WGIII and those unarchived comments and RE reports

At the beginning of September, I was copied an email discussion reporting the online publication in Climatic Change of a paper by Warwick McKibbin, David Pearce, and Alison Stegman.   What was notable about this paper was that it was submitted in September 2005.   What for readers of this site, perhaps, was unremarkable was that it supported criticisms by David Henderson and Ian Castles of IPCC SRES scenarios for their choice of market exchange rates rather than PPP-adjusted GDPs.   The paper suggested a serious overestimation of emissions by 2100 from this error alone.

Also unremarkable to CA readers was the fact that a paper on some of the same issues by two members of the IPCC SRES team (“PPP versus MER: Searching for Answers in a Multi-dimensional Debate”, authored by Detlef van Vuuren and Knut Alfsen, both of whom were lead authors of Chapter 3 of the AR4 WGIII report) was received by Climatic Change on 15 November 2005 (over two months AFTER the MPS paper); accepted on 14 December 2005, less than a month later; published online by Climatic Change on 4 May 2006; and published in the journal itself in the March 2006 issue.   Clearly, it was suggested, Climatic Change can move with despatch  when it wants to.

The email exchanges reminded me that on this site I reported that IPCC Working Group III who deal with these scenarios had published the Expert Reviewer’s Comments and perhaps over optimistically suggested that if asked the TSU in the Netherlands would release the Review Editors’ reports.   In fact they did not.   Nor did they ever publish the Lead Authors’ responses to the Expert Reviewers’ Comments as eventually had WGI, with a little persuasion, and (credit where credit is due) the Met Office responsible for WGII did before being asked.

A week ago I asked the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency where I could find  the “open archive” required by Appendix A to Principles Governing IPCC Work as it was felt there were some questions that still needed answers and the Dutch site had disappeared.   I also asked for access to the various WGIII documents under the European Directive which incorporated into European Law the Aarhus Convention.   The answer from Dr Meyer was that all the files had been transferred to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) to whom he copied my requests.

Dr Matschoss, at PIK, responded today that he would raise the question at the meeting of the IPCC Bureau on 17/18 September and get back to me in 1 -2 weeks.   Remember that at this point I had only asked for the AR4 documents which according to the ‘Principles’ should have been in an “open archive”.   I believe however this is an important issue that the IPCC can no longer prevaricate upon and replied with the open letter I reproduce below.

Dear Dr Matschoss,

Participation, Openness and Transparency

I agree that the meeting of the IPCC Bureau tomorrow and Friday is the right forum to discuss the points I raised with Dr Meyer and I hope that you might present this open letter which outlines what I believe many observers and commentators on the IPCC process believe should happen in the fifth assessment.

From its inception the IPCC has required the Working Groups to undertake their assessments on an open and transparent basis.   This is contained in the second Principle Governing IPCC Work which has been successively reviewed and reconfirmed.   It is an overarching principle, and the fact that the detailed procedures in Appendix A only prescribe few detailed requirements of documents to be archived does not limit the generality of the second Principle.

In calling for the first Freedom of Information Conference UN Resolution 59 in 1947 began:

“Freedom of information is a fundamental human right and is the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the United Nations is consecrated”

Since the first IPCC Assessment Report there have been dramatic increases in communication technology which in turn have lead to an ease with which information can be disseminated and shared inexpensively.   At the same time the Internet has more recently given voice to the latent interest in many areas such as climate change and I do not believe the IPCC’s approach to disclosure, evidenced by the Working Groups in AR4, conforms to the requirements of openness and transparency as originally understood by the IPCC’s founders let alone in our modern world.

I have detailed many examples from WGI in a published paper and in a letter, sent last year to Dr Christ, which was neither answered nor acknowledged, and  I asked for various information including the unpublished WGIII Expert Reviewers’ Comments and the Review Editors’ Reports.

PIK appear to have a well constructed TSU web site, but it requires a user name and password.   The working group and TSU clearly should not have to allow for an unlimited number of unofficial, even if expert, members of the public commenting upon the drafts and other documents.  However, to be open and transparent as is required by the Principles, I would ask you to provide a “guest” login to allow the public to follow the assessment.

Clearly, for the IPCC to be open and transparent, timetables, instructions, the intermediate drafts, Reviewers’ Comments and  Lead Authors’ responses should be open to public inspection at the same time that the many hundreds of world wide IPCC participants have access to them.   The Internet discussion groups and the media generally provide a good forum for the public to discuss the forthcoming assessment and through the media and their political representatives can if necessary make their views felt and participate in the assessment.   None of this need impede the work of the TSU.   In the same way the Lead Author’s meetings and Working Group plenary sessions should, in this 21st century, be webcast if you are to persuade the public that you are genuinely open and transparent.

Finally I would ask that the Bureau require that the Review Editors’ reports should be published when they are received and should meet the reasonable expectation of the public that they be as Appendix A requires.   They should be  a “written report” as were several AR4 WGII reports rather than a bland “sign off” of WGI, which were published, and those of WGIII which along with their Expert Reviewer’s comments were not.

While I will accept the foregoing is a departure from previous Working Group practices and may be unwelcome,  I would point out that it is no more than PIK should find itself obliged to require of the TSU under the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (“the Aarhus Convention”).

Yours sincerely

David Holland

I will report back on this matter.   I hope that the IPCC Bureau will recognise not only the IPCC Principles but European Law under which WGIII must operate.   If so I hope that they will also accept that as a sister UN body to the UNECE they should fully adopt the provisions of the Aarhus Convention and require the WGI and II to also provide unrestricted access to the AR5 working documents.

35 Comments

  1. AndyL
    Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 3:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Did you really sign it “David Holland”?

  2. David Holland
    Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 3:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    That’s my name.

    • pete m
      Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 3:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: David Holland (#2), funniest thing I’ve read in about a month. Thanks!

    • tetris
      Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 9:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: David Holland (#2),

      Most interesting.

      May the following quote suffice as a rejoinder: “One of the greatest threats to mankind today is that the world may be choked by an explosively pervading but well camouflaged bureaucracy”. Norman Borlaug [1914-2009]

  3. AndyL
    Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 3:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    oops – I assumed the thread was by Steve M – sorry!!

  4. Scott Brim
    Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 4:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    !–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 <![endif]–”

    This string of HTML code might be alternatively translated as meaning, “Although transparency is supposed to be normal operating procedure, maybe if I ask for it nine times, they’ll actually give me something.”

  5. Paul Penrose
    Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 6:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Should this polite effort yield unsatisfactory results may I suggest that we all write and demand that they follow the required conventions.

  6. Geo
    Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 7:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Once there was a silly old ram

    Thought he’d punch a hole in a dam

    No one could make that ram scram

    He kept buttin’ that dam

  7. ozzieaardvark
    Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 8:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I wonder if the folks at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency had any concerns about transferring their files to an organization named PIK?

    OA

  8. frost
    Posted Sep 16, 2009 at 9:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ‘prevaricate’ should have been ‘procrastinate’, right?

  9. Alanb
    Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 12:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Grammar alert! ‘in turn have lead to an ease with’ should be led not lead

  10. David L. Hagen
    Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 6:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Todd Stern, US Special Envoy for Climate Change testified on “The Currant State of our Negotiations on a New International Climate Agreement”

    Jonathan Pershing, US Deputy Envoy for Climate Change reported: Climate Change Is an Urgent Problem

    See State Department Contact

  11. David L. Hagen
    Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 7:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Voice mail for Jonathan Pershing202-647-9926

  12. Severian
    Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 8:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Todd Stern, US Special Envoy for Climate Change testified on “The Currant State of our Negotiations on a New International Climate Agreement”

    Well, that’s certainly raisin the stakes!

    • David Jay
      Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 8:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Severian (#14),

      Yea, but because we favor open proceedings, we want everything done “in the Sun”

      (apologies to Sidney Portier)

  13. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 8:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Why should we in other countries have confidence in the USA when you guys can’t even spell correctly.

    The Currant State of our Negotiations on a New International Climate Agreement
    Todd Stern
    Special Envoy for Climate Change

    The English word ‘currant’ has been used for this fruit since 1550.
    Species: Red, pink and white currants belong to three European species (Ribes rubrum, R. petraeum, R. sativum). Black currants are related to European (R. nigrum) and Asian (R. ussuriense) species.

    That mixture of colours resembles the current US Government.

    • Pat Frank
      Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 11:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Geoff Sherrington (#17), Re: rephelan (#18), good point, rephelian. And besides, how do we know that Todd Stern didn’t mean exactly what he wrote? He was probably referring to the quality of the currants used to make the morning toast and jelly supplied to the Copenhagen delegates. A poor state of morning currants and the whole day is ruined. The atmosphere deteriorates into recriminations against the host country and war breaks out. It’s important business, the currant state.

  14. rephelan
    Posted Sep 17, 2009 at 9:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jeez, Geoff, not all Americans are illiterate… I knew that the spelling was “carrunt”…. and I’m sure you’re wrong about the fruit… don’t they call it “current jam” ’cause it’s got a jolt to it?

  15. Don Keiller
    Posted Sep 18, 2009 at 5:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I too have been seeking after “buried” truths. I send a FOI (ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004 – INFORMATION REQUEST) to University Of East Anglia- home of CRUTEM- for their original (not homogenised) dataset and copies of any confidentiality agreements they had with 3rd parties over data sharing. I added that if such data was not available, then numerous publications by Professor Phil Jones and his group were not reproducable and should be withdrawn.

    Needless to say I got the “dog ate my homework” brushoff.

    I intend to send the following to a national paper and see what they think.

    Information Services Directorate

    Library
    University of East Anglia
    Norwich NR4 7TJ
    United Kingdom

    Email: foi@uea.ac.uk
    Tel: +44 (0) 1603 593 523
    11 September 2009 Fax: +44 (0) 1603 591 010

    Web: http://www.uea.ac.uk

    Dear Dr. Keiller

    ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004 – INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI_09-128; EIR_09-19)
    Your request for information received on 14 August 2009 for a “A copy of any digital version of the CRUTEM station data set that has been sent from CRU to Peter Webster and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between January 1, 2007 and June 25, 2009” and “A copy of any instructions or stipulations accompanying the transmission of data to Peter Webster and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between January 1, 2007 and June 25, 2009 limiting its further dissemination or disclosure” has now been considered and it is, unfortunately, not possible to meet your request.
    In accordance with Regulation 14 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 this letter acts as a Refusal Notice, and I am not obliged to supply this information and the reasons for exemption are as stated below:
    Exception Reason

    Reg. 12(4)(a) – Information not held Some of the requested information is not held by the University

    Reg. 12(4)(b) – Request is manifestly unreasonable Information is available elsewhere

    Reg. 12(5)(a) – Adverse effect on international relations Release would damage relations with scientists & institutions from other nations

    Reg. 12(5)(f) – Adverse effect on the person providing information Information is covered by a confidentiality agreement

    We believe that Regulation 12(4)(b) applies to your request for the data because the requested data is a subset of highly similar data already available in another format from other sources; namely the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN ) , and the Climatic Research Unit . Both sources make the requested information available in a gridded format. We believe, following DEFRA guidance, that it is unreasonable for the University to spend public resources on providing information in a different format to that which is already available.
    In regards Regulation 12(5)(a), much of the requested data comes from both individual scientists and institutions from countries around the world. If this information were to be released contrary to the conditions under which this institution received it, it would damage the trust that other national scientists and institutions have in UK-based public sector organisations and would likely result in them becoming reluctant to share information and participate in scientific projects in future. This would damage the ability of the University and other UK institutions to co-operate with meteorological organisations and governments of other countries.
    Regulation 12(5)(f) applies to the data requested because the data was received by the University on terms that limits further transmission. We believe that there would be an adverse effect on the institutions that supplied data under those agreements as it would undermine the conditions under which they supplied the data to the Climate Research Unit.
    In regards your request for any stipulations accompanying the transmission of the data to academics at Georgia Tech, Regulation 12(4)(a) applies as no such instructions or stipulations are held by the University. Any such conditions were verbal and between the parties involved at that time. All the written agreements that we do hold in relation to the station data within the CRUTEM data set are available on the Climate Research Unit website at: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/availability/
    Regulation 12(1)(b) mandates that we consider the public interest in any decision to release or refuse information under Regulation 12(4). In this case, we feel that there is a strong public interest in upholding contract terms governing the use of received information. To not do so would be to potentially risk the loss of access to such data in future as noted above. In regards Regulation 12(4)(b), we believe it is not in the public interest to divert public resources away from other work to provide information that is available elsewhere. Finally in regards Regulation 12(5)(a), we feel that there is a clear public interest in neither damaging nor restricting scientific collaboration between UK-based scientists and institutions with international colleagues.
    I should note, however, that the University is commencing work, in concert with the Met Office Hadley Centre, to seek permission from data suppliers in advance of the next update of the CRUTEM database in 2010 in order to provide public access to this data. This work has been announced on the CRU website and further updates on it’s progress will be available there.
    I apologise that your request will be met but if you have any further information needs in the future then please contact me.
    If you have any queries or concerns, or, if you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact me at:
    University of East Anglia
    Norwich
    NR4 7TJ
    Telephone: 0160 393 523
    E-mail: foi@uea.ac.uk

    Yours sincerely
    David Palmer
    Information Policy and Compliance Manager
    University of East Anglia

    • David Holland
      Posted Sep 18, 2009 at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Don Keiller (#20),

      Regulation 9(1) states

      A public authority shall provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to applicants and prospective applicants.

      I think you should make a Regulation 11 request for a reconsideration, and citing Regulation 9 ask that they provide you with sufficient detail to understand their reasoning and how they have applied the public interest test in each of exceptions they list.

      You should go on to ask how they think it is unreasonable to ask for the exact dataset as described in a peer- reviewed published paper on a subject of great public interest and where the usual scientific convention is that authors must provide sufficient detail to allow others to replicate their work. How can they possibly claim it is “manifestly unreasonable” to send you the same data as they sent elsewhere without any actionable undertakings from that recipient?

      Ask UEA to justify its assertion that the disclosure, which virtually all Academies of Science and most journals regard as essential, would have an “adverse effect on international relations and would damage relations with scientists & institutions from other nations”. Ask that they provide some evidence to support what appears to be merely a convenient excuse. What public interest is being served by climate scientists keeping to themselves the raw data upon which, at least in part, they base their apocalyptic warnings?

      Point out that there is an obvious contradiction in their claim that they are trying “to seek permission from data suppliers in advance of the next update of the CRUTEM database in 2010 in order to provide public access to this data” and the fact that they are able to show only a couple of rather old and ineffectual documents to support the claim that this is a significant problem. Ask that they immediately publish or send you the data for which they can not substantiate that an actionable restrictive contract exists.

      It is essential that we all follow through on these requests and complain to the Information Commissioner’s Ofiice when UEA come back without a change of mind – as you can be sure they will. Since in my experience the ICO will try any which way to not do a thorough job, you must be prepared to make a “case review request/service complaint” to the ICO and push them to uphold the Regulations. Always insist upon a proper ‘decision notice’ and object to them just having a quiet chat with the secretive public authorities to encourage them to behave.

      If enough “silly old rams” show sufficient determination we might prevail.

      Incidentally Tod Stern and I are not the only perpetrators of typos. David Palmer missed the not out of

      “I apologise that your request will be met . .”

      Don’t apologise Mr Palmer – send me the data!

      • bender
        Posted Sep 18, 2009 at 9:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: David Holland (#23),

        “I apologise that your request will be met . .”

        Maybe he meant it. Maybe he’s apologising to the data keepers, not you. Ask for clarification that the request will indeed be met. :)

  16. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted Sep 18, 2009 at 5:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Totally off-topic, but I saw this and it immediately reminded me of Steve and this web site…

    “The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honour you can bestow on him. It means that you recognise his superiority to yourself.”
    Joseph Sobran

  17. Jorge
    Posted Sep 18, 2009 at 5:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think Todd Stern was getting mixed up with ¡No pasa nada! Basically, not much happening in the negotiations.

  18. Don Keiller
    Posted Sep 18, 2009 at 9:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re David Holland.
    Many thanks for your comments. A Very useful analysis which I may need to use at a later date.

    As it happens I have already noted that they have not explicitly stated that I have the right to an Internal Review of the decisions that were stated in their response.
    By not explicitly stating this, Mr Palmer is already in technical breach of the Act.

    To make sure that I follow procedure correctly (even if they don’t) I have now requested an internal review of how they arrived at their decisions.

    After this, if I am still unhappy (which I suspect I will be), I can then make a formal complaint to the FOI Commissioner.

    Watch this space!

  19. Don Keiller
    Posted Sep 21, 2009 at 9:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Update on FOI. I emailed my request for appeal on the grounds that their denial of information was “unreasonable” within the defintion of the FOI ACT.

    have been granted an appeal(see below)- I wait with bated breath!!

    Dear Dr. Keiller
    ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004 – INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI_09-128; EIR_09-19)
    I acknowledge your appeal (as defined by Lord Chancellors Code of Practice) received today, 21 September 2009 against our response of 11 September to your request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 received on 14 August 2009.
    Your appeal is being considered pursuant to our internal complaints procedure as mandated by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and you will receive a response within 28 days; specifically, by 19 October 2009. You can view our internal complaints procedure at: http://www.uea.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.2750!uea_manual_draft_04b.pdf
    If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your complaint please contact me at:
    University of East Anglia
    Norwich
    NR4 7TJ
    Telephone: 01603 593 523
    E-mail: foi@uea.ac.uk
    If you are dissatisfied with the final adjudication of your complaint by our internal complaint process, you have the right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
    Information Commissioner’s Office
    Wycliffe House
    Water Lane
    Wilmslow
    Cheshire SK9 5AF
    Telephone: 01625 545 700
    Website: http://www.ico.gov.uk
    Yours sincerely
    David Palmer
    Information Policy & Compliance Manager
    University of East Anglia

  20. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Sep 21, 2009 at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It would appear that the glowing written transparency and FOI organizational promises and mission statements are nice and proper words that can be a sham when it comes to actual action and follow through. It does seem that requestors like David H and Steve M are stubbornly butting their heads to the door, but then without their actions how would we (and perhaps a larger audience) know how big a sham the process really is. So thanks, David H, for sharing.

    What really turns my stomach is those who come here to defend the process in the name of defending AGW advocacy. Transparency and advocacy are two very different issues.

    • Taphonomic
      Posted Sep 22, 2009 at 7:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Kenneth Fritsch (#27),
      Phil Jones has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Biological & Environmental Research (BER) since 1993. As Phil Jones has been funded by these grants he is subject to the data sharing policy of the DOE granting office and division.

      A detailed description of Climate Change Research Division data sharing policy can be found at http://www.science.doe.gov/ober/CCRD/per.html where among other things it states:

      Program Data Policy
      The program considers all data collected using program funds, all results of any analysis or synthesis of information using program funds, and all model algorithms and codes developed with program funding to be “program data”.
      Open sharing of all program data among researchers (and with the interested public) is critical to advancing the program’s mission.
      Specific terms of the program’s data sharing policy are: (1) following publication of research results, a copy of underlying data and a clear description of the method(s) of data analysis must be provided to any requester in a timely way; (2) following publication of modeling methods or results, a copy of model code, parameter values, and/or any input dataset(s) must be provided to any requester in a timely way; and (3) recognition of program data sources, either through co-authorship or acknowledgments within publications and presentations, is required.
      The program assumes that costs for sharing data are nominal and are built into each grant application or field work proposal. In cases where costs of sharing are not nominal, the burden of costs will be assumed by the requester. The Program Manager should be informed whenever a requester is expected to pay for the costs of obtaining program data, whenever a data request is thought to be unreasonable, and whenever requested program data is undelivered.
      Funding of projects by the program is contingent on adherence to this data sharing policy.

      Several things pop out in this policy:
      “Open sharing of all program data among researchers (and with the interested public) is critical to advancing the program’s mission”
      “a copy of underlying data and a clear description of the method(s) of data analysis must be provided to any requester in a timely way”

      This says nothing about sharing with “academics only”. Sharing with the “interested public” is clearly specified. As Phil Jones has published multiple research and modeling results, I’m sure a polite request to Dr. Jones from a member of the “interested public” for a copy of underlying data and a clear description of the method(s) of data analysis and a copy of model code, parameter values, and/or any input dataset(s) that are the results of DOE funding would be provided to any requester in a timely way as is required by the DOE data sharing policy. After all, the US taxpayers paid for this work and the interested public should be able to get this info.

      If the requested information is “undelivered” then a polite request to the head of Climate Change Prediction Program:
      Dr. Anjuli Bamzai
      Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, SC-23.1
      Department of Energy, GTN Bldg.
      1000 Independence Ave, SW
      Washington, DC 20585-1290
      Phone: (301) 903-0294
      Fax: (301) 903-8519
      Email: anjuli.bamzai@science.doe.gov
      would probably be in order. Perhaps a query about the quality assurance standards for these grants, the traceability of data requirements for these grants, and whether continued funding would be provided to principal investigators who do not comply with data requests could also be made.

      If that does work, then a FOIA request to DOE regarding data availability, quality assurance standards, and the traceability of the data might get results. The DOE takes FOIA requests seriously.

      If there are problems with this, then DOE would be open to FOIA requests as to why their Principal Investigators are not living up to data sharing agreements; why the DOE is not enforcing data sharing agreements; why DOE is funding individuals who do not abide by the DOE data sharing agreements; why the data gathered under the DOE program are not traceable; and if the data are not traceable, then what good are the data.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Sep 22, 2009 at 7:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Taphonomic (#28),

        People have tried to get DOE to do something without success.

        If you think that you can accomplish something, feel free to contact them directly. I much prefer it when people take initiative themselves.

        • Taphonomic
          Posted Sep 23, 2009 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

          Re: Steve McIntyre (#29), But didn’t you have success in getting Santer to release information using a FOIA request to DOE? At this point, I am not in a position to request/use the data. However, I still believe that DOE will be more responsive to FOIA than CRU seems to be.

          Steve: I don’t have time to do everything in the world. They said that they didn’t have the data because they never asked for it. And that their contract with Jones did not require him to provide them with the data. Thus they had nothing to produce. If you think that you can do better, good luck.

      • Kenneth Fritsch
        Posted Sep 23, 2009 at 9:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Taphonomic (#28),

        I think you rather make my point. In order to force the system to work consistently one needs to probably litigate or be willing to do so and also be working for a popular cause that will attract media attention.

        My definition of a system working is where requests are answered and filled with some reasonableness and timeliness and the suppliers of information are actively seen as encouraging sharing and not impeding it.

        Watching people such as David H and Steve M actully use the process is much more informative of it than yourself, hypothetically, proposing paths to that information and idealized responses.

        We already know from the proper and glowing wording of the rules governing requests for information that the system theoretically works – the problem comes with in practice.

        • Taphonomic
          Posted Sep 26, 2009 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

          Re: Kenneth Fritsch (#31),
          I apologize for not being in a situation where I can file a FOIA at this time.

          All I was trying to do was point out that the British FOI with CRU does not appear to be working and that a FOIA to the funding organization (U.S. DOE/BER) may work better. Previous requests to DOE went to DOE/CDIAC, who said they didn’t have the data. In the arcane world of DOE this is not the same as a direct request to DOE/BER, which funded the work and has specific data sharing requirements for its grantees.

  21. Ian Castles
    Posted Sep 29, 2009 at 8:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    David Holland,

    Dr. Matschoss is now close to his self-imposed deadline. In his email of 16 September, he said that he would raise the issues at the IPCC Bureau meeting in Geneva on 17-18 September and get back to you “within 1-2 weeks.”

    As Dr Pachauri presumably knows of the decision that was taken at the Geneva meeting, his response to a question from interviewer Kerry O’Brien on ABC TV’s 7.30 Report is of more than usual interest:

    ‘We mobilise the best scientists from all over the world. In the fourth assessment report, we had a total of about 4,000 people that were involved. Whatever we do is very transparent. Every stage of the drafting of our report is peer reviewed, and whatever comments we get from the peer review process are posted on the website of the IPCC, and the reasons why we accept or reject those comments are clearly specified. Where we accept a comment we say, “Yes. Accepted.” Where we don’t, we have to adduce very clear reasons why the authors don’t agree with the comment.’

    • David Holland
      Posted Oct 4, 2009 at 8:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Ian Castles (#33),
      Ian,

      I’ll will ask Dr Matschoss what happened in a day or two. Who knows? Maybe the IPCC assessment will now become the “very transparent process”, which Dr Pachauri told Australians it is.

      CA readers know there is lot more AR4 information yet to see the light of day, like the comments WGI TSU received between 4 July and 24 July 2006 and the Lead Authors’ responses. We still have not seen the publisher’s final acceptance letter for Wahl and Ammann 2007 which the TSU said it wanted for its records.

      If anyone missed Dr Pachauri the transcript is here and there was audio when I looked.

  22. Ian Castles
    Posted Oct 4, 2009 at 7:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks David. You are fully justified in renewing your request to Dr Matschoss.

    However I suspect that he may have found that the outcome of discussions at the IPCC Bureau meeting cannot be divulged until the draft report on the meeting is approved at the next Session, whenever that will be.

    No reports on the three Bureau meetings held between November 2004 and March 2007 have been published on the IPCC’s website, although the report on the 36th Session held on 14-15 March 2007 indicates that the draft report on the 35th Session was approved without amendment.
    I suspect that the three missing reports have been suppressed.

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