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Discussion > It was 20 years ago today ....

It won't be long now before we'll be able to say it was 20 years ago today that Michael Mann sued Stein et al and still the case hasn't come to trial...

Any news on that? Thought not.

Oct 3, 2018 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark Hodgson, Mann is trying for an Unprecedented record in proving his earnings and reputation have been diminished.

His earnings should be simple to establish. It seems even Climate Scientists have given up defending his reputation, for fear of damaging their own future earnings.

Oct 3, 2018 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Not so much.

Oct 3, 2018 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil Clarke, you mean this advocacy group, that does not seem to understand the concept of evidence?

"Advocacy for Evidence
AAAS provides opportunities for scientists and engineers to engage with decision-makers and inform policy decisions on local, state, and national levels. AAAS educates scientists about the role of science in policymaking and empowers them with ways to become a voice for science and engineering throughout their careers. The tools and resources AAAS provide help science advocates effectively communicate within their communities and with key decision-makers."

AAAS Public Engagement with Science Award Recipients
2018 Award Recipient: Michael E. Mann
"Michael E. Mann is honored for the breadth and depth of his tireless and effective efforts to communicate the science of climate change to the media, public, and policymakers."

Meanwhile, for bogus predictions, and stupid scare stories by Climate Scientists

Oct 3, 2018 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Cross-post from the Trump thread by GC


● ex post screening based on recent proxy trends necessarily biases the resulting data towards a Hockey Stick shape – a criticism made over and over here and at other “ske;ptic” blogs, but not understood by Michael (“I am not a statistician”) Mann and the IPCC paleoclimate “community”;

● the PAGES 2017 North American tree ring network has been severely screened ex post from a much larger candidate population: over the years, approximately 983 different North American tree ring chronologies have been used in MBH98, Mann et al 2008, PAGES 2013 or PAGES 2017. I.e. only ~15% of the underlying population was selected ex post – a procedure which, even with random data, would impart Hockey Stick-ness to any resulting composite
despite this severe ex post screening (in both PAGES 2013 and PAGES 2017), the composite of all data other than stripbark bristlecones had no noticeable Hockey Stick-ness and does not resemble a temperature proxy.

● PAGES 2013 and PAGES 2017 perpetuate the use of Graybill stripbark chronologies – despite the recommendation of the 2006 NAS Panel that these problematic series be “avoided” in future reconstructions. PAGES 2013 (like Mann et al 2008) used all 20(!) stripbark chronologies, the effect of which had been analysed in Mann’s CENSORED directory. PAGES 2017 continued the use of the most HS stripbark chronologies (Sheep Mt etc) both in the original Graybill version and in a more recent composite (Salzer et al 2014), while adding two stripbark chronologies used in Esper et al 2002 and other IPCC multiproxy studies.

●In the past, I charged Mannian paleoclimatologists as being addicted to Graybill stripbark bristlecone chronologies – which I labeled as “heroin for paleoclimatologists” (also describing Briffa’s former Yamal chronology as “cocaine for paleoclimatologists”. Unfortunately, rather than confronting their addiction, Gavin Schmidt and others responded with haughty pearl-clutching indignation, while, behind the scenes, the PAGES consortium doubled down by perpetuating use of these problematic proxies into PAGES 2013 and PAGES 2017

Oct 26, 2018 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

And you believe McIntyre's claims because? I am not seeing much new here, just some whining about new tree rings and the same long-discredited claims about bristlecones. (The word appears no fewer than 27 times). For example:-

In our 2005 articles, Ross and I pointed out that the Mann’s hockey stick is merely an alter ego for Graybill’s stripbark bristlecone chronologies and that the contribution from all other proxies was nothing more than whitish noise,

This is nonsense and he knows it. Wahl and Amman (2007) repeated the hockey stick study with and without the 'controversial' strip bark samples and found excluding them made no significant difference, and that excluding the data reduced the validation skill of the reconstruction, implying that it contained valid climatological information.

Results for the exclusion of the bristlecone/foxtail pine series developed according to scenario 3 are shown by the green curve in Figure 2. The exclusion of these proxy records generally results in slightly higher reconstructed temperatures than those derived from inclusion of all the proxy data series, with the greatest differences (averaging ∼ + 0.10◦) over the period 1425–1510. The highest values before the 20th century in this scenario occur in the early 15th century, peaking at 0.17◦ in relation to the 1902–1980 mean, which are nevertheless far below the +0.40–0.80◦ values reported for scenario 1. The verification RE scores for this scenario (Table 2) are only slightly above the zero value that indicates the threshold of skill in the independent verification period, and the verification mean reconstructions are correspondingly poor. The poorer performance of Scenario 3 in relation to Scenario 2, which cannot be attributed to calibration overfitting because the number of proxy regressors is reduced rather than augmented, suggests that bristlecone/foxtail pine records do possess meaningful climate information at the level of the dominant eigenvector patterns of the global instrumental surface temperature grid. This phenomenon is an interesting result in itself, which is not fully addressed by examination of the local/regional relationship between the proxy ring widths and surface temperatures (noted in Section 1.1) and which suggests that the “all proxy” scenarios reported in Figure 2 yield a more meaningful comparison to the original MBH results than when the bristlecone/foxtail pine records are excluded. Even in the absence of this argument, the scenario 3 reconstructions in the 15th century do not exhibit large enough excursions in the positive direction (in relation to the 20th century instrumental record) to yield a double-bladed hockey stick result that diminishes the uniqueness of the late 20th century departure from long-term trends.

Fig 2 is here, the green line is the reconstruction without the allegedly problematic strip bark samples.

It is the case that the 2006 NAS panel recommended that strip bark samples not be included in temperature reconstructions, however in 2009, Salzer et al revisited the site of the Bristlecones and published these conclusions:-

At 3 sites in western North America close to the upper-elevation limit of tree growth, Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) showed radial growth in the second half of the 20th century that was greater than any time in the last 3,700 years. We have shown several new lines of evidence that suggest that at the upper forest border bristlecone pine ring widths have responded to temperature in the past and continue to do so. (i) The unique 20th-century increase in ring width is specific to the upper forest border and is not associated with a particular elevation. The link to upper treeline rather than to a specific elevation is not consistent with the WUE hypothesis of indirect fertilization by CO2 or fertilization by nitrogen deposition. (ii) The strong modern trend in growth observed at the upper forest border is not the product of any preprocessing or standardization of the data—there was none. (iii) The modern trend is not related to the difference between strip-bark and whole-bark growth forms.

Recent unprecedented tree-ring growth in bristlecone pine at the highest elevations and possible causes.
Matthew W. Salzer, Malcolm K. Hughes, Andrew G. Bunn, and Kurt F. Kipfmueller

You might expect someone discussing the issue to at least mention these studies before repeating spurious claims. Hey ho. Given he gets his central point massively wrong, I am disinclined to give any credence or spend any time checking his other claims; -he's been debunked too many times.

Oct 26, 2018 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"he's been debunked too many times.
Oct 26, 2018 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

lol. Debunked by whom? The Strip Barking Crew?
Certainly not by you. Otherwise you would go over to Climate Audit and make your arguments directly to Steve McIntyre.

From one of the two new posts at Climate Audit.

Eighteen of the 23 series in the 2013 network were rejected in 2017; only five were retained. Of these five, one series (Quelccaya d18O) was used in the opposite orientation to the 2013 network. Needless to say, the PAGES2K 2017 authors did not disclose that they reversed the orientation of the series from the earlier study. This was the second PAGES2K 2013 series where the authors recognized that their original use was upside down: I had also criticized their upside-down use of the Hvitarvatn, Iceland series, which they grudgingly corrected in a later publication and even more grudgingly (after some sneering on my part) and much later issued a corrigendum.

The ability of the Strip BarKing Crew to actually get things completely and shamelessly upside down really does make you think they couldn't tell their arse from their elbow, never mind be entitled to call themselves scientists.

Oct 26, 2018 at 2:35 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Debunked by the evidence! McIntyre's central claim, that the hockey stick, whether PAGES 2K or MBH99/98, disappears without the Strip bark series (c20 proxies) is pure bunkum, as has been demonstrated, not least by the papers I just cited.


For more, just Google 'McIntyre False Claim',

Oct 26, 2018 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Umm... you think typing a Google request leads you to a correct argument or answer? Jeez, they must have improved their AI algorithms exponentially in the last 24 hours.

A reasonable person might begin to wonder why you don't actually go over to Climate Audit as I suggested and put your arguments to Steve McIntyre. He is extremely tolerant of technical comment. I'm sure it's not because you are a coward or just full of it, citing references you claim disprove his arguments without actually going into the details. The best place for the details really is over there. The subjects of his criticism have been treated respectfully there, and he has also deleted comments by me that were considered unhelpful or off-topic.
As the philosopher Jagger nearly sang, "It's just a click away. Just a click away..."

Oct 26, 2018 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

If I see you doing it there, I'll congratulate you for making you arguments clear.

Oct 26, 2018 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

The subjects of his criticism have been treated respectfully there

You have got to be kidding me! In this very post he implies dishonesty and likens them to cokeheads and junkies! Really not interested in engaging with anyone so snarky.

I am always amused when self-described 'sceptics' post up a cut and paste slab of Climate Audit assertions and think they've proven anything.

Steve, I’m horrified by your slipshod work. You did not define what you compare, what dataset used in each case, how data were processed, and what was the reason for that, what limitation there are, what kind of additional information you need to know. Why didn’t you ask me for all the details? You even aren’t ashamed of using information from stolen letters.
Do carelessness, grubbiness, dishonourableness are the necessary concomitants of your job?
With disrespect…

Comment by Rashit Herimentov at Climate Audit. Rashit is a distinguished field dendrochronolgist. An actual scientist in other words. It was Herimentov who sent McIntyre the Yamal data that he denied having, preferring his usual claim of 'stonewalling'.

McIntyre has written about both the papers I cited, to the satisfaction no doubt of himself and his readers. While scathing on his blog, no comments were submitted to the actual journals, naturally. I'll take his arguments seriously when he submits them to the scrutiny of peer review and publication, where they would, I suggest, be exposed as incomplete and partisan. Until then, well he just runs a blog.

Oct 26, 2018 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil. Interesting that McIntyre allowed Rashit Herimentov's post to remain despite its hostility. I wonder just how long some of the blogs you support would have allowed something similar, but attacking a McIntyre critic, to stay.

Oct 26, 2018 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Oct 26, 2018 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil, any news on Mann's Court case yet?

Oct 26, 2018 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Don't know - don't really care. It's a libel case, irrelevant to the science.

Oct 26, 2018 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Oct 26, 2018 at 7:21 PM | Phil Clarke

Mann and his Hockey Stick won't stand up in Court.

Oct 26, 2018 at 11:06 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Don't know - don't really care. It's a libel case, irrelevant to the science.

Oct 26, 2018 at 7:21 PM | Phil Clarke

Who cares about Climate Science? It is failed politics, so Trump is cutting funding.

Oct 26, 2018 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie
Oct 26, 2018 at 6:36 PM | Phil Clarke

If Gavin Schmidt had any basis for his snark/comments, why is Mann not prepared to go to Court? Is this the basis for the "Climate Science has moved on" response, which seems like an admission that Climate Science does not dare to stand up in Court, and rely on Mann and his Hockey Stick that Schmidt has built his career on?

Relying on other members of the Hockey Team, such as Schmidt, Connolley, et al, is not going to work, unless they are prepared to stand up in Court. Mandy Rice-Davies had a simple response for such a strategy.

Climate Science seems to have "moved on" from the Hockey Team, and rewriting "evidence" in Wikipedia.

Oct 27, 2018 at 4:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil, you might not know and you might not care, but do you not wonder why Mann is not pushing on and claiming his wonderful prize of massive damages? After all, he must be SO confident of winning, what's the point in not getting the case to trial as quickly as possible?

Oct 27, 2018 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Real Climate posted this to welcome Gergis 2012 into the Legend of the Phantom Hockey Stick. The paper did not survive independent review, even though it passed Climate Science's best efforts at Peer Review.

Four years later, Gergis did it again, with Climate Science affording triumphal reviews, including this:

"Latest Hockey Stick Here

Actually, it is the Gergis Australia study, Joelle and her team have corrected the various issue and resubmitted the study and it has been reviewed and accepted, in the face of the usual denier unpleasantness.

Conclusion:"Overall, we are confident that observed temperatures in Australasia have been warmer in the past 30 years than every other 30-year period over the entire millennium (90% confidence based on 12,000 reconstructions, developed using four independent statistical methods and three different data subsets). Importantly, the climate modelling component of our study also shows that only human-caused greenhouse emissions can explain the recent warming recorded in our region."

Add it to the list.

Jul 11, 2016 at 10:46 PM | Phil Clarke"

It was added to the list of SPECTACULAR FAILS by Peer Reviewed Climate Science. If 97% of Climate Scientists depend on lies, what other options are available to Trump, than cut Climate Science funding by 97%?

Real Climate and the Hockey Team can't be trusted by Politicians

Oct 27, 2018 at 9:46 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

You're right, I don't care much, it's a libel case and as I understand American Law, Steyn may win if he can show that he genuinely believed fraud occurred, even if there is no evidence to that effect.

So, pretty irrelevant.

Mann's hockey stick studies have already stood trial in the only court that matters, the scientific community and literature, and despite being the first of their kind, have stood that test of time for 20 years now.

Oct 27, 2018 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"Mann's hockey stick studies have already stood trial in the only court that matters, the scientific community and literature, and despite being the first of their kind, have stood that test of time for 20 years now.
Oct 27, 2018 at 10:40 AM | Phil Clarke"

I am sure 100% of Climate Scientists that depend financially on Peer Review by 97% of Climate Scientists, support you, because Cook and Lewandowsky said so. Unfortunately, it is not "Science" as it has failed to self correct over the last 20 years, as Peer Review by Climate Scientists keeps proving. This has stood the test of time.

Oct 27, 2018 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil, FWIW I don't think you understand American law correctly at all!

The case is by no means irrelevant. Assuming the case is handled properly, the issues should be properly examined for the first time, which IMO is not the case with pal review to date.

And you still haven't explained why Mann isn't pressing on to trial. As a lawyer, whenever I had a strong case, I always pressed on to trial as quickly as possible (and if I didn't have a strong case I always advised against litigating at all). Why wouldn't I and my client want to achieve a positive result sooner rather than later? Normal people don't issue Court proceedings without wanting to force an early settlement or failing that to achieve an early trial. Unless, as Steyn asserts, the litigation process is part of the punishment for daring to criticise.

Oct 27, 2018 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Oct 27, 2018 at 7:31 PM | Mark Hodgson

I think the Hockey Team understand US Law quite well. They were reliably informed that Trump would not be elected President, couldn't last a year as President, and would never have support of SCOTUS.

Oct 27, 2018 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Phil, FWIW I don't think you understand American law correctly at all!

Am I wrong in stating that Steyn has a defence if he can show that he genuinely believed that the Hockey Stick was fraudulent? And therefore it is more an investigation into Steyn's perception than any real issues with the study? I note that Mann's severest critic, Steve McIntyre, has never alleged fraud and removes any comments from Climate Audit that do so.

The case is by no means irrelevant. Assuming the case is handled properly, the issues should be properly examined for the first time, which IMO is not the case with pal review to date.

You have got to be kidding me. This is arguably the most-scrutinised climate paper ever.

We had:-

Reconstructing Past Climate from Noisy Data

Von Storch and Zorita et al Science 2004


McIntyre and McKitrick Energy and Environment 2003

Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance

McIntyre and McKitrick GRL 2005

Comment on "Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance" by S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick

Wahl and Ammann Climatic Change 2005

Comment on “Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance” by S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick

Von Storch and Zorita. GRL 2005

Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures: Examination of criticisms based on the nature and processing of proxy climate evidence

Wahl and Ammann Climatic Change 2007

(I am sure there are more I've forgotten)

There was the Wegman Report

And a special report from the US National Academy of Sciences


(Extract:- "The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence ")

Then there was a special hearing in Congress


The transcript runs to 125,000 words. Perhaps you believe that a Congressional hearing is a usual response to a scientific paper?

Not to mention what must by now be millions of words on the internet (Did you know that Steve McIntyre used to post under the false name 'Nigel Persaud' on Usenet, promoting his own work and denigrating Dr Mann?)

You're entitled to your opinion, of course, however in my opinion the idea that the issues have not been exhaustively examined is hard to sustain. It is my opinion that the hockey stick studies were imperfect, however the criticisms that have merit have negligible impact and the criticisms that might have impact have no merit. I really cannot see the opinion of a single judge changing much at all.

Oct 27, 2018 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke