Fortress Met Office

We’ve been following with interest David Holland’s efforts to obtain information on how IPCC review editors discharged their important duties under IPCC process, with the most recent progress report here. Here’s another update.

Reviewing the bidding a little, IPCC policies state unequivocally that all “written expert review comments” will be retained for a period of at least 5 years.

All written expert, and government review comments will be made available to reviewers on request during the review process and will be retained in an open archive in a location determined by the IPCC Secretariat on completion of the Report for a period of at least five years.

Despite this unequivocal policy, John Mitchell of the UK Met Office, Review Editor of AR4 Chapter 6, claims to have destroyed all his working papers and email relating to his work as an IPCC Review Editor prior to Jan 30, 2008, when David Holland’s first inquiry were made. David Holland has made a series of requests trying to exclude potential evasions by the UK Met Office.

Mitchell’s initial response was:

For my own part, I have not kept any working papers. There is no requirement to do so, given the extensive documentation already available from IPCC.

This response was untrue. IPCC regulations, with which Mitchell as a senior UK Met Office employee and IPCC Review Editor, was or ought to have been familiar, clearly require that all written expert comments (including his) be retained. So yes, there is a requirement to do so that Mitchell ignored.

We observed earlier that, in the modern day and age, it seemed inconceivable that Mitchell could have discharged his duties without any trace or ripple in the electronic pond. On April 1, 2008, Holland submitted an FOI request to the Met Office asking for all emails to and from Dr Mitchell in his capacity as IPCC Review Editor. This yielded a few emails responding to Holland’s January 31, 2008 request, but no emails or correspondence from the actual IPCC process. The Met Office response of May 1, 2008 stated:

This is all the information held by Dr Mitchell, on behalf of the Met Office regarding all of your questions asked.

To foreclose against the possibility that the Met Office was taking an extremely narrow view of the “questions asked”, Holland re-iterated his FOI request, asking for all correspondence between Dr Mitchell and various named IPCC authors and institutions.

Holland FOI Request, May 5, 2008

Dear Ms Archer,

Your ref: 07-04-2008-160851-014

Request for Information concerning the IPCC, 2007 WGI Chapter 6 Assessment Process

Thank you for your letter of May 1, 2008, according to which the Met Office did not identify any relevant correspondence prior to January 31, 2008 containing any mention of the Hockey Stick dispute. I am surprised that they claim that there is no such correspondence.

Accordingly, I hereby request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and/or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004:

All letters, facsimile and email correspondence to or from Dr Mitchell in connection with his work as an IPCC Review Editor, including, but not limited to correspondence between Dr Mitchell and the following individuals involved in the assessment: Drs Susan Solomon, Jean Jouzel, Eystein Jansen, Jonathan Overpeck, Philip Jones, Keith R. Briffa, Jean-Claude Duplessy, Fortunat Joos, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Daniel Olago, Bette Otto-Bliesner, W. Richard Peltier, Stefan Rahmstorf, Rengaswamy Ramesh, Dominique Raynaud, David Rind, Olga Solomina, Ricardo Villalba, De’er Zhang, and Timothy Osborn, and/or the following institutions: IPCC, IPCC Working Group I Technical Support Unit, IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit, DEFRA and/or CRU.

Please note that the above request is not limited to correspondence containing references to the Hockey Stick dispute, but for all correspondence to or from Dr Mitchell in his capacity as IPCC Review Editor.

Yours sincerely,
David Holland

Here is the Met Office response once again stonewalling the inquiry:

2 June 2008

Our ref: 06-05-2008-154502-011

Dear Mr Holland
Re: Freedom of Information

Your letter dated 5 May 2008 has been considered to be a request for information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

You asked for all correspondence to or from Dr Mitchell in his capacity as IPCC Review Editor.

Information held by Dr Mitchell in respect of IPCC Review Editor has already been sent to you and he confirms that much of the business was done at the review meetings and as such there was no requirement for him to keep any material from the meetings. Any records and correspondence had already been deleted and the information is not held by the Met Office.

I hope this answers your enquiry. Your further enquiry is now receiving attention and I will respond to you as soon as possible.

If you are unhappy with this response or you wish to complain about any aspect of the handling of your request, then you should contact me in the first instance. If informal resolution is not possible and you are still dissatisfied then you may apply for an independent internal review by contacting the Director of Information Exploitation, 6th Floor, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, SW1A 2HB. Please note that any request for an internal review must be made within 40 working days of the date on which the attempt to reach informal resolution has come to an end.

If you are still unhappy following an internal review, you may take your complaint to the Information Commissioner under the provisions of Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act. Please note that the Information Commissioner will not investigate your case until the MOD internal review process has been completed. Further details of the role and powers of the Information Commissioner can be found on the Commissioner’s website, http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely,
Marion Archer

It seems inconceivable to me that neither the Met Office nor Mitchell can produce even a single email pertaining to his duties as Review Editor. They say that “any records and correspondence” had already been deleted. Lots of possible questions here. I presume that Mitchell’s correspondence with IPCC and IPCC authors used his Met Office email address.

You’d think that the Met Office, as a public institution, would have a document retention policy. Most public corporations have document retention policies, policies which set out dates at which documents are to be destroyed. This can be relevant in litigation. So I guess one question that arises out of this: does the Met Office have a document retention policy and, if so, what is it? This would be an obligation that is distinguishable from IPCC policies. Then one can ask: did Mitchell delete his correspondence in accordance with Met Office document retention policies or was his destruction of the documents in breach of Met Office document retention policies?

It also seems bizarre that the Met Office purports to have no record of Mitchell’s correspondence. If this is true, then isn’t there a security issue for the Met Office? Suppose that Mitchell, out of pure spite, decided one day to delete correspondence pertaining to a large Met Office contract. Would the Met Office be left naked?

Mitchell’s story about deleting his IPCC correspondence is surely very odd. As a senior Met Office scientist, he must receive a large volume of email. At the end of a calendar year, I personally bundle my year’s email that was extant at that date, into an archive and start a new slate. It’s easier to do that than to spend a lot of time parsing through a year’s email.

On June 4, 2008, Holland notified the Met Office that he was not satisfied with their response as follows:

Dear Ms Archer,
Your ref: 07-04-2008-160851-014, Request for Information concerning the IPCC, 2007 WGI Chapter 6 Assessment Process

Thank you for your letter of 2 June 2008. I am not satisfied with Dr Mitchell’s response to my FOIA Request, and I am formally advising you of it, and of my intention to follow the appeals process on this matter if we can not reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

Please advise me of the approximate date when Dr Mitchell claims to have deleted his emails and destroyed all his paper records. I would remind you that it was less than a year after the release of the IPCC WGI report when I first contacted Dr Mitchell and I find it surprising that as a busy senior professional, potentially with an ongoing professional relationship with the IPCC and its many participants, he would so soon seek to destroy his working papers. I am also puzzled as to why, as was disclosed in the email documents you sent me, Dr Mitchell felt it necessary to discuss by email how to deal with my request with several other long serving IPCC participants, if at the time he did not have any information to disclose in any case.

The last thing I want to do is to question the integrity of your Chief Scientist and would ask that you use whatever technical resources you have to establish that Dr Mitchell is not simply mistaken in his assertion that he has deleted all his relevant computer records and correspondence. I have in mind that an organisation of your standing and importance will have in place procedures and systems designed to guard against accidental and malicious deletion of computer files that are important to you. I would expect that as part of your due diligence procedures you would archive all deleted emails. Please check with your IT experts if, as I would expect, you have recoverable backups.

Yours sincerely,
David Holland

On June 4, 2008, Holland received an acknowledgement letter as follows:

Thank you for your letter dated 4th June 2008. Dr Mitchell is away from the office at present, he will be back in on 16th June and I cannot comment on the points you have raised. I will let him have your letter and will get back to you as soon as possible.

I hope this is acceptable to you.

Regards

Marion Archer

So there’s some more to come on this story.

26 Comments

  1. Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    A note to David Holland and Steve

    I live around 15 miles away from the Met office in Exeter. I understand that a request may be made personally for information at their reception desk (although reasonably they will not be able to find the answer inmmediately)

    If this may be of help I would need to be given the gist of the letter and where the information might be found within the organisation and I will take it along and ask for a reply.

    Tony Brown

  2. Fred Nieuwenhuis
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    I can relate. My inquiry into the Canadian source data for NOAA’s NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis dataset has run into a brick wall as well, as NCAR is now unresponsive to my inquiries. To summarize, there seems to be several degrees C difference between the surface temperature output of the Reanalysis tool and Environment Canada’s surface station data.

  3. Nick Battley
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    If you want to put a face to the name, watch this BBC Newsnight clip from 01 October 2006 featuring an interview with Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and John Mitchell. I find the latter’s comments to be quite revealing.

  4. Nick Battley
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, the link did not appear in my post just now:

    Try this

  5. Nick Battley
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    Third time lucky?

  6. Nick Battley
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    Won’t take the link, so I’ll post it like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyKUblhXJw8

  7. Nick Battley
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, I’m a first-time poster and I’m having trouble getting the link up.

    Before I give up, I’ll try this for the last time. Here’s the video

    Please delete all unnecessary posts (i.e the one’s that make me look inept!!)

  8. MrPete
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    I see no reason for Marion Archer to wait for Dr Mitchell’s return. As you note, any organization of any significance has an IT staff that performs data backups.

    If there are no backups of the data, then here is another path that may be fruitful:

    EVERY email server on the planet creates a log of every email received and sent. That log is stored in a file.

    Typically, this is what is stored:
    – Date and time
    – FROM Email address
    – TO Email address
    – ID of source and destination computer (i.e. IP address or DNS name)

    Typically, these log files are saved for a week, then become a weekly archive for a month before being automatically deleted.

    Typically, any backup scheme thus has ample opportunity to save multiple copies of the weekly email logs for every email server.

    I don’t have time at the moment, but perhaps another expert can take the next step:

    Given: email addresses, or (simpler) a list of domain names, for the people involved
    Given: a range of dates of interest
    Produce: a simple grep/etc script that will automatically retrieve all email records of interest from the email logs.

    Make a FOI request that all archived email server logs be scanned, using the script you provide, to generate a list of all pertinent email messages sent between the persons of interest.

    You will not know what the emails contained, but you will know the volume of communication.

  9. BDAABAT
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    Possible reason for deleting email:

    I work in an academic environment where the email quota is set fairly low. I regularly (weekly) need to weed out email messages (NOTE: this weeding out goes way beyond the usual daily purge!) in order to deal with that relatively small quota. The quota is reportedly set at the same level for everyone… the president of the campus is supposed to have the same email quota as everyone else on campus. Perhaps the Met office has a similar policy in place???

    Bruce

  10. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    #6. Nick, the video that you linked http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyKUblhXJw8 is interesting over and above putting a face to Mitchell. At about 3:39, Mitchell contested a claim about statistics, saying that the chapter of which he happened to be a “lead author” had objective statistical methods and an appendix describing those methods. Assuming that this video pertains to AR4, I’ve searched through the roster of AR4 lead authors and was unable to locate Mitchell as “lead author” of any chapter. He was “Review Editor” of chapter 6, but it did not have an appendix on statistics.

    Only a couple of chapters even have appendices. Chapter 3 has an appendix covering some statistical issues (not well), but Mitchell is not a lead author of chapter 3.

  11. Terry
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    #8 Mr Pete

    I know a thing or 2 about mail logs and unfortunately its not quite quite that simple.

    Typically, the first entry contains the the senders address together with a unique key generated for that mail. This is in a line by itself. Next there may be multiple entries with recipients addresses and the unique key thats in the first entry. This means that the sender and recipient are on different lines, linked together with the unique key. There may also be multiple recipients for the same mail. Adding to this problem of them being on different lines is the fact that the lines may occur one after the other or there may be many lines separating them. The net effect of this is that you need to perform multiple passes of the log file to extract the information. The first pass would extract unique keys associated with Dr Mitchel and the other passes would be to extract who that mail was from (or to). Once this information is obtained, the associated email addresses would have to be matched to actual people and organisations becuase it is often not clear from the address who the actual person is. For example, one of my email addresses is of the form sc24@mydomain which bears absolutely no relationship to my actual name or the place I work.

  12. David Holland
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    #10
    Steve,
    The Video is October 2006. John Mitchell is talking about the 2001 TAR. He was a Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 12 that cited the ‘hockey stick’ as justification for the low natural variability of their models. I think his appendix claim is a bit thin. His fellow AR4 Review Editor on Chapter 6 was Jean Jouzel who, with Michael Mann, had been a Lead Author of the Palaeo Chapter 2 that brought us the ‘hockey stick’.

    While discussing Dr Mitchell I might add that in the paper he co-wrote in World Economics January-March 2007 to rebut the criticisms of the Stern Review, in which I collaborated, he said (my bold),

    The IPCC represents a unique global assembly of scientists, technologists, economists and energy specialists to assess objectively,through a transparent and open review process, the vast body of literature on climate science (including the papers cited by C2006) and to produce a peer-reviewed set of consensus reports that includes and responds to thousands of contributions.

    From 2 July to 24 July 2006 we now know that ‘peer review’ in AR4 WGI was switched off. The AR4 Palaeoclimate consensus was Jonathan Overpeck, Kieth Briffa, Stefan Rahmstorf, Bette Otto-Bliesner and 12 others overseen by John Mitchell and Jean Jouzel. We shall see how open and transparent they wants to be.

  13. MarkR
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    I think the phrase: “Information held by Dr Mitchell in respect of IPCC Review Editor“, may be causing the difficulty. If the information is on a Government Server or Archive, it may fairly be said not to be held by Dr Mitchell. Also, perhaps it should be for “any communication in connection with the IPCC”.

  14. Richard
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    Re:”It seems inconceivable to me that neither the Met Office nor Mitchell can produce even a single email pertaining to his duties as Review Editor.”

    Totally inconceivable – but more than that – trying to subvert fair requests for information may well be illegal.

  15. MrPete
    Posted Jun 20, 2008 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Terry,
    I didn’t suggest that a log entry must be on one line ;). As you note, they are spread out. However it is still not a problem.

    I’m sure there must already scripts that do this, but in any case, standard tools are well-suited to the task:
    – a simple GREP of the targeted email addresses will tell you which log files may be of interest. This very high speed pass over the entire logfile collection could find the few logfiles that at least contain one or more of the addresses of interest.
    – A single pass over those logfiles with a short AWK script can easily collect all related data for each message sent, and accept or reject each message based on whether the appropriate addresses are included.

    As you reiterated, it is necessary to obtain email addresses (or at least domains of interest) to zero in on the correct information. The logfiles typically have no knowledge of names, only addresses.

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 21, 2008 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    In connection with the Met Office destruction of emails, I note that CRU policy (which is a different organization but presumably governed by the same law) says:

    10. Requirement for Records Management. FOIA provides the public with wide rights of access to UEA’s records and therefore requires UEA to implement and maintain a comprehensive Records Management system. There is a duty under the Lord Chancellor’s Code, issued pursuant to s.46 of the FOIA, to have certain records management policies and practices in place. While it is essential that UEA complies with the Act in implementing a Records Management system, good record keeping practice is important in its own right

  17. Posted Jun 21, 2008 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

    I would repeat my offer made under #1 to go to the reception of the Met ofice and ask for the information required. At the least they will be discomforted by the request, but it must also be ‘logged’ into their system and an answer given-under normal civil service rules this must be within ten days.

    Tony Brown

  18. MrPete
    Posted Jun 21, 2008 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    Tony, AFAIK, it can’t hurt to ask. The records are supposed to be public anyway, so as in other recent cases, sometimes extra requests can help move things along.
    On the other hand, right now we’re in a “discovery” phase, working out the edges of just what they think they can get away with.

    Pretty sickening.

  19. James S
    Posted Jun 21, 2008 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    I’ve done an FOI request to find out the Met Office’s data retention policies, specifically including for how long and in what format internal and external emails are kept.

    Will let you know the outcome!

    BTW – anyone can do these requests through this website; you don’t need to be British or in Britain!

  20. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 21, 2008 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/foi-code-46.pdf describes UK policy on records management. It;s hard to see how Mitchell’s destruction of the records would be permitted under any records management policy consistent with government policy.

  21. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

    Y’know, I actually have previous experience in the handling of a complaint about the illegal destruction of documents by a public official. Some years ago, I filed a complaint against a police officer who had failed to investigate a serious assault against one of my sons by bouncers and who even destroyed a witness statement from a witness to the assault, who identified himself to one of my son’s friends and with whom I talked. A few years later, if you google “william mccormack junior toronto police”, you’ll see that the officer involved was subsequently charged with corruption and his entire plainclothes unit disbanded.

    However, my complaint went nowhere and, instead of getting angry with the crooked cop, the police got angry with me. They said: if I talked again to the witness who had provided the destroyed witness statement again, I would be charged with obstruction of justice. Yeah, sure.

    Had I not stumbled into Michael Mann and his Team, I would probably have pursued the police matter further but I have only so much time and energy and, in any event, I would have had to involve my son in the process eventually, which wasn’t something that I desired.

    McCormack Jr was arrested because he was picked up talking to the mob on wiretaps from a different police force He still hasn’t been brought to trial. Knowing the Toronto police, he’s probably on paid leave and after enough time expires, they’ll drop the case and pay him a settlement.

    This personal history may explain why I am a bit hard-edged about the destruction of documents by public officials. In the McCormack case, a public official destroyed documents against the law with impunity and the institutions did nothing. I pursued the matter with considerable diligence and ingenuity – readers of Climate Audit can perhaps picture the process, but still get nowhere.

    So I have some prior experience with unsuccessful complaints against a crooked public official and, when I see some of the CRU or Met Office responses, they are formally similar to the stonewalling of my police complaint.

    I do not believe that he is going to be able to demonstrate that the destruction of documents was done in accordance with a Met Office records management policy. Whether anyone at the Met Office or the UK government will care remains to be seen. But I have little doubt that he will unable to show that the alleged destruction was justified by any policy.

    My advice to Mitchell, if he or any of his associates should read this, would be to do whatever he can to find the documents and to produce them as soon as possible, even if it’s now belatedly and with ill grace.

    Needless to say, the institutions involved will blame David Holland or me for their embarrassment, but so did the crooked police force. Better they look in the mirror.

  22. bernie
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    The video is interesting. The interviewer sounds pretty hard-nosed. Do you think it might be worthwhile sending him a synopsis and asking him if he would have treated Dr. Mitchell with the same deference if he had known how reluctant Mitchell was to follow the letter and spirit of the law and scientific discourse. Peer review mean little if nobody can take a look at how the peer review process works: It is a bit like an auditor writing an audit report and then destroying his/her audit papers: it constitutes malpractice.

  23. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Re # 21 Steve

    Missing document procedures, was involved in one in our second highest Court. An understanding Judge and a top Queens’ Counsel sorted it, but I have felt the frustration. I can only repeat what you know, that
    (a) stonewalling is a strategy that you have to meet with persistence
    (b) nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition (Monty Python, translation – the force of your argument can sometimes be unexpected and fruitful).

    Again telling you what you probably know, but see if it is possible to start action to extend Statutes of Limitation(s) or their equivalents in critical matters.

    Another Sir Humphrey to fight – “anything is possible, but nothing is possible for the first time”.

  24. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    #23. I agree about persistence. But you need more than persistence. You need sunshine. And Climate Audit has a big enough audience to change the dynamic. We’ve had some success in the past forcing institutions to do the right thing and I’m confident that both the Met Office and CRU will have to as well. Maybe it will go to litigation, maybe it won’t. There are some intermediate processes that have to be exhausted first in any case.

  25. Ian Castles
    Posted Jun 22, 2008 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    #19: Thank you, James S. for posting a link to this most useful facility. It prompted me to make a request of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which has already published on the site to which you provided a link. The text of my request follows:

    “I have learned from a response to a request I have made under the Australian Freedom of Information Act 1983 (FOI Act) that Miss Sarah Hendry. Head of Global Atmosphere Division, DEFRA, made a powerpoint presentation to a workshop entitled “The Role of Economic Modeling in Climate Change Policy”, organised by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Research Economics (ABARE) at the Boat House by the Lake, Canberra, Australia on 8-9 May 2003.

    “ABARE has denied me access to a copy of Miss Hendry’s presentation on the grounds that “The document, or the exempt part of the document, is of such a nature that its disclosure under the Act would found an action, by a person other than the Commonwealth, for a breach of confidence” (s. 45, FOI Act).

    “Under the UK Freedom of Information Act 2000, I seek access to a copy of Miss Hendry’s presentation and of any correspondence held by DEFRA imposing or accepting conditions of confidence in relation to that presentation.

    “I also seek access to any report that Miss Hendry may have made on the workshop, and to copies of other presentations made to the meeting by climate change negotiators or modellers.”

    ABARE’s response to my Australian FOI request also disclosed that the Bureau held copies of powerpoint presentations, papers or notes presented to the workshop by Paul Fauteux, Director General, Environment Canada – Climate Change Bureau, Canada; Harald Dovland, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Environment, Norway; Mr Ken Okaniwa, Director, Climate Change Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan; Prof. John Weyant, Director, Energy Modeling Forum, Department of Management, Science and Engineering, Stanford University; James Edmonds, Chief Scientist, Joint Global Change Research Institute, University of Maryland; Richard Richels, Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute; Prof Shunsuke Mori, Department of Industrial Administration, University of Science, Tokyo; and Professor Priyardashi Shukla, Public Systems Group Indian Institute of Management, India.

    The Schedule to ABARE’s response indicated that access to all of these documents had been denied under s. 45 of the FOI Act, although the Bureau inadvertently provided me with copies of the powerpoint presentations by Dovland, Edmonds and Richels. Each of the slides in James Edmonds’ presentation is stamped “DRAFT”, but there is no sign on the face of any of these presentations that they had been classified as confidential.

    The participant list indicates that other participants in the workshop included Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chair, IPCC; Luiz Gylvan Meira Filho, Senior Scientific Adviser, UNFCCC; Francisco de la Chesnaye, Lead Economist, Environmental Protection Agency, United States; Mr Tetsuya Shimokawa, Section Chief, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan; Kuniaki Makiya, Director, Office of International Strategy, Ministry of the Environment, Japan; Mr Chan-woo Kim, Director, Environment Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea; and Ms Sharron Came, Senior Analyst, Treasury, New Zealand.

    It is not clear why any agency which is subject to FOI legislation should choose to withhold copies of any of these papers that they may have in their possession. I’m therefore led to suggest that nationals in other jurisdictions consider making FOI requests to agencies which sent representatives to the Canberra workshop, along the lines of the request I’ve made to DEFRA. If the documents were not classified, as appears to be the case, it is difficult to understand why agencies should deny access to them. It is relevant to note that, to my knowledge, several of the workshop participants have left government employment and are now employed by private enterprises which have interests in climate change policies.

  26. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jun 23, 2008 at 12:03 AM | Permalink

    24 Steve

    Agreed. One of the strategy documents by some British consultants (on CA, recently, cannot refind link) advised against a vision of public conflict between AGW and others, saying that it was best to project that the AGW position was normal and accepted and not to acknowledge that different views existed. (This could be part of the tactics you are fighting).

    Well, CA certainly changed that. Persistence was part, but there is sunshine there too. It is on the increase. People like Ian Castles above are held in high regard by those who know of his work. Your ability to attract calibre people is part of the sunshine.

5 Trackbacks

  1. [...] “Fortress Met Office“, Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit, 20 June 2008. [...]

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  3. [...] More obstruction from the Met Office, in which they have changed their obstruction strategy. Previously they said that Mitchell had destroyed all of this email correspondence. This prompted David Holland to ask [...]

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