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Nov 23, 2009

CRU emails reveal a worrying pattern of bad behaviour

Leaked email exchanges between climate scientists stolen from the University of East Anglia are causing a rather juicy online scandal, writes Sinclair Davidson.

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Sometime last week the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia was hacked and materials stolen off its server. That information, including thousands of emails, has been posted on the internet (including at Wikileaks) and has caused a weekend of frantic blogging. There is more or less a rather juicy scandal brewing.

There is more to this story than the “ho hum, nothing to see here, the making of sausages, and science, shouldn’t be seen by the public” attitude being displayed by warmenists. There is, however, less to the story than the “this proves the greatest scientific fraud in human history” attitude being taken by denialists.

So far, there is no evidence I have seen that suggests the fabrication of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. Certainly, scientists at the CRU are not the only scientists working on climate science. These emails do not provide a silver bullet to kill off that theory.

Much has been made of an email by Professor Phil Jones, head of the CRU, where he says: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The word “trick” doesn’t suggest anything untoward, rather being somewhat clever about some technique. “Hide” could be a problem.

This email is dated November 16, 1999, so it cannot relate to more recent arguments over the extent of global warming.

It is clear, however, that statements suggesting “the science is settled” can no longer be sustained. In an email from Mike Kelly to Phil Jones (dated October 26, 2008), we find this gem, “I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects and the recent cold-ish years.” While on July 5, 2005, Phil Jones wrote: “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

It is possible that plausible explanations can and will be made to explain these sorts of statements. At the same time the emails do provide evidence of attempts to subvert the peer-review process, refusal to make data available to journals, attempts to manipulate the editorial stance of journals, attempts to avoid releasing data following FOI requests, tax evasion, rejoicing at the deaths of opponents, manipulation of results, apparent misappropriation of grant money, and threats to physically assault rivals.

This is not a good look at all. Some of this behaviour is bad form, some of it unethical, and some of it potentially illegal. The destruction of data subject to a freedom-of-information request is illegal. The CRU has argued that a lot of their early raw data was destroyed because they couldn’t store it. That explanation is, unfortunately, all too plausible. We live in a world where as recently as 20 years ago, data would have been thrown away for want of storage space. These irreplaceable and valuable historical documents are likely to have been tossed. Why then find a 2005 email from Phil Jones: “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone”?

If this is a global Godwin Grech moment and the incriminating emails have been seeded with misinformation, then they are in the clear. Since the scandal has broken that argument is yet to be made. Indeed, several individuals have confirmed the authenticity of emails and condemned the invasion of their privacy.

This incident reflects poorly on academics and universities everywhere.

It is important to remember that the taxpaying public invests a lot of trust and respect in academic processes; not to mention, money. The peer-review process, for example, has been held up as the “gold standard” of integrity. Yet we see numerous emails subverting peer-review. We see attempts to avoid freedom-of-information requests — something the media and the public are increasingly impatient about.

We see overall a pattern of poor behaviour. Some have chosen to represent that behaviour as the workings of elite scientists going about their business. I am not convinced that the public, whose taxes finance that behaviour, are going to be pleased. Nor should they be.

Sinclair Davidson is a professor in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University and a senior fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.

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143 thoughts on “CRU emails reveal a worrying pattern of bad behaviour

  1. Sean McHugh

    Kirk Broadhurst said:

    “Loved the anecdote about 60 Minutes standing in the ocean. ” (Kirk)

    I’m glad. Thanks.

    Kirk:
    “You’ve sold me. There are tricks and declines and shonky current affairs programs. It must be a scam.” (Kirk)

    Others here are going down with the Titanic’s CRU.

  2. Kirk Broadhurst

    Loved the anecdote about 60 Minutes standing in the ocean. That would have been priceless.

    You’ve sold me. There are tricks and declines and shonky current affairs programs. It must be a scam.

  3. meski

    @Paddlefoot: When I look at our healthcare, I’m somewhat glad we don’t have US style healthcare. Are Fox talking about Aussie healthcare now?

  4. Paddlefoot

    Sean – you right wing web site trawler you. Quoting the Heritage Foundation .. tsk tsk. You guys have been pulling these web stunts for years.

    Tell me how you feel about .. Health Care for example. Aping neo-con web ‘opinion-as-fact’ takes you to very dark places. Directly to Fox and Friends.

  5. Mark Duffett

    I don’t often agree with George Monbiot, but here he nails it.

  6. Sean McHugh

    Paddlefoot wrote:
    “Presumably all these scientists – and there seems to be an awful lot of them – engage in the same or similar practices. Do you think they all get together and plan this, or are they controlled by some one else ? That person must be very powerful indeed.” (Paddlefoot)

    Discover the quality of the scientific consensus here:

    http://upcoming.current.com/items/370461_climategate-heats-up-global-warming-debate-before-copenhagen-and-related-posts.htm

  7. Sean McHugh

    Paddlefoot said:

    “Gosh Sean – aren’t you clever. You’ve found the smoking gun no less. ” (Paddle)

    Forget worrying about a smoking gun, with the stuff they are finding in the source code, it’s becoming a mushroom cloud.

    Paddlefoot:
    “Presumably all these scientists – and there seems to be an awful lot of them – engage in the same or similar practices. Do you think they all get together and plan this, or are they controlled by some one else ? That person must be very powerful indeed. Or maybe they just naturally do this – like all Irish are lazy drunks.” (Paddle)

    How do you like your crow prepared?

  8. Sean McHugh

    Mark Duffett said:

    “@Sean, I sympathise. There has been much overegging of puddings, outright stupidity and ignorance in the media, and a disturbingly hostile attitude to openness on the part of some climate scientists (the latter demonstrated in these e-mails). ” (Mark)

    Thank you. There was more I meant to add but forgot. Did you see Penny Wong’s take on the e-mails?

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/hot-and-bothered/story-e6frg6z6-1225802504484

    She said that the e-mails amounted to, “a free exchange of views on climate change. We on this side are happy to have that debate.”

    How flabbergasting is that? Either she is stupid or she is prepared to tell breathtaking porkies. And how about the stunning hypocrisy? Since when has Wong or Labor invited debate on this matter?

    Next there is our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who like other global warming alarmists, presented the recent hot days as evidence of global warming. Well what about the last eleven years of overall cooling? Well we are told that that’s just a minor fluctuation and doesn’t count.

    So does it really matter what the Prime Minister and Penny Wong think? Well, hello passangers, they are pilot and copilot for AWG Airlines; they are unable to decipher the instruments and are flying Australia at full speed to who knows where.

    All of this raises another question. You said you sympathise with me over the “overegging of puddings, outright stupidity and ignorance in the media”. Why is it, if these the science is legitimate, the scientists involved aren’t desperately engaged in correcting the supposed misrepresentations that we receive from the media and politicians? One gets the impression that they are happy with the distortions, as long as they are alarming. I am quite sure that a physicist wouldn’t sit back and accept it, but that is real science.

    Mark:
    “However, none of this logically invalidates the AGW hypothesis.” (Mark)

    That is true. All the bad evidence in the world, for X, doesn’t prove that X isn’t so. However, the realisation, that the evidence for X is bad, should erode at one’s previous reasons for believing in X. My question is, if AGW science really has the goods, why are we always having the effluent rammed down our necks?

  9. Sean McHugh

    Matt said:
    “I put if to you that your opinion on AGW is based firstly on ideology, and then on massive ignorance of the science.” (Matt)

    I know what science is supposed to be. Here is what you said in another post:

    (Matt, 25th Nov 7:56)
    “But the fact is scientist are open to debate. Scientists debate each other all the time through the scientific literature. Extremely vigorously.” (Matt)

    However, I have shown that the ‘science’ of AGW shuts out debate. As well as elsewhere, the blocking is made evident in the hacked e-mails that we are discussing. So how come your indignation hasn’t translated to your being embarrassed by the anti-science behaviour of these scientists? Instead you are a ‘appalled’ that they are being criticised and you would have us see their scientific integrity as snow white.

    Matt (24th Nov, 12:29):
    “This is an atrocious story. When you read through those emails and their background, as I have spent the last couple of hours doing, it is clear there is nothing untoward there.” (Matt)

    Here is the CRU trying to shut out debate, a ‘method’ that you apparently staunchly reject or staunchly defend, depending on what is convenient at the time:

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=419&filename=1089318616.txt

    “Kevin and I will keep them [detractors] out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is ! Cheers Phil [Jones]”

    That is the ‘scientific method’ that you indignantly defend in this blog, Matt. Remember, you saw nothing untoward.

    Matt:
    “On this issue, you are the paranoid creationist, latching on to anything you can to support your denial.” (Matt)

    Does name calling reassure you? Is that also part of your ‘scientific method’? You know, one of the proposals that Creationists have presented, is that the speed of light has slowed dramatically. They want this to account for astronomy being able to see stars millions of light years away, when they, the young-earth Creationists, maintain that God made the earth and universe 6,000 years ago. Setterfield, an Australian undergraduate, took a few data points that have small inconsistencies due to early limitations of accuracy in measurement, then he arbitrarily extrapolated a hockey-stick curve that had light going faster by a factor of 10 to the power of 10, a few thousand years ago.

    http://evolution-facts.org/New-material/Speed%20of%20Light.htm

    I was reminded of that methodology when I read about the tree-ring evidence for AGW, with its hockey-stick plot:

    http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/10/global-warming-proven-deliberate-fraud.html

    “After 10 years of data being withheld that would allow true scientific replication, and after dozens of requests for that data, Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit finally was given access to the data from Yamal Peninsula, Russia. He discovered that only 12 trees had been used out of a much larger dataset of tree ring data. When the larger data set was plotted, there is no “hockey stick” of temperature, in fact it goes in the opposite direction.”

    Here you can see how dramatically the graph changes when the typical data is added to the selected atypical data:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/27/quote-of-the-week-20-ding-dong-the-stick-is-dead/

    I think that what Mann et al have done is far more disturbing and dishonest than what Setterfield, the Creationist, did.

    Matt:
    “That is all I have to say for the foreseeable future, ” (Matt)

    Surely you don’t mean that. I was hoping you would tell me what item of evidence you think best supports AGW.

    Matt:
    “That is all I have to say for the foreseeable future, I have science to objectively assess and oil to find.” (Matt)

    I prefer 10/30W but have had trouble finding it. Just remember, oils ain’t oils!

  10. Mark Duffett

    @Sean, I sympathise. There has been much overegging of puddings, outright stupidity and ignorance in the media, and a disturbingly hostile attitude to openness on the part of some climate scientists (the latter demonstrated in these e-mails). However, none of this logically invalidates the AGW hypothesis.

  11. Matt

    Sean – I hate to disappoint you but I do not “love” global warming. I don’t particularly care about global warming, certainly less than the average person. I have no opinion on what should be done about it, if anything. As a petroleum geologist, I have to admit it would suit me personally if the answer was nothing.

    What disgusts me is denialist shallow confirmation-bias propaganda attacks on scientists, whether climatologists, medical researchers, biotechnologists, paleontologists, geochronologists or indeed stratigraphers. The internet is full of this crap and there is now another bucket load of misrepresentations and (effectively) lies being touted by superficial idiots all over the place.

    To anyone who has been involved in science, your belief that AGW is a fantastic fraud and a faith is ludicrous. I put it to you that you have failed totally to be objective. I put if to you that your opinion on AGW is based firstly on ideology, and then on massive ignorance of the science. On this issue, you are the paranoid creationist, latching on to anything you can to support your denial.

    That is all I have to say for the foreseeable future, I have science to objectively assess and oil to find.

  12. Sean McHugh

    Jeebus said:

    “@ Sean – Equating AGW with faith is a failure of your own comprehension. An entire field of peer reviewed science cannot be invalidated or made untrue by the shenanigans of a few disgruntled scientists from one facility in the UK.” (Jeebus)

    I’m not even close to basing my suspicions just on the dubious behaviour exposed in the e-mails; the problem is everywhere I look. For example, a few weeks ago I saw, on 60 Minutes, a report that the Maldives supposedly sinking due to rising oceans. Liz Hayes was standing waist deep in water with a very concerned local representative, saying that the previous time she was there, eight years before, it was dry sand where she was standing! Now even if she had been standing right next to the water the earlier time, that would represent about three feet or close to a metre of rise due to global warming. Because I was suspicious, I went searching for the claimed rate of sea level rise from the scientific bodies promoting sea level rise due to global warming. The biggest I found was in the order of 3 mm per annum. Over eight years that would represent about one inch or 24 mm. Clearly, Liz Hayes standing waist deep in water had either nothing or almost nothing to do with global warming. The program invited viewers to go online and ask the expert questions. My question, challenging the 24 mm/1 metre discrepancy, wouldn’t even appear. I think that after that is when I really became a sceptic.

    Very recently our local newspaper had the long time locals of Sussex Inlet, saying that they haven’t seen any change in the water level over fifty years. Sussex Inlet sits about four feet above the water. You can read about it using this URL: hhttp://tiny.cc/yLQS4 .

    With regard to the e-mails, I witness the apologetics with which the AGW believers defend them. You, at least, acknowledge that they are shenanigans. The others who engaged me, tried to turn black into snow white. So even today I could see I was being fed BS in impossibly large doses.

    Another thing I noticed is the absence of any reporting of the e-mails on TV media. That too makes me suspicious. I have been watching the ABC news and have seen how, instead of reporting on the e-mails, they kept plugging away with “The sky is falling” global warming reports. They kept showing great chunks of ice falling off the Antarctic into the sea as evidence that Antarctica is shrinking. A few seconds thought told me that something was wrong. If ice is continually being deposited on that continent, it has to go somewhere and it can’t go forever upwards. In other words, ice breaking off into the water, is not due to ice deprivation or warming, but due to compensation for ice accumulation!

    Jeebus said:

    “The scientific method involves observation, experimentation, reproducible results, and conclusions based upon evidence. It’s ignorant of you to label AGW science as political correctness because you disagree with its conclusions.” (Jeebus)

    Are they the same sort of people who told us the sky falling with SARS and Bird Flu? You have it reverse. I started off believing AGW and warning people about it. I became suspicious about the conclusion after I saw that I was being fed evidence that didn’t add up. I was also noticing how much AGW was in bed with political correctness and the left of politics – at least in Australia (stolen generation, SIEV X etc). The realisation that I was being fed BS is also how I became an atheist.

    I know what the ‘scientifc method’ entails. However my observations are that with AGW, politics applies rather than ‘scientific method’. It isn’t just a problem with one small group of renegades; it goes to the very core. The CRU is tasked with keeping the world’s climate records. Now read what happened when John McIntyre requested their data:

    By Neil Craig:
    “McIntyre has previously found that the Britain’s Climate Research Unit, charged with collating world climate records, whereby official records allegedly show warming this century had “lost” all their original data. This excuse after their chief had said “Why should I make the data available to you when you are going to try to find something wrong with it”. Even if it were true that “the dog ate the homework” that remark alone proves the CRU is a corrupt propaganda organisation not a scientific one.” (Neil Craig) That is from:

    http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/10/global-warming-proven-deliberate-fraud.html

    Here is the reference for that. It has many other examples showing how deeply the rot penetrates:

    http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2009/10/global-warming-proven-deliberate-fraud.html

    And here is another\, from which I will quote:

    “What McKitrick and McIntyre have found in their hockeystick analysis is shattering and profound. It destroys the credibility and integrity of the IPCC, the editors of Nature magazine, and the 2500 hundred or so members of a so-called consensus of climate experts. M&M have once again shown that consensus is not science.” (By Michael R. Fox, Ph.D. )

    I read the exchanges with Nature, and was left in no doubt that they had taken residence in their political bunkers, with fingers in ears going “La la la la”. I will try to find the article again.

  13. jeebus

    @ Meski, the CSIRO has developed solar thermal technology that is ready to be rolled out. There’s also the Solar Tower developed by ASX listed company EnviroMission – http://www.enviromission.com.au/EVM/content/home.html – which has a working prototype plant in Spain, but are currently unable to build a full scale plant in Australia due to lack of funding and government support.

    These clean energy projects have trouble getting off the ground with coal so cheap, and the ETS legislation gave the government a chance to reform the industry to level the playing field, but instead Rudd is directing billions into coal and gas to help them buy carbon credits, in order to maintain the status quo. It seems like a wasted opportunity.

    @ Sean – Equating AGW with faith is a failure of your own comprehension. An entire field of peer reviewed science cannot be invalidated or made untrue by the shenanigans of a few disgruntled scientists from one facility in the UK.

    The scientific method involves observation, experimentation, reproducible results, and conclusions based upon evidence. It’s ignorant of you to label AGW science as political correctness because you disagree with its conclusions.

  14. Sean McHugh

    Paddlefoot said:

    “Gosh Sean – aren’t you clever. You’ve found the smoking gun no less.” (Paddlefoot)

    You’re too kind. I did have the CRU scripts to recite.

    Paddlefoot:
    ” Do you think they all get together and plan this, or are they controlled by some one else ? That person must be very powerful indeed. Or maybe they just naturally do this – like all Irish are lazy drunks.” (Paddlefoot)

    You must have missed where I answered that to Matt:

    SQ:
    Matt:
    “I realise that you want to believe that the vast majority of the worlds climatologists and related scientists are in a conspiracy against your idealogy.”[Matt]

    Then your realisations about me are likewise false. I see AGW as a faith, a daughter of political correctness. In similitude, being an atheist doesn’t mean I assign Christianity to a conspiracy. I know that most of them really believe the stuff. I suspect that you believe and love global warming. [Sean to Matt]
    EQ:

    Political correctness and its predictable (left) positions a a broad range of things, isn’t so much a conspiracy or central plan as it is a cultural virus, a pandemic.

  15. Paddlefoot

    Gosh Sean – aren’t you clever. You’ve found the smoking gun no less. Presumably all these scientists – and there seems to be an awful lot of them – engage in the same or similar practices. Do you think they all get together and plan this, or are they controlled by some one else ? That person must be very powerful indeed. Or maybe they just naturally do this – like all Irish are lazy drunks.

    Thanks – I can now relax and not worry, because worry is so unsettling.

  16. Sean McHugh

    Merlot64 said:

    SQ:
    @Sean – selective and out of context quoting again. You quote me as saying:
    “A single email in a conversation of potentially many emails is still out of context.”

    Where what I actually said was:
    “A single email in a conversation of potentially many emails is still out of context, particularly when the objective, source and product are ambiguous.” [Merlot]
    EQ:

    Language seems to be a curious obstacle in this discussion. You clearly said that single email, where there are potentially more e-mails, IS out of context. You didn’t say that it ‘could be’; you said that it “is” (IOW, necessarily so). Your continuation with, “particularly when the objective, source and product are ambiguous.” does not temper the first part; it partly reinforces it.

    Even if we improve your comment and have it saying that a single e-mail, when there might be others, could be taken out of context, your objection would still disallow as evidence any e-mail, letter or recorded conversation, if there where any possibility of other e-mails, letters, recorded or unrecorded conversations.

    The e-mail is not ambiguous and as it happens, there are other e-mails, though niot necessarily contiguous, that show a culture of concealment.

  17. merlot64

    @Meski – Agreed. Which is why I posted Phil Jones (and the link to the CRU’s response) above at 9:21

  18. meski

    Yes, but the “Nothing to see here, move along” argument isn’t exactly convincing either.

  19. merlot64

    @Sean – selective and out of context quoting again. You quote me as saying:
    “A single email in a conversation of potentially many emails is still out of context.”

    Where what I actually said was:
    “A single email in a conversation of potentially many emails is still out of context, particularly when the objective, source and product are ambiguous.”

    Which is the whole point. The single email presented here does not explicitly state that Phil Jones was attempting to do purposefully decieve and fabricate results. There is no visibility of the lead up to this email. There is no visibililty of the follow up to this email. It is out of context.

  20. Sean McHugh

    Matt said:
    “Sean, its pretty clear to me that “hide the decline” refers to the divergence problem and “trick” is used to mean method.” (Matt)

    And it is pretty clear to me that it means ‘trick’ in the primary sense, as evidenced by the stated purpose, “to hide the decline”. Swapping data type midstream, in a series, when the first won’t cooperate with the agenda, hardly constitutes scientific ‘method’ (brilliant or otherwise).

    Matt:
    “I realise that you want to believe that the vast majority of the worlds climatologists and related scientists are in a conspiracy against your idealogy.”

    Then your realisations about me are likewise false. I see AGW as a faith, a daughter of political correctness. In similitude, being an atheist doesn’t mean I assign Christianity to a conspiracy. I know that most of them really believe the stuff. I suspect that you believe and love global warming.

    Matt:
    “I’ve encountered enough Fox-Republican Creationists to recognise the technique of . . . ” (Matt)

    That’s nice. I have done far more than just ‘encounter’ Creationists.

    Matt:
    “shutting your eyes to bigger picture and trying to play paranoid confirmation-bias semantic games over a highly selected quote-mine.” (Matt)

    Then go ahead and deny that the text says that the purpose of the ‘trick’ is to “hide the decline”. It is YOU who uses semantic flim-flam. As for your charge of quote mining, that is made even sillier by the highly exaggerated, “highly selective”. I quoted the whole e-mail! I must assume that you support Merlot’s position that one can’t use a single e-mail as evidence because there might be others. I will say to you what I said to him. That is plain ridiculous!

    Matt:
    “But I’m not here to educate you against your will.” (Matt)

    That’s good. I don’t want to be educated in PC.

  21. Sean McHugh

    Merlot64 said:

    “A single email in a conversation of potentially many emails is still out of context, particularly when the objective, source and product are ambiguous. From this email, can you tell me what Phil Jones was going to do with the data. What were Ray’s comments? What do Mike’s series show?” (Merlot)

    The concerted effort in trying to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear is simply amazing. It seems I have wandered into the congregation of the True Believers. Let’s start with this item:

    Merlot said:
    “A single email in a conversation of potentially many emails is still out of context”.

    Now that’s a fallacial argument, an argument by generalisation. It suggests that we
    can never know the meaning of a single e-mail because there could potentially be others. That’s just ridiculous!

    What was Phil Jones going to do with the data? That’s essentially asking from whom was the CRU trying to ‘hide the decline’. I submit that it is sufficient to realise that it wouldn’t be simply from themselves. In any case, there is enough information there to indicate that he used Mike’s ‘trick’ and that Mike’s submission was to Nature.

    Tell me, if the ‘trick’ to ‘hide the decline’ can be be made pretty, why hasn’t it been? Why is it left for you to offer defense by way of vacuous conjecture. You (plural) are essentially submitting to me, “What if [blank, blank, blank]”?

    Am I to assume that the same curious methodology of defense goes for all the other e-mails and that contrary to what they clearly say, they weren’t trying to block dissenting submissions from peer review and were not trying to delete stuff that they knew they weren’t supposed to (more concealment!)?

  22. Matt

    Sean, its pretty clear to me that “hide the decline” refers to the divergence problem and “trick” is used to mean method. But I’m not here to educate you against your will. I realise that you want to believe that the vast majority of the worlds climatologists and related scientists are in a conspiracy against your idealogy. I’ve encountered enough Fox-Republican Creationists to recognise the technique of shutting your eyes to bigger picture and trying to play paranoid confirmation-bias semantic games over a highly selected quote-mine.

    Its your job to go and read the context of the emails before making up your mind.

    See my prediction of Tuesday, 24 November 2009 at 12:29 pm above.

  23. merlot64

    @Sean – You said:

    STARTQUOTE
    The charge of my supposed quote mining (or quoting out of context) can be avoided by my simply quoting the whole thing. Here is the complete e-mail:

    ” Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
    Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998. Thanks for the comments, Ray. ” (Phil Jones)
    ENDQUOTE

    A single email in a conversation of potentially many emails is still out of context, particularly when the objective, source and product are ambiguous. From this email, can you tell me what Phil Jones was going to do with the data. What were Ray’s comments? What do Mike’s series show?

  24. Sean McHugh

    Phil Jones’ explanation:

    “The use of the term ‘hiding the decline’ was in an email written in haste. CRU has not sought to hide the decline. ” (Phil Jones)

    An attempt at verbal burial. It boils down to his saying that that he didn’t mean what he said. He offers no explantion at all for what he might have really meant by, “hide the decline”. He also seems unable to undo the word, “trick”. That term has mutual reinforcement with “hide the decline”, and is semantically submitted as the purpose for the “trick”. There is no ambiguity and the terms are also consistent with a coherent motive, to disguise an an unwanted decline that would be apparrent with using the same data throughout.

    Also, aside from being premature, the citation of the Nature article doesn’t deliver you the clever coup de grace that you seem to assume. The agenda of that article is quite different. In the first, the agenda is to exhibit a consistent trend using conflicting data. In the second, the agenda is to try to use the decline and unreliability with tree-ring evidence, as a reason to allow for even greater steeper projections for global warming. In any case, there is no contradiction in motive in trying to disguise something in one place and rationalise it in another. Creationists do it all the time.

  25. meski

    @Jeebus: How much photovoltaic technology is produced locally?

    web tutorial continues: if you actually want to display angle brackets – these things < >, you do &lt; &gt; – I’ve been playing with WordPress.

  26. meski

    @Evan: it is possible to insert links and not be moderated. Just extra work.

    <a href=”url goes here” title=”link title”>

  27. jeebus

    Evan – From what I understand, a nuclear battery would be relatively sealed, and non-rechargeable. Six orders of magnitude equates to one million times the power density of a chemical battery. So whereas a laptop battery might hold charge for 7 hours of operability, the theoretical nuclear battery of equivalent size would give you 799 years of continuous on-time.

    Sitting a nuclear battery on your lap might be tough sell for most people, but as long as they can provide safe containment of the radiation, the benefits of a life-time power source would be extraordinary for people with pace-makers and other types of emergency equipment.

    Meski – Yes, we do import lots of technology, and I’m just saying that importing a nuclear power industry would add to our sizable foreign deficit, as opposed to other forms of power generation that we already have the skills, technology, and people to develop locally. Perhaps the benefits of importing nuclear outweigh the costs, but that’s why I would like to see a royal commission crunch the numbers objectively.

  28. Evan Beaver

    I think moderated comments have made this a non sequitur.

  29. Evan Beaver

    I’m not going to tell you how to form an opinion. Read realclimate.org and Andrew Bolt, then tell me which one is right.

  30. meski

    @Jeebus: re importing technology: Its not as if we don’t already import lots of technology – aircraft, electronics, etc. Do you insist that we do the R&D for those as well?

    @Evan: re nuclear battery: not all conventional batteries are capable of being charged, some of them explode if you attempt this. It’s probably a bad choice of word, meaning a collection of cells (chemical)

  31. Sean McHugh

    Evan said:
    “Sean, if you try a couple of other sources for an analysis of that statement, you will find plenty of reasonable explanations for that quote.” (Evan)

    Matt submitted Origin of the Species and the Bible, and you are submitting . . . ?

  32. Sean McHugh

    Matt Said:
    “Sean, you have it exactly reversed. The fact that you haven’t bothered to check for the context of the quotes shows you suffer from the very confirmation bias you speak of. Quote-mine much?” (Matt)

    So why didn’t you tell us the context instead of telling us about the Bible and Darwin? The charge of my supposed quote mining (or quoting out of context) can be avoided by my simply quoting the whole thing. Here is the complete e-mail:

    ” Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
    Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998. Thanks for the comments, Ray. ” (Phil Jones)

    To defend himself, Phil Jones claimed not to know what he meant . It appears that you can help him (and us) understand his ‘innocent’ context of his saying he has completed the trick to hide the decline. So please go ahead.

    Refs:

    http://capitalistlion.com/

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,576009,00.html

  33. merlot64

    @Sean

    You quote:

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
    to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from
    1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” (allegedly from Phil Jones)

    and then make the comment:

    Note the, “hide the decline”.

    Can you please inform me what exactly is the measurement that shows this DECLINE and what that decline was relative to? Actually don’t bother. Here is an explanation from Phil Jones from the CRU website http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/homepagenews/CRUupdate

    STARTQUOTE
    One particular, illegally obtained, email relates to the preparation of a figure for the WMO Statement on the Status of the Global Climate in 1999. This email referred to a “trick” of adding recent instrumental data to the end of temperature reconstructions that were based on proxy data. The requirement for the WMO Statement was for up-to-date evidence showing how temperatures may have changed over the last 1000 years. To produce temperature series that were completely up-to-date (i.e. through to 1999) it was necessary to combine the temperature reconstructions with the instrumental record, because the temperature reconstructions from proxy data ended many years earlier whereas the instrumental record is updated every month. The use of the word “trick” was not intended to imply any deception.

    Phil Jones comments further: “One of the three temperature reconstructions was based entirely on a particular set of tree-ring data that shows a strong correlation with temperature from the 19th century through to the mid-20th century, but does not show a realistic trend of temperature after 1960. This is well known and is called the ‘decline’ or ‘divergence’. The use of the term ‘hiding the decline’ was in an email written in haste. CRU has not sought to hide the decline. Indeed, CRU has published a number of articles that both illustrate, and discuss the implications of, this recent tree-ring decline, including the article that is listed in the legend of the WMO Statement figure. It is because of this trend in these tree-ring data that we know does not represent temperature change that I only show this series up to 1960 in the WMO Statement.”

    The ‘decline’ in this set of tree-ring data should not be taken to mean that there is any problem with the instrumental temperature data. As for the tree-ring decline, various manifestations of this phenomenon have been discussed by numerous authors, and its implications are clearly signposted in Chapter 6 of the IPCC AR4 report.
    ENDQUOTE

    You may also be interested to note that the tree ring data was “hidden” in the journal Nature http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v391/n6668/abs/391678a0.html – pretty cunning these climate change conspirers

  34. Matt

    Sean, you have it exactly reversed. The fact that you haven’t bothered to check for the context of the quotes shows you suffer from the very confirmation bias you speak of. Quote-mine much?

    “To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” Darwin, On the Origin of Species

    “There is no God” The Bible, Psalms 14:1

    Well that settles that then.

  35. Evan Beaver

    That nuclear battery is interesting, but is it a battery in the sense that you can put electricity into it? Nuclear chemistry is a little bit outside my field (!), but I don’t know of a nuclear energy source that can be reversed by putting power back across the terminals. You certainly can’t reverse spontaneous decomposition with electricity.

  36. Evan Beaver

    Sean, if you try a couple of other sources for an analysis of that statement, you will find plenty of reasonable explanations for that quote.

  37. Sean McHugh

    “So far, there is no evidence I have seen that suggests the fabrication of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. ” (Sinclair Davidson)

    Well here is one clear example (not the only one) of cooking the books:

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
    to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from
    1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” (allegedly from Phil Jones)

    Note the, “hide the decline”.

    Global warming science is very much like Creationism in that its ‘scientists’ start with the doctrinal conclusion and are only interested in fervently presenting ‘evidence’ to support it. Anything else is heresy. Nothing would make these people happier than to actually see unequivocal evidence for the trend they supposedly dread. That hope is also admitted in the emails.

    Better read them again, David.

  38. jeebus

    Kirk, while nuclear power does seem like a sensible option for France, who have invested in decades of research, training, and support, I’m still not convinced it’s the right course for Australia. While we do have the amazing luck to possess a big chunk of the world’s uranium, we are so technologically far behind that the costs may outweigh the benefits.

    In creating a nuclear industry, France was able to cross-subsidise R&D costs for reactors that could provide power and weapons grade plutonium through both energy and military spending. A program in Australia would not have military funding on that scale.

    We would need to import all of the resources to start a viable industry. This includes licensing the technology from foreign companies, and paying them to build the reactors, along with the training and recruitment costs for hundreds/thousands of specialist workers.

    There is also major unpredictability in cost estimates given by the industry for constructing and decommissioning reactors. The pilot facility for the next generation of French reactors under construction in Finland has suffered major cost overruns and delays, while the decommissioning of a small 70MW nuclear plant in France has blown out by 20 times the original cost estimate to reach AU$780 million.

    Then there are the costs of finding, building, and maintaining a secure waste storage facility for the next thousand years, or the cost for paying other countries to reprocess our waste in the event that the international community does not permit us to build breeder reactors.

    I would want to see a full royal commission into the issue of whether nuclear power generation is an economically feasible and sensible approach to take.

    Alternatively, we could focus on cheaper, burgeoning areas of nuclear energy research. University of Missouri scientists are working on nuclear batteries that can store six orders of magnitude more power than chemical batteries.
    http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2009/1007-mu-researchers-create-smaller-and-more-efficient-nuclear-battery/

  39. meski

    @!Paddle: It isn’t just the deniers, I feel uncomfortable at the idea of this, spinning it as ‘convenient’ isn’t really helping. Obviously the data in question is not the only data that relates to GW. Using email to suggest deleting data is just dumb, it leaves a trail like you wouldn’t believe.

  40. Paddlefoot

    I love the frenzy that this conveniently timed hack / release has created, especially in the denial community. You do wonder what actual event – hopefully not apocalyptic – will either prove / disprove the theories, as any statistical trend data / time based observation doesn’t seem to hold any weight at all. Black can apparently be white.

    I have a vision of icebergs, complete with penguins, bumping into the southern coast. We well may be living in interesting times.

  41. Kirk Broadhurst

    Hi Evan, I’ll post the entire relevant section re: enrichment. The reason that they use such high power is that they are reprocessing waste for further power generation. Not all ‘useful’ uranium is used during the power generation process, and it is reprocessed so that it can be used again.

    “France is one of the few countries in the world with an active nuclear reprocessing program, with the COGEMA La Hague site. Enrichment work, some MOX fuel fabrication, and other activities take place at the Tricastin Nuclear Power Center. Enrichment is completely domestic and is powered by 2/3rds of the output of the nuclear plant at Tricastin. Reprocessing of fuel from other countries has been done for the United States and Japan, who have expressed the desire to develop a more closed fuel cycle similar to what France has achieved.”

    Interesting to note that 70% of French people have a good opinion of nuclear energy.

    “A variety of reasons are cited for the popular support; a sense of national independence and reduced reliance on foreign oil, reduction of greenhouse gases, and a cultural interest in large technological projects”

  42. meski

    @Matt: I’m not into denial – I just don’t see solar and wind as being sufficient. A point to consider is that the coal industry is likely to be pro solar and wind for this very reason – they would see coal based plants remain because solar and wind were not providing enough. Just a thought. It’s more important, IMO, to eliminate coal and gas plants at the cost of building nuclear. Fusion, now that’s the real nuclear too slow, too costly, but if you regard fission as being a stopgap for 50 or so years, it might be usable.

  43. meski

    @Evan: Long tail liability is a fairly well known phenomenon, that has been dealt with before (the coal industry use it for coal mining related illnesses) – also, there’s going to be a hell of a lot less waste with FBRs – why waste material we should use, naturally mined and refined uranium won’t last, as renewable proponents point out. Re people on my side, I have no ability to choose my political bedfellows, any more than JC has of picking his real-life ones.

  44. merlot64

    I tend to think that this arguement (Global Warming is / is not happening) approached from the wrong direction. Everyone seems to be obsessed with being right. Let’s, for a moment, look at the risks of being wrong.

    I believe that Global Warming (and actually a whole bunch of other issues) is real and happening now. In 50 years time, if I am wrong, then I risk being embarresed that I believed in incorrect science. However, if we acted upon such a false premise, it was for the best reasons (wanting to save the planet in simple terms) and hopefully achieved things such as reducing pollution, increasing the efficiency of consumption and decoupling the world’s economy from a finite and heavily polluting energy source.

    However, from the GW sceptics perspective, if they are wrong but their position carries the day, what are the implications? In 50 years time would it be a slight case of embarresment, or a large case of guilt that the opportunity to avoid disaster was let go.

    What conversation do you want to have with your grand children?

  45. merlot64

    @JC – by saying that solar/wind will never become economically efficient (and therefore disregarding advances in technology) you seem to be implying that coil/oil/gas IS economically efficient. If that were the case, why do they need such heavy subsidies?
    e.g.
    http://www.isf.uts.edu.au/publications/CR_2003_paper.pdf

  46. Evan Beaver

    Woops, I’m wrong. They’re digging a big hole:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Nuclear_Power

    Also surprising in that article is the energy expense of fuel enrichment.
    “Enrichment is completely domestic and is powered by 2/3rds of the output of the nuclear plant at Tricastin.”

    The Tricastin plant output is 3.8GW, or 25 TWh per annum. That’s about 1/10 of Australia’s total electricity use over the same period.

    France has 58 reactors. Double the maxium suggested for Australia. Hence I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume 12-10TWh per annum for fuel processing, excluding mining because France don’t do any mining.

  47. Evan Beaver

    To my knowledge, they don’t have a ‘long term’ plan. They are currently holding the waste within the industrial park where all the reactors are.

  48. Kirk Broadhurst

    Welcome to the internet, where opinions are like a**holes – everyone has one. Unfortunately neither you nor I have any power to mute people in any debate. It can be annoying but we just have to tolerate it, I’m sure you understand. There are worse threads than this!

    The unknown costs that you refer to are (as old Rumsfeld would put it) a known unknown. We can always plan for a known unknown – and we may not be able to make a bulletproof plan, but we can identify what we plan to do with the waste, how to deal with decommissioning plants, and roughly how much those will cost. To simply say ‘we don’t know’ is absurd – it needs to be plan of the cost analysis.

    Do the French have a plan for dealing with their waste? It’s hard to imagine that they wake up each day and ask each ‘where will be hide the waste today?’.

  49. Evan Beaver

    To the nuclear proponents, I would seriously consider muting people ‘on your side’ like JC above. He (or presumably she) is not doing your cause any good at all.

    I have detailed legitimate concerns that can be refuted with facts. In response I get a fantasy about Angelina Jolie.

    The argument given that solar can’t work? “I’m more than settled there’s no chance”. It won’t work because I said so.

    JC could also have refuted my statement that nuclear has an unknown future cost. Either an engineering assessment of storing the waste + decommssioning costs of a plant in the UK. Or perhaps the cost to insure with Lloyds. Instead all he offers is ‘rubbish’. What an enlightening contribution.

    It’s bloody embarrassing that this is the standard of debate we get. And you wonder why I’m not convinced on nuclear.

  50. Matt

    Thats exactly what Evolution-deniers say. And Aids-is-caused-by-a-virus-deniers. And vaccine-deniers. And biotechnology-deniers. And age-of-the-Earth-deniers and etc etc

    Because they all like to pretend there is some sort of scientific reason for their denial. Some sort of scientific controversy that the scientists – of all people – are ignoring. Something wrong with the scientists rather than with the deniers own childishly simplistic idealogy.

    But the fact is scientist are open to debate. Scientists debate each other all the time through the scientific literature. Extremely vigorously.

    Should mathematicians have to stop work and spend all their time ‘debating’ ignorant Counting-deniers who don’t like numbers – want them destroyed – don’t know what multiplication is – and therefore insist that 1 + 1 = 3? Why won’t the evil mathematicians stop everything and debate! Conspiracy! Conspiracy! Please. People need to grow up.

  51. Glen Beck

    many of these scientists recieve public monies, they should be open to scrutiny. And open to debate.

  52. jc123

    Evan

    Solar thermal has about a much chance of becoming economically efficient as i do taking Brad Pitt’s place with Angie.

    I’m more than well settled that there’s no chance, you should get comfortable with the the fact that the sun in NOT going to produce enough energy to run a first world economy. The sun isn’t and neither is the sun’s second derivative: wind. These things are toys. It’s like producing toy electricity.

    This isn’t going to to happen unless we want to really impoverish ourselves to third world standards.

    However, it has an unknown future cost, that could be very high. This includes dealing with the waste and decommissioning the plant

    Rubbish.

  53. Evan Beaver

    Yes Meski I have noticed.

    I’ll state my objection clearly and in economic terms you can understand.

    Solar thermal has known up front costs and risks, and has been demonstrated at massive scale in Spain and the US. The up front costs are very high, but at least they are known.

    Nuclear also has known up front costs, which per unit energy are probably lower than renewables. However, it has an unknown future cost, that could be very high. This includes dealing with the waste and decommissioning the plant. Decom costs for renewables are negligible as the waste is not radioactive. There are no long term high level waste storage facilities operating anywhere in the world, so the cost estimates are all engineering estimates with low certainty.

    So, it’s not even possible to form a sane investment decision. How can you possibly calculate a return on investment if there is an unknown future cost?

  54. meski

    (Actually, it may have been on one of the other forums. They all seem to go to a nuclear vs renewables recently, have you noticed?)

  55. meski

    Oh, to address an earlier post:

    So the argument, distilled goes like, You’re pro-nuclear, therefore you must be a GW denialist? I missed a few steps, would someone care to fill them in? BTW, correlation does *not* imply causation, so I don’t want to see statistics 🙂

  56. james mcdonald

    The other thread Evan linked to was a long one, with a lot of discussion of options and their respective bottlenecks and links to related papers. A very interesting thread. Also included mention of some long-term safety concerns and other complications with nuclear. I don’t pretend to understand it all. I believe the discussion led, among other things, to an agreement that it’s not good policy to absolutely rule out nuclear power, but that these long term concerns should be included in feasibility criteria. Also that Australia is well set up for molten-salt solar harvesting in the desert, although the lack of water would result in an inefficient thermo ratios requiring more reflectors than if it were on the coast. Is that about right, Evan?

  57. jc123

    Evan

    The reason why you don’t see nuclear as an option is:

    1. You’re intellectually dishonest, or

    (It’s not really up to YOU or any other environmentalist crank to decide. It ought to be up to the market).

    2. You’re basically innumerate if you honestly think a propeller on a stick and a bunch of magnifying glasses focused/embedded on panel will produce enough power to energize an industrial civilization. In fact it’s basically innumerate anti-science swill.

    If we followed your prescription we’d end up like those poor dusty south American villages we see in movies with chooks flying around when a car travels down the road.

  58. Kirk Broadhurst

    @James – The thread linked to barely touches the reasons for hating nuclear power, but instead it discusses other great means of generating power. That’s fine. So compare those means to the nuclear option. Which will get us off polluting coal the fastest? And – because this will require government / taxpayer and consumer funding – which is the cheapest?

    The point is that disliking nuclear ‘just because’ is absurd. The core reason why people don’t want nuclear is because they are ‘scared’ of it. But why? It’s like being scared of terrorists; it can happen but it is so unlikely it’s not worth worrying about.

    There are plenty of things that are worth being scared of. Nuclear holocaust is not one of them.

  59. Most Peculiar Mama

    Evan’s energy ‘solutions’ don’t work outside a laboratory.

    They are cost prohibitive (and you can forget your scaleability argument too – old & busted), environmentally damaging and unsightly but most amusingly require MORE ENERGY to construct and implement than they provide.

    But why focus on the details, when the bed-wetting rapture is so much more appealing.

  60. Evan Beaver

    Thanks James. You’re spot on by the way.

    Meski, hate is a strong word, flippantly used by me. The co-existance thing is interesting, but unlikely. The UMPNER (Switkowski) report thinks that you can’t really dangle a toe in, because there are necessary upstream economies of scale required. So going nuclear probably means at least 10, but up to 25 plants to make a difference.

    Kirk, I don’t see any advantages in nuclear over a suite of renewables and a smart grid.

  61. james mcdonald

    Kirk, I didn’t find it so hard to see what Evan meant, and I’m no genius. He hates nuclear for reasons explained in the thread he referred to, and sees no need to accept it as a necessary evil, because there are perfectly good alternatives. Does everything have to be an argumentative struggle like this?

  62. Kirk Broadhurst

    You don’t support nuclear because there are other plans that don’t require nuclear. Is that really a good enough reason?

    There are also other plans that don’t require wind power. Shouldn’t you then not support wind power? Extrapolate to solar, coal, thermal, & every other source.

  63. meski

    If you’re admitting to hate something, that seems irrational. And the thread is already in the mire. It’s the renewable advocates that don’t allow for co-existence with nuclear.

  64. Evan Beaver

    Kirk, I won’t drag this thread into the mire as well, but I hate nuclear because I understand that an alternative plan exists that does not require nukes and reduces our emissions. if you want to read more, check the nuclear thread.

  65. james mcdonald

    Heathdon, the media feel obliged to see everything–everything–as a dipolar debate. Exactly two sides to every issue, no more and no less. Bonus points for any side that draws blood.

  66. Heathdon McGregor

    Did anybody see the lateline reporting of this issue? Why can’t they report on it seriously? If they can’t get anybody other than Andrew Bolt then at least let him debate rather than poke fun after. Imagine if they did debate him and lost? Couldn’t see it myself but if it did?

    I believe the story of these emails would be very interesting in two months if we still had responsible journalism in the world.

  67. Kirk Broadhurst

    @EvanBeaver – I’m surprised by the AGW supports who don’t support nuclear. How do they suggest that we get our energy? I don’t support blanket nuclear, but I don’t have any problem with it whatsoever – I’d rather a nuclear plant down the road than a battery of enormous deafening windmills. Realistically speaking, you have hydro, nuclear and coal – those are your three best options. None of them are environmentally friendly.

    Is the nuclear hate still a hangover from the 80s?

  68. jc123

    Dunne:

    Who says I don’t accept AGW, you self aggrandizing nincompoop? I do actually think it AGW is a big long term problem, however unlike you I don’t think it’s a hair-shirt morality play and I don’t think the sceptics are scum. In point of fact I feel very comfortable sharing the same opinion as you.

  69. Evan Beaver

    Seriously, check out this thread:
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/11/19/the-nuclear-option-part-1-too-slow-too-costly/

    I’m surprised by the AGW supporters who also support nuclear.

    I on the other hand am an anti-science bed-wetter.

  70. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    I’ll leave you two to have your mutual wank, but the result is the same, AGW is accepted by the world, and we’ll muddle along towards reducing our dependence on coal and oil.

    You’ve already been left behind.

    Bye.

  71. JamesK

    I suspect Christopher’s “cult of denial” is much closer than his denialism allows him to think………

  72. jc123

    Yep It was a typo,… Great catch Beaver.

    How many of the proponents of AGW support nuclear and how many sceptics do?

    My guess is that the vast majority of proponents don’t while sceptics do. So who is actually being more anti-science and wetting the bed?

  73. Evan Beaver

    By unclear, do you mean nuclear? Hehe, that’s a funny typo.

    But, yes he does. Check out the nuclear thread for all the view points.

  74. jc123

    The US and China, the world’s biggest emitters are in agreement

    No they aren’t. You’re in denial. Nothing is coming out of Copey other than blather.

    Christopher:

    Do you support unclear energy production?

  75. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    Matt, the denialists are losers; poor ones at that.

    But the price of freedom of speech is that we have to put up with bad losers howling and gnashing their teeth!

    Oddly enough, governments the world over are the adults…how bloody ironic it all is! The US and China, the world’s biggest emitters are in agreement, so now the discussion must move on to the mechanisms for reducing them.

    This will leave the cult of denial where they are now: irrelevant to the debate.

  76. jc123

    Just like 50% of the population in the US has been fooled by Evolution denialists

    Shorter Matt:
    it’s America’s fault the emails were whistle-blown.

    (Hang on… CRU is in Britain, isn’t it? But it’s still America’s fault).

  77. Matt

    This is an atrocious story. When you read through those emails and their background, as I have spent the last couple of hours doing, it is clear there is nothing untoward there. Among thousands and thousands of emails, all the paranoid skimmers have been able to extract are a few quote-mines from jokes about onerous data requests (more than understandable when in a few days the scientists received over 50 data requests from a group of ‘skeptics’ who admitted they weren’t going to do anything with the huge data sets), frustrations about seriously flawed papers getting through the peer-review process, and etc.

    Yet the quote-mines will be pushed around the internet. Most people who come across them won’t spend the time and energy checking up on them all. People will be fooled – especially the people who want to be fooled – a great victory for the denialists. Just like 50% of the population in the US has been fooled by Evolution denialists. How sad that science and reality can be so easily attacked this way.

  78. JamesK

    @Christopher Dunne again………..

    Gerard Henderson also in today’s SMH:

    “Among the developed nations, the Australian economy most resembles that of Canada and the United States. The politically conservative government in Canada has indicated it will not take a firm proposal on the reduction of carbon emissions to the conference in Copenhagen in two weeks’ time. The left-liberal administration in the US, likewise, has not reached a position. President Barack Obama has indicated he may formalise a policy before Copenhagen, but there is no possibility of this being sanctioned by Congress any time soon. It is possible there will be no final vote on the Waxman-Markey legislation for a year.”

    No need for some cold hard facts to inconvenience your particular form of denialism is there?

  79. jc123

    Anderson:

    Why would I be or would ever have been Lambert’s student? I think he too busy trying to save the world by headkicking people he disagrees with than to worry about minor details.

    I believe he hadn’t published in his own field of ‘expertise’ until recently for over decade, obviously because it conflicted with his blog.

    Tim tell people why you haven’t published until recently 🙂

    Lambert says:

    Mark, the Met Office sells the data for money to help cover their costs. They do provide it free to academics for non-commercial use, but do not allow its redistribution

    —————————–

    ahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

    hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahaha… Yes Mark, that’s why Keith Biffra was unable to provide ClimateAudit any details of the Russian tree rings he used to exaggerate his hockey stick. It was the Met office’s fault he couldn’t send out the information of dead Russian Trees.

    Lambert, your misinformation and dishonesty is hysterically funny.

  80. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    Ironic timing, this just now in the SMH:

    “The United States will announce a target for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions before the UN climate conference in Copenhagen, removing a major obstacle to a deal, a senior official says.

    The official refused to be drawn on specific numbers but the announcement was expected to be in line with legislation being debated in the US Senate that envisages a reduction of up to 20 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020.”

    …which puts the petty personal backstabbing on this thread into perspective.

    The argument about AGW is over in terms of whether it is happening or not, and the hacked emails do not, will not, and cannot change that. (They might just however give Andrew Bolt another few seconds on TV, but really, it’s desperation of the first order.)

    Will the models get refined, things change over the coming years? Of course, but the overwhelming evidence is that AGW is occurring and the evidence is from many areas of science, not just climate science.

  81. JamesK

    Presumably Christopher Dunne is part of the ‘Move-along-nothing-to-see-here’ leftist establishment. The ‘smug sycophant’ to Rudd’s and the IPCC’s ‘big bully’.

    Because Christopher certainly hasn’t supplied a fact in support of his confident assertion that this is merely about “personal animosities”.

    No need to consider evidence if the ‘JUDGE’ that has Christopher’s undying and resolute loyalty has already found AGW and every ‘SOLUTUON’ that IPCC says as ‘FACT’ and ‘SETTLED’ respectively.

    I wouldn’t be so sure that your toadying will see you better of than us mere plebs Chris.

  82. Mr Anderson

    Methinks JC123 is a disgruntled student of Tim’s or something… did you get a 3 on that assignment precious? Give it up.

  83. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    I wonder how the Coalition is going with the CPRS deal right now?

    Because no matter what personal animosities you lot are banging on about, the fact is that most nations have decided that climate change is real, most major global corporations have been well aware of it for a decade or more, but some people would rather descend into mud slinging and personal abuse rather than deal with the real issues.

    It would be funny if it wasn’t tragically predictable.

  84. jc123

    Tim Lambert is very comfortable with commenters that at his site that favourably compare with the Unabomber and others that refer to business people or those that work in the private as “profit psychopaths” (the last one I kid you not, ask him).

    Good to see you read Catallaxy, Tim. You denied reading it recently. You’re so dishonest that I took it to mean you did, obviously. What do you think of Lambert Watch where we all attempt to collate your dishonesty?

  85. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…Sinclair Davidson’s attitude towards violent threats is rather inconsistent…”

    Yawn.

    Stay on topic.

  86. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…Double standards much?…”

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t fully understand what you were trying to say before you hit ‘post’.

    Be more careful in future.

    While you’re at it, take the time to refresh yourself on Woodward & Bernstein and how their (illegally) obtained information eventually bought down a US President.

    Fascinating stuff.

  87. merlot64

    Here is a link to the response at Realclimate.org, where actual REAL Climate scientists respond to the questions raised by the CRU break in.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/#more-1853

    These responses attempt put the individual emails back into the context in which they were written. No global left wing conspiracy to end industrialisation, just a loosley connected group of scientists working through scientific process in an attempt to understand what is going on in a hugely complex field of investigation with implications that are world changing.

    What irks me is that the debate seems driven by the concept of “Global Warming”. From what I understand “Global Warming” is only one effect of changing the chemical balance of the biosphere in such a rapid fashion. Personally, I’m more worried about ocean acidification and its impact on the food chain. Or changes in rainfall patterns in the monsoon belt.

    I must admit though, that even if Global Warming was proved to be incorrect, is it wrong to drive the world’s economies to be more efficient and less polluting? Is it wrong to push developing economies to develop along sustainable grounds? Given that oil is a finite resource, is it wrong to be driving research into alternatives?

  88. meski

    @Evan: No, they are *both* crimes, and yes, inciting someone to hack [1] would be a crime. But in the first case, the data of the crime is out there. (I wouldn’t want to use it in a court case, should it get there, it would be regarded as tainted).

    [1] I’m not going to argue the definition of the original meaning of the word hack, that battle’s been lost, more’s the pity.
    h t t p : / / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_(programmer_subculture)

  89. james mcdonald

    Mark Duffett, thank you, that’s what I thought. I was told something similar: lab log books are a scientist’s life, you never throw them away.

    The rest of you hysterics, I’ve come to a decision: if ever I’m on trial for something by jury, I’m going to get my lawyer to ask jury selection, “Do you blog on Crikey?”. Anyone who says yes is out.

  90. Evan Beaver

    Good stuff MPM. You’re on a thread that is discussing illegally obtained emails, and getting pretty excited about it:

    “Those poring scorn on the action of the hackers are playing a despicable game of footsies wuith the truth.”
    “They are a disgrace to their professions and deserve all the public humiliation that is warranted.”

    So, for these guys the hack was warranted and even moral. But if someone else suggests it they’re committing a criminal offence? Double standards much?

  91. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…have personal communications stolen…”

    What Tim Lambert (again) fails to understand is that these ARE NOT “personal communications”.

    They are located on a WORK server.

    Therefore are the property of the CRU.

    For God’s sake man at least argue with some facts and understanding of the law.

    This discovery is a scientific abomination and will set the course of just scientific research back DECADES.

  92. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…CALLING ALL HACKERS…”

    Inciting someone to commit a criminal offence is in itself a criminal offence.

    But it takes a modicum of intelligence to know this.

    You’ve pretty much summed up the Believers approach to scientific debate though.

    Well done.

  93. Evan Beaver

    Well, I hope none of my work emails are ever leaked. I’ve suggested a plot to bump off Stephen Fielding.

  94. Tim Lambert

    Mark, the Met Office sells the data for money to help cover their costs. They do provide it free to academics for non-commercial use, but do not allow its redistribution. Scientists have posted data, code and methods, but no matte how much they put up there is always a demand for more, since the goal of the requests is not scientific, but political.

    GISS uses freely redistributable data and code and it’s posted. If they wanted to do something with a global record why won’t they work with GISS? It’s because they just want to harass the scientists because they don’t like what the scientists found. Even the tobacco companies didn’t stoop this low when they where fighting the scientists who said that smoking causes cancer.

  95. Tim Macknay

    The most interesting revelation so far in this affair is that the leaked emails have revealed evidence of actual scientific fraud, but the fraud was committed by “skeptical” scientists, not by the East Anglia researchers. The details are here: http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/smoking-guns-in-the-clr-stolen-e-mails-a-real-tale-of-real-ethics-in-science/

  96. jc123

    Tim Lambert (UNSW) at his own Site extremely upset about the leaked emails:

    MrPete, I do understand the difference between theft and whistleblowing, and the fact that you and the rest of the denialists support criminal conduct is quite telling.

    What is unfortunate is that young scientists may well be looking at this and wondering if climate science is the right filed if they are going to be harassed and smeared by denialists and have personal communications stolen. But that does matter to you because climate scientists are the enemy to you and McIntyre.

    Then Lambert also at his own site:

    A salivating Tim Lambert, July 28, 2006:

    A leaked memo from the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) gives us inside view of how some of the Global Warming disinformation campaign is financed. There’s this…

    There follows his breathlessly excited blockquotes and commentary.

    June 23, 2004:

    Lambert approvingly cites leaked memos providing “some insight into Microsoft’s plans to combat Open Source.”

    Lambert the sensual ethicist. I’ve now seen it all.

  97. jc123

    Tim Lambert (UNSW) at his own Site extremely upset about the leaked emails:

    MrPete, I do understand the difference between theft and whistleblowing, and the fact that you and the rest of the denialists support criminal conduct is quite telling.

    What is unfortunate is that young scientists may well be looking at this and wondering if climate science is the right filed if they are going to be harassed and smeared by denialists and have personal communications stolen. But that does matter to you because climate scientists are the enemy to you and McIntyre.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php

    Then Lambert also at his own site:

    A salivating Tim Lambert, July 28, 2006:

    A leaked memo from the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) gives us inside view of how some of the Global Warming disinformation campaign is financed. There’s this…

    There follows his breathlessly excited blockquotes and commentary.
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/07/the_irea_memo.php

    June 23, 2004:

    Lambert approvingly cites leaked memos providing “some insight into Microsoft’s plans to combat Open Source.”

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2004/06/tanks.php

    Lambert the sensual ethicist. I’ve now seen it all.

  98. Mark Duffett

    @James McDonald (5:03 pm) no, on balance, I don’t think the quoted extract is reasonable. I still have copies of my notebooks from my Honours project 17 years ago, and have ensured archival copies of raw data in every major project I’ve worked on since. In the case of climate modellers, of course you wouldn’t keep copies of the output from every timestep, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to maintain periodically updated archives of your modelling code, which I understand is all that’s been asked for. And there’s no excuse for dendrochronologists; I very much doubt that they’re drowning in raw data volume.

    Tim Lambert is defending the indefensible @ 5:51 pm. I cannot for the life of me see any justification for maintenance of restrictions on meteorological records. Admittedly the issue here may be with Met Office policies rather than the modellers. If JamesK @ 6:20 pm is right and there is a restriction on distribution to ‘non-academics’ (whatever that means), that is equally unjustified, especially given that these are publicly-funded organisations.

    But it’s this quote that I find most disturbing. Short of a slew of “:-)”s surrounding it, I can’t imagine a context that will make it look other than damning.

  99. Scoogsy

    This proves that the entire climate change debate is quite possibly the biggest scandle and orchestrated lie in the history of the modern world.

    I find it incredible that the vast majority (in the hundreds across the entire globe, including every race, religion, nationality and political persuasion) of climate scientists can live with themselves now that these emails have come to light… they should be ashamed. How could all of them do this? All lie like this, and come to some secret joint agreement (as we can see by these emails) that it is in “their” best interests and not the publics, to instigate a scare campaign like nothing we’ve ever seen! If only captial punishment were permissible in Australia, we’d surely have Prof. Garnaut and his co-hort lined up against the wall and shot.

    I mean, they’ve done such a great job of writing the bloody climate change paper, several hundred pages of the damn thing – and convinced all the major governments that it’s true! I’ve read some of it, and it convinced me too! Logically it made sense, scientifically it made sense, and after I stepped away from it and thought for a while – the sums added up.

    I don’t know how these scientists did it, but they’ve done something. Who knows what sorts of public infrastructure these guys have access to – they may well have started contaminating our drinking water with something to make people more suseptible to suggestion.

    Yeah right….

    CALLING ALL HACKERS

    Please go and break into the email servers of a couple of the top offices of climate change sceptics – like oil, farming, mineral and mining companies and then let’s do a comparison before we take this very small slice of illegally obtained information and start questioning the abundant array of scientific evidence available.

  100. JamesK

    I agree with Jeebus for the first (and hopefully only) time ever.

    “The amount of confirmation bias in here is shocking.”
    It is and has been for several years indeed.
    That is if by “in here” you mean Crikey and to a slightly lesser extent the MSM.

    Luckily the insider at Hadley CRU who supposedly ‘hacked’ but who was almost certainly a whistle-blower is convincing those remaining open-minded souls with the exception of progressive liberals whose prejudice aka “confirmation bias” blinds them to healthy scepticism.

  101. Tamas Calderwood

    Jeebus – I am arguing the science, and why not? It’s pretty easy to show that the “scientific consensus” is wrong.

    The hypothesis says that more human CO2= a warmer world. But as Phil Jones of the CRU says, the world has cooled since 1998 – despite record human CO2 production. Therefore, the hypothesis is falsified.

    Pretty easy huh? You don’t need a degree in climate science to think for yourself and see through this rubbish.

  102. jc123

    James:

    Blame Lambert of course, as he spends his time going around different sites and starts flame wars with people he disagrees with ignoring the fact that he wouldn’t allow the same thing by people that disagree with him at his own bog site.

    He’s spent the good part of the last few months hurling abuse at Ian Plimer. meanwhile he’s here defending threats of violence, peer review subversion and tax evasion hysterically suggesting that Sinclair doesn’t understand the difference between avoidance and evasion (what a wanker). His hypocrisy is incredible.

    I’m not defending Plimer by the way as I haven’t read his book and I believe that AGW could be a huge problem longer term. What I do defend is Plimer’s right to free speech and not be called things like a plagiarizer by jealous ridden nasty hobbits like Lambert. Plimer has a right to publish a book without being abused. Abuse and disagreement are different.

    Jeebus:

    I’m not arguing the science. If you read the emails carefully you’ll find that those bozos were actually trying to pervert peer review and they may have actually succeeded in bringing it to disrepute with the general public. It seems Lambert doesn’t have a problem with this but in fact is attacking Sinc while defending the actions of those potential thugs.

  103. jeebus

    The amount of confirmation bias in here is shocking. To my knowledge, none of you are scientists, let alone climate scientists, yet many of you have adopted a view that goes against the scientific consensus, and further to that, confidently rattle off all manner of ‘facts’ as though they hold equivalent credibility.

    Science isn’t a popularity contest, and attacking peer reviewed research as a layman is both arrogant and ignorant.

  104. james mcdonald

    Well, this thread went downhill pretty fast

  105. jc123

    Tim Lambert(UNSW) says:
    He doesn’t know the difference between a 90% confidence interval and a 90% probability. 1st year stats stuff. And then pretends that the IPCC reports aren’t based on testable models.

    Tim Lambert (USW) recently suggested that “58m is similar to 89m”. Tim Lambert is supposed to be teaching IT as university.

    Tim Lambert has also blundered recently in suggesting the probability coin tosses are not independent of each other, which is a startling admission for IT teacher.

    This level of innumeracy is jaw-dropping.

  106. jc123

    Tim Lambert (UNSW)of course was the person that supported Lancet well after Johns Hopkins sanctioned a survey and instructed the academic to never conduct another survey again while working for the university. Lambert was more than aware of this and continued to defend it.

    Tim Lambert shows he doesn’t understand anything about academic ethics.

    He’s now promoting threats of violence, tax evasion and subverting peer review. Is this a new, new low Tim?

  107. jc123

    Tim Lambert (UNSW)of course was the person that supported Lancet well after Johns Hopkins sanctioned a survey and the academic for instructed to never conduct another survey again while working for the university. Lambert was kore than aware of this and continued to defend it.

    Tim Lambert shows he doesn’t understand anything about academic ethics.

    He’s now promoting threats of violence, tax evasion and subverting peer review. Is this a new, new low Tim?

  108. MichaelT

    The problem is that there isn’t much to base the predictions of imminent catastrophe on apart from statistical calculations derived from theoretical assumptions. The amount of warming in the observations has been fairly constant since 1800 (way before humans started emitting C02 in significant amounts) and has shown no signs of accelerating. The predictions of acceleration rest to a very large degree on statistical projections of the drivers of global temperature. Given how much is at stake, the stasitics has to be bullet-proof, otherwise the whole house of cards falls to the ground.

    We can’t aford to just trust the experts. It all has to stand up to rigorous audit and so the data does need to be made available for scrutiny.

  109. JamesK

    Muhaha. Tim Lambert. Is your own blog pathetically lonely?:

    “Apparently Davidson thinks it is “unethical” to honour an agreement you made with the Met Office.”

    Imagine that? Especially when the Met Office first responded:

    “Some of the information was provided to Professor Jones on the strict understanding by the data providers that this station data must not be publicly released and it cannot be determined which countries or stations data were given in confidence as records were not kept.”

    Later under FOI the Met Office cites “Regulation 12(5)(f) applies because the information requested was received by the University on terms that prevent further transmission to non-academics”

    Except that the applicant was Steve McIntyre who published relevant articles in peer reviewed literature, acted as an IPCC reviewer and even been cited in IPCC AR4.

    And this is scientific data.

  110. AR

    I’ll go with Daniel & Caffeine. Let the dying bury the dead.

  111. Chris Zweck

    Tim, according to http://rmit.org.au/browse;ID=4dgmhn7nd7qo Davidson is the author of “Back to Basics Why Government funding of science is a waste of our money”. I’m not sure your education campaign is really useful here, I think his jury came back a long time ago.

  112. Tim Lambert

    And her eis what Davidson calls “tax evasion”:

    “Also, it is important for us if you can transfer the ADVANCE money on the personal accounts which we gave you earlier and the sum for one occasion transfer (for example, during one day) will not be more than 10,000 USD. Only in this case we can avoid big taxes and use money for our work as much as possible.”

    You’d think a professor in a School of Economics, Finance and Marketing would know the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion, but anything goes when he’s trying to smear scientists.

  113. Tamas Calderwood

    Tim Lambert – if you want to talk about dishonesty you need look no further than some of the materials that were hacked from CRU.

    Sinclair Davidson quotes Phil Jones in 2005 saying “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant”.

    Well, we are now at the end of 2009 and there still hasn’t been any warming – indeed, we’ve seen more cooling. How do you get around that fact? And why would Jones be so afraid to state what he knows to be true?

    Also, it’s not just about the emails. In some of the computer code notes have been found saying data will be “artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures”. So now they are artificially adjusting data?

    This needs to be looked at very, very closely. Luckily there is an army of skeptics (>50% of the population) and many of them are going through this with a fine-tooth comb.

    Stay tuned.

  114. Tim Lambert

    And look at what Sinclair means by “refusal to make data available to journals”:

    “With many papers, we’re using Met Office observations. We’ve abstracted these from BADC to use them in the papers. We’re not allowed to make these available to others. We’d need to get the Met Office’s permission in all cases.”

    Apparently Davidson thinks it is “unethical” to honour an agreement you made with the Met Office.

  115. Chris Zweck

    @MPM: Are you arguing that a handful of dendrochronologists are responsible for the vast left wing climate change conspiracy? And a personal question, did any of your English teachers advise you to refrain from extended hyperbole, as it might sound a bit insane?

  116. meski

    @MPM: Much as it pains me 🙂 I agree with you this time . It doesn’t mean I’m in the AGWM group, but this kind of messing with the data stinks.

  117. meski

    @Heavy, I’ve got email that pre-dates the internet. Of course, I’d need to remount the tape drive its on 🙂

  118. Most Peculiar Mama

    Those poring scorn on the action of the hackers are playing a despicable game of footsies wuith the truth.

    A large scale and complicit fraud has been underatken with multiple parties involved.

    The scientists whose email were ‘hacked’ were direct and signifiacnt contributors towards the IPCC recommendations and findings about AGW.

    This is directly relevant.

    The denial by these academics to documents under FoI is is contravene of both US and UK Federal law and constitutes a criminal act.

    If BigOil had colluded in the ame way BigClimate has, all the proselytes would be baying for blood.

    Instead, above, we get insipid excuses, feeble defences and worse justifications for the ‘actions’ taken by these men.

    They are a disgrace to their professions and deserve all the public humiliation that is warranted.

  119. Tim Lambert

    Sinclair Davidson is tagged a denialist because that is what he is. For example, he wrote an article in IPA review that tried to make global warming disappear by changing the vertical scale on a graph of temperatures and wrote this:

    “There are legitimate difficulties with the IPCC’s 90 per cent confidence in anthropogenic warming. It is not ludicrous to question what that number means. The IPCC seems to imply that this number results from a scientific process -that it has tested a hypothesis. Indeed, the IPCC tells us its understanding is based “upon large amounts of new and more comprehensive data, more sophisticated analysis of data, improvements in understanding of processes and their simulation in models, and more extensive exploration of uncertainty ranges”. If this is what the IPCC has done, it has very weak evidence. Ninety per cent is the weakest acceptable level of confidence in a hypothesis test. It is not clear from the Summary whether the IPCC has, in fact, undertaken such an analysis. It is more likely that it has neither a testable model nor data available for external researchers to replicate such a test. In other words, the IPCC’s 90 per cent confidence has emerged from scientists evaluating whether they think their own work is correct.”

    He doesn’t know the difference between a 90% confidence interval and a 90% probability. 1st year stats stuff. And then pretends that the IPCC reports aren’t based on testable models.

  120. meski

    And, the data was preserved until recently, according to a *direct* quote from an email “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone”?

    Sarbanes-Oxley, anyone? (or its UK equivalent)

  121. Most Peculiar Mama

    “…So far, there is no evidence I have seen that suggests the fabrication of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis…”

    Good word that: hypothesis.

    Pity the believers embrace it as fact, particularly when they cite computer models as their evidentiary bedrock.

    But wait….

    From: Phil Jones

    To: Tom Wigley

    Subject: Re: MBH

    Date: Fri Oct 22 15:13:20 2004

    Cc: santer1@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

    Bottom line – their is no way the MWP (whenever it was) was as warm globally as the last 20 years. There is also no way a whole decade in the LIA period was more than 1 deg C on a global basis cooler than the 1961-90 mean. This is all gut feeling, no science, but years of experience of dealing with global scales and varaibility.

    Must got to Florence now. Back in Nov 1.

    Cheers

    Phil

    Sounds like a fabrication of data with intent to me.

    Was the next email to Mann saying how long the handle on his hockey stick should be?

    The ‘science’ of AGW is busted.

    A new truth is dawning.

  122. heavylambs

    Sinclair,can we have a ‘greatest hits’ of the last 12 years from your office email list,please?

  123. meski

    It’s reasonable to retain the information backing the papers, it isn’t reasonable (or enforceable) to keep utility bills.

  124. james mcdonald

    Yes, all this economist-bashing, “skeptic”-bashing, and Davidson-bashing is terrifically enlightening. But there are should be enough scientists on the channel to get a verdict on this extract at least, quoted by Tim Lambert above:

    “The CEI and Michaels are applying impossible legal standards to science. They are essentially claiming that if we do not retain – and make available to self-appointed auditors – every piece of information about every scientific paper we have ever published, we are perpetrating some vast deception on the American public. I think most ordinary citizens understand that few among us have preserved every bank statement and every utility bill we’ve received in the last 20 years.”

    Well, is that reasonable or isn’t it?

  125. meski

    Keeping the raw data should be a given, you can always reprocess it to get the ‘cooked’ data, but you cant take the cooked data and get the raw data back. And you don’t deserve to be tagged a denialist for pointing this out. As for the analogy with household bills, that’s absolute cr*p.

  126. Tim Lambert

    And here’s what the email that Davidson misrepresents as an attempt to “subvert the peer-review process”

    “Gentlemen, I’ve completed most of the submission to JGR, but there are three required entries I hope you can help me with …
    3) Suggested Reviewers to Include
    Please list the names of 5 experts who are knowledgeable in your area and could give an unbiased review of your work.”

    “Agree with Kevin that Tom Karl has too much to do. Tom Wigley is semi retired and like Mike Wallace may not be responsive to requests from JGR.
    We have Ben Santer in common ! Dave Thompson is a good suggestion.
    I’d go for one of Tom Peterson or Dave Easterling.
    To get a spread, I’d go with 3 US, One Australian and one in Europe.
    So Neville Nicholls and David Parker.
    All of them know the sorts of things to say – about our comment and
    the awful original, without any prompting.”

    The paper is here. If Davidson thinks there was something wrong with the reviewing, perhaps he could point out some flaws?

    The paper is http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/two_weeks_from_blog_post_to_pa.php

  127. merlot64

    I don’t really want to play the man but, in a post GFC world does a Professor of “Economics, Finance and Marketing” really have that much credibility…;)

  128. jc123

    Sinclair should probably have mentioned that he is one of the denialists and not at all neutral.

    Sinclair Davidson’s characterisation of this email is simply dishonest.

    ROTFL.

    Tim (Homer) Lambert doing an excellent imitation of “Homer”. 1.

    Homer Lambert says:

    Compare his spin on one email: “threats to physically assault rivals” with what it actually said:

    What was said?
    “Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted”.

    Homer lambert is now suggesting that “beat the crap out of him” means, “I’ll shake his hand and ask him about the kids”.

    (For those that don’t know, Tim Homer Lambert was still peddling a Lancet survey that had been discredited by the university where it originated which he was aware of).

    1. For those that don’t know “Homer” is a troll that once had this to say about Mark Latham’s use of a pejorative term

    It was Greg Sheridan of Laurie Bereton will foreign minister in a latham government who through little research and basic lazy journalism came up with the thought that the term skanky ho referred to what some ‘rapper’ was ’singing’.
    Let us ignore for the moment that Iron Mark didn’t know this whwn it was put to him moreover let us also forgat that like all music lovers he hates ‘rapmusic’.

    There is some 5 or 6 meanings to the term skanky ho. for the recors I think he was referring to the one involving a mistress of a taiwanese dictator. This is somewhat known in the NSW right.

    http://www.slattsnews.observationdeck.org/?p=559

    Lambert is obviously being schooled by Homer in the “finer” methods of dissembling “into a field of rakes”.

  129. Matt

    AGW “skeptics” get more and more like Creationists every day. Quote-mining now.

  130. Scott

    Andrew Triplett is right. The University of East Anglia’s research is referenced in both the Stern Review and the Garnaut Report. Both these reviews advocate unprecedented structural change to the economies of both Australia and the UK. That makes these emails pretty relevant as far as i’m concerned.
    The threats of physical violence don’t bother me that much (Universities are as political as every other workplace). The issue for mine is the freedom of information requests. Important Public policy is being made based on this research. The data and econometric analysis has to be beyond reproach (with assumptions, errors clearly stated). “Cherrypicking” data shouldn’t be an option.

  131. SBH

    Scientists Not God, Merely Human – Shock!

    Scientists subject to human failings, what a surprise that people subjected to the greatest attack on scientific theory since Wilberforce attacked Darwin, are cautious about how they present their findings. Davidson characterisation of the email from Mike Kelly to Phil Jones is risible.

    “So far, there is no evidence I have seen that suggests the fabrication of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis. Certainly, scientists at the CRU are not the only scientists working on climate science. These emails do not provide a silver bullet to kill off that theory.”

    No Davidson’s own silver bullet kills off this non-story.

  132. Tim Lambert

    Sinclair should probably have mentioned that he is one of the denialists and not at all neutral.

    Compare his spin on one email: “threats to physically assault rivals” with what it actually said:

    ” …there was no intentional destruction of the primary source data. I am sure that, over 20 years ago, Phil could not have foreseen that the raw station data might be the subject of legal proceedings by the CEI and Pat Michaels. Raw data were NOT secretly destroyed to avoid efforts by other scientists to replicate the CRU and Hadley Centre-based estimates of global-scale changes in near-surface temperature. In fact, a key point here is that other groups (primarily at NCDC and at GISS, but also in Russia) WERE able to replicate the major findings of the CRU and Hadley Centre groups. The NCDC and GISS groups performed this replication completely independently. They made different choices in the complex process of choosing input data, adjusting raw station data for known inhomogeneities (such as urbanization effects, changes in instrumentation, site location, and observation time), and gridding procedures. NCDC and GISS-based estimates of global surface temperature changes are in good accord with the HadCRUT results. I’m sure that Pat Michaels does not have the primary source data used in his Ph.D. thesis. Perhaps one of us should request the datasets used in Michaels’ Ph.D. work, and then ask the University of Wisconsin to withdraw Michaels’ Ph.D. if he fails to produce every dataset and computer program used in the course of his thesis research. …

    “The CEI and Michaels are applying impossible legal standards to science. They are essentially claiming that if we do not retain – and make available to self-appointed auditors – every piece of information about every scientific paper we have ever published, we are perpetrating some vast deception on the American public. I think most ordinary citizens understand that few among us have preserved every bank statement and every utility bill we’ve received in the last 20 years. …

    “Michaels should and does know better. I can only conclude from his behavior – and from his participation in this legal action – that he is being intentionally dishonest. His intervention seems to be timed to influence opinion in the run-up to the Copenhagen meeting, and to garner publicity for himself. In my personal opinion, Michaels should be kicked out of the AMS, the University of Virginia, and the scientific community as a whole. He cannot on the one hand engage in vicious public attacks on the reputations of individual scientists (in the past he has attacked Tom Karl, Tom Wigley, Jim Hansen, Mike Mann, myself, and numerous others), and on the other hand expect to be treated as a valued member of our professional societies.

    “The sad thing here is that Phil Jones is one of the true gentlemen of our field. I have known Phil for most of my scientific career. He is the antithesis of the secretive, “data destroying” character the CEI and Michaels are trying to portray to the outside world. Phil and Tom Wigley have devoted significant portions of their scientific careers to the construction of the land surface temperature component of the HadCRUT dataset. They have conducted this research in a very open and transparent manner – examining sensitivities to different gridding algorithms, different ways of adjusting for urbanization effects, use of various subsets of data, different ways of dealing with changes in spatial coverage over time, etc. They have thoroughly and comprehensively documented all of their dataset construction choices. They have done a tremendous service to the scientific community – and to the planet – by making gridded surface temperature datasets available for scientific research. They deserve medals as big as soup plates – not the kind of crap they are receiving from Pat Michaels and the CEI.

    “The bottom line, Rick, is that I am incensed at the “data destruction” allegations that are being unfairly and incorrectly leveled against Phil and Tom by the CEI and Pat Michaels. Please let me know how you think I can be most effective in rebutting such allegations. Whatever you need from me – you’ve got it.

    “I’m really sorry that you have to go through all this stuff, Phil. Next
    time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted.

    “I’ll help you to deal with Michaels and the CEI in any way that I can.
    The only reason these guys are going after you is because your work is of crucial importance – it changed the way the world thinks about human effects on climate. Your work mattered in the 1980s, and it matters now.”

    Sinclair Davidson’s characterisation of this email is simply dishonest.

  133. meski

    @Greg & Cafffeine: Yes, let’s shoot the messenger via some ad hominem. Much better than examining the inconvenient data that the emails represent.

  134. Andrew Triplett

    I notice that there was also alot of data made available also. It will be quite a while before this is examined. There may be a few rounds yet on this one. I still think there are questions to be answered though . From the emails it appears they were not prepared to release data and methodology to people who did not share their point of view . What were they afraid of. Being proved wrong by someone they did not like? This is science right?

    These are not just any scientists, they are key scientists (James Hansen, Michael Mann, Phil Jones etc) – the keepers of the grail- who are responsible for world temperature records and famous graphs such as the hockey stick. They were key advisers on the IPCC reports. Public policy is being currently made based on science, data and advice from them . They are not above scrutiny. I love science and its hypothesising, testing, surprises and at times confusion. There is no straight line to enlightenment, but a little clarity is needed here.

  135. CaffeineAddict

    “Davidson is from the IPA…”

    Thank you. Enough Said.

  136. Daniel

    “Daniel … implying what? I suggest it means the author knows whereof he speaks and wouldn’t say such a thing lightly.”

    It is just a stupid thing to say. Why do the hacked emails of the CRU at the University of East Anglia reflect poorly on academics and universities that have no connection to the incident or institutions involved? I’m also asking if this recent ‘scandal’ reflects poorly on the author, considering he is an academic, or does the incident only reflect poorly on academics who don’t work for right-wing think-tanks?

  137. Richard Wilson

    I am pretty sure that 1000+ emails and a whole bunch of papers amounting to ober 140 mb isn’t a Godwin Grech moment. Anyway, nobody reports a hack if there is none; and no one has the right to privacy if they are a terrorist according to our or any other glorious Western government!

  138. james mcdonald

    Daniel … implying what? I suggest it means the author knows whereof he speaks and wouldn’t say such a thing lightly.

  139. gregb

    “It is clear, however, that statements suggesting “the science is settled” can no longer be sustained.” Wrong. The emails do nothing to counter the claim that the science is settled. There is no evidence anywhere which says that any of the evidence is faked or any admittance that AGW is a sound theory.

    Davidson is from the IPA who sponsor talks by the charlatan Bob Carter. I’ve been to one of his sessions and I can tell you that he is in an out and out deceiver. They should be ashamed to be associated with his brand of “science”. That is the real scandal.

    And by the way. The University of East Anglia (Ok I almost wrote Bumf*ck) only receives a small amount of it’s funding from the government. And anyway, even if it received all its funding from the government that does not justify hacking into its server and publishing private email. Note, Davidson says nothing about the despicable root of this “scandal”. He relishes it, no doubt.

  140. Daniel

    “This incident reflects poorly on academics and universities everywhere.”

    “Sinclair Davidson is a professor in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University”

  141. james mcdonald

    Very good article. Calm, reasoned and balanced. I was one of those saying “premature” at the frenzy as the story broke. The fact that “several individuals have confirmed the authenticity of emails and condemned the invasion of their privacy” means it is now a real news story.

    We can expect it to take several weeks or more likely months to determine what it all actually means.

  142. martypants

    Excellent article Dr Davidson. I agree with the broad concern this raises, the conduct of the entire scientific community is up for debate & at risk. For whatever reasons, the public has come to take for granted the ethical standards & behaviour of our scientists and our leaders.

    I hope this will provide a rude awakening for some of the less cynical.

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