Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Scrotum sends Gareth to guest

From the comments an answer to Christopher Monckton's

#126 Since I gave advice on a wide range of scientific and technical matters to the British Prime Minister for four years, and ran a successful technical consultancy in the field of public administration for two decades, and have twice very profitably exploited a previously-unsuspected wrinkle in the laws of probabilistic combinatorics, and I have published what is on any view a heavily mathematical paper on the determination of climate sensitivity in a reviewed journal, on what rational basis did you consider it appropriate publicly to disseminate – without any qualification or verification – Dr. Keigwin’s unscientific guess that I had “no background in science”? Is this an instance of the care you take, as “a scientist”, to verify your facts?
Well there are more detailed answers Gareth puts it clearly, calling this puffed up bit of hot air convection.
The rational basis, therefore, for the assumption that Christopher Monckton, Viscount Brenchley, has no scientific background is that the evidence shows he hasn’t got one. The very best that can be said for him is that he has a facility for maths, a wonderful line in pompous prose and a bee in his bonnet.
and goes on to provide the details. Bunnies are invited to argue about the facility for maths but the point is that why should John Abraham have all the fun?

Tim Lambert has a go, including Pinkergate.

Eli loves the "gave advice", probably true, and even more certainly true that if he gave, she didn't hear it. The boy dissembles with style.

Richard Littlemore takes a bite, noting that

My favourite set of criticisms, though, revolve around Abraham's general statements that Monckton had urged his audience to believe: "The world is not warming;" "The ice is not melting:" "The ocean isn't heating;" and "Sea levels aren't rising at all."

Monckton says each of these characterizations of his position amount to "a lie" and to prove it, he points to some of the graphs that he used to illustrate the issues in question. These graphs appear on slides labelled "The 'it's getting worse' lie;" " ...so sea level has not risen for four years;" and "Arctic summer sea ice area is just fine; it's recovering from a 30-year low in 2007."

having on video claimed that these graphs show the earth is not warming, or in writing, in his words, "that global warming ceased in 1998" (slide 57), he now claims that they show the Earth is warming. Either he was dissembling then or he was dissembling now, but Chris is angry that Abraham took him at his word. Eli would never be so foolish.

Oh, and for giggles, take a look at the comparison between MBH's hockey stick and M&M's red noise on slide 45.

Scrotum confused the labels! Of course, you only get hockey sticks from red noise, if you abuse the algorithm and even then if you blow up the labels on the axis you would see that the real temperature proxy data variation is at least an order of magnitude higher than the random red noise. His lordship has been showing this hither and yon.


Anonymous said...

As someone who has only followed the hockey stick controversy from a distance, one thing I have wanted to pin down once and for all is the 'red noise' claim by McIntyre.

From afar it appears to me that his claim is that it is possible to get a hockey stick from red noise, and demonstrated that you can. What he did not demonstrate was that this had happened in Mann's work. It is like saying that because you could stab someone with a knife, you have stabbed someone with a knife.

Anonymous #2754

Ron Broberg said...

My favourite set of criticisms, though, revolve around Abraham's general statements that Monckton had urged his audience to believe: "The world is not warming;" "The ice is not melting:" "The ocean isn't heating;" and "Sea levels aren't rising at all."

Monckton says each of these characterizations of his position amount to "a lie"

That's why this is such a great self parody.

a. Monckton could claim that X is warming/melting/rising.
b. Monckton could claim that X is NOT warming/melting/rising.
c. Monckton could claim nothing at all.

Monckton is clearly not claiming a.
Monckton denies he is claiming b.
So Monckton embraces c. and proudly proves that he is saying absolutely nothing at all

It is the sheer bombastic volume that he employs in order to say absolutely nothing at all that leaves us slack-jawed in dumbfoundment. And he apparently takes that silence as confirmation of his genius. One can only chuckle. Or write a limerick.

Once a Lord of the House came to say
As "b is not a" so "b is not 'not a'"
So as you can see
All things that are 'b'
Are orthogonal to our reality today.

joe said...

As pointed out on Deltoid, "someone" has been recently been tampering with the Discount Viscount's Wikipedia entry. The editors have blocked edits from the anonymous IP address (which maps to somewhere near Glasgow). The appeal from the blocked user bears all the hallmarks of Monkeyton's flair for the dramatic, including threats, ad hominem attacks and straight up belittlement:

"We should be grateful if Elockid would explain why he/she objected to our surely reasonable and constructive edit of the Monckton of Brenchley biographical page. to which you have recently objected. In particular, please provide us with evidence that the subject has ever questioned the "theory" of anthropogenic global warming, rather than merely its likely magnitude. His paper in Physics and Society, while admittedly not readily accessible to those - such as yourself - without qualifications in mathematics and climatological physics, surely makes it quite plain that he accepts the theory in all material respects. While we are given to understand that numerous Wikipedia "editors" are climate-extremists who intensely dislike any challenge to their belief system, such as that which the subject - albeit that he is a layman - has posed, it does not reflect credit on Wikipedia that there should be persistent and malevolent misrepresentation of the subject's views, apparently with the aim of making him look ridiculous. We have been instructed to keep notes of these conversations, since we believe that the changes we are making to the subject's biography are constructive and fair, and are also well sourced. If you can cite any paper by the subject that presents his views as you would wish to present them - i.e., ridiculing him by making it seem, falsely, that he disputes the theory of anthropogenic "global warming" - then perhaps you would provide the reference at this point. We shall give you 24 hours to do so, after which we shall again correct this part of the subject's biographical page, since the version of the subject's views that you insist upon maintaining is unsourced and therefore contrary to Wikipedia's policies. Further vandalism by you in this regard will not be tolerated, and will be referred for dispute resolution. You are reminded to comply with Wikipedia's policies in future, and not to abuse your position as an "editor" purely to reflect your own inaccurate and, as far as the entry now stands, unsourced views."


bill said...

Slide 22 of Apocalypse? No! - Random red noise (transposed back to the correct graph) varies between 0.02 and -0.06 thingumies; God knows what the time interval might be. Seconds? Microseconds?

Climate anomaly varies between 0.2 and -0.4 C between 1400 and 2000 - it would be rather fun to chart the 2 using a matching Y axis scale, if that hasn't been done already, of course

Friend of Bugs said...

I suppose I'm late to the party in hoppingly proclaiming that Monckton is a carnival sideshow act that draws attendance only by and because of his sleight of hand performances. (Austin Bunny wonders if "Smell like cabbage. Small hands." describes him.) He appears to be a small step away from side-selling tee shirts, mood rings, and elixir made from rum and instant tea. His schtick is bearded lady "entertainment," but he performs in venues foreign to the usual freak shows. Performance art is okay where no one is hurt by spending a dollar to try to win a plush rabbit by tossing rings onto bottles. Of course, Discount's effect is far more malevolent. In his venture, it appears that Discount is either an unwitting dupe of, or a willing accomplice to, the subversive foreign agents behind the CRU hack crime. (The same goes for Komrade Watts, Komrade Inhofe, Komrade McIntyre, Komrade Limbaugh, Kommissar FauxNewz, and the rest.) Adapting the Woody Allen story about the Coney Island concessions, the only thing left standing after Discount's florid stage performances is "those little milk bottles" symbolizing the truth that AGW is here and now.

Horatio Algeranon said...

There once was a man who used graphs
Equations and more advanced maths --
He dazzled the Tonys
With all his baloneys
And sent them down dead-ended paths.

Horatio Algeranon said...

There once was a man who thought science
Was based upon lawyer defiance
He said "I will sue"
"And fine your ass" too
And settle this with legal appliance.

Anonymous said...

I got the old "Mann's method generates hockey sticks from noise" song-and-dance from one of our less technically-able engineers not long ago.

So I asked him, "How do McIntyre's random-noise eigenvalue spectra compare with Mann's hockey-stick eigenvalue spectrum"?

I didn't give him any partial credit for his dumb look.

--caerbannog the anonybunny

ChrisD said...

Can anyone point me to a plain-English refutation of the red noise issue? I haven't been able to find one, and this is far beyond my knowledge of statistics. I don't understand why noise produces a hockey stick at all, even one that is an order of magnitude less than you get with real data.

Alex said...

Does anyone have any idea what the "profitable wrinkle" is meant to have been? Or for that matter the "hydrodynamic modelling"?

Adrian said...

Sorry to be off topic, but I was over at Joe Romm's place earlier and noticed an admirable peculiarity that I thought the AGW-convinced might want to try.
There was a comment half way down a page of sensible comments that was made by an obvious troll (or at least someone who couldn't be bothered to check the validity of his own facts). Being number 37 of 59 comments I was looking for the easy and speedy refutation, but there was none.
Step back about 40 years and I remember my dad telling me to ignore the bullies at school as they would eventually get bored and just go away.
Is this a possible tactic to stop the noisier 'deniers'? Allow them to comment freely, but use some self-control and just refuse to engage them. After all, I have little doubt that a large number of them comment and argue the same old bullcrap just for shits and giggles.
Ignore them and they might just get bored and go away, leaving the blogosphere, and, ultimately, the MSM and even politicians to get on with the serious task at hand. They can hardly then complain about being 'censored' from 'warmist blogs', and the alternative "nobody seems to care about my rants" sounds so much more pathetic.
Any chance?

EliRabett said...

Adrian, to a large extent that is the practice at RR and it works. Usually there is a round or two of responses for the lurkers and then Eli and the crew just let them blather.

EliRabett said...

Chris, it's an explanation, not a refutation. The place to start is the figure above. If you blow it up, or go find the originals (one of the links is to the MBH figure), the red noise is much smaller than the observed proxy curve. NO ONE has ever been able to make the red noise curve any bigger. The argument, such as it is, that the original method of analysis used by Mann was subject to such a problem, as indeed it was, but

a) The effect is small compared to the signal
b) After you use a better method the signal remains, pretty much unchanged
c) If you randomly generate red noise records, you only get hockey sticks in very few of them, one of which McIntyre selected
d) If you want more information google "red noise McIntyre magnitude"

At point b McIntyre started trying to falsify the proxys, since the method was no longer a question, but the sheer number of different and different types of proxys showing the same effect of global warming in the past 150 years above anything that had been seen in a thousand years or so defeats him.

You should go to the Wikipedia for explanations of what red noise is, but suffice it to say that observationally, variation in climate parameters can be better understood as red noise rather than random noise, if, for no other reason, that the temperature today, or this month is not going to be anything like the temperature six months from now (in the opposite season), but it is going to be pretty close to yesterday's temperature

S2 said...

I loved his question 24:

"How can any of the sources you contacted be regarded as reliable, when not one of them contacted me to verify whether your characterization of my opinions or conclusions was fair and accurate before commenting thereupon, sometimes in the most uncomplimentary and academically unacceptable terms?"

But Abraham's sources were Monckton's sources ....

ChrisD said...

Eli, thank you for the explanation. That is very helpful.

carrot eater said...

Regarding the red noise: I haven't done the math myself, because I'm not a PCA bunny. But I thought you can get the weak hockey stick if you do PCA on a decentered sample with only one PC, but it goes away if you use another, and somebody who knows what they're doing would know to add another. Yes? No?

Speaking of letting them blather, I'm amused by how well the group at JA's ignores the very verbose visitor there.