29 Comments

So, fraud.

Now what?

Class action lawsuit?

Guillotine ?

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Peer review is the weakest form of verification, and - recently - the last resort of scoundrels.

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It appears the underlying work being done by the UPCC contributing scientists is being corrupted at the final stage. At what point can we expect these scientists to stand together as a unified voice to call-out the corruption of their work?

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May 10, 2023·edited May 10, 2023

Any who don’t are complicit and are part of the “team”.

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Roger writes: " The IPCC failed to follow its own procedures of quality control and peer review. False information made its way into the report outside of the review process and was repeatedly elevated to the highest levels of information conveyed to policy makers."

This is the summary for the policy makers, where peer review and quality control is irrelevant. SPM is written by politicians, after they have discussed every letter and every comma, and the text represents what they want to be true. Reality is irrelevant.

This is NOT the first time this takes place. Remember Paul Reiter and the many errroneous malaria claims he tried to have removed, before he gave up and left the IPCC?

Or the political 1.5C special report, where several countries refused to accept the text in Katowice. Afterwards, all the special interests who wanted to blame our use of hydrocarbons for the increased level of CO2 simply pretended this reports text was accepted - including the IPCC delegations from most western countries. This way they could continue blaming the oil companies, using the 1.5C Special report as evidence.

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Yes, the SPM is not a document I rely on, instead I look to the full text. That said, policy makers should not either receive or approve false information, which in this case can be traced to the full report.

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May 9, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Dr. Pielke, it's not accurate to claim that the "major correction" to Kossin et al 2020 "altered its conclusions and rendered it irrelevant." You likely missed my comment to your 3/29 post on "Misinformation in the IPCC." The original Kossin paper did not claim statistical significance for all hurricane basins. The primary claim of the paper concerned hurricane fixes GLOBALLY (though in practice, it really just smeared a very large increase in the North Atlantic basin over the rest of the global data). Specifically, the original paper did NOT claim statistical significance for 4 basins. In Table 1 of the original paper, Kosin reported the significance level in the NP, SP, WP, and NI as being "<90%." Of course, less than 90% significance by any standard is not significant. In the correction, Kossin reported these 4 basins as "n/s," short hand for "not significant at the 90% level." It is difficult to quickly distinguish the greater than vs. less than sign at a glance. Nonetheless, the "n/s" notation of the correction means exactly the same as the "<90%" shown in the original paper. In other words, there was no change to the significance of these basins due to the correction. In fact, the published correction didn't change the conclusions of the paper. I was the unnamed "reader of the paper" that is acknowledged in the correction for having pointed out the problem with data analysis performed for the paper. In his email to me confirming the error, Dr. Kossin stated that "None of the messages of the paper change with the corrections, but some of the hard numbers in the table are obviously erroneous."

This isn't to say the claims of the paper are in fact accurate. At the very least, it seems to me that Kossin played some games with significant figures in order to fudge statistical significance for the change in the global proportion of major hurricane force wind fixes. The original paper reported the results to two decimal places. If the correction had stuck to 2 decimal places, statistical significance would be in jeopardy. The text of the correction indicates that "The CIs for the early and latter halves are [0.32 0.36] and [0.36 0.39], respectively." In other words the confidence intervals overlap at 0.36. A careful read of Table 1 in the correction shows that Kossin switched to four decimal places in order to attain significance. By adding two more significant figures, Kossin made the confidence intervals non-overlapping: [0.3243,0.3555] and [0.3559,0.3891]. Add two decimal places and then, presto, statistical significance appears. This of course is completely arbitrary and seems like a sneaky trick because the nature of the underlying dataset doesn't warrant this level of precision, which is why the original paper had only used 2 significant figures. Furthermore, I have been unable to replicate the confidence intervals that the correction reported. By my calculation, the confidence intervals of the corrected data overlap, even when taken to 4 significant digits, meaning that global statistical significance isn't actually there. If that is in fact the case, then the conclusion of the paper would be completely overturned and the paper rendered irrelevant. But that is not what the published correction did.

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Greg (and call me Roger, we can reserve Dr. Pielke for my Dad;-)

First, let me say this comment is why I love this Substack so much.

Thanks for the detail and the clarification. Let me respond to your excellent points.

1. "it really just smeared a very large increase in the North Atlantic basin over the rest of the global data"

Agreed, not a great method by K et al. and pretty misleading IMO

2. "the "n/s" notation of the correction means exactly the same as the "<90%" shown in the original paper"

Ha. I'll admit to being tricked by this change. I had interpreted the original to mean "close to 90%" and the correction to mean "not so close anymore." Shows why just publishing the numbers is always a better route.

3. "I was the unnamed "reader of the paper" that is acknowledged in the correction for having pointed out the problem with data analysis performed for the paper"

Wow. Thanks for doing this typically unknown and unacknowledged work that is important in science!

4. "Kossin played some games with significant figures in order to fudge statistical significance for the change in the global proportion of major hurricane force wind fixes"

Yikes

5. "A careful read of Table 1 in the correction shows that Kossin switched to four decimal places . . ."

Oh my. Great catch.

6. "If that is in fact the case, then the conclusion of the paper would be completely overturned and the paper rendered irrelevant"

Interesting!

7. "But that is not what the published correction did"

I'll add a note updating the text with a link to this comment, thanks!!

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Oh and I did miss your earlier comment, apologies. I'm trying to keep up, but the comments here are blooming! WHich is great to see ;-)

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A colleague just sent me Greg's 2021 critique of Kossin et al. which you can read here: https://www.wmbriggs.com/post/34364/

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May 9, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

@First_Fit. As as scientist, I would like to think that staying focused on scientific integrity will win the day. But unfortunately, as a realist, I think we are far past the point of where science actually matters to the majority of people promoting the AGW paradigm. Climate change has become a one size fits all argument to promote a whole host of academic, professional, ideological, political, financial and corporate interests.

As an example of the latter, the Canadian government recently promised VW 13 billion dollars of subsidies to build a 7-billion-dollar lithium-ion battery plant in Ontario. Just a few years ago VW was caught deliberately programing onboard vehicle computers to give fraudulent emissions readings, so I don’t imagine concern for the environment is part of its board’s business ethic. But if they can convince some government to entirely de-risk the company’s business model at taxpayer expense in the name of climate change, bring it on. Apocalypse now!

So, while scientific integrity remains important, I think in order to shift public, political and corporate opinion, we need to get away from the details of science and focus on how economically and socially damaging current climate change policies are becoming in the here and now. Examples abound, but war in Europe, inflation, the decline of the West’s industrial base as companies seek jurisdictions with cheap, reliable energy and the creation of a new social issue called energy poverty are a few.

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Greg writes:

"I think we are far past the point of where science actually matters to the majority of people promoting the AGW paradigm."

Yes, we are almost 30 years past the day when science was subordinated to politics. The inconvenient details can be found at Judith Currys blog:

https://judithcurry.com/2018/01/03/manufacturing-consensus-the-early-history-of-the-ipcc/

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I very much agree with what you say. I personally think climate alarmism is best understood as a continuation of anti-human environmentalism--- starting with Malthus, through the eugenics era, through the Club of Rome, etc.. But that's just my personal take on the situation.

So, yes, the focus should be on the classist and racist actions of global elites who are creating energy poverty in the developed world and preventing rapid electrification of the poor countries.

The problem is that climate skeptics always start with debunking the science, which immediately bogs down in “the details of the science.” So, I think Roger is performing a crucial role in painstakingly pointing out where the accepted mainstream science doesn’t actually support the apocalypse narrative.

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Good point. There is a difference between telling someone "the science you are referencing doesn't actually support the policy you are promoting and telling them "I can provide data that strongly challenges the science you are using to promote your policy". One would hope the former could result in "how come?" and lead to a conversation. The latter would probably get the response of "the scientists you reference are in the pocket of Big Oil." Which is pretty much a conversation stopper.

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May 9, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

This is off the current topic, but just FYI on something you’ve discussed before: The New York Times ran an op-ed on May 7, “Your Homeowners’ Insurance Bill Is the Canary in the Climate Coal Mine”.

The author writes: “ After recent years of paying out claims for about 20 disasters a year with damages of over $1 billion, a sixfold increase from the 1980s, insurers are getting serious about new pricing models that incorporate the costs of a warming climate.”

In my opinion, the entire op-ed is misleading in multiple ways, but I wanted to point out the “sixfold” increase in $1 billion damages “from the 1980s”, a misleading comparison you’ve identified previously.

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Yes indeed. Swiss Re reported 1Q profits of $683M last week. They are doing OK. The common use of dollar damage as an indicator of climate change is pervasive and wrong. I'll keep saying it, and so should everyone ;-)

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May 9, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

What does peer review mean when it comes to writing the Summary Reports or the Summary for Policy Makers? These documents are prepared by committees of politicians and bureaucrats. They say what they can get away with saying. All the "great" science just gets buried in the archives.

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May 9, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Any betters if it is corrected it never makes it in the headlines. Any takers?

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May 9, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Roger, I think your strategy of staying narrowly focused on scientific integrity will win the day, eventually. I do think you’re threading a needle though. For example, one of the authors of the CLINTEL report is Andy May, who in 2022 stated, "There is no evidence, other than models, that human CO2 emissions drive climate change and abundant evidence that the Sun, coupled with natural climate cycles, drives most, if not all, of recent climate changes". Which, of course, makes him a denier in the current mainstream. And in that current narrative it means you are quoting the work of climate change deniers.

Stay independent, for the win!

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Thanks. I am happy to read what May wrote without prejudging -- I'm not sure who he is, so I'm not too worried. I co-authored a piece once with Steve McIntyre (and another with Richard Alley and another with Mark Lynas), so my record is smeared already by association with so-called alarmists, deniers and everyone in between ;-) I prefer to evaluate information on its merits . . . I'll have a post on CLINTEL in the coming days or so. Too much good stuf to write on, lucky me!

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Based on some of the recent guilt-by-association claims on social media (not just in the climate science area but Mann's recent tweets are decent examples) these days that makes Lynas as denier because. he co-authored with you (a denier) and you are a denier because you co-authored one with McIntyre who is a denier too.

It occurs to me that if Mann has co-authored a paper with any of your co-authors that makes him a denier too :)

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May 9, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

If (as seems to me) the current mainstream is climate emergency caused primarily by CO2, requiring crash transition from hydrocarbon fuels, then Roger is already a "denier". No? As are most here, I'd guess.

The urgent threat, IMO, is unnecessary waste and damage arising from climate policy based on mistaken science. The only achievable goal at this point is to minimize the damage. If the CLINTEL people are producing reports that are scientifically respectable , might as well use them. The ad hominem artists will do what they do, whether or not somebody quotes Andy May.

Agree that the issues Roger raises wrt IPCC presentation are serious enough to deserve plenty of focus.

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I generally like to keep separate issues of scientific integrity from policy evaluation. Regardless what IPCC says, it can tell us very little about mitigation and adaptation policy options. This post is squarely about scientific integrity.

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May 9, 2023·edited May 9, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

To be fair, May et. al. quote Pielke Jr. in their IPCC AR6 critique regarding hurricanes, disaster losses and scenarios. Pielke Sr. is quoted in other chapters. People hunting for truth should be allies in being critical of scientific errors.

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This May guy sounds alright ;-)

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Errors happen. Disinterested scientists correct them.

The pattern of uncorrected errors, and how they make their way into final reports, could hardly be chalked up to accidental at this point in the proceedings.

We agree. We need the IPCC to work, devoid of politics. When that day comes, we trust you’ll be sure to let us know.

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Ha, will do!

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May 9, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

This is a success of peer review, not a failure. Peer review guarantees adherence to fashionable orthodoxy. That's all it does. Here it worked as intended.

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LOL, sorta ;-)

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