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  1. Hate to be the bearer of bad news. This is off-topic but fox is running a story which slams GIStemps and links to a bunch of articles which claims Gavin and Hansen are involved in all this…
    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/30/nasa-data-worse-than-climategate-data/?test=latestnews

    Comment by Robert — 30 Mar 2010 @ 6:28 PM

  2. At some point, the FOIA’d scientists ought to start publicly calling out the FOIA requesters by name and asking them to provide details about the analysis work they’ve performed on the data/code they have made FOIA requests for.

    Something like:

    John Doe, You requested these datasets and code on these dates… We gave you everything you wanted; the data and code that you’ve requested have been in your hot little hands for XX years now. So what have you done with it?

    Perhaps a “wall of shame” of FOI requesters (full names and affiliations) who haven’t done anything with the data/code they’ve requested might be in order. Or would privacy regulations preclude something like that?

    On the other hand, is that something that someone could submit a FOIA request for? i.e “We would like an itemized list of all the people who have submitted FOIA requests for your data/code”.

    Comment by caerbannog — 30 Mar 2010 @ 6:36 PM

  3. Nice! It’s good to see that the British House is working the way it should be.

    Sadly, the result of this investigation – that the so-called “scandal” was nonexistent – will receive little media time compared to the original allegations. People are familiar with the accusations, but if they don’t hear the results of these inquiries, most of them will assume that Jones et al are guilty.

    Comment by Kate — 30 Mar 2010 @ 7:07 PM

  4. We are still on the defensive. This is wrong. There should be indictments of the hackers. Where is the police report on the hackers?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 30 Mar 2010 @ 7:24 PM

  5. This one sentence is particularly important in the press release:

    “Even if the data that CRU used were not publicly available—which they mostly are—or the methods not published—which they have been—its published results would still be credible: the results from CRU agree with those drawn from other international data sets; in other words, the analyses have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified.”

    Simple, correct and to the point.

    When the mainstream media, and the various bloggers and some scientists that try to appear to be somewhere in the political ‘center’, start highlighting this point, they might regain the credibility they have lost over this affair.

    Comment by Eric Steig — 30 Mar 2010 @ 7:41 PM

  6. I was interested to read a memorandum to the inquiry written by Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen. I found some of the comments surprising, in that they were so openly expressed.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc2602.htm

    2.2 Since 1998 I have been the editor of the journal, Energy & Environment (E&E) published by Multi-science, where I published my first papers on the IPCC. I interpreted the IPCC “consensus” as politically created in order to support energy technology and scientific agendas that in essence pre-existed the “warming-as -man-made catastrophe alarm.”

    2.3 I have published peer-reviewed papers and opinion pieces by all the best known ‘sceptics’ and know a number of them personally. My own views being known, E&E therefore attracted, inter alia, papers from IPCC-critical and therefore IPCC-excluded scientists….

    4.1 I inherited the editorship of Energy & Environment from a former senior scientist at the Department of the Environment (Dr. David Everest) because we shared doubts about the claims made by environmentalists and were worried about the readiness with which politicians accepted these claims, including ‘global warming’ which followed so seamlessly from the acid rain scare, my previous research area….

    4.3 CRU clearly disliked my- journal and believed that “good” climate scientists do not read it. They characterised it as a journal of choice for climate sceptics. If this was so, it happened by default as other publication opportunities were closed to them….

    Is this an open admission of preferential treatment, or is it usual for journal editors to admit papers based on their ‘own views’ – in this case suspicion of politicisation of science?

    I’m also curious to know about the review process at E&E. Might the editor have selected reviewers that would be sympathetic to her views? Or ignore recommendations if they ran counter to her agenda? How did this process ‘succeed’, where other review processes ‘failed’ to admit skeptical papers?

    6.2 How Independent Are The Other Two International Data Sets?

    I am no expert here but from the large amount of material I have read, some of it mentioned in Fuel For Thought paper 21/2, I do not think that they are independent but rely on the same primary sources. All have tended to serve the same master (IPCC/ policy-makers) and ’cause’ (saving the planet) and seem affected either by similar shortcomings (the available measurement periods, changing measurement technology and above all the declining and limited number of measuring points, not to mention the urban heat island effect.

    Is there an alternative to the GHCN? Could she be referring to a preferred satellite data set incorporated into the surface records? Being only passing familiar with the provenance of data for the surface records, I wonder about the merit of this complaint and the knowledge, or lack, behind it.

    Comment by barry — 30 Mar 2010 @ 7:50 PM

  7. Robert@1,
    It’s FauxNews, so you know it’s a lie. They quote CEI, Heartland. Hell, they’d quote Geobbels if he were still alive.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 30 Mar 2010 @ 7:51 PM

  8. #1 Robert “…fox … claims Gavin and Hansen are involved in all this…”

    Yeah, that’s it. Those two are warming the world.

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 30 Mar 2010 @ 7:52 PM

  9. Only… Gavin isn’t mentioned in the fox news story and, frankly, there’s no substance to the story. It’s just a couple of quotes taken out of context with a lot of padding from the skeptic industry.

    Comment by davey — 30 Mar 2010 @ 8:31 PM

  10. One of the strongest recommendations being made in the Committee’s reports is that it is important that data and code be easily available for public review and independent audits (especially given the global political importance of the consequences of AGW). I wholeheartedly agree with this view and congratulate GISS for being one of the front-runners in “open-sourcing” their code and NOAA/NCDC in maintaining public ftp servers for data. I recognize that this is culture change for many – but it is a necessary one. I also realize that for many working in the field, it seems like nothing more than an opportunity for nit-picking and mole-hill exploitation – but it will, in the end, improve your code and methods and increase public confidence in the end products.

    Ultimately, science is a public good. CRU retreated from that position and got burned. Despite the lame CEI/FoxNews attack, GISS is standing in a much better position.

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 30 Mar 2010 @ 9:04 PM

  11. @1

    Yes, it is unfortunate. Fox was at liberty to report Jim Hansen’s take but chose not to. Here is Fox’s source for comments from NASA.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/files/2010/03/GISS-says-CRU-Better0001.pdf

    Fox also conflates recommendations on the global record (Hadley) with the US record.

    Halfway across the river, the Fox savaged the climate scientist and they both began to sink.

    “Why are you doing this,” gasped the climate scientist.

    “I can’t help it. I am Fox.”

    Comment by barry — 30 Mar 2010 @ 9:48 PM

  12. Re: #6: A couple of points are of rather critical importance here…

    1. E&E is not a climate science journal, but a social science journal.
    2. E&E is not a peer-reviewed journal — at least it does not appear on the ISI listing of peer-reviewed journals.
    3. Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen is not a climate scientist, but rather — according to her university biography, “the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles on energy and environmental issues related to political and policy matters.

    So, as to her point that CRU didn’t think much of her journal — one needn’t probe deeply to understand why. I take it her memorandum to the inquiry was not solicited.

    Comment by robert — 30 Mar 2010 @ 10:57 PM

  13. Those of us who were paying attention (except for George Monbiot) already knew that the charges against Jones were vaporous, and based on hysterical innuendo. It will be interesting to see if the media runs with this story, and acknowledges that they covered it badly the first time around.

    When historians teach us about the Salem witch trials, they highlight the prosecutor and the finger pointing, hallucinating witnesses. It took Arthur Miller, the great playwright, to teach us about the real culprits: the gallery, whose swooning fantasies latched on to any hint of damning evidence, and egged on the whole insane process.

    These days, the prosecutor and church (nowadays, fossil fuel people) have something more on their side: bought and paid for reporters and Congressmen. They don’t just conflate and twist evidence. They know how to push people’s buttons, too.

    Comment by mike roddy — 30 Mar 2010 @ 11:26 PM

  14. Robert says: 30 March 2010 at 6:28 PM

    “This is off-topic but fox is running a story …”

    Dispensing a double load of shiny, twinkling chaff to captivate attention lest it wander back to reality.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 30 Mar 2010 @ 11:33 PM

  15. #10:

    I agree about this higher standard of transparency for such an important field, but only because it’s more possible now than before. They made an important note that the reason this hasn’t been done previously has nothing to do with secrecy, but rather that the [historically] physical/printed journals just didn’t have space to put tons of raw data and code. It’s an interdisciplinary tradition of size limits; not secrecy.

    Comment by coldfrontin — 30 Mar 2010 @ 11:53 PM

  16. The most damaging aspect of the report is its conclusion that there is prima facie evidence that the FOI was violated. They are clear that no prosecution can be made, but recommend that the six-month statute of limitations be extended. Otherwise, however, the report is clearly an exoneration of CRU and Mr. Jones.

    Comment by Chris Crawford — 30 Mar 2010 @ 11:59 PM

  17. Greenpeace has just released an investigative piece into funding sources for the climate change skeptics and denier organizations:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/news/dirty-money-climate-30032010

    A PDF detailing linkages and funding $ amounts is available here:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/usa/press-center/reports4/koch-industries-secretly-fund.pdf

    The light of day is being shined into a dark hole and the slimy, squirming things in it are not happy…

    I just brightened my own day with that last bit. :)

    Cheers to all!

    Daniel the Yooper

    Comment by Daniel the Yooper — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:37 AM

  18. #7, I posted Number 1. Yeah I know its faux report and it is ridiculous but it does mean that there’s going to be a plethora of annoying graduates of the university of google using this as part of their argument too.

    Comment by Robert — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:56 AM

  19. You do realize that Greenpeace is ever bit as biased and prone to making stuff up (or using things out of date or misquoting) as Fox News, right?

    They’re a political advocacy group, not a science organization or even a press agency.

    Comment by Frank Giger — 31 Mar 2010 @ 2:17 AM

  20. Chris Crawford says:
    30 March 2010 at 11:59 PM

    “The most damaging aspect of the report is its conclusion that there is prima facie evidence that the FOI was violated.They are clear that no prosecution can be made, but recommend that the six-month statute of limitations be extended. Otherwise, however, the report is clearly an exoneration of CRU and Mr. Jones.”

    I don’t know if the report gets this part right, or not. There seems to be a fair amount of evidence that no crime was committed, in that the UK’s FoI law says that they don’t have to release information to those who make vexatious request. Furthermore, the licensing agreement with some of the meteorological offices says that they are only allowed to release information to be used for ‘bona fide academic research’. There is also the fact that CRU did not own, and were contractually prevented from releasing, some information. So, there are at least three valid reasons for CRU’s refusal to release information.

    If the reason for refusing the request for information was valid (according to either FoI laws or Met office licensing agreements), no crime was committed, and if no crime was committed, then what is there prima facie evidence of? Nothing, as far as I can see.

    I can’t imagine that a Commons inquiry would come to the conclusion that scientists should be forced to release data that they do not own and which has contractual provisos preventing it’s release to any third party. Maybe one of the more “sceptical” MPs on the committee (my money is on Graham Stringer) insisted that this allegation of “prima facie evidence” be added to the report.

    Comment by Dave G — 31 Mar 2010 @ 2:23 AM

  21. Offtopic but don’t know where else I should post it:

    I’ve come across many people who claim that RC censors dissenting comments. I have posted several POSITIVE comments recently (the last praising both RC and the Gardian) and for some reason RC has seen fit not to publish them.

    [Response: Not true. - gavin]

    I still think RC does a good job presenting the science and I will still read your articles but the frustration of typing out my thoughts and having them consistently dismissed for no apparent reason is from my POV an undeserved insult.

    RC can print this final post or dissmiss it, either way I’m sick of wasting my time trying to join the discussion in a positive manner and won’t be bothering you in the future.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 31 Mar 2010 @ 3:42 AM

  22. Frank Giger wrote in 19:

    You do realize that Greenpeace is ever bit as biased and prone to making stuff up (or using things out of date or misquoting) as Fox News, right?

    They\’re a political advocacy group, not a science organization or even a press agency.

    You are right: they aren\’t a science organization or a press agency.

    However, can you point to examples of their bias, particularly with respect to the issue of global warming? I am able to check their material at Exxon Exposed against material in Media Transparency. I am able to check Exxon Exposed against Source Watch. The lists of companies, the amounts, the history — the references. The links to literature that reaches out to various magazine and newspaper articles. The tax documents for different years. PDFs of Exxon\’s IRS 990s — available at the Exxon Exposed Website. The IRS 990s list the organizations that Exxon gave money to and the names of the organizations themselves. These people are doing genuine investigation and have the evidence to prove it. They aren\’t pulling a Glenn Beck.

    And have you taken a look at the references for the article on Koch? Over 300 references. And we aren\’t talking about references to material by proponents of the science of climatology — but those that are part of the very same disinformation and denial campaign as Exxon and the Koch brothers. Richard Scaife and the Bradleys. Names like the American Enterprise Institute, Frontiers of Freedom and the American Enterprise Institute.

    I don\’t trust Greenpeace.

    I trust their reporting — particularly when they can back it up with figures, names, dates, places, references and PDFs. Things I can and have checked for myself. You can too. Try it some time.

    Comment by Timothy Chase — 31 Mar 2010 @ 3:52 AM

  23. Having recently been at an FOI training lecture, the relevant word in the legislation is ‘hold’ rather than ‘own’, i.e. the fact that the University does not ‘own’ the data is not enough in its own right to deny the FOI request. There may, of course, be other commerical reasons to deny a request, but the law is designed to favour release rather than non-release.

    Comment by Anon — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:07 AM

  24. Frank Giger,
    OK, I realize that irony is an over-utilized term, but when you are comparing Greenpeace, which makes no secrecy of its advocacy–indeed revels in it, to Faux News, which purports to be a news network that reports “fair and balanced” news, now THAT is irony. What is more, when you have Greenpeace doing actual investigative journalism reporting on funding sources of the denialist lie machine while real newspapers like The Guardian merely sit on their hands and weakly protest, “Why can’t we all just get along,” then we are definitely through the looking glass. I feel the need for a Tim Burton film to make things seem a bit more real.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:16 AM

  25. Okay, here is my blog on the subject

    http://blogs.timeslive.co.za/expensive/2010/03/31/climategate-britain-backs-east-anglia/

    Right, so the first commentor on it basically says that this is a whitewash from Whitehall because they need to raise taxes.

    Obvious bullshit, because quite frankly there are much easier, and lazier ways of doing it. Politicians don’t like work and do like potential donors (Maybe that is South African cynicism speaking.)

    Anyway, I invite people here to respond, particularly to Graham.

    Further, if anyone knows where I can get how much the UK is getting in in its green taxes versus how much going green actually costs that country, I would be interested.

    Comment by Bruce Gorton — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:39 AM

  26. Dave G – comment 20 – given the overall tone and conclusions of the report, I think you can surely accept their conclusion re FOI? After all, they agreed with you on everything else! :)

    I could cut’n'paste excerpts from the Parliamentary report, or from the Information Commissioner’s previous public statements, but they are pretty clear.

    They both understand that there are exemptions, whether copyright or vexation or whatever, better than you or I, but the DIC said to the Inquiry:

    “Mr Holland’s FOI requests were submitted in 2007/8, but it has only recently come to light that they were not dealt with in accordance with the Act.”

    You can argue that this particular is a ‘procedural’ comment, and that even if they had been dealt with correctly they might have been legally denied, but that doesn’t appear to be the belief of the Information Commissioner’s Office overall, nor the Parliamentary Inquiry, nor is it really consistent with ‘I recently deleted loads of emails’ type comments.

    Comment by HotRod — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:42 AM

  27. It is fascinating to read the spin being put on this in the denial-o-sphere. The Global Warming Policy Foundation is writing off the report claiming it “lacks even-handed consideration”. They recommend observers “look at the submitted evidence independently rather than rely on the committee’s political assessment to get to a more balanced picture.” They criticise the committee for being “too kind to Phil Jones, accepting everything he said without question”. Accept the submitted evidence from the GWPF etc., but reject the submitted evidence of Phil Jones – how even-handed is that???

    Many congratulations to the RC contributors – the UK Parliamentary Committee confirms that you were right on practically every count.

    Comment by Paul A — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:47 AM

  28. Have another crack at Fred Pearce and The Guardian why don’t you – here’s his (largely unsympathetic) piece today on the Parliamentary Inquiry.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/mar/31/hacked-climate-email-inquiry-phil-jones

    More ‘shoddy’ journalism – or good reporting? You decide. (Actually you probably already have).

    Comment by HotRod — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:52 AM

  29. Scientists have every right, indeed a positive duty, to defend their theories with great energy. That is the normal scientific way; however they must be absolutely transparent in releasing their data and the code and algorithms used to derive their results from the raw data. This gives anyone who seeks to verify or falsify their results every opportunity to do so. The former with the latter is what has brought climate science to its current situation and if the only outcome of this enquiry is more openness and transparency then I will be very happy.

    If there is a problem with the climate and we are causing it, I want to know about it and I want to trust the research that backs that view up. At the moment as a lay person I do not, and that is not acceptable.

    Comment by David Harrington — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:09 AM

  30. “Ultimately, science is a public good. CRU retreated from that position and got burned.”

    Cool. So all that drug work done by GSK is going to be a public good too? After all, we have MANY cases where medical reports that cited concerns about a drug were quashed. And the court-released (not voluntarily opened) information on the tobbacco-gate farce of busniness hiding science shows that PRIVATE interests must be likewise opened for EXACTLY the same reasons public research is done.

    PS will the people applauding the opening of this information allow taxes go up to pay for the loss of commercial return on investment that free access to all this stuff would require AND the cost of making such stuff available?

    After all, it’s only free if your time is worth nothing, and you only get what you pay for, right?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:13 AM

  31. I get the impression that some people (still) think prima facie evidence is incontrovertible evidence. It is not incontrovertible evidence; prima facie means ‘on the face of it’, ‘at first sight’, ‘on the surface’. There might be no evidence when the investigation widens and deepens.

    Comment by P. Lewis — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:36 AM

  32. My aplogies if I’m posting this in the wrong category, but I’d value any critical comments on five climate-related websites I propose to list in my introductory survey on sea level rise. (I don’t want to list more than five but will be happy to change any that don’t meet with approval.)

    Listed in random order, these websites are:

    - http://www.realclimate.org

    - http://www.desmogblog.com

    - http://www.ipcc.ch

    - http://www.climate.gov

    - http://www.csiro.au/science/Climate-change.html

    Your comments are welcome.

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:45 AM

  33. @Frank Giger #19:

    You do realize that Greenpeace is ever bit as biased and prone to making stuff up (or using things out of date or misquoting) as Fox News, right?

    Perhaps, but the report is meticulously documented and referenced, so pretty much everything it says is subject to verification. If any of it is “made up”, etc., Greenpeace can be outed.

    They’re a political advocacy group, not a science organization or even a press agency.

    Greenpeace isn’t arguing the science here, so the fact that it’s not a science organization isn’t relevant.

    Comment by ChrisD — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:46 AM

  34. If the reason for refusing the request for information was valid (according to either FoI laws or Met office licensing agreements), no crime was committed, and if no crime was committed, then what is there prima facie evidence of?

    “If” is the keyword. If all those things had been demonstrated (to the satisfaction of the HoC inquiry), then your criticism would have weight. As it is, the prima facie evidence has not been properly tested. This echoes the stance of the relevant authority, the Information Commissioners Office. I don’t think any bias was needed to arrive at this conclusion.

    It occurs to me that a government review of spurned FOI requests and resistance to disclosure would tend to come down heavily on such when the matter is somewhat obscure. Kind of a default position.

    I, too, would expect that 50 near-identical FOIs in one month amounts to harassment and spurious interest in actual information, and that most, if not all of the FOIs weren’t for ‘valid research’ – but that is for the following inquiries to determine.

    Over at WUWT, this review is being slammed as a whitewash. Most of the commenters seem to have little idea of its remit or even the actual contents. If only that was surprising. :-(

    Comment by barry — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:49 AM

  35. Dave G. #20,

    I think you are mixing up data requests with the request for IPCC-related email correspondence, which is what this prima facie “pseudo-finding” is all about.

    I love what they write in conclusion 10:

    We regret that the ICO made a statement to the press that went beyond that which it could substantiate and that it took over a month for the ICO properly to put the record straight. We recommend that the ICO develop procedures to ensure that its public comments are checked and that mechanisms exist to swiftly correct any mis-statements or misinterpretations of such statements. (Paragraph 91)

    Now there’s a slap on the wrist! It is just as many of us suspected all the time: for the ICO this was about changing the law on the six months time limit. A sensible thing to do probably, but the ICO played a dubious game by trying to leverage this pseudo-scandal for achieving this, and the Committee very appropriately gives some pushback here.

    Initially I suspected — too cynically, probably — that this House of Commons investigation was an ambush attempt by Lawson, Peiser and friends. If that’s what it was, it didn’t turn out well for them. This report makes CRU actually look good where it matters. Of course these are politicians so anything they say on matters scientific should be seasoned with generous amounts of NaCl. The good news would be though that CRU succeeded in selling their message.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 31 Mar 2010 @ 6:10 AM

  36. For me the crux of the report is “We therefore consider that climate scientists should take steps to make available all the data that support their work (including raw data) and full methodological workings (including the computer codes). Had both been available, many of the problems at UEA could have been avoided.”

    Whilst to some extent true it fails to make a clear distinction between “data” and “code”. A further distinction should be made between “science for publication” and “science for public policy.”

    I can quite understand why someone who has spent a lot of time collecting, collating and checking data and debugging code should not want to release them immediately and see others publishing papers using that data and code. It seems to me that authors should send their data and code at the time of publication but that it should not be released to others for a fixed period, say 12 months.

    Different standards should apply to critical data sets, like those of the CRU, or papers which are referenced by the IPCC or similar bodies. In that case, because of the implications for public policy decisions, all data and code should be publicly available.

    A final point. I am sure I am not the only who, when working with climate data, thinks I have finished what I set out to do but tries a few more options. When doing this I find and correct errors in the data or code. I then end up with data and code not 100% compatible with the finished product. Knowing that data and code have to be provided should encourage a more rigorous approach.

    Comment by Ron — 31 Mar 2010 @ 6:31 AM

  37. Frank #19

    That’s why it’s best to stick to science.

    Comment by Alexandre — 31 Mar 2010 @ 6:35 AM

  38. #7 Come on Ray. Remember you’re a scientist.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 31 Mar 2010 @ 6:57 AM

  39. re #16 & 20 on prima facie evidence… Doesn’t this mean (here, at least) that there is something that needs further investigation, rather than conclusive evidence of culpability? The report states its view:
    “There is prima facie evidence that CRU has breached the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It would, however, be premature, without a thorough investigation affording each party the opportunity to make representations, to conclude that UEA was in breach of the Act.”
    This extract certainly reads that way – that a complaint could be validly raised, although investigation could result in its dismissal or its confirmation. It is the possible breach of the FOI Act that upset a number of sane people, as against the rabble, even if some did go over the top…

    Comment by Ian Love — 31 Mar 2010 @ 7:00 AM

  40. The result is not unexpected, but it is indeed very good news. The denial movement tried to exploit the CRU hacked emails to discredit both the science and scientists. This is a significant blow.

    If you look at the submissions, you will see many of the big names in the denial movement lodged documents. This appears to be concentrated push to shape the result of the inquiry. Having read each one, I can surmise it was an attack on the science and scientists. To quote the report press release:

    “…On the much cited phrases in the leaked e-mails—”trick” and “hiding the decline”—the Committee considers that they were colloquial terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a systematic attempt to mislead.”

    However, they’ve failed badly. The denial movement has long fantasized about having it’s day in court, when it has the chance to discredit science.

    Well, this is as close as they will get and they claims have shown to be hollow indeed. It’s easy to overestimate the impact of these type of reports, but it’s also easy to underestimate their ramifications.

    This is a serious blow to the deniers: they attempted to have their claims of fraud/censorship legitimised through this inquiry. The end result is a significant defeat. They gave it their best shot, and lost.

    The tally for science is looking good:

    - Mann cleared by Penn State
    - Pachauri cleared by KMPG of claims of “financial irregularities”
    - Amazongate is hurting J. Leake’s reputation badly now.

    Comment by Mike — 31 Mar 2010 @ 7:26 AM

  41. Chris Crawford, Dave G:

    Ponder a little on what “prima facie” means. It does not mean that the facts are self-evident, nor does it mean there is proof in the legal or any other sense. It just means there is a credible suspicion. It is all about appearances, not fact at all. You should note that omitting details which completely blow away a prima facie case is also built into the definition.

    I imagine the Select Committee avoided treading on any toes with the Information Commissioner, and simply echoed the preliminary finding of the ICO (which I view as pathetically lazy and unhelpful wordplay).

    In other words, nothing interesting, nothing new.

    Comment by Didactylos — 31 Mar 2010 @ 8:02 AM

  42. As expected, the CRU is cleared. Congratulations, a well-deserved verdict.

    Next: When can we expect law enforcement to do it’s job and prosecute the hackers, as well as those who distributed or republished the hacked material that triggered this whole affair?

    Longer term: We need to address the root of the problem, and introduce tough laws against the promotion or funding of anti-science such as climate denialism.

    Comment by Green Marauder — 31 Mar 2010 @ 8:11 AM

  43. #19
    Frank Giger says:
    31 March 2010 at 2:17 AM

    Speaking as someone who resides somewhere between Joe Sixpack and a climate science researcher, it does not surprise me that FOX News and Greenpeace are both biased. Bias in and of itself is not condemning. For the most part, the advocacy position of environmental groups is based upon the current state of peer-reviewed science. That of FOX News is clearly formulated about a political agenda. Science versus anti-science…take your pick.

    Comment by Russell Swan — 31 Mar 2010 @ 8:29 AM

  44. I am waiting with trepidation to see how certain news outlets cite quotes from this report out of context and make it look like the outcome is horrible for Jones, CRU and UEA.

    Comment by Bob — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:01 AM

  45. #15

    Many folks need to be reminded that data storage/archiving was not always cheap. While cleaning out my garage a few weeks ago, I came across a 1998 San Diego ComputorEdge magazine (which is mostly ads for computers and computer components). It was interesting to compare 1998 hard-drive capacity/prices to current capacity/prices.

    The same amount of disk storage that you can get on a $500 PC today would have cost you somewhere north of US$40,000 back when Michael Mann was working on his first hockey stick.

    The incredible drop in storage/archiving costs over the past 10 to 20 years has done far more to foster “openness” than has all the pressure from howling deniers.

    Comment by caerbannog — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:04 AM

  46. @ Alan of Oz: 31 March 2010 at 3:42 AM

    This is a moderated site. Comments can be held in queues for (many,many) hours before they are reviewed. On many sites, comments with a large number of links are held in a SPAM queue and may be missed entirely. (I don’t know if that is a problem here). I have had on-topic comments die in the bit bucket on WUWT and Climate Audit, but never here – although they generally take longer to get approved here.

    Comment moderation is a frustrating gate to pass through. But ‘noise-makers’ quickly overwhelm threads on many high-profile sites without it.

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:24 AM

  47. The incredible drop in storage/archiving costs over the past 10 to 20 years has done far more to foster “openness” than has all the pressure from howling deniers.

    Along with the rise of the net, followed by cheap access to the net, followed by cheap high-speed access to the net. Can you imagine trying to download the GHCN data using a 1200 baud modem via ftp 25 years ago?

    Comment by dhogaza — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:32 AM

  48. Green Marauder @42:

    Longer term: We need to address the root of the problem, and introduce tough laws against the promotion or funding of anti-science such as climate denialism.

    So you want to outlaw criticism of your religion and opinions that are different than yours. What a tyrant wannabe.

    Frankly, I don’t care that much about the state of the science. I think on the whole, it’s probably mostly correct.

    But what I fear far more than AGW is the tyrannical impulses of many of the people who want to use it to fashion the world as they see fit. Whenever I read comment threads on this site, I’m always unnerved by the amount of giddy authoritarianism I read.

    Comment by Mark Gibb — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:39 AM

  49. Anyone who thinks Greenpeace is not bias or who think they base their arguments on science should look up their campaign surrounding the Brent Spar oil storage platform.

    Comment by Paul Gosling — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:48 AM

  50. “Doesn’t this mean (here, at least) that there is something that needs further investigation”

    Not really, just that it isn’t a definitively frivolous case.

    “Did you refuse a FOI submission?”

    The answer is yes.

    The “further investigation” is merely “Why?” to which the answer was, for various accusations:

    1) the FOIA doesn’t cover that information
    2) we don’t have the answer, ask someone else
    3) we don’t have to waste time on frivolous vexatious requests, we’re paid to do science

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:52 AM

  51. Just wondering, if you’re doing a Monte Carlo simulation, shouldn’t you have to produce a copy of all the random numbers you generated to get your result?

    Not even the seed is enough: you could be using a proper hardware RNG.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:53 AM

  52. Paul, bias can be reporting the truth, just you select the truth you want to report.

    This doesn’t make the statement false.

    And even if you find a place where GP doesn’t base their work on science this doesn’t show that their work on outing the monied interests in denial is wrong still.

    Your and Fred’s attacks really ARE ad hominem attacks. Funny how you complain about ad hom when it isn’t but will produce them without a whimper when they ARE ad hom…

    And that Brent Spar case I COMPLETELY agree with: the oil company was given a wodge of money at the beginning for the build of the rig to pay for decommissioning. They decided to welch on the deal and weren’t about to give back the money they took to decommission (especially not inflation adjusted), which is a legal and ethical reason, not a science one, but should we be allowed to drop ethics if science can tell us we ought?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:59 AM

  53. As an American lawyer who works extensively with scientists, I am concerned about the pressure for increased disclosure of data and code. As I understand it, many scientists work in highly competitive fields, in which the expression of new ideas is the core currency. At what point does the pressure for disclosure start to interfere with scientists’ legitimate goals for professional advancement and recognition?

    Comment by Francis — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:00 AM

  54. “So you want to outlaw criticism of your religion and opinions that are different than yours.”

    No more than trademark, libel or fraud laws are outlawing criticism of the religion of “you shouldn’t lie to people and get away with it” or opinions that are different (as in “we should be allowed to lie and get away with it”).

    That you couch it in religious terms and use “opinion” when facts are on the line is very telling, by the way…

    [Response: Everyone, please keep focused on the issues relevant here - reruns of generic freedom of speech arguments are not on topic. -gavin]

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:02 AM

  55. Frank Giger wrote: “You do realize that Greenpeace is ever bit as biased and prone to making stuff up (or using things out of date or misquoting) as Fox News, right?”

    I realize that your assertion that Greenpeace “makes stuff up” is objectively and quite blatantly false.

    And your complaint that Greenpeace is “biased” is silly. Greenpeace is — among other things — an advocacy organization. Greenpeace advocates policies. By definition they are “biased” in favor of the policies they advocate. So what?

    And if you have any actual facts that show that Greenpeace’s report linked above, documenting the funding sources of AGW denialists, is “biased” or contains “made up” claims, please present those facts.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  56. “i.e. the fact that the University does not ‘own’ the data is not enough in its own right to deny the FOI request.”

    But information is a transitory element. You do not “own” the software, you “own” a license to USE that software and have NO RIGHTS to it without that license.

    So CRU doesn’t even HOLD information that is licensed or contractually constrained.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:06 AM

  57. Green Marauder @42,
    Sorry, but we part company when you start calling for legislation to regulate speech–even lies.

    In the end, science must stick to the truth and hope that humans are sufficiently intelligent to tell truth from lies. If they are not, then no amount of legislation will protect us.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:10 AM

  58. #38 what does that have to do with the statement, simon? Or are you just claiming the moral middle ground for later use?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:12 AM

  59. dhogaza says: “Can you imagine trying to download the GHCN data using a 1200 baud modem via ftp 25 years ago?”

    Ooh, I think we have an appropriate sentence for the hackers!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:13 AM

  60. Completely Fed Up: what you call “lies” could be a difference of opinion or interpretation to others. I do not want the government to be making that distinction for me, and outlawing certain disfavored opinions. Let it be decided in the messy “marketplace of ideas”.

    Libel is a different animal, but that is not what we are talking about here.

    [Response: Precisely - no more on this please. - gavin]

    Comment by Mark Gibb — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:18 AM

  61. Ref #32 Hunt Janin
    The CSIRO link is good – you should certainly keep it. Another link I would recommend including is:
    http://www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/
    They are something of a global clearing house for sea level data and have links to sea level data sets.

    One aspect sometimes overlooked is rate of sea level rise. The rate of rise in the early years of this century was similar to the rate of of rise in the 1950s though of course higher than the 20th century average.
    http://www.climatedata.info/Impacts/Impacts/sealevels.html

    Comment by Ron — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:20 AM

  62. I’m not sure what you can request, and from what sorts of bodies/individuals you can request it, under the FOIA. Could someone use the FOIA to request correspondence about “Climategate” between key players in bodies such as the Global Warming Policy Forum? This isn’t just a mischievous suggestion – it would be in the public interest. There has been a lot of scrutiny (and distortion) of what climate scientists have been saying informally to each other via their emails, and this has been spun to look bad. I’d love to see what is being said behind closed servers by the people doing the spinning. In the interests of openness, let’s see how everyone is operating, and what the practices of the sceptics are too. Anyone want to follow this up? I wish I had the time myself, but it would have to wait a while…

    Comment by Nick Brooks — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:26 AM

  63. “At what point does the pressure for disclosure start to interfere with scientists’ legitimate goals for professional advancement and recognition?”

    As soon as a company starts losing money because research they had a hand in funding becomes free and open to all people across the world because the research was also funded by tax payer money…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:31 AM

  64. On the accusations relating to Professor “Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the Committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community”

    THIS is the scandal in regards to climategate.

    “…but that those practices need to change.”

    And yes, this is exactly what needs to happen.

    For a ‘science’ based entirely on climate measurements and models, not having these available is akin to a physicist claiming that he has perfected cold fusion but won’t tell anyone how he did it.

    Yes, Gavin, I know you’ve posted similar data elsewhere, but the focus was (rightly) on Dr. Jones and his cunning and anti-scientific dodges of FOIA law.

    Comment by Foobear — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:38 AM

  65. Whether or not CRU liked it, those making FOIA requests were entitled to have their requests dealt with in accordance with the legislation and, if the information sought did not fall within one of the exclusions provided by the FOIA, it should have been disclosed. We
    have already recommended in paragraph 54 above that in future information, including data and methodology, should be published proactively on the internet
    wherever possible. However, a culture of withholding information—from those perceived by CRU to be hostile to global warming—appears to have pervaded CRU’s
    approach to FOIA requests from the outset. We consider this to be unacceptable.

    So their response to FOIA requests were unacceptable. Did you all miss that part of the report?

    Comment by Jon P — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:42 AM

  66. Those calling for release of code and data need to think this through:

    The scientific method calls for INDEPENDENT replication of results by INDEPENDENT teams of researchers.

    Merely running the same code on the same data and getting the same result proves nothing.

    Scientific code is often not intended for broad, repeated usage. Documentation may be limited and cryptic. The code may contain approximations that break down when applied outside their limited applicability. Such “features” could cause confusion, or worse, contaminate code of “independent” groups.

    Mere repetition also does not spur innovation. Often the group verifying a result will come up with a more elegant method than the first group.

    Science isn’t broken. It’s worked for 400 years. Why the hell do people keep trying to “fix” it?

    By all means, make the data available. But nobody who knows what they are doing needs the code. Auditing isn’t science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 31 Mar 2010 @ 10:48 AM

  67. Parsing of “prima facie”, comparison of Fox versus Greenpeace, amateur lawyering– the more this conversation wanders off into the weeds of speculation and semantics, the less we apparently find wrong or debatable about the annoyingly inconvenient yet relatively mundane statistical analysis launching this entire affair.

    This elliptical and excursive chattering is surely the best exoneration of Dr. Jones et al.

    Armchair barristering void of scientific content is prima facie evidence of the final bankruptcy of the TomskTwaddle affair, rejectionists. The more you must riffle through the pages of your Oxford compact dictionaries and dissect the motivations of Greenpeace, the more you marginalize yourselves and the more obviously exhausted is this topic. Here’s some gratis concern trolling: let it go, move on.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:01 AM

  68. 53: Francis says:

    “At what point does the pressure for disclosure start to interfere with scientists’ legitimate goals for professional advancement and recognition?”

    Tough to say. Giving away stuff to your competitors might seem like you’re giving them a competitive edge. On the other hand, if you give them stuff that’s useful they have to cite your work every time they use your stuff. Then they start using your lousy code which you had every intention of documenting but never got around to doing it and they have to start asking you questions, etc. and eventually you’ve spent so much time helping them that they’ll become obligated to include you as a co-author and Voila! A collaboration is born.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:09 AM

  69. “Whether or not CRU liked it, those making FOIA requests were entitled to have their requests dealt with in accordance with the legislation”

    And whether they like it or not, vexatious requests can be ignored, requests for data otherwise available elsewhere can be ignored, requests for data that is not available because of contract or legal issues can be ignored.

    Don’t like it?

    Repeal copyright internationally.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:13 AM

  70. Foobear wrote: “For a ’science’ based entirely on climate measurements and models …”

    Your use of scare quotes to suggest that climate science is not really ‘science’ is puerile and clownish.

    You appear to have no idea what climate science is based on.

    Tell me, is there any science on any subject that is not based on “measurements” and “models”?

    Perhaps “Ditto-Head” science is not based on measurements and models, since it takes whatever Rush Limbaugh and Fox News say on any given day as the incontrovertible and self-evident truth that all “skeptics” must unquestioningly believe. No measurements or models needed.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:15 AM

  71. “THIS is the scandal in regards to climategate.

    “…but that those practices need to change.”

    And yes, this is exactly what needs to happen.”

    So the centuries of drinking alcoholic beverages in the US became a scandal because the act of prohibition made it illegal?

    How can it be a scandal to act as the law requires?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:17 AM

  72. Foobear says: 31 March 2010 at 10:38 AM

    “For a ’science’ based entirely on climate measurements and models…”

    With a handle like “Foobear” I’m sure you’re immune to embarrassment but why not get sorted on the facts before blurting out nonsense?

    Here you go:

    Dr. Spencer Weart’s “The Discovery of Global Warming “, a truly excellent synopsis, indispensable for skeptics and rejectionists alike or for that matter anyone interesting in genuine understanding of the topic from the ground up. Don’t leave home without it!

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:45 AM

  73. “Science isn’t broken. It’s worked for 400 years. Why the hell do people keep trying to “fix” it? ”

    They aren’t. They’re trying to break it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:52 AM

  74. #32 Hunt Janin

    If it helps, I did a summary on sea level rise you might find useful here:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/sea-level-rise

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:01 PM

  75. #53: Requests for data were not intended to result in publication. M&M did as Jones suggested( contact the legal owners) and had the Yamal data for years before admitting the fact. Their only publication did not use the requested data.
    Wouldn’t it be hard to credit a co-author and thus collabarate if there was never any intention to publish?

    Don’t forget, the inquiry made it clear: FOI does not apply if there is a non-publish disclaimer attacked to the data and there is no intent to publish.

    John McManus

    Comment by John McManus — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:14 PM

  76. Round one to Phil Jones! Yip! Yip!

    Comment by Theo H — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:17 PM

  77. I wonder what Gavin and others have to say about British lawmakers describing “the scientists at the center of the “Climategate” stolen e-mails scandal of operating in a shroud of secrecy, but clearing them of any wrongdoing because everyone else in the climate change field was working in the same way”, and then deploring “the closed operating practices that pervade the climate science field.” Do closed operating practices pervade NASA, GISS, and the rest of US climate science?

    SCIENCE: U.K. lawmakers clear ‘Climategate’ scientists, but call for more openness
    http://www.eenews.net/climatewire (subscription)
    2010/03/31/
    Jeremy Lovell, E&E European Correspondent

    LONDON, March 31 — A committee of U.K. lawmakers has described the scientists at the center of the “Climategate” stolen e-mails scandal of operating in a shroud of secrecy, but cleared them of any wrongdoing because everyone else in the climate change field was working in the same way.

    But Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee said the refusal of scientists under professor Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia’s respected Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to comply with a torrent of requests from critics for data under the British freedom of information law was “unacceptable.”

    “A great responsibility rests of the shoulders of climate science: To provide the planet’s decision makers with the knowledge they need to secure our future,” the committee’s report says. “The challenge that this poses is extensive and some of these decisions risk our standard of living.”

    “When the prices to pay are so large, the knowledge on which these kinds of decisions are taken had better be right. The science must be irreproachable,” it adds.

    The committee said the words “trick” and “hide the decline” picked out of the thousands of e-mails stolen from a CRU server and said by climate skeptics to show proof of attempts to manipulate the science were in fact simple colloquialisms and innocent of any malevolent intent.

    But in a brief, 59-page report, the all-party committee deplored the closed operating practices that pervade the climate science field, saying they led to a lack of clarity, boosting the case of the skeptics and causing mistrust and the likelihood of misunderstanding among the public.

    Author acknowledges ‘awful e-mails’

    “What this inquiry revealed was that climate scientists need to take steps to make sure that all the data that support their work, and the methodological workings, including their computer codes, should be made available,” committee chairman Phil Willis said. “We believe that had both the data and the methodology been made available, many of the problems at CRU could have been avoided,” he told reporters.

    But he said the criticism leveled at the unit and specifically at Jones applied equally to other scientists in the highly specialized and relatively small area of global climate change, and they had simply been following accepted practice.

    A series of e-mails from Jones and his small team were posted on the Internet last November and were immediately seized on by skeptics as proof that the whole basis of climate change science was deeply flawed.

    In the e-mails, Jones asked for data to be deleted, said he would fight to ensure certain papers were not published, and refused requests for the raw data upon which his conclusions were based. He also wrote of the “trick” to make seemingly contradictory data suddenly fit the desired outcome that climate change was happening and was mainly caused by human activities.

    “You have only seen one-tenth of one percent of my em-ails. But I don’t think there is anything in those e-mails that supports the view that the CRU has been trying to pervert the peer-review process in any way,” Jones told the committee earlier this month. “But I have obviously written some very awful e-mails,” added Jones, who has said he has received death threats since the revelations.

    Scientist was ‘scapegoated’

    The committee, which conducted a rushed inquiry because it is to be disbanded soon as Parliament is dissolved ahead of general elections expected on May 6, agreed with both statements and said Jones had been unjustly targeted.

    “Jones said he had sent some appalling e-mails. There is no denying that,” said Willis. “But there is no evidence that Jones hid any of the data at all. Jones has been scapegoated.”

    The committee said the whole climate science community should look closely at its practices and reform them urgently to make sure that everyone could rest assured that their conclusions could be replicated and verified.

    “It is not standard practice in climate science and many other fields to publish the raw data and the computer code in academic papers. We think that this is problematic because climate science is a matter of global importance and of public interest, and therefore the quality and transparency of the science should be irreproachable,” it said.

    Although its task was not to examine the science of climate change — that is being looked into by another independent committee, which is expected to report later this year — the committee said it had seen no evidence to undermine the fundamental finding that climate change was happening and was primarily human-induced.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:19 PM

  78. #66 Ray Ladbury
    Whether or not code should be published depends on the clarity of the description of the methodology. A lot of the debate recently has been between those who have got similar results to published papers, assume they have replicated the methodology and then criticised the methodology. The author(s) of the original article then say the criticism is not justified because methodology has not been replicated. In other words, authors must give sufficient information to allow the results to replicated and reviewers should consider this.

    As I said in #36, anything which feeds directly into public policy making, including IPCC reports, should be publicly available, code and data.

    Comment by Ron — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:38 PM

  79. IMO anyone who claims the report is biased has not read the whole report; as it does find blame, emphasizes the importance of transparency, recommends appropriate changes and highlights some critical questions as unanswered (unanswerable under the scope of the investigation).

    Then again maybe they read the whole report and cherry picked it to simulate the illusion of bias…(duh!)

    To RC – Thank you for hosting the report on your website. For a pdf it loaded very quickly.

    Comment by arch stanton — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:40 PM

  80. The difference occurred to me yeesterday between environmentalism based on real environmental science and the denialist, contrarian “science” for which climate denialists are vexing real climate scientist for data to use for their nefarious purposes, or just to vex them.

    Environmentalism follows a truth(science/knowledge)-driven agenda; it also understands science is conservative in its claims so environmentalism is usually out in front of science & not requiring 95% confidence. Truth –> agenda.

    Denialist “science” is agenda-driven “science” or pseudo-science actually. Agenda –> “truth” (falsehoods that serve that agenda).

    And the methods are reverse: Science is striving to reject the null hypothesis and establish a link. Agenda-driven “science” is striving to reject the research hypothesis and cut the link — and they will attack that link from every angle (even contradictory ones).

    And this is why it is so aggravating to deal with denialists, because you just can’t deal with them on any rational level. It’s like trying to get some very young stubborn child who hasn’t developed much intellectually to understand reason.

    The point is AGW was a done deal for environmentalists back in 1990, before the first scientific studies reached .05 (95% confidence) on it in 1995. The science has long been in, and the CRU hack of 10 year emails (going back to what? 1999?) are all moot points.

    That’s why it is so disgusting to read in NEWSWEEK (March 1, http://www.newsweek.com/id/233887 ): “Another way to build trust might be to toughen up standards on the science itself. In an issue as intensely politicized as climate, where billions of dollars are riding on policy decisions based on the outcome of the next study, maintaining scientific objectivity cannot be easy.”

    Hey, NEWSWEEK, the science has been in for over 20 year at a level necessary for policy-makers and people. We really don’t need more science for this to start taking action, that will actually save us $billions, get us off the power (electicity & political power) grids, and solve a host of other problems. Wake up and smell the burning Earth you have cooking on your stove!

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:43 PM

  81. I for one am very happy with the HoC findings. It is a clear and resounding exoneration for Jones and CRU. And why should those in denial be surprised? The facts showed that there has been no wrong doing from the outset, that is unless, one has a propensity to indulge conspiracy theories and distort facts.

    As I said at SheWonk (The Policy Lass):

    “What I love is that those in denial DEMANDED this inquiry! And when they don’t get the exact result they wanted, they then start making yet more fallacious and slanderous accusations, and start throwing their toys. How juvenile.”

    Mike at ThePolicy Lass summed up the situation nicely:

    “This was there “Dover moment” – just like Kitzmiller v Dover, an anti-science movement is shown to be hollow. Just like the creationists, they’ve been handed a serious defeat.”

    Will those in denial about AGW be graceful about their defeat? Not on your life.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:43 PM

  82. CNN is now carrying the story online: http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/03/31/climate.change/index.html?hpt=T2

    Comment by Witgren — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:44 PM

  83. 138. Conclusion 3: A great responsibility rests on the shoulders of climate science: to provide the planet’s decision makers with the knowledge they need to secure our future. The challenge that this poses is extensive and some of these decisions risk our standard of living. When the prices to pay are so large, the knowledge on which these kinds of decisions are taken had better be right. The science must be irreproachable.

    The bar is set high… but I think this applies to deniers as well as real scientists. The risk is as great for science or advocacy that argues against action as science or advocacy that argues for it. The standard applies to everyone, and I think this conclusion should be quoted over and over where applicable (beginning on CA and WUWT).

    My gut reaction is to think that they are asking too much, that an IPCC report with zero errors will be impossible to construct, especially when critics can claim to find errors where they do not exist, and then make that stick with the people and news outlets that believe what they wish to hear, whether or not it is true.

    With that said, while the bar is set high, and perhaps unattainably so, it is the bar, and there’s nothing left to do but try.

    In the words of Leo Burnett:

    When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.

    Comment by Bob — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:45 PM

  84. David Harrington (29): If there is a problem with the climate and we are causing it, I want to know about it and I want to trust the research that backs that view up. At the moment as a lay person I do not, and that is not acceptable.

    BPL: True–it’s not acceptable that you don’t accept the scientific consensus on this, and are too lazy to learn the relevant science yourself. That means you are ONLY listening to incompetent sources or sources with an axe to grind–deliberately.

    Ignorance is curable. Militant ignorance–the refusal to learn–is not. It’s intellectual sin.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 31 Mar 2010 @ 12:55 PM

  85. OK, a couple questions, not a challenge. Am I correct that the orignal data base used by Jones and the CRU no longer exists or at least parts of it cannot be found at CRU. Second, has anyone besides Jones and CRU got their climate model up and running? Does not matter what it predicts, but does the model actually run?

    [Response: The original data is available from the sources (the National Met Services), and Jones and CRU don't run climate models - where did you get that from? - gavin]

    Comment by Garrett Jones — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:01 PM

  86. It’s hard to say if this is off-topic or not touted as it is in some circles as “ClimateGate 2.0″, but perhaps RC should take a moment to get way ahead of the curve on Little Chris Horner of CEI, with his fingers in the FOIA pie?

    By way of backgound, Horner promised some time ago (personally, at Climate Progress among other sites) that he was launching a barrage of FOIA demands, gone fishin’. He got his responses, sifted ‘em and nailed together a press release, a fragile affair constructed mostly of sentence fragments plucked from various messages and glued together with suggestive rhetoric. The first launching of this barge of BS apparently went awry, leaving only a few bubbles on the surface. CEI has apparently pumped out the hulk and is trying a relaunch. Presumably Horner is now desperate to justify his salary.

    Fox News attempts make up for leaky seams by desperately pumping, here:

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/30/nasa-data-worse-than-climategate-data/?test=latestnews

    Anybody care to bet on what suckers in the journalism pool will become obsessed with this latest dot in the rejectionist school of pointillist impressionism?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:03 PM

  87. Jon P, #65:

    So their response to FOIA requests were unacceptable. Did you all miss that part of the report?

    You are purposely misinterpreting what they said. To use their exact words (with ellipsis to remove the intervening qualifications):

    However, a culture of withholding information… We consider this to be unacceptable.

    There is a difference between a culture of withholding information and saying that their response to FOI requests was unacceptable. One can have an undesirable culture and still act honorably. In fact the report says in the next paragraph “We cannot reach a firm conclusion on the basis of the evidence we took…” It also explicitly places the blame for any infractions on the UEA, and not CRU (or Dr. Jones).

    I personally, however, would love to see a complete and thorough and public investigation, not only to exonerate UEA and CRU, but also to hold the toes of the seemingly far from blameless FOI requester(s) over the fire in the process.

    Comment by Bob — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:10 PM

  88. The report has come out on a day when it is snowing in the south west of England. Which it “shouldn’t be”.

    But it is still round one to Phil Jones.

    Yip!

    Comment by Theo H — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:14 PM

  89. So freedom of the press, does not include asking publicly funded scientists to show the taxpaying public, the results of what passes for scientific research funded by their tax dollars. Are ordinary citizens in the habit of asking say the US Congress to show them exactly what results they bought with OUR tax dollars.

    Comment by George E. Smith — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:17 PM

  90. It can’t be emphasized too much that the whole flap over data and code is a trivialization of science. The data and the code aren’t the phenomenon. Gravity doesn’t depend upon Newton’s apple. Relativity doesn’t depend upon Einstein’s thought experiments. Either the experiment/paper describes something external to itself or it doesn’t.

    The flap over data and code isn’t there to advance the science, but to stymie it.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:24 PM

  91. “Professor Jones told us that the published e-mails represented only “one tenth of 1%” of his output, which amounts to one million e-mails, and that we were only seeing the end of a protracted series of e-mail exchanges.”

    If Professor Jones has been sending emails 365 days a year including an extra day for leap years for twenty years (before which Tim Berners Lee had not invented the worldwide web) he would have dispatched more than 135 emails a day. Assuming that each email, on average, takes two minutes to compose and send, we are talking about four and a half hours a day sending emails. When did he get time to do any serious research?

    Were none of the HOC sufficiently numerate to question or at least comment on such an obvious erroneous statement?

    [Response: Actually, I'd say that they made the erroneous statement. The CRU emails were certainly not all written by Jones, many did not even get sent to him, so the 'million emails' seems to be be based on a set of mistaken assumptions. For reference, I get something like 100 a day (after spam), and send maybe a dozen. What was in the hacked emails is obviously a small fraction of the emails sent and received, which was presumably Jones' point. - gavin]

    Comment by Solomon Green — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:32 PM

  92. I’m delighted that the committee exonerated Phil Jones on the false charges of scientific misconduct.

    However, and as Fred Pearce wrote ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/mar/31/hacked-climate-email-inquiry-phil-jones), I can’t thinking that he should have taken some of the blame for the “the culture at CRU of resisting disclosure of information to climate change sceptics” as the parliamentary report put it. After all, he was the director.

    NASA, in contrast, seems to have a much better culture of data disclosure. Can the NASA scientists disclose what think about that culture at CRU?

    Comment by Andy S — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:40 PM

  93. Yup-, because smart people know that the globe isn’t the SW of England (and why SW? London is SE…) and are also cognizant of the difference between weather and climate.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:43 PM

  94. Now to the more important issue (not that I ever thought climate scientists, climate science, or the CRU were “issues”): Who is behind the CRU hacks?

    Here’s a possibility that I hope the police are investigating — Koch Industries, which acc to Greenpeace funded climate denialist orgs to a tune of $25 million between 2005 & 2008 (while pittily little Exxon only funded them some $9 million during that time). Here’s the report: http://members.greenpeace.org/blog/greenpeaceusa_blog/2010/03/30/wanted_climate_denial_kingpins_and_their and http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/usa/press-center/reports4/koch-industries-secretly-fund.pdf

    They say the hacks were quite sophisticated, requiring perhaps even involvement of some government. How about the 2nd biggest climate denialist company in the U.S. Surely they would have the ability and the motive. This is not a case of “the butler did it.” I hope the police know about this company….Where’s Colombo when you need him?

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:48 PM

  95. Fred Pearce is outraged that he’s been bamboozled by a bunch of bloviating bloggers but he can’t admit it in public so instead fulminates, “This story is far from over yet.” I’m sure that’s true, if he has anything to do with it and judging from his latest hit piece, which reads exactly like something concocted at Fox:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/mar/31/hacked-climate-email-inquiry-phil-jones

    How embarrassing, unwittingly dragged into the school of impressionism when he’s supposed to be an avowed, strict realist.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:59 PM

  96. This is not on Chanel 4 news in the UK this evening

    Which shows that it is considered of little importance (Ch 4 News is a one hour heavyweight news) but also means the great unwashed public will be left with what they were told last year by the sceptic media.

    Comment by Theo H — 31 Mar 2010 @ 1:59 PM

  97. This is a good day for the science. They have slammed down all allegations of scientific misconduct.

    Regarding the FOIA issues:

    - ICO is criticized in par. 91 for his, um, premature statements.

    - Par. 93 calls for the investigation into the Section 77 violation [data destruction] regardless of the time limit, because “Much of the reputation of CRU hangs on the issue. We conclude that the matter needs to be resolved conclusively—either by the Independent Climate Change Email Review or by the Information Commissioner.”

    I feel that par. 103 summarizes the FOIA controversy quite well, so I will quote it in full:

    “103. Whether or not CRU liked it, those making FOIA requests were entitled to have their requests dealt with in accordance with the legislation and, if the information sought did not fall within one of the exclusions provided by the FOIA, it should have been disclosed. We
    have already recommended in paragraph 54 above that in future information, including data and methodology, should be published proactively on the internet wherever possible. However, a culture of withholding information—from those perceived by CRU to be hostile to global warming—appears to have pervaded CRU’s approach to FOIA requests from the outset. We consider this to be unacceptable.”

    Comment by Kris — 31 Mar 2010 @ 2:06 PM

  98. Just to make a very simple point about Freedom of Information law.
    I have come across a number of Americans who seem to think that British FOI law is exactly the same as American FOI law.

    I personally haven’t a clue how similar they are, but I have noticed a few comments here that are probably making assumptions based on American law and not British law.

    Any requests to CRU come under British law. You need to find out what is and isn’t allowed in the UK, not the US.

    At least that is my take on the issue. Not on this site, but on other less ‘intellectual’ sites, wild assumptions are made about what can and can’t be done.

    Comment by The Ville — 31 Mar 2010 @ 2:17 PM

  99. #53, Francis: “At what point does the pressure for [code] disclosure start to interfere with scientists’ legitimate goals for professional advancement and recognition?"

    Well, if everyone else in the field uses your code, that is some serious recognition, isn't it?

    If the stuff has commercial value, and you want to get rich, than better keep it under wraps, patent it and THEN publish. But I don't think that you can really get rich with climate code...

    Comment by Kris — 31 Mar 2010 @ 2:24 PM

  100. I haven’t had time to read all the responses here so far thus I apologise if it has already been mentioned but…,

    UK parliament has investigated these AGW denier charges thoroughly and openly, so my USA friends, what mechanism is there in your parliamentary system to call to public account the likes of Exxon and and other funders of AGW denialism?

    In my opinion, having, the Chief Execs. of say Exxon, and the Heartland Institute etc., etc., etc., and even Wattsy, McKittrick & Co., publicly grilled before Congress, by tough no-nonsense members would surely blow the denial/doubt industry out of the water.

    Comment by Clippo — 31 Mar 2010 @ 2:24 PM

  101. “The report has come out on a day when it is snowing in the south west of England. Which it ‘shouldn’t be’. “Theo H — 31 March 2010 @ 1:14 PM

    I’ll see your measly snowfall and raise you tenfold in weather anomalies! &;>)

    United Kingdom area 242514 km2
    Western Australia area 2525500 sq km

    Australia in February 2010 -http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/aus/summary.shtml
    “The strongest maximum temperature anomalies were in Western Australia, reaching +5°C (locally highest on record) in parts of the inland Pilbara and at least +2°C over most of the state’s inland areas except the east Kimberley. These temperatures were mostly in the highest decile.”

    If it weren’t for all that latent heat being released by water vapor from the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic condensing into snow, you’d be complaining about frostbite.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 31 Mar 2010 @ 2:50 PM

  102. #1, Robert: [Fox News]

    May I suggest a little conspiracy theory, please?

    How to smear a scientist in 3 easy steps:
    1. Establish that there is a discrepancy between 2 data sets.
    2. Ask the scientist which one is better.
    3. If he says…
    a. …the other set is better — say he’s incompetent [this happened]
    b. …his set is better — say he’s dishonest

    Is anyone else feeling disgusted, or it’s just me?

    [Response: You are not alone!--eric]

    Comment by Kris — 31 Mar 2010 @ 3:01 PM

  103. Bob @ 83, you hit the nail on the head when you say:

    “The bar is set high… but I think this applies to deniers as well as real scientists. The risk is as great for science or advocacy that argues against action as science or advocacy that argues for it. The standard applies to everyone, and I think this conclusion should be quoted over and over where applicable (beginning on CA and WUWT).”

    Yes, the standard should apply to everyone, and if we are going to delay taking action based on the ‘science’ of those in denial about AGW, then we should be sure that their ‘science’ is irreproachable. Thus far, their track record has shown their research and ‘science’ to be the very opposite. Yet, their failure to present a credible alternative to the theory of AGW is largely ignored by the media and some governments. So is the bad behaviour and scientific misconduct by some in denial for that matter.

    Someone called for a hearing into the dubious tactics used by those in denial. I’ll second that. McKitrick and McI are Canadians (ugh!), but there should be calls to have them pulled before a committee on The Hill (Ottawa), and have them grilled, and hold them held to account for any misconduct. They have been casting stones without consequence for too long and gliding under the radar, and it is high time to push back and take them to task.

    So contact you MP (not a Harper MP) and request a hearing into the conduct of McIntyre, McKitrick, Ball and others.

    [Response: For what it's worth, I'm Canadian too. --eric]

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 31 Mar 2010 @ 3:04 PM

  104. @86 Theo,
    Well, point out to anyone who complains about the snow that Greenland has spent a good portion of the last three months above freezing:

    http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/BGBW/2010/1/1/CustomHistory.html?dayend=31&monthend=3&yearend=2010&req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA

    Notice how the red Temperature graph stays very consistently *outside and above* the blue normal high/low bands? How the hell does a denier dispute that?? This spot in Greenland has spent more time above freezing than below, and the *normal high* for this portion of the year is -1 to -5C. I’d love to take printout of this to shove down Faux News’ throat.

    Comment by Richard Hendricks — 31 Mar 2010 @ 3:15 PM

  105. Good. But I am delaying my celebratioms for a while.

    The pressure on Phil Jones has lightened a bit. On the other hand I am not sure that he will relish the fact that Nigel Lawson is campaigning for the next stage to be public. That appears to be a reasonable enough demand, from somebody who devotes his time trying to get into the public eye, but it is different for someone who has not sought this publicity and does not thrive on it.

    One stated conclusion of round 1 is that the focus should be taken off Phil Jones. In that case it follows that round 2 should be held (at least partly) in private. All that we are witnessing is that the whole experiment with FOI legislation, the holding of quasi-legal inquiries into science, the freedom of the media to distort (I call it libel) with impunity is a dangerous mixture which will one day produce some very unjust and unexpected consequences.

    Phil Jones has suffered an unecessary ordeal already, first by being harassed by FOI requests, then by being misrepresented by all and sundry, including some supposed ‘allies’ and then by being hauled before a Parliamentary select commitee.

    The inquiry mongers have not damaged the science, but have succeeded in exacting a penalty from their chosen enemies at little cost to themselves. They do not have to suffer the stress and take no risks; they can walk away claiming victory, whatever the outcome, and they can summon up more propaganda to support demands for a divergent series of inquiries.

    Civil litigation may also be stressful but at least it is more symmetrical. There ought to be some risk attached to all this harrasment.

    It is not the snow Theo H (#84) that matters, but whether Sir Muir Russell will be up to the job required of him for round 2. I would have preferred to have had an active researcher in some scientific discipline rather than a civil servant/ administrator with a record of sacking lecturers.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 31 Mar 2010 @ 3:17 PM

  106. I would have thought it was worth thinking of some guidelines for the comments here. Could I suggest:

    1. Who funds the research is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned — what matters is whether the research is done to a high scientifical standard.

    2. Who asks for stuff, and their motives, under the official information law is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned here — what matters is whether legally it must be released.

    3. The character and employment status of the researcher is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned here — what matters is whether their research is done to a high scientific standard.

    I know such guidelines would reduce both the volume of comments and the fun in contributing them, but they would make this blog sound more like it was frequented by a scientific community.

    Comment by Margaret — 31 Mar 2010 @ 3:26 PM

  107. re: Garrett Jones — 31 March 2010 @ 13:01: Second, has anyone besides Jones and CRU got their climate model up and running?

    Not exactly what you have asked, but I have reformatted and fed GHCN unadjusted data into the published CRU gridding and global averaging scripts released by CRU on the MET page.
    http://rhinohide.wordpress.com/crutemp/
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/science/monitoring/subsets.html

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 31 Mar 2010 @ 3:36 PM

  108. Margaret says:
    31 March 2010 at 3:26 PM
    I would have thought it was worth thinking of some guidelines for the comments here. Could I suggest:

    2. Who asks for stuff, and their motives, under the official information law is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned here — what matters is whether legally it must be released.

    The problem with this one is that motives can figure into whether the FOI needs a response. If an organization is spammed with several dozen FOI’s in a week by people who have no intention of using it for scientific purposes and are doing it purely for harassment, their motives should be highly relevant.

    Comment by Witgren — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:28 PM

  109. re#101.We will see your mini-Australian area and raise you with Russia, Siberia and Mongolia with the coldest and longest winter …desperate times!

    Comment by Bill — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:35 PM

  110. Bill @ 109, OT, but what the heck, I’ll see your Eurasia and raise the the planet:

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

    Warmest march on record, courtesy Dr. Roy Spencer.

    Also, see this for a truly global perspective (it is global warming after all, increase of mean temp of the planet):

    http://tinyurl.com/ykyswyk

    Yes, those in denial about AGW are indeed quite desperate and having to resort to cherry-picking.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:53 PM

  111. Margaret, please look at the research on your idea, it’s been looked into:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=funding+source+research+results

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:53 PM

  112. Richard Hendricks

    “”@86 Theo,
    Well, point out to anyone who complains about the snow that Greenland has spent a good portion of the last three months above freezing:”"

    Thanks, but my laptop background is the global temperature anomalies for December – when I was snowed-in for five days in SW England (quite unheard of). However, it was 8C above normal in central Greenland.

    Thanks to the person who gave me a link here on RC.

    Comment by Theo H — 31 Mar 2010 @ 4:53 PM

  113. re~110. GISS ‘picture’ still looks like regional warming ( and cooling), but it may be the terminology is the problem.

    Comment by Bill — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:06 PM

  114. The report is released on a day when it is raining around Calgary on march 31, 2010 and it shouldn’t, it should be snowing. Nor is this a one day anomaly. This anomaly has been going on since at least august 2009. Nor is this anomaly local only, it has been happenning allover the place in large parts of the United States and all over Canada. It has been very warm for many months.
    Environment Canada’s meteorologist David Philips is quoted here:
    http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Canada+warmest+winter+ever+beyond+shocking/2667678/story.html
    So if it is snowing in southern England enjoy it and prepare for the heat waves that are surely coming.

    Comment by Joseph Sobry — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:07 PM

  115. Bill, you are not interpreting the graphs correctly. The AMSU data are the means for pretty much the entire globe, and for March the mean global tropospheric temperatures are at record highs.

    That after, Globally, we just had the second warmest DFJ on record (NASA), with 2007 the warmest DJF on record to date.

    Go to the NASA GISS site and look at the data yourself.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:20 PM

  116. @ Joseph Sobry

    “”So if it is snowing in southern England enjoy it and prepare for the heat waves that are surely coming.”"

    Isn’t that one of Newton’s laws? “Heat gotta go somewhere”?

    Comment by Theo H — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:24 PM

  117. Bob #87 I copy and pasted an entire paragraph from the report an I am “misrepresenting” the report? lol whatever. It is clear that if CRU had dealt with the original FOIA requests it would have never reached this point, email would not have been released to the public and so on. And since the Chairman of this “investigation” labeled the other side as “deniers” and announced what the findings would be before it started. I find paragraph 103 quite revealing.

    Mapleleaf #110 Thanks for the weather update.

    Comment by Jon P — 31 Mar 2010 @ 5:31 PM

  118. Climategate investigations, round 1: CRU exonerated

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/31/climategate-investigations-round-1-cru-exonerated/

    The findings are crystal clear on the most crucial points: The committee found absolutely no evidence to support accusations of scientific dishonesty, even going so far as to state that there “was no case to answer”. And it also rejected accusations that CRU scientists had attempted to pervert the peer review system.

    Contrarians took comfort in maverick Labour MP Graham Stringer’s objections to some of the findings. But even here, there is little for the contrarians to cheer about, as Stringer appeared at pains to avoid any appearance of endorsing the plausibility of any of the specific accusations of dishonesty. That’s just as well, because it turns out that Stringer appears to be relying for his understanding of the issues, not on the submitted evidence, but rather – wait for it – the “quickie” book on Climategate written by Thomas Fuller and Steven Mosher.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 31 Mar 2010 @ 6:02 PM

  119. Re: #1 from Robert
    Hate to be the bearer of bad news. This is off-topic but fox is running a story which slams GIStemps and links to a bunch of articles which claims Gavin and Hansen are involved in all this…
    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/03/30/nasa-data-worse-than-climategate-data/?test=latestnews

    Ugh, this is just more either deliberate or ignorant misrepresentation of the situation, much like with “hide the decline,” purporting something to mean what it doesn’t. From the article, “The e-mails from 2007 reveal that when a USA Today reporter asked if NASA’s data ‘was more accurate’ than other climate-change data sets.” The article helpfully provides a link to the emails and you can see the point of the answer from NASA was that GISS’s analysis is trying to show something different than NCDC’s. In short, NCDC is better for one answer, GISS is better at another.

    Comment by jonesy — 31 Mar 2010 @ 6:18 PM

  120. #88 Yeah, and it’s 73F in Minneapolis, which it “shouldn’t be”.

    So what? It’s weather.

    Comment by JiminMpls — 31 Mar 2010 @ 6:43 PM

  121. If you want to feel really depressed about this check out the swarming deniers responding to the Independent’s reports on this http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climate-change-scandal-mps-exonerate-professor-1931631.html. And almost as depressing is the subhead to the article – “Committee defends scientist who sent emails admitting flaws in data”. Save us from our friends on The Independent and the Guardian.

    Comment by David Horton — 31 Mar 2010 @ 7:09 PM

  122. Tough to say. Giving away stuff to your competitors might seem like you’re giving them a competitive edge. On the other hand, if you give them stuff that’s useful they have to cite your work every time they use your stuff.

    I would think that the value of a professor / researcher is how good their results are and how quickly they can pump them out. That has nothing to do with input data or past reports — universities hire because of the potential value of that employee.

    The value of a good researcher isn’t exactly the produced code but rather the ability to produce the code or ask the right questions, etc.

    Comment by BlogReader — 31 Mar 2010 @ 7:16 PM

  123. A couple of comments on the comments on my post and then a final comment:

    My post:
    Who asks for stuff, and their motives, under the official information law is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned here — what matters is whether legally it must be released.
    The comment from Witgren
    The problem with this one is that motives can figure into whether the FOI needs a response. If an organization is spammed with several dozen FOI’s in a week by people who have no intention of using it for scientific purposes and are doing it purely for harassment, their motives should be highly relevant.

    Not so. The law is clear on when information must be released or not – and you would have to prove that the people asking for it had no legal reason for requiring it. “Must be used for Scientific purposes” is not one of the legal requirements.

    Hank Roberts link — again your link makes my point and not yours. The focus should be on whether the research stands up scientifically — not who funded it.

    So my final comment:

    This is not my site so I have no right to do anything but suggest, but I would recommend that if you are wanting to be treated as serious scientists, your comments should sound like they come from serious scientists. At the moment they sound like they come from the worst kind of politician — ie the one who is always impugning the opposition’s character using slurs and taunting language regardless of the merits of the Opposition’s case. That might have worked when everyone believed every word this community said — but now it is undermining your own credibility. I would have thought that would be of concern to you when you have such a enormous credibility gap to fill – a gap which, for the benefit of the progress of scientific research in this field, it is vital that you do fill.

    Comment by Margaret — 31 Mar 2010 @ 7:23 PM

  124. Correction for my #119. The full quote from the article I mean to use is,

    “The e-mails from 2007 reveal that when a USA Today reporter asked if NASA’s data “was more accurate” than other climate-change data sets, NASA’s Dr. Reto A. Ruedy replied with an unequivocal no. He said “the National Climatic Data Center’s procedure of only using the best stations is more accurate,” admitting that some of his own procedures led to less accurate readings.”

    “Unequivocal.” What a lie.

    Comment by jonesy — 31 Mar 2010 @ 7:27 PM

  125. jonesy says: 31 March 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Ugh, this is just more either deliberate or ignorant misrepresentation of the situation…

    That Fox piece is a rehash of a previous attempt to inject CEI’s oh-so-dull FOIA output into the public cortex. Apparently it was too blatantly uncontroversial to cross the gulf between Fox and real news outlets; the lack of readily combustible fuel meant it failed to catch fire the first time so CEI’s “Senior Fellow of Politically Motivated Litigation” (aka hack Libertarian ambulance chaser) Horner has apparently applied the lash to Fox, forcing them to dump some flammable adjectives onto the story and hold a match to it again, hoping for a repeat of the CRU idiocy.

    Of course I was among those who confidently predicted that no reporter would be so foolish as to be seriously gulled by the CRU matter, sigh. Instead we see several who’ll be remembered not for their other excellent work but instead for having been led down the primrose path of credulity, never to return, their reputations permanently besmirched, labeled forever as “Tool.”

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 31 Mar 2010 @ 7:37 PM

  126. Re: Hunt Janin @ 32 on 31 March 2010 at 5:45 AM

    Unsure if you got the response you were looking for as far as feedback, so here’s my top 5 (for what it’s worth):

    1. Spencer Weart’s History of Global Warming
    - http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    2. Real Climate – Starting Point
    - http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

    3. IPCC 4th Assessment – The Physical Basis of Climate Change (Working Group 1)
    - http://www.ipcc-wg1.unibe.ch

    4. Skeptical Science – to separate the wheat arguments from the chaff
    - http://www.skepticalscience.com

    5. One of the best & most up-to-date of the climate blogs, Climate Progress
    - http://climateprogress.org

    Gas up on the backgrounders with Spencer Weart’s History, follow that up with the basics from RC’s Start Here section, delve into the current accepted understanding of the peer-reviewed science in the IPCC – AR4 site, then into John Cook’s Skeptical Science for the appropriate context in differentiating legitimate questions from denialism, and finally onto Joe Romm’s Climate Progress blog for cutting edge commentary and insight.
    Also, don’t forget Open Mind for hard-edged analysis. Tamino does a wonderful job in relating why certain statistical analysis’ are valid or bogus, but in terms the average person with a decent high school science & math background can at least follow:
    - http://tamino.wordpress.com

    If people would bother to at least give lip service to this path, most misunderstandings of climate vs weather could be avoided.

    As an aside, this was the mildest winter in living memory here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (warm temps & record low snowfall & precip). So those unfortunate people suffering through cold & snowy winter (still) elsewhere: Thanks for taking it off of our hands (heh, heh)!

    Appreciating the late-May weather for all of March thus far,

    Daniel the Yooper

    Comment by Daniel the Yooper — 31 Mar 2010 @ 8:55 PM

  127. re Gavin’s response in #54: Aw, shoot!

    Comment by Rod B — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:16 PM

  128. Bob @ 103:
    “Yet, their failure to present a credible alternative to the theory of AGW is largely ignored by the media and some governments.”

    There are quite a number of alternatve theories out there, incorporating a number of other potentially important climate variables (as well as, or instead of, CO2). Sure there are a few oddballs out there with nutty alternatives, as there are on both sides, but there are definitely other credible theories out there.

    Have you found every one of them to be incredible perhaps?

    [Response: The idea that 'the theory of AGW' is all about CO2 is a classic strawman argument. But even the most basic book on climate change understands that the complete climate change picture includes quantiative understanding about all kinds of forcings (greenhouse gases, yes, but also land surface changes, for example), as well as feedbacks (e.g. sea ice) and dynamics (e.g. ocean circulation). To suggest that there is some 'alternative' to this comprehensive understanding, developed over the last 150 years, is like saying "there are alternatives to physics; it's not all E=mc2 you know", as if physicists aren't also aware of F=ma or div(B)=0.

    Now it is reasonable to hypothesize that something has been overlooked, that would change the way we understand the relative importance of CO2. For example, perhaps solar irradience changes over the last century are greater than we currently think. Or perhaps there is an important feedback in tropical cloud structure, as entirely reasonably suggested by Richard Linzden, which would limit the magnitude of temperature change for a given CO2 change. But there is currently no evidence to support either of these arguments, so they can hardly be cast as 'credible alternative theories'. At best, these are interesting hypotheses that, to date, hasn't stood up against the hard data.--eric]

    Comment by Bulldust — 31 Mar 2010 @ 9:52 PM

  129. I’m aware that Phil Jones has suffered enormously from the despicable invasion of privacy that started the ‘climategate affair’ and especially the media storm that followed, not to mention the thoughtless comments from some in the science community, who obviously didn’t trouble to look further than the surface reporting. The whole affair has been utterly disgusting and my heart went out to Professor Jones after his more personal interview.

    I hope this the HoC review is restorative to him. I would like to send him best wishes and strength, and hope that he will soon resume his position at the Climate Research Unit. I’d also like to honour him for his outstanding contribution to the field of climate science.

    If others feel inclined to express something similar, perhaps the moderators here will pass it on.

    Comment by barry — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:09 PM

  130. The greatest consolation for Professor Jones would probably come from fellow scientists who spoke rashly. I would hope they reflect and apologise.

    [Response: I wouldn't hold your breath, though I certainly would be pleased to see that happen. More realistically, I suspect that if Phil Jones has any consolation, it is that some of us did not speak rashly in the first place.--eric]

    Comment by barry — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:34 PM

  131. @ #92Andy S says: (31 March 2010 at 1:40 PM)

    (snip)…NASA, in contrast, seems to have a much better culture of data disclosure. Can the NASA scientists disclose what think about that culture at CRU?

    Just an observation from one who has worked with and observed numerous organisations across a multitude of sectors.

    CRU is a small research unit in a regional university in the UK with a staff of three full time researchers, AFAIK, (and a miniscule budget compared with NASA). NASA is a very large research organisation in the USA. It is not a University. It has a multi-billion dollar budget (presumably). The two are not comparable in regard to ‘culture’ (by which I assume one means norms of behaviour).

    IMO, the University ‘culture’ is unique. The closest I’ve observed is that of large (Australian) public hospitals that have a research and training component. Both have more features of a collegial model rather than a corporate model. (Because of this collegial structure, it is often very difficult to introduce many business practices considered desirable by corporate sector and mainstream government agencies.)

    Research institutions (not universities) usually have a hierarchical rather than a collegial structure (although they use ‘organic’ project teams within this structure). As a consequence they have operational policies and norms of behaviour that is a bit closer to the corporate world in comparison to universities, though not identical. They also share some characteristics with other (non-scientific) central government agencies. New business/operating policies and practices are much easier to disseminate in such organisations.

    Comment by Sou — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:35 PM

  132. (Random spaces thrown in to try to evade the youknowwhat)

    Margaret, you’ve misread the research on f unding. What’s been found consistently in the studies done, mostly p harma research, is that fun ding does predict research outcome. Company fu nding doesn’t find problems with products.

    That’s epidemiology in action. All the research looked good and got published over a long period; nobody found problems with the research itself.

    What turned up was a strong bias in the overall results. This may simply be because companies never let bad news go to publication — we don’t know.

    That’s what you’re missing — it’s clear something about the source of fun ding changes the results, overall, even when individual studies look okay.

    So people look at the source of the fu nding knowing it has an effect, even if we aren’t sure what’s happening. Something about payi ng for research changes the outcomes in a way that needs to be looked at and understood.

    If you hide the source of the fundi ng, you don’t know that’s happening.
    That’s why it matters and why it’s disclosed more and more routinely.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 31 Mar 2010 @ 11:59 PM

  133. My thanks to those who gave me their suggestions for climate-related websites to use in my introductory survey on global warming.

    Comment by Hunt Janin — 1 Apr 2010 @ 12:35 AM

  134. Bulldust@128 says of alternatives to the consensus “..but there are definitely other credible theories out there.”

    Like…?

    [crickets chirping]

    Yes, maybe you can add up a whole bunch of unlikely influences or posit a questionable mechanism and get a large temperature rise for awhile. You don’t get simultaneous stratospheric cooling with your global warming or shorter winters or warmer nights or as much polar amplification…

    And the greenhouse effect due to CO2 is a forcing we know for certain is operant, and you have multiple independent lines of evidence all pointing to the same range for CO2 sensitivity.

    Got anything like that?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Apr 2010 @ 4:20 AM

  135. So nobody but me lists my Climatology pages as a good site? Some friends you guys are. See if you get invited to my birthday party! [bursts into tears and stomps upstairs]

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 1 Apr 2010 @ 4:46 AM

  136. #16, #39:

    Did you read the following in the report, which is typeset in bold for emphasis:


    We regret that the ICO made a statement to the press that went beyond that which it could substantiate and that it took over a month for the ICO properly to put the record straight. We recommend that the ICO develop procedures to ensure that its public comments are checked and that mechanisms exist to swiftly correct any mis-statements or misinterpretations of such statements.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 1 Apr 2010 @ 4:59 AM

  137. This may be a good moment to draw attention again to my pro-science petition. It won’t change much, but let’s show the scientists under attack they aren’t alone.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:01 AM

  138. [Response: I wouldn't hold your breath, though I certainly would be pleased to see that happen. More realistically, I suspect that if Phil Jones has any consolation, it is that some of us did not speak rashly in the first place.--eric]

    Indeed, RealClimate did a big favour to Phil Jones, CRU and climatology in general by being the voice of reason following the email hack, and I for one appreciate your efforts. I hope that the other two enquiries are able to come to similar [i.e. correct] conclusions in the near future so that Prof. Jones can get back to his research.

    Comment by Dikran Marsupial — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:09 AM

  139. Lynn Vincentnathan #80: Newsweek calling for “toughen up standards”? Wasn’t that the magazine that published a 1970s global cooling scare aarticle based on scant evidence, when the mainstream view of climate scientists at the time was that there was more evidence for warming?

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:17 AM

  140. RE #21, Boy do I feel like a fool. My apologies.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:27 AM

  141. #123 Margaret

    Character matters. When someone lies about their credentials (e.g., Tim Ball) or allows someone else to lie about their credentials (e.g., Akasofu) – especially if these persons receive financial compensation as a result of the misrepresentation – then it is fully reasonable to be extremely suspicious about anything they write.

    What I really don’t understand is the general public’s willingness to trust people who are paid to lie, yet distrust those who are paid to reveal the truth.

    Comment by JiminMpls — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:30 AM

  142. On the subject of releasing code, very little academic code is production-quality. I work in a group that releases its code and makes available a range of web services based on that software, but that is unusual. I’ve just spent much of the past week battling through getting a pipeline of research software from various other sources working, including finding obscure bugs. If I didn’t have a smart PhD student sitting next to me who was already far advanced in using the tool chain, I would still be pulling my hair out over code with single-letter variable names and patchy comments. And this is in a field (bioinformatics) where there is a broad expectation of code and data availability; some journals specifically require that you include code and data when submitting a paper for review.

    The academic grant process does not readily recognise software engineering as a research expense. Many academics don’t have the computer science or engineering expertise to understand how to do this right, even if it’s in their grant. Maybe we could demand this, but a lot of academics who are really good at what they do would struggle to meet yet another requirement. And you would need to add considerable extra costs onto most research projects to do a good job consistently.

    And I am only talking about production-quality coding. Getting data into good usable formats with adequate standards for inter-changeability, clear documentation, etc. is another whole nightmare. Despite the massive advantages in bioinformatics in common data formats, naming standards, etc. just trying to find all the known roles of one protein for example can require major detective work.

    Despite what’s been said about CRU, climate science is in general in better shape than most other applied sciences. CRU has been picked on because they were the weakest link in the sense of relying on a relatively large amount of proprietary data. For this reason, they, not NASA, were targeted by the saboteurs. Saboteurs? This is clearly and obviously political, because the whole theory of climate change does not rest on one data set and as has been explained many times before, and repeated in the UK report, there is enough freely available data to work up your own model and check it for consistency with published model outputs.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:36 AM

  143. “It is clear that if CRU had dealt with the original FOIA requests it would have never reached this point”

    No, they’d have reached the same result at a different point.

    The FOI requests were answered fully with “here’s the data we have, you can use that to check the results” and was ignored. Repeatedly.

    Additionally, how many of those FOI requests were paid for out of MY TAXES for foreigners? only 22% of the requests were definitely from the UK, 39% of them were from obfuscated locations.

    Too right I don’t want MY MONEY wasted on people who aren’t and haven’t looked at the data (by the way, wasn’t McIntyre going to fix the problems in his paper? What’s happened to that..?).

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:39 AM

  144. “We consider this to be unacceptable.”

    But we don’t have a law that says “if you do something we think is unacceptable, you have broken the law”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:45 AM

  145. “So freedom of the press, does not include asking publicly funded scientists to show the taxpaying public”

    Freedom of the press doesn’t mean you get to see the plans for the next Strategic Fighter for the USAF just because it’s public money.

    Nor does it mean you can ask for MS Windows because the government use it.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:47 AM

  146. re#113 and 115, I was looking at the GISS colour contour picture for temp anomalies,(not the line graphs), which, unless I’m colour blind shows a large red (+) anomaly over E Canada and a large blue/mauve (-) anomaly over E Asia. Hence my comment. We can do much better in presenting our case rather than keep banging on about deniers & alarmists or whatever the current vogue happens to be.
    The colour anomaly picture is very like the one presented by Spencer and the satellite folks,I believe.

    Comment by william — 1 Apr 2010 @ 6:08 AM

  147. Eric’s comment on #128 touches on what is one of the unspoken scandals of climate change – lack of data. It is almost 2 decades since the first IPCC report and still there are big data gaps. Copenhagen failed in part because of lack of agreement on how to help poor countries hard hit by climate change; yet often these countries have non-existent meteorological networks and consequently major uncertainties in climate projections. Sceptics still talk about heat-island effect on temperature measurement; a couple hundred well placed and maintained stations set up 20 years ago would have settled the issue for once and for all. One of the big uncertainties is how extra water vapour will form clouds yet our knowledge of clouds is still hazy. I am sure you and others could add to this list.

    A typical figure for the cost of combating climate change is 2% of global GDP which equates to 1 trillion a year. A small fraction of this on spent on climate measurement and satellite sensors would have narrowed the range of uncertainties considerably. It should now be a priority.

    Comment by Ron — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:29 AM

  148. “We can do much better in presenting our case rather than keep banging on about deniers & alarmists or whatever the current vogue happens to be.”

    Nope, you’re wrong there. Because any graph shown will be shouted down by deniers as either incomplete, or if that is obvious bunk, too complicated for “the people” to understand. Any graph will have “GIVE US THE CODE” until the code is there then it will be “GIVE US THE DATA” until the data is there, then “GIVE US THE RAW DATA” which will morph into “GIVE US ALL THE RAW DATA, INCLUDING STUFF THAT ISN’T DATA”.

    Then the graph is out of date.

    And it starts all over again.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:44 AM

  149. “CRU has been picked on because they were the weakest link in the sense of relying on a relatively large amount of proprietary data.”

    No, they were picked on because they have a three-man team. Easier to DDOS a server running on a 486 than Google…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:46 AM

  150. “142
    Ron says:
    1 April 2010 at 7:29 AM

    Eric’s comment on #128 touches on what is one of the unspoken scandals of climate change”

    It’s not spoken about Ron because it doesn’t exist.

    More data wanted? Yes.
    Scandalously limited data? Hell No.

    ‘course with all the data having to be given away to all and sundry (even if they don’t pay taxes for it) and that revenue loss being political suicide to take from taxpayers, this means that the future data requirements will be unmet to a noticeable degree…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Apr 2010 @ 8:20 AM

  151. re 141 &143: No, its you thats wrong > there was no reference to a graph actually. We were referring to colour-contour pictures and how accompanying commentary can often be misleading for all sides of the debate.

    Comment by william — 1 Apr 2010 @ 8:23 AM

  152. RE #134 & #80, Hi Philip. Yes, the same NEWSWEEK. But I guess I don’t want to be too harsh on them, even though they did have an article by Lindzen some 5-10 years back, and they’ve had a few denialist comments by their regulars. (I’ve been a subscriber for some 30 years.)

    OTOH, in 1995 when I wrote a personal letter to the editor that science had reached 95% confidence on AGW, and that TIME had had a big article on AGW (saw it in a doctor’s office), and that future generations would look back on NEWSWEEK with utter disdain for not covering AGW (this was during the media’s “silent treatment” years), they did run a very good article on it with front page coverage. And they have had some good articles on AGW. They aren’t totally bought out by their devoil advertizers.

    I hope this encourages the little people like myself to write letters. Now it’s so much easier with email….

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 1 Apr 2010 @ 8:27 AM

  153. re #134.

    Just to round off your interesting observation about Newsweek, the cooling scare in the UK was run by Nigel Calder who created a sensational version of it called the Snowblitz. The difference between it and the fictional “Day after Tomorrow”, was that he persuaded TV, the BBC I think, to show his version as a documentary. Thirty years later, he appeared right near the start of the Great Global Warming Swindle with the statement “You are being told lies”. Later he exemplifed that, with his account of the history of the science which omitted about 140 years.

    It seemed to have worked, I have spoken to a well educated person who defended the Swindle with the assertion : ” At least I should agree that Channel 4 was right about the cooling scare. She could remember it herself. Thats what the scientists were saying”.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:14 AM

  154. “there was no reference to a graph actually. We were referring to colour-contour pictures ”

    Graph. Graphic.

    Join the dots.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:16 AM

  155. #150 Completely fed up
    I beg to differ. I have recently been working with climate data from 10 African countries on two different projects. Only one of them has continuous records of temperature and precipitation from stations other than for the main international airport – and some don’t even have that. In many cases this is a situation which has existed for 40 or more years. That we are unable to make accurate projections for these vulnerable countries for lack a few thousands of dollars worth of met equipment is, in my book, a scandal.

    Comment by Ron — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:23 AM

  156. Ron sez:

    Sceptics still talk about heat-island effect on temperature measurement; a couple hundred well placed and maintained stations set up 20 years ago would have settled the issue for once and for all.

    I have an idea. Maybe we could use satellites to measure temps in the atmosphere and see if they give roughly the same picture as the ground station data. We’ll put it in orbit far away from the international space station so we won’t have to worry about any space island heat effect.

    What do you think? Good idea?

    Comment by dhogaza — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:28 AM

  157. Margaret wrote: “I would recommend that if you are wanting to be treated as serious scientists …”

    If you are suggesting that the moderators of this site are NOT “serious scientists” then there is no reason to take anything YOU say seriously, because

    (1) you very obviously don’t have the slightest clue what you are talking about;

    (2) you are very obviously regurgitating talking points that have been spoon-fed to you (which you, as a “skeptic”, have of course unquestioningly accepted as the truth); and moreover

    (3) you are very obviously engaging in the very sort of dishonest, malicious character assassination that you pretend to be concerned about.

    The so-called “credibility gap” that you pretend to be concerned about has been manufactured by the bought-and-paid-for denialist propaganda industry, funded with many millions of dollars from ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, and other corporate interests with trillions of dollars in profit at stake in perpetuating business-as-usual consumption of their products as long as possible.

    And you assert that the fossil fuel industry’s funding of deliberate, elaborate deceit for the past generation should be ignored — because it isn’t proper to mention the funding source for “research”. The fossil fuel industry isn’t funding “research” on climate change — they are funding a campaign of deliberate lies. The fossil fuel industry’s bought-and-paid-for phony “conservative” think tanks don’t do “research” — they churn out pseudo-scientific, pseudo-ideological propaganda, for money.

    I suggest you Google the term “concern troll”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:52 AM

  158. #32 Hunt, you may want to check this site out for a variety of climate info:
    http://www.climate4you.com/

    Comment by J. Bob — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:57 AM

  159. It so happens that the BBC Parliament TV channel broadcast a recording of the science and technology committee questioning Phil Jones, the UEA vice chancellor and others last night.

    What was interesting was the Liberal Democratic representative on the panel appeared to have some science knowledge (medical?) and asked a ‘leading’ question that was clearly put forward to give some moral support to Phil Jones and his vice-chan boss. But they both failed to recognise that the Lib Dem was trying to help!

    A point to be made is that the main antagonist on the panel was Graham Stringer, a Labour MP and a skeptic.
    He has voted against or abstained from all the governments climate change/environmental bills.

    After the announcement of the results, Mr Stringer was disappointed with the result and wanted more skeptic ‘scientists’ interrogating Phil Jones. But the fact is Mr Stringer is an ex-scientist, he worked in commercial chemistry, so he is quite capable of understanding the science himself. This suggests that he just wanted greater numbers of skeptics on the panel to swing the vote!

    BTW, the Conservative rep on the panel and the one most likely to be skeptical based on party lines, was relatively neutral.

    Also although Phil Jones did reasonably well, by far the most impressive person interviewed was the chief scientist at the UK Met Office – Julia Slingo.
    She was rock solid when questioned.

    Comment by The Ville — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:18 AM

  160. re 154; then stop GISS using the ‘pictures’! Our case will be more credible, from what you are telling me …

    Comment by Bill — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:35 AM

  161. #143 CFU You disagree with some of the reports findings as it cleary states that the FOIA requests were not dealt with fully.

    Comment by Jon P — 1 Apr 2010 @ 10:35 AM

  162. Just received a reply from ICO to my question from February: ICO responds to Desdemona’s ‘Climategate’ query

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:28 AM

  163. Good things.

    As Sir Isiah Berlin used to emphasise, it is not enough for something to be desirable in itself. Problems arise when good things conflict with one another , for example liberty and equality.

    There is no doubt that FOI is a good thing, especially for journalists, but to pay blind lip service to it, just because there has been legislation about it in the USA and to a different extent in the UK, is a short cut to avoiding thought. It can obviously come into conflict with the right to privacy and like other good things it might not be shared out well. Although it may appear paradoxical, limited FOI legislation can accompany a poor record in civil rights.*

    Anyway FOI legislation in the UK is fairly recent, and not as good as you might think. Two examples , not chosen carefully, but from the last two days:

    Heather Brooke on BBC Radio 4. Anglo-American pro-FOI campaigner comparing UK & US versions last Monday here (4th. interview at about 29.30 (?) i.e beyond half way)
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00rlzdz

    and Matt Foot lawyer yesterday, describing his experience getting information from the police here
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/newsnight

    at ~ 24.19 (?) about half way

    In the case of the criminal law , the public used to be banned from access to any information before a trial. No FOI in this case and with good reason. But the powerful UK media has begun to trample on this rule at the expense of justice.
    ———————————–
    *. Another curious combination: Jim Lovelock’s recent interview which combined a dislike of democracy with a strong advocacy of open access to other people’s work.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 1 Apr 2010 @ 12:07 PM

  164. “#143 CFU You disagree with some of the reports findings as it cleary states that the FOIA requests were not dealt with fully.”

    They were not REQUIRED to deal with those requests fully.

    Just like you don’t have to let the police into your home, though they can ASK to come in.

    Just because someone asked for something “under the FOIA” doesn’t mean it falls under the FOIA.

    And if you’ve answered a FOI request but they issue a repeat saying “you didn’t answer me!!!” then that second request is not answerable. It’s vexatious and outside the remit of the act.
    Try a little reading comprehension.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Apr 2010 @ 12:15 PM

  165. “155
    Ron says:
    1 April 2010 at 9:23 AM

    #150 Completely fed up
    I beg to differ.”

    It’s a free country. Doesn’t make you right.

    There’s plenty of data to show AGW and how it works. More is almost always nice (but it has to be ACCURATE, as opposed to shoddy), but your casebook there is irrelevant to whether there’s a “shocking lack” of data. Just to whether there’s a case for more data.

    And, since the data is going to be free to the rest of the world, how about raising some taxes to put as aid toward those countries getting their own climate work going?

    Go in, chip some money into the carry-out.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 1 Apr 2010 @ 12:19 PM

  166. he worked in commercial chemistry, so he is quite capable of understanding the science himself.

    That deduction is based on a generalisation which I have found to be wanting, although in this case we cannot be sure.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 1 Apr 2010 @ 12:20 PM

  167. Sou@131

    Those are good points about the differences in scale and hierarchical styles of institutions like NASA and CRU, so a simple comparison of their cultures probably is not appropriate. But, if CRU operated under a collegial model, in which the UEA administration had relatively limited power to impose new “cultural” practices in a top-down way, surely that would place more responsibility on the CRU staff members for their allegedly dysfunctional culture of data release, rather than putting all the blame on the UEA administrators, as the parliamentary committee did.

    Whether or not CRU broke the letter of the FOI law is still unclear but it does seem from the limited evidence from the emails that that there was intent to subvert the spirit of the law. I sympathize with Jones on a personal level but I do think that one of the most damaging outcomes of this affair is that the sceptics’ accusations of concealment of data can no longer be dismissed as groundless and it has put wind in the sails of the conspiracy theorists. I don’t think Jones should escape criticism for his part in this setback.

    Comment by Andy S — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:19 PM

  168. In an effort to bring some light to this subject it is useful to look at what is written on the Information Commission website as to the procedure if an organisation does make the decision to refuse information -

    What does the FOIA say?
    The relevant provisions of the FOIA are contained in:
    • Section 1: this provides a general right of access to information held
    by public authorities.
    • Section 10: an authority must comply with section 1 within 20 working
    days, subject to certain provisions.
    • Section 17: if a request is refused, the authority must issue a refusal
    notice which explains its decision, including the application of any
    exemptions, and sets out any complaints procedure the authority has in
    place, together with the applicant’s right of appeal to the Information
    Commissioner.
    Further guidance is provided in the section 45 Code of Practise

    Bot sure if this was complied with?

    Comment by one step beyond — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:27 PM

  169. Margaret (#106) said:

    1. Who funds the research is irrelevant and so may not be mentioned — what matters is whether the research is done to a high scientifical (sic) standard.

    Anyone else think that Margaret is trying to hide the recently exposed funding of George Mason University by Koch? Can we get a FOI request on how much Koch money went into the Wegman Report?

    I wonder what the effects of the HOC report will have on the sales of Mosher and Fuller’s “book” (Climategate: The Crutape Letters). I hope that at least libraries will have the decency to move it from the non-fiction section into the fiction section.

    Comment by Ian Forrester — 1 Apr 2010 @ 2:41 PM

  170. one step beyond sez:

    Section 17: if a request is refused, the authority must issue a refusal
    notice which explains its decision, including the application of any
    exemptions, and sets out any complaints procedure the authority has in
    place, together with the applicant’s right of appeal to the Information
    Commissioner.

    McIntyre, at least, got explanations both for the original rejection and the upholding of that rejection upon appeal.

    The appeal response said that:

    1. Yes, indeed, some of that data was not CRU’s to share, and that the ICO representative had correctly decided that this proprietary right outweighed FOI law in this case.

    2. CRU was working with various national met offices in order to get permission to share the data.

    #2 in particular makes McIntyre’s subsequent hissy fit seem most unfair.

    Comment by dhogaza — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:26 PM

  171. #168 Cannot wait for CFU to re-interpret those rules for us to fit his narrative and his “world”. CFU I am not arguing with you, you need to agrue with the report that is the subject of this post. They wrote it was un acceptable not me.

    Comment by Jon P — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:30 PM

  172. “Anyone else think that Margaret is trying to hide the recently exposed funding of George Mason University by Koch?”
    Comment by Ian Forrester

    Funding on both sides of the climate debate comes from sources eager to find support for their own special interests – so what’s new? Most science is funded by sources with a stake in the outcome, whether it’s profit or power.

    It is no coincidence that Goldman Sachs is heavily invested in carbon trading, or that CCX exchange rates plunged after the fiasco in Copenhagen. There is a lot of money at stake on both sides of the AGW debate.

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 1 Apr 2010 @ 3:50 PM

  173. AndyS says, “I sympathize with Jones on a personal level but I do think that one of the most damaging outcomes of this affair is that the sceptics’ accusations of concealment of data can no longer be dismissed as groundless and it has put wind in the sails of the conspiracy theorists.”

    Horsecrap! What part of “95% of the data are available on-line” is difficult to understand?

    And as to the remaining 5%, it could not be distributed due to proprietary agreements. Again, what part of that is hard to understand?

    The denialists do not require anyone to put wind in their sails–they make their own wind.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Apr 2010 @ 4:02 PM

  174. Theo H @ 116. Mmmm let’s see now … oh yeah Newton’s laws. No I don’t recall that one. He just did the gravity thing. We later found out that is where the heat is coming from, I mean the gravity thing as in the sun. The heat had to go somewhere. Some of it, a very small part in 2 billion came our way. Then it used to go somewhere else. But lately a small part of that 1 part in 2 billion has been hanging around and given enough time it will fry our bacon so to speak.
    If you do not like predictions all you have to do is wait and then you can go down memory lane instead. You and many Europeans who had to learn french poetry will then remember Francois Villon’s line “Mais ou sont les neiges d’antan”.
    If you did not have the pleasure to learn french and/or poetry:”But where are the snows from yesteryear”.

    [Response: "cough" - gavin]

    Comment by Joseph Sobry — 1 Apr 2010 @ 5:56 PM

  175. “Monbiot…paging George Monbiot! Your abject apology is overdue!”

    Comment by Dan L. — 1 Apr 2010 @ 6:06 PM

  176. The UK Parliamentary report found insufficient legal support for EAUniv. It’s not hard to imagine that college lawyers are busy with a myriad of problems. Guidelines need to be provided so that researchers are not winging it. Filling FOI requests should be done with minimum necessary support from researchers on the nature of the inquiry.
    Two things are accomplished by this. It takes the harassing work on researchers’ backs — discouraging malicious requests. It removes the harassed person from the direct line of fire, so there is less effect on the researcher. Also, the scientist is not in the position of having to decide what the law means.
    Obviously, the University did not anticipate the spamming of FOI requests. There must be some provision in the law to deal with spamming — or it should be added. Government officials have real work to do; they are not the toy of cranks.
    I understand Jones’ anger; anyone I ever known who is unmercifully harassed reacts that way. His advocating of the destruction of emails was injudicious even if legal.
    Some plan or guidelines to deal with requests for scientific information needs to be gotten together so that it isn’t handled on an individual case by case by busy scientists and lawyers.

    Comment by veritas36 — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:11 PM

  177. Ron #147 says:

    A typical figure for the cost of combating climate change is 2% of global GDP which equates to 1 trillion a year

    Where do you get this from? All calculations I’ve seen are 1-2% of global annual GDP as a total cost, not a recurrent cost, i.e., on your calculation, a total of $1-trillion, not $1-trillion every year. The highest number I’ve seen that’s vaguely defensible is 5%, a cost easily wearable compared with other big economic shocks we’ve seen (GFC, oil price shocks).

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:22 PM

  178. Jack Maloney,
    OK, let me get this straight: You actually think that the US government would want climate change to occur–even though it means a huge influx of refugees, global unrest, food and water shortages, etc. and mitigating it represents a large expense and probably decreased prosperity for a generation or two?

    Dude, I have got to get me some of whatever it is you are smoking!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 1 Apr 2010 @ 7:56 PM

  179. Ray Ladbury @ 173

    My point is that there has been the appearance of scientists preferring to withhold data, even if all the data that could have been legally released were, in fact, released. I don’t doubt for a second that the denialists have cynically blown this out of all proportion. Many, most, of their claims are indeed horescrap but it has now become harder to convince people who occupy the muddled middle ground that scientists would never withhold data from their critics.

    “We found prima facie evidence to suggest that the UEA found ways to support the culture at CRU of resisting disclosure of information to climate change sceptics. The failure of UEA to grasp fully the potential damage to CRU and UEA by the non-disclosure of FOIA requests was regrettable.”

    Some may dispute that there were actually any problems with the culture at CRU. Maybe so, but if there were problems I don’t understand why the director of the unit should not be held partly accountable for them.

    Comment by Andy S — 1 Apr 2010 @ 8:35 PM

  180. Secular Animist, #157 – Amen!

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 1 Apr 2010 @ 8:49 PM

  181. “Jack Maloney,
    OK, let me get this straight: You actually think that the US government would want climate change to occur–…”
    Ray Ladbury — 1 April 2010 @ 7:56 PM
    Ray, I think he”s saying that Goldmann-Sachs and the other players likely to make money on Carbon trading etc are funding the AGW climatology research conspiracy at CRU and GISS, and to counter that, the fossil fuel companies naturally fund research by Watts, Monckton, MacIntyre, Plimer, and so on to defend their interests. Plus the warmists fund groups like the NAS and the AGU to propagandize the message, so Murdoch, Koch, Exxon, coal, and political skeptics fund Heartland, CEI, the Marshall Institute so that the public gets a “fair and balanced view” of the policy choices.

    (Too snarky? &;>)

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:35 PM

  182. > Jack Maloney says: 1 April 2010 at 3:50 PM
    > …
    > … Funding on both sides of the climate debate ….

    But we’re not here to talk about or to people interested in debate, eh?
    The people actually doing the science — the real science, not the “advocacy science” — aren’t getting “special interest” funding unless you consider civilization a “special interest” — if so, the barbarians must be funding people too, eh? Just to knock everything over and pillage the ruins.

    Hmmmm …..

    Science is its own reward. Just ask Dr. Jones, for example.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 1 Apr 2010 @ 9:36 PM

  183. re: Greenpeace reports 17,19,22,24,33,43,49,55,94

    See Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony, as of March 15. I’m not Greenpeace, but when I study the same topics, I get more-or-less the same answers, to within plausible variations of emphasis. My only (minor) complaint with the Exxon piece was that many people place undue emphasis on Exxon by itself, when family foundations spend a lot … but a few days later the Koch piece appeared. Now, if only a Scaife piece appears…

    People were talking about funding. See Table A.6.1(a-c), pp.92-95, which shows a matrix of:

    - funders (family foundations, two separate values (sometimes different time periods) for ExxonMobil foundation) vs
    - think tanks/fronts, described in A.3 (pp.49-78).
    The total funding shown there is $463M, and that is likely no more than half the funding provided to these various entities. (See Table A.2.2, p.46, where I compare the foundation numbers to sample think tank 990 revenue numbers, by year, to roughly estimate how much is unknown. Ponder the odd Heartland pattern, in which the visible Exxon funding disappears about the time Heartland gets a big boost of income … and really gets focused on climate anti-science.

    Of course, not all of that $463M is earmarked for “science.”

    Table A.3.1 analyzes a group of these to see the words used, of which “Institute” is the most common and “Science” second.
    I suggest studying these entities to see how much actual science has been produced over the years.

    Comment by John Mashey — 1 Apr 2010 @ 11:25 PM

  184. Imteresting sub-thread: why not have a topic on who funds and how much,to both the warmists and the deniers?Much of the information seems to come up periodically on different sites, so why not lets pull it all together here?

    Comment by william — 2 Apr 2010 @ 1:37 AM

  185. Gee — you lot really are not interested in facts are you?

    1. You actually know nothing about me (or what I think of climate change) so I do not know the basis on which the various attempts at character assassination have been made. Perhaps is is a modus operandi that is so deeply ingrained that you don’t even realise you are doing it.
    2. My comments were made before I had read the Koch report (indeed probably before it was even out) so were neither motivated by trying to avoid it, or by its contents.
    3. If you don’t think you have a credibility gap to fill, then I suggest you read the Der Spiegel article.
    4. If you suggest that the truth should be decided by the saying whoever got the biggest bucks, then the climate change side has lost — more bucks have gone into climate research than any “evil empire” could match. I suggest you work hard to ensure that this is not the criteria that is used.

    Finally – I seriously think that if you keep commenting in the manner in which you are — attaching the character of the messenger and rather than the quality of the message — then you will never bridge that gap and I also seriously believe that you losing (more of) your credibility will do the world no good at all.

    Comment by Margaret — 2 Apr 2010 @ 2:00 AM

  186. AndyS says, “I don’t doubt for a second that the denialists have cynically blown this out of all proportion.”

    I believe the technical term for this is “lying”. Let’s call it what it is. If people choose to believe lies, then it is difficult to have much confidence in the longterm survival of the species.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:06 AM

  187. Bryan Dodge@181
    Look Rush Limbaugh required large quantities of high-quality of pr-e-scrip-tion pain me- dic -a- tion to maintain such fantasies. Are you suggesting that Jack does so with out major pha- rma- ceut- ical assistance? Wow!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:11 AM

  188. Re: #172

    Funding on both sides … ,

    The principle of symmetry. But how about the results of such expenditure? How much new information about the real world? How many true statements from each ‘side’? Complaining that it could not get started because its FOI requests have been refused, is not very convincing when you can see where the money on one side has really gone i.e on funding for lobbyists, astroturfers and so called ‘scientific’ conferences for publicising pure opinion. Any appearance of symmetry is only skin deep.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:25 AM

  189. “Ray, I think he”s saying that Goldmann-Sachs and the other players likely to make money on Carbon trading etc are funding the AGW climatology research”

    Rather begging the question, isn’t it?

    After all, the question becomes: who is going to the poles with a hair dryer and melting the poles?

    Also begs the question: why hasn’t it been implemented by Copenhagen, if the conspiracy is that the governments (who went there to agree) are conspiring to do this?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:38 AM

  190. “My point is that there has been the appearance of scientists preferring to withhold data”

    No, they HAVE withheld data: data they were BOUND BY LAW not to reveal.

    Heck, pop along to your local central government and ask for all the top secret files. That’s data.

    Good luck.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:40 AM

  191. “There must be some provision in the law to deal with spamming — or it should be added”

    There already is: FOI requests can be refused if they are vexatious.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:41 AM

  192. “171
    Jon P says:
    1 April 2010 at 3:30 PM

    #168 Cannot wait for CFU to re-interpret those rules for us to fit his narrative and his “world””

    Jon P, ever read the FOIA?

    No, you haven’t.

    Go read them.

    http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/docs/foi-exemption-s44.pdf

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:45 AM

  193. “1. Yes, indeed, some of that data was not CRU’s to share, and that the ICO representative had correctly decided that this proprietary right outweighed FOI law in this case.”

    The ICO cannot break copyright or coerce someone else into breeching any form of contract. Only a court order can do so.

    IT DOESN’T GET PAST FOIA.

    Please show us where the ICO stated this, by the way, or are you rewriting your memory to fit as we speak?

    “2. CRU was working with various national met offices in order to get permission to share the data.”

    And until the negotiations are complete, the FOI request MUST BE REFUSED. Which would inevitably lead to the FOI request not being answered in a timely manner which you say is illegal.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:47 AM

  194. “Whether or not CRU broke the letter of the FOI law is still unclear ”

    Nope, it’s VERY CLEAR. They didn’t.

    “but it does seem from the limited evidence from the emails that that there was intent to subvert the spirit of the law”

    Nope, the subversion was the spamming of FOI requests for fraudulent reasons (the requests were supposed to be to supply data to people who wished to do work on the data: heard of ONE SINGLE EXAMPLE?).

    And the letter and spirit of the law is that if you’re being spammed vexatiously you don’t have to consider them.

    See, for example, SLAPP legislation in the US or Jack Thompson barred from courts for vexatious litigation against computer games.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:52 AM

  195. re 185. “…Der Spiegel article.”

    A magazine article? Really?? We are talking *science* here (as in peer-reviewed papers and scientific conferences), not newspaper or magazine articles for goodness sake.

    Comment by Dan — 2 Apr 2010 @ 6:01 AM

  196. Margaret says, ” You actually know nothing about me (or what I think of climate change)…”

    OK, so why don’t you tell us. Anyone who is familiar with this subject knows there is a lot of concern trolling and sock puppetry out there. It is natural to wonder about the motivations of a poster before he/she has established bona fides.

    Margaret: “My comments were made before I had read the Koch report…”
    and
    Margaret: “…more bucks have gone into climate research than any “evil empire” could match.”

    Margaret, I think you need to make a distinction between money spent on propaganda and money spent on research. Research dollars ultimately are intended to result in publication in a peer-reviewed journal. What that means is that your research will be reviewed and critiqued (harshly) by those who will be competing with you for research dollars the next time around. If your “peers” can find a way to savage your research, they will. What is more, it is usually expected that the source of research grants will be prominently acknowledged in the publication.

    In contrast, Koch et al. sought to remain in the shadows. Now why was that do you think?

    No peer-reviewed publications, only op-eds. No research, just character assassination.

    So, no, Margaret, we don’t judge “the winner” in the “debate” by who is funded, but rather by who publishes. By that standard, the denialist lie machine has forfeited. And those publications and all that evidence are there waiting for people to actually look at them. If people switch to an evidence-based decision making paradigm, there will be no credibility problem, regardless of what Der Speigel says.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Apr 2010 @ 7:17 AM

  197. This one looks fair:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/03/the_first_of_the_numerous.html

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 2 Apr 2010 @ 8:06 AM

  198. @ #167 Andy S

    I can’t comment on UEA but would be guided by the UK Parliamentary Committee findings. (That accords with the situation in Australia.)

    Here in Australia, universities typically have an Accredited FoI Officer in central administration who is responsible for handling all FoI requests, setting up systems, determining what information is to be provided and what information is exempt under the Act. They also provide advice to staff holding the information requested. Some universities charge a fee for FoI applications.

    FoI is a special-ised job requiring training and expertise, with the delegated person at a senior level in university administration.

    Comment by Sou — 2 Apr 2010 @ 8:10 AM

  199. ”But where are the snows from yesteryear”.

    The most famous modern translation is “Where are the Snowdons of yesteryear?”

    Given the logic of denialism, it’s an apt one.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 2 Apr 2010 @ 8:51 AM

  200. Just to add to Ray’s 196:

    “it is usually expected that the source of research grants will be prominently acknowledged in the publication.”

    In fact, the funding agency will not be happy if you don’t acknowledge their funding. Moreover, everywhere I publish I am asked bout conflicts of interest and whether I have a financial stake in the results. This is standard stuff that you have to go through every time you publish a paper. I’m not sure why Margaret seems to think conflicts of interest aren’t relevant to the scientific process.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 2 Apr 2010 @ 9:24 AM

  201. #193 CFU I read it since you offered, but once again you need to go argue with the committee they are the ones that said the responses to the FOIA requests were unacceptable. They certainly have reviewed ALL of the relevant information, evidence, rules, laws, nad conducted interviews more than you or I? Or maybe you think the committee came to the wrong conclusion on this point? Thats OK with me.

    [Response: Can we just wrap this up? You are all just repeating yourselves here. Thanks. - gavin]

    Comment by Jon P — 2 Apr 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  202. “Jack Maloney,
    OK, let me get this straight: You actually think that the US government would want climate change to occur–even though it means a huge influx of refugees, global unrest, food and water shortages, etc. and mitigating it represents a large expense and probably decreased prosperity for a generation or two?
    Dude, I have got to get me some of whatever it is you are smoking!”
    Comment by Ray Ladbury

    Dude, you didn’t get it straight. I said nothing even remotely resembling what you claim I said. It should be obvious that climate change will occur without government help.

    “The people actually doing the science — the real science, not the “advocacy science” — aren’t getting “special interest” funding…”
    Comment by Hank Roberts

    What charming naíveté! The Tata Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate with ties through TERI to Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, stands to make several hundred million dollars in European Union carbon credits simply by closing a steel production facility in Britain with the loss of 1,700 jobs. A Tata creation, Pachauri’s TERI, played the bent “Himalaya 2035″ card in winning £2.8 million in research grants from the EU and Carnegie Foundation.

    My point is that there are billions of dollars in play around the AGW issue, and many millions being spent by special interests on advocacy and research on both sides. Ambitious politicians and power-hungry bureaucrats are no more innocent than profiteering industrialists and investment brokers.

    “Look Rush Limbaugh required large quantities of high-quality of pr-e-scrip-tion pain me- dic -a- tion to maintain such fantasies. Are you suggesting that Jack does so with out major pha- rma- ceut- ical assistance? Wow!”

    Comment by Ray Ladbury

    I should think sophomoric personal attacks of this sort would be an embarrassment for responsible members of the RealClimate community. Perhaps that shows my own naíveté.

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 2 Apr 2010 @ 10:13 AM

  203. Margaret, we don’t know you at all.

    We do know the _opinion_ — sources of funding should not matter in science.

    We all, I expect, agree with that opinion. The source _should_ not matter.

    Where many of us who’ve been reading in the area a while differ with you is on the _facts_. The facts, the published research, show the source of funding matters, and it matters for reasons not easy to address except by disclosure.

    You came in and proposed something widely and well known to be an opinion long held by corporate funders who distorted scientific results, and base your posting on something that’s factually known wrong.

    Funding affects results.
    Hidden funding affects results by hiding inconvenient results.

    We know this. The research is published.

    We’d all like to live in the world you describe, where funding doesn’t affect what’s published and science can be evaluated purely.

    That’s not this world.

    People aren’t happy about this. Readers and publishers and users of medical service in particular have been disillusioned, and angered, and embittered about this discovery. Each time it’s rediscovered, people get unhappy.

    Ignoring the funding doesn’t solve this problem.

    What will? That’s being struggled with in many areas of science.

    This isn’t about you. It’s about the world.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Apr 2010 @ 10:18 AM

  204. @Jack Malony:
    Bollocks. TERI was just one of the many organisations that received the 2.8 million grant from the EU (and not the main driver), and the funding from the Carnegie foundation (if at all paid) was at best an indirect funding, a shared project, and in total at most 310,000 pound.

    Get your facts straight first, then you won’t get the sophomoric attacks aimed at you. The people here probably assumed you had not passed that level yet, and were kind enough to come to your level.

    Comment by Marco — 2 Apr 2010 @ 1:16 PM

  205. Jack Maloney,
    Uh, Dude, Rajendra Pachauri comes in at number 1800 on the battle of the climate scientists:
    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html

    Do you seriously contend that thousands of authors would fudge their data just so some buddy of Raj’s could make a buck. You really think that scientists are going to jeopardize their careers just so Tata can clean up on carbon credits. Dude, can you step back just for a moment and see just how silly that is? ‘Cause I’d hate to think you might not get the joke!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Apr 2010 @ 1:52 PM

  206. Jack Maloney,
    To assert with zero evidence that climate science is a fraud is to invite ridicule. I consider it an obligation to accept such invitations.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Apr 2010 @ 5:18 PM

  207. William #184:

    Imteresting sub-thread: why not have a topic on who funds and how much,to both the warmists and the deniers?Much of the information seems to come up periodically on different sites, so why not lets pull it all together here?

    Great idea. I’d really like to see a side-by-side, detailed accounting of what research is funded by whom, and what the published products of that research are. I’ve been frustrated by people like Jack Maloney and others talking about “greedy, grant-farming climate scientists”, but I’m not aware of any analysis of funding for climate science comparable to ExxonSecrets or Climate Cover Up for the deniers. If sufficiently detailed and documented, it might put an end to the most egregious calumnies.

    [Response: This topic is very similar to the whole "data secrecy" issue, which is to say it's primarily a non-issue propagated by those who don't like the results scientists produce when in fact most of said info is out in the open. Sources and sinks of funding can all be looked up at NSF and other sites.--Jim]

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 2 Apr 2010 @ 6:44 PM

  208. ExxonSecrets, that is.

    Comment by Mal Adapted — 2 Apr 2010 @ 6:48 PM

  209. RE Comment #06 by Ray Ladbury:
    “Jack Maloney,
    To assert with zero evidence that climate science is a fraud is to invite ridicule. I consider it an obligation to accept such invitations.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury”

    Again, Ray, you totally misread and misrepresent my post. I have never asserted (or implied, or, for that matter, believed) that “climate science is a fraud.” You might want to work on your reading comprehension skills.

    RE Comment #04 by Marco:
    “TERI was just one of the many organisations that received the 2.8 million grant from the EU (and not the main driver), and the funding from the Carnegie foundation (if at all paid) was at best an indirect funding, a shared project, and in total at most 310,000 pound.”

    TERI received the lion’s share of the £2.5 million EU grant. The other £.3 million grant from Carnegie was actually withdrawn at the request of TERI’s Icelandic partner. But you’re certainly welcome to quibble about the numbers – it might distract readers from the web of connections between Tata, TERI, Pachauri and IPCC’s bogus “Himalaya 2035″ claim that helped win the grants.

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 2 Apr 2010 @ 7:26 PM

  210. Jock Maloney,
    You are asserting that the source of research money affects research conclusions. That is an allegation of scientific fraud.

    On the other hand, Koch et al. aren’t paying for research, are they?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 2 Apr 2010 @ 8:45 PM

  211. Jack Maloney says: 2 April 2010 at 7:26 PM

    Without access to the documentation exchanged between the various participants, ascribing any influence on the Carnegie grant to a single paragraph buried in 3,000 pages of information with something like five nines reliability overall is purest baloney, malarkey.

    But lack of evidence is no reason to hold back on specious claims. Just ask Dr. Pielke Jr., one the primary authors of the rumor you’re promoting here, Mr. Maloney.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 3 Apr 2010 @ 12:46 AM

  212. How does it feel to be on the wrong side of history?

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

    Sorry, folks, Briffa based his analysis on a single pine tree?? N = 1??

    Comment by CRS — 3 Apr 2010 @ 1:26 AM

  213. Der Spiegel is not so kind (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,686697-4,00.html).

    Did Jones proceed correctly while homogenizing the data? Most climatologists still believe Jones’ contention that he did not intentionally manipulate the data. However, that belief will have to remain rooted in good faith. Under the pressure of McIntyre’s attacks, Jones had to admit something incredible: He had deleted his notes on how he performed the homogenization. This means that it is not possible to reconstruct how the raw data turned into his temperature curve.

    For Peter Webster, a meteorologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, this course of events is “one of the biggest sins” a scientist can commit. “It’s as if a chef was no longer able to cook his dishes because he lost the recipes.”

    While amateur climatologist McIntyre spent years begging in vain for the raw data, Webster eventually managed to convince Jones to send them to him. He is the only scientist to date who has been given access to the data. “To be honest, I’m shocked by the sloppy documentation,” Webster told SPIEGEL.

    From another article in the same series…

    …the scientists under Schellnhuber’s leadership came up with a strikingly simple idea. We looked at the history of the climate since the rise of homo sapiens,” Schellnhuber recalls. “This showed us that average global temperatures in the last 130,000 years were no more than two degrees higher than before the beginning of the industrial revolution. To be on the safe side, we came up with a rule of thumb stating that it would be better not to depart from this field of experience in human evolution. Otherwise we would be treading on terra incognita.”

    =====================
    That last bit is like reading past IPCC reports and seeing temperature reconstructions with the MWP. I can understand simplifying things for the general public and politicians, but there is a fine line between simplifying and obfuscating. There can still be a case made for AGW without having to hide the fact that the planet has been warmer in the past. This is probably the biggest point of contention between the AGW camp and the skeptics.

    Comment by Tim Huck — 3 Apr 2010 @ 2:01 AM

  214. Jack Maloney or Brian Dodge or Margaret or Ray or whoever it was who thought that: “Goldmann-Sachs and the other players likely to make money on Carbon trading etc are funding the AGW climatology research conspiracy”

    How would Goldmann-Sachs know 30 years or 150 years ago that they were ” likely to make money on Carbon trading”? They are STILL NOT likely to make money on carbon trading.

    To whoever thinks such a thing: The funding comes from ordinary NASA and university sources that just fund research for the sake of research. The idea of Goldmann-Sachs funding is ludicrous, humorous, silly, funny, a good joke, etc..

    Goldmann-Sachs is getting the research for free. Goldmann-Sachs isn’t in that business. Can’t you spot the Real hoax? It is the idea that Goldmann-Sachs could even come up with such a scheme.

    There is no possibility of an ” AGW climatology research conspiracy.” Science just doesn’t work that way.

    Of course, somebody who is being paid by the fossil fuel industry came up with that conspiracy theory, or else some paranoid person came up with it.

    If you want to know for sure: UNDERSTAND THE SCIENCE. Re-do John Tyndall’s 1859 experiment on the optical properties of gasses for yourself. That is the way science is done. Conspiracy is impossible when every person relies on his or her own experimental evidence. THAT is the way scientists do it. NATURE is the only authority.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 3 Apr 2010 @ 2:42 AM

  215. Margaret (185),

    The Der Spiegel article is garbage from beginning to end. And if you’re against personal attacks, how can you endorse an article which starts off with a vicious personal attack, speculating about a scientist’s emotional upset and whether he is on psychoactive medications? Hypocrisy is a bad thing.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 3 Apr 2010 @ 4:57 AM

  216. Jack, if you don’t like the IPCC, then look at the peer-reviewed literature–which does a fine job of making the case that the planet is warming, that we are doing it and that it is a concern.

    I agree 100% that the IPCC is a political organization not a science organization. They are in fact a mainly volunteer organization charged with summarizing the science. Frankly, I think they do a pretty good job of that–and the scientific community (>90%) agrees with that. I mean when the entire denialist lie machine goes over the document with a fine-toothed comb, and the worst they can find is a typo (turning 2350 to 2035) that isn’t too bad. Compare that to the ouvre of McI or micro-Watts, who publish howlers on a daily basis.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 3 Apr 2010 @ 6:14 AM

  217. RE Comment #08 by Ray Ladbury:
    “You are asserting that the source of research money affects research conclusions. That is an allegation of scientific fraud.”

    More false claims by Ladbury. Show me the post where I made such an assertion. Perhaps he was thinking of another post:

    Comment #03 by Hank Roberts:
    “We’d all like to live in the world you describe, where funding doesn’t affect what’s published and science can be evaluated purely. That’s not this world.”

    I don’t disagree with that – and it cuts both ways in the AGW debate – but it’s not an assertion I’ve made. Still, unless you still believe in the Tooth Fairy, you must understand that grant applications are shaped to the requirements of funding sources, which usually have desired outcomes. That isn’t fraudulent – it’s reality.

    [Response: Right, you don't send a paleoclimate analysis proposal to the NIH when they announce for epidemiological modeling proposals. So what?--Jim]

    RE Comment by Doug Bostrom:
    “…ascribing any influence on the Carnegie grant to a single paragraph buried in 3,000 pages of information with something like five nines reliability overall is purest baloney, malarkey.”

    Doug, that “single paragraph” was in the grant abstract posted on the Carnegie web site. It was also a lead claim in Pachauri’s press conference. You call that “buried”?

    There’s an amusing symmetry between both sides of the AGW debate: for every James Inhofe there’s an Al Gore, for every Koch Industries there’s a Tata International, for every Rush Limbaugh there’s an Ed Begley Junior, and for every “denier” there’s an “alarmist.”

    [Response: Then maybe you should concentrate on the science instead of all those sources--just a wild suggestion mind you.--Jim]

    The great thing about being an agnostic on the issue is that I get rocks thrown by zealots on both sides.

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 3 Apr 2010 @ 8:28 AM

  218. Edward Greisch (Comment #13) – You cannot find a post where I used the word “conspiracy”. I don’t think much of people who attribute spurious “quotes” to those with whom they disagree. That seems to be a habit on this forum.

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 3 Apr 2010 @ 9:30 AM

  219. Jack Maloney says: 3 April 2010 at 8:28 AM

    Well, gosh, I stand corrected. We’ve gone from “lead claim in the IPCC report” which of course turned out to be bogus, to lead claim in a research institute press release announcing a collaboration and grant. Quite a climbdown, all in all, but looks as though that’s all Jack and crew have left to work with at this point. So let’s deal with it.

    From the TERI press release:

    The challenges facing the international community in the 21st century are primarily posed by changes in the natural environment. This applies to India and the sub-continent more starkly than most other regions of the world, as changes in weather patterns and the climate are bound to cause profound changes in the Himalaya. Of particular consequence will be changes of the glaciers. According to predictions of scientific merit they may indeed melt away in several decades. This, in turn, will have implications for the entire water system of the sub-continent, with immediate effect on soil, water management, and the possibilities of food production.

    So the timeline of anticipated effects is in error, though the need for research on the topic is in fact unchallenged; nobody would disagree that narrowing the range of possibilities for hydrological changes in affect region is a desirable outcome.

    Meanwhile here’s the fountainhead of Jack’s information:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6999975.ece

    Read it carefully, and note this mischievous paragraph:

    Any suggestion that TERI has repeated an unchecked scientific claim without checking it, in order to win grants, could prove hugely embarrassing for Pachauri and the IPCC.

    The Times artfully goes on to make this exact suggestion as nearly as possible without actually risking a libel claim. They’ve had a lot of practice at this sort of thing.

    Of course, as opposed to Carnegie and TERI, the Times rather than referring to available published information stuck its neck out in this “news” article, helpfully suggesting to readers that Pachauri was corrupt:

    “However, other questions remain. One of the most important is in connection with Pachauri’s earnings.

    In an interview with The Sunday Times he said his only income came from his salary at TERI. However TERI does not publish his salary and he refused to divulge it. “

    I like the “other questions remain” part: “We’ll make up a question designed to heavily suggest that Pachauri is corrupt and feed it to our readers.”

    Another neat little bit of suggestion:

    Pachauri spoke at the same presentation and Hasnain is understood to have been present in the audience.

    Ah, the conspirators are found in the same room together, maybe.

    The Times goes on:

    “Critics say it is odd for a man committed to decarbonising energy supplies to be linked to an oil company.”

    I myself receive oil royalty checks every month yet I’m strongly offended that we crudely burn petroleum instead of using it for better purposes. Odd, eh?

    Since then we’ve learned that Pachauri earns a very modest amount amount of money indeed, as verified by KPMG.

    In sum there’s no case for corruption here, simply rumor and innuendo produced by experts in misdirection and suggestion.

    You’re a sap, Maloney, putty in the hands of such as the Times.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 3 Apr 2010 @ 10:41 AM

  220. Ray, et al: You seem to be equating to receiving special interest funding with fraud. Maybe I missed it but I don’t think that was Jack Malony’s assertion at all.

    Comment by Rod B — 3 Apr 2010 @ 10:52 AM

  221. #206 Ray Ladbury

    Well put :)

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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 3 Apr 2010 @ 11:40 AM

  222. RE Comment by Doug Bostrom – 3 April 2010 @ 10:41 AM
    “You’re a sap, Maloney, putty in the hands of such as the Times.”
    Is that the level at which the AGW side of the debate is being conducted?

    RE Comment by Ray Ladbury — 3 April 2010 @ 6:14 AM
    “…the worst they can find is a typo (turning 2350 to 2035) that isn’t too bad.”

    “2350″ is merely a typo?! So Pachauri’s TERI elevated a mere typo into a “prediction of scientific merit”?

    “…changes in weather patterns and the climate are bound to cause profound changes in the Himalaya. Of particular consequence will be changes of the glaciers. According to predictions of scientific merit they may indeed melt away in several decades.” TERI press release 15 January 2010

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 3 Apr 2010 @ 12:07 PM

  223. “Ray, et al: You seem to be equating to receiving special interest funding with fraud”

    No, just the papers that are fraudulent are mostly paid for by Exxon et al.

    A government has to prove it gets value from its spending.

    A company (especially a private one) can just tell all the people to go hang. How many times has a fine against a corporation been decried as bad (especially if it’s a US corporation) because they’ll just pass the cost on to the consumers?

    But you’ll never see an itemised list of “parts”, “paying a criminal penalty”, “goodwill costs”…

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 3 Apr 2010 @ 12:09 PM

  224. “I agree 100% that the IPCC is a political organization not a science organization.”

    Just like to point out that all those concern trolls complaining about not being polite, that word has the same root as political and politician: polis. The City.

    How impolite they are too politicians, however. But don’t you DARE call them denialists when they’re denying there’s a problem!

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 3 Apr 2010 @ 12:12 PM

  225. re CRS How does it feel to be on the wrong side of history?

    This history?
    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/figures/seaice2009fig2.jpg

    I think you’ll find that 2010 puts a little black dot just below the ’0′ line.
    Not much deflection to that trend, though.

    That’s the thing about history – it doesn’t get re-written by some drive-by denialist at some moment chosen for his convenience.

    Comment by Ron Broberg — 3 Apr 2010 @ 12:24 PM

  226. Jack Maloney, Perhaps, then, you would care to lay out clearly what you are implying in your seeming equation between the denialist lie maching and the scientists. I would be more than happy to take back half the nasty thing’s I’ve said about you if in fact you are not implying some sort of vast conspiracy. I do not think it is appropriate to be an “agnostic” on the matter of truth vs. falsehood. It’s the only area where I am not an agnostic.

    After all, what matters, ultimately is the science–and that is unequivocal.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 3 Apr 2010 @ 12:29 PM

  227. Jack Maloney says: 3 April 2010 at 12:07 PM

    You (and the Times for that matter) are describing a conspiracy theory. You do know that, don’t you?

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 3 Apr 2010 @ 1:45 PM

  228. RE Comment #26 by Ray Ladbury — 3 April 2010 @ 12:29 PM
    “Jack Maloney…I would be more than happy to take back half the nasty thing’s I’ve said about you if in fact you are not implying some sort of vast conspiracy.”

    I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. Frankly, the archiving on a publicly-funded server of email discussions about hiding declines, influencing journals, suppressing articles, deleting emails and evading FOI requests CRU have convinced me that climate scientists couldn’t successfully manage a conspiracy if they tried.

    [Response: Good, we can put that one to rest then. All other posts insinuating guilt on the other topics mentioned above, without substantive discussion thereupon, will be deleted--Jim]

    I think the whole Climategate kerfuffle is more about human frailty than science.

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 3 Apr 2010 @ 2:03 PM

  229. @Jack Maloney: You claimed
    “TERI received the lion’s share of the £2.5 million EU grant”

    Please define what you consider “lion’s share” and provide the proof for the amount that TERI will receive.

    Comment by Marco — 3 Apr 2010 @ 3:20 PM

  230. Tim Huck, scientists don’t rely upon good faith, they rely upon independent replication of conclusions using multiple different approaches. If Jones’s results diverged from the results of other independent groups analyzing similar data, then there would be an investigation of what it was about his methodology that led to different conclusions. The notion that the conclusions might depend upon some “notes” that he did not think were important enough to keep is ridiculous. Perhaps this might be true for a culinary masterpiece, but it is not true for science. Scientific methodology is described in peer reviewed publications in sufficient detail such that any competent scientist should be able to reproduce the approach (that’s one of the responsibilities of peer reviewers–to verify that the methodology is described in sufficient detail for any competent scientist to reproduce the conclusions). There is no need the repeat his calculations exactly to the last decimal point, or even to use temperature recordings from the exact same set of recording stations. All one should require is a decent general description from his peer reviewed publications publications. If some data is proprietary and cannot be obtained, it is OK to simply leave it out. You don’t need the exact same data, just the same kind of data. The conclusions should be essentially the same. If they are not, then there *is* a problem, because valid scientific methodology is robust–the conclusions should not be critically dependent upon subtle details of how the calculations were done, or the exact selection of temperature stations that were used. So far, every other group that has independently carried out a similar analysis has reached essentially the same conclusions. It is that, rather than “good faith,” that leads the scientific community to accept that the conclusions are correct.

    Comment by trrll — 3 Apr 2010 @ 3:33 PM

  231. Jack Maloney @228 says, “I think the whole Climategate kerfuffle is more about human frailty than science.”

    On this, sir, I agree wholeheartedly. But what does it say about the scientific process that it yields reliable knowledge when weilded by frail humans? After all, not one iota of science crucial to understanding the climate has been altered in light of what we learned. Surely that speaks in favor of the process, regardless of what it says about the people.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 3 Apr 2010 @ 3:34 PM

  232. Scientific research is codified in exactly the same way as patents are supposed to be codified: not by stating each and every stage on the way, nor giving all the intermediate points (the failed attempts to realise the patented work), but in explaining in sufficient detail so that ONE SKILLED IN THE ART can recreate the work.

    But concern trolls don’t care about that.

    They just want to be seen wringing their hands over the “scandal”.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 3 Apr 2010 @ 4:59 PM

  233. RE Comment #29 by Marco — 3 April 2010 @ 3:20 PM
    “@Jack Maloney: You claimed
    “TERI received the lion’s share of the £2.5 million EU grant”

    Please define what you consider “lion’s share” and provide the proof for the amount that TERI will receive.”

    Most native English speakers understand the “lion’s share” to mean the largest or prime share. The EU has not provided a breakdown of the €2.5 million grant. That the “lion’s share” went to TERI has been reported in major media worldwide, and no one from TERI or the EU has disputed the claim. If you have more exact figures, I’d be pleased to see them.

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 3 Apr 2010 @ 5:07 PM

  234. @Jack Maloney:
    Please provide references to the media reports. So far I only found one, and unsurprising, it is from Jonathan Leake…who has zero credibility left after all the lies and distortions he has thrown around.

    Just for extra information: in the same article in which Leake claims TERI got the lion’s share, he also wrote:
    “The EU grant was split between leading European research institutions, including Britain’s Met Office, with TERI getting a major but unspecified share because it represented the host country.”

    In other words: “I have no idea, so I just make things up”. Plausibly deniable allegations. If TERI says “we only got 100,000″, Leake says “I only wrote “major share”!

    Comment by Marco — 4 Apr 2010 @ 2:01 AM

  235. “the focus on CRU and Professor Phil Jones, Director of CRU, in particular, has largely been misplaced,”

    I had a feeling of emberassment watching the Climate research unit hearings..There seems to be Galileo effect that applies to scientist that are ahead of the curve..”hit the messenger”..

    I found myself applauding Phil Jones at some point..

    Heads up Phil, i think you are one of the great scientist of our time and i want to thank you for your important service to humanity..

    The hearings were posted on youtube by deniers but interesting,,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAj_lZv4Gxc

    Comment by Harmen — 4 Apr 2010 @ 3:45 AM

  236. “Most native English speakers understand the “lion’s share” to mean the largest or prime share. ”

    You weren’t asked what “most native english speakers” think it means.

    What do YOU think it means?

    £50?

    £500?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 4 Apr 2010 @ 5:18 AM

  237. Tim Huck (213),

    The Der Spiegel article deliberately misrepresents (i.e., lies) about what happened. McIntyre spent years begging for data he already had. 95% of CRU data was public-domain, the other 5% was covered by proprietary agreements and couldn’t be released. McIntyre then coordinated a denial-of-service attack through his blog, encouraging readers to “pick any five countries” and send in an FOI request for all their met data to CRU.

    CRU employs three people.

    It takes 18 hours to completely process a UK FOI request.

    McIntyre’s group sent 40 FOI requests over one weekend.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 4 Apr 2010 @ 5:48 AM

  238. Jack Maloney 228: the archiving on a publicly-funded server of email discussions about hiding declines, influencing journals, suppressing articles, deleting emails and evading FOI requests CRU have convinced me that climate scientists couldn’t successfully manage a conspiracy if they tried.

    BPL: And the fact that you believe those charges, after having the opportunity to learn better, has convinced me that you couldn’t learn critical thinking if you tried.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 4 Apr 2010 @ 6:04 AM

  239. RE: Comment by Completely Fed Up — 4 April 2010 @ 5:18 AM:
    “What do YOU think it ["the lion's share" of €2.5 million] means? £50? £500?”

    Well, if you want to be literal, look at it this way: TERI is among nine contractors on the project. If the money was shared equally, each contractor would get about €277,777. So TERI’s reputed “lion’s share” could be as little as €277,778…if that’s what you’d like to believe.

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 4 Apr 2010 @ 11:45 AM

  240. #237 Barton Paul Levenson

    This is truly dirty pool. I received an email form a friend stating also that he is getting hit hard with FOI’s

    What I’m looking forward to though is the possibility of tying concerted coordinated efforts with FOI requests to disrupt the science itself and the communication. It seems that these lines can be drawn.

    What I hope to see in the future as we move forward is that these actions will be prosecuted and pursued.

    The reality is that the science is reasonably solid as we know, so the efforts and coordination when tied to funding from special interests may produce some interesting prosecutions in the future.

    It will be the smoking trials all over again but with a lot more intensity because this is not just the smokers, they are doing harm the everyone on the planet.

    I would say that those that participate in these campaigns to disrupt the work will be targeted by these investigations and they are doing so, rightly so, at their own peril.

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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 4 Apr 2010 @ 1:36 PM

  241. John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) says: 4 April 2010 at 1:36 PM

    What I’m looking forward to though is the possibility of tying concerted coordinated efforts with FOI requests to disrupt the science itself and the communication. It seems that these lines can be drawn.

    Horner at CEI (Competitive Enterprise Institute) has been boasting publicly about blasting out FOIA requests here in the United States and we then see output from those spun up on Fox. It’s perfectly obvious Horner’s not intent on ferreting out misbehavior but is actually abusing the law to feed PR flacks with fodder for their misinformation machine. He ought to be stopped, for sure.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 4 Apr 2010 @ 2:42 PM

  242. re #213

    That last bit is like reading past IPCC reports and seeing temperature reconstructions with the MWP.
    ……………………………….
    There can still be a case made for AGW without having to hide the fact that the planet has been warmer in the past.

    You are certainly right about the italicised phrase, but what follows it is ambiguous.

    Most people would agree that the planet has been warmer in the past. But there is an insinuation here, that some temperature proxies have been hidden which demonstrate that the MWP was an occasion when that occurred on a global scale.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 4 Apr 2010 @ 6:47 PM

  243. RE: Comment #38 by Barton Paul Levenson re: Comment #28 by Jack Maloney on CRU “email discussions about hiding declines, influencing journals, suppressing articles, deleting emails and evading FOI requests”.

    “BPL: And the fact that you believe those charges, after having the opportunity to learn better, has convinced me that you couldn’t learn critical thinking if you tried.”

    Not charges, BPL – facts. They’re all right there in the CRU emails. I tried to post the specific CRU email reference numbers (complete and in context), but the moderator on this site is apparently (and understandably) reluctant to expose RealClimate viewers to what they actually contain.

    [Response: Give me a break. We 'the moderator' are perfectly happy to let the facts stand for themselves. The facts are that reasonable people will come up with different interpretations of the CRU emails because a bunch of private emails between people doesn't actually amount to anything very much. If the facts are so clear from the emails, why do so many people feel the need to add 'in temperature' after 'the decline', knowing perfectly well this is a lie?--eric]

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 4 Apr 2010 @ 9:10 PM

  244. Jack Maloney says: 4 April 2010 at 9:10 PM

    I tried to post the specific CRU email reference numbers…

    Not to pick on you alone, I suspect you’re a hobbyist/enthusiast drawn into the excitement, but the idea that somebody has taken these poor, sad emails and created an entire website around ‘em with indexing systems and the like is positively pathological. A few years down the road and the folks who burnt the midnight candle throwing together this contraption are going to be in the annals of popular delusions along with phrenologists and other purveyors of trumped up and then deflated fads.

    Too weird.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 4 Apr 2010 @ 9:44 PM

  245. Moderator says “We ‘the moderator’ are perfectly happy to let the facts stand for themselves.”

    Ahh – then why not post my comment with the CRU email reference numbers, so that RealClimate readers can see the actual statements by Phil Jones and Tom Wigley? As you say, let the facts stand by themselves, in context and without interpretation.

    [Response: The point is that reading individual emails is exactly the wrong approach. Some context might be obtained by reading ALL the emails, but actually getting the full context would be in knowing the full history, not to mention (for example) getting a close look at all of Steve McIntyre's emails (though his blog alone should suffice for any rational person to understand why one might lose one's temper about his FOI requests). Reading a couple of emails that *you* have chosen to highlight is not sufficient 'context' for anyone to draw any conclusion other than the one they are predisposed to draw. What's truly mystifying is how so many people don't seem to understand this basic point. I would have thought our society would have learned some lessons from the McCarthy era, but evidently not. --eric]

    Comment by Jack Maloney — 4 Apr 2010 @ 9:50 PM

  246. JackMaloney – You might try thoughtfully considering the post on the Rabetts blog to understand some of the context for the “actual statements” of Jones and Wigley, if you’re capable of understanding.

    Comment by flxible — 4 Apr 2010 @ 10:41 PM

  247. @Jack Maloney:

    I’m still waiting for the evidence that TERI would receive the lion’s share and the supposed main media reporting as such. I see you have decided not to react to my request. Gee, I wonder why.

    Oh, and you may want to read this e-mail:
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/mr/Wigley_email.pdf

    Comment by Marco — 5 Apr 2010 @ 2:49 AM

  248. Jack Maloney,
    Have you noticed that in the normal course of science, private communications–be they letters, emails or telephone conversations–never enter into play. What matters is the evidence.

    It is only because one side in this debate has NO evidence that they feel the need to rummage around in garbage and hack servers to obtain private communications. They then see nothing wrong with selectively editing these communications to present them in the most unflattering light–and still they come up with nothing that changes the evidence.

    Doug Bostrom is right–the fact that one side in this debate seems to think it is necessary to devote a whole site to pilfered emails is really, really sad. Just as sad as devoting time and effort to dissecting a paper that is nearly a decade and a half old or latching on to any idea that might explain some tiny aspect of the evidence–no matter how outlandis.

    Compare this to the amazing explanatory and predictive power of the consensus scientific theory, and that OUGUT to give you some idea of where the scientific truth lies.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 5 Apr 2010 @ 4:52 AM

  249. “So TERI’s reputed “lion’s share” could be as little as €277,778…if that’s what you’d like to believe.”

    Still avoiding the question: what do YOU believe?

    And where do you get your belief from?

    The cloaca?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 5 Apr 2010 @ 5:11 AM

  250. Eric sez:

    I would have thought our society would have learned some lessons from the McCarthy era, but evidently not.

    Of course they have learned some lessons from that era – they learned that McCarthyism works. Why else would they adopt similar techniques?

    Jack Maloney is, if not a practitioner, then certainly a fellow traveler.

    Comment by dhogaza — 5 Apr 2010 @ 7:53 AM

  251. So freedom of the press, does not include asking publicly funded scientists to show the taxpaying public, the results of what passes for scientific research funded by their tax dollars. – George E. Smith

    Since CRU is cited in the UK and funded by UK taxation, not a single “tax dollar” went into it. But I understand that many Americans – particularly those of the kind who are always whingeing about the use of their “tax dollars” – have trouble keeping in mind that the USA is not the whole world.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 5 Apr 2010 @ 8:38 AM

  252. #245 Jack Maloney

    It’s all about context. the emails in general are merely private discussions among scientists. Now that private emails are public, the denialist side of the argument has chosen to cherry pick phrases from the the emails and present them out of context.

    Information out of context is worthless. SO, this is merely a political ploy to confuse the public.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/climategate

    Nothing in the emails can overturn the science and discussions of tricks that in reality are merely methods such as what’s the trick to starting your weed whacker (pump the primer first and put on the choke), or what’s the trick to getting the bread to rise (add yeast), what’s the trick to fool people about the relevance of the emails (present cherry picked lines out of context of the science).

    If you can’t figure this out, then you need to reexamine the tricks that seem to be swirling around in your head. IN other words, don’t buy the populist context of an argument just for fun. learn the relevant context of the science.

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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 5 Apr 2010 @ 9:41 AM

  253. #252 Nick Gotts

    It’s all getting so silly now. Jaw droppingly silly . . .

    . . . I thought America has jurisdiction of the UK, I mean we did win the war and all. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to tell them what to do. . .

    Whine, whine, whine, blah, blah, blah, isn’t irony ironic . . .

    Maybe myopia is a viral problem? We need to come up with an anti myopia cure. . . oh wait, there already is one. It’s called education and critical thinking. . . I wonder where they teach that though?

    But alas, fools and charlatans rule the day and will rue the day upon their awakening, which unfortunately will be too late for many and they will someday realize that it is they who killed the economy with short-sightedness.

    But for such foolishness we should exact a tax, a ‘stupid tax’ we shall call it. But in what form?

    The thing that bothers me most is that those that understand, must pay for the idiocy of others while those that have emitted the least GHG’s will pay the most with their lives. Current UN estimations on current course are 1.8 billion dead and dying due to global warming by 2080 (I heard that at WCC-3 last year in Geneva). But alas, even this may prove a conservative number. . . on our current technological course.

    Hope is a thin line and getting thinner for many. The future will hold sadness and regret and we all will pay for the foolishness of the ignorant. Let us hope that innovations may stave off the ravages of idiocy to the greatest degree possible.

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    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 5 Apr 2010 @ 10:37 AM

  254. [Not really OT.]

    Are you guys going to do a review or announcement of the new book by Grant Foster?

    “noise-lies-damned-lies-and-denial-of-global-warming”

    Sorry if it takes up even more time.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 5 Apr 2010 @ 10:43 AM

  255. Re #255. (continued)

    These reviews can be helpful when recommending libraries to purchase.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 5 Apr 2010 @ 11:00 AM

  256. The commenter Jack Maloney is a “troll”. He repeatedly ignores information that contradicts his false and ill-informed claims, which have no purpose anyway except to annoy you sufficiently to get you to waste your time responding to him, so that he can impress himself with his ability to waste people’s time with deliberate BS.

    He has as much as admitted that he is here to “amuse” himself by posting dishonest character assassination against climate scientists and offensive equivalences between Al Gore and Rush Limbaugh so he can “get rocks thrown by zealots”.

    Do you wish to continue to serve as “entertainment” for such a person?

    [Response: we won't be seeing him around here any more. -moderator]

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 5 Apr 2010 @ 1:28 PM

  257. Back to the main subject: what stealing emails has to do with scientific correctness. One of the mainstays of the denial movement, increasingly the only valid scientific evidence they use, is Spencer and Christy’s processing of satellite temperature data, which appears to me designed to extract the lowest possible trend. This is not in my view fraudulent or bad science: if there is a way to interpret the data that makes things less serious, this is the way to do it. I do however dislike the way they don’t bother to contest wide use of their outdated data sets with errors that further reduce the trend.

    To cut a long story short I’ve been watching their data since January when they started reporting hottest ever for that time of year numbers. I’ve just summarized where we are at now on my blog.

    Every day since 10 January has been hotter than the same date any other year in their data (this particular data set goes back to late 1998, so it includes 2005, if not all of 1998, so it’s some indicator of where we are vs. previous hottest years). I can’t see any evidence in where we are in ENSO or the solar cycle to support a cause unrelated to AGW for this warming.

    2 questions:
    1. Do I have it straight that if this continues, 2010 will be indisputably the hottest year in the satellite data record?
    2. Are Spencer and Christy going to have to up the security on their email server?

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 5 Apr 2010 @ 5:15 PM

  258. Philip Machanick (257) — I prefer predicting a decade at a time:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530

    Comment by David B. Benson — 5 Apr 2010 @ 5:28 PM

  259. 256: SecularAnimist says:

    Do you wish to continue to serve as “entertainment” for such a person [as Jack Baloney]?

    I strongly recommend not responding to such people in the first place.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 5 Apr 2010 @ 6:34 PM

  260. David B. Benson #258: good, but I’m not as much trying to predict the trend because we have many options for that, but wondering when the looney tunes mob are going to turn on Spencer. That’s assuming he’s an honest scientist who is genuinely testing the science by trying to find the most conservative story consistent with the data, not actively supporting the anti-science campaign.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 6 Apr 2010 @ 5:05 AM

  261. This might be a bit late to ask, but what is the precise address of the Turkish machine that the SwiftHacker attacked RealClimate from?

    (McIntyre and Id have said that their blog comments came from 82.208.87.170 and 212.116.220.100 respectively.)

    frank

    Comment by frankbi — 9 Apr 2010 @ 12:23 PM

  262. Useful information once again, but it’s time for a major tactical shift.

    Far more Americans know about “Climategate” than the House of Commons Science Committee CRU exoneration. A substantial plurality of Americans believe that “the hockey stick is broken”, and that people like McIntyre and Watts are unbiased and qualified researchers. The NAS report that confirmed the hockey stick, and the excellent RC piece about it, were read by the educated choir only.

    The communications world we live in is dominated by those who throw the most button pushing mudpies, over and over again, regardless of content or accuracy. That’s why Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh make $30 million a year.

    There are excellent websites debunking the debunkers in detail: DeSmog Blog and DeepClimate are especially good. Unfortunately, the blog managers are polite Canadians, which is great for the record and the earnest audience, but utterly misses the majority- whose propagandists are funded by clever and ruthless spinmeisters.

    We don’t need more legislative or administrative reports vindicating the science. This has essentially been done already in the IPCC process.

    Scientists need to fund thorough reports on those who habitually attack scientists, and have managed to retain a cloak of respectability. This includes McIntyre, McKittrick, and Watts, for starters. These reports should be written in simple English, and contain humor, direct language, and aggressive counterattacks.

    Those who tell truth have lost the initiative. The public has (perhaps rightly) perceived this as a lack of conviction. Defenders of the truth need to speak a lot more forcefully, and execute takedowns of the habitual liars who are preventing the people from learning what is really going on. This has to be a serious, well funded, and continuous effort, including press releases, effective authors, humor, and detailed scientific support. Otherwise, they could win. If we have learned anything since IPCC III, it’s that we cannot expect the truth to prevail.

    [Response: A slight problem is that your suggestion that scientists 'fund' this is that scientists, as a whole, don't have money. Then there is the problem that if anyone offered such funding, any scientist that took it would instantly be labeled 'political' and not be listened to. Unfortunately, what is needed is some good investigative journalism. I say 'unfortunately' because there doesn't seem to be anyone out there doing this sort of stuff -- at least not in the major news outlets.-eric]

    Comment by mike roddy — 10 Apr 2010 @ 9:51 AM

  263. Good points, Eric. A scientist who took this up would damage his career, and you’re also right that a lot more money than is available from scientific organizations is required.

    I suggested scientists as the default spokesmen only because journalists have clearly failed, mostly due to the ownership of their outlets. Scientists are the only credible group left who have an audience at all, and I just can’t see anyone else doing it.

    This blog and a few others of course are excellent. But it has to go to the next level, or the public will remain oblivious.

    Comment by mike roddy — 10 Apr 2010 @ 5:35 PM

  264. One thing that is not clear to me. Was the data obtained from national meteorological offices obtained for academic use only in which case it would be OK to share it with universities and other climatology research institutes. Or was it obtained under the condition that it was not to be passed onto any third party.

    Comment by Lloyd Flack — 11 Apr 2010 @ 7:43 AM

  265. Mike,

    Greenpeace is at the forefront of this fight. You really didn’t notice them?
    There’s a bunch of green and leftist organizations concerned about this. Trade unions and political parties too. These represent small farmers and other vulnerable groups in many countries. There are also businesses which stand to benefit from emission reduction policies. These could pitch in serious cash if serious, practical policies were put on the table.

    There are journalists working at outlets owned by a different crowd as well in case you didn’t notice. There may be a problem with the media you chose to use but don’t blame journalists.

    Comment by Anonymous Coward — 11 Apr 2010 @ 8:21 AM

  266. re science reporting and the “oblivious public”
    I think that those oblivious [mindfully inattentive] ones will always be so, it’s in their nature [ignorance is repairable, stupid is forever], but for those who have an interest in the world around them there is a wealth of information available, both in simple objective observation and non-MSM. I recently ran across this interesting report that Los Angelenos may find worth pondering, thanks to a young and quite able science reporter.

    Comment by flxible — 11 Apr 2010 @ 10:14 AM

  267. eric:

    A slight problem is that your suggestion that scientists ‘fund’ this is that scientists, as a whole, don’t have money. Then there is the problem that if anyone offered such funding, any scientist that took it would instantly be labeled ‘political’ and not be listened to.

    Well, with such thinking, perhaps it’s not too surprising that inactivists are winning!

    The message seems to be that scientists and scientific institutions aren’t willing to actively defend themselves, and they aren’t willing to co-operate with people who want to help actively defend them, and yet somehow they expect other people to magically want to defend them.

    That is to say, after the initial cries of ‘We climate scientists aren’t going to take this inactivist crap anymore! We’re not going to take it anymore!‘ we get ‘Nah, we can’t accept your offer for help and we can’t help you, that’ll be political‘ along with ‘In the spirit of free speech, we should provide a forum for anti-science trolls as long as they speak politely‘ and ‘let’s just run more experiments, run more experiments, run more experiments…

    Frankly, as an onlooker who’s interested to help, I find this sort of thing to be extremely irritating. Sorry, Eric, but you’ve just got to find a way to break out of this vicious cycle, or the nonsense will continue.

    frank

    Comment by frank — 11 Apr 2010 @ 1:11 PM

  268. RE- Comment by Lloyd Flack — 11 April 2010 @ 7:43 AM:

    From reading about this mess I think that data are released from some meteorological (Met) agencies, without charge, to specific academic institutions/researchers, but these Met agencies wish to retain rights for any further dissemination for economic purposes. This being the case, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for these proprietary data from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) must be denied from a legal standpoint. The UK FOI act specifically requires this.

    If you find something more about these legal issues, please post. Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 11 Apr 2010 @ 6:19 PM

  269. “One thing that is not clear to me. Was the data obtained from national meteorological offices obtained for academic use only
    Comment by Lloyd Flack”

    The data was never used in any academic way.

    the act covers release of data to those governed by the UK parliament and only 22% of the requests were to the UK, 39% were from people definitely NOT in the UK.

    Two very simple tests you can take on board to answer your question.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 19 Apr 2010 @ 3:09 AM

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