Open Mind

Open Thread #14

June 26, 2009 · 7 Comments

The last one is full, so here’s a new one for much faster loading.

Categories: Global Warming

7 responses so far ↓

  • Anna Haynes // June 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Reply

    (this is a dupe of the comment I left on the previous post)

    I’m probably going to regret this, but it _could_ be a smoking gun. If you could take a look and give me your interpretation, I’d be most grateful.

    I’ve been digging behind one delayer-friendly meme that Tierney spread in his NYTimes blog last year, right before the Heartland conference – namely, “the more informed you are about climate change, the less you worry”. Last month I documented what I’d found in this Daily Kos post.

    As part of that investigation, I made a public info request to Texas A&M for email correspondence involving the post-publication publicity for the paper whose soundbite meme Tierney was spreading; and they gave it to me, albeit slightly (family members’ names/relationships) redacted.

    One particular email exchange between the paper’s Author#1 and Tierney made no sense to me whatsoever – but now I see there’s at least one explanation, which, if correct, would appear to be a smoking gun.

    But I could be wrong – it’s more than likely that there’s another interpretation that I haven’t thought of. So please, please help keep me from making a mistake that’d make me look extremely foolish – tell me, what do you think is being said here?

    From content and tone of the emails, Tierney and Author ostensibly don’t know each other.

    The paper gets published. Tierney emails Author expressing interest and asking a few Qs about it. Author answers. Tierney does his blog post about the paper. We commenters who went and read it proceed to pile on, pointing out the paper’s glaring flaw (namely, the self-reported nature of the climate “informedness” metric).


    Author emails Tierney saying, “i think the post reads just great”, then adds:


    “I notice that it’s racking up the comments, too.
    One of my [redacted] promised (hopefully facetiously) to post something about how the study is flawed due to a childhood nickname. The risk of telling one’s [redacted] about these things, I suppose.”

    Tierney responds “I try to keep ad hominem attacks out of the comments, so he probably wouldn’t succeed anyway.”


    Question for Open Mind readers: how can you interpret the “childhood nickname” comment, and Tierney’s response, in a way that makes sense?

  • Anna Haynes // June 26, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Reply

    oops – link didn’t come through, in my comment above – I meant this Daily Kos post -

  • Anna Haynes // June 26, 2009 at 10:06 pm | Reply

    re the Tierney exchange – if you’ve tried but you can’t make sense of it, that’s useful info too.
    (since it would indicate that I’m not missing anything obvious)

  • Deep Climate // June 26, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Reply


    Can you repost here about Tierney and Joe Walker and give a clear chronological sequence of events? For example, it’s not clear to me when the email exchange between the Tierney and the author started. Was it after publication and before Tierney’s post?


  • Anna Haynes // June 26, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Reply

    Never mind, never mind, never mind; there was an obvious (thus overlooked, by me) interpretation of a couple of words that does cast the whole thing in a much more innocent light.

    Carry on (with discussion of something else, please)

  • Rick Brown // June 27, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Reply

    Hank Roberts, If you want to contact me at dense98067 [AT] (a junk address but I’ll use a legitimate one when I reply), I can send you the article from Public Relations Review that you posted about on RC at 12:38 on 6/27. Thanks.
    (Apologies, but this was the best way I could think of to get in touch.)

  • Hank Roberts // June 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Reply

    Here’s a new statistical method mentioned:

    “A newly developed method, the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition, was applied to adaptively determine the timing of climatic spring onset from the daily temperature records at Stockholm during 1756–2000….”

    Looking it up: Results … about 20,500:

    Recent article:

    (2009) [6 pages]

    “Data analysis using a combination of independent component analysis and empirical mode decomposition

    12 June 2009

    A combination of independent component analysis and empirical mode decomposition (ICA-EMD) is proposed in this paper to analyze low signal-to-noise ratio data. The advantages of ICA-EMD combination are these: ICA needs few sensory clues to separate the original source from unwanted noise and EMD can effectively separate the data into its constituting parts. The case studies reported here involve original sources contaminated by white Gaussian noise. The simulation results show that the ICA-EMD combination is an effective data analysis tool.”

    I make no pretense at competence in statistics; just noticing this show up, thinking of the now-closed RC thread on advancing springtime:

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