2011-03-15 17:27:44A revamp of 'hide the decline'
John Cook


My apologies to Villabola (who wrote the Basic rebuttal) and James (who wrote the Intermediate rebuttal which was also a blog post in his climategate series) but I've gone and revamped the whole "hide the decline" rebuttal. Basically, there has been this increased attention on 'hide the decline' because of Richard Muller's Youtube lecture. So Michael Mann had a look at the SkS rebuttal and emailed me, saying it could be more solid and also sending me some material he'd written on the decline.

So I read through Mike's stuff, boiled it down to 3 essential points, cannabilised content from Dana, James and my own earlier stuff and compiled it into a single advanced version (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Mikes-Nature-trick-hide-the-decline-advanced.htm). Then I stripped that down to an intermediate version (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Mikes-Nature-trick-hide-the-decline-intermediate.htm) and then got very strict with the meat-cleaver for the basic version (http://www.skepticalscience.com/Mikes-Nature-trick-hide-the-decline-basic.htm).

I'm skyping with Mike Mann and Peter Sinclair tomorrow morning - Peter will be working on a Crock of the Week video on the topic - and hopefully there'll be some coordination with other blogs on the subject (RC perhaps?). So if anyone could have a look at the 3 rebuttals and post any feedback on how to improve it - as this is meant to be the definitive rebuttal on 'hide the decline' - any suggestions would be most welcome.

Again, sorry to Villabola and James. Especially Villabola as your rebuttal hadn't seen the light of day yet (at least James' posts had an impact as part of the fantastic climategate series). I don't think I've ever done this before, overwritten someone else's work, but based on the feedback from Mike Mann, this seemed the best way to go.

2011-03-15 18:35:29
Rob Painting

Editor-in-chief eh?. Look's good to me, although it (climatehate) being such a vicious piece of propaganda, I never delved into it much.

2011-03-15 19:02:41Separate?
James Wight


It is not clear to me that “Mike’s Nature trick” is separate to “hide the decline”. What Jones seems to be saying in that email is that for the WMO cover graph, he used Mann’s graphical technique on two reconstructions – Mann’s from 1981, and Briffa’s from 1961.

It might be better to say something like ‘Jones’ use of “Mike’s Nature trick” has no bearing on the graphs produced by Michael Mann.’ I think this is the point you’re trying to make when you say they are separate.

With regard to overwriting my rebuttal: as well as “hide the decline”, it also debunked some other accusations about manipulating tree ring data (Yamal etc). How about we reinstate it as a separate rebuttal for “CRU manipulated tree ring data” or something along those lines?

I notice the intermediate rebuttal of “hide the decline” still says it was written by me, and the basic version by Villabolo. You’d better correct that.

2011-03-15 20:26:25


Generally looks OK; but the discussion back & forth is now connected to the wrong texts. This could be confusing later, and lead to accusations of bad faith. Can you note at the beginning of the discussion that the text has been changed?

2011-03-16 02:56:14comments
Dana Nuccitelli

James - as listed in the green box at the beginning, they are two separate issues.  "Mike's trick" was just to include instrumental temperature records along with the proxy data, while "hide the decline" was to truncate the tree ring data at 1960.  I think John is correct and clear about this.

Advanced: It might be worth linking the "hide the decline in global temperatures" text to some prominent people who are quoted saying that.  Here's The Guardian quoting Palin.

After your discussion of Cook 2004, it might be worth adding their figure showing the tree ring data from various locations to illustrate your point.

"Both the instrumental and reconstructed temperature are clearly labelled" => I think the correct spelling is "labeled"

Hmm the end of this rebuttal looks strangely familiar :-)

Pretty much the same comments on the basic and intermediate versions.