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Jim McK

Thanks Richard for your efforts and lets hope reason prevails over legalism.


Thanks to Richard and to Bob for all your efforts.


Some more press-

“Decision reserved in Niwa data case” ODT Friday


Richard C (NZ)

I’m wondering if the judge might leave the NiWA series as is but require a version like NZCSET be published too e.g.

Strict application of R&S93

Loose application of R&S93

That’s a matter of science, RC, which he won’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Sorry, a 3048 mm pole.

Richard C (NZ)

It’s the basis of each series that’s in question. NIWA’s criticism of Bob D’s series was that “he was too strictly formulaic and too rigid in using K=2, or two years before and after in comparing stations”.

What basis does the judge accept, Bob D’s strict and rigid basis or NIWA’s – shall we say – flexible application, or both on their respective merits?

Neither of which is a question of science but on interpretation of what constitutes an acceptable approach that will result in production of a temperature series. BOM found NIWA’s approach acceptable from the outset and didn’t review the technicalities of it (the science or the statistics) by their own letter. The NZCSET series if reviewed by BOM would presumably get the same treatment because the approach is essentially the same just more strict and rigid.

Therefore there are two different outcomes using two different approaches, both of which are acceptable to their respective proponents.and the common reviewer (BOM, real and hypothetical).

Richard C (NZ)

I’m guessing the judge would look for precedents. My only brushes with law in that respect are academic and I was never exposed to that level but I’m sure there will be something. For example but only remotely related, in USA where there is a competitive railway environment a judge was asked to rule on pricing (customer charges) for a branch line when only one operator was able to service the customer (this also applicable as a precedent in electricity supply cases). The judge asked the question: “what would a hypothetical efficient rail operator charge?” (or words to that effect). That hypothetical charge (determined by the judge’s research I think) became the price. Note that the judge did NOT have to be an expert in rail operation to make the determination. So there’s another possibility, the judge may reject both the NIWA series and the NZCSET series and ask: what methodology and how strict the application of it would a hypothetical good practice (not necessarily best) meteorological organization use? The judges answer – like it or not for all concerned – may be what is handed down as the approach to use and… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

Precedents and this type of guidance:- Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence Second Edition Federal Judicial Center 2000 http://www.fjc.gov/public/pdf.nsf/lookup/sciman00.pdf/$file/sciman00.pdf Summary Table of Contents A detailed Table of Contents appears at the front of each chapter v Preface, Fern M. Smith 1 Introduction, Stephen Breyer 9 The Supreme Court’s Trilogy on the Admissibility of Expert Testimony, Margaret A. Berger 39 Management of Expert Evidence, William W Schwarzer & Joe S. Cecil 67 How Science Works, David Goodstein 83 Reference Guide on Statistics, David H. Kaye & David A. Freedman 179 Reference Guide on Multiple Regression, Daniel L. Rubinfeld 229 Reference Guide on Survey Research, Shari Seidman Diamond 277 Reference Guide on Estimation of Economic Losses in Damages Awards, Robert E. Hall & Victoria A. Lazear 333 Reference Guide on Epidemiology, Michael D. Green, D. Mical Freedman & Leon Gordis 401 Reference Guide on Toxicology, Bernard D. Goldstein & Mary Sue Henifin 439 Reference Guide on Medical Testimony, Mary Sue Henifin, Howard M. Kipen & Susan R. Poulter 485 Reference Guide on DNA Evidence, David H. Kaye & George F. Sensabaugh, Jr. 577 Reference Guide on Engineering Practice and Methods, Henry Petroski Preface Thomas Henry Huxley… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

The first edition of the Reference Manual was published in 1994, at a time of heightened need for judicial awareness of scientific methods and reasoning created by the Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.3 Daubert assigned the trial judge a “gatekeeping responsibility” to make “a preliminary assessment of whether the reasoning or methodology underlying the testimony is scientifically valid and of whether that reasoning or methodology properly can be applied to the facts in issue.”

Jim Mck

Hi Richard C,

Once the judge is sequestered, or what ever the term is, we just have to prepare ourselves for the range of possible outcomes and wait.

I hate it it as much as you do

Richard C (NZ)

From the Reference Guide on Statistics B. Varieties and Limits of Statistical Expertise Statistical expertise is not confined to those with degrees in statistics. Because statistical reasoning underlies all empirical research, researchers in many fields are exposed to statistical ideas. Experts with advanced degrees in the physical, medical, and social sciences—and some of the humanities—may receive formal training in statistics. Such specializations as biostatistics, epidemiology, econometrics, and psychometrics are primarily statistical, with an emphasis on methods and problems most important to the related substantive discipline. Individuals who specialize in using statistical methods—and whose professional careers demonstrate this orientation—are most likely to apply appropriate procedures and correctly interpret the results. C. Individual Measurements 1. Is the Measurement Process Reliable? There are two main aspects to the accuracy of measurements—reliability and validity. In science, “reliability” refers to reproducibility of results.59 2. Is the Measurement Process Valid? Reliability is necessary, but not sufficient, to ensure accuracy. In addition to reliability, “validity” is needed. 5. What Comparisons Are Made? Finally, there is the issue of which numbers to compare. Researchers sometimes choose among alternative comparisons. It may be worthwhile to ask why they chose the one they… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)

“…prepare ourselves for the range of possible outcomes”

That’s what I’m doing.

“I hate it it as much as you do”

I can assure you Jim, that with the modicum of legal study that I have, I certainly don’t hate it In fact I find it extremely stimulating.

The US EPA ruling was a similar experience, visit “USA” on this blog for that.

Richard C (NZ)

The EPA decision was 82 pages. I don’t expect this decision will be that extensive but I think a lot of people will be surprised by what the judge hands down in terms of its scope. I’m thinking Greenpeace cindy at Hot Topic in particular.

United States Court of Appeals
Argued February 28 and 29, 2012 Decided June 26, 2012
No. 09-1322



Long time lurker/non contributor, but I wanted to say a sincere thank you to you all for your efforts in this case.
Well done, you are true champions, and I wish all the success you certainly deserve.

When “lurkers” reveal that they’ve been watching in admiration for a long time, it’s a good feeling for us. Thanks, SS.

Richard C (NZ)

So for those who wish to ruminate (me), what realistic outcome possibilities can we expect? The High Court Rules state:- 11.2 Types of judgment A judgment may— (a) be interim; or (b) be final; or (c) deal with any question or issue; or (d) order any accounts, inquiries, acts, or steps that the court considers necessary. http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1908/0089 From the NZCSET SOC, they seek:- WHEREFORE the plaintiff seeks: A. A declaration that the New Zealand Temperature Record is not a full and accurate record of changes in the average surface temperatures recorded in New Zealand since 1900; B. An order setting aside NIWA’s decision to base the New Zealand Temperature Record on the Seven-Station Temperature Series; C. An order preventing NIWA from using the NZTR (or information originally derived from the NZTR) for the purposes of advice to any governmental authority or to the public until it has been scientifically re-determined and independently peer reviewed. D. An order requiring NIWA to publish a full and accurate climate record of changes in the average surface temperatures recorded in New Zealand since 1908. E. Such further order as may be just. F. Costs. http://nzclimatescience.net/images/PDFs/amended%20soc.pdf So I’m… Read more »

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