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« Rapley at the Cabot | Main | OMG »
Sunday
Mar172013

Rose in the Mail

David Rose, writing in the Mail on Sunday, has penned a long feature on the temperature slowdown and what this implies about UK energy policy. I don't know about you, but the Mail on Sunday's willingness to publish science-heavy articles of this kind really should be celebrated.

There are plenty of scientific big-hitters in there too: the article features quotes by Judy Curry, Myles Allen, James Annan and Piers Forster, so one would think that it would be hard for anyone to dispute that Rose is presenting a legitimate view of the science. However, the reaction from sci-blogger (and occasional Guardian writer) Martin Robbins seems to suggest not:

Wow - the Mail on Sunday have gone into full on bat-shit-crazy conspiracy theory mode…

Whoever David Rose is, his interpretation of that graph is illiterate. Either it's a deliberate lie, or he's barely capable of functioning.

I've asked Robbins to expand on why he thinks the interpretation is illiterate and what conspiracy theory Rose is putting forward.

No reply as yet. Hmm.

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Reader Comments (70)

It's always better to refute a discussion point early with bluster than have to back up your position with facts later on:)

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterMichael

You wont get an explanation because as we know...climate scientists dont have to explain anything. How else can you "explain" their, ahem, lack of science in their science?

Regards

Mailman

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Standard Climate Jihadi response - Ad Hominem. Ignore the science and call your opponent a crazy.

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM | Registered Commenterjeremyp99

Strange the top three best rated comments are pro warmist, knowing the usual skeptical mindset of Mail readers on that subject, I find that odd.
I smell a rat.

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterc777

But that graph seems to show temperatures with no upward trend to ~1984, then a rise to 1998, and then no upward trend since then.

Am I illiterate?

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

It appears there's some sort of organised rating war in the comments section for the article (C777). So I, for one, have down-rated the three top-most greeny posts.

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Shouldn't that read:
"Whoever Martin Robbins is, his interpretation of David Rose's article is illiterate. Either he's a deliberate liar, or he's barely capable of functioning."
But who the hell is Martin Robbins, that's what I want to know? Is he jealous of David Rose's status?
Why are we promoting a complete non-entity from the Guardian's twitter feed?

Mar 17, 2013 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustin Ert

Justin Ert

It's whack-a-mole. If you don't call them on this kind of thing, it will spread to people like Monbiot.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I am with c777 - I cannot believe that the top comment is now nudging 5000 "recommended". The fact that it is a warmist comment is highly dubious.

I would suggest an investigation is required.

And well done to the Daily Mail for (at last) putting forward evidence that has been out there for ages but ignored by the MSM.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

This comment-rigging alone is worth the DM investigating - would be interesting to learn why one boiler plate diatribe has excited 50x the attention of the others. Do 5000 use(ful/less) idiots even READ the DM?

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

The 5000 positive likes for a 'green positive' comment in the space of a few hours on the article will probably become a major story in their own right.

Very wired that they are even bothering to do this.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterIbbo

I see Martin Robbins is using the Mannian tactics of wind, bluster and insult to obscure things.

He describes himself "as a Berkshire-based researcher and science writer". I just wonder what real qualifications he has.

There was another Martin Robbins a US country singer, although dead now we might get more sense asking for his comment!

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

Morning All,
I had prepared this for the Green Week Debate last week but the “slowdown” in large scale temperatures did not come up in the conversation. I think many people on both sides of the issue are not seeing the complexity of the problem and want to see what they want to see.

Embedded within the longer term trends from the LIA there is considerable decadal variability which varies over time, space and season. Much of this decadal variability (excluding volcanic forced cooling) is likely internally driven and is difficult to model and is not fully understood.

Last year, I wrote a short BH post on large scale temperature trends. The figures from that can be seen here:
http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~rjsw/ftp/figures.pdf

As an addition to last year’s post, from these data, I calculated the temperature trend/decade for each of the series for three periods: 1900-1940, 1970-2010 and 1990-2010.

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~rjsw/ftp/trends.pdf

The rate of trend changes considerably with season, latitudinal band and between land and sea temperatures.

I have highlighted the periods which show greatest change. Predominantly all in the last 20 years, but there are notable exceptions. See southern hemisphere SSTs for example.

The challenge for the climate dynamicists and modellers is to try and understand the forcing of this variability. Looking at a single global temperature series is really not very helpful for anything.

Rob

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Wilson

"I've asked Robbins to expand on why he thinks the interpretation is illiterate and what conspiracy theory Rose is putting forward."

I admire your courage and tenacity, Bishop.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

The value of the article is to compare actuals with predicitions. It says nothing about the future other than that all the model predicitions have been, well, have erred on the side of warming. Rob, it is not we the sceptics who do not accept uncertainty. Much of our effort has been to decry the certainty of others or at least the danger of accepting certainty of this nature when forming policy. Our policy on climate has bet all on the certainty of warming. If that is not so certain, we need a policy reaction to that. And we need to stop listening to advocates who bring their own data and conclusions.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

When one gets to work, sits down at their computer to publish the Mail and discovers how really hard to type with the parka, coat, sweater, vest, thermal underclothing, gloves and mittens ti will tend to focus even the most ardent journalist.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

The value of the article is to compare actuals with predicitions. It says nothing about the future other than that all the model predicitions have been, well, have erred on the side of warming. Rob, it is not we the sceptics who do not accept uncertainty. Much of our effort has been to decry the certainty of others or at least the danger of accepting certainty of this nature when forming policy. Our policy on climate has bet all on the certainty of warming. If that is not so certain, we need a policy reaction to that. And we need to stop listening to advocates who bring their own data and conclusions.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM | rhoda

Absolutely Spot On!

Well said!

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

The 'best rated' comment (4000+) seems to have gone!

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Flindt

Judging by the article's heading, it's the first of a series.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Page

Being a regular reader of this type of article in the Mail, in the past, ALL the favoured comments have been against the AGW myth, almost without exception. Today, the opposite appears to be true, with thousands of green "approvals" for comments, whcih ordinarily, would be laughed out of court. There's definitely a stitch-up of some decription in operation. How misleading - is it the Mail itself which is responsible, or has someoen found a way to fiddle the figures?

The whole comment system in this article is so OBVIOUSLY adjusted, I'm surprised they still have the nerve to continue to allow commnets at all, until this abouse has been investigated and stopped.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Goat

Excellent article. Only trouble is, it’s in the Mail, and the Guardian-reading media people, academics and other think tank fauna who decide government policy are convinced that everything in the Mail is a lie.
I wonder if it’s something to do with the stuff in the right-hand column on the Mail’s website? - “bootylicious Christine shares risquè shots of her superfit body”, and so on. Politically correct Guardian readers don’t look at things like that in case it makes them go blind. (Their fashion page once ran a feature on the latest bikinis with no photos).
Guardian readers will take one look at all those bumps curves and wiggles on that IPCC chart and turn away in disgust.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:57 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

The Guardian has a hard on of hate over the far more widely selling Mail , so Robbins reaction is hardly a surprise especially given that anything but total and blind support for 'the cause ' will by some be jumped on has 'conspiracy'

Bishop Hill
'it will spread to people like Monbiot.' now there is train that long ago left the station , indeed so long along it already spreads out from Monbiot.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

But who the hell is Martin Robbins, that's what I want to know? Is he jealous of David Rose's status?

He is another one of these scientism hero nerds who want to think they are great original thinkers, but really only ever follow the required conventional path with the aim of climbing the ladder of science luvviedom.

I think his entry in the The 100 Worst people on twitter. captures the hubris nicely. :)

Now, any right-thinking person will rightly note that geeks are like professional footballers, comedians, and porn stars - useful and necessary at what they do, but embarrassingly out of their depth in any other walk of life. That’s not to say they’re terrible people, it’s just that in order to excel at their chosen careers, you need to be the sort of person who shouldn’t really be considered to have any authority on, say, Literally Anything Else. Robbins’ argument to the contrary is, in essence, “Scientists are good at science and I like them so maybe we should let them run the country, yeah?”

The Bish is right, you need to call people like this out, and see their justifications, because otherwise they'll just end up basking in their lazy kneejerk Mail bashing unctuous glow. ;)

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

The more I look at that article, the more I'm convinced that there IS some sort of conspiracy to divert the public disbelief in AGW - the comment section of this article is clear evidenceof this - I hope someone is taking a screen-dump or two, just in case. There have NEVER been that many recommends for comments such as those displayed in this aricle, for similar articles.

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Goat

'Looking at a single global temperature series is really not very helpful for anything.' (Rob Wilson, 10:25AM)

I think I appreciate the points you are making from your viewpoint as an insider immersed in the complexities of your subject.

But think of it from the perspective of those of us on the outside who have been on the receiving end of Schneiderian Scenarios (‘scary’, ‘simplified’, ‘dramatic’).

Some of us find that ‘looking at a single global temperature series’ is very helpful for making sense of the remarkable impact of such as the hockey-stick plot in the hands of the IPCC designers of press conferences and summary reports, and of what may well be the most-widely held mental-image of CAGW that has been promoted by various people claiming to be severely alarmed by it.

Al Gore for example, whose key work 'An Inconvenient Truth' was distributed to schools by the previous government of the UK, and which included that gentleman climbing a step-ladder to show where our ‘global temperature series’ was surely heading. That the series has been a bit on the flat side in recent decades certainly makes it ‘not very helpful’ for such as him. But it does help the rest of us in helping form our view as to the credibility of his key message.

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Rob Wilson

"The rate of trend changes considerably with season, latitudinal band and between land and sea temperatures."

Don't know about "with season, latitudinal band" but with land and sea temperatures, they sure seem to have something in common. They all undergo the same change in direction at very similar times. Whose tune are they dancing to?

HadCRUT4

http://i48.tinypic.com/b6rr15.png

CRUTEM4- North and South Hemispheres:-

http://i47.tinypic.com/29xhk05.png

HadSST3 - North and South Hemispheres:-

http://i48.tinypic.com/9jkosl.png

AMO?

http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/SixtyYearCycle_files/image005.jpg

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:18 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

'Looking at a single global temperature series is really not very helpful for anything.' (Rob Wilson, 10:25AM)

I'm pretty sure David chose that temp series because it comes from the Met Office. Had he chosen others series he'd have had to explain to his readers who GISS is, or University of Alabama Huntsville, which to a Mail reader would not be automatically an authority on which UK policy should be based. BUT, any series would have made the point if subbed into that graph.

I had the pleasure of meeting David Rose at the Oxford Union thing. He knows his stuff, he is not some dilettante journo churning out re-phrased press releases. Probably hasn't even got a scruffy trenchcoat. But what he HAS got is an editor who is willing to print his articles. In the most important paper in the UK.

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

The troll ofTruro is notably missing from the comments as are Nigel from,Newport,and George of Durham

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan

The Bish is right to call Martin Robbins on these disgraceful, yet brainless comments. And Old Goat is right to say that there is 'some sort of conspiracy' in the climate area. I don't think we will achieve what we need to if we always shy away from that reality, just because someone will call us nutters. They will anyway. Our host himself named one careful study 'Conspiracy in Green'. Quite so.

Thus three days ago I called one part of the climate crowd that pushed Marcott et al into existence bungling conspirators. But I didn't say who exactly they are, because I don't know that. I was expressing the common belief in these parts that the timing of this new, fatuously bad hockey stick paper was not an accident. And if it wasn't an accident, with something this erroneous, without the source code, with all the alarmist media outlets Stateside (and some that should know better) jumping on it immediately as final proof of catastrophe, all just before the deadline for AR5 ... some kind of planning went into all this. But I still like the adjective I attached. The kind of conspiracy I love best.

As for David Rose and David Bellamy in the Mail on Sunday, bravo. What a great way to go, after the devastating graphic - quoting all the warmists themselves, then Judy, then David Whitehouse:

‘This changes everything. It means we have much longer to work things out. Global warming should no longer be the main determinant of anyone’s economic or energy policy.’

It should be the final nail in the coffin but it won't be. And that's because of the C-stuff already mentioned. And the D-stuff of course - the widespread delusion. But that is dying away fast, thanks to men like Andrew Montford, David Rose and the editors of the finest Sunday paper in the land. (And who cares what the Guardianistas think of that? They need to read and learn. Humbling innit.)

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:35 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

2 million readers. And it's certainly stirred up a response, as well as strange going on's in the comment section, with tick up scores never before seen, and all in a short time. Presumably from the many Sunday Mail readers that are alarmed about rising CO2 levels.

Interesting times

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterfenbeagle

Rhoda

...what he HAS got is an editor who is willing to print his articles. In the most important paper in the UK.
You’re right of course. But most of my right-on lefty colleagues would rather die than admit it. What happens to a country where the entire governing class refuses to admit it’s wrong (about Europe, as well as climate change)?

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:44 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

This is called 'confirmation bias unrealized'. It results in an intensification of illusions. Hence, 'bat-shit crazy'.

Mar 17, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:22 AM | ConfusedPhoton

Marty Robbins. A great writer of cowboy songs. The best, truth be known - tho' Me & My Uncle, by John Phillips is the greatest cowboy song of all time. IMHO

Big Iron - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PQZPTmS-ZY

Me & My Uncle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUd5-7tTW4w

This was a Public Service announcement

Mar 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Part 2 is here

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2294602/The-Great-Green-Con-2-How-councils-duped-bad-science-hire-eco-snoopers--slash-OAPs-benefits.html

Mar 17, 2013 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

If the "likes" by Enviro-Fascists were graphed, it would look like......

A Hockey Stick!

Mar 17, 2013 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuck L

The number of people Skepticalscience has to smear is increasing, unless they've already pre-smeared. No such problem for Deltoid.

Mar 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM | Registered Commentershub

There can be little doubt that the "climate communicators" have been mobilised to the Mail comments.

As for the absence of the usual suspects, I am sure they are there under several different names, sockpuppeting away like crazy. These comment sections should make IP address and user agent of contributors visible, and block proxies.

Mar 17, 2013 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Top rating post now only 1,700+ what happened to the 5,000+ one?
I smell several (green) rats!

Mar 17, 2013 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

David Rose also has a very favourabe review of "The Age Of Global Warming" by Rupert Darwall in the Mail's Review section.

Mar 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave ward

At last someone from the MSM to join Christopher Booker. Well done David Rose and the editor of the Mail on Sunday.
Now expose Yeo, Gummer etc. and all those who disseminate disinformation about windmills, solar panels and biomass.

Mar 17, 2013 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

I smell a rat.
Mar 17, 2013 at 9:39 AM c777

I smell Climate Reality Droppings.

Mar 17, 2013 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I never take any notice of comment ratings. They are not robust proxies.

Mar 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Would a graph of the controversial comment ratings possibly look like hockey stick?

Mar 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Great Green Con 2 makes some attempt at exposing the politicians, but no mention of Bryony 'Brownout' Worthington.

Mar 17, 2013 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

Peter Foster also has a favorable review of "The Age of Global Warming".

http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/03/13/peter-foster-deranged-science-peverse-policy/

Mar 17, 2013 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterGary Mount

The Metro also regularly has good science articles in its centre pages.I would like to reccomend it as a decent newspaper honestly doing what it does well. I would also reccomend it as an example of a newspaper business model which is clearly working despite it being free, and thus a counter argument to all those papers who claim theu are being killed by us bloggers. They are being killed by being liars who treat their customers with contempt.

For example, Ben Goldacre in the Guardian is, depending on the subject, credible but what other "reporting", "science" or otherwise in it shows any respect for science.

Mar 17, 2013 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Craig

I think many people on both sides of the issue are not seeing the complexity of the problem and want to see what they want to see.
...
The challenge for the climate dynamicists and modellers is to try and understand the forcing of this variability. Looking at a single global temperature series is really not very helpful for anything.

Mar 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM Rob Wilson

Thank you for commenting.

Wasn’t the sceptic argument always that it’s too complicated to make snap judgements? Personally I’d be very happy if climate scientists asked for breathing space to sort it out. Unfortunately models and the global temperature graphs have been used as the clarion call for instant and ill judged action. You can’t complain now the audience has begun to cry ‘oh no it’s NOT!”

I’ve no idea what the state of the science is. The public image is dominated by a small group of mouthy individuals who are now beyond the pale. Every time I hear a new story I have to ask ‘is this something they’ve measured or is it just a guess?’ If you want to make a difference to the public perception of AGW get round to having those debates we apparently all missed.

Mar 17, 2013 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Re the DM comment ratings.
They work on nett rankings, for example, a comment with 5000 approvals when hit with a disapproval will reduce the count to 4999.
The top-rated posts are still heavily alarmist but there's more of them now!
A clear case of vote switching by the Swarmists methinks.

Mar 17, 2013 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

I smell Climate Reality Droppings.
Mar 17, 2013 at 2:05 PM TinyCO2

Spot on Tiny!

David Rose's article is on their front page:-

https://realitydrop.org/

So those 5000 recommends were just mindless excretions from Big Al's legions of little "climate patrolmen".

Prolific, tiny, content free but fairly harmless - like rat droppings.

Mar 17, 2013 at 3:20 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

"Looking at a single global temperature series is really not very helpful for anything."

Oh.

Mar 17, 2013 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

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