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First CRU inquiry report released

Filed under: — group @ 30 March 2010

The first (of three) inquiries on the CRU email affair has reported, and this thread is for discussions of the UK Parliamentary Select Committee report. The conclusions are not un-expected, but there is bound to something for everyone to chew on. Get gnawing!

p.s. there is a useful summary at DeSmogBlog.


269 Responses to “First CRU inquiry report released”

  1. 1
    Robert says:

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

  2. 2
    caerbannog says:

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

    Something like:

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

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

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

  3. 3
    Kate says:

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

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

  4. 4
    Edward Greisch says:

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

  5. 5
    Eric Steig says:

    This one sentence is particularly important in the press release:

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

    Simple, correct and to the point.

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

  6. 6
    barry says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    6.2 How Independent Are The Other Two International Data Sets?

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

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

  7. 7
    Ray Ladbury says:

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

  8. 8
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

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

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

  9. 9
    davey says:

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

  10. 10
    Ron Broberg says:

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

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

  11. 11
    barry says:

    @1

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

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

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

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

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

    “I can’t help it. I am Fox.”

  12. 12
    robert says:

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

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

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

  13. 13
    mike roddy says:

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

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

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

  14. 14
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Robert says: 30 March 2010 at 6:28 PM

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

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

  15. 15
    coldfrontin says:

    #10:

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

  16. 16
    Chris Crawford says:

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

  17. 17
    Daniel the Yooper says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Cheers to all!

    Daniel the Yooper

  18. 18
    Robert says:

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

  19. 19
    Frank Giger says:

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

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

  20. 20
    Dave G says:

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

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

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

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

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

  21. 21
    Alan of Oz says:

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

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

    [Response: Not true. - gavin]

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

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

  22. 22
    Timothy Chase says:

    Frank Giger wrote in 19:

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

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

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

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

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

    I don\’t trust Greenpeace.

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

  23. 23
    Anon says:

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

  24. 24
    Ray Ladbury says:

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

  25. 25
    Bruce Gorton says:

    Okay, here is my blog on the subject

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

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

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

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

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

  26. 26
    HotRod says:

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

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

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

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

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

  27. 27
    Paul A says:

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

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

  28. 28
    HotRod says:

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

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

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

  29. 29
    David Harrington says:

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

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

  30. 30
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

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

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

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

  31. 31
    P. Lewis says:

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

  32. 32
    Hunt Janin says:

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

    Listed in random order, these websites are:

    - http://www.realclimate.org

    - http://www.desmogblog.com

    - http://www.ipcc.ch

    - http://www.climate.gov

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

    Your comments are welcome.

  33. 33
    ChrisD says:

    @Frank Giger #19:

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

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

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

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

  34. 34
    barry says:

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

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

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

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

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

  35. 35
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Dave G. #20,

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

    I love what they write in conclusion 10:

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

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

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

  36. 36
    Ron says:

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

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

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

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

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

  37. 37
    Alexandre says:

    Frank #19

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

  38. 38
    simon abingdon says:

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

  39. 39
    Ian Love says:

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

  40. 40
    Mike says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The tally for science is looking good:

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

  41. 41
    Didactylos says:

    Chris Crawford, Dave G:

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

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

    In other words, nothing interesting, nothing new.

  42. 42
    Green Marauder says:

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

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

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

  43. 43
    Russell Swan says:

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

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

  44. 44
    Bob says:

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

  45. 45
    caerbannog says:

    #15

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

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

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

  46. 46
    Ron Broberg says:

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

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

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

  47. 47
    dhogaza says:

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

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

  48. 48
    Mark Gibb says:

    Green Marauder @42:

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

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

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

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

  49. 49
    Paul Gosling says:

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

  50. 50
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

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

    “Did you refuse a FOI submission?”

    The answer is yes.

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

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


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