data or paleo-climate proxies in general.

  31. Pouncer, I assume your point is Mosher was involved with an effort which involved sending multiple FOI requests so it's peculiar a book he co-authors says there were only two. That's a good point, and I agree. However, I want to clarify the event you refer to a bit.

    I don't think CRU ever gave a reason for people to break the FOI requests into so many pieces. I think that was just pre-emptive to head off the possible excuse of, "That'd take too long." Anyway, the topic where what you describe happen was this one:

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/07/24/cru-refuses-data-once-again/

    Steven Mosher didn't come up with the idea (Steve McIntyre did), and he wasn't the first person to provide a list of countries. Mosher just helped get things done in a tidy manner. And yes, I actually remembered that off the top of my head. I think I have spent way too much time following the hockey stick debate.

  32. I'm skipping the rest of Chapter Two. The writing quality and grammar is still terrible, but the content doesn't have any significant problems. Chapter Three begins somewhat okay (compared to the rest of the book), but its fourth paragraph says:

    Chapter 3 details the change in attitude on Jones’ part about sharing data. His attitude in 2002 is changed by the publication of McIntyre’s 2003 paper and Mann’s diatribes against McIntyre. In 2004, with McIntyre’s work and criticism gaining traction on the internet, the climate scientists launch their PR counter offensive: the weblog Real Climate. As 2004 comes to a close, McIntyre and McKitrick get a paper accepted into the prestigious journal GRL, which leads Mann to suggest a campaign against the editor that really seems right out of the playbook of Joe McCarthy. Jones, Wigley and Mann all discuss the danger that FOIA poses, and before the first FOIA is even issued Jones threatens to delete data if McIntyre ever finds out about FOIA. The McIntyre paper gets published mid Feb 2005.

    I don't recall the authors having ever referred to GRL before so it's a bit weird they only use it as an acronym, but whatever. The real problem is... why do Mosher and Fuller only refer to the 2005 GRL paper? McIntyre and McKitrick had a paper published in 2005 in GRL and another in E&E.

    The E&E paper was far more important. The GRL paper only discussed how the improper implementation of PCA in MBH can create biased proxies/screw up correlation calculations. The E&E paper showed what effect these biased proxies have on the overall reconstruction. The E&E paper is the one which actually discussed how MBH's mistakes affected their temperature reconstruction. The GRL paper didn't.

    Are Mosher and Fuller really unaware of what papers McIntyre and McKitrick have published, and what they said in those papers? It seems hard to believe, but I can't see much other reason to not mention the E&E paper. Maybe we'll find an explanation later on.

    In the meantime, I want to point out Michael Mann did much the same thing in his book, citing the GRL paper while ignoring the E&E one. Interestingly, he then gave some discussion of what was said in the E&E paper but none of what was said in the GRL paper. If Mosher and Fuller do that too, I'm going to slam my head into my desk.

  33. That last quote was from a "Cheat Sheet" introduction to Chapter Three. Moving into the body of the chapter, we see:

    In 2003 Stephan McIntyre and Ross McKitrick published "Corrections to the Mann et al (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemisphere Average Temperature Series" Energy and Environment 14(6) 751-772.

    This paper (MM03) purported to critique an influential paper (Mann, Bradley and Hughes, 1998) and correct an influential scientist (Michael Mann) on the issue of climate reconstruction. Mann’s work served to flatten the temperature record of the past 1,000 years, almost eliminating both the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age. In particular, this buttressed the IPCC claims that the current warming is greater than any seen in the history of man.

    I don't really have anything more to say about this. I just wanted to point out the authors are still telling the reader mankind's history began in 1000 AD.

    Also, "IPCC claims that the current warming is greater than any seen in the history of man"? Are they referring to claims (not actually) made in the IPCC TAR, or are they going back to the idea this was a founding assumption of the IPCC? I'm not sure.

  34. Unfortunately, the next portion of Chapter Three makes me regret not commenting on the final portion of Chapter Two. In that portion, Mosher and Fuller talk about a couple exchanges between Phil Jones and Warwick Hughes, creating a narrative shown in these excerpts (basically the section, just without quotes from the Climategate e-mails):

    In 2000 we see Jones’ willingness to work with Hughes, answer his questions, double check his results, and follow up accordingly. The mails are cordial and there is no sense of animosity between the two.

    By Feb 21, 2005 Jones’ attitude changes radically. In July 2004 Hughes asked Jones to supply his data to support the claim that the globe had warmed .6C since the end of the 19th century. Sometime before Feb 18th, 2005 Hughes writes:

    Hughes had requested the underlying data that Jones had used in his reconstruction of the global temperature series. Since the WMO and its members are all committed to the open sharing of climate data and since the IPCC is a creation of the WMO, Hughes felt he was on solid ground in asking Jones for the data. However, the WMO had not responded and Jones wrote that “even if” the WMO agreed to the release of data, he would not give it to Hughes. Jones’ reason for ignoring WMO guidelines is simply this: Jones thinks Hughes’ motive is to find something wrong with it.

    However, the scientific method works to produce answers the public can trust because scientists check each others’ work. They work to find errors, to correct them. By sharing data and methods science moves forward through self correction. Finally, by sharing data and code, motives become irrelevant. If one’s math checks out, then politics, motives, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, age, race all become immaterial. Yet here Jones refuses to comply with the very fundamentals of science. Instead of releasing data which removes the specter of hidden motive, Jones turns to questioning the motives of others. What changed the tone between 2000 and Feb 21, 2005? What altered Jones’ willingness to exchange information with other people? The publication of one paper in 2003 and the bitter rivalry it engendered.

    I was mostly fine with this narrative. However, in Chapter Three Mosher and Fuller say:

    McIntyre’s critical paper created an animosity between Mann and McIntyre that later shaped the profile of the Climategate story and Phil Jones, who hitherto had worked willingly with Hughes and McIntyre, was transformed from someone who would share data, even when it might be covered by confidentiality agreements, to someone who would rather delete it than share it.

    There is nothing in their previous discussion which shows Jones was willing to share data, much less that he was willing to share data "when it might be covered by confidentiality agreements." Mosher are making a bold claim here, and they've offered not a shred of evidence for it. They just act as though it is something everyone should just know is true.

    The only explanation I can come up with is Mosher and Fuller somehow got mixed up on what they had said before. In the Preface to their book, they said:

    One scientist threatened to delete data rather than comply with the act, and data has in fact disappeared. At the same time, The Team was violating confidentiality agreements by sending the same data they refused to release to critics to their friends and supporters.

    Then quoted Jones four times, but none of the quotes said anything about him sharing data. The quotes were all about him not sharing data.

    In Chapter One they quote an e-mail to Jones by Thomas Peterson as saying:

    NCDC.
 Periodically, Tom Karl will twist my arm to release data that would violate agreements


    None of this shows Jones was willing to share data, much less that he was willing to share data covered by confidentiality agreements. Either the authors thought these earlier discussions said things they didn't, or the authors just decided to attack Jones as a hypocrite without providing a shred of evidence for what they were saying.

  35. The next line of Chapter Three says:

    In October of 2003 Mann was passed a document that leaked word of the MM03 paper.

    It then provides a quote, and shortly after, it says:

    Whoever passed this document on to Mann was giving him good advice, especially with regards to his temperament, but Mann would not heed this counsel.

    But look at the quote:

    Two people have a forthcoming 'Energy & Environment' paper that's being unveiled tomorrow (Monday) that -- in the words of one Cato / Marshall/ CEI type -- "will claim that Mann arbitrarily ignored paleo data within his own record and substituted other data for missing values that dramatically affected his results. When his exact analysis is rerun with all the data and with no data substitutions, two very large warming spikes will appear that are greater than the 20th century. Personally, I'd offer that this was known by most people who understand Mann's methodology: it can be quite sensitive to the input data in the early centuries. Anyway, there's going to be a lot of noise on this one, and knowing Mann's very thin skin I am afraid he will react strongly, unless he has learned (as I hope he has) from the past...."

    If this was something directed to Michael Mann, why would it refer to only Mann in the third person? Why would someone give Mann advice while referring to him only in the third person?

    They wouldn't. The e-mail this is taken from begins with, "This has been passed along to me by someone whose identity will remain in confidence." The reality is the author of that text didn't send anything to Mann. Someone else copied it to him.

    Nobody was giving Mann advice. All they were doing is letting him see what people had said "behind his back." I don't know why the authors pretend otherwise. I especially don't know why they do when immediately after, they then quote the e-mail Mann sent:

    Dear All,

    This has been passed along to me by someone whose identity will remain in confidence. Who knows what trickery has been pulled or selective use of data made. It’s clear that "Energy and Environment" is being run by the baddies--only a shill for industry would have republished the original Soon and Baliunas paper as submitted to "Climate Research" without even editing it. Now apparently they're at it again...

    My suggested response is: 1) to dismiss this as stunt, appearing in a so-called "journal" which is already known to have defied standard practices of peer-review. It is clear, for example, that nobody we know has been asked to "review" this so-called paper 2) to point out the claim is nonsense since the same basic result has been obtained by numerous other researchers, using different data, elementary compositing techniques, etc. Who knows what sleight of hand the authors of this thing have pulled. Of course, the usual suspects are going to try to peddle this crap. The important thing is to deny that this has any intellectual credibility whatsoever and, if contacted by any media, to dismiss this for the stunt that it is..

    Thanks for your help,

    mike

    I know this may not change anything, but it's troubling when authors get basic details wrong, especially in a book whose entire purpose is to help people understand a complicated situation.

    And this book does it on a constant basis.

  36. The next part of Chapter Three has the sort of thing I've been trying to ignore, but sometimes I just can't. It says:

    Four days later Ray Bradley, one of Mann’s co authors, intervenes and suggests another strategy. It’s notable because it rests on subterfuge. Essentially at a time when Climate Science is coming into question, when trust is a key issue, Bradley suggests the following dodge:

    I don't know what's with "Climate Science" randomly being capitalized. The phrase is used over 40 times in this book, but this is the only time it gets capitalized.

    I would have just ignored that, but I can't because I want to discuss the quote which follows this paragraph. The first portion of it is:

    Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2003 11:55:18 -0500

    Cc: mann@multiproxy.evsc.virginia.edu, mhughes@ltrr.arizona.edu

    Tim, Phil, Keef:

    I suggest a way out of this mess. Because of the complexity of the arguments involved, to an uniformed observer it all might be viewed as just scientific nit-picking by "for" and "against" global warming proponents. However, if an "independent group" such as you guys at CRU could make a statement as to whether the M&M effort is truly an "audit", and if they did it right, I think that would go a long way to defusing the issue. …... ….

    I'm not kidding. They really did use ten periods for an ellipsis. I get they needed to use an ellipsis since they removed a paragraph after this, but... ten periods? Really? That's one period for every three words they removed!

    And I know it's trivial, but incredibly, after the quote the authors then say:

    Not coincidentally, the address list is much shorter, suggesting that only certain people could be trusted with this kind of subterfuge. .

    Which makes me wonder which three words they removed from after this sentence.

    For additional confusion, Mosher and Fuller then say:

    Ray Bradley is asking the scientists at CRU to pretend they are an “independent group” of distinguished scientists and hoping the stunt would fool reviewers.

    What reviewers? I get you could kind of call onlookers, readers and whatnot "reviewers" in a not-totally weird and wrong way. However, the authors referred to reviewers as the people doing peer-review at journals just three paragraphs earlier. Why would they use "reviewers" again here?

    I don't think I could intentionally write as poorly as these authors do. They've somehow found a way to combine the inability to write in a coherent manner with the ability to pretend to write in a coherent manner to create a mess I can't even begin to describe.

  37. And hey, enough of this trivial writing quality commentary. Let's get back to something substantial: Mosher and Fuller making things up again! The next part of Chapter Three says:

    Further evidence of the change in Jones’ attitude towards sharing data can be seen in the examination of his correspondence with McIntyre prior to the publication of that 2003 paper. What follows is correspondence, toward the end of 2002, between Jones and McIntyre prior to McIntyre’s publication in 2003

    I get the authors may not understand simple words like "further," but to provide "further" evidence of something, some evidence must have already been provided.

    Sarcastic mockery aside, I'm going to provide all the text they quote because it is important you see all of it:

    sept 8 2002 From Stephan McIntyre forwarded to P Jones:

    In Journal of Climate 7 (1994), Prof. Jones references 1088 new stations added to the 1873 stations referred to in Jones 1986. Can you refer me to a listing of these stations and an FTP reference to the underlying data?

    Thanks, Steve McIntyre

    Dear Steve,
You are looking into station lists from papers in the early 1990s and 1980s. These are now out of date. There will be a new paper coming out in J. Climate (probably early next year). I’m attaching the station list (5159 stations) from that paper ………
Once the paper comes out in the Journal of Climate, I will be putting the station temperature and all the gridded databases onto our web site. The gridded files on our web site at the moment are from our current analysis. The new analysis doesn’t change the overall character of the gridded fields, it is just easier for me to send the new lists of stations used from the new analysis.
I hope this helps.

    
Phil Jones

    Dear Steve,
Attached are the two similar files [normup6190, cruwld.dat] to those I sent before which should be for the 1994 version. This is still the current version until the paper appears for the new one. As before the stations with normal values do not get used.

    I’ll bear your comments in mind when possibly releasing the station data for the new version (comments wrt annual temperatures as well as the monthly). One problem with this is then deciding how many months are needed to constitute an annual average. With monthly data I can use even one value for a station in a year (for the month concerned), but for annual data I would have to decide on something like 8-11 months being needed for an annual average. With fewer than 12 I then have to decide what to insert for missing data. Problem also applies to the grid box dataset but is slightly less of an issue.

    I say possibly releasing above, as I don’t want to run into the issues that GHCN have come across with some European countries objecting to data being freely available. I would like to see more countries make their data freely available (and although these monthly averages should be according to GCOS rules for GAA-operational Met. Service.

    
Cheers
Phil Jones

    There are some weird symbols included, which I assume is due to some sort of format conversion issue. Maybe that has something to do with why there are the huge amount of periods in the authors' ellipses (seen again in this quote). I don't know. I don't care right now.

    What's important is this exchange is perfectly reasonable. Jones's comments about sharing data are all perfectly sensible. He even makes it clear he has to worry about confidentiality agreements. Instead of promising to release certain data, he explains he says "possibly releasing" because he doesn't "want to run into the issues that GHCN have come across with some European countries objecting to data being freely available." In other words, Jones indicates doesn't want to violate confidentiality agreements. He then indicates he wishes people didn't have to worry about such confidentiality agreements.

    That's all good. It's all perfectly acceptable. None of that deserves any special notice in and of itself beyond, "Good for you Phil Jones." It would certainly would make sense to contrast what he says here with what he says later on, but there is no reason to criticize anything he says here.

    Mosher and Fuller do it anyway:

    Jones was cooperative, open to suggestions, and helpful in providing information. In fact, Jones released a version of some of the data at the heart of the Climategate controversy, all the while noting that the data might be covered by confidentiality agreements,

    No, he did not. Mosher and Fuller are just making this up. Jones's e-mail does nothing to indicate the data he sent is covered by any confidentiality agreements. He clearly indicates his concerns about confidentiality are limited to the data he is considering releasing in the future. Mosher and Fuller have simply misread what Jones said so they could make remarks like:

    So as late as 2002, Jones was willing to share his data, even though he believed it might be covered by agreements

    I'm not saying the point Mosher and Fuller are making is wrong. There were a lot of improprieties with how CRU handled the issue of sharing data. It may be true Jones sent data he believed to have been covered by confidentiality agreements. However, Mosher and Fuller have done nothing to demonstrate such. Instead, they've simply misrepresented unremarkable statements by Jones as admissions of wrongdoing.

    Incidentally, during the dispute about what should be released in response to FOI requests, Jones's university said:

    In regards the information provided to the US Department of Energy, my investigation has revealed that this was done in the early 1990s prior to the imposition of the restrictions now pertaining to the data pursuant to a contractual obligation at the time. Therefore, the analogy you are drawing does not apply to the data that is the subject of this request.

    And Phil Jones said this in an e-mail:

    He has missed the point. I could have put in loads of the faxes similar to the British Territories one, as all the requests that Mike Hulme and I sent in the mid-1990s included the statement :

    The data will not be used unauthorised for any other project and will not be passed onto any third party.

    I didn’t include all of these as they just say the same thing. I only included those that reiterated this point when they sent us the data.

    These statements are perfectly consistent with the idea the 1994 data was not covered by confidentiality agreements while later data was. That doesn't mean they are true, but it certainly shows Mosher and Fuller's interpretation could be completely off-base.

    I get those statements were not available at the time Mosher and Fuller wrote their book, but anyone with basic reading skills could have guessed at the possibility based just on Jones's e-mails. It's a far more sensible interpretation than the one Mosher and Fuller came up with.

  38. After that last whopper, it's hard to care about the smaller issues. I was going to skip all the ones I saw, but then I came across:

    Jones also refers Wigley to a web site that discussed M&M. The fight over MM03 was largely taking place on the web as McIntyre had started to write about his findings on a blog called http://www.climate2003.com.

    Seriously?! Earlier when discussing the history of blogs on the hockey stick controversy, Mosher and Fuller portrayed Real Climate as the first site. They explained:

    The Climate Audit blog started in 2005 after the founding of RC according to McIntyre he started the blog because of attacks on his work published at RC.

    Ignoring the fact Real Climate was created, in part, as a response to http://www.climate2003.com. Now the authors show they always knew about http://www.climate2003.com, making their failure to mention it when discussing the history of blogs baffling.

    Since we're back on these more minor issues:

    The importance of having a paper in what is known as “peer reviewed literature” is crucial to understand.

    Seriously? Whatever. Let's get back to the big picture:

    The IPCC assessment reports are not scientific documents. They are literature reviews, that is, reviews of papers that are published in peer reviewed journals such as GRL. The fall of 2004 and early spring of 2005 is a critically important period in the preparation of the other nexus of the Climategate files: The IPCC Assessment Report 4 (AR4) Working Group 1 (WG1) Chapter 6, (Ch06), the chapter on climate reconstructions. As MM05 comes into publication, the climate scientists are drafting the very chapter that MM05 will critique. Michael Mann writes Keith Briffa, who is the lead author of WG1 AR4 Ch06, and refers to a paper authored by “Casper Ammann and Eugene Wahl that can be used in AR4 Ch06 to counter the claims made by M&M.

    This settles things. The authors have no idea what they're talking about. Earlier I pointed out the 2005 GRL paper was far less important than the 2005 E&E paper. As you can guess, Wahl and Ammann was primarily a responde to the E&E paper, not the GRL paper.

    I just skimmed the next two chapters, and I didn't see a single mention of the 2005 E&E paper. Mosher and Fuller are apparently completely unaware of this paper, even though it is the single most important paper criticizing the hockey stick. They're unaware of it even though it is the primary foundation of the arguments they proceed to discuss.

    Mosher and Fuller go on and on for pages and pages about the less important GRL paper, a paper which doesn't even try to show the original hockey stick's shape was wrong, but they don't say a single word about the central 2005 E&E paper which detailed what Mann et al did wrong their hockey stick and what effects that had on their results.

    I don't have the words to express how mind-bogglingly stupid this is. I'm not going to comment on the rest of this chapter. My reviewer remark on this chapter is, "Set it on fire."

    If that's not enough, I'd say, "Buy The Hockey Stick Illusion, a much better book." If that's not enough, I'd say, "Beat Steven Mosher and Thomas Fuller over the head with it in the hopes they might learn something by osmosis because they sure as hell don't learn anything by reading."

  39. Oh for God's sake. A couple pages into Chapter Four, Mosher and Fuller quote a press release from Wahl and Ammann which says, amongst other things:

    Wahl and Ammann address each criticism raised by McIntyre and McKitrick (Energy and Environment 2003, 2005 and Geophysical Research Letters 2005) and find that: “High 15th century temperatures are only achieved with statistical models that don’t pass validation tests, and thus lack both statistical and climatological meaning. Using mean 20th century climatology would provide a more successful reconstruction than the results put forth by McIntyre and McKitrick.

    The press release refers to the 2005 E&E paper. The press release even claims W&A rebutted arguments made only in that 2005 E&E paper:

    “If Principle Component analysis of North-American tree ring data is applied appropriately (i.e., with retention of all the relevant climate information contained in the tree ring data), climate reconstructions very similar to MBH are achieved, independent of the reference period applied. This is confirmed by an analysis leading to the same result if all individual tree ring series themselves are included.

    A statement which only makes sense with the 2005 E&E paper as context. The 2003 E&E paper didn't discuss how many PCs to retain, and the 2005 GRL paper didn't discuss what to do with the calculated PCs at all.

    Despite this, the authors then immediately say:

    The context surrounding the publication of these two papers is key.

    If the context is key, why don't the authors know the most basic details of that context, like what W&A were responding to? All they had to do was read the press release.

    Or read the papers they're discussing.

    Or follow the hockey stick debate.

    Or do anything resembling any sort of actual research.

    Screw it. I'm not commenting on this chapter either. If you want to know about the events the chapter described, here is a reference written by someone who actually knows what he is talking about. As an added bonus, it is is actually well-written!

    Of course, that reference doesn't quote Climategate e-mails like this book does. That's a shame because those e-mails provide some useful insight. In that limited sense, it might be worth reading this book as the book at least highlights some relevant e-mails so you don't have to dig through all the e-mails which were released to try to find them. If you do it though, just ignore everything the authors say. Pretend you're only buying a list of quotations.

  40. Side note, I need to get raging drunk. I don't have any alcohol, and I have responsibilities this evening. The next eight hours are going to be torture.

    It's official. I hate Steven Mosher and Thomas Fuller.

  41. My sobriety can't end just yet, so I'm going to push on. Chapter Five comes with a "Cheat Sheet" summary which begins:

    Cheat Sheet: This is the period of time where a Congressional committee asks the National Academy of Sciences and noted statistician Dr. Edward Wegman to investigate Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick calculations and Steve McIntyre’s criticism. The NAS and Wegman would support McIntyre on every point he made, and Wegman in particular was trenchant about his comments regarding Mann and his team, going so far as to almost predict the events of Climategate, due to the close-knit, almost incestuous inter-relationships between members of The Team, who served as co-authors, reviewers, editors and promoters of each others’ work.

    First saying Edward Wegman went "so far as to almost predict the events of Climategate" sounds idiotic. Nothing Wegman said did anything to suggest e-mails would be released to the public. The most one could argue is Wegman's work suggested what was found in those e-mails, but that's hardly notable. Much of it had already happened and been discussed in public.

    Second, remember this is the first paragraph of what is supposed to be an overview of the chapter. The Preface of the book described these "Cheat Sheets":

    It shows a sample of the emails chronologically arranged as we discuss separate topics. We discuss institutions, weblogs and science that we consider important. We realize this makes reading it a bit difficult. We’ve provided narrative summaries which we call ‘Cheat Sheets’ at the beginning of several chapters to try and help.

    Given the first paragraph of Chapter Five's summary focuses entirely upon the NAS and Wegman Reports, a reader whould expect Chapter Five to discuss the NAS and Wegman reports. It doesn't. It gives a little attention to the NAS report, but the Wegman Report is never mentioned again. Never.

    Mosher and Fuller felt the Wegman Report was so important for Chapter Five they devoted a third of the chapter's summary to it, then they promptly never mentioned it again. Not in the entire rest of the book. The only other times it is ever discussed are in Chapter Three:

    This too would fail as a media strategy and before it was over, respected statistician Edward Wegman would demonstrate the rather incestuous relationships between Mann and the rest of The Team.

    And:

    We should tell readers new to this long-running story that McIntyre and McKitrick were judged to be correct in their criticism by a panel tasked with examining the controversy by a U.S. Congressional committee. The panel, led by Edward Wegman, a respected statistician, not only agreed with M&M’s criticisms, but predicted that the small nature of The Team and their incestuous inter-relationships would lead to something that is very much like what we describe in this book.

    That's it. Those two paragraphs from Chapter Three are all the authors say about the Wegman report outside the summary for Chapter Five. The first question is, "Why do the authors feel the Wegman Report deserves attention yet give it none?"

    The second question is, "Why would they mention something in a chapter summary then never mention it in the chapter? What kind of summary is this?!"

  42. Continuing with the summary of Chapter Five:

    This chapter should serve to put one of the accusations in our preface into context—when we speak of frustrating the intent and proper practice of the UK’s Freedom of Information Act, we are not speaking of an isolated case, or one instance of an intemperate outburst by Phil Jones. It was a coordinated strategy, used consistently, involving several members of The Team and apparently a cooperative or co-opted Freedom of Information officer.

    Phil Jones’ fear that McIntyre will discover FOIA regulations comes true. The discussion on UHI at Climate Audit leads naturally to a discussion of Jones’ seminal 1990 paper on urban heat islands. Jones’ 2005 refusal to provide data to Warwick Hughes is discussed and Climate Audit regular Willis Eschenbach, who is eager to check Jones’ work, submits the first known related FOIA request to Jones. McIntyre and others follow suit and they try to get a straight answer from CRU, who seem intent upon misunderstanding simple requests. At first they seem to be caught by surprise and reply with several self-contradictory reasons to refuse to surrender any data. But with a lot of emailed communications between members of The Team, they get their story straight. In the end CRU agrees to release some of the data requested for a paper that was published in 1990.

    Wait, what? The authors say Willis Eschenbach "submits the first known related FOIA request to joins" then "McIntyre and others follow suit," but in Chapter Two they said:

    The two fundamental beliefs—that greenhouse gases are warming the planet and the warming will be unprecedented—are behind the entire Climategate controversy and there are two FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to investigate each of these beliefs—one targeted at the historical record of temperatures and the other aimed at understanding how Chapter 6 of the IPCC’s AR4 came to be written. But for the efforts of a few scientists and engineers who sought this information, Climategate would never have happened.

    How could Eschenbach, McIntyre and others have filed FOI requests if there were only two FOIA requests like the authors say?!

    It's kind of funny, really. At the same time they do this, Mosher and Fuller criticize people saying those people replied "with several self-contradictory reasons to refuse to surrender any data."

    Pot, kettle?

  43. Now that we're past the summary of Chapter Five, we get to see how much of what is said in that summary can actually be found in the chapter. The chapter begins:

    During the summer of 2006 McIntyre was spending his time writing posts on various statistical matters related to the reconstruction of past climates, as well as some posts on the National Academy of Science (NAS) panel which had been investigating Mann’s work and a congressional committee hearing.

    In an op-ed piece on the NAS panel McIntyre wrote,

    Followed by a lengthy quotation of McIntyre explaining the NAS panel agreed with him. That's all the discussion the chapter has on what the NAS panel found. It's probably for the best. Who knows how much Mosher and Fuller would have screwed things up if they had actually written anything about the issue they devoted 1/3rd of their chapter summary to?

    After that, we get:

    As McIntyre continued to post articles on data access and its importance in the role of science, he cited one of the darlings of climate science, Naomi Oreskes, a professor of History and Science Studies at UC San Diego. In 2004, Oreskes had published an essay titled, “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change”, which examined the abstracts of 928 scientific papers on climate change and came up with the conclusion that 75% supported the consensus view of the issue, while none directly disputed it. (Later research revealed that there were over 12,000 papers she could have included in the study, including many that directly disputed elements of global warming theory. After another scientist published a paper that found some errors in her essay, Oreskes issued a partial retraction of the numbers she had used, while still maintaining, probably correctly, that the vast majority of climate scientists concur with the proposition that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are a significant contributor to global warming.)

    Why should we care about this stuff? I don't know. The authors wrote more about this than the NAS or Wegman reports, but they didn't feel it merited a mention in their summary. They also don't mention it again. They just use all that text so they can point out McIntyre quoted:

    Jul 6, 2006

    Trust, but verify! This is what editors ask for, and what readers expect, from reviewers of technical articles. As a reviewer, I am growing concerned with the level of trust requested by authors of submitted manuscripts, and the frequent lack of verifiable data and methods. Negative reports in the press [e.g., New York Times, 2005] attest to the worst-case outcomes of such shortcomings ….

    Where scientific findings are based on computational analyses, documentation of computer model methods and analyses ought to be a required element of publication. The trust of the public in scientists and our methods depends upon this.

    (Look at that! Only three dots for their ellipsis!)

    Which is apparently supposed to serve some purpose, but I have no idea what. The authors could have easily cut all this out, and just jumped from the McIntyre quote explaining the NAS panel's agreement with him and McKitrick to:

    It occurred to McIntyre that perhaps he could get the data he wanted from the NAS itself which had undertaken the review of the climate reconstruction disputes. McIntyre had requested data from Jones. Jones had refused. Now the NAS panel had reviewed some of the science. Did they take the utterly common first step in any review? Did they request the underlying data and methods, or did they just read papers?

    Nothing of note would be lost by doing this. We'd have McIntyre's discussion of the NAS panel, then this comment, then a page of text from McIntyre's request to the NAS panel. That would make for a much better read, and not just becuase it'd mean fewer words from Mosher and Fuller.

    I'd quote that page of text, but there's nothing wrong or particularly noteworthy about it except the last line:

    This entry was written by

    I'm not kidding. That random sentece fragment is included in the page of text attributed to McIntyre. It doesn't have any apparent connection to what he was quoted as saying, and it doesn't have anything to do with what comes next. After it, Mosher and Fuller say:

    Sadly for McIntyre, Dr. Cicerone would not ask the scientists for their data. The NAS panel was set up to answer various questions posed by Congress. One of the questions it was supposed to address was the issue of replication. Could people replicate the work the scientists had claimed to perform in their papers? NAS refused to address this question in a forthright manner.

    Which clearly doesn't follow from the random sentence fragment.

    And after that, the NAS panel joins the Wegman Report in obscurity. The authors never really say anything about what that panel concluded. The authors apparently felt it was important the NAS and Wegman Reports agreed with McIntyre and McKitrick on the hockey stick, but not important enough to actually write anything about the contents of either report.

    At least with the NAS panel Mosher and Fuller quoted McIntyre saying it agreed with him on some issues, I guess? I mean, I'm not sure of the value of quoting a person saying people agree with him without actually looking at what those people say, but I guess it's better than nothing?

  44. After everything I've said thus far, you might think there is nothing left in this book which could shock me. I thought so. I was wrong. The next chapter of the book is just insane. You don't even need to know anything about anything to realize it is insane. Changing the subject from what the NAS panel did, Mosher and Fuller say:

    Meanwhile, for scientists working on Chapter 6 of AR4, the daily struggle with the document continued. Although it was being treated as a finished, peer-reviewed paper for the purposes of the IPCC AR4 report, they were still sort of working on it

    Scientists were "working on Chapter 6 of AR4" but "it was being treated as a finished, peer-reviewed paper for the purposes of the IPCC AR4 report."

    A chapter of the IPCC report was being treated as a finished, peer-reviweed paper... for the IPCC report.

    Part of the IPCC report was being treated as a finished, peer-reviewed paper... for the IPCC report.

    I can'oiwej owif a;aw wjov eiwenk,la eits.

    .

    Alright, I just did a couple shots of my housemate's booze. I'll reimburse him for the bottle I've stolen. I just needed something to help put my brain back together after that paragraph BROKE MY EFFIN' MIND.

    I'm going to try taking about four more shots before reading any further. Maybe if I take enough, I'll just forget about the book altogether.

    Or maybe my liver will kill me out of mercy.

  45. I've always believed I can write fairly coherently while drinking. Now's as good as any a time to test that belief. I'm sure no amount of alcohol could possibly make me as bad as Mosher and Fuller.

    Next up, we have this paragraph:

    While the contemporaneous Climategate emails show a team of scientists struggling to put Chapter 6 of AR4 together, in August several discussions on Climate Audit started to raise the issues of Jones’ dataset in a thread on Warwick Hughes work on sea temperatures, a thread on hurricanes and temperature measurements of the troposphere. Commenter Tim Ball chimes in to defend Warwick and remind readers of Jones’ refusal of Warwick’s request for data:

    I'm not sure why the comment they quote is necessary. It says exactly nothing new (but it does have a link!). After it, we get:

    Climate Audit regular Willis Eschenbach makes a series of comments throughout the month targeting Jones’ data, the lack of its availability and the importance of the UHI problem. Eschenbach is about to get involved directly.

    Which again, I don't understand the point of. Mosher and Fuller explicitly said they were writing a case, not a narrative, but these things serve absolutely no purpose in a case. Including them would only make sense in a narrative. And a poorly written one at that.

    The first thing of value is:

    At McIntyre’s blog a discussion of Steve’s request for data to the NAS panel and their refusal to even ask for the data was posted in mid September. And John A, a CA regular, made the suggestion that perhaps Steve should move on from informal requests and make a formal FOIA request for the information he sought.

    Which I guess means I need to correct myself. The NAS panel did get one more mention than I thought. It's just a completely meaningless mention. The paragraph actually makes sense as part of a narrative (not as part of a case) though since the commenter said:

    What I’d like to know is when will Steve actually make an FOIA request for all of this data and break this particular logjam?

    And the authors follow that up with:

    McIntyre doesn’t—yet, but frustrated by Jones’s refusal to provide data to Warwick Hughes and perhaps inspired by John A’s comment, Eschenbach sent the following FOIA request to Jones.
    ...
    Eschenbach will not reveal this request for five months, waiting until his request is refused before telling anyone he had even made a request.

    Yes, they did precede this quote with a period, not a colon. Other times they use a comma. It's completely inconsistent and seemingly random.

    Still, that small a problem is a welcome relief.

  46. I have no idea what the point of this next section is. It has a lengthy introduction:

    There is no formal agenda in the Climate Wars. Scientists and bloggers both choose and pursue topics according to their interests, and those looking for a grand schema that will guarantee a certain amount of time and attention for each topic or phase will be disappointed. Those following discussion of climate issues will easily understand that there are so many different topics being debated at any one time that some disappear off the radar screen for weeks or even months at a time while other topics grab the attention of those involved. The issue of Jones’s refusal to release the underlying data stayed somewhat dormant until early 2007. But the topic of UHI was in the forefront of mails between Susan Solomon of NOAA and Jones. Solomon and others were preparing for a presentation in Paris and the issue of UHI came up. How was it dealt with in studies? During the course of the mails Solomon gets the size of the effect wrong by an order of magnitude, but we can see the centrality of Jones 1990 with regard to this important subject. A lot stands on Jones’ 4 page paper in Nature.

    But why should anyone care? There's a quote immediately after it (again, with a period, not a comma), and another after that, but... why? All it does is tell the reader a couple people discussed UHI. It doesn't point to any wrongdoing or anything interesting. It doesn't even tie into what comes next:

    In the January time period there was also a minor side issue at play on the web with regards to a hand drawn diagram made by Hubert Lamb that had found its way into one of the early IPCC reports. The diagram shows a Medieval Warm Period (MWP) that is higher than the current temperatures. We note this not because it shows a higher MWP, although that’s certainly of interest to the discussion. It is directly relevant because it shows that the IPCC is willing to rely on non peer reviewed literature when it’s published by Lamb, the first director of CRU.

    Which is beyond stupid. There has never been any question the IPCC is willing to use non peer reviewed literature. The IPCC openly says so. That means the most this point could be making is one of the difference between "use" and "rely on." That would be an incredibly trivial point, one Mosher and Fuller don't even hint at.

    But that could just be a matter of bad writing. The stupidity arises from the fact this quote does absolutely nothing to show the IPCC is "willing to rely on non peer reviewed literature." It does nothing to show where the figure they refer to was taken from. The reality is that figure was taken from peer-reviewed literature. It was used in multiple peer-reviewed papers before the IPCC even existed. Mosher and Fuller have just made **** up again, falsely claiming something proves their fabrication true even though it does nothing to support their point.

    Then, based upon their mindless fabrication, they say:

    It illustrates that the organization is concerned more with image than with science. That they loathe admitting mistakes, even minor ones, and when the science absolutely demands it, they find means to soften the blows. Reputation takes precedence over science. Where the junk science of tobacco companies was produced for profit, inside CRU reputation has the same corrosive effect. The diagram in question was wrong. Scientists at CRU knew it was wrong, but they did not want to offend Lamb by correcting him by publishing the correction in a mainstream journal.

    All this illustrates is the authors are idiots who were too lazy to do even the littlest effort to verify their preconceived beliefs. They may be right about the overall idea they express here, but whether or not they are is rendered completely meaningless by the fact they just make **** up to justify whatever they feel like saying.

  47. I'm really not seeing the point of this book. The next part of the book is:

    At Climate Audit, UHI was also on the agenda for the spring and McIntyre turned out a large number of posts on the topic. Targeting Jones’s 1990 work, McIntyre had posted on the statistics of record breaking temperatures and Eschenbach was pounding on the issue of data access and UHI.

    A rather technical post from Climate Audit regarding the adjustments that must be made to temperature records in order to calculate global averages (such as time of day that temperatures are taken, changes of or the collection station, and corrections for urban heat island effects where appropriate):

    Followed by page after page of quoted text. After a couple pages of quoted text, we get this by Mosher and Fuller:

    Host McIntyre weighs in, recounting his prior communication with Jones prior to the publication of MM03. And he notes a connection between Jones’ surface temperature work and climate reconstructions that very few appreciate.

    After several paragraphs of quoted text, Mosher and Fuller add:

    When scientists such as Mann and Briffa try to reconstruct past temperatures they rely on the instrumented series-- the historical record. As McIntyre points out sometimes they use different versions of the instrument record. The concern is this: a bad temperature series will compound errors in a reconstruction. Simply, reconstructions of past temperature depend upon correlations with accurate historical instrument records. If the historical record is corrupt then the reconstruction will be corrupt. So looking at Jones’s temperature data is not only important to understand if the problem of UHI is handled correctly, it’s important because climate reconstructions depend on its accuracy. Continuing, the Climate Audit faithful chimed in:

    Which really doesn't add anything. We've seen every one of these points before. In fact, nothing of value is said until Mosher and Fuller say:

    As luck would have it there was a “lurker” on the site that day. An anonymous person, here named “bez” who reads the site but rarely comments. He tells the readers about the tool they will need to get the data freed: he points out that CRU (the Climate Research Unit) is a part of UEA (the University of East Anglia) and hence subject to FOIA (the UK’s Freedom of Information Act) requests from anyone in the world:

    And continue to say:

    Eschenbach continues and copies his reply from CRU/UEA, dated Feb 10th 2007.

    Followed by a page and more of quoted text which doesn't really add anything as the authors then write a fair bit explaining what the text says. Maybe some of the text was needed for quotation, but that could have been done with excerpts instead of one huge quotation.

    Anyway, the discussion following the long quotation is actually relevant. Naturally, Mosher and Fuller have to screw it up. During that discussion, they say:

    CRU made several strange statements. They point Eschenbach to a US source (GHCN and another at NCAR) and simultaneously claim that they both get their data from GHCN and supply data to GHCN.

    That's not what the text they quote says. It says:

    Your request for information received on 28 September has now been considered and I can report that the information requested is available on non-UEA websites as detailed below.

    And:

    They both have a lot more data than the CRU have (in simple station number counts), but the extra are almost entirely within the USA. We have sent all our data to GHCN, so they do, in fact, possess all our data.

    Nothing about this (or anything else in the text) suggests CRU is claiming to "both get their data from GHCN and supply data to GHCN." All the text is doing is saying CRU supplies data to GHCN, thus you can find CRU's data at GHCN's website.

    Once again, Mosher and Fuller have undermined any legitimate point they might have by simply making things up about what people have said.

  48. Sorry for the lack of comments. The weekend was crazy busy for me, and I didn't have it in me to put up with this book while dealing with it.

    Oddly enough, my break coincided with a break in obnoxiousness from the book. The next little bit of the book is the longest section I've seen without any serious problems. I suspect that is largely because there are pages and pages of quotations and those are hard to screw up, but it is still remarkable. Unfortunately, after a while Fuller and Mosher decide to screw up their valid points by saying:

    And according to the FOIA officer of CRU, CRU hasn’t kept adequate records to reconstruct its work, and GHCN cannot state with certainty where they got their data from. The global temperature index is unaccountable. The NCDC houses GHCN and reports to NOAA. Phil Jones is a member of NOAA’s standing advisory board on data archiving.

    Where we once again find them claiming HadCRU is the only temperature index, completely ignoring other temperature indices like GISS's.

    Aside from that though, the rest of this chapter is passable. That is, on a factual basis. There are a couple minor issues, and the writing is still atrocious, but this is still the best (or least bad) part of the book thus far. If the improved quality holds for the rest of chapters, there may not be much more for me to say about the book.

    That said, there's been an important development on this review. Earlier I discussed how one author, Fuller, responded at The Blackboard to one of the issues I've raised during this review. I'm happy to say he has now responded in a more substantial way, this time to two different issues. And by "happy," I mean I am baffled at the absurdity of what he says.

    I posted a comment responding to him here. I'd provide full quotations but I'm hoping the discussion will continue a bit. If so, I might as well wait until the exchange is finished. Plus, I don't know how important it is to quote him here since I am so going to write a post about how stupid and insane what he said is.

  49. Chapter Six begins kind of strangely. It begins with a "Cheat Sheet" like the earlier chapters, but there is no apparent break between that and the actual chapter text. I don't know if that's true of the printed book though. Maybe it's just something screwy with the eBook version. Regardless, the text has a couple peculiarities as well:

    Cheat Sheet: McIntyre got gamed as reviewer of the IPCC AR4 report, with The Team working around him to get what they needed into the influential report. McIntyre had lost a battle, and the activist position on global warming surged to its highest level of support, based on the IPCC’s assurances that even if there were minor problems with the Hockey Stick chart, other reconstructions of past temperatures supported its central conclusion—that temperatures today were unprecedented, and were going to get worse.

    I'm not sure if this is wrong or not. I struggle to see how a central conclusion of the hockey stick graph is temperatures are going to get worse. Am I just being too literal? I know I wouldn't interpret the graph that way, and I know the papers it was published in did not, but could one still claim the "central conclusion" of a graph is something that was never said?

    Ironically the tricks they use in the review process only serve to inspire McIntyre to expose them, and the communication that occurs outside the process is so vital that Jones will counsel people to delete these mails.

    I've been trying not to harp on minor issues, but the issue of deleting e-mails subject to an FOI request is an important one. As such, I have to wonder why the authors would say "delete these mails" without having actually said what "mails" they're talking about.

    In any event, the second paragraph begins:

    In Chapter 6 we introduce the Army of Davids that will start the laborious process of documenting all the surface stations in the US. McIntyre starts dissecting the Jones 1990 paper and his intense focus on individual cases finds a sympathetic ear in Anthony Watts, who launches an even more detailed look at individual cases in the US. Discussions about UHI and data and code turn from a focus on Jones 1990 to a focus on NASA and their GISSTEMP code, which is eventually released.

    Is this part of the Cheat Sheet? I think so because it feels like a summary, but I'm not sure. Regardless, notice anything strange? That's right. Mosher and Fuller have finally mentioned GISS's temperature index. They've spent half their book claiming the CRU temperature index is the temperature record, yet suddenly, they've started referring to another. I don't get it.

    The next paragraph says:

    The concept of ‘an Army of Davids’ was popularized by conservative blogger Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. It refers to the ability of the internet to bring together large numbers of amateur investigators to sift through information available on the internet to shed light on current events, especially scandals. It has been used successfully, often by Pajamas Media, the umbrella organization that now hosts Instapundit, for investigating Democratic misstatements, outright scandals, and in defense of Republican figures and ideas. As many (though certainly not all) skeptics are either independents or Republicans, many of Climate Audit’s readers may be veterans of prior expeditions for armies of Davids, and more were certainly aware of the potential for large scale cooperative activities.

    Is this part of the chapter's summary? I hope not. I don't want to read paragraph after paragraph of discussions of these people and groups I've never heard of because they have practically no involvement with any of the topics of the book. Then again, I guess we've seen even if something is discussed in a chapter summary, it may not actually show up within that chapter. I think we're safe.

    I think the body of the chapter begins with the next paragraph:

    With the promise of the release of Jones’ 1990 stations, McIntyre pressed on, pointing out problems with Jones 1990, focusing on individual locations and examining what Jones had done in selected cases. Tedious accounting business, but an approach that most readers at Climate Audit found fascinating. One of the persistent conflicts between the Jones camp and the McIntyre camp was the approach to analyzing the UHI problem, making adjustments, and reporting results....

    I don't have a problem with that text. I just wanted to show it so people could try to tell for themselves where the summary ends. I'm still not sure if this is the first paragraph of the chapter body or if the second one, the one beginning, "In Chapter 6 we introduce..." is.

    I think it's probably a bad sign if people can't tell your summary and chapter body apart without some sort of formatting break. Still, I'm happy to say Chapter 6 seems to get off to a better start than the earlier chapters.

  50. There is a little bit of material I'm skipping because I don't take issue with it (even the writing quality seems to have improved a bit). Then we get a paragraph beginning:

    By the end of April 2007 the IPCC report AR4 is on line and discussions of climate reconstructions populate the blog. One reconstruction, D’Arrigo and Wilson et al 2007, is of particular interest because it illustrates the way in which the land record and climate reconstructions interact. McIntyre points out to his readers that in one climate reconstruction the authors studying tree rings in Canada have adjusted the temperature record themselves because they thought the official version was inaccurate.

    How does the D'Arrigo and Wilson 2007 paper show the interaction between the land record and climate reconstructions? Mosher and Fuller say it does, but they then immediately say McIntyre discusses "one climate reconstruction." That obvoiusly refers to a different reconstruction since if they wanted to refer to the same one, they'd have said, "in this climate reconstruction.

    Climate reconstructions of the past depend on accurate records from the instrumented period. Here we see authors taking issue with the official record and constructing their own record in order to make better sense of the tree ring data. They don’t take the official record as gospel. While climate scientists take no notice of the doubt in the veracity of the record expressed by D’Arrigo and Wilson, they continue to express outrage that McIntyre and his readers would even ask to see the data.

    Oops. I guess I was wrong to think the authors would use pronouns which actually indicate which reconstruction they're talking about.

    I know, I know. That's a minor point I shouldn't harp on. I wouldn't have except I needed to quote this paragraph so I could explain a mistake. Mosher and Fuller say:

    McIntyre points out to his readers that in one climate reconstruction the authors studying tree rings in Canada have adjusted the temperature record themselves because they thought the official version was inaccurate.

    This is not what McIntyre said. McIntyre never said said D'Arrigo and Wilson adjusted the data. They didn't. What they did is look at data for the same location from two different groups. Having done so, they concluded:

    The apparent disparity between these time series suggests a somewhat more cautious interpretation than that stated by D’Arrigo et al. (2004a). If the HCCN version is closer to reality, then the divergence at the TTHH site would still be present but considerably weakened, and the estimates of threshold optima would need to be modified accordingly. However, the overall conclusion would still be the same: i.e. that there is a divergence between tree growth and temperature at this site in the recent period (D’Arrigo et al. 2004a).

    In other words, D'Arrigo looked at a couple different data sources and compared what effect using one or the other would have on their results. There is nothing wrong with that. It is good to look at how using different data sources affects one's results.

    Mosher and Fuller have simply misrepresented what happened in a way which lets them claim D'Arrigo and Wilson "adjusted the temperature record themselves because they thought the official version was inaccurate." which is simply untrue.

  51. There is some "meh" stuff in the next couple paragraphs, but none of it really jumps out at me until:

    Jones also explains some of the confusion about the actual sources of the data. In CRU FOIA responses, CRU has argued that they should not have to supply the data they used because it is available from GHCN and NCAR. Jones reveals that this is not the case:

    It would be a serious problem if Jones had claimed the data he used was available via the GHCN when it wasn't. However, that is not what he actually said. The quote Mosher and Fuller offer says:

    As for the other request, I don't have the information on the sources of all the sites used in the CRUTEM3 database. We are adding in new datasets regularly (all of NZ from Jim Renwick recently) , but we don't keep a source code for each station. Almost all sites have multiple sources and only a few sites have single sources. I know things roughly by country and could reconstruct it, but it would take a while. GHCN and NCAR don't have source codes either. It does all come from the NMSs - well mostly, but some from scientists.

    This does not say the data was unavailable at GHCN. It says the "source code for each station" is not held by GHCN. That is, the data is at GHCN, but some information about where that data came from is not. That is certainly relevant (as one should have information about where data comes from when using it), but it is not as serious as the exaggerated claim Mosher and Fuller make.

    Mosher and Fuller follow this up by misrepresenting the same quote yet again:

    As has been pointed out earlier, the construction of a global temperature index is largely a book keeping job. Yet Jones seems singularly ill-equipped to keep a handle on the data or accurate records of where data comes from. His breezy assertion that he ‘could probably reconstruct’ the database record could not be more sharply in contrast to McIntyre’s style—or accepted best practice in data handling and management circles.

    But this is worse than a misrepresentation. Jones did not say he "could probably reconstruct" the database record. Mosher and Fuller have simply misquoted him by making that quote up. I don't know how they came up with the quote, but Jones clearly said, "I know things roughly by country and could reconstruct it."

    There's a bit of dark humor here. Mosher and Fuller portray Phil Jones in a negative light for his failure to properly manage data so it can be examined and verified, but in the process, they falsely attribute a quote which has no apparent origin to Jones.

    >.<

  52. Two paragraphs later we find some editoralizing I find strange:

    A quick digression—your co-authors, Steven Mosher and Thomas Fuller, are quite different politically. Fuller describes himself as a progressive liberal who has never voted for anybody who was not a Democrat. But it was reading the above sequence of emails that convinced Fuller that this book was a needed corrective to the way things have been done regarding climate science in general and data hygiene in particular. If these premiere-level climate scientists are willing to play games at this level with bloggers, what games are they willing to play to win larger and more serious contests?

    I don't know why this digression is included. If the reader wanted to know about the authors politics, they would have wanted to know about it before they got halfway through the book.

    Also, it's remarkable the authors editorialize on things like this given the many mistakes and misrepresentations we've already seen them make. Their motivations may have been different than those of the people they criticize, but I'm not sure the result is much better. Is it really better if you let your biases fool you into believing false claims than if you knowingly make false claims? At least in the latter, somebody knows the truth. In the former, it may be that nobody does.

    Anyway, after this the authors start discussing UHI. As before, they do a decent job (and this time they sort of distinguish between UHI and microsite issues). After some pages on that, they then move onto discussing the IPCC. Again, they do a decent enough job that we can skip over it.

    That means the next thing to comment on is the section titled, "GISSTEMP: The Sacrificial Lamb." I am still baffled at how Mosher and Fuller could repeated portray the CRU temperature index as the only for five chapters then turn around and suddenly start discussing GISS's temperature index. Before I get to that though, the section begins with a picture, a caption and this text between the two:

    r leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

    I have absolutely no idea why that line is there. Regardless, the real issue arises in the second paragraph of the section:

    In climate science there are two notable records of the global temperature. HADCRUT, maintained by Jones, and NASA’s GISSTEMP. Since Watt’s focus is on the US temperature stations, he focuses on GISSTEMP. Stymied by CRU and inspired by Watts, McIntyre turns his attention to GISSTEMP.

    If "there are two notable records of the global temperature record," why did Mosher and Fuller spend the first half of their book saying things like:

    According to its web site, its staff of around thirty research scientists and students has developed and published a number of the data sets widely used in climate research, most importantly the global temperature index, or CRUTEMP.

    In addition to compiling the global temperature index, the staff at CRU are dedicated to understanding the climate of the past.

    And according to the FOIA officer of CRU, CRU hasn’t kept adequate records to reconstruct its work, and GHCN cannot state with certainty where they got their data from. The global temperature index is unaccountable.

    One critical part of these reconstructions is the present day temperature record. This record, the data set created by Jones

    I believe there were some more too. I didn't try to quote all of them during this review. I think four examples is enough to make the point. The authors repeatedly referred to one temperature index as "the global temperature index," yet now they turn around and talk about another. Why didn't they ever discuss that other one in the first half of their book?!

    It gets worse. Having referred to GISS, Mosher and Fuller then say:

    In short order, McIntyre finds a glaring error in NASA’s processing, and a campaign to “free the code” is launched. NASA relents and publishes their code in September of 2007: This event is noted by Jones who writes on Sept 11th,

    PS to Gavin - been following (sporadically) the CA stuff about the GISS data and release of the code etc by Jim [Hansen]. May take some of the pressure of you soon, by releasing a list of the stations we use - just a list, no code and no data. Have agreed to under the FOIA here in the UK.

    After which GISS is never mentioned again in their book. This section, titled "GISSTEMP: The Sacrificial Lamb," mentions GISS in only one paragraph. It spends page after page after page discussing everything but GISS. The rest of the book then pretends GISS doesn't exist. It's baffling.

  53. Shortly after the last quote discussed, the book says:

    The focus on NASA and nightlights used to judge the rural quality of stations drew attention and McIntyre did a series of technical posts on topics like Toeplitz Matrices and tree ring networks and spatial autocorrelation. Of your authors, Mosher claims to understand them. Fuller does not.

    Bad writing aside, what does this have to do with anything? Why are the authors even talking about these subjects? There are plenty of posts the authors never mention. How did these ones get chosen for highlighting? And why should anyone care which of them the authors claim to understand?

    I should put some emphasis on the word "claim." Taken at face value, this sentence suggests neither author understands these topics. The way this sentence is written clearly implies "Toeplitz Matrices" (I have no idea why both words are capitalized), "tree ring networks" and "spatial autocorrelation" are all different topics. That's not the case. Toeplitz matrices were discussed in a couple posts about how the spatial autocorrelation of tree ring series manifests in a way which can be described via Toeplitz matrices.

    The reality is the authors are referring to three posts McIntyre wrote, posts which discussed all three topics at the same time. There is no way a reader of this book would realize that. The result is the authors appear not to know what the posts were about, contrary to what they claim.

    Of course, their writing is so terrible I wouldn't put much weight in a direct translation of what they say.

  54. I've been slacking off on this review. I've allowed myself to be distracted by some petty (but hilarious) exchanges over at The Blackboard on this topic, and that's been consuming the time I've had devoted to finishing the review. Let's see if I can get back on track (since I don't have an editor, the answer is "probably not").

    The next little bit of the book doesn't have anything which jumps out at me. I have a couple questions about things it says, but I'm too disinterested to do the research to check them. That means the next thing I have to comment on is a peculiar understatement I came across in the book. Almost all of the misrepresentations I've found in the book thus far have served to make Mosher and Fuller's case stronger. This one does something of the opposite. In discussing an e-mail by David Palmer about how to respond to an FOI request, Mosher and Fuller say:

    Palmer plans to argue that the request will cost too much and the correspondence is “confidential” prior to investigation. Palmer signals that he wants to run everything “by the book” as an appeal is likely. Palmer’s desire to respond to this request by the book, of course, raises the question of why he has to make this distinction clear to Jones. In short, prior to this Jones has been instrumental in directing the responses of the FOIA office. In this case, Palmer feels he must run things by the book.

    But that is not what Palmer said. Palmer clearly said:

    I just wish to ensure that we do as much as possible 'by the book' in this instance as I am certain that this will end up in an appeal, with the statutory potential to end up with the ICO.

    There is no reason to interpret "as much as possible 'by the book'" as "everything 'by the book'" like Mosher and Fuller do. At least, there is no legitimate reason to. I don't know why Mosher and Fuller did it. It is certainly relevant Palmer openly indicated he was willing to do what was necessary, even if that meant not doing things "by the book."

    I don't know if Mosher and Fuller just failed to look at the e-mail they discussed even while using an exact phrase from it, or if maybe some bias caused them to overlook the distinction between "as much as possible" and "everything." What I do know is it is weird. Anyone who read Mosher and Fuller's claim would only have to look up a quarter of the page to verify the claim is wrong. The only causal explanation I can think of is it allows Mosher and Fuller to paint Phil Jones as more of a bad guy, something hinted at by their later remark:

    while they are in the process of asking Ammann if his mails are confidential at Palmer's direction, Jones tells people to delete their mails. Which begs the question: If he believed in the defense Palmer set out, what was the point of deleting mails? Was it Palmer's insistence that this be done "by the book" or the fear of appeal or both?

    Palmer didn't insist "that this be done 'by the book,'" (I believe that is something like the 316th superfluous "that" in the book thus far). By misrepresenting what he actually said, Mosher and Fuller are able to put more focus on Jones. This is further supported by the false claims Mosher and Fuller proceed to make a short while later:

    If CRU have always considered these mails to be confidential, then why would Jones advise people to delete mails? True confidential status would be a valid reason for denial. The request to delete mails makes sense only if Jones and Palmer believed an appeal was likely, and only if they believed an appeal was likely to be granted. That is, CRU had never considered such mails to be confidential.

    This is simply not true. One doesn't need to believe confidential material is likely to be made public in order to decide to take further action to hide the material. One doesn't only take precautions when one feels they are necessary. Most precautions we take in our lives are against things we think are unlikely. Mosher and Fuller's portrayal of Jones as only advising the deletion of e-mails because he felt the defense couldn't work is false. (Mind you, I don't think CRU actually believed these e-mails were confidential. I just think Mosher and Fuller have offered a stupid argument to show CRU does not believe such.)

    Now, I can't know if focusing on Jones is why Mosher and Fuller misrepresented what David Palmer said in a way which understated how not "by the book" he'd be willing to do things. Maybe a bias against Jones made them be overly lenient on Palmer. I don't know. It might have just been a coincidental screw-up. All I know is a reader should be able to trust authors to accurately describe the quotes the material they discuss, especially the quotes they provide. How can a reader be expected to trust the argument of a book if he or she can't even trust the book on simple things like this?

  55. The next comment I have on the book isn't really about the book itself. It's about one of the e-mails the book quotes. I find the e-mail fascinating in a way the book doesn't comment on. I'm not sure if it merited remark in the book, but since it caught my eye, I figured I might as well comment on it here.

    The part of the e-mail I find fascinating is:

    Hi Caspar, I've just had a quick look at CA. They seem to think that somehow it is an advantage to send material outside the formal review process. But *anybody* could have emailed us directly. It is in fact a disadvantage! If it is outside the formal process then we could simply ignore it, whereas formal comments had to be formally considered. Strange that they don't realise this and instead argue for some secret conspiracy that they are excluded from!

    Tim Osborn claims it is a disadvantage for IPCC authors to receive communication outside official channels because *anybody* could e-mail those authors. He then explains communication being outside formal channels means those authors can choose whether or not to deal with it, portraying that as a disadvantage.

    How in the world could anyone think that is a disadvantage? A central purpose of the IPCC review process is to create a record of why the IPCC reports hold positions they hold. There is absolutely no disadvantage for an IPCC author if he can choose to work outside that process. Not having to justify your work is an advantage, not a disadvantage.

    Osborn's position makes some sense in terms of the people contacting IPCC authors (as they have no automatic expectation of consideration), but it makes absolutely no sense in terms of the authors of the IPCC report. That means it makes no sense in the context of the Climate Audit posts he refers to which alleged an IPCC author used communication outside the formal review process to change the IPCC report to say what he wanted it to say.

    I found that e-mail weird when I first read it, and I still find it weird today.

  56. The next section of the book begins with something of a pet peeve of mine. The last sentence of the first paragraph says:

    critics. But the critics were growing in numbers and with the tool of FOIA, McIntyre demanded data from ex CRU employee Ben Santer, now working for Lawrence Livermore Labs in California.

    FOI(A) requests are just that: requests. They are not demands. This became a pet peeve of mine because "The Team" and its supporters would often make the same misrepresentation as part of their efforts to paint people filing FOI requests as unreasonable. Mosher and Fuller play right into that for some reason.

    That's a minor thing though. What's truly troubling about this section is Mosher and Fuller misrepresent yet another quote they provide. They say:

    Jones has worked the FOIA officers and convinced them that CA and its associates should be cut off. He has also deleted mails to thwart any FOIA.

    But the quote they provide doesn't support this claim. The relevant portion of the lengthy quote says:

    If he pays 10 pounds (which he hasn't yet) I am supposed to go through my emails and he can get anything I've written about him. About 2 months ago I deleted loads of emails, so have very little - if anything at all.

    There is no indication as to why Jones "deleted loads of emails" two months prior to sending this one. It could easily have been for an innocuous reason. I do the same thing every now and then, based entirely upon how full my inbox is.

    A number of people have responded to my criticisms of this book by praising the book's narrative. I get people can make mistakes in a book without it making the book worthless, but when the authors consistently misrepresent quotations in order to create a narrative, I struggle to see how people can just shrug their shoulders.

    How do you trust, much less promote, a narrative predicated upon false ideas? Even if the overall conclusions happen to be right, how can anyone offer the book as support for them? Are people saying getting the right answer matters more than doing the work right?

  57. The next thing which caught my eye isn't a factual mistake or anything like that. It's just an incredibly strange segue. Discussing data from a region called Yamal, Mosher and Fuller say:

    On December 30th, 2008 McIntyre announces that Philosophical Transactions B of The Royal Society, the oldest scientific journal in the world and publisher of a Briffa paper, will enforce their data sharing rules and force Briffa to share his data. 10 months later, the records of 10 or so tree ring cores will end up in McIntyre’s hands, and one year later Jones and Mann will be under investigation by their institutions.

    Where in the world did that last clause come from? It doesn't follow from what comes before it. It doesn't lead into what comes next. Heck, Michael Mann doesn't even have anything to do with what Mosher and Fuller are talking about.

    It's things like these which do the most to make it difficult for me to read the book. It's relatively easy to judge whether a claim is true or false if you understand it. It takes much more effort if you can't figure out what is actually being said.

  58. A few paragraphs into the next section comes something I find greatly troubling. When discussing efforts to get data via FOI requests, Mosher and Fuller say:

    Over the course of the quest for that data McIntyre and his readers are given a number of differing answers for MET and CRU refusals, ranging from ‘the data is already available’, to ‘the data can only be released to academics’, to ‘the agreements covering the data release have been lost’, to ‘the raw data itself has been lost’. Palmer’s and Jones’ plans were not very well coordinated.

    McIntyre summed up the situation for readers on Climate Audit:

    I had a comment on that first paragraph, but then I read what the quote Mosher and Fuller provided:

    CRU Refuses Data Once Again

    Let me review the request situation for readers. There are two institutions involved in the present round of FOI/EIR requests: CRU and the Met Office. Phil Jones of CRU collects station data and sends his “value added” version to the Met Office, who publish the HadCRU combined land-and-ocean index and also distribute the CRUTEM series online.

    I requested a copy of the “value added” version from the Met Office (marion.archer at metoffice.uk.gov) which has been refused for excuses provided in my last post. On June 25, 2009, learning that Phil Jones had sent a copy of the station data to Peter Webster of Georgia Tech, I sent a new FOI request to CRU ( david.palmer at uea.ac.uk) requesting the data in the form sent to Peter Webster. This too was refused today.

    We now have a new excuse to add to our collection of excuses – each excuse seemingly more ridiculous than the previous one.

    Dear Mr McIntyre ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004 – INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI_09-44; EIR_09-03)

    Your request for information received on 26 June 2009 has now been considered and it is, unfortunately, not possible to meet all of your request....

    There is more to the quote, but about the time I reached this point, I realized there was a serious problem. You see, I remembered the post Mosher and Fuller are quoting. One thing I remembered about it is it showed what McIntyre had said in his request (and what he said in a follow-up e-mail). A quick check of the post verified that. The post actually begins:

    Let me review the request situation for readers. There are two institutions involved in the present round of FOI/EIR requests: CRU and the Met Office. Phil Jones of CRU collects station data and sends his “value added” version to the Met Office, who publish the HadCRU combined land-and-ocean index and also distribute the CRUTEM series online.

    I requested a copy of the “value added” version from the Met Office (marion.archer at metoffice.uk.gov) which has been refused for excuses provided in my last post. On June 25, 2009, learning that Phil Jones had sent a copy of the station data to Peter Webster of Georgia Tech, I sent a new FOI request to CRU ( david.palmer at uea.ac.uk) requesting the data in the form sent to Peter Webster. This too was refused today.

    We now have a new excuse to add to our collection of excuses – each excuse seemingly more ridiculous than the previous one.

    My most recent request was as follows:

    Dear Mr Palmer,

    Pursuant to the Environmental Information Regulations, I hereby request a copy of any digital version of the CRUTEM station data set that has been sent from CRU to Peter Webster and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between January 1, 2007 and Jun 25, 2009.

    Thank you for your attention,

    Stephen McIntyre

    The full response was as follows. (I’ve included full address particulars for readers that may wish to follow up):

    Dear Mr McIntyre

    ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004 – INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI_09-44; EIR_09-03)

    Your request for information received on 26 June 2009 has now been considered and it is, unfortunately, not possible to meet all of your request....

    As you can see, a chunk of the post was removed. There is no indication of such in the book. Mosher and Fuller have simply removed part of this quote and not informed the readers in any way.

    I get that action doesn't change any of the points Mosher and Fuller made, but it raises the question of how often did they do this? I only caught this because I happened to remember the post Mosher and Fuller were quoting. How many times have I not caught it? Is this a one-off example, or is it a common problem? I have no idea.

    Given this, how does a reader trust the quotations provided in this book? Should the reader check every quotation they come across? Should they just assume it is a one-time mistake? I don't know. What I do know is with all the other issues I've found in this book, I can't bring myself to assume this is a one-time mistake.

    We already know the authors misrepresent quotations they provide. One of them (Fuller) eventually admitted to an example over at The Blackboard after I pressed the issue. Now we know the authors misquoted at least one source. Would it be that much of a stretch to think there are other misquotations?

  59. After just asking if it would "be that much a stretch to think there are other misquotations," I found another a few paragraphs later. Mosher and Fuller say, "From Climate Audit:" then provide a quote. One thing missing in my previous comment is when they quoted that previous Climate Audit post, they put its title in large font to clearly set it apart. They used the same font in their current quote for the line:

    CRU Excuses

    But this time they are not quoting a post's title. Instead, they're quoting a header from within a post. There is no way a person could know this when reading the book. That means a reader could easily (but incorrectly) believe the quotation which follows the line is the beginning of a post.

    It gets worse. If you click on the link to that post, you'll find this immediately after the header "CRU Excuses":

    Imagine [you fill in the name] saying something like this:

    Below we list the agreements that we still hold. We know that there were others, but cannot locate them, possibly as we’ve moved offices several times during the 1980s.

    The book excludes the first line, presenting only:

    Below we list the agreements that we still hold. We know that there were others, but cannot locate them, possibly as we’ve moved offices several times during the 1980s.

    This is particularly strange because the next line, included in both the book and post, is:

    Nobody would take it seriously. Nobody would believe that they were that incompetent. I wonder what would happen if Lonnie Thompson moved offices. Would he lose all his unarchived ice core data?

    Which only makes sense if one reads the line Mosher and Fuller removed.

    Again, I don't think anything hinges upon this misquotation, but is incredibly troubling I found a second misquotation almost immediately after the first. This was only the second quote I checked after finding that first misquotation. If I just found two misquotations in under five pages, how many more might there be in this book?

  60. Oh, I forgot to point out Mosher and Fuller cut out another part of the post I linked to in my previous comment. After quoting a portion of the post, they break out of their quotation and say:

    McIntyre continues:

    Then continue with one paragraph removed. I find that weird, but it shows how easily the authors could have avoided their misquotation. Removing a single line is easy. If nothing else, they could have just not included the header title (in a format which indicates it is a post title).

  61. Oh my frikkin' god. I mentioned how Mosher and Fuller cut out a single paragraph by breaking out of the quotation and saying, "McIntyre continues." I looked at the rest of the quotation they provided, and since I saw it accurately quoted the rest of the post, I stopped there. I wish I had read just a little further. You see, after quoting the remainder of the post, Mosher and Fuller wrote:

    At this stage it is important to recall Trenberth’s complaint that the readers at Climate Audit did not understand how hard it was to maintain such a large database as a few thousand weather stations. That complaint seems more validly applied to CRU. McIntyre continues:

    This shocked me because Mosher and Fuller had already reached the end of the post they were quoting. How could McIntyre's quote possibly continue when the post was over?

    I tried checking the comments on the post to see if maybe he wrote more there. That wasn't it. I then tried doing an internet search. I found the text quickly. It was in a different post.

    Mosher and Fuller quoted a post. They then removed a single paragraph, replacing it with, "McIntyre continues." They then said, "McIntyre continues" again, but this time, they quoted an entirely different post written on a different day. They didn't even quote the second post's title or do anything else to indicate it was an entirely new post.

    Not only is that a glaring misquotation, Mosher and Fuller then proceed to misquote the material they're quoting. Mosher and Fuller quote that post as saying (in part):

    The British Territories Agreement
… is the language from the CRU request to the UK Met Office regarding information about British Territories. It asks for data in connection with the construction of climatological normals; it makes no mention of the construction of a gridded temperature index nor the construction of a merged land-sea index. It says that the data would be used “unauthorized for any project” – which would obviously include its use in CRUTEM and HadCRU unless such authorization had been obtained. It doesn’t prohibit delivery of the data to “non-academics”; it prevents delivery of the data to “third parties” -which includes all the recipients of Advance 10K data, those people who downloaded cruwlda2 or newcrustnsall and any other academic.

    If this language is representative of agreements with NMSs, then it prohibits the delivery of the data to CDIAC at the US Department of Energy (who published versions in the mid1980s and placed a version online in the early 1990s.) For that matter, it would prohibit the delivery of NMS data to the Met Office for use in HadCRU as the Met Office is a “third party” to CRU.

    But the post they're quoting had an image in-between these two paragraphs. That image was a copy of text, text a reader would see while reading the post. I get Mosher and Fuller may not have been able to copy the image into their book, but they certainly could have typed it out. I'll do so myself:

    These data are to be used by the Climatic Research Unit for a specific research project sponsored by the NERC, namely the construction of a gridded baseline climatology for global land areas. The project falls in the area of Global Environmental Change which makes this data request subject ot the IACGEC Framework for Data Exchange to which the Met. Office is a signatory. The data will not be used unauthorised for any other project and will not be passed onto any third party.

    That wasn't hard. It took me all of a couple minutes. And the authors didn't have to do that. They could have just included a line "[image of text from agreement removed]." Heck, they could have even just added an ellipsis. It wouldn't have been ideal, but it would have been an easy way to indicate to the reader something had been removed.

    Instead, Mosher and Fuller misquoted this post by portraying it as a continuation of the previous post, and they misquoted it again by removing a copy of the text being referred to in the text they were quoting. Then they did it again, removing the content given by images in the exact same way... two more times.

    That is four different misquotations for a single post. Either I just happened to start checking Mosher and Fuller's sources at an incredibly coincidental moment, or misquotations are an endemic problem in this book.

  62. I'm taking a break due to my frustration over those misquotations. Before I do though, I want to wrap up Chapter Six as there's only one more paragraph to it after those misquotations finish:

    As the FOIA controversy lay dormant, Briffa’s Yamal tree ring data is posted up at the end of September, months after the journal announced that it would make Briffa comply with its policy of sharing data. McIntyre has years invested in pursuing this data. and he proceeds to fill the pages of Climate Audit in October 2009 and early November with a series of posts about the data that has been held back from him for all these years. Yamal dominated the Climate blogosphere and the story hit some of the mainstream media as McIntyre dissected the data.

    I guess this is supposed to serve as some sort of transition into the next chapter. I don't know though. It seems to be a completely random segue. Even worse, the segue seems nonsensical. Mosher and Fuller had just discussed FOI requests, responses to them and posts written about them. Then, without any transition, they suddenly say, "As the FOIA controversy lay dormant." When did the controversy start lying dormant? It was just active in this narrative.

    Even if you don't care about things like the many grammatical mistakes in this book, I think everyone should be able to agree it is a bad sign if people telling a story jump from one point in the story to another without any sort of transition.

  63. Chapter Seven begins with a "Summary" instead of a "Cheat Sheet." I'm not sure why. It's not important, but it is strange. Something that is more important is Mosher and Fuller begin the chapter's body by quoting this press release:

    UEA succeeds in Quest for secure IT access

    Published:12-November-2008

    By Steve Evans

    The University of East Anglia (UEA) has implemented Quest Authentication Services to enable single sign-on authentication for over 40,000 user accounts. The new system has dramatically reduced the number of help desk and support calls. The university has a number of IT systems, including desktop and email systems and a new portal, to which students are assigned a username and password. The authentication team at UEA is responsible for providing each user with secure access, but the university’s old system did not enable automatic password synchronisation.

    Then they say:

    One year later, on November 12, 2009

    On Thursday Nov 12, 2009 at 10:18AM, Phil Jones sent his last mail in the Climategate files, the penultimate mail in the files. Apparently unaware that his and others’ emails and documents were being harvested by someone, either a whistleblower inside CRU or a hacker who had broken into the system the University had upgraded just one year prior, Jones announces that he will be leaving work on Friday the 13th at noon.

    Showing they apparently have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to network security. The press release does indicate UEA had upgraded a system, but that doesn't mean they upgraded the system which was broken into. A university like the UEA will have many different systems. That they upgraded one has practically nothing to do with whether or not they upgraded another.

    I could go into more detail, but I don't think the details matter. The main reason I even bring this up is in the chapter summary the authors claim:

    We speculate a bit on who released the files—the most parsimonious explanation being that the file had been collected during analysis of one of Steve McIntyre’s FOIA requests, and was released by someone within CRU following the rejection of McIntyre’s request.

    Which presumably will involve some discussion of IT stuff, something the authors seem to be completely unqualified to discuss.

  64. Ugh. I know some people have suggested I shouldn't focus on things like writing quality, but look at this sentence:

    While other mails detail bad behavior on the part of scientists that looks rather embarrassing, sometimes unethical and perhaps occasionally even verges on the criminal, and certainly all too human, this mail is notable for its banality.

    How can anyone not care a book's writing is like that? Even if we ignore the grammatical issues, the prose is absolutely terrible.

    In any event, the book goes on to discuss another e-mail and say:

    Perhaps it is included merely because it contains the names of two key players, Briffa and Wilson.

    Since when is Rob Wilson a key player? Pretty much the only time he came up before this chapter was in a reference to a paper he co-authored with D'arrigo (which I discussed earlier to show Mosher and Fuller had misrepresented it). There was no discussion of him, his personality, his behavior or his significance. How is he a key player? And if he is a key player, why haven't Mosher and Fuller talked about him?

  65. It gets on my nerves how Mosher and Fuller can't even get basic details correct. They say:

    Perhaps more importantly the Yamal results were a bone of contention between Briffa and McIntyre during the writing of the infamous IPCC Chapter 6 of AR4. McIntyre was assigned as a reviewer for that chapter and Briffa had editorial control, control over a chapter which was supposed to objectively review work Briffa had previously written.

    But the IPCC doesn't assign expert reviewers to a chapter. Expert reviewers are allowed to review the entire IPCC report. McIntyre focused on the chapter Briffa helped head up, but he did that by choice.

    Some people might not care as that doesn't change any of the book's arguments/conclusions, but I think it speaks to the quality of the book. Plus, even if people reading the book get a correct broad picture of things, they'll be so misinformed on the details that it doesn't matter.

  66. The next thing I want to comment on isn't about a problem with the book. It's about some silliness which arose from me criticizing the book.

    The blog wars over Yamal heated up through October and into November. Briffa was sidelined with health issues, and as journalists called on CRU and Real Climate to explain, Gavin Schmidt was reduced to posting graphs from an anonymous commenter, which proved to be laughably wrong. (The poster has been identified as a NASA employee, as is Gavin Schmidt). McIntyre jokingly referred to the poster as “Gavin’s Guru.” Since the “Guru” had posted his code, McIntyre quickly found the errors in the “guru’s” work. It was easy to spot as the “Guru” had simply tried to modify a program that McIntyre himself had posted.

    This is a reference the events discussed in this post. I'll quote the portion relevant to the recent silliness:

    On Sep 29, Tom P observed that he was “patient enough to let Steve to plot his own data when he’s ready”. Awfully generous of him. However, Tom did not live up to this undertaking. A couple of days later on Oct 2, not resting on the laurels of his two previous proofs that identical series had “excellent correlation”, Tom suggested that I carry out a sensitivity analysis only using “trees with ages above a certain value”.

    Of course this begs the question of a sensitivity analysis based on recalculation of the Briffa Yamal plot only using trees with ages above a certain value. It would be very useful to see how sensitive the shape is tree age – we’d see how the snake bends as its bones grow older…

    A little later, he asked Roman or I do the analysis, noting that it could probably be done easily with the tools that I had provided online (and indeed it could.)

    RomanM and Steve McIntyre, Are either of you willing to do the sensitivity test I propose above? I believe this would be unbiased and potentially publishable work. I’d love to get stuck into R and do this, but I face a steep learning curve and little time. I would guess it wouldn’t take many tweaks to the code to filter on the tree-record field to achieve his.

    In the early morning of Oct 3 (3:51 am blog plus two hours), less than 24 hours later, Tom started getting impatient that room service had not delivered his requested sensitivity analysis, while still acknowledging the possibility that the kitchen might be otherwise engaged:

    The more I think about this core-age sensitivity test, the less patient I am to see the results, but I sympathise with your time constraints!

    Less than 7 hours later, Tom P reported to realclimate that he had “lost his patience” with the totally unacceptable delays from room service and “kludged” my code to the sensitivity analysis that interested him:

    3 October 2009 at 10:47 AM
    I’m afraid I lost my patience and have kludged Steve McIntyre’s code to do my sensitivity analysis (code is posted on Climate Audit).

    No wonder Tom was outraged. After all, it was 24 hours since he put in his order. Next time, I guess Tom will order up his data and sensitivity studies over at CRU. I’m sure that he’ll be pleased at the service.

    The reason I point all this out is over at The Blackboard, one of the authors of this book (Fuller), responded to a comment I made by demanding I provide citations:

    Sheer number? citations please.

    When I didn't respond within four hours, he got impatient and said:

    C’mon Schollenberger. ‘Given the sheer number of errors…’ Where are they?

    Showing the very same impatience mocked in the incident at Climate Audit Mosher and Fuller now discuss. The parallel is amusing.

  67. "It is abundantly clear Climategate had nothing to do with temperature data. Mosher enjoys abusing people who think they do, happily laughing at their foolishness."

    When I read Mosher's/Fuller's book, it seemed to me that it seriously talked about temperature data in many places such as p. 59 and p. 153 to name just a couple.

    It was my post that you also responded to where McIntyre criticized me. I emailed Steve on the matter but never received a reply. Hopefully, you will.
    My only guess would be that temperature index/series means something to some people, but temperature data to me indicates numbers.

  68. Chad Jessup, there is no doubt Mosher and Fuller seriously talked about temperature data. They made a big deal about it in their book. They directly argued it was a major story in the Climategate affair. That's what offends me so much. Steve McIntyre goes around promoting this book then expresses exasperation at people thinking Climategate is about the temperature record. How can he? If you promote a book which tells people something, you can't get upset with them for believing it.

    And Mosher is just a huge hypocrite. He's an author of the book which says the temperature record was a big story in the Climategate affair, but nowadays he goes around insulting anyone who says the temperature record was any sort of story in the Climategate affair. It's disgusting. It's not like he's ever gone back and distanced himself from the book. He's never made any effort to draw awareness to the fact the book is wrong. No. Mosher is perfectly content to let people read his book, become misinformed on Climategate by it, then insult them for being misinformed on Climategate.

    And people like McIntyre just won't criticize the book for its many flaws because "skeptics" don't criticize "skeptics." The book is a terrible book, both in writing quality and in factual details, but it's still unhesitatingly promoted as a valuable resource simply because skeptics won't apply their standards to people saying things they like. If people wanted to promote it because they felt it got enough things right to make it worthwhile despite its problems (I don't think it did, but that's a judgment call), they could have said so. Instead, they just willfully ignored its problems.

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