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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Currygate: Judith Curry proved some time ago she has no analytical abilities


Comment #435 by Judith Curry

I finally understand what is going wrong in this exchange, illuminated by SOD’s queries at climateaudit. To those of you who haven’t read Montford’s book, it is a history of science tome. It starts out with the rollout of the TAR report and how McIntyre got interested in the problem. It ends with a hastily added chapter on climategate, which broke just as the book was going to press. Its sort of who said/did what when, which is well documented, explanations of some of the technical details, along with a narrative that reflects on these events. The who said what when is accurate as far as i can tell, as well as explanation of the scientific details. The narrative is of course open to some spin.

Tamino reviewed the book like it was a review of hockey stick science and another salvo in the RC vs CA war. This isn’t what the book is about, which is why i gave Tamino the C- grade for his review. So given what the book is about, it is not to hard to imagine what i meant when i said Tamino’s review was inaccurate: it simply did not portray what Montford said nor did it catch what the book was all about. I was not in any way attempting to counter Tamino’s “review of the science”. Like i’ve said 10 times before, this topic is not my expertise, it is an immature field with many uncertainties, so I am not motivated to dig into any scientific nuances here and debate them publicly in a forum like RC that has a great deal of hostility on this topic owing to pent up frustration, battle scars, whatever.

The point of this history of science is to understand how this happened and why. In reading this, i saw many points where i said “if only something slightly different had happened, this would never have occurred.” This conflict is fundamentally different from a merchants of doubt conflict. Surely we all want to avoid such conflagrations in the future. So the issue that montford raises, and that i have raised in my posts, are general issues, about the integrity of science, how to avoid conflicts, how to deal with mistakes, how science should be conducted when there are alot uncertainties and the field is immature, when the situation is politicized, etc.

So I have no intention of debating any aspects of the science on this topic. In spite of the fact that most people on this thread thought the point of all this should be defending Mann’s science (and Amman, etc) and identifying scientific “truth” in all this. This is highly uncertain science in a young field. So get over it, we aren’t going to get “truth” on this anytime soon. The challenge is to avoid these crazy conflicts and move paleo reconstructions forward

[Response: Easy. Stop encouraging people who think that all climate science is corrupt and who refuse to make any constructive efforts to improve things. - gavin]

Comment by Judith Curry — 28 July 2010 @ 3:43 PM

Comment #457 by ccpo:

The point of this history of science is to understand how this happened and why. In reading this, i saw many points where i said “if only something slightly different had happened, this would never have occurred.” This conflict is fundamentally different from a merchants of doubt conflict.

I’ll likely regret this, but… what we know to be true is that McIntyre is well associated with what I am very comfortable calling the denialist machine. He takes pains to pick at what he cannot fail to know is irrelevant in the larger context. He associates with people who insult climate scientists and the body of work itself on a daily basis. You are known by the company you keep. And he refuses to, or is unable to, publish. Lastly, his work is virtually always shown to be in error and/or, as previously stated, irrelevant.

Secondly, as others have pointed out, the title of a book means something. The title is pejorative. Period. This is not something you can debate, nor will I do so with you. If you believe that book to be a reasonable exploration of a few little conflicts, you are either beyond your expiration date or being pulled over to the dark side. Your original comments here were pejorative, as well. Tamino and Gavin would be well within their rights to ask your superiors to have a quiet word with you. Or a very public one, all the better.

Your insinuation that the conflict lies anywhere but where it does, at the feet of the various denialist lackeys, think tanks and bloggers, is insulting to everyone making an effort to deal with this crisis, but mostly to the scientists doing the work.

Essentially, what I see here is the latest stage in denialist evolution. We had the, “It’s all a hoax!” type. That was followed by the, “It’s not much, and it ain’t us!” type. Then came the, “It’s not enough to worry about, and if it is, we can’t afford to do anything (and it is only a little likely it’s us)” type. Next came the, “It’s nasty, but it’s natural. One world Government led by Fat Al Gore!” type. Now there’s the, “We can only drill our way out! We need money, and lots of it, and energy and lots of it, to mitigate (although most places will be quite nice to live in. Think I’ll buy property in Canada)” type.

Now there’s Judith with the, “The Auditors will save us! They’ll stop all that… um… not really dishonesty, but, well, lying without REALLY being lying, ’cause I would never say you lied, tho you did… but *I* didn’t say that, that’s what the book said. And the book is right, though I don’t support the book on the details, just on this hyster…er historical look at all the wackiness that’s been caused by all this conflict because you guys lie… er… made some pretty big (yeah, right!) mistakes, so people had to check your work. And they’ve been ever so lovely in doing so!”

Please, Judith. The folks you are supporting have no intention of finding the truth. They are looking for blood, and blood only, so as to fit their agenda. Sometimes I think McIntyre must believe his own press, but he couldn’t possibly be that deluded, could he? To attack and insult for years and years and claim he’s just correcting a few mistakes? I suppose stranger things have happened. But that gets annulled immediately because he allows many others to attack in his name and with his blessing while taking no pains to hold them in check or correct *their* factual errors.

For whatever reason, you are feeling some satisfaction in poking your fellow scientists with sticks. It can’t be for good reasons, despite your twisted rationales.

I strongly suspect you represent the latest incarnation of denialist. Even if you don’t, personally, you have likely created the mold.


Comment by ccpo — 29 July 2010 @ 12:33 AM

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