Note to Steve McIntyre

Dear Steve,

Following Dr Judith Curry’s appeal on ClimateProgress regarding the recent RealClimate post from Tamino, that Joe Romm, and all of us, should be reading your work, I decided to take a brief look at your output on ClimateAudit in order to see what all the fuss from Judith Curry was about :-

http://climateprogress.org/2010/07/25/hockey-stick-real-climate-montford-judith-curry-tamino-gavin-schmid/

“19. Judith Curry says: July 25, 2010 at 9:19 pm : …So if any of you have actually read as much as I have on this topic including Montford’s [Bishop Hill] book and the climateaudit threads particularly McIntyre’s most recent post, well then we might have something to talk about. Otherwise, we can just sit back and all be entertained by tribalistic wardances.”

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/

“107. Judith Curry says: 23 July 2010 at 12:44 PM : Once more people have read the [Montford, Bishop Hill] book, and if Montford and McIntyre were welcomed to participate in the discussion, then I would be interested in participating in a more detailed discussion on this.”

Now, I’m not going to get into the numeric, statistical or Scientific details of your posts, as that is the very thing that you want your readers to do, it seems.

Your goal, as it appears to me, is to create a flurry of contention and get people distracted by arguments over mere dots and dashes, thereby derailing their personal progress in understanding Climate Change Science.

I don’t understand why you insist on raising a duststorm over aspects of Climate Change Science. Your motives are hidden from me. What I do comprehend are the techniques that you are using to stir up chaos.

You may have some valid points to make about the Science, the numbers, the charts, the trends and the statistics, but your methods are those of a propagandist, first and foremost, and it appears you won’t let the facts get in the way of kicking off a good fist-fight.

This means that you are not acting like a genuine sceptic (skeptic), or even a denier on Climate Change. Your approach makes you more like an obstructer, a delayer, holding back the general public’s growing awareness of Climate Change Science, and in come cases, holding back scientists from doing their work.

As I have just said, I am not going to go into the Science details on your recent post. However, I am going to make general comments on your style, tone, use of language and what appear to be your obsessions.

http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/25/repost-of-tamino-and-the-magic-flute/

“Re-post of “Tamino and the Magic Flute” : Tamino’s realclimate post re-states points that I’ve discussed at length in the past. Here is a re-posting of a 2008 post on Tamino that deals with most of the issues in his realclimate post…”

http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/25/the-team-defends-paleo-phrenology/

“The Team Defends Paleo-Phrenology : Hansen’s twin pit bulls, Tamino and Gavin, have launched into a spirited defence of Mannian paleo-phrenology at realclimate here, with a counter-discussion at Bishop Hill here…”

1. Stop living in the past, Steve

I am amazed that you are still dragging up data and making accusations about dirt from Scientific discussions that are over a decade old !

The Science has moved on from 1998, as has the Climate, and you are displaying all the intelligence of a stubborn person in insisting that your points about the first “Hockey Stick” paper should still be endlessly discussed.

Your points, if they have had any validity, have been taken up and discussed, and then adopted or dispensed with, as appropriate. The majority of your criticisms have been answered, repeatedly. There’s no need to go dragging it all up again like a long-solved domestic dispute.

Endlessly sourcing people back to a diagram from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) assessment report from 1990 and claiming that later reports are less accurate is like pointing people to Victorian diagrams of tropical plants and animals and saying that modern photographic imaging is less accurate.

There hasn’t been a “plot” to remove the “Medieval Warm Period” or the “Little Ice Age” – although Scientists now prefer the term “Medieval Climate Optimum” or “Medieval Climate Anomaly” to “Medieval Warm Period”.

2. Stop denigrating people who have good intentions and good training

Some of the language you use is what I would call “schoolmaster-ly” – what others could call patronising, hectoring, bullying or just plain rude.

It could be considered insulting that you keep berating experts in their fields of research because they don’t agree with your views on a very narrow selection of Science.

You appear to want to criticise the ethics and motivations of Climate Change Scientists, without any justification whatsoever. Some could call that slander, plain and simple. Personally, I would like to be more charitable than that, because somewhere in me I feel that you are doing what you do from the best possible intentions. But maybe not. Maybe your motivations are not as noble as you would like us to think.

3. What’s with the tree rings, Steve ?

Surely it’s about time you gave up your obsession with tree rings and statistical techniques ?

A reconstruction is a reconstruction. It can never be perfect, never 100% accurate.

The point of the temperature reconstructions of the last two thousand years (and beyond) is to establish that very recent Global Warming is anomalous, unprecedented.

And that is what has been demonstrated. Reliably :-

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/Mannetal08-PNAS-d/Mannetal08-Sep2-PNAS-2008-Mann-0805721105.pdf

Your real problem is probably with the idea that Climate Sensitivity is higher than claimed by Christopher Monckton.

Why don’t you admit that instead of obsessing about dendrochronology, statistical “fudges” and paleoclimatological theories ?

So far, you haven’t found any accepted way to counter the evidence that Global Warming in the very recent past is happening much faster than it should be from natural causes alone, given everything we now know about periods of Global Warming in the past (from studying proxy data for temperature). In addition, the global temperatures today are much higher than they have been in the last few thousand years.

Your position and the manner of your approach have been refuted and reproached many times. Why do persist in being such an unhappy grumbler ?

And why do you have to be so mean to Climate Change Scientists ? Why do you think you need to undermine their reputations with accusations about their professional conduct ? How many independent reviews and reports of academic professionalism do you want us to waste our time and resources with before you will grudgingly accept your accusations are unfounded ?

What about your own reputation ? Do you recognise that your recent involvement in Climategate has made many people conclude you are a meddling, malicious interferer ?

Even despite what some have termed your “bad behaviour”, you still might not be entirely wrong about Global Warming. There may be some good reason why Climate Sensitivity is not as high as the Scientific consensus calculates.

Now, if you were to be kind enough to go right away and produce a killer argument that doesn’t revolve around people getting worn out and fed up with answering your Freedom of Information requests, and being forced to defend their professional reputations from unwarranted attack, then people might start taking you seriously.

3 thoughts on “Note to Steve McIntyre”

  1. Gotta agree with MarkR on this one. I get the feeling Jo doesn’t even understand what McIntyre is involved in. It may be the difference between reading a political attack blog such as Romm’s versus Climate Audit. For people that do understand the statistical nature of the issues at hand it’s clear errors where made including in Tamino’s lame attacking on HSI. Attack McIntyre, attack Curry but when the subject is finally attacked Tamino and Gavin embarrass themselves.

  2. Jo – I work as a lobbyist for an environmental NGO on aviation issues, so a big thank you for taking the time to comment on the narcissistic wrong-headed meanderings of the climate change deniers.

    Provoking the petty and bonkers responses respectively above from the possibly joined-at-the-hip R Brothers is all part of it I suppose. Sigh. Perhaps their TVs are broken? Maybe the fridge was emptied of beer? Or perhaps the shooting range was closed?

    Thanks again

    Jeff Gazzard

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *