November 24, 2009

Lord McIlheran

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's parent corporation Journal Communications, Inc., announced today it would seek to defer some fourth-quarter losses by billing calumnist Patrick McIlheran's salary to the Republican National Committee.
Dear Lord McIlheran:
Keep what little integrity you have and remove the title of Lord in your posting. Ironic how you do this and then talk about 'fraud' in your blog. — "Quivers"
Typical McIlheran. Where is McIlheran's lecture on bad faith?

Dangerous frauds.

The CRU hack: context (1400+ comments, exhaustive detail)

So much for "dangerous frauds." If these e-mails contain no evidence of deliberate data manipulation — and nobody has found any yet — then what now is the justification for having obtained them illegally, and for right-wing calumnists to misrepresent them completely?

McIlheran's very next topic: The virtues of church-based morality. Back in my day, Roman Catholics made a virtue of critical thinking.


Terrence Berres said...

In a Telegraph article, the institute head, Phil Jones, doesn't dispute the authenticity of an email in which he said "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." His reported explanation is he meant "trick" in a good way.

How is this being misrepresented completely?

illusory tenant said...

This was among the first items addressed. From the link in the post above:

"The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the 'trick' is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term 'trick' to refer to a 'a good way to deal with a problem.' rather than something that is 'secret,' and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the 'divergence problem'–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens."

The complete misrepresentations are that deliberate data manipulation took place and that these alleged conspirators are "dangerous frauds."

Grant said...

The conspiracy widens!

illusory tenant said...

This is pretty much on the money:

We know all this of course: the double standards on show are just gobsmacking. Insinuations like the MWP email are broadcast across the denialosphere, many pick it up and immediately rush to sound the big red “BOMBSHELL” klaxon – with little or nothing to back it up, and certainly not even the most basic critical questions asked. Yet it’s fine to be obsessively, minutely critical of one tiny part of the evidence base for AGW, year after year, despite the fact that even if that whole section of work was magically subtracted from the universe by an act of God, the evidence for AGW would be almost entirely unaffected.

So we know, don’t we, that these attacks will continue? People who, through some combination of malice or stupidity, don’t understand that niggling at one line of evidence is never going to undermine the evidence for AGW, will continue with their blog version of Chinese water torture, dripping on the same point over and over. With this email hack, you can see the same: there are occasional genuine questions about some of the content, but it’s mostly just noise: “BOMBSHELL! MASSIVE LIES! SMOKING GUN!”

These people are not going to suddenly grow a logic module.

Terrence Berres said...

"‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words"

So the explanation is he meant both "hiding" and "trick" in a good way.

illusory tenant said...

Not so much a good way as a not-bad way, I think is the point.