Monday, January 21, 2008

Scientific Advisor says: "No Responsibility for Errors"

This article was from the site on January 13th.


Gore Scientific “Adviser” says that he has no “responsibility” for AIT errors
By Steve McIntyre

In earlier posts, we observed that Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth claimed that “Dr Thompson’s thermometer” confirmed Michael Mann’s hockey stick, but, when analysed, what Gore described as “Dr Thompson’s thermometer” merely proved to be Michael Mann’s hockey stick mis-identified. No wonder it resembled Mann’s hockey stick - or, to use the phrase more common in climate science, no wonder there was a “remarkable” resemblance.

Recently we’ve seen Pierrehumbert’s hysterics over at RC about Courtillot’s misidentification of a solar series. I’m sure that all of you recall similar hysterics from Pierrehumbert calling Al Gore out on this error. You don’t?

Hu McCulloch of Ohio State University now writes about a recent encounter with Lonnie Thompson, the serial ice core non-archiver:

On January 11, Lonnie Thompson gave a talk on Climate change at Ohio State. After his talk, I asked him if the graph identified by Al Gore as “Dr. Thompson’s Thermometer” in his book and film was really based on his ice core research.

Thompson admitted that an error had been made, and even had a slide ready that showed the data of the Mann Hockey Stick plus Jones instrumental data that Gore’s figure was based on, alongside an average of dO18 z-scores from 6 of his Andean and Himalayan ice cores, similar to the 7-series graph that appeared in his 2006 PNAS article. He stated that he recognized the error right away, and even sent Gore (and Mann, as I recall) an e-mail pointing out the mistake.

When I pressed him if it wouldn’t be appropriate to make a more public announcement, given the high-profile nature of the error, Ellen Mosley-Thompson, his wife and co-author, stood up and offered that it was Gore’s error, not theirs, so that they had no responsibility for it, and that in any event there was no forum in which to make a correction.

I suggested that since OSU’s Byrd Polar Research Center has a website with a News page, it would be trivial and virtually costless to post a press release clarifying the matter for the millions of readers and viewers of Gore’s book and film who are not on Thompson’s e-mail list.

“Gore’s error”. “No responsibility.” “No forum”.

Here’s a picture from the OSU website. Ohio State University press releases have also stated that Thompson was an adviser to Gore for the documentary.

Thompson’s online CV says that he was on the “Science Advisory Board” for Inconvenient Truth prior to its release in April 2006. So he was on the Board but he didn’t bear any responsibility. Sure, Lonnie. Sure, Ellen.

Gore used the term “my friend Lonnie Thompson” and Thompson doesn’t know how to correct the error. Sure, Lonnie.

“No responsibility.” “No forum”. No shame.

1 comment:


So... a slide and citation source on Gores PPT movie was off more than a bit?

Is NOAA's analysis off, too?