Sunday, February 13, 2011

O'Donnellgate: O'Donnell flinches, Lucia "the Shameless"

It started like it always starts, with hysterical exaggeration, wild allegations and heaps of abuse:

While there is not much untrue about this statement, there is certainly a lie of omission. . . . There are not enough vulgar words in the English language to properly articulate my disgust at his blatant dishonesty and duplicity.

Thus O'Donnell, in the original.

At once, the useful idiots chime in:

If Eric Steig was reviewer A and he wrote that deceptive mealy mouth comment he is truly the Rod Blagojevich of climate science.

Notably absent from this bay and cry, predictably, is any hint of the quality known as "skepticism." Eric Steig is a demon, and devil, a fraud a liar and a cheat.

And then the commenters get in on the action. Not to argue the facts of the case, heavens no. By now they have seen the same line of patter repeated at Climate Audit, WUWT, and The Blackboard (above), making it established fact. No, the chosen role of the psuedoskeptical thread-monkeys is to consume everything their masters feed them, and respond with uncritical gloating:


But along comes Steve, Ryan, Jeff, Nic, and others who once again expose the utter incompetence of the Team’s statistical analysis. And the Team resorts, of course, to their usual tactics.

For my money, the most hilarious sequence in this tragicomedy, is when Steig suggested Jeff take his Mathematica course (not knowing anything about Jeff) and now Steig says he can’t get Ryan’s R code to run. Maybe Steve, Jeff, and Ryan could set up a course for Steig and Mann on R. They could sure use it.


The clear take from the letter of 18, to Gavin’s hissie fit and Steig’s demonstration of how the team does science is that their work cannot survive anything like real scrutiny. No wonder they have worked so hard to limit any look at climategate.
They are a construct of carefully controlled media, pal review and government/NGO agenda pushing.
There is no ‘there’ there.
Their work, when we finally get to actually look at it, will turn out to be self-referential, circular, nonesense.
CO2 warms the atmosphere.
Give us back our billion$, clowns.


I guess the next step after science by consensus is consensus by intimidation. Or by forceful suppression of all dissent. Something like that.

It still amazes me how tone-deaf these people are. They have a major image problem that is largely of their own making, and they just have no idea how to handle it: they just keep digging themselves in deeper and deeper with ridiculous stunts.

In the end, everybody loses. The purely scientific questions get more and more muddled, through the stubbornness of people who refuse to acknowledge even the slightest mistake; climate scientists continue to lose credibility in the eyes of the general public, as well as more technically knowledgeable outsiders; and, as a result, it only becomes easier to dismiss legitimate concerns and worries about the rate and possible consequences of climate change, for those with a vested interest to do so. Way to go, Team.

All of this has happened before . . . all of it will happen again. And the next step is just as predictable: the original case begins to fall apart; harsh, jarring facts become more and more intrusive on the deniers' passion play. The accuser is caught in multiple lies, and forced to apologize:

Ryan O’Donnell has posted public apology to Eric Steig for the mistake in fact he posted at in his first version of Steig’s Trick; that post has been retitled and edited to eliminate mistaken facts.

Note the causal switch from the singular to the plural; O'Donnell has apologized for one of his lies, but multiple "mistaken facts" have been removed. The nasty smears based on the "mistaken facts" have also been toned down: "Steve: Feb 9, 2011 – some of Ryan’s language, including the original title, breached blog policies and has been edited accordingly."

By now little remains of the original accusations against Steig. He was accused of demanding O'Donnell use a particular statistical method and then criticizing him for it: proven false. He was accused of requesting a copy of a paper he already had (this was the allegation that led lucia to call him the "Ron Blagojevich of science"). But he never got the final version of the paper, as O'Donnell admitted, and he had to apologize for the allegation. (Lucia however, has not.)

Meanwhile, O'Donnell has not only outed himself with his hysterical allegations based on what are now known to be "mistaken facts": he has also publicly admitted to being a lying, two-faced weasel:

I have known that Eric was, indeed, Reviewer A since early December. I knew this because I asked him. When I asked, I promised that I would keep the information in confidence, as I was merely curious if my guess that I had originally posted on tAV had been correct.

Throughout all of the questioning on Climate Audit, tAV, and Andy Revkin’s blog, I kept my mouth shut. When Dr. Thomas Crowley became interested in this, I kept my mouth shut. When Eric asked for a copy of our paper (which, of course, he already had) I kept my mouth shut. I had every intention of keeping my promise . . . and were it not for Eric’s latest post on RC, I would have continued to keep my mouth shut.

However, when someone makes a suggestion during review that we take and then later attempts to use that very same suggestion to disparage our paper, my obligation to keep my mouth shut ends.

Evidently Ryan O'Donnell learned about keeping his word at the same school that taught him about speaking the truth. He's now had to walk back all the allegations he makes in this paragraph, but even had they been true, O'Donnell's attitude demonstrates a -- shall we say a "moral flexibility" that excuses him from honesty the moment he contrives to feel wronged . . . which should alone tell us how seriously to take his "scientific" pretensions.

There are two ways to go from here: Ryan O'Donnell and Lucia Liljegren. Ryan took the hint from his godfather, Steve McIntyre. He's apologized and walked back his allegations to his old statistical shell game, that popular denier meme, which first rose to fame in the various futile attacks on the hockey stick temperature graph, in which choices about the analysis of data sets are treated as black-and-white, and the ability of a denier to produce an alternate analysis by making different choices is treated as proof that the original work erred.

Lucia, in contrast, has ignored the broad hint from her own godfather, who made a rare appearance at the Blackboard:

There’s Got To Be A Better Way Forward

10 February, 2011 (12:53) | politics | By: Chip Knappenberger

Here’s how I see it.

Some of Lucia’s recent blog posts, especially her titles, were a bit on the hot side. . . . And so instead of a public coming together and show of cooperation between “professional” scientists and “citizen” scientists, we got treated to a public spectacle…just what climate science needed. Not.

There may be a better way forward, but it's of no interest to lucia. Despite the fact that all of her outrage and allegations of fraud, duplicity and misrepresentation have now been proven false and indeed rebounded on O'Donnell and by extension those, like lucia, that mindlessly repeated them as fact and added their own slanders and insults, despite all that -- or because of that, lucia cannot admit she made a mistake, and continues to target Steig, engaging in one of the worst case of projection I've ever seen:

Is she embarrassed that she accused someone of fraud based on a fraud? No, it's Steig -- somehow -- who's really embarrassed: Steig the Shameless?

Has her uncritical hurling of insults at Steig only served to heighten the embarrassment of O'Donnell's retreat? No, it's Steig's friends who are hurting his case: Eric To John Nielsen Gammon: it isn’t very useful support.

There is no ending to this story; interest will gradually die away, until, after a respectful interval of time, it reappears as a denier fairy tale, to be alluded to when the true facts are rendered sufficiently obscure by time to resurrect the original denier narrative. For the time being, we are left, again, with the spectecal of deniers' words rebounding upon them with a neatness that is by now familiar but is always startling. Those alleging deception have deceived. Those that paint themselves as the victims of persecution have carrying out a stunningly sloppy campaign of persecution against a man who has often and repeatedly praised their efforts. Those lamenting unprofessionalism and tribalism in climate science, having been graciously welcomed into the community and been published in a prestigious journal, have given us a graphic demonstration of unprofessional behavior, violating confidentiality, slandering colleagues, going off half-cocked on the basis of "mistaken facts" -- only to have the "tribe" of deniers rise up around them and celebrate them as conquering heroes of post-normal science.

Meanwhile, in the midst of the Southern summer:

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