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  1. This is good news overall and it is satisfying to hear that the exonerations keep coming in. Unfortunately, the accusations always get more coverage than the exonerations.

    The melting ice, threatened species, and ocean acidifcation are disappointed. They were so hoping that climate scientists were guilty and this whole AGW thing was a hoax. That way they could stop melting, dying, and acidifying. Sigh.

    Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences
    Selden, NY
    Global Warming: Man or Myth?
    My Global Warming Blog
    Twitter: AGW_Prof
    “Global Warming Fact of the Day” Facebook Group

    Comment by Scott A Mandia — 7 Jul 2010 @ 11:29 AM

  2. Excellent note. And great news.

    Of course, it will make no difference to McIntyre et al. Apparently a skeptic inquiry into the various “white-washing” inquiries is already in the works.


    Comment by dhogaza — 7 Jul 2010 @ 11:29 AM

  3. There is a further issue that hasn’t really been addressed in this report and that it one of records management for research.

    Creating repositories of research results and maintaining those over time is difficult enough but add in the issue of loose informal records such as records contained in emails, with the attendant mix of formal prose and informal writing, attachments, assorted file formats and personal and private data, all coming under a variety of laws, and you get a very complex and time consuming task to manage.

    On the other hand, researchers could rediscover the use of the telephone!

    Comment by Mikel — 7 Jul 2010 @ 11:32 AM

  4. Good to see the truth come out in the end, although it will be simply (and conveniently) dismissed as a ‘whitewash’ by the pseudo-sceptics.

    However for non-scientists like me, who don’t often have the time and patience to go through some of the in-depth articles here, these kinds of patient debunkings of the pseudo-science and political attacks against climate science are very important. You guys are spreading the message the right way – keep it up!

    Comment by HappySkeptic — 7 Jul 2010 @ 11:32 AM

  5. Good post Gavin and Mike, I look forward to more commentary from you in the coming days.

    This report will of course do nothing to appease certain ‘skeptical’ elements, well probably most of them, then again when global SATs anomalies approach +2 C they will still remain unconvinced. Odd how that works, they demand inquiries and then simply dismiss them as ‘whitewash’. The reason of course is all about perception, and that it allows them to make more insinuations and to make mountains out of molehills. They know that the science is robust, but the fabricated scandal and ensuing circus has done damage.

    What I think now has to happen is that certain “skeptical” elements need to be officially investigated and held to account. For example, people keep trying to highlight Lindzen coaching Anthony Watts to manipulate the SAT data to avoid obtaining a stat. sig. trend, but that seemingly blatant example of scientific misconduct by a prominent “skeptic” seems to keep falling on deaf ears. Why?

    How someone can admit to orchestrating a vexatious FOI barrage and get away without any consequences whatsoever is beyond me. Or how someone can accuse a scientists of withholding data when they had those data all along is ridiculous. And on and on it goes. The ‘skeptics’ demand “transparency” and “accountability”, yet no one is officially holding them to account or demanding transparency from them.

    Please tell me that there is something in the works to do this. The climate scientists have been on the defensive for far too long now (long before SwiftHack).

    Dr. Jones, if you happen to be reading this– congratulations.

    Now let us all get back to doing science :)

    [Response: A big Amen on that last point…On your previous point, I agree that there are people out there who are getting away with murder and not being held accountable for it, and this isn’t right. In science there are standards of conduct, but unfortunately in the blog world and a good chunk of the media, there aren’t, and these people take advantage of that fact. Here’s another point to consider though. Scientists have been more or less steadfastly holding to the legitimacy (and importance) of the scientific findings, throughout this melee, rather than getting into a mud sling. That’s because we have confidence in the science, regardless of all this extraneous junk. So another very legitimate strategy is to simply hold the line and watch as certain elements unknowingly and progressively paint themselves into a corner with their antics (and maybe hand them the paint and brush). And that is exactly what we are seeing as these accusations fall apart under repeated and close examination.–Jim]

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 7 Jul 2010 @ 11:37 AM

  6. Just a quick follow-up. Unlike the vitriol and invective being spewed in the denialosphere, the tone of this post is tempered and rational. Please continue to take the high road.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 7 Jul 2010 @ 11:40 AM

  7. Now that Climategate is nothing more than a rotting corpse (not that it was ever destined to be anything different) hopefully scientists can accelerate their work of improving our understanding of climate and how we are affecting it.

    Unfortunately it won’t change the abuse and interference they’re getting from the more “psychologically challenged” out there being whipped into hysterical frenzies by certain prominent individuals, but perhaps those genuine and intelligent people who were starting to harbour doubts might now realise that the science was indeed correct after all.

    Comment by Mike of Oz — 7 Jul 2010 @ 11:42 AM

  8. Again, I´d like to see how much media coverage this gets. Unlike the US, here in Brazil the news regarding climate change seldom make it into the mainstream media, but the hacked emails did.

    I´d like to see if someone mentions this here.

    Comment by Alexandre — 7 Jul 2010 @ 12:05 PM

  9. Despite the results of this report, the emails that initiated this investigation show that they tried to hide or distort results by re-presenting them. [edit – insulting stuff deleted]

    [Response: ‘Re-presenting’ data is now a bad thing? Sorry, but you are very confused. Data is re-presented all the time, as updates come in, as new graphics programs are used, as different issues and emphases are highlighted, etc. Do you think that GDP growth should never be replotted once it is issued from the government? Are people not entitled to deal with the data presentation in any way they see fit? You may not agree with the emphasis, nor the conclusions, but there is nothing wrong in ‘re-presenting’ data. Please, no more made-up ‘rules’. – gavin]

    [Response: I have an idea. Why don’t you just negate the whole report with one quick dismissal based on your opinion? Oops you’re one step ahead of me.–Jim]

    Comment by David Guidos — 7 Jul 2010 @ 12:10 PM

  10. Gavin, would be the more appropriate temp reconstruction post to link to, as there have been many land-only reconstructions but only a few land/ocean reconstructions by bloggers to date.

    Also, the Muir-Russell report only focuses on land reconstructions (CRUTEM) as far as I can tell.

    Comment by Zeke Hausfather — 7 Jul 2010 @ 12:35 PM

  11. “The submission by Barnes is also very helpful and illustrative in this context.” W00t!

    Comment by Nick Barnes — 7 Jul 2010 @ 12:49 PM

  12. As a layman I’d like to say thank you to all you scientists who simply kept on working through the whole hack-and-smear mess. And I’d like to echo the point made by HappySkeptic in Post #4: There are a lot of us non-scientists who find this blog indispensable as we try to understand what’s happening in the world around us. Keep it up!

    Comment by Will Koroluk — 7 Jul 2010 @ 12:59 PM

  13. Thanks to LLNL for the archive.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 7 Jul 2010 @ 1:12 PM

  14. Those people who sought to slander the scientists aren’t going to stop slandering scientists regardless of how many reports are issued. The opponents of science aren’t interested in the science except to the extent that they can manipulate their audience into believing absurdities and propaganda which would cause them to doubt everything they might ever hear from a scientists.

    In the end, the audience of climate change deniers will assert that it is all a conspiracy and that all scientists are liars and the scientific method itself is corrupt. These people are essentially anti-science zealots and they will remain so forever.

    I’m certain that we’ll keep on hearing climategate mentioned even when the high tide reaches downtown Miami. Two centuries of science hasn’t stopped the creationists from denying evolution. Three centuries of geological evidence hasn’t stopped the creationists from insisting that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old.

    The same sort of anti-science thought process is exhibited throughout the reactionary conservatives. These people don’t want to live in the past … they are actually living in the past with their 19th century mindset set in concrete.

    The best thing to do with such people would be to bypass them but the polluting corporations have billions of dollars and enough political power to prevent the United States from doing anything whatsoever to limit pollution.

    Comment by David Mathews — 7 Jul 2010 @ 1:13 PM

  15. This whole “Climategate” affair has been very worrying for us all. The scientists named have had the heaviest load, but all of us who are concerned by what the science has been indicating should have been concerned. Only one of the “Exonerations” by the inquests needs to have had just the slightest ambiguity or weakness in phrasing for the “Denialosphere” to have swung into action again. Our thanks to all and thanks for holding the line.
    This site is highly valued by me and many others. Thank you for what you do.

    Comment by David Kidd — 7 Jul 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  16. Congratulations again to CRU, UEA, Dr. Jones & Dr. Mann for the well-deserved vindications of their integrity. Thanks to all at RC for being a steadfast voice of reason throughout this despicable affair.

    And may bot flies afflict the posteriors of Morano, McIntyre, Lindzen, Watts, Monckton, et al. who did their best to destroy the careers of far better men than themselves.

    Comment by Adam R. — 7 Jul 2010 @ 1:27 PM

  17. Funny you should also catch the WMO graph remark… my concern is more that if this becomes the standard of rigour for outreach materials, I expect they will acquire the teflon quality of legal briefs etc., desperately avoiding saying anything wrong, but in the process not saying anything well that is right either. Not exactly what successful outreach calls for!

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 7 Jul 2010 @ 1:32 PM

  18. @9. David Guidos

    Sigh. It just never stops, does it? Some people seem to have formed an almost drug-like dependency on believing climate science is all a con, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary.

    Comment by Mike of Oz — 7 Jul 2010 @ 1:36 PM

  19. So when are they going to catch the hacker/s?

    Comment by Snapple — 7 Jul 2010 @ 2:15 PM

  20. Jim wrote to David Guidos: “Why don’t you just negate the whole report with one quick dismissal based on your opinion?”

    Because it’s actually hard work to come up with his own opinion, and it’s easier to negate the whole report with one quick dismissal based on Rush Limbaugh’s opinion?

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Jul 2010 @ 2:19 PM

  21. Another piece of excellent news.

    I don’t think that we have the right to pressurise others into the hazards of being in the front line, so I shall not provide all the various supporting arguments for the following:

    Provided he wants it back, I hope Phil Jones can be persuaded to return to his previous job as quickly as possible.

    Only very recently I spoke to someone who argued that he was utterly convinced that CRU were guilty of distorting the data. It turned out that his ‘strongest’ reason was that Phil Jones had resigned.

    [Unfortunately, for people like the author of #9, every development, will provide evidence that the conspiracy was even bigger than they previously thought.]

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 7 Jul 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  22. LOL I stopped reading at “thorough”

    [Response: Sorry, next time we’ll only use words with one syllable. – gavin]

    Comment by Bryan — 7 Jul 2010 @ 2:35 PM

  23. Please ignore or withdraw my previous comment.It has been overtaken by events.(My fault)

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 7 Jul 2010 @ 2:37 PM

  24. Nice to see this thing finally coming to an end. What are the prospects of some of the top individuals making the accusations being subject to an investigation of this variety? I’d like to have the focus back on the science and policy, but failing to hold anyone at all remotely accountable will just result in progressively more garbage being put forth by dubious sources.

    Comment by MarkB — 7 Jul 2010 @ 2:40 PM

  25. As one of Phil Jones’s students, I am happy to see this report emerge. I have just had a look at emails I was sending back in November (to one of the people who submitted an FOI request to CRU) and my judgement at the time has held out:
    ‘Haven’t seen much so far that suggests any published papers will have to be amended/withdrawn.’
    As also apparent to me at that time, their data availability policy will have to change, as a result of the internet even more than FOI legislation.

    Regarding the state of public opinion, the cold winter seems to have influenced the public perception more than the emails. Maybe this is so, but then watch out for a further shift in opinion when people realise how hot this year is globally – and in the UK it is also dry: a hosepipe ban has been introduced for the North West, with more bans likely to follow unless some rainfall occurs.

    Recently, I have been taking an interest in the energy industry, particularly offshore wind. It is amusing to see forms of argument that will be familiar from the climate debate appear in the energy discussions e.g. various blanket statements about what does and doesn’t constitute scientific evidence. This site is great for debating skills – thanks!

    Comment by Ed — 7 Jul 2010 @ 2:46 PM

  26. Everyone in the reality enhanced community should accept (if he or she hasn’t already) that there is no way to defeat the deniers and make them go away. Just as there are still individuals who deny that HIV causes AIDS or smoking dramatically increases a person’s cancer risk or that we landed on the moon, there will always be a hard core group who insist the increasing climate change is due to cosmic rays, solar flux that only they can detect, etc.

    Any minuscule scrap of evidence that goes their way will be trumpeted endlessly as if it overthrows the entire field of study. Anything that goes against them will be ignored or lied about or held up as proof of a vast climatologist conspiracy.

    The best we can hope for is that their influence will dwindle until virtually everyone (especially the media) sees them as being wrong and safely ignorable.

    While I’m normally a big proponent of open access to data and research material, no one here should doubt that any change in this area will simply provide the deniers with even more opportunity to cherry pick and misrepresent data.

    Finally, let me add my sincerest thanks to all the scientists working on expanding our understanding of the Earth System and climate change in particular.

    Comment by Lou Grinzo — 7 Jul 2010 @ 3:12 PM

  27. Following on from my congratulations to Mike Mann on the ‘Penn State Reports’ thread (although I did write ‘Mick’ instead of ‘Mike’ – sorry), I would now like to congratulate Phil Jones and the rest of the team at CRU for the re-instatement of their integrity and honesty – not that any of us in the real world doubted either.
    I have sent an email message to CRU doing the same and would urge others to do so also, if only to counteract the probable imminent deluge of cowardly hate mail which they are likely to receive from the more die-hard, deluded deniers.

    Comment by JMurphy — 7 Jul 2010 @ 3:13 PM

  28. So it looks like Jones is getting his old job back minus the administrative hassles. Definitely a PI’s dream (even if getting there was more trouble than what it was worth…).

    Comment by caerbannog — 7 Jul 2010 @ 3:23 PM

  29. After hoisting some ales for Mike based on the PSU report, looks like I will have to do the same for UEA – after today (blood donation).

    For openness, the NASA-GISS and Mike’s supplementary data in PNAS, Science and the PSU site (which includes alternative analyses) are also good examples of openness that others can emulate – budget allowing, of course. Will this stop the naysayers or win any points in the denialosphere? No, but it doesn’t hurt to keep on the high road.

    If there is any way to pass along congratulations and appreciation to our UK friends from RC posters and lurkers, please do.

    Comment by Deech56 — 7 Jul 2010 @ 3:29 PM

  30. RE responses/reactions to denialists and skeptics, I think I understand how climate scientists might feel, and why they might not be inclined to be so open and forthcoming as they might be when dealing with a reasonable and considerate person making a reasonable and considerate request.

    I’ve been defending climate science myself for some time now, and, well, I started getting a bit sassy the last few years, thinking that the skeptic/denialist/uninformed person I was responding to was so hardened in their thinking that a soft and frank approach just wouldn’t work, and the only possibility was a response that was a bit sassy and insulting.

    So when the typical denialist “it’s been colder than average here in Podunk the past few weeks” was put out there as proof against AGW, I wrote back saying, “AGW has to do with global AVERAGE temperatures over longer time periods, and the problem is that people just don’t understand ‘average’ and that you have to add X1 + X2 + X3 + … + Xn, then divide by n.”

    That response made some people pretty upset, and I realized that they were not hardened denialists, but simply people confused and putting out what they thought was important info that might disprove AGW. I then apologized, and they appreciated my apology, and I think they actually started listening a bit to what I had to say.

    It’s just that you sometimes can’t tell who is hardened and evil on this, and who is simply uninformed and confused, or misinformed, not realizing it, and perhaps amenable to the truth.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 7 Jul 2010 @ 3:31 PM

  31. @30. Lynn I know how you feel. I have become quite crusty in the past couple of years myself. I have tried being must lest terse and much or teaching in my attitude and this seems to help. I am finding that a lot of the people who are not knowledgeable, even a little bit, are really just reacting to whatever it is they hear. Sadly most do not read. They watch ‘news’ on TV and most of the time that is on Fox. So I take a little more time to explain things and try so hard not to sound condescending. You must remember, many people are afraid. Afraid of many things. And AGW is so hard to comprehend that it is even scarier than ‘libruls’ and ‘treasonists’. Can you tell I am in Texas? Anyway back on topic. Many people do not understand science and many dont want to. So I just take more time to explain and I stay calm. Patience is something I am still practicing. However, there are times when I still want to pull the head off of some guy who is playing the stupid role and refusing to pay attention. :-)

    Comment by Randy — 7 Jul 2010 @ 3:40 PM

  32. It’s time to celebrate. Having followed this affair closely for some months now (I happened to be doing routine article and discussion minding on Wikipedia when the news broke) I feel as if an important chapter in my life has just closed and I can now breathe out.

    Everybody at RealClimate, everybody at the University of East Anglia, celebrate now.

    Dr. Mann, I can only imagine how you must feel to be targeted for investigation by the Attorney General of Virginia. The academic community worldwide, not only in Virginia and in Pennsylvania where you now work, should actively oppose this obscene fishing expedition because it threatens academic freedom for all.

    Thanks especially to all involved in this blog, which has been more consistent than most in keeping to the high road.

    Comment by Tony Sidaway — 7 Jul 2010 @ 4:33 PM

  33. It’s been interesting watching people who work in AGW go through the same process that biologists did earlier in the decade, when confronted by a well-financed creationist smear machine. Over time, even responsible researchers realize that they’re not confronted with honest critics, and that they do themselves a disservice by treating dishonest people with any respect at all. Gradually, ordinary academics grow more aggressive in asserting the consensus and less accommodating to deliberately dishonest people and their sad hangers-on. The tone hardens. The answers grow shorter.

    The end result is that the smear machine is defeated when it can no longer draw out researchers into phony debates. They can no longer ambush researchers with sound bites designed to prey on the ignorant, because no one will give them a forum.

    Time to take out the trash, folks.

    Comment by JM — 7 Jul 2010 @ 4:43 PM

  34. Never in doubt but still the skeptics aergue on and will contine to do but it must still be fought and won otherwise todays kiddywinks wont thank us.

    Comment by pete best — 7 Jul 2010 @ 4:46 PM

  35. As Han Solo said to Luke Skywalker, “Great, Kid. Now don’t get cocky!”

    The denialists have tipped their hand as to how far they will go. They would not hesitate to go there again. After all, it bought thm nearly 8 months of reprieve, and when you turn your back on the evidence, lies are all you have at your disposal.

    Perhaps most disturbing, there is no cost to the liars. They are not disgraced in the eyes of their followers. They’ll be as eager to believe the lies they tell next time.

    Serve up the truth piping hot. Truth–it’s what’s for dinner.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 7 Jul 2010 @ 5:01 PM

  36. I didn’t doubt this outcome, hence my petition supporting the scientists under attack.

    Thanks to all who signed, and I hope more will do so.

    This whole episode amounts to an attempt at criminalising having your emails stolen and misrepresented. The chilling effect that would have on academic conversations if allowed to stand (just imagine, before I send this email, should I get legal advice?).

    Meanwhile in Australia, one of the chief political climate deniers, leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, has argued that he shouldn’t be held to anything that he says in the heat of the moment.

    Two standards, anyone?

    Another reason to hence sign my petition

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 7 Jul 2010 @ 5:23 PM

  37. One thing this whole business highlights is the urgent need for FOI legislation to be amended in each country to prevent the use of the process for harrassment. I’ve no idea how you could do this, perhaps a limit on the number of FOI requests each individual or organisation could lodge in a year, or an adminstration fee for each request.
    Clearly the use of FOI by denialists is very far from the original intent of the legislation.

    Comment by calyptorhynchus — 7 Jul 2010 @ 5:31 PM

  38. My favorite part was the – any idiot can write the temperature graph programme- part. Just what kind of clowns do they have working over there at Climate Audit.

    Someone above said that Phil Jones has his credibility back. Wrong! He never lost it.

    Comment by John McManus — 7 Jul 2010 @ 6:11 PM

  39. I had a quick read of the report and found one obvious error, referring to Energy & Environment as a “scientific journal”. The editor herself admits it is not a scientific journal.

    The report is very careful not to make judgements on anyone on the denial side.

    Oh well. They will have to wait their turn.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 7 Jul 2010 @ 6:25 PM

  40. Gavin,

    In an AP story today, you were quoted as saying:

    “the planet is getting warmer. 2000-2009 was the warmest since the 1850s.”

    One might interpret that to mean the 1850’s were at least as warm.

    [Response: Hmmm… obviously I meant since at least the 1850s, but it was a phone interview and sometimes you don’t speak quite as clearly as you should. I don’t think anyone will be too confused though (but you never know). Thanks for the heads up. – gavin]

    Comment by MarkB — 7 Jul 2010 @ 6:39 PM

  41. Re: Mikel’s advice above: ‘On the other hand, researchers could rediscover the use of the telephone!’

    This is something for all of us to ‘read, mark, learn & inwardly digest.’ Emails are modern postcards: don’t write anything that you would be embarrassed to justify to a High Court Judge.

    Comment by Chris Squire [UK] — 7 Jul 2010 @ 6:58 PM

  42. Gavin:

    I don’t think anyone will be too confused though (but you never know)

    You’ll be quoted-mined, I’m sure …

    Comment by dhogaza — 7 Jul 2010 @ 7:11 PM

  43. “obviously I meant since at least the 1850s”

    Even then…

    “ClimateGate Scientist Gavin Schmidt Admits 1850’s Might Have Been Warmer Than Recent Decade…Debunks Fraudulent Hockeystick Again”

    OK maybe I shouldn’t give the clowns ideas.

    Comment by MarkB — 7 Jul 2010 @ 8:01 PM

  44. Having now read the report in its entirety, it seems a remarkable achievement by non-experts in this limited time. They worked for their money. Much broader than anybody could hope for, but in some instances still not broad enough.

    Besides the WMO figure cock-up — which Myles Allen also pointed out — there are instances of ‘talk is cheap’, like where they say that CRU could have helped to have the Yamal data — which they don’t own — enter the public domain earlier (Yes? How?). And spelling Peiser’s name wrong…

    Another strange omission is not mentioning Open Access for articles, which will certainly be part of the Brave New Internet World of their glorious vision. I know that paywalls are the bane of some ‘citizen scientists’ commenting here, and yes, they are a pain. But the money hss to come from somewhere.

    Finally, they fail to highlight the kind of openness and outreach that initiatives like RealClimate represent, which surely is at least as important as servicing information requests by assholes in a timely manner. They passed up the opportunity to recommend something really positive here (why wasn’t anyone from CRU along in establishing RC by the way? Surely they now recognize this as an error).

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 7 Jul 2010 @ 8:05 PM

  45. The fact that ” they independently analysed the public domain temperature data themselves to ascertain whether the could validate the CRU record. They managed this in two days” further shows that many of the FOI requests are simply harassment.

    Comment by Bibasir — 7 Jul 2010 @ 8:07 PM

  46. Jim wrote in a response to #5 “In science there are standards of conduct”. I agree 100% with that viewpoint.

    Jim, would you say CRU personnel have always acted to uphold proper science standards of conduct, professionalism, and ethics?

    Comment by Laurie — 7 Jul 2010 @ 8:27 PM

  47. Awe-inspiring commentary by Fred Pearce which might as well have been penned by RP Jr. This is how you accentuate the negative! (while ignoring the preponderance of what the committee actually, you know, found.)

    Comment by pointer — 7 Jul 2010 @ 10:30 PM

  48. I don’t know about other countries, but in Australia there are also FOI laws – but the supplying organization can charge for the cost of releasing data. Sometimes this runs into thousands of dollars – perhaps a new funding source for climate scientists ?

    Comment by Dr Mat — 8 Jul 2010 @ 12:03 AM

  49. calyptorhynchus and Dr Mat:

    FOI law typically restricts the cost of releasing data to a reasonable minimum. However, there are already legal protections against vexatious or repeated requests. Despite this, dealing with them takes time away from more important concerns.

    Unfortunately, the legal standard isn’t what climate science has to meet. The “standard” is whatever silly ideal the mass media feels like promoting today – a variable and unhelpful standard, setting everyone up to fail.

    Comment by Didactylos — 8 Jul 2010 @ 1:45 AM

  50. George Monbiot climbs down (from his prior call for Phil to resign), not all the way but sufficiently.

    Comment by Steve Bloom — 8 Jul 2010 @ 2:32 AM

  51. Let no one be in any doubt that the FOI legislation is complex. Here in the UK there are three interlocking Acts and Regulations. The Freedom of Information Act 2000(FOIA) covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Scotland has it’s separate Freedom of Information Act); the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), which is the UK’s implementation of an EU Directive, and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), which is also an implementation of an EU Directive.

    The FOIA has two legal codes of practice for the management of records and giving advice and guidance to requesters. The COP for the management of records has led to the Universities, through a body called JISC, to develop detailed schedules for retention times for all University records, including advice on transitory records. Emails are a particular source of difficulty. There are also separate provisions in the legislation for charging.

    In handling requests for information, those subject to this legislation need to understand that:

    The identity of the requester is crucial, when the information requested is personal data about the requester, called a Subject Access Request (SAR);
    The identity of the requester is not that relevant for FOIA/EIR. A valid address for receipt of the information is required;
    Providing information under FOIA/EIR (except for a SAR) is equivalent to putting the information into the public domain;
    Requests may be refused because they are ‘vexatious’ (FOIA) or ‘manifestly unreasonable’ (EIR). These provisions apply to the request and not the requester;
    Threre are criminal offences under FOIA and EIR for deliberately deleting, blocking etc. information which is subject to a request and would otherwise have been disclosed.

    Note that the enquiry did not find any evidence that anyone in CRU had deleted any information that had been requested. In other words, no evidence of a criminal offence being committed contrary to all the reporting earlier in the year, including comments from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

    In my experience, it is best practice that every effort is made to give out the information and only withhold when there is a legal requirement to do so.

    Apologies for a longish legal post on a climate science website.

    Comment by Mikel — 8 Jul 2010 @ 3:16 AM

  52. Is there a place where all FOI requests are published together with the names and affiliations of those making such requests?

    In a time of increasing austerity as huge cuts in budgets begin sweeping through the public sector, it would beneficial to ensure, in the public interest, that value for money in residual publicly funded research is not diminished through inappropriate and potentially mischievous FOI requests.

    Comment by MX — 8 Jul 2010 @ 3:54 AM

  53. BBC Radio 4.

    The Muir-Russell (MR) report was not in the headlines of the substantial 6PM news slot yesterday and only received a brief mention during the following 30 minutes. It was introduced as if it was just one more stage in a continuing investigation. This interpretation was supported by the one subsequent interview with Benny Peiser. I gather the earlier coverage was rather different.

    A ray of light at 10PM !
    Michael Mann was allowed to speak for a short while without the obligatory health warning stating what he has been accused of. It was an excellent hard hitting little item containing some key points. As far as I remember it actually used the term “lies”. Good; normally this word or its equivalent, only gets on to the media when it is used by contrarians against scientists. Michael Mann was followed by Stephen McIntyre who was relatively mild considering his recent behaviour. But what strikes me is the following:

    Here we had an opportunity for McIntyre to be asked some questions. His repeated allegations that he has been prevented from doing his auditing by being denied the data, has been exposed as a red-herring by MR and Michael Mann alluded to it. So why didn’t the interviewer have the guts to do a little polite cross examination? US readers may not realise just how tough BBC interviewers can be. For example the interviewer can interrupt and ask the same question in many different ways if the interviewee appears to be evasive. John Humphrys on Radio 4 and Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight are examples but there are others.

    Why don’t the BBC interviewers do their job on climate science?

    No mention of MR to-day. Is that all we shall get from the BBC? Perhaps the next time will be when Nigel Lawson and his deputy Benny Peiser start to canvas their own version.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 8 Jul 2010 @ 4:34 AM

  54. Laurie,
    I would say that the actions of CRU personnel did not run significantly counter to normal scientific standards. In all matters scientific, the followed what the evidence indicated, and that is the main criterion. Scientists are human. Science is designed to produce reliable understanding even when weilded by frail humans. It has.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Jul 2010 @ 4:51 AM

  55. 30, Lynn
    31, Randy

    I kill a fair amount of time on denialist blogs trying to correct misconceptions. Whenever possible, I limit myself to exact, inarguable facts on details (like the example you gave, in understanding the importance of a mean versus anecdotal evidence). My theory is that for many people, if I can point out the number of flaws in denial arguments, and arm people with a proper understanding of the details, then those people will eventually reach the right conclusion on their own. I just need to help them to avoid the pitfalls.

    The biggest thing I’ve done is, in my own mind, to remember that I am not replying to the person who posted an ignorant or ill-informed comment (or, in some cases, the original post). I’m writing to all of the other people out there who are going to read that comment and potentially believe or at worst be confused by it. This approach is useful in tempering any emotional reaction I have. Get angry at the poster if you wish, but then think about speaking to the bystanders about what the poster said, rather than to the poster himself.

    With all communication: remember your audience, and your purpose. Target your audience. And in the case of blog comment threads, the audience is not the person who wrote the comment, but rather the tens of thousands that will invisibly wander through and read the tripe and, with luck, your response.

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 8 Jul 2010 @ 5:50 AM

  56. good news. glad that Phil Jones is back to work.

    this will not stop the dishonest attacks though. truth is not the target of the sceptics. they want to delay action against climate change. so far, they are doing all too well…

    Comment by sod — 8 Jul 2010 @ 5:51 AM

  57. The CRU mess highlights the problem of data archival–from the paleoclimate perspective the system is horrible. Data I have archived at supposedly permanent archives is now apparently inaccessible (I can’t find it at any rate). My university takes no responsibility at all even though ultimately they are supposed to provide infrastructure. NSF is completely vague about funding archival, and don’t have any standards to define acceptable archival. It is unsurprising that data archives are a complete mess.

    Comment by Mitch Lyle — 8 Jul 2010 @ 6:07 AM

  58. Climate science is not in doubt, scientists are human. Now can we please get on with doing something about it?

    Comment by simon evans — 8 Jul 2010 @ 6:22 AM

  59. Hello All, this is off topic but I was wondering if any of the experts here could answer a question. I was wondering how anomalies are calculated for meteorological data/climatological data when station data/proxies do not cover the same reference period. Usually one would calculate the anomaly based upon say the average temperature over 1950-1980 but if most of the data covers different periods is there a standardization formula to be used or something?

    On the whole Cru affair, I think that these inquiries prove there was not any outright fraud. I do think however that over at climateaudit there have been some legitimate claims raised that deserve consideration, but nothing that is terribly significant.

    Comment by Robert — 8 Jul 2010 @ 7:18 AM

  60. I want to highlight, and to appreciate, Bob (Sphaerica) at #55.

    I think he’s absolutely right that on many fora you have to write for the lurkers, not the “principals” with whom you may ostensibly be having a discussion. (Anybody who’s done this will be well aware that convincing any of the latter is going to be an extremely low probability occurrence.) Hence, the more reasonable you are, the more effective you are–I try to be as specific in providing good information and references.

    And attacks on intelligence and allied personal attributes probably ought to be covered by a Godwin’s law corollary: it’s extremely boring to witness folks calling each other idiots, and you don’t want to be the one who bores the lurkers.

    Well, I note that my tone here is becoming much preachier than I intended–so let me return to just saying that I think Bob’s comment is really excellent, and that I appreciate too the patience that is often required to carry out his advice–especially on denialist blogs, as opposed to ‘neutral’ newssites which are more what I favor.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 8 Jul 2010 @ 7:24 AM

  61. Geoff Wexler,
    I wonder if you might not be seeing a manifestation of Snow’s Two Cultures here, with the artsy-fartsy “journalists” (in the absolute loosest sense of that word) hoping to show up those “arrogant” scientists. Couple this professional jealousy with the fact that no one really wants the crisis to be true, and you have a pretty good recipe for self-delusion.

    BBC science coverage has never been all that good, frankly. It is neither broad nor deep, and the Gruniad for all it’s vaunted environmental commitment has never been all that discerning either. I’m afraid that those who say scientists must learn to communicate their work more effectively are right–we’ll certainly get no help from the press. The thing is, though, that unless we want to treat our discipline in a totally shallow manner, the public will have to meet us half-way on this. There is simply no way to communicate science to a public that doesn’t even understand the scientific method. This is really a prerequisite for effective citizenship.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Jul 2010 @ 8:14 AM

  62. Re My #53

    No change at the BBC.

    BBC Radio 4; 1.30PM; “Off the Page/Blinded by Science”

    After the ray of light at 10PM last night, the clouds have returned. The team which included Ben Goldacre, ought to have been well informed; but no luck. Dominic Arkwright the presenter bought up the subject of global warming to exemplify science, which had involved doubtful behaviour, and the team obliged by agreeing that some of it had recently * been exposed. Note: this is one day after the MR report.

    * This clearly referred to the unproven/falsified allegations about CRU.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 8 Jul 2010 @ 8:31 AM

  63. Truly excellent article….for a while there I thought you guys had lost your way…..

    Comment by Peter K Miles — 8 Jul 2010 @ 8:45 AM

  64. That report says a massive amount on peer review but why is it doing that I wonder? Is it peer review that is in question?

    Comment by pete best — 8 Jul 2010 @ 8:47 AM

  65. The PDF document for me is screwed up. The text is not properly formated and there are letters missing. Anyone else having this problem? I downloaded the document to my hard drive using chrome and opened with Adobe.

    Comment by Aaron Alston — 8 Jul 2010 @ 9:20 AM

  66. re: 40 and gavin’s reply

    Along with 43, I don’t see anyway to hear the reply except that some year in the 1850s was the warmest until this one.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 8 Jul 2010 @ 9:23 AM

  67. Personnaly, I have developed and inovative strategy: the false bot. Since denialist, almost always use the same argument, I have created standard message based on copied sentence from previous denialiste message. I post de message with the name XXXXbot closing by a line signaling that this a message generated by a bot.

    The effect is garantied!

    Comment by Yvan Dutil — 8 Jul 2010 @ 9:29 AM

  68. Hi guys,
    congratulations and well done to all of you. I am trying to fly the flag for you in my home country the Czech Republic – home to arch-denialist (and sadly the prezident of the country) Vaclav Klaus!Sadly, the attack in my country come even from members of Academy of Science on their “sceptical” webs.

    Comment by Lena Neal — 8 Jul 2010 @ 9:30 AM


    [edit – no reason to pollute our site with the Telegraph’s venomous filth]

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 8 Jul 2010 @ 10:04 AM

  70. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald by Paola Totaro (Australia) is repeating an error relating to the “hide the decline” issue. Totaro writes: “data that showed a decline in temperatures”, when in fact it was a decline in growth ring thickness.

    Comment by Lawrence McLean — 8 Jul 2010 @ 10:17 AM

  71. The proper course of action now is for Jones (congratulations sir), and other members of the CRU to pick out a juicy denialist target and have them indicted on charges of Fraud and Defamation of character.

    It is the only way that this denialist caper can be turned into a definite win for the scientific community, and it would put the denialist vermin on notice that their non-stop campaign of lies and distortion will no longer be tolerated.

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 8 Jul 2010 @ 10:30 AM


    “This is the third Climategate whitewash job and it would be tempting to see it as just as futile as its predecessors. That, however, would be to underrate its value to the sceptic cause, which is considerable.” – Gerald Warner –

    This is the planned intent.

    What do you intend to do about it?

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 8 Jul 2010 @ 10:34 AM

  73. RE: 55 Bob and 60 Kevin, I applaud and agree with your approaches. I think/suspect that some/many of the initial outrageous troll posts to which you/we respond are placed either by (i) employees of carbonators, their PR agencies, or their FUD boiler rooms who are paid to keep the lie drumbeats alive; or (ii) by or on behalf of the site owners themselves in an attempt to pump up the unique hit counts for their sites. Some/many of those sites surely receive financial benefit from high traffic numbers in the way of advertising on the site, contributions from carbonators, or both. In a way, the response attitudes described by Bob and Kevin turn (i) on its head, making the instigating troll post an opportunity to spread the correct science. As to (ii), I prefer not to visit the original site and give them an extra hit count, but it appears important to counter the FUD even if it helps give the sites the page view count fuel to continue. Egregious posts thereon probably/usually are picked up on more science-based sites, so in a roundabout way, the FUD posts on the nut sites also help drive page views on the science-based sites. I do think that many whacky posts on the deniosaur sites do not come from average everyday citizens. All IMO, of course :)

    RE: 67 Yvan, that strikes me as a novel and elegant approach.

    Comment by ghost — 8 Jul 2010 @ 11:15 AM


    “Climatic Research Unit director Phil Jones was being whisked back to his desk at the University of East Anglia by the University’s Russell enquiry yesterday.

    But with exquisite timing, the Information Commissioner’s office chose the same day to confirm that CRU had twice broken the Freedom of Information regulations – once by ignoring the request, and twice by refusing the actual data. The breaches carry a civil penalty.” – Andrew Orloswki – The

    Comment by Vendicar Decarian — 8 Jul 2010 @ 11:52 AM

  75. 73: ghost said: “I prefer not to visit the original site and give them an extra hit count” .

    I hadn’t thought much about hit counts but I try my best to never link to or mention denialist pages. I happily attack denialist arguements when I feel competent to do so, but I never feel compelled to give denialists additional publicity by providing links, names, etc.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 8 Jul 2010 @ 11:58 AM

  76. Arghhhh! OK its warm out there,
    and we discuss the crazy attacks against the confirmation by science that its getting warmer… out there…. which is true, not a wildly contrived effort to corrupt the incorruptible political decision making process :). Some Senators of which believe the whole thing is a hoax, fooling themselves along with many others in fermenting the politically motivated harassment of making scientist say that the whole thing is made up for a plush research grant or some other crazy neocon neverland dream hatched because they are too lazy to find out for themselves that its getting warmer. But If they fool themselves in a frenzy of dumbness lets expose them! We seldom see the manipulators hand in all these sordid accusations. I still want to know every time who is putting scientists down
    their names and why they are fooling themselves like those who believe that Astronauts went to the moon in Arizona. The cure is not discussing the accusations as much as the accusers ineptitude towards science.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 8 Jul 2010 @ 12:14 PM

  77. #55 All the research indicates you are wasting *your* time. Those that deny climate change do not do so on a rational basis, so rationality has no effect. The people you will be affecting will be those who really have no opinion and are looking for information. However, if they are visiting a place like Anthony W.’s distortion chamber rather than CA or RC, then they are likely not open-minded and are unreachable.

    See Oreskes’ and others’ older and more recent works on this.

    Not saying stop, just saying this ongoing, “Be rational, not confrontational” discussion does nothing but make you, and those who agree with you, feel better. Sorry, but we’re talking basic, documented psychology here.

    If you want to fight the denialist organization, and we know for a fact they are organized, then you will have to do so in a way that is unequivocal and hurts. That is, someone, somewhere is going to have to take legal action. Someone, somewhere, is going to have to make the media present the reality and stop with the false equivalence. Somebody, somewhere, is going to have to make a huge public deal of this that results in a refutation so stunningly one-sided *and* full of consequences, that the denialists have to be very, very careful about what they say.

    Until the scientists/activists are willing and able to do that, we would all be better off ignoring them and simply continuing the conversation without them. Why, pray tell, should climate science be the only scientific arena that allows charlatans and liars to stand equal to competent scientists? Are such people allowed in to surgery? No. Are they allowed to design airplanes? No. Are they allowed to sit at the table with particle physicists? No. Are they allowed to sit in with engineers and architects to build bridges? No. Are they given free reign in research labs of *any other field?* No.

    And if they do speak out in any other field, are they dealt with in such a way that their ideas are even given the time of day? No.

    Climate science should be no different. I was pleased to see a post above edited out with a message that the science is settled. THAT is how you deal with it.

    Bear in mind, repeating the lie leaves the *lie* most clearly in the mind of the observers, not the truth.

    Stop treating these people like their comments have any merit. No denialist talking point should be allowed to be published on any blog. Legtimate questions speak for themselves. Talking points? There is no ethical or moral imperative to allow lies to be published.


    [Response:Wow!!! Why don’t we just put you in charge of fixing the whole problem and be done with the whole thing, ’cause by gosh you’ve got all the solutions! The fact is that you make a whole bunch of extreme, blanket statements there that are nothing but your personal opinion, which you seem to believe is backed by the literature or hard evidence or whatever. Bob was talking about how to effectively communicate to the group of people on the internet who are unsure and curious about climate change, and difficult as it is to actually execute (I can’t last more than a few minutes at most of those sites), I completely agree with his strategy. It would be nice if we could make a magic wand and make the media and politicians and various bozos with power just snap out of it, but it doesn’t work that way. It’s a democracy with a very open media and almost anyone can say anything they want. People don’t just shut up or change their minds because you want them to or tell them to. It’s a slow and constant battle of evidence and ideas and education. Everybody who cares about the issue, and about the planet, is angry to varying degrees at what has gone down. The question is how to effectively respond. Nobody has the full solution, and that includes you. Ignore me and the rest of us if you want (and I imagine you will) as being too lame or whatever, but we are doing our best with the tools and energy we have. If it’s not good enough for you, then do your own thing. And please don’t end your diatribes with “Cheers”, it doesn’t go over well.–Jim]

    Comment by ccpo — 8 Jul 2010 @ 12:19 PM

  78. Ray at #61

    Yes, you might well have a point.

    As for Artsy people, perhaps they like to rely on drama and intuition more than ‘boring’ reason and evidence. The idea of people behaving badly is what makes the Arts world go round (I am deliberately generalising here and realise that is often wrong). Some of them treat Jim Lovelock as a great hero, especially as he had William Golding, a great pessimist about human nature, as a neighbour and friend but also because of his intuitive approach. So they were excited when he denounced CRU without providing any substantive evidence.

    It seems to me that Jones and Mann are quite different, cautious and careful. Without Jones,Mann, Realclimate, Open Mind, Grumbine, Ely Rabett, Stoat etc. we should be left with nothing but competing and wild intuitions ,real alarmism and denialist misinformation. That would be an ideal form of entertainment for some in the Arts. It would not be so different from the “Day After Tomorrow” (or whatever).

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 8 Jul 2010 @ 12:23 PM

  79. It’s interesting that Harrabin and Pearce, both solid supporters of the consensus pre-Climategate, wrote pieces with more stress on the wrong-doing than the clean bill of honesty parts.

    That’s partly, in my view, because of the attacks on them, as here when the Guardian covered climategate, were taken badly by them. As were the attacks on people like Curry.

    You can’t tell an experienced journalist how to cover a story, and it certainly was a story, and they value FoI very highly, and regard breaches or obstruction as prima facie hiding something.

    When Mike Hulme says it’s a game-changer in scientists’ behaviour, he may have a point.

    If you lot had throttled back a bit they would have stayed onside to a much greater extent. In my opinion. (based at least in part on correspondence with one of them). the closing of ranks was overdone.

    [Response: We wrote a few posts criticising Pearce’s writing because he got so much wrong. He is still getting it wrong – particular in comments that suggest the science has been ‘forever changed’ by this (hype) and his understanding of peer review (poor). For someone who has been covering the science for so long, this was surprising, and I think, worthy of note. If you think we should not criticise people who are supposed to be on ‘our side’, then I will have to disagree. This isn’t a ‘side’ issue (much as some people want to make it one). Nothing any of the inquiries have come up with is significantly different from our instant responses in November. I fail to see why we should apologise for that. – gavin]

    Comment by HotRod — 8 Jul 2010 @ 1:44 PM

  80. Here’s the finding on the “iconic” WMO graph.

    Finding: In relation to “hide the decline” we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the TAR), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading in not describing that one of the series was truncated post 1960 for the figure, and in not being clear on the fact that proxy and instrumental data were spliced together. We do not find that it is misleading to
    curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain – ideally in the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text.

    The most controversial aspect of the WMO chart (i.e. the “splicing” of paleoclimatic reconstructions and the instrumental record into one continuous record) was not present in the equivalent TAR figure, which showed the NH instrumental temperature record separately.

    So I would dispute the characterization of the TAR figure as “similar”.

    But it is good to that the report, like Oxburgh before it, makes the clear distinction between “curtailing” a reconstruction per se, and disclosure of that curtailment. This is a point often obfuscated by IPCC critics, who claim that any “curtailment” is misleading and represents lack of “disclosure”, even in cases where the curtailment and the reasons for it are fully disclosed.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 8 Jul 2010 @ 1:52 PM

  81. The Muir report did not address the validity of the Science used by the CRU etc scientists.
    Specifically it did not address the mis-application of the Greenhouse Effect.
    Arrhenius’s thought experiment added a GHG to a stream of incoming photons to validly get GHE warming. He did NOT address what happens when you get to equilibrium conditions when either ALL of the photons or ALL of the GHGs are actually in use causing the GHE.
    ON Earth the 1366 W/M^2 of photons that can be absorbed are actually absorbed resulting in the 32C of Greenhouse warming. BUT we are left with excess CO2 and Water vapor available in the air (& in the ocean).- simple proof- when the incoming photons decreases (every night, every winter, or every time the temperature is lower than the maximum,) then the GHGs that were in use by the GHE become unused or excess in the air as the GHE decreases. Adding more GHGs just adds more unused excess GHGS, it does not cause more warming which contradicts the IPCC “More GHGs causes more warming (AR4 WG1, CH1, p116)

    In my mind this is a scientific mistake, and unintentional since Arrhenius actually said more GHGs means more warming. BUT if the scientists insist on this assumption when it is pointed out to be false, then that is academic malfeasance. This apparently was NOT investigated in the report.

    For an alternate explanation of what I think actually causes the very real cyclic climate change see “Gravity Causes Climate Change” at

    I really would appreciate a scientific rebuttal, rather than just simply refusing to print the comment.

    Comment by John Dodds — 8 Jul 2010 @ 2:18 PM

  82. Ray Ladbury: “I wonder if you might not be seeing a manifestation of Snow’s Two Cultures here, with the artsy-fartsy ‘journalists’ (in the absolute loosest sense of that word) hoping to show up those ‘arrogant’ scientists.”

    With all due respect, doesn’t referring to the humanities (the other “culture” of C.P. Snow’s two) as “artsy-fartsy” convey a certain sense of “arrogance”?

    What would be your reaction to hearing some literary type refer to scientists as, say, “pin-headed geeks”?

    And as for the “journalism” involved in the fraudulent “climate-gate” attacks on scientists, I don’t see what is “artsy” about bought-and-paid-for shills regurgitating the corporate-sponsored denialist propaganda that is spoon-fed to them by their major financial underwriters. “Fartsy” maybe, but not artsy.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 8 Jul 2010 @ 2:19 PM

  83. Would someone comment on the coverage on today’s (7-8) NY Times front page? After reading the post here, I found the Times coverage a bit misleading, but without reading the entire report, I’m not sure about it. It harped on what it considered critical findings in the report, and left out some crucial findings such as the independent analysis of temperature data.

    I am also constantly amazed that Times reporters give such prominence to Pielke Jr for further information. Others are quoted only in passing at the end of the article and as if they agreed entirely with him.

    Since the Times likes to be considered the newspaper of record in such matters, I don’t think their reporters should be left off the hook when they err, even in relatively minor ways, either by inclusion or exclusion. I hope someone will make the effort to complain both to the reported and the the “public editor” whose column appears in the Sunday Week in Review.

    Comment by Leonard Evens — 8 Jul 2010 @ 2:40 PM

  84. Re, Re #79: I noticed quite a large peice on peer review in the report from yesterday but it seems that some people are using the notion of a perversion of peer review to be an issue from the stolen and released emails and hence some kind of victory. In fact Pearce has new book coming out on the entire issue as he sees/saw it and its probably not a good read AGW per se perhaps but as I have not read it then we cant tell i guess as yet.

    Maybe a book review section again as I remember doing the SOLAR one recently and ones befoee that. Maybe an article on what peer review is and really means would be useful to so that us none publishing people can get a grasp on the issues it seems to be presenting.

    Comment by pete best — 8 Jul 2010 @ 3:01 PM

  85. Congratulations to Phil Jones and colleagues (I think; I haven’t had time to digest the details).

    Gavin said (at #79 or thereabouts):

    > Nothing any of the inquiries have come up with is significantly different
    > from our instant responses in November.

    Though it has been said before, it’s worth saying again: Those instant responses were a model of standing up for the science with informed, measured judgment. RealClimate truly rose to the occasion (while other noted commenters were doing the headless chicken dance). And instant they were; Gavin handled 1,000 comments over a weekend, responding to every fifth of them. Good man in a storm!

    Comment by CM — 8 Jul 2010 @ 3:09 PM

  86. Re: Geoff Wexler #53, 62 & Ray Ladbury 61,particularly,

    I have followed the BBC’s handling of ‘AGW’ for several years now at least. In summary, they are little different to the vast majority of the world media – on the lookout for ‘controversy’ because it sells.

    I accidentally saw the 10 pm TV news yesterday. The MR report was 4/5th in importance – not that I disagree with that much with lunatic gunmen on the loose, both at home and in Afghanistan – but what irritated me beyond belief is they followed MR’s televised summary with words of wisdom from Nigel Lawson – an unscientific politician member of the fossil fuel vested interest lobby. (I refuse to call him Lord Lawson of Blaby – when the House of Lords is reformed I will argue as best I can that there will be NO place for retired politicians).

    Several years ago, following the disgraceful ‘documentary’ by Channel 4, ‘The Great Global Warming Swindle’ – (which I seem to remember RC rightly taking apart), the BBC did actually produce a reasonably scientific correct and ‘denier’ critical 3-part documentary, ‘The Climate Wars, hosted by Geologist Iain Stewart. This exposed the AGW deniers clearly as politically motivated fruitcakes yet the BBC have not issued these documentaries on DVD. Why? (One can find the documentaries on Bittorrent sites but that is not the point).

    It seems to me, and I’ve seen many similar comments in the years I’ve read RC and other ‘Scienceblogs’, that the deniers have had real scientists on the back foot for far too long. What really upset the vested interests was of course, Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient truth’ and they quickly learned that the way to influence Joe Sixpack’s opinion (or whatever your nation’s name is for that social type) is VISUAL presentation either on paper or screen.

    Therefore, to fight back, in my opinion, senior Climate Scientists of all nations that significantly contribute to Climate Research, (and websites like RC), need to find a new media ‘champion’ – a person or persons wholly committed to scientific truth, not necessarily a scientist but with undeniable media presentation skills and preferably already respected’ by ordinary people.

    I’m sure that many Senior Climate scientists at RC ‘talk’ to many others around the world – so, in my opinion, it’s down to you to take on Fox news, or ‘The Australian’, the WSJ, Daily Telegraph Blogs etc. etc. etc.

    Here at RC, whose science and advocacy I respect beyond words, you can continue your honest scientific deliberations ‘til the cows come home’ as the saying goes, but if you don’t get that message across to the ordinary people, the deniers will get you on the back again & again

    Are there NO TV documentary producers that will take the challenge or owe some of you favours?

    Think about other tactics folks.

    Comment by Clippo — 8 Jul 2010 @ 3:30 PM

  87. “Modern digital technologies permit the acquisition and manipulation of very much larger datasets than formerly. To enable proper validation of the conclusions, such datasets must be made freely available, along with details of the associated computational manipulation.
    “Scientific understanding that is transmitted into the public domain must be comprehensible to non-specia – lists, make appropriate and not excessive claims, and include careful statements of the uncertainties surrounding that understanding.”
    So Gavin – when can we expect your Coupled Atmospheric-Ocean-Economic General Climatology Dataset (in plain text, without all that incomprehensible station numerology and lat/long gridcell astrology) and Model ( in Basic – integer arithmetic only, and no differential equations; we’ll have to discuss the use of fractions versus long division)?

    “The importance of this process[Communicating to Policymakers ] is underlined by the potential magnitude of the economic and social consequences of governmental decisions in the domain of global climate change.”
    Typical hubris of government organizations – putting political decision carts before reality’s horses; those horses have riders – Warming, Famine, Pestilence, and Strife, the twenty first century’s Four Horsemen [although Strife is a goddess, “the Four Equestrians” doesn’t have quite the same tone].
    The importance of communicating to policymakers is underlined by the real and increasing economic and social consequences of global warming which have been caused by foolish and shortsighted governmental decisions. Those decisions led to western “civilization’s” expensive addiction to fossil fuels.

    Withdrawal will be painful –
    Addiction is characterized by impairment in behavioral control(buying Urban Assault Vehicles), craving and inability to abstain(drill baby drill), and diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships(Iraq war). Like other chronic diseases, addiction involves cycles of relapse and remission(70’s oil crisis, first Gulf war).
    Without withdrawal, addiction is progressive and can result in disability(Gulf of Mexico ecosystem) or death. (adapted from

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 8 Jul 2010 @ 3:30 PM

  88. [laughing to keep from crying.]

    The Faux News headline for this, buried under Sci/Tech, is:

    British Panel Criticizes ‘Climate-gate’ Scientists but Clears Them of Bias

    The link to the article, for those many, many readers that just grab the headline from the link and go no further, says:

    British Panel Criticizes ‘Climate-gate’ Scientists but…

    leaving the impression that the judgment of the scientists was bad, with just a dash of something good.

    Man, modern “journalism” just ticks me off.

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 8 Jul 2010 @ 3:33 PM

  89. Having read some of the commentary [edit] about the Muir Russell enquiry I thought it would be interesting to pop over here to see what contributors at RealClimate have to say.

    I am very surprised to see that the general comments appear to be unchanged – lots of back slapping, high fives and “we stuck it to those denialists”. I have read Muir Russell and can see how it might be interpreted in the way described by many commentators here as a victory but it seems to me to be somewhat pyrrhic. Muir Russell is a politically based review – it can be viewed as nothing else. The truth is that without open engagement with opposing views and transparent data disclosure and source code there will never be closure and the argument will not be won. If the arguments in favour of AGW are so sound and the researchers such as Jones, Mann and others are working in the public interest then complete disclosure should be a mere formality. Even the most junior PR representative knows that to appear obstructive or evasive always leaves the impression that there is something to hide, whether that assumption is true or not. If the science is as sound as claimed it will withstand any critique.

    [Response: As of course it has, but this whole affair has nothing to do with that, despite what you might hear. For instance, GISTEMP is 100% open and transparent but is still being showered with pointless FOIA requests and subject to cable TV ‘specials’ accusing the scientists of manipulation and worse (despite the fact that all the code and data is public). Have you even glanced at how much data and code was released with Mann et al 2008? If not, go and look, and then come back and discuss how open climate scientists are being. The fact is, it is really easy to find some tiny detail in a 10 year old paper that makes no difference to anything and then jump up and down about how someone isn’t being open. It has great traction among people who don’t know what is available – but don’t confuse that with the reality. – gavin]

    As a professional Earth Scientist with considerable expertise in spatial and temporal correlated statistics as well as geophysics and geology, and with a degree in Oceanography and Soil Science with a special interest in post-glacial climate I am more than capable of reading, understanding and judging many of the papers presented by the various protagonists on both sides of this debate over the last 12 years. I would draw your readers attention to the impressions of Michael Kelly, Professor of Electronics at Cambridge [edit] on the merits of the various analyses and would respectively suggest that the protagonists who have been the subject of scrutiny following the unauthorised release of emails from CRU should learn a little humility and maybe reflect on his observations.
    In the face of predicting real world outcomes in my line of work I have learnt more than once to have a little humility when trying to second guess the complexities of natural systems.

    [Response: Humility is fine (and in fact you couldn’t find a better example than Phil Jones), but I feel you are confusing what people *say* about climate scientists and the science with what the reality is. There is no shortage of discussions in the community and the literature, and in talks and in interviews and even on this blog, of real uncertainties, real issues and where the real direction of research is going. But there is an occasional lack of patience when someone comes in for the umpteenth time this month and declares that CO2 can’t be a greenhouse gas, or that the evidence for global warming relies on a single tree, or that they had vineyards in medieval England. – gavin]

    Comment by ThinkingScientist — 8 Jul 2010 @ 3:43 PM

  90. Don’t forget the skeptics over at for an opinion about the Muir report:

    Basically they are saying that if C.R.U. paid for the investigation it makes it null and void. Hmmm…. so I guess if PSU sponsored it’s investigation exonerating Dr. Mann that must be invalid as well?

    They have an argument and I just don’t know what to tell them… “Should BP investigate itself?” What would we think if that happened?

    My only counter question to them is, “Where are all the investigations proving Dr. Mann was in the wrong or fudged data etc…?” Of course they can’t show me any.

    Comment by David Palermo — 8 Jul 2010 @ 5:17 PM

  91. “I really would appreciate a scientific rebuttal, rather than just simply refusing to print the comment.” John Dodds — 8 July 2010 @ 2:18 PM

    John, if you take your two models (low GHG concentration and high GHG concentration), and trace 100 different paths of photons through each, you will find that the number of “catches” – IR absorptions – is higher in the model with higher GHG concentration. The average path length from ground to the first absorption will be smaller, and the total number of absorptions before all photons escape will be larger.

    Is this a teaching moment, or a learning moment?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 8 Jul 2010 @ 5:22 PM

  92. Correction to my last post. “Don’t forget the deniers…” (I had used the word “skeptic” in my last post when I meant “denier”).

    Comment by David Palermo — 8 Jul 2010 @ 5:41 PM

  93. 77 (ccpo),

    I disagree with you on a few specific points.

    The people you will be affecting will be those who really have no opinion and are looking for information.

    This isn’t a small number, and these aren’t unimportant people. I also think there are a lot of people who are confused, or have been lead astray, but still have an open mind, or are only just beginning to look more closely at the problem. This may be a fairly large number of people, based on the fact that most of the rah-rah anti-AGW comments are seemingly posted by the same bucketful of people every day on multiple denier sites.

    However, if they are visiting a place like Anthony W.’s distortion chamber rather than CA or RC, then they are likely not open-minded and are unreachable.

    No, actually a huge number of people visit WUWT, and I’d be utterly shocked if that wasn’t a fairly even distribution of types of people with the exception of those that are already very well educated and know better than to waste time there. Those that post comments at WUWT tend to be hardcore zombies (clemmings, i.e. climate lemmings), but I think a whole lot of people read what’s there but still wonder what to believe, or are smart enough to ultimately detect truth versus fantasy if given both flavors to try.

    Somebody, somewhere, is going to have to…

    Until the scientists/activists are willing and able to do that, we would all be better off ignoring them and simply continuing the conversation without them.

    I adamantly disagree with this. Leaving the lie unchallenged leaves the implication that it is the truth. Ignoring it completely lets them use trickery to suck more and more rational but uneducated and open minded people into the denial fantasy world. A simple comment here or there which makes sense and comes across as educated, tempered and well considered will lead a lot of people to perhaps look for other information sources on the topic at hand, or at least to leave with doubts instead of nodding in agreement.

    Bear in mind, repeating the lie leaves the *lie* most clearly in the mind of the observers, not the truth.

    Which is why I don’t necessarily argue with the main point that a post or comment makes. I tend to strike at the foundation by pointing out that underlying statements are wrong, while leaving the conclusion completely unchallenged. The QED comes naturally to any reader without being explicitly stated, and any ensuing, ongoing argument about the foundation science ultimately draws attention away from the false conclusion, while leaving the reader with a suspicion that the original post is not to be trusted to begin with.

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 8 Jul 2010 @ 5:51 PM

  94. #81 John Dodds.

    Your argument is that there is already too much CO2 and too much water vapour in the air and that there is a surplus of unemployed greenhouse gas molecules. If this were true adding more CO2 would just increase this unemployment but not the gh effect. Hence the MR inquiry is incomplete.
    This saturation fallacy is a classic zombie argument i.e one that was current a century ago, was killed by theoretical and observational work and then pseudo-revived by desperate contrarians.

    Please see:

    To summarise, absorption lines are broadened by pressure and temperature and only the centres of these lines become saturated at normal concentrations of gh gas. The wings remain where the absorption is low unless there is a lot of gh gas. The concept of unemployed gh gas is wrong. You also appear to deduce:

    More unemployed gh gas => even less AGW at night

    This is the opposite of what is predicted and observed.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 8 Jul 2010 @ 6:01 PM

  95. On my blog I harp on pseudoscience in Russia, although they have some really spectacular scientists. Often, they have rejected some crackpot “science” after a bit.

    Novosti (very authoritative/official Russian media) has a very interesting article about Russia’s problems with pseudoscience. Global warming was not addressed, but maybe it will happen. You can read the official word on today’s spy swaps, too.

    The first paragraph says:

    “But behind Russia’s reputation for scientific genius, the specter of pseudoscience looms large.”


    “Writing in the Moscow Times earlier this month, a distinguished Russian professor said he was amazed that the majority of his politics students are convinced that the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were an ‘inside job.’”


    pseudoscience and fake medicine are tough adversaries to beat because slicker-salesmen can simply pay any of Russia’s hundreds of thousands of scientific “experts” to vouch for the quality of dubious herbal remedies. This never presented a problem in the Soviet times, when there were only mainstream scientific bodies. But with the Soviet Union’s collapse came the first “social” academies of sciences. These academies now number in the 200s, greatly expanding the number of “authoritative” sources which can vouch for certain types or courses of medicine. “Now you can simply buy these titles of ‘academics’,”


    “In 2003 the Russian Academy of Sciences met with the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences to discuss the alarming impact of pseudoscience in Russia.”


    Rasputin-style infiltration into the upper echelons of power remains a problem even in post-Soviet Russia. “In the Kremlin there were whole groups of—I’m scared of calling them charlatans—but mystics, astrologists. These were prominent people—generals. The 1990s were an analogue of Rasputin’s time,” said Kruglyakov. Several appointments made by Boris Yeltsin suggested that he sought advice from odd sources. For instance, Yeltsin made General Georgi Rogozin, an ex-KGB officer and star-gazer, the deputy head of his Presidential Security Service. Rogozin led a team of 12 astrologers who would draw on their expertise to counsel the president.


    Even to this day there are clear connections between pseudo-scientists and the authorities. In March, Parliamentary Speaker Boris Gryzlov rushed to the defense of Russian inventor Viktor Petrik, who claimed to have devised a filter that makes radioactively contaminated water drinkable. Petrik has used the logo of Russia’s ruling party United Russia on his inventions to boost their credibility, but elsewhere his contraptions have been slammed as pure pseudoscience by venerable scientists.

    and finally:

    The rise of pseudoscience is far from just a Russian problem. But what started as a soothing balm for the troubled souls in the chaotic 1990s could well bring Russia’s reputation for scientific genius to its knees, if it is allowed to continue unchecked.

    Comment by Snapple — 8 Jul 2010 @ 6:48 PM

  96. John E. Pearson #75:

    I hadn’t thought much about hit counts but I try my best to never link to or mention denialist pages. I happily attack denialist arguements when I feel competent to do so, but I never feel compelled to give denialists additional publicity by providing links, names, etc.

    The most important thing is that you don’t boost the Google PageRank of a shoddy site by linking to it from a reputable site. You do this by putting a rel=”nofollow” in the link. This tells search engines to not pay attention to the site you are linking to for the purposes of assessing its popularity. Here’s some sample HTML:

    <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Site of dubious merit</a>

    Linking to denialist sites is actually a public service of sorts, if not only for the entertainment value provided by reading the inane comments at these places. BTW, apologies in advance if that HTML example doesn’t pan out. Some of the blog commenting software out there filters that stuff.

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 8 Jul 2010 @ 7:02 PM

  97. Response:Wow!!! Why don’t we just put you in charge of fixing the whole problem and be done with the whole thing, ’cause by gosh you’ve got all the solutions!

    Sarcasm works well when it has merit. It achieves nothing when used solely to insult. One is a teachable moment (not much of one) the other is just small unless well-deserved. (I happen to enjoy sarcasm, when properly used, and, insult can be one of those times. Your use of it is not deserved, so reflects only on you.)

    The fact is that you make a whole bunch of extreme, blanket statements there that are nothing but your personal opinion, which you seem to believe is backed by the literature or hard evidence or whatever.

    No, I have a psych background and most here are familiar with the *fact* that denialists’ stances are largely based on ideology. Again, watch and/or read Oreskes and others. The literature back me up, and it is the literature that shaped my understanding of this. I, too, used to think arguing/discussing with denialists was useful. I used to do a lot more of it here and at The Oil Drum. And here. What I found, and have described on this site in the past, is that the vast majority of people claiming to be “questioning” turn out to be using it as a ruse. It’s a known rhetorical tool to join conversations pretending to be a sincere questioner, but never quote seeming to be convinced… year after year…

    Bob was talking about how to effectively communicate to the group of people on the internet who are unsure and curious about climate change, and difficult as it is to actually execute (I can’t last more than a few minutes at most of those sites), I completely agree with his strategy.

    And? So you agree with him, and disagree with my suggestion, so it’s OK to attack my perceptions, analysis and suggestions? Seriously? A repeating pattern, by the way.

    It’s a democracy with a very open media and almost anyone can say anything they want.

    Sorry, but many denialists make specific statements about specific scientists and specific findings. These statements are actionable. It doesn’t matter if it’s a minion-type, or one of the well-known pseudo-scientists. Putting them in a place where they have to prove and defend their statements, unequivocally, is a good idea. And, yes, THAT is my opinion – unlike your characterization of Oreskes, et al., above, which is not my opinion, but their own conclusions.

    It’s a slow and constant battle of evidence and ideas and education. Everybody who cares about the issue, and about the planet, is angry to varying degrees at what has gone down. The question is how to effectively respond. Nobody has the full solution, and that includes you.

    And who said I did? (Though it is rather amusing that your statement is also opinion and has nothing to prove its accuracy. Ironic, no? In fact, logically, it is entirely possible that I am correct that the only thing that will override the denialists’ noise machine is a very public calling out, even prosecution.) And how is “slow and steady” more valid than my suggestion? That is purely your opinion and with what for support? I actually have a psych background. You? I actually have a teaching background in which I had to practice knowing when to input, when to solicit, when to facilitate. You? And, again, I base my opinions on the writings of scientists, not just my random opinion. You? Who are you citing?

    Ignore me and the rest of us if you want (and I imagine you will) as being too lame or whatever

    Whom, exactly, did I ignore? The word you are looking for is “disagree,” not ignore. Worse, at no time did I tell anyone to not do what they *are* doing, I said do this other thing, too.

    [edit more bs]

    but we are doing our best with the tools and energy we have.

    Did I not say someone, somewhere?

    [edit: don’t misrepresent what people say, I told you I don’t like that.]

    Better yet, in this particular case, I was quite specifically speaking to “Bob” and spoke of *his* behaviors. I did not say a word about *this* site. However, I will gladly state the same I have always said: The key metric in terms of the conversation will be the undeniable smack down of one of those denialists *or* the undeniable changes in climate. This site and the many like it will reach a limited, mostly choir, audience. (What percentage of Americans have ever visited this site?)

    [edit additional insults and misrepresentation]

    [Response: Undeniable smack down!!! Choir audience!!!]

    If it’s not good enough for you, then do your own thing.

    America! Love it or leave it! C’mon…

    And I do. That is the crux of your problem with me, isn’t it, by your own description, that I have an opinion based on my analysis, neither of which you like? And this is one of the places I do it.

    [Response: Yep, you have an opinion, that’s for sure.]

    And please don’t end your diatribes with “Cheers”, it doesn’t go over well.–Jim]

    LOL… I can’t say “Cheers” after stating my opinion and observations? Seriously? Actually, in practice and only occasionally, if I am seriously unhappy with a post to the point of not being able to respect it, I simply don’t sign off.

    In this case, I quite innocently offered my opinion, in good will, so naturally I signed off in a way that reflected that.

    Why you take what I say so personally is a mystery I have not fathomed. I find it quite strange. Let me repeat for clarity: I am not criticizing what the scientists at RC do. Else, why would I spend time here? Why would I praise their efforts on other blogs/sites? Why would I regularly cite their work? Why would I link RC from my own site?

    I am merely suggesting another tack is also necessary. [edit of more insults]

    [Response: Whatever, and I’m not interested in your self contradictions and justifications. You’ve said more than once that you think sticking to science arguments is a waste of time, which makes me wonder why you are even here. You’re not the only one with a clue or an idea of how to approach this problem, Einstein. Make your points clearly and without insult of the approach taken here, or have your comments deleted.–Jim]

    Comment by ccpo — 8 Jul 2010 @ 7:20 PM

  98. Hello Bob,

    It seems you were able to read and accept my post as it was intended. I appreciate that.

    Most of what you said was inherent in your original post, and we simply disagree. We are both working from assumptions on numbers, so not much use in arguing those points.

    # I disagree with you on a few specific points.

    Until the scientists/activists are willing and able to do that, we would all be better off ignoring them and simply continuing the conversation without them.

    I adamantly disagree with this. Leaving the lie unchallenged leaves the implication that it is the truth.

    Bear in mind, repeating the lie leaves the *lie* most clearly in the mind of the observers, not the truth.

    Which is why I don’t necessarily argue with the main point that a post or comment makes.

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 8 July 2010 @ 5:51 PM

    Not repeating it explicitly probably does reduce the keeping of the statements in memory, but the effect we are speaking of has to do with the conversation much more than the specific statements, or words, used. This research has been discussed many times on many boards, so there’s not a lot of utility in discussing it. It is what it is. providing an opportunity for the unwanted idea to be repeated simply is often found to reinforces the lie.

    If it’s going to be done at all, it would suggest the way it was handled in this thread: deleted and denied in a declarative statement, preferably positive so as not to trigger the reinforcing effect.

    So, above someone wrote something to the effect, “The science is not uncertain,” which I would rewrite as, “The science is certain.”

    Smack applied, assertion not repeated.


    Comment by ccpo — 8 Jul 2010 @ 7:41 PM

  99. Isn’t it funny how “ThinkingScientist”@89 gives no indication of either though or of understanding the science. I can only hope he appreciates irony.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Jul 2010 @ 8:03 PM

  100. Most scientists work for large organizations which are pretty picky regarding what gets communicated and how it gets communicated. A scientist can get into a lot more trouble responding to a request for data, than by just ignoring it.

    One helpful change would be to put more scientific publications into online journals that don’t require pay-for-view.

    Comment by Pete Baldo — 8 Jul 2010 @ 10:17 PM

  101. Re: Comment 89, wherein ThinkingScientist @ 8 July 2010 at 3:43 PM says:

    “As a professional Earth Scientist with considerable expertise in spatial and temporal correlated statistics as well as geophysics and geology, and with a degree in Oceanography and Soil Science with a special interest in post-glacial climate I am more than capable of reading, understanding and judging many of the papers presented by the various protagonists on both sides of this debate over the last 12 years.”

    Gee, you just described me, too (except I’m also a pretty fair volleyball player – gotcha). How nice. Does that mean that you, also, have understood what you read, too? That you assign perhaps similar credibility to “both sides” hints otherwise so…

    “…the protagonists who have been the subject of scrutiny following the unauthorized release of emails from CRU should learn a little humility…”

    Like humble ol’ you?

    In all seriousness, Mr. ThinkingScientist, coming into a place of shared learning, spouting appeals to personal authority based on espoused credentials isn’t going to win you style points. Nor an aura of credibility. The vast majority of commentators adding to the learning environment here dwarf the two us in credentials, publication record, working experience in the field, Mojo and Schwartz. And may (perish the thought) be better at volleyball than I. ;-)

    If you materially disagree with the Muir Russell report and can substantiate your position with proofs, please do furnish them. Same goes for overturning accepted climate science, the IPCC, the CRU principals, why bubblegum tastes better when left on the bedpost overnight, etc. Give us the goods, we’re all ears.

    Else, all you have is opinion. Which is cool. But it doesn’t change the fact that science & working scientists have been vindicated yet again, much to the chagrin of denialistas and delayers everywhere.

    And BTW, an “unauthorized release” is most definitely NOT the same thing as “stolen”, which is what actually happened. THAT is the true, and only, crime in the CRU email tempest-in-a-teapot.

    Sigh. Here’s the part where I usually try to be witty, but it’s been done so much better here:

    Waiting for the goods,

    Daniel the Yooper

    Comment by Daniel the Yooper — 8 Jul 2010 @ 10:37 PM

  102. #98–

    ccpo, here’s today’s example. A regular denialist ranter made a post saying, among other things, that 97% of CO2 was “natural.”

    I responded:

    “Tim’s”–again–the current CO2 burden of 392 ppm is approximately 35% anthropogenic.

    (Preindustrial concentration of ca 290, isotopes “fingerprint” the increase to human emissions, and accounting lets us know that the amount taken up by the atmosphere is only about 40% of what we emit–the remainder ends up in the biosphere and in the ocean. So this is quite definite, thank you very much.)

    Funny how you keep forgetting the correct figure and throwing out bogus numbers. I’d really thought you’d have got it straight by now.

    Oh, well, you can count on me if you do happen to forget again.

    Read more:

    As you can see, in this case I chose to use a highly ironic tone since this particular poster is a particularly egregious exemplar of ignoring correct information repeatedly. Hopefully this tone doesn’t seem too nasty for the lurkers on that site; they, not “Tim’s,” are my true concern.

    But the relevant part (for me at least) is seizing the opportunity to present correct information without restating the–well, in my heart of hearts I do believe it to be a lie, but call it what you will. Hank has repeatedly made the same point as you in this regard, and I think that it’s a good guiding principle.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 8 Jul 2010 @ 11:17 PM

  103. Oops–forgot you have to use the italics paragraph by paragraph. For clarity, everything between the two italicized sentences is part of the quoted comment.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 8 Jul 2010 @ 11:19 PM

  104. Terence Corcoran may well have just unleashed the National Post’s biggest whopper yet about climate science – and that’s saying something.

    Corcoran’s commentary on the recent Russell “climategate” email review lays one error-laden defamation on top of another, as he attempts to demonstrate that the report “provides plenty of evidence that climate science has been and remains an uncertain shambles”.

    Along the way, Corcoran even manages to confuse a little known Phil Jones graphic with Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” millenial temperature reconstruction. This leads to the astonishing (and entirely wrong) accusation that the hockey stick creators “eliminated some of the data from 1960 forward … and then spliced on actual temperature data”. Yet neither the “hockey stick” graph (the real one) nor the associated Mann et al study are mentioned in the report at all!

    Now Corcoran holds out the hope that bogus accusations might even lead to criminal trials for climate scientists. But, apparently, well-connected right-wing editors and columnists can spew falsehood after falsehood, and smear upon smear, without any consequences whatsoever.

    That’s the real scandal of “Climategate”.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 9 Jul 2010 @ 12:44 AM

  105. 82 SecularAnimist: Don’t you like a little retaliation once in a while for having been called “technological boors” all those years when we had no way to fight back? I do disagree with 61 RL’s choice of words. By the way, we also have an answer in case they mention their allegedly superior command of ethics or morals: Ethics and morals are now a new science. It is called SocioBiology or ScioBio. We don’t have Ethical Equations yet, but maybe we will some day. There are hundreds of books on SocioBiology.

    RC: I do wish we had a stronger way to fight back.
    It wouldn’t hurt to discuss the issue with any social scientists, public planners [whatever they are], economists, law professors, etc. who are interested.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 9 Jul 2010 @ 1:25 AM

  106. John Dodds 81,

    I pointed out why you were wrong 3 years ago. My post on your mistakes is still up, if you want to take a look:

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 9 Jul 2010 @ 1:59 AM

  107. David Palermo #90

    “Should BP investigate itself?”

    You could point out that this is a valid metaphor for the inquiries in question only for very expansive definitions of “itself”. See

    …and BTW U. of East Anglia as a whole got quite some flak from Muir Russell, in spite of footing the bill. Yes, valid critique is often worth paying for.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 9 Jul 2010 @ 2:20 AM

  108. #95 Very interesting account of Russia, Snapple, and frightening. The unintended consequences of the destruction of the USSR continue to grow it seems. But nothing to be proud of on this side of the former iron curtain either I’m afraid – – with the rise and rise of new age nonsense and anti-science generally.

    Comment by David Horton — 9 Jul 2010 @ 2:42 AM

  109. #52 MX:

    Is there a place where all FOI requests are published together with the names and affiliations of those making such requests?


    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 9 Jul 2010 @ 3:10 AM

  110. #97

    …you … you … you…you..

    Research project. Determine the unknown parameter.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 9 Jul 2010 @ 3:40 AM

  111. Pearce is writing a book about Climategate, isn’t he? Sadly, he has a vested interest in ensuring that history doesn’t start viewing the fuss as the storm in a teacup that it really was.

    I’m sure his reasoning is pure; he (and Monbiot) want to put climate science back on that impossible pedestal the media loves so much. And that requires throwing the baby out with the bathwater as they industriously clean a house that isn’t theirs, and which they don’t understand particularly well.

    It’s lose-lose. If they elevate scientists to the level of gods, perfect and inerrant, then scientists are just set up for the fall the next time some tiny mistake is found, or the next time someone says something tactless. But they won’t succeed in rehabilitating science in the way they want. All they will succeed in doing is dragging out a tiresome mess even more, when we should be drawing a line and saying “Climategate? Oh, those stolen emails last year? No, we don’t know who stole them yet.”

    I wish the media didn’t view things in absolutes. We expect that kind of childishness from the Daily Mail, but broadsheet readers can typically cope with more complicated thoughts.

    Comment by Didactylos — 9 Jul 2010 @ 5:56 AM

  112. Pete Baldo says: “One helpful change would be to put more scientific publications into online journals that don’t require pay-for-view”

    You know, I keep seeing this proposal, but there are rarely any helpful suggestions as to how the journals should be funded. Technical editors are not cheap. Technical publishing is expensive. I’d love to see greater access. Are you willing to raise your taxes to cover it?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Jul 2010 @ 8:02 AM

  113. @112 Ray. Higher taxes? Not a good idea right now. Finding an “angel” to fund a so-called free site for scientific pubs would most likely be an easier sell. I don’t have a problem with paying for good scientific content if it means there is access. I get frustrated at times with the people who claim to support science and the results of good scientific research but are unwilling to pay for the information. I believe the correct term is “putting your money where your mouth is”.

    Comment by Randy — 9 Jul 2010 @ 8:58 AM

  114. The problem is that when one abandons the evidence, one’s only resort is to slander one’s opponents. And when one cannot advance explanations or make predictions based on one’s own ideas, one has to try to make one’s opponents appear just as ignorant.

    This approach is practically diagnostic of anti-science. A scientist may tout the advantages of his theory over a competing theory, but no decent scientist will bring up a weakness in a theory and then offer no alternative.

    Anti-science has no alternative but to “get personal”. It is one reason why sciece vs. anti-science debates invariably turn nasty. And the more we emphasize evidence, the more they will respond with calumny. We will have to hope that at some point the public becomes sufficiently discerning to tell the difference between science and anti-science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Jul 2010 @ 9:12 AM

  115. I am searching for an authoritive debate between the AGW crowd and the Deniers. Hopefully, the protagonists are equally pursuasive. Keep to the subject and stay away from personal attacks. It would speed things along…
    anyone know of such a discussion?

    [Response: Try the MIT Climate Collabortorium. The IPCC process is the debate in the mainstream (no personal attacks to be found anywhere). – gavin]

    Comment by Jeffrey Eric Grant — 9 Jul 2010 @ 9:24 AM

  116. Kevin McKinney @102, you’ve mixed up your metrics and thus substantially overstated the anthropogenic fraction of atmospheric CO2.

    From the pre-industrial level of ~280 ppmv to the current level of ~389 ppmv is an increase of ~109 ppmv, or a ~39% increase.

    However, 109 is only ~28% of the current CO2 annual mean level of ~389 ppmv.

    Don’t needlessly give the pseudo-sceptics a crack in your argument to drive a wedge into.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 9 Jul 2010 @ 9:36 AM

  117. Not sure if this has been pointed out, but it should either be the ‘Russell Report’ or the ‘report by Muir Russell’. It’s one guy, Sir Muir Russell, the chairman of the review team, not two (‘Muir-Russell’).

    [Response: You are right. No hyphen. Thanks – gavin]

    Comment by CT — 9 Jul 2010 @ 11:04 AM

  118. @ Jeffrey Eric Grant

    “I am searching for an authoritive debate between the AGW crowd and the Deniers.”

    Yes …. but who would talk for the deniers?

    First of all there would need to be a knock-out between:

    1. New Ice Age-ers (Get a woolly sweater now)
    2. There is no temp rise-ers (Urban heat islanders)
    3. It’s natural warming-ers (Galactic rays)
    4. (Possibly) It’s CO2, but we welcome this (Cornucopians)

    And then, taking #3, there would need to be a further sort-out between solar, tectonic plate friction causing heating, Martian invaders, etc.

    So who would choose the deniers?

    Comment by Urban Leprechaun — 9 Jul 2010 @ 11:21 AM

  119. To David Horton @108 and others:

    I should have told people that the article I mentioned in the Russian RIA Novosti is to a large extent an interview with Eduard Kruglyakov, the head of the Pseudoscience Commission at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    Did you know that the RAS has a Pseudoscience Commission?

    This Commission would be something to pay attention to. Russian scientists have a lot of experience with Rasputins…and Mad Moncktons.

    Meanwhile, maybe this will make you laugh!

    Comment by Snapple — 9 Jul 2010 @ 11:44 AM

  120. I agree completely with CCPO. Unless there is a vigorous challenge by the scientific community to the core sources of this denialist slander against science, there will be no significant progress, and science can only “hope” that the general public will “see the light”. We should “have faith” that science will win in the end.

    [Response: Do you also agree with him that scientists and activists need to be ignored because they’re unwilling to do anything?–Jim]

    Hope, Trust and Faith are not the basis for rational action, and inaction of course is a recipe for continued loss and disaster.

    At issue is the existence of organized slander against science, and scientists.

    There are laws on the books against slander of brands or products. I suggest that they be considered for use against the slander being employed against science.

    Consider the existence of so called “Food Libel” laws and the basis of their application against people who speak ill of a particular brand.

    Food libel laws, also known as food disparagement laws and informally as veggie libel laws, are laws passed in 13 U.S. states that make it easier for food producers to sue their critics for libel. These 13 states include Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. Many of the food-disparagement laws establish a lower standard for civil liability and allow for punitive damages and attorney’s fees for plaintiffs alone, regardless of the case’s outcome.

    I strongly recommend that the CRU sue the National Post for slander.

    If you aren’t on the offensive, you aren’t in the game.

    [Response: And who’s going to do all these things–file all these lawsuits, pay for the lawyers etc? Scientists are supposed to do this, as well as educate the public, write letters to the editor, and of course do their science too? Should we run for congress too? Get our own cable network? There sure is no shortage of non scientists around here telling the scientists what they need to be doing (and how to be doing it).–Jim]

    Comment by Veidicar Decarian — 9 Jul 2010 @ 12:02 PM

  121. “no reason to pollute our site with the Telegraph’s venomous filth”

    Tra-la.. The air is the air… What can be done?

    Perhaps someone should consider a lawsuit.

    Comment by Veidicar Decarian — 9 Jul 2010 @ 12:06 PM

  122. Re Jeffrey Grant @115 : “I am searching for an authoritive debate between the AGW crowd and the Deniers.

    Besides the lack of agreement among pseudo-sceptics, aka deniers, how could there possibly be an authoritative ‘debate’ between those bound by scientific evidence and those perfectly willing to make things up? It’s an exercise doomed to perpetual frustration from the outset.

    If you want counter-arguments to most pseudo-sceptic arguments supported by cites to the scientific literature try Skeptical Science:

    Comment by Jim Eager — 9 Jul 2010 @ 12:42 PM

  123. “And who’s going to do all these things–file all these lawsuits, pay for the lawyers etc?” – Editor

    If you exist in a university setting, then I suggest you give one of the universities law professors a call.

    In addition I suggest producing an organized group of motivated people to monitor the major sources of disinformation, document the slander and counter the FUD.

    How about pushing the AGU to review the lies and distortions coming out of Senator Inhofe’s office?

    [edit obscenity]

    [Response: Good, now suggest something that hasn’t been done already. And then take the lead on it.–Jim]

    Comment by Veidicar Decarian — 9 Jul 2010 @ 12:46 PM

  124. Lawsuits might not be a good idea. I think a jury can be manipulated by all those lawyers’ tricks. That’s why Cuccinelli wants to get Dr. Mann in court.

    Here is a June 3, 2010 article about arguing with deniers. He says don’t argue with them before uninformed audiences–especially in court.

    The author describes “the dangers inherent in jettisoning science’s careful, deliberative pursuit of objective fact in favor of courtroom-style, adversarial combat. This account should serve as an object lesson for any scientist who is invited to debate a global warming denier before an audience of novices.”

    This publication has information about all sorts of crack-pot science. It has articles about the rise of pseudoscience in the former Soviet Bloc. Actually, it was always a problem.

    Do you know how I knew the USSR was going down? TASS published articles claiming that aliens had landed in Voronezh. Probably TASS didn’t get paid, and they figured lots of people would buy a paper claiming aliens had landed and abducted people.

    I write about junk science, so I tell about this here.

    Comment by Snapple — 9 Jul 2010 @ 1:21 PM

  125. “Good, now suggest something that hasn’t been done already.” – Editor

    I wasn’t aware that the National Post had been sued by the CRU. Further I know of no lawsuits against any of the corporate propaganda groups in the U.S. like CATO, or the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, etc.

    Why don’t you list them for us.

    The fact is, there has been virtually attempt at an offensive by the scientific community.

    As to myself I am not a climate scientist. So I don’t think the courts would find that I have been damaged if I were to attempt to claim that I or my work has been slandered.

    But I bet I could put together a list of several hundred climate scientists for which their work and good name have been damaged.

    Call a freaking lawyer…. Stand up for yourselves.

    Comment by Veidicar Decarian — 9 Jul 2010 @ 3:10 PM

  126. Geoff Wexler (94), Just for the purist, Doppler broadening is slightly enhanced with higher temp (proportional to the sq-rt of T) though it is small in any case, but pressure broadening, in most instances, is less with higher temps.

    Comment by Rod B — 9 Jul 2010 @ 3:25 PM

  127. Randy (113), I understand the published papers have to be paid for somehow, but it seems there ought to be some limit. I was recently asked for $35 to read a 41-year old paper about CO2 rotational energy. That would have been putting money in the other end, IMO.

    Does anybody know how much revenue on average comes from the $25-$50 charge for 24 to 48 hours of reading?

    Comment by Rod B — 9 Jul 2010 @ 3:37 PM

  128. 112 (Ray Ladbury),

    You know, I keep seeing this proposal, but there are rarely any helpful suggestions as to how the journals should be funded.

    I’ve made a suggestion to Nature, with no reply. Perhaps someone else who might be listened to would float it their way. But part of the problem is that to have access to everything one must belong to multiple journals, each at a fairly large expense. That expense is nominal if you’re in the profession, or if your institution foots the bill, but large if you’re just someone who’s trying to stay informed.

    Meanwhile, a journal subscription (like Nature) gives access to dozens (hundreds?) of disciplines, many of which are irrelevant to the problem at hand.

    I’d be more than happy, myself, to pay for a subscription that gave me access to articles selected as applicable only to one specific area (i.e. climate science) if it was pared down to a manageable rate, particularly if it also worked across journals.

    Face it, there’s never been a heated, “popular” interest in an area of science the way there is now in climate science. There’s never been a market for “focused journal subscriptions for amateurs.” But there is now.

    But if they were to get organized, and offer such an option for specific disciplines (i.e. climate science) I think they’d make more money. They’d make every penny they do now, and then some.

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 9 Jul 2010 @ 3:48 PM

  129. I rarely write because there are so many commenters more eloquent and more knowledgable than I, but I wanted to offer a counter opinion to CCPO and others urging lawsuits against denialists. Having just been through a lawsuit a neighbor dropped on us which cost us 41 months of stress and over $100K in legal fees, I see several good reasons to avoid the US court system if at all possible.

    The first reason is cost. A libel suit against a prominent denialist will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees at minimum, and could run well over a million. Who is going to foot the bill? The climate scientists? Their institutions? Don’t count on getting the money back when the suit is won.

    The second reason is time. Only on TV are lawsuits settled quickly. In the real world, particularly here in the US, a lawsuit may take years. If I remember correctly, the last of the Exxon Valdez suits was only recently settled. Is there any point to filing a suit tomorrow and annoucing a win in 2022? Who will care by that time?

    My third and last point is that it would be difficult to win, and very easy to lose, a libel lawsuit. All it would take is one Limbaugh fan on the jury and there won’t be a favorable verdict. A hung jury would be a win for the denialists.

    In an ideal world things would be different but, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, we have to fight with the courts we have, not the courts we want.

    Comment by Phillip Shaw — 9 Jul 2010 @ 3:52 PM

  130. [Edit. You’ve now shown yourself to be a first class troll, equivalent to the some of the worst deniers we’ve had here, in a number of ways. All further submissions by you will be deleted until you have something other than opinionated invective and slander to contribute.–Jim]

    Comment by ccpo — 9 Jul 2010 @ 3:52 PM

  131. @Jim…

    “[Response: Do you also agree with him that scientists and activists need to be ignored because they’re unwilling to do anything?–Jim]”

    To chip in, I don’t think he actually said that!

    [Response: Other than this you mean: “Until the scientists/activists are willing and able to do that, we would all be better off ignoring them and simply continuing the conversation without them.” This was mixed in with other assertions about our intent such as that we stick to the science because it “makes us feel good” but does nothing, that people adopting the patient strategy that Bob S explained are wasting their time” (proven by research he says repeatedly, but never offers any) and various other proclamations about what the deniers are all about and what needs to be done and not done. He has a complete disdain for much of what goes on here, and thinks he has the right to come in here and proclaim it. Go back and read it.–Jim]

    Depressingly, CCPO has a point. The denial of climate change isn’t motivated from a misunderstanding of the science, it’s motivated from a dislike of the policy implications. Willfull misunderstanding and missrepresentation of the science and slander of the scientists is a debating tactic.

    [Response: Nobody argues this. It’s a red herring introduced by ccpo because he is so bothered by other approaches to dealing with misinformation than his, and that actually have something other than a kneejerk reaction to them.–Jim]

    That requires two approaches, firstly to convince as many people who are genuinely confused and seeking to guide their actions with reference to objectie reality, which this site and those like it do very well.

    But it probably won’t be sufficient on it’s own because there are also going to be plenty of unconvinced people that will, like the “denialists”, actually be deciding their positions not by objectie reality but by how convenient the implied policies to combat the problem are for them. i.e. it’s easier and more confortuble to believe scientists are fraudulent etc. than vote for carbon taxes, and it is psychologically very difficult for people to say “I do believe in AGW, but to hell with it, I’d rather have a bigger car”. People like to be consistent.

    Couple that to cleaving to token partisan positions as part of the identity, the growing ability and tendency of people to be able to select which media they read and thus retreat into a echoboxes where their own comfortuble world view is unchallenged, and you can see that there is indeed the possibility that simply stating the case for AGW ever more cogently may not win the day.

    I would not underestimate how great a segment of society falls into the category of “not persuadable by scientific arguments alone”, and a more proactive approach of demolishing the other position as lies is necessary. In science the two are often seen to be the same thing, largely because we are all open minded and willing to be persuaded by evidence and all subscribe axiomatically to the idea that there is such a thing as objective reality.

    There are a lot of people out there that would agree with that statement, but at the same time demand their “right to an oppinion” and disengage should the evidence go against them.

    Suing etc. as a method to force reality into the comfort zones created by media/politics etc. shouldn’t be treated so dismisively, though indeed there is the question of who has the time and effort to do it. CCPO specifically stated someone, he wasn’t suggesting “you guys”.

    [Response: I’m not dismissing suing or any other tactic. They might be entirely necessary. It’s not the point. I’m objecting to someone with an attitude coming onto THIS site, which has for several years now steadfastly offered up scientific rebuttals to all kinds of crap from all sides, on the heels of two recent vindications of scientists and their institutions no less, and proclaim to us that we should be ignored because we’re doing this to make ourselves feel good and offer blanket declarations of how we need to be acting. Doesn’t sit well.–Jim]

    Comment by Seb — 9 Jul 2010 @ 3:56 PM

  132. I have an idea. It is pretty radical and maybe utterly impossible, but I think it could be an amazing thing for humanity in general. Let me explain a little of my reasoning first so that the idea makes a little sense.

    It seems to me that the biggest problem we humans have today is that we’ve forgotten how we got here. We’ve become so used to the technological wonders around us, that we have forgotten that it takes science and scientists to give us these things, and our entire society is now utterly reliant on them. So I think what people need is a reminder. Think of that movie “A Day Without a Mexican”.

    Imagine a day (week, month, year, whatever) without scientists.

    A global multi-discipline strike of scientists who refuse to offer advice, counsel etc on any scientific matter to anyone, government or private, for the duration of the strike. Of course excluding those scientists who are involved in areas that have a potential threat of harm should scientists leave (nuclear plants etc).

    All other scientists though should just go on strike. Make all of us see just how much we owe to scientists in general, and maybe people won’t be so quick to ignore the opinion of scientists.

    Does that sound like a crazy idea, or what?

    [Response: I like it!–Jim]

    Comment by Simon Rika — 9 Jul 2010 @ 4:09 PM

  133. “Good, now suggest something that hasn’t been done already.” – Editor

    I wasn’t aware that the National Post had been sued by the CRU. Further I know of no lawsuits against any of the corporate propaganda groups in the U.S. like CATO, or the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, etc.

    Regarding potential legal action by climate scientists, I am reasonably sure of two things:

    1) Climate scientists have already consulted attorneys about possible legal action.

    2) Climate scientists are smart enough to listen to the advice that the attorneys have given them.

    Comment by caerbannog — 9 Jul 2010 @ 4:33 PM

  134. #126

    JD was trying to argue that he had shown how the Russell report has missed the (i.e. his) point.

    Are you trying to divert attention from the two criticisms of JD’s theory (theories)?
    (a) of the gh effect (see #106)
    (b) of the enhanced version (#94)

    If not, the point of your purist comment is unclear , just as it was with your earlier comments about DDT on Deltoid.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 9 Jul 2010 @ 4:35 PM

  135. Simon @ 132:

    I vote for crazy idea.

    Comment by Phillip Shaw — 9 Jul 2010 @ 4:54 PM

  136. “[Response: And who’s going to do all these things–file all these lawsuits, pay for the lawyers etc? Scientists are supposed to do this, as well as educate the public, write letters to the editor, and of course do their science too? Should we run for congress too? Get our own cable network? There sure is no shortage of non scientists around here telling the scientists what they need to be doing (and how to be doing it).–Jim]”

    Actually Jim, I think we could use a few more scientists in congress. I agree with everything else you said in your response (why is the onus on scientists to do research, 101 administrative tasks, tackle naysayers who have little to no knowledge, put together lawsuits, etc., etc., when all they’d really like to do is ponder what’s really interesting to them?)! That said, a few more thinking people (or at least those curious about things other than how to get re-elected) in congress would work wonders. Even leaving those doing active research aside, a few more PhD’s in congress would be nice.

    All the best, keep up the great work, and congrats doctors Mann and Jones!

    Comment by Dan — 9 Jul 2010 @ 4:58 PM

  137. ccpo writes:

    “Bear in mind, repeating the lie leaves the *lie* most clearly in the mind of the observers, not the truth. Stop treating these people like their comments have any merit.”

    To use a political analogy, John Kerry took that approach during the U.S. 2004 election fight. He chose to mainly ignore the Swift Boat attacks against his military service, figuring that addressing them would unnecessarily elevate them, giving them merit they clearly don’t deserve. While there is some truth to that, ignoring them turned out to be a worse course of action. They ended up festering and propagated throughout the media and he came out much worse than if he had addressed the smears head on. Barack Obama took the opposite approach. He was ready to handle any mud slung at him, and he had to deal with a lot of it. He threw back the “pal’ing around with terrorist” stuff that the McCain camp had been pushing, and he also did it on live television in the debate, smacking McCain over the head with it. This is the world we live in, like it or not. We have junk media and junk political hacks spreading lies to an audience that has an insatiable appetite for it. That won’t go away by ignoring it. Rational discourse might not prevail in the end, but it’s our only hope in the long-run.

    Addressing bad arguments rationally is not a bad thing, and it’s not at all mutually exclusive with handling some of the bad stuff aggressively and forcefully. You can say Dr. Schmidt did both in dealing with the CRU hack. His response was both rational and very assertive and most would agree RC and CRU are better off for it. Simply ignoring the garbage wouldn’t make it go away.

    I’m also in agreement that a few lawsuits would be a good idea. What the Muir Russell report failed to do very well was hold the key accusers accountable.

    Comment by MarkB — 9 Jul 2010 @ 5:16 PM

  138. Vendicar Decarian, I call your attention to what Voltaire said:

    “I was only ruined twice in my life; once when I lost a lawsuit and once when I won one.”

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Jul 2010 @ 7:22 PM

  139. Eli favors a large variety of tactics. One size does not fit all.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 9 Jul 2010 @ 7:37 PM

  140. Regarding lawsuits and such.
    People’s hearts may be in the right places, but maybe need to learn some more about defamation law (which is messy), and understand the asymmetric warfare element of this that makes it:
    – almost impossible for individual scientists to do this, which makes Andrew Weaver’s suite against the National Post interesting, especially has Weaver has a serious expert lawyer in this.
    – very difficult for universities, as well.

    if people want to get up to speed, you might start with the PDF @
    In V1.0, read
    p.16, last few paragraphs.
    p.184, which at least points at relevant sources on defamation law.

    The most plausible solution is: as I wrote on p.33:

    “Perhaps thoughtful private individuals might contribute, as it is unclear whether or not our institutions are really set up for this. In addition, most scientists do not face such attacks, leaving those under attack feeling rather alone. Some NGOs help with this, as do some lawyers doing pro-bono work, but none are really funded for serious efforts. Maybe it would be possible to set up a private foundation In Defense Of Science, because science and scientists are certainly under attack.”

    Note Markey hearing on attacks on climate scientists, 05/20/2010, i.e., the House has at least started to notice, a little, if not necessarily enough.

    We really need an organization that gets the expertise and experience to handle this stuff efficiently, because one fo the problems is that the attackers are experienced, whereas the attackees are less so, and try to play by the rules. Being a Penn State grad, I liken this to having the football stadium invaded by a “team” run by Genghis Khan. It’s a big surprise, and throwing penalty flags doesn’t work well, but by the time people figure that out the game is over. Then, the next Saturday, the Horde visits Ohio State… The Horde is experienced at this.

    (Now, before someone says “So do it!”, I have had some preliminary discussions already, have some ideas on organization, staffing and some ideas on funding. I’m really hoping somebody else does it (like, say, a part of UCS), but if not, after some current related projects get finished, and if it doesn’t get vetoed, I may well make a serious run at this. I say no more for now.]

    But please, before people hassle our scientists to “do something”, how about learning some more about the legal rules, and the constraints under which people operate.

    Comment by John Mashey — 9 Jul 2010 @ 7:43 PM

  141. Eduard Kruglyakov, the head of the Pseudoscience Commission at the Russian Academy of Sciences, writes a good bit about how to confront pseudoscience. He’s a physicist.

    Sometimes his name is spelled Edward instead of Eduard.

    He has written articles and books about the problem of confronting pseudoscience.

    His books are titled Highway “Scientists” and Highway “Scientists”-2

    He blames the Russian media and government bodies for popularizing pseudoscience and undermining real science. A lot of the media is owned by the fossil fuel companies.

    This page from his second book gives you an idea. Maybe you all could read this link. If you hit control plus it will get bigger and you can see it.

    Comment by Snapple — 9 Jul 2010 @ 8:14 PM

  142. Maybe scientists should take more advantage of the libel laws in the UK, instead of complaining about them on the rare, rare occasions when a journalist is falsely attacked using them…..

    I think there are good reasons why the law is the way it is. The plaintiff is assumed to be innocent of whatever the defendant libelled him with, rather than the traditional situation where the defendant is presumed innocent. Yes, there can sometimes be “David vs Goliath” problems, but far more commonly, the “Goliath” is the newspaper guilty of libel.

    One important finding of the McLibel case was that repeating claims already published, or believing the claims to be true is no defence. Think for a moment about how this applies to climate science. All that garbage printed by the Telegraph (to name just one paper) was potentially libellous, even if they try to hide behind the defence that they were merely repeating what some random blogger said.

    It’s still not easy, though. I’m not demanding that scientists rise up en masse and take to the courts for every bit of nonsense printed. But I do hope that more scientists will draw a firm line, and defend it even if there is a personal cost. I also hope that more people, like John Mashey, will help defend the line.

    (As an aside, I wonder who is really behind the attack on UK libel law. I suspect that the people who stand to gain – massive media conglomerates – are standing behind and yanking on the strings…. while screaming “free speech” and hoping that nobody will notice that the merging of media groups kills free speech far more effectively than merely stopping people from publishing damaging lies.)

    Comment by Didactylos — 9 Jul 2010 @ 9:18 PM

  143. Geoff Wexler (134), no, I wasn’t changing the thrust of anyone’s points or argument; just clarifying a small detail that technically you had wrong.

    Where on earth did that DDT-on-Deltoid come from?? For the record (again) I was lucidly clear then; the group just didn’t like what I was saying. (And I would suggest letting this lie; Gavin would not like the old stuff resurrected.)

    Comment by Rod B — 9 Jul 2010 @ 9:29 PM

  144. “Do you also agree with him that scientists and activists need to be ignored because they’re unwilling to do anything?” – Editor

    The current path chosen by the scientific community produces no results in the area of mitigation for the next 20 to 30 years as far as I can see.

    So ignoring the climate science for those 30 years, or not has not effect on the situation.

    That is what CCPO was saying, and to that extent I agree with him.

    You can’t reason with the unreasonable.
    You can’t educate the willfully ignorant.

    You can however drag them to court when they try and destroy your reputation with lies and distortions.

    Comment by Veidicar Decarian — 9 Jul 2010 @ 11:14 PM

  145. For potential ordinary libel/slander suits in the U.S., I would be leery that the most aggrieved/best potential plaintiffs have become public figures or limited public figures, thereby raising their burden of proof. The same idea also might apply to attacks on the denial mouthpieces as well, if there are any that reach this level. If the abhorrent attacks on the scientists are organized, as they very well may be, then the source probably works under legal guidance and knows how to remain within the limits. Even if not, with the potential of drawing funding from every denial-friendly faction, a private suit likely would be a tremendous ordeal and the discovery process would be brutal. Taking up key scientist/research organization time with litigation rather than research and outreach has the potential to be a stepping-on-garden-rake affair as well. Finally, it might be possible to address certain affronts with torts other than libel/slander–wrongful disclosure of private information, for example. Pursuing injunctive relief has the potential to be a piecemeal affair, akin to hunting one restaurant cockroach at a time. In the end, I suspect that sue-the-bastards is likely to be a counterproductive response, at least under U.S. civil law. Unencumbered by intimate knowledge, I would not be surprised to learn that the apparently paradoxical current high-road approach is exactly the/part of the most effective strategy. I understand that the Justice Department is stretched thin by Homeland Security activity, but it also would not surprise me to learn that Justice is investigating the matter, as a RICO case or otherwise. Finally, not having investigated this point at all, I wonder if there is any relief available under the various trade treaties. If there is any, one supposes the action would be by the organizations, rather than by the individual plaintiffs, and that any such action would be much less public in nature than would be an ordinary civil suit.

    Comment by ghost — 10 Jul 2010 @ 12:46 AM

  146. If all the emails were as some stated and there was some kind of cheating going on and lying, etc. So what?

    Could lying and the emails have caused the polar ice to melt rapidly? Could emails and lies cause CO2 to be nearly 400ppm (actual historic records tell us this level is very high and tell us what it causes). Could lies and emails have caused the sea to rise?

    This tempest is meaningless regarding proof or disproof about global warming. The tempest was, I am certain, ginned up by the big money that wants to mock and cause disbelief about global warming to protect their profits. The same thing was done by big tobacco and they succeeded in delaying information to get out and prevent millions of deaths. Profit was more important.

    Comment by William P — 10 Jul 2010 @ 1:13 AM

  147. bit off topic.. been looking the sea ice extent on this site…
    Boy! it’s scary! From 1979-1989 it’s pretty much business as usual with each year’s graph following pretty much the same course, moderate highs and lows. From 1989-1999. There is a noticable trend in sea ice area curving downwards but still the yearly highs and lows are roughly consistant although getting slightly more irregular. From 1999-2007 the varaition is much the same but the graph continues it’s southern journey. But from 2007 till present there is suddenly a hell of a lot of variation from the lows and highs and the graphs look extremely irregular. If that post 2007 graph came from a ECG machine hooked up to a patient in hospital you would have bells and whistles sounding and an army of doctors rushing to his’s that obvious!..Have a look!

    Comment by Lawrence Coleman — 10 Jul 2010 @ 1:17 AM

  148. Congratulations to all at RC and the CRU on yet another strong affirmation of your integrity, and sympathies to your families for enduring such needless strees.

    Comment by Alan of Oz — 10 Jul 2010 @ 1:28 AM

  149. #47 I posted this at the Fred Pearce article:

    Fred, you are clueless as ever, a disgrace to the usually high standards of journalism of The Guardian.

    I went to a talk by a leading bioinformatician from a top Ivy League university yesterday, and he bemoaned the lack of openness and transparency in biology data sets, the fact that much knowledge was embedded in lab notebooks that no one outside the lab could access, the proprietorial attitude to knowledge that made cross-institution work hard, and the complete lack of standards in biology information.

    This is just a short list of some of the problems he listed.

    By comparison, climate science is a model of openness. Phil Jones and his group could have been more helpful to people trying to sabotage their work but as is made very clear in the report, anyone legitimately attempting to reproduce their work could do so.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 10 Jul 2010 @ 3:41 AM

  150. #143

    I don’t want to continue this. Perhaps I should not have brought up the DDT ,but as for the other item , I don’t think that it clarified or corrected anything.
    No one else is interested.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 10 Jul 2010 @ 4:04 AM

  151. Some clarification from me about my previous comment.

    I suppose you could have taken exception to three words in my footnote to #227 of the previous thread i.e. “pressure broadening which includes temperature” which phrase is almost indefensible.But the context was quite different and had nothing to do with JD’s theory.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 10 Jul 2010 @ 5:01 AM

  152. Veidicar Decarian:

    Climate policy ultimately gets decided by politicians. While it may satisfy egos to sway public opinion 100% in our favour, that just isn’t a reasonable goal. Most democratic political systems are designed to act in the best interests of everyone – whether they are in the majority or not, and whether they agree or not. A difficult task under any circumstances!

    So, maybe a minority of politicians (as with the public) will be swayed by specious arguments and denialist smears. A few more will certainly use events such as Climategate for political cover. Over time, however, this won’t work for them. The fuss is forgotten as quickly as it started, and if anyone tries to resurrect it, there is not one but three independent reports to help put the nonsense back in its box.

    If it’s important enough, then legal action will help us, by bringing a higher level of attention to the facts, and disgracing the authors of whatever lie scientists decide is important enough to fight.

    But as a sole strategy? For every little thing? Scientists have more important things to do. Yes, we know all about climate change. But there are vast oceans of detail, of quantitative projections that still need refining, all these frontiers of science that need pushing back further to help inform long-term policy and to underscore the importance of immediate short-term action.

    Ask any scientist. There are not enough hours in the day.

    Comment by Didactylos — 10 Jul 2010 @ 7:52 AM

  153. Re. 51 Mikel (on UK FOIA): “Providing information under FOIA/EIR (except for a SAR) is equivalent to putting the information into the public domain;”

    Are you completely sure about that? I have a niggling memory that, where data and/or information is bound by non-disclosure agreements, the requester must either seek the appropriate permissions and also be bound by them, or accept the conditions promising not to release the material into the public domain. I’d check that again to be sure, if I were you. It may not be the case for EIR, but I’m fairly certain it applies to UK FOIA.

    Comment by J Bowers — 10 Jul 2010 @ 7:53 AM

  154. #“Do you also agree with him that scientists and activists need to be ignored because they’re unwilling to do anything?” – Editor

    The current path chosen by the scientific community produces no results in the area of mitigation for the next 20 to 30 years as far as I can see.

    So ignoring the climate science for those 30 years, or not has not effect on the situation.

    That is what CCPO was saying, and to that extent I agree with him.

    That’s not quite what I was saying. The context of my posts over years is important, and being ignored by Barrett808/Jim. In essence, however, you may have described it correctly. What I actually said was to one poster. I said that poster was wasting their time engaging denialists unless or until such a time that denialists were held accountable. The logical underpinnings of this are thus: 1. Getting the science irrefutably acknowledged as accurate will greatly weaken their hold on the minds of those who would be reachable *if* their anti-climate gurus were shown to be charlatans. 2. If denialists had to fear prosecution as a likely outcome of lying, they might reign themselves in.

    A further point has been outlined by me in this regard. At this point, taking action to prevent mitigation of the effects of climate change is a crime against humanity. Period. It meets the definition. What argument, despite the truth of it, gains no traction. We are all willing to try someone for shooting hundreds of thousands, taping tens or hundreds of thousands, maiming hundreds of thousands, but we can’t get excited about possible extinction? *That* is not worth prosecuting someone over?

    It’s madness.

    So, I focus on encouraging someone, somewhere to take that first step and get one of these people prosecuted.

    The denialists have been winning for decades while the mantra has been to patiently extol the science. We have actually seen declines in understanding of CC as a real phenomenon and/or that it is largely anthropogenic. Last previous winter they were posting all over the internet how by the end of the year CC would be toast. And they almost pulled it off. And still, almost nobody things prosecution is a legitimate tack to take. Meanwhile, the planet is going haywire.

    What I have not said, ever, is that RC should cease to exist – which would be the logical extension of what Jim claims I have said, but have not said. If I thought RC had no use or merit, I would say so. (I am hardly shy about my opinions or what I know to be fact.) For those people who choose to be educated about climate, RC is invaluable. But to say, even as the numbers have turned massively against CC among the public, that the slow and steady approach is the only way to go, and that it is insulting to scientists suggest otherwise, just doesn’t jive with reality. Jim is simply wrong here to ascribe to my intent what he wishes it to be, rather than what it is. Why he does this, I do not know, but I hope the actual scientists here will reign him in. We are talking about the fate of global population here, and one lone voice calling for strong action against a large group of people who are quite successfully keeping meaningful action from taking place is hardly inappropriate on these forums.

    You can’t reason with the unreasonable.
    You can’t educate the willfully ignorant.

    You can however drag them to court when they try and destroy your reputation with lies and distortions.

    Comment by Veidicar Decarian — 9 July 2010 @ 11:14 PM


    Comment by ccpo — 10 Jul 2010 @ 8:46 AM

  155. J Bowers:

    The UK FOIA has an exclusion for confidential information, but that doesn’t override public interest.

    I believe in the CRU case, the data subject to NDAs was available by other means. The exclusion for data available by other means is absolute; there is no public interest test.

    That’s my interpretation of the FOIA guidance notes, anyway.

    The circumstances you describe, where additional constraints are placed on the requester, are explicitly not covered by the FOIA.

    If information is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act under section 41, public authorities may, in certain circumstances, still be able to disclose the information to the particular applicant concerned without this constituting an actionable breach of confidence at common law. For example, if a public authority considers that there is a strong public interest in a particular applicant knowing the exempt information and it would be both possible and in the public interest to disclose the information to that person, or if the information could be disclosed subject to an undertaking of confidentiality by the applicant without breaching the duty of confidence, the public authority may still be able to disclose the information even though the request has been refused under the Freedom of Information Act. The circumstances in which this is possible will be limited and will depend heavily on the identity of the applicant, a knowledge of the purposes to which the applicant intends to put the information and the ability of the authority to disclose the information subject to conditions of confidence without breaching the duty of
    confidence: legal advice should be sought where this is proposed.

    Departments must make very clear:
    • that the request has been refused under the Freedom of Information
    • the confidential terms on which the information is disclosed

    (emphasis mine) – Clearly, when a request is made in bad faith, there is no public interest argument that can justify making attempts to provide the information beyond what is required by law.

    Comment by Didactylos — 10 Jul 2010 @ 8:48 AM

  156. Taking up key scientist/research organization time with litigation rather than research and outreach has the potential to be a stepping-on-garden-rake affair as well…

    In the end, I suspect that sue-the-bastards is likely to be a counterproductive response, at least under U.S. civil law.

    it also would not surprise me to learn that Justice is investigating the matter, as a RICO case or otherwise.

    Comment by ghost — 10 July 2010 @ 12:46 AM

    1. It would make sense to me that a group of people supporting the action could, hopefully would, free up the person in question from the mundane aspects of the process, leaving only those activities that required the persons’ presence.

    2. Perhaps the gov’t is, but given we are talking Big Business here, don’t hold your breath.

    3. The truest definition for what these people are doing and have done, is a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, the definition is too limited for a society in which corporations hold so much power, as it is limited to actions by governments. These are, indeed, crimes against all of humanity, which is why I call the behavior sui-genocidal.

    Now, if someone besides Jim Galasyn could explain how all this somehow insults the RC scientists, I’d be much obliged.


    Comment by ccpo — 10 Jul 2010 @ 9:03 AM

  157. “Maybe scientists should take more advantage of the libel laws in the UK.”

    Why do you want to go to court when Inhofe and Cuccinelli want to go to court?

    I think it’s better to debate denialism in scientific/academic forums where scientists control the playing field and are making expert judgements instead of ignorant juries–like the Muir Russell Review.

    BUT you can’t let pseudoscientists infiltrate the judging process. Pseudoscientists want to subvert the scientists’ control of scientific organizations. That’s why they are claiming the scientific organizations have “sold out” for government grants and are “rigged” against them. This claim that scientist have sold out to the US government is a tactic of RADICAL subversives, typical of communist infiltration, actually.

    These pseudoscientific operatives are not communists, but the subversive tactics are the same.

    Subversion of scientific organizations is what has happened in Russia where government agencies are subverted by pseudoscience and involved in the quackery. Maybe sometimes the KGB guys are not just cynical manipulators: sometimes they believe in astrology, ok?

    This is a kind of subversion by pseudoscientific RADICALS of the traditional, CONSERVATIVE scientific process. The authorities don’t do much about pseudoscience in Russia. One time, a magician finally got in trouble because he told people that if they paid him he could bring back their children from the dead who had been killed by terrorists in the Beslan school take-over.

    In Russia, they had a magician on GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED TV after Chernobyl telling people to put their water in front of the TV so the TV rays could remove radiation.

    There is a lot of money to be made by tricking people. Politicians are sometimes tricked and sometimes in on the con. It’s hard to know.

    Another example of crackpot science is the 9-11 Truth Movement which tries to use “science” to prove that 9-11 was an inside job. In Russia, this conspiracy is widely believed by Russian university students. Some Truthers also believe in the Climategate conspiracy. So you have so-called “conservatives” like the RADICAL Inhofe, the tabloid Pravda, the uber-nationalist Russia Today TV, and the Truth movement on the same side. Strange bedfellows.

    You could start your fight for science by not using the language of your opponents. Inhofe is a RADICAL, not a CONSERVATIVE. Call him a RADICAL. Call yourselves CONSERVATIVES. You are the CONSERVATIVES–you are conserving the scientific process from the infiltration and subversion of pseudoscientific RADICALS.

    Real RADICALS understand very well that most people like the word CONSERVATIVE more than the word RADICAL.

    That RADICAL anti-scientific crackpot INHOFE is trying to use federal resources start up legal actions. The anti-science is infiltrating the government just like in Russia.

    UVA is trying NOT to go to court against the VIRGINIA GOVERNMENT, which is after Michael Mann. UVA is trying to CONSERVE the scientific process.

    The RADICALS, Inhofe and Cuccinelli, are basically American Rasputins. A court puts these Rasputins on equal footing with the scientists before an ignorant jury. And they have a hordes of money and hordes of ignorant followers–a cyber mob. These are the modern version of the manipulated pitchfork-weilding “workers and peasants” led by the Bolsheviks.

    I say this as a person who voted Republican for 40 years and who understands a little about Russia.
    The RADICAL forces around Inhofe are way over the top and engaging in the kind of RADICAL subversion of science that goes on in Russia where they used to fool people with an ideology called “scientific” Marxism-Leninism. Not all Republicans are on-board with this take-over of the Party by the forces of ignorance. Some of us are really CONSERVATIVES who want to conserve the scientific process and keep the charlatans out.

    Definitions matter. When you young guys rail against “conservatives,” you turn off people who consider themselves conservatives. Don’t fall into the trap of using your opponents’ vocabulary. I have always considered myself a “conservative,” but there is nothing conservative about subverting science, and climate scientists are not part of a Godless communist plot.

    INHOFISM is an uber-RADICAL ideological movement, not a conservative, pro-science movement. INHOFISM has kidnapped the “conservative” label as a mask for their uber-radical anti-science agenda because most Americans identify as conservatives, not radicals.

    This is not really conservative VS liberal. This is conservative vs radical/subversive.

    The values of the scientific method are not being conserved; they are being subverted buy a radical pseudoscience movement that demands an equal voice and “democratization” in scientific forums.


    Science is not a democracy. You have to earn your right to speak as a scientist through a traditional/conservative process. The pseudoscientific radicals are attempting the infiltration of scientific organizations in the name of democracy. Is it democracy to give kids who failed the test an A? Science is not a democracy.


    The pseudoscientists attempt to infiltrate real scientific organizations and also create new fake competing organizations–this is far-advanced in Russia where there are all sorts of fake science organizations and even politicians and government officials are confused. All sorts of quacks have medical degrees. There are few standards.

    In the past, powerful foreign entities like the KGB have taken advantage of these English libel laws for propaganda and intimidation. The US courts have also been exploited by these same foreign forces and now by these so-called “conservatives.” They can afford the best lawyers.

    There is even a book called “The KGB Lawsuits” by Brian Crozier. Of course, the KGB operators were behind the scenes in these lawsuits and acted through other people who may not even have realized what was going on; or the puppets didn’t care because they have a similar agenda for their own reasons.

    Sometimes the far left is used, and sometimes the far right. Both extremes exploit ignorance.

    Now, you also have not just Western fossil fuel companies sponsoring “scientific Institutes,” but also probably Gazprom trying to undermine legitimate scientific organizations by discrediting them as one-sided because they are “bought” by US government grants. The Russian media was saying the same thing about Climategate as FOX and Inhofe. Some of this is in English. Pravda was quoting FOX.

    50 years ago Stalin said that Soviet doctors had been bought by the CIA and were trying to exterminate the Soviet leadership. 25 years ago “crafty” Pentagon scientists were said to be cooking up the AIDS virus to exterminate blacks.
    Now the “plots” of “crafty” climate scientists are in the crosshairs.

    Does anyone see a pattern here?

    Gazprom own a lot of popular media (think why) and have a lot of money. Gazprom is running Russia to some extent now, I think. Their proxies will have all sorts of resources. A lot of KGB people went right over to Gazprom, and probably not for their expertise with gas/oil extraction. The KGB guys are there because of their expertise at public relations. They are the media people.

    GAZPROM hired them to do a job, and I am sure they are doing it.

    I hope it is a good sign that RIA Novosti has published the article called “Pseudoscientific Genius.”

    We will see what happens. Maybe they will start to discuss climate change.

    Comment by Snapple — 10 Jul 2010 @ 9:42 AM

  158. 145 (ghost),

    I would be leery that the most aggrieved/best potential plaintiffs have become public figures or limited public figures, thereby raising their burden of proof.

    Actually, in this case, no, I think that’s part of the evidence. That is, they have become public figures for a large part as a result of the slander. Take Mann, for instance. His name was known among people who look into climate science, and who follow the whole bizarre McIntyre episode (that’s going to make such a great movie around 2035), but I don’t think I’d have classified him as a public figure.

    Then he was tangentially referenced in the hacked e-mails, accused of academic misconduct (or whatever) as a result, properly investigated by his own university, and vindicated. In the meantime, he suffered unnecessary and unfounded attacks by everyone from journalists to bloggers to an out of control AG.

    The fact that their attacks turned him into a public figure does not, to me, change the burden of proof. If anything, it’s specific evidence of the malicious effect of the libelous attacks.

    Mind you, I’m still on the fence with the whole libel thing. If someone wants to pursue it, fine. If they don’t have the time, or interest, or don’t think their case will win in court and simultaneously result in a positive public perception, that’s fine, too. I only want scientists to be scientists. I’d like to see “them [the vicious deniers] get what’s coming to them,” but that’s going to happen no matter what (as the world continues to warm, and they and their arguments are eventually exposed to be 100% wrong).

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 10 Jul 2010 @ 9:43 AM

  159. Bob(55):

    I could not agree more strongly with your approach. I’ve been trying my best to promote that view — we’re not trying to make deniers “switch sides”, since that’s virtually impossible, but we’re countering a propaganda effort that’s aimed at the newcomers.

    At various times I’ve called this the Google Effect. Someone finally finds a few minutes after work, after the kids are in bed, etc., to Google “climate change” or that “peak oil” thing their brother-in-law is always babbling about, and they very quickly wind up on either a denier site in the former case or one of the extreme doomer sites in the latter. Either way they quickly decide that there’s no substance to the concerns because climate change is either a crock or “still up for debate”, or the peak oil people are a bunch of wackaloons who should be ignored.

    BTW, I checked out your site. Great stuff. I’ll be sure to plug it on The Cost of Energy.

    Comment by Lou Grinzo — 10 Jul 2010 @ 9:57 AM

  160. 147 (Lawrence Coleman),

    bit off topic.. been looking the sea ice extent on this site…

    Boy! it’s scary!

    I’ve been following the same thing, using multiple sites, since winter. I know how wildly wrong gross, gut perceptions and intuition can be on these things. I certainly don’t want to be a Goddard. With that in mind…

    I’ve been looking at the animations at Cryosphere Today, and comparing that to the movies (at the same site) of previous summer melts.

    The thing that is interesting that I take from these pics (and that interesting paper by Masayo Ogi in March) is that the melt process is really a combination of melt, breakup, and transport. Ice melts, breaks up into chunks, and is swept by winds and currents to other areas, where it may melt further, dissipate, or compact. For instance, in the animation you can see areas thin, and seemingly move (swirl), and then compact when they have nowhere left to go. What is odd (to me) this year is that, unlike previous years, there are many more avenues of escape (i.e. less chance that the ice will stall and compact somewhere).

    By the looks of it, there is every chance that later in the summer there will be “a way out” for every shred of Arctic ice. I’m not saying it will happen, only that in previous years it really couldn’t because there were large patches of relatively solid ice that blocked the way. But this year, given enough time, it feels like the ice could just break up, drift into open ocean, and then be gone. It definitely looks different from other years.

    Even now, if you watch the animation, you can see that there is virtually no spot in the Arctic which has steadily remained “solid” (i.e. concentration above 95%) for the entire past 45 days. There are some seemingly thick patches now, but they weren’t that way all through the spring/summer.

    [As a side note, I’ve seen an occasional “up tick” in measures of sea ice extent, such as here. That seemed odd to me at first. How could extent increase, i.e. more ice form, in summer? Then I realized that this is just an example of the ice unpacking. That is, you can have areas of 80%+ ice which break up and spread out over larger areas, while still maintaining a concentration above the threshold (usually 15% or 30%, depending on the method). On a graph, this will look like ice extent is increasing, when in fact it’s an illusion, and a dangerous step forward in the melt process.]

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 10 Jul 2010 @ 10:03 AM

  161. Of interest to both the subject at hand (i.e. clearing Mann and Jones) and any sort of “counterattack”:

    Climate Probe — by Greenpeace

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 10 Jul 2010 @ 10:16 AM

  162. The real take-home lesson of ‘climategate’ is that, to paraphrase Stuart Jordan, global warming/climate change deniers and pseudo-sceptics have simply run out of legitimate alternate scientific hypotheses that can account for the observed global warming, the measured increase in atmospheric CO2, and other observed ocean, terrestrial atmospheric and biological changes and they are desperate to find some way to discredit the prevailing science.

    Toward that end they have clearly demonstrated that they will stoop not only to mounting campaigns of misinformation, disinformation, and fabrication, but also to professional harassment, character smears, libel, denial of service attacks, data theft, actual break and enter trespass and theft, and even threats physical harm and death.

    These are traits of authoritarian movements the world over, and make no mistake, their tactics will escalate as they become more desperate.

    Comment by Jim Eager — 10 Jul 2010 @ 11:34 AM

  163. RE: Bob, 156, 158, The “limited public figure” concept relates to public status attained solely as a result of the incident in question, which appears to fit your description of events. A commonly used recent example is the scenario surrounding Terry Rakolta. Whether a particular plaintiff fits that category is a fact issue, and I wouldn’t be able to say whether Dr. Mann (for example) fits that bill. (Which is why I said I’m leery about that issue in general–I don’t know the exact answer, but I know it can be messy.)

    For the benefit of other readers, public figure plaintiffs have a higher burden of proof than do non-public figure plaintiffs in U.S. libel/slander cases, i.e., the requirement that public figures establish “actual malice” under the New York Times v Sullivan standard. (One reason why politicians virtually never bring libel suits, and why we don’t see even more celebrity libel suits.) Non-pubic figures need not do so, generally speaking. It seems that actual malice would be easy to show, but it usually is harder than it sounds, and it can complicate libel cases considerably.

    (This probably wanders off-topic)–on the sea ice “extent” issue, a well-known weather forecaster apparently has staked his reputation on his prediction that “… NEXT SUMMER has the highest amount of sea ice since the early part of last decade” to be followed by global cooling back to 1960-80s levels. Decorum restrains me from saying more :) — Climate Progress has the downlow:

    Comment by ghost — 10 Jul 2010 @ 11:54 AM

  164. Geoff Wexler (150), well, as I admitted it is a minor detail but it is on scientific point. You said in #94, “…absorption lines are broadened by pressure and temperature… .” I merely pointed out that, from the predominant collision cause of broadening, absorption lines are NOT broadened by temperature; they are in fact narrowed with higher temps (at least in the vast majority of situations.) I also pointed out that while Doppler broadening is enhanced by temperature, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans even where it is at least noticeable in the cooler and thin upper atmosphere.

    This is also right on JD’s point in that this directly addresses and is the primary answer to the critical question of saturation. That you got a piece of that science wrong is relevant. That, as you claim, nobody else is interested is even more telling, though I don’t think that is true (though they might not have an interest in discussing it here and now.)

    Or you may have been making just a general point without bothering with maybe confusing details — nothing wrong with that. I didn’t fully follow your #227 post on the previous thread. Or, on the third hand, Doppler broadening is sometimes called “temperature broadening” which, if that is what you meant, would make your statement correct and moot out my criticism. It would be confusing though.

    Plus as you imply this is probably the wrong thread to be digging into this.

    Comment by Rod B — 10 Jul 2010 @ 12:16 PM

  165. 161 (Rod B),

    Or, on the third hand…

    Ah HA! I knew that climate hysteria was actually a subversive extraterrestrial invasion plot! Ah HA! You’ve tipped your hand, sir, or should I say “it”?

    Wait until they here about this over at Watts…

    Comment by Bob (Sphaerica) — 10 Jul 2010 @ 12:36 PM

  166. Lou Grinzo, I googled “climate change” and none of the 1st ten sites were what you call deniers. And only one, maybe two, of the 1st ten referenced blog sites.

    Comment by Rod B — 10 Jul 2010 @ 12:41 PM

  167. 155 Snapple: That appears to me to be a sign of impending social collapse or re-organization. Are there any sociologists out there who could tell us better? The Citizens United case may lead to at least a Constitutional Amendment.

    I doubt that a scientist strike would work because science is generally too far in the future. More of us could run for school board or something after we retire. I would like to see a scientist appointed to the US supreme court and more scientists in congress.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Jul 2010 @ 12:45 PM

  168. Rod(166):

    Sorry, but I’ve seen this effect, with both climate change and peak oil, firsthand. Relative newcomers do some preliminary investigation into these topics (and often that’s all they have time for), and find comforting information online that tells them it’s not a big deal, and then they tell others (including me, when I’ve given presentations about energy issues) what they’ve found, and I have to try to walk them back from their view that peakers are just another Internet cult or climate change is some fringe belief among scientists.

    Comment by Lou Grinzo — 10 Jul 2010 @ 1:11 PM

  169. Re : #155

    Interesting and worrying.

    But yours is a simplified model and hard to generalise. For example, Nigel Lawson who is Inhofe’s counterpart in the UK, was part of the Thatcher government, until he fell out with his boss. Economically they were both neo-liberal radicals, but whereas she, as ex-scientist herself, had run of the mill scientific advisors (except for Chris Monckton!), Lawson has tied himself to the anti-science brigade and has managed to obtain support from a substantial portion of the UK right, such as the Telegraph-Monckton group.

    They have also found support from a much smaller fraction of the UK left who admire Pers Corbyn who was mentioned in one of Phil JOnes emails. Corbyn appeared in the Swindle TV programme together with Lawson. If you remember a part of the Swindle tried to blame the whole of global warming science on to Thatcher!

    We could think of other models such as ‘Mafia-capitalism’ or alternatively ‘charlatan-capitalism’ involving the promotion of untrained outsiders like Lysenko in the USSR. By the way that process has not completely succeeded in the West but it is an ever present danger.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 10 Jul 2010 @ 1:31 PM

  170. 166 Rod googled “climate change”.

    I googled the more common “Global warming” First was wiki, second was a denier site.

    Comment by RichardC — 10 Jul 2010 @ 1:43 PM

  171. Some of the skeptical blogosphere response seems geared towards discrediting the IPCC methodology in general – specifically, that it doesn’t give enough weight to “voices of doubt.” That’s the general gist of Roger Pielke Jr.’s response, for example:

    The released East Anglia emails — for better or worse — revealed some problems associated with in-group control of parts of the IPCC. Muir Russell’s sanctioning of in group behavior in the preparation of IPCC reports is a notable shortfall in what otherwise appears to be a nuanced and comprehensive assessment of the implications of the East Anglia emails.

    While Pielke Jr. prefers insinuation to direct statements, it’s pretty clear what the agenda is:

    The IPCC is supposed to “identify disparate views” not hide them from view or take the side held by the author team. Had the Muir Russell review actually taken an accurate view of the IPCC, it is likely that its judgment about the appropriateness of the behaviors revealed by the emails would be considerably different.

    The IPCC, implies Pielke, is censoring “voices of doubt” on climate science – the very voices that the fossil fuel lobby relies for “third-party credibility” when it comes to distributing talking points. See this interview with Naomi Oreskes for a more complete discussion of why these “Merchants of Doubt” are in such demand by PR agencies:

    Notice, however, that Pielke refuses to point to any specific scientific issues or specific “voices” that have been censored – he’s just making a general point, that the IPCC is biased and can’t be trusted. It certainly looks like a deliberate effort to sow doubt, not an honest effort to discuss the issues.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 10 Jul 2010 @ 4:52 PM

  172. Re. 155 Didactylos: “The UK FOIA has an exclusion for confidential information, but that doesn’t override public interest.”

    Take a look at this manual on FOIA for a British police force (PDF) and go to page 55 ‘The Public Interest Test’.

    “The ‘public interest’, is not however, what the public may find interesting, there must be some tangible benefit to the community in such a disclosure. Ultimately it must be something that serves the interests of the public.”

    Read also Section 21 starting on page 62: INFORMATION REASONABLY ACCESSIBLE BY OTHER MEANS

    Section 41 starting on page 100:

    “(1) (b) The disclosure of the information to the public (otherwise than under this Act) by the public authority holding it would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person.”

    “Public interest” cuts both ways, for both the State (which is acting in the interests of the public) and for the individual, provided there is a benefit to the public and not just something of interest.

    Comment by J Bowers — 10 Jul 2010 @ 5:19 PM

  173. Bob (Sphaerica), your 165 went right over my head. If it is humorous, I don’t get it. If it is serious I don’t understand it. help?

    Comment by Rod B — 10 Jul 2010 @ 7:12 PM

  174. J Bowers:

    Yes, I know what “public interest” means in this context. The fact remains: if the data potentially falls under the confidentiality exclusion, then a determination must be made whether disclosure is in the public interest.

    Note also that “The question is whether disclosure ‘to the public’ would be a breach of confidence, and not whether disclosure to the particular person requesting the information would be a breach.”

    Comment by Didactylos — 10 Jul 2010 @ 7:32 PM

  175. Ike, I for one would love to hear more from the dissenters, but are we to enforce requirements of peer-reviewed publication only for the scientists in the consensus. Shouldn’t the dissenters be able to prove the worth of their position by providing genuine insight into the planet’s climate rather than merely wringing theiry hands and saying, “Oh, it’s all too complicated…” Shall we make the WG I report like the last race of the day at Elementary School field day, where everybody gets a ribbon just for showing up.

    Maybe we could give Anthony Watts his own working group and then treat the broken noses that result from all the face palming.


    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Jul 2010 @ 7:39 PM

  176. Rod, I believe that your mistake was in revealing you had a third hand…your alien masters will be displeased…

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Jul 2010 @ 7:46 PM

  177. A little while ago, I saw an advertisement on CNN that spoke out against fossil fuel company denialist advertisements. I think it was by a company that sells wind turbines. BREAKTHROUGH!!!

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Jul 2010 @ 8:33 PM

  178. 161 Bob Sphaerica: Cheers for the Union of Concerned Scientists and Greenpeace! Another Breakthrough!
    This could be the beginning of the end for fossil fuels.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Jul 2010 @ 8:44 PM

  179. 124 Snapple In that debate/trial at
    The lawyer on our side should have known that the photograph of a grill by a weather station was photoshopped false evidence and should have “indicted” his opponent lawyer for creating false evidence. It shows that our side needs a more knowledgeable lawyer, not that we can’t win. The system is indeed bad and in need of replacement, but how could they win with their lawyer in jail for perjury? If the photograph was not fake, then there is legal action to take against whoever put the grill next to the weather station. I think it has always been quite clear that weather stations are 50 feet from any other human structure and a grill is a structure?
    Unless that is another standard that Dick Cheney cancelled?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 10 Jul 2010 @ 9:08 PM

  180. “Bob (Sphaerica), your 165 went right over my head. If it is humorous, I don’t get it. If it is serious I don’t understand it. help?” Rod B — 10 July 2010 @ 7:12 PM I suspect that your not as old and haven’t read as much SciFi as us old farts.

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 10 Jul 2010 @ 9:36 PM

  181. My first attempt to post this got flagged as spam, so I’ve removed the URL references (which can be made available)

    Re: 154 Didactylos:

    “The circumstances you describe, where additional constraints are placed on the requester, are explicitly not covered by the FOIA.

    If information is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act under section 41, public authorities may, in certain circumstances, still be able to disclose the information to the particular applicant concerned without this constituting an actionable breach of confidence at common law. For example, if a public authority considers that there is a strong public interest in a particular applicant knowing the exempt information and it would be both possible and in the public interest to disclose the information to that person, or if the information could be disclosed subject to an undertaking of confidentiality by the applicant without breaching the duty of confidence, the public authority may still be able to disclose the information even though the request has been refused under the Freedom of Information Act. The circumstances in which this is possible will be limited and will depend heavily on the identity of the applicant, a knowledge of the purposes to which the applicant intends to put the information and the ability of the authority to disclose the information subject to conditions of confidence without breaching the duty of
    confidence: legal advice should be sought where this is proposed.

    Departments must make very clear:
    • that the request has been refused under the Freedom of Information
    • the confidential terms on which the information is disclosed”

    I have not seen this specific text before. I’d be grateful if you could provide a reference to this. It looks like specific guidance in a particular organisation.

    Re: 153 J Bowers

    Yes, I have now checked that again and did not find that in the Information Commissioner’s Guidance for Section 41 or in the UK’s Ministry of Justice guidance or in the guidance on the Environmental Information Regulations’ Exceptions.

    I do know that CRU specifically asked, very properly, for permission to disclose information covered by contracts and that, in certain cases, it was refused. In one case, the refusal to disclose was rescinded a couple of months later.

    Reference available if anyone wants to see the PDFs of the correspondence.

    Comment by Mikel — 11 Jul 2010 @ 9:00 AM

  182. Mikel, it’s from the Ministry of Justice section 41 guidance. You must have missed it. Pages 16-17.

    Comment by Didactylos — 11 Jul 2010 @ 9:30 AM

  183. I just caught up on this thread and see that there has been a war of words between ccpo and Jim Bouldin.

    In defense of Jim Bouldin’s strong words, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to be an RC moderator. They spend much time posting and moderating this site on their own free time to try to educate us on cutting-edge climate science and time after time they are accused of all types of “sins”. The restraint that is typically shown by the RC moderators here is commendable. I recall Gavin appeared to be responding to Climategate comments for three days straight with no sleep. He must be a cyborg. :)

    In defense of ccpo, I am quite sure that when he stated we should ignore “them” he meant the denialists and not RC and scientists. Jim misunderstood that statement and it may have colored his interpretation of subsequent comments.

    As I have stated before, I concur that science alone has not been able to drive policymakers at the rate required to mitigate catastrophic consequences. Policy is not the theme here at RC, and I understand that, but I wish this well-respected group would go the route of Dr. Hansen and become more political. If not here at RC, maybe in some other forum. You folks have the clout and you will be listened to.

    Perhaps a happy medium might be to post more threads about projected negative consequences and possible mitigation/adaptation strategies? Essentially more WGII- and WGIII-type posts? More Paul Revere.

    These are just my humble suggestions but it does seem odd that the science can be dicussed so “clinically” when the fate of humanity appears to be at stake. In that regard I am with Edward Greish, ccpo, and others who may appear too alarmist. Of course, if you do become more politcally active, the targets on your back will become exponentially larger. Can we ask you to take more hits after all you have been through? It is a quandry. I would do it but I do not have your credibility. Who is going to take action because of what a junior college teaching faculty member says about climate change?

    Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences
    Selden, NY
    Global Warming: Man or Myth?
    My Global Warming Blog
    Twitter: AGW_Prof
    “Global Warming Fact of the Day” Facebook Group

    Comment by Scott A Mandia — 11 Jul 2010 @ 9:52 AM

  184. Re:182 Didactylos

    Yes, I did miss that. Got it now, thank you.

    Comment by Mikel — 11 Jul 2010 @ 11:17 AM

  185. Interesting summary. I also found some useful information, like that the WMO 1999 was not that well known.

    I made my analysis of Climategate and this report with a data sharing angle. I have found that the discussion about the data sharing is not sufficiently based on knowledge of the field. It is not straight forward, to put it mildly.

    I wrote this on Science2.0 in an article I call Do you believe in global warming – Climategate revisited – Again.:

    As far as I understand, the major critic lies in the input to WMO 1999 report and misleading hockey stick graph. To my knowledge, the explanation of the graph is in the scientific article, but not included in the graph itself or in the caption. However, I found that the point of this article was the uncertainties in the data that were ‘evened out’.

    It still remains somewhat unclear to me, since people insist this part is omitted in the information. I have really a hard time believing that a scientific publication lack this information and would appreciate if someone could provide me with a reference or link where I can find this information.

    Comment by Bente Lilja Bye — 11 Jul 2010 @ 12:46 PM

  186. Ray and Brian, OH! (head slap). Now I get it! It’s pretty good, too. Thanks.

    Comment by Rod B — 11 Jul 2010 @ 1:45 PM

  187. btw Brian, I am easily old enough to know better…

    Comment by Rod B — 11 Jul 2010 @ 1:48 PM

  188. Bente Lilja #185, the WMO 1999 report is here:

    and it says in the caption

    Northern Hemisphere temperatures were reconstructed for the past 1000 years (up to 1999) using paleoclimatic records ([…]) along with historical and long instrumental records. […]

    hardly misleading, but very incomplete. Had this been submitted to a journal, the reviewers would have screamed in chorus — but this was not a journal article.

    BTW the uncertainties of the graph are discussed in a text box on page 4 (and I would say are also visually obvious from the differences between the three curves).

    If you want a version of this graph where everything is explained in detail, look no further than the TAR.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 12 Jul 2010 @ 4:25 AM

  189. I opened my copy of the Guardian Weekly today and found Fred Pearce’s article “‘Climategate’ forces researchers to make data open to scrutiny”. What really annoys me is that the online version reveals that he has published a book on the subject, but the print edition doesn’t. Bad in an article where he is getting on his high horse about the need for transparency.

    My letter to the editor (they haven’t published one yet from me on this subject):

    Fred Pearce pontificates on about how important transparency is in science (“‘Climategate’ forces researchers to make data open to scrutiny”).

    Well, now.

    Pearce has published a book on the stolen emails. Why did he not mention this in the article? Is there not a vague possibility that he may have an interest in hyping up this issue?

    Why has he only interviewed scientists who agree with his position that this whole thing is some sort of far-reaching scandal? Why has he not revealed which of those he interviewed are firmly in the anti-science camp?

    I work in a biology lab, a new field for me as a computer science academic. I can assure your readers that the kind of quibbles raised about accessibility of climate data are trivial compared with those of other scientific fields. Not only is most of the data CRU used available, but there are other data sets such as that of NASA that are fully available, and were long before the emails were stolen. In any field of science, the test of published work is not reproducing the exact experiment to produce the exact same results, but reconstructing it from first principles. The work CRU has done in measuring temperature trends is consistent with that of other research groups, and other researchers have recreated the disputed results only using publicly available data.

    All in all the only scandal in this whole affair is the horrible lapse in the Guardian’s usually high journalistic standards.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 12 Jul 2010 @ 6:01 AM

  190. Martin Vermeer #188. Thank you! :-)

    I thought it all had been covered earlier (than the latest review of CRU), the critics of the hockey stick, I mean.

    I am however being extra thorough in answering this comment I got on my article:

    ” “did not mention the trick for 10 years while it was on magazine covers”

    This is wrong Hank, the information about the ‘trick’ and everything else was in the publications from the scientists.

    There was not a single mention of this by any climate scientist in any popular media despite the fact that everyone knew it? In 2005,, written by climate scientists, discusses in “What If … the “Hockey Stick” Were Wrong?” that there is still a hockey stick if the medieval warming period were not included – no mention at all that the data since the 1960s and the data before then to make the hockey stick were pieced together and would not look like a hockey stick otherwise. So James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, etc. chose not to even address it time and again on their blog. Mann himself in 2006 said “more widespread high-resolution data are needed before more confident conclusions can be reached and that the uncertainties were the point of the article” after his 1998 claims were disputed by multiple sources because of [edit]. Yet he appeared in panel after panel as The Man Behind The Hockey Stick. :)”


    To my understanding the point here is addressed in the publication itself (the WMO report even to a certain degree and in the TAR), the very focus of the scientific article being the uncertainties of the periods not included in the graph.

    If the above comment (in quotes and with link) makes sense to you – or perhaps Gavin who is referred to in it – it would perhaps be worth awhile to reply directly to that comment on the article?

    As I have been involved in the Group of Earth Observations ( I am mainly concerned with data policy issues. I think the discussion around Climategate is lacking in knowledge on data sharing policies and for the most part it is highly unfair to CRU et al.

    [Response: Temperatures for the last ~100 years come from intrumental records – there is no ‘trick’ in showing that. The problem post 1960 in *one* reconstruction (Briffa et al) is only an issue for that reconstruction. This does not affect the MBH reconstructions which go up to 1980 (and only stop there because of the lack of proxies that extended to the 1990s), and certainly doesn’t impact any of the more up-to-date reconstructions (Mann et al, 2008 for instance). – gavin]

    Comment by Bente Lilja Bye — 12 Jul 2010 @ 7:13 AM

  191. In other words, what Gavin is saying in his response to #190 is that there are in fact two separate issues: 1) the Briffa proxy reconstruction, affected by “divergence,” which is what gave rise to the “trick” of hiding the decline, and 2) the 1998 “hockey stick” graph.

    They are both graphs, and they are both linked by connections to Dr. Mann (albeit rather tangentially in the case of the WMO graph prepared by Dr. Jones) but they refer to largely different data sets, and are subject to different attacks from–well, I’ll just say, “the usual suspects.”

    Nonetheless, it is not too unusual to see them confused in the denialosphere. In fact, it’s not too unusual to see the graphs confused with the entire HADCRUT record. (That confusion, IMO, is a case of pure denialist wishful thinking.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 12 Jul 2010 @ 11:46 AM

  192. Bente Lilja, I get the feeling that we’re talking past each other…

    The WMO 1999 graph was on the WMO report of 1999, something like an annual report with a shelf life of one year. Paleoclimatology is not its main subject of interest, and Jones’ contribution was a summary of the state of our knowledge, and as such completely correct. Not a peer-reviewed scientific article, and thus no detailed methods description given. Surely you have been asked sometimes to write overview pieces on a subject of your recognized expertise? You adapt to your audience.

    To my knowledge this is the only published graph where proxy and instrumental are shown together as one curve without mention of how this was done. And the only reason for all the noise about it is the denialist fiction that all proxy reconstructions are invalid because of the divergence phenomenon. Rubbish.

    I am disappointed that also Muir Russell got this wrong: an elementary didn’t-do-my-homework blunder. Luckily most denialists are stupid: they rather buy the flawed argument to attack CRU than use its flawedness to try undermine Muir Russell’s credibility. I wonder when they’ll wake up to this tactical error :-)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 12 Jul 2010 @ 1:01 PM

  193. On re-reading Muir Russell, I’m not sure that they did get it wrong: on p. 59, we find the statements that:

    The WMO report is a short document produced annually. It does not have the status or importance of the IPCC reports. The figure in question was a frontispiece and there is no major discussion or emphasis on it in the text.

    That seems clear enough, and is pretty close to what Martin wrote.

    In the next paragraph they speak of the figure’s “subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the TAR)”. Of course, that seems a bit harsh in a way; Dr. Jones could scarcely have known that the figure would become “iconic” sometime “subsequently”–but I guess we’re always supposed to watch our words, as the whole Climategate fiasco demonstrates from start to finish.

    The report is an example of this latter, too, carefully as they tried to write it–I’ve seen denialist spin which tries to assert that the descripion of the figure as “misleading,” taken from the findings, means that it was intentionally misleading–using as ammunition the phrase “intent to mislead,” which is included as a description of the allegations made.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 12 Jul 2010 @ 9:43 PM

  194. The report is an example of this latter, too, carefully as they tried to write it

    So true Kevin, so true. Steve Easterbrook gives a hilarious example of how Muir Russell write societally important software in only two days, without applying any proper software development or quality control methodology — precisely what they “accuse” the three-and-a-half CRU staff of!

    It’s rubbish I tell you, the whole Muir Russell report, rubbish! ;-)

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 13 Jul 2010 @ 2:21 AM

  195. Kevin #193
    > using as ammunition the phrase “intent to mislead”

    Brings to mind the acrobatics of those who interpreted the phrase “plausible” in the NAS Surface Temperature Reconstructions report as alluding to “plausible deniability”.

    Scientists watching their words is all well and good, but that’s not the point. The point is that they’re dealing with people who interpret them in such perverse bad faith, anything they say no matter how precise can and will be used against them.

    Steve Easterbrook (link at #194) has it exactly right: “another tiresome exoneration” that fails to turn the searchlight around on the libelers.

    Comment by CM — 13 Jul 2010 @ 5:15 AM

  196. To UK readers … tomorrow.

    There is debate on this topic tomorrow (July 14th.)in London being run by the Guardian at RIBA. Bob Watson and the pro vice-chancellor of UEA against some of the prominent characters involved in publicising themselves in relation to this affair. I shall not be going, but others might be interested if it is not too late to get a ticket. Bob Watson might benefit from some knowledgable support from the floor.

    If anyone does go, I hope that they might send in a comment to RC e.g. to this thread.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 13 Jul 2010 @ 5:29 AM

  197. Thanks for that link, Martin–but careful, or the irony-impaired will be quote-mining you, too!

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 13 Jul 2010 @ 6:54 AM

  198. to Jim:

    I conceede on re-reading it he could mean “without scientists”, but I had read “them” in his sentence as “the deniers”, i.e. “don’t debate them as the lie tends to be re-inforced”. I’ve read plenty of psychology (particularly as it relates to politking and advertising) that supports the idea that in order to get the policy change, debating (in the context of how the media likes to conduct it with false equivalence to obtian a semblence of balance) may actually do more damage than good. I wouldn’t like to say that is “proven” for this case as I would guess you would vary on the break down of peoples attitudes from culture to culture and electorate to electorate. Anyway, that seems a little off topic for a blog that is primarily about the science rather than the best way to influence people. I do want to say I appreciate this blog for what it is and I certainly do not agree that such efforts are a waste of time.

    In an ideal world scientists ought to be able to give advice, and politicians should do the job of selling it, personally I think the big problem exposed in the issue of AGW is the abject failure in many democratic governments of politicians to provide leadership based on consulting experts to get a good idea of the facts in a rational way, and instead leave the job of convincing the public (i.e. conducting a political/media campaign) to the scientists to provide them with the cover to enact policies that are popular and win votes *before* they are proposed. Your sentiment that “Scientists are supposed to do research and poltical campaigning?” is bang on the money.

    Comment by Seb — 13 Jul 2010 @ 11:20 AM

  199. john Marshey:

    Simple solution: Sue them in England.

    Comment by Seb — 13 Jul 2010 @ 11:21 AM

  200. Didactylos:

    Actually, speaking as a UK citizen, our libel laws are awful. Far more often there are David V. Goliath problems, and often the little guy being crushed can be the scientist. See for example Simon Singh vs. the British Chiroprachters association… there have been several cases of medical researchers being persued by drugs companies because their research casts doubt on the efficacy of their drugs.

    This would be less of a problem were it not for one particular judge who seems to have a very liberal view over what counts as “published in the UK”… in one instance a website written in Khazak that had been shown to be viewed by less than 100 people in the UK counting.

    Still, it would be the perfect venue for suing climate deniers. The only problem is the huge cost. Libel and defamation claims cost a fortune to bring, and even if you won costs from the libeler, many US states are in the process of protecting US citizens from UK libel courts due to the rampant abuse.

    Comment by Seb — 13 Jul 2010 @ 11:26 AM

  201. Do the British and American Freedom of Information Acts require government bodies and government funded bodies to respond to requests from forign locations or are they only required to respond to citizens and residents? I ask this because the CRU appeard to be getting a lot of FOI requests from the US and other countries. I thought the purpose of FOI was so citizens could know what their government was doing. I see no reason why government bodies should have to respond to such requests from foreigners.

    Comment by Lloyd Flack — 14 Jul 2010 @ 1:01 AM

  202. Thank you, Scott and Seb, for making the effort. You are correct. The context is clear, the use of antecedent and pronoun is clear, and no other sentence in the post Jim objected to could be construed to mean to ignore the scientists.

    [Response:Think whatever you want, I’m sure it means exactly what you want it to mean. Your comments indicate what your position is.

    Enough of this. It was a misunderstanding that was made worse by over-ripe rhetoric.

    [Response: Then don’t use it, be clear about exactly what you mean, don’t demoralize/insult other people e.g. Bob Sphaerica, for their legitimate and well-explained efforts to help, based on your opinions about human psychology and blanket statements about what people respond to. If you do so again, I will react in exactly the same way I did this time.–Jim]

    On to more imporant things.


    Comment by ccpo — 14 Jul 2010 @ 2:58 AM

  203. I am fortunate to have a ticket for the Guardian debate – following the Muir Russell enquiry – in London tonight..

    George Monbiot is the chair, Fred Pearce – ‘The Climate Files’ author is on the panel and even Steve Mcintyre!, plus Professor Trevor Davis UEA, Bob Watson DEFRA.

    If, I get the opportunity, I will ask a question or 2..

    Anybody have any suggestions…

    My first thought was, is carbon trading really a good idea. -ie all the bankers looking to make their next prifits from it. I know James Hansen thinks, cap and trade is not a good idea..

    As George Monbiot, as recently changed his mind about Phil Jones, it should be an interesting meeting.

    Guardian debate: Was ‘climategate’ the greatest scandal to hit climate science or a mere storm in a teacup

    Comment by Barry Woods — 14 Jul 2010 @ 6:02 AM

  204. Just a quick link to the Wall Street Journal response to Muir-Russell. The article is by a “scientist”, but is pretty much 100% innuendo and “links”.

    Comment by jgnfld — 14 Jul 2010 @ 6:35 AM

  205. Re: 201 Lloyd Flack

    I cannot reply for the US Freedom of Information Act, but the Freedom of Information Act covering England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the similar Act covering Scotland is required to respond to requests regardless of origin, as is the case for the Environmental Information Regulations.

    As far as the UK is concerned, the vast majority of requests for information regarding climate science will come under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), making some of the preceding discussions on the CRU emails over the past months irrelevant. The EIR has extended the organisations covered by the Regulations to include some private organisations, such as the water utilities.

    Comment by Mikel — 14 Jul 2010 @ 7:20 AM

  206. Barry Woods, #203:

    It would seem that a much more relevant question would be, “When is Steve McIntyre going to admit that the only serious problem with Climategate was the thief?”

    Comment by Neal J. King — 14 Jul 2010 @ 9:53 AM

  207. #203 Barry Woods

    Please take a look at a proposal that considers the science and the economy together while eliminating the mess of schemes that may, or mostly, be fomented by carbon trading:

    A Climate Minute The Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt

    ‘Fee & Dividend’ Our best chance for a better future –
    Learn the Issue & Sign the Petition

    Comment by John P. Reisman (OSS Foundation) — 14 Jul 2010 @ 11:15 AM

  208. An inaccurate interpretation of the “climategate” investigations in The Atlantic:

    [Response: yes, and a pretty good take down of it at DeSmogBlog. -mike]

    Comment by milestone — 14 Jul 2010 @ 1:00 PM

  209. In the matter of Monckton v Abraham, the potty peer has now posted at WUWT asking for people to flood Abraham’s university with calls for disciplinary action. As a consequence, I have posted this:

    We the undersigned offer unreserved support for John Abraham and St. Thomas University in the matter of complaints made to them by Christopher Monckton. Professor Abraham provided an important public service by showing in detail Monckton’s misrepresentation of the science of climate, and we applaud him for that effort, and St. Thomas University for making his presentation available to the world.

    If you support Abraham, please visit Hot Topic and leave a comment in support.

    Comment by Gareth — 14 Jul 2010 @ 7:54 PM

  210. The Guardian comments on the debate they hosted last night between various luminaries on both sides( They portray the UEA as being firmly on the back-foot, even after Muir-Russell. I wonder if any readers were at the meeting and can give an independent account?

    Comment by David Jordan — 14 Jul 2010 @ 11:42 PM

  211. Gareth #209: Thanks for coordinating this. I added my signature (using my real name, of course).

    Comment by Deech56 — 15 Jul 2010 @ 4:33 AM

  212. George Monbiot actually came across very well, a fair ‘chair’ and with a sense of humour saying:
    “He was the ideal chair, because he had managed to alienate, everybody!”

    You do really need to see the video, to see how bad the UEA’s Trevor Davis was, especially how, the admission that Phil Jones was not seen by Muir Russell after the enquiry panel had formed, was dragged out of him…
    I think the Time journalist, asked for confirmation from Davis, whether Mcintyre account was correct, ie the head of the enquiry, had not the head of the department (Phil Jones) to be formally interviewed, after the panel had formed.
    George to his credit, did not allow Davis (UEA) to get away with anything, George pursued the question, with Davis, until after much note shuffling, not sures, mumbling, refering to notes, Davis eventually mumbled Phil Jones,- met Muir Russell in January, Steve Mcintyre said, ‘confirming’, BEFORE the panel had formed.
    Bob Watson’s admission, that he had only read a FEW emails was just laughable, given the debate…
    Fred Pearce did come across very well (Fred and George came across as journalists)
    Keenan was very concise and tough, maybe overstepped the mark, saying all climate science was rubbish (assuming man made kind)
    What may be lost because he said that, is he talked about the human ‘cost’ of it all, hundreds of millions of poor affected, because we ‘must’ do ‘something’ about AGW,even as the uncertainties get bigger for AR5.
    His other valid point, that struck a chord, was how there is no processes, for challenging academic fraud, incompetance, no way to hold anybody academic to account,(fraud/incompetance) Citing an example, (not climate science) that he was pursueing, where the university, said no method to do this.
    Keenan I think impressed the journalists, like Fred, George Roger Harrabin, The Times, etc with his conciseness, and interest in accountability of academia, no ‘waffle’.
    Former IPCC man Bob Watson, could only keep repeating, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, 95% scientists agree, very superficial platitudes, that just did not work in a debate, where every one was knowledgable.
    Roger Harraibin asked him a question from the audience, and the response from Bob was very poor, totally not answering the question, which I heard at least one of the journalists present, saying Bob did not answer the question.
    Fiona Fox asked a question, pretty much attacking the Guardian journalists, for being irresponsble for reporting about climategate. Fred Pearce’s reply was perfect, comparing to how reporting MP’s expenses was referred as attacking democracy initially, but long term better for democracy (cf climate science)
    Fiona Fox, sounded to be like a very strident ‘activist’, really need to here it for yourself..
    The journalists present could not fail to see, what the Muir Russell enquiry was really about, following UEA’s and Bob Watsons poor performance here
    George Monbiot, WAS a very good chair…
    I had thought – oh huh, when he started of with the ‘Climate Change DENIAL community’, but it would be picky to highlight any detail.
    He fulfilled the role of chair correctly. (if only he’s stop denial stuff in his blog – that totally alienates me, annd many others,)

    Comment by Barry Woods — 15 Jul 2010 @ 7:27 AM

  213. @210 David Jordan

    Quite a few reports of last night’s Guardian Climategate debate have surfaced. In no particular order:

    Comment by Jack Kelly — 15 Jul 2010 @ 7:53 AM

  214. For those of use who have been arguing with climate denying friends for a while, can anyone find specific rebuttals to Clive Crook’s claims in his latest “Big Green Lie” piece in the Atlantic?

    While one rebuttal is that he has cherry-picked his selections, a more specific demonstration of that would be very helpful, in particular regarding the thoroughness of the various investigations. (His implication is that specific failures to investigation an aspect of the “scandal” in one report is uniform for the rest. My understanding has been that some of the things he claims weren’t investigated, were, in fact.)

    This kind of piece has the potential to be very damaging unless these criticisms are addressed.

    Comment by Paulk — 15 Jul 2010 @ 8:55 AM

  215. People should keep in mind that Barry Woods believes that Bishop Hill is the best source of information on the hockey stick (i.e. his book that “proves” academic fraud on the part of Mann, blah blah).

    His account of the Guardian debate may be subject to a certain amount of bias, in other words.

    On the other hand, Monbiot and (especially) Pearse have dug themselves so deep into the doo-doo over climategate that they’re going to do anything to “prove” that, as journalists, they did nothing wrong in accepting the denialist narrative regarding the e-mails rather than doing any serious investigative work themselves.

    Comment by dhogaza — 15 Jul 2010 @ 1:27 PM

  216. Hi Dhogaza,
    unlike some I read any books that are recommended to me, or that pick my interest..
    I even enjoy reading RealClimate, after all it was recommended to me by a personal friend that co-edited the 2001 IPCC synthesis report!!!!!

    They haven’t called me a deniar, or even a sceptic! yet ;)

    Comment by Barry Woods — 16 Jul 2010 @ 5:17 AM

  217. Here is the audio link,

    let everyone form their own opinion, I just said it as I perceived it, and of course, my views are my own.

    (they cut a lot of Doug Keenan out, for legal reasons no doubt, Doug stands by what he said, by repeating, his charges are on his website, either side would have done this, sceptical or pro)

    [Response: Keenan is a first degree idiot. He was the one who forced Queens University of Belfast to release their tree ring data earlier this year, on the grounds that it was somehow critical to global temperature reconstructions. I don’t spend a lot of time reading denialist junk, but I did read his ideas about why this was supposedly the case, and I have never read anything more ridiculous and counter to reality. He believes that even though certain Irish tree ring proxies held by QUB do not correlate at all well with local temperature records, that they are somehow useful as a global temperature proxy. Worse by a fair margin than even McIntyre’s nonsense on Yamal.–Jim]

    Comment by Barry Woods — 16 Jul 2010 @ 5:34 AM

  218. Re #212, being a good orator does not make you right now does it ? Too many journalists Monbiot and Pearce amongst them perhaps are attaching to much importance to these emails and their oratory skills much like politicians make them seem to be in the right when the truth is that they are the reporters of science and not the practitioners. This debate was in London about a international issue and giving O2 to the skeptics and deniers only means one thing. You aint convinced anyone either way.

    Comment by pete best — 16 Jul 2010 @ 10:13 AM

  219. RE: 212 “His other valid point, that struck a chord, was how there is no processes, for challenging academic fraud, incompetence, no way to hold anybody academic to account,(fraud/incompetence)”

    That strikes me as hogwash purveyed by the uninitiated. There are multiple ways currently in use and that have withstood the test of time. One is to decline peer-review publication of oat-brindled pony loaves submitted by the scientific equivalent of illiterate 5th graders. That does have the odd side effect of stirring up the ad hominem bots, though. Hmmm, maybe there’s a paper in that phenomenon.

    Comment by ghost — 16 Jul 2010 @ 11:06 AM

  220. Re 217 : Jim’s response:
    Keenan is a first degree idiot. He was the one who forced Queens University of Belfast to release their tree ring data earlier this year, on the grounds that it was somehow critical to global temperature reconstructions.”

    In the interests of accuracy, it was the UK’s Information Commissioner who forced QUB to release their data,unless QUB successfully appeal. Moreover, the Decision Notice does not go into whether the grounds for release were in any way due to the data being critical to global temperature reconstructions, i.e that the public interest was engaged. The ICO found that the exceptions stated by QUB were not applicable.

    Decision Notice reference:

    [Response: I’m talking ultimate cause, not proximate. It was Keenan who pestered the powers that be into forcing the release. Mind you, I am in no way arguing against the release of these (or any other) data. I am arguing against people who make a huge fuss under the belief that supposedly “suppressed” data actually indicate that something is wrong with the science that needs to be covered up, when in fact they have no idea what they are talking about wrt the significance of the data. It is so fitting that Keenan and McIntyre were the tag team last night–birds of a feather as they say.–Jim]

    Comment by Mikel — 16 Jul 2010 @ 11:55 AM

  221. Re:220

    Jim, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with you. However, I am carefully trying to point out that there is a legal framework within which we all have to operate. It does not make any sense to try to get round that framework by trying to argue that, for example, various exemptions should apply, unless you have very good legal obligations for withholding information. Any withholding of information requests is going to be seen as a cover up.

    Siince it is clear to me that the scientific evidence is sound, I’d recommend keeping the argument to the science and deal with the requests without concern about who is making them. Much better to leave handling these requests to those who have the training, experience and possibly the ability to be dispassionate.

    [Response: Be careful here. FOI laws are not absolute in any sense and there are some very sound exceptions to disclosure. The chief one that is relevant in most of the requests for communications (in the US at least) are related to whether a communication is an ‘agency record’ and is something to do with the official activity of the senders/recipients. For instance, emailing your girlfriend a recipe is not going to be an agency record regardless of where you sent it from – there is lots of case law on this. Similarly, there are some things that are privileged – reviewer/editor communications, personnel issues, pre-decisional deliberations etc. These filters all need to be worked through by lawyers – one email at a time if need be – (one of the reasons why these requests are seen as invasive). But you are correct, the motives and reasons of the requestors does not play a role in deciding what gets released. – gavin]

    Comment by Mikel — 16 Jul 2010 @ 3:32 PM

  222. I see The Guardian couldn’t get any scientists to their debate. I wonder why? Oh. Right.

    Comment by Didactylos — 16 Jul 2010 @ 4:57 PM

  223. Re: Gavin’s response to 221

    Your description of the US legal framework is not that dissimilar to the UK. We are in agreement and back to much of my post 51. We may get back to the legal framework if you do decide to post further on the implications of the Muir Russel report.

    Comment by Mikel — 16 Jul 2010 @ 5:41 PM

  224. About the graph from the 1999 WMO report that caused all the controversy, it was on the front cover of the report. That is, it was part of the packaging. It was a teaser, meant to give an indication of what was inside. It was not meant to be examined in the same way that you look at the figures inside the report. They are what the readers are meant to get their information. They are supposed to have all the annotations and descriptions that would merely clutter a cover figure. The things that were left out made it more fit for its purpose.

    Comment by Lloyd Flack — 17 Jul 2010 @ 4:42 AM

  225. Re 222: No scientists? Apart from 2 professors of science, two others with mathematics degrees + the two science journalists (and I think at least George Monbiot has a science degree).

    Comment by Julian Williams — 17 Jul 2010 @ 3:52 PM

  226. [Response: And who’s going to do all these things–file all these lawsuits, pay for
    the lawyers etc? …]
    [Response: Good, now suggest something that hasn’t been done already. And then take
    the lead on it.–Jim]

    Okey Dokey.

    I called Earthjustice, “a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to
    protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth,
    and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment.” and spoke with
    them about this issue. They are of course aware of “Climategate”, and even have a
    link to news about the Muir Russell report on their home page. They often take cases
    on the basis of reports from their supporters or concerned persons who contact
    them, and they like an issue to be sent to them in writing (e-mail, snail mail)
    rather than over the phone. The person I spoke to gave permission to post to this
    blog about our conversation & my follow up email.

    my e-mail to them:

    Subject: Followup to our phone conversation – Defending (in court) environmental
    scientists, especi – ally climatologists, against libelous attacks

    There is currently an ongoing discussion about the Muir Russell report which
    exonerates climate scientists on the blog
    (Intro) – (full comments)

    There are suggestions that climate scientists that have been libeled or otherwise
    attacked by global warming denialists counter such malicious attacks by going to
    court against the most egregious offenses. The climate scientists who run the blog
    have pointed out that they don’t have the funds, expertise, or time to pursue such

    Earthjustice has done an outstanding job of legally representing the environment;
    environmental scientists, especi – ally climatologists, could use some legal
    advice/help too right now, even if a considered legal opinion from your staff is
    that they shouldn’t pursue denialists in court.

    I am aware that this is a complicated (=expensive) issue, and that there may be
    little you can do and even less that would be prudent to do, but I think that it
    would be worthwhile for Earthjustice to look into this.

    I would like to confirm that the $500 donation I made should be earmarked for this
    cause if possible, but may be used elsewhere at your discretion.

    Thank You,
    Brian Dodge

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 18 Jul 2010 @ 11:11 AM

  227. New Scientist coverage.

    The recent coverage of the NS has been rather mixed. For example in its editorial this week it complains that the 3 recent inquiries into the CRU all avoided the science. Good thing too!. We have the IPCC. The last thing science needs is to be decided by a series of prolonged semi-judicial inquiries spreading over a decade or two.

    This proposal is remiscent of that of Nigel Lawson et al who want to overthrow the IPCC. The trouble is that the previous inquiries might have raised expectations that there would be additional inquiries into the science.

    On the other hand , to its credit the NS did publish (on 30th June) a review of Fred Pearce’s book. Pearce is of course a consultant for the NS but that did not prevent Chris Mooney from indicating that he did not like the book and its preoccupation with details. I suspect that he might have been trying to be gentle because scientific reporters have so much power. The review ends with : “Global warming is real and human-caused, and no email can change that” Perhaps not, but it can make it worse by delaying mitigation.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 18 Jul 2010 @ 6:20 PM

  228. George Monbiot, I believe, has a degree in Zoology

    Comment by Barry Woods — 19 Jul 2010 @ 3:35 AM

  229. New Scientist opines that “Russell’s team left other stones unturned. They decided against detailed analysis of all the emails in the public domain. They examined just three instances of possible abuse of peer review, and just two cases when CRU researchers may have abused their roles as authors of IPCC reports. There were others.”

    Were there? NS doesn’t identify other instances of either. Anyone know what they might be referring to?

    Comment by Mike — 19 Jul 2010 @ 8:36 AM

  230. > all the emails in the public domain

    The stolen email? Or are they referring to something else?

    Remember, use conspiracy logic: the thieves announced they’d published a “random sample” from the vast amount of stolen email. If you believed that, and if you believed they’d done a proper random sample, you’d then be able to believe the large volume of yet-unpublished email was probably (at the 5 percent level?) comparably full of the same kind of secret badness. Conspiracy logic always says there’s more hidden than found. Lather rinse repeat.

    Nobody who thinks believes that’s true. But we need a majority.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Jul 2010 @ 12:31 PM

  231. NS means all the private emails of everyone in CRU. Maybe their phones should be tapped as well. After all their office phones are public property. It is crazy. But the general public may not realize this. Certain government officials are required to save all their work e-mails for posterity and these can be subject to subpoena. But this does apply to college faculty or most public employees. And, you need some evidence of wrong doing to get a subpoena. If NS has such information they are not revealing it. Perhaps NS will hire some hackers.

    Comment by Mike — 19 Jul 2010 @ 2:25 PM

  232. Just in case you haven’t seen it yet, the Institute of Physics’ Energy Sub-Group has been disbanded because of Climategate after the Science board looked into it.

    Comment by J Bowers — 22 Jul 2010 @ 5:58 AM

  233. As an American, I would like to first and foremost apologize for the tactics employed by my conservative neighbors. Fueled by greed and their desire to keep our country dependent on oil and mass consumption of disposable goods, they will do anything and everything to distort and manipulate scientific research to serve their own goals. The careers, integrity and feelings of others mean nothing to them, and they will not hesitate to ruin a person’s life for a sound bite on Fox News.

    I grew up in the 1980s, when being “green” was called being “eco-conscious.” Back then, we were concerned about the ozone layer, but the basic principles seem the same to me. To me, climate change is particularly logical. I do not understand the mindset of those who claim all the chemicals and pollutants we as a society spew into the environment can have no affect. To me, it is a particularly naive and ignorant assertion. My brother believes what he is told by Fox News (Faux News, really), and refers to climate change as the “global warming hoax”. He thinks it’s just a way for Al Gore to get rich. Al Gore was already rich, so this assertion also seems illogical to me.

    I just want to thank all the scientists who persevere in the face of such political opposition. Much like when the commonly held belief was that the earth was flat or that the sun was the center of the universe, the truth faces major obstacles by governments and politics who have no business interfering. Thank you, for standing on principle. Thank you, for choosing to work so tirelessly for the greater good. Thank you, for not succumbing to the pressure and turning tail. Thank you, for using your gifts to help the human race survive.

    Comment by Denise Davis — 22 Jul 2010 @ 3:38 PM

  234. I met and knew Steve through various meetings and interactions within the AMS. Ben said it best, “Steve Schneider epitomized scientific courage. He was fearless. The pathway he chose – to be a scientific leader, to be a leader in science communication, and to fully embrace the interdisciplinary nature of the climate change problem – was not an easy pathway.”

    He was a world class scientist and person who was passionate about his science and communication of science to the world public for better understanding and decision making. His contributions are immense and his voice, writings and ideas will be immensely missed.

    Bob Ryan

    Comment by Bob Ryan — 25 Jul 2010 @ 2:11 PM

  235. Re:#227 (up-date)
    (Mainly from memory). The New Scientist of 3rd August carries a relevant item from Trevor Davies in its ‘Opinion Letters’ section. This took exception to the claim that there was still a case to answer on the science. As I saw it his point was that the conclusion that there had been no malpractice does have implications for the validity of the science.

    Presumably he means that after these inquiries, there is no longer any reason to treat the output of CRU in a different way from the output of any other good department.

    Unfortunately this argument could be used as a justification for having the three inquiries. This obviously has its dangers because it could act as an incentive to having more frivolous libelous attacks.
    Elsewhere in the magazine, there is an interview with Trevor Davies and Phil Jones.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 1 Aug 2010 @ 6:20 PM

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