Skip to content

Michael Schlesinger Threatens Andy Revkin

December 6, 2009

Michael Schlesinger, apparently oblivious to the adverse public reaction to behavior of CRU scientists, threatened Andy Revkin of the New York Times with the “Big Cutoff”. Schlesinger’s email expressed particular annoyance that this was the second time in a week that he had had to give directions to Revkin, an earlier email having instructed Revkin not to give space in his blog to the Pielkes.


Copenhagen prostitutes? Climate prostitutes?

Shame on you for this gutter reportage. This is the second time this week I have written you thereon, the first about giving space in your blog to the Pielkes.

The vibe that I am getting from here, there and everywhere is that your reportage is very worrisome to most climate scientists. Of course, your blog is your blog. But, I sense that you are about to experience the ‘Big Cutoff’ from those of us who believe we can no longer trust you, me included.

Copenhagen prostitutes? Unbelievable and unacceptable.

What are you doing and why?


See here

114 Comments leave one →
  1. Hoi Polloi permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:11 pm

    Sounds like the Climatatii are getting desperate?

  2. Doug in Seattle permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:11 pm

    Schlesinger and Steig (Read Roger’s post) both seem to think that the game is still on. That bullying and message control can continue as though the CRU leaks never happened.

    I sincerely hope they are wrong, but then again they have been doing this for a long time.

  3. crosspatch permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:22 pm

    It looks like another instance in a pattern of “message management” from the “climate scientists”. As Pielke The Younger notes “Haven’t these guys gotten into enough trouble in trying to stage manage discussions of climate issues?”

    Doing this in such a public fashion after what has been exposed in private communications is remarkable.

    If this keeps up, a “boycott” or a shunning by the climate change glitterati won’t matter.

  4. anon permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:22 pm

    In Andy Revkin’s defense, it’s tough to take the high road during a climate summit in Copenhagen.

  5. Joshua Corning permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:25 pm

    “What are you doing and why?”

    How dense can you be?

  6. Arn Riewe permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:28 pm

    I doubt that it’s a good strategy to bully a journalist who’s at a minimum given the Team a fair shake.

  7. Raven permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:29 pm


    They will keep doing it because virtually every news source has drunk the koolaid and will not confront these ‘scientists’. This makes it a non-issue for the overwhelming majority of people who do not read skeptical climate blogs.

  8. December 6, 2009 5:29 pm

    Go and look at the original on this. Apparently, Steven Hayward (the author of that excellent overview in the Weekly Standard) was inadvertently copied this email when Schlesinger was emailing Revkin. That kind of sloppiness indicates CDS (climate derangement syndrome): He needs to seek treatment.


  9. K-Dog permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:31 pm

    Isn’t the #1 rule of damage control: When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging?

    This only reinforces the perceived tone — indeed carries it further — of many of the CRU emails.

  10. Sean Peake permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:31 pm

    That’s too funny. Perhaps he’s upset that the prostitutes want to do the delegates for free what the delegates want to do to of us for trillions.

  11. Denbo permalink
    December 6, 2009 5:55 pm

    Wow Revkin’s credibility just went up some with that letter. Why doesn’t Mann just announce “You’re either with us or against us.”

  12. December 6, 2009 5:56 pm

    Oh NOW I get it. I called up my good friend Dewey Dissemble, PhD, noted climatologist at Mudflap State University. Dewey explained everything to me:

    NW: So Dewey, what’s this Schlesinger says to Revkin about “the Big Cutoff?” It sounds like a threat.

    DD: I must admit–as we climatologist put it–it doesn’t read well. But you are taking Schlesinger out of context.

    NW: Oh?

    DD: Yes, you see, “the Big Cutoff” is just something we real scientists say to reporters. It merely indicates a neat technique for sending really clear information to them.

    NW: But, Dewey, after that Schlesinger says “we can no longer trust you.” It really sounds like some sort of punishment for some sort of behavior on Revkin’s part.

    DD: Well that depends on what “trust you” means. I think he really meant “trust you to understand what we tell you.” See, that’s why he needs “the Big Cutoff.” In future, this will make very sure that Revkin understands what we are trying to say.

    NW: Oh well that sounds logical. Ok, thanks a lot Dewey! Oh don’t forget your postcards…they’re good for all kinds of freebies at the conference!

  13. dearieme permalink
    December 6, 2009 6:02 pm

    Maybe they’ve got fed up of jokes about the two sorts of prostitutes at Copenhagen?

  14. Hans Kelp permalink
    December 6, 2009 6:08 pm

    Writing like this: “Shame on you for this gutter reportage. This is the second time this week I have written you thereon, the first about giving space in your blog to the Pielkes.”, is for me the same as writing to “one of your own” who is getting naughty and maybe about to betray the “cause”. But, well, I could be wrong!

  15. Frank K. permalink
    December 6, 2009 6:08 pm

    The climate elites need to get themselves a new PR manager – someone who will tell us commoners who the “real” climate scientists are. I hear Anita Dunn is available…

  16. Don Wagner permalink
    December 6, 2009 6:54 pm

    ‘nice column you got there Andy……be a shame if it caught fire or sumpthin…………..

    The climate scientific method at work

  17. December 6, 2009 7:03 pm

    Lol, good one, NW.

  18. Third Party permalink
    December 6, 2009 7:09 pm

    I’d suggest that this e-mail (with supporting context) be forwarded to the UI President and Academic Provost by UI Alums along with some FOIA requests to ascertain if this communication was done “on the clock”.

  19. December 6, 2009 7:13 pm

    As more and more of the science gets audited its going to get harder and harder for them. Also as the environment keeps cooling what are they going to say?

    Australian Royal Commission into Climate Change


    I have proposed a Royal Commission to investigate the science behind
    climate change and whether or not man made carbon dioxide emissions
    are responsible, and the Productivity Commission to look into the
    economics of an emissions trading scheme or carbon pollution reduction

    Steve Fielding

  20. K-Dog permalink
    December 6, 2009 7:20 pm

    To steal Peter Jeffrey’s (Wall Street Journal) joke: Now that Schlesinger has made an offer Revkin can’t refuse, Revkin is liable to wake up with a charcoal briquette on the pillow next to him.

    Climate of Fear: Global Warming, Bada Bing

  21. Calvin Ball permalink
    December 6, 2009 7:48 pm

    He wasn’t disputing AGW!!! It was just an interest story, like the media always do. What does this have to do with climate science? I have to agree that Schlesinger’s touchiness reveals a lot more than he ever wanted to. As far as that goes, Copenhagen isn’t even (directly) about climate science. It’s about policy. He seems to be admitting that his only concern is policy.

    Really quite breathtaking, when you think about it. Not just the heavy-handed tactics, but what they were used over.

  22. December 6, 2009 7:56 pm

    K-Dog, that Cosa Nostra satire is too funny… Thanks! Funny, it is dated Nov. 30. With the Schlesinger email above, we now officially have Nature following Art. How much wierder will things get?

  23. tom streck permalink
    December 6, 2009 8:10 pm

    Mr Schlesinger,

    It is never a good thing to bite the press. There are, unfortunately, many more of them than you and your friends, and they hold the means of your downfall. A pen.

  24. chainpin permalink
    December 6, 2009 8:25 pm

    Gee wiz, what a stupid decision by Michael Schlesinger.

    Why would you engage in such lunacy given all that has unfolded in the last few weeks?

    I guess some people truly do live under rocks.

  25. Barbara P. permalink
    December 6, 2009 8:32 pm

    Mr. McIntyre: I’m just an uneducated old woman who has seen news manipulation for public support or acceptance over many years..but now with strange silence of the MSM, this must be a really political hot potato for many nations and especially the UN., let alone for Al Gore & evironmental groups, many who must feel quite betrayed . Today, CBC interviewed the head of IPCC who could only talk about the ILLEGAL STEALING of personal e-mails…nothing about their content. More news time has been given to e-mails from Tiger Woods girlfriends. Glad I found your website and thank you for being an inquisitive pain in the butt to the ‘untouchables’. Good luck, we will all need it.

  26. Calvin Ball permalink
    December 6, 2009 8:32 pm

    It is never a good thing to bite the press.

    Particularly over something this silly.

  27. December 6, 2009 8:37 pm

    Controlling the message appears to be important to many climate scientists, and perhaps the public too. I have been entertaining myself today by posting repeatedly the following paragraph about the Wegman Report to the Wikipedia entry on the Hockey Stick graph. Every couple of hours, someone logs in and deletes the paragraph.

    “The report found that the MBH method creates a hockey-stick shape even when supplied with random input data (Figure 4.4). The MBH method uses weather station data from 1902 to 1995 as a basis for calibrating other input data. “It is not clear that Dr. Mann and his associates even realized that their methodology was faulty at the time of writing the MBH paper. The net effect of the decentering is to preferentially choose the so-called hockey stick shapes.” (Section 4)”

    The MBH method is of course the Mann et al. method for generating the hockey stick, as examined by McIntyre and McKitrick, and then by the Wegman commission. Is my addition being deleted because it’s not factual? Is this detail of the Wegman report too trivial to be mentioned? Or are the Wikipedia editors trying to make it look as if they are showing us everything we need to know about the Wegman report, but cutting out the central thrust of it?

  28. Jim Watson permalink
    December 6, 2009 8:39 pm

    Is Schlesinger threatening to “redefine what the newspaper-column writing process is?”

  29. JasonR permalink
    December 6, 2009 8:47 pm

    Seems that they’ve banned Christmas trees for the Copenhagen summit, but they’re allowing 1,200 limos and 140 private planes.

  30. Norbert permalink
    December 6, 2009 8:50 pm

    I guess that any (perhaps one-sided?) trust they had, is now gone.

  31. Craigo permalink
    December 6, 2009 9:09 pm

    It is business as usual inside the castle. They don’t know the weather has changed because they painted the window and are used to people being on message and believing as they believe.

    Gate keeping 101!

    A simple business lesson from Africa – people are as honest as the system requires them to be and remember to check who is guarding the guards?

  32. henry permalink
    December 6, 2009 9:10 pm

    Arn Riewe said:

    “I doubt that it’s a good strategy to bully a journalist who’s at a minimum given the Team a fair shake.”

    Especially when you consider the e-mails that the team has sent poor Andy.

    Be a shame if those “leaked” out, wouldn’t it.

    “Oops, my e-mail files just got “hacked”. Who else wants a copy?”

  33. R.S.Brown permalink
    December 6, 2009 9:18 pm

    It’s time to add:

    Dr. Michael Earl Schlesinger
    Professor of Atmospheric Sciences/
    Director of the Climate Research Group,
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    to your list of Freedom of Information requests to obtain copies of
    their e-mails.

    All U of I employees/proffs, etc. are subject to FOI requests.

  34. Alvin permalink
    December 6, 2009 9:38 pm

    Andy! Come clean about what is happening and get yourself a Pulitzer prize. Imagine him dropping the bomb that takes down their Illuminati.

  35. December 6, 2009 9:39 pm

    Kevan, it is widely known that the master of Wikipedia’s climate-related pages governs their content with an iron warmist fist. You are certainly doing a (sisyphean) service by continuing to add back the Wegman content though. I salute your perseverance. Try to find some friends to help you keep it up there.

    Wikipedia is fine for nonpartisan stuff like mathematical statistics. But for anything with a political edge, well, ab asino lanam quaeris.

  36. December 6, 2009 9:52 pm

    NW, Thank you for your sage advice and the Latin aphorism, which has my wife laughing. I’ll try arguing with the Wikipedia editors a little, just to see what happens. Perhaps I’ll get some good quotes from them in the process.

  37. Chris MCV permalink
    December 6, 2009 9:59 pm

    Hey, minor point, but can you edit your css to add some padding on the left side of the main column. The text is pushed right up to the edge of the window and its distracting.

    By the way, glad to see the blog back in action.


  38. TerryMN permalink
    December 6, 2009 10:23 pm

    I think the old saw goes something like “Never threaten those who buy ink by the barrel.”

    Schlesinger should heed it.

  39. Anand Rajan KD permalink
    December 6, 2009 10:35 pm

    Kevan: I’ve noticed that Gavin’s points new visitors on RealClimate to Wikipedia for several topics. They have spun quite the tight web indeed.

    Good luck getting Wegman’s section in!

  40. HankHenry permalink
    December 6, 2009 10:39 pm

    TerryMN; yeah, ink by the barrel and paper by the ton.

  41. Alan Wilkinson permalink
    December 6, 2009 11:08 pm

    Can anyone that stupid really do science?

  42. Rhoda R permalink
    December 6, 2009 11:09 pm

    But Andy Revkin is a AGW convert. That e-mail from Michael Schlesinger was imperial in the extreme (You WILL follow my directions or else!). Will he be upset enough at the attitude to begin a more balanced review of AGW or will he swallow his pride and continue to sing from the hymnal?

  43. TerryMN permalink
    December 6, 2009 11:30 pm

    Rhoda – my guess is that he’ll kick, cry, and scream just like a 3 year old having a tantrum at the grocery store – I suppose we should try not to stare, and feel bad for his parents. 🙂

  44. TerryMN permalink
    December 6, 2009 11:31 pm

    Oops! By “he” I meant Schlesinger, not Revkin – kind of misread your post – my bad.

  45. Harry Eagar permalink
    December 6, 2009 11:42 pm

    From my perspective as a newspaperman, there’s lots to say about this.

    ‘Erica Goode, the environment editor, said that as soon as she learned that Revkin was mentioned in the scientists’ e-mail, she consulted with Philip Corbett, the standards editor. She said she read the roughly one dozen messages containing Revkin’s name and decided they showed a reporter asking for information for news articles, with “no particular close relationship with the scientists other than the fact that he knew them.” Goode and Corbett said they agreed that Revkin did not have a significant conflict and was good to go, with an acknowledgment in the article that he and other journalists were named in the e-mail.’

    That may be true, but Clark Hoyt and the rest of the Times crew ought by now to be aware of what Steve Schneider wrote about Revkin and Seth Borenstein (AP environment reporter) in ‘Science as a Contact Sport.’ It’s been out a month.

    He wrote that he was so outraged by the Bush delegates at the 3rd IPCC confab that he threatened to go to Revkin and Borenstein and rat them out if they didn’t change their ways, which they seem to have done.

    If I’d read that about me, I’d have been digging a deep hole to throw Schneider into. While on the surface, there’s nothing wrong with Schneider going to the press with a gripe, his confidence that Revkin and Borenstein would report it the way he saw it suggests a too cozy relationship. Or, to be blunt about it, that Revkin and Borenstein have drunk the Kool-Aid. Borenstein certainly has, while Revkin sticks a toe off the reservation now and then.

    Second, Revkin’s statement to Hoyt that, taken together, Times coverage has not harped on the catastrophic is, at best, disingenuous. Its ice-free Arctic stories alone make that hard to swallow.

    Third, I’d like to see what Revkin wrote in reply to Schlesinger. If he didn’t send a rocket up his rear end, he’s no newspaperman. And he ought to have shown it to his editors and the standards editor (whatever that is).

    Fourth, whatever we think about the Times or Revkin, they don’t need Schlesinger. There are plenty of other climate people, as good or better, they could interview. Whether the buzz amongst the Illuminati really is that Revkin is facing a “big cutoff” is a factual question none of us could answer now. This could just mean that Schlesinger is a jackass; or it could mean that Schlesinger and RealClimate are jackasses but outliers amongst climate researchers as a whole.

    I dunno.

  46. Jim permalink
    December 7, 2009 12:00 am

    Bill Clinton said it best.

    Never get into a slanging match with someone who
    works for an organization that buys ink by the ton!

  47. December 7, 2009 12:19 am

    Is Shlesinger’s threat remotely credible?

    The climate scientists have been trying to cultivate the press. Their “problem” with Revkin is that his credibility with the broader public stems from the fact that his is not seen as being in the pocket of climate scientists, bit oil or any other group. If he jumps in the climate scientists pocket, his credibility will be flushed down the toilet. Someone else will become the credible journalist, and then the climate scientists will have to tame that guy.

    Andy is not a tame lion, and he’s not going to jump in anyone’s pocket. At best, “climate scientist who hate andy” would be able to hold together a boycott for 1 month, There will be plenty of other climate scientists willing to talk to him and then those boycotting would feel the need to break ranks. Andy has to know this.

  48. December 7, 2009 12:20 am

    Another interesting email here:

    Ben Santor is working on a response to a Douglass et al 2007 paper arguing that models do not match troposphere trends. Leo responds, below, with a discussion of datasets. I found the comment “The pink/blue curves in the attached plot should therefore
    not be regarded as upper bound of what may be achieved with plausible
    choices of reference series for homogenization. ” particularly telling. The type of thing that one might suspect is happening on a regular basis, but that is always “plausibly deniable” – searching for the right reference series, reference period, etc – pushing the output towards a desired goal…

    “RAOBCORE v1.3,1.4 and RICH are results from ongoing research and warming
    trends from radiosondes may still be underestimated.
    The upper tropospheric warming maxima from RICH are even larger (up to
    0.35K/decade, not shown), if only radiosondes within the tropics
    (20N-20S) are allowed as reference for adjustment of tropical radiosonde
    temperatures. The pink/blue curves in the attached plot should therefore
    not be regarded as upper bound of what may be achieved with plausible
    choices of reference series for homogenization. “

  49. December 7, 2009 1:13 am

    “But, I sense that you are about to experience the ‘Big Cutoff’ from those of us who believe we can no longer trust you, me included.”

    Wow, the arrogance. Even a President can’t pull off the “Big Cutoff” (viz. attempts to freeze out FoxNews by Obama admin), what do a few climate scientists think they are? Besides, there are a treasure trove of CRU emails to dig through. Revkin doesn’t need their current quotes, he can just quote them talking to eachother.

    BTW, congrats, you are the ‘blog of the decade’:

  50. steven mosher permalink
    December 7, 2009 1:57 am

    I’ll nit pick Andrew from time to time, but on balance he is not a hack.

    My bet is that he wanted to cover this story harder but was given a talking to.

  51. Stacey permalink
    December 7, 2009 4:49 am

    Our Gav is very clever when it comes to censorship. UnReal climate do it because there is too much signal and not enough noise. Or is it the other way round?

    Now it does seem to me that censorship is endemic in the self named climate science community. Whether it be the scientists themselves or their adoring supporters such as at the Guardians comment is free if you agree.

    I says to our Gav, “Well Gav, see, sometimes it just looks like you all have something to hide” Poor luv he looks at me as if I pulled a dirty trick on him and his spirit just goes into an immediate decline.

  52. Stacey permalink
    December 7, 2009 4:52 am

    Sorry I couldn’t resist this.

    The hookers are going to pull a trick for free.

    Hell will freeze over first

  53. The Ego Has Landed permalink
    December 7, 2009 5:49 am

    I note that the University of Illinois are planning a Public Engagement Symposium on March 3, 2010. The final proposal submission deadline is February 2, 2010.

    Perhaps Michael Schlesinger can submit a proposal along the lines of – “How to win friends and influence people thru threats”.

    Maybe Andrew Revkin would report on that.

    I am sure that Michael Schlesinger will now be officially pulled over the coals for acting in a way that most people now expect of bullying climate scientists.

  54. December 7, 2009 5:50 am


    The MSM silence on Climategate has been very puzzling – today we discover that 56 newspapers in 45 countries were part of an organised media campaign to promote the end of the world.

    Here’s an example of the cut-and-paste editorial that they are carrying – and a list of those participating.

  55. December 7, 2009 6:49 am

    Just when I was starting to get depressed about the “Iron Curtain” holding in the MSM, an ecobully threatens a NYT reporter. I was disappointed (but not angry) with Revkin’s previous reporting. I was disappointed (but not angry) with Clark Hoyt’s (the ombudsman) answer to questions about the NYT’s coverage. This email paints a VERY interesting picture of what’s going on inside the Times. Maybe it isn’t time to get discouraged yet!

  56. Roger Carr permalink
    December 7, 2009 6:50 am

    Steve; as a minor part of restructuring this site would you consider blackening up the type some? There is a major amount of reading needs keeping up with and the lack of contrast of the current format slows the eyes.

  57. Dirk permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:42 am

    As a UI alum, I emailed Dr. Schlessinger, and got a pretty quick response including his 2000 paper where he identified a “residual” that needed to be better understood (yet not allowed to overshadow AGW)- I give him credit for responding.

    He seems pretty sure about CO2. I brought up Lindzen/Choi 2009 and Svensmark/CERN, will see what he says about that. In the meantime, I hope he sticks to research and teaching and not trying to control media.

  58. P Gosselin permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:50 am

    “Big Cutoff” is just another phrase used by scientists meaning a neat solution to hide incovenient facts.
    The pattern keeps getting more pronounced.

  59. P Gosselin permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:54 am

    Is Andy going to grow a spine and stand up to this bullying? I wager not.
    Reminds me of how McFly was treated by the bully in the movie – Back to the Future .

  60. P Gosselin permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:57 am

    Can’t believe I found this:

  61. Yarmy permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:58 am

    I hereby propose that ‘Mike’s Nature Trick’ be re-named ‘The Big Cutoff’.

  62. anon permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:59 am

    I debated Schlesinger not long ago. He really believes that his climate models are real, that his publishing papers in Science mag is proof of infallibility, and that everyone should bow down to his genius. It is truly stunning to watch the man in action. He thinks his share of the Nobel Peace Prize actually enhances his scientific credibility. He would not shake my hand, and when I referred to him as my colleague Dr. Schlesinger he came back with “we are NOT colleagues”. Perhaps the rudest person I have ever met.

  63. Craig Loehle permalink
    December 7, 2009 9:16 am

    I am on the editorial board for Ecological Complexity. We published a non-pc paper on polar bears a few years ago and got 2 calls from major news outlets asking why we allowed the paper to be published (one used the word “censored”). The editor and I each lectured the reporters we talked to about the role of journals not being to enforce political correctness, and the one I talked to actually printed a very very brief version of what I said.

  64. KevinM permalink
    December 7, 2009 9:57 am

    “your reportage is very worrisome to most climate scientists”

    I believe the self identifying group “most climate scientists” is shrinking, while the pool of “unaffiliated scientists” is growing. The fringes of the group disperse in embarassment over this sort of language.

    Or maybe I’m making a duplicate error by attributing the way I feel about something onto a group of others who might not feel that way at all.

  65. snowmaneasy permalink
    December 7, 2009 10:40 am

    Schlesinger threatens Andy Revkin….It is beginning to sounds like something from the life of Brian….

    “no, he is not a climatologist, he’s a very naughty boy”

  66. December 7, 2009 11:29 am

    There’s an important difference between the Spanish Inquisition and Warmist Inquisition.

  67. December 7, 2009 12:11 pm

    At a conference in Edmonton in 1989 to study the impact of climate change on the Canadian Prairies, Michael Schlesinger set the stage with a paper on climate models. He had taken the five biggest and most complex global circulation models and run them using the same data. He argued the results were significant because they all predicted global warming. There were two problems with his conclusion. First, the models were all programmed to show an increase in temperature with an increase in carbon dioxide, which all records show is false. Second, the results varied considerably in large regions between models. For example, some models showed dramatic warming in North America, others dramatic cooling and others no change.

    During his presentation I frequently heard a weird noise behind me. I did not look back having attended soccer games in England. Schlesinger finished and there was an uproar. All of a sudden a shoe flew from behind me on to the stage. There was a stunned silence and a strange voice said, “I didn’t have a towel.” The strange noises and voice were the product of a voice box whose owner asked permission to go on the stage. Once there he said his doctorate was in atmospheric physics and he asked permission to put a formula on the blackboard. He wrote a relatively long formula, which Schlesinger agreed was the basis of his computer model of the atmosphere. The man then proceeded to eliminate variables as Schlesinger agreed they were excluded. The man then said, this is a travesty of science and left the stage to stunned silence.

    Schlesinger, who had presented with the usual ebullience and arrogance that modelers assumed as they took over climate science and climate conferences at that time, stood in silence. The void was filled by a senior bureaucrat of the Alberta government who said, “You are predicting desert conditions for southern Alberta. How accurate is that prediction because we are planning to plant trees and if you say they won’t grow then we should not proceed. Schlesinger replied that it was a 50% probability, to which the bureaucrat commented, “My Minister wants at least a 95% probability.” The meeting degenerated from there.

  68. Chris Schoneveld permalink
    December 7, 2009 12:38 pm

    I posted a copy of Schlesinger’s e-mail on Revkin’s blog with a question but it didn’t pass the moderator. Highly inconvenient, I suppose.

  69. Kenneth Fritsch permalink
    December 7, 2009 12:39 pm

    I view an important point here being whether Andy Revkin chose to reveal Schlesinger email and/or its intent or whether it was revealed because of the Schlisinger distribution list. There are emails from those “emails” that give some level of insight into the association of Mann and Revkin that would be nice to see in a clearer light.

    Remember CNNs gentle handling of news from Iran that admittedly was done to keep sources open with that government. Hardly a good day for journalism.

  70. JohnH permalink
    December 7, 2009 12:39 pm

    I know Michael Schlesinger. Michael Schlesinger is a friend of mine. And I can say, unequivocally, you don’t know the meaning of “trust you”, trust me.

  71. MattN permalink
    December 7, 2009 1:05 pm

    From Andy’s latest missive today:

    “Science is about probability, not certainty.”

    Actually Andy, GAMBLING is all about probability….

  72. Ron Cram permalink
    December 7, 2009 1:17 pm

    I am sorry but I do not see an Unthreaded thread or this post would go there.

    After reading some of the CRU emails, it seems to me Michael Mann may have been less than honest while testifying under oath before Congress on July 27, 2006. The ClimateAudit page on “Hockey Stick studies” provides a link to McIntyre Testimony to House Energy and Commerce Committee, July 27, 2006. When I click on the link, I am taken to a page but there is no written transcript of the hearing available. I downloaded RealPlayer so I could listen to the archived hearing webcast, but that also is not working.

    Then I phoned and spoke with a staff member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and he was surprised no transcript or archived webcast was available. He said he would check on it and get back to me. One or the other must have been available at one time or you would not have linked to this page. Can you remember which was available? If it was the transcript, do you have a hard copy?

  73. george hanson permalink
    December 7, 2009 1:30 pm

    When are we ie, the whole world going to get the rest of the emails from all the scientists taking public funds, through FOIA requests. At the looks of things, they are more like demands.

  74. December 7, 2009 1:37 pm

    Science is about probability, not certainty.”

    Actually Andy, GAMBLING is all about probability….

    Actually science is about ‘usefulness’ and not ‘probability’. Scientific theories have merit if they are useful. I think that this is what Revkin is trying to get at but he does not seem to understand it at all. He writes:

    Science is about probability, not certainty. And the persisting uncertainties in climate science leave room for argument. What is a realistic estimate of how much temperatures will rise? How severe will the effects be? Are there tipping points beyond which the changes are uncontrollable

    He seems to think that science is about some form of ‘truth’. He seems to think that this ‘truth’ can be hedged with a probability. Science is not about finding ‘truth’ but about creating useful theories. Climate science will be successful if it is capable of usefully guiding the creation of policies.

    Andy (or at least the person who wrote his blog headline) also contrast the opinions of ‘experts’ with those of ‘skeptics’.

    In Face of Skeptics, Experts Affirm Climate Peril

    That would seem to decide the issue without much need for discussion. However the standard definition of expert is ‘someone from out of town’ so it would seem that skeptics who do not live in Copenhagen would be experts as well.

  75. December 7, 2009 1:42 pm

    Nice. MSM in Finland also seems to be very, very shy in reporting about the scandal in any way. YLE, the Finnish equivalent of the UK’s BBC, has reported a few things, but nothing overly critical.


  76. John Skookum permalink
    December 7, 2009 1:56 pm

    “It’s time to add:

    Dr. Michael Earl Schlesinger
    Professor of Atmospheric Sciences/
    Director of the Climate Research Group,
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    to your list of Freedom of Information requests to obtain copies of
    their e-mails.

    All U of I employees/proffs, etc. are subject to FOI requests.”

    If anyone is doing this, make sure to include Malcolm Hughes and his team of tree-ring witch doctors at the University of Arizona.

    Steve: why ask others to do what you can do yourself?

  77. John M permalink
    December 7, 2009 2:07 pm

    Ron Cram,

    I had a similar thought with regard to Mann’s congressional testimony and what the e-mails reveal, but I was zeroing in on the “openness” of peer review and the citing of all previous relevant work.

    My comments are on this WUWT thread about 3/4 of the way down.

    John M (09:29:37) :

    I believe this is the transcript

    although as I say on WUWT, I thought at some point, Mann told Congress that he knew past temperatures to 0.1 or 0.2 of a degree. That, I couldn’t find.

  78. December 7, 2009 2:34 pm

    Ron Cram

    If you email me I can send the transcript. I’ve seen the video in the last six months too.

  79. December 7, 2009 2:38 pm

    Craig Loehle

    Name names!

  80. Douglas Hoyt permalink
    December 7, 2009 3:13 pm

    I once met Schlesinger and had a critique of the climate models. I tried politely to enage him, but as soon as I hinted that my remarks would be critical, he turned his back and walked away. He would not even listen to what I had to say. None of these climate scientists are interested in constructive criticism.

  81. J. Peden permalink
    December 7, 2009 3:15 pm

    The vibe that I am getting from here, there and everywhere is that your reportage is very worrisome to most climate scientists.

    “worrisome” because the “climate scientists” truely think the standard of proof for their scientific conclusions is consensus, meaning total agreement with the ipcc’s conclusions? Even a fabricated consensus resting on denying ‘sceptical’ views to the Public?

    Well, even if they do think incorrectly that the standard of scientific proof is consensus-by-statement, and that this is established partly by statements from the boards of Professional Societies and Governmental Entities such as the EPA and the President of the U.S. – who speak without polling members of the Professional Societies and the Constituencies which they represent, while nevertheless claiming to represent the members numerically:

    India and China have cast about 2.5 billion votes against the ipcc conclusions.

    [I know it doesn’t matter.]

  82. December 7, 2009 3:19 pm

    John M

    I believe the 0.1-0.2 deg comment was made at the NAS panel, not to Congress.

  83. James Chamberlain permalink
    December 7, 2009 4:05 pm

    We’ve seen some exposed e-mails. Imagine the content and number of how many e-mails from insiders remain hidden……

  84. Illini permalink
    December 7, 2009 4:57 pm

  85. John M permalink
    December 7, 2009 5:20 pm

    Bishop Hill,

    “I believe the 0.1-0.2 deg comment was made at the NAS panel, not to Congress.”

    Thanks. Found Steve Mc’s notes here.

    The claim was that Mann knows temperatures in 1000 to better than +/-0.4 deg.

  86. John M permalink
    December 7, 2009 5:27 pm

    Hmmm. “Scatter” was less than 0.4 deg. Suppose someone could take that to mean +/-0.2 deg.

    But, if the grey area on the 2001 IPCC Hockey Stick graph really means anything, it’s closer to +/-0.4 (and maybe a little larger).

    I guess that’s enough of this for now.

  87. Ipse Dixit permalink
    December 7, 2009 5:43 pm

    Subject the New York Times to the “big cuttoff” !!! That’s too funny!
    Having been a news reporter some years ago, I’m pretty sure that comment will be rewarded with more of the stuff the commenter won’t like. The worst thing you can do to a reporter is act like you own him. Editors sometimes get away with it because they hire and fire reporters, but sources never do. There’s always a competing point of view.

  88. Pangloss permalink
    December 7, 2009 6:55 pm

    “Andy is not a tame lion”







    The CRU emails suggest otherwise. Revkin’s contribution is one long Miaow. See the latest joint effort: assuring the nervous public that the consensus is wise and unimpeachable, the methods (by inference) are clean. Nothing more here than high spirits and bad manners. It’s a

    This is a pretty historic moment for science journalism, and Revkin is doing PR.

  89. Kenneth Fritsch permalink
    December 7, 2009 7:27 pm

    Pangloss, as one who is skepticism includes that of the skeptics, or those that our consensus brethren might so label, I will have to agree with your assessment until I have more evidence about Revkin. The NYT editor piece, or whatever they call those whose job it is to defend the paper’s biases with those too ill-informed to make their own judgments, is true silliness.

  90. December 7, 2009 7:35 pm

    Pangloss, I assure you, it is spelled “Meow.”


  91. liberalbiorealist permalink
    December 7, 2009 7:56 pm

    The thing that strikes me about Schlesinger’s email to Rivkin is what it says about Schlesinger’s current mental state: the man is losing it. You don’t write an email like that when you feel confident in your game and success.

    I can only conclude that it must feel to him, and likely to others who have been particularly obnoxious on the warmist side, that the days of an automatic amen from the media and the powers-that-be to everything they asserted are over.

    All of which means they’re going to have to get down in the trenches and defend their science in a way they’ve never had to before. And likely they know some of that science comes across much better unscrutinized.

    It must seem pretty humiliating to people whose authority was never questioned by anybody they couldn’t dismiss with a wave of their hand.

  92. TerryMN permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:02 pm

    I can only conclude that it must feel to him, and likely to others who have been particularly obnoxious on the warmist side, that the days of an automatic amen from the media and the powers-that-be to everything they asserted are over.

    I think this is a very adroit observation.

  93. gimply permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:10 pm

    Dr. Andrew Weaver this morning on CKNW sounded
    panicky, dismissive, arrogant and fuming. Made me sit
    up and give more credence to the “Two Ms”…

  94. paulk permalink
    December 7, 2009 8:11 pm

    It seems climate change is claiming its first victims. I can’t say I feel all that bad about it.

  95. Dubl D permalink
    December 7, 2009 9:17 pm

    I read the Pielke Piece, is was creampuff. He still gave credibility to the theory and is a known advocate of decarbonization. That Schlesinger took offense to it in the face of what could have been, shows that these morons are drunk on some power they think they have. How funny will it be when the public outcry forces the pols (professionals in such matters) to cut ties with the climate scientists and scapegoat them for the whole thing? You know it will happen.

    Schlesinger foolishly thinks that while he was doing the dirty gruntwork, the pols were saving him a seat at the table. Time will tell if he’s actually on the menu. Methinks yes…

  96. Dirk permalink
    December 8, 2009 1:36 am

    Science is about probability, not certainty?

    Politics, art, and faith are about probability. Science is about eliminating possibilities so that the probabilities eventually become certainties. Science is about having known conditions and getting repeatable results, which can be translated into certainties.

    And so it is normal for scientists to seek to verify others’ work and find any conditions under which their results do not repeat. What I don’t understand is why there is so little work being done by the warmists to disprove the theories of skeptics, other than just rejecting them out of hand because they don’t match up with their models, which are wholly insufficient. Why isn’t there a skeptic audit site?

  97. Chris Schoneveld permalink
    December 8, 2009 6:15 am

    “Chris Schoneveld PERMALINK
    I posted a copy of Schlesinger’s e-mail on Revkin’s blog with a question but it didn’t pass the moderator. Highly inconvenient, I suppose.”

    Correction. It appeared somewhat later, however, without a comment by Andy.

  98. Vimy100 permalink
    December 8, 2009 12:09 pm

    WE have the supremely bizarre spectacle this morning of an article in the National Post by Marlowe Hood of Agence-France quoting WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud to the effect that “The decade 2000-2009 is very likely to be the warmest on record, warmer than the 1990s, which were in turn warmer than the 1980s.”

    This is stunningly stupid in light of the Hadley e-mails and obviously Jarraud hasn’t read them. Ken Trenberth’s admission “Where the heck is global warming?…The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” alone should be sufficient for Jarraud to hesitate in making such a foolish assertion which clearly flies in the face of ALL the evidence. What can he be thinking to say such a thing?

    To add to the strangeness, Hood refers to him as “The UN’s top weather expert” and that, in fact, may be true ~ how sad!

  99. December 8, 2009 1:50 pm

    Science is more about probability, not certainty.

    I want to briefly defend Revkin on this, since others have dumped on it, or at least direct attention to where this idea comes from.

    To me one of the primary intellectual achievements of 20th century science was the laying of the decision-theoretic foundation for hypothesis-testing (if you are a classicist) and belief revision (if you are a Bayesian) for statistics. Whether you are a classicist or a Bayesian, at the end of the day, when you draw inferences from data, you are revising estimates of the likelihood of making certain kinds of mistakes when you take any one of several actions.

    It’s true that in some areas of science, the likelihood of certain kinds of errors has essentially converged to something very close to zero. But that isn’t widespread. Nor is it necessary for knowledge to be perfect, in order for knowledge to be useful for prediction or decision under risk. Many important decisions are made with less than perfect knowledge that arises from rigorous scientific method and statistics.

    Rather than go on, here is a Wikipedia portal page to lots of stuff on this (can’t understand why Frank Ramsey doesn’t make the “Important People” list though):

  100. kcom permalink
    December 8, 2009 2:57 pm

    Wikipedia is fine for nonpartisan stuff like mathematical statistics. But for anything with a political edge, well, ab asino lanam quaeris.

    My Latin is rusty (or non-existent). Does that translate to: “Drink your absinthe and forget about it”?

  101. December 8, 2009 4:55 pm

    I emailed Mr Schlesinger, expecting to be either ignored or disparaged, but his response was much more reasonable than I expected. If you’re interested, I posted it at:

    I intend to respond to explain what GIGO means, and dispute his claim that physics absolutely supports AGW. That ought to be interesting.

  102. December 8, 2009 5:16 pm

    BTW, his explanation for the “big cutoff” is:

    “. . ..(1) Ignore this physics and physical evidence of global warming/climate change and, thereby, risk the irreversible outcome therefrom;

    . . ..

    I can no longer aid a journalist who aids those who recommend Option 1, thereby putting the world at great risk. And so I have now ceased to do so – the ‘“Great Cutoff”’.

    Sounds like a religious conviction to me.

  103. December 8, 2009 5:32 pm

    Ab asino lanam quaeris.

    Yer tryin’ ta get wool from an ass!

  104. December 8, 2009 5:43 pm

    I can no longer aid a journalist who aids those who recommend Option 1, thereby putting the world at great risk. And so I have now ceased to do so – the ‘Great Cutoff’.

    Fran Lebowitz had a great vocational quiz in her first book Metropolitan Life. It was organized by occupation, with question headings. Under:

    So you want to be Pope?

    …one of the multiple choice questions was something like:

    I enjoy talking…

    (a) with good friends.
    (b) off the cuff.
    (c) ex cathedra.

    Schlesinger seems to have missed his true calling.

  105. December 8, 2009 6:05 pm

    “The First Global Revolution” edited for the “Club de Roma” p. 75
    “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”

    See my post in:

    Translation in spanish language:

    “En la búsqueda de un enemigo común contra quien pudiéramos unirnos, nos encontramos con la idea de que la contaminación, el calentamiento global, la escasez de agua, el hambre y cuestiones similares podrían servirnos al efecto. Estos fenómenos en sí mismos y debido a sus interacciones constituyen una amenaza que todos debemos enfrentar en forma conjunta. Pero al señalar esos peligros como el enemigo caemos en la trampa, sobre la cual hemos advertido ya a nuestros lectores, de confundir los síntomas con las causas. Todos estos peligros son causados por la intervención humana en procesos naturales y solamente cambiando la actitud y el comportamiento podrán ser superados. El enemigo verdadero entonces es la misma humanidad.”

  106. GreyGeek permalink
    December 8, 2009 11:00 pm

    In one email Mann, trying to rally the troops, wrote to Jones:

    Trust that I’m certainly on board w/ you that we’re all working towards a common goal.

    Our own analysis convinces me that things are already quite uncertain a millennium back in time. With regard to longer timescale variations, the evidence is all over the place. At EGS I saw some convincing evidence that many new paleo proxies indicate steadily decline at least over several millennia, and so do, in large part, the available long borehole estimates (though we should all take that w/ a good dose of NaCl). So I’m skeptical of estimates more than a millennium back in time until we have multiple proxies we can trust at that timescale, and can verify somehow the DC component of the estimates, or at least replicate them. This was my concern about the latest 2000 year recon that was shown.

    You are right, the Milankovitch forcing argument is ONLY A NULL HYPOTHESIS. I hope I haven’t argued nything more than that. That our millennial scale trend, which we reasonably trust, and have some idea of the uncertainties in, is in line w/ that null hypothesis is information that cannot be ignored. That Kutzbach, Berger, and others are showing increasingly convincing model integrations over several millennia suggesting this, is more evidence. In the real word, anything *could* have happened. But lets not loose site of the appropriate null hypothesis here.

    There are at least several kinds of “NULL HYPOTHESES”. One describes an hypothesis which CAN be disproved, and another, probably the meaning used in this sense because AGW is ALL ABOUT statistical manipulations, a formal description of some aspect of the statistical behavior of a set of data. Their “appropriate” null hypothesis is most likely that THEIR description of the statistical behavior of THEIR data supports the theory of AGW.

    Most scientific experiments are designed to prove an hypothesis WRONG because while millions of experiments can “prove” it right, it takes only one failed experiment to prove it wrong. Scientists assume an hypothesis is correct, otherwise, why test it? Thus, experiments by ethical scientists are designed to prove an hypothesis wrong. Einstein did that when he published in 1905 his Special Theory of Relativity. In that publication he said that if the shift of a specific star whose light would skim the edge of the Sun during the next full solar eclipse in 1912 (IIRC) was not within a certain angle, +- experimental error, then his theory was wrong. The wikipedia gives an explanation:

    This description is assumed to be valid unless the actual behaviour of the data contradicts this assumption. Thus, the null hypothesis is contrasted against another or alternative hypothesis. Statistical hypothesis testing, which involves a number of steps, is used to decide whether the data contradicts the null hypothesis. This is called significance testing. A null hypothesis is never proven by such methods, as the absence of evidence against the null hypothesis does not establish its truth. In other words, one may either reject, or not reject the null hypothesis; one cannot accept it. This means that one cannot make decisions or draw conclusions that assume the truth of the null hypothesis. Just as failing to reject it does not “prove” the null hypothesis, one does not conclude that the alternative hypothesis is disproven or rejected, even though this seems reasonable.

    So, one can understand the relentless drive by CRU scientists, and their allies at other government agencies, to find the “right” proxies, and to “homogenize” the data in such a way that the AGW hypothesis cannot be rejected. The big scam is the insistence that since the AGW hypothesis is not rejected (by THEIR manipulated data) it is “truth”, even though not rejecting a statistical null hypothesis is not the same as proving it true, but rejecting it IS proving it wrong. That little distinction is always swept under the rug by those with an agenda.

    BTW, there is a word for Mr Schlesinger’s behavior: HUBRIS.

  107. P-Y B permalink
    December 8, 2009 11:47 pm

    In all the documents of the release from CRU, there is one that caught my attention, it is RULES of the GAME. It is a communication strategy plan on how to manipulate the population into making the changes they think is necessary to combat the climate changes. It doesn”t matter what the skeptics say or do, they’ll stay on message. They want a change of attitudes and by gosh they will get it even if it takes a hundred years. The skeptics are not important and at most a nuisance. I think we should borrow their ideas and copy their communication strategy. It seems now that the science is not important after all and they say anything (Michel Jarraud) to not loose the momentum at Copenhagen.

  108. None permalink
    December 16, 2009 7:11 am

    And a mere 4 days later we got “Andy Revkin to leave Dot Earth and NYT”. Can that possibly be a coincidence ? Did he get the “big cut off” after all ?

  109. February 7, 2012 2:40 am

    I could deliver ever interpreted why being has dealt so modifierly with this outcome. Now afford up to me full locomote. Really interesting your thesis. Although my English language is not so practiced, your article I can realize. Hold up the Sun.

  110. June 27, 2015 12:05 am

    ‘1984’ book sales surge in the wake of the nsa scandals
    prefabricated house

  111. January 20, 2018 9:11 am

    Excellent web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


  1. Can “the Big Cutoff” Settle the Science?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: