Think again on British Antarctic Survey merger say Science and Technology Committee

Parochial stuff: I reported before that Axing the British Antarctic Survey would mean the end of Scott’s legacy?, but it looks like MPs say No:

Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Andrew Miller MP, said:

My Committee has considered the process undertaken to merge British Antarctic Survey and the National Oceanography Centre. What we have concluded is that NERC have not made a proper case for it nor demonstrated political nous on the strong non-science related issues surrounding BAS.

Which is either Hooray for BAS! or Boo for political interference in science! depending on your viewpoint.

I’m not sure whether the committee has a veto or not. But it would be a brave head of NERC who proceeded after this.

[Update: Its all off. Quietly, NERC are now even more pissed off with BAS than they were before.]


* British Antarctic Survey to Keep Its Identity – Science.

Lindzen doesn't like me

Which is a shame, because I’ve defended him in the past. But then he did go Emeritus in 2011 so perhaps this is all to be expected.

Its not terribly exciting I’m afraid. There is a piece of tat in the Euresis Journal, whatever that is, called Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?. Skipping over the rest of the nonsense, the only bit I care about is me, obviously:

The myth of scientific consensus is also perpetuated in the web’s Wikipedia where climate articles are vetted by William Connolley, who regularly runs for office in England as a Green Party candidate. No deviation from the politically correct line is permitted.

This is from Winter 2012, and its wrong, of course: I haven’t stood for the Green Party for years now. Not that L cares about accuracy, of course; its just a piece of throw away intended-nastiness. But the head of the article says Original manuscript from November 29, 2008, with corrections and an added postscript provided on October 31, 2011 which is a bit odd – is this really a re-tread of something L wrote in 2008?

Presumably, since the postscript says:

The present paper was written in 2008 (although a few minor corrections have been made to the present version)… On a more positive note, William Connolley is no longer controlling Wikipedia’s coverage of climate, which has become discernibly better.

I wonder why L thinks wiki’s climate coverage is now better? There is a bit more of it, but the basic state of the global warming page and associated material is pretty well what it was in 2008. Still, we have no real idea of what L thought was wrong with it in 2008, and no idea of how it is better. L has abandonded science in favour of vague untestable generalities.

Marathon and misc

2012-10-20 11.54.41 To Amsterdam, for the marathon. In case you’ve been wondering why its been quiet around here. 3:55, since you ask.

I know I still haven’t written the sea ice post. But I will; and isn’t it nice that they don’t all come at once?

I’m reading Atlas Shrugged. Yes, I know Rand is a wacko. And I know CIP didn’t like the book. But I’m quite enjoying it so far (p 703), as long as I skip through the multi-page sermons. Its getting duller now she’s reached Rivendell, though.

Middle class decline: is it inevitable? (h/t: EW). Speaking of Atlas Shrugged, there’s Greece falling apart some more. Though they seem to have a different solution.

In wiki-world, Gerhard Kramm is no more, on the not unreasonable grounds that he isn’t notable.

Oh, and the Italian scientists and earthquakes thing.


* Climate Trolls – An Illustrated Bestiary
* Book review: Atlas shrugged by me

We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period?

[Guest post by John Mashey]

This is a second follow-up to the original falsification, flat-earth maps and dog astrology. Flat-earth is discussed here in More use and abuse of IPCC 1990 fig 7.1(c). This post explores the other topic:

David Deming, “dog astrology journal” and then Jon Overpeck This started with quote of David Deming‘s comments in the Journal of Scientific Exploration(JSE), or “dog astrology journal.” JSE was first brought to my attention by Eli Rabett in 2008, relevant in an Wikipedia talk page on Hockey Stick Illusion, and further in 2010. That discusses the journal issue in which Deming’s article appeared, plus his earlier articles, all of which appeared in 2004-2005, about the time Deming was on the parent organization’s Council. See p.17, but a quick perusal of the entire issue may be informative, including a talk by Michael Lemonick explaining to them why mainstream media doesn’t pay attention, written up in Time.

On 03/16/05, McIntyre quoted Deming, linking twice to Fred Singer’s 3-month-early preprint. One might wonder if Singer helpfully offered any advice to Deming in the writing. The key quote was:

‘ …With the publication of the article in Science, I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”‘

Of course, “major” was vague, no evidence was offered (“the dogs ate my emails”) and no one was named. For context, see also Deming 2006 testimony written or better video. See also Why I Deny Global Warming. However, since Deming’s quote was deemed to be Truth, people tried to figure out the identity of the purported emailer.

McIntyre on Deming and Overpeck
12/11/05 Overpeck: “You didn’t really believe everything that I said, did you?”

‘He has been proposed as the most likely person to have uttered the phrase “We have to get rid of the MWP” and Overpeck et al [1997] was one of the early entries in the multiproxy endeavour.’

02/13/07 IPCC Paleoclimate Lead Author on M&M

‘One of the two Coordinating Lead Authors of the IPCC Paleoclimate chapter (chapter 6), Eystein Jansen – the other is Jonathan Overpeck of “Get rid of the MWP” fame…’

05/08/07 Swindle and the Stick

‘After the graphics about the MWP and LIA, you can turn back to the graphic and observe — if this is what specialists thought in 1990, it certainly doesn’t convey any sense of urgency. It must have been hard/impossible to convey alarm with this as a sales graphic. You need good graphics to sell stock and this graph won’t sell stock. Then you segue into David Deming and “Get rid of the MWP”. Deming said [note – see his Senate testimony in 2006 here] (and he’d probably make an interesting interview):
“With the publication of the article in Science [in 1995], I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said – We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”
Maybe Jonathan Overpeck could be asked on the record about this quote.’

10/26/07 More on Arabian Sea G. Bulloides

‘(Overpeck, the second author of this article, has been rumored to be the person who told David Deming about “getting rid of the MWP”.)’

SO, a few questions for Stoat readers.
1) Have you found any earlier mentions in 2005 of Overpeck as the phantom emailer, either at CA or elsewhere?
2) And then, through early 2008, any other mentions? That brings us to:

02/19/08Sussman Interview With Deming Brian Sussman: Climategate: A veteran meteorologist exposes the global warming scam (2010). Global warming is Marxist plot, UN is evil, one-world government, etc, which might relate back to conspiracy research by Lewandowsky et al. I own a copy of this for my collection of such things. He is a TV weather guy, turned talk-radio host.

BUT, he has an interview with Deming, prefaced with the following (bold mine):

p.18: ‘Again, as you will discover later, Stephen McIntyre is a brilliant researcher who has wholly discredited some of Mann’s most significant work…’

p.30: ‘UNITED NATIONS OF MARX’ and shows yet another variant of Fig 7.1(c), claimed to be sourced from WSJ, 06/21/05, but actually, it’s a different version than that used by Daly/McIntyre and the WSJ.

p.31: ‘Enter a PhD from the University of Oklahoma’s College of Geosciences, David Deming. In 1995, Deming had concluded extensive climate research on ancient tree rings. Boring minute holes into the trunks of trees, Deming examined growth patterns relative to past weather and climate.

He writes glowingly about Deming, then quotes him and continues:

pp.32-34: ‘In 1995, I had a short paper… (NPR reporter, etc) So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”’
‘Since then, Deming has shared the account before a Senate committee in Washington, DC, accurately referring to it as “historical revisionism.” But I wanted the rest of the story, specifically the name of the emailer who desired to subterfuge history.’

Sussman: Did you know the emailer?
Deming: No. You must understand that following an article being published in a journal like Science, it’s quite common to receive emails from colleagues working in similar fields.
Sussman: So, you didn’t know this guy.
Deming: No.
Sussman: Did his suggestion that somehow the record of the Medieval Warming Period had to be altered struck you as odd?
Deming: Yes. I didn’t really think people would take this nonsense seriously.
Sussman: Nonsense? Is that how you thought of anthropogenic global warming back then?
Deming: it wasn’t as big an issue then. I’m a geologist. I am used to observing events over long periods of time. Everyone talks about the [computer] models. I understand the atmosphere is a very complex system, and a system that is categorically impossible to replicate in terms of future predictions. So, I have to rely on what we know and what we don’t know. That’s why it’s important to study past climate. In fact, I have something I call Deming’s 10 Rules of Science. One of them is “You don’t know what you don’t know.” What we do know is that the climate of the earth has undergone major changes. What we do know is that after the last ice age the temperature of Greenland increased by perhaps as much as 50 degrees in a period of perhaps 10 years. Why did that happen? We don’t know – but it happened.”
Sussman: Back to the email. Many of us have heard the rumor that it was Jonathan Overpeck, the NOAA scientist, who has been on a tear for years to rid the books of the Medieval Warm Period, but I’ve been unable to find a record of you publicly admitting as such. Was it Overpeck?
Deming: It’s been many years, and I’ve long since deleted the email, but to the best of my recollection it was sent by an Overpeck.’
p.34: ‘Sent by an Overpeck. Dr. Deming claimed he was unable to recall the first name, and I didn’t want to press this good man any further. However, if it were Jonathan Overpeck, it would make good sense. Overpeck is a government apparatchik working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and has made quite a name for himself speaking at conferences and writing research papers belittling those who disagree with the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.’
‘My suspicions about Jonathan Overpeck being the guy who contacted Deming were confirmed in a 2008 email unearthed in the CRU leak. During the exchange with Phil Jones and others, Jonathan Overpeck, clearly agitated all these years later by the comments made by Dr. Deming before the Senate (even though Deming never mentioned Overpeck by name), denies making the “we must get rid of the Medieval Warm Period” statement:
The email states:
“I googled….Any idea what my reaction should be?”’

‘I would recommend Overpeck and his selective memory take an early retirement. Through he denies the statement made to Dr. Deming, I discovered an official 1998 government press release regarding the MWP, quoting Jonathan Overpeck. It seems crystal clear that by 1998 his mission to see the record revised was accomplished, as he declares, “the so-called Medieval Warm Period did not exist.”’* *”’Twentieth Century Global Warming Unprecedented’ NOAA Scientist reports,” NOAA Press Release, December 7, 1998,’

[Needless to say, the actual quote does not say this.]

p.35: ‘Seems like somebody’s pants are on fire.’
‘And to whom shall we give credit for the climate lobotomy that supposedly killed the “so-called Medieval Warm Period”? Enter Doctor Leaky: Michael Mann.’
‘Mann apparently inputted data collected by Dr. Shaopeng Huang of the University of Michigan, who examined 6,000 tree-ring boreholes from around the world…

p.40: ‘In hindsight, it makes me wonder … where were Mann, Jones, Overpeck, Gore and a host of other climate clowns during their science fairs?’

People may notice some inconsistencies in all this, especially when played versus IPCC history. (Hint: Overpeck was one of two Coordinating Lead Authors for the 2007 AR4 paleo chapter, along with Norwegian Eystein Jansen. People might check the extent of Overpeck’s roles in IPCC {1990, 1992, 1995, 2001}.

Deming was astonished (in 1995) to receive a message from somebody he knew was a “major person,” but when he wrote about it for in 2005 JSE, didn’t check who it was and was vague by 2008, except to allow it might have been some Overpeck.
One might wonder how well any of this would actually stand up in court… Enough for now.

World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules?

Or Controversial US businessman’s iron fertilisation off west coast of Canada contravenes two UN conventions, says the Graun (h/t Timmy).

This is the same bloke who was behind the failed Planktos stuff. If you’re deceptive you might call him an environmentalist – but “chancer” would seem closer to the mark.

But I was interested in:

International legal experts say George’s project has contravened the UN’s convention on biological diversity (CBD) and London convention on the dumping of wastes at sea, which both prohibit for-profit ocean fertilisation activities. “It appears to be a blatant violation of two international resolutions,” said Kristina M Gjerde, a senior high seas adviser for the International Union for Conservation of Nature. “Even the placement of iron particles into the ocean, whether for carbon sequestration or fish replenishment, should not take place, unless it is assessed and found to be legitimate scientific research without commercial motivation. This does not appear to even have had the guise of legitimate scientific research.”

That seems to be doing its best to imply that what has been done is illegal. But is it? (Update: via mt, Nature says No and I’ll trust them on this point). The WAPO says he is doing it “perhaps illicitly” – obviously it wasn’t worth their while to bother check whether its licit or not, so they thought they might as well throw in the allegation and see if it would stick. I’ve found at least one piece of fringery that calls it “hugely illegal” but I don’t trust them at all. The Graun continues with someone called Silvia Ribeiro “of the international technology watchdog ETC Group” saying It is now more urgent than ever that governments unequivocally ban such open-air geoengineering experiments which strongly suggests to me that they aren’t illegal, or they wouldn’t be trying to get them banned (update: and you definitely should not trust ETC).

More seriously: people – well, scientists – are being veery cautious about iron fertilisation. With the amount of money potentially available from carbon credits, it isn’t strange that entrepreneurs, who are by their nature far less cautious, indeed risk-takers, are sniffing around scenting dosh. Though without any kind of accredition, it isn’t clear to me why anyone would pay for this as a credit, when they may not get anything recognised out of the far end.


* OIF Accusations Fly at CBD COP11 – Geoengineering Politics
* Is the iron fertilization project off Haida Gwaii a science experiment, business opportunity, or uncontrolled geoengineering?
* Geoengineering and Carbon Sequestration
* Schoppmann Declined Role in Haida OIF Scheme

Adoration of the Lamb


Continuing vaguely along the theme of use and abuse of IPCC 1990 fig 7.1(c), its worth noting explicitly the worship of Hubert Lamb by some of the denialists. I don’t think I need to repeat what is said there, but make sure you read the comments, especially those from Willard, and me of course.

One interesting example of this, which illustrates the same problems, is Premonitions of the Fall (in temperature) at WUWT by David Archibald. Its a very silly post, but it adopts the usual policy of taking all of Lamb’s stuff uncritically, whilst ignoring recent work, in order to push the authors own views.

For a saner discussion that involves Lamb’s work Hughes and Diaz 1994, which recently fell my way, is a good example. It treats Lamb with respect, which he deserves, but not as gospel, which he also deserves.

I’m pleased to find a linkage back to the Goode Olde Dayes of sci.env: ah, those were the days. I kept it in the context of the “global cooling” meme, but it applies to fig 7.1.c too. mt can write well:

It is important to note exactly who made those predictions, (or more properly, who expressed those worries) about an imminent ice age, and who is now predicting rapid global warming. By and large these are not the same people. The first group was essentially the observational paleoclimatologists. Bryson still claims that “the proper tool of the climatologist is the shovel”. The compendium by Lamb which Tom Moore takes as his primary reference was essentially the pinnacle of achievement in that field.

With all due respect (I mean this quite seriously – the erudition and breadth of knowledge of these people, Lamb in particular – is enormously impressive) to that group, their grasp of mathematics and statistics was weak, and of physics weaker still.

For instance, Lamb’s prediction in particular of imminent and rapid cooling was based on, essentially, a crude Fourier analysis (best fits of sinusoidal curves to his record). Since one of the dominant features was a rapid rise over the last century, the *presumption* of a cyclical nature of the record forced a prediction of a rapid cooling *precisely because there had been a recent rapid warming*. And although the niceties of periodograms had all been worked out by that time, Lamb seemed blissfully ignorant of the need to take particular care when fitting sinusoids to a record with significant information at its termination.

In the 1970s, a separate discipline of physical climatology was just emerging from an infancy at the peripheries of mathematics and astrophysics.


* Early version of temperature history – me, from 2005.
* GWPF, 2015

Slow and steady

I remember old sci-fi stories, where the colony ship would take generations to turn up in a new system, they’d take a brief look from orbit, land, and get overwhelmed by monsters / bacteria / natives / whatever exciting thing the author had thought up. And the obvious question was always: well, why didn’t they spend a bit longer checking everything was all right? And the answer of course was that would make the story too boring.

But the contrast with Curiosity is fun. BA reports that because they’ve seen one odd little thing, everything is on hold until they’ve figured it out.

More use and abuse of IPCC 1990 fig 7.1(c)

[Guest post by John Mashey]

This is a follow-up to the original falsification, flat-earth maps and dog astrology journal @ STW or cleaner version by Neverending Audit. It originally was a comment to be attached to WMC’s Attacked! or WUWT: taking incompetence to a whole new level.


The origin of IPCC(1990) Fig 7.1(c) may be historically interesting, but far less than the history of its later abuse, mis-use, and falsification, combined into a fine marketing campaign.

– See pp.199-203 of FAR Chapter 7. Fig7.1(c) p.202, errs in its specific scale (Years before present) and the general Fig 7.1 caption (“global”). The latter clearly contradicts the text of pp.199-203, which several times expresses doubts about a “MWP-big” (global, synchronous, generally warmer than 1990), in contrast to LIA, generally thought to be more-or-less global. The experts didn’t believe in MWP-big, but in “MWP-mix,” i.e., warm in North Atlantic region and some others, but cooler elsewhere and high warmth neither global nor synchronous. They expressed relevant uncertainties requiring research, rather than thinking Fig 7.1(c) to be unalterable truth, forever, a “flat-Earth map.” Of course, the temperature of 1000AD is absolutely irrelevant to current and future temperatures, but it is a nice red herring.

– The well-caveated figure was gone by IPCC(1992), and IPCC (1995, 2001, 2007) saw science progress in normal fashion, with increasingly- better approximations, as scientists tried to reconstruct both global and regional temperature variations, working towards longer intervals. Every credible millennial reconstruction (including MBH99), had an MWP cooling into an LIA but they covered larger geographies that naturally had less extremes. They did not “make the MWP go away,” they just did not support MWP-big, which was never claimed by IPCC.

Fig 7.1(c) forgotten by almost all, until McIntyre in mid-2005

Since IPCC(1990) had been scientifically obsolete for years, and was not widely available, scientists weren’t thinking about MWP-big, although anti-science advocates often gave cherry-picked examples (Vikings in Greenland, grapes in UK) to claim it.

Even Fred Singer, in “Hot Talk Cold Science” (1999, p.56), while arguing for a MWP-big, cited p.203 of IPCC(1990), but did not think to employ Fig. 7.1(c). That was mostly forgotten until March-June 2005, when McIntyre and McKitrick re-introduced it, backed by strong marketing, involving influential folks, some of whose history is given in CCC.

– Washington thinktanks/front groups (Competitive Enterprise Institute, Cooler Heads Coalition and George Marshall Institute, where McIntyre and McKitrick had been “experts” since early 2004)

– Politicians, such as James Inhofe and Joe Barton

– The Wall Street Journal, whose June editorial told an outright falsehood

– (2006) the Wegman Report, whose “blueprint” was the 05/11/05 talk given by McIntyre

– Since then, “Fig 7.1(c)” has appeared in numerous booksand even more websites, generally attributed to IPCC(1990), although sometimes IPCC(1995) or just IPCC. Sometimes they even give the right page number (202), although Singer and Avery(2007), Alexander(2008) and Goreham(2009) all thought it was Fig 22 of IPCC(1995). Variants of “Fig 7.1(c)” appear widely. See Google images: medieval warm period graph. These are most commonly used to argue that a cabal of climate scientists hid the TRUE MWP-big by introducing the MHB99 hockey stick.

McIntyre originally (03/16/05) cited this as “To understand the role of the hockey stick in Kyoto promotion, one need look no further back than the IPCC Second Assessment Report in 1995. The millennium temperature history portrayed in that report is shown in the diagram below.”. That was obviously wrong, but propagated into McKitrick’s 05/05/04 APEC talk, and more importantly the 05/11/05 talks in Washington, DC. for thinktanks and on Capitol Hill. Those were the “blueprint” for the Wegman Report. In a few months, some of McIntyre and McKitrick’s 1995/1990 errors got corrected to 1990, but not all, as WMC notes in Attacked! As of this writing, the page is this. It mentions “IPCC 1990 Figure 7c” (sic, it’s 7.1(c)). That isn’t the real problem, though.

McIntyre’s IPCC graph was not an image from IPCC (1990 or any other).

Most people’s graphs ascribed to IPCC were not images from IPCC. Although the curves are usually similar to Fig 7.1(c), typographical elements (capitalization, length of vertical words, font (serif versus san serif), dash at left or not. The erroneous “Years before present” was usually changed to “Years.” That shows that most people using this graph to proclaim MWP-big true and hockey-stick false, had not looked at IPCC(1990). If someone had a copy of IPCC(1990), why would they not use the real image?

In academe, this is called false citation, misrepresentation of a source, or falsification/fabrication. Such things can be academic misconduct, not because the curve is wrong, but because the different image (not labeled “after” or “derived from”, etc) strongly implies that the original source was not consulted.

Some have gone even further, distorting the graph, as was done in the Wegman Report. At least Wegman admitted in testimony that “No, I have not been able to obtain a copy of the 1990 report.”

By 06/25/05, McIntyre clearly had and wrote about did have IPCC(1990), followed by IPCC(1992) and IPCC(1995). Of course, as WMC notes, the real chronology made the 03/16/05 story nonsensical, but somehow the overall theme not only stuck, but propagated widely.

McIntyre’s post of 05/09/08, “Where did IPCC 1990 Figure 7c Come From”, showed the same image used many times, attributed to IPCC. He wrote:

“Today we’ll help the climate science community identify the provenance of a graphic shown below, that was produced in 1990 by a mysterious organization known to insiders as IPCC.”

Later in the same post, he showed a scan/screen grab of the correct IPCC(1990) Figure 7.1 (a, b, c). Part (c) is NOT the image he’d been using since 2005.

What is the real provenance of that old image?

Tasmanian (non-scientist) John Daly was a “science advisor” for the Western Fuels Association. See p.11 for that, but pp.8-11 are well worth reading. (H/T John Robert Hunter). Daly died in early 2004, so we can’t ask him how he got/created that image. However, he certainly had it:

04/14/01: “The `Hockey Stick’: A New Low in Climate Science”, ascribing the image to 1995.
06/26/03: updated to fix 1995 to 1990

Did McIntyre get the image directly from Daly’s website? Or via someone else? In the interest of transparency and disclosure, inquiring minds want to know. Was all this deliberate or just incompetence (as per Napoleon)?

Wall Street Journal tells 2 falsehoods 06/21/05

McIntyre wrote 06/21/05 about a WSJ Editorial that day and followed the next day with more. Sadly, the WSJ Editorial (paywall) contained an unambiguous falsehood as it showed the same image, but wrote “Trend in average temperature over the past 1,000 years, exactly as shown in the 1990 report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dotted line represents mean.” Of course, it was not the exact image from the IPCC, and the dotted line did not represent the mean, so the WSJ wrote two clear untruths. Did they do this research themselves? Where did they get the graph? Inquiring minds want to know that also.

Inhofe used it again in The Greatest Hoax (2012)

Here p.33 has the (somewhat fuzzy) image, giving p.202, but of course, not where this image came from.

Some Chronology (more in CCC, pp.27-28, p.183, and M&M history with Myron Ebell, GMI)

02/14/05 WSJ front-page article by A. Regalado, “Face-off” about M&M (CCC, p.183)
02/18/05 WSJ OpEd “Hockey Stick on Ice: Politicizing the science of global warming”
03/05/05 Singer posted preprint of Deming’s article, 3 months before JSE did
03/16/05 Original post by McIntyre on the Figure + Deming
05/04/05 McKitrick talk/paper for APEC
05/11/05 M&M spoke for GMI+CHC, and on Capitol Hill, introduced by CEI/CHC’s Myron Ebell, see annotated talk @GMI.
06/21/05 WSJ editorial “Kyoto by degrees”, McIntyre post on it
06/22/05 2nd post on WSJ editorial
06/24/05 Around 4PM Friday afternoon, Jean Marie McGinley (Barton staffer), created PDFs of the Barton/Whitfield letters to {Mann, Bradley, Hughes, Pachauri, Bement}, and up on website.
06/24/05 Before 6PM Myron Ebell sent copies (CCC, p.166) to William Perhach in the G.W.Bush White House and others.
06/25/05 McIntyre publishes something that actually shows he’s seen IPCC(1990)
06/26/05 (Sunday) McIntyre wrote House of Representatives Committee.

Hence, the letters were publicized before the recipients likely even got them, certainly, Bradley had not, as he was hiking in Europe. Sending letters to people might be a normal way to get information. Publicizing the letters before they even got them is something else.

While this might seem like a well-organized marketing campaign, in which the Wegman Report became a part, some might claim it is just coincidence.


Although John Daly had a version of Fig 7.1(c) in 2001, it had been mostly forgotten for 15 years. Then McIntyre and associates rewrote history to promote it as 1990 IPCC truth that the hockey stick was invented to hide. The image propagated widely, often employed by people who really had no idea of its provenance and either ignored IPCC(1990) or did not read it. Again, it is not that the curve misrepresents Fig 7.1(c), but that using that curve without the surrounding caveats is a real cherry-pick, and using a different image strongly hints that someone did not have IPCC(1990) at hand.

This is a great example of the contrast between:
science, which admits to uncertainty, works to lessen it by doing research, argues over real issues within the rules
anti-science where a long-obsolete flat-earth map is rediscovered and history rewritten to make it absolute truth, backed by an unsupported claim in a “dog astrology journal” by a guy with interesting views … and people actually believe all this and repeat it, endlessly, even in 2012.

[nb: minor updates a few hours post-pub.]


* TC tweaking McI (webcite)

Death of a salesman

A somewhat unfair title; the person in question is Marcel Leroux and the “death” is the deletion of his wiki page. The “sales” is his wacko views on GW. I don’t think ML is particularly interesting – wiki certainly thought not – but perhaps the way wiki deals with minor characters is.

Background: anyone is free to create a new page on wikipedia (there is probably a brief qualification period, but this is a trivial barrier), but there are various mechanisms for getting rid of pages that are junk, just offensive, or for some reason better not present. Any admin can delete a page; there is a whole page about criteria for speedy deletion.

But sometimes a page exists, about a real person or event, and there is doubt about whether the page is desirable or not. Perhaps they or the incident appear insufficiently notable. You can look at WP:AFD if you care to. Note that deletion debates are generally closed by admins who like doing that kind of thing, and almost always by people who don’t know anything about the subject to hand. They aren’t supposed to know; they just evaluate the arguments given (its not supposed to be a vote, either, though weight of numbers usually counts; its supposed to be weight of argument). If a page gets deleted and you disagree, there is a review mechanism. If a page doesn’t get deleted and you disagree, you can always try again. The page about me has been nominated 5 times (last infobox, click the “show” tab).

In this case: we’re on Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Marcel Leroux which (as you’ll see) was closed as The result was delete. Ultimately, “fails WP:N” is a very difficult argument to get around, and the humming and hawing about maybe possibly meeting a criterion or two of WP:ACADEMIC is not supported by consensus (even its advocates don’t seem to really believe it).

WP:N is his notability. This comes up in the rationale for deletion by the nominator [update: which, perhaps I should point out, wasn’t me], which was I couldn’t find significant coverage in google scholar or books. Google news returns various hits to various individuals. More specifically to the scientist I only found a good amount of passing mentions in the news sources (some of which were comments) but nothing providing significant coverage. And indeed, if you look for him he doesn’t show up much, with no coverage at all in what wiki calls “reliable secondary sources”: newspapers, books by other people, and so on. Unfortunately I forgot to webcite the page before it was deleted [update: its temporarily undeleted at DRV, so now cited in case it goes again] (aha, but one of the WUWT regular wackos did copy it, so here is a webcite of the copy), but here is a pic from google’s cache, and if you click through you’ll get to the article text.


If you look, the article is almost entirely sourced to himself. My “delete” rationale is that the article was only started in order to push Leroux’s wacko views on GW: essentially all of the lede is about his views and his books; not about his career. This view is supported by a contribution from one of his boosters on the AFD talk page. Meanwhile, if you try to follow his career then the criteria becomes WP:ACADEMIC which tries to make sense of the thorny question of whether random academic X is notable enough viewed as an academic only. And he fails that: just writing a textbook isn’t enough.

For those interested in puzzles and sleuthing (are you out there John?) the issue of his “chevalier (knight) in the Ordre des Palmes académiques” might be worth chasing down. Someone uploaded what is supposed to be a copy of his citation (webcite) in a desperate and ultimately failed attempt to show how notable he is. But is it genuine? Note that even if genuine he’s still not notable; this is just a puzzle, not a matter of significance. I don’t know what the genuine certificates are supposed to look like. There are a couple of things that look a bit dodgy about it, but nothing definitive: the “69 – LYON -” is odd – shouldn’t there be something after the second dash? The failure to get all the text centered. And the inconsistent spacing around “LEROUX”.


* If you’re wondering why the sudden upsurge of, errm, “odd” opinions in the comments, Death by Stoat at WUWT 2012/10/09 is probably the answer (webcite). If you’re one of the more thoughtful WUWT folks who wonder why I don’t answer at WUWT, the answer is I’m banned there. So if you’ve come here to complain about lack of freedom of speech, you might find that ironic.
* ‘Tabloid climatology’ may be the real reason for the Marcel Leroux – William Connolley Wikipedia dustup – more trash at WUWT.
* Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2012_October_11 – are reports of the death of his death premature? No – despite the shrieks and wails of the wackos, wiki managed to get the right answer to an obvious question, which doesn’t always happen.
* [Update: the last few copies are being chased down and killed. Part of the problem is simple incompetence on the part of the Watties -W]
* Even more death, this time of Timothy Ball (who?)