Friday, August 17, 2007

Who The Heck Is Steve McIntyre? Portait of The Denier As A Young Man

Most people know Steve McIntyre as the driving force behind Climate Audit, as a man who has acquired a level of semi-fame by pointing out some rather trivial issues with Mann's methodology and GISSTEMP U.S. temperature readings. However, he clearly had a life before CA; in fact his wiki entry suggests he was once "an officer or director of several small public mineral exploration companies."

Prompted by some sleuthing by Steve Bloom, here is what I have managed to discover about Mr. Mcintyre's life in his pre-Denialist days.

Sometime prior to 1998, Steve was an employee for Noranda, a mining company which, at its peak, had offices in 18 countries. However, by 1988 he had left the company, for in that year he helped found Timmins Nickel, a company in which he still holds the position of President (see here, though to view the full story you must be a Northern Miner subscriber). By the early 1990s, Timmins Nickel had developed two mines and employed 120 people, and you can find the occasional brief news story on them in places like American metal market. In 1991, Timmins Nickel acquired a stake in a project run by Dumont Nickel, a company for which McIntyre also served as President.

However, in 2002 Mr. Mcintyre was given the old heave-ho at Dumont:

Mr.Steve Mcintyre, who has been President and a director of the Company since 1991, has resigned from those positions to pursue other business interests.

Now, "resigned...to pursue other business interests" is often Corpspeak for "fuck off and die", and while it would perhaps be inaccurate (and maybe libelous) to characterize McIntyre's years with the company as a legacy of failure, it is clear from these two documents that the company had struck dust at a number of holes early in the new millennium.

As I say, you still get hits from 2007 for Steve and "Timmins Nickel" in the Northern Miner, so when he claims to still have some personal business holdings, this is probably what he is referring to.

In addition to all this, and as noted in his wiki Bio, Steve until recently served as a "Strategic Adviser" to CGX Energy Inc. and the Northwest Exploration company, two companies engaged in oil and gas exploration.

McIntyre's wiki Bio also claims that he served as "policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and of Canada." While I have been unable to locate any documents confirming this, there is a record on the Ontario Government website of Steve's 1991 testimony to a legislative committee re. Bill C 70, "An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act to provide for an Employee Wage Protection Program". In his presentation, Steve complains about liabilities for mine directors, bitches about civil service wages, trash talks unions a bit, and whines about environmental regulations.

So, while none of this information is earth-shattering, it does help slot Mr. McIntyre rather neatly on the ideological spectrum as a small business Conservative with interests in the petroleum industry.

25 comments:

ad hominem said...

if ya can't compete on facts, attack the person.

So WARMonger of you.

So Faith Based Science of you.

So pathetic, cheap and trivial.

Just 'cause you bought into a bogus theory a few years ago because it was spun out with some great PR, use your own common sense now to figure out AGW is politics, not science.

Anonymous said...

NASA Flacks for Global Warming and Skirts Scientific Ethics
By James Lewis
As pointed out in these pages, NASA has yet to own up fully to its historic error in misinterpreting US surface temperatures to conform to the Global Warming hypothesis, as discovered by Stephen McIntyre at ClimateAudit.org. This is not the first major error discovered by McIntyre and his coworker, Canadian economist Ross McKintrick, who previously uncovered the fatally flawed "hockey stick" climate curve, used to justify Global Warming alarmism by the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Here is the official ethics statement on scientific errors and the need for public correction from the American Physical Society, the national society of research physics:

"It should be recognized that honest error is an integral part of the scientific enterprise. It is not unethical to be wrong, provided that errors are promptly acknowledged and corrected when they are detected." [emphasis added]

(Ethics & Values - 02.2 APS GUIDELINES FOR PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT)

The more time that is allowed to pass before NASA makes a formal acknowledgement of error commensurate with the attention focused on the original announcement, the more it will be vulnerable to genuine charges of purposeful misconduct, as opposed to inadvertent error.

Michael Fumento pointed out that NASA has issued no less than five separate PR releases on the Global Warming hypothesis just this year, "each one alarming." But the major correction to internationally-broadcast claims about Global Warming have not received even a NASA press release, much less an official correction in a peer-reviewed journal like Science magazine. This is unacceptable. As Fumento wrote:

In pooh-poohing the revision, the GISS ignores the tremendous emotional impact it's had in practically claiming each year is hotter than the one before.

Honest scientists don't dismiss the significance of data errors; PR hacks do such things.

James Hansen of NASA is minimizing the importance of the changes by claiming that since the US is only a small potion of the total world, the overall global figures have not changed much. However, the US surface temperature record is considered to be the most complete, and longest, over the largest surface area, and also the most technically responsible available record. (It's very easy to screw up a temperature record, especially in many different locations, due to local heat and cooling sources.) It is not inferential (like ice cores), and it does not come from a scientifically backward country. No other continent-wide temperature surface record comes up to that standard, over such a long period of time.

So even though the US only covers 2 percent of earth surface, it's a crucial 2 percent in terms of the quality of the record.

In addition, raw data errors are very serious matters, even if there are excuses. In fact, the idea that NASA indulges in excuses is itself inculpatory. Good scientists just don't screw around with that. They just get out the correction, pronto, in a peer-reviewed, prominent journal, as soon as possible. That is because their entire reputation is at stake. There are numerous examples of scientists blowing their reputations if they were believed to have falsified their data. See the David Baltimore case.

It is not even for the original erroneous author to decide on the significance of the error. That is up to the scientific community.

If NASA, a US government agency, will not own up fully to its own errors (which have now been corrected, quietly, on its GISS website), the American Physical Society must institute its own ethics inquiry to correct the record. The credibility of NASA and the entire scientific community are at stake.

If you want to see how common the practice of publishing errata and retractions is, take a look at PubMed (the National Library of Medicine public database of millions of biomedical abstracts). Just type "errata" in, and you get more than 1,000 titles with the word "errata". The word "erratum" brings up another 3,000. The word "retraction" brings up almost 11,000 more.

A good model appears below. It just appeared in Science about an 8,200 year old low temperature event, which turns out to be possibly due to a technical artifact. Notice that the retraction was triggered by the fact that a re-analysis showed the original claim to be "uncertain". Since the burden of proof is on the scientist who published the finding, s/he must also publish the retraction.

Retraction of Baldini et al., Science 296 (5576) 2203-2206.
Science 10 August 2007:
Vol. 317. no. 5839, p. 748
DOI: 10.1126/science.317.5839.748b

LETTERS
Retraction of an Interpretation
In the Report "Structure of the 8200-year cold event revealed by a speleothem trace element record" (1), we presented a 7762-?m-long ion probe trace element traverse chosen to include the 8200-year event as detected in a previously published laser ablation oxygen isotope study from the same stalagmite (2). The oxygen isotope anomaly was distinct and dropped 8‰ below baseline values to a low value for the entire Holocene of -12‰ and was reproducible on a reverse track. However, recent reanalysis of the calcite believed to contain the oxygen isotope anomaly suggests that the anomaly was probably an analytical artifact possibly caused by laser ablation-induced fracturing during the original analysis (3). Consequently, without the original 18O "marker," the precise location in the stalagmite of calcite deposited during the 8200-year event is uncertain.
The trace element data in this Report, previously believed to correspond precisely with the entire 8200-year event, are now believed to represent the hydrological and bioproductivity response in western Ireland to a cold/dry event of uncertain provenance and intensity. The U-Th-derived dates of the event correspond approximately with the 8200-year event in Greenland ice cores, but without the additional guidance of the 18O anomaly, the precise timing in relation to the 8200-year event is now somewhat ambiguous. Unfortunately, it is now unlikely that the approximately 114-year duration ion probe track coincides with the entire 8200-year event (if at all); thus, the ~37-year estimate derived for its duration is probably no longer accurate. However, the trace element data remain robust and are interpreted as reflecting colder and drier conditions in western Ireland, followed by the return to more maritime conditions at the end of the first-order trace element anomaly. Additionally, the novel application of annual trace element cycles to build a high-resolution chronology and reconstruct paleoseasonality remains unchanged.
James U. L. Baldini
Department of Earth Sciences
Durham University
South Road
Durham DH1 3LE, UK
Frank McDermott
Department of Geology
University College Dublin
Dublin 4, Ireland
Ian J. Fairchild
School of Geography
Earth and Environmental Science
University of Birmingham
Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
References
1. J. U. L. Baldini, F. McDermott, I. J. Fairchild, Science 296, 2203 (2002).
2. F. McDermott, D. P. Mattey, C. Hawkesworth, Science 294, 1328 (2001).
3. I. J. Fairchild et al., Earth Sci. Rev. 75, 105 (2006).

Anonymous said...

Why Would Anyone NASA's Trust Climate Data Now?
By Marc Sheppard
Last week's disclosure of a critical temperature data revision by NASA climate experts under cover-of-darkness poses as many questions as it answers. With worried alarmists scurrying to either dismiss the restatement's relevance or ignore it altogether, and NASA itself descending to CYOA tactics, the paramount issue remains that of credibility - both the agency's and the big green scare machine's.

Hastily responding to the media-subdued mini-furor his amendment sparked, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) chief James Hansen reflexively complained that "deniers" were "making a mountain of a molehill" about the "insignificant" revision. The overruled head eco-doomer mulishly denied that the data update had any impact upon "the overall trend." Ironically, while he's undoubtedly wrong, he also happens to be quite right.

After all, only his fellow doomsayers ever actually found any trend or anthropogenic evidence in the old numbers to begin with. And while the revisions are, indeed, significant, any enviro-plugged short-term "trend" they mitigate remains resoundingly otherwise.

In fact, Hansen's smoke-and-mirrors are instantly defogged by basic analysis of the so-called "trend" he continues to find even in the reworked numbers.

The Data Interpretations are Hyped

If you'll pardon the expression -- it doesn't take a rocket scientist to recognize that after a significant (and enigmatic) ascent in 1998, annual averages tended to drop off before an increase in 2005 and a spike the following year. Available 5 year means (5YM) over 10 years tended to climb to an apex in 2000, and then drop off until 2004.

Can this possibly represent a harbinger of boundless warming, as preached before and still by the minister of the eco-apocalypse?

Hardly.

Take a look at the revised 1930 through 1950 data, and you'll find not only 4 of the 10 hottest years since 1880 occurring in the 1930s, but a 5YM "trend" similar to that building today to boot. You'll also notice a 2nd zenith is reached in 1940, followed by a gradual drop to below 1930 levels by 1950.

So any alarmist argument that we've been getting consistently hotter over the past decade would not only ring disingenuous, it would be of no empirical value whatsoever. And that's exactly why the subterfuge potential of the hottest ever years clocking in during that time is so essential to their misbegotten crusade.

Now consider that atmospheric CO2 reportedly rose from 284 ppm in pre-industrial 1832 to only 300 ppm by 1911; then remained below 320 ppm until rising precipitously from 1960 to today's level of over 380 ppm. And yet -- there is nothing even remotely analogous in the temperature figures for those same periods. To the contrary, 60% of post-industrial CO2 ascension has taken place since 1960 - that's 20 years after the last decade with warming patterns similar to the present one. Furthermore, notice that over half of the 15 hottest years took place before 1960 and those 15 are actually spread out over not one but rather seven decades. That's some trend, my friend.

So then, even if NASA's figures were rock-solid, they simply don't advance AGW arguments any more than they do those for, say, cycles of the sun. We are, after all, in the midst of a period of elevated solar activity scientists refer to as the "modern maximum."

And yet, we're to accept that hyped projections fueled by deliberate misinterpretation of data are not threatened when such data lose a good portion of their "hottest years ever" propaganda value?

In the words of Reid A. Bryson, the father of modern scientific climatology, what "a bunch of hooey."

And the Misinterpreted Data are Tainted

But there's a deeper problem at play here. Frankly, until GISS comes clean, who's buying any of their numbers anyway?

Truth be told -- even prior to Steve McIntyre's correction of Hansen's algorithms last week, the data from USHCN weather stations had been suspect. Both faulty collection methods (e.g. environmental issues of absurdly located sensors) and the proprietary nature of the software which purportedly "fixed" these environmental irregularities had been openly challenged.

These "fudge factors," which remain unpublished, required McIntyre's reverse-engineering in order to surface their faults. As the scientist blogger wrote in a must-read article at ace weather-station sleuth Anthony Watts' site (climateaudit was still recovering from what were likely eco-maniac DDOS attacks) on Saturday,

"... the adjustment methods are not techniques that can be looked up in statistical literature, where their properties and biases might be discerned. They are rather ad hoc and local techniques that may or may not be equal to the task of ‘fixing' the bad data."

But it was not only the disproved "adjustments" to corrupt input data, but also the shady manner by which GISS revised that information which warrant our concern. Realizing how the error reported by McIntyre impacted upon individual weather stations, they stealthily updated not only the local station data, but also the oft-cited US Temperature Data, particularly post-1999. With virtually no fanfare, estimates for 2000 through 2005 were lowered by about 0.15 deg C, and 2006 by 0.10 deg C - measures McIntyre suggests still fall short.

So what we have is a "scientific" data-base compiled and maintained by an institute conducted by a true AGW ideologue that uses undisclosed and flawed algorithms to offset admittedly spurious input data. That same organization failed to alert data-base clients (or anyone else to my knowledge) that significant modifications were made to theory and policy-critical data

Consequently, until such time that a satisfactory non-disclosure explanation is proffered and problem station data are resolved entirely at their source or, at the very least - interpretive source-code is published, how can GISS station data and their fruits be regarded as anything but suspect -- if not outright poisoned?

Put it together and what have you got?

Every soldier in this vital information war knows it's difficult enough to do daily battle against dramatically over-hyped propaganda with any optimism of triumph. Enemy warriors wield swords forged from hyped projections, shocking news, cataclysmic films and disinforming TV programs. Ours brave the battlefield armed only with a firm grasp of the facts and the wherewithal to draw cogent conclusions from them.

Now it appears our adversaries may have successfully infiltrated what are imperatively neutral data-bases, attempting to render our only weapons useless.

If the science were truly settled, then why would they so fear a fair fight?

900 ft Jesus said...

BCL, thanks for this and the research. It's up to your regular readers, but I think we should all make a post and set a link to this one of yours. This guy McIntyre seemed to be on a mission, and his background explains a lot. I'm not saying his findings aren't correct, or that NASA wasn't wrong, but far, far too much emphasis is placed on expected flaws as compared to the overwhelming evidence supporting valid climate change theory. We can expect many more of these desperate attempts by assoicates of oil, energy, mining groups in their efforts to distract from taking action re: climate change for as long as possible to suck up every possible dollar before they are forced to change.

When media drops "so called" from a term, it is acknowledging the term as fact. Climate change, without the qualifier, is very common and articles tend less and less to justify inserting that term. There is concensus, solid science, and no real debate. We still have self-serving companies trying to make it look like the debate is still on-going.

When deniers have to resort to silly labels (warmmmonger - not warmonger as ad hominem calls it - further proof that these are just really dumb attempts to ridicule when the word is so trivial its proponents can't even get it right), they have no argument. A few more empty words: Gorebal warming, Globull warming, Faith Based Science (note the capitals, as though to convince people it is a valid term, here).

TCO said...

Pretty thin gruel.

DavidA said...

I love how that "he works for big oil!" line never gets tired.

Here's something for you to think about:

"The dirty little secret is that environmental organizations and global warming pessimists receive far more money from Big Oil than do global warming optimists such as myself. While professional environmental lobbyists are totally dependent upon environmental crises for their continued existence, atmospheric researchers and meteorologists have day jobs which are not."

http://www.weatherquestions.com/Roy-Spencer-on-global-warming.htm

There is no consensus, fanatics.

DavidA said...

My bad! h/t ThePolitic

900 ft Jesus said...

davida"s link is Roy Spencer bias

Here is Roy Spencer:

from http://www.desmogblog.com/node/1397

Spencer and the "Interfaith Stewardship Alliance"
Spencer is listed as a "scientific advisor" for an organization called the "Interfaith Stewardship Alliance" (ISA). According to their website, the ISA is "a coalition of religious leaders, clergy, theologians, scientists, academics, and other policy experts committed to bringing a proper and balanced Biblical view of stewardship to the critical issues of environment and development."

In July 2006, Spencer co-authored an ISA report refuting the work of another religous organization called the Evangelical Climate Initiative. The ISA report was titled A Call to Truth, Prudence and Protection of the Poor: an Evangelical Response to Global Warming (pdf). Along with the report was a letter of endorsement signed by numerous representatives of various organizations, including 6 that have recieved a total of $2.32 million in donations from ExxonMobil over the last three years.

Note - "Evangelical" response, ExxonMobil, "Interfaith Stewardship Alliance" - biblical stewardship view.) Now that is the real faith-based science, which isn't science at all.

Anonymous said...

hey 900 ft . . . have you repaired the giant rip in your asshole from last weeks mega blog booboo ??

Musta hurt like hell, being caught out for the anyone in the world to see how stupid you are.

Holly Stick said...

Actually, anon, it was the stupidity of the visiting comments that is now preserved on the tubez for all to see. 900 foot... retains her towering status.

Dave said...

Actually, McIntyre is a fairly accomplished mathematician and statistician. He has actually, despite some biases, demonstrated an acute ability find errors in unrefined data. I give him full marks for that.

What he isn't is a scientist. If he took his efforts and combined them with the efforts of others he would find a completely different overall result than that which he produces.

By keeping his focus narrow and ignoring other science, it makes his accuracy in that small area look like the entire picture has changed - and it hasn't.

Will J. Richardson said...

Dear Bigcitylib,

I have not found your expose on the RealClimate website being funded and hosted by Environmental Media Services, a subsidiary of the environmental lobbying and public relations firm Fenton Communications located in Washington, D.C.

Because of their connections to environmental advocacy groups I guess we should ignore RealClimate as well.

Ti-Guy said...

Great post, BCL. Timmins Nickel, eh? Well, well, well...

Notice how screechy the deniers get as soon as you bring up fact. God, I can smell the desperation right through my monitor...and from your trolls, it's very much like Cruex and smegma...*puke*

Oldschool said...

Just a thought . . . wasn't it Hansen who told us that it would be 4 or 5 degrees warmer by now . . . like today???
I guess the billions the US and other govts have invested in the "Prove GW Groups" doesn't count. I hear the US govt alone has spent over 5 BILLION . . . . don't know of any oil company that has spent even 5 million.
Of course weather has always been changing . . . so not too concerned . . . I remember reading that a few thousand years ago there was a mile of ice on Winnipeg, and then in the 9th century the Vikings lived in Greenland . . . we are no where near either senario today . . . so whats all the fuss.
Guess I'll just have to consult my computer to see what thoughts I will think tomorrow . . . lol!!!

Anonymous said...

McIntyre and his tiny band of vituperative cranks are traveling on fumes again, just as he was when he presumed to take on Mann & Co and wound up dismissed as trivial by scientific authorities in many places. He has found a variation in the splicing of a couple of series that makes a difference of 1 thousand of one degree in global values. Rapidly receding, he seems to me just a crank. I think it was a mistake for any scientist to thank him for beavering away till he found some variation, he should be ignored.

David Duff said...

I think you forgot to ask whether or not he had stopped beating his wife!

As for the rest of it, well, I had already gathered most of it from reading the man's blog. So what new - or news?

Anonymous said...

McIntyre was an adviser to several companies in the oil and gas industry?

My goodness! That is shocking! Is that legal?

Having discovered a significant error is the US temperature data, this heretic, this denier, must be silenced.

Keep up the good work BCL. Your feeble attempt at character assassination is helping sour the general public on the whole cause of AGW.

I now expect Mini Me, oops, I mean ti-guy to now show up shortly with one of his lame posts.

Ti-Guy said...

Suck my weeny, anony-tard. You obviously don't understand conflict of interest, self-interest and what silencing really means.

That's why you 'tardlies are not helping your cause...You're all kind of dumb. My advice would be to shut up and let the egghead deniers talk; if they appreciate all the noise you guys bring to the discussion, then they really are ethically-challenged.

Anonymous said...

You are right on cue Mini-Me.

900 ft Jesus said...

BCL, the title of this post - it just hit me. I love it! I'm a big Joyce fan.

Anonymous said...

OH MY SECULAR PC-APPROVED DEITY!

OIL AND GAS, OH MY!

How come everybody smells 'scam' except liberals and socialists? Because they're gullible enough to believe that their own political ideology is valid, they'll believe anything?

Steve Bloom said...

BCL, how about seeing if DeSmogBlog might be willing to post on this and perhaps dredge up some more details? They seem to have a suitably large network of informants.

TCO said...

I think the oil and gas thing has already been adressed and the companies like CGX were doing hard rock when Steve worked with them and moved to oil and gas afterwards. It's been gone over before.

John Mashey said...

Useful info, thanks , BigCityLib

1) Canada is slightly larger than the US, so it is slightly *more* important in calculating global temperature changes than the USA, and it has a lot of *seriously* rural stations.

2) It would seem that any Canadian interested in getting good climate numbers and improving science would focus on Canada, not on the USA, especially the lower-48.

3) Of course, Canada-as-a-whole appears to be warming faster than the US. oops! bad idea to look *there*.

Anonymous said...

Deniers will be the butt of jokes in history books.