A List of Mann’s Screw Ups

The lawsuit Michael Mann filed against people for supposedly defaming him has received quite a bit of attention in the blogosphere. In one conversation at The Blackboard, a commenter suggested it might be helpful if someone made a list of the:

top 10 or 15 of the most egregious Mann misstatements, incompetent work or deceptions. In all probability, the lawyers representing the various parties in the lawsuit (putting aside Steyn for the moment, who is unrepresented) go into the matter being unfamiliar with the long history of what has transpired with respect to Mann. It would be very time consuming to learn and understand what really happened. So, I think it would be very useful to have a list, with a compact explanation of its significance, of something like the top 10 or 15 Mann transgressions.

After giving it some thought, I decided to try making such a list. I don’t know how good my choices/descriptions will be, but it’s an interesting thing to attempt. It’s especially interesting because having a blog means I can write posts about the individual items in the list.

So that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m copying the comment with my list here, and I’ll try to write posts discussing each item in the list (with references) over the next few weeks. I’ll also see if I can pick more topics to expand the list with.

Any thoughts, suggestions or questions are welcome. I’ll happily discuss any topic relating to Mann people might find interesting. And who knows? Maybe when I’m done, it’ll all be useful to someone.

Here are some items I’m considering for my list, along with a (relatively) short summary for each (in no particular order):

Tiljander – The Tiljander proxies were said by the data collectors to have been corrupted due to human influences, and as such, their data from ~1800 AD was worthless as a temperature proxy. Additionally, there were only two series. Not only did Michael Mann use these series with a methodology that requires proxies measure temperatures in the modern times, he used some of them upside down, and he duplicated information by using four instead of two.

r2 – Michael Mann calculated statistical verification scores for his reconstruction. He published the favorable results while hiding the adverse results. He did this to such an extent he published some scores for one test (r2) while hiding others from the same test. When challenged on this, he lied by claiming he had never calculated any of the r2 scores (despite having published some).

Additionally, the IPCC report which made him famous claimed his reconstruction passed multiple verification tests, a claim it couldn’t have made if people had known about the hidden, adverse results. Had he disclosed those adverse results, he would never have received worldwide attention, become a major public figure in the global warming debate, have written a popular book or become a player in political campaigns.

Gaspe – Michael Mann used the Gaspe tree ring data twice. In one case, he artifically extended the series further back into the past so it could reach the 1400 AD mark his paper aimed for. He did not disclose this extension nor offer any justification for it. Without it, his results would have been notably weaker. Additionally, the Gaspe tree ring data for that period was based upon a single tree. Dendrochronologists say series based upon a single tree are inappropriate for use as temperature proxies.

Temperature record as proxies – Michael Mann included modern temperature data, measured by man made instruments, in both his original reconstruction and his 2008 reconstruction. In both cases, they were treated as proxy data derived from nature.

Precipitation record as proxies – Michael Mann has repeatedly used precipitation records as proxies in his temperature reconstructions even though he co-authored a paper criticizing other authors (Soon & Balinaus) for conflating temperature and precipitation proxies.

Non-robust – In his original work, Michael Mann claimed his temperature reconstruction was robust to the removal of tree ring data. It wasn’t. He now admits (in his book) he knew it wasn’t almost immediately after publishing his original work, but he never corrected it. Instead, he wrote an another paper which built upon the earlier work.

This last one cannot be stressed enough. Michael Mann knew his temperature reconstruction was dependent upon a small amount of tree ring data from one part of the United States. Knowing this, he allowed his work to be promoted as showing what temperatures were like for the entire northern hemisphere. Had he been honest, people would have known 90% of his data was irrelevant and all that really mattered was a small number of trees in one area.

The censored directory, misused PCA and other issues tie into that last one, but really, those two paragraphs are all people need to know. That alone, or perhaps in combination with the hiding adverse results, is easily enough for a person to believe Mann’s work was fraudulent.

(Of course, there are other topics to discuss as well. This is just a beginning of a list.)

Edit: I’ll be adding links here as new posts go up. Hopefully, that’ll help people navigate.

Mann’s Screw Up #1 – “Excelgate”
Mann’s Screw Up #2 – Non-Robust
Mann’s Screw Up #2.5 – 5%
Mann’s Ego – Basis of Climate Change Evidence?
Mann’s Screw Up #3 – Statistics is Scary
Mann’s Screw Up #3 – Cherry Picking
Mann’s Screw Up #3.2 – Rotten Cherry #1
Mann’s Screw Up #3.2 – Rotten Cherry #2
Mann’s Screw Up #4 – Hiding Results
Mann’s Screw Up #4.1 – Covering Up Results
Mann’s Screw Up #5 – Inappropriate Data
Mann’s Screw Up #6 – Altering Data
Mann’s Screw Up #6.1 – “Fixing” Data
Mann’s Screw Up #7 – His “Trick”
Mann’s Screw Up #7.1 – Semantics
Mann’s Screw Up #8 – Hypocrisy
Mann’s Screw Up #9 – Overstated Conclusions
Mann’s Screw Up #9.1 – Nonsense Data


  1. Wasn’t there a paper co-authored by Mann in which the values were reversed, and it was never corrected? That’s just what my vague memory tells me.

  2. As I understand it (and I admit I may be wrong) Dr. Mann’s application of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was inconsistent with both (a) the mathematics of PCA, and (b) commonly accepted statistical applications of PCA. If I’m correct and if Dr. Mann ever claimed that his hockey stick was the product of PCA, then Dr. Mann is wrong. If knowing that his treatment of PCA did not conform to accepted mathematical and statistical principles and he made such a claim, then his claim is more than wrong, it’s abhorrent.

  3. Mann’s attacks on fellow climate-scientist Judith Curry are noteworthy. She reviews these attacks at “Criticizing arguments versus smearing scientists” (scroll down), http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/26/mann-versus-steyn/

    Mann has publicly accused Curry of ‘smearing climate scientists.’, being a ‘serial climate misinformer’, being ‘anti-science’ (etc). Details at her post above, and Fred Singer comments at American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/01/the_inventor_of_the_global_warming_hockey_stick_doubles_down.html

    Curry has publicly called Mann out:
    “”Since you have publicly accused my Congressional testimony of being ‘anti-science,’ I expect you to (publicly) document and rebut any statement in my testimony that is factually inaccurate or where my conclusions are not supported by the evidence that I provide.”

    And she notes, “Ironically, this kind of behavior typifies ‘anti-science’ – insult the scientist, not their argument.”

  4. When the journal Science published the most ridiculously fraudulent vindication of Mann’s original hockey stick by the magic of simply re-dating the temperature proxy data so some of it dropped off at the end, resulting in a mathematical spring (up!!!) effect, Mann did quite a Snoopy dance on Facebook, leading to lots of media attention too, as the whole Hockey Stick Team promoted it. Then, hours later, Willis of WUWT simply plotted all of the proxy data from the supplementary information. There was found no hockey stick in any of them:



    Mod Edit: I’m replacing an embedded video with a link to it as it was taking up too much space.

  5. Woah. That was a lot of comments in a short time-span. I’m away from my computer at the moment so responses will have to wait, but I think all the comments should be released.

    (Only first time commenters land in moderation, and that’s primarily to prevent spam.)

  6. Brandon,

    I’m not sure how helpful it is but there are a number of “missed” items of interest that fall outside of the likely CI of errors that a statistically competent person like Michael Mann is held out to be.

    Pick two in Mann 08 is one of my favorites – see CA for the threads. This is indefensible and was used to retain a statistical percentage of proxies in M08. The percentage of those proxies retained was used as justification for the whole paper. Many of the proxies were chopped off and had temp pasted on prior to correlation screening. It may sound obscure but statistically — it aint!

    Chopped off shweingruber proxies were part of M08 and were handwaived away due to divergence in M08. CA and the Air Vent both looked heavily at that mess prior to climategate. It is an interesting fact that gets lost in the various media articles that may have prompted the CG files to be released to my blog. It is Mann committing “hide the decline” by deletion of data he didn’t like, prior to the release of the email.

    There is also a paper he did (Mann07) on autocorrelation based variance suppression where he claimed to prove that the handle of the hockey stick was not suppressed but he used unrealistically low values of autocorrelation and completely brushed past the problem. Everyone should know darned well that he did try higher values and they did result in higher values.

    It is a lesser known mess because it wasn’t highlighted at CA but it is equally incorrect for equally unusual reasons:


    Specific inaccurate quotes relating to claims about the autocorrelation of typical proxies can be taken from the paper itself. Their low autocorrelation values are contradicted by M08.

    His upside down proxy comment was rather priceless:

    “The claim that ‘‘upside down’ data were used is bizarre. Multivariate regression methods are insensitive to the sign of predictors. Screening, when used, employed one-sided tests only when a definite sign could be a priori reasoned on physical grounds. Potential nonclimatic influences on the Tiljander and other proxies were discussed in the SI, which showed that none of our central conclusions relied on their use.”

    In his book, that I found a section of on line, he claimed that there was no such thing as upside down in M08 because of sophisticated MV regressoin,yet in CPS described at the same time, orientation stays the same so it does matter. It matters in both actually because the problem is MV and overdefined and has no real solution. But it is flatly wrong CPS does care every time what orientation the proxy is used in and Mann states specifically that it doesn’t. – it is numbered 57 at this link – sorry I don’t have the text or the book but the paragraph is false.


    There is so much more!

  7. To me it seems the shenanigans are symptomatic of someone who is surrounded by people of lesser experience (not necessarily less intellect) otherwise known as ‘students’ and that the “BS baffles brains” approach to debate has succeeded in the past.

    This being the case, and not knowing where his digression from acceptable standards of practice began, it is worth looking into the past beyond 1998 for other examples of ‘baffle-ism’. (Baffelism?) On the face of it, the tendency to torture data is a character issue, not a methodological slip – we all make those. Character does not form over a weekend in 1998.

    Steyn’s request for other examples of misbehavior is open – not limited to one or another aspect of climate science.

  8. Alright, on my computer now. Responses:

    Paul Deacon, it sounds like you’re referring to the Tiljander issue mentioned above. There, Michael Mann used data upside down. When it was pointed out, he denied it, claiming the accusation was “bizzare.”

    ibrahim, I’m not sure why you think Mann’s 2008 paper would indicate Mann knew his earlier work was wrong. I’m also not sure why you say “the IPCC AR4 saw the light.” The AR4 used Mann’s work. It didn’t use it as prominently, but that’s hardly surprising given the age of it. The only thing the AR4 really backed off on about Mann’s hockey stick is the issue of whether or not temperatures of individual years like 1998 could be compared to past temperatures.

    charles the moderator, the case of Mann forwarding an e-mail requesting someone delete e-mails under subject of an FOI request is likely relevant, especially since it shows how flaccid Penn State was in its “investigation” of Michael Mann. I don’t think the other issue you mention is particularly relevant though. It’s important to know how Mann’s defenders subverted the IPCC review process, but Mann wasn’t involved in that incident. I can’t see blaming him for it.

    Reed Coray, technically, I don’t think what Mann did can even be called principle component analysis. It’s that far from “the mathematics of PCA” and “commonly accepted statistical applications of PCA.” I don’t know how worthwhile discussing that for this list would be though. It’d be hard to get a jury to care about, much less understand, the mathematical details involved. I’ll likely write a post (or several posts) about it anyway, but for the moment I’m going to try to focus on simpler issues.

    pdtillman, I certainly think that sort of behavior from Mann merits attention. I doubt I’ll write about it though. The defendants mann is suing are already well aware Mann is a jerk to people he dislikes. I think pretty much everyone does. I expect it’d be better for me to focus on discussing issues which aren’t immediately obvious to anyone who has ever seen Mann say anything, ever.

    NikFromNYC, I don’t think your description of Marcott et al is accurate (though I agree the paper is flawed), but I also don’t see it as being particularly important for this topic. Mann has celebrated a ton of papers as proving his hockey stick is correct. There’s little reason to pick one to discuss rather than all of them. And while there’s a lot to be said about all those papers, this series of posts is already going to be ten or more posts long. Posts discussing a dozen different papers wouldn’t fit.

  9. I would add one of the most basic and early complaints. Mann used Bristlecone Pines which are NOT considered appropriate by the Paleo community. Not only that but he used strip bark samples. Stripping bark causes a growth burst in Bristlecones that help make that Big Blade!!!

  10. Mike’s Nature Trick:

    “1. A digital splice of proxy data up to 1980 with instrumental data to 1995 (MBH98), lengthened to 1998 (MBH99).

    2. Smoothing with a Butterworth filter of 50 years in MBH98 (MBH99- 40 years) after padding with the mean instrumental value in the calibration period (0) for 100 years.

    3. Discarding all values of the smooth after the end of the proxy period.

    The splicing of instrumental data with proxy data prior to smoothing has been established by UC beyond any doubt (as will be reviewed below.)
    Nonetheless, both Mann and Gavin Schmidt have vehemently denied such a splice.”


  11. Jeff Id, I remembered those issues. I intend to write about the substitution of proxy data with temperature data in Mann 2008. It’s one of the more interesting points for the, “Temperature record as proxies” point. I also intend to write about the Tiljander issue (no worries about not providing a quote, I have it and a page number from something I wrote a while back). I don’t think I’ll discuss CPS issues though as discussions of mathematics probably wouldn’t be very useful with a jury.

    Crispin in Waterloo, I imagine one could find examples of similar behavior prior Mann’s publication of his hockey stick. I don’t think it’s worth the trouble though. We have plenty of evidence from Mann’s public activities without digging through periods of his life before he became a public figure. Why go through the extra work to find things nobody knows about 20 years after the fact?

    kuhnkat, I expect to discuss that in the non-robust post. You can find a sample of what I’ll write about it here. Mann basically made things up about what a National Academy of Science panel said about bristlecone proxies to pretend it didn’t say they should be avoided. In the process, he accused Steve McIntyre of misrepresenting the NAS panel even though it said exactly what McIntyre said and nothing like what Mann said. And to make matters stranger, one of Mann’s co-authors has publicly acknowledged the NAS panel said what Mann claims it didn’t (and Mann commented on that very post).

    Chris, another damning aspect of Mike’s Nature Trick is he has repeatedly made untrue statements about what it involved. It’s difficult to imagine how they could be anything other than lies. Regardless, the subject is definitely one I should discuss.

  12. Here Mann denies that scientists “graft” instrument data onto tree-ring data reconstructions (keep in mind that the inconvenient 20th century temp decline shown by tree-ring data was trimmed off and the instrument data appeared right after the trim.):

    “No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum. Most proxy reconstructions end somewhere around 1980, for the reasons discussed above. Often, as in the comparisons we show on this site, the instrumental record (which extends to present) is shown along with the reconstructions, and clearly distinguished from them (e.g. highlighted in red as here). Most studies seek to “validate” a reconstruction by showing that it independently reproduces instrumental estimates (e.g. early temperature data available during the 18th and 19th century) that were not used to ‘calibrate’ the proxy data. When this is done, it is indeed possible to quantitatively compare the instrumental record of the past few decades with earlier estimates from the proxy reconstruction, within the context of the estimated uncertainties in the reconstructed values (again see the comparisons here, with the instrumental record clearly distinguished in red, the proxy reconstructions indicated by e.g. blue or green, and the uncertainties indicated by shading).”


  13. Chris, interestingly, Michael Mann acknowledges the trick of using instrumental data to pad his temperature reconstruction prior to smoothing. I discussed it here. That means he knew what people said about Mike’s Nature Trick was true. And since he said it in November 2009 (shortly after the Climategate e-mails were released), in response to a person discussing the trick, Mann clearly knew at the time people were saying it.

    It’s almost unbelievable.

  14. One defense Mann is likely to use is that the errors in his reconstructions don’t matter because independent results from other scientists corroborate his findings.

    It these two brilliant posts, Steve McIntyre turns that defense upside-down by showing most of those reconstructions used the same dodgy proxies Mann used, or used the Yamal series (which used a single tree to give the hockey stick shape), or used both!

    “You will frequently see apologists state that these reconstructions provide “independent” evidence. However, this is not the case on two counts. The same proxies are used over and over again – a point reported at CA on many occasions and confirmed in Wegman et al 2006. Thus, if problems arise with (say) bristlecones or (say) Yamal, this will affect multiple studies and not be contained to one result. More on this below. In addition, there are not really 10 “independent” groups, as “independence” is understood in the real world. Mann and Jones 2003 is not independent of Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) or Jones (Briffa) et al 1998 or Rutherford et al 2005 (Mann, Osborn, Bradley, Briffa, Hughes and Jones).”


    “Revisiting Briffa’s table, I’ve added a column commenting on each reconstruction.”

  15. Chris, I doubt that defense will receive much focus. This lawsuit is about whether or not Mann’s work was fraudulent, not whether it was right or wrong. A person can get the right answer despite not doing valid work. It happens all the time. Just look at cheating.

    That said, if it does get brought up, another rebuttal would be to simply plot the original hockey stick and other temperature reconstructions on the same graph and show it to the jury. The original hockey stick is very different from the later ones (including Mann’s own temperature reconstruction in 2008). That means even if one believed the subsequent reconstructions were independently created, they wouldn’t do anything to support Mann’s original.

    As an added bonus, it’d be incredibly easy to demonstrate to the jury. All you’d need to do is graph various reconstructions together, blow the image up and print it out. You could then ask, “Do these lines look similar to each other?”

  16. From Climategate: 1107899057.txt Michael Mann claims to a journalist that “The McIntyre and McKitrick paper is pure scientific fraud.”

    Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 15:52:53 -0500
    To: Andy Revkin
    From: “Michael E. Mann”
    Subject: Re: FW: “hockey stock” methodology misleading
    Hi Andy,
    The McIntyre and McKitrick paper is pure scientific fraud. I think you’ll find this
    reinforced by just about any legitimate scientist in our field you discuss this with.

    1024334440.txt Keith Briffa says of Michael Mann’s notorious ‘hockey stick’ picture: “I have just read this letter – and I think it is crap. I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few tropical series.” Ed Cook replies: “We both know the probable flaws in Mike’s recon,”… “It is puzzling to me that a guy as bright as Mike would be so unwilling to evaluate his own work a bit more objectively.”

    1255553034.txt Tom Wigley tells Michael Mann that a graph of his is “very deceptive” and says “In my (perhaps too harsh) view, there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC”.

  17. Re Mann hiding and lying about R2
    At The Blackboard Steve McIntyre (Comment #123372) January 31st, 2014 at 8:35 pm :

    . . .The issue is whether the adverse r2 results for earlier steps was information that should have been disclosed to readers, together with whatever arguments that Mann might make for disregarding the statistic relative to (for example) the RE statistic. In securities offerings, failure to disclose material adverse results constitutes fraud. So this is likely to be one of the battleground issues in the litigation.

    This issue was very much in play at the time of the NAS panel which was asked to investigate this and related issues, but which did not do so. At the NAS workshop, Mann lied to the NAS panel when asked whether he had calculated a verification r2 statistic and what was the result. This lie would presumably be a second and related issue over and above the initial failure to disclose. . . .

    Mann has tried to portray the dispute as me arguing for verification r2 as a preferred metric. That’s not my position at all. The issue AFAIK is that Mann had an obligation to disclose the adverse information and let readers decide. In a securities offering, a promoter is required to disclose all material adverse information and to sign an affidavit that he has done so. Obviously promoters do not always do so, but such failures are typically what occasion prosecution e.g. Enron. It is my understanding that climate scientists hold themselves to a higher standard than seedy stock promoters and therefore commenters are entitled to take a very serious view of any failure to disclose material adverse information. . . .

    Steve McIntyre (Comment #123392) February 1st, 2014 at 1:02 am

    We reported the adverse verification r2 in McIntyre and McKitrick 2005 (GRL) as a rebuttal to Mann’s claims that his reconstruction was “statistically significant”. Wahl and Ammann grudgingly confirmed these results. . . . I asked AMmann at a lunch to report these results since his claim that all our results were “unfounded” was untrue. Ammann flatly refused.. . .I filed an academic misconduct complaint against him and he very grudgingly reported the adverse verification r2 results – he got the same results as us, which I knew because his code matched ours. To my knowledge, Mann himself has never admitted the adverse verification r2 results.. .

    Emphasis added.

  18. The method fundamentally makes hockey sticks.

    This seems like a trivial side-effect, but it is actually disastrous to the entire approach if you think about it carefully. Steve McIntyre did this for random data, and I seem to recall several other similar efforts based off of his work. And the claim that the -same- data makes hockeysticks even when put in upside down and backwards.

    The key is that ‘the blade’ is NOT the problem. For the blade you’re asking “which of these proxies agree with the instrumental period?” (or just flat including the instrumental period). So the entire ‘blade’ portion of the stick is necessarily boring: “Find things that look like this, hey -they-look-like-this!”

    The key bit is the ASSUMPTION that a proxy that works well over -some- portion of it’s span works well over -the-rest-of- its span. Which allows extension backwards in time to prior-to-instrumentation.

    1) Tree proxies only correlate well at the edge of the treeline.
    2) Treelines -move-.
    3) Climate changes -move- treelines.

    The -other- 900+ temperature proxies in the mix are downweighted for not fitting as well as the 3 chosen proxies in the instrumental period.

    But the crucial assumption is (again): That those few proxies have merit -outside- the instrumental period. And -more- merit than the other 900+ proxies do. But throw in Abednah examining the exact same sets of trees (in a more competent, more documented, and much more exhaustive fashion!) and you have the same Graybill tree -not- matching the instrumental period for 1960-1980+.

    That is: Graybill’s in the top three proxies for 1930-1960 … but much closer to ‘worst fit’ for 1960-1980.

    Assumption: Invalid.

    Meaning it’s hardly a surprise that averaging random uncorrelated data is relatively flat.

  19. It might be wise to read Mann’s defense of the Penn State Investigation. Not a lawyer but I thought he said it was work product that was miss-used
    by others…

  20. Phillip G. Shaw, could you provide a reference to what you’re talking about? I don’t know what you mean by “Mann’s defense” of that, and I don’t know what you think he said “was work product that was miss-used by others.”

  21. In his book, he calls his previously unknown PCA technique of centering data by only using the offset for the 20th century, “modern centering”.

  22. The Rain in Maine story is amusing, and possibly shows that Mann is resistant to corrrecting errors that are pointed out by his opponents, even to the level of publishing the same mistake years later.

    This was highlighted heavily on CA. Do we have any knowledge that Mann was aware of this discussion?

  23. “Manns 2008 paper was received for review in november 2007 http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13252.full.pdf%20html

    That’s the same month as the IPCC AR 4 saw the light.

    So I assume that Mann knew long before the publication of AR4 that his hockeystick papers from 1998, 1999 and 2003 were wrong………………”

    saw the light = (in this case ) published
    Manns 08 paper (received 2007) shows a MWP and LIA. So before the publication of AR4 he knew his hockeystick was wrong.

  24. I think it would be useful to support any of these allegations against Mann in the original article, with links to corroberating information or data. At the moment they appear to be nothing more than allegations, which may, or may not be true. I do not know whether they are true or not. Please provide links to evidence which support the allegations. I thank the other contributors for their links, where appropriate.

    I am fully in favour of outing Mann as a fraud if their is evidence for doing so, and especially if such supporting evidence for doing so is robust. If not, then this is only an attack on his work, character and reputation and could turn out to be a very large mistake on your part.

  25. More about the /// The Cause ///


    By the way, when is Tom C going to formally publish his roughly 1500 year
    reconstruction??? It would help the cause to be able to refer to that
    reconstruction as confirming Mann and Jones, etc.


    They will (see below) allow us to provide some discussion of the synthetic
    example, referring to the J. Cimate paper (which should be finally accepted
    upon submission of the revised final draft), so that should help the cause a


    Ad hominems:




  26. What a wierd little project. So these are Mann’s WORST offences in his entire career? Really? This is all you have?

    On the question of what the NAS did or did not say about not using Bristlecones, Gerald North clarified in a later presentation:-

    “There was much discussion of this matter during our deliberations. We did not dissect each and every study in the report to see which trees were used. The tree ring people are well aware of the problem you bring up. I feel certain that the most recent studies by Cook, d’arrigo and others do take this into account. The strip-bark forms in the bristlecones do seem to be influenced by the recent rise in CO2 and are therefore not suitable for use in the reconstructions *over the last 150 years*. One reason we place much more reliance on our conclusions about the last 400 years is that we have several other proxies besides tree rings in this period.”


    And speaking of the NAS panel, this is what they said about r-squared in the context of paleo reconstructions.

    “However, r2 measures how well some linear function of the predictions matches the data, not how well the predictions themselves perform. The coefficients in that linear function cannot be calculated without knowing the values being predicted, so it is not in itself a useful indication of merit. ”

    So Mann allegedly ‘withheld’ a metric that the experts say has no merit in assessing the accuracy of a reconstruction. Woo-hoo!

  27. Here’s something I posted on WUWT over a year ago about an allegation made by another commenter. If anyone can confirm the allegation it would damage Mann’s credibility.

    Mann’s Nobel prize claim was, in itself, a minor stretcher. What will make it deadly for him is if it turns out to be true, as a commenter upthread claimed, that he and all other IPCC-ers, were sent an e-mail from either the Nobel Committee or the IPCC a year ago telling them not to claim to be Nobel recipients. If he persisted despite being warned, he’s a “meat-eater,” not a “grass-eater.”

    Here’s are more comments by others that are worthy of reposting:

    Skiphil says:
    July 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    For anyone with more energy than me right now (I’m going to bed), there are lots of good pieces of info to be culled from some Climate Audit threads I started reviewing on Mann, Penn State, and some other issues pertaining to Mann’s credibility and character. Perhaps someone with a blog could start crowd sourcing summary info on Mannian science and character in one location. Here are some links:


    Salamano says:
    July 21, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I think a comparison IS appropriate…

    But it’s the comparison between Michael Mann and Joe Paterno as it relates to Penn State — nothing to do with Sandusky…

    Think about it… Two years ago, Penn State “investigates” Mann with regard to the stolen Climategate emails– and yet as a restriction on the ‘independent’ investigation, it was said that the emails themselves can not be used for content or evidence. The reason: Because it’s impossible to divine motive or action in any concrete form from a set of emails, incomplete or otherwise. They ended up being left with simply asking Mann if he did something wrong, and reporting what he said as conclusions.

    Fast-forward to today… and Louis Freeh concludes that it is perfectly ascertainable to understand both motive and behavior of Joe Paterno throughout the Sandusky saga, particularly through received emails, all this despite Joe Paterno not ever using a computer much less email.

    There clearly is a stark difference between how Penn State chose to “investigate” in each circumstance, despite each attempting to have an air of credibility.

    No one asked Louis Freeh about this in the press conference, but it’s clear to me that even a cursory look at the Climategate emails with the same eye that pored over the PSU emails looking for Paterno’s behavior would have uncovered culpability on the part of Dr. Michael Mann in more than one arena of adacemic/professional irresponsibility.

    Joe Paterno and Michael Mann should stand or fall together if their investigations were carried out with a similar level of credibility. Penn State has apparently made a decision to do things differently in each case. No one has called for the “death penalty” in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and yet football is being blamed in Paterno’s case.

    Steve McIntyre says:
    July 6, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Anthony, the highlighted Mann email (new in CG2) refers back to a pre-MM2003 incident and a very strange incident. In my first entry to paleoclimate analysis, I had asked Mann by email for the FTP location of the data for MBH98. Mann said that he had “forgotten” the location but that Rutherford would get it for me. Rutherford said that the data wasn’t in one location, but that he would get it together for me. This was my very first contact with the Team and I was amazed. Rutherford then gave me a link to a dataset at Mann’s FTP site. I downloaded this data and analyzed it.

    Some months later, after noticing problems with the principal component series, I sent Mann the data set that I had downloaded and asked him to confirm that this was the actual data used in MBH98. Mann said that he was too busy to answer and that no one else had any problems. At the same time, I renewed my efforts to examine his FTP site for data related to MBH. His site was blocked to google search and the directories were not searchable.

    When we published MM2003, Mann accused us of using the “wrong” dataset. Two days later, at David Appell’s site, a link was given to the “right” data set. Mann said that the “wrong” dataset had been prepared by Rutherford because we had supposedly asked for data in an Excel spreadsheet – an untrue smear that caused many smirks and sneers within the community. In fact, I hadn’t asked for an excel spreadsheet. The data set that we had loaded was also date stamped long prior to my request. Mann then deleted this version without any annotation or apology. Even though I published the correspondence, Mann’s smear was accepted by the “community” – Jones sneered at me about this in an email over a year later.

    Mann also (falsely) asserted that the “right” dataset had been available all along and that we should have used it (though the URL now given had never been previously referred to in a webpage or anywhere else). I had diligently parsed his website and was convinced that Mann had simply moved data from a private protected area to a public area in response to our article but this could not be demonstrated unless the university investigated. The CG2 email that you refer to shows quite clearly that the “right” data set was not publicly accessible in September 2003.

    The issue of the “wrong” data set ultimately proved to be moot as the problems with MBH98 did not turn on the differences between these two versions. However, the incident did make me that much more careful in asking members of the Team for the precise version of a data set used in article.

    Most of all, I was amazed at Mann’s baldfaced untruthfulness in claiming that we had asked for an excel spreadsheet and that the version that we had been given access to had been prepared especially for us. Both because of the untruthfulness itself and because of the ease with which the untruthfulness could be demonstrated (merely by producing my original email request which made no reference to an excel spreadsheet and asked directly for an FTP location). The credulous acceptance of this untruthfulness by the community was amazing and perhaps Mann was counting on this. Remarkably, seven years later, Mann re-iterated this untruthful story to the Penn State Investigation Committee rather than just letting sleeping dogs lie. The Penn State committee accepted the false story at face value without doing any investigation.

    A strange incident indeed.

    steven mosher says:
    March 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

    The point it makes is simple. We have other examples of Mann making mistakes and refusing to acknowledge them. We have other examples of him making corrections and refusing to credit those who pointed out the error. We have other examples of him playing fast and loose with some facts: facts about the spreadsheet that was never asked for by McIntyre; facts about the deleting of mails; facts about computing or not computing certain statistics…

    In the grand scheme of things these are minor details. They don’t impact the truth of the science one whit. Comes the puzzle. Why won’t this man do the honorable scholarly thing when nothing scientific is at stake? until somebody proposes an explanation for his behavior i suppose people will speculate. Some will try to drag the science through the mud. I would think it’s in our interest to prevent that.

    ThinkingScientist says:
    March 8, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    The difference between Mann and Kerr is very clear. Kerr writes an email in which he graciously cannot recall from where the acronym was coined and is happy to be neutral for the credit for the term. For him the credit is unimportant. Mann is desperate to claim credit because he thinks he will have AMO associated with his name. He wants to be famous and his name associated with an important discovery. I am reminded of Tony Blair (“the hand of history on my shoulder”) or Al Gore (“I invented the internet”).

    Posted Nov 10, 2011 at 8:50 PM | Permalink | Reply
    I made the comment yesterday before this post by Steve and I will repeat it now.

    After giving the new administration (President) time to orient himself/herself to the new position, it would be a good idea to send a letter respectfully asking that then Mann inquiry be revisited. I suspect that there will be a brand new attitude towards finding staff people innocent based on the success in bringing money to the University.

    Bebben says:
    April 8, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Let it not be forgotten that this lawsuit is filed by a man who himself has been spreading untrue statements using extremely [un]professional language about his most prominent critics, the also Canadians Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, who in 2005 filed a complaint about him to the University of Virginia.

    From the complaint:

    Dr. Mann sent an email to a European science magazine, Natuurwetenschap & Techniek, in response to some technical questions during their preparation of a story for publication. This email has been published on the Internet. http://www.natutech.nl/nieuwsDetail.lasso?ID=2565.

    We object to Dr. Mann’s hostile, uncivil and personally derogatory comments, especially to a reporter preparing a story for international publication. We object in particular to his accusation that we have been “plainly dishonest.” We object to Dr. Mann’s dissemination and endorsement of an ad hominem attack against us by the Environmental Defense Fund, containing an untrue suggestion that our work was financed by ExxonMobil. We object to the statement that one of us (McKitrick) was “prone to publishing entirely invalid results apparently without apology.”

    The University did nothing – they not even acknowledged the complaints.

    Says Steve McIntyre, thoughtful as always:

    “Climate scientists are quite willing to blame “skeptic” sites for this language, but are unwilling to look into the mirror of their community and acknowledge the substantial contribution of their “community” to the deterioration of conduct.”



    Maybe Mann should sue his mirror.

  28. Phil Clarke, I’m disinclined to respond to commenters who are clearly not interested in actual discussions. The comment you made in response to my post after this one labels you as such. Additionally, the latter half of your comment here shows you are willfully ignorant of the issue you discuss.

    I will say this, however. If one is willing to cherry-pick quotes which sort of sound like they support one’s view, while not paying any attention to what one’s critics say, it is possible to defend anything.

  29. doggywoggydooda, your comment seems odd. You say I should provide references for the accusations you make, but you seem to ignore the fact I said I am going to (try to) write posts discussing each accusation I include on my list. I even specifically said I’ll be providing references. There is a lot of material here, and it will take time to get it posted.

    In the meantime, you could look at the very next post on this blog. It provides a well-referenced discussion of one of the issues I intend to include in my final list. I think it should meet any standards you might have.

  30. The autocorrelation values chosen in M07 were close to M08 in mean, yet just low enough that he could avoid the truth of the matter. The guy makes his living on proxy nonsense, he would have to be unaware of higher values of rho to miss the paper reversing data. I think Steyn could stand on that paper by itself.

    I see that you are looking for simple comments, which is wise, but this case is going to be a bit technical in nature no matter what we want it to be. The CPS screening procedure of M08 is probably the simplest example of scientific chicanery to present. Mann’s defense will be that other guys did it too but who knows what effect that would have or what kind of problem that presents to Steyn. Whether it is legal fraud or whether it rises to a level where a person can safely call it fraud without consequence, I don’t know. It seems to me that Mark Steyn’s comments were well within the bounds that a normal person could consider a reasonable interpretation of Mann’s work. I actually think that if Steyn were more of a leftist making this claim, he wouldn’t have been named.

  31. How is one ‘wilfully ignorant’ I wonder? You can of course choose not to engage, however if this stuff is really intended for a court case you might be interested in what will and will not impress a jury and be of interest to a cross-examining lawer. Hint: bringing up an old misunderstanding about a file format is likely to get you admonishment for timewasting. Especially as the saintly McIntyre himself concedes its a complete non-issue, scientifically. The jury would simply be asking ‘that all you got?’

    So did the NAS panel describe r2 as of no merit or not? In language a jury can follow….

    And what do you make of the findings of ‘Deep Climate’ and others that M&M’s ‘fabrication’ of hockey sticks from red noise using the MBH algorithm …

    (a) Used a cherry-picked 1% of the output
    (b) Used red noise with inappropriate auto-correlation
    (c) Produced hockey sticks a fraction of the magnitude of the real thing?


    A jury might just find that compelling 😉

  32. Phil Clarke, your portrayal of the NAS panel claiming r2 is “of no merit” is ludicrous and wonderfully shows yours bias. This post explicitly points out Michael Mann published r2 scores which were favorable, yet you suggest r2 scores are “of no merit” without addresing that point. If one truly believes r2 is “of no merit,” then Mann was wrong to use it to support his work.

    As for what Deep Climate wrote, if you wish to apply what you listed to work by McIntyre and McKitrick, you clearly haven’t read the paper the issues originated in. You certainly haven’t understood what it did. It’d be pointless to try to discuss the matter with you since you don’t understand what you’re criticizing and you’re only offering it as a form of petty point-scoring.

    Oddly enough, I discussed the first point you raised in some detail on this very site, only a week or so ago. If you want to be viewed as more than a troll, you could try looking at what I wrote and addressing it.

  33. Ok, so you don’t wish to answer my simple questions, as is your right. But you didn’t demonstrate that Mann published favourable r2 scores, you just asserted it. Mann makes his opinion of the metric clear in this letter to Senator Barton,

    Click to access Mann_response_to_Barton.pdf

    “RE is the preferred measure of statistical skill because it takes into account not
    only whether a reconstruction is “correlated” with the actual test data, but also whether it
    can closely reproduce the mean and standard deviation of the test data. If a
    reconstruction cannot do that, it cannot be considered statistically valid (i.e., useful or
    meaningful). The linear correlation coefficient (r) is not a sufficient diagnostic of skill,
    precisely because it cannot measure the ability of a reconstruction to capture changes that
    occur in either the standard deviation or mean of the series outside the calibration
    interval. This is well known. … The highest possible attainable value of r2 (i.e., r2
    = 1) may result even from a reconstruction that has no statistical skill at all. For all of
    these reasons, we, and other researchers in our field, employ RE and not r2 as the
    primary measure of reconstructive skill.”

    Hope this helps in your defence of the hateful comparison of the winner of the Hans Oeschger Medal, a Distinguished Professor and Fellow of the AGU to a paedophile.

    Like I said, wierd little project.

  34. Alright, I’m back at my computer so I can write more easily. I’m going to discuss a bit of what Phil Clarke said. This shouldn’t be taken as me thinking his comment was posted in good faith. In fact, I think they were off-topic trolling. However, I think the criticisms made by Deep Climate have not received a clear and direct response, and I’d like that to change. I may write a post about it after I finish my series on Michael Mann, but in the meantime, here’s some basic points. In response to Phil Clarke’s a, I’ll first point out Deep Climate himself said:

    so the answer is the average PC1… would have a hockey stick index of about 1.6. That is, on average the calibration period mean is 1.6 stdev above (or below) the overall series mean. The top 100 average 1.96 HSI.

    So this is best thought of as one more exaggeration (~20%)

    That means Deep Climate’s claim of cherry-picking has an effect he quantifies as ~20%. That’s hardly a damning criticism, even if true. However, Deep Climate pays little mind to the fact McIntyre and McKitrick explicitly state:

    The simulations nearly always yielded PC1s with a hockey stick shape, some of which bore a quite remarkable similarity to the actual MBH98 temperature reconstruction – as shown by the example in Figure 1.A

    Notice the word I made bold. They made it clear they were providing a “cherry-picked” example to demonstrate a point. There was no deception involved in this, and as Deep Climate himself notes, it had little effect.

    In response to Phil Clarke’s b, I’ll merely note Deep Climate has done nothing to show McIntyre and McKitrick’s persistence model was inappropriate. In fact, he didn’t even discuss what it was or what issues it may or may not have. The reality is he’s over-simplifying things in a way that best suits his case. (This topic would need a post of its own to cover).

    In response to his c, the fact most hockey sticks produced via red noise are “smaller” than Mann’s PC1 is meaningless for what McIntyre and McKitrick said. They’ve always said Mann’s methodology mined for hockey sticks. That requires there be hockey sticks in some portion of the data. The point has always been Mann’s methodology unduly favors data which has a hockey stick shape.

    In reality, there are something like 15 series out of Mann’s hundreds which show anything resembling a hockey stick. Mann’s methodology is biased to select those few series and give them far more weight than others. The argument from Deep Climate and Phile Clarke basically says, “Yes, the method is biased, but it’s not so biased random data will generate the same results!”

    Which is fine to discuss and all, but it does nothing to address the fact Mann’s methodology was biased to cherry-pick the data with the results he desired. In fact, it basically concedes the point.

    With that said, I’ll ask readers to refrain from discussing this issue further unless they have specific questions to ask or comments directly addressing something which has been said. I don’t want Phil Clarke to divert this thread too badly.

  35. Phil Clarke, I never claimed to have demonstrated Mann published favorable r2 scores in this blog post. Saying I just “asserted” that is meaningless. Anyone who read the post would know I just asserted it. That’s why I specifically said this post points out what Mann did.

    The simple reality is if you’re not willing to look at Mann’s paper, where his publication of r2 scores is obvious and undeniable, you may have to wait a little while for me to write a post about the issue if you want to see why I say it. If waiting a little while is too much to ask from you and you’re unwilling to even look at what Mann wrote, I suggest you use Google as it can readily direct you to clear proof of my claim.

    Incidentally, your refusal to even attempt to look into what is being discussed is exactly how one remains willfully ignorant. If you actually wanted to know the truth about Mann’s hockey stick, you’d have surely attempted to read what he published about it. Had you done that, you’d know it is indisputable he published favorable r2 scores.

  36. Mr. Shollenberger,

    I think a very useful exercise would be to compile a bibliography of all of the ‘independent’ verifications of MBH98 & MBH99, and then construct a visual (e.g., a flow-chart) representation of the family relationship of all the papers. Use one color indicating the papers over which Mann probably had direct oversight (e.g., Amman & Wahl, both of whom were Mann’s students), another color for those papers which shared the Bristlecone dataset, another color for those sharing the Yamal dataset, etc, etc. visuals like what I’ve described here make GREAT examples that juries can understand. This single graphic would destroy any attempt to claim independent verification.

    Also, it seems Steve McIntyre has gone awfully quiet lately. One wonders if he is busy helping a fellow Canuck with some prep work along these lines? Probably you should contact him.

  37. Mr. Clarke,

    Go back and read, or shut up and go away. NOBODY likened Mann to Sandusky. Not Rand Simberg, not Mark Steyn. Simberg compared the initial blatant and obvious whitewash of the Sandusky incident to the blatant and obvious whitewash of Mann’s behavior. The point: if PSU will cover for a pedophile, it’s no stretch to think that they would cover for someone who ‘tortures and molests’ ‘mere’ data. In BOTH Simberg’s and Steyn’s posts, the ONLY party fit to take offense was the administration at PSU. Mann was incidental to the criticism.

  38. Brandon,

    Which part of one MORE exaggeration is giving you the difficulty?

    As for ‘I’ll merely note Deep Climate has done nothing to show McIntyre and McKitrick’s persistence model was inappropriate. In fact, he didn’t even discuss what it was or what issues it may or may not have. ‘

    You’re kidding right? DC expends several hundred detailed words on exactly that topic. Hint – it’s the section that starts ‘However, M&M’s null proxies were not generated as AR1 noise as claimed by Wegman et al, but rather by using the full autocorrelation structure of the real proxies’

    As for R2, I assume you’re referring to MBH98 in which the authors state

    ‘We use as our primary diagnostic of calibration and verification
    reconstructive skill the conventional ‘resolved variance’ statistic;


    RV is a quite rigorous measure of the similarity between two variables,
    measuring their correspondence not only in terms of the relative departures
    from mean values (as does the correlation coefficient r) but also in terms of the
    means and absolute variance of the two series. For comparison, correlation (r)
    and squared-correlation (r2) statistics are also determined …

    So yes, r2 was calculated, but as a *comparison* to their preferred, skillful primary metric, presumably for completeness. And the accompanying figure hardly counts as a ‘favourable’ result for r2, compared to RV…

    Good luck with that jury ….. to all the stuff so far collated here, if I were a jurist my reaction would be a huge ‘So What?’

  39. The Court is not interested in the science. Dr Mann’s complaint is that the defendant has accused him of fraud. Showing incompetence on the part of the plaintiff will do the defendant no good at all.

    What the defendant must show is the truth of the statements attributed to him. The case is about the use of certain words and statements that damaged the plaintiff’s reputation.

    The defense must be that either the defendant’s words did not amount to an allegation of fraud. [Which I do not think a jury will believe.]

    Or the defense must be that the defendant’s words have lowered the plaintiff’s reputation to a level that is more realistic than it was before he made the statements alleged to have been libelous.

    I remember some fragments that Mr Steyn might explore .

    First, there was the trick of hiding the decline. I don’t know who invented that trick. The defendant would have to find evidence that the plaintiff was party to the deception. I don’t know that he was. The Climategate One e-mail folder is the place to look..

    Second, Steve McIntyre finally succeeded in obtaining data from the plaintiff. He described a folder named “censored”. I recall that Mr. McIntyre said that this folder held data or information that the showed the “hockey stick” was not a robust representation of climate change during the period covered by the study and that this was obviously known by the plaintiff.

    I do not hold out much hope for Mr Steyn because, even if his allegations were true, the jury might decide that his comments about Dr Mann’s work reveals malice. This would undermine justification for the words based on the public interest. Malicious words are not protected.

    Mr. Steyn’s defense would be that he does not know the plaintiff personally and therefore there was no malicious motive. The words used were mocking, caustic and sarcastic, but nevertheless protected by a qualified privilege to comment on matters of public interest.

  40. Phil Clarke, I feel I must inform you of a moderation policy of mine. It is a rule at this site one may not make a claim without being willing to support it when challenged. In this case, I specifically disputed your notion Deep Climate found McIntyre and McKitrick, “Used red noise with inappropriate auto-correlation.” You responded:

    You’re kidding right? DC expends several hundred detailed words on exactly that topic. Hint – it’s the section that starts ‘However, M&M’s null proxies were not generated as AR1 noise as claimed by Wegman et al, but rather by using the full autocorrelation structure of the real proxies’

    First and foremost, your response does support your case. A response of, “Look it up” is never acceptable. As such, your response in direct violation of my moderation policy.

    Moreover, I am well aware of what Deep Climate wrote, and he did not show his claims were true. He hand-wavingly claimed the noise structure was inappropriate, offered a quote which didn’t say it was inappropriate, and that’s basically it. Given this is a topic involving math and statistics, that is nothing close to sufficient. That is especially true given Deep Climate ignored the multiple papers and many posts which have been published discussing McIntyre and McKitrick’s red noise simulations.

    In addition to your failure I describe above, you ignored the majority of what I said in my comment, and as far as I can tell this is all just a red herring designed to divert the discussion. As such, I’m warning you now, you need to change your behavior.

  41. Brandon, check out Arthur Smith’s Not Spaghetti blog. Amac shows that Mann committed fraud according to a definition provided by Smith. I think the post was Where’s the Fraud or Michael Mann’s errors.

  42. Dr. C, I agree that would be a useful exercise. I don’t agree one needs to focus on when “Mann probably had direct oversight” though. If one of Mann’s co-authors on the original hockey stick, say Ray Bradley, writes a paper with another group of authors, that wouldn’t be indepedent of Mann’s work.

    As such, I’d look at the authors in a separate figure. What I think I would do is make a list of each “independent” confirmation of Mann’s hockey stick with their authors listed. In this figure, I’d color code each author. I’d then make additional figures which only show specific colors to show how much overlap there is.

    Oddly enough, this and what you suggest with proxies is part of a project I’ve wanted to do for some time to give a wiki-like resource for the entire hockey stick debate (without the public editing). The problem is that would take an immense amount of time. Given I’m not receiving any compensation for anything I do, I don’t think it’ll happen in the foreseeable future.

    That said, a simple figure like you describe might be mangeable enough. I don’t know if it’d be worth the trouble though. I don’t recall Mann’s motions making much of an issue of the “independent” verifications, and I don’t see how they’d help him in front of a jury much. Most of them give significantly different results than his original hockey stick so it’d be easy to show he didn’t get the “right” answer.

  43. HughMcdonough, it’s funny you tell me to look at that blog. As I recall, nobody there attempted to show Michael Mann’s work was fraudulent, including AMac. The argument I remember being made is it didn’t matter whether or not one called Mann’s work fraudulent. The distinction between fraudulent and merely utterly without merit was irrelevant as far as Mann’s critics were concerned. And I say that based on my recollection of the conversations I witnessed while posting there 😛

    But seriously, Arthur Smith kept trying to get people to argue Mann’s work was fraudulent, and nobody seemed interested in doing so. I certainly wasn’t. I was interested in showing Mann’s work was without merit and he was dishonest about his work. I did it quite conclusively, and eventually Arthur Smith fled the conversation because he didn’t have a response.

    I normally wouldn’t use such strong language about his behavior, but some time later he went to Judith Curry’s blog and declared nobody was willing to tell him just what was wrong with Mann’s work, that he could never get specific details or clear references. That offended me as when I did exactly that at his blog, he ran away. I pointed this out in response to him at Curry’s blog, and he wound up running away again.

    That offends me. It’s blatant dishonesty used to insult people he doesn’t like.

  44. Mr. Marlowe,

    You misunderstand the way a libel case works. The defense (Steyn) doesn’t have to do anything until Plaintiff (Mann) shows his cards. Plaintiff (in this case) absolutely MUST show that Steyn KNEW that Mann’s work was NOT fraudulent even though he (Steyn) said it was. This will be impossible for Mann to do. And if Mann can’t prove this (it’s called actual malice), then it’s game over. Steyn will then be free to counter sue for personal costs (attorney’s fees, etc). He would not likely win that, however.

  45. Mr. Clarke,

    Salon is not a trustworthy resource. Rand Simberg, however, is. See the original article, wherein the context of Salon’s cherry-picked quote is quite evident. IOW, it’s the whitewash, stupid.


    N.B., this is the version that CEI edited. (They met Mann halfway, by removing the sentence. But they, AFAIK, declined to apologize.). The offending quote is no longer there. I’m sure there is a web cache of it somewhere.

  46. Chris Marlowe, I’m afraid your comment is wrong on a couple points. First:

    What the defendant must show is the truth of the statements attributed to him.

    This is not true. As long as the defendants said what they said in good faith, they are not guilty of libel. If they had legitimate reason to believe what they said, they’re off the hook.

    I do not hold out much hope for Mr Steyn because, even if his allegations were true, the jury might decide that his comments about Dr Mann’s work reveals malice. This would undermine justification for the words based on the public interest. Malicious words are not protected.

    Malice does not inherently remove protection against charges of slander/libel. You can hate somebody, say horrible things about them and have no risk of a lawsuit. The reason is to remove one’s protection, malice must be the reason for the comments. Hating a person doesn’t inherently prevent you from acting in good faith with your reporting of them and their actions.

    For non-mistakes:

    First, there was the trick of hiding the decline. I don’t know who invented that trick. The defendant would have to find evidence that the plaintiff was party to the deception. I don’t know that he was. The Climategate One e-mail folder is the place to look..

    The trick you’re referring to was referenced in an e-mail as “Mike’s Nature trick.” I’ll be writing a post about it later, but basically, he altered his temperature reconstruction by allowing instrumental data to influence the end of it. Oddly enough, he’s even admitted that (I discussed this in comments you can find via the link at the start of this post).

    To make matters worse for him, he has repeatedly made false claims about what his trick is. That means he’s been trying to cover it up, and we can prove that.

    Second, Steve McIntyre finally succeeded in obtaining data from the plaintiff. He described a folder named “censored”. I recall that Mr. McIntyre said that this folder held data or information that the showed the “hockey stick” was not a robust representation of climate change during the period covered by the study and that this was obviously known by the plaintiff.

    While this is completely true, we don’t even need it. We can show the same thing simply by quoting Michael Mann’s book. In it, he openly admits he did tests which proved “one set of tree ring records” was “of critical importance in establishing the reliability of [his] reconstruction.”

    If one set of tree ring records was vital to his reconstruction, his results were not robust. They certainly were not “relatively robust to the inclusion of dendroclimatic indicators” as his paper claimed.

    Or to put it simply, Mann has openly admitted he did tests which proved a central claim of his original hockey stick was false.

  47. Dr. C, here’s an archived version of the original article. The full context for the quote is:

    So it turns out that Penn State has covered up wrongdoing by one of its employees to avoid bad publicity.

    But I’m not talking about the appalling behavior uncovered this week by the Freeh report. No, I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey-stick deceptions since. Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.

    Michael Mann was compared to Jerry Sandusky in the context Penn State covered for Sandusky’s wrongdoings. Given that context, Mann is “the Jerry Sandusky of climate science” because Penn State covered for his wrongdoings. There’s no implication Michael Mann is a child molester, and it’s clear Mann isn’t considered as bad as Sandusky.

    Still, the two are being compared to some extent.

  48. Dr C.

    Here is the quote that CEI disappeared.

    “I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey-stick deceptions since. Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.”


    So, how is ‘Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science’ consistent with your assertion that ‘NOBODY likened Mann to Sandusky. Not Rand Simberg, not Mark Steyn’.

    I invite you to explain or retract.

  49. Besides science don’t forget his inflated claims of being a Nobel Laureate http://fakenobellaureates.com/#jp-carousel-195 After a note from the committee asking him to desist, he then went on a lecture tour as ‘Nobel Laureate Michael Mann’ regardless on all his advertising material. I sent it to the Nobel Committee plus the quote their officer had made asking him not to use it but I heard nothing and clearly no further action was taken. Under the circumstances I am investigating a knighthood for myself.

  50. Now would be a good time for someone with access to Climategate2 ,to make public all discussions pertinant to Mann.

  51. Mr. Clarke,

    First of all, I think it wrong to say that, “CEI disappeared the quote.” Disappearing, as I believe it is usually used, implies also no recognition that any such action took place. But there is a clear indication at the end of the article that something was removed, and that the something was inappropriate. The fact that I couldn’t/ didn’t find it is testament only to my own laziness.

    In my opinion, the words “could be said” certainly invite speculation, but they do not in fact equate Sandusky and Mann. Having given my opinion, I can also see why someone would INFER that Simberg was equating them, even though at another point he completely disavows that equation.

    The things that Simberg explicitly equates are the two investigations. The court documents (the most recent decision, anyways) suggest that the Court is reading the situation this way. The documents pose the question of whether or not it is appropriate to suggest Mann’s work is fraudulent when so many other organizations have cleared him of wrong doing? (IOW, ” Mr. Steyn, if the government has cleared him, you may not be within your rights to criticize him.” That’s not quite Lysenkoism, yet, but it is getting closer.). Interestingly, however, if the court views the situation that way, it will open up even more things to discovery, to wit, all the proceedings of the various inquiries, and the correspondence associated with them. That could be a hoot.


  52. David in London, normally I’d agree, but Michael Mann’s team has already amended its motions to acknowledge that mistake. I’m not sure how much interest the court would have in the matter at this point.

    Then again, part of that may be due to my lack of knowledge. I didn’t pay much attention to the details of this issue. When did the committee contact him to ask him to stop? Do we know he actually saw the message? Can we tell for sure he knew about the issue at any particular point yet ignored it?

    Mann presents this to the court as an honest mistake. The only way I see it being worth pursuing is if it can be shown it was not one.

  53. OK, thanks. If ‘Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science’ is NOT likening the two individuals then we’re beyond reasonable differences of interpretation, we are through the looking glass. I await the trial with interest, but there are far better uses of my time than debating with surrealists….

  54. Chris Marlowe,

    In Britain I understand that just making a malicious comment, even if true, what you say is correct, the person is guilty. In the US, if I call someone a child molester and can prove the person IS a child molester, even if I do it maliciously, I am not guilty.

    Unless something has changed recently??

  55. Phil Clarke,

    “I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey-stick deceptions since. Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.”|

    How stupid are you really??

  56. Okay guys, let’s try to keep the tone a bit more civil. I have no problem with insults as long as they don’t detract from the conversation. That means if you’re going to insult somebody, contribute to the conversation at the same time. Also, if possible, have a bit of wit about it.

    As an additional note, since I officially warned Phil Clarke of his violation of my moderation policy, he has made two comments without making any effort to address the issue. If he continues as he has, it’ll mean I have to take steps to enforce my policy.

  57. Yes, Jeff Id, it quite clearly differentiates between the two. The ONE thing that they have in common – the ONE thing which might cause someone to consider their cases to be similar – is that BOTH of them were inadequately investigated by PSU.

    Again, the only party who could claim actual offense by Simberg’s post is PSU.

  58. Brandon, Smith provided his own definition of fraud, and the commenters, of whom you were apparently one, showed that Mann’s work on Tiljander complied.

  59. I think Mark Steyn could win either by showing the hockey stick was scientifically fraudulent, which is I gather, the purpose of this exercise. But he could also prevail by showing that Mann presented the hockey stick graph to lay persons in a fraudulent manner. Mann has made himself into a political shill for the liberals and it seems he often misrepresents his own science for greater effect on the audience. In this scenario it does not matter if in the deep recesses of a scientific paper Mann accounts for discrepancies that are discussed here. The point is, even sound science can be used to deceive! (not that I believe the science is sound)

  60. Brandon,

    Right from the very start, I have questioned Mann et al’s (don’t forget the et al, they are just as culpable) use of error bars, originally on John Daly’s web page..

    In MBH98, Figure 5b shows reconstructed temperature anomalies back to 1400 AD with 2σ error bars suggesting a 95% confidence that the Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstruction is correct within ±0.3 °C between 1400 and 1600 despite the reduction in available data prior to ~1460.

    As far as I know this claim has never been adequately described or defended.

    In my opinion, claiming your results are better than they actually are (or can be) is a deliberate lie made to ensure people accept the verity of your results.

  61. One more thing. I believe the judge in Mann v Steyn had a problem with accusing Mann of being fraudulent because that point goes to Mann’s professional reputation, and therefore may, if not true, be held to be libel. However, the comparison between Mann and Sandusky is not actionable as libel because it is clearly hyperbole.

  62. Brandon,

    If you follow the links in the Deep Climate article, he quotes Wahl and Amman 2007:

    To generate “random” noise series, MM05c apply the full autoregressive structure of the real world proxy series. In this way, they in fact train their stochastic engine with significant (if not dominant) low frequency climate signal rather than purely non-climatic noise and its persistence. The resulting verification RE significance thresholds for rejecting the likelihood of spurious, random “success” derived from reconstructions using these pseudo-proxies are therefore too large by construction, precisely because they contain at least some climate signal along with purely stochastic processes. Such thresholds thus enhance the danger of committing Type II errors (inappropriate failure to reject a null hypothesis of no climatic information for a reconstruction).

    In other words, the random noise used by MM actually had some signal in it. QED W&A are also rather good on why r2 is a much inferior metric to RE et al.

    You never did give an example of Mann publishing ‘favourable’ r2, btw.

    Best of luck in court….

  63. One other person has mentioned it, but just to emphasize it, Mann’s repeated claims that McIntyre asked for the data to the original hockey stick study as an excel spreadsheet, are simply a lie which was/is easily verified by any journalist. The fact that he’s so happy to lie repeatedly about it shows the measure of the Mann, and his dedication to truth and accuracy.

    [The implication is of course that as no serious scientist uses excel McIntyre was a rank amateur, and that by asking for the data in excel format caused them unnecessary difficulty]

  64. Getting waist deep into the science and statistical analysis is interesting but not necessary. Assuming arguendo that Mann was 100% accurate as Mr. Clark suggests, the papers were published years ago with projections for the near future. Those years of projections of future warming on Mann’s original hockey stick graph are no longer future but past. Not projections but history. And the history shows the projections to be false. 2000 to 2013 is a nearly flat line. As I stated above, even if Mann’s science was 100% accurate, if he is still running around with his hockey stick, and he is, then the science is being presented to the public in a fraudulent manner. That is what Steyn was referring to when he said “fraudulent hockey stick graph” because Mann is still running around with his graph which predicts warming for the years from 2000 – 2013 going almost straight up. History has proven his graph wrong whether or not his methodology was sound or unsound.

    Sorry for you science types out there but this is about law, not science. What this list needs is more video of Mann running around with his hockey stick hanging out circa 2011-12. A jury can sure as hell see the difference between the hockey stick graph and the actual temperatures juxtaposed over the same time period. No science required.

  65. Gosh, Jerry, where to start?

    I have never and would never describe the Mann et al papers as 100% accurate, no study ever is. Dr Mann himself conceded that if he were to do it over, he would make different methodological choices, indeed he dropped PCA altogether in later reconstructions. At the time the MBH papers were groundbreaking, so of course they didn’t get everything right first time. None of the flaws, however affect the conclusions of study when corrected.

    Secondly, these are paleoclimate reconstructions. They do not project into the future, none them. Not one. I don’t know where you got that idea. There. I’ve challenged an assertion, you’d better produce some supporting evidence or Brandon will get all moderatey on you…

  66. Well that is my point. I got that idea from Mann. The whole reason that Mann is running around at political fundraisers is to imply to lay people that we are doomed in the future because of the hockey stick pointing straight up. His reconstructions from 2000 to 2004 have not matched reality. And certainly from 2004 to 2013 there have been no increases either. But he is still making the circuit in 2013 with his graph pointing straight up. That is why the science doesn’t matter. If it is being presented in a fraudulent manner, it is fraudulent.

  67. Phil Clarke, you just quoted a source (without providing a link) making a claim then argued, “QED.” Nobody could possibly think that is sufficient proof for a claim. That something was once said in a paper does next to nothing to show it is true, a point I’m sure you are well aware of. Given that, and given your continued decision to ignore most of the contents of my responses, it is clear you are unwilling to follow my simple moderation policy. As such, I am now enforcing it by instructing you to cease writing in this topic.

    I have created the first “moderation bin” on my site here. You may comment there and and in any other topic clearly labeled for the use of people under moderation. You may not comment anywhere else save to save to provide a singular link to a comment you have written in one of my moderation bins.

    I will strictly enforce this rule. You may still say whatever you think you have to say, and people who choose to follow your links can read it. However, nobody will be forced to see what you say so long as you flout my moderation policies.

  68. Jerry Coon, the purpose of this series of posts is not to show Michael Mann’s hockey stick was fraudulent. The purpose is to show it is reasonable for one to believe it was. That distinction is important because people generally form their opinions based on what they heard, not necessarily what was said. As you suggest, even if Michael Mann’s work was sound, people could still think it was fraudulent based on how he presented it to the public.

    Jeff Norman, I don’t agree Mann’s co-authors are just as culpable. Mann was the lead author, meaning he has the primary responsibility. Also, Mann has made the majority of untrue claims about his work. His co-authors mostly kept silent. They are less culpable.

    As for the error bars, Mann’s are unquestionably wrong. The interesting thing is you cite MBH98. MBH98’s error bars are wrong, but we at least know how they were calculated. MBH99’s error bars are still a completely mystery. 15 years after the fact, nobody can say how they were calculated. That’s true despite Mann supposedly releasing all his data and code (yet another claim people simply accepted at face value). Also, you say:

    In my opinion, claiming your results are better than they actually are (or can be) is a deliberate lie made to ensure people accept the verity of your results.

    This is definitely true. It’s also important outside the issue of error calculations as it shows up in issues like Mann’s claims of robustness and his use of statistical verification scores. It’s especially important for the latter due to how the IPCC described his work.

    None, that’s why I decided to make that the first post I wrote in this series. It’s such a simple issue, and it does a lot to show Mann’s character. It also shows why people (and “investigations”) saying he is right means little – they often simply believe what he says without making any attempt to verify it.

    Also, I wouldn’t be so sure the mention of Excel was meant to be insulting. Phil Jones mocked McIntyre and McKitrick for their supposed inability to understand a spreadsheet (based upon Mann’s lies). Jones has also discussed his ability, or rather, lack thereof, to use Excel for simple tasks. As such, I don’t think using Excel was viewed as much of an insult.

  69. Now for a couple corrections.

    Jerry Coon, it isn’t fair to say Phil Clarke suggests “Mann was 100% accurate.” Clarke seems happy to deny the most basic errors Mann made, as well as excuse obvious lies, but that doesn’t mean he suggests “Mann was 100% accurate.” He’s not willing to admit any error Mann made, but he is willing to admit Mann didn’t get everything exactly right.

    I honestly have no idea what difference people are supposed to take from that. So for a non-facetious correction, Phil Clarke is right to say Mann’s reconstructions do not project into the future. They don’t make predictions. I have no idea where you got that idea, but it is unquestionably wrong.

  70. First I did not say that Mr. Clarke said Mann was 100% correct. I said it wouldn’t matter if Mann was 100% correct in his science. Mann can still present the graph in a deceptive manner.

    Example: If I sold securities in 1929 and I created a graph with the value of the Dow on the vertical axis and the timeline of January 1 through October 1 on the horizontal axis the whole point of the graph would be to establish the trend of stock prices. No one really cares what stock prices were, they care what stock prices will be. That is the purpose of any graph with time on the horizontal axis, to establish a trend over time.

    If I then use my graph in a sales pitch on October 2, 1929, as long as the data was correct on my graph it would not be deceptive. If however I use the exact same graph to sell stock on November 1, 1929 to a person who was unaware of the stock market crash, then I would go to prison and the accuracy of my graph would be irrelevant to my defense. Did my graph make predictions? Of course not. But the purpose I used the graph was to deceive the buyer in to believing the upward trend would continue when I know the trend does not in fact continue. 100% Scientifically sound data, 100% accurate graph, 5 to 10 in Sing Sing.

    My whole point is that for those who want to help Steyn win, find a video with Mann standing in front of his graph talking about global warming to lay people in 2013. The whole point of the graph is to deceive the public into thinking the trend of global warming will continue in a vertical manner all the while every climate scientist on the planet knows the temperature line has been relatively flat for at least 13 years. The accuracy of the graph when it was created is irrelevant. What scientist believe is irrelevant. What a jury believes is relevant. Juries are lay people.

    I also agree that any previous statement of Mann’s that is deceptive is important and that was the reason for this exercise in the first place. So I’ll shut up now and let you scientist wallow through the scientific journals. I just think this is a much easier case leaving the science out.

  71. Brandon writes: “This lawsuit is about whether or not Mann’s work was fraudulent, not whether it was right or wrong.”

    Brandon: I’m not so sure that is true. Perhaps from a scientific perspective that is what some of the case WILL be about. From a legal perspective it’s about whether Steyn and Simberg are having their first amendment rights violated; whether they maliciously stated their views about Mann knowing they were untrue; whether Mann is a public figure who has adequate resources in media to respond to accusations without dragging his critics into court to punish them because he has access to a lot of money to pay for an extended trial and they will be hard-pressed to do the same.

    Regarding the use of the term “fraudulent,” Steyn’s atttorneys could argue that Steyn doesn’t know whether academic fraud was committed or not, it may be that Mann was doing his research in good faith in the late 90s, but that the use of the hockey stick, after it was found wanting by M & M several years later, has been fraudulent ever since and Mann has contributed to that. So they can easily argue they have no idea whether academic fraud was committed.

    As for Mann’s false claim that he was a “Nobel Prize recipient” that is powerful evidence that he is loose with the truth and if he’s loose with the truth on his credentials, he could just as easily be loose with the truth in his scientific claims. That is something a jury will readily understand.

  72. It doesnt matter if Mann was correct or not. What matters is if he came to the answer honestly. If you cheat on a test and get an A that doesn’t mean you didnt cheat to get there. That other people got yhe same answers also doesn’t vindicate you of cheating.

    Mann trully believes that CO2 is the control knob. Who knows he could be right. The question isnt if he is right but if the methods he used to get there were right.

  73. Well, Tom, according to his colleagues, Mann’s methods were “sloppy” “crap” concocted with “insufficient datasets” and “problems with all series used”…

    How is actively hiding multiple flaws in research in an effort to secure (massive) funding not fraud? It certainly isn’t science:

    Wigley: Phil, I have just read the M&M stuff critcizing MBH. A lot of it seems valid to me. At the very least MBH is a very sloppy piece of work — an opinion I have held for some time;

    Cook: I have just read this letter – and I think it is crap. I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature representative) tropical series;

    Mann co-author Bradley: All of our attempts, so far, to estimate hemisphere-scale temperatures for the period around 1000 years ago are based on far fewer data than any of us would like. None of the datasets used so far has anything like the geographical distribution that experience with recent centuries indicates we need;

    Mann: We actually eliminate records with negative correlations;

    Briffa: There are problems (and limitations ) with ALL series used;

    Cook: I am afraid that Mike is defending something that increasingly can not be defended.

    Even as his colleagues and the IPCC recognized Mann’s work was unreliable, at best, Mann continued lying (as pointed out previously in this thread).

    From controlling peer-review through intimidation and career-destruction to subverting FOIA requests by document manipulation, the behavior of Mann and his colleagues certainly has nothing in common with science:

    Mann: I think that the community should, as Mike H has previously suggested in this eventuality, terminate its involvement with this journal at all levels–reviewing, editing, and submitting, and leave it to wither way into oblivion and disrepute;

    Jones: I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is;

    Wigley: Mike’s idea to get editorial board members to resign will probably not work — must get rid of von Storch too.

    If, as reported by Forbes and ClimateDepot, these transgressions were described by 265 APS members- of which “20 are members of national academies, two are Nobel laureates, and a large number are authors of major scientific books and recipients of prizes and awards for scientific research” – as “an international science fraud, and the worst any of us have seen” – then it hardly seems libelous, and in fact quite reasonable, for Steyn to say the same…



    Thanks Brandon, for all you do to bring light into the nasty lairs of such vermin….

  74. Brandon,

    As the owner of one of the few blogs on the web better than mine, would you consider switching to a template that doesn’t render block quotes in italics? I implore you to think about it, in the name of readability (as distinct from legibility), which is scientificly a very real metric about which I’d be happy to show you the relevant literature—executive summary: italics and bold are unsuitable for more than a few consecutive words.

  75. Brad Keyes, given my blog has only been around a few months, and I think it only has ~40 posts, I’m not sure one can really say it is better than anyone else’s. I don’t mind the flattery though.

    I’ve definitely considered switching templates. I dislike blockquotes automatically italicizing text. My reason is a bit different. What I dislike is it makes it so you can’t see what in the original text was italicized

    The problem is WordPress.com doesn’t give good free options. I don’t feel like putting my own money into this. I’m already putting way more time than I should.

    I think what I’ll try is to use italic tags within blockquotes to turn it off. It’d be a bit tedious, but it might work.

  76. I’m very interested in this appeal to the authority of the EPA in the judges decision and Mann’s brief. If I’m not mistaken fundamental the the EPA’s argument before the supreme court was that the EPA weren’t the experts. They had to rely on the opinion of the experts and take them at their word. They didn’t have the qualifications to question the validity of the claims of the experts. That was up the the scientific community.

    If the EPA formally declared to the SCOTUS that they weren’t qualified to gauge the veracity of the experts claims how are they qualified to exonerate Mann?

  77. Brandon,

    Stephen Carter wrote a piece dealing with the Mann suit. See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-30/climate-change-skeptics-have-a-right-to-free-speech-too.html
    The comment of a defamation lawyer is useful. He, “jahpdq,” stated 10 days ago:

    “Steyn doesn’t have to conjure up his impression of what these phonies’ graphs would have looked like before they used “Mike’s trick” to “hide the decline”. All he has to do is demand that Mann produce copies of what the respective graphs looked like before Mike’s “trick” was applied. And, if Mr. Mann can’t produce that information, then Mr. Steyn is entitled to a presumption in the law that whatever they looked like would have been damaging to Mann’s case. In the real functioning world, people are supposed to keep things like that. They’re called “drafts” or “iterations”. I have to keep them when I draft contracts or other important documents, in case someone wants to look at them later to review my thought process. What makes Mr. Mann so special?”

  78. Here are more quotations from WUWT re Mann’s antics:

    David A says:
    March 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm
    Dr. Jonathan Jones, Professor of Physics, Brasenose College, Oxford University made on the Bishop Hill blog ( http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/12/2/tim-barnett-on-the-hockey-stick.html ) at December 3, 2011 at 6:11 PM. Professor Jones makes an unequivocal condemnation of the “Hockey Stick” and much of climatology.

    Which of the folowing has Mann not done?
    From the National Association of Scholars website:
    “How to detect an obvious fraud:”

    • If a researcher will not show their raw data.
    • If a researcher will not show the “adjustments” they have made to their raw data.
    • If the researchers historical “adjusted data” conflict rather dramatically with other generally accepted data sets without any rational explanation.
    • If a researcher will not show the internals of the model that processes their adjusted data to produce their results.
    • If a researcher attempts to destroy anybody who disagrees with them, instead of attempting to refute their position.
    • If a researcher attempts to destroy their raw data/adjustments/models rather than have them released.
    • If a researcher attempts to destroy their communications with other researchers rather than have them released.”

    At this point the “fraud” word is logical, incompetent is a given, and those that defend can rationally be called mendacious themselves.

    Smokey says:
    August 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

    You are absolutely correct about the upside-down Tiljander proxy. But you are too kind in allowing that Mann ‘made a mistake’. Dr Tiljander had informed Mann before he published that she discovered that her sediment proxy was corrupted. But MANN USED IT ANYWAY because it gave him the hockey stick shape he wanted. Mann did not make a ‘mistake’. He deliberatly engaged in scientific misconduct.

    Terry W says:
    October 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

    The inquiry should have been …

    Are you Michael Mann?
    Are these your emails?
    Did you say delete in this one?
    Did you say ignore the FOIR in this one?
    Did you say “I will destroy the data rather than share”?
    Can you explain ‘Hide The Decline”?

    Eric Anderson says:
    June 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Nick: “Nothing was hidden.”

    Nick, you are delusional. There was a very clear and concerted effort with the hockey stick to cover up what the data really showed. You’re of course going to point to vague and obscure footnotes or references that indirectly acknowledged what was going on and that no government policy reader could possibly have understood in its full implication from that way it was described by the Team. There is no question that while there were a couple of CYA’s hidden deep in the ancillaries, there was intent to represent the data as something other than what they showed. Was there intent to deceive? Perhaps not. More likely just intent to tell the “correct” story that they knew must be hiding there in the data and that just needed to be liberated for all to see. The Team tricked themselves and there is no point in you continuing to pretend everything was all on the up and up.

    Steve McIntyre says:
    June 2, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Nick Stokes says” Nothing was hidden”.

    Unfortunately, Nick is disseminating disinformation too often these days and this is merely one more example. For example, at an early stage (and at later stages), I asked Mann for the actual reconstructions for the 11 steps (which he called “experiments”) i.e. his actual results. He refused. I asked Nature to require him to provide them; Nature refused. I asked NSF to require him to provide them; they refused.

    That same summer, Mann supplied the same information to CRU, describing it as his “dirty laundry”, sent to them only because they were “trusted colleagues” and requiring them to make sure that the “dirty laundry” didn’t get into the wrong hands.

    Mann’s actual results for the individual steps remain unavailable to this day.

    Mann’s method of retaining principal components remains a mystery as well. Mann removed this section of his code from what he archived in 2006.

    Richard S Courtney says:
    March 25, 2011 at 2:42 am

    The’divergence problem’ demonstrates that

    (a) the tree-rings’ indications of temperature are wrong
    (b) the thermometer-derived indications of temperature are wrong
    (c) the tree-rings’ indications of temperature and the thermometer-derived indications of temperature are both wrong.

    These are important findings because they indicate a need to determine which of the indications is wrong and why.

    So, any paper that reports work which indicates the ‘divergence problem’ needs to provide a clear report and explanation of the the divergence together with a recommendation for work to obtain an understanding of the cause of the divergence.

    But Mann, Braley, Hughes, Briffa, etc. did not provide that clear report and recommendation in their papers which presented the ‘hockey stick’ graphs. Instead, they tried to ‘hide the decline’. In other words they pretended that their work said the tree-rings’ indications of temperature and the thermometer-derived indications of temperature are both right. THAT WAS AND IS A LIE.

    And – knowing they had lied – they needed to cover their nether regions in case the truth came out. So, as you report, they did. In the obscure paper you reference
    (K. R. Briffa et al., Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 353, 65 (1998).)
    they published a description of the divergence. So, now, whenever their lie is pointed out there are shills willing to say – as you do – that they did not lie because they published the truth in another paper.

    Alan McIntire says:
    March 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm


    “Much of the furor is over the scientists’ use of the word “trick,” such as when one of the scientists wrote: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” While the denialists see this as some sort of conspiracy, it is really a mathematical way of dealing with a problem (a mathematical “trick”) and reflects scientists interacting with each other.”

    Edward Thorpe of “Beat The Dealer” fame described a “mathematical trick” of cheating blackjack dealers. Cheaters would peek at the top card. If the card helped the dealer or hurt the player, the dealer would honestly deal out the card. If the top card hurt the dealer or helped the player, the cheating blackjack dealer would hold back the top card and deal a second card. The net result was dishonest dealers winning more than normal chance.

    Mann’s mathematical trick is exactly equivalent to dishonest dealers withholding bad cards (data) and dealing seconds

    Ron Cram says:
    August 16, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Willem’s claim is simply untrue. Anyone who looks at the two graphs from the paper as Anthony has reproduced here can see the point clearly. There is an uptick in the 20th century, but temps are still not as high as they were during the Medieval Warm Period. The new graph is very like the pre-1998 reconstruction of temperature history… before Michael Mann photoshopped the temp record.

  79. For me, non-statistician, non-scientist, one of the most galling mis-statements/deceptions, is Mann’s still trumpeted claim that the NSA endorsed his HS work. This claim used to be, I believe, on his Penn St. webpage — haven’t looked in years. It is repeated by Seth Shulman, of Union of Cncerned Scientists, most recently.

  80. rogerknights,

    those fraud detection guidelines are a wonderful find.

    One of the signs is:

    • If a researcher attempts to destroy anybody who disagrees with them, instead of attempting to refute their position

    Perhaps they had this kind of thing in mind:

    “date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 12:03:05 -0400
    from: “Michael E. Mann”..
    subject: Re: Something not to pass on
    to: Phil Jone…

    I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an
    investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre, and his
    thusfar unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests.Perhaps the
    same needs to be done w/ this Keenan guy.

    I believe that the only way to stop these people is by exposing them and
    discrediting them….”


  81. rogerknights,

    “Trick” is a perfectly innocent word.

    It merely means an act of prostitution, e.g.:

    Elvira turned tricks with tree ring data on weekends to pay her way through climate college.

    Whores use this idiom all the time. You’re simply twisting it by taking it out of context!

  82. rogerknights,

    Your quote from Eric Anderson lets the Team off too lightly, specificly at this part:

    “Was there intent to deceive? Perhaps not. More likely just intent to tell the “correct” story that they knew must be hiding there in the data and that just needed to be liberated for all to see.”

    What Eric forgets is that science has a special epistemology. Scientists have a duty to communicate two things: what they know and how they know it, in layman’s terms.

    Therefore, to exaggerate one’s confidence in one’s findings—or to hide evidence that casts doubt on them, which is essentially the same thing—is every bit as fraudulent, from a scientific-ethics point of view, as to exaggerate the findings themselves. So it won’t matter one iota if it turns out that the history of the Earth’s temperature really does trace out a bacillohoccal-shaped curve through time. The fact will remain that the scientists pretended they had good evidence for that conclusion, and by implication high confidence in it, when in fact all they had was spurious bristlecone bullshit, and therefore were at best hoping they had guessed right (and at worst tricking themselves, as Eric suggests, by squinting so as to be unable to see all the contrary evidence).

    In short, the intent in hiding the decline was certainly to deceive—undeniably—as a matter of definition—whether or not the graph presented was “the truth”!

  83. Someone here will remember a relatively recent presentation where Mann defended Hansen’s early predictions with data that was several years old – another “hide the decline” trick!

  84. I was planning on making a new list when I finish my series, but I guess it’d be a good idea to post updates here for anyone who comes across this post from here on. I’ll go ahead and do that.

  85. I love to write. I mean, I really love to write. It’s probably the only passion I have stronger than love. But I need to know what college to go to.. . What college should I go to for Creative Writing?.

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