Who Wrote the “Issues Paper”?

I haven’t started writing about the execrable Inquiry “Issues Paper” ( located here). My first impression upon reading this document was that the inquiry desperately needed a lawyer who understood that you need to read all the emails (not just some of them as the Inquiry confessed), that you need to ask about each and every incident of (say) peer review carjacking or pal review, each and every incident of data suppression, each and every incident of apparent data manipulation. That you don’t try to “distil” things down to a few questions – efforts to “save” time now merely waste time later.

I got a bit sidetracked from an examination of the Issues Paper by the various controversies surrounding Geoffrey Boulton.

I wondered today about whether the version of the Issues Paper online today was the same as the version that I downloaded a couple of days ago. While checking this, I noticed something even more interesting.

Right-click, look at “Document Properties”.

You can’t make this stuff up.

102 Comments

  1. windansea
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

    good one! got to love the right clic

    how is the new laptop?

  2. Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    Oh, that’s good!

  3. windansea
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    15 February 2010
    Allegations of bias against Review member rejected

    On Friday February 12, allegations were raised that Professor Geoffrey Bolton’s background and views affected his ability to be a member of the Review. These have been rejected by Sir Muir Russell and by Professor Bolton.

    http://www.cce-review.org/News.php

  4. Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    I couldn’t find the properties page either with a right click or under the file menu when I just opened the link in IE. However, they do show up if I save it to disk and then open it with Adobe Acrobat. (Under file/document properties, but still not with a right click)

    Well, Jones wasn’t the author, anyway!

    • Ausie Dan
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

      Boulton

  5. windansea
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    appears their press office can’t spell Boulton’s name correctly.

    guess they will also need to edit their FAQs…the part about no predetermined viewpoints on AGW

  6. Lance Wallace
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    I hope someone is passing this on to the MSM.

  7. Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    Jesus.

  8. Another Voice
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    you should keep the md5 checksum of the file in case they change it.

    ca31de444f64f60f7c12497270cdf5d1

  9. GTFrank
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    No wonder he can’t/won’t quit. He is leading the inquiry.

  10. ZT
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    What an embarrassment – they should all resign.

  11. P Gosselin
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Forget “pal-review”.
    Now it’s “pal-investigation”!

    • MWalsh
      Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

      Well, PAL is the European standard after all.

  12. P Gosselin
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    I do hope ther are some in the UK Parliament who will stand up to this. This crony science has really become a chronic and institutionalised disease that simply refuses to be cured.

    • Martin Ackroyd
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

      Peter Lilley MP?

  13. Jim Stathos
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    I think Sir Russell will be having a spot of sherry and a nice nap-nap whilst Geoffrey conducts the review.

  14. Ed Moran
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    Well! You learn something every day!

    I didn’t know that I could gnash my teeth, sigh, snort, cry and laugh out loud all at thr same time.

    FGS what a shower!

  15. Fred Harwood
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    For those using Preview, look under Tools:Inspector

  16. Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    “The Team” has a double meaning.

  17. Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    It would seem that Muir Russel does not need to think independently since he has Geoffrey Bolton to do his thinking for him.

  18. 007
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    I’m reading this on my blackberry.

    What does it say?

    • Bernie
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

      Boulton created the PDF at 6PM on 2/11/2010

      Steve: When the website was first spotted, I downloaded a pdf that shows Feb 10, 2010 4:47 pm. However, it appears to be the same as the Feb 11 version.

  19. Jeff C.
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    I’m not sure what is more embarrassing, the scientific ineptitude or the incompetence at pulling off a simple conspiracy. These guys could use some lessons from our puppeteers at Big Oil.

    • Barclay E MacDonald
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

      Please recall that Mr. Boulton and the Royal Society of Edinburgh are supported by BP and Shell. See http://www.rse.org.uk/friends/index.htm.

      • Ausie Dan
        Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

        Yes – the BP representative on the committee also has to go.

        Who’s left?

  20. PaulH
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    I guess it’s possible that someone else had to borrow GB’s computer to create the document. Or not. ;)

    • Jimchip
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

      Re: PaulH (Feb 15 14:26),

      Headline tomorrow: “Boulton’s computer illegally hacked. Fake remit published.”

  21. Bernie
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Well Prof. Boulton does know most about the topic and the players after all. (/s)

  22. Pete
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    McIntyre: Boulton, did you write the Issues Paper?
    Phil Jones: You *don’t* have to answer that question!
    Boulton: I’ll answer the question!
    [to McIntyre]
    Boulton: You want answers?
    McIntyre: I think I’m entitled.
    Boulton: *You want answers?*
    McIntyre: *I want the truth!*
    Boulton: *You can’t handle the truth!*
    [pauses]
    Boulton: Son, we live in a world that has manmade global warming, and that warming has to be studied by men with self-proclaimed climatology degrees. Whose gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for real science, and you curse the believers. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That the death of ethics in science, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me in charge of this issue, you need me on this paper. We use words like open debate, peer-review, integrity. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent creating something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very CO2 I have provided, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a hockey stick, and get with the program . Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

    • Jimchip
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      Re: Pete (Feb 15 14:31),

      Then Phil says, “See Geoff, I told you that McIntyre was nasty. He didn’t even thank me that time I sent him a data point. It was a really valuable data point, too.”

    • Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

      Pete:
      Clapping.. Respect..

      • Mike J
        Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

        Brilliant, Pete! Thanks for the laugh.

    • Sean
      Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

      Hilarious!

  23. Dr Iain McQueen
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    What on earth’s going on? I never knew a cross examination to have its effect improved by being published beforehand for the witnesses to think about. The whole thing is utterly bizarre.

    Steve: Absolutely. This is a key issue that still needs to be addressed. At this point, the Inquiry should be making a list of questions for its examination of Jones. Making submissions before Jones answers the questions is, as you say, bizarre.

    • RomanM
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

      Re: Dr Iain McQueen (Feb 15 14:41),

      As I read the document questions, I got the distinct impression that they were written by a defense lawyer to be asked of their client. Most of the questions suggested a possible “innocent” answer which would be followed up on immediately with the next question. Together they appeared to provide a road map for complete exoneration of any wrongdoing.

      For example, in relation to the email on erasing data to avoid FOIA, the questions are:

      Do you agree that releasing data for others to use and to test hypotheses is an important principle?

      Answer: Yes

      If so, do you agree that this principle has been abused?

      Answer: Yes, the data has been misused by certain skeptics.

      If so, should not data be released for use by those with the intention to undermine your case, or is there a distinction you would wish to make between legitimate and illegitimate use?

      Answer: No, it should be restricted from who wish to misuse the data and try to mislead people on the dangers of climate change. Such use would be illegitimate.

      If not, do others have reasonable access to the data at all levels and to the description of processing steps, in order to be able to carry out such a re-analysis?

      Answer: Yes, we give the data to those that we know won’t abuse the privilege.

      The other questions flow similarly. The relevant portion on was a crime committed by avoiding legitimate FOIA requests is completely ignored. My money is on the bet that Prof. Boulton wrote these questions.

      • Dr Iain McQueen
        Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

        Re: RomanM (Feb 15 16:28), This very thought about a friendly cross-examination occurred to me as well. Quite likely tomorrow the Team will publish the best answers to their questions!

        • RomanM
          Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

          Not only friendly, but completely choreographed to make sure that the “right” answers emerge.

          Some years ago, as an expert witness, I had to present testimony about the results of a regression model in a court room. The evening prior to the testimony, I spent five hours with the lawyer feeding him questions: you will ask “this” and I will answer “that”… In this way, I could present a lecture and get my information out to the judges. I got the sense from reading this document that the same thing was about to happen.

          If you do it right, you don’t need to publish the answers. :)

        • Dr Iain McQueen
          Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

          Re: RomanM (Feb 15 17:35), Yes …. I’ve been there too. You can’t be suggesting they’ve been through the answers with “their” witnesses already …..surely,.. can you? “This is a serious matter,ye ken! We want to get at the truth. Can ye no see you see that?”
          You are right, of course. It would all look better if you didn’t have to publish the answers before.

        • RomanM
          Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

          No, the “lawyer” seems to be setting this up all by him(her? -naw, doubt it)self … and having done all the setup work, figures he is the only one who can take it successfully to the conclusion.

    • David Longinotti
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

      While many aspects of the inquiry look to be less than objective, I was pleasantly surprised that the paper seems to capture (in 1.1) most of the key scientific issues that have been raised, as I understand them. And I think that if the inquiry ‘team’ accepts inputs on both sides of the questions they list, then exposing the questions beforehand is appropriate. It would be a little like the discovery process in a truth-seeking trial, if the ‘evidence’ is considered in an even-handed manner. The danger, of course, is that it won’t be, and that only the mitigating sort of answers from the warmists will be seriously entertained.

  24. Tim
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    I would not read too much into this. It is possible that Boulton was the guy who converted the Word doc to PDF because he happened to have experience working with the converters. I just checked document properties the PDFs for committee outputs that I partially authored and confirmed it has the name of the guy who volunteered to do the conversion.

    • Jeff C.
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

      Before we start the whitewash of the whitewash, perhaps Muir Russell could tell us why Boulton’s name appears on the document?

      • Tim
        Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

        I am not trying to whitewash this – I am being properly skeptical and looking for alternate explanations before jumping on the one that is most convenient.

        That said the fact that Boulton did the conversion – and not a secretary – suggests that he was in fact the primary editor of the document even if he did not write it all himself.

        • RomanM
          Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

          Re: Tim (Feb 15 14:53),

          Is this an amateur outfit that doesn’t have secretarial assistance? I find that hard to believe.

          Possibly Prof. Bouldin Boulton is also the webmaster of their website (where his name is misspelled) too. ;)

        • Dr Iain McQueen
          Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

          Re: RomanM (Feb 15 15:00), Ah but they do have secretaries – from the RSE! The club that’s running the show, with support from their friends as mentioned above.

        • Jeff C.
          Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

          Understood, and apologies for the flippant response. After years of seeing all of these types of things go the same direction, one becomes a bit cynical. Imagine if a prominent skeptics name was listed as the author. The possibility is so remote it borders on the absurd.

    • tty
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

      In that case the other team members must be remarkably inexperienced. The PDF was created from Word 2007 and all settings are default values. Hardly something you need expert help to accomplish.

    • falsereality
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

      The PDF document was produced by a PDF converter add-in that is available free for Office 2007. All you have to do is select “file” then “save as” which brings up the file save window. To convert to PDF select “PDF” from the “save as type” drop down box. No experience need with PDF converters needed.

      I just did an experiment where I saved a Word document to PDF that was not authored by me. The PDF document properties list the author of the PDF document as the person who created the Word document, not the person that created the PDF document (which would be me).

      The obvious conclusion is Boulton is the author of the original Word document.

    • Tony Hansen
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

      Ahhh, now I start to understand. Muir Russell can’t let Boulton go, because Boulton is the only person Russell knows who can convert Word to PDF

  25. 007
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Good point Tim, nobody creates a file as a .pdf.

    • Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

      Not true for Word 2007/Office 2007. You can save a Word 2007 document as pdf directly from Word. I cannot do a ‘save as pdf’ from OpenOffice 3.1. I just tested the Save As pdf option with Word 2007. This, of course, does not mean that one should do this routinely; but having this option can make desktop publishing using, for example, the Government Printing Office (US) services much easier via a web page/service or ftp service.

      • John Andrews
        Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

        In Open Office, you export to a pdf, rather than save.

  26. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    Now that the issue’s been raised, I agree that it’s possible that someone else drafted the document and that Boulton made it into a pdf. But who are plausible candidates for the phantom author? Muir Russell? Oil executive David Eyton? IMO, at a minimum, this is fairly convincing evidence that Boulton – or Royal Society of Edinburgh (General Secretary, Geoffrey Boulton) staffers working for him – drafted the issues paper. We already know that the Royal Society of Edinburgh has been seconded to provide a secretariat.

    • Duke C.
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (Feb 15 15:03),

      Contained within the .PDF metadata:

      568 /Title(SCOPING THE ISSUES: THE CASE AGAINST CRU)/Author(Geoffrey Boulton)/Creator(þÿ.M.i.c.r.o.s.o.f.t.®. .O.f.f.i.c.e. .W.o.r.d. .2.0.0.7)/CreationDate(D:20100211180308) /ModDate(D:20100211180308) /Producer(þÿ.M.i.c.r.o.s.o.f.t.®. .O.f.f.i.c.e. .W.o.r.d. .2.0.0.7)

      Looks like it was drafted under a different working title, by Boulton on WORD 2007.

    • MrPete
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (Feb 15 15:03),
      I just ran a couple of tests.

      1) The file originated in Word 2007
      2) The Word file’s author was Boulton; Boulton set the initial title and file name
      3) It could have been edited by others, and could have been converted to PDF by others… Boulton would still show as Author.

      It is possible this looks nothing like whatever Boulton originally wrote. But there’s no question he was the initial creator of the file.

      • Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

      • Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

        Would you mind explaining the tests in some detail. I’m curious.

        • stansvonhorch
          Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

          the “PDF producer” and “content creator” attributes are both “Microsoft Word 2007″

          this means the pdf was created in word 2007, which inserts the user’s name by default when exporting as a PDF. because the creation date is the same as the modified date (the file wasn’t changed after being exported) this means we can assume that it was originally authored with a copy of word licensed to Geoffrey Boulton.

          he might have done some more digging than that, but just this tells us that it was either written by Boulton, written by someone else with his computer/software, or tampered with to have his name appear (there aren’t obvious indications this was done, so it would have been both nonsensical and needlessly sophisticated to do this)

        • Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 2:17 AM | Permalink

          I see the data in properties section including the word document info. But Mr. Pete is pretty convinced. As a long time programmer, it would be interesting to hear if there is more to it.

        • Duke C.
          Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

          Re: Jeff Id (Feb 16 02:17),

          The easiest method (if you don’t have a hex editor or other exotic tools) is to open a .PDF doc using Notepad. Just scroll through all the unicode characters and look for strings of ASCII metadata. there is quite a bit of additional information that doesn’t show up when you right-click properties inside Adobe.

        • stansvonhorch
          Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

          the raw metadata that appears in duke’s post up there is the only mention of boulton’s name. the other metadata is mostly structural and doesn’t really help, unless there is reason to suspect tampering (which would make no sense, i think)

        • Duke C.
          Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

          Re: stansvonhorch (Feb 16 12:49),

          You are correct. There may be some Revision control data buried in there somewhere. But it’s not worth the effort, now that it’s yesterday’s news. :)

        • MrPete
          Posted Feb 17, 2010 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

          Re: Jeff Id (Feb 16 00:10),
          Sorry, life’s full and I’m not here much…

          Tests:
          * Created multiple files in Word 2007, using different people’s copies
          * Preserved some as-is, modified some using same and/or different users
          * Did PDF conversions, again using various copies of the above, as well as Acrobat Pro (just in case they have that)
          * Examined results and compared to what we have here

          Results:
          * No question: the PDF was created by the default Word->PDF tool

          * No question: the original file title has survived. This tells me Boulton and any other editors did not “clean up” the file metadata.

          * In the PDF, the author and date of any subsequent edits are ignored. The original Word file creator’s name, and original create date, always survive

          * The ONLY way to avoid this result is to manually edit the author name in Word or Acrobat (and he doesn’t have Acrobat Pro installed.) Given the above, it is Highly Unlikely the Author name was edited.

          [I have current Acrobat Pro on one system. I don't know if earlier versions show comprehensive metadata. As others have noted, you can at least scan the file for Boulton's name. But Acrobat shows everything nicely.]

          Hope that helps!

          Back to my regularly scheduled mayhem… sorry that I can’t really join in the fun much. Life’s too ridiculous right now :-D

        • MrPete
          Posted Feb 17, 2010 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

          Re: MrPete (Feb 17 12:58),
          Whoops … may have the create-date aspect wrong. Not sure. I’d have to go check and have no time right now…

      • Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

        Sorry, I hit the wrong reply.

        I’m curious about how you made your determination.

  27. Frederick Davies
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    I suppose we should be grateful: competent people would probably be able to pull off a conspiracy better, but these people are not only incompetent with the Science, but incompetent in the general sense.

  28. Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Steve, like you I am looking at the mountain of work that is required to do a submission to the inquiry. And now this. It’s maddening.

  29. Dr Iain McQueen
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    I’ve just been reviewing the Team’s website. Really they are running the whole so called enquiry like a roadshow. The tone of ithe website treats the process like a public entertainment, almost as if we had bought tickets to a stand-up comedian’s rehearsal of new material. Hapless is hardly sufficient to describe this mockery. Its a complete travesty of the word ‘enquiry’, especially into the reliability of the scientific process and behaviour of the men who, whatever help they are getting from ‘thousands of other scientists who agree’ must be seen as central to the output made available to governments. This issue we are ‘reliably’ informed is the most important facing mankind at present. The science and processes behind it has been corrupted, and the enquiry is in the hands of a self selected clutch of clowns from Edinburgh. We need Trenberth to come up with a new word for travesty!
    Aphasia has luckily stopped me…..

  30. Tystie
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Geoffrey Boulton, Vice Principal and professor of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Edinburgh, extract from ‘A tale of misplaced optimism'; Reducing Carbon Emissions – the View from 2050, David Hume Institute Occasional Paper no. 79.

    “Now, in 2050, flooding of large areas of coastal lowland and of river valleys has become a reality, and together with other impacts of climate change, has had a massive impact; politically, economically and socially. But although a large part of the necessary transformation of the global energy system has been achieved, and although global emission rates have been dramatically reduced, and atmospheric concentrations have been stabilised at about 550ppm of CO2 equivalent, (and they now need to be reduced), the Earth’s climate and environment are very different from what they were 50 years ago, and future changes, possibly associated with a still warming ocean, remain difficult to predict.”

    “In the last 100 years or so, the human species has become a major geological agent. We have massively engineered the planet, but out of ignorance. With a population of 6 billion, rising, barring accidents, to 9 billion by 2050, there is no way back to the simple life. We will have to continue engineering the planet, but this time through knowledge and, hopefully, wisdom. Economic theory and practice that regard the planet as ‘an externality’, as if the human economy were a bubble, detached from time and space, need to be changed. Our economic system is not separate from the environment, but part of it.”

    Say no more ………………….

    • Ausie Dan
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

      Why does he expect the lowlands to be flooded by 2050?

      Has he not studied the record of the sea levels during the 20th Century?

      Surely this is a rejected script for a B grade movie that was never made?

      It surely is not for real?

      Nobody could be so incompetent!

  31. PaulH
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Possibly a dumb question, but that’s never stopped me before…

    Is this actually a big deal?

    Isn’t it possible that Muir Russell, Boulton and others had a meeting(s) to discuss what what the Issues Paper should contain and Boulton volunteered (whatever his motivations) to create a draft for approval by Muir Russell? Drafts often morph into final versions with the original ‘properties’.

    How would that be different from CEO or President delegating the drafting of a speech or presentation to one of their underlings?

    • Barclay E MacDonald
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

      The possibility you suggest is not very reassuring, but you are right, it may be unfair to conclude that there are no benign explanations.

    • Jimchip
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

      Re: PaulH (Feb 15 16:01),

      Your scenario is possible but I have a difficult time imagining the team having a meeting and Geoff Boulton raising his hand saying “I volunteer to be secretary for the meeting, may I, may I?”

  32. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    I have a version created 10/02/2010 16:41:27 and a version created 11/02/2010 18:03:06.

    The difference is that the first version had the statement:

    “A paper by Soon & Balunias was published in the Journal Climate Research arguing that the 20th century was abnormally warm.”

    The second version had the statement:

    “A paper by Soon & Balunias was published in the Journal Climate Research arguing that the 20th century was not abnormally warm.”

    So somebody must have read it and pointed out the error to the author. He should have created a second issue pointing out the change from the first version.

    That’s just poor quality control; but typical of climate science.

  33. PaulH
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    PS. I’m a different PaulH from above.

    Think I need a new name for this site!

    PaulH from Scotland.

  34. MrPete
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    (If you open it in Acrobat, you can see more details under the “Advanced Metadata” button in the Properties dialogue box.)

  35. stephen richards
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    At the outset I called it a greywash now I am convinced that it will be brilliant white.

  36. Greg Cavanagh
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    Question 3. An attempt to hide the difficulty of combining these two data series and to mislead…

    Is this the correct question? I thought combining the two data sets was the problem, not the difficulty involved in combining them.

    • RomanM
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

      Re: Greg Cavanagh (Feb 15 17:17),

      No, it is a blatant setup to bring up the “what is the meaning of a ‘trick’?” question later on.

      Only those who are mathematically challenged can be convinced that it is some sort of “difficult” task which merits the being called a “trick”. You will notice that the third “question to address” is “What method did you use?”. I’d be interested in the answer myself. ;)

      What is hidden by this is the fact that it is a disingenuous thing to do in the way that they applied this “difficult” procedure. Instead of calling these guys the substitute Team, perhaps the “Rescue Squad” would be more appropriate.

  37. Robert
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    The proverbial fox guarding the hen house…..

    • gimply
      Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

      Coyote. Foxes have much better hygiene.

  38. Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    BTK

    are you tempting us with an acronym contest. poor taste even for moshpit.

  39. Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    I think one needs to avoid going over the top on Boulton, unless it can be shown that his Issues paper predetermines a whitewash or coverup by the Russell Inquiry (unlike the State Uni Penn exoneration of Mann) – it seems quite fair to me, given the limitations of the ToR and the other nonsense Boulton has produced recently. One oddity is that the Issues paper almost seems to find Mann (not Jones) as the chief villain, first author of the ‘trick’ as he was, so even guilty as charged ab initio!

  40. Ray Boorman
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think it matters who wrote the issues paper, because from my reading of it, there are some very serious questions that CRU has to answer. If CRU answers these truthfully, & in detail as requested by the paper, then we will be a long way on the road to exposing the sloppy science that has until now been taken as gospel truth.

  41. mpaul
    Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    Look, they know that they can’t whitewash this. The story is way too big. So my sense is that they are setting up Penn State to take the fall. I’m quite sure that UEA has grown weary of being at the center of this thing while Penn State seems to be getting a pass. Google ‘climategate’ and you see Doctor Phil’s picture – not Mann’s. When I read the Issue Paper, it seems custom tailored to shift the responsibility to Penn State. I think this inquiry will expose what a sham the Penn State Inquiry was. The Press will then shift their focus to the Penn State cover up.

  42. MikeN
    Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 12:27 AM | Permalink

    He’s on the inquiry team, and as part of this team he wrote a document listing the issues they should be covering. What’s the big deal?

  43. HotRod
    Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    No, I’m lost here. Boulton is from the RS that is providing the secretariat. Boulton is the Inquiry member most expert in climate science – ie he knows how to spell Yamal and Baliunas and so on (although he spelled Baliunas wrong as it happens). Why is it not reasonable that they delegated the task of writing up the questionnaire to him, having decided to have one.

  44. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 1:16 AM | Permalink

    Why? Read the posts on Boulton.

    • HotRod
      Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 2:26 AM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (Feb 16 01:16), Yes, i have read your objections to Boulton per se, his somewhat duplicitous cv on the website, connections with interested parties and so on, and quite agree. And MR’s recent statement “it would be impossible to find somebody with the qualifications and experience we need who has not formed an opinion on climate change” is an utter absurdity on about seven fronts, contradicts the initial statements, and would either rule out the other panel members or mean that they also contradict the initial statements.

      But GIVEN THAT HE IS a member of the panel, and his connection with the secretariat and greater familiarity with the relevant questions, it seems natural to me that he wrote the questionnaire. It’s a different point to him being on the Panel in the first place.

      • PaulH from Scotland
        Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 4:00 AM | Permalink

        That was my thinking HotRod.

        I’m as skeptical as most folk here, but I do have to say that this tabloid-like ‘revelation’ has me questioning Steve’s motives for publishing it.

        I’m a layperson who’s been following this whole AGW nonsense for quite a while, and I’ve been admiring Steve as an honest questioner.

        But this post strikes me as just scoring cheap points – a tactic which has surprised me.

        I believe we’re winning this debate because we have solid science on our side. It would be nice to keep it that way.

        • Tim
          Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

          There is a difference between speculating that Boulton had a strong influence on the terms of reference for the inquiry and actually showing evidence of it. These revelations make it clear that Boulton’s conflicts of interest matter.

          Try looking at it from the other perspective. If Muir was a strong leader he could still produce a unbiased report even if some of his panalists are biased. Giving Boulton editorial control over the terms of references suggests that Muir is not a strong leader and is not willing or able to counteract the biases of his panalists.

        • Dr Iain McQueen
          Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

          Re: Tim (Feb 16 08:33),
          Tim
          Agreed. The nub of the the matter, and all from deductions and discussions after use of ‘Steve’s right click’, which I for one wouldn’t have thought of.
          We can now reasonably surmize the hapless one is probably not in full control, but it is only a surmize. The dominant force is Boulton, and we know how forked his tongue is!

  45. John Murphy
    Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 2:13 AM | Permalink

    Steve

    I’m a graduate Chemical Engineer, spent 25 years writing technical/scientific computer programs and have been a barrister for the last 12 years.

    I offered the UEA my services at my ordimnary charge-out rate for precisely the purposes you mention, and, I can tell you, I have been very, very surprised that they have not accepted.

  46. Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    By posting the questions, it seems the Reserve Team can theoretically harvest the best of the whole of the AGW supporters’ plausible whitewash lines… like the stuff posted as “FAQ” on the “talk” page on the Wikipedia Climategate hacked emails page. Blogging techniques. But as with RC, I’m doubtful what space there is for “witness to the defence”.

    In law, a fourfold process is followed, and with good reason. Prosecution, Defence, Prosecution’s Reply to Defence, Defence’s Reply to Prosecution. I’m concerned that this Inquiry may effect stages 1-3 but omit the essential stage 4 – the skeptics’/ lukewarmers’/ realists’/ CRU and Hockey Stick challengers’ own voice.

    This means admitting that there are “sides” as in a court case, and that both sides need to be heard, with advocates for both prosecution and defence, IOW, at the very least, with the current setup, the panel should include a known “skeptic” who is acceptable to skeptics.

  47. Wansbeck
    Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    The biggest right-click boob was probably that of Cat Schwartz who posted a cropped photo of herself unaware that the original uncropped version was embedded.

    • MarkF
      Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

      a couple of them, as I recall.

  48. derek
    Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    When will the little games stop? it’s almost getting laughable at this point can a big person please take control of this circus and do a proper analyst of the emails.

  49. Charles DrPH
    Posted Feb 19, 2010 at 12:55 AM | Permalink

    Who wrote the “Issues Paper”? At this point, I would have to suspect Macavity. Nothing would surprise me at this juncture.

  50. KT
    Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    You seem to claim to be sceptics, but you already seem to have made your minds up.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Mar 18, 2010 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

      Re: KT (Mar 18 06:44),

      A skeptic can never decide on anything without ceasing to be a “skeptic”? I don’t think so. By definition, a skeptic first examines the evidence and then makes up his or her mind. The complaint we have against way too many warmers is that they accept positions without actually examining the evidence. Of course some “skeptics” including some here also don’t look at the evidence, but there is a large contingent here who do their best to look at and evaluate evidence purporting to show AGW.

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