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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. 51
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

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

  2. 52
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

    This doesn’t make the statement false.

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

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

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

  3. 53
    Francis says:

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

  4. 54
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

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

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

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

  5. 55
    SecularAnimist says:

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

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

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

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

  6. 56
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

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

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

  7. 57
    Ray Ladbury says:

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

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

  8. 58
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

  9. 59
    Ray Ladbury says:

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

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

  10. 60
    Mark Gibb says:

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

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

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

  11. 61
    Ron says:

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

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

  12. 62
    Nick Brooks says:

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

  13. 63
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

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

  14. 64
    Foobear says:

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

    THIS is the scandal in regards to climategate.

    “…but that those practices need to change.”

    And yes, this is exactly what needs to happen.

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

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

  15. 65
    Jon P says:

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

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

  16. 66
    Ray Ladbury says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  17. 67
    Doug Bostrom says:

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

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

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

  18. 68
    John E. Pearson says:

    53: Francis says:

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

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

  19. 69
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

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

    Don’t like it?

    Repeal copyright internationally.

  20. 70
    SecularAnimist says:

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

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

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

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

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

  21. 71
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “THIS is the scandal in regards to climategate.

    “…but that those practices need to change.”

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

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

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

  22. 72
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Foobear says: 31 March 2010 at 10:38 AM

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

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

    Here you go:

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

  23. 73
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

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

  24. 74

    #32 Hunt Janin

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

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

  25. 75
    John McManus says:

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

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

    John McManus

  26. 76
    Theo H says:

    Round one to Phil Jones! Yip! Yip!

  27. 77
    Tim Jones says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Author acknowledges ‘awful e-mails’

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

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

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

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

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

    Scientist was ‘scapegoated’

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

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

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

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

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

  28. 78
    Ron says:

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

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

  29. 79
    arch stanton says:

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

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

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

  30. 80
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  31. 81
    MapleLeaf says:

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

    As I said at SheWonk (The Policy Lass):

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

    Mike at ThePolicy Lass summed up the situation nicely:

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

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

  32. 82
  33. 83
    Bob says:

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

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

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

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

    In the words of Leo Burnett:

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

  34. 84

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

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

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

  35. 85
    Garrett Jones says:

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

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

  36. 86
    Doug Bostrom says:

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

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

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

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

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

  37. 87
    Bob says:

    Jon P, #65:

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

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

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

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

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

  38. 88
    Theo H says:

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

    But it is still round one to Phil Jones.

    Yip!

  39. 89
    George E. Smith says:

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

  40. 90
    Jeffrey Davis says:

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

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

  41. 91
    Solomon Green says:

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

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

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

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

  42. 92
    Andy S says:

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

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

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

  43. 93
    Completely Fed Up says:

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

  44. 94
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

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

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

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

  45. 95
    Doug Bostrom says:

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

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

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

  46. 96
    Theo H says:

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

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

  47. 97
    Kris says:

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

    Regarding the FOIA issues:

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

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

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

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

  48. 98
    The Ville says:

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

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

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

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

  49. 99
    Kris says:

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

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

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

  50. 100
    Clippo says:

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

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

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


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