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The Montford Delusion

Filed under: — group @ 22 July 2010

Guest commentary by Tamino

Update: Another review of the book has been published by Alistair McIntosh in the Scottish Review of Books (scroll down about 25% through the page to find McIintosh’s review)

Update #2 (8/19/10): The Guardian has now weighed in as well.

If you don’t know much about climate science, or about the details of the controversy over the “hockey stick,” then A. W. Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science might persuade you that not only the hockey stick, but all of modern climate science, is a fraud perpetrated by a massive conspiracy of climate scientists and politicians, in order to guarantee an unending supply of research funding and political power. That idea gets planted early, in the 6th paragraph of chapter 1.

The chief focus is the original hockey stick, a reconstruction of past temperature for the northern hemisphere covering the last 600 years by Mike Mann, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes (1998, Nature, 392, 779, doi:10.1038/33859, available here), hereafter called “MBH98” (the reconstruction was later extended back to a thousand years by Mann et al, 1999, or “MBH99” ). The reconstruction was based on proxy data, most of which are not direct temperature measurements but may be indicative of temperature. To piece together past temperature, MBH98 estimated the relationships between the proxies and observed temperatures in the 20th century, checked the validity of the relationships using observed temperatures in the latter half of the 19th century, then used the relationships to estimate temperatures as far back as 1400. The reconstruction all the way back to the year 1400 used 22 proxy data series, although some of the 22 were combinations of larger numbers of proxy series by a method known as “principal components analysis” (hereafter called “PCA”–see here). For later centuries, even more proxy series were used. The result was that temperatures had risen rapidly in the 20th century compared to the preceding 5 centuries. The sharp “blade” of 20th-century rise compared to the flat “handle” of the 15-19th centuries was reminiscent of a “hockey stick” — giving rise to the name describing temperature history.

But if you do know something about climate science and the politically motivated controversy around it, you might be able to see that reality is the opposite of the way Montford paints it. In fact Montford goes so far over the top that if you’re a knowledgeable and thoughtful reader, it eventually dawns on you that the real goal of those whose story Montford tells is not to understand past climate, it’s to destroy the hockey stick by any means necessary.

Montford’s hero is Steve McIntyre, portrayed as a tireless, selfless, unimpeachable seeker of truth whose only character flaw is that he’s just too polite. McIntyre, so the story goes, is looking for answers from only the purest motives but uncovers a web of deceit designed to affirm foregone conclusions whether they’re so or not — that humankind is creating dangerous climate change, the likes of which hasn’t been seen for at least a thousand or two years. McIntyre and his collaborator Ross McKitrick made it their mission to get rid of anything resembling a hockey stick in the MBH98 (and any other) reconstruction of past temperature.

Principal Components

For instance: one of the proxy series used as far back as the year 1400 was NOAMERPC1, the 1st “principal component” (PC1) used to represent patterns in a series of 70 tree-ring data sets from North America; this proxy series strongly resembles a hockey stick. McIntyre & McKitrick (hereafter called “MM”) claimed that the PCA used by MBH98 wasn’t valid because they had used a different “centering” convention than is customary. It’s customary to subtract the average value from each data series as the first step of computing PCA, but MBH98 had subtracted the average value during the 20th century. When MM applied PCA to the North American tree-ring series but centered the data in the usual way, then retained 2 PC series just as MBH98 had, lo and behold — the hockey-stick-shaped PC wasn’t among them! One hockey stick gone.

Or so they claimed. In fact the hockey-stick shaped PC was still there, but it was no longer the strongest PC (PC1), it was now only 4th-strongest (PC4). This raises the question, how many PCs should be included from such an analysis? MBH98 had originally included two PC series from this analysis because that’s the number indicated by a standard “selection rule” for PC analysis (read about it here).

MM used the standard centering convention, but applied no selection rule — they just imitated MBH98 by including 2 PC series, and since the hockey stick wasn’t one of those 2, that was good enough for them. But applying the standard selection rules to the PCA analysis of MM indicates that you should include five PC series, and the hockey-stick shaped PC is among them (at #4). Whether you use the MBH98 non-standard centering, or standard centering, the hockey-stick shaped PC must still be included in the analysis.

It was also pointed out (by Peter Huybers) that MM hadn’t applied “standard” PCA either. They used a standard centering but hadn’t normalized the data series. The 2 PC series that were #1 and #2 in the analysis of MBH98 became #2 and #1 with normalized PCA, and both should unquestionably be included by standard selection rules. Again, whether you use MBH non-standard centering, MM standard centering without normalization, or fully “standard” centering and normalization, the hockey-stick shaped PC must still be included in the analysis.

In reply, MM complained that the MBH98 PC1 (the hockey-stick shaped one) wasn’t PC1 in the completely standard analysis, that normalization wasn’t required for the analysis, and that “Preisendorfer’s rule N” (the selection rule used by MBH98) wasn’t the “industry standard” MBH claimed it to be. Montford even goes so far as to rattle off a list of potential selection rules referred to in the scientific literature, to give the impression that the MBH98 choice isn’t “automatic,” but the salient point which emerges from such a list is that MM never used any selection rules — at least, none that are published in the literature.

The truth is that whichever version of PCA you use, the hockey-stick shaped PC is one of the statistically significant patterns. There’s a reason for that: the hockey-stick shaped pattern is in the data, and it’s not just noise it’s signal. Montford’s book makes it obvious that MM actually do have a selection rule of their own devising: if it looks like a hockey stick, get rid of it.

The PCA dispute is a prime example of a recurring McIntyre/Montford theme: that the hockey stick depends critically on some element or factor, and when that’s taken away the whole structure collapses. The implication that the hockey stick depends on the centering convention used in the MBH98 PCA analysis makes a very persuasive “Aha — gotcha!” argument. Too bad it’s just not true.

Different, yes. Completely, no.

As another example, Montford makes the claim that if you eliminate just two of the proxies used for the MBH98 reconstruction since 1400, the Stahle and NOAMER PC1 series, “you got a completely different result — the Medieval Warm Period magically reappeared and suddenly the modern warming didn’t look quite so frightening.” That argument is sure to sell to those who haven’t done so. But I have. I computed my own reconstructions by multiple regression, first using all 22 proxy series in the original MBH98 analysis, then excluding the Stahle and NOAMER PC1 series. Here’s the result with all 22 proxies (the thick line is a 10-year moving average):

Here it is with just 20 proxies:

Finally, here are the 10-year moving average for both cases, and for the instrumental record:

Certainly the result is different — how could it not be, using different data? — but calling it “completely different” is just plain wrong. Yes, the pre-20th century is warmer with the 15th century a wee bit warmer still — but again, how could it not be when eliminating two hand-picked proxy series for the sole purpose of denying the unprecedented nature of modern warming? Yet even allowing this cherry-picking of proxies is still not enough to accomplish McIntyre’s purpose; preceding centuries still don’t come close to the late-20th century warming. In spite of Montford’s claims, it’s still a hockey stick.

Beyond Reason

Another of McIntyre’s targets was the Gaspe series, referred to in the MBH98 data as “treeline-11.” It just might be the most hockey-stick shaped proxy of all. This particular series doesn’t extend all the way back to the year 1400, it doesn’t start until 1404, so MBH98 had extended the series back four years by persistence — taking the earliest value and repeating it for the preceding four years. This is not at all an unusual practice, and — let’s face facts folks — extending 4 years out of a nearly 600-year record on one out of 22 proxies isn’t going to change things much. But McIntyre objected that the entire Gaspe series had to be eliminated because it didn’t extend all the way back to 1400. This argument is downright ludicrous — what it really tells us is that McIntyre & McKitrick are less interested in reconstructing past temperature than in killing anything that looks like a hockey stick.

McIntyre also objected that other series had been filled in by persistence, not on the early end but on the late end, to bring them up to the year 1980 (the last year of the MBH98 reconstruction). Again, this is not a reasonable argument. Mann responded by simply computing the reconstruction you get if you start at 1404 and end at 1972 so you don’t have to do any infilling at all. The result: a hockey stick.

Again, we have another example of Montford implying that some single element is both faulty and crucial. Without nonstandard PCA the hockey stick falls apart! Without the Stahle and NOAMER PC1 data series the hockey stick falls apart! Without the Gaspe series the hockey stick falls apart! Without bristlecone pine tree rings the hockey stick falls apart! It’s all very persuasive, especially to the conspiracy-minded, but the truth is that the hockey stick depends on none of these elements. You get a hockey stick with standard PCA, in fact you get a hockey stick using no PCA at all. Remove the NOAMER PC1 and Stahle series, you’re left with a hockey stick. Remove the Gaspe series, it’s still a hockey stick.

As a great deal of other research has shown, you can even reconstruct past temperature without bristlecone pine tree rings, or without any tree ring data at all, resulting in: a hockey stick. It also shows, consistently, that nobody is trying to “get rid of the medieval warm period” or “flatten out the little ice age” since those are features of all reconstructions of the last 1000 to 2000 years. What paleoclimate researchers are trying to do is make objective estimates of how warm and how cold those past centuries were. The consistent answer is, not as warm as the last century and not nearly as warm as right now.

The hockey stick is so thoroughly imprinted on the actual data that what’s truly impressive is how many things you have to get rid of to eliminate it. There’s a scientific term for results which are so strong and so resistant to changes in data and methods: robust.

Cynical Indeed

Montford doesn’t just criticize hockey-stick shaped proxies, he bends over backwards to level every criticism conceivable. For instance, one of the proxy series was estimated summer temperature in central England taken from an earlier study by Bradley and Jones (1993, the Holocene, 3, 367-376). It’s true that a better choice for central England would have been the central England temperature time series (CETR), which is an instrumental record covering the full year rather than just summertime. The CETR also shows a stronger hockey-stick shape than the central England series used by MBH98, in part because it includes earlier data (from the late 17th century) than the Bradley and Jones dataset. Yet Montford sees fit to criticize their choice, saying “Cynical observers might, however, have noticed that the late seventeenth century numbers for CETR were distinctly cold, so the effect of this truncation may well have been to flatten out the little ice age.”

In effect, even when MBH98 used data which weakens the difference between modern warmth and preceding centuries, they’re criticized for it. Cynical indeed.


The willingness of Montford and McIntyre to level any criticism which might discredit the hockey stick just might reach is zenith in a criticism which Montford repeats, but is so nonsensical that one can hardly resist the proverbial “face-palm.” Montford more than once complains that hockey-stick shaped proxies dominate climate reconstructions — unfairly, he implies — because they correlate well to temperature.



Criticism of MBH98 isn’t restricted to claims of incorrect data and analysis, Montford and McIntyre also see deliberate deception everywhere they look. This is almost comically illustrated by Montford’s comments about an email from Malcolm Hughes to Mike Mann (emphasis added by Montford):

Mike — the only one of the new S.American chronologies I just sent you that already appears in the ITRDB sets you already have is [ARGE030]. You should remove this from the two ITRDB data sets, as the new version should be different (and better for our purposes).

Here’s what Montford has to say:

It was possible that there was an innocent explanation for the use of the expression “better for our purposes”, but McIntyre can hardly be blamed for wondering exactly what “purposes” the Hockey Stick authors were pursuing. A cynic might be concerned that the phrase actually had something to do with “getting rid of the Medieval Warm Period”. And if Hughes meant “more reliable”, why hadn’t he just said so?

This is nothing more than quote-mining, in order to interpret an entirely innocent turn of phrase in the most nefarious way possible. It says a great deal more about the motives and honesty of Montford and McIntyre, than about Mann, Bradley, and Hughes. The idea that MM’s so-called “correction” of MBH98 “restored the MWP” constitutes a particularly popular meme in contrarian circles, despite the fact that it is quite self-evidently nonsense: MBH98 only went back to AD 1400, while the MWP, by nearly all definitions found in the professional literature, ended at least a century earlier! Such internal contradictions in logic appear to be no impediment, however, to Montford and his ilk.

Conspiracies Everywhere

Montford also goes to great lengths to accuse a host of researchers, bloggers, and others of attempting to suppress the truth and issue personal attacks on McIntyre. The “enemies list” includes RealClimate itself, claimed to be a politically motivated mouthpiece for “Environmental Media Services,” described as a “pivotal organization in the green movement” run by David Fenton, called “one of the most influential PR people of the 20th century.” Also implicated are William Connolley for criticizing McIntyre on sci.environment and James Annan for criticizing McIntyre and McKitrick. In a telling episode of conspiracy theorizing, we are told that their “ideas had been picked up and propagated across the left-wing blogosphere.” Further conspirators, we are informed, include Brad DeLong and Tim Lambert. And of course one mustn’t omit the principal voice of RealClimate, Gavin Schmidt.

Perhaps I should feel personally honored to be included on Montford’s list of co-conspirators, because yours truly is also mentioned. According to Montford’s typical sloppy research I have styled myself as “Mann’s Bulldog.” I’ve never done so, although I find such an appellation flattering; I just hope Jim Hansen doesn’t feel slighted by the mistaken reference.

The conspiracy doesn’t end with the hockey team, climate researchers, and bloggers. It includes the editorial staff of any journal which didn’t bend over to accommodate McIntyre, including Nature and GRL which are accused of interfering with, delaying, and obstructing McIntyre’s publications.

Spy Story

The book concludes with speculation about the underhanded meaning of the emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) in the U.K. It’s really just the same quote-mining and misinterpretation we’ve heard from many quarters of the so-called “skeptics.” Although the book came out very shortly after the CRU hack, with hardly sufficient time to investigate the truth, the temptation to use the emails for propaganda purposes was irresistible. Montford indulges in every damning speculation he can get his hands on.

Since that time, investigation has been conducted, both into the conduct of the researchers at CRU (especially Phil Jones) and Mike Mann (the leader of the “hockey team”). Certainly some unkind words were said in private emails, but the result of both investigations is clear: climate researchers have been cleared of any wrongdoing in their research and scientific conduct. Thank goodness some of those who bought in to the false accusations, like Andy Revkin and George Monbiot, have seen fit actually to apologize for doing so. Perhaps they realize that one can’t get at the truth simply by reading people’s private emails.

Montford certainly spins a tale of suspense, conflict, and lively action, intertwining conspiracy and covert skullduggery, politics and big money, into a narrative worthy of the best spy thrillers. I’m not qualified to compare Montford’s writing skill to that of such a widely-read author as, say, Michael Crichton, but I do know they share this in common: they’re both skilled fiction writers.

The only corruption of science in the “hockey stick” is in the minds of McIntyre and Montford. They were looking for corruption, and they found it. Someone looking for actual science would have found it as well.

581 Responses to “The Montford Delusion”

  1. 351
    Michael W says:

    ” …“settled science”. I have no idea where this comes from…”

    Either we have enough info to act or we don’t.

  2. 352
    Ron R. says:

    [edit, off topic]

  3. 353
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Speaking of delusions, how about a humor break for everybody? See Dr. Roy Spencer attempt to explain (with incredible patience) how the notion of greenhouse a gas does not violate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics:

    Yes, Virginia, Cooler Objects Can Make Warmer Objects Even Warmer Still

    He never gives up trying to sort out his followers, through dozens of iterations of redundant comments leading inexorably to insults and invective (JC, take note, these people are seriously -fickle-). The man is a mountain of tolerance.

  4. 354
    TrueSceptic says:

    290 Judith Curry,

    Can you point me to your review of Montford’s book? I’ve seen a number of posts by you but nothing that looks like a review. This thread is now quite long so I suspect I’ve missed it.


  5. 355
    Majorajam says:

    Dr. Curry might’ve done better for herself had she realized ‘in for a dime, in for a dollar’ is a cautionary tale, not an optimal strategy (not least given the company she has thrown in with). And is it only me that wonders whether your woman’s domicile in the reddest of states is part of the story here?

    Groupthink indeed.

  6. 356
    Aaron Lewis says:

    This last weekend, I had a house guest. He (Dr. F.) is a statistician who works for USDA in Washington, DC. Dr. F. was very aware of the quotes that were mined out of the CRU emails including use of the word “tricks”, discussions of deleting data, and charges against Dr. Mann.

    Dr. F. had not heard of the context of the data deletion discussions, which I thought was interesting because he uses proprietary data under non-disclosure agreements, and is routinely subjected to demands that he turn the data over to university researchers.

    Dr. F. had not heard that Dr. Mann’s work and ethics had been subject to multiple reviews and found to be correct and appropriate.

    And, Dr. F. uses the term “tricks” in his own emails to refer to normalization of proxy data, but thought that in the emails it referred to data manipulation.

    That Dr. F. was not aware of these issues tells me that we are winning the battles, and losing the war for the hearts and minds of the public. This is a well informed guy, and we did not get the truth to him via mass media.

    The really ironic thing is that Dr. F. studies the efficacy of various agencies communications.

  7. 357
    Eric says:

    for 534: Curry’s review is @168

    Note it is referred to as a review but it is really a critique of Tamino’s criticisms of the book. Or, in here words she took “a few moments to clarify the weaknesses in Tamino’s review”

    Many here seem to have now taken this as Judith’s Manifesto and labeled here a skeptic and a denier. I find this exceedingly strange and counter-productive.

    [Response: That is certainly not my position, nor was it implicit in my replies. She should be capable of discerning most of the false claims from Montford without any of our help, and the reaction is likely due to her apparent disinclination to do so. – gavin]

  8. 358
    Neal J. King says:

    #356, Aaron Lewis:

    “That Dr. F. was not aware of these issues tells me that we are winning the battles, and losing the war for the hearts and minds of the public.”

    Some time back, I believe this point was essentially the message Judith Curry was attempting to bring. And it’s an important warning.

    Unfortunately, in this most recent attempt to bridge the gap between “dueling websites”, she chose to throw the paleoclimatologists under the bus. As a peace-offering to the skeptics, on their say-so, she condemned their work without understanding it or its context. And then she found that she didn’t have the intellectual backbone to decide whether she did, or did not, believe what she was proclaiming.

    This must be like some kind of nightmare for her: I wonder if, by so publicly failing to maintain an intellectually respectable position (right or wrong), she’s burned her bridges.

    Where does Anakin Skywalker go after he’s turned to the dark side?

  9. 359
    Paul-in-CT says:


    I have to suggest that there is real value in stating errors plainly, particularly if one wants to leave them behind.

    On both sides there are the truly engaged and intelligent observers, and the sheep in various shades, all of whom just want to be on the “right” side but are not capable of identifying which that is themselves.

    The only thing that will ever convince a sheep of anything is the rest of the herd and where it is going. So both sides of the debate can safely ignore the sheep – there is no convincing them of anything, and they will not be leading anyone else anywhere.

    Your fight is for the conversion of the intelligent skeptics – get them and you get the sheep too. The problem with your suggestions is that they are transparent to intelligent skeptics. In fact, more than that, they are likely to raise the BS radar of intelligent skeptics. So my advice for whatever it is worth is go with the truth, admit mistakes promptly, and keep improving the science. The same goes, of course, for the intelligent skeptics.

    Just my two cents of course.

  10. 360
    dhogaza says:


    She should be capable of discerning most of the false claims from Montford without any of our help, and the reaction is likely due to her apparent disinclination to do so.

    She goes beyond simply not bothering to do the work required to determine that Montford’s book contains a large number of falsehoods. She touts the book. As she did here – she encourages people to read the book. Elsewhere, she’s been less coy about stating her belief that the book is mostly right.

    If she didn’t want to do the work to debunk Montford’s claims and wanted to take an honest approach, she should have come here hat in hand asking, “is he right about Mann 2008?” etc.

    It’s the indiscriminating swallowing of Montford’s (and much else from CA) claims, the touting of them being most likely correct without bothering to fact check, that has me riled up.

  11. 361
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    dhogaza @360:

    I certainly would not recommend reading the book, unless you like wasting a day or two of you time. After about 150 pages I had to really force myself to read the damn thing and even before that I realized that it was basically a rehash of CA posts. Unless you want to get deep into the denialist mindset (not an entirely bad thing, it is important to know your enemy) but at some point, perhaps where he claimed that there were boreholes reaching back to 1000AD, I began to go “what!?”.

    [Response: Err…. there are. You can even find boreholes that show remnants of the cooling from the last ice age. For sure the signals are small, and the coverage lousy, but they exist. – gavin]

  12. 362
    spilgard says:

    Re 357:

    No manifestos or labels involved; it’s simply a morbidly fascinating repetition of a recent pattern. Dr. Curry’s initial post was of the drive-by caliber normally seen from a generic troll, to the degree that some here openly wondered if the poster was an imposter. Subsequent posts sunk only deeper into bizarro-land, with Dr. Curry ultimately reduced to working the Wounded Innocent angle on other blogs. Very odd and rather depressing.

  13. 363
    dhogaza says:

    a repeat link, probably, but for those wanting to engage curry in a more free-for-all environment (she doesn’t benefit), chase the link, read, and comment.

  14. 364
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    I was just looking at the spaghetti graphs, which usually show boreholes going back only a few hundred years. My bad. Montford claims that Huang did a study which showed a large MCA (I hate MWP) which could not get published. Of course he provided no evidence, and I seem to recall that there was a borehole which did show a regional effect somewhat like this from Huang. Can you help?

    [Response: I’ve no idea what Huang didn’t publish, but here are two papers he did: Huang et al, 2008 and Huang et al, 1997. – gavin]

  15. 365
    Steve Bloom says:

    Re #364: FYI a couple of years ago someone (Eli or Stoat IIRC) worked those Huang papers over. There were some serious issues identified, although I don’t recall the details.

    Also, someone (IIRC Mike Mann) wrote a paper several years ago questioning borehole data utility.

    [Response: Boreholes are a wonderful, and truly independent source of information regarding temperature trends in past centuries. Leading researchers in this area such as Pollack and collaborator Huang done some groundbreaking work in this area. They have concluded that there is loss of sensitivity beyond about 500 years, and while more widespread but noisier geothermal heat flux measurements can be used to go back further, the resulting estimates are far more tentative and quite subject to a priori constraints in the required mathematical inversion. That notwithstanding, Huang et al, 2008 come to a similar conclusion as other recent studies (e.g. AR4 and Mann et al, 2008) regarding the “MWP”–that while it is indeed evident in hemispheric mean reconstructions, it does not reach the level of the warmth of recent decades.

    My collaborators and I have pointed out some potential problems in using borehole information (which reflect ground surface temperatures to interpret past changes in surface air temperatures. The main problem is that the two quantities can diverge substantially in the presence of changing seasonal patterns of winter snowcover. See Mann et al (2003), Mann and Schmidt (2003), Mann et al (2009). – mike]

  16. 366
    John Mashey says:

    re: #364 Rattus
    here is the story, as best as I can tell:

    1) Huang, et al (1997) as Gavin notes.

    Huang, Shaopeng and Pollack, Henry N. (1997) “Late Quaternary temperature changes seen in world-wide continental heat flow measurements,” Geophysical Research Letters, 24(15), 1947-1950.
    Figure 2. there offers wild 20,000-year temperature curves from boreholes.

    2) Huang, et al (2000)

    Huang, Shaopeng, Pollack, Henry N., and Shen, Po-Yu (2000) “Temperature trends over the past five centuries reconstructed from borehole temperatures,” Nature, 403 (17 February 2000), 403, 756-758.
    (I’ve only read abstract, but this is continuation and supercedes the 1997 paper, and they’ve pulled in 20,000 years to 500 years…)
    Likewise, there is:

    3) Pollock, et al (1998)

    Henry N. Pollack, Shaopeng Huang, and Po-Yu Shen, “Climate Change Record in Subsurface Temperatures: A Global Perspective,” Science 9 October 1998 282: 279-281. this says:

    “The combination of the predominant depth range of observations and the characteristic magnitude of noise has led us to choose five centuries as the practical interval over which to develop climate reconstructions. …
    …The geothermal reconstruction and all multiproxy reconstructions show that the 20th century is the warmest recent century and that the mean rate of temperature increase in the 20th century is well in excess of temperature trends of earlier centuries.”

    Now, 1) Huang et al (1997) and 2) Huang, et al (2000) are cited in the Wegman Report, but never actually referenced. That’s sort of strange. Where might they have come from?

    Well, we also have (cited in bibliography, but also not actually referenced):

    McKitrick, Ross (2005) “What is the ‘Hockey Stick’ debate about?” APEC Study Group, Australia, April 4, 2005.


    McIntyre, McKitrick (2005)

    McIntyre, Stephen and McKitrick, Ross (2005) “The Hockey Stick Debate: Lessons in Disclosure and Due Diligence,” 05/11/05 presentation @ George Marshall Institute.

    On p.6 of each of those, you will find a chart of the last 1,000 years, derived from the Huang, et al (1997) chart, and it shows a SERIOUS MWP.

    Alas, their scholarship did not extend to noticing that Huang, et al had decided by 1998 that 20,000 years didn’t really work (why I suspect Nature didn’t like it), but 500 years did [which is what got into Science in 1998 and Nature in 2000 and TAR in 2001. Of course, had they noticed that, the monster MWP would have disappeared.

    Now, go back and read HSI, pp.28-30 and see if you might hazard a guess as to where this came from…

  17. 367
    Geoff Wexler says:


    I have to suggest that there is real value in stating errors plainly

    I couldn’t agree agree more.

    It is not all plain to talk about an error which makes no difference, especially in a simplified summary.I could elaborate with more examples but should have thought that the ambiguity was obvious.

    Are you sure about that term? As I stated earlier I intend to understand this better some time (perhaps), but this word needs to be used with care. Even if method B were substantially better than method A it would still be a false deduction or a misleading description to state that method A must have contained an error although it might have done.

    By the way, it is not just uncertainty which confuses non-scientists it is also levels of approximation.

    go with the truth

    Don’t you think that is a bit patronising? Thats what most of us here are trying to find?

  18. 368
  19. 369
    Martin Vermeer says:

    John Mashey #366, you really must read Section 2 of the 2008 paper (link in #364).

    So must Montford and the gang BTW. Perhaps a Lesson in Due Diligence?

  20. 370

    I think one interesting thing about the tribalism idea is it tends to be framed in an ‘us vs. them’ context. I think its really ‘science vs. belief’.

    The denialist side seems to have settled into well there’s not enough certainty to start setting policy. Hmmm. . . sounds familiar.

    S. Fred Singer, 1990: “My conclusion can be summed up in a simple message: The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic actin at this time. There is little risk in delaying policy responses to this century-old problem because there is every expectation that scientific understanding will be substantial improved within a few years. Instead of taking premature actions that are likely to be ineffective, we may prefer to use the same resources–a few trillion dollars by some estimates–to increase our economic resilience so that we can then apply specific remedies it and as necessary. That is not to say that some steps cannot be taken now; indeed many kids of energy conservation and efficiency increases make economic sense even without the threat of greenhouse warming.
    Drastic, precipitous, and especially unilateral steps to delay the putative greenhouse impacts can cost jobs and prosperity without being effective.”

    Interesting that we are still hearing basically this very same message echoed through the halls of our representatives.

    It all sounds so reasonable, until you realize that this is the same guy that says human-caused global warming theory is all bunk and then find that his efforts have been funded by fossil fuel interests.

    A Climate Minute: The Natural CycleThe Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt

    ‘Fee & Dividend’
    Our best chanceLearn the Issue & Sign the Petition

  21. 371
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    John, Gavin, Mike —

    You mean Montford might have been, hmmm…, mistaken about the unpublished paper, it was the 1997 GRL paper. Clearly the 1997 GRL paper was the one I recalled and was the one I was thinking about. The subsequent Nature paper seems to be a step back from the 20,000 year claim, something which Montford conveniently ignores. The Nature paper is here.

  22. 372
    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Here’s a working link to the Science paper.

  23. 373
    TrueSceptic says:

    357 Eric,

    Thanks. I had seen that. It was so unlike a “review” that I had to ask if that is what she really was referring to.

    I was going to ask her more about it but it seems she’s bailed out. As dhogaza has mentioned, Joe Romm has picked it up, though, so CP might be a better place, if she’s still there.

  24. 374
    John Mashey says:

    (Trust me, this all bears on the Montford’s reseach, as will become clear by the end.)

    re: #369 Martin
    Read Huang, et al (2008) Yes, thanks, I have.
    That usefully pulls all this together, and of course, HSI manages to be very selective in its Due Diligence, as was clear from its Index, even before I got the book. See Wiki history of HSI discussion, where I ask some questions about that. (That was moved to Archive, those of masochistic bent may look at the ongoing discussion and the 3 archives accumulated so far. Based on ratio of discussion to amount of text in the actual Wikipedia page, this is a highly-discussed book and (as I suggest 23 July in the Current discussion, this is well recorded as a classic test case that may eventually help clarify reliable sources.

    But, back to the Huang topic.
    ops, I see I mis-edited (it was late), so the URLs were wrong. The right ones are McKitrick(2005) and McIntyre&McKitrick(2005).

    In any case, the original question was what Montford was talking about. So, let me try again. McKitrick(2005), speaking at an economics meeting in Australia, writes, p.4:

    “In the mid-1990s the use of ground boreholes as a clue to paleoclimate history was becoming well-established. In 1995 David Deming, a geoscientist at the University of Oklahoma, published a study in Science4 that demonstrated the technique by generating a 150-year climate history for North America. Here, in his own words, is what happened next.

    ‘With the publication of the article in Science, I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”5′

    “4 Deming, D. (1995). “Climatic Warming in North America: Analysis of Borehole Temperatures.” Science 268, 1576-1577.
    5 David Deming (2005) “Global Warming, the Politicization of Science, and Michael Crichton’s State of Fear.” Forthcoming, Journal of Scientific Exploration, v.19, no.2.’

    In McKintyre&McKitrick(2005), p.6, the footnotes got lost, and the story cchanged:
    “Not too long ago, another borehole researcher published an essay
    describing some things that happened to him after he published a paper on
    this in 1995. He published a paper in Science reconstructing climatic conditions in North America based on borehole record and concluded in the
    paper that present conditions still appeared to be within the range of natural variability. In his essay he comments,
    “With the publication of the article in Science [in 1995], I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said, “We have to get
    rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”
    – D. Denning, Science 1995.”
    Ignoring the Deming => Denning gaffe, did you notice that the loss of the JSE reference in effect places in Science, not in JSE?
    Clever, clever.

    Montford, p.28 repeats that quote and then on p.29 quotes more of Deming’s essay from JSE. At least it is correctly cited and referenced.

    Now I’d guess most people are familiar with Science.

    How about JSE?
    Alas, it is a bit lower, far below Energy&Environment…
    For an excursion into the truly bizarre world of JSE, see Eli Rabett’s Ask for it under the counter in a plain brown wrapper. The contest for strangest paper was inconclusive, although I did think William the Sane’s selection of the one of weighing sheep while suffocating them was hard to beat. Alas, links in the discussion are broken, but you can find them a good selection at here, although the sheep article (Ishida) is now paywalled. Sorry, you will not be able to read this for a few years, but the older articles are available. (But I’d suggest any further entries in strangest article contest be posted over at Rabett Run, not here.)

    In any case, Montford seems to have used an unrefereed talk in Australia to economists to track down a quote from an ultra-obscure pseudo-science journal, and this is supplied as an important factual element in HSI.

  25. 375
    dhogaza says:

    I was going to ask her more about it but it seems she’s bailed out. As dhogaza has mentioned, Joe Romm has picked it up, though, so CP might be a better place, if she’s still there.

    She’s bailed out of CP as well. Apparently she’s decided Bishop Hill’s blog is the place to be.

  26. 376
    Eli Rabett says:

    Wm. did a better job on the boring holes. Start here. As for the sheep…….

  27. 377
    TrueSceptic says:

    375 dhogaza,

    Thanks. I’m still catching up with the thread at CP. So far she’s not retreated one step from her stance here.

    Given that she’s gone out of her way, and even out on a limb (professionally), to support Montford’s book, Bishop Hill is the obvious place. BTW anyone know why Montford chose that name for his blog?

  28. 378
    Doug Bostrom says:

    dhogaza says: 27 July 2010 at 11:50 AM

    She’s bailed out of CP as well. Apparently she’s decided Bishop Hill’s blog is the place to be.

    Some reasonable things were said there, Dr. Curry engaged for a while and actually helped my understanding of her stated purpose but she does not seem comfortable dealing with specifics, not even to stand behind what she’s written on her own account. The typical end result seems to be “I don’t like how I’m being treated,” as she implied here before engaging in any conversation whatsoever.

    There’s asymmetry to Dr. Curry’s requirements for proper comportment. At Climate Progress Dr. Curry complained about how she was treated by Gavin in an earlier thread here (April) concerning a raft of vague complaints she’d made, claiming he was “snarky.” Dredging up the apparent remarks in question, it turns out that Gavin was mildly objecting to the factually unsupported use of words such as “corruption” to describe the activities of the IPCC. Dr. Curry requires that she be free to use words such as “corruption” and “sloppy” but a request to support such adjectives is considered “snarky.”

    50 years from now people are going to be laughing through their tears if they should ever bother to look at all of this. What an embarrassing history we’re making.

  29. 379
    Phil Clarke says:

    I haven’t read HSI, and after Tamino’s review, have no desire to do so.

    So I don’t know if Montford provides the purloined mail context for the ‘lose the Medieval’ quote or not. My guess would be ‘not’.

    > > Hi Phil, Kevin, Mike, Susan and Ben – I’m looking
    > > for some IPCC-related advice, so thanks in
    > > advance. The email below recently came in and I
    > > googled “We have to get rid of the warm medieval
    > > period” and “Overpeck” and indeed, there is a
    > > person David Deeming that attributes the quote to
    > > an email from me. He apparently did mention the
    > > quote (but I don’t think me) in a Senate hearing.
    > > His “news” (often with attribution to me) appears
    > > to be getting widespread coverage on the
    > > internet. It is upsetting.
    > >
    > > I have no memory of emailing w/ him, nor any
    > > record of doing so (I need to do an exhaustive
    > > search I guess), nor any memory of him period. I
    > > assume it is possible that I emailed w/ him long
    > > ago, and that he’s taking the quote out of
    > > context, since know I would never have said what
    > > he’s saying I would have, at least in the context
    > > he is implying.

    Jonathon Overpeck

  30. 380
    Judith Curry says:

    I just posted this on climateaudit, I thought the RC readers would enjoy this also

    Judith Curry
    Posted Jul 27, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    All the heat that I get in the blogosphere is worth it to me because of the many thoughtful emails I receive, offering support, ideas and information. I just received this in via email, referring to an interview with Stephen Chu in the Financial Times, Feb 17, 2010 (registration required):

    FT: On the climate threat, do you think there is legitimate concern now about the fact that some of the science, even if it’s not flawed, it’s been misrepresented, which has undermined the case in many people’s eyes.

    SC: First, the main findings of IPCC over the years, have they been seriously cast in doubt? No. I think that if one research group didn’t understand some tree ring data and they chose to admit part of that data. In all honesty they should have thrown out the whole data set. But science has a wonderful way of self-correcting on things like that. What the public doesn’t understand is that as you go forward there will be these things and they will self correct. On balance if you look at all the things the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of experts convened by the United Nations to advise governments in responding to global warming] has been doing over the last number of years, they were trying very hard to put in all the peer-reviewed serious stuff. I’ve actually always felt that they were taking a somewhat conservative stand on many issues and for justifiable reasons.

    In all honesty, they should have thrown out the whole data set. And here I was trying to be polite . . .

    [Response: So now Stephen Chu is the expert on tree rings? Curious…. He is correct in his main point – science is self-correcting: better data is produced, issues that arise are dealt with, previously unrecognised problems are addressed, and the process moves forward. But who does this correcting and improving? People who are interested in the result and put in the time to see what is going on. Do things improve because every judgement call in every study is assumed to imply corruption and fraud? No. But let’s go back to Chu’s comment, what group and what tree ring study was he talking about back in February? He is almost certainly referring to the tree ring density record divergence highlighted by Briffa et al (Nature, 1998) post 1960, which you may recall got some press a few months ago. Given that the cause of that divergence is still unclear, and that it doesn’t appear to occur earlier, it is not a priori obvious that it should be ‘thrown out’ (and in my judgement it shouldn’t have been as long the caveats were made clear – which they were). But opinions may differ on this, and if you want to ‘throw it out’, go ahead. You’ll note that this has nothing to do with Tamino’s post, MBH98 or anything that has been discussed on this thread, including your previous comments. – gavin]

    [Further Response: It’s also worth pointing out what Chu says a little later on: “If you look at the climate sceptics, I would have to say honestly, what standard are they being held to? It’s very asymmetric. They get to say anything they want. In the end, the core of science is deeply self checking.” – Indeed. – gavin]

    [Response: I think we can pretty safely conclude that tree ring data is bogus and just chuck it all–cores, data, studies, lab groups, the whole nine yards. Waste of hard disk space. Good to know that according to you, the Secretary of Energy would probably back me on that–Jim]

    [Even Further Response: I think we can safely assume that Jim’s last comment will be widely quoted by the irony-unaware. ;) – gavin]

  31. 381

    I certainly understood Judith Curry’s ‘review’ comment to represent her own opinions, and was quite taken aback by some of the strong insinuations. If your point is only to paraphrase someone else’s opinion (and esp if that other person’s opinion is held in low regard within the setting you’re in), you’re better of making very clear that what you’re saying is not your own opinion.

  32. 382
    Phil Clarke says:

    Question: Dr Curry’s claim that Mann et al 2008 contained no non-dendro reconstructions and used the ‘discredited’ PCA centering is false in both parts, as can be demonstrated by the simple precaution of actually reading the paper in question. For those of us who have not read the book, are these false claims from the book, or are they rather an artifact of a flawed memory?

    [Response: I have no idea, but Curry’s response to you in CA is still untrue. She says:

    Phil, your question is discussed in some detail throughout the thread. The punchline is that my statement was correct in spirit but incorrect in detail, but Gavin’s specific rebuttal to my statement was also incorrect. Thank goodness for the auditors :) .

    To whit, nothing in my response was incorrect. There was a no-tree ring reconstruction in Mann et al (2008) which was valid to ~1000AD for one method, back to ~1500AD for another. There are no PCA data reduction steps in that paper. The figure I linked to shows that no-tree ring reconstruction, as well as an additional variation added later to deal with a spurious claim (repeated again in the CA thread) that the non-tree ring Tijander proxies were substituted into the reconstruction to restore it’s HS-ness. That is demonstrably false as can be seen from the reconstruction without tree-rings and without 7 other potentially problematic records in light blue. All of the data and code for that study are online, and anyone can verify these claims, or any other variation on the theme they care to investigate. To be clear, I do not think that Mann et al (2008) is the be-all and end-all of paleo-reconstructions, but when specific claims are made about a paper, it behoves people to actually check what the paper and supplemental material says. – gavin]

  33. 383
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Dr. Curry is cross-posting, so I’ll take a cue:

    As the old radio guy said, “the rest of the story,” or at least that part of the interview pertaining to the IPCC and climate science:

    FT: But as a distinguished scientist yourself, don’t you think that the IPCC crossed the line between scientific research and advocacy?

    SC: I don’t think so. My impression about watching them working is that it is one of the things where they have been held up to a very high standard.

    FT: In the last three months.

    SC: No, since the beginning. Since report number one. Their reports get reviewed. Lots of people are asked to take shots at this in a very serious way that I think is all right because what they’re saying is so important. It has economic consequences worldwide. They should be able to say that this is serious science and take a somewhat conservative view. If you look at the climate sceptics, I would have to say honestly, what standard are they being held to? It’s very asymmetric. They get to say anything they want. In the end, the core of science is deeply self checking.

    FT interview transcript: Steven Chu

    Further to cross-posting:

    Doug Bostrom says:
    July 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    In fairness, I wonder if the copy of the FT interview Dr. Curry received via email was truncated as she presented it there and copied it here? “Uncritical acceptance” is the term immediately springing to my mind.

  34. 384
    Snapple says:

    CRU has a new press release:

    Response to New Scientist editorial (17 July 2010)
    It is depressing that the New Scientist follows parts of the blogosphere, and some other sections of the press, in asserting that of the three independent investigations into Climategate “none looked into the quality of the science itself” (Editorial, 17 July 2010, page 3). Our hope was that New Scientist would have a more informed understanding of the method of science research.

  35. 385
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Snapple says: 27 July 2010 at 4:09 PM

    CRU has a new press release:

    Well-written, and with the excellent virtue of existence.

    I like especially this section:

    The Oxburgh Panel operated, and wrote their report, entirely independently and so we cannot answer for the precise form of words used, but it does seem entirely consistent with the way science works. New Scientist, when do science conclusions become “correct”? Science conclusions remain provisional, becoming more or less provisional over time, until/unless they are replaced by scientifically likelier conclusions, or unless they reach the elevated status of “fact”. In the observational sciences, that process develops through the honestly and scientifically justified interpretation of data.

    The compilation of a hemispheric or global land surface data time series from irregularly distributed (in time and space) historical thermometer observations can never be “correct” in an absolute sense. There will always be uncertainty, as there will be greater relative uncertainty in our knowledge of past temperatures from ”proxy indicators” such as tree-rings. The discovery, or utilisation, of more or better proxy records might improve our understanding of the Mediaeval Warm Period. Developing analytical techniques may also change our understanding; hence the provisionality of scientific conclusions.

    Good on ’em.

  36. 386
    Phil Clarke says:

    Dr Curry has kindly responded promptly to my question (382 above) which I also posed at Climate Audit. The main point (does the slip originate with herself or Montford) is not addressed. She writes

    “The punchline is that my statement was correct in spirit but incorrect in detail, but Gavin’s specific rebuttal to my statement was also incorrect. Thank goodness for the auditors”

    I am not going to cross-post my response, which you can read at CA if you wish, nor does it seem worth pursuing the question any further. I just end by repeating some Professorial wisdom from upthread:

    “Once you’re in a hole, you can try to climb out or keep digging”.

  37. 387
    David B. Benson says:

    Phil Clarke@386 — “Boring boreholes, Batman!”

  38. 388
    Doug Bostrom says:

    “The auditors.” Anybody dropping by CA will notice frequent references to this cultish affectation, often embellished to be the more creepy-sounding “citizen auditor.” When I read “citizen auditor” the mental picture of a well-exercised guillotine pops into my head for some reason. Be careful around self-styled revolutionaries bent on fuzzily conceived destruction or the next head in the basket may be the last you’ll know of.

    By the way, I thought it was pretty much standard that if one loses an argument or one’s temper and departs in a dramatic flourish, one is supposed to be very sure of leaving the room with car keys, glasses, everything to make sure the exit is quite final. Coming back to say “And just one more thing…” then banging the door yet again without waiting for a reply is somewhat lacking in style.

  39. 389
    Hank Roberts says:

    Perhaps Dr. Chu meant the IPCC should have ‘thrown out’ a study that reported some surprising differences from theory and invited it to come back in when it could explain itself better. But that’s awfully conservative advice, since climate change is expected to produce unexpected differences. You wouldn’t want to throw them out, eh?

    > Given that the cause of that divergence is still unclear,
    > and that it doesn’t appear to occur earlier, it is not
    > a priori obvious that it should be ‘thrown out’

    Remember this?

  40. 390
  41. 391

    Its so predictable, as soon as one climate scientist jumps ship to the sea of contrarians, they get all the press, I’ll bet getting as much attention as with 100 IPCC scientists combined… I believe this attention is important for ideas, theories not individuals. The press fallacy is attaching importance almost entirely to scientists reputation rather than adherence to solid science, Dyson, Lindzen and other massive geniuses basically can say anything valid or fictitious and get ink. So if an IPCC scientist for instance embraces Climate “Auditors” as Judith does, then huge spotlight to him, so wonderful being a star! You know, access Hollywood so nice to have!

  42. 392
    James Killen says:

    Yes, Dr Curry’s ‘outreach program’ seemed to be motivated by the best intentions, which makes the bathetic spectacle of her public disintegration all the sadder to watch. A cautionary tale against entering a cult in order to de-program its members from the inside. And I’ve always found the accusation of ‘groupthink’ levelled by deniers against the scholarly community the height of hypocrisy. One need only compare the robust debate on a site such as this to the backslapping which characterises the comments on sites such as CA.

    Dr Curry would have done well to remember that ancient proverb qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent, or as we would say today: If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.

  43. 393
    Steve Bloom says:

    Re #380: I realize Judy is an experienced scientist, not a high school grammarian, but one of the latter might have a different view of the key passage from Chu:

    I think that if one research group didn’t understand some tree ring data and they chose to admit part of that data. In all honesty they should have thrown out the whole data set.

    Note that the first sentence is incomplete, and can only be made to make sense if it’s linked to the second with a comma. Once that’s done, the seeming assertion in the second sentence goes away and we’re left with an entirely clear conditional statement: Chu is not asserting anything about the data or how it was treated, but rather that *if* the data was bad *then* it shouldn’t have been used.

    That Judy missed this obvious point truly makes me wonder. Of course Gavin and Jim seem to have missed it too, but their error was taking Judy’s meaning at face value. Don’t make that mistake again, guys!

  44. 394
    Steve Bloom says:

    Re #393: Note that the FT site states that the text is an edited transcript of a (verbal) interview with Chu, not something Chu wrote. Transcription errors are understandable, propagating them without double-checking less so.

  45. 395
    Veidicar Decarian says:

    Re: 248

    Your analogy only works when the system is thermodynamically isolated. In this case however, we have an input of disinformation funded by global energy interests.

    Since there appears to be zero interest or motivation in stemming that input, or countering it as energetically, there is zero potential to halt the flow if disinformation in the short to median term.

    In the long term, after the bubble breaks, the disinformation will eventually die out. The goal is to limit the damage though.. Isn’t it?

  46. 396
    Marion Delgado says:

    How much can be salvaged here. Are there any signs of wanting to add attacks by proxy on teleconnections to the flip dismissal of dendrochronology?

  47. 397
    PolyisTCOandbanned says:


    I have often posted issues with McI’s criticisms which are exaggerated (overmodeled red noise, etc.). However, I would trust your comments more if they seemed more independant (allowing your differences with Mike to be seen).

    One very simple issue is that Mann short-centering was not even DISCLOSED in the methods. Tamino, at least, has indicated to me in the past, that Mike erred by not sharing this. [edit] What say you now?

    [Response: People should strive to include everything that is germane in the paper and methods description, but that doesn’t always happen since it isn’t always clear what issues are going to be important. There is always stuff that is left out (see my post on replication for some examples). In retrospect, had it been realised how much trouble it would cause, that PCA centering convention would probably not have been used at all – it’s likely that only because it wasn’t thought to be important that it wasn’t mentioned. This came up because of the online code. So, clearly, posting code deals with this kind of unanticipated issue and is useful in situations where what is actually done is more complicated than can be condensed into a paper. The latest Mann et al papers are pretty exemplary in that regard. – gavin]

  48. 398

    #378 Doug Bostrom

    I unfortunately ‘still’ have to agree with your points here:

    “Dr. Curry requires that she be free to use words such as “corruption” and “sloppy” but a request to support such adjectives is considered “snarky.””

    This supports another contradiction. Dr. Curry’s main complaint seems to be tribalism, but she has wandered further into the forest tribe of ‘phrenologic climate science’ with her unsubstantiated comments/claims, and apparently still has not yet cleared the air with any specifics as to her contexts in those specific arguments.

    As always context is key, and I’m curious as to what or how many contexts are really at play here?

    I hope that this is not just an attempt to bolster potential book sales? The only reason I can think of that she would take such a position is that she has agreed to do a book with McIntyre on uncertainty.

    Assuming that may be the case: here we are with a ‘King Solomon’ challenge. If she does the book and it is released, we all know why she has taken her stance. If she now declines to do the book because, she realizes that there are other more important issues at hand (or decides to do the uncertainty book without McIntyre), then we may never know the real context.

    I hope she and McIntyre are not thinking about forming the ‘Institute of Climate Phrenology’?, which could be implied by her association of late, and her implications regarding climate tribalism.

    Point being, that I believe her generalized arguments about uncertainty have a real potential to become part of the denial infrastructure, due to her past reputation. This could cause further delay of meaningful policy adoption.

    No matter what her intentions, any such delay in meaningful action has strong potential to increase exponential costs due to climate change and it’s thermal inertia response time. I realize I am combining economics with moral responsibility, but I do believe it is important to make the ‘teleconnection’.

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  49. 399

    #380 Judith Curry

    re. Gavin’s response to Jim’s response to Gavin’s response to Judith Curry’s post:

    Irony is pretty ironic.

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  50. 400
    Phil Clarke says:

    Steve: Ditto

    I see that the latest ‘rave review’ of Montford’s Delusion we are pointed to is in Quadrant Magazine.

    That’ll be the Quadrant Magazine hoaxed into publishing a nonsense piece of science because it fit their political agenda.