Global and Seasonal thread summary and continuation

Okay, the “Globally and Seasonally averaged” thread has grown to over 500 comments and thus reached its point of diminishing return in terms of the time it would take to read it and the utility of doing so. And while on the one hand I don’t like to feed what is drifting towards to troll-like behaviour, the conversation continues and I don’t want to stifle it. It began with a comment of mine at Judith Curry’s blog about who is a denier and who is a sceptic. See the update in the original article for why Richard clearly falls out of the sceptic category.

So I am going to close that thread and move it over here by responding to Richard’s finally devoting some of his time to one of the main thrusts of the original post: why do his (alledged) findings disprove that CO2 plays any role in the current warming trend in globally and seasonally averaged temperatures?


Richard answers:

“How can more CO2 causing “global warming” make summer’s highest temps fall? How can it make extreme hot days FEWER? That’s the trend. AGW claims is that there will be more heat waves, not fewer.”

Of course this is not an answer. It is just a paraphrase of “because it must be”. It has come out in the discussion that when Richard talks about falling summer temperatures he is actually just plotting a single point for each year. Aside from how this must effect the statistical significance of his trend, there is a very legitimate question as to why should one prefer doing that to the normal practice of computing June-July-August average and calling this the summer temperature to be compared with December-January-February as the winter temperature? Do we learn more by looking at less data? I don’t see how. And does this (alledged) decline in summer maximum daily temperature really tell us that there are fewer heat waves?

What is a heat wave? Something like love, I know that, but how is it defined? According to the WMO, (paraphrase from Wikipedia), a heatwave is “when the daily maximum temperature of more than five consecutive days exceeds the average maximum temperature by 5 Celsius degrees”. So it is not hard to figure out from this that you can have a heat-wave, even a record setting heat wave, without out exceeding the single highest maximum temperature from the last year, or even any year in the instrumental record. You do not have to set a record high for every day, or any day for that matter, as achieving 5oC above the average meets the criterion.

He’s right that the climate models predict an increase in heat waves around the globe. And according to the IPCC an increase has been observed.

Since 1950, the number of heat waves has increased and widespread increases have occurred in the numbers of warm nights. The extent of regions affected by droughts has also increased as precipitation over land has marginally decreased while evaporation has increased due to warmer conditions

Richard goes on to disagree with these statements: “if global warming was driven by the sun, we should see summer warming faster than winter” and “greenhouse warming predicts nights should warm faster than days while solar warming is the other way around”. The latter statement was dismissed as “an assumption” the former rejected this way:

Not true. He is missing the fact that winds and frontal systems attempt to even out the planet’s temperature from the hotter regions to the colder regions. Since there is an upper ceiling on how hot the planet can get, it means that the winters would have to warm more beause the summers cannot get any hotter. Convection and systems circulation moves that summer air into the colder regions (summer in the south means winter in the north).

Aside from the irrelevance of some alledged “upper ceiling” (what is it and why? are we there already?), there is some seriously convoluted thinking here! Apparently there is this mechanism that redistributes heat around the globe if and only if that heat is the result of solar forcing. If we do observe that heat distribution (Richard’s claim) then it shows it can not be from CO2 forcing because…because…well, just because I guess.

Regardless of the existence of some mystical convection that only affects air warmed by a surface heated by direct sunlight and not heated by an enhanced greenhouse effect, AGW theories do in fact predict nights will warm faster than days, and winters will warm faster than summers. See these articles, here and here, from Skeptical Science. Once again, the observations match the expectations and CO2 fits the required mechanism whereas solar forcing does not.

Anyway, I don’t really expect much better from Richard in a new thread, but I am of the firm conviction that we can still learn from having these discussions.

786 thoughts on “Global and Seasonal thread summary and continuation

  1. Study how others have handled the problem (there are various possible procedures).

    Yes, inventing data ex nihilo and passing it off as fact.

    Support this outrageous claim with good evidence (not just by identifying honest mistakes) or issue a retraction.

    Until then I will consider you to be just another crank and will not bother to respond to you.

    Enjoy your delusions.

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  2. I hope you will forgive my bluntness, Mlax, but the essence of your remarks is that plenty of good evidence exists, but you are not going to tell us what it is.

    And as for you, Skip, what are you doing here? I hope you are not leaving Mrs Skip to do all the work. Get back to those diapers.

    But before you go, read Mlax’s comments again. His complaint was that the pontificators on this sight (my exquisite good manners prevent me from naming names) have, through their dismal grasp of science and failure to land a knockout blow on Richard, actually made matters much worse.

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  3. I checked out your link (not every page, just the ones that looked most likely) and, as I would have expected from the topic, not a single histogram showed anything even remotely like a normal distribution. I am now completely convinced that you have not the slightest idea of what is meant by a normal distribution (hint: in beginning stats texts it is sometimes called a bell curve).

    You are blind:

    http://ontariowindperformance.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/industrial-wind-turbine-basics/

    Look at the Winter Output graph here:http://ontariowindperformance.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/amaranth/

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  4. For your analysis, as a first approximation you need to consider the frequency distribution of the values of Tmax over the 100 years at a single site.

    You are not being specific enough. One for each year (100 of them)? Or over all the years combined? For all months? Or just the summer months? What is that going to tell you about any trends?

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  5. Until then I will consider you to be just another crank and will not bother to respond to you.

    Ok, how do they get historical temperature data from locations that have no data?

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  6. The nurse beat me to the diaper change while I was checking on the cats . . . .

    One more time, Richard and Snowman:

    Answers?

    The demonstration of Richard’s inability to answer simple direct questions is the ongoing “knockout blow” Snowman. Just because you keep talking doesn’t mean you’re successfully fighting.

    Illiteracy has robbed you of this insight. Monomania has likewise robbed Richard.

    And as for you Mlax: Where was your disgust for amateur commentary when Richard was telling us that AGW theory claims that only CO2 affects climate, or that you can extrapolate continental climate patterns by watching the Weather Channel (“Its really interesting.”).

    Quit trying to play civil discussant now that your dippy attempt at an ambush fell flat. If you *really* dislike amateurs pretending to be authorities, then start accosting the likes of Monckton and Watts (not to mention Richard). You’re right: Neither of us is qualified to make authoritative statements about climate science, but we can argue about who the authorities are and what they actually say. This is where Richard repeatedly shoots himself in the foot. He doesn’t read–not even his own supposed “authorities.”

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  7. Just so you know that I’m not *only* a cold-hearted topical pugilist: The twins look great.

    As appalled as I am at your posture toward AGW, Richard, I thank you for your decent thoughts on them.

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  8. Ummmmm, did I say Perth Airport’s Tmax is increasing?

    I think you better go back and read what I said again (for the first time?).

    Come on Mandas, your whole reason for this exercise is because YOU said Au data showed increasing TMax. What was your reason for Perth then? Go find a station that shows your case (and that is a CONTINUOUS increase to 2010) or admit that I’m right, there is no increase in TMax.

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  9. 755

    Ok, how do they get historical temperature data from locations that have no data?

    They don’t. Automatically assuming the worst of people does you no credit.

    Where’s that apology for accusing people of making up data.

    I checked out your link to your Amaranth data. It was one of the graphs I’d already looked at and dismissed as not being remotely close to showing a normal distribution. BTW, on some of those graphs the mean minus one SD would have given a negative value. Did that not give you the teeniest hint that perhaps the analysis was not the best you could have used?

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  10. “…..Come on Mandas, your whole reason for this exercise is because YOU said Au data showed increasing TMax. What was your reason for Perth then?….”

    I guess that’s the difference between us then Dick. I am not cherry picking my data. And I am happy to report ALL my findings. Yes – I looked at Perth, but I also looked at a lot of other sites as well. SOME of the sites I looked at showed no increase in Tmax, but some did as well. But NONE of the sites I looked at showed declining Tmax. MOST of the sites I looked at showed an increasing number of hot days.

    If I was going to draw ANY conclusion from that limited data, I would SUGGEST that climate change is highly regional, but that a lot more work needed to be done before I could be definitive. One thing I will be definitive about though – Australia is NOT a single climate regime, and it would be idiotic to try and extrapolate results from one region to another.

    In the case of Perth, I was VERY clear about what the results were. That Tmax DOES NOT ALWAYS OCCUR IN SUMMER, and if you look at summer numbers alone you might miss important data.

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  11. I checked out your link to your Amaranth data. It was one of the graphs I’d already looked at and dismissed as not being remotely close to showing a normal distribution. BTW, on some of those graphs the mean minus one SD would have given a negative value. Did that not give you the teeniest hint that perhaps the analysis was not the best you could have used?

    You really are out of your league with this aren’t you. That data is output from wind turbines. The claim from the wind turbine industry is the Capacity Factor is the average output, which assumes the distribution of output per hour is normal distribution. It’s not, that’s the point of the site. BTW, the entire site’s methodology was pasted by experts, including a physicist, who said everything I did was correct.

    When a distribution curve has a very high skewness factor, where the apex is zero on the X-Axis, the lower SD will mathematically go below zero. It has no meaning.

    You should stop before you get yourself deeper, you clearly do not understand what that site is showing.

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  12. MOST of the sites I looked at showed an increasing number of hot days

    Name the locations. Why do you keep them secret? Worried I’d check them and you are wrong?

    Sure, I’ll check Feb for Perth, that’s the hottest month, their “summer”. You can see by the month distribution that the highest TMax, average TMax and lowest Tmax fall in that month.

    And in Canada the highest TMax is ALWAYS in the summer months, june, july & aug. That is fact.

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  13. Oh, and just to clarify.

    I never said Tmax WASN’T increasing at Perth Airport either. I made one claim and one claim only – that Tmax does not always occur in summer.

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  14. I have now added each month. Notice some increase, some decrease, some flat. Understand that the climate doesn’t recognize our artificial months, so it would be interesting to know how CO2 is discriminating different parts of the year over others.

    Over all, Perth is not getting hotter. The highest temps regardless of which month, has been flat since 1980.

    Again, without data prior to 1945, you cannot claim that the recent increase in those months is abnormal, and not part of cycles. Timeframe too short.

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  15. Not February – March!!!!!!!!
    Tmax does not always occur in summer (gee, I thought I already said that!!)

    the highest over all temps are in Feb, look at the month disribution curves. That highest is feb, not march.

    TMax obviously occurs in every month, every day. But the highest of that data set is in Feb. The highest range of each year’s TMax is Feb.

    Doen’t matter, I’ve done all the months.

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  16. “…..Again, without data prior to 1945, you cannot claim that the recent increase in those months is abnormal, and not part of cycles……”

    Garbage!

    You have been called time and time again on your inability to understand basic statistics. Understanding trends etc is NOT just about gathering as much data as you can and sticking it into a spreadsheet – you have to understand WHAT data you need and WHY you are collecting it.

    We are discussing and trying to understand whether increasing CO2 is causing the climate to change. We know that in the first half of the 20th century that the main driver of climate was the solar forcing – which everyone acknowledges was increasing . But since the 1950s it has been essentially flat. Therefore, if you want to include data from earlier period you would have to remove solar effects in order to observe CO2 (or any other effects for that matter).

    The 1950s are significant for other reasons. For example, pror to the 1950s measurements of CO2 were based on unreliable or proxy means, and there is still some debate regarding the accuracy of the earlier data. But after that date most agree the figures are robust.

    Therefore if you want to observe trends in temperature as a result of CO2 forcing, and be able to make any degree of robust comparisons, then you should use the best information available on a statistically significant trend period. That does NOT mean just gathering data from as far back as you can. It means gathering RELEVANT data. In the case of AGW, I am going to suggest to you that the mid twentieth century onwards is the most appropriate period.

    If you want to make claims about ‘cycles’ then you are going to have to state which cycles, what their periods are and what influences they have. Vague claims about unknown cycles or fractals are just that – vague claims totally unsupported by evidence. Which you keep claiming is all you care about – despite your machine gun like approach to cutting and pasting denialist dogma completely unrelated to your observations.

    And of course, I know you are going to disagree, because it serves your interest to say otherwise. The longer you go back, the less likely there is to be any significant observable changes, and the more other factors such as TSI will have an influence and mask the changes attributable to GHG. Cherry picking is not just using shorter periods, it is about using data that suits your aims, while rejecting or burying data that doesn’t.

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  17. And on the subject of cherry picking…….

    “….Over all, Perth is not getting hotter. The highest temps regardless of which month, has been flat since 1980…..”

    Why did you say “since 1980”? To quote a fomer Australian politician of ill repute… “please explain”.

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  18. In the case of AGW, I am going to suggest to you that the mid twentieth century onwards is the most appropriate period.

    This shows your lack of understanding of basic principles of science. You MUST have a frame of reference, how else can you conclude if the past 50 years are unusual? If the temperatures were HIGHER in the 20’s and 30’s than they are today, then there is NO over all increase in temperatures. You are attempting to narrow the data range to show what you want, not what is.

    Let me give you an example of why a frame of reference is important. Google: “out group” phylogeny

    You will see the importance of having something to compare your data to.

    factors such as TSI will have an influence and mask the changes attributable to GHG. Cherry picking is not just using shorter periods, it is about using data that suits your aims, while rejecting or burying data that doesn’t.

    That’s funny since you are doing just that by shortening the range of years. So please explain how one can get a trend of more heatwaves unless one has a long enough recordset?

    Besides, the data on that short range still does not support the premise.

    BTW, I’m now doing other places on the planet. Currently Moscow. Want to take a guess on summers in Moscow? Want to bet if TMax and the number of hot days is increasing?

    Why did you say “since 1980”? To quote a fomer Australian politician of ill repute… “please explain”.

    Look at the graphs. It’s like saying “since 1980 I havn’t taken a vacation.” What needs explaining? Isn’t that your very time frame?

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  19. I posted [a link] because it provides alternatives to what is presented by the faithful here. 1, that 2010 is the hottest year on record (right with record cold going on world wide) . . . . –Richard #232

    It won’t be the warmest on record, not even close…..” –Richard Old GAS thread #264

    The [Moscow] summer of 2010 was the hottest year on record. Is this an indication of global warming, or a one-off event likely not to repeated for a long time to come[?] . . .Take 2010 out and the trend is flat, no over all increase in TMax. 2011 will very likely reset that increasing slope back to flat. #Richard from his blog

    Richard, two questions:

    1. Can I infer all of Russia from Moscow? If not, why not?

    2. Is Moscow’s record Tmax even possible under your theory–such as it is?

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  20. Skip, Russia has some 2700 stations. Will take a while to get through them all. So what I’m doing is picking locations around Moscow, moving out each checking to see if there is a local area that this occured in.

    There was a post in WUWT that showed Sibera in 2010 was much colder than normal. I can check that too.

    Since the null hypothesis is that all this is normal variation, then yes, this would be just part of that. The problem is we have no records prior to know if 2010 was hottest *ever*. All we know is it happened to be a one-off (if you look at the graph you will see Sept was below the lower SD. I’m going to check Moscow’s low temps in the winter to see what that did.

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  21. Butterflies in the UK and warming:

    ” Menendez et al. (2006) provided what they call “the first assessment, at a geographical scale, of how species richness has changed in response to climate change,” concentrating on British butterflies. This they did by testing “whether average species richness of resident British butterfly species has increased in recent decades, whether these changes are as great as would be expected given the amount of warming that has taken place, and whether the composition of butterfly communities is changing towards a dominance by generalist species.” By these means they determined that “average species richness of the British butterfly fauna at 20 x 20 km grid resolution has increased since 1970-82, during a period when climate warming would lead us to expect increases.” They also found, as expected, that “southerly habitat generalists increased more than specialists,” which require a specific type of habitat that is sometimes difficult for them to find, especially in the modern world where habitat destruction is commonplace. In addition, they were able to determine that observed species richness increases lagged behind those expected on the basis of climate change.”

    http://www.co2science.org/subject/e/summaries/butterfliesext.php

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  22. “The Specter of Species Extinction: Will Global Warming Decimate Earth’s Biosphere?,” concluded that claims of mass extinctions arising out of climate change are unsupported by facts.1 The extinction hypothesis ignored the fact that CO2 enrichment tends to offset the negative effects of rising temperatures on vegetation.

    Reviewed here: http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/higher-co2-more-global-warming-and-less-extinction/

    Also this:

    In the case of plant life, increasing the amount of CO2 will induce changes that make them better adapted to warmer conditions. Indeed, more CO2 allows them to grow better at almost all temperatures, especially at higher temperatures. And so, elevated CO2 content improves the ability of plants to resist heat stress and also raises the optimum temperature for growth.

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  23. Brilliant.

    When Southeast Asia starves and Africa crisps, assuming I’m still alive I shall take great solace in the prosperity and genetic diversity of butterflies.

    And . . . The Marshall Institute and CO2Science versus *Nature* . . . it says it all.

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  24. Glad you’re happy to hear from me.

    No doubt mortality must come as a great relief to you after an evening of trembling in the greatness of the Watts Shaman.

    What agenda did he set for you today?

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  25. Actually, Skip, if these doomsday scenarios of yours come to pass you may have to cross the border and take refuge in the great white north. But it won’t be a problem: I am sure Richard will be glad to put you up.

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  26. #775 Menendez et al:

    “Our results imply that it may be decades or centuries before the species richness and composition of biological communities adjusts to the current climate.”

    The last line of the abstract.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1560312/

    Also worth reading is: Compounded effects of climate change and habitat alteration shift patterns of butterfly diversity. Forister et al (2010) PNAS 107 pp2088-2092
    Abstract
    Climate change and habitat destruction have been linked to global declines in vertebrate biodiversity, including mammals, amphibians, birds, and fishes. However, invertebrates make up the vast majority of global species richness, and the combined effects of climate change and land use on invertebrates remain poorly understood. Here we present 35 years of data on 159 species of butterflies from 10 sites along an elevational gradient spanning 0-2,775 m in a biodiversity hotspot, the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California. Species richness has declined at half of the sites, with the most severe reductions at the lowest elevations, where habitat destruction is greatest. At higher elevations, we observed clear upward shifts in the elevational ranges of species, consistent with the influence of global warming. Taken together, these long-term data reveal the interacting negative effects of human-induced changes on both the climate and habitat available to butterfly species in California.

    I’ll bet CO2 science haven’t got to that one yet…

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  27. Nothing from Richard since the most recent embarrassment.

    I checked his blog and as far as I can tell 1/25 was the most recent post.

    Appalled as I am by his postures I hope the poor bastard is all right.

    Maybe he’s just waiting and hoping that he might hear some affirmation from Judith.

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  28. Hey skip

    Have you notiiced that crakar returns at the same time as Dick disappears? Spooky huh?

    Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

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  29. For my own amusement I wanted to test the applicability of Ian Forrester’s crank criteria link to the case of Richard.

    Here is what I found:

    Step one: Develop a wacky idea:

    Oh yeah. Check:

    Richard’s idea is something like this:

    Select southern Canadian station data show that summer Tmax has held flat or even declined in the past 100 years. Any questions about the statistical significance of this are immaterial (Daughter-in-law, 2010). Winters have become warmer (which is a really, really good thing by the way). Because North America is a unitary “climate regime” (watch the Weather Channel; its really interesting), the same must be true of the entire continent. Perth shows the same trend so Australia is checked off. (Moscow data kind of scotch the theory but don’t let the AGW extremists cherry pick one year/place.) This apparent convergence of winter and summer temps cannot indefinitely continue. This means AGW is “falisified” and “dead in the water”. Its natural variation and cycles. Only AGW believers and fanatics buy the Coolaid from the likes of the socialist Hansen.

    Don’t follow my logic? Well, I’ll have you know that even Judith Curry says my analysis is “well done.” What more need be said? A retired fireman with a pacing parrot as collaborator has taken down AGW. Tough tits, warmists.

    Remember that really important people with really important ideas don’t have time for grammar or spelling.

    Check.

    I have rubbed this in somewhat viciously in the past but Richard cannot routinely articulate himself at higher than a middle school level of grammar and spelling. Its just the truth.

    if you must cite anything, either cite your own name or work, or that of another crank

    Check and check.

    Number of times Richard has cited his own blog on this thread alone: 11

    Number of times Richard has cited Anthony Watts on this thread alone: 7

    It’s also important during your research of this new idea, never to be worried about preserving the original intent of other authors you quote or cite.

    Gigantic Check painted in florescent ink.

    See previous posts when Richard tried to cite Laken and Curry and made a hash of it, but a microcosm of this phenomenon is captured by this:

    The forcing on the system by CO2 and the climate’s response to CO2 levels is the same thing. Fact is, we DO NOT know how much influence CO2 has on the climate, Schwartz is clear on that, including stating the IPCC is over stating CO2’s forcing. — Richard on Schwartz

    we have a pretty good handle on CO2 forcing (though in my judgment not as good as ipcc says we do); ditto other llghgs. and a pretty good handle on rate of heating of planet. so the big trade off is aerosol forcing vs climate sensy. — Schwartz in his email to Richard

    Step two: Disseminate your idea . . . Leave comments in others blogs that describe how you have solved this big problem, where everyone else has failed . . .

    Check.

    Coby encountered Richard on Curry’s blog (Richard reads it “every day”, but still doesn’t know/accept her position on atmospheric CO2). His subsequent emergence here a couple of months ago on the old GAS thread has been his moment in the sun outside his own blog.

    Ideally, get a minion to constantly extol your virtues and genius.

    Check.

    Enter Snowman:

    . . . slowly, the terrible truth is dawning on them: they have got into the ring with Mike Tyson, and you can smell their fear. –Snowman, GAS continued thread #100

    Step three: (Not) Responding to Criticism: All you have to do is ignore anything that contradicts your theory . . .

    Check by overwhelming circumstantial evidence, although you cannot technically prove the negative.

    Since Richard clearly does not even thoroughly read the sources he believes supports his position, it strains reason to believe he reads anything overtly hostile to it.

    And we are still waiting on Richard’s enlightening exchanges with Curry and Tsonis et al . . . .

    . . . exhaust them with dumps of links or citations, repeat

    Check. Check. Check.

    Anyone can go over the GAS threads or The Other Beck and see this, but a recent example is the Swanson and Tsonis link: Even though he already cited it once before (#198), misquoted it, misunderstood it, and made a complete spectacle of himself by not even realizing he had done so yet fighting it to the death before finally conceding, Richard just linked us the Swanson et article *again* in #480. I wonder if he even realizes it?

    The author must have had Wakefield in mind when he wrote the article.

    Either that or these model attributes of crankiness are superbly robust.

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