Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ian Plimer is a con artist

One of the important things happening on the Internet is that people are communicating with each other. While this multiplies nonsense, it lets other use common sense to follow up on the con jobs. Unlikely forums have become important venues for much of this. At the Bigfooty Forum, Bit Pattern, a distinguished senior member, wrote to NOAA about one of the stranger Plimies, (weirdly an Aussie Rules Football discussion spawned this discussion) but one that has made many guest appearances on blogs including this one (Eli finds blogosphere sophmoric and undistinguished. He would not want to belong to such an organization). In particular, Plimer wrote:

UPDATE: A bit of internet telephone, some minor corrections from the text and addition of a very significant sentence at the end of the first paragraph. More to come

The raw data from Mauna Loa is 'edited' by an operator who deletes what is may be considered poor data. Some 82% of the raw CO2 measurement data is "edited" leaving just 18% of the raw data measurements for statistical analysis. With such savage editing of raw data, whatever trend one wants to show can be shown. In publications, large natural variations in CO2 were removed from the data by editing in order to make an upward-trending curve showing an increasing human contribution of CO2. . . .

The raw data is an average of four 4 samples from hour to hour. In 2004 there were a possible 8784 measurements. Due to instrumental error 1102 samples had have no data, 1085 were not used due to up slope winds*, 655 have large variability within 1 hour but were used in the official figures, 866 had large hour by figure, and 866 had large hour by hour variability but were not used.
Rabett Run readers know from earlier posts that the meteorology at MLO is intensively studied and that CO2 measurements that go into the published monthly means are selected based on the meteorology to reflect that in the free troposphere and eliminate times when there are contributions from down (forest) and up slope (volcano), but what Eli had not made clear is the extent of those excursions. Bit Pattern got an answer from a NOAA scientist
Anybody, including Plimer, can download the actual measurement records, complete, warts and all, from our web site, or by clicking on the appropriate places. To illustrate how misleading Plimer is I made a plot of 3 years of all hourly data, with 2004 in the middle because Plimer discussed 2004. I have also attached a description of our MLO measurements, which Plimer and anybody else can download from the second web page mentioned above. In the plot, "selected" data means that we have used it in constructing the published monthly mean because those hours satisfy the conditions for "background" measurements. The red stripes are extremely close to the published monthly means. The published data has another step, first from hourly to daily averages, then to monthly, which I did not do here. Also plotted in purple-blue are all non-background data. If one constructs monthly means from ALL data, incl. non-background, one obtains the purple-blue stripes. The differences are only slight, with the seasonal cycle becoming a bit larger due to upslope winds, esp. during the summer.
This confirms the hypothesis. RTFL dear readers. Oh yes, click on the figure to blow it up if desired.


Anonymous said...

Neither of the links will work for me.

S2 said...

The links are wrong - they should be and

Anonymous said...


forget climate change denial.

Here's something to be really outraged about.

My favorite part was when the reporter said "While this little guy is obviously a pit, eli rabbets in this country are huge pists"

Hank Roberts said...

Oh ick. I hate these hidden-link posts. Anonymous just suckered me into clicking into a red herring, and at Huffpo yet. Woowoo.

Hey Eli, I was trying to figure out how to explain to Stoat why even a frothing ranter on the side of understanding climate change (should anyone ever come across one) -- as a theatrical attention-getting position -- would be a far far better thing than being someone who's so captured by his bad moods that he uses the same tactics regardless of what or who he's addressing.

Yes, for the latter type I think we have a winner -- Plimer, who did as creepy a job attacking creationism as he's doing now attacking radiation physics.

I've seen this for a very long time, since the 1960s "debates" over DDT -- the PR types can be smooth, slick, and charming in public -- like Plimer. The scientists tend to lose their cool and their precision paradoxically because they're not on script.

EliRabett said...

Corrected the links. Many thanks

EliRabett said...

Hank, as Mohammad Ali said, float like a carrot, bite like a bunny, keep the ungodly off balance and be nice to your friends and strangers. As to the rest of you, cut that crap out!!

Metaphorically speaking of course.

Anonymous said...

It might be worth noting that those Plimer quotes may have been poorly transcribed, with words left out etc, they were jotted down by a forum member in his spare time just to get a point across. It might be worth checking them against the actual book just to make sure they read verbatim, that's just the sort of ammunition for someone like Plimer to engage in his trademark gabbledygook so he can attack a minor error rather than answer the main thrust of the argument if he were to notice this post

CapitalClimate said...

Anony 8:12,
It's in the book; check the full gory context:
page 416
page 417
page 418

John Mashey said...

Of course, when Eli says "bite like a bunny", I think he means like the one in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Magnus Westerstrand said...


Anonymous said...

"Oh ick. I hate these hidden-link posts. Anonymous just suckered me into clicking into a red herring, and at Huffpo yet"


When you mouse over the link, note that the URL appears at the bottom of the page

and that URL tells you pretty much all you needed to know (including that it was on Huffington Post)

so. there is no need to click if you do not wish.

And by the way. It's a joke.

I have utmost respect for Eli and what he is doing here, but sometimes it's good to lighten things up just a bit, for perspective and I thought the "bunny toss" was a way to do it.

My apologies.

Won't happen again.

Some people have no sense of humor.

EliRabett said...

Eli is from Brooklyn. No blood, no foul.

Tim Curtin said...

I admire Piet Tans for his CO2 measurements at a very difficult location but am at a loss to understand why he is apparently incapable of seeing to it (1) that the Mauna Loa Slope Observatory records daily temperatures in situ, as it has not since 1991, and (2) that the such records are communicated, to of all people, NOAA. Is that so difficult, especially when they did manage to do this from 1955 to 1991? Until he rectifies these seriously reprehensible omissions on his part, betraying as they do an astonishing lack of intellectual curiosity, he has no right to say anything about Ian Plimer.

Anonymous said...

I admire Tim Curtin for his... um... well, I'm sure I could admire him for something if I knew anything about him other than his publication record in Energy & Environment... but am a loss to understand why he is apparently incapable of seeing to it that we have a base on the moon. Is that so difficult, especially since we landed people there 40 years ago? Until he rectifies these seriously reprehensible omissions on his part, betraying as they do an astonishing lack of get-up-and-go, he has no right to say anything about Piet Tans.

Tim Curtin said...

My thanks to Anon - but I still await his reply to my previous response to him at "my" thread here on Mauna Loa. That could be a very long wait, so I will fill in time here by noting that the Plimer plagiarism thread at Deltoid sets new lows even for that blog. "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" - there is NO evidence that the allegedly plagiarized Ferdie Engelbeen has had any complaint about being somewhat plagiarized by Plimer, he was probably delighted. The immensely ignorant lambertarians seem not to understand it is for the aggrieved plagiarizee (Ferdie) to initiate proceedings against the plagiarizer (Ian), not Eli or Tim Lambert.

Anonymous said...

Curtin got banned from Deltoid so now he comes here to badmouth Tim Lambert and Co, and tout his crackpot theories about global warming and related matters.

He's a crank.

Don't engage him. Ignore him.

Connor said...

Maybe if Tim Curtin just asked Pieter Tans, rather than living in the egotistical hope that a very busy man is trawling through blog comments and gagging for a chance to answer Tim's crankery then Tim might not be so disappointed

EliRabett said...

TC got threaded not banned.

Anonymous said...

RE: Banned vs threaded

"Threaded" is simply a nice way of saying Curtin was "banned from commenting on anything other than the thread that Lambert started to amuse his regular commenters" -- the ones who enjoy seeing Curtin writhe but can't stomach all the crap that Curtin puts in the way of useful discussion on pretty much any topic he comments on.

Most commenters would simply be banned outright for the kind of stuff Curtin was engaging in, but Lambert started a thread primarily so that OTHERS could amuse themselves by responding to Curtin's goofy stuff.

Curtin can comment there (and there alone), but that's not the primary purpose: entertainment. Curtin is the pinata.

Tim Curtin said...

The courage of the Anonymous! Like Tim Lambert, Anon. cannot do other than shoot the messenger rather than address/refute his message. Neither TL nor Anon. has managed that.

A case in point is the truly amazing absence in the Garnaut Review of any real discussion of Solar Radiation. The only reference is to a ludicrous Table in AR4, WG1, which implies that the RF of CO2 exceeds that of the Sun.

AR4 WG1 claims that the Maunder Minimum was in 1610, out by nearly 100 years, and that no measurements of Solar Radiation were available before the satellites of c. 1977, whereas NOAA actually has continuous time series across the USA from 1960 to 2005 (when they cease because no doubt Jim Hansen deemed them to be Inconvenient Truths).

You don't need satellites to measure SR, Eli probably does it every day before breakfast.

Australia's BoM mapped SR from 1968to 1974, without using satellites, pace IPCC AR4.

Anonymous said...

Curtin says: "Tim Lambert, Anon cannot do other than shoot the messenger rather than address/refute his message'

The messenger is a crackpot and his "message" is written on cracked pottery (surprise!)

Besides, there is no need to "shoot the messenger": he has already shot himself (innumerable times ....every time he types something on his keyboard, in fact.)

Or to keep with the metaphor: he has shattered his own pot into a million pieces and is now making the rounds of the blogs (that he has not been banned from) trying to glue it back together.

Good luck to him on that!

Anonymous said...

"Messenger Boy" (aka Curtin):

Can you give us a little hint as to where we should look for the start of the message?

Which bit is key to unlocking the secret message (The "Rosettashard", as it were)

Are there pieces that are un- important to the message that we can safely ignore? (ie junk)

The orange ones because that's the color of pumpkins and some bully smashed yours on Halloween as a kid?

Tim Curtin said...

Anon. asks what my "secret message" is. I doubt he can cope with the stats. so I will begin with English. Temperature changes over time can be affected by various factors, including changes in Solar Radiation (SR) and in the Radiative Forcing (RF) attributable to rising atmospheric concentrations of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. It so happens that SR is much larger than RF, e.g. 63 W/sq.m. at Pt Barrow in Alaska in 2005, against total GG RF of 2.66 W/sq.m. in 2005 (AR4, WG1, p.141). The evident declining trend in SR at Pt Barrow between 1990 and 2005 (3 W/sq.m) far outweighs the rise in RF of c. 0.4 W/sq.m. over that period.

Now for some regression results, never previously computed AFAIK, regressing changes in Mean Ann. Tmin at Barrow against changes in [CO2] and SR between 1990 and 2005, we obtain adj.R2 of 0.4, and very highly sig t-stats for dSR 11.33 p-value 4.79E-23 and RF minus 8.17 p-value r4.33E-14, with Durbin-Watson >2, so no auto-correlations. Oh dear, the coefficient for Tmin on d[CO2]/dt is negative! What a shame. Back to the drawing board. No wonder the IPCC's AR4 never discloses any regression analysis.

Anonymous said...

"Message boy"

I wanted to know which pottery shard was the start of the message and instead you went off to Barrow Alaska looking for more pottery to break. :)

PS: If economists are trying to improve their standing in the academic world (eg, gain some minimum level of respect among real scientists), you are certainly not helping things one iota with your nutball stuff.

Stu said...

Tim, I'm amazed at your powers of scientific reduction. You've reduced the problem of global climate change to one of Barrow climate change! Spectacular.

Tim Curtin said...

One Pt Barrow is not of course representative of GMT,
but 3,000 Met stations which like Barrow produce a Global Mean temperature that has shown little or no warming since 1958, and none at all that is correlated with ever rising atmospheric concentrations of GHG tells us something, especially when annual temperature changes at those 3000 locations prove to be strongly correlated with annual changes in solar radiation at THOSE locations.