# He knows not what he’s doing

Really.

Truly, he doesn’t know. He hasn’t got a clue. As usual, he doesn’t even suspect that he doesn’t have a clue. When he finds out about it — which he probably will, because one of you will comment about it at WUWT and the comment will be deleted (they can’t allow pesky truth to appear at WUWT!) but he’ll still find out — he probably won’t believe it.

Bob Tisdale has another post at WUWT which is actually titled “Warming Rate in the US Slowed during the Recent Warming Period.” Apparently he believes this — because he knows not what he’s doing.

Here’s how he got there. Take the annual average temperature for the USA (contiguous 48 states) from 1895 to 2012 according to the National Climate Data Center:

Now pick some really, really cherry time spans. For “early” pick 1917 to 1934 (18 years) and compute a linear-regression trend estimate. Result: +0.997 deg.F/decade. For “late” pick some time spans ending with 2012 and compute a linear-regression trend estimate. Use 1979-2012 (34 years), rate +0.537 deg.F/decade, use 1993-2012 (20 years), rate +0.674 deg.F/decade. Since the “early” rate is higher than the “late” rates, declare victory, claim that the U.S. was warming faster back then than it is now.

How could he do that? It’s easy.

When you pick a start data because it gives the result you want it’s called “cherry-picking.” We’ve already shown that when you allow yourself to cherry-pick the start year you can get some really big trend rates — just by accident — because you give yourself so many choices there’s bound to be one that gives you what you want — just by accident. But Tisdale has gone one better. He allowed himself to pick the start and end years to get what he wanted. When you allow yourself that many choices, you can get some really huge results. Just by accident.

Tisdale’s “early” time span covers 18 years, his “late” ones 20 and 34 years. Suppose I allow myself to pick any time span, of any length between 15 and 35 years, hoping to find a big upward trend — in random noise. I generated 100 artificial temperature data sets for 1895 through 2012 with no trend at all, and the same standard deviation as U.S. temperature (which is a lot bigger than global temperature). Then I found the highest “early” upward trend in any 15-to-35 year long time span, which of course isn’t real because the data are random noise. I also noted the largest “late” upward trend in a 15-to-35 year long time span which ended at the final year. What kind of trend rates can you get from random noise that way?

Why, these:

Note that the median “early” trend is greater than that observed by Tisdale. That’s how easy it is to get big trend estimates when you’re allowed to cherry-pick BOTH the start and end dates of your time span.

What’s a realistic comparison of earlier vs. recent trend rates? Here’s the rate estimated from the lowess smooth used in the first graph:

Note that the recent trend is bigger — and has lasted a whole lot longer. Here’s the rate estimated from each 30-year time span in the data, with 2-sigma error bars and the estimate from the lowess smooth superimposed:

Note that the recent trend is bigger — and has lasted a whole lot longer.

Tisdale doesn’t even suspect that his claim is nothing but the inevitable result of allowing so much room to cherry-pick, he couldn’t help but get what he wanted. It ain’t real.

Try telling that to Bob Tisdale. Seriously — try.

This is what we’re up against. Fake skeptics who don’t know what they’re doing. They make sciencey-sounding arguments, give numbers, and give their claims outlandish false titles. The pity is that the vast majority of plain old everyday folks can’t see the fakery in this kind of fake claim.

Even Bob Tisdale can’t tell. Because he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

### 94 responses to “He knows not what he’s doing”

1. Rob Honeycutt

Isn’t Tisdale supposed to be the smart one over there?

• HarryWiggs

Yeees, the *smart* one, who has not published his “findings,” who cannot properly use statistics, who sloganeers with the best of’em.

Yeees……;)

• Rob Honeycutt

If nothing else, Tisdale has clearly taken the definition of “verbose” to all-time record heights.

• Nat J

Yes, but isn’t that like being the skinniest guy at the fat camp?

2. In a better world, or if applied to a different subject, this kind of lunacy would be entertaining. Thank you for the serious tone of your analysis

3. KR

What’s sad is that, despite the obvious and overwhelming Dunning–Kruger syndrome Tisdale displays, he’s actually better than most of the WUWT authors – who are postomg ever more frantic and fantastical “Climate elves” segments…

None so blind as those who will not see. And for that, Tisdale is simply a poster child.

4. Ig

I think we’re way past giving them the presumption of innocence _ of error through ignorance. There’s a denialist industry out there and they know EXACTLY what they’re doing.

• As someone with a basic understanding of statistics and climate science – and the ability to create more attractive graphs than Mr Tisdale – as well as a bit of a cashflow problem, I’ve been looking at his publication of an ebook and wondering whether I can make myself some money.

There are definitely a lot of gullible fools out there, but do they part with their money? Could I live with myself if I added to the pile of garbage?

• Lars Karlsson

“Could I live with myself if I added to the pile of garbage?”

No, I don’t think you could.

• No but you could live well and your family would be grateful. To understand what is behind this, just read Rick Perlstein in the Baffler on the Long Con

• On the other hand, you could Sokal the bastards–publish utter twaddle, wait for them to swallow hook, line and sinker and then expose them for the idiots they are. That could be a win-win.

• Bernard J.

Snarkrates.

I’ve long harboured a thought in that direction…

• SmithRogers

hear hear

5. R. Gates

Ah, those infamous Tisdale Psychotropic cherries, brought to you by the bushel full from lovely Tisdale farms, and hand picked by Bob Tisdale himself. They are sweet tasting to certain folks, and guaranteed to make you see the whole in a whole new (albeit illusionary) way.

6. Steve Bloom

Start with motivated reasoning, add some science and math and.. you’ve got motivated reasoning dressed up with science and math! Whatever.

7. John Cleese one of our greatest philosopher/comedian of our times says it well for David Dunning from Cornell University:

I doubt that Mr Tisdale is stupid, but his skills on climate science are not so good. Therefore he might not realize his mistake.

• rossglory

hard to make it up, but a comment on the page you linked to by a mr doug ‘climate scientists dont understand energy transfer’ cotton is a prime example of what john cleese was talking about. strange is truther than fiction!!

8. A Scientist goes in a restaurant run by Tisdale, and orders an apple pie. After a while he is served a kidney pie. The waiter says:”sorry we’re out of oranges.”

9. “…they know EXACTLY what they’re doing.”

Agree. If they did not know what they were doing they would get random results instead of well thought out deceptive charts.

• Hard to tell sometimes, but I suspect that you are correct for the most part.

• MightyDrunken

They know what they are doing, unfortunately I don’t think they understand why it is misleading. Confirmation bias has a strong allure.

• jake

To pick out the both start and end dates that give the “best results” to refute acc, shows that it is likely to be purposeful misinformation (IMO). But perhaps he just does not understand why such an analysis is… silly (to be kind). I have read alot of social science literature on the issue of climate change denial and would not be surprised if bob wants his conclusions to be real sooo much, that he genuinely believes what he says. Of course that does not mean we cant say, Bob is full of…

10. Richard Simons

An additional point: statistical tests assume random sampling, so any that use cherry-picked dates will be wrong – probably a moot point as people who cherry-pick don’t seem to have discovered statistical tests or confidence limits.

11. Bob Tisdale illustrates perfectly the difference between stupid and unintelligent. The unintelligent person is incapable of understanding. The stupid person uses his intelligence to fool himself. That is what makes stupid so dangerous.

• Yup. One of my favourite examples is Matt Ridley – on paper pretty smart, in practise, good at using his intelligence to fool himself and other people.

12. They may not know what they’re doing, whether or not they’re doing it wrongly, but they do it knowing that they’re doing the right thing, even if they’re wrong. Give them enough time, and their moment of triumph will arrive: accidentally getting something right. The paradox, of course, is that they won’t recognize they’re right when it’s right there in front of their faces, as they clearly don’t do so well at recognizing things right in front of their faces.

No matter. Working scientists will soon discover the truth anyway: El Nino drives global warming. GHGs are overrated.

/sarc

13. JollyJoker

My first thought was that you could show that he did it on purpose by checking if he cherry-picked the early interval to maximize the warming. Looking at the charts, he just seems to have picked the lowest dip and the highest pre-1998 peak.

• He actually did exactly that with the 18-year trends. He could have milked out an even higher trend if he had used the 19-year trends and started in 1916.

14. TLM

Bob’s biggest problem is he is mixing up two cherry picks, he should have stuck to one. He is using a cherry picked time period of 18 years early on in the century and then trying to compare it with a cherry picked period of 34 years later on.

If he had at least been consistent in his cherry picking he might have concluded “the 18 year warming period 1917-34 has the highest rate of warming of any 18 year period in the record”. He might be right and it would have the merit of at least being consistent, but I am not sure what that would prove exactly.

Personally I don’t see why all the fuss about a warm year in the 48 states of the USA (other than most bloggers live there). Why exclude half the continent? Or do citizens of the North American continent think its climate stops at the Canadian border? Sounds like cherry picking to me!

I can just about see some point doing trends for a whole continental land mass, but there is little more usefulness calculating the 48 states trend as there is to calculating the trend for just the Midwest, or just the Confederate states, or England without Scotland and Wales or just the European Union states.

The climate might change with geological features, like mountain ranges or coastlines. I have yet to hear of a heatwave having its passport checked before being allowed through the Niagara Falls border crossing.

15. rwmsrobertw

[Response: As I suspected — tell him the truth and he won’t believe it.]

• arch stanton

But it is all justified because: “If I had selected other start and end years for that warming period, I would have received numerous complaints” (from the *nonbiased* statistical experts at Watts’).

• Lars Karlsson

This is quite hilarious:

“I’ve selected the warming and cooling time periods as they’ve presented themselves in the data, and I’ve based the trend analyses on those time periods. Tamino calls that cherry-picking. I call it common sense.”

• P. Lewis

Brick wall, meet chengdeite.

• Alex the Seal

The only rationale he’s made for picking start and end points is that “it’s obvious”. But if you break the chart into different sized chunks you can call your zigs and zags wherever you please.

• Bernard J.

Tisdale confirms that he knows what he is doing:

Tamino comically titled his post “He knows not what he’s doing”. I believe it’s pretty obvious what I’ve done.

Of course, in this case “knows what he is doing” refers not to Tisdale’s (in)capacity for time-series analysis, but to his confessed understanding that he is not conducting such analyses correctly.

• John Hughes

“Bob Tisdale says: January 16, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Soos says: “This really is silly. Apply your methodology to artificial data with no warming trend, and you also ‘find’ faster earlier warming as Tamino shows. But wait a second – there’s no trend…”

I assume you’re referring to all of the adjustments to the USHCN data. ”

WTF? “I assume …”

I assume he doesn’t know how to read.

• HarryWiggs

Tamino, to swipe and paraphrase a famous movie line, Tisdale can’t handle the truth. He’s too entrenched by the light of his own magnificence…..

16. Sou

I know it’s not the least bit funny, but I couldn’t help grinning deep down inside when I read on WUWT Bob Tisdale arguing “it’s ENSO” with Alec Rawls who was arguing “it’s the sun”. The unreal contortions they both go through to try to deny the science. Neither of them seemed capable of stepping back and saying “maybe we’re missing the obvious”.

Luckily David Archibald didn’t pop in with his “we’re heading for an ice age”. That really would have messed with the heads of the average WUWT-er.

• Horatio Algeranon

Perfect NONSENSO
— by Horatio Algeranon

Tisdale claims “it’s ENSO”
Rawls is claiming “It’s the sun”
Tis the SUNSO
Makes perfect SENSO
Welcome to the Wattsup fun

• It’s very red queen territory over there but if you are selling FUD that is all you need. It’s the incoherence of denialism and it is a feature AND a bug

• HarryWiggs

And, with the only bona fide scientist on WUWT who happens to BE an expert on the Sun, showing Rawls again and again and AGAIN, it’s not the Sun. I archived that fightfest…;)

17. rwmsrobertw

Agreed.

18. Horatio Algeranon

“The Doers”
— by Horatio Algeranon

The may not know
Just what they do
But know just who
They do it to

19. GFW

A little off topic, but within the domain …
There’s been a minor stir around a paper ( http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrd.50171/abstract ) apparently showing that black carbon is a stronger forcing than previously thought. Presumably then one of the following must also be true.
A. Some negative forcing (e.g. aerosols) must also be stronger
B. Sensitivity with feedbacks must be weaker
Is there yet an indicator of where this is going to go? This can’t change Paleo constraints on the sensitivity.

• That’s stronger, but with a 90% confidence interval of +0.17 W/m2 to +2.1 W/m2. This means that there’s a decent chance that it’s actually not stronger than previously thought. Also (I think, though I haven’t read the paper yet) the confidence interval is based on the black carbon evidence without considering whether the values are consistent with overall forcing estimates (including paleo) and other well-constrained forcings, so if the independent evidence says the new estimate is on the high side, it probably is.

It must have been annoying for so many people to work so long on a project and conclude “maybe it’s important, maybe it isn’t”, but full plaudits to them for not insisting on an answer that’s more definitive but less supportable.

• GFW

Thanks!

• On a similar note, the total anthropogenic forcing in the AR5 draft has increased by ~50%, mainly because the negative aerosol forcing is substantially weaker. I’ve tried to figure out what that means, and was drawn to the deep ocean. Any thoughts?

20. SmithRogers

Bob’s motivation to create such drivel is pretty clear, he said so himself, he’s retired and the only source of funding he can find is creating this denier porn for the denier crowd.

• HarryWiggs

“Denier porn.” Gonna swipe that one…with proper attribution, natch!

I’d add this one: Weather wankers…;)

21. Slioch

Reading Bob Tisdale I’m rather reminded of some words of Jorge Luis Borges (in Other Inquisitions):

“The greatest wizard (Novalis writes memorably) would be the one who bewitched himself to the point of accepting his own phantasmagorias as autonomous apparitions. Wouldn’t that be [his] case?”
and continues:
“but [he has] consented to tenuous and eternal intervals of illogicalness in its architecture that we might know that it is false.”

22. Dave123

I think that this (along with frequent denialist complaints about ‘adjusted’ vs raw data) suggests a basic problem: to them there is no such thing as random noise. It’s all signal to them, it all has meaning. If it’s all signal then of course you can pick the highest and the lowest as Tisdale did.

This kind of lack of understanding of randomness is what gets people excited about cancer clusters. You really have to work to educate people that random distributions are not uniform distributions. To try to get people to understand I’d ask “if you throw a handful of pennies in the air so they all land on a checker board, do you expect them to land evenly spaced from each other?” The light sometimes went on when people frowned and said “no”.

23. cRR Kampen

I posted this exact argument in a couple of lines to WUWT en guess what, Bob ‘Drivel’ Tisdale couldn’t take it.

“but he’ll still find out — he probably won’t believe it.”
Believe me, he knows what he is doing. Bob ‘Drivel’ Tisdale is a climate revisionist, that is a liar (probably paid) and a ‘merchant of doubt’ (probably paid).
Lawsuit for my statements is not possible. Because if he can prove me wrong he confesses both to total naievety and not being an oceanographer (or whatever his credentials are) at all.

J’accuse.

24. So I did a very simplistic analysis, just dividing the data into “n” years, and looking at what the trend for each “n” year period was. For n=18, periods ending in the 1930’s showed the most rapid increase. For n > 35, the most rapid increases all ended in very recent years.

So rapid short warming back then, and more sustained warming now. But that isn’t a WTFUWT headline.

25. Horatio Algeranon

A little late for this year, but there’s always next.

Look for it on “A Watt Christmas with Horatio” (also featuring the classic Watt Christmas)

“Deck the Blogs”

Deck the blogs with posts of folly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tisdale’s reason to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Spawn we now our say a-puerile,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Troll the ancient trees of Yamal,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

See the amazing fool before us,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Strike the flarp and join the chorus.
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Fa la la la la, la la la la.
While I tell of false-pride treasure,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Fast away the short trend passes,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Hail the spew, ye lads and lasses,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Sing we clueless, all together,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Heedless of the clime and weather,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

• Fun! But what’s a “flap?” (I know I’ll feel foolish when I find out!)

• Ack! “Flarp,” of course. Damn auto-correct anyway.

• Horatio Algeranon

Any auto-correct that would “correct” a perfectly good word like “flarp” is not worth its weight in electrons.

Then again, maybe it was the non-standard usage that threw the auto-correct for a loop: As Bill Gates undoubtedly knows, one does not “strike” flarp, but “squeezes” it.

• Apparently the “Urban Dictionary” can be your friend if you want a definition for “flarp”, but most are quite scatological, I find…

But I like this one:

“In music, a note that is so completely wrong or out-of-tune that it is impossible to determine whether it is flat or sharp.”

• Horatio Algeranon

The only other alternative for ” so completely wrong or out-of-tune that it is impossible to determine whether it is flat or sharp” is “shat”, so maybe that’s where the scatalogical definitions of flarp originate (the etymology of flarp, as it were)

Actually, Horatio’s use of the word was based on something much less “learned”:

“Flarp” is the name for noise putty (which makes a farting sound). not sure which came first though, the putty or the name (and really don’t care)

• Either way, it’s just the sort of thing to be “struck” in the context you presented.

• Horatio Algeranon

This may well be the longest (certainly the most “serious”) discussion of “flarp” anywhere on the internet. OT, but very important.

Next time (hope there isn’t, but if perchance there is), we will all be in the same “flarp” key.

Thanks again, Kevin, for your musical input.

• And thank you, too, Horatio! ([Yet another] silly quip suppressed here.)

26. cRR Kampen
• OK, but the 1st paragraph would be sufficient. Just sayin’.

• cRR Kampen

True, sufficient to conclude he knows exactly what he is doing, which is deliberately distorting reality.
There won’t be lawsuits against Koch, Exxon for ‘causing AGW’ because we are effectively all consumers thus causers, but there will be lawsuits for lying the phenomenon away and they must hit some scolars too. Those against tobacco companies and -lobbies will pale in comparison. But when? Let’s see how the US drought will or will not continue – that’s about food and the whole world.

27. Alexander Harvey

Hi,

Given sight of the data prior to picking the method of analysis is prone to weaken the significance of the result.

In an ideal world, one would write out the method of the analysis before any knowledge of the specific data, and do so insufficient detail that it could be automated; then at least one could produce a bespoke statistic complete with a measure of significance that could be calculated or estimated from synthetic data.

Asked honestly, it is very difficult to justify any particular set of choices taken after the data is at hand unless the motivation is clear. It is the motive that makes the picking to be one of cherries. Given the knowledge of, or suspicion as to, objective the process is rational so it could be allowed for.

The linear trend is rather susceptable to start-end choices as you point out. I think the susceptability can be seen to be related to the fact that the vector (corresponding to a linear slope with zero mean when windowed over only part of the range of the data), changes in a dramatic fashion from its points of maximal variance (its end points) to points of minimal variance (the its zero values outside the windows) at a step. It is very susceptable to single step changes of its start and end points. That in turn is related to the vector having appreciable amounts of high frequency components, for such is the nature of a sawtooth function.

However it is the case that much of the desired information is contained in the vector’s lowest frequency component, which is an inverted sine wave for a positive slope. It is also a component with a low susceptability to end point fiddling.

I suspect but I have never shown that for a white (uncorrelation) noise model, the sine wave, once averaged or binned over its steps is the least susceptable as measured by the size of the change to its explained variance after a single move by one step of the end points in the same direction, and also more generally.

It would not I think be the optimal low susceptability alternative to the slope with autocorrelated data as there will be an alternative that captures more of the intended signal (the linear trend); for integrated data, e.g. AR(1) with a coefficent of 1, the linear trend itself the has a low susceptabilitye to its end points,

In both cases the criterion for the “ideal” low susceptability vector may be that it be an eigenvector of the covariance matrix as expressed over just the window. Such eigenvectors also being the vectors that maximise the expectation of the explained variance over the window in the fashion that EOFs do, e.g. as an ordered sequence starting with the maximum variance vector followd be the next greatest for the residual, etc..

I suspect that something of this sort has been explicated somewhere in the literature, or it maybe that it is just be too obscure a niche to have been looked into.

Alex

[Response: The eigenvectors of the variance-covariance matrix make a nice set of eofs. They can even be adapted to circumstances with a natural cycle, like seasonal data (with a known 1-year cycle), to define “cyclo-stationary” eofs. It’s not a common technique but has shown real promise in some applications.

But I’ll disagree with your basic premise. I’d say that model functions should be chosen to mimic the signal more than to accommodate the noise structure. If the trend is indistinguishable from linear, then a linear fit is, IMHO, best — it not only gives the highest signal-to-noise ratio, it quantifies what is really going on. The lowest-frequency Fourier component “assumes” that the signal is sinusoidal, so even if we don’t misinterpret it that way it still dilutes the signal power.

Picking a model which reflects what the data indicate rather requires studying the data. But much experience has shown that only after studying the data can we get the necessary clues to define what the “best” (if there is one) model choice should be. I haven’t yet found a pre-scription (literally before even knowing what the data look like) that has sufficient rigor and power to fit the bill.

What’s needed is a keen awareness of how the freedom of choice in model selection can inflate estimates of significance. It’s an issue which is rarely considered, and sometimes (as in the case of Bob Tisdale) outright abused.]

• Alex,
I’ll go with Tamino here. Remember the goal is prediction, not explanation of the data. Modeling noise doesn’t help us predict. Modeling trend gives and then extrapolating lets us know if we got the signal right.

28. Lars Karlsson
29. Rob Honeycutt

You know, you could interpret Tisdale’s cherry picks in a totally different way. When I look at the higher trend from early in the 20th century, I say to myself, “Whoa! That’s a steep trend with just a limited amount of additional forcing from CO2! Think of what THAT trend would have been like if it had the same forcing we’re adding to the climate system today!!” Keeee-rap!!

It’s a scary thought. And a reasonably likely scenario at some point in the coming decade or two.

30. Joel Shore

Tamino: Have you seen the latest version of the there’s-no-warming-for-more-than-15-years-meme, promulgated by Monckton wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/14/has-the-met-office-committed-fraud/ and Richard Courtney and all the usual suspects in which they take a quote from this 2008 NOAA climate report wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/14/has-the-met-office-committed-fraud/ (p. S-21) out-of-context and then misinterpret it to conclude that NOAA’s statement shows the last 15 years to have falsified the models? It is not for the weak-of-stomach!

Not like you don’t have enough on your plate, but I thought it would be a nice thing for you to debunk. It’s been very painful trying to make people over there understand what is wrong with their interpretation of the statement.

[Response: I’ll take a look, although I’m working on something else at the moment. In any case, don’t expect to make people over there understand what is wrong with their interpretation of the statement.]

• KR

Joel, it’s unclear to me whether Monckton has even read the source of that out of context quote – when asked for the reference he gave one that was incorrect. I wonder if he’s repeating a snippet someone else provided.

I then directly responded (http://joannenova.com.au/2012/12/unleashed-monckton-releases-his-ar5-reviewer-comments/#comment-1207152), pointing out the context, including some (unquoted by Monckton) conclusions just one column later, which note that:

“…climate models possess internal mechanisms of variability capable of reproducing the current slowdown in global temperature rise… [ ] …recent observational trends are not sufficient to discount predictions of substantial climate change and its significant and widespread impacts”

Curiously enough (ahem), that was well prior to his repeat of these silly claims on WUWT. One might get the impression that he either wasn’t listening, or perhaps did not care, about the out of context misrepresentation.

• Joel Shore

KR: I don’t think that is the strongest argument, since they will just say, “Yeah…But that was 4 years ago…and, now with 4 years more of data, we have satisfied the criterion that those guys said would be necessary for a deviation.” The problem with their argument, of course, is that they haven’t satisfied the criterion but since understanding that involves actually understanding basic statistics and logic, getting them to believe it seems hopeless.

• joeldshore

This comment should win some award for how badly a fake skeptic is able to bend statistical analysis to get his desired result: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/14/has-the-met-office-committed-fraud/#comment-1206688

31. “But much experience has shown that only after studying the data can we get the necessary clues to define what the “best” (if there is one) model choice should be.” — This is well said. No model can ever accommodate all natural factors. At best a model is an approximation of those factors which can be understood and defined. There is always an ‘outside’ which the model itself admits is somewhat immune to modelling. Nature is the text and modelling is the ‘interpretation of the text.’ In some cases the model is highly accurate (Moby Dick *is* about a white whale). But Moby Dick is not a white whale. It’s a book about a white whale.

• Doug,
If you think Moby Dick is about a white whale, you need to reread it. It is a book about obsession and its effects on all who come into contact with it.

• Bob Loblaw

snarkrates:
Oh, right. Next, you’re probably going to tell me that the movie “You’ve Got Mail” isn’t about large corporations taking over small, local businesses…

• JCH

Look, if it was about obsession there would be a lot more hand washing and auditing.

• roymustard

Wasn’t Animal Farm about animals on a farm?

• Great, now we’re having a discussion about the meaning of “about.”

• JCH, the harpoons are symbolic of an audit.

• Horatio Algeranon

What do you mean by that, Kevin?

• Horatio Algeranon

Moby Dick (Book II)
— by Horatio Algeranon

Captain Nayhab
Once set sail
To overcome
The Great White Whale

With FOI’s
And harpoon stat
He poked the Whale

The whale turned round
And sank the ship
And that was that
The end of trip

• Horatio Algeranon

On ocean floor
And will not rod it
Any more

32. Recursion to the mean… or maybe I mean, mean recursion.

33. outdoor-enthusiast

Meanwhile, this low income fellow is leading a low carbon lifestyle by using, exclusively, a bicycle for transportation. Even in a Canadian winter. Saddened by the number of articles, columns, and blog posts that decry the waiting, waiting, waiting for governments to implement carbon taxes to right price carbon, this same fellow has made it possible for those that want to voluntarily raise the price of their carbon, knowing that their emissions have been offset by the cyclist, to do so immediately – no delays waiting for governments to act.
A few evenings ago, the commute home from work by bicycle was accompanied by snow – which was pleasing in that it seems the low carbon lifestyle was helping keep the planet cold enough to permit precipitation in the form of snow. Every little bit helps. So, at a grassroots level, those that want to see carbon right priced can do so today.

34. John Lonergan

Click to access GIGS-1-101.pdf

OT. but I don’t know where else to put it.
There is a BEST paper out: A New Estimate of the Average Earth Surface Land Temperature Spanning 1753 to 2011 (h/t WUWT) – Richard A. Muller, Robert Rohde, Robert Jacobsen, Elizabeth Muller, Saul Perlmutter, Arthur Rosenfeld, Jonathan Wurtele, Donald Groom and Charlotte Wickham .

The results are not at all startling, it’s warming. The Stoat has some comments here: http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2013/01/20/best-is-published/

• Marco

Most “unstartling” is Watts’ view of the paper. In the beginning he announced he would accept whatever they found…and unsurprisingly, he’s run away from that!

Oh, the irony:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“…you and your kin at SkepticalScience and Tamino’s only think you’re ripping my findings to shreds because you cannot comprehend what I’ve presented. It is beyond your grasp.”
-Bob Tisdale
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

• Did he really type that? Now that is chutzpah…

• arch stanton

Kudos to HarryWiggs for eliciting the true story of why the world is warming according to B. Tisdale:
“Typically I write something to the effect of: La Niña events also recharge part of the warm water that was released during the El Niño. They accomplish this through an increase in downward shortwave radiation (visible light), and that results from the reduction in tropical Pacific cloud amount caused by the stronger trade winds of a La Niña.

Was that beyond you, Harry?”

No explanation given by B. Tisdale as to why the “Pacific cloud amount caused by the stronger trade winds of a La Niña” is any greater (or lessor) at this time than it has been at any other.

“Denier porn” indeed.

• t0kodave

And pigs will fly…

• JCH

I take it you have not seen the no-Gecko Geico pig ad.

36. MikeH

The comments on the Borreti/Parker sea-level quackery post are closed but this article may be of interest – Tamino is referenced. (Apparently Borreti and Parker are the same person – a name change was involved).
https://theconversation.edu.au/peer-review-isnt-perfect-and-the-media-doesnt-always-help-11318