A hands on view of tree growth and tree rings – one explanation for Briffa’s YAD061 lone tree core

This is a comment of mine  from back in 2009 that appeared as a “guest comment” in early October of that year.  It is now nearly 44 months later, and it seems Briffa is still attempting to “draw out the signal” he wants to see by including some tree-rings while excluding others.


I left this comment on the Climate Audit site:

Forgive me for mixing my metaphors, but I get the feeling Briffa is between a rock and a hard place; he wants to come in from the cold, but can’t very well bite the hand that feeds, and therefore is standing with one foot on the rowboat and one on the shore.

At least he seems more honest than others about what he is leaving out, in order to “draw out the signal” he is seeking to reveal (and wants to see.) The problem is that even an average Joe like me, who has worked cutting down trees, and has looked at tree rings, since age ten (1963) can see the problems Briffa is going to slip into.

When I was just commenting on these problems on WUWT in 2009 Anthony made a post of my comment, and it drew a surprising 199 other responses. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/02/a-hands-on-view-of-tree-growth-and-tree-rings-one-explanation-for-briffas-yad061-lone-tree-core/

I’m afraid that if Briffa really wants to come in out of the cold, he is going to have to make a clean break with his old pals.

Such divorces from old friends and workplaces are difficult, but can be done. In my younger day I hung out with a bad crowd who were a lot of fun, but up to no good, and who got me into such trouble I finally had to walk away from their society. By then I had such a bad reputation that it took decades to clear my name, (and some still don’t trust me.) However I felt much better after making a fresh start.”

I am not all that impressed by the big word, “dendrochronolgy” simply because I know a thing or two about trees and tree rings, having worked in the woods a lot in my life, however before anyone assumes I am an authority, they should read this confession I wrote (comment 189 of the 199 comments,) back in 2009.

  1. Caleb says:

    I was delighted to see my comment elevated to the status of “Guest Comment,” and have been flattered by many of the nice things people have said about it. However I feel I gave a false impression, for many seem to believe I am far more honorable than I actually am.

    Therefore I would like to clarify that the reason I have spent so much time working in the woods is not because I am a successful lumberjack, but rather because I am an unsuccessful writer.

    If you have any experience with writers you know that a major aim of all writers is to avoid working a real job. If my life had followed the script I wrote for myself as a teenager, I never would have worked a real job at all. I only worked real jobs because I ran out of people to mooch off. Therefore I should not be equated with honorable people like “Joe the Plumber.”

    Many unsuccessful writers reach a point where they have to decide just how far they will go, to avoid getting a real job. Will you lie? Will you forge? Will you steal? Will you sleep with the editor?

    Being something of a prude, I would not go as far as some of my peers would, to get published. Some suggested this explained my lack of success, (though I myself think the reason for rejections was that my writing put people to sleep.)

    One trick, which my fellow writers seemed very adept at, was to get people to pay them for work they hadn’t done, and likely would never get around to doing. It was called “an advance,” and I had friends who were very good at getting advances. To me they seemed more like con artists than true artists. They were slick talkers, and landed an advance or endowment or grant, and spent all the money on wine, woman and song, and then awoke with terrible hangovers, flat broke. They called awaking with hangovers and being flat broke “the suffering of an artist,” and sometimes got patrons to pity them, and earned further grants and endowments and advances. It was quite a racket, but I was no good at it, and wound up washing dishes or cutting trees in the woods. Eventually I stopped telling people I was “a writer,” and just called myself “a landscaper and handyman.”

    Therefore, if you judge a man by the company he has kept, it should be obvious I don’t deserve some of the flattering comments people have showered on me. However I did learn one thing, during my time as an unsuccessful writer, and that was: “How to recognize a con-artist.”

    Naming no names, I often have felt I recognized the work of con-artists in the work of climate scientists, and have rudely and bluntly said as much. Over at Climate Audit my comments were quite regularly snipped, because I was too blunt. I feel Steve McIntyre deserves a great deal of credit for not allowing people like me to be rude and blunt, and to turn his site into a free-for-all. Rather than making accusations he keeps his cool, and politely states, “Excuse me, but it seems you made a mistake here.” I hugely respect his calm and collected manner, and am trying my best to learn how to emulate it.

    In the end I feel remaining calm and collected will bring truth back to the science of climate. Also I believe people will eventually learn as I have learned, and recognize real jobs are better than con jobs.”

    So you see, one of the few things I can actually claim to be an authority on is: Being an unsuccessful writer.  However one does not have to be an official authority on anything to get older and wiser, and to be able “to see through a brick wall with time.”  

    So there is still hope for Briffa.


Watts Up With That?

One of the great things about WUWT is that people from all walks of life frequent here. We have PhD’s right down to Average Joe  that read and post comments here. Everyone has something to contribute.

A general truism that I’ve noticed through life is that the people that actually work “hands on” with the things they study often know far more about them than the people that study them from afar. As in the case of the surface stations project, top scientists missed the fact that many of the climate monitoring stations are poorly sited because they never bothered to visit them to check the measurement environment. Yet the people in the field knew. Some scientists simply accepted the data the stations produced at face value and study its patterns, coaxing out details statistically. Such is the case with Briffa and Yamal tree rings apparently, since the tree ring…

View original post 620 more words

2 thoughts on “A hands on view of tree growth and tree rings – one explanation for Briffa’s YAD061 lone tree core

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