Your tax dollars at work

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Steve McIntyre has made a name for himself by exposing faulty math and dishonest statistical analysis with regard to anthropogenic global warming. He was the guy who exposed the infamous Mann “hockey stick” fraud that disappeared the medieval warm period and falsely claimed to prove that the Earth’s temperature is hotter today than at any other point in recorded history.

So, having demonstrated that he is not just some crank, you’d think that scientists who are interested in truth rather than some political agenda would be happy to have McIntyre validate your work. Well, scientists surely would, but there’s no evidence that climate “scientists” are really scientists in the classical sense. Today’s evidence is this letter from Dr. Benjamin Santer of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory to McIntyre’s request for data he is using to determine that anthropogenic global warming is occurring. Remember as you read this that Santer is paid with your tax dollars.

Dear Mr. McIntyre,

I gather that your intent is to “audit” the findings of our recently-published paper in the International Journal of Climatology (IJoC). You are of course free to do so. I note that both the gridded model and observational datasets used in our IJoC paper are freely available to researchers. You should have no problem in accessing exactly the same model and observational datasets that we employed. You will need to do a little work in order to calculate synthetic Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) temperatures from climate model atmospheric temperature information. This should not pose any difficulties for you. Algorithms for calculating synthetic MSU temperatures have been published by ourselves and others in the peer-reviewed literature. You will also need to calculate spatially-averaged temperature changes from the gridded model and observational data. Again, that should not be too taxing.

In summary, you have access to all the raw information that you require in order to determine whether the conclusions reached in our IJoC paper are sound or unsound. I see no reason why I should do your work for you, and provide you with derived quantities (zonal means, synthetic MSU temperatures, etc.) which you can easily compute yourself.

I am copying this email to all co-authors of the 2008 Santer et al. IJoC paper, as well as to Professor Glenn McGregor at IJoC.

I gather that you have appointed yourself as an independent arbiter of the appropriate use of statistical tools in climate research. Rather that “auditing” our paper, you should be directing your attention to the 2007 IJoC paper published by David Douglass et al., which contains an egregious statistical error.

Please do not communicate with me in the future.
Ben Santer

Santer’s little temper tantrum will be costing the taxpayers some more money as they must now spend some cash to respond to McIntyre’s Freedom of Information Act request for the exact same data — and McIntyre will get it.

Are the global warming alarmists really scientists? They certainly don’t act like it.

0 Responses to "Your tax dollars at work"
  1. Former Skeptic says:

    That was amusing of you to lionize Steve McIntyre. But he ain’t fit to audit climate, and is somewhat of a crank. I should know, I once thought he did break the MBH hockey stick, but the analysis attempted by McIntyre and McKitrick has long been shown to be faulty by folks who are familiar with the details. Try reading the following links with an open mind for a change.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/myths-vs-fact-regarding-the-hockey-stick/
    or
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/02/dummies-guide-to-the-latest-hockey-stick-controversy/
    or
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/broken-hockey-stick.htm

    There is an interesting subtext about Ben Santer that McIntyre has not fully disclosed. Santer was demonized by the former Global Climate Coalition when the 1995 IPCC second report was released – you can read some of the ad hom attacks here:

    http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/esthag-w/2006/aug/policy/pt_santer.html

    Given this history, and McIntyre’s obvious agenda, he can see what McIntyre is up to and I honestly think he’s fully within his rights not to give McIntyre the treated data. Besides, Santer has noted it’s easily attainable. Perhaps it’s a test of McIntyre’s supposed “skill” in understanding climate data. *shrug*

    And no, I do not particularly care what tax dollars are “wasted” on McI.’s request – especially when much more of my tax bucks are spent on, and spent by, people who are still resistant or ignorant to the perils of climate change.

  2. Geoff Larsen says:

    Former Skeptic

    “But he ain’t fit to audit climate, and is somewhat of a crank”

    You started your comment with an ad hominid & it then descends into a spiraling down path.

    “I should know, I once thought he did break the MBH hockey stick, but the analysis attempted by McIntyre and McKitrick has long been shown to be faulty by folks who are familiar with the details.”

    You link to realclimate which was started by Mann & his colleagues to defend MBH98 & MBH99. Well there are a lot of us who are very familiar with these papers too & the latest 2008 incarnation.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/09/02/0805721105.full.pdf html

    As you have an open mind read these series of posts by a blogger called Jeff ID in relation to the Mann et al 2008 paper.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/hockey-stick-temperature-distortion-posts/

    In a nutshell Jeff demonstrates, in a relatively easy to understand series of posts, how the selective sorting & selection of proxies in the calibration period of the last 100 years, corresponding to a period of rising temperatures, and charting the “temperatures” of these selected sorted proxies over 1000 years or longer, distorts the relative “temperature” scales in each of the 2 periods (calibration & non calibration). The handle of the series (i.e. 100- 1,000 years ago) has a compressed “temperature” scale relative to the blade (calibration period) of the “hockey stick” (i.e. 0-100 years ago). Then with no shame they tack an instrumental temperature series onto the blade of the stick (just to accentual the HS further).

    This observation, BTW, is not new. Von Storch et al showed this effect in their Science 2004 paper, “Reconstructing Past Climate from Noisy Data”, in relation to the earlier 1998 & 1999 papers.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/306/5696/679

    “Empirical reconstructions of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperature in the past millennium based on multiproxy records depict small-amplitude variations followed by a clear warming trend in the past two centuries. We use a coupled atmosphere-ocean model simulation of the past 1000 years as a surrogate climate to test the skill of these methods, particularly at multidecadal and centennial time scales. Idealized proxy records are represented by simulated grid-point temperature, degraded with statistical noise. The centennial variability of the NH temperature is underestimated by the regression-based methods applied here, suggesting that past variations may have been at least a factor of 2 larger than indicated by empirical reconstructions”.

    Now IMO there are many things wrong with these papers & their cousins, in addition to the problem I summarised above. The fact that Realclimate defends these papers, apparently to the death, despite their obvious & major flaws, strongly suggests to me one needs to take what is said at Realclimate with large dollops of salt.

    And Steve McIntyre? Well I’ve followed his posts since before he started blogging & my judgement is you cannot classify him as a skeptic. What Steve stands for is the open & verifiable practice of climate science. People like Santer & the guys at Realclimate may obsfuscate & delay this objective but in the end I believe he will win through & achieve this. Why? Because in the long run this benefits everyone.

  3. Bruce says:

    Former Skeptic,

    I guess not everything McIntyre does is wrong. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/11/16/do1610.xml

    By the way, the law of gravity is settled. AGW is not settled. Not if you know anything about the scientific method.

  4. hoystory says:

    You can bash McIntyre all you want, but here is the key thing to determining who is telling the truth in the climate sciences: Who shows you their work?

    Go to Climate Audit and you’ll see that McIntyre publishes the code he uses to come up with his numbers. He shows you all his work.

    Santer, as demonstrated by his petulant letter, as well as Mann, Hansen and the rest of them don’t show their work. And when asked, they respond like schoolchildren.

    As for Mann’s hockeystick. The attempts to salvage it are laughable. Mann still has the present day much warmer than the Medieval Warm Period. Yet we know that back then Greenland actually was green and they were growing wine grapes in the north of England.

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