Saturday, October 01, 2011

It Must Be The Neighborhood

Ethon flew in from Colorado with news from one of the bunnies. It appears that the Vail Valley Daily had published a now defunct letter from one Dr. Martin Hertzberg, who appears to live thereabouts. The article which, as the saying goes is no longer to be found, must have been a doozy, because Mike Mann responded, and oh yeah, there are now no Hertzberg liver bits to be found with the smell of lawyer letter on fire filling the air

An individual named Martin Hertzberg did a grave disservice to your readers by making false and defamatory statements about me and my climate scientist colleagues in his recent commentary in your paper.

It's hard to imagine anyone packing more lies and distortions into a single commentary. Mr. Hertzberg uses libelous language in characterizing the so-called “hockey stick” -- work of my own published more than a decade ago showing that recent warming is unusual over at least the past 1,000 years -- as “fraudulent,” and claiming that it “it was fabricated from carefully selected tree-ring measurements with a phony computer program.”

These are just lies, regurgitation of dishonest smears that have been manufactured by fossil fuel industry-funded climate change deniers, and those who do their bidding by lying to the public about the science.

The highest scientific body in the nation, the National Academy of Sciences affirmed my research findings in an exhaustive independent review published in June 2006 (see e.g. “Science Panel Backs Study on Warming Climate,” New York Times, June 22, 2006, among many others).

Dozens of independent groups of scientists have independently reproduced and confirmed our findings, and more recent work by several groups shows that recent warmth is unusual over an even longer time frame.

Mr. Hertzberg then continues the smear by lying again about my work, claiming that “when those same tree-ring data actually showed a decline in temperature for the past several decades, Mann and his co-authors simply ‘hid the decline' by grafting direct measurements (inadequately corrected for the urban heat island and other effects) to his flat tree-ring line.”

That is, once again, a string of lies tied together. This statement falsely equates my work, which was not based on tree rings but rather a diverse network of different types of “proxy” climate data, with tree-ring work by an entirely different scientist, Keith Briffa of the University of East Anglia.

And it is is a highly dishonest characterization of his Briffa's work, as well, since the “decline” was a well-known problem with those particular data that Briffa was the first to describe and attempt to deal with, in the scientific literature.

Mr. Hertzberg's lies are pernicious. Their intent appears to be to do convince you that there is no harm in our continued unfettered release of carbon into the atmosphere.
But whom, whom, the little ones ask is Martin Hertzberg. Well, Marty is one of the authors in the Judith Curry book club but one whom even Madam Uncertainty has some doubts.

As with Part I, I am not going to write a review here. But this one is much simpler than Claes Johnson’s chapter, the only equations are algebraic. And it has a painful misunderstanding of Kirchoff’s Law. But it was published, albeit in Energy & Environment, a journal that is quite erratic editorially (this isn’t to say that the don’t sometimes publish worthwhile papers). So lets give it some attention.

I dismissed reviewing Hertzberg’s chapter in the Dragon book, entitled “History of Encounters with the Sky Dragon.” The chapter stars with a rambling personal history of his encounters, with ample “fear mongering hysteria” etc. It goes on for 30 pages or so, no science.

Moderation note: this is a technical thread, moderated for relevance. Make your general comments on the Part III thread.

You can read the thread for giggles, and even Hertzberg's ramble, and he pops up occasionally at Curry's and elsewhere, but the bottom line is that he does not realize (or he does and won't admit it) that emissivity is a function of wavelength and has not very damn much to do with reflectivity. From sad experience with doctoral rejectionists (and Hertzberg has one, he has even published early on with Donald Rapp, how is that for a circle of self satisfied jerks) this knowledge appears to decline with age, and maybe Eli will go that way in a couple of years. If so, shoot him.

See also caerbannog


Anonymous said...

He's a Blow 'em Up Navy Expert...


David B. Benson said...

Road kill.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to encourage all the anonylagomorphs/anonyrodents to wander on over to and click on the "recommend" link at the top of the page.

Dr. Mann's piece has over 160 "recommends" so far, which is about two orders of magnitude higher than the average number of "recommends" bestowed on the the typical op-ed piece there.

So pile on fellow lagomorphs/rodents -- give the good Dr. some of your own thumbs-up (or mice-up, for that matter).

Also, facebook/tweet/reddit/whatever the Mann piece so that more people will see and appreciate his "I don't any sh*t from clueless deniers" prose.

It's high-time that we started getting serious about cranking up our own pro-science "echo chamber".

--caerbannog the anonybunny

John Mashey said...

Hertzberg was one of the signers of CATO2009, along with a bunch of the usual others.

Colorado is interesting: NCAR, NREL, etc ...
and then Hertzberg, Howard Hayden, and others known to Eli.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

And Ethon didn't bring news from CO of RPjr's revise and resubmit request from GRL? And his subsequent whine? Boy is he good at whining.

Pinko Punko said...

I love Richard Tol giving RPJr the business in the comments. What a tangled web.

David B. Benson said...

Too many gone emeritus, as the saying is.

someguy said...

The removed original article from Hertzberg in the Vail Daily can still be found in Google's cache:

Well, it is as bad and deceitful as one can imagine. No sane person that has any knowledge of physics would state, that the greenhouse effect violates the second law of thermodynamics. That is pure crap and the fact, that the earth is not frozen and venus is warm as hell is a clear contradiction to such idiotic statements. So, Hertzberg is either insane or a liar.

Hank Roberts said...

Well, do read the cached page. Herzberg wrote in response to some other nitwit als published in the same Vail newspaper, who called Herzberg names in an earlier letters column, setting off a spate of Herzberg in all directions.

One might ask the Vail newspaper editors:

"Which part of 'hypergolic' do you fail to understand?"

(Note their page announces they got rid of a comments feature and won't bring it back. Possibly a lesson was learned there)

or as they say in Berkeley

"Don't argue with crazy people on the street; nobody can tell which of you is crazy once that starts."

Former Skeptic said...

Jr.'s think-skinnedness is both unsurprising and entertaining, but the potential long-term impact of Roger's whine on his grad student's career is arguably more important. I hope Ms. Weinkle's future publishing career is not compromised by her co-author's intransigence.

Speaking of other kerfuffles, the recent vicious smackdown on Monckton over at Lucia's digs is also worth mentioning.

muoncounter said...

Any posting with a Kukla, Fran and Ollie illustration is an automatic winner. But please do not paint Oliver J. Dragon in the role of Hertzberg. That sort of talk would be more forthcoming from Cecil Bill: Toi-ta-toi-toi!

I do note with some trepidation that if Hertzberg is a 'denizen' of JC's blogtown, his thoughts may have found their way into print. She cited those same denizens in her epic work (of fiction) 'Reasoning about climate uncertainty.'

Between the hijinks at 'climateetc' and the shenanigans at 'rankexploits,' the role of Madame Ooglepuss is up for grabs!

dhogaza said...

"I love Richard Tol giving RPJr the business in the comments. What a tangled web."

Leif Svalgaard points out that he got an almost identical boilerplate request for revision as RPJr did. RPJr says "yeah, well, it's easier if they respond to your e-mails". Svalgaard says "oh, they didn't, I just revised and resubmitted and it went through second review without a problem".

So Tol's saying the paper deserved rejection as submitted, Svalgaard points out that RPJr's not being singled out for prejudicial treatment, and the ignorati at Watts's place - none of whom seem to know who Tol is - are all accusatory about it.

Grypo said...

It appears the this text was removed from the original letter:

Every knowledgeable climatologist knows that tree rings are unreliable proxies for temperature because they are also sensitive to moisture, sunlight, pests, competition from adjacent trees, etc. Furthermore, when those same tree-ring data actually showed a decline in temperature for the past several decades, Mann and his co-authors simply “hid the decline” by grafting direct measurements (inadequately corrected for the urban heat island and other effects) to his flat tree-ring line.

Original wording
Newer version

Grypo said...

and this..

Glasser, who calls me a fool, really tips his hand by defending the notoriously fraudulent “hockey stick” curve of Professor Mann. That curve has the shape of a hockey stick, flat for the past 1,000 years with a sharp rise during the past few decades. It was fabricated from carefully selected tree-ring measurements with a phony computer program.

John said...

Hertzberg is a co-author of this ( infamous tome.

John Puma

Rattus Norvegicus said...

It looks like the local rag removed the potentially libelous passages and reposted. Good for them, but they still posted the junk from MH.

Hank Roberts said...

Wow. So the Vail paper edited out the legally risky parts-- Do they mention anywhere that what they are now publishing is exactly not what Mann's later-published letter complains about?

pete said...

Sorry for hopping off-topic, but I've found some tasty carrots growing here:

With a bit of Tender Loving Care I think this could become a very productive garden, but it needs some bunnies to bounce on over and click a few buttons before it opens for business.

Yours Truly,

Peter Rabbit

Anonymous said...

OK, so the Hertzberg piece (minus the actionable bits) is back up. So what's the score so far?

Michael Mann: 259 recommends

Martin Hertzberg: 15 recommends

Looks kinda like a blowout to me...

But that doesn't mean that the anonylagomorphs/anonyrodents here should rest easy -- if you haven't given Mann's piece a "recommend" vote yet, then get off your backsides and do it!!!

owlbrudder said...

I came here late, but I have a note from Mummy. Just did as suggested and clicked 'Recommend', bringing the total up to 583, so the Truth is getting Out There, folks.

owlbrudder said...

The above link no longer works, which is sad as I had just posted it on my blog. Any idea where it might have evolved to?