Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Auditing Climate Audit

Steve McIntyre is a former mining executive who has, over the past several years, taken up the role of prominent AGW denier and amateur scientist. His main claim to fame is that he, along with another amateur scientist, Ross MicKitrick, managed to discover some trivial methodological short-comings in Michael Mann's work on the "hockey stick graph" (minor, in that, once these short-comings were corrected, Mann's number crunching still produced nothing but hockey sticks).

One of Mr. McIntyre's projects is the Climate Audit blog, where he and other climate science deniers, some with rudimentary math skills, gather together and keep one anothers spirits up by engaging in pointless silliness like running around the country taking pictures of the weather stations. Think of Churchill's WWII aluminum appeals, which were essentially pointless but raised civilian morale. However, in this case, digital cameras are involved. And it is all in an attempt to prove (as far as I can gather from the website) that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by an international group of communist climatologists (or, as I like to call them, Commietologists).

So I was over at Climate Audit yesterday, reading one of Mr. McIntyre's open threads, and I came across the following comment by one Carl Smith:

For those interested in solar cycles material, I have written a post called “New Little Ice Age Instead of Global Warming?”http://landscheidt.auditblogs.com/archives/24

This examines Dr Landscheidt’s 2003 paper of the same name - here is the the abstract of the paper:


Abstract: Analysis of the sun’s varying activity in the last two millennia indicates that contrary to the IPCC’s speculation about man-made global warming as high as 5.8° C within the next hundred years, a long period of cool climate with its coldest phase around 2030 is to be expected. It is shown that minima in the 80 to 90-year Gleissberg cycle of solar activity, coinciding with periods of cool climate on Earth, are consistently linked to an 83-year cycle in the change of the rotary force driving the sun’s oscillatory motion about the centre of mass of the solar system. As the future course of this cycle and its amplitudes can be computed, it can be seen that the Gleissberg minimum around 2030 and another one around 2200 will be of the Maunder minimum type accompanied by severe cooling on Earth. This forecast should prove skillful as other long-range forecasts of climate phenomena, based on cycles in the sun’s orbital motion, have turned out correct as for instance the prediction of the last three El NiƱos years before the respective event.


As Steve M wishes to keep his blog focused mostly on his current areas of interest this is simply a shameless plug and any discussion of this material should be done over on my blog rather than here.

Curious, I did a quick wiki search for Theodore Landscheidt. As it turns out he, like Mr. McIntyre, was (for he died in 2004) an amateur climatologist and global warming skeptic. For his day job the man was a judge, and in addition to kibitzing in the climate science field as a kind of sun worshipper, the man practised...wait for it...astrology. Yes, Landscheidt told fortunes when he wasn't connecting the rising temperatures here on Earth to "solar cycles".

A good example of how all this "research" comes together can be found, for example, in "Sun-Earth-Man, A Mesh of Cosmic Oscillations", where he wrote:

The years that followed 1789, 1823, 1867, 1933, and 1968 were periods of radical change and revolution, a break-down of old structures and the emergence of new forms and ideas ... The next major instability event will start about 2002 and last till 2011.

This is an exceptionally long period. It is impossible to predict the details of its historic effects. But the basic quality of all boundary functions will be evident: the years past 2002 will prove to be another turning point, a period of instability, upheaval, agitation, and revolution, that ruins traditional structures, but favours the emergence of new patterns in society, economy, art, and science.

So I read this and I was shocked, shocked! And I left a brief comment on Climate Audit pointing out that Mr. Landscheidt's was an Astrologer. However, you can't see it in the comments section because Mr. McIntyre hit the delete button (although Mr. Smith's comment linking to material re. our German fortune teller is still there). Apparently, one is not allowed to utter the term "Astrologer" on Climate Audit, even when the purpose of one's utterance is to show that a fellow traveller in denial was, to put it another way, a "reader of the stars". In fact, I got alot of crap from some of McIntyre's other readers to the effect that, in pointing out how Solar Boy was some kind of "peerer into the Heart of the Cosmos", I was engaged in "name calling". So I left another brief comment:

It frankly astounds me that Mr. McIntyre would delete my post critizing the notion that a blog like this should be paying ANY kind of attention to a climate change “skeptic” who told fortunes in his spare time, but keep a link to a site propounding [Landscheidt's] theories. It seems to me that the onus is on Mr.McIntyre to keep his blog fruit-loop free, given its larger purpose.

I then left another comment noting that Mr. Smith's comment concerning Star Man's theories was still up and that this seemed unfair and, guess what? Another deletion, and more grief from Mr. McIntyre about how using the "A" word was forbidden on Climate Audit, although linking to sites concerning GW-denying wielders-of-Celestial-Wisdom was apparently OK.

So, let me just repeat myself, Mr. McIntyre: given that the End of Climate Audit site is to show that the vast majority of Climate Scientists are Socialists engaged in hoaxing All Of Mankind, do you not think it impacts your credibility when you are associated in this way with "research" of this caliber? I mean, I hear Kreskin accepts the IPCC consensus, but you don't see
this guy linking to his stuff.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with Mann's data manipulation. It doesn't matter what numbers you put into it, you get hockey sticks. Bean curd sales - hockey sticks. Russian tractor breakdown rates - hockey sticks. Toilet paper usage among left-handed homosexual chimpanzee trainers - hockey sticks.

But that just means Mann's work is really really really valid.

Anonymous said...

Let's put it this way. What have you done to ease GHG emissions? Sold the car? Downsized the house and super-insulated it? Got rid of that summer home at the lake? Got rid of those luxurious electricity-using entertainment devices?

No, didn't think you changed your lifestyle one little bit. You just want Alberta to somehow take the hit for you. They were getting too uppity anyway.

The US is doing better than Canada on emissions. The EU is also doing worse than the US on emissions, and yet they criticize them for not signing Kyoto. Put up or shut up. On second thought, just shut up.

Mike said...

Good catch BCL. Another indication that these slack-jawed idiots don't know science at all.

Made even more clear by irrelveant conspiracy theiorist anonymous commenters, who now seem to think this whole thing is a communist plot against...wait for it...Alberta. Never mind that according to the polls, the majority of Albertans want something doen...

Jesus time to up the meds.

JimBobby said...

"What have you done to ease GHG emissions? Sold the car? Downsized the house and super-insulated it? Got rid of that summer home at the lake? Got rid of those luxurious electricity-using entertainment devices?"

I ain't sure what BCL's done but I've done a few o' them things an' quite a few others.

I did get rid of my old Ford Econoline V8 and replaced it with... nothing. No car.

I did spend $1000's on a high efficiency gas furnace and better windows.

I did convert my single family home into a duplex.

I did get rid of my old CRT monitor and replaced it with an Energy Star flat panel.

I did replace every single lightbulb in my shack with CFB's.

I spent a lot of dough doin' them things. And more.

"Put up or shut up. On second thought, just shut up."

Yer open-mindedness has me in awe.

JB

EliRabett said...

I think you got Steve and Ross' professions backwards, not that it matters. However, Landscheidt is a sore point with a lot of denialists. Some were hot and heavy for him and there are long threads on sci.environment about his claims. Stoat was very good at demonstrating the graphic artistry in his work.

As to the thing about Mann's original algorithm yielding hockey stick shaped curves, first you have to feed it very weird random data, and then the depth of the minimum is more than an order of magnitude below that which is found with the actual proxy data, and the curve has no statistical significance with the random data, but is significant (in a statistical sense) with the real data (McIntyre made some math mistakes in his claim that it was not)

Finally BCL, blogwhoring among friend is expected.

JimBobby said...

Dang! I messed up that link. I shoulda sed -

And more.

caerbannog666 said...

Anonymous said,
That's the problem with Mann's data manipulation. It doesn't matter what numbers you put into it, you get hockey sticks. Bean curd sales - hockey sticks. Russian tractor breakdown rates - hockey sticks. Toilet paper usage among left-handed homosexual chimpanzee trainers - hockey sticks.


Hey anonymous,

Regarding those spurious "hockey-sticks"... how do the magnitudes of the singular values associated with the McIntyre's "hockey sticks" compare with the singular value magnitudes associated with Mann's "hockey-stick"?

You *do* know what a singular value is, don't you? Of course, you do. Otherwise, you would not have commented on Mann's work here.

Anonymous said...

Global Warming suckers.

Global Warming zealots.

Global Warming truthers.

Global Warming fundmental extremists.

Don't know science at all, eh, mike?

What are the three components of the scientific method? I'll tell you, as no one here will have the faintest clue.

Empiricism: using carefully obtained actual data. Fully reported, not selectively edited and doctored to fit what you want. And available to anyone who requests to see it once you have published the findings.

Rationalism: constructing an explanation that fits all data and is not falsified by any data.

Skepticism: continually attempting to corroborate or falsify the explanation. It is never "settled", only provisionally accepted as the best answer we have at the moment. Skepticism is a requirement of science, not an option.

You suckers seem to be missing on all three points.

What do you call somebody who knows nothing about science? A Global Warming supporter.

What do you call somebody who comes up with a scheme to take money out of your pocket to solve a phony problem? Trick question: global warming supporter, but I'd also accept Liberal.

Ti-Guy said...

Good catch, BCL. The delusionals are getting shriller by the minute.

Too bad they're not as amusing as this latest worshipper of the Unconquered Sun.

*snort*

Ti-Guy said...

You suckers seem to be missing on all three points.

Wrong. It's obvious we have skepticism in abundance. I guess you missed that particular empirical observation, eh? Since it's a pretty important one, you're discredited. You sound like an angry nutcase, anyway.

Buh bye.

Anonymous said...

The Vancouver Sun ran a huge weekend piece on "what the climate will be like in 2050"

Note the use of the word "will".

They concluded the Vancouver climate will be like that of current day Northern California.

Please, please let it be so.

Everyone, buy V8s, turn on all the lights, use all the gas powered tools and make it happen sooner.

What a great climate to live in .

Ti-Guy said...

And what will Northern California's climate be like? Sahara-like? I hope Vancouver and BC are making plans to protect the water the Neo-Saharans will come looking for.

Anonymous said...

"And I left a brief comment on Climate Audit pointing out Mr. Landscheidt's eccentricities"

No you did not.

You skipped the eccentricities part and went to the astrology
department.

bigcitylib said...

Anon 2:07;

That was his main eccentricity. Or did he have others?

Anonymous said...

Ever hear of a desalinization plant? Much easier to build a bunch of those for fresh water than wage a war. Nice that they're on the coast. Or they could move away from this neo-Sahara you expect to where there is water, like closer to the mountains. Warmer climate means warmer oceans and higher evaporation, which will all fall as rain on the way up the mountains.

Mike said...

Richard Evans, is that you?

Anonymous said...

@ bigcitylib

I have no idea (anti semite?)
but is it relevant?

BTW I found it strange that the post(s) was deleted.

Anonymous said...

So Honda is pulling the plug on their hybrid Accords, because of lousy sales. So how come all you greenie poseurs didn't pony up the cash and buy one? Or are you waiting for a socialist decree to either mandate or subsidize them?

Or is action not your 'thing'? As usual, do as you say, not as you do.

Now excuse me as I'm going to swap a 267 cid engine in place of the 350.

Anonymous said...

@bigcitylib

you posted:

"So I read this and I was shocked, shocked! And I left a brief comment on Climate Audit pointing out Mr. Landscheidt's eccentricities, in particular mentioning that the man was an Astrologer."

my point was you did NOT do what
you stated above (in your one sentence response).

JimBobby said...

"So Honda is pulling the plug on their hybrid Accords, because of lousy sales. So how come all you greenie poseurs didn't pony up the cash and buy one? Or are you waiting for a socialist decree to either mandate or subsidize them?"

And GM is pulling the plug on their Hummers, because of lousy sales. So how come all you anti-Earthers didn't pony up the cash and buy one?

Ti-Guy said...

Ever hear of a desalinization plant? Much easier to build a bunch of those for fresh water than wage a war. Nice that they're on the coast. Or they could move away from this neo-Sahara you expect to where there is water, like closer to the mountains. Warmer climate means warmer oceans and higher evaporation, which will all fall as rain on the way up the mountains.

Ah...another climate expert. Let me guess...your real vocation is playing Civilisation, right?

Ti-Guy said...

So Honda is pulling the plug on their hybrid Accords, because of lousy sales. So how come all you greenie poseurs didn't pony up the cash and buy one?

Is that how the free market works now?

I didn't buy one because I didn't need one. I walk, ride my bike, take public transport. The car I've had for last five years is holding up remarkably well as a result.

bigcitylib said...

Anon 2:59:

I have rewritten the offending line.

Hans Erren said...

Captain Renault (Casablanca): I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

Remember that Captain Renault was gambling himself?

Well everybody knew that Landscheidt was an astrologer, how else could he have proposed that the position of Jupiter influences Climate?
Mechanism: Jupiter > barycenter > solar activity > earth

I'm still expecting the Landscheidt Solar Minimum in 2030.

Carl Smith said...

For the record, this is the quote that Steve M deleted:

“Carl Smith

Your Landscheidt is a freaking astrologer. I bet Mann shakes in his boots when he hears that name.”

If you are going to dismiss someone's work because they are also practiced *gasp* astrology, I hope you realize they you are also trashing the reputations of many of the founding fathers of science, such as Nicolas Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, William Herschel, and many many more.

Every one of the names I just mentioned studied and/or practiced astrology for at least part of their lives, and in fact Johannes Kepler who first defined the planets orbits as elliptical and devised equations to calculate their position that are still used by astronomers today did so in order to be able to accurately cast horoscopes for his clients!

So I suppose you think scientists should ignore the scientific contributions of all these people because they practiced astrology?

bigcitylib said...

Carl,

These men practised astrology when it was unclear that astrology was a pseudo-science. Your boy does not have this excuse. Newton also wrote extensively on Alchemy but, again, at the time the distinction between that and chemistry was not clear.

(And Copernicus, incidentally, refused to do horoscopes, a point which some historians have made much of)

Carl Smith said...

Funny how you make historical exceptions. The fact that Dr Landscheidt was an astrologer has no bearing whatsoever on whether his scientific work was valid or not.

I notice you have not taken up my offer of a thread on my blog for your critique of the science in any of Dr Landscheidt's solar and climate papers.

It is easy to troll around the internet taking cheap potshots at other peoples work based on your own prejudices, but it requires a genuine effort to contribute something worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you totalitarian pricks go do whatever the hell you want to 'save the environment', and we'll do our thing. Why do you stinkin' do-gooders always feel you have to force everybody to do what YOU think is the right thing to do? Why is shoving YOUR agenda - your unproven, improbable, socialist money sucking scheme - down OUR throats acceptable in a free society? Canadians love freedom, and you 'activists' are demanding forced compliance to what YOU perceive as a problem. Do you see the gun owners DEMAND that everybody MUST own a gun? Do you see Christian fundamentalists DEMAND that everyone convert? Do you see Conservatives DEMAND that everyone else become Conservatives? No, it's only you left-wing activist dickheads who've found yet another cause du jour which needs immediate attention or we'll all die.

Well, you and Suzuki DON'T speak for me, so piss off and stop trying to force people to do things against their will.

Keith H said...

To bigcitylib:
You accuse Steve McIntyre of being an AGW denier (and later a GW denier). I am unable find anything to support that claim. Can you please point me to your reference? The criticism of the Mann et al Hockey Stick doesn’t constitute an opinion on global warming.
The Hockey Team did issue a corrigendum, though they do not admit it on their site. If I, as a structural engineer, were to make an error of the magnitude of the Hockey Team and try to pretend nothing was wrong, I would lose my license. But for some reason climate scientists are given great leeway and allowed to accuse others of impeding them.

Michael Smith said...

Regarding Mann's "hockey stick", I've never heard a justification for the practice of splicing actual temperature measurements onto a string of temperature proxies, which are only approximations of temperatures.

If the proxies are indeed reliable estimates of temperatures, why not just continue the graph with the proxies? Why switch from one to the other?

I've since learned why that was not done. It's because the proxy data does not shoot up dramatically the way the actual temperatures do -- in fact, the proxy data goes into decline at the time the temperatures start up.

They call this the "divergence problem" -- and the IPCC breezily dismisses it on the grounds that "this divergence we assume to be due to anthropogenic forcing" !!

Translation: the recent results cast doubt on the very validity of the proxies as past temperature indications -- but rather than reexamine the proxies, we'll just blame that on man as well.

This sort of incident illustrates precisely why the global warming advocates are anxious to declare the debate closed.

bigcitylib said...

Michael Smith,

The IPCC was summarizing The Science on the divergence issue, which leans somewhat towards an anthropogenic cause. There is no question, from independent lines of research, that the areas effected by the divergence problem have warmed considerably over the past several decades, so the problem cannot be because the tree rings are signalling a cooling trend.

(Love your show on the Cooking Channel, by the way)

Anonymous said...

"trivial methodological shortcomings"

I have never seen 'bullshit' spelled with so many extra letters!

Anonymous said...

Hey BigCityLib, I have one question for you. If, as you say, the CA crowd have only "rudimentary" math skills, then what is your own skill level? What sorts of topics are you most interested in - linear algebra, numerical modelling, boundary value problems - what turns you on in the realm of math? Tell us, the unwashed, about your own math perspective and critique the math being discussed over at CA. Looking forward to it.

Ramses II said...

Wow, I'll give you credit BCL you let people clear their blow holes. I mostly agree with anonymous but he does get a little feisty. Kudos on your civil replies.

I wasn't witness to your deletion at CA, but I occasionally post on CA and have never known Steve M. to be trigger happy. From my experience you have to stray pretty far into obnoxious or irrelevant territory for him to clip you. And he’ll usually give you plenty of warning and the reason you are about to get pruned.

Also I teach math and physics at a big ten affiliated university and I can say that from my perspective most of the regulars on CA are quite proficient in their math skills and abilities, although I must admit that statistical analysis is hardly my strong suit.

Anonymous said...

although I must admit that statistical analysis is hardly my strong suit.

That just about says it all.

Anonymous said...

Hold on a second here BCL ...

Let's see ... Dr Theodor Landscheidt defines a very defensible and proven astrophysics theory based in the rotational forces of the solar system. He uses these torques to predict total solar output (not just intensity), and its effects on climate, and has been shown to be correct in his predictions ...

Not based on a crystalball and astrology, but on a systems model that even you could use.

Your defense is ..... "He's an Astrologer"??? ... just because he dables in Astrology ... weeeeelllll ... the guy doesn't have a lick of sense and nothing he says can be taken seriously??

Give me a break!

That's as bad as someone comming on here and dismissing any point of view you have, regardless of its validity ..... just because .....

Your a Liberal.

On second thought ... given the line of reasoning you've demonstrated,which parallels the line of reasoning I encounter with other liberals ... maybe there is some truth to the postulation that anything you say is just misinformed B.S. .. because you are a liberal.

Maurizio Morabito said...

Has anybody else noticed that the IPCC has dropped the hockey stick, of late?

That graph resembles no Hockey Stick anybody will ever want to play with. Looks more like a wide-bodied, irregular golf club…

Anonymous said...

Maybe the comment was delete so as not to embarrass you - how hard is it to check on Google Scholar http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=s&hl=en&q=Landscheidt&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=ws? Or did you just go by what was on wiki?
You seem just the typical - what matches what I believe has needs no scrutiny and what I disagree with can be refuted on the whatever I can find to debunk it.
"rudimentary" math skills? What level of math did you complete? Also, McIntyre is an economist - most of what they do is number-crunching so unlike you, he's hardly an amateur on the subject.