Climategate 3.0: Practicing what I preach
March 18, 2013 3 Comments
In my previous post, I had written:
To my mind the password protected files [included in CG2] were more akin to an archive of documents written in an obscure language that required “translation”.
And there was only one person on the planet who could provide the “translation” so that the material in the archive would be comprehensible to all who might read it: The Saint.
So maybe what we should be doing – instead of expending hours complaining (and/or trying to guess The Saint’s identity) and arguing while the “translated” documents are being compiled into a useful database – is taking the time to revisit the material we already have at our virtual fingertips to see what we might have missed. [emphasis now added -hro]
Yesterday, I had also made a comment to this effect in the (now very long) comment thread at WUWT.
So I was delighted to see a reply from Duke C. in which he had written:
Hilary, I converted Buffy Minton’s spreadsheet to an html index with a link in the subject line that opens the selected email in your web browser window, all offline. 35 Meg zip file here:
Next step is to imbed a more comprehensive search engine, something better than Ctrl-f.
Posted this on Tips and Notes awhile back, but it went unnoticed, apparently.
So, my mouse and I followed Duke’s link, downloaded the file, unzipped it, read the readme … and it works like a charm!
I also found that if I import Duke’s “CG1CG2Merge_index.html” into an MS Access database, I can run queries to my heart’s content. For example, one of the NYT‘s Andrew Revkin’s conspicuous shortcomings is his failure to give equal time, treatment and consideration to any skeptic’s investigation into (and/or observations on) alarmist publications.
As I noted a year ago, Revkin (amongst others) wasted no time at all posting Peter Gleick’s cooked up allegations – without bothering to conduct any due diligence on the provenance:
Unlike the NYT‘s Andrew Revkin, or the U.K. Guardian‘s Suzanne Goldenberg and Leo Hickman, for whom fact-checking and provenance confirmation is – for all intents and purposes – anathema when it comes to matters enironmental, Megan McArdle of the Atlantic has been following this story and asking questions, as a journalist should.
McArdle readily acknowledges her green-tinted glasses; but she does not permit her vision to become as clouded and biased by advocacy as Revkin, Goldenberg or Hickman.
More recently, Revkin has continued this practice. He happily churned out a blog-post on March 7 on the highly dubious Marcott et al’s latest reincarnation of the “hockey-stick”. And he subsequently gave lots of air-time to Michael Mann (who’s been singing glowing praises of Marcott to beat the band!)
In the meantime, Steve McIntyre has been conducting the due diligence that obviously was not done by Revkin (nor, evidently, by those who “peer-reviewed” the paper for Science). So how did Revkin deal with this fact when it finally appeared to cross his radar, circa March 16? I’m so glad you asked. Here’s Revkin’s update:
Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit has been dissecting the Marcott et al. paper and corresponding with lead author Shaun Marcott, raising constructive and important questions.
As a result, I sent a note to Marcott and his co-authors asking for some elaboration on points Marcott made in the exchanges with McIntyre. Peter Clark of Oregon State replied (copying all) on Friday, saying they’re preparing a general list of points about their study.
So all he’s interested in is “the points Marcott [et al]” had made during the course of this correspondence.
Did Revkin understand (or even ask McIntyre about) “the points” McIntyre had made?! Perhaps. But I have yet to see any evidence of this. OTOH, Revkin had provided a link (
) but the criteria Revkin chose only yields four of McIntyre’s six posts since March 13. I found that
yields all six – and I suspect that if I use it in future, it will also list any subsequent Marcott-related posts.
Although Revkin – to his credit – has acknowledged that his name (and emails) can be found in the Climategate files, I was curious to know how many were sent to or from him. So, using my Handy-Dandy-Duke’s-Database, a simple query tells me that between Sept. 27, 2004 and Sept. 29, 2009 there were 22 (well, actually only 21, as the last is readily identified – both by timestamp and by Duke’s filename – as a duplicate).
I haven’t looked at the content yet, but I’ll let you know what I find :-) In the meantime … speaking of Michael Mann, Marcott et al (and Duke’s diligent work) …
Yesterday via twitter, I came across two related interesting tweets. The first from Anthony Watts WUWT
People send me stuff. Word has it that Michael Mann was one of the reviewers of Marcott et al.
And the second was Richard Tol’s tweet in reply:
@wattsupwiththat I would be surprised if he wasn’t.
By pure serendipity, while I was perusing Duke’s index (before I created my Access database), I came across the following. The subject is listed as “no_subject” (which suggests that there wasn’t one, but it piqued my curiosity) [paragraph breaks and emphases in body inserted for ease of reading, email addresses partially redacted, and signature stripped by me ... I'm sure they get their fair share of spam already]:
From: Keith Briffa
Date: 7/24/2002 12:01 PM
The purpose of this short message is to ask that you do not send my RAPID proposal to Mike Mann for refereeing.
I do this openly (i.e. by cc’ing this message to Philip) because I wish it to be an above-board statement , made simply for information. I am genuinely a little nervous as to whether Mike could remain sufficiently objective . We have had a debate (politely phrased) as to the merits of trying methods of data assimilation that are independent of his approach. Ray Bradley is a coauthor on the most significant Mann papers and is very aware of the needs of the science in this area – but I have suggested him as a potential referee rather than Mike because , although he may disagree on some matters , I am confident of his objectivity. If our proposal has gone (or does go ) to Mike , I at least feel happier having made this statement before you receive any report from him.
REF: CG2 <4025.txt>
So, if you want to verify for yourself that the E-mail reads as above, Duke has provided (on each of the 6,366 pages) a reference to the Climategate release in which the file can be found, as well as the text filename one can use to search any of the current online databases; my choice is EcoWho – and here’s a link to 4025.txt
Assuming that the source of Watts’ tweet above has reported accurately, I would think that by now Marcott might be kicking himself for not having taken a good hard look at the emails released in CG1 and CG2. He might have spared himself considerable grief and embarrassment.
Incidentally, Revkin’s quasi-journalistic green-heart-on-sleeve endeavour had noted that when he wrote to Marcott, his co-author and thesis supervisor (and AR5 WG1 Ch13 Coordinating Lead Author) Peter Clark had responded:
[...] we’ve decided that the best tack to take now is to prepare a FAQ document that will explain, in some detail but at a level that should be understandable by most, how we derived our conclusions. [...]
So, I can’t help wondering if Mann will be giving them a helpful hand in writing this FAQ!
P.S. Many thanks, Duke C … for making it so easy for me to practice what I preach ;-)