I often find myself privately obsessed with comparing the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) debate with the far more obscure ET Climate Catastrophe (ETCC) debate — particularly the nature and role of The Skeptic of Mortal Peril in each.
The Skeptic of Mortal Peril in the AGW debate is defined by the fearless pajamaed retirees like Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit. While The Skeptic of Mortal Peril in the ETCC debate is defined by powerful and influential government funded scientist like David Morrison, Mark Boslough and Wally Broecker. The paradigm in power, which I broadly define as the paradigm that is well-funded and endorsed by government, is in one case Chicken Little — and in the next case Sergeant Shultz.
Benny Peiser is a fabulous example of the interplay between these subjects and the shared players in each. In the first manifestation of his career, Benny is the boy crying wolf with a small but determined pack of sheep. In the second, Peiser the boy grows up to lead an effective global campaign to calm fears of imagined wild animals — while growing silent on wolves.
But I am not here to discuss Benny Peiser in strained metaphor. I am here to express my disappointment with the ignorance of Climate Skeptics Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts regarding a fine and brave scientist, Mike Baillie. I like these guys and I expect better.
Far be it from me to disagree with the specialist view of Wilson and Baillie that these oak chronologies are “virtually useless” as a temperature or “dangerous” to use in a temperature reconstruction.
However, surely it would have been far more relevant for them to speak up at the time of the publication of Mann et al 2008 and to have expressed this view as a comment on that publication. At the time, Climate Audit urged specialists to speak out against known misuse of proxies, but they refused to do so. (see Silence of the Lambs).
That Wilson and Baillie should condemn potential misuse of oak chronologies by Keenan (without even seeing his analysis) while standing silent when Mann et al used oak chronologies is precisely the sort of hypocrisy that is all too prevalent in the climate science “community”. I don’t particularly blame relatively young scientists like Rob Wilson, since they have young families to support. However, the whitewash inquiries had an opportunity to condemn this sort of hypocrisy and have thus far failed to do so.
Message to McIntyre, Watts and all the other kingpins of Climate Sketicism: Mike Baillie never drank the Kool-Aid with Keith Briffa and others who claim tree rings can provide evidence the world is exorably warming. Mike Baillie’s career is far more noble. His attention was drawn to the apolitical, much more significant — and only unassailable — told by tree rings: At certain periods in recent human history world climate has gone to shit in the blink of an eye. Baillie’s personal intellectual journey then led him to conclude, quite to his surprise, that the only reasonable cause given multiple lines of largely ignored evidence — was from space. He has written several absolutely horrifying books on the subject that McIntyre, Watts, Bishop Hill and The Guardian seem ignorant of.
Mike Baillie is being unfairly diminished by Climate Skeptics as the stereotypical academician in their debate, hiding data from a position of power fueled by climate hysteria. The real story is more interesting. Mike is fighting a paradigm not protecting one. Does he have an legitimate proprietary interest in his data? Maybe. Maybe not. But he is not hiding the bacon in the interest of protecting the likes of Briffa, Jones, Mann and the rest in their world-wide crusade.