Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fool

Several people have pointed me to this article by John McLean. I don't really object in principle to ABC giving him the space to reply to Stephan Lewandowsky's previous article on peer review and the McLean paper. It's a commentary site, not held to the same standards as peer review journals.

And it shows.

There's plenty of fluff but the central lie remains: McLean claims that they data were not tortured and that anyway the thumbscrews were only used to drag out information about the lag from the evil liberal numbers, but in fact the correlations prominently displayed in the abstract and discussed in the text are actually calculated from the data after strapping them down to a flat board, gagging and almost drowning them. [They also admitted shooting JFK and being the mastermind of Al Quaeda.]

I'm delighted to see that so many of the commenters are by now well aware of this basic point, probably due largely to Lewandowsky's previous article, and are taking great pleasure in pointing it out to McLean in the comment thread. Better still, McLean is busy down there tying himself in knots trying to defend the indefensible. It's good stuff, you can find gems like

"If the SOI accounts for short-term variation then logically it also accounts for long-term variation."

Yes, really, he wrote that. I thought it was worth preserving for posterity, hence the webcite link. He's promising more, to be "published" by SPPI later this week. I can't wait.

At least ABC chose the date well for his article.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... what's next for McLean et al? Projecting sea-level rise from tide tables?

deepclimate said...

Wow, McLean really does have a problem with that timescale thingy, doesn't he?

It's an even more idiotic expression of that same idea that was in the abstract and summary. (Already commented on that, and I'm too lazy to pull out the link and quote).

It's so dumb that maybe even the National Post, the Wall Street Journal and Fox will give it a pass. I hope so, because I've got plenty of other stuff to post about right now.

deepclimate said...

Oh, and apparently McLean's working on a PhD at James Cook University, where a certain retired prof Bob Carter has an honourary position.

But ABC conveniently omits McLean's connections to the Australian and International Climate Science Coalition. (They did the same with Plimer's various connections, so this obfuscation is par for the course).

Hank Roberts said...

Wow. The only thing saving McLean from himself in that thread is the enormous amount of chaff, smoke, and mirror fragments being thrown about by his supporters.

Thanks for the encouragement to plow through it, James. It was worth reading.

I wonder if he'll ever post his reviews.

Is it possible he doesn't have the right to publicly disclose his reviews, since they were written by others and sent to him only for his own use for the one purpose of evaluating his writing?

Oh, wait ....

pough said...

"Hmmm... what's next for McLean et al? Projecting sea-level rise from tide tables?"

Well, the first thing he'd need to do is remove the rise^H^H^H^Hnoise. Once that's done, what you're left with is the tide. Stands to reason the short term effect of tide would also explain any long term trends. Whoops! Did I say trends? I meant noise.

[Henning]Warming is an illusion. It's the illusion of warming.[/Henning]

davidp said...

deepclimate: ABC conveniently omits McLean's connections to the Australian and International Climate Science Coalition.

While our ABC has been wrong in a few ways (especially letting McLean have the only comment at the bottom of the article about Foster et al - should have quoted Foster) I'll defend them on this. Connection to the CSC would sound like a positive to the general public, so should be omitted because 'scientific advisor to ACSC' is "legend in his own lunchbox" - a leading member of his private treehouse club.

deepclimate said...

Well of course the CSCs have to be properly identified as anti-regulation lobby groups.

Friends of the Friends of Science said...

One of McLeans co-authors is Chris de Freitas. Chris is also a scientific advisor to the “Friends of Science (FoS)” [], a notorious Calgary climate change denial organisation. The FoS claim that the earth is cooling and that the only driver of climate is the sun. They do not distinguish between mechanisms of long term and short term variation because they do not distinguish between long term and short term variation. Check them out and send them a few requests to clarify this contradiction.