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  1. –> “But the facts of the case do not support the narrative they are pushing at all. While Jones’ original email was certainly ill-advised (as we stated immediately it came to light in Nov. 2009). Eugene Wahl was not subject to FOIA at the time (since he was not a federal employee) and was not subject to UK FOI anyway since he was working for a US-based university. Nor was he aware of any ongoing FOI actions in any case. In the original emails released, Mann stated that he would notify Wahl of Jones’ email, and his only involvement was to forward the Jones email to Wahl which Wahl’s account confirms.”

    I totally understand. As publicly funded scientists there should be no reason to avoid the appearance of hiding anything by skirting the limits of FOI laws. I mean, even though public money goes into it, ultimately it’s your data, we should just trust you.

    [Response: As an example of misconstruing almost every available fact, this comment rates high. Given that all of the relevant data and code related to this have been available for years, and yet the mono-maniacal desire to find something (anything!) wrong continues unabated, it is clear to any objective party that this continued harassment has nothing to do with science or climate or data or replication, but everything to do with partisan personal attacks. - gavin]

    Comment by John — 9 Mar 2011 @ 4:09 PM

  2. It’s early yet: not even 10 years. But it has all the ear-marks of wanting to become like the Alger Hiss story. A finite scope. Prickly egos. And like the Hiss case it involves (there’s a joke coming) trendless Red noise.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 9 Mar 2011 @ 4:35 PM

  3. There’s a lot of smoke here boys. I hope there’s no CO2 in it…

    Comment by Jimmy Haigh — 9 Mar 2011 @ 4:43 PM

  4. Trolls are at war with facts. Facts are trumped by opinions. Reality takes second place to ideology.

    Comment by Michael K — 9 Mar 2011 @ 4:51 PM

  5. I think you guys should realize by now that this nonsense will not stop until someone gets sued.

    Comment by Rocco — 9 Mar 2011 @ 4:54 PM

  6. I think people need to understand that FOI legislation isn’t international law, or at least AFAIK. True, UK FOI law allows foreign requests, that isn’t because it has to, Americans are just lucky it does.
    In 10 years time, ‘shields could be up’ and all nations might limit FOI requests that are across borders.
    There is also a certain irony in that many that want openness regarding global climate data are the same people that don’t want global legislation.

    Comment by Warmcast — 9 Mar 2011 @ 5:08 PM

  7. Does anyone reading this think we’d be seeing any of this — the apparent involvement of Inhofe’s office, multiple investigations (which all came up negative), the assistance of denier blogs to spread the word — if Dr. Mann had published some trivial finding that no one cared about? Of course not.

    You can demonstrate why Dr. Mann is being attacked simply by showing a lay person with no particular involvement in the climate issue(s) the hockey stick graph. I’ve done this, and it’s an incredibly effective communication tool, so the simply must neutralize it. If that requires the attempted character assassination of Dr. Mann, no one should be surprised that the deniers would stoop to such levels. Once you’ve sent scientists death threats, a disgusting act like this probably seems trivial.

    Comment by Lou Grinzo — 9 Mar 2011 @ 5:14 PM

  8. So McIntyre is in bed with Inhofe. Who would have thought….their actions also speak loudly to their utter desperation and vacuity of their ‘arguments’….0.05 K. I wish the above figure could be shown on billboards.

    And the timing of this ‘leak” is very curious….one day before the assault on the EPA is tabled. Got to give those GOP senators something to wave in their hands while foaming at the mouth about those ‘lying climate scientists’.

    Gavin et al., you have been playing nice for far, far too long now. I will not presume to say what you should do, but I suspect you know what a great deal of people are hoping what you will do.

    Stay strong. The truth will win out, eventually.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 9 Mar 2011 @ 5:23 PM

  9. The first point I would make is that there is a lot of empty space in the graph above (putting the the key/ legend in the empty space only brings the idle area to attention).

    Second, the interesting scientific part of the graph, where all the validation and mixing occurs is very hard to look at. The resolution of the data around this point of calibration resembles 8 bit nintento graphics. So to make it more scientific we need to actually see what you have done.

    Thirdly, some perspective is need. I’m sure there are plenty of other proxies from ice and sendiments which need to be compared with the above proxies. Where are the sea/ ocean cores or other potential proxies from the same region where the tree rings were sampled.

    Comment by Isotopious — 9 Mar 2011 @ 5:59 PM

  10. The truth will win out, eventually.

    I agree, but how many more GtC will we add to the atmosphere while it’s putting its boots on?

    Comment by Paul Daniel Ash — 9 Mar 2011 @ 6:08 PM

  11. Dear Gavin

    Do you believe that any further action, individual sanctions or policy changes should be implemented as a result of the circumstances surrounding asking for email to be deleted and that message being forwarded to other parties?

    Regards

    Michael

    [Response: What policies are based on a single line in the middle of the IPCC report and/or any issue related to it? The idea is absurd (sorry to be harsh, but really!). - gavin]

    Comment by Michael — 9 Mar 2011 @ 6:25 PM

  12. > Where are the sea/ ocean cores or other potential proxies
    > from the same region where the tree rings were sampled

    In the usual journals, available by searching in the usual way.
    Need help with that?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2011 @ 7:08 PM

  13. Isotopious:
    The large blank spaces may be where the information isn’t ( hopefully not between my ears).

    Truncating the curve may help you understand the calibration period, but would hide most of the truth . Oh wait that is what you want.

    Comment by John McManus — 9 Mar 2011 @ 7:19 PM

  14. Congressman Issa has just started some “whistleblower” site that will accept tips on government fraud and waste.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/137227-issa-launches-whistleblower-website

    Comment by Snapple — 9 Mar 2011 @ 7:45 PM

  15. Paul @10,

    Alas too many GtC. Of course I realise that is the point/goal of FUD.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 9 Mar 2011 @ 7:46 PM

  16. Gavin et al., you have been playing nice for far, far too long now.

    I might agree with the “et al.” part — but not with the “Gavin” part.

    Gavin, you have maintained a level of class, cool-headedness, and honor, that commands respect. Our side surely needs some bulldogs — sometimes we have to fight fire with fire — but we also need lions who neither want nor need to roll with the jackals. You are an inspiration.

    “the lion never counts the herd that are about him, nor weighs how many flocks he has to scatter.”

    Comment by tamino — 9 Mar 2011 @ 8:11 PM

  17. Dear Gavin

    To clarify my previous question I meant to refer to changes in policy as to maintaining or enhancing the integrity of communications associated with the IPCC process.

    Kind Regards

    Michael

    [Response: IPCC authors are volunteers who spend a considerable amount of time not doing research in order to write the reports. In so doing, they do not cede their rights to have private conversations with anyone about anything. The review stages of the IPCC reports are open to all, and all formal review comments need to be responded to formally and that is rightly public. If the IPCC reports were written under US government auspices, all official communications made in the drafting of the reports would be 'pre-decisional deliberations' which are exempt from release under FOIA. As far as I know that has not been tested in court for an international report, but that could happen, though the situation in other countries is different again. I would therefore advise any IPCC AR5 author subject to state or national FOIA laws to assume that communications might be FOIA-able and act accordingly. That will of course slow down progress on the report and might well lead to a lack of frankness on the part of any authors, though it might lead to a greater use of skype. A clear statement from DoJ in the US on what the rules are before the process really starts in earnest would be very useful. It is especially when rules are applied retroactively that problems occur. - gavin]

    Comment by Michael — 9 Mar 2011 @ 8:36 PM

  18. Tamino @16,

    Just to avoid any confusion, I would like to add that I fully agree with your comments about Gavin, and would add Mike Mann to that list too– many of us lesser mortals would have had mental breakdowns a long time ago if subjected to the same repeated harassment and slander.

    I guess the point of my post was to express frustration that 3M (McIntyre, McKitrick and Morano, and others) can continue to lie, slander and misinform at will, without consequence. Who is going to be the poor sod to volunteer to be the “bulldog” in the USA. In Canada it has been Weaver, and trust me when I say that doing so has not been easy for him. But him doing so has made a difference to how some of the formerly irresponsible media now behave.

    But surely climate scientists and the media and honorable politicians cannot let this madness and harassment continue going unchallenged? So again I ask, who is going to step up to the plate in the USA and take some legal action? 3M and their cohorts apparently do not understand reason. And what happened to “reconciliation” McIntyre? Oh right, yet another “contrarian” farce.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 9 Mar 2011 @ 8:42 PM

  19. In view of recent revelations about MM, are there any valid MM criticisms that effect the result?

    Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 9 Mar 2011 @ 8:45 PM

  20. Click on the images in this thread and they’ll jump to the large versions.
    Easy to find by looking.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2011 @ 8:49 PM

  21. Oops, the images in _this_ thread:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/the-missing-piece-at-the-wegman-hearing/
    http://www.realclimate.org/images/WA_RC_Figure1.jpg
    “Red is the original MBH emulation and green is the calculation using centered PC analysis (and additionally removing one of the less well replicated tree ring series). (Calculations are from Wahl and Amman (2006), after their fig. 5d).”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2011 @ 8:51 PM

  22. 13

    What truth? You seem to be implying that one can be selective in the presentation of the data. Indeed, one can be selective. Generally in science, though, it’s best to try and prove yourself wrong, rather than to prove yourself right.

    The large blank space is very important, because It’s saying:

    “this is the best we can do”.

    [edit]

    [Response: Every presentation is selective - how can it not be? Useful presentations are those that are fair to the underlying data and make whatever point you want to make clearly. This has very little to do per se with testing hypotheses. - gavin]

    Comment by Isotopious — 9 Mar 2011 @ 8:59 PM

  23. RE Isotopious 9 & 22

    “The first point I would make is that there is a lot of empty space in the graph above (putting the the key/ legend in the empty space only brings the idle area to attention).
    The large blank space is very important, because It’s saying:

    “this is the best we can do”.

    I don’t get the concern with the large blank space. It is there because the graph goes sharply up on the right. It’s a hockey stick!

    Comment by Bibasir — 9 Mar 2011 @ 9:57 PM

  24. Gavin, you are a great scientist, but you need to get some PR help. The deniers are framing this story, and RC is playing into their framing by leading with Wahl’s response to allegations.

    The central point is not that Wahl denies something that he’s accused of doing. That is their narrative.

    The central point is the political witch hunt involing a leak of senate documents to bloggers and the usual suspects doing their usual fabrications.

    I suggest you move Wahl’s comment down to a factual footnote rather thant the framing lead of this post.

    CP knows PR http://climateprogress.org/2011/03/09/inhofe-watts-horner-mcintyre-michael-mann-email/ without good PR you are giving away valuable ground to the guys who are have noting else but propaganda and PR.

    Comment by jakerman — 9 Mar 2011 @ 10:00 PM

  25. Note I don’t expect scientist to be great at PR. But pro-science needs to adapt or needs help to deal with a post-normal attack on science. As Eli Rabbet observes, its not correct to blame scienits for for poor communication:

    “there has been a concerted effort to blame the science side for not doing what it is not talented to do, [when the issue is] about the PR muscle on the anti-science side.”

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/03/blaming-other-guy-copying-from-guy-who.html?showComment=1299718193477#c3043282640159654100

    Comment by jakerman — 9 Mar 2011 @ 10:09 PM

  26. re Issa, given his history, that is hysterical. This:
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/01/24/110124fa_fact_lizza

    “Don’t Look Back: Darrell Issa, the congressman about to make life more difficult for President Obama, has had some troubles of his own.”

    Those guys can dish it out but not take it. Double standard, anyone?

    Comment by Susan Anderson — 9 Mar 2011 @ 11:13 PM

  27. “Congressman Issa has just started some “whistleblower” site that will accept tips on government fraud and waste.”

    Game it, people … these stupid taxapayer funded investigations into non-existent fraud being a good starting point.

    Essentially, whistleblow on Issa’s favorite government-paid fantasies.

    Comment by dhogaza — 10 Mar 2011 @ 12:21 AM

  28. dhog, do you recollect someone not long ago suggesting it might be unwise to submit false information to Congress?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2011 @ 12:53 AM

  29. Wahl and Ammann (2006) was published by Science on 28 April 2006.

    Wahl and Ammann (2007) was accepted on 1 March 2006.

    Both of these dates meet the last guidance on publication deadlines from the IPCC AR4 WG1, dated 1 July 2006;

    Reviewers are invited to submit copies of additional papers that are either in-press or published in 2006, along with the chapter and section number to which this material could pertain, via email to ipcc-wg1@al.noaa.gov, not later than July 24, 2006. In the case of in-press papers a copy of the final acceptance letter from the journal is requested for our records. All submissions must be received by the TSU not later than July 24, 2006 and incomplete submissions can not be accepted.

    I could also post numerous links to British FOI and EIR requests, trying unsuccessfully (nee rejected), to obtain additional emails which the UEA has consistently considered;

    Release of some of the information likely to adversely effect the interests of the person providing the information

    The public interest in withholding this information outweighs that of releasing it due to the need to protect the openness and confidentiality of academic intercourse

    What is being asked for here is informal, personal correspondence passing between academics engaged in IPCC work. It is clear that the IPCC envisages that there must be a ‘space’ in which employees of public authorities can work, and exchange views that are excepted from public disclosure in order to provide an arena for views and discussions that would not be appropriate in a public venue but are essential to academic work, collegiality, the progress of science. To disclose the requested information would be to close off this space, reducing the opportunity for academics to exchange such views and discussions, and altering substantially the content of such exchanges.

    By this criteria, I seriously doubt that the majority of CRU emails would have ever seen the light of day by legal means, given the current British FOI/EIR laws.

    In closing, see the following link, where one individual has posted numerous British FOI requests and replies, the latest of which is dated 8 March 2011;

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/user/david_holland

    I have reviewed Mr. Palmer’s application of the public interest test and I do not believe that our position has changed in this respect and uphold Mr. Palmer’s original decision.

    We would now consider this to be our final position on the internal review of this matter, and would advise that if you are dissatisfied with this response, you should now exercise your right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at;

    Please quote our reference given at the head of this letter in all correspondence

    That’s all folks.

    Comment by EFS_Junior — 10 Mar 2011 @ 1:17 AM

  30. Summary of the attack on global warming science:

    Step 1) attack scientists’ work, and overstate their works flaws by employing dodging cherry picking:
    http://deepclimate.org/2010/11/16/replication-and-due-diligence-wegman-style/

    Step 2) Instigate a political show trial to smear the scientists:
    http://deepclimate.org/2010/09/26/strange-scholarship-wegman-report/

    Step 3) Harass scientist with continual claims of fruad and bombard them with coordinated harassment via FOI: http://climatesight.org/2010/03/07/freedom-of-information/

    Step 4) Hack the emails of scientist, then quote mine out of context to fabricate evidence to support bogus claims of fraud:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/fake-scandal-Climategate.html

    Step 5) When bogus claim of fraud run out of puff, attack the scientists for their reaction to (the all the above) harassment:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Climategate-freedom-of-information.html

    6) Repeat from step 2. Start with a political leak from Senate documents and use this to fabricate false allegations such as:
    “Wahl says Mann did indeed ask Wahl to destroy records”

    Comment by jakerman — 10 Mar 2011 @ 1:38 AM

  31. I’ll repeat what I’ve told a few climate scientists in depressed modds:

    1) You have to keep doing the science we need. No one else can.

    2) Many of you have to get enough PR training not to make bad mistakes.

    3) Some of you will have to spend part of your time in outreach.

    4) A few of you, with the talent and practice, will have to spend a lot of time doing it. (Thinking of our departed SHS.)

    And meanwhile, it’s up to some of the *rest* of us to get these people off your backs.

    ====
    Look: the climate anti-science machine wants scientists to waste their time so they do less science. It’s asymmetric warfare, and any researcher could spend 100% of their time doing this, not a good idea.

    Climate scientists as a group are as good as others at communicating, the difference is (like tobacco researchers and a few others), they face a well-funded machine that is happy to lie and libel. Most science branches don’t have to deal with that, and it’s alien to them. {I’ve heard lots of climate scientists speak, and seen a lot of fine books.] But doubt and confusion are always easier than clarity.

    I hope anyone telling climate scientists how to do better is spending much more time actually doing something to help get people off their backs.

    Comment by John Mashey — 10 Mar 2011 @ 1:59 AM

  32. It’s important to realize that “climate change” has now become an “identity issue” for many, many, people, especially in the United States, where there has been a dramatic shift in public opinion; a carefully munufactured shift, but a shift none-the-less.

    This change is… unfortunate, to say the least, because perceived threats to one’s identity create an emotional response that negates rationality, and logic, and facts.

    Climate change is a fundamental and structural challenge to our way of life in the West and increasingly in other parts of the world that are desparate to follow the western model of economic development. Obviously, anything, any idea, that challenges our way of life and economic system so profoundly; inequality, patterns of consumption, the distribution of wealth… such a challenge isn’t going to be welcomed with open arms.

    Scientists and the various green movements/organizations are wrong not to face up to the political implications of climate change, especially when the opposition is so acutely aware of them. In society it’s never enough to be “right”, that’s fine in a lab environment, but out in the real world it’s Power that matters.

    Comment by Michael K — 10 Mar 2011 @ 2:16 AM

  33. Hank Roberts #28 I recall it, hence my hackles rising at some remarks made at the EPA hearing. I’m a bit shaky on US law. What are the ramifications? Are elected officials immune?

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 10 Mar 2011 @ 2:32 AM

  34. It is a pity Dr Wahl does not go on to say which claims in the article are incorrect.

    As far as I can see, having read the article, it does not contradict in any way the matters he sets out ‘for the record’
    Could we be told exactly which claims in the Daily Caller article he considers are incorrect? Is it 10%, 50% or all of it?

    Comment by Jack Savage — 10 Mar 2011 @ 4:52 AM

  35. This is a post by JimR on a story at sciencemag.org about this issue:

    On May 27, 2008 Phil Jones was copied on an E-mail from Tim Osborn to Caspar Ammann as follows:

    “Our university has received a request, under the UK Freedom of Information law, from someone called David Holland for emails or other documents that you may have sent to us that discuss any matters related to the IPCC assessment process.
    We are not sure what our university’s response will be, nor have we even checked whether you sent us emails that relate to the IPCC assessment or that we retained any that you may have sent. However, it would be useful to know your opinion on this matter. In particular, we would like to know whether you consider any emails that you sent to us as confidential.

    Sorry to bother you with this,
    Tim (cc Keith & Phil)”

    Two days later, on May 29, 2008 Jones sent the E-mail to Mann with the title “IPCC & FOI” that said:

    “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
    Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
    Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
    We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.”

    The FOI not only predates the request to delete E-mails, it is also clear Jones was aware of the active FOI for the information he was requesting be deleted.

    [Response: We've said all along that Jones' email was ill-advised. But no-one outside UEA is responsible for their response to a UK FOI request nor has any obligations. - gavin]

    Comment by xavier — 10 Mar 2011 @ 5:36 AM

  36. Isototpious:
    Let me try again to make this clear.
    The curve is bounded by a page large enough to capture the relevent data; time and temperature.

    So, again, white is page , curves are data.

    I hope this helps.

    Comment by John McManus — 10 Mar 2011 @ 6:04 AM

  37. Isotopious:
    On reflection , you have a point.

    Removing most of the white area gives us a hockey stick with a pretty stripe down the middle.

    Your methodology does indeed highlight the rising temperatures.

    Comment by John McManus — 10 Mar 2011 @ 6:46 AM

  38. There are two sides to this story.

    The first is that deletion of emails by Wahl is of absolutely no consequence since he was not bound by FOI legislation and the substance of the deleted material was minor.

    The second is in relation to the allegation put to Mann: “Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones?”

    Clearly, indirectly he did. The allegation doesn’t make any reference to FOI either.

    [Response: Ah yes, that's it! And I was also 'indirectly' involved (or as one of our alert readers put it 'hip deep in the CRU emails!!') since in 1999 I received one or two emails that were also sent to Phil Jones (or, horror, may have been sent to Mike Mann too!), giving me directions to a building on campus somewhere. Quick, call in the police. Suggestion: go read George Orwell's book.--eric]

    Comment by DDaze — 10 Mar 2011 @ 7:16 AM

  39. Isotopious,
    The only way to have less “white space” in the graph would be to present the Y axis on a log scale–and that would obscure the physics, which I suppose would be fine with you.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2011 @ 7:59 AM

  40. MapleLeaf @ 18

    I guess the point of my post was to express frustration that 3M (McIntyre, McKitrick and Morano, and others) can continue to lie, slander and misinform at will, without consequence.

    4M surely… don’t forget Mosher.

    Comment by andrew adams — 10 Mar 2011 @ 9:08 AM

  41. Someone asked earlier about ocean and other proxies.
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/comparing-proxy-reconstructions/

    Comment by Dan H. — 10 Mar 2011 @ 9:45 AM

  42. Michael K wrote: “It’s important to realize that ‘climate change’ has now become an ‘identity issue’ for many, many, people …”

    Which is one of the definitive characteristics of a cult.

    Which is exactly what global warming denial is.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 10 Mar 2011 @ 11:00 AM

  43. John Mashey:

    Look: the climate anti-science machine wants scientists to waste their time so they do less science. It’s asymmetric warfare, and any researcher could spend 100% of their time doing this, not a good idea.

    And, of course, they want to discourage young scholars from entering the field, by putting them on notice that any successful research that runs counter to their ideological beliefs will lead to personal attacks on their character and livelihood.

    Comment by dhogaza — 10 Mar 2011 @ 11:25 AM

  44. > 28, 33 above

    Yes, in fact, they’re immunized — they can say anything no matter how outrageous without any liability while on the job. However, giving them false information is against the law. Note that this allows them to gather whatever information people can provide, but ignore what they don’t like and say whatever they want, regardless of the facts. There are nuances* to this.
    ____________________
    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/separationofpowers.htm

    “… To ensure free discussion of controversial issues in Congress, the framers immunized members of Congress from liability for statements made in House or Senate debate: for their “speech or debate” they “shall not be questioned in any other place.”

    … Proxmire’s awarding of his “Golden Fleece” award to Dr. Ronald Hutchinson led to a defamation suit– and a Supreme Court decision interpreting the Speech and Debate Clause.

    In 1979, in Hutchinson v Proxmire, the [Supreme] Court considered whether the immunity for Senate and House debate extended beyond the floor to cover press releases and statements made to the media. The Court concluded that the Speech and Debate Clause protected only official congressional business, not statements for public consumption ….”
    ___________________
    * I am not a lawyer; your mileage may vary; contents may have settled during shipping; trans fat less than 0.5 gram/serving is “0%” on label; one chip or one slice is one serving; public consumption of product at your own risk.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2011 @ 12:27 PM

  45. > rankexploits

    Be wary of links by Dan H., he sounds reasonable if you’re a new reader but he’s a blog science fan. You’ll get better information from Google Scholar than from some of the comments in threads at RC — be careful and check.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2011 @ 12:32 PM

  46. Hank Roberts #44 “Giving them false information is against the law”. I’ll leave it to more knowledgeable folk to figure out whether anyone broke the law, but it sure seemed that way to me.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 10 Mar 2011 @ 12:44 PM

  47. 29 EFS_Junior

    The guidance you quoted from began

    “We are very grateful to the many reviewers of the second draft of the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report for suggestions received on issues of balance and citation of additional scientific literature.”

    There were over 11,000 comments, all with suggestions in them. I don’t know how many “many” is in 11,000 but can you give me the references to, say, 10 or 5 or even 1 that asked for the retrospectively revised deadlines?

    This is what the “delete any emails” emails is all about.

    [Response: Only in your mind I'm afraid. IPCC can adjust its guidelines whenever it likes, for whatever reason it likes. This idea that an initial cut-off date is something sacrosanct is nonsense. The cut-offs are there to prevent continually new stuff being added all the time - you want them to be as close as possible to the deadline for the report while still allowing time for an assessment. The relevant result from W&A had been clear for a year and the line in the report was (and remains) correct. But even if that paper hadn't ended up making the cut, what conceivable difference would it have made to anything? You are imagining a conspiracy where none exists and where none is needed and where none was even desired. You will never be satisfied with any of the responses you get from any FOI/EIR request because what you think happened never did. Don't take this the wrong way, but, really, find something more interesting to do with your time. - gavin]

    Comment by David — 10 Mar 2011 @ 12:47 PM

  48. Hank: the particular post linked to by Dan H. was actually written by Zeke Hausfather, who generally provides solid analyses. This post was one of them, IMHO.

    Comment by toto — 10 Mar 2011 @ 12:53 PM

  49. > I’ll leave it to more knowledgeable folk to figure
    > out whether anyone broke the law

    Sorry, but it’s up to Congress to ask: search “false information to Congress”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2011 @ 12:55 PM

  50. Toto, if you have some idea who to trust, blog science isn’t always all bad. If you’re new to the subject, well, read the comments thread there and look at the confusion. How’s a new reader to sort out who’s making sense? Citations.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2011 @ 1:15 PM

  51. 38, eric, in comment: And I was also ‘indirectly’ involved (or as one of our alert readers put it ‘hip deep in the CRU emails!!’) since in 1999 I received one or two emails that were also sent to Phil Jones (or, horror, may have been sent to Mike Mann too!), giving me directions to a building on campus somewhere.

    You lost me there.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 10 Mar 2011 @ 2:10 PM

  52. Hank #49 I already had, but couldn’t find out whose job it was, so thank you for answering that too. The punishment being a lecture tour with Oliver North, presumably.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 10 Mar 2011 @ 2:12 PM

  53. Thanks toto.

    Hank, did I do something to offend you?

    I tend to believe those who are open and honest in their debate, and put little stock in those who post negative character attacks. Sometimes, new readers need to sort out the wheat from the chaff on their own.

    Comment by Dan H. — 10 Mar 2011 @ 2:35 PM

  54. Gavin at 47

    It is a privilege to correspond with you again and I do not take your comments in the wrong way. I do have many more interesting and challenging things to be engaged with than writing FoIA requests, appeals and complaints – one is almost 3 and another will be 5 later this year. However, as one of our TV catch phrases goes “I’ve started so I will finish” and persistence makes up for what I lack in good looks.

    You are of course right. Appendix A states “responsibility for the final text remains with the Lead Authors” so they may indeed write just what they wish in the IPCC Reports. But my question to EFS_junior was about what was written by the WGI TSU to Expert Reviewers. Again they can write what they wish, but if it is not true people can make their own judgements.

    If what the TSU said was true it should be easy for them, or you, to humble me by giving me the comment numbers for just a few of the “many” among the 11,000 plus that they said they had received from Expert Reviewers and which suggested that they should retrospectively change the “in press” deadline to allow the W&A results, that you mentioned, to be cited. Give me 10 and I will promise never to write another FoIA request as long as I live.

    [Response: Two things, first off, I'm not going to read 11,000 comments to find something that doesn't need justifying anyway. Second, conversations about IPCC authoring with IPCC authors happen all the time. I talked to one just the other day in fact. Your insistence that the only communication between an IPCC author and the outside world must be via an officially submitted comment and response is a fantasy - this rule only exists in your imagination. None of the authors are in purdah, none are sequestered and no restrictions have been placed on their ability to a) communicate their feelings about anything to the IPCC or coordinating lead authors, or b) communicate with other interested parties about the IPCC report. Your whole endeavour is in fact based on a fundamental misunderstanding. "Many" communications might consist of a chat over coffee, a Q&A at a seminar, a quick phone call, an email, a letter, discussion over dinner, telegraphs or semaphore. You are wasting your time (as well of that of dozens of others), and for what? Even if you find something your unresolved suspicions of conspiracy will continue to fester, but they will never reach closure because your imagined conspiracy just doesn't exist. - gavin]

    Comment by David — 10 Mar 2011 @ 3:23 PM

  55. Gavin at 47

    P.S Don’t bother giving me Rasmus at 11-7 – the LAs said “We disagree .. “, as they did to to one or two others who wanted their pet papers cited.

    Comment by David — 10 Mar 2011 @ 3:33 PM

  56. The only thing these deniers will understand will be a lawsuit. They have no respect for the truth, science or scientists. I hope Dr. Mann and Penn State have great lawyers and will file against those making these barbaric assertions. As these people lie and distort often, eventually there will be consequences.

    Comment by G. Thomas Farmer — 10 Mar 2011 @ 4:10 PM

  57. I tend to believe those who are open and honest in their debate, and put little stock in those who post negative character attacks.

    Have you ever considered basing your beliefs on the scientific evidence?

    It works for me.

    Comment by Thomas Lee Elifritz — 10 Mar 2011 @ 4:18 PM

  58. Re #56,

    Given that McIntyre et al have libeled one of their eminent and respected scholars (Mann), surely PSU can sue for damages? These lies stand to hurt their reputation, and may also translate into loss of funding.

    Yes, I know, proving that is an issue; but I do hope they are at least considering their options, and I do hope they can sue certain people in Canada who are at the core of these lies.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 10 Mar 2011 @ 4:49 PM

  59. Gavin at 54

    So for the world’s public reading RC, paying you and spending trillions on your ideas, where does the IPCC rule that the basis of the IPCC assessment process is comprehensive open and transparent come in?

    I take it you are not going to tell me who just one of the Expert Reviewers was that suggested the deadline change. I say you cant. Well as Churchill said KBO.

    [Response: I have no idea who said what to who, and frankly I don't care. Your definition of 'open and transparent' is pathological - any conversation with anyone in any circumstance even vaguely related to the report must apparently be delivered to you to misconstrue. This is nuts. The process was/is comprehensive, and it is open and transparent - what other report has had as many open review stages, or as many publicly available comments and replies? And yet you still want more. It's not enough that the text in question is correct and unchallenged, nor that the best available science was brought to bear, nor that you have three intermediate drafts before the final version was released. You apparently want a full track changes of any edit made by anyone over the whole process - but this is simply absurd. No conceivable assessment could possibly match up to the rules that you have invented, and certainly not retroactively as you seem to want to insist. (PS. I wish someone was spending trillions on my ideas, but alas, like your 'IPCC rules' this too is only a figment of your imagination). - gavin]

    Comment by David — 10 Mar 2011 @ 5:13 PM

  60. David #59. “The world’s public”? You speak for yourself and precisely zero others. I am astonished at the tolerance you are being shown here.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 10 Mar 2011 @ 5:53 PM

  61. David: Do I understand it correctly that you are advocating for 24/7 surveillance of any taxpayer-funded scientist involved in research of public significance? Wow.

    Comment by Rocco — 10 Mar 2011 @ 5:55 PM

  62. In June 2005, the TSU had issued a memorandum to all concerned clearly explaining the deadlines for papers to be cited and explaining why. The relevant paragraphs were:

    “When the second draft of the AR4 is written authors need to be sure that any cited paper that is not yet published will actually appear in the literature, is correctly referenced, and will not be subsequently modified (except perhaps for copy editing). In practice this means that by December 2005, papers cited need to be either published or “in press”.

    “When the second draft of the AR4 is sent to Governments and experts for the second round review, the TSU must hold final preprint copies of any unpublished papers that are cited in order that these can be made available to reviewers. This means that by late-February 2006 if LAs can not assure us that a paper is in press and provide a preprint we will ask them to remove any reference to it.”

    “The above constraints are necessary because the IPCC assessment process is under intense scrutiny and we have an obligation to ensure that the literature is reported accurately and in a balanced way that is fair to the science community, the review process, and our final policymaker audience.”

    But hey Gavin, as you say nothing is sacrosanct – except your hockey stick!

    [Response: (Love it when people give up trying to have a conversation and throw in some line they assume is some killer comeback. Good one!) Back in the real world, self-imposed deadlines often shift due to external circumstances - If you don't realise that I'll conclude that you have never worked on a big team project, and you have always met your publishing deadlines (well done!). Unfortunately, these things happen, but you are elevating guidelines to the level of holy writ. And for what? A line that is and was correct. I remain puzzled though, what do you think would have been different if W&A had not made the cutoff? Would more than a single line have been affected? The technical summary? The SPM? What are we even discussing here? - gavin]

    Comment by David — 10 Mar 2011 @ 6:00 PM

  63. Bizarre that some still maintain that there is some conspiracy going on regarding the IPCC. It seems lost of the conspiracy theorists and paranoid that representatives from over 100 governments sign-off on the reports. There is a hell of a lot of compromise and watering down of statements to appease everyone.

    There is also nothing wrong with changing dates to include up-to date science, that is after all the purpose of the reports.

    Still, I understand that some have to persist in fabricating doubt, controversy, debate and sadly even lies to protect their delusion.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 10 Mar 2011 @ 6:04 PM

  64. As one of the “world’s public”, I entirely agree w/ One Anonymous Bloke that it’s astounding Davids ridiculous hand waving isn’t in the Bore Hole – “spending trillions on your ideas” indeed!! A great many of the public –even the American public– wish there was even a few billion spent on climate science.

    Comment by flxible — 10 Mar 2011 @ 6:17 PM

  65. Hank,

    Yes, I do need help finding some indo pacific millenium sst reconstructions.

    I have some intersting data for the holocene, which generally shows the warm pool cooling 1-2 deg C over the last 10kyrs. Some records also show plenty of variability of this time, with warming and cooling cycles over a few hundred years on the order of 1-2 deg C, the norm.

    Interesting because it’s possibly an analogy to todays sst record,
    e.g, warming of around ~1 deg C with plenty of up and down variability of about ~1 deg C

    So is our little temperature adventure just part of the grand scheme of it all, who knows…

    What is interesting is how all the proxy records differ, and putting them all on one graph is an ugly business (a bit like a spaghetti western).

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

    Comment by Isotopious — 10 Mar 2011 @ 6:22 PM

  66. OK Gavin, you get the last word – or I should say sentance. So if W&A did not matter give me that line you keep mentioning without W&A and I’ll see how it looks.

    Good night and thank you all.

    Comment by David — 10 Mar 2011 @ 6:42 PM

  67. [edit]

    As to the science; if these guys had simply published their data and methodology all along, none of this would be an issue.

    [Response: I call BS. The code and results from Wahl and Ammann had been online since 2005, there is more paleo-climate reconstruction software online than almost any other climate related calculation (with the possible exception of GCM code). This whole charade has nothing whatsoever to do with any desire to actually find out what is happening/what happened in the real world. Instead, it is personal harassment based on the theory that since every human being is imperfect, we can find an imperfection and therefore everything that this person has ever done can be discounted (but it only applies to scientists, not any of the nonsense propagated by the 'skeptics'). All of the code and data for GISTEMP are online and independently replicated, yet every week someone pops up and accuses GISS of faking the result. Do try and keep your stories straight! - gavin]

    In short; AGW is real. It’s magnitude, certainty and the seriousness of the consequence are very much open for debate. The political ramifications are very consequential. Once these scientists became political advocates their work became suspect. Their actions in light of serious inquiry are a problem. Let them deal with that, and let’s start producing real reproducible science based on open data and methodology and an honest debate.

    [Response: More BS. No scientist is allowed to conclude anything, since that is inconvenient, so only scientists that don't tell us anything are worth listening to. How convenient for you. - gavin]

    This whole episode is hurting real science. Not the dunderheads who doubt every bit of the science, not ‘Big Oil’, not the serious scientific skeptics, not anyone but the ‘scientists’ who became actively involved in political debate while hiding behind FOI, proprietary data, etc. THAT IS NOT SCIENCE! This problem will go away, but probably not while these guys are involved in the debate. Their objectivity is highly questionable. [edit]

    Also; don’t paint everyone who questions the alarm as ‘science-deniers’ and use straw man arguments that characterize everyone who questions the establishment as denying that there is global warming or that man has played a part in that. Not everyone who isn’t an alarmist is a fool or in the pocket of big oil. Any true scientist will see the flaw in the notion that the ‘science is settled’ or that ‘we are now certain’ about the consequences, either in physics or in the geo-political ramifications. We may project, we may model, but we cannot be certain, even to a statistically significant degree. (Global surface temp is now more than 2 STD below every single models projections for 2011. There is no certainty).

    Warmest Regards,
    Bob

    [Response: Glad to see that you think I'm a 'true scientist'. But you are correct, there is no need for big oil to pay people off when people like you will dissemble for free. Singer must be upset that you are undercutting him.... (and you're wrong about the temperatures too). - gavin]

    Comment by Bob Kutz — 10 Mar 2011 @ 6:48 PM

  68. > iso
    >> Where are the sea/ ocean cores or other potential proxies
    >> from the same region where the tree rings were sampled
    > I do need help finding some indo pacific millenium sst reconstructions.

    Did you just move your goalpost? It’s easy to find plenty for both by just pasting your words above into Google and Scholar.

    Whatever — I suggest asking in the open thread, say where you’ve looked and the search strings you tried, what you found. Seeing what you’ve tried, folks may suggest better sources. Doing that avoids digression here.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2011 @ 6:58 PM

  69. Oh this is funny! :) Good on ya Senator Markey:

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2011/03/10/markey-flat-earthers/

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 10 Mar 2011 @ 7:25 PM

  70. I respect Dr. Mann and his work. While he did not break any formal rules it would have been better if he had said to Jones and Wahl that he did not think deleting the e-mails was appropriate.

    Comment by Mike — 10 Mar 2011 @ 7:35 PM

  71. Mike #70 Rubbish! How would a difference in Prof Mann’s behaviour, or anyone else’s for that matter, prevented ridiculous conspiracy fantasists from concocting ridiculous fantasies?

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 10 Mar 2011 @ 7:45 PM

  72. Iso:
    Do trees grow on ( or in ) the ocean?

    Comment by John McManus — 10 Mar 2011 @ 7:50 PM

  73. Woow all the data are right here , gavin you ol’ sea dog!

    right here under “data sources”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

    we find:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/#Reconstructions

    then we go:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html

    and here is one:

    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/newton2006/newton2006.xls

    Warming since 202 YBP. Now this is interesting. Care to comment Gavin?

    Can you predict where I’m going with this?

    [Response: Since it is very unlikely to be a credible reconstruction of anything, then no. - gavin]

    Comment by Isotopious — 10 Mar 2011 @ 7:51 PM

  74. I had thought that boring comments went into The Bore Hole.

    Several today desrved that fate, rather than wasting RC moderator’s timee bothering with a reply. [Such patience; I could not muster it.]

    Comment by David B. Benson — 10 Mar 2011 @ 7:51 PM

  75. Mosher fabricates this false statement in March 2011:
    “Sources confirm that a federal inspector has questioned Eugene Wahl and Wahl has confirmed that Mann asked him to delete emails.”

    To go with Mosher’s past fabricated statements such as:
    “Overpeck the review editor of Chapter 6 or AR4 informed Briffa that he should have no contact with other scientists outside of the IPCC process”

    http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2010/06/08/climate-scientists-still-besieged/

    Mosher appears to be slinging mud to try and support the verdict he has delivered: http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/6603/30006774.png

    Comment by jakerman — 10 Mar 2011 @ 8:25 PM

  76. Gavin, your patience with David and Bob is amazing! They are clearly not interested in whether the science was correct (i.e., the dish was delicious), but rather whether the recipe was followed exactly. according to their reading. God help us if such people really gain the upper hand!

    I have a feeling that they will be recognized one day as proponents of the Great Extermination. I will leave it to others to decide what that means. I, for my part, think this century will be, before it is finished, bleak indeed.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 10 Mar 2011 @ 10:01 PM

  77. > Mosher fabricates … “Sources”

    That’s one for a propagation study. At the moment, “About 230 results” for that first quoted string in 75. I didn’t check to see if it had gone all the way around the world.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2011 @ 10:03 PM

  78. David #66. Do you have any manners? The word you are so woefully bereft of is “please”, but that ignores the fact that you have every opportunity to do your own reconstruction using any data set you care to.

    I believe Dr. Wahl is mistaken if he thinks any number of statements by him or anyone else will prevent these lies being told. They are being told to waste his and your (RC crew) time, to sow doubt, and if you do succeed in shutting them down (perhaps with a libel suit) they will be replaced with new lies forthwith. The lies about the science are probably worth engaging with. The lies about you personally, I’d put them on a T-shirt and wear them with pride.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 10 Mar 2011 @ 10:40 PM

  79. Don’t you just love it when posters sign their false attacks on the integrity of scientists with ‘warm regards’. Deliberate play on words?

    Comment by Sou — 10 Mar 2011 @ 11:01 PM

  80. As to the science; if these guys had simply published their data and methodology all along, none of this would be an issue.

    I assume you’re talking about Spencer’s and Christy’s not having published their code and methodology, right?

    Comment by dhogaza — 10 Mar 2011 @ 11:57 PM

  81. Mike #70, nonsense. On the contrary: provided data retention policy allows it, deleting older IPCC-related emails would be appropriate and prudent, as these are legitimately confidential (being, as Gavin calls it, ‘pre-decisional deliberations’ the exposure of which would undermine / already undermines the candour required for successful collaborative authoring work), and mail servers cannot be reliably secured against determined and well-resourced attackers.

    This whole idea of entitlement to any and all IPCC-related emails is just post-facto situational ‘ethics’ by folks that wouldn’t dream of making their own emails available for scrutiny.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 11 Mar 2011 @ 12:29 AM

  82. I quite see why Isotopious doesn’t always get dumped in the bore hole: he’s such good comedy value!

    But frankly, he’s getting a bit boring now. I mean, what’s interesting about ignoring dozens of climate reconstructions and picking a single, regional study? A study, moreover, which has 110 YBP as its latest data point.

    This is just tedious.

    “Can you predict where I’m going with this?”

    Why yes – yes I can. Round and round the denier talking-points. Dull, dull, dull.

    Comment by Didactylos — 11 Mar 2011 @ 5:40 AM

  83. Ultimately, debates between science and anti-science always get nasty. They pretty much have to, because the scientists have ALL the evidence. Even if the anti-science side were to find any evidence, then the science side would merely incorporate it. Science of necessity must consider ALL the evidence.
    So that leaves the anti-science idiots with no viable strategy but to try and discredit as much evidence as they can. Now think about that in the context of climate science or evolution, where there are literal and figurative mountain ranges they would have to address. Addressing each piece of evidence would be daunting–especially given that most anti-science types have no understanding of science at all.

    That means the only viable strategy for the anti-science types is ad hominem attack. They think that if they can just paint the scientists as the pulsing heart of evil, they don’t have to consider anything the scientists say.

    Of course the scientists know the ad hominem strategy is a fallacy–one must consider the evidence on its supplier barbecues babies on the weekend. But hey, we already knew the denialists don’t understand the ad hominem fallacy. And the wonderful thing about following a strategy that is a logical fallacy is that one need not be rigorous. Any lie or misinterpretation will suffice, since the goal is not to arrive at truth but to avoid it.

    So that leaves the scientists following the scientific method and the anti-science side playing Calvinball. Given that situation, how can the scientists win? By continuing to demonstrate that science works: Not by lawsuits or laws or Gish-gallop-filled public debates, but by verifying predictions again and again and again until the denialists are simply laughed off the public stage. Scientists can only win by doing science.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 11 Mar 2011 @ 7:26 AM

  84. Very well said, Mr. Ladbury. Just to build on what you said, the other big two besides ad hom in the anti-science arsenal:

    1. Cherry picking of data
    2. Quote mining, so the supposed quotes are missing important parts of their original context

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 11 Mar 2011 @ 8:59 AM

  85. Question for David, the self-appointed IPCC process arbiter extraordinaire:

    Why is it that there is no issue with the way scientists involved in disciplines that (eventually) bring us the likes of computers, modern air travel, and communications technology conduct their research; whereas, scientists involved in the likes of climatology and evolution are continually subjected to attacks on their findings and integrity?

    Oh, wait. I think I can answer that: maybe it’s simply because their findings conflict with someone’s religion/ideology, or their business interests?

    It’s been the same with tobacco, acid rain, the ozone layer, et. al. In every case, there has been a handful of scientists willing to be shills for industry, working against the collective good for either ideological or monetary reasons. In some cases, the *same* contrarian scientists have pitched in on the side of the polluters for multiple causes. You really should read Merchants of Doubt.

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 11 Mar 2011 @ 9:27 AM

  86. Ray #83 and Steve #84.

    To complete the arsenal of the contrarians, there is:

    4) Accuse the supporters of science of doing all the things that you do.

    Comment by Lars Karlsson — 11 Mar 2011 @ 10:16 AM

  87. Ray Ladbury wrote: “… debates between science and anti-science always get nasty … Scientists can only win by doing science.”

    For the deniers, the issue is not whether they or scientists “win” a “debate”.

    The issue is how long can business-as-usual consumption of fossil fuels — and the one billion dollars per day in profit that it generates for the fossil fuel corporations — be perpetuated through deceit, denial, obstruction and delay?

    The fact is that the scientists have already “won” the “debate”. The deniers could not care less.

    The deniers are not out to “win” a “debate”. They are out to keep those billions of dollars in profits flowing into their coffers for as long as possible. Every single day that we keep burning fossil fuels is a “win” for them.

    And so far, they have been “winning” every single day for a generation.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 11 Mar 2011 @ 10:53 AM

  88. I posted this to CA and it got put in moderation, probably because it was a direct reply to him. Let’s see if it gets through:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Steve,

    This case had to do with out and out fraud. And Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted in 2002 this decision was handed down in 2006. Furthermore in the case of Wahl’s actions Sarbanes-Oxley is a red herring. It does not apply to privately held entities (which BTW, are not subject to US FOIA law, much less UK FOIA law).

    So quit with the crappy arguments. You’ve been arguing for a long time that standards applied to business (you used to cite Bre-X all the time) or engineering (which seems rather odd, since engineering is applied science and actual science is at the cutting edge and therefore might be wrong) should apply to science as an enterprise. Do you really want to see fraud cases brought against scientists who make mistakes or push the results of knowledge and point to new directions for research?

    As far as I can tell, especially given recent revelations about the financial crisis, the standards of business ethics are considerably lower than those of science. Check out what is going on with the foreclosure crisis in the US, especially what banks are doing in the name of MERS or the robo signing stuff. This is stuff that the largest publicly traded corporations in the US are trying to pull off yet nobody is going to jail for this crap. Are these really the business ethics you want to apply?

    I encourage people to go over there and have fun! He used to have some relevance to the debate (a little) but now? Nada.

    Comment by Rattus Norvegicus — 12 Mar 2011 @ 12:56 AM

  89. @81 Martn, Whether to delete or save emails is a tricky issue. I delete some old emails from students to protect their privacy. A colleague’s computer was hacked and he had kept garde info and SSNs from many past classes. It was a mess to deal with the aftermath!

    But scientific correspondence may be of interest to future historians of science. There is also the occasional priority and patient disputes to deal with.

    But there does need to be greater clarity as to what FOIA requests can cover. We had someone make an FOIA request for all records pertaining to why each textbook was chosen. Every department chair had to list every textbook used and explain why it was chosen! It was a ridiculous waste.

    I imagine some scientists now use off campus email accounts to avoid dealing with this sort of thing. This would also make it harder for future historians do to their work. Maybe email records should be protected from most FIOA requests for a fixed period of time, say ten years – of they would still be subject to subpoena.

    But there is no clear cut answer here. I am glad Dr. Mann decided not delete his emails and he probably is too.

    Comment by Mike — 12 Mar 2011 @ 12:44 PM

  90. > But scientific correspondence may be of interest to future historians of science.

    Mike, that is very true… that’s why, as you say, this FOI / hacking nonsense is a threat also to history writing…

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 12 Mar 2011 @ 1:53 PM

  91. (…) this FOI / hacking nonsense is a threat also to history writing…

    The obstructionists are obviously trying to write the political history — with some “cherry picking”. Unfortunately the future history of the planet is being written as they handwave over the politics. The future history of science looks likely to be recorded by word of mouth myths. :(

    Comment by flxible — 12 Mar 2011 @ 2:30 PM

  92. Historically, I’d suggest that the emails of some other folks would be far more educational. For example, of folks in the public eye, who’ve testified for Congress, Edward Wegman, Pat Michaels, Will Happer come to mind. The rare such that have come to light have been interesting, far more so than the usual arguments of scientists. I don’t know if Cuccinelli & Russell use email, but theirs would be especially fascinating.

    Comment by John Mashey — 12 Mar 2011 @ 5:20 PM

  93. You know what, this whole FOI thing has long ago descended into farce. It was originally ‘designed’ to bring to the fore the bureaucratic to-and-fro that was hidden away on paper 50-odd years ago. In the modern age, and even way back then, a helluva lotta business was transacted via the phone, or over a cup of coffee, or a nice, cosy dinner. That applies to government employees and the private sector alike.

    Just because a (perhaps naive, but only in retrospect) scientist chose to communicate their candid thoughts to colleagues via e-mail, rather than through some other channel… does that mean that 20 years after the fact, all the armchair scientists in the world get to pick through the transactions to mine for quotes?

    Sorry, but the world cannot possibly work that way. 1984 indeed. If the science is well-founded and supported by the data, the science can stand on its own. And it does.

    Comment by Steve Metzler — 12 Mar 2011 @ 5:54 PM

  94. John Mashey @92 writes:

    “I don’t know if Cuccinelli & Russell use email, but theirs would be especially fascinating.”

    I have written W. Russell many times to ask questions about Cuccineli’s financial sponsors and to criticise their persecution of Dr. Mann and climate science, but W. Russell never deigns to answer.

    I especially ask why Cucccinelli’s EPA suit used an article from RIA Novosti that attacked British climate scientists. The original article on which the Novosti report was based was originally printed in Alisher Usmanov’s “Kommersant.” Usmanov is a Gazprom operative. The Kommersant article cited the economist Andrei Illarionov–a former adviser to Putin and Chernomyrdin, the former head of the Soviet Gas Ministry and its post-Soviet reincarnation Gazpoom.

    Illarionov also is the global warming adviser for the Libertarian Cato Institute.
    I think the Cato gets money from the Koch brothers, whose father built the Soviet oil refineries.

    I voted for Cuccinelli, but he really doesn’t care about serving the people who voted for him; he answers to the people–like his father the gas lobbyist—who give a lot of money to his campaign.

    I wonder if that “whistleblowing” ex-CIA guy Kent Clizbe might be a political operative for denialist politicians such as Cuccinelli.

    I don’t know if that is happening or not, but that is pretty much what political police do—try to get people in trouble for nothing by planting compromising articles in newspapers and making it appear that these innocent people have broken the law.

    It’s disturbing that Kent Clizbe was in the CIA but doesn’t understand our political values at all. I don’t think he is typical of CIA officers. Usually CIA people have a lot of respect for the expertise of scholars. For example, the CIA gives climate scientists security clearances so they can study the satellite pictures and other types of reconnissance data.

    Kent Clizbe brags about his CIA past and tells people the Justice Department will give them millions to denounce Dr. Mann, but really the CIA is studying the national security implications of climate change and the federal government doesn’t have any issues with Dr. Mann.

    Not one scientist who worked with Dr. Mann has denounced him because they know Clizbe’s campaign is totally bogus. It’s disgusting.

    I was always Republican, but I think that these fossil fuel companies are practically taking over the government. They are buying elected officials who persecute scientists under the color of law. I didn’t pay taxes so Cuccinelli could persecute scientists for the fossil fuel companies.

    These denialist politicians are radicals, not conservatives. They are constantly dumping a slurry of filthy lies into our political debate. These are the tactics of a police state, not a democracy.

    Comment by Snapple — 13 Mar 2011 @ 6:36 AM

  95. Dr. Goebbels used to say, “A lie repeated thousand times becomes a truth”. The Internet is an ideal medium for this approach. To truth. To science.

    Comment by Jiri Moudry — 13 Mar 2011 @ 7:42 PM

  96. I never know if my comment got submitted. I deliberately misspelled my captcha, and I got an error message. A professional approach would be to confirm a correct submission as well.

    Comment by Jiri Moudry — 13 Mar 2011 @ 7:49 PM

  97. gavin — “If the IPCC reports were written under US government auspices, all official communications made in the drafting of the reports would be ‘pre-decisional deliberations’ which are exempt from release under FOIA.”

    This is worth repeating.

    Comment by J Bowers — 14 Mar 2011 @ 5:03 AM

  98. Hank Roberts:

    Wouldn’t it be more helpful to the truth-seeker to provide a link to where the data is hidden?

    http://tinyurl.com/4vdavvk

    Comment by Marion Delgado — 14 Mar 2011 @ 7:39 AM

  99. I’d like to see more links to scientific explanation, data, etc. As someone who chanced across several denier webpages before finding this one, I have to say this doesn’t help me understand the broader scientific issue of “hide the decline”. You state that “The science of paleo-reconstructions has moved well beyond this issue.” Could you provide a link? In general, would you mind providing more info so that I can make my own decision, rather than trying to convince me by pointing out that it should be obvious? Thanks.

    Comment by Conor1 — 14 Mar 2011 @ 9:12 PM

  100. Conort@99 – Please feel free to click the “Start Here” or “Index” links at the top of the page where you can find more than enough information to “make your own decision”, don’t ask busy scientists to spoon feed you one tidbit at a time.

    Comment by flxible — 14 Mar 2011 @ 10:30 PM

  101. Conor1,

    There’s no need for a link. The big fuss over “Hide the decline” just amounts to ridiculous accusations that was based on someone’s scientific choice to remove knowingly bad data from a graph and replace it will knowingly reliable data. The “issue” was well known in the scientific literature. For those unfamiliar with the literature, none of them seemed to give a damn for a decade or so until the accusations started flying. You might not like the scientific choice to work the proxy reconstruction graph in the way it was done, but that was the choice, and the accusations of lying and manipulation as some have done (Curry being the latest the join the crows) is just absurd. There’s no need for ‘references’ to see this.

    When people say the ‘science has moved beyond this,’ it’s because actual professionals and people who have real things to do with their life care about getting things right and learning more about the wonders of the natural world around us (and in the case of proxies, how it worked in the past), rather than pushing an agenda by character defamation and playing “he said, she said” games.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 14 Mar 2011 @ 11:10 PM

  102. Conor1,
    I’m not sure what you are asking us to “link” to. If it is raw data, you can access quite a lot of it from the “Start Here” or “Data Sources” tabs. There are also excellent posts on the whole “climategate” debacle, which place the email correspondence into its proper scientific context that date from the time of the release. You can find those using the “search” tool. If you can be more specific, we’d all be happy to help out.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Mar 2011 @ 4:34 AM

  103. Dear Ray,

    Re:102 Conor1 might rely to something like the youtube clip by Richard A. Muller (it’s easy enough find, but Iam not sure if I can post that link here),
    showing how the crafting reconstructed and measured data changed shape of the curve compared to the pure reconstruced data which was clipped off.
    R. A. Muller has rather strong words for that procedure and keeps the audience wondering how the discrepancy after 1960 for the two datasets could mean anything else than the reconstruction has servere issues over all the time.

    [Response: Muller's video and characterisation of the issues is partial, and quite frankly, misleading. He neglects to mention the actual temperatures (which is what the graphic was supposed to show), and insinuates that Jim Hansen was somehow cooking the books, because he was able to forecast that 2010 would be a near record breaking year (which was actually not hard to do). Instead of being impressed by a prediction made based on scientific reasoning and then being validated by events, he implies that scientists shouldn't be making predictions at all. This makes no sense. Muller's presentation contains many basic errors - conflating baroclinic instability (a cause of mid-latitude storminess) with latent heat release (the cause of tropical storms), for instance, and mis-represents Gore's statements on a number of issues. This is in line with his previous statements on the paleoclimate reconstructions which were also overblown and misleading. Thus while he may have a great reputation in his field, and while he has certainly made some interesting (though ultimately unsuccessful) contributions to understanding ice age cycles, his statements on the broader climate issue are neither comprehensive nor reliable. He may have great confidence in his own ability, but as he himself has said: "Most of our opinions are based on false information" and "Scientists are as easily fooled as anybody else". He might want to "take steps to compensate" for that. - gavin]

    Comment by Laws of Nature — 15 Mar 2011 @ 10:14 AM

  104. Re Eric’s response in #38.

    Lost in Chris Horner’s poor writing, exaggeration, denialism and scientific irrelevance is a bit of a point: forwarding a request to delete emails, albeit without comment, sure sounds like participating indirectly in actions with intent to delete emails. I agree that the concept of indirect participation can be stretched to meaninglessness, but it doesn’t have to be stretched far at all to encompass Mann’s forwarding of an email.

    In Mann’s shoes, I expect I would’ve done the same thing, so this is no criticism of him, but that particular PSU Finding of no indirect participation appears to be somewhat flawed.

    Comment by Brian Schmidt — 15 Mar 2011 @ 3:21 PM

  105. The only question I have is: Why did Jones want the AR4 emails suppressed? I don’t see any crime, but I’d like to understand his motivations.

    Comment by RichardC — 15 Mar 2011 @ 4:38 PM

  106. Flaws of Nature,
    I would think CONOR1 might want something better than a blatant distortion, don’t you? I mean, after all, there are dozens of reconstructions now, and they all pretty much agree with MBH ’98…as do borehole reconstructions, etc. I think you sell our visitor’s intelligence short.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 15 Mar 2011 @ 5:34 PM

  107. RichardC #105,

    My belief (conviction) on Jones’ motive is, that he was simply trying to protect the confidentiality of, what Gavin called, ‘pre-decisional deliberations’, as necessary for the candour required to make such deliberations productive. The argument would apply in general, but acquires special urgency in the face of a well-resourced distortion campaign that will use whatever raw material it can lay its sticky fingers on.

    Evidence for my understanding can be found in several of the stolen emails from around that time, where precisely this issue of confidentiality, almost in these very words, are being discussed. This includes one email sent by Briffa containing a comment by Jones himself (while travelling in Switzerland), which documents the whole group’s strong feelings on this.

    Comment by Martin Vermeer — 15 Mar 2011 @ 5:40 PM

  108. RichardC #105. From the UK House of Commons report:
    “We believe that the focus on CRU and Professor Phil Jones, Director of CRU, in particular, has largely been misplaced. Whilst we are concerned that the disclosed e-mails suggest a blunt refusal to share scientific data and methodologies with others, we can sympathise with Professor Jones, who must have found it frustrating to handle requests for data that he knew—or perceived—were motivated by a desire simply to undermine his work.”

    Source.

    The report lays most of the blame for the FOI refusals on UEA, rather than CRU or Dr. Jones.

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 15 Mar 2011 @ 7:29 PM

  109. 103 Gavin’s response:

    Yeah. I read Mullers phizics fer future prez’s (dummiess version) back-to-back with Burton Richters book “Beyond Smoke and Mirrors”. It’s funny. When I first got Muller’s book I thought it was awesome. Then as I read I realized there was an awful lot of misinformation in it. Poke through both of them. Muller says that you can’t make a bomb from reactor grade plutonium which is false. Richter gets it right and says you can. It’s been done. Its documented. Jimmy Carter declassified that fact. I don’t want to psycho-analyze muller but he is sloppy. Anything he says you better double-check via an independent source.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 15 Mar 2011 @ 8:26 PM

  110. Are there any procedures for records retention for all those involved in the IPCC Report 2007 and have there been any changes made records retention for the next Report?

    Comment by Mikel — 16 Mar 2011 @ 5:21 AM

  111. #110 It’s not very hard to find this stuff

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 16 Mar 2011 @ 12:10 PM

  112. #111 No, I am not looking for the IPCC Supporting Material on workshops etc. but something akin to this JISC Higher Education Record Retention Schedules

    Comment by Mikel — 16 Mar 2011 @ 2:12 PM

  113. #112, You asked whether there had been any changes, and therefore you should be looking at what they actually did, not what they say they did. But it’s easy to find that too

    Comment by One Anonymous Bloke — 16 Mar 2011 @ 2:45 PM

  114. #113: some progress. Thank you. These procedures do cover retention of Review comments by the IPCC Secretariat for “at least five years”. The Review itself is to be “open and transparent”. I therefore presume that all the relevant drafts that go with the comments are also retained for the same period, and all the records pertaining to the other stages, all held by the Secretariat. The latest date on the adoption of these procedures is 2008. It is not clear what changes have been made since 2007.

    However, I wouldn’t see any reason why individuals involved in the IPCC 2007 need to keep any of those records themselves, including emails. Good records management practice would require individually held IPCC records to be deleted.

    Comment by Mikel — 16 Mar 2011 @ 5:19 PM

  115. David @62:

    But hey Gavin, as you say nothing is sacrosanct – except your hockey stick!

    Has someone forgotten to tell you that there is more than one hockey stick?

    Comment by Chris O'Neill — 16 Mar 2011 @ 6:03 PM

  116. David @62:

    But hey Gavin, as you say nothing is sacrosanct – except your hockey stick!

    Has someone forgotten to tell you that there is more than one hockey stick?

    Perhaps I need to point out that it’s difficult for something to be sacrosanct if there are several of them.

    Comment by Chris O'Neill — 16 Mar 2011 @ 6:10 PM

  117. Re: Media spin from Sen. Inhofe’s office

    Litigation in the 1970s established that press releases from a senator’s office are not protected under the “debate clause” of the Constitution.

    Maybe a few scientists should consider a libel suit. If Inhofe’s claims damage reputations of scientists, and/or affect their funding, there is clear harm to be overcome.

    It’s a mark of how tolerant of criticism scientists are that none have sued Inhofe already.

    Comment by Ed Darrell — 17 Mar 2011 @ 9:38 AM

  118. Maybe its time to put the climate deal on pause and use your big analytical brain to understand tribal behavior and media narratives. You have enough climate data to make your point.

    Seriously, what would happen if you analyzed the language and metaphors used on popular television shows. Are there any patterns of thought? Are there predictable linguistic cues used?

    Now the tricky part is communicating it to the rest of America. Your enemy is not McIntyre, its American Idol, Fox and Friends and Bill O’reilly. They’ve succeeded in selling America on deregulation which is arguably a more arcane and abstract idea than even the most complex theories you discuss.

    C’mon, its time the good guys win this time around. You work too hard, your data holds up.

    Comment by Matt — 27 Mar 2011 @ 11:09 PM

  119. Matt,
    No. Climate scientists should do climate science. We don’t know nearly enough to know how much trouble we’re in.

    It is up to scientists to develop reliable understanding of their objects of study. It’s up to the citizens whether they want to take advantage of that understanding or ignorantly and blindly drive civilization into a ditch. The Fermi Paradox probably has many answers. This is one of them.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Mar 2011 @ 10:01 AM

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