We are the 99%

November 23, 2010

Hey, Remember That "Hockey Stick" Graph?

The report debunking it was plagiarized. How's that for academic integrity?

Much like how the Tribune-Review editorial board has yet to (as far as I know) even mention that NOAA has concluded that global warming is "undeniable", I am not expecting my good friends on Scaife's braintrust to cover this story any time soon.

It's from the USAToday and it's about that report that "debunked" the Michael Mann's "Hockey Stick" graph. Turns out things ain't looking so good for the climate deniers:
An influential 2006 congressional report that raised questions about the validity of global warming research was partly based on material copied from textbooks, Wikipedia and the writings of one of the scientists criticized in the report, plagiarism experts say.

Review of the 91-page report by three experts contacted by USA TODAY found repeated instances of passages lifted word for word and what appear to be thinly disguised paraphrases.
The report, by the way, is the so-called "Wegman Report" commissioned by Congressman Joe Barton. He's the guy who apologized to BP for the Guv'ment's handling of the oil spill in the Gulf.

USAToday reporter Vergano does toss the skeptics a bone anyway with his next paragraph:
The charges of plagiarism don't negate one of the basic premises of the report — that climate scientists used poor statistics in two widely noted papers.
This is a non sequitur, of course, because even if Mann et al used "poor statistics" it didn't make any difference at all as the temperature still went up. Vergano points out a few paragraphs later:
A 2006 report by the National Research Council (NRC), which examines scientific disputes under a congressional charter, largely validated Mann, Bradley and the other climate scientists, according to Texas A&M's Gerald North, the panel's head. The NRC report found that Wegman report-style criticisms of the type of statistics used in 1998 and 1999 papers were reasonable but beside the point, as many subsequent studies had reproduced their finding that the 20th century was likely the warmest one in centuries.
Here's the irony:
But the allegations come as some in Congress call for more investigations of climate scientists like the one that produced the Wegman report.

"It kind of undermines the credibility of your work criticizing others' integrity when you don't conform to the basic rules of scholarship," Virginia Tech plagiarism expert Skip Garner says.
If you don't think this is a big deal, just imagine what would happen in the rightwing noise machine (and their enablers in the mainstream media) if the shoe were on the other foot. If an influential report supporting climate science were found to be plagiarized.

I am sure Joe Barton would demand hearings on it.

This time? Probably not.

2 comments:

John Mashey said...

As an old Pittsburgh boy, I note:

a) The plagiarism that Deep Climate and I found is only the tip of the iceberg of bad problems with the Wegman Report. See Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report, which helped stir up the USA Today article.

b) To make bad worse, George Mason University is not Penn State (which handled the inchoate attacks on Mike Mann professionally), and is having problems handling a relatively simple plagiarism complaint.

c) Of course, GMU is the alma mater of Ken Cuccinelli, VA AG who is pursuing U Virginia and Mann, perhaps unsurprising, given funding of GMU by the Koch brothers (and Scaife), and Koch funding of Cuccinelli. See funding matrix, pp.102-105.

d) And I'm sure you know the Pittsburgh connection of Cuccinelli, Questfore Communications, i.e., run by Ken Cuccinelli, Sr.

It is a small world.

John Mashey said...

As an old Pittsburgh boy, I note:

a) The plagiarism that Deep Climate and I found is only the tip of the iceberg of bad problems with the Wegman Report. See Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report, which helped stir up the USA Today article.

b) To make bad worse, George Mason University is not Penn State (which handled the inchoate attacks on Mike Mann professionally), and is having problems handling a relatively simple plagiarism complaint.

c) Of course, GMU is the alma mater of Ken Cuccinelli, VA AG who is pursuing U Virginia and Mann, perhaps unsurprising, given funding of GMU and its institutes by the Koch brothers (and Scaife), funding matrix, pp.102-105. and Koch funding of Cuccinelli.

d) And I'm sure you know the Pittsburgh connection of Ken Cuccinelli, Jr, Questfore Communications, i.e., run by Ken Cuccinelli, Sr.

It is a small world.