December 11, 2009

Behind the ellipses

Here's an interesting little exercise in forensics showing how far climate denializers — in this case, one of the fearless leaders, Steve McIntyre — will go to confirm their biases: selectively edit out correspondence to make it look as though the correspondents are talking about one thing, when replacing the excised portions make it clear they're talking about something completely different.

McIntyre provides fodder for skeptics

(Not overly technical, but assumes some familiarity with the nuts and bolts and nut and bolt proxies of the so-called "Climategate" "scandal." Even so, it's well worth a look if only to take the poll.)
I did notice that McIntyre mentioned the decline in tree-ring widths on CNN. But he never corrects all the others who blather about "hiding the decline" in temperature.
Apparently, this is about all they have left. Which is not to say that they had anything to begin with. Yet only recently, they'd unearthed "massive fraud," and the pants-wetting histrionics (a necessary feature of the scientific method) were virtually imperturbable.

Still waiting for the leading local denializers Patrick McIlheran and Richard Esenberg to register their righteous offense at these obvious examples of intellectual dishonesty. It took Patrick McIlheran two whole weeks to figure out that "hide the decline" was not a reference to a decline in measured temperatures, so it could be a while.

As in, never.

See also: Hackers aimed to maximize harm to Copenhagen summit



Grant said...

Meanwhile, statistics dingaling and perennial Lambert bete noire David Kane:

Come on Tim! Your readers are not so stupid. The only reason people care about a "decline in tree-ring density" is because "tree-ring density" is used as a proxy for temperature. So, "decline in temperatures" and "decline in tree-ring density" are scientifically identical claims.

Harvard University takes this man seriously.

illusory tenant said...

Lambert has quality readers:

"What interests me most, is something which is unlikely to interest anyone else, and that is the 'methodological atomism' in the paradigm of Denialist Scientism. It spreads over the entire enterprise. It's a sort of random atomising, where you dive into any bunch of ideas and data, and start stringing them together in the order of your own importance.

"But also look at the psychological atomism of taking email quotes out of context ('mining quotes, quote-mining') and then building the motives outward from each atom, each sentence, until they join into a conspiracy. It's the same epistemological pattern, a sort of roving mechanism of simple addition to build up to a 'proof.'"

-- Lee A. Arnold

"This is so Creation Science 101. It's such a close parallel to their attacks on carbon dating, I suspect that Climate Audit just goes to the Discovery Institute and does a search and replace in the Young Earth pamphlets nowadays.

"Before the era of Teabagger Science, this would have been described as simply pointing out which trees, at which altitude, had started varying from other temperature indicators, and when, and what to do about it."

-- Marion Delgado