Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Email 1819, Nov 2003, warmist Tom Wigley to Mann et al on possible responses to McIntyre and McKitrick's request for data: "The second is to tell them to go to hell"

Email 1819
Tom Wigley wrote:

 Mike, I presume you have seen this. One of their buzz phrases is 'the basic standards of data disclosure'. Personally, I see no reason why one should disclose all data and all methodological details -- unless required to by the funding authority. I had a long exchange with Timo on this issue, which I will forward to you. These guys are primarily accusing you of either making errors or being incompetent. (I have not seen this directly, but they may also be implying that you deliberately distorted your analysis -- but it is best not to get into this possibility.) There are three possible responses. The first is to prove to *them* that your results are correct. The second is to tell them to go to hell. The third is to use an independent arbiter (a statistician) to repeat your analysis. The first is difficult. You could give them all the data in an easily used form and tell them exactly what you did -- and then see if they can repeat it and get your results. This is tricky because I doubt that one can trust them to do this honestly -- indeed, one could say to them (and the world) that you neither trusted their motives nor their competance, as a lead in to option three. Competance can be challenged since they have no track record in the field, nor are they qualified as bona fide statisticians. The second rests on whether you are bound by disclosure conditions. Using this option could be justified, but it sure would piss them off. A possible holding action would be to say that a full paper describing the methods used was in preparation, and they just have to wait. (In other words, go to hell for now, and I'll tell you when to come back out.) The third option seems the best. The three statisticians who could help are Richard Smith, Francis Zwiers and Dan Wilks. The approach I would use here is to say that, since both sides are either directly or indirectly accusing the other of at least some level of incompetance, and since you (MBH) see no reason why your data should be made available at this stage (i.e., you can agree with 'full disclosure' in principle, but only in a 'timely manner' where the data producer is the one who decides on the time frame), the only way to reconcile the differences between you and the two Ms is through independent 'arbitration'. Since, once the data are given, this is purely a statistical issue, then the arbiter must be a bona fide, highly-respected statistician and one with some experience in climate science -- OF YOUR CHOICE. One of the problems is that options one and three may create dangerous precedents under the data quality act. Actually, the way I have set up option three creates a possibly good precedent, especially with you choosing the arbiter. M&M may not agree with this, but you could add that your choice has to be agreed to by the appropriate panel of the NAS (who would definitely support the above three names). Wotcha think? (Share with others if you wish.) Tom.

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