Thursday, October 21, 2010

First ClimateGate, now CopyGate

Talk about the gang that can't shoot straight.

First we had Climategate, the purloined emails from the British Climatic Research Unit headed by Phil Jones. The Climategate emails showed rather clearly that the top global-warming scientists were not doing science. They were doing politics, playing an inside game to discredit climate skeptics and deny them access to scholarly journals.

The Climategate controversy also exposed the evident mediocrity of the scientists engaged in climate science.

Now we have Copygate. It involves Raymond Bradley, a co-author with Michael Mann of the notorious MBH98 Hockey Stick paper that proposed a slowly declining global temperature over the last millennium followed by a sudden and unprecedented temperature rise over the last century.

Bradley complains that the Wegman Report, which critiqued the statistical methods used in MBH98, plagiarized his textbook Paleoclimatology. The argument is not that Wegman failed to reference Bradley but that he glossed whole paragraphs of Bradley's book in his recapitulation of paleoclimatology.

I know what you are saying. What's the big deal? A congressional report like the Wegman Report is bound to copy and paste stuff. It's not as if a report like that is an academic paper or book that is snitching somebody's ideas and taking credit for them.

Now there's a twist on Copygate. It turns out, according to climate critic Steve McIntyre, that Raymond Bradley copied reams of a previous book on paleoclimateology, Tree Rings and Climate by H.C. Fritts, including a number of figures.

It all backs up my growing feeling that, all too often, government-financed scientists aren't up to much.

Certainly the Hockey Stick Team really needs to accept the fact that they just aren't up to playing in the same league as Steve McIntyre.

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