Go Figure?

Visitors to this site will likely know I hold a negative view of modern "fact checkers" as I feel much of what they do cannot reasonably be considered "fact checking." During a publicity thing one such organization, PolitiFact, did, I asked a representative how it goes about addressing problems people raise in things it publishes:

I was told to contact PolitiFact at a particular address with any such concerns. I did. Nothing happened. I got an automated response acknowledging the receipt of my e-mail, but I didn't hear anything else after that. I didn't hear anything when I followed up on the e-mail either. None of the articles I discussed in my e-mail to PolitiFact were changed either.

Naturally, I was disheartened. I spent a bit of time laying out substantive issues in pieces published by PolitiFact, and I got ignored. I got ignored despite pointing out factually untrue statements in "fact checks." One error even involved an obvious misquotation as PolitiFact published an article saying:

Cook’s study found that among over 4,000 studies that took a position on man-made climate change, 97.1 percent "endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global phase" and 97.2 of 1,300 authors who responded agreed with the position.

I've discussed the Cook et al (2013) study a number of times, and I am a huge critic of it. I know not everybody will agree with me about it. There is one thing I think we can all agree about though. The study did not find any consensus "that humans are causing global phase." As I said in my e-mail to PolitiFact:

There is no such thing as "global phase." The quotation should read "global warming." It appears several words from the original quotation have been inadvertently removed during the editing process.

This is a trivial error everybody can agree about. It's also one involving a misquotation, one of the worst types of errors there is. For some reason, PolitiFact has not fixed it despite having their attention drawn to it. I can only suppose they've ignored my e-mail.

If PolitiFact would ignore one e-mail which points out errors in what they publish, one might naturally worry they would ignore all such e-mails. I am happy to report that is not the case. I had noticed a recent article they published said:

While the Office of Government Ethics can make recommendations for disciplinary action, the White House itself is the ultimately enforcer.

The phrase "ultimately enforcer" is wrong as an adverb cannot modify a noun. I wrote a quick e-mail to PolitiFact about this, saying:

In a recent fact check found here:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/feb/09/what-you-need-know-about-kellyanne-conways-endorse/

You use the sentence:

While the Office of Government Ethics can make recommendations for disciplinary action, the White House itself is the ultimately enforcer.

The phrase "ultimately enforcer" is incorrect as an adverb cannot modify a noun. Possible corrections include "ultimate enforcer" and "ultimately the enforcer."

I immediately got an automated response acknowledging my e-mail, and and almost no time later, I got a response:

Thanks for the heads-up. Just fixed it.

I believe it took less than 20 minutes for PolitiFact to properly address this e-mail of mine. That's good. It's also confusing. Given how quick the turnaround on this e-mail was, it is strange my previous e-mails were apparently ignored. Why did that happen?

I'm not going to try to draw any major conclusions based on this experience. There are a number of notable differences. For instance, the article in question with my recent e-mail was much newer. The error in it was simpler and more readily verifiable/fixable than most of the errors highlighted in my previous e-mails. Additionally, I recognize multiple people are likely responsible for addressing e-mails like mine, so it is possible different people might have seen them. All of these factors (and perhaps others) might have played a role in the different handling of my e-mails.

Even so, I can't help but take note of PolitiFact apparently disregarding substantive discussion of errors in pieces it has published while readily correcting trivial errors. That's bad. It would be better to ignore trivial errors and focus on substantive ones. Even better would be for "fact checkers" to address claims they've made factual errors.

Mind you, I'm not saying PolitiFact needs to accept everything I said in my e-mails to them are true. I think everything I said is true and easy to verify, but my concern has little to do with that. My concern is PolitiFact apparently didn't even read what I sent them. They didn't correct an obvious misquotation I pointed out, and they didn't give any sort of response. They didn't even send a quick response like, 'We thank you for your concern, but we stand by what we wrote."

I don't get it. I find it strange a "fact checking" organization made errors like the ones I pointed out, but I find it baffling it would simply ignore people who point them out. Like me, hate me, whatever. It doesn't matter. If you're in the business of "fact checking," you have to be willing to listen to people who tell you you got your facts wrong.

Perhaps I just got unlucky. Perhaps it's just my personality annoying people. Perhaps PolitiFact just decided I'm a total idiot and everything I said was wrong (and that "global phase" is in fact a real thing rising greenhouse gas concentration is causing). I don't know. I just know I can't take "fact checkers" who behave like this seriously.

Though hey, it is good they fixed that grammatical error. I'll give them kudos for that.

21 comments

  1. If you're in the business of "fact checking," you have to be willing to listen to people who tell you you got your facts wrong.

    If only it were so simple -- settling on what is the fact I mean.

    Brandon, I am wondering if you ever studied Huang(2015) ERSST4. I am trying to figure out the methods they applied to SST. This, of course, is the central paper used by the Karl15 "pausebuster" paper. You may have heard a recently retired NOAA administrator in charge of data quality control, John Bates, is pointing the finger at Karl for disrespecting the NOAA data testing, labeling and archiving protocols and being politically in the tank with Obama's White House. Bates also says ERSST5 will be cooler, implying Karl15 errors getting reversed. US Rep Lamar Smith, who's committee on science just finished an investigation on Karl15, he claims was stonewalled, is now announcing he will re-open the investigation.

    I am particularly interested in the use of HadNMAT2 nighttime ocean air temp database as a proxy for SST, why Huang et al did this, and if it was done properly. It is well known that ship engine room water intake temperatures were biased warmer than canvass bucket sea sampled temperatures, but it is quite possible it was tempting to overcompensate for this and thus cool the past as the SST database over time became progressively less weighted with buckets and ERI, being totally replaced by over the last 40 years.

    Hadley was the first to adjust its SST by revising the ERI bias with Thompson (2008). I guess NOAA waited a few years to see if it stuck then decided it was time to move in 2013. But that same year a pair of papers came out by Matthews that mostly refuted the bias assumptions of Thompson08. Matthews not only did the historical research but went out on an expedition to test sampling methods to physically measure the bias involved in each technique. Matthews found that ERI was biased very little by engine room heat since the thermometers's sensors were usually in the intake line, not the engine room. Also, the sample was from 7-10 meters deep rather than on the surface like buckets and buoys. He did find un-insulated canvas buckets cooled at ~0.1C per minute, and it took 1-3 minutes for the average ship mates to complete the task and make the observation. The bottom line was that ERI was crude in precision but not biased in accuracy. Buckets were more precise to read by biased about 0.2C cold.

    I asked Peter Thorne, who was one of the authors of Huang(2015), last weekend on his blog post if they considered the Matthews papers. He responded: "I'm on the road at present but believe that Matthews papers were cited in Huang et al. "

    As you can look, they are not. I just asked him why they were not and why they used HadNMAT2 rather than do corrections. He may or may not reply at this point.

    My specific concern is that Huang15 states that NMAT2 is 0.08C century-1 higher trend than SST. I am thinking this is due to nighttime temperatures being a proxy for Tmin and the Tmin trend is steeper than the Tavg trend that is represented by SST. Ken Fristch and I worked on this when Richardson(2016) claimed that the SAT was steeper then SST and thus Nic Lewis's observational ECS was too low. Nic refuted it with us here.

  2. Hey Ron Graf, your comment got held up in moderation due to the number of links it had. I released it and fixed the HTML for your first link.

    Brandon, I am wondering if you ever studied Huang(2015) ERSST4. I am trying to figure out the methods they applied to SST. This, of course, is the central paper used by the Karl15 "pausebuster" paper. You may have heard a recently retired NOAA administrator in charge of data quality control, John Bates, is pointing the finger at Karl for disrespecting the NOAA data testing, labeling and archiving protocols and being politically in the tank with Obama's White House. Bates also says ERSST5 will be cooler, implying Karl15 errors getting reversed. US Rep Lamar Smith, who's committee on science just finished an investigation on Karl15, he claims was stonewalled, is now announcing he will re-open the investigation.

    I've spent a fair amount of time studying temperature adjustments, far more than my commentary on this site might suggest. I've wanted to talk about it more, but what I find is discussions on that subject tend to be terrible. On the one side, we have people like Zeke Hausfather telling everyone incredibly stupid/misleading things that nobody pushes back on (e.g. adjusting 1880-1940 temperatures up to decrease the total amount of warming means adjustments downplay global warming when it fact it strengthens the apparent case for AGW). Not only does that bug me for hos idiotic/dishonest* it is, it bothers me because nobody seems to speak out against it.

    That includes Skeptics who apparently can't even figure out basic problems in the topics they're discussing. Instead, they consistently rely upon bad arguments like the one you refer to regarding John Bates. While what Bates says is certainly news, Skeptics couldn't be bothered to do any investigation of it. They couldn't even be bothered to wait a couple days to try to see if what Bates said had any credibility. They heard something they liked and practically trampled one another to cry, "Fraud!" Even the most restrained Skeptics all but accepted what Bates said as unquestionably true the moment it was posted online.

    It's disheartening. There are legitimate problems with the temperature records. There are real concerns with the temperature records. I just can't see much value in getting involved when the discussions are so amateurish. I mean, we're at the point where BEST can straight up tell untruths to the world and refuse to correct them for years with nobody noticing/caring. Even the simplest of issues are handled poorly. Even worse, claims by people like Steven Goddard are being embraced. In such an environment, I don't see much of an audience for technical examinations of the temperature record.

    (This is actually true of a number of climate topics. The more time I spend looking at IPCC reports, the more problems I find. There are at least three results in the latest IPCC report which I can demonstrate are wrong based upon the literature cited for them due to simple things like people misreading what papers said. Additionally, there is at least one claim the the latest report which has no source, arising solely from a change made between two drafts of the AR4 which wasn't tied to any published literature. Ultimately, people just do a terrible job of opposition research in the climate debate.)

    I am particularly interested in the use of HadNMAT2 nighttime ocean air temp database as a proxy for SST, why Huang et al did this, and if it was done properly. It is well known that ship engine room water intake temperatures were biased warmer than canvass bucket sea sampled temperatures, but it is quite possible it was tempting to overcompensate for this and thus cool the past as the SST database over time became progressively less weighted with buckets and ERI, being totally replaced by over the last 40 years.
    ...
    My specific concern is that Huang15 states that NMAT2 is 0.08C century-1 higher trend than SST. I am thinking this is due to nighttime temperatures being a proxy for Tmin and the Tmin trend is steeper than the Tavg trend that is represented by SST.

    I think you might trust this supposed 0.08C/Century bias too much. I'm not sure if you noticed how that number was calculated. Haung15 compared SSTs to a climate model. There are any number of reasons that number could be wrong. The right number could easily become higher or lower just by making small changes to the GFDL CM2.1 model. No direct test was performed to examine these two assumptions:

    the difference between SST and NMAT is near constant during the climatological period (1971–2000);
    the climatological difference of SST and NMAT is constant in other periods;

    Another assumption:

    the NMAT is less biased (more homogeneous) than the SST data to which it is being compared;

    Isn't tested either. The authors merely say it "is tentatively valid" because they recognize there are too many factors they can't pin down to actually say it is true. Four a fourth assumption:

    the mix of SST measurement methods (bucket or ERI) is invariant across the global oceans, and the spatial pattern of biases follows the climatological difference of SST and NMAT in the modern time (1971–2000); and

    The authors don't even attempt to establish it is true. In fact, they describe tests which suggest it is false. And it is false. How much variance there is in this mix is an open question (and quite possibly small enough to be completely insignificant), but it certainly exists.

    Ultimately, Huang15 is an exercise in model fitting which depends upon assumptions that are either unprovable or false and relies upon a climate model for its validation. That doesn't inherently mean it is wrong/bad, but it is certainly a point which merits critical examination. I don't think I've seen many (any?) Skeptics talk about it. That's a shame. The reality is using different approaches to the modeling relied upon in this paper (either directly, for the model fitting it uses with things like its adjustments or in the GFDL climate model it uses for validation) could give different results. People should be investigating how different.

    But that takes hard work. Unfortunately, the Skeptic community seems more interested in lazy talking points than real technical analysis.

  3. Brandon, thanks as always for your generously detailed response, and for fixing my link. BTW, Lucia's link still goes to your old URL. You should give her the update.

    But that takes hard work. Unfortunately, the Skeptic community seems more interested in lazy talking points than real technical analysis.
    For most of us it takes years of little pieces of spare time to get competent to evaluate papers. Its hard enough to digest the papers but one also must check the cited papers and search the keywords to find the non-cited papers, which are usually critical for "finding the pea."

    Brandon, I hope you stay interested as I think your talents are needed to find those mistakes. They are important discoveries. It's a challenge to keep on adding knowledge and not get disheartened by slow progress.

    I feel better that you confirmed my thoughts about Huang15, that there are an awfully lot of assumptions that are not pursued. Nor is it clear why it is worthwhile to go through the acrobatics of model assisted proxy conversion from NMAT2 instead of a direct approach in fixing and testing the observation biases of buckets and ERI.

    I have to reflect on my own bias here in that after reading about the hockey stick affair and Climategate reading dozens of unbelievable posts by Steve Mc in the CA archive, I am naturally primed against the consensus. But they have to know it just looks bad to keep making adjustments always in one direction. I mean there must have been 60 papers with alternate explanations for the pause, all peer reviewed. Then, finally, poof, they get rid of it officially as a data artifact of 18 years. Clearly Karl was looking to take the heat for Huang (which got zero publicity). It was all misdirection. And, I think Zeke feels its justified and Mosh thinks its mostly fun. But I'm probably mind reading too much.

    You ought to read this borderline psychopathic-ally warmist comment on SKS on the Bates affair. The whole page of comments are spooky, like a mind control cult, angry and the "denialists" that want to "destroy everything"...

  4. Ron Graf:

    Brandon, thanks as always for your generously detailed response, and for fixing my link. BTW, Lucia's link still goes to your old URL. You should give her the update.

    Blogrolls are notoriously bad. That's one reason I wouldn't put one on any blog I run. So many links wind up outdated, broken or just directing readers to defunct sites. I honestly didn't know anyone had me on theirs.

    For most of us it takes years of little pieces of spare time to get competent to evaluate papers. Its hard enough to digest the papers but one also must check the cited papers and search the keywords to find the non-cited papers, which are usually critical for "finding the pea."

    Which is why I don't expect the average reader to perform technical analyses. What I would like to expect is for the average reader to look for people who reliably perform technical analyses and to pay attention to those people. Then, I'd like to expect big name Skeptics to promote that work and focus on it. That's not what's happened.

    Brandon, I hope you stay interested as I think your talents are needed to find those mistakes. They are important discoveries. It's a challenge to keep on adding knowledge and not get disheartened by slow progress.

    I am at least a month behind because my mind is so dominated by the results I've been experiencing with Rock, Paper, Scissors. If you haven't read my last post, you should check it out. I find it very difficult to focus on anything else right now. If not for that, I would already have eight more technical posts published and ~20 articles written for my test wiki.

    But... yeah. It's difficult to do mathematical analyses when math seems to indicate reality isn't working properly for you.

    I have to reflect on my own bias here in that after reading about the hockey stick affair and Climategate reading dozens of unbelievable posts by Steve Mc in the CA archive, I am naturally primed against the consensus. But they have to know it just looks bad to keep making adjustments always in one direction.

    This is the lazy sort of talking point that I refer to. Adjustments aren't always in one direction. That's wrong on both a factual level and a fundamental level. Fundamentally, it plays into the same trap people like Zeke Hausfather fall into - ignoring the temporal component.

    People like to talk about adjustments cooling the past and warming the present, but the reality is the past is warmed, not cooled. This increases the apparent contribution to global warming as AGW cannot explain a large amount of warming in the past. If there is a large amount of warming in the past, there must be a sizable influence on temperatures from non-human sources. This means cooling the past would actually increase the (apparent) role of non-human sources, decreasing the certainty of the mainstream AGW position.

    So right now, we have Skeptics saying adjustments cool the past and warm the present to exaggerate global warming even though cooling the past would hurt the AGW cause rather than strengthen it, and that's exactly what's happened! This means Skeptics are wrong on the facts and wrong on the concept, and as such, they are missing out on a central issue where there are a lot of weaknesses in the "consensus" position.

    I mean there must have been 60 papers with alternate explanations for the pause, all peer reviewed. Then, finally, poof, they get rid of it officially as a data artifact of 18 years. Clearly Karl was looking to take the heat for Huang (which got zero publicity). It was all misdirection. And, I think Zeke feels its justified and Mosh thinks its mostly fun. But I'm probably mind reading too much.

    I think you are over-reading things, and more importantly, focusing too much on individuals. I've noticed Skeptics like to push simple narratives where they blame a specific person for things, but in my experience, most of what they discuss arise from the influences of many people. For instance, as a paper, Karl15 is perfectly acceptable. It is genuine science, and I'm sure the authors wanted to do good work. I can believe that while disagreeing with aspects of it and thinking the publicity around it was horrible/dishonest.

    You ought to read this borderline psychopathic-ally warmist comment on SKS on the Bates affair. The whole page of comments are spooky, like a mind control cult, angry and the "denialists" that want to "destroy everything"...

    What is supposed to be psychopathic about that comment? There's some truth to what Tom Curtis said in that comment, some bias and some untruth. I don't see what stands out about that comment. I've seen far worse from people at that site (including from Curtis himself). Heck, far worse stuff gets posted at WUWT all the time.

    Incidentally, I wish people would take one aspect of Curtis's comment to heart. His point that errors by Skeptics get ignored is important. The sad reality is Skeptics aren't held accountable for their errors, not even by other Skeptics. And because of that, they've lost a lot of credibility. If Skeptics would be skeptics instead of partisan hacks, they would be listened to much more.

  5. By the way, the lack of accountability in the Skeptic community is the main reason I don't publish that many analyses on climate issues. I don't see much point in putting out analyses for audiences that accept work by people like Steven Goddard. When complete trash is accepted and even promoted, why would I want my work in the mix? I'm sure I could write things many people would like, but how many would like it for its quality instead of just that it supports their preconceived views?

  6. I have what is either a really stupid or really insightful question to ask about one set of adjustments used by Karl15, and I don't know which it is. It's been bugging me for a while now. Should I write an open post asking it or try talking to a couple people about it first?

  7. What I would like to expect is for the average reader to look for people who reliably perform technical analyses and to pay attention to those people.

    The non-skeptics claims the consensus investigators are already reliable. How do skeptics choose which arguments are reliable without having sufficient expertise to verify the claims directly? One can see a situation where there are just believers and counter-believers, some more activist than others.

    Then, I'd like to expect big name Skeptics to promote that work and focus on it. That's not what's happened.

    You have contributed by writing books on MBH98,99 but people follow the news. I think blogging is promoting ideas. Again one needs to gain expertise in order to have any weight in promoting an idea. If the big name skeptics spend too much effort on promoting they are perhaps abusing their status of their position to promote political belief. This is the subject that Judith Curry is blogging on currently. What is her role?

    Regarding your question on Karl15 adjustments, try asking Peter Thorne on his blog post. Or Kenneth Fristch might know.

    Regarding rock, scissors, paper, all troubleshooting is the same: isolate each component and replace it with a functional alternative and examine the change in output. You know this.

    Cheers.

  8. Brandon, for unlocking Huang15 the behavior of the trends from 1940-1945 are like a test excursion. During WWII the ship bucket was impractical since ships had to maintain speed and nighttime blackout conditions. The ERI readings jumped from a minor fraction to over 80% for these five years. At the same time land temperatures were high, so the rise in SST could not all be ERI bias. Huang15 significantly flattens the GMST bump for WWII. The question is whether flattening fits with land records, which leads to the question of how much correlation of land and SST there is. I went to Woodfortrees interactive and am totally confused by the results. Why do HadSST2 and HadSST3 have practically no relationship? Same with CRUTEM3,4.

  9. Ron Graf:

    The non-skeptics claims the consensus investigators are already reliable. How do skeptics choose which arguments are reliable without having sufficient expertise to verify the claims directly? One can see a situation where there are just believers and counter-believers, some more activist than others.

    I don't expect people to always see through garbage as people will get fooled at times, but that's not all that happens. A lot of what happens is a willful blindness. Consider, for instance, how much praise and adoration Richard Tol has gotten from Skeptics. None of it was deserved. Even the slightest examination of his work, whether it be on the economics of global warming or the "problems" of the Cook et al. "consensus." He just publishes dreck.

    I give Tol as an example because I have a lot of experience with discussing his work. I have spent a significant amount of time detailing problems with what he's said, and over and over, Skeptics have turned a blind eye. No matter how clear I or anyone else might make the flaws in what he says, Skeptics ignore them.

    In one amazing example, Tol claimed to find problems in the Cook et al. "consensus" because there were patterns in the data they had published. That data had been sorted to put papers in order of year of publication (then alphabetical order). One result Cook et al. had discussed in their paper was their "consensus" grew stronger over time. That means they published their data sorted in a way that, when read in the published order, would show the consensus had grown over time.

    That's completely unremarkable. If you sort data to organize it before sharing it, there will be patterns in it. Tol somehow failed to understand this and insisted it meant the Cook et al. work was completely flawed. Even after dozens of comments, practically nobody would say he was wrong. To this day, I think only two people on the skeptic "side" have ever acknowledged what he said was wrong (one being Kenneth Fritsch), and even that came only after they had bent over backwards to try to side with Tol.

    You have contributed by writing books on MBH98,99 but people follow the news. I think blogging is promoting ideas. Again one needs to gain expertise in order to have any weight in promoting an idea. If the big name skeptics spend too much effort on promoting they are perhaps abusing their status of their position to promote political belief. This is the subject that Judith Curry is blogging on currently. What is her role?

    Consider this, several reasonably big name skeptics like Anthony Watts and Ross McKitrick co-authored a book Climate Change: The Facts, which includes claims like, modern temperature data is too uncertain to let us know the planet has warmed. At all. They promote this book.

    Mark Steyn wrote his book about Michael Mann where he repeatedly misrepresents quotations (and makes misquotations). It's not difficult to see. Simply looking up the source of the quotations, which he provides, is enough. Nobody does it. Nobody even points out the many basic errors in the book regarding the hockey stick debate. Nobody points out a significant number of the "experts" Steyn promotes in his book are crackpots, doing things like claiming the UN is part of the New World Order bent on destroying the civilized world.*

    I'm not asking people to do detailed, technical analyses every time they read a post. I'm just asking people to not willfully turn a blind eye to problems. I'm sure most people won't admit they do so, but it is a necessary component of the Skeptic movement nowadays.

    Regarding rock, scissors, paper, all troubleshooting is the same: isolate each component and replace it with a functional alternative and examine the change in output. You know this.

    Yup. The problem is so far when I've done that, I still got the same results.

    *This is a rough paraphrase. I forget the exact nuance of each paranoid delusion the sources Steyn quotes include. The point is this isn't just the people he quotes saying crazy things; it's the very sources he uses. Steyn just conveniently cuts around the delusional ranting portions to pretend they don't exist.

  10. Ron Graf:

    I went to Woodfortrees interactive and am totally confused by the results. Why do HadSST2 and HadSST3 have practically no relationship? Same with CRUTEM3,4.

    HadSST has a pretty strong correlation between the two versions you mention. The month-to-month changes are pretty consistent. The main differences appear to be between what are almost offset values, I presume due to a different handling of bias adjustments. That doesn't surprise me. The issue of how to correct for biases in the data during the middle of the 20th century has been a topic of debate for at least 15 years now.

    The CRUTEM results are more interesting. They're global sea+land data unlike the HadSST data sets which only use ocean data. What makes those versions interesting is if you look at the data for the north hemisphere, it matches up almost perfectly between the two data sets. It's only the southern hemisphere that has meaningful differences. That might have something to do with data for the southern hemisphere being more sparse or something else. I don't know.

  11. The CRUTEM results are more interesting. They're global sea+land data unlike the HadSST data sets which only use ocean data.

    You are thinking of HadCRUT. CRUTEM is land only.

    HadSST [SH] has a pretty strong correlation between the two versions you mention.

    Granted, it's not as bad as the land, which is practically anti-correlated, but it's still pretty bad for what one would think is minor bias adjustments. There has to be something else.

    I don't get my science from Mark Steyn any more than I would Bill Maher. I do get a chuckle each once in a while.

  12. Ron Graf:

    You are thinking of HadCRUT. CRUTEM is land only.

    Er, yeah.

    Granted, it's not as bad as the land, which is practically anti-correlated, but it's still pretty bad for what one would think is minor bias adjustments. There has to be something else.

    I'm not sure why you think bias adjustments would be "minor." Bucket adjustments had a huge impact on earlier ocean temperature records. Bias adjustments have always been a big deal for ocean temperatures.

    I don't get my science from Mark Steyn any more than I would Bill Maher. I do get a chuckle each once in a while.

    That may be, but the reality is Mark Steyn is being celebrated as a hero of the Skeptic cause without anyone from that "side" ever pushing back against the untrue or misleading things he says. Try to find anyone other than me who has pointed out even a tiny number of misrepresentations in his book. I doubt you'll be able to. You will be able to find a ton of people promoting his book though. Truth and accuracy aren't doing well in the Skeptic community.

  13. Mark Steyn is being celebrated as a hero of the Skeptic cause.

    Yes, but not because of his breakthrough statistical audits. It's because there is a political divide in the USA.

    To recap: one side of that divide believes strongly in "social justice" and "climate justice" (And that side had until recently political control of the USA, making a David and Goliath battle). The other side believes in justice and science and advancement of the humanity and kind of resents that the other side claims they have a monopoly on those values.

    And what one side really resents is being told their ideas are unscientific, unjust and thus unprotected by law, and thus, prosecutable.

  14. Ron Graf:

    Yes, but not because of his breakthrough statistical audits. It's because there is a political divide in the USA.

    And people on one side of it don't care if their hero Mark Steyn constantly says things which are incorrect or misleading (or worse) things. They don't care if Richard Tol is a hack whose work is garbage and his conclusions can only be reached by deception and cherry-picking. So forth and so on.

    To recap: one side of that divide believes strongly in "social justice" and "climate justice" (And that side had until recently political control of the USA, making a David and Goliath battle). The other side believes in justice and science and advancement of the humanity and kind of resents that the other side claims they have a monopoly on those values.

    I don't think you can reasonably say Skeptics believe "in justice and science" when they consistently support blatant abuses of science.

    And what one side really resents is being told their ideas are unscientific, unjust and thus unprotected by law, and thus, prosecutable.

    Literally nobody has been told that. Moreover, Skeptics frequently promote unscientific ideas. You're going to struggle to get sympathy with complains about being told things which are true. If Skeptics actually cared enough about science to impose even a tiny amount of accountability upon their members, maybe the global warming debate would amount to something other than partisan bickering. They don't though. Skeptics have decided to be every bit as bad as "warmists." As such, the debate has devolved to the point neither side is trustworthy or respectable.

    Heck, I've talked to several people now who openly admitted they wouldn't say anything about one issue or another I raised because they feared the consequences it would have on their career. I've had at least one big name skeptic use not too subtle threats of legal consequences for things I've said. Yes, it was suggested I might be sued for libel for criticizing a Skeptic. There is no love for "justice" in the Skeptic community. There's just love for their tribe and hatred for anyone not in it.

    I don't see any evidence to support the idea Skeptics are any better than the people they dislike. I'm reasonably confident they are not.

  15. If Skeptics actually cared enough about science to impose even a tiny amount of accountability upon their members...

    I hate to break it to you Brandon that you may not get to decide what club you are a member of. If you offer any criticism to one side's cause being called a skeptic might be their most polite term for you. I realize that the same could be true for criticizing the opposite side. I hope you realize that I am not one who likes to label unless needing to make a point about a group behavior. I don't like labeling as a smear.

    As for accountability of my "members," my only affiliations are with those who have the same interest and curiosities that I do. At one time I belonged to the Sierra Club because I thought they were strictly about supporting natural environments. When it became clear that was not their main mission I quit.

    A lot of people are attacking Judith Curry right now for allowing John Bates to post on her blog. Should she have denied him?

    Brandon you have a very open mind about many things and people and I applaud that.

    I don't see any evidence to support the idea Skeptics are any better than the people they dislike. I'm reasonably confident they are not.

    In general terms people are the same everywhere. If you believe that one group is particularly bad or superior that would be a warning sign. I agree. What then do you do when faced with an individual or group that believes otherwise?

  16. Ron Graf:

    I hate to break it to you Brandon that you may not get to decide what club you are a member of. If you offer any criticism to one side's cause being called a skeptic might be their most polite term for you.

    I'm pretty sure I'm not a member of any club at this point.

    A lot of people are attacking Judith Curry right now for allowing John Bates to post on her blog. Should she have denied him?

    Judith Curry should be more clear about when she's posting something because she thinks it's worth discussing and when she's posting it because she agreed with/endorses it. There is nothing wrong with putting things out there for discussion, but when you consistently put things out there with the same general message while never clearly distancing yourself from any of it, you are pushing that position.

    But I obviously wouldn't insist people not publish something because of its contents. I have a standing offer for anyone who disagrees with anything I post here to publish a guest post here as a response. I even guarantee them complete freedom in what they say, free of any editorial control on my part (save forbidding things like foul language). I've always encouraged letting people discuss different ideas.

    In general terms people are the same everywhere. If you believe that one group is particularly bad or superior that would be a warning sign. I agree. What then do you do when faced with an individual or group that believes otherwise?

    I think some groups are worse than others, but the larger a group becomes, the more I think things average out. I suspect people who'd disagree either aren't willing to face their group's faults or have an unreasonable view of their "opponents."

    That, or they're looking at a group with enough institutionalization/structure that a small number of individuals can have a larger influence. For instance, the IPCC has been worse than a lot of groups of a similar size. The reason is the structure/institutionalization and semi-secrecy means small numbers of people can have more influence than they might in a different group.

    Ultimately, if you think a group you dislike is "evil" or anything like that, there's a pretty good chance you're wrong. You might be right, but odds are a lot of it comes from you failing to understand them. There are a lot of reasons people do shady things. Rarely is, "They're evil" one of them.

  17. I would think JC would allow Zeke or Peter or even Mosher to post a rebuttal to Bates if they presented one. OTOH, I don't think she would do that for SOU or Goddard. You are correct there is some implied endorsement of a degree of credibility. Bates was not some yahoo, he was a top NOAA administrator who's claim has now has reopend a congressional investigation.

    I read Zeke's paper finally tonight. He has it pretty air-tight that ERSST3b was biased low and ERSST4 is on the money. He goes even further and says COBE and HADSST are biased low also and need to get with the times. But the news from Bates, that Zeke just confirmed, is that ERSST5 will be cooler. So where did his air tight paper go wrong? Are you going to ask him? I'm not. I'm too polite. But if you are up for it ask him also why the infrared satellites measuring ocean skin are so warm compared to the troposphere and are the two going to continue to diverge? Forever? Also, considering the infrared does not scan above 60 deg or below -60 deg why are they so warm?

  18. MikeN, I also understand that Juang is the lead author on ERSST5. Considering that any reversal is surprising.

    I'm sad that Zeke is too busy now to come back but if he does somebody might ask if he is betting the lower troposphere is really warming in parallel with the surface, which must imply that the instruments or current analysis is broken. Otherwise one wonders what limit there is to plausible divergence.

  19. Is there a separate buoy only measurement, and is there a trend in this data?

    Yes. According to Zeke and Jaung, the buoy only trend is consistent with Juang15. In fact one of the ways Juang (and Karl) got rid of the pause was to downweight the ship measurements heavily as the buoy record (pre-Argo) came into force in the 1990s. I do not agree with the methodology, especially due to the degree of data manipulation. If this was a life science it would be completely unacceptable to make all the assumption NOAA is making without testing and publishing the results of each one.

    One should remember here that erasing the pause is only one possible effect of manipulations. It could also be to separate from past ship manipulations without direct normalization of them with the buoys. In other words that pre-1990s record could be a twisted mess created to amplify late 20th century. This was alleged by skeptics but the argument all along by the consensus is that such skewing, if occurred, would eventually cause problems. But separating the pre-1990s from the post 1990s with differing methodologies allows one to reset the baseline (unintentionally of course).

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