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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. 251
    Nick Gotts 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. – George E. Smith

    Since CRU is cited in the UK and funded by UK taxation, not a single “tax dollar” went into it. But I understand that many Americans – particularly those of the kind who are always whingeing about the use of their “tax dollars” – have trouble keeping in mind that the USA is not the whole world.

  2. 252

    #245 Jack Maloney

    It’s all about context. the emails in general are merely private discussions among scientists. Now that private emails are public, the denialist side of the argument has chosen to cherry pick phrases from the the emails and present them out of context.

    Information out of context is worthless. SO, this is merely a political ploy to confuse the public.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/climategate

    Nothing in the emails can overturn the science and discussions of tricks that in reality are merely methods such as what’s the trick to starting your weed whacker (pump the primer first and put on the choke), or what’s the trick to getting the bread to rise (add yeast), what’s the trick to fool people about the relevance of the emails (present cherry picked lines out of context of the science).

    If you can’t figure this out, then you need to reexamine the tricks that seem to be swirling around in your head. IN other words, don’t buy the populist context of an argument just for fun. learn the relevant context of the science.

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  3. 253

    #252 Nick Gotts

    It’s all getting so silly now. Jaw droppingly silly . . .

    . . . I thought America has jurisdiction of the UK, I mean we did win the war and all. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to tell them what to do. . .

    Whine, whine, whine, blah, blah, blah, isn’t irony ironic . . .

    Maybe myopia is a viral problem? We need to come up with an anti myopia cure. . . oh wait, there already is one. It’s called education and critical thinking. . . I wonder where they teach that though?

    But alas, fools and charlatans rule the day and will rue the day upon their awakening, which unfortunately will be too late for many and they will someday realize that it is they who killed the economy with short-sightedness.

    But for such foolishness we should exact a tax, a ‘stupid tax’ we shall call it. But in what form?

    The thing that bothers me most is that those that understand, must pay for the idiocy of others while those that have emitted the least GHG’s will pay the most with their lives. Current UN estimations on current course are 1.8 billion dead and dying due to global warming by 2080 (I heard that at WCC-3 last year in Geneva). But alas, even this may prove a conservative number. . . on our current technological course.

    Hope is a thin line and getting thinner for many. The future will hold sadness and regret and we all will pay for the foolishness of the ignorant. Let us hope that innovations may stave off the ravages of idiocy to the greatest degree possible.

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  4. 254
    Geoff Wexler says:

    [Not really OT.]

    Are you guys going to do a review or announcement of the new book by Grant Foster?

    “noise-lies-damned-lies-and-denial-of-global-warming”

    Sorry if it takes up even more time.

  5. 255
    Geoff Wexler says:

    Re #255. (continued)

    These reviews can be helpful when recommending libraries to purchase.

  6. 256
    SecularAnimist says:

    The commenter Jack Maloney is a “troll”. He repeatedly ignores information that contradicts his false and ill-informed claims, which have no purpose anyway except to annoy you sufficiently to get you to waste your time responding to him, so that he can impress himself with his ability to waste people’s time with deliberate BS.

    He has as much as admitted that he is here to “amuse” himself by posting dishonest character assassination against climate scientists and offensive equivalences between Al Gore and Rush Limbaugh so he can “get rocks thrown by zealots”.

    Do you wish to continue to serve as “entertainment” for such a person?

    [Response: we won't be seeing him around here any more. -moderator]

  7. 257

    Back to the main subject: what stealing emails has to do with scientific correctness. One of the mainstays of the denial movement, increasingly the only valid scientific evidence they use, is Spencer and Christy’s processing of satellite temperature data, which appears to me designed to extract the lowest possible trend. This is not in my view fraudulent or bad science: if there is a way to interpret the data that makes things less serious, this is the way to do it. I do however dislike the way they don’t bother to contest wide use of their outdated data sets with errors that further reduce the trend.

    To cut a long story short I’ve been watching their data since January when they started reporting hottest ever for that time of year numbers. I’ve just summarized where we are at now on my blog.

    Every day since 10 January has been hotter than the same date any other year in their data (this particular data set goes back to late 1998, so it includes 2005, if not all of 1998, so it’s some indicator of where we are vs. previous hottest years). I can’t see any evidence in where we are in ENSO or the solar cycle to support a cause unrelated to AGW for this warming.

    2 questions:
    1. Do I have it straight that if this continues, 2010 will be indisputably the hottest year in the satellite data record?
    2. Are Spencer and Christy going to have to up the security on their email server?

  8. 258
    David B. Benson says:

    Philip Machanick (257) — I prefer predicting a decade at a time:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/unforced-variations-3/comment-page-12/#comment-168530

  9. 259
    John E. Pearson says:

    256: SecularAnimist says:

    Do you wish to continue to serve as “entertainment” for such a person [as Jack Baloney]?

    I strongly recommend not responding to such people in the first place.

  10. 260

    David B. Benson #258: good, but I’m not as much trying to predict the trend because we have many options for that, but wondering when the looney tunes mob are going to turn on Spencer. That’s assuming he’s an honest scientist who is genuinely testing the science by trying to find the most conservative story consistent with the data, not actively supporting the anti-science campaign.

  11. 261
    frankbi says:

    This might be a bit late to ask, but what is the precise address of the Turkish machine that the SwiftHacker attacked RealClimate from?

    (McIntyre and Id have said that their blog comments came from 82.208.87.170 and 212.116.220.100 respectively.)

    frank

  12. 262
    mike roddy says:

    Useful information once again, but it’s time for a major tactical shift.

    Far more Americans know about “Climategate” than the House of Commons Science Committee CRU exoneration. A substantial plurality of Americans believe that “the hockey stick is broken”, and that people like McIntyre and Watts are unbiased and qualified researchers. The NAS report that confirmed the hockey stick, and the excellent RC piece about it, were read by the educated choir only.

    The communications world we live in is dominated by those who throw the most button pushing mudpies, over and over again, regardless of content or accuracy. That’s why Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh make $30 million a year.

    There are excellent websites debunking the debunkers in detail: DeSmog Blog and DeepClimate are especially good. Unfortunately, the blog managers are polite Canadians, which is great for the record and the earnest audience, but utterly misses the majority- whose propagandists are funded by clever and ruthless spinmeisters.

    We don’t need more legislative or administrative reports vindicating the science. This has essentially been done already in the IPCC process.

    Scientists need to fund thorough reports on those who habitually attack scientists, and have managed to retain a cloak of respectability. This includes McIntyre, McKittrick, and Watts, for starters. These reports should be written in simple English, and contain humor, direct language, and aggressive counterattacks.

    Those who tell truth have lost the initiative. The public has (perhaps rightly) perceived this as a lack of conviction. Defenders of the truth need to speak a lot more forcefully, and execute takedowns of the habitual liars who are preventing the people from learning what is really going on. This has to be a serious, well funded, and continuous effort, including press releases, effective authors, humor, and detailed scientific support. Otherwise, they could win. If we have learned anything since IPCC III, it’s that we cannot expect the truth to prevail.

    [Response: A slight problem is that your suggestion that scientists 'fund' this is that scientists, as a whole, don't have money. Then there is the problem that if anyone offered such funding, any scientist that took it would instantly be labeled 'political' and not be listened to. Unfortunately, what is needed is some good investigative journalism. I say 'unfortunately' because there doesn't seem to be anyone out there doing this sort of stuff -- at least not in the major news outlets.-eric]

  13. 263
    mike roddy says:

    Good points, Eric. A scientist who took this up would damage his career, and you’re also right that a lot more money than is available from scientific organizations is required.

    I suggested scientists as the default spokesmen only because journalists have clearly failed, mostly due to the ownership of their outlets. Scientists are the only credible group left who have an audience at all, and I just can’t see anyone else doing it.

    This blog and a few others of course are excellent. But it has to go to the next level, or the public will remain oblivious.

  14. 264
    Lloyd Flack says:

    One thing that is not clear to me. Was the data obtained from national meteorological offices obtained for academic use only in which case it would be OK to share it with universities and other climatology research institutes. Or was it obtained under the condition that it was not to be passed onto any third party.

  15. 265
    Anonymous Coward says:

    Mike,

    Greenpeace is at the forefront of this fight. You really didn’t notice them?
    There’s a bunch of green and leftist organizations concerned about this. Trade unions and political parties too. These represent small farmers and other vulnerable groups in many countries. There are also businesses which stand to benefit from emission reduction policies. These could pitch in serious cash if serious, practical policies were put on the table.

    There are journalists working at outlets owned by a different crowd as well in case you didn’t notice. There may be a problem with the media you chose to use but don’t blame journalists.

  16. 266
    flxible says:

    re science reporting and the “oblivious public”
    I think that those oblivious [mindfully inattentive] ones will always be so, it’s in their nature [ignorance is repairable, stupid is forever], but for those who have an interest in the world around them there is a wealth of information available, both in simple objective observation and non-MSM. I recently ran across this interesting report that Los Angelenos may find worth pondering, thanks to a young and quite able science reporter.

  17. 267
    frank says:

    eric:

    A slight problem is that your suggestion that scientists ‘fund’ this is that scientists, as a whole, don’t have money. Then there is the problem that if anyone offered such funding, any scientist that took it would instantly be labeled ‘political’ and not be listened to.

    Well, with such thinking, perhaps it’s not too surprising that inactivists are winning!

    The message seems to be that scientists and scientific institutions aren’t willing to actively defend themselves, and they aren’t willing to co-operate with people who want to help actively defend them, and yet somehow they expect other people to magically want to defend them.

    That is to say, after the initial cries of ‘We climate scientists aren’t going to take this inactivist crap anymore! We’re not going to take it anymore!‘ we get ‘Nah, we can’t accept your offer for help and we can’t help you, that’ll be political‘ along with ‘In the spirit of free speech, we should provide a forum for anti-science trolls as long as they speak politely‘ and ‘let’s just run more experiments, run more experiments, run more experiments…

    Frankly, as an onlooker who’s interested to help, I find this sort of thing to be extremely irritating. Sorry, Eric, but you’ve just got to find a way to break out of this vicious cycle, or the nonsense will continue.

    frank

  18. 268
    Steve Fish says:

    RE- Comment by Lloyd Flack — 11 April 2010 @ 7:43 AM:

    From reading about this mess I think that data are released from some meteorological (Met) agencies, without charge, to specific academic institutions/researchers, but these Met agencies wish to retain rights for any further dissemination for economic purposes. This being the case, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for these proprietary data from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU) must be denied from a legal standpoint. The UK FOI act specifically requires this.

    If you find something more about these legal issues, please post. Steve

  19. 269
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “One thing that is not clear to me. Was the data obtained from national meteorological offices obtained for academic use only
    Comment by Lloyd Flack”

    The data was never used in any academic way.

    the act covers release of data to those governed by the UK parliament and only 22% of the requests were to the UK, 39% were from people definitely NOT in the UK.

    Two very simple tests you can take on board to answer your question.


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