Copygate – the Underlying Significance

Steve McIntyre puts the Copygate scandal (paper here) of the 2006 Wegman Report into context.

A minor, but potentially significant, point in all of this is the timing issue. The Wegman Report was published in 2006. Given the Hockey Stick Team are keen to pick up on any points that may undermine any criticism of their scientific work, why has it taken four years to pick up on this accusation of plagiarism. I can see two possibilities.

  1. The climate consensus only reads what it wishes to read. Why would Bradley himself, who was cited in this very important report for paleo-climatology, did not have a quick read through it? Or at least a bright student who used his textbook and read around the subject a little.
  2. The hockey stick team is reeling at present. Montford’s Hockey Stick Illusion lays out clearly the debate, so “evidence” that may damage the reputation of the “opposition” is welcome.

Something that is perhaps related is why it took so long for anyone to ask for the data that underpinned MBH98. On the back of it Mann (and to a lesser extent, Bradley) received world-wide fame. Yet there was no upstart PhD student to take it apart, even when it overturned the established perception of there have been a medieval warm period.

This relates to a point I have made before on this blog. There seems to be a lack of critical and balanced analysis within climate science, coupled with the inability to compare and contrast the arguments.