Saturday, July 31, 2010

What is the Honest Broker?

Ethon flew back from Boulder with long stopovers in Denver, and Lord help him O'Hare. He's been getting old and peckish, and has taken to flying commercial for long hauls. Except for the food (no liver, never), he doesn't complain much. So the Bird and Eli were sitting around discussing knowledge and the difference between Philosophy, Policy, Politics and Science, you know, Honest Broker stuff. Eli thought that it was really simple, Philosophy thinks about what should be, Science is discovering what is. Policy, well on the good side it reconciles the other two as best it can, and for that it needs to understand them on some level. Thus, Summaries for Policymakers, Politics is about getting elected.

A wonderful example of how bad science makes for bad policy and good politics, is the recent fiasco building sand berms to limit damage from the Gulf oil spill. This started as a bright idea of a local parish (read county) president in Louisiana and was quickly adopted by the state Governor, one Bobby Jindal. From the political side it had everything, an opportunity to appear to be acting, a wonderful club to bash opponents, particularly the Federal Government and President Obama and more. From the science side, not so much. The issues were clear early on, as summarized by Jeremy Remmers.

I admire Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and, gulp, Sen. David Vitter, for standing up against BP and the federal government in demanding what they consider is the right approach to protect the state’s coastline from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

It isn’t, a boatload of scientists agree.

The in-your-face approach by the two Republican leaders as well as a contingent of angry parish presidents in their quest to build even tiny portions of a 128-mile protective wall of sand berms has won the admiration of frantic residents and the platitudes of their chief fan club back in New York City, Fox News. . . .

Here’s the deal folks. Compared to what’s-her-name, Louisiana’s former governor during Katrina, Jindal is a driving force and unquestionably is trying to do what he thinks is best to protect his state’s fragile coastlines. The problem is what he’s proposing, and threatening to take action into his own hands, is more of a political hail Mary pass than an engineering fix. It’s pie-in-the-sky, throw other people’s money at the wall and hope something sticks.

The simple fact is this: What Jindal wants in what skeptical engineers call “The Great Wall of Louisiana” will be washed out with the first tropical storm blowing off the Gulf waters.

Jindal’s original plan was to construct 128 miles of sand berms with 102 million cubic yards of seabed dredged from the coastline floor to bolster the barrier islands and absorb oil before it reaches sensitive marshes. It would cost $950 million and take nine months to build. The oil slick arrived two weeks ago and no end on the horizon.

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, in charge of the government’s supervision of BP’s obligation to clean up the mess, said he reluctantly approved the first of six berm sites at Scofield Island, west of the Mississippi River as a prototype.

“There are a lot of doubts whether this is a valid oil spill response technique, given the length of construction and so forth,” Allen said. He ordered BP to pick up the estimated $360 million cost of the revised 45-mile-long berm.

BP spokesman Mark Proegler said: “The company will not assume liability for unintended consequences.” Although the state signed contracts with a dredging firm, BP has yet to provide the funding.

What it comes down to (the berms were expensive) is could the resources be better used elsewhere even though the theatrics were great. This is the background to a useful exchange on InItForTheGold, which pretty well shows why scientists can never be Pielke's "Honest Broker" and why nobunny should ever trust a Pielke "Honest Broker" Eli expects that this attaches to Roger also.

Roger's view of Bermgate is
What if the goal of the action is not to keep oil offshore, but to demonstrate to the public that politicians are "doing something"? In the drought of 2002 the city of Denver spent $1 million on cloud seeding, which was more PR than policy. Politicians take symbolic action all the time.
Turns out there was excellent empirical evidence that seeding worked, and indeed it does at about the expected level, but what the heck, it "appears" to be an argument
In the sand berm case, the Honest Broker would present the options -- build berms, don't build berms, etc. and the range of consequences predicted to occur from relevant experts (which might include experts in beach processes as well as experts on public opinion). At that point it would be the job of politicians to decide what to do. Being an honest broker means clearly delineating advice from decision -- military intelligence long espouses this culture.
In the discussion, Michael Tobis asked some questions
Now, the expertise has somehow moved from people who understand coastal dynamics to people who know how to trick people into believing that gross wastes of public dollars are heroic.
The latter group may be "experts" of a sort, but calling them "honest brokers" is a bit of a stretch, no?

Of course, the scenario is ludicrous. Nobody told Bobby Jindal "this won't work worth a damn". Bobby may be a bit of a fool about matters of science but I don't see any reason to expect him to be dishonest in this way. And even if he were willing to be so, he would not want someone testifying to that effect.

So Roger, what are you saying? It seems to me you are casting about rather urgently for some way to defend your taxonomy. I asked you, rather, to explain how the taxonomy would be useful under certain relevant scenarios.

Your response is silly, and does not actually help. What should somebody who saw the fiasco coming actually do to dissuade the government from being stupid and wasteful? Where would the Honest Broker come from in this situation, and what options other than "for *'s sake don't do this stupid thing" would they realistically have on offer?
Michael is unrealistically polite. As we saw above Jindal WAS told by experts that the berms would not work, and most likely would cause more harm than good, but he pressed forward. So the question is what is the "Honest Broker" honest about?
See, we really don't understand this Honest Broker thing.

What sort of a job has the Honest Broker got? Who pays him or her? What behaviors are rewarded and how? Who asks for his or her Brokerage?
And, as Eli has said before, what about using the Honest Broker as a restaurant guide in a strange city. If bunnies read the Honest Broker they find that the choices for locating the good carrots are rather peculiar
Certainly, the out of town visitor asking for restaurant advice example, which was the most fully fleshed out in the book, was far from compelling.

The four roles worked out to

1) indifferent to the point of rudeness
2) nutritionist
3) somebody whose uncle has a taco joint and
4) google.

Seriously, you don't act like that when a visitor asks for dining advice, do you?
But Hank Robert's nailed it
Michael, those are good questions.
The 'honest broker' isn't -- ever -- someone who knows reliable information about sand berms.

The 'honest broker' job -- really, perhaps covertly -- is the one RPJr switches to talking about when he reveals the little man behind the curtain: help the politician appear to be doing something long enough to get the headline and win the election.

The 'honest broker' is a political public relations role, not something a scientist would do at all.

Why? Because the opportunity just expanded:
So we see that the "Honest Broker" is the PR guy behind the curtain, feeding quotes to Andy Revkin. And Andy, of course, guileless soul, prints them. And so it goes.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eli can retire Part XV - Bart blushes

Hi gang, the EPA has made sure that Eli will never have to go back to work, dumping another load on the petitioners for reconsideration. Remember the great scandal about only 26% of the Netherlands being below sea level while the WGII report said 55%, wonder where that came from?
2.1.2 Accuracy of Statement on Percent of the Netherlands Below Sea Level

Comment (2-1):
Peabody Energy and the State of Texas contend that the IPCC erroneously stated (in Working Group II’s contribution to the AR4) that 55% of the Netherlands is below sea level, whereas the actual number is much lower according to Dutch materials (26%).

Response (2-1):
The statistic quoted in the IPCC AR4 is inaccurate. When this error was identified, PBL (2010b) published a correction:

In the 2007 IPCC report by the Working Group 2 (Climate change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) a mistake has entered the text that was supplied by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, regarding the risks of flooding for the Netherlands. In the chapter on Europe, on page 547, it says that 55 per cent of the Netherlands is below sea level (‘The Netherlands is an example of a country highly susceptible to both sea level rise and river flooding because 55% of its territory is below sea level’). This should have read that 55 per cent of the Netherlands is at risk of flooding; 26 per cent of the country is below sea level, and 29 per cent is susceptible to river flooding. Examples of the latter are the near floodings, in the mid-1990s, of areas along the rivers Meuse and Waal – areas that are well above sea level.
The IPCC agrees that this statistic is incorrect in the AR4, and also notes that the same mistake was made by other reputable groups (Reuters, 2010). For example, the IPCC—in a written statement provided to Reuters—indicated that a report from the Dutch Ministry of Transport had stated “‘about 60%’ of the country is below sea level,” and referred to a European Commission study saying “about half” (Reuters, 2010). As noted by the IPCC statement, the error was not made by authors of the AR4, but originated with PBL, which supplied the text. To correct the mistake, the IPCC published an official erratum (IPCC, 2010d):
2) Page 547. Section 12.2.3. Line 20: Delete “below sea level” and replace with “at risk flooding”.
The IPCC was further quoted as saying (Reuters, 2010): “The sea level statistic was used for background information only, and the updated information remains consistent with the overall conclusions.”

In its independent report Assessing an IPCC Assessment (PBL, 2010a), PBL, which was responsible for the error, states:
We acknowledge that this error was not the fault of the IPCC (Coordinating) Lead Authors or Co-Chairs. The error was made by a Contributing Author from the PBL, and the (Coordinating) Lead Authors [of the IPCC] are not to blame for relying on Dutch information provided by a Dutch agency.

Oh yes, what did this all mean, the EPA says nothing much

EPA concludes that this error is minor and inconsequential to the Administrator’s Endangerment Finding. EPA does not refer to or rely on this statistic in the Endangerment Finding or supporting documents, and this information does not pertain to endangerment of public health and welfare in the United States in any meaningful way. It does not call into question the integrity of the IPCC, and it has no impact on the scientific support for EPA’s Endangerment Finding. Furthermore, as the error pertains to a statistic outside the United States, it is not relevant to the Endangerment Finding. As noted in Subsection 2.1.1, the Endangerment Finding states (Section III.D): “The Administrator looked first at impacts in the United States itself, and determined that these impacts are reasonably anticipated to endanger the public health and the welfare of the U.S. population. That remains the Administrator’s position, and by itself supports her determination of endangerment.”

When John Fleck calls

Sooner or later, the press will call. What they call you, of course, depends. Here is some advice from Principal Investigator Advisor

Whether the reporter seeks background on an in-depth examination of a science or societal trend, a sound bite for breaking news coverage, or is focusing an unwanted spotlight, it is in your best interest to be prepared.

Here are 10 ways to do that:

  1. Know who is calling and why. Get the reporter’s name and media outlet. Find out why the reporter asked you for an interview, and try to get a sense of the his or her focus or angle. If you feel you are not the best person to address the subject, say so.

  2. Buy time to prepare. Confirm the reporter’s deadline. Set a time to speak within that time frame to allow you to the gather your thoughts. Resist the temptation to wing it.

  3. Know the audience. With the reporter’s outlet, angle, and audience in mind, consider both your message and the best way to convey it to that particular audience.

  4. Know your message and stay on it. Don’t leave yourself open to misinterpretation. Create a headline in advance and make it the lead point. Think of different ways to communicate that point, and be sure reinforce it in every response.

  5. Avoid jargon and technical language. You are not talking to your peers. Overuse of specialized terms will obscure your message and lose the audience. If a term is absolutely essential, use it and then define it in layman’s terms.

  6. Respect the reporter. Never talk down to or become argumentative. If a reporter is misinformed or cites incorrect facts, remember you are the expert and politely correct him or her. And, be sure to get the reporter’s name right in on-air interviews.

  7. Avoid “no comment.” This classic retort makes you look like you’re trying to hide something. If you cannot answer, explain why.

  8. Do not speculate. Speculative answers may come back to haunt you. If you can’t answer to a question, say so and promise to get back to the reporter with information. Hypothetical questions are notorious minefields. Do not be enticed to respond to what-if scenarios.

  9. If it shouldn’t be in the news, don’t say it. “Off the record” is a myth. Always be aware when microphones, cameras, or tape reorders are present.

  10. Appearance matters on camera. Dress simply and conservatively. Sit up straight. Be mindful of your body language. Don’t make Richard Nixon’s mistake (before his televised interview with John F. Kennedy): always say yes to make-up!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blogger boogered again

There is something blogger with the recent comments. It takes Eli to some interesting, but wrong places. Do not trust until fixed.

The Daily Mislead

Today, young bunnies, we have a fine example of the Daily Mislead at work. Shuaizhang Feng, Alan Krueger and Michael Oppenheimer have published an estimate of climate change driven migration from Mexico to the US in this century

Climate change is expected to cause mass human migration, including immigration across international borders. This study quantitatively examines the linkages among variations in climate, agricultural yields, and people's migration responses by using an instrumental variables approach. Our method allows us to identify the relationship between crop yields and migration without explicitly controlling for all other confounding factors. Using state-level data from Mexico, we find a significant effect of climate-driven changes in crop yields on the rate of emigration to the United States. The estimated semielasticity of emigration with respect to crop yields is approximately −0.2, i.e., a 10% reduction in crop yields would lead an additional 2% of the population to emigrate. We then use the estimated semielasticity to explore the potential magnitude of future emigration. Depending on the warming scenarios used and adaptation levels assumed, with other factors held constant, by approximately the year 2080, climate change is estimated to induce 1.4 to 6.7 million adult Mexicans (or 2% to 10% of the current population aged 15–65 y) to emigrate as a result of declines in agricultural productivity alone. Although the results cannot be mechanically extrapolated to other areas and time periods, our findings are significant from a global perspective given that many regions, especially developing countries, are expected to experience significant declines in agricultural yields as a result of projected warming.
From Climate Depot comes word of an amazing full court press against Michael Oppenheimer from the usual suspects.
Propagandist Michael Oppenheimer shredded: 'There are only 6.3m agricultural workers in Mexico. For Oppenheimer to predict that they will all move north seems preposterous'
Mark wants you to write to Mike (what is it with these clowns and their Mike mania, Michael Mann, Michael Tobis and now Michael Oppenheimer), and tell him how wrong he is. Mark has some problems with number too. Current estimates are that there are already about 6 million Mexicans in the US without permission, and, Oppenheim's estimate of climate driven migration would be 1.4 to 6.3 million. There are probably about 30 million dual nationals, visa holders and first or second generation descendants of Mexican citizens in the US. But on to the food fight . . .
UN IPCC Lead Author Richard Tol: Oppenheimer's 'silly PNAS paper makes 3 mistakes. 1st: It confuses decadal weather variability with climate change...'
'2nd, it fails to control for other determinants of migration that may well be correlated with weather during the sample. 3rd they extrapolate beyond belief'

Prof. Pielke Jr. Mocks Oppenheimer's 'Silly Science': Immigration paper 'is guesswork piled on top of 'what ifs' built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions'
including this goodie from Ethon's lunch time friend Lubos
Physicist mocks Oppenheimer: 'The descendants of Oppenheimer should sue Oppenheimer and prevent him from using and contaminating the name of their ancestor - and the good name of physics' visit site
So the big bird flew over there to see why Motl was defending a dead, left wing physicist, and read
He and his friends essentially claim that global warming is going to be the main reason of the Mexican illegal immigration. Between 1.4 and 6.7 million Mexicans will arrive to the U.S. by 2080 because their agriculture will get worse, and so on. Of course, this statement is completely preposterous but the media make it even worse when they exclusively quote the upper "6.7 million" figure in the title.
Why is this not going to be a problem, some, not Ethon, might ask? and, of course, the friendly poly-arithmetic (he knows how to add, but not multiply) Motl replies
The number of Mexicans who actually move because of the temperatures may be counted in thousands, not millions. If you check an encyclopedia, the daily temperatures in Mexico City go from 6 to 21 °C in January to 12 to 26 °C in May (the figures are average lows and average highs in the months). In average, there's no excessive heat over there. And the agriculture is not getting worse because of the climate change.

You may check that e.g. Sao Paolo in Brazil, the agricultural powerhouse of Latin America, has temperatures by about 6 °C higher than Mexico City. They're even higher in Rio de Janeiro. Warmth is surely not a problem.
Which makes sense if you don't have a clue about the geography of Mexico. Mexico City sits way high on a plateau. High enough that low landers need a LOT of time to acclimate, and, as even Lubos knows, temperature decreases with altitude. Eli, being a RTFR kinda bunny, went and found a climatic map of Mexico

Guess where Mexico City is. Oh yeah, that large green area down in the south. The yellow part is mostly highlands. The rest of the country is a lot hotter. Lubos, of course, picked the coolest part of Mexico. Why is Eli not surprised?

Oh yes, read the article. Tol and Pielke Jr. have not.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Follow the Bunny

Already mentioned previously, but Ben Herrman and Roger Pielke Sr. have put their name on the blacklist as a believer in the greenhouse effect, even double posting on Tony Watt's. Roy Spencer is also a believer as is SoD, but we always knew that. Bunnies have read the same arguments again and again here at Rabett Run, especially in our reply to Gerlich and Tscheuschner. Eli DID the damn experiment with a light bulb. And, again and again we have seen how easily denialists can mislead.

The best part of it all is the comment storm, on Pielke and Spencer's posts. Eli especially enjoyed this little colloquium

Your inappropriate choice of an analogy that presides in a vacuum chamber where only radiation, of the 3 modes of energy transfer, occurs cannot pass without comment. It is either deceitful sleight of hand or a clumsy choice of thought experiment.

But radiation IS the only mode of energy transfer between the Earth and outer space. I use it to make a basic point regarding *radiation*. It is not meant to be a model of all the inner workings of the climate system.

… I am most frustrated at your continued avoidance of my emailed first question to you:
Why are you giving a ‘free pass’ to the unphysical concept of ‘back radiation’ when no serious scientist entertains the notion of ‘back convection’ or ‘back conduction’?

Hmmm…how can I argue against such iron clad logic? :)

As we all know from Lindzen and Choi (2009) ERBE satellite data shows no evidence of any back radiation signal and Earth is not a vacuum chamber.

(1) Lindzen and Choi (2009) did not specifically address back radiation.
(2) I never claimed the Earth is a vacuum chamber…but it is located in one! :) In case you missed this detail, the second bar in the experiment represents the IR-absorbing atmosphere placed between the heated Earth and the vacuum of outer space.

There are now a growing number of eminent international scientists coming out to disagree with you on this incongruity of thinking. Is it not time to apply Occam’s Razor and dump a hypothesis that requires a ‘free pass’ to uphill radiation but not conduction and convection, and is proven to have no real world atmospheric signal.

I actually a fan of Occam’s Razor, but not if it requires us to ignore things we know that happen, and which cannot be explained without the concept of back radiation.

Please kindly address my question and show us in the laws where radiation transport has different rules to conduction and convection and hereinafter try to forego disingenuous vacuum-based analogies as it ill behoves you.

My post already addresses this…did you read it?


What are your favorites?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Reading Assignments

Eli recommends an interesting and important appreciation of Stephen Schneider by John Nielson Gammon, something to warm MT and the Pig's hearts from Dana Milbank at the Washington Post, a discussion of tenure at the NY Times, and to Eli, a more interesting take from an administrator at a community college, with Ben Hale and Brian Leiter chiming in.

Ben also provides video motivation for the coming semester. Talk about positioning, Ben Herman and Roger Pielke Sr. rip G&T a new one, but are too polite to mention names. Steve Easterbrook has carved out an important burrow in the interface between science and software. Although the discussion is about climate science, everything pretty much goes for other scientific software. And Bart, he is simply tearing up the place

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Judy, Judy, Judy

Shortly before his untimely death Steven Schneider sat down with Climate Science Watch's Rick Piltz and Rebeka Ryvola. When Andregg, et al., Schneider being the final al., was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the tutt tutting reached a wonderful crescendo. Lots of oxen were Gored. Ethon reports that talk of blacklists and never being able to see someone's name quoted in the New York Times again filled the air in Colorado. The Pielkesphere was outraged, and it was only when Judith Curry started spewing nonsense that calm returned.

It was unfortunate that Schneider was out of the country at the time. His access to the media, which the other authors did not have, would have made a difference.

Since that was at least four Climategate like events ago, perhaps a reminder of the paper's conclusions is in order

A vocal minority of researchers and other critics contest the conclusions of the mainstream scientific assessment, frequently citing large numbers of scientists whom they believe support their claims…This group, often termed climate change skeptics, contrarians, or deniers, has received large amounts of media attention and wields significant influence in the societal debate about climate change impacts and policy.

Despite media tendencies to present ‘both sides’ in ACC debates [anthropogenic climate change], which can contribute to continued public misunderstanding regarding ACC, not all climate researchers are equal in scientific credibility and expertise in the climate system. This extensive analysis of the mainstream versus skeptical/contrarian researchers suggests a strong role for considering expert credibility in the relative weight of and attention to these groups of researchers in future discussions in media, policy, and public forums regarding anthropogenic climate change.
Eli would encourage the bunnies to go read the whole interview or listen to it. It is the shoe that did not drop at the time. CSW has posted video. There is one interchange which demonstrates Schneiders ability to strip a duplicious argument bare. He will be missed.

CSW: I believe Judith Curry argued that, on your various lists, under “convinced of the evidence” you were including people who are ecologists and biologists, and who aren’t really experts in the climate change detection and attribution research. So that somehow skews your notion of how to sort people out in terms of credibility. What’s your response to that?

Schneider: Well, there are two responses. First of all, there are a couple dozen people in the world that work in ecology – that includes people like Terry Root, Camille Parmesan, and myself, among others – who actually look at the bloom dates of roses in your grandmother’s back yard and when birds come back. We do detection and attribution studies. Those people are in the IPCC and they are legitimate experts and they have published research in Science and Nature and PNAS and places like that. There was an entire chapter on it in [IPCC] Working Group II and those people, again, like Cynthia Rosenzweig, were included in the IPCC database.

But she does have a point, that not everyone in IPCC is an expert in detection and attribution. That’s certainly true. But when she said that the IPCC group that we used in our PNAS study should be cut down to something like 20% of the original. That’s hundreds of people, that’s still quite a lot of people. If you look at the “unconvinced of evidence” group, virtually nobody in it has ever published a paper on detection and attribution. So, by Judy’s own logic, that means it’s virtually a null set. That means there’s almost nobody in the unconvinced category who has any expertise whatsoever in detection and attribution. So, if you take her logic, and apply it symmetrically to the “convinced” and “unconvinced” you narrow the “convinced” group down to a smaller but still clear and robust population and the “unconvinced” has virtually no expertise, and their opinion becomes completely irrelevant.

And so it drags on

UVa has responded yet again to the VA Attorney General, who wants to go rooting around in Michael Mann's sock draw

The Attorney General's Opposition itself makes clear that the Attorney General did not issue civil investigative demands under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act to investigate fraud on Commonwealth taxpayers. Rather, the CIDs were issued in an unprecedented attempt to challenge a university professor's peer reviewed data, methodologies and conclusions. But FATA does not authorize the Attorney General to police academic debate - and it certainly does not authorize the Attorney General to target for government investigation those who conduct scientific research with which the Attorney General disagrees.
and they get a bit bloggish
The Attorney General complains that in the graph accompanying Dr. Mann's conclusions, the "Medieval Warm Period" and the "Little Ice Age disappeared". FATA does not authorize an investigation into the disappearance of the "Medieval Warm Period" and the "Little Ice Age" from the presentation of Dr. Mann's research conclusions.
Whatever. Oral arguments August 20

Saturday, July 17, 2010

We're alright, Jack

and thanks for the ice.

*from cyrosphere today, 7/15/2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

A humble suggestion - support the University of St. Thomas

UPDATE: Several have said that Eli got the wrong Thomas.

Pretty much everyone with a nervous system more integrated than that of a prawn knows that Gareth has set up a petition to support John Abraham, and now, for the youngsters, there is a facebook page, but relatively unremarked is the fact that the University of St. Thomas HAS behaved with honor and consequence in the entire farago. We know this thanks to Christopher Monckton, by way of Jo Anne Nova and Nick Barnes who brought word to the burrow. Brian Angliss comments on Monckton's attempt at intimidation. Eli would like to comment on how honorably the University of St. Thomas has acted.

The only gracious, dignified and civil conduct in the whole farce comes from an academic and the academic's institution behaving *exactly* as they should. The University of St. Thomas is to be lauded.

Eli believes that it is of value to place the other (short and to the point) side of the correspondence between Monckton and the University in one place, to show how well the university has behaved. Parts have appeared elsewhere including here.

The value of this is to show that the lagomorphs are, perhaps, missing the point, bunnies should be supporting the University, Father Dease, the President of the University of St. Thomas and Prof. Abraham. They are all to be commended for their ethical response to Christopher Monckton's attempt to bully. Too many of our responses have been to HOPE that St. Thomas behaves well. They ARE acting in the best academic tradition and upholding the honor of the University.


June 23, 2010
Dear Mr. Monckton

I am replying to your letter of June 10 2010, on behalf of myself and, at his request, Fr. Dennis Dease, President of the University of St. Thomas. I stand by my original position. Point and counterpoitn are the standard in academic discourse.


Dr. John Abraham
Associate Professor
School of Engineering
University of St. Thomas
Eli added the italics. This demonstrates that Fr. Dease has fully backed Dr. Abraham

Text: June 25, 2010
Via Electronic Mail to
The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
Carie, Rannoch, Scotland, PH17 2QJ

Re: University of St. Thomas

Dear Lord Monckton

Our firm represents the University of St. Thomas. I am writing concerning your recent communications with University President Father Dease, Professor John Abraham and other University personnel relating to Prof. Abraham's talk entitled "But Chris Monckton Said . . ."

It is the University's position that Professor Abraham has done nothing improper or illegal in expressing his ideas and opinions on this matter and that Professor Abraham has not engaged in any academic or professional misconduct. Accordingly, the University will not investigate Professor Abraham's conduct in this matter as you requested, nor will the University issue a retraction or apology for Professor Abraham's talk, comply with any of your other demands, or respond to any further communications from you on this matter.

Further, the University is appalled by your disparaging, outrageous and defamatory comments, regarding the University of St. Thomas, President Father Dease and Professor John Abraham, especially the comments you made during a television interview on June 24, 2010. On behalf of the University of St. Thomas, we demand that you immediately cease and desist making any further disparaging or defamatory comments about the University of St. Thomas, President Father Dease, Professor Abraham, the Archdioceses of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, or anyone else associated with the University. If your inappropriate conduct does not cease immediately, the University of St. Thomas will have no choice but to take appropriate legal action.

Very truly yours,

By Phyllis Karasov
Speaks for itself. Eli has previously written about the third letter.

Text: Text: June 28, 2010
Via Electronic Mail to
The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
Carie, Rannoch, Scotland, PH17 2QJ

Re: University of St. Thomas

Dear Lord Monckton

We received your e-mail response to our June 25, 2020 letter. The University of St. Thomas respects your right to disagree wtih Professor Abraham, just as the University respects Professor Abraham's right to disagree with you. What we object to are your personal attacks against Father Dease and Professor Abraham, your inflammatory language, and your decision to disparage Professor Abraham, President Father Dease, and the University of St. Thomas.

Please be advised that neither we, nor the University of St. Thomas will communicate with you any further about your decision to sully the University of St. Thomas, Professor Abraham, and others rather than to focus on the scholarly differences between you and Professor Abraham.

Very truly yours,

By Phyllis Karasov

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gold amongst the dross

or the Great Monckton Memory hole

From Christopher Monckton via JoAnne Nova we have the answer to Monckton's deranged demand letter on the University of St. Thomas (corrected, JAN from whom Eli copied the letter text left something out. Thanks to Igor for pointing this out. Omission in italic)

We received your email response to our June 25, 2010 letter. The University of St Thomas respects your right to disagree with Professor Abraham, just as the University respects Professor Abraham's right to disagree with you. What we object to are your personal attacks against Father Dease, and Professor Abraham, your inflammatory language, and your decision to disparage Professor Abraham Father Dease and The Univerity of St Thomas.

"Please be advised that neither we nor the University of St Thomas will communicate with you any further about your decision to sully the University of St. Thomas, Professor Abraham, and others rather than to focus on the scholarly differences between you and Professor Abraham."

Signed: Phyllis Karasov, Moore Costellow and Hart, P.L.L.P.

The lawyers have spoken for the University. Go add your support for the University and Prof. Abraham at Gareth's place

Added: Nick Barnes immediately below points to the "complete" correspondence, which includes this bit of purple prose from our Viscount
I should also be obliged if you were to specify which television interview you are referring to (I do not recall having conducted such an interview, so it may have been recorded some time ago), and to set forth a schedule specifying each "disparaging", "outrageous", or "defamatory" comment I am alleged to have made, with a brief indication of why, in each instance, the comment is considered "disparaging", "outrageous", or "defamatory", so that I may reach an informed opinion on whether to repeat or apologize for the comment.

It is also fair that I should draw your attention to a radio interview I gave to the Alex Jones show yesterday, before your present letter reached me. If there are any "disparaging", "outrageous", or "defamatory" remarks therein that you would prefer me not to repeat, perhaps you would be kind enough to say which and why, ut supra.
Since bunnies are obliging beasts, joe finds the dross amidst the blovation
From the Alex Jones show, 24 June 2010 part 5/6 (

"...that, on its own, would be an offense for which he would be dismissed from a real university, but then he only belongs this half-assed Catholic Bible college" (1:10)

"...but apparently in this Bible college, lying is part of what they regard as their Christian mission..." (2:45)

"...I want you to email this creep of a President, Father Dennis J. Dease..."(08:30)
Christopher does not really understand the parallel nature of the internet and blogs. Eli eagerly awaits Moncktons apology to the University of St. Thomas and Father Dease.

BTW, John Abraham's letter to Monckton was a work of art
Dear Mr. Monckton:

I am replying to your letter of June 10, 2010, on behalf of myself and, at his request Fr. Dennis Dease, President of the University of St. Thomas. I stand by my original position. Point and counterpoint are the standard in academic discourse.


Dr. John Abraham
Associate Professor
School of Engineering
University of St. Thomas
Thanks to Joe and Nick

The Great Monckton Limerick Contest

Here is your opportunity to select the winner of the Great Monckton Limerick Contest. Readers are invited to reread the entries. Of course you should also leave a note of support for John Abraham at Hot Topic, where Gareth is gathering signatures.

Monckton has now posted at WUWT asking for people to flood Abraham's university with calls for disciplinary action. As a consequence, I have posted this:

We the undersigned offer unreserved support for John Abraham and St. Thomas University in the matter of complaints made to them by Christopher Monckton. Professor Abraham provided an important public service by showing in detail Monckton?s misrepresentation of the science of climate, and we applaud him for that effort, and St. Thomas University for making his presentation available to the world.
A word from the wise bunny, leave a note of support for John, not an attack on Chris. Electioneering allowed here.

Vote early, don't vote often
Ron Broberg
Horatio Algeranon
Anonymous 8-38
Rattus Norvegicus free polls

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Advice to the lab bunnies

One of the reasons Eli has been rare is that he has been doing grant review panels. Lots of them. The money sucks but when your funder calls you damn well better answer. Eli would like to take this opportunity to offer some advice to those who write grant proposals, mostly for the US, but perhaps also of some value to outlanders.

No, he is not going to tell you how to get free money from the government. The government and the peer reviewers make damn sure you are going to work your butt off for very little money for yourself, but maybe a little satisfaction that you have hunter gathered for your students. The little ones, of course, will moan about how much you make them work.

Nor will he tell you what science is hot and what not, or how to use spell check (please do), rather this is about the "broader impacts" section that the granting agencies are increasingly asking for.

After years, the idea is finally getting through that writing "my splendid research will really impress my fellow scientists" cuts no mustard by itself. Really great science will get funded in spite of a bad broader impacts plan. If you are on or near the funding line, a good broader impacts plan will push you over. Anyone who doesn't have anything if it is called for in the proposal rules will get it tossed back express delivery. One of the things driving competitive reviews is there are too many proposals, funding rates are under 20, often 10% and program directors LOVE to toss proposals out for non-compliance. Their attitude is that this is a learning experience and something else they don't have to deal with.

OK. Having read a pile of stuff this year here is Eli's advice

Broader impacts includes educational and public outreach as well as transformational science.

If you are going to claim transformational science you damn well better back it up, showing exactly how your work will change the status quo, which starts with what the status quo is. Transformational effects that have economic benefits are much superior for this purpose. It's a hard challenge to meet. The peer reviewers are your bitter, hardened competitors who think that your stuff is crap and theirs is transformational.

So let's move onto the real point of this post, educational and public outreach. Eli has read zillions of proposals that look like a menu in a Chinese restaurant, one lecture at a high school, judge a science fair, mentor an undergraduate, etc. Roll eyes.

What the bunnies need to do is

1. Describe a single outreach program. No one asks for multiple research projects in a single investigator grant application.

2. Show why it is needed. Use statistics. Explain your motivation for doing it.

3. Explain, just as you did for your research what will be done and what the expected outcomes will be.

This includes such things as recruiting/publicity, funding, etc. and especially what happens after the grant ends. Collaboration with local outreach organizations really helps with some of this.

4. Describe a formative evaluation plan. Again, having someone who knows about evaluation is a big plus

5. It's really good if you can leverage resources (get promises of funding) and people around you (the science education people at your uni or in the local schools, or in organizations such as boys and girls clubs, organizations such as the Rotary, etc). If allowed, get a short letter from anyone who is going to collaborate.

6. Describe how the program will be disseminated, preferable so it can be used by others. If your program only affects a few people, describe why the outcomes will be important beyond the small number.

7. Discuss the amount of time needed for your outreach and show how you can do your outreach, teaching and research. Don't include so much outreach that there is no time for anything else. For example, new courses are tremendous time sinks.
When working with teachers, students, old ladies and young men or visa versa, make sure you understand what THEIR needs are and show how what you are proposing will satisfy them. One thing that really grates teeth is proposing new high school lessons that don't fit into the curriculum standards. HS teachers have no time for anything except teaching to standardized tests. They will NEVER include anything that doesn't fit the written curriculum no matter HOW cool you think it is. Especially in outreach, the people you are reaching out to are customers and they have to want to buy for your program to succeed.

There is another way of working this, finding an outreach program already underway and making a substantial contribution. For that you need a strong letter from the program director.

Good luck Mr. Phelps. Should you fail the Rabett will disavow any knowledge of his advice

Mashey tweets

John Mashey on behalf of himself and deepclimate moans

While the wegman report is providing much food, one actually does have to hunt it down and bring UT back ...

And then monckton just offers a 446-course banquet already prepared.
and continues
%$%$%$ The Viscount's offering is like Chinese menu, even conveniently numbered.

Wegman's is more like an elephant carcass.

A simple puzzler

OK bunnies, what's Monckton class about this graph from Cryosphere Today

Eli Rabett's Chris Monckton Limerick Contest

UPDATE: Voting is now open

Seeing as a Limerick contest has broken out in the comments about Moncktons Gallop, Eli thought Rabett Run might offer a prize, a ticket (Eli will provide a grant) to one of his lectures in the next year, airfare, housing, etc. NOT included, but Eli will provide a decent bottle of Scotch so you can survive, Eli's choice of course, but Eli has standards. Ms Rabett, OTOH has the check book and the charge card. It will be better than OK but that's all we promise. Multiple entries allowed

To get you started here are the current entries

anonypoe started it all

Once there was a Viscount of Brenchly
Who disputed his critics most contentiously
With a lawsuit in hand
And an imperious demand
No one doubted the defense of His Excellency

Noe one doubted that is save for Poe
Who's Law is unknown by most joes
Now seeing the crank
Raised to high rank
Its impossible to tell the man from the show

A Viscount worried about his reputation
Fired up by an internet disputation
With a bunch of new slides
Screwed up his hurt pride
And revealed a self-mocking refutation.
Andy S
John Abraham once debunked an
Egregious talk by Chris Monckton
So the Lord tried to do
His own Peer review
Which he characteristically flunked on.
Ron Broberg-
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.
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.

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.

There once was a journalist named Chris
Who thought there was something amiss
With the physics of Newton
Said he 'You're darned tootin'
"I will get to the bottom of this."

There once was a man with Nobel
Pinned to his suit-coat lapel
"When you address me, bow low"
"I'm world famous, you know"
Gareth provides a Clerihew (sorry, Eli has standards) and a limerick
There was a daft Viscount from Brenchley,
Whose shark jumping owed much to Benchley,
His downfall, they say,
Was caused by the way
His politics posed as reality
And . . .

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;" " 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.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What goes up, often melts down

Trapped. Eli should be working and no sooner does he come finish his last post then Scrotum shoves his Lord's shifty next question in his face

456: Given that you showed great interest in a paper suggesting that ice-melt from Greenland was great enough to cause sea level to rise by what turned out to be less than 1 millimeter, why were you silent when confronted with the above visual evidence, from the US Department of Defense, showing that half a century ago its DEW-line early-warning radar stations were standing proud of the ice, while now the allegedly melting ice is accumulating rapidly around them?

Hmm class let's take a guess at this one.

Maybe, just maybe, they built the radar station on the ice. You know, that's hard to believe, but bunnies, it's GREENLAND, land of milk and cookies. Gee, if it got a bit warmer during the summer, and the top layer got a bit slushy, the unattended station might just kinda fall down into the ice And hmm,it was blacker than the ice/snow around it. And probably absorbs more sunlight during the summer, and gets warmer, And there does not appear to be much ice on top of the station.

And, hey, look at that, it is a lot deeper in 2006 than in 1998. GLOBAL WARMING ALERT!!!

This is where Eli came in

Viscount Monckton is busy jumping the shark, having been bitten by John Abraham, so Eli thought he would go over and have a look. Since Chris is a backwards lad, Eli started at the end, and after passing over a few odd bleats he came to

455: Since you are apparently so concerned about even small changes in temperature, and about minute variations in the peaks and troughs of the global temperature curve from one graph to another, are you not truly astonished to find that in the Central England Temperature Record, compiled since 1659 and, because of its latitude and other regional characteristics, a reasonable proxy for global temperature anomalies, shows that in the 40 years 1695-1735, before the Industrial Revolution even began, Central England temperature rose by 4 F°, a rate eight or nine times greater than the warming of the 20th century?
This brought back all sorts of fond memories.

Leaving aside the issue of whether the CET is representative of global temperatures there is the amusing fact that in the 1707 to 1722 period it went tramping to Utrecht and got fouled. Whatta you expect when you play the Dutch. But there is more. . .

The Central England historical record, was originally published by Manley.

The data base is maintained by the Hadley center and the series runs from 1659 to the present.

Our friend Nigel Persaud got his knickers into a twist because Mann, Bradley and Hughes only used the record from 1730 on. Much of this comes from that audit of the auditor. The CET is set forth in

Manley, G., 1953: The mean temperature of Central England, 1698 to 1952. Quart J Roy Meteorol Soc, 79, 242-261.

Manley, G. 1974: Central England Temperatures: monthly means 1659 to 1973. Quart J Roy Meteorolol Soc, 100, 389-405.

Parker, D. E., T. P. Legg, and C. K. Folland, 1992: A new daily Central England Temperature Series, 1772-1991. Int J Climatol, 12, 317-342.

Bunnies can find links and a nice graph at the Wikipedia where interested lagomorphs might note that the CET temperatures "FELL" between 1659 and 1695, by about the same amount they "rose" between 1695, and 1735. 1998 and all that.

At the time Eli went and got the last two papers, and read them. The reason that MBH98 does not use the data before 1730 is clearly explained in the first paragraph of the 1992 Parker, Legg and Folland paper:
"Manley1953) published a time series of monthly mean temperatures representative of central England for 1698-1952, followed (Manley 1974) by an extended and revised series for 1659-1973. Up to 1814 his data are based mainly on overlapping sequences of observations from a variety of carefully chosen and documented locations. Up to 1722, available instrumental records fail to overlap and Manley needs to use non-instrumental series for Utrecht compiled by Labrijn (1945), in order to mate the monthly central England temperature (CET) series complete. Between 1723 and the 1760s there are no gaps in the composite instrumental record, but the observations generally were taken in unheated rooms rather than with a truly outdoor exposure...."
Which means that the Manley reconstruction is only continuous from 1722 on, but the information upon which it relies from 1723-28 has further difficulties, essentially absolute values were not reliable, and the series was constructed by taking the difference between measurements made by those thermometers and ones thought to be more reliable after 1727, and then repeatedly differenced to get values before 1727.

In the light of this, it is perfectly reasonable to truncate the CET series at 1730 although Parker chose to start in 1772 when reliable thermometer records are available from Hoy in London, not trusting the data before 1770.

On balance this illustrates the principal of RTFR (Read the effing references) and the danger of someone unfamiliar with an area trying to do an "audit". The CET before 1730 is certainly not reliable, even Scrotum knows that, but whether he has passed the word onto Mycroft Monckton is uncertain.

So, since things have been dull at Rabett Run, Eli invites all to answer any of his Lordshifts questions, which will be dully featured.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Missing comments

It appears that some comments are not getting through. JA has seen the same problem Appears to be bloggeritis. UPDATE: MT has the bug too.

UPDATE: July 8 This appears to have been resolved by Blogger. Thanks to Hank and Timothy for their efforts, which Eli suspects spurred the big B a bit.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Bart can retire - Part I

Bart Verheggen, owner and operator of My View on Climate Change, aka Our Changing Climate, reports on a study carried out by the Planbureau voor de Leefoomgeving (PBL),aka the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, on the reliability of Working Groups II's report in the AR4. More exactly, the PBL's political masters asked for a specific evaluation of the chapters evaluating probable regional changes. Eli will encourage you to hie over there to read the results, but the general outcome was that the report was reliable, even though they found one additional clunker. What caught Eli's attention was that the PBL took comments from the public. Of the 40 or so that came across the transome, ONLY 3 were relevant, but the PBL provided answers to them all and Rabett Run is pleased to add them to his retirement home.

COMMENT: It has come to my attention that the PBL has opened a website for reporting errors in the IPCC report. It is apparent to me, however, that this website limits the chapters on which the comments must be about and allows for no other comments or questions. This unfortunately impeded the open and honest debate about the IPCC report that many seek. Therefore I take this opportunity to write to you in the hope that my comments will be taken into account by you and your colleagues.

I will keep my questions and comments brief, acceptingthe risk that they may not in all respects be expressed perfectly scientifically or technically. For this I apologize. If my questions are not clear, I am happy to explain them further.

My questions / observations are as follows:

1. The effect of the flood of human-produced CO2 on the (alleged) (enhanced) greenhouse effect.

The IPCC assumes a significant effect of CO2 on climate.
Although CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the influence of water vapor in the atmosphere is much greater, given the much larger amount of water vapor in the atmosphere than CO2. The influence of CO2 on a (possible) temperature increase is only about 3% of the total impact. I would like to understand why the IPCC ascribes a major influence to anthropogenic CO2.

2. The IPCC reports the report was "peer-reviewed". P

I am curious to hear from you, how the comments of "peers" were handled .
It could be (I blame no one!) that only the positive reactions were considered and the negative ones were ignored. In that case it would still be peer-reviewd "despite the negative comments not being considered.

Note: In my time I did TNO tests of devices.
Some were unequivocally rejected. But some of those who submitted devices made a point in their advertising that their products were "TNO-tested"!! Linguistically that was correct, of course, but it twisted the meaning. Can you confirm that this state of affairs does not apply to the concept of "peer-reviewed "in assessing the IPCC reports?

3. "Global warming".

The models in the IPCC reports are assume a continuous global warming.
How does this model, account for the already more than 10 years of continuous cooling of the earth? The temperature has not increased anymore in the last 10 years. Nature does not seem to track any of the models! How reliable are the models then?

Those are my questions. I look forward to your response.

ANSWER: Thanks for your comment submitted within the framework of our research on errors in the report of IPCC Working Group II.

Your comment focuses on issues outside the limits of our investigation. However, I want to briefly respond to your letter.

Water vapor is the main greenhouse gas, because water is present in abundance on Earth, and thus relatively high levels in the atmosphere. Approximately two thirds of the greenhouse effect is attributable to water vapor. The important role of water vapor has been completely dealt with by the IPCC. Take a look at this webpage on Climate Portal, which Bart Strengers of PBL in a discussion with Hans Labohm including addresses the role of water vapor: (in Dutch, use Google Translate to get an idea)

As to the effect on the CO2 concentration of the 3% anthropogenic emissions of CO2, I refer you to to this Web Portal on Climate:

You also ask about the review process of the IPCC. You can see what happened to the comments on the IPCC website. See where comments on each chapter and each stage of the process is documented showing all the comments. Click on a section and see in the rightmost column, the responses of the IPCC authors.

Finally, a response to your comment about global warming over the past 10 years. Climate models show not only an increase in temperature. Climate models take into account natural variations in temperature over a period of 10-15 years, including temporary cooling, even when CO2 concentrations are continually rising. See for example the scientist-versus-skeptic blog on the website of the NIS:

The causes of limited warming in the last 10 years is under discussion in science. See:
- Solomon et al., Science 5 March 2010, Vol. - Solomon et al, Science 5 March 2010, Vol. 327. 327. no. 5970, pp. No. 5970, pp. 1219 - 1223: 1219 - 1223:
- News in Climate Science and Exploring Boundaries (december 2009). - News in Climate Science and Exploring Boundaries (December 2009). On our website see: .

When our investigation is completed, we will inform you of the results.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Not in it for the gold

No one is

Tip of the ears to Ben Hale who turned Eli on to the RSA animations.

This pretty well sums up why bunnies take up the scientifical life and why the denialists are unlikely to contribute

Some have asked about

Eli and the bunnies opinion of characters such as Tom Fuller


Saturday, July 03, 2010

The World Cup repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce

There is much comment on the tragedy of how Ghana was denied a victory by Luis Suarez's blatant handball on the goal line, followed by a missed penalty.

As Ben Hale puts it "Ghana got screwed". Of course, today we were entertained by the farce of Paraguay

and Spain

both missing penalties within a few minutes of each other. The shooters and the ref should be shot.

Football is being ruined by cynical play, diving, professional fouls and more, of which there are no better examples than Maradona's "Hand of God" goal,

and just this year Thierry Henry doing the same to knock Ireland out and put France into the World Cup. That worked out well enough that one might believe in divine justice.

Eli starts with the observation that additional referees, instant replays and more would ruin the flow of the beautiful game. The cynicism that has crept in comes from a moral calculus that undervalues the costs of cheating and sharp practice. The real issue is not how to make the game "fairer", but rather how to tip the balance so that players don't take advantage.

His answer is impose long bans, even lifetime bans, on players who do what Maradonna, Thierry Henry and Luis Suarez did, and insist that they not be paid during their bans. Such bans would be imposed post game and the tribunals could use replay video, referee's reports and more. If Luis Suarez had to balance losing the game against losing his career, he might not have punched the ball off the line.


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Watt now? McIntyre will have a cow

The Penn State Faculty Committee of Inquiry on Michael Mann's conduct of research has issued its final investigative report about whether

"Dr. Michael Mann engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities?"
Bottom line first
The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University.

More specifically, the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.

The decision of the Investigatory Committee was unanimous.
They first considered whether Mann had deviated from accepted practices in his proposals (oh yes Ken C you are gonna have a problem with that one). They concluded that Mann's record in light of stringent reviews meant that
This level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research.
They next considered whether Mann deviated from accepted practices in the conduct of research
The Investigatory Committee established that Dr. Mann, in all of his published studies, precisely identified the source(s) of his raw data and, whenever possible, made the data and or links to the data available to other researchers.
Dr. Mann's actual practices with regard to making source codes and intermediate data readily available reflect, in all respects, evolving practices within his field
The Committee of Inquiry noted that Mann was held in high regard as shown by the many awards he has received, and finally they considered whether he had deviated from accepted practices in his reporting of research results.

The report includes a straightforward answer to Nigel Persaud
The next question for Dr. Mann was posed as follows: "What is your reply to the email statements of Dr. McIntyre (a) that he had been referred to an incorrect version of your data at your FTP site (b) that this incorrect version was posted prior to his request and was not formulated expressly for him and (c) that to date, no source code or other evidence has been provided to fully demonstrate that the that to date, no source code or other evidence has been provided to fully demonstrate that the incorrect version, now deleted, did not infect some of Mann's and Rutherford's other work?"

Dr. Mann responded by stating that neither he, nor many of his colleagues, put much reliability in the various accusations that Dr. McIntyre has made, and that, moreover, there is "no merit whatsoever to Mr. McIntyre's claims here." Specifically, Dr. Mann repeated that all data, as well as the source codes requested by Dr. McIntyre, were in fact made available to him. All data were listed on Dr. Mann's FTP site in 2000, and the source codes were made available to Dr. McIntyre about a year after his request was made, in spite of the fact that the National Science Foundation had ruled that scientists were not required to do so. The issue of an "incorrect version" of the data came about because Dr. McIntyre had requested the data (which were already available on the FTP site) in spreadsheet format, and Dr. Rutherford, early on, had unintentionally sent an incorrectly formatted spreadsheet.
Does any of that sound familiar? Eli finds some interesting points in there that Steve should discuss.

The Committee slapped Mann on the wrists for sharing without permission unpublished stuff with third parties as careless and inappropriate.

Richard Lindzen, who was also interviewed, as many have guessed, is not exactly a friend of Michael
When told that the first three allegations against Dr. Mann were dismissed at the inquiry stage of the RA-lO process, Dr. Lindzen's response was: "It's thoroughly amazing. I mean these are issues that he explicitly stated in the emails. I'm wondering what's going on?"
but Lindzen also told the Committee
The next question inquired whether, in Dr. Lindzen's view, climatologists normally make their codes (used in the analysis of data) available for other people to download. Dr. Lindzen responded by stating that "it depends."
RTFL. Comments?