Rose on Fortress Met Office

David Rose of the Mail places the Met Office obstruction of FOI requests squarely in the spotlight.

The Met Office obstruction left a singularly bad taste with their sequence of untrue excuses for not producing John Mitchell’s Review Editor comments.

First, they claimed that Mitchell had deleted all the emails concerning AR4. (This excuse came on June 2, 2008, three days after Jones had sent an email asking Mann, Briffa, Ammann and Wahl to delete their emails concerning AR4. We know that Jones and Briffa had corresponded with Mitchell in March about Holland’s request to the Met Office for Review Comments. We do not know when Mitchell was supposed to have deleted his emails.)

When asked to search their server, they then claimed that Mitchell had acted in a “personal” capacity as IPCC Review Editor – sort of like NASA blogger Gavin Schmidt at realclimate – and thus they were not subject to FOI.

When asked whether Mitchell had claimed expenses and/or salary for IPCC meetings, they resiled from that excuse (without providing the requested expenses), settling on a refusal excuse developed at CRU – one so repugnant that even Phil Jones said that he felt like Sir Humphrey: that providing Mitchell’s Review Comments would interfere with UK relations with an international organization (IPCC).

Contemporary accounts of the progress of the Met Office FOIs are here here here here here.

There is a very interesting backstory in which “hide the decline” – the leading early Climategate story – leads directly to the story about FOI obstruction. I’ll try to get to that story some time next week.

The issue is by no means over. Despite its claims to be an “open and transparent” organization, the IPCC does not attorn to any international FOI legislation. Its cadres in the U.S. and U.K. have used the interference with international organization to immunize the actions of national IPCC cadres from national FOI.

In one of the Climategate Letters, Phil Jones planned to ask IPCC to seek even greater immunization of national cadres from FOI legislation. In my opinion, exactly the opposite needs to be done: in UK and US legislation regarding the relations with international organizations exemption, exclude relations with IPCC.


  1. oneuniverse
    Posted Feb 6, 2010 at 11:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This whole Climategate thing seems to have legs.

  2. Dave L.
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 12:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think the clincher is the fact that the Met Office paid Mitchell for his work on the IPCC and he received Government expense vouchers to travel to IPCC meetings. That is not personal business.
    I don’t think they would have a leg to stand on in a court room inquiry.

  3. Jimchip
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 12:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ll include some references to a selection of the CRU team emails from March 27, 2008 to June 23, 2008.

    Starting with the last, from Tim Osborn. I can’t resist based on the fact that the phrase “Confidential Agent Ammann” is used and the CA topics from above are mentioned.

    On March 27, Phil gives his opinion on Holland and closes with the statement “I’m away all next week – with Mike. PaleoENSO meeting in Tahiti – you can’t turn those sorts of meetings down!” On Mar. 27, Caspar Ammann writes to Osborn but doesn’t answer a question regarding confidentiality. He merely complains, “Oh MAN! will this crap ever end??” On May 30, Caspar replies wrt to confidentiality and states “…I have to say that the intent of these emails is to reply or communicate with the individuals on the distribution list…as far as I can remember (and I haven’t checked in the records, if they even still exist) I have never written an explicit statement on these messages that would label them strictly confidential.” Osborn replies and states if Caspar says the correspondence is confidential “then we will use this as a reason to decline the request.”

    I’ll end with Phil’s long chain mail from May 28 discussing Holland’s requests, what Briffa “should say” and the “check-kiting” regarding emails received via IPCC vs. those received directly from authors requesting consideration for inclusion in the IPCC report.

    Steve: Much more relevant are the Wahl emails. Because Wahl hadn’t been nominated as an IPCC reviewer, it was assumed that Ammann was the one who had been the confidential agent – actually it was Wahl in deep cover.

    • Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 3:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jimchip (Feb 7 00:28),

      Getting close Jim. treasure trove there that requires close reading and reconstruction

      • Jimchip
        Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 3:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: steven mosher (Feb 7 03:22),

        The whole of 2006 regarding the AR4 process, especially centered on Briffa’s authorship and the machinations is interesting. Peck’s role wrt Chapter 6. “Close reading and reconstruction” I agree with.

  4. Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 12:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re: Attorn

    Never seen that word before, interesting.

    This whole thing is like Al Gore’s “No controlling legal authority”, which is basically admitting that what was done may be wrong, but that there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

    • Bernie
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 9:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Pretty interesting: Two words I do not recall seeing before: attorn and resile. Also interesting is that “attorn” derives from feudal authority, which seems to be quite apropos where the IPCC and the MetOffice is concerned. I suspect that Steve is pretty good at crossword puzzles.

  5. Snowy Smith
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 1:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    snip — offensive

  6. Curt
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 1:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The Economist said this week in an article on the IPCC’s mistakes:

    “The fact that critics can dig far enough into the reviewing process to see such details speaks well of the IPCC’s transparency…”

  7. Charles DrPH
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 1:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, please delete that crap posted by Snowy Smith! Have a nice weekend.
    ryanm – caught it

  8. deadwood
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 1:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    And what does Mr. Holland plan on doing about this and about the CRU refusals now that everything is in the open? He seems to be very quiet.

    • David Holland
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 9:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

      David Holland plans to get his submission in to the Commons’ Select Committee if the reporters will leave him in peace for long enough!

  9. Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 3:28 AM | Permalink | Reply


    Do you think the UK papers are trying to run this thing out of gas?

    I noticed on their web sites that are closing down comment sections ( maybe their standard practice)

    Rule number one of PR in a case of bad news is to get it allout quickly. People cant even inhale between
    these stories. They may be pushing it all out asap so they can then position it and move on

    • geronimo
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 6:43 AM | Permalink | Reply


      Most of them cut out comments after a couple of days.

    • Jeff C.
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

      “Do you think the UK papers are trying to run this thing out of gas?”

      I had thought the same thing, that the reporters might be trying to push it through in one big lump so we could “move on”. However, that only works if the gas runs out before the IPCC loses credibility. That doesn’t seem to be the case here, the IPCC is in free-fall, and every thread pulled seems to lead to two more.

      I think a feeding frenzy is the more likely explanation. The press has finally realized that one of the biggest stories in years is right under their nose and they just can’t help themselves even if it runs contrary to their politics. I’m sure there is also a fair amount of personal and institutional embarrassment at having taken the IPCC and climatologists at their word. Most of all, they were scooped by a bunch of yahoo amateurs (no offence intended) and needed to get quickly on the right side of the story to preserve their own credibility.

      • Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 11:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

        No offense taken. Early on I pointed the story to a some MSMs types hoping they would follow it down. It wasnt until Nov 29th that I decided nobody else would do it. Not my idea to do a book.

    • jim edwards
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

      “Rule number one of PR in a case of bad news is to get it allout quickly. People cant even inhale between these stories. They may be pushing it all out asap so they can then position it and move on”

      Yes, I predicted that we’d see a lot more stories as soon as the “himalaya-gate” scoop came out.

      Jeff C. could be right about the “feeding frenzy”, but if you look at the totality of circumstances it makes sense for the pro-IPCC forces to get all of the stories out now.

      First, the world economy stinks and Copenhagen failed. The public and their elected representatives aren’t going to be begging for more restraints on economic growth anytime soon.

      Second, a number of shamed officials have already come out in favor of greater disclosure. The implication to many is that the whole argument needs to be quickly demonstrated, using a higher standard of reproducibility.

      Third, the himalayan glaciers problem already pierced the myth that the IPCC reports are based solely upon peer-reviewed science. It’s clear that, if IPCC doesn’t clear all of the NGO crap out of the system, the wheels will fall off, again, when the bandwagon starts to roll down the road.

      This is a great opportunity to ask for grant money to study himalayan glaciers, Amazon vegetation response to rainfall patterns, and North African crop yields. If the economy doesn’t double-dip, the new-and-improved AR5 will be ready to back support for the next international treaty attempt.

    • Jimchip
      Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 11:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: steven mosher (Feb 7 03:28),

      I don’t think conspiracy to run it out of gas; more like ‘coming to the party late’ with many wishing to blow it all out and move on. What’s happening now, spontaneously, is anyone who’s merely reacting to the ‘new’ facts might be getting tired and just wondering, “What the heck is going on?”. It’s a complicated story (to me). “Woodstein! Where are you?!”

      WRT the MSM, I thought Mosher and Fuller could have had a nice multi-part series in a US print mag. Courelleche did fine, IMO, but he didn’t do the Steve/Tom thing. Where is the core of US MSM?

  10. Jimchip
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 3:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Based on “Steve: Much more relevant are the Wahl emails…” I’ll include a few Wahl-Briffa correspondences with Wahl giving advice to Briffa, a 2007 IPCC author.

    Feb 22, 2006, Wahl states “Here is the mss. Yes, fingers crossed. Note, this is not for general dissemination until actually “in press” then Briffa to Wahl: “Thanks for this Eugene. It has been very difficult in drafting the 2000-year section text for us to get the balance between too much concentration on the controversy as you call it…Sounds like your paper is an important one to signpost in the text…”

    July 21, 2006 “I have done my best this evening to digest the issues you asked me to look at, and to give perspective on them. Here is what I can offer at this point…so I am also attaching a review article Caspar and I plan to submit to Climatic Change in the next few days…Please note that this Ammann-Wahl text is sent strictly confidentially — it should not be cited or mentioned in any form, and MUST not be transmitted without permission…The former will help you see how over-strong and one-sided are the arguments Steven McIntyre puts forth in this area…”

    Aug. 12, 2006 “Thanks so much for the chance to look over this section….I suggested addition of a phrase in lines 32-33 on page 6-3 regarding MM 2003 and analysis of it by Wahl-Ammann 2006…[I should note that AW 2006 is still in “in press” status, and its exact publication date will be affected by publication of an editorial designed to go with it that Caspar and I are submitting this weekend. Thus I cannot say it is certain this article will come out in 2006…”.

    Also, a June 20, 2007 Wahl-Phil email “Glad I can help, even if quite indirectly. I know what you mean about the need for community when under duress.”. This one has a lot, including the Steve Mc request and Doug Keenan to Steve Mc regarding Wang. I included it because of the “quite indirectly” attitude evidenced the year previously.

  11. ge0050
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 3:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I watched an interview recently with the head of the Met office in the UK. One comment he made intrigued me. He said that while medium term climate forecasts were not accurate, long term forecast were.

    This stuck me as highly unlikely, as though he was assuming that the Law of Large Numbers would average out the errors +- in the long term around a mean of zero.

    For example, when we forecast a termperature, there is likely to be some error. Some forecasts might be high, some low. Odds are most errors will be small, with decreasing number of large errors. Thus over the longer term it might be argued that the error will converge on the mean of zero, and the long term forecasts will be accurate.

    Intuitively this seems wrong to me. I’m reminded of the example on an inertial guidance system. In this case there is a map (physical law) and a machine to follow the map (climate model). The errors left and right have a mean of zero and there are many small errors and few large. The distribution is similar to climate forecasting.

    However we know that in the case of intertial guidance, no matter how long you train the machine to eliminate drift, there will remain some error that is not normally distibuted. As a result it will not tend to zero according to the LLN. Instead the error tend to accumulate the longer the timeline.

    While the intertial guidance system will track for awhile, evenually it must drift. On occasion it may cross the path due to random change, and in the case of climate forecasting it would be “right” at that time, but in fact it is simply a chance occurance.

    It seems much more likely to me that climate forecasting is an intractable problem. That the system itself is chaotic and time series forecasting is meaningless the longer the model runs. The error bars must increase in size going forward.

    Chaotic modelling will provide meaningful information. For example, you should be able to predict future temperatures, but not the year in which they will occur. You also should be able to predict the year in which the future will occur, but not the temperature.

    What seems intuitively obvious is that you cannot predict both the temperature and the date at the same time.

    I’ve only just started looking at this question after the release of the CRU emails so I welcome any and all comments. It seems to me that if I could reliably predict the global climate 100 years in the future I could also reliably predict the global currency exchange rates next week, and would not need to bother with climate forecasting to make a living.

  12. James Evans
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 4:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Off topic, but I wondered if you’d seen this nasty little smear yet:

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 7:47 PM | Permalink | Reply



      From: “Simon J Shackley”
      Organization: umist
      Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 14:44:09 GMT
      Subject: BP funding
      Priority: normal
      X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Win32 (v3.12a)
      dear TC colleagues
      looks like BP have their cheque books out! How can TC benefit from
      this largesse? I wonder who has received this money within Cambridge
      Cheers, Simon
      STUDY News
      October 26, 2000
      Internet: [1]
      LONDON — BP Amoco Plc, the world’s No. 3 publicly traded oil
      company, and Ford Motor Co. said they will give Princeton
      University $20 million over 10 years to study ways to reduce
      carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. BP said it will give
      $15 million. Ford, the world’s second-biggest automaker, is
      donating $5 million. The gift is part of a partnership between the
      companies aimed at addressing concerns about climate change.
      Carbon dioxide is the most common of the greenhouse gases believed
      to contribute to global warming.
      London-based BP said it plans to give $85 million in the next
      decade to universities in the U.S. and U.K. to study environmental
      and energy issues. In the past two years, the company has pledged
      $40 million to Cambridge University, $20 million to the University
      of California at Berkeley and $10 million to the University of
      Colorado at Boulder.



  13. oakwood
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 4:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Independent slanders Stephen McIntyre

    Headline today 7th Feb (online version, don’t know about hard copy)
    “Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers”
    Alongside is a prominant picture of Stephen McIntyre.

    Thus, the clear implication is that (i) McIntyre is receiving this ‘oil money’ and (ii) that McIntyre is a “denier” (ie. irrational propagandist).

    The first point at least deserves a press complaint or even something more formal.
    Currently the front page headline, but this could change
    The article itself (with picture)

  14. ge0050
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 4:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    snip – blog rules prohibit discussion of policy

  15. Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 5:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sunday Times 7 February: Richard Girling Article


    I don’t know if you are aware of this article but in it Phil Jones makes a personal attack on you. In particular he makes a claim about the number FOI requests sent by yourself to the CRU which greatly exceeds the number which you have stated you sent.

    I do not need to tell you to be careful on this matter: I suspect you may require good legal advice.

    This is getting very unpleasant. All I can say is that there are a lot of people in the UK who will support you.

    Good Luck.

  16. Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 5:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sunday Times: Richard Girling/Phil Jones Article

    The link to the Sunday Times article I quoted in a previous post is given above. The on-line article is edited. This is what the print article actually states:

    ” He (Phil Jones) also suggested that the CRU was the target of a co-ordinated attempt to interfere with its work- a suspicion that hardened into certainty when, over the matter of days, it received 40 similar FOI requests. Each applicant asked for data from five different countries, 200 in all, which would have been a daunting task even for someone with nothing else to do. It was clear to Jones that the attack originated from an old adversary, the sceptical website Climate Audit, run by Steve McIntyre, a former mineral prospector and arch climate sceptic.

    “We were clearly being targetted” says Jones. “Only 22% of the FOI enquiries were identifiable from within the UK, 39% were from abroad and 39% were untraceable” What irked him was that the foreign applicants would all have had sources closer to hand in their own countries.

    ” I think they just wanted to waste our time” he says ” They wanted to slow us down”

    It was pure irritation, he says, that provoked him and others to write the notorious emails apparently conspiring to destroy or withhold data. “It was just frustration. I thought the requests were just distractions. It was just taking us away from our day jobs. It was written in anger.”

    But he insists that no data were destroyed. ” We have no data to delete. It comes to us from institutions around the world. We interpret data. We don’t create or collect it. It’s alllavailable from other sources.”

    The article goes on. Read it with a handkerchief as it will have you in tears.

    • Peter of Sydney
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 6:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The tactics being employed is obvious. They are stalling by issuing counter claims. When answered, new claims against the AGW peddlers come back with more counter claims. It will go on long enough to bore everyone enough that the whole scam will flourish once again. It can only be short circuited in the law courts.

    • curious
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 8:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

      “Each applicant asked for data from five different countries, 200 in all, which would have been a daunting task even for someone with nothing else to do.”

      I just opened a spreadsheet, cut and pasted 10 columns of data into a word document and saved it as a .pdf in less than a minute. Lets say I do that 40 times and top and tail it with a std. email – I’d say an hour should cover it.

      The line of argument that the FOIs were a targeted attempt to “slow down” the CRU is just pathetic. I also think that any journalist who reports on this without asking “What were the requests asking for, what would have been required to respond and how long that would have taken?” is asleep on the job.

      I’d also like to know what exactly they were being slowed down from doing – booking the tickets to Tahiti etc etc?

      • Jimchip
        Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 12:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: curious (Feb 7 08:10),


        “I’d also like to know what exactly they were being slowed down from doing – booking the tickets to Tahiti…?” :). They could be slowed down from writing the grant proposals, including awesome travel expenses, that allowed them to travel– “Hi from the South Pacific, Cheers” :)

        To get back to your main point, I think it’s even easier than your spreadsheet method. Take one request (after reading all 40). Answer the one, including all the data (conf. agreements), not just wrt to the specific request (none of it is confidential in this case) and carbon copy the other 39. ‘Cover letter’: Here it all is. Time-wise about as difficult as you describe but they wouldn’t have to discriminate as much. Except as Craig mentioned, they could be a little disorganized. All that travel, not much Team spirit back home, major players thinking “I can’t remember what I did with those and it’s not important”.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 8:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

      What was being asked for were confidentiality agreements preventing the release of weather records. Let’s say you have paper copies in a file drawer–they are all there, one trip resolves all issues. Let’s say your office is a mess–you have to search an entire file cabinet–4 hours? How disorganized can you be that looking for these agreements would be a big deal? I guess we should ask their programmer how disorganized it is possible to be…

      • curious
        Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

        True – I guess on that basis you could argue the requests might help speed them up a bit?

        It certainly seemed to give them the opportunity to show some quick skills with sample analysis, although I make 22% of 40 = 8.8 requests. The submission of fragmented FOI requests must be hell to deal with – just how dirty will the denialist machine get? Or perhaps the anomaly is just an artifact of their statistical procedures? :)

    • Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 11:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

      ” I think they just wanted to waste our time” [Jones] says ” They wanted to slow us down”

      Hmmm … Do I hear an echo of Santer’s (Nov. 11/08):

      “[...]I believe that McIntyre is pursuing a calculated strategy to divert my attention and focus away from research. [...]

      “Quite frankly, Tom, [...], I am unwilling to waste more of my time fulfilling the intrusive and frivolous requests of Steven McIntyre”

  17. jamie
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 6:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Off topic but:

    The article below is libellous, from the heading
    “Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers”
    and the sole image of Steve McIntyre at the top of the article implies ExxonMobil cash supports Steven McIntyre & ClimateAudit.

    This is a smear of the worst kind, even the article does not clarify that Steve McIntyre does not receive funding from ExxonMobil.

    • Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 6:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Independent Article

      An extremely unpleasant article. Well written though: there is nothing in it that could be considered libelous. It is simply defammation by association.

      I’m just confused by what is happening. Last week the Independent seemed to be changing sides: now it produces this.

      Is there a battle royal going on the Editorial room?

      • jim edwards
        Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

        As Martin notes, nothing in the article fits the classic definition of libel. It does appear to fit the bill for the tort of ‘false light’. False light exists, for example, where an article’s headline states, “Pedophiles Run Rampant” accompanied by a picture which states, simply, “Brad Jones is a local butcher.” Mr. Jones may not be falsely identified as a pedophile in the article, but his photo’s proximity to the article places him in a clear and false light, in the minds of the readers.

        I have no idea whether this tort exists in the UK, whether the article is actionable under UK law, or what protections the publisher may have when writing about a public figure, like Steve.

        The article serves to make two relevant points in the readers’ minds:

        1. Steve likely received a speaker’s fee [the reader is left to infer this] to present at the Heartland Institute’s conference; the conference, itself, received oil money – and so Steve received laundered oil money.

        2. There is a network of “denialists” being funded by the oil companies. Steve is identified as part of a “network of skeptics”. He is one of the few persons inferentially identified as indirectly receiving oil money. The clear conclusion a reader will come to is that Steve is a ‘denialist’.

        This is false, of course.

        Falsely accusing a person of a crime is per se defamation. [per se, in this context, means the plaintiff need not prove his damages.] Being a public ‘denier’ is not illegal, but plenty of important people have equated ‘denialism’ with crimes against humanity and the Earth-Mother. It’s an interesting legal point to consider whether, at some point in the debate, calling a person a denier becomes per se defamatory.

        Even if it isn’t per se defamatory as an allegation of illegality, calling somebody denialist may be defamatory because the word carries a stigma of immorality and, inherently, is a charge that somebody is a liar.

        A ‘skeptic’, after all, defers belief due to insufficient evidence. A ‘denier’ knows the truth but pretends not to, which is lying.

      • Bernie
        Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

        It is well to remember that Real Climate and DeSmogBlog are connected to a potent PR machine with many, many connections to fanatical environmentalists. The article is a perfect example of “astro-turfing”. Interestingly Littlemore one of the PR guys at deSmogBlog is hyping the piece which seems to have originated from another PR/Political site DeepClimate. The nastiness of the pro-CAGW side should not be underestimated.

    • Dr. Ross Taylor
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 8:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I am appalled and will never buy a copy of The Independent again. Independent? What a joke. It isn’t the blogs that are driving this in the way that is suggested, it is merely that they are making observations that many of us feel should have but have never been made by the kind of politically correct ideologues who wrote this trashy article. None of us are funded by “big-oil”- we are simply pi**d off at the incessant GW hype when the science that is supposed to underpin it seems to us to be deeply suspect.

      • Dr. Ross Taylor
        Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 8:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

        On a flippant note, you look mighty fine in the picture Steve, and history will do the job of binning the writers and the newspaper for you so I wouldn’t bother about it. Perhaps I could suggest that as The Independent is now reaching for Pulitzer levels of journalistic excellence, it could have a follow-up article by HRH, Lord of the Isles?

        • jim edwards
          Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

          I hope Steve sends in a short letter to the Independent, demanding a correction. Nobody will see the correction, of course, but an editor will make the writer uncomfortable for three minutes, and future articles will be a little better once they’ve been put on notice. Turn this lemon into lemonade…

          Steve, how about this:

          My attention was drawn to your Sunday article, “TITLE”. I am deeply offended by the clear implications of the article, which place me in a false light. First, the reader will come to the conclusion that I am a climate “denier”. Since 2003, I have consistently stated that I believe that global warming is a real problem.

          My academic background is in Maths and statistics. Many influential climate papers are simply exercises in using statistics to massage other people’s data. The emphasis of my work has been to note that a number of very important papers have slipped through the peer-review system, even though they lack sufficient descriptions of data and methods for fellow scientists to attempt to check the results for accuracy. Contrary to popular belief, the results are not double-checked in peer-review. Some very influential papers contain severe flaws. I have been warning for years that the practice of hiding data and methods would eventually prove to be a public relations disaster for climate science. Some are finally coming around to my way of thinking, calling for greater disclosure.

          A secondary concern of mine has been that certain climate scientists are doing novel statistical work on important data sets without proper statistical training or reference to the existing peer-reviewed literature on statistics. As long as insufficiently-trained activists are allowed to keep using bad math to influence public policy, the entire field of climatology will be unfairly tainted.

          A number of scientists have resisted my efforts to improve the disclosure of underlying data and methods in climate science. Rather than bring their practices in line with other fields in science, or collaborate with trained statisticians, they have chosen to defame me. The Independent doesn’t need to participate in the defamation.

      • Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Dr. Ross Taylor (Feb 7 08:52), Indy seems to be closely linked with the Met Office. On 7 December last year the Indy issued a pamphlet entitled “Warming” published by the Met Office. See the picture of this, plus the “social network” links between Met Office and UEA, here

        • P. Solar
          Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

          Ah, the presentation you refer to, printed by the Independent, seems to be the same as that on the Met.Off. web site called “Climate change – the facts”. that I comment on below.

          A better title would be “Climate – changing the facts.”

        • Posted Feb 9, 2010 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

          Re: P. Solar (Feb 8 12:39), yes! it would be nice to see a complete deconstruction here or somewhere, under your title, to parallel Watts’ article on the shortfalls of the new NOAA page that solemnly advises us to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

        • P. Solar
          Posted Feb 9, 2010 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

          Yes, that’s a good idea. I may ask Steve if he’s interested in my submitting an article. There’s certainly enough half-truths and misrepresentation in that presentation to make a decent article. Hide the decline is just the most topical.

          Met. Office are trying to distance themselves from CRU but are basically running the same sort of deception.

  18. jamie
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 6:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Meanwnwhile here is a real fact:

    It has also emerged that Teri’s biggest single sponsor, BP India, which has provided £6 million, paid for dinner and drinks at an event publicising Dr Pachauri’s debut novel. A BP spokesman said it was entirely legitimate to fund the dinner, the company having enjoyed a “long association with Dr Pachauri”.

    BP paid for the Head of the IPCC’s dinner and drinks event publicising Dr Pachauri’s smutty novel, Return to Almora. Everybody at the party got autographed red silk handkerchiefs.

  19. Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 9:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    When I saw today’s Independent on Sunday’s article “Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers”, my first thought was that they were accusing Steve (whose picture is mysteriously prominent in the page) of having been paid by Exxon. I wonder how many people will get the same impression, but won’t read the article in full and so will leave the site convinced that ExxonMobil is behind Climate Audit?

    • Dr. Ross Taylor
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 9:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I agree, the juxtaposition of the article and photograph is an absolute disgrace, but I do not believe that readers are as gullible as all that- the comments at The Times on the Phil Jones sympathy article today are a testament to that. As to taking this article seriously, please see my comments above. Cheers.

  20. Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    More curious circumstances…when I use to shorten the URL, the suggested Twitter-style entry mentions Steve as well. ???

    ” Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers – Climate Change, Environment – The Independent “McInt”

  21. Richard Wakefield
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve you may want to look at this:

    • jim edwards
      Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The underlying DeepClimate post goes into great detail to demonstrate that Steve apparently:

      1) may have confused the date when the Canadian Environmental Minister stopped claiming that the 1990s were the warmest decade in a 1000 years,

      2) Wrote two academic papers,

      3) Found a problem with Mann’s misuse of PCA,

      4) Met some skeptical scientists at a talk he gave with Ross McKittrick,

      5) And is a sonofabitch because he’s somehow responsible for all the perceived misdeeds of the denialist machine, the members of which are all unethical a##holes.

      One commenter noted with glee that the company Steve USED TO work for wants to drill for oil in South America.

  22. Stacey
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    1 Hockey Stick Graph Discredited?

    The science behind climate change is robust.

    2 Leaked Emails demonstrate discreditable behaviour by self named climate scientists.

    The actions of a few scientists do not detract from the fast majority of scientists who show climate change is real and is happening now.

    3 Glaciers in the Himalayas will not disappear by 2035 the IPPC admits.

    Like all organisations the IPPC has made mistakes surprise surprise. The science is robust.

    4 Reports of increase in activity due man made climate change shown to be false.

    This does note detract from ——— fill in as you please.

    5 “Parts of Africa will be producing 50% less food by 2020″ Shown to false.

    This does note detract from ——— fill in as you please.

    6 Snow is just now a thing of the past

    This does note detract from ——— fill in as you please.

    Finally we are all flatearthers, who says so First Lord of the Treasury and Prime Minister of the UK. Who in effects appoints all the board of the MET Office.

  23. johnh
    Posted Feb 7, 2010 at 2:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Not just the CRU is in trouble over deleted emails and FOIA in the UK, the expansion of Heathrow with a third runway recently approved is under fire from FOIA requests.

  24. P. Solar
    Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 11:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Here in the Met. office’s official climate for dummies presentation are many misleading claims.

    One of the clearest is a “hiding the decline” trick.

    Referring to the pdf version of the presentation: on page 4 there is a hockystick type graph. It shows temperatures and projected future temps from models.

    Curiously they choose to crop off the real temperature data at 2000 despite there being a graph on page 14 that shows data up to 2008.

    The reason for cropping off the available data in the first graph seems to be to avoid the plebs noticing that the exponentially rising projections are now going in the opposite direction to the REAL temperature record.

    This seems uncomfortably close to Phil Jones’ “hide the decline” in both deed and spirit.

    They go on to inform the masses that computer models are “the only reliable” way to predict future climate.

  25. Jean Jones
    Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 6:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    So Steve, when are you going to address the real issue of the folks who have supported and publicized your work–as nicely exposed on Deep Climate. Your readers have the right to know the huge money/PR machine that has propelled you and Ross to fame in the world of denial. As for the rest of you, check out and you’ll see how “independent” McIntyre really is–or, should I say, how dependent he is on the right-wing denial industry.

    • RomanM
      Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 7:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Ms. Jones. On this blog we try to pay attention to what is going on and not post OT comments on various threads. A little research on your part might find a more appropriate thread for what you might have to say.

      Deep Climate’s post is a good example of him doing what he does well – nothing. Did you notice his incisive assessment of Wegman’s analysis? Neither did I. What I read was pretty much drivel, but I am pleased that you actually found something you consider meaningful in it.

      • Dave Dardinger
        Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 7:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: RomanM (Feb 8 19:05),

        Ah, but he writes so breathlessly that if you’re not paying attention, you are lulled into thinking he’s said something interesting.

  26. Jean Jones
    Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 7:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    [RomanM: Snip-OT. I asked you to take this discussion to a more appropriate thread. Try this one, please.]

  27. MikeN
    Posted Feb 9, 2010 at 9:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think my browser is messing up. I see no new comments since yesterday morning, and no new posts since ‘A Small Document’.

    • P. Solar
      Posted Feb 9, 2010 at 3:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I’m seeing some odd behaviour too. I have a watch on this thread so I get too it from the link.

      But in another browser I open at the home page and there’s “A Small Document” but older posts goes back to Latest IPCC Exaggeration on 3rd Feb.

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Quote; “Documents obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal that the Met Office’s stonewalling was part of a co-ordinated, legally questionable strategy by climate change academics linked with the IPCC to block access to outsiders“. Read more,          IPCC under the microscope,     Prejudiced authors, prejudiced findings,     Fortress met office and other dramas [...]

  2. [...] See also [...]

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