Mullering the data.

The one and only Gerd "Der Bomber" Muller, busily at work mullering another team ..

There is this new sort of creature who’s emerged in the climate debate in the last year or two. Unsurprisingly, they all seem to spring from the alarmist side, but they all have one of those comfortably recognisable patterns of behaviour that I quite like. I’ll freely admit I’ve a slight compulsion to look for patterns in the dazed confusion of reality. Once you make out the pattern, it’s easier to do the prediction thing but perhaps I’m kidding myself on this one; I’m probably just a compulsive taxonomist who doesn’t like nasty surprises.

The pattern tends to be that they break the consensus ranks, amid a sharp intake of breath from the rest of the serried rows of sheep, with a debut article or statement that, while it isn’t a complete renunciation of their faith in Mother Gaia, is a smidgen of a doubt being cast on one of the tenets of the Church of Climatology. It’s a bit like pinching a pretty woman’s bum in church. After the involuntary yelp, the usual reaction is a shocked silence from the alarmist congregation and the raising of hopes in the realist ranks. Perhaps a miracle is occurring and one of them has finally seen the light? Flutter. Flutter. Be still my foolish heart.

The next bit I always find a bit demeaning. Not for me personally, you understand, but watching the whole situation unfold. They announce they’re going to open an honest dialogue with us nasty deniers or even more daringly, going to do some totally unbiased piece of research on an area of “settled” but controversial science, to get to the bottom of it once and for all. There’s always a few realists who fall for it and innocently believe it’s for real, so they get sucked into the charade and become part of it. It’s as if they somehow still need an authority figure to endorse their indecent skepticism. Like I said, a bit demeaning, even if by proxy.

Usually the area of supposedly settled science is one we’ve totally torn the ass out of, but given how important it is, they get the funding to do a root and branch re-examination of it, to determine the real truth of the matter. This time it’s going to get sorted out. They disappear for a few months, hopes on both sides rise on the results of this honest broker and guess what? They come back and with a heavy heart and with great regret, announce that after reviewing all the data, the world is still going to end. At this point, the realists finally get to take their first look at how the new research has been done, realise it’s just a variation of the same old bollocks and they’ve been had yet again. Of course, by then, the honest broker has already pre-announced the results to their pals in the media and having bagged the desired propaganda headlines, the carnival has moved on.

It was all a game from the very start. Welcome to Schmucksville, schmucks.

Well, that’s the pattern, so let’s move onto an example of it. The Berkeley professor Richard Muller burst onto the climate world stage with an unequivical condemnation of the climategate scientists. Indeed, from now on, he wasn’t even going to read any papers they produced – so there! That was the pinch on the derrière moment. You can find a video of him delivering the pinch here. I’d encourage you to give it a play. At face value, he’s saying all the right things. However (don’t you just hate howevers?), I’d encourage you to play it again, but this time with the sound off. Watch the body language. The impression I get, is that if ever there was a little chappie getting high on his 15 minutes of fame, you’re looking at him. Not a good sign.

A little background research confirmed to my way of thinking that he was more of a believer than the objective scientist he was portraying himself as, especially as he’d already given testimony to a US House committee earlier the same year, saying in unequivocal terms, that the world was definitely warming up. Dependant on the company, he was even prone to using the denier word. Once a supposed scientist uses that word, irrespective of their particular justification of it, they lose every shred of credibility in my eyes. Although he quite accurately bills himself as a physicist in that clip, he’s been specialising in Earth Sciences for a number of years and so would be expected to know exactly what’s going on in it. We were actually expected to believe it took him two years after the climategate leak of emails, to realise the implications of them and then get around to the condemnation he’s doing in that clip of the climategate cowboys? Two years? Seriously? Gowon, you’re ‘aving a larf.

On a more subjective judgement, there was a distinct lack of that old-fashioned thing called gravitas about the man. Contrast that clip with this one of Prof. Richard Lindzen. You can play that clip any way you like, but the abiding impression you’ll get is of a man with gravitas, whose conclusions are driven by the data, even if that should put him into that very real danger zone outside the establishment of climate science. He has that certain strength of character. You can see it. If a person of that calibre ever said they’d changed their opinion and global warming represented a serious danger to humanity, I’d have to go away for a spell and do some serious rethinking of my position on the whole issue.

The long and the short of it was, I never trusted Muller.

He and his team then went on to conduct a complete reexamination of all the raw data, to determine if in fact the world temperature was rising significantly. Just before the much awaited results were published, he started giving interviews to a few selected journalists of the warmist variety. The ensuing headlines were along the very predictable lines of – global warming skeptic admits the world is actually getting dangerously warmer.

It was the usual wheeze of pre-announcing research results on data that was as yet unavailable, and sometimes never will be, to the realists for scrutiny. It was all a bit embarrassing for the other people, whose names were on the yet to be published paper, especially Judith Curry, who was busy doing her own honest broker let’s-talk-to-the-skeptics thingy. You really do have to be careful about what or to whom you lend your good name and credibility. After a short but no doubt violent interval of blood, snot and feathers flying around, Muller and his colleagues appeared to kiss and make up and he went back to tunneling through the data. The line seemed to be that it had all been some sort of unfortunate PR misunderstanding and he wouldn’t do it again. Yes, of course it was.

Needless to say, by the time the realists got their hands on the data and had a look at the analytical methods used, any such conclusion was far from warranted. But that actually didn’t matter, because by then the alarmist headlines were safely bagged and as we all know, the mainstream media never does corrections, never mind retractions, when it comes to a good climate alarm story.

By now, it’s all last year’s stuff, except for a recent article I came across, containing an interview with the good professor, of whom not much has been heard of in the last year or so. He’s still being billed as a former skeptic, which as far as I can find out, he never was, and as soft interviews go, it’s fairly standard stuff except for one bit, where the interviewer asks him if he thinks global warming is being caused by human activity. The guarded reply is that they’re still working on conclusions but they’re moving in that direction. It sounds like he’s already reached a conclusion to me, but he does goes on to say all will be revealed in a few weeks, when they publish their results. I can’t wait …

It seems that he’s gone back to briefing selected journalists, in advance of publication of the results. A little bit of PR never hurts, though I’m sure one or two uncharitable cynics in our midst might think he’s just craving the spotlight again. Who knows?

The one thing I do know, is the inevitable headlines we can expect – global warming skeptic admits global warming is caused by human activity. Perhaps they’ll add a “former” in front, as a cherry on top. Everyone loves a convert to their religion.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

For those of you who might not have come across the term before, Mullered is a relatively newish piece of slang, I’m quite partial to. It’ll be interesting to see how he’s mullered the data this time. No doubt, those terrible twins, the two M’s, are already sharpening their pencils …

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

How climategate destroyed the science of global warming.

Click for a list of other articles.

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Comments
25 Responses to “Mullering the data.”
  1. Petrossa says:

    The problem with patterns is once you’ve seen it you can never unsee it. I always amuse myself watching GhostHunters where they ‘capture’ some random noise on a recording device and then ‘hear’ a voice. Since the brain works as it does, once someone says i heard: “go away” you yourself will hear that too whilst in reality the wave pattern is distinctly non speech like.

    In this case i think Muller just got the word that he’d be better rethink or join the jobless and decided he still needed to pay his student loans. That’s the pattern i see in actually all of those jokers behavior. In the case of Lindzen i see a true believer, more then a scientist, who projects truth since he really believes it. Less a case of gravitas, since the ‘science’ behind it is rubbish, but more like an Amish talking about god.

  2. hro001 says:

    Nice piece, Pointman :-)

    I’ve had (and still have) my doubts about Muller, as well. Don’t know if you saw it, but he was the subject of my Hallowe’en piece last year, in which I had asked:

    Will the real Richard Muller please stand up

    • Pointman says:

      That’s a great article, Hilary. “Investigative journalism is alive and well, it’s just moved house” to the blogosphere.

      Pointman

    • Blackswan says:

      Thank you for that comprehensive overview Hilary – it raised so many examples of the contradictions and anomalies inherent in this climate farce.

  3. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    This Muller character is one confused “scientist”. He concedes that “the temperature-station quality is largely awful …… we do not know how much worse are the stations in the developing world”, and yet claims “the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study finds reliable evidence of a rise in the average land temperature of approximately 1°C since the mid -1950′s”, while conceding that “the margin of error for the stations is at least three times larger than the estimated warming.”

    Where did his “reliable evidence” come from? The thousands of weather stations that once existed have been pared down to a minimal number of “awful” poorly sited token stations whose data is severely compromised by the instruction that fractions of a degree must always be ‘rounded up’. What kind of mathematician wouldn’t know that this distortion of data would inevitably compound into major errors?

    He also declared that this phony data was endorsed “before it could be subjected to the tedious review of time.” As you rightly pointed out in an earlier post, ‘Time’ is our secret weapon, not a matter of inconvenient tedium.

    The entire point of this BEST study was purported to be to verify or refute Anthropogenic Global Warming claims and yet the Mullet says;

    “How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.”

    What the …. ??? No assessment of human activities’ effect on our ever-changing chaotic climate systems? Then what was this entire (expensive) exercise in futility all about?

    Then, to add insult to injury (to our intelligence), he goes on to say “ads exaggerate the dangers of the miniscule amounts of mercury in CFLs.” Funny that. A bunch of other scientists are seriously alarmed at the environmental disaster looming as a result of the very mercury poisoning that the Mullet dismisses as being a scare campaign by the advertising industry.

    But then, in order not to startle the horses too much, he offers us the sage advice; “Another option is that we could learn to live with global warming.”

    What a novel approach. Homo sapiens and the animal world have been doing exactly that for millennia.

    He sounds more like a ‘stunned mullet’ to me.

  4. johnnyrvf says:

    Being I am a simple mechanic I can only point out that the term Mullered has been around for ages in my sphere of industry and usually describes the actions of the ham fisted in relation to what should be a delicate part being completely bludgeoned to destruction by over enthusiastic and inapropriate use of a blunt and heavy implement instead of using the correct tool(s) for its removal. Could this form of modification to an actual part be utilised in the mutilation of a principal?

  5. Mindert Eiting says:

    Very good essay, Pointman. I like your texts and often pay a visit to your site late in the evening. I choose one of them going from the present to the past. Often, I do not give comments because this is quite difficult to do for a good essay in which everything is said (apart from the fact that English is not my native language). Continue the good work.

    • Pointman says:

      Hi Mindert. About 25% of the regular visitors here come from non-English speaking countries. I’m always impressed and at the same time humbled, that people should go to that amount of effort to read an article I’ve written.

      As for comments, I have no problem with anyone who prefers to comment in their own language, if they find it easier. We can all use Babelfish or Google Translate!

      Pointman

      • Mindert Eiting says:

        We have in Dutch a better word for ‘hoax’ which is ‘Broodje Aap Verhaal’. Perhaps the best translation is ‘ Monkey Burger Story’. Years ago the Dutch writer, Ethel Portnoy, wrote a book about modern fairy tales. One of them was about a regular transport in New York by a blinded truck between a zoo and a famous fast food company. Nobody did understand this till the day the truck was involved in an accident on a cross road. By the impact of the collision its content arrived on the street and everybody could see that it consisted of the remains of monkeys and gorilla’s. She used this tale in the title of her book, becoming our expression for modern fairy tale.

  6. Edward. says:

    Scanning your post P, I can’t help thinking, through your ‘penning’, that, you must be one of the most eloquently ‘spoken’ realists.
    Pleasingly, your potent acid does markedly etch your words.
    Mixing metaphors as is my wont, a fine rapier, in contrast to my blunt broad sword, a stylist with wit and a dull blade, how I do admire your prose greatly.

    Agreed, Professor Lindzen is a man of absolute credibility, a leader and a thinker not given to hyperbole and cant.
    In obvious contrast, we have such as Stefan Rahmstorf, a slightly ridiculous figure and James Hansen who looks more desperate as the years grow ever more unkind. Then, there is Phil Jones, a man who blinks like a rabbit in the headlights of the world’s scepticism. Lastly, how could I forget?
    Of course! Michael E. Mann, is not by any means a bloke with strength of character, he is a shifty guy. Never, does he make eye contact, thus, he comes across as a nervous charlatan – ultimately behind his schoolboy science: there is not even a glimmer of strength of conviction.

    How could, anyone ever set store in what these fellows say? But then, I would posit, that for those who uphold the virtues of honesty and scientific integrity, and who know that CAGW is a MM lie – Mann et al – through their shambolic amateurism: have provided us with a considerable blessing.

    For, those [Politicians, bankers and institutions such as the UN and the EU] who see the ‘great scam’ as a vehicle for greater influence, power and lucre, these poor cretins lack the devilry of true mountebanks because: in subterfuge and deception they are so lacking.

  7. Rastech says:

    The pattern of the playbook (as I call it), is all too easily recognisable, and simple, and so rigidly structured to stick to key points of the agenda, it is brittle, fragile, and utterly inflexible.

    You won’t believe how much easier it is to see in the UN’s push to ban lead for instance (if you think bad science and dubious agenda is restricted to climate, you ain’t seen nothing yet, with studies and reports dominated by assumptions and the pretense of reasonableness).

    The Climate War is not a War. It is a battle, and it is a battle on one beach.

    There are an awful lot of beaches in this War (and it is a War, for our very survival as Free People – people are dying in this War too, but the large scale consumption of bullets isn’t happening . . . . . yet. Things may come to that pass though),

    What the enemy is doing, is attempting to restrict us to one battle, on one beach, to distract us from all the other beaches where there need to be battles fought and moved on from, to contain us. If they can contain us to this battle on this solitary beach, they will win.

    Once we can get off ALL these beaches (basically everything that comes out of the UN, has to be inspected in fine detail, and we need a heck of a lot more of us to do that, though there are many in the wings, on many beaches, who presently think they are struggling on alone), then we can move inland and win this thing.

    The biggest weapon that is being used against us, is Local Government, and our own wealth being confiscated to be used against us.

    This is where most of the activists actually hole up. At our expense. Because it is Local Government that directly influences most aspects of our lives (from education, to health, to policing, to rubbish collection, to whatever). We need to elect new people, that will clean out what are now rat infested dens of extremist activist controlled employees.

    All of the tables in the Casino, are rigged against us. When people realise that all of the tables *outside* the Casino, are also rigged against us, is when the battles on the other beaches start in earnest.

    So, sorry if I am not spending too much time on ‘climate’ right now. I’m off surveying other beaches, and primarily getting people aware of fundamental and indispensable Constitutional principles where I can (if we get the foundations right, then even if it comes to a French Revolution moment, then we won’t be sold a dreadful and incoherent pig in a poke of a Constitution, like the French were, which is why they have had so many ‘Republics’ since).

    But going outside the particular topic has its benefits too, because it allowed me to come across this, for example:

    “Navy to Make Jet Fuel From Seawater
    The U.S. Navy has developed a way to turn the carbon dioxide in seawater into jet fuel”.

    http://news.discovery.com/tech/seawater-alternative-jet-fuel.html

    How come nobody has been shouting at full volume from the rooftops that there is 140 times more CO2 in seawater than there is in the atmosphere? Given it is the US Navy saying it, and given that they are looking into making jet fuel out of it because there’s so much of it, it’s obviously a believable set of numbers too, isn’t it?

    Once you grasp that reality, then the CO2 in the atmosphere OBVIOUSLY has the square root of sweet FA effect on the Planet. And also OBVIOUSLY, the whole Ocean ‘acidification’ and the ‘But it’s for the little children, er, Coral Reefs’ nonsense is instantly visible as a complete and utter crock of sh*t too.

    So lift up your eyes, go beach spotting, grab that surfboard and start surfing. You will not believe how much stuff you come across, that is mind bogglingly linked to other things (and each with just a few extremist activist people involved in their interlinked little activist cells, with each having their little carbon copied activist playbooks, that are dominating each beachhead).

    • Pointman says:

      Hello Ras. I agree, there are a lot of different wars going on. I took Lincoln’s advice of “one war at a time” and I chose the climate war, for the reasons outlined in the “about me” of this blog. Obviously, that choice has to be one’s own assessment of where the most good can be achieved.

      Certainly, I think climate alarmism has proved to be a very flexible means, for a bewildering variety of activists to advance their creeping totalitarian agendas.By concentrating on it, I hope to achieve a higher bang per buck for my efforts.

      Pointman

    • Edward. says:

      Wothca Ras,

      Great post.

      In mere words, I am unable to express how much that I agree with your comments.

      For a long time, I’ve said, the real monsters in Britain, the real EU Stasi, the real enemy of all freedom loving Britons do not reside in Westminster – they are just down the road in your local council civic halls.
      The legislation for the new Metropolitan boroughs, Town and Metropolitan councils was in the pipleline well before that perfidious, dissolute tnuc of a waster Heath – did the dirty when signing Britain over to the Communist Kommissars in 1972. Indubitably, proving once and for all, that the treaty Heath signed – was never just about trade [which Heath knew full well]. Thus, The Local Government Act 1972 – is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales on 1 April 1974.
      The diversity freaks, the multiculturalists, the open borders immigration diktats of the EU are all enabled and enacted by our town hall taliban chieftains who have more power than those tossers in Westminster and Dave, Clegg and Miliband know it. The Town hall taliban’s imprimatur is a seal granted through the Kommissars who make and draft our laws, when Bliar signed us up to the HRA and British law became subservient to the ECHR – that was the final nail in Britain’s coffin, it was: fait accomplis – the Lisbon Consti-treaty was the icing on the cake.

      On Rio+20-1992×1972 etc etc blah blah blah…………………….. well it is all UN hyper bollox.

      One theme, that the eejits of green constantly harp on about, pertains to the 1972 Montreal UN gabfest which very unfortunately established the blue print for all of the ensuing eco-lunacy that the West has had to endure in the following 40 years.

      By this, I am talking about UNEP, what a set of twats these shady nutters are.

      Monbiot, Clover, and most Grauniad berks are fond of recalling what a marvellous thing was done in Montreal, where CFC’s where demonised because it was thought that these gaseous emissions were damaging the polar ozone layers. As Monbiot and Clover have so erroneously tried to point out recently – UNEP was successful in banning CFC’s and savin’ the Ozone layer!?#!
      I think not, if and when one realises that in winter the ozone hole grows and in summer the ozone layer recovers – sunny thing ain’t it?

      UNEP is responsible for [everything really and whoTF is Achim Steiner?].
      UNEP’s main activities are related:

      climate change;
      including the Territorial Approach to Climate Change (TACC);
      disasters and conflicts;
      ecosystem management;
      environmental governance;
      harmful substances; and
      resource efficiency.

      Good God, who gave these nutters that sort of remit – or is it just ‘mission creep’?

      As Monckton points out here, the UN is going ‘private’ because we [realists] keep effin gumming up the works – now why would they [the UN] be doing that Ras??

      As Monckton remarks in his piece, it is time to end the UN. AND on my part I would add: it is time to end the EU.

    • Blackswan says:

      G’day Ras,

      While you are absolutely right in saying Local Government is the coal-face where restrictive, dictatorial UN policies are implemented to invade every aspect of our lives, it’s Climate Fraud that justifies such a creeping demolition of our freedoms.

      In Australia the UN’s Agenda 21 is flourishing, bringing our agriculture to its knees. Every aspect is determined by “sustainability” – from water allocation to land-clearing to livestock and cropping, to every facet of food production. Aided and abetted by UN-controlled State and Federal Government policies, farmers are giving up their struggles and selling out to foreign governments and mining/gas exploration companies.

      As young people and their families leave farming districts, schools close down, local stores and ag suppliers shut up shop, local employment dries up and towns will undoubtedly be eventually abandoned. To hasten this process, prime agricultural land is being destroyed by some of the world’s biggest open-cut coal mines – land which can never be rehabilitated. The dust and noise from these operations is forcing neighbouring properties to sell out as well.

      Then we have wind turbines sprouting everywhere and a proliferation of gas exploration which is also forcing people off the land. All of this activity and our loss of food production and food security, is being justified by Climate Fraud.

      It may be only one battle on one beach in a War for Global Control, but it is the linchpin upon which all the rest hinges.

      It must remain a priority in our fight to regain our freedom. Our descendants will rightly condemn our complacency in ever allowing this Juggernaut to have risen in the first place, and worse, if we fail to succeed in destroying it.

      • Blackswan says:

        By the way, last Monday the Sydney City Council spent an hour discussing the ‘carbon footprint’ of domestic pets. It was determined that one Dalmation dog had a ‘footprint’ equal to 1,259 goldfish.

        I kid you not. How long before an edict will ban dog ownership in the city or severe penalties will apply in the form of prohibitive dog registration fees etc? The city will be awash with goldfish bowls.

  8. Edward. says:

    Apologies, I should have linked to wiki in the recent post reply to Ras’s piece: Here.

  9. Steve Tabor says:

    Blackswan says:
    June 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    By the way, last Monday the Sydney City Council spent an hour discussing the ‘carbon footprint’ of domestic pets. It was determined that one Dalmation dog had a ‘footprint’ equal to 1,259 goldfish.

    I kid you not. How long before an edict will ban dog ownership in the city or severe penalties will apply in the form of prohibitive dog registration fees etc? The city will be awash with goldfish bowls.

    ******

    Precious, this! I need a reference (from a newspaper?) for my “Climate Craziness” tally. Sort of the inverse of the log being kept at Numberwatch. I’ll watch for it here.

  10. Pointman says:

    The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic

    “CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause. ”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    The nice thing about fundamentally dishonest people, is their predictability.

    Pointman

  11. Latimer Alder says:

    You’ll not gain many friends in England with your photo above…Gerd Muller scoring against England to win the World Cup quarter final in Mexico, 1970.

    Muller scored over 500 goals in his very distinguished career but only one against England. I hope that this illustration was just a chance pick ;-)

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