Last month, I spent some time on this site discussing the effect the Berkeley Earth group's (BEST's) adjustments to its data have on its results. As the post shows, BEST's adjustments greatly reduce the spatial resolution of its results, as well as significantly changing the apparent trends of sizable areas.
Neither of these findings was particularly remarkable. I had suggested as much on a number of previous occasions, but this post was special because for the first time, BEST had made results it would get if it hadn't adjusted its data available. This was remarkable because months prior to that the head of BEST, Richard Muller, had given an interview where he said:
Furthermore, because of the interest, we re-analyzed all the data with ZERO adjustments, just to see what we would get. These results have been made available online. What we found was that the conclusions we had previously drawn were unchanged. The data are available here
Those results hadn't been made available online. They weren't available at the link he provided. They weren't available anywhere. This was easily confirmed by clicking on the link, but it was also confirmed when I contacted BEST and was told the results weren't currently available. When I contacted the author of the article, it got updated to say:
[ Link not currently working, BEST tech team are aware of the issue and we will update when we have more information]
But that's about as misleading as you can get. The link was "currently working." It just didn't go to a page which contained the material Muller claimed it contained, becauase that material had never been publisehd. Because he was wrong to say it had ever been published.
Now I've pointed this all out before, several times. It wouldn't be an issue worth bringing up today, save I got a response about it from a BEST team member today when I brought it up at Judith Curry's place. Despite the evidence of my claim being indisputable, a BEST representative decided to call me a liar. That's right, in response to me pointing out the BEST team leader made a false statement during an interview, a BEST team member called me a liar.
Here was my comment:
The part about how adjustments affect results is in reference to the post I linked to at the start of this post, which the BEST team member who called me a liar commented on. As you can see if you look at the maps in that post and in the comments on it, this response to a question by Muller in his interview is wrong:
4. Are there any regions of the world where modifications appear to account for most or all of the apparent warming of recent decades?
"For large regions, I think not..."
The maps don't do a fantastic job of proving the point, but that's because they weren't made for that purpose. If I had been wanting to focus solely on regional differences between BEST's adjusted and unadjusted results, I'd have created zoomed in maps which focused on single regions at a time to demonstrate the point. Still, you can see from the maps entire areas had their trends changed to have warming added to them, contrary to Muller's claim.
This is the response I got when I pointed this out:
Steven Mosher is a BEST team member. He is the primary public interface of the BEST group, at least when it comes to online communication. And here he is, calling me a liar. Why? Well first, he demands I tell him where Richard Muller used the words, "Sizable areas."
That's a baffling response. I didn't put those words in quotation marks, so why would anyone think Muller had used those words? They wouldn't. Yet for some reason, Mosher asked me not, "Where did Muller say anything like that?" but, "Where did he use those words." Well guess what Mosher, that's not how things work. The words Muller used were "large regions." I paraphrased them as "sizable areas." I don't think anyone will complain.
The real shocker though, is what came next. Mosher accused me of lying. Now, that's a pretty serious accusation. It's not something you should say lightly. When someone raises scientific criticisms, you don't get to just say, "Shut up you liar." If they are lying, okay, that's bad. It's a big deal. But if they're not, you just look like a petulant child who can't handle criticism.
So what was my "lie"? According to Mosher, my lie is I "know exactly what [Muller] meant by raw data being available." He meant "[r]aw station data" is available." Only, Muller didn't say raw data was available. He didn't say anything like that. What he said was:
Furthermore, because of the interest, we re-analyzed all the data with ZERO adjustments, just to see what we would get. These results have been made available online.
The results you get when you re-analyze your data without adjustments are not your raw station data. The entire point of Muller's answer was to convince people they shouldn't distrust BEST's work due to its adjustments. Telling them they can look at raw data wouldn't do anything to accomplish that.
So the head of BEST went out and gave an interview where he gave false statements about BEST's product, exaggerating its value and quality. I pointed this out, and in response, a BEST team member publicly accused me of lying, misrepresenting what the BEST team leader had said to do so. I would like to say I'm surprised, but this is the same BEST team member who previously called me a Holocaust denier for challenging BEST's work:
So this is apparently how BEST responds to people who try to discuss concerns about its work. It goes around publicly calling them liars and Holocaust deniers. Because that's how science works, I guess? I don't know. What I do know is I think it's hilarious a guy over at Curry's place basically says he thinks I don't know what I'm talking about in regard to BEST even though he's never said a word to indicate anything I've gotten wrong on the subject. What makes this hilarious, however, is while he criticizes my comments on BEST, he praises Mosher's comments on the subject:
Gracious, but you do post a lot of garbage. You should stick to BEST, where your comments are good.
I couldn't resist responding to mock that. The relevant part of my comment was:
I'm trying to imagine if anyone at NASA's GISS or any other group creating a temperature record behaved remotely like BEST has done. People would freak out. I don't know why they're okay with it in this case.
What I do know is if I ever become a scientist, I want to call all my critics liars and Holocaust deniers. It seems fun.