McIntyre: Misrepresenting the stolen emails

DeepClimate has nailed ClimateAudit’s Stephen McIntyre cold  in the clearly intentional misrepresentation of the stolen East Anglia emails.

Thanks to an astute and thorough reading of the emails, DeepC has shown McIntyre running partial quotes from the emails, but carefully deleting sections that show the comments to be made in integrity, good faith and with specific attention to the confusion that may arise from contradictory evidence.

For example, McIntyre reproduced this redacted quote:

“A proxy diagram of temperature change is a clear favourite for the Policy Makers summary. But the current diagram with the tree ring only data [i.e. the Briffa reconstruction] somewhat contradicts the multiproxy curve and dilutes the message rather significantly… This is probably the most important issue to resolve in Chapter 2 at present.. (Folland, Sep 22, 1999, in 0938031546.txt) [sic]”

And DeepC found the whole quote - including the remarkably forthright part that McIntyre cut:

“A proxy diagram of temperature change is a clear favourite for the Policy Makers summary. But the current diagram with the tree ring only data somewhat contradicts the multiproxy curve and dilutes the message rather significantly. We want the truth. Mike thinks it lies nearer his result (which seems in accord with what we know about worldwide mountain glaciers and, less clearly, suspect about solar variations). The tree ring results may still suffer from lack of multicentury time scale variance. This is probably the most important issue to resolve in Chapter 2 at present. [Emphasis added]”

Much has been written about how inappropriate it was for scientists to be withholding data, but consider this: McIntyre was one of the people from whom they were trying to withhold. Presumably they feared that he would act irresponsibly, cutting, pasting and generally misrepresenting their findings to undermine faith in their conclusions.

You can see here, clearly, where they would get that impression.

(With an extra hat tip to DeepC: Nice work.)



You don’t like the content of that email, eh? yeah it was serverly damanging to the faith. Not suprised you didn’t want anyone else from see it.

Apart from mangling what I presume to be his native tongue in expression, Wakefield’s last post shows that his reading comprehension also leaves much to be desired.

“People only resort to insulting when they cannot win the debate.”

That’s an unsupported statement, making it a fallacy, right? After all, people insult others who are wrong and stubborn about it all the time.

No, that’s an observational fact. Maybe you engage in such tactics, I consider insulting someone directly counterproductive. There are better more subtle ways to get such messages across.

“I consider insulting someone directly counterproductive.”

You are moving goalposts – that’s a fallacy. You were previously arguing that insults were proof that a person’s position was not defensible. I disagreed, and pointed out that a person in the right could insult a person in the wrong. Now you are saying that it is merely counterproductive to insult someone. I would tend to agree with that assertion, but that’s not your original claim.

I admit to being a nitpicker of minor relevance on these points. Much like McIntyre.

your nit picking might help JR to more sharply define his position on insults and McIntyre’s nit picking might help the scientists to be more precise in their work.

Indeed! I do not disagree.

But, if among my accurate nitpicks, I also engage in falsely defamatory posturing, and mislead people with false fact and half-truths, the value of my nitpicking is overwhelmed by my fallacious contributions.

Thus why I do not like McIntyre’s “contributions.”

Because of its placement now ‘last post’ should be read as ‘don’t like the content’ post.

Yes, and I found these parts most interesting:

“The latest tree-ring density curve ( i.e. our data that have been processed to retain low frequency information) shows more similarity to the other two series- as do a number of other lower resolution data ( Bradley et al, Peck et al ., and new Crowley series - see our recent Science piece) whether this represents ‘TRUTH’ however is a difficult problem. ”

“I know Mike thinks his series is the ‘best’ and he might be right - but he may also be too dismissive of other data and possibly over confident in his (or should I say his use of other’s). After all, the early ( pre-instrumental) data are much less reliable as indicators of global temperature than is apparent in modern calibrations that include them and when we don’t know the precise role of particular proxies in the earlier portions of reconstruction it remains problematic to assign genuine confidence limits at multidecadal and longer timescales. ”

“Incidently, arguing that any particular series is probably better on the basis of what we now about glaciers or solar output is flaky indeed. Glacier mass balance is driven by the difference mainly in winter accumulation and summer ablation , filtered in a complex non-linear way to give variously lagged tongue advance/retreat .Simple inference on the precidence of modern day snout positions does not translate easily into absolute (or relative) temperature levels now or in the past.”

“There is still a potential problem with non-linear responses in the very recent period of some biological proxies ( or perhaps a fertilisation through high CO2 or nitrate input) . I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter. ”

“For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene (not Milankovich) that require explanation and that could represent part of the current or future background variability of our climate. ”

So much for the science is settled.

Mind this sentence : “I do not think it wise that that issue be ignored in the chapter”. This refers of course to a forthcoming IPCC report.

Wakefield, you want to have it both ways. Either you claim that the emails show fraudulent complicity in trying to distort what is presented in the IPCC reports OR when there is talk of the desirability of stressing uncertainties in that report you shout: see, the science is not settled.

It is a heads I win tails you lose strategy.

No responsible climate scientist or any other scientist will ever claim that the science is settled. What is regarded as settled (i.e. with more than 90 % probability as the IPCC report says) is that the recent relatively sudden increase in temperature is due to anthropogenic CO2 whatever the cause was a thousand years ago.

Hey all you at Desmogblog. Did you get that. THE SCIENCE IS NOT SETTLED.

The bottom line is these people tell the public one thing, which is NOT what they understood themselves. And we can see why. Should they have been honest and open to the public, then the public, and politicians, would have realized these guys don’t know what they think they know. And we would not have had Kyoto.

Now, care to show how the IPCC calculated that 90%.

Wakefield, in being patient with you beyond your deserts, I must point out again that the part that is of direct importance to policy making is regarded as settled. If ‘the public’ has been told more than that it is not the fault of scientists. But my general impression is that the public has been told LESS than that; the white anting efforts of denialists had a role in this.

About that 90 % ? Presumably, because of forbearance with characters like you, they didn’t want to say 100 %.

Now that’s real scientific isn’t it. Really. Interesting you still have not shown how they calculate that 90%.

“I must point out again that the part that is of direct importance to policy making is regarded as settled.”

And the Vatican continues to claim the theology is settled – God exists.

Yep, only dogmatists make such claims. Science cannot.

Put your left hand on a stout table. Take a hammer in your right hand. Contemplate bashing the left hand with the hammer. I mean, why not? You don’t know, for 100-per-cent certainty, that it will hurt. Perhaps your left hand is stronger than most hands. Perhaps your right arm is weak. Perhaps the handle of the hammer will break mid swing. Still, I suspect that after a moment’s contemplation, you will waive the opportunity to test any of those stupid theories. Is that decision based on religious conviction or on the intelligent application of that imperfect knowledge which you already possess? ps WARNING, WARNING, WARNING: I am NOT advocating that you bash your hand with a hammer. I lack the expertise to make such a recommendation. I am no doctor - gosh, I don’t even know if you HAVE a left hand - I am just trying to make a point. It suddenly occurred to me, however, that you take highly questionable risk analysis advice from other people; so please, do NOT mistake the foregoing as reason or compulsion to do yourself an injury.


You can’t get there from that quote. That quote was from 1999. Lots of science since. Start reading.

1999 predates the two recent consensus statements. What you can only ask with that quote is if between the time it was made and TAR being released, was the TAR compromised? Well, one comment from 1999 isn’t going to change that, and Briffa changed his mind, don’t you know. And he also released several papers on the topic. Go read them. If you don’t, then you’re just another denialist.

I would also like to know what the cut-off date is for these little “bombshells”. How long was somebody sitting on them waiting for the right moment to release them?

I’m glad you agree with Gavin, who wrote that it is wrong to say “the science is settled”, and:

“…The phrase “the science is settled” is associated almost 100% with contrarian comments on climate and is usually a paraphrase of what ’some scientists’ are supposed to have said. The reality is that it depends very much on what you are talking about and I have never heard any scientist say this in any general context – at a recent meeting I was at, someone claimed that this had been said by the participants and he was roundly shouted down by the assembled experts…”

Actually it is kind of fascinating that every link I check has denialists using the phrase “the science is settled”. However, I have seen no evidence that Suzuki has ever used that phrase.

Every single interview I have seen him on he has said it.

Gore says it all the time. Maybe you should write and ask him to stop? But, oh, I forgot, the Goricle never makes a mistake.

“This is the truth, folks, the science is settled: Global warming is real and humans are causing it.”

White House Gibbs: “We have a few thousand scientists who say the science is settled”.

Politicians certainly think the science is settled, maybe you should call them all and clear the air on this.

“The debate is over about whether or not climate change is real. ”

Suzuki: “It’s no longer a debate. The debate is over.” (aka the science is settled)

I could go on…

The first two quotes you wave in our face aren’t from climate scientists. The Suzuki quotes don’t use the magic words, but it’s true that from a public policy perspective the reality of our negative impact on the earth’s climate is beyond doubt to all but the most intransigent idiots (this is your cue to look in the mirror).

Who DOES say “the science is settled”? Denialists trying to misrepresent the science. So much for your mad Google skillz.

We all know that you’ll “go on” regardless, but you’re proving to be mere background noise.

“We want the truth. Mike thinks it lies nearer his result (which seems in accord with what we know about worldwide mountain glaciers and, less clearly, suspect about solar variations). The tree ring results may still suffer from lack of multicentury time scale variance.”

Now what does this actually mean?
1) that solar variation has a much larger impact on temperature than Alarmists would like, or the Public have been told
2) that past temperatures reCONstructed via tree rings do not show the true temperature variabilty. Hence the “flat” blade of the hockey stick!

Doesn’t help the Alramist case much does it?

Phlogiston wrote:

“Now what does this actually mean?
1) that solar variation has a much larger impact on temperature than Alarmists would like, or the Public have been told”

How do you get to that conclusion? I read that quite differently. If global warming was a matter of solar irradiance one would have expected cooling rather than warming in recent times. Nevertheless the thermometer has shown otherwise. This reinforces the hypothesis about the vital role of anthropogenic CO2. Compare:

“Lockwood and Fröhlich, 2007, find that there “is considerable evidence for solar influence on the Earth’s pre-industrial climate and the Sun may well have been a factor in post-industrial climate change in the first half of the last century,” but that “over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures.” (Wikipedia)

Wakefield about the global dimming in that period this passage from RealClimate is apt:

The indirect effects of aerosols (phased out after the Montreal Agreement) are probably to a large extent responsible for this temporary cooling:

“There are an ever increasing number of these ‘indirect effects’, but the two most discussed are the aerosol/cloud opacity interaction (more aerosols provide more sites for water to condense in clouds, thus cloud droplets are smaller and clouds become more opaque), and the cloud lifetime effect (smaller droplets make it more difficult to make drops big enough to rain, and so clouds live longer). Estimates of the importance of such effects vary widely, and while they are thought to be significant, the uncertainty associated with them is very large. These effects are nevertheless a necessary part of the suite of human-related forcings that are being assessed in order to understand the climate of the 20th Century.”

And as far as your cooling thesis is concerned you still seem to be arguing with the thermometer. The World Meteorological Organisation has recently declared that the last decade was the hottest on record. And 1998 was not the hottest year, 2005 was (1998’s claim to being the hottest is based on British data which left out Polar temperatures). Since El Nino is getting into full swing now, 2010 bids fair to become a record year as well. It will be uncomfortable at our latitude but since it has to be I welcome its side effect of shutting up the warming deniers for a while. Or is that too much to hope for?

I’ve already had words with Gavin about this more than a year ago in RC. They deleted most of my posts. Gaving pointed me to one of their files that was supposed to have this aerosols forcing data in it. Sure, it was there alright, starting in 1960!!! There wasn’t one aerosol force prior to 1960. And that is from the very file he pointed me to. Subsequent questions about that were ignored and deleted.

As for this year. Don’t count on it. There is going to be a check into that very data.

I’ve been downloading daily temp data from Environment Canada website (it’s a lot), and some of the stations, in particular above the Arctic, do not show any increase in average max, mins or mean temps since 1975. Spikes appear in 1998 and 1975. Nothing unusual about this year.

Again, I, and others, are HIGHLY skeptical of this current claim. We suspect it’s an attempt to derail the notion that there has been no warming. (which even the emails admit) We will have to see what becomes of this claim.

“There wasn’t one aerosol force prior to 1960.” How do you know? I understand that systematic measurements started just prior to the sixties, with the modern continuous record starting in the seventies. That, according to you, there wasn’t one aerosol force before that could simmply mean a lack of measurements (see Deshler,T. (2008), “A Review of global stratospheric aerosol: Measurements, importance, lifecycle and local stratospheric aerosol”, Atmospheric Research, Vol.90 Iss.2-4).

But there must have been countless unmeasured aerosol forcings before 1960 due to a long series of vulcanic eruptions (with the most tremendous one in modern times that of Krakatoa, Indonesia, in 1883).

I don’t see what your assertion about some weather stations not showing any warming since 1975, assuming that this is correct, has to do with global temperatures. Incidentally, you were already clobbered on RealClimate for your assertions about flat temperatures in the last decade. You still seem to stick to these. Or rather we hear about cooling now.

That you are “HIGHLY” skeptical of the information put out by the WMO and NASA means nothing to me (and presumably equally so to many others). If you prefer to get your information from Anthony Watts and his ilk, go ahead.

I was pointing out that the file Gavin pointed me to did not answer the question as to why the downturn started in 1945 because the aerosols in that file didn’t start until after 1960.

Deshler is quite clear. There are no accurate measurments prior to 1970. That means THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THAT PREMISE – period. Lack of evidence does not give licence to speculate. In fact, not two years ago NewScientist ran an article about this problem and claimed the downturn in 1945 - 1975 was unsolved.

“Incidentally, you were already clobbered on RealClimate for your assertions about flat temperatures in the last decade. You still seem to stick to these. Or rather we hear about cooling now.”

Interesting that the CRU emails show they know there is cooling and that it is a “travisty” they cannot explain it. Also, you will note that Gavin admitted that if the cooling continued for another 10 years it would seriously put AGW into question. Thus he admitted to the current cooling trend.

“If you prefer to get your information from Anthony Watts and his ilk, go ahead.”

If you prefer to get your information from Mann, Jones and his ilk, go ahead.

“interesting that the CRU emails show they know there is cooling and that it is a “travisty” they cannot explain it.”

This has been so debunked.

First, who is “they”? It’s only Trenberth talking. So, JR, you have expanded one person’s quote-mined comment into a plural reflecting all of the science.

Second, you have to read the letter he is referencing in the hyperlink in that email. It is made clear that Trenberth was talking about their inability to trace where the heat goes during expected cooler periods. That’s cooler as in “less rate of increase for a short time.”

“Planned adaptation to climate change requires information about what is happening and why. While a long-term trend is for global warming, short-term periods of cooling can occur and have physical causes associated with natural variability. However, such natural variability means that energy is rearranged or changed within the climate system, and should be traceable. An assessment is given of our ability to track changes in reservoirs and flows of energy within the climate system. Arguments are given that developing the ability to do this is important, as it affects interpretations of global and especially regional climate change, and prospects for the future.”

“The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008
shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”

Subsequent emails from other scientists show them debating and disagreeing with Trenberth.

Good rebuttal is here:

When we have a year cooler than a previous year, and any reduction in sun’s radiance does not fully account for the cooling, and other factors have been ruled out, we still have to account for why there was cooling. For example, Glaciers don’t melt for free. How much energy does that take out of the system, reducing temperatures?

At a guess, you have a world war 1939-1945 (plus other wars before and after) with much more use of vehicles including tanks, jeeps and airplanes; plus dust from bombs and fires. So more aerosols and more cooling from the 1940s.

Wakefield, this is my last reaction to you on this thread. You seem to have the urge to go on talking regardless, but perhaps you have an elderly maiden aunt who can accommodate that inclination.

You made two specific claims:

1) “There wasn’t one aerosol force prior to 1960.” Well, CFCs have been produced, in one form or another, and in increasingly greater quantities, since the end of the nineteenth century. Where do you think that stuff went?

2) There was drastic cooling between 1945 - 1975. I think you are rather coy about your probable real source here, Durkin’s fraudulent film ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ which came up with a dodgy graph to that effect.

Since you tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to sell this stuff on RealClimate I will leave the last word to Schmidt and Connolly:

CO2 doesn’t match the temperature record over the 20th C. True but not relevant, because it isn’t supposed to. The programme spent a long time agonising over what they presented as a sharp temperature fall for 4 decades from 1940 to 1980 (incidentally their graph looks rather odd and may have been carefully selected; on a more usual (and sourced!) plot the “4 decades of cooling” is rather less evident). They presented this as a major flaw in the theory, which is deeply deceptive, because as they and their interviewees must know, the 40-70 cooling type period is readily explained, in that the GCMs are quite happy to reproduce it, as largely caused by sulphate aerosols. See this for a wiki-pic, for example; or (all together now) the IPCC TAR SPM fig 4; or more up-to-date AR4 fig 4. So… they are lying to us by omission.”

And now look for that maiden aunt.

You’ve had “words with Gavin” have you? Boy, what a waste of poor Gavin’s time. You know that repeating something louder doesn’t make it righter, don’t you?

Enjoy your state of HIGH skepticism and general free-floating paranoia.

I suspect that McIntyre considers himself a master of slippery insinuation and misrepresentation, but in fact he’s godawful at it.

You can pretty much use his accusations as a guide for where to look for statements that are actually supporting. Mies van der Rohe said that “God is in the details” but with Steve the truth is in the ellipses.

I’m old enough to remember the Ice Age… story of the late seventies. How quaint to think we actually paid to have pieces of paper delivered to our homes. Newspapers and magazines they were called.

I remember Hanson in ‘88.

In the early ’90s I had the opportunity to chat with several earth sciences professors at UW and came away thinking, “Oh my…”

I remember Montreal and Rio and Kyoto and the first IPCC report. And so much more.

And the denial, ye gods! Who could forget that? Don’t get me started…

But curiously enough I do not recall a single instance of a scientist taking the available data or producing new reliable data and crunching the numbers and convincing even a minority of other scientists that they might be wrong.

Of all the money and time and effort that has been expended to prove that Glowbull Warming is a Hoax!(tm) none of it seems to have gone towards real visible, testable science. Where is the James Hansen of denial? Why isn’t he standing atop the mountain of available data yelling, “Stop!” while brandishing a genuine peer reviewed paper? (That would be a paper that does not start from a false premise and go on to mangle the laws of physics before reaching a predetermined false conclusion.)

Answer: there ain’t one. And there never will be. (Please do not wave Lindzen, Lomborg and Pielke at me. Haven’t they suffered enough? And I do wish Dr. Svensmark a speedy recovery, by the way.)

There never will be because no one who understands the language of the science can do more than nitpick. They all agree on the main theme. There is a 90% chance of climate catastrophe if we continue as we are.

You cannot have a scientific discussion with people who categorically reject that statement. Never mind the many who get their climate science by looking out the window, their sense of the future from this year’s calendar and their talking points from MacIntyre and Morano.

So the deniers are left to argue for money. This is not to say that they are all paid, many of them appear to be volunteers. Stooges, I call them. But they are all arguing for money. Big money. Exxon and Hugo Chavez(I laugh),Boeing and Lockheed, Big Coal and the Tarsands, etc. All the arguments basically come down to,”This will be bad for business as usual.”

And yes, it will be. But the question now, in light of the evidence, is not, “What is good for business?” The question is, “What is good for future generations like your great great great grandchildren?”

That,my dears, is a moral question rather than an economic one. And you can’t have a moral discussion with people who quotemine stolen emails, fudge the data and just generally keep moving the goalposts. You can’t have a moral discussion with people whose concept of the future is Tuesday. You can’t have a moral discussion with people who think that evil gummint is going to take all their munny and give it to lesser beings. And you certainly can’t have a moral discussion with Big Business who time and time again has proved itself to be an amoral, sociopathic and dangerous citizen.

In short, you can’t have a moral discussion with people who are willing to bet those unborn babies against a 90% chance of catastrophe.

So, why bother? Seriously. Aren’t there better things we could be doing than arguing with wilfully ignorant intransigent trolls who are not about to have an epiphany and come round?

Just asking.

On a lighter note, I think this says it all.

And warmers can’t take the moral high ground because so few of them practise a lifestyle consistent with what they claim to believe. Even that great purveyor of doom, Al Gore, has a seaside mansion.

If AGW is a moral discussion, it’s strongest advocates are then its’ greatest hypocrites. Instead of flying to Copenhagen for a two week vacation, they instead should be attempting to live more modest lifestyles.

Any takers?

Chris, very well said.

“So, why bother? Seriously. Aren’t there better things we could be doing than arguing with wilfully ignorant intransigent trolls who are not about to have an epiphany and come round?”

Well yes, nobody really expects them to have that epiphany I think. One argues not for them but for the uncommitted bystanders. The alternative is to leave the whole realm of public discourse to them and that might have undesirable political consequences.

I do understand why one has to continue arguing and I admire those, like you, who do it so well. There is greater than zero chance that the deniers will prevail and we cannot let that happen without a struggle. Keep up the great work.

Yesterday I read about US health care reform and Canada’s treatment of Afghan detainees. By the time I got here I was not in a good mood. I am saddened and angered that these people have hijacked the thread we should be having for their own shortsighted gain.

Guess I could have shortened last night’s comment to: When did such extreme pathological indifference to human suffering become acceptable in civilised society?

Bah! I take comfort in the knowledge that karma can be real bitch.

“I believe that the biggest question about our society is why it is that so many sociopaths rise to positions of power and influence. Are all societies this way or is there something special about the way ours is structured right now?”