Since when does “adapted” mean “redrawn or drawn from the data”? If I had the data that went into the graph, then I would have plotted up a new graph—but what’s the difference if I plot a new graph the way I want or alter some other graph so it plots what I want to show?Paul Krugman
I go over to the CRU site and get the latest temperature data and plot it up—If I want to plot it up for 1901-2000 I can, if I want to plot it up for 1851-2010 I can. I am not bound to use only the plots contained in Brohan et al., but I could use those plots if wanted to. Had Brohan, for space reasons or other reasons, plotted the NH, the SH, and global combination as a single figure, and I’d have no compunction against erasing the NH and SH if I wanted to concentrate on the global results. If Brohan had plotted the HadCRUT2 and HadCRUT3 on a single figure (sorta like their Fig. 13), and I only wanted to show the HadCRUT3 data (after all, that is what the paper was about), I’d have no problem erasing the HadCRUT2 data from their chart. Had Gillett et al. plotted their “improved” 1851-2010 results and the presumably non-improved 1901-2000 results on the same chart and I only wanted to show the improved results (after all, that was the paper was about), I would erase the 1901-2000 results—oh yeah, I did do that! Had I asked Nathan Gillett for the data that went into that chart, I seriously doubt that he would have provided it with restrictions as to how I had to plot it. If Gillett et al. had only used 1901-2000 data, the paper probably would have never been produced or accepted—one of the major novelties of the research was using the full temperature record. Gillett et al. considered the results using 1851-2010 an improvement over previous work using 1900-1999 temperatures. So why oh why oh why is everyone so fired up over us focusing on the new improved results—those that were clearly preferred by the authors themselves?
If you all want to dredge up the Congressional testimony from 1998—then there seems to be a bit more room to argue as to which Scenario the original author preferred for the 1988-1997 period (of course, this has already been argued to death)—but in the case of Gillett et al. it is pretty darn clear the preferences of the authors.
Honestly, I am at a loss to understand the outrage over our handling of Gillett et al. (or Schmittner et al. for that matter—another case where we presented concentrated on the main results of the paper).
Let me instead go meta; this is an example of why policy debate is so frustrating, and why I’m not polite. The key thing about how the conservative movement handles debate is that it never gives up an argument, no matter how often and how thoroughly it has been refuted. Oh, there will be more sophisticated arguments made too; but the zombie lies will be rolled out again and again, with little or no pushback from the “respectable” wing of the movement.
In comments and elsewhere I fairly often encounter the pearl-clutchers, who want to know why I can’t politely disagree, since we’re all arguing in good faith, right? Wrong.