Kim OHara wrote:chownah wrote:Thanks for posting this. After reading it I went out and found his blog and read some of it so that I could reduce my own assumption coefficient. Now I am mostly in agreement with your assessment that he is skilled in statistical analysis.....or at least he is skillful in picking apart statistical analyses. I don't have the time or interest to develop a full understanding of all that he has blogged but it seems clear that he has taken on the task of pointing out inadequacies in the existing body of data and the current state of the analysis of climatological data and is doing so with thoroughness and vigor rarely found anywhere........it is rare to find someone with what seems to be such a focused passion for statistical analysis. Having sampled his blog entries I think that he is doing science a service by blogging. He is holding some feet to the fire so of course there is some squeeling..........but for those who are not aware of how science works, it is usual for serious scientists to solicit contrary opinions and most would be glad to have his input. I am sure that there are many climatologists who are glad for his input but since the ranks of climatology is filled with mere humans it is inevitable that some will whine a bit.
Also, very importantly, I do get the impression that he is NOvT politicaly motivated like many people mentioned in this thread......or if he is so motivated at least he is sticking with rational criticism.....it is hard to know just exactly what motivates a person.
What you say is fair enough as far as it goes but I think we can go a little bit further into his motivation.
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_McIntyre#The_Hockey_stick_controversy says:In 2002, McIntyre became interested in climate science after a leaflet from the Canadian government warning of the dangers of global warming was delivered to his residence. McIntyre states that he noticed discrepancies in climate science papers that reminded him of the false prospectus that had duped investors involved in the Bre-X gold mining scandal.
The Canadian government pamphlets were based on the IPCC Third Assessment Report section which prominently displayed the hockey stick graph based on the 1999 reconstruction by Mann, Bradley and Hughes (MBH99). McIntyre began studying Mann's research which had produced the graph, and met Ross McKitrick. They co-authored two papers disputing the data and methodology set out in the Mann, Bradley and Hughes 1998 journal article (MBH98).
There's more there, if you want to look, but the heart of it is that he was first motivated by his (uninformed, gut-level) opposition to mainstream climate science. And that's where he has been coming from ever since. (He may not have had any choice, actually, since any amateur who announces his existence by jumping up and down shrieking that the experts are wrong, and is himself proved wrong, is hardly likely to be welcomed by those experts if he has a change of heart.)
In any event, no change of heart has ever been visible: he has kept on, as you say, "pointing out inadequacies in the existing body of data and the current state of the analysis of climatological data and is doing so with thoroughness and vigor rarely found anywhere."
If all he's looking for is dirt, he'll never find gold - let alone bring it back and share it.
[edited for clarity]
I'll take your last comment and respond to it first because I think it is the most important issue in our exchange. In the world of ethical science a scientist wants other scientist to point out errors. An ethical scientist will openly point out weak places in their research so that others will help in finding and correcting problems. An ethical scientist welcomes criticism if it is directed toward improving research. Most people are not aware of this.....probably because a lot of scientists have egos which get in the way of their manifestation of ethics and scientific ethics is not spoken of much.
Finding errors in the data and it's analysis IS finding gold. In ethical science the truth IS gold even if it is an inconvenient truth (if I may borrow the phrase).
I think that perhaps you have misunderstood his initial reaction to the IPCC phamplet. Seems to me that he was reacting to a graph which was perported to depict an analysis of a body of data......that graph being of a shape so extreme for a statistical analysis that it piqued his interest to see if it was possible that the shape was correct. I could very well be wrong on this but I have looked around a very little bit more and have not found anything pointing to some emotional reaction to mainstream climate science other than that it seems to be underpinned in at least some places by weak data analysis (my estimation of his opinion) and inadequate or faulty data(again my estimation of his opinion). If I am reading him accurately then I do not fault him for what he is doing as to me it seems he is benefitting the search for better science. But if you can show me a link to some evidence that he has a political ax to grind then please do let me know. Has he been active in disputing data in other politically charged areas of science?
Is "jumping up and down shrieking" in your mind or did it really happen?
Also, did you say he has been proven to be wrong? If so can you show me a link that points to that? Did he admit to being wrong?