Opening Night Reviews in the UK Press

Richard Drake sent in an interesting selection of opening night reviews for the Parliamentary Inquiry from UK parliamentary reporters, most of whom seem to be new to the climate wars and offering a relatively fresh perspective. Here are some excerpts as a teaser – the originals are accessible and recommended.

Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail:

Jones was accompanied by his university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Edward Acton, who provided much-needed comic relief. Professor Acton, a younger version of Professor Calculus from the Tintin books, beamed and nodded at everything Professor Jones said. ‘I think that answer was spot-on,’ he cried, after listening to one response from the terror-stricken Jones.

Professor Acton’s left eyebrow started doing a little jiggle of its own. His eyeballs bulged with admiration for the climate-change supremo. His lips were pulled so wide in wonderment they must nearly have split down the
seams like banana skins.

Others, watching the tremulous Professor Jones, will have been less impressed. He may be right about man-made climate change. But you do rather hope that politicians sought second, third, even 20th opinions before swallowing his theories and trying to change the world’s industrial output.

Simon Carr in The Independent:

“I’m a scientist,” Labour’s Graham Stringer said. “If I want to check your results, I can’t.”

Dr Jones fiddled with that allegation (he’s not without Westminster talent) but the committee didn’t look persuaded. His reply to a request for information was quoted: “Why should I make data available to you when you only want to find something wrong with it?” Stringer concluded: “That is unscientific!”

His defence was a bit unscientific too: “I’ve obviously written some very awful emails,” followed by a wry smile. But the committee declined to be charmed. Why wouldn’t he release the codes?

“Because we had an awful lot of work invested in it.”

Yes, by the sound of it there was considerable data smoothing and oiling and homogenising and substituting and standardising… I don’t know much about statistics but I know what I like. And when a scientist says: “We couldn’t keep the original data, only the added-value data,” all sorts of sirens and alarms go off.

Simon Hoggart in The Guardian:

The sight of another scientist being skewered makes for painful viewing. Whatever your view on man-made global warming, you had to feel sorry for Professor Phil Jones, the man behind the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia

Andrew Gimson in the Daily Telegraph:

Next to him, holding a metaphorical hand, was Professor Edward Acton, his vice-chancellor, who interrupted at intervals to tell the committee what a splendid fellow Jones was and how his unit was doing magnificent work warning the world.

Which made it all the more astonishing that it turns out that the unit has only three full-time members. Given the importance they claim, it’s as if the British army consisted of half a dozen men and an officer.

Acton conceded that not everything pointed in the same direction. It’s acknowledged that several hundred years ago Earth became much warmer. If we knew why, we could explain a lot. “The early medieval period is something we should spend more time researching,” he mused. This was probably the first time anyone had said that to a parliamentary committee since Simon de Montfort ran the place.

We fear this whole affair will not end well, and that as far as UEA is concerned, the climate has already become distinctly uncomfortable.

Anne Treneman in The Times:

Professor Jones’s face was immobile, eyes steady behind wire specs. He seemed, like a dead calm sea, almost glassy. And, like ships in the Bermuda Triangle, questions that got near him just seemed to disappear.

He kept insisting that most of the raw data was public. But, said MPs, what about his method, the codes he’d used. Was that public?

“That is not the case,” he said.

Graham Stringer, a Labour MP, asked why. “Because it hasn’t been standard practice to do that.”

Well, protested Mr Stringer, how could science be tested?

Professor Jones didn’t have much of an answer for that, or much else.

Only once did he admit to anything and that was about an e-mail. “Uh. Yes. I have obviously written some very awful e-mails,” he murmured.

Oh dear. It seems the planet is in more trouble than I thought.


  1. Sean
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 10:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Minor formatting issue. The break between the Guardian quote and the Telegraph quote should be three paragraphs later. Only one paragraph above (“We fear this whole affair will not end well…”) is from the Telegraph.

    And may I add that the English have a great way with words. Give an English journalist something deserving of a bit of ridicule (like Jones) and they will produce gems.

    • MikeC
      Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 5:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

      They may produce gems but they missed the hope diamond of all of Phil Jones’ statements: That the peer reviewers never ask for data… so much for peer reviewed science

  2. Paul
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    An interesting take on proceedings.

    • Sean
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I was JUST about to post the same link. Agreed, it’s a great article. One brief excerpt:

      “And oh, yes – one further interesting fact emerged from yesterday’s Select Committee grilling. Professor Edward Acton, the Vice-Chancellor of the “University” of East Anglia, now thinks more money should be devoted to researching the Mediaeval Warm Period. So apparently it exists after all.”

      • ErnieK
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Sean (Mar 2 10:43), In other words – “We spent millions of grant money to create the AGW crisis but perhaps we can save the world if we learn more about the MWP – please send more grant money.”

        • PhilJourdan
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

          Always follow the money! LOL

    • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 7:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Paul (Mar 2 10:39), from the article,

      Professor Edward Acton, the Vice-Chancellor of the “University” of East Anglia, now thinks more money should be devoted to researching the Mediaeval Warm Period. So apparently it exists after all.

      Look at those quote marks round “University”.

      • W Brown
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 11:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Private Eye, the satirical UK magazine, once used to always add, whenever the University of Eaast Anglia was mentioned, ‘formerly known as the East Anglia Polytechnic’.

        I don’t know what the UEA has grown into as a university since its early days, but the Private Eye comment gives both a hint as to that history and also how important this three-man CRU has been to its prestige. Not something to give up without a fight (as we seem to be seeing).

    • Area Man
      Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 7:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

      It is a bit curious that more was not made of Jones referring to CRU’s “product”. It is even more curious that Jones chose to do so.

      While I cannot see any advantage to UEA or CRU to being perceived as providing a “product”, I can certainly see how it will lead quickly to the issue of “product liability”.

      That’s a prospect which should concern Jones and the CRU a great deal.

  3. Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 10:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Brits for covering the story. You hear nothing about this in the NYT!

    Head of ‘Climategate’ research unit admits sending ‘pretty awful emails’ to hide data

    In the daily mail today. Unbelievable!
    ENFP Personality

    • thefordprefect
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

      “‘pretty awful emails’ to hide data”
      Absolute tosh
      He said no such thing
      He admitted sending pretty awful emails

      • Paul Penrose
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Yes, he admitted to “sending pretty awful emails” in response to being asked about not releasing his data and code. It’s not a far stretch to count that as hiding it. And andra only quoted the ‘pretty awful emails’ part, so it was clear he wasn’t attempting to attribute a quote inappropriately. The part about hiding data was obviously his opinion.

        • MikeC
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

          Why should I give you my data when all you are going to do is try to find something wrong with it… yeah, that’s a pretty aweful email meant to hide the data

  4. Steve Oregon
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “”””thinks more money should be devoted to researching the Mediaeval Warm Period.””””

    Perhaps, but only if the money does not fund any research by anyone even remotely connected to the CRU/Leak/AGW team.

    Firings, disqualifications and other consequences for the offenders must be imminent and very public to serve notice to our science, government and academia institutions that ethics matter.

    No matter how emotional or activated they FEEL about their work embellishment or inventive science is not acceptable despite how vital or worthy they feel the “cause” is.

    And if anyone thinks the worst is no longer occuring stop over at ClamateProgress to see it ramped up and in attack mode.

    • Jeremy
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Attack mode is about the last thing you want to be in right now if your flank is exposed, and theirs is.

  5. vboring
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Maybe for those who have been following this issue for longer, reading mockery of Jones is vindication.

    To me, it is a bit sad. This is a man who believed that the danger that humanity poses to itself is so extreme as to justify abandoning scientific principles in order to convince people to do something about it. Even for a climate scientist, this must have been a difficult path to go down that could only be justified based on a hope of saving humanity from itself.

    He may have acted in a corrupt manner, but he did it with the best intentions. And that is a bit sad.

    Hopefully the scientific process will be reformed so that others will not have to make the choice between principles and beliefs by making it impossible to seem credible while hiding data and methods.

    • S. Geiger
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t see how ‘good intentions’ explains it all. Perhaps at one point there were good intentions…then maybe the realization of a very lucrative line of research that carried much power/prestige in certain circles. How do ‘good intentions’ explain the obvious fear of scrutiny of his/their work?

      • vboring
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

        It is possible he believed that the need for action was so pressing that allowing others to investigate his work would delay the response and lead to greater harm.

        Or he knew that his methods weren’t sound, but was still convinced that the underlying theory was correct, so he defended the theory by preventing scrutiny.

        Unquestionably his approach to the scientific method was corrupt, but I think that good intentions are just as reasonable an explanation for why as assuming that he acted purely in self interest.

        Either way, the scientific method needed to be protected from this way of doing things. If it had been, we would have seen the anti-scientific intentions of a few researchers thwarted and climate science wouldn’t be so open to ridicule today.

        • Invariant
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

          It is not unlikely that Phil Jones did it with the best intentions. However, staying in academia too long focusing on the same topic day after day may lead to “academic delusion” too, in particular if one begins to theorise before one has data.

          Watson: “This is indeed a mystery,” I remarked. “What do you imagine that it means?”

          Holmes: I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts…

          Being a honest and humble scientist year after year is quite an achievement I think.

        • Gord Richens
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

          OK. But as those in the AGW camp continue to maintain, an abundance of unchallenged evidence remains from other sources (GISS, PSU, etc.).

          If Prof. Jones was so engaged in his mission to save humanity, why did he risk allowing his seriously compromised work to undermine the purportedly clean research by these other institutions? Was it hubris or does his actions reveal doubt about the other bodies of work?

        • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

          That is a key question that was not asked yesterday. You can look at it from an outsider’s point of view, where the CRUtape letters are a sample, giving rise to the suspicion that all is not well across the whole of climate science. But look at it from an insider’s point of view – from Jones’ point of view – and your questions are bang on the money. With prompt answers vitally needed.

        • Ray Boorman
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 12:00 AM | Permalink

          What happened to the comment I placed here several hours ago? There was nothing offensive in it, as far as I am aware. Would a moderator please contact me with an answer, thanks.

    • David Bailey
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I really doubt if Prof Jones was motivated by an intense fear for humanity! He must have seen how tenuous was the data supporting AGW!

      It is important to remember that making the changes demanded by AGW enthusiasts will cost lives. You can’t make a change of that magnitude without killing people, if only because so much resource will have to be redirected into alternative energy sources.

      Prof Jones was a second rate researcher that thought he had a lucky break by finding a subject that was rewarded well without much scrutiny.

    • David Longinotti
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t detect any great concern for humanity in Jones. His recent statements that there have been other periods of comparable warming rate, and that the MWP might have been warmer than today, suggest that he is not afraid that a catastrophe is imminent. A more consistent reading, I think, is that he fudged the analyses to increase his influence and professional position, and then panicked when he thought that his prestige would be sullied by the exposure of his ‘tricks’.

    • Copner
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think it’s really about good intentions, although no doubt that played a role.

      I think basically he thought AGW was true, but that his own work had various faults.

      He seems to have admitted the existence of these faults yesterday, and in other recent interviews. It doesn’t take a big leap of faith to suggest that his previous desire to not release data, because it might be challenged, also suggests that he feared others might find fault with it.

      Actually didn’t he more or less say in one of the emails, that was the reason why he didn’t want to release data?

      So the explanation really is, he believed (and appears to still be believe, with the possible exception of 4):

      1. AGW is true

      2. Others have independently confirmed AGW

      3. His has own work has faults

      4. He’d rather not have his faults revealed to the world

      It would have been very easy to rationalize 4, if you really believe 1 and 2, since the faults are of no real consequence as to the final result.

      (Of course all the above is simply my personal opinion, and may not bear any resemblence to what actually happened).

      • Vid S
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 2:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

        That seems like the most sensible explanation. It’s probably true for most of the bad research in climate science.

        Add to that a ‘standard practice’ not to inspect each other’s results, while believing them (i.e. 2. on your list), and what you get is a clique of scientists circling the wagons every time someone criticizes the central paradigm.

      • deadwood
        Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 1:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I suspect your analysis is very close to the truth. If you have followed this issue for a while though it becomes apparent that the problem is not just with Jones, but with many others in “climate science”, particularly with many of those whose work is included in (2).

        And with the IPCC and other institutions abetting this fundamental failure of scientific method we get to where we are today.

      • artwest
        Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 1:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I’d agree that this probably accounts largely for Jones, and a few other climate scientists, actions. Add in the fact that at the start of this process it’s hard to grasp how huge this might become and once the scale of the stakes becomes apparent, how difficult it becomes to accept that you could have been in error all along. The horror of being wrong, the public disgrace, the loss of status and much else doesn’t allow you to admit fault until it becomes impossible to do otherwise. The thought of all those sceptics you have come to hate being proved right must be almost as bad.

        Mann and Hensen will probably fight to the last man, more fragile egos are likely to crumble with various unfortunate results. On a human level that’s sad but it has to happen to save countless others.

        • artwest
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

          “Hanson” dammit.

    • TomY
      Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 2:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Some of us long ago became somewhat cynical about this business of “good intentions”. Ever been to an Amway Convention? The place is full to bursting with people who truly believe that their soap products are so wonderful that all of humanity would be better off if their under-sink cabinets were stocked with Amway. I’m not kidding in the least about the sincerity of these Amway reps.

      The point is that if your status/power/job/reputation are advanced by believing in a particular set of ideas, it becomes very tempting to sincerely believe that those ideas are also in the public interest. You’ll always be a more forceful advocate if you can make that connection.

      Of course this doesn’t mean that science born of “good intentions” is necessarily false, but to rely on the level of “good intentions” in any way as the basis for accepting or rejecting scientific ideas, is essentially always a disastrous, fundamental mistake.

  6. Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It looks like the ‘climate science’ brand is falling deeper and deeper into trouble.

    It has been interesting to me to note those who saw this coming and those that have ignored the issues.

    It is within the realm of possibilities that ‘climate science’ will soon be ranked among the issues like mass extinctions, the basis of Stonehenge, and what foodstuffs are / are not good for you; a new theory every-other week or so.

    • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

      ‘Climate science brand’ – indeed, Jones, Acton etc seem to regard what they do more as something to be consumed rather than science. The give-away, for me, is in the way Jones talked repeatedly about ‘the product’, by which he meant the grid boxes, thus implying that his research is a product, not science – and why would the sceptics want to look under the hood of that nice shiny product …

      So is the goal of scientific research nowadays to have a ‘product’ – is that right?
      If so, I’m too old-fashioned for this modern take on science …

      • Jeremy
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 5:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Sadly, even in some physics departments this seems to be the case. when I was last attending regular colloquium, depending on the presenter the result was usually discussed for a far longer period than the method used to arrive at the results.

  7. Edwin
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    By saying “more money should be devoted to researching the Mediaeval Warm Period” anyone else (with the exception of Acton) would have taken this as admitting Jones’s research is inconclusive if not flawed.
    Poor Acton, he might have done more damage than good.

    • Jim S
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 4:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Almost all of the recent statements by the UEA have involved throwing paleo under the bus. It seems that they’ve given up on that as a lost battle and are trying to focus on retaining the thermometer-based work. It’s purely a business decision of cutting losses at this point.

  8. RuhRoh
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Please tell me some commentator took issue with Sluggo redirecting the MP’s onto weather forecasting regarding software quality assurance.


    • TerryS
      Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 7:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I was surprised at this especially after they made this admission in January:

      The Met Office has now admitted to BBC News that its annual global mean forecast predicted temperatures higher than actual temperatures for nine years out of the last 10.

      This “warming bias” is very small – just 0.05C. And the Met Office points out that the variance between the forecast and the actual temperature is within its own stated margins of error.

      So their validation of their climate software showing warmer temperatures is their weather software which has an admitted warming bias.

      • henry
        Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 4:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

        “…variance between the forecast and the actual temperature is within its own stated margins of error…”

        Yet no mention of any “variance error” when they talk about the Temperature Anomalies…

  9. marek
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 11:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Why “Poor Acton”and why is anybody thinking that Jones was acting in good faith?

    I usually do subscribe to the notion that if stupidity can explain something there is no need to look for malice, but the case of AGW
    does suggest some motives like greed and lust for fame and power at
    any cost.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Steve may snip this but whilst ‘the lust for fame and power’ is an accusation that I think could be levelled at people like Mann, and possibly Hansen, in the case of Jones and some others I think they were largely overtaken by the political processes of the UN. Suddenly they were ‘the most important scientists in the world’, feted at every turn.

      It takes an extremely strong character to resist such blandishments.

      • ianl8888
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 4:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Anyone who finds sincerity in flattery is a naif

      • W Brown
        Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 12:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

        ‘Suddenly they were ‘the most important scientists in the world’, feted at every turn.’

        And attending some very exotic places for conferences. You could get used to meeting in Tahiti, Venice, Florence and Athens, along with the usual major capitals.

  10. Tom C
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    These are all highly literate and entertaining. Wish the US reporters could write in similar fashion.

    • PJP
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      The problem in the US is that journalists no longer write. They take the canned press releases written my marketing companies and reprint them. Pick any story of your choice which is carried in more than a couple of publications and go look at all of them. You will find that they are 99% word for word.

      • Mark, Edinburgh
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Tom C and PJP

        Think you’ll find Anne Treneman of The Times is an American and uses what I think is your North East Coast humour in her writing. Attractive too. Like her a lot.

        So the capability is there and it’s just probably something to do with cost structures.

  11. Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    He kept insisting that most of the raw data was public. But, said MPs, what about his method, the codes he’d used. Was that public?

    They shouldn’t have let him weasel out on the raw data issue. The CRU’s responses to requests for the raw data, going back to the
    Feb 2007 dismissal of the Eschenbach-Keenan FOIA request
    , was that the raw data were on the GHCN and NCAR archives. But as Willis and Doug (and others, later) pointed out, these archives are huge and without the list of station identifiers it’s impossible to back out the CRU subset. The list of stations Jones posted in October 2007 does not indicate which ones were used when, or which ones are still used, and according to the ICO settlement may even include stations not used at all. So the raw data are still not available in any practical sense. And then in June 2009 the MetOffice refused Steve’s data request by arguing that Jones told them the data aren’t actually released and cannot be, because of non-disclosure agreements. They should have demanded Jones explain the contradiction.

    It would also have been helpful if the Parliamentary Committee, in quoting the email of February 23 2005 to Warwick Hughes (“Why should I make the data available to you…”), had also quoted the email (1107454306.txt) from Jones to Mann only 21 days earlier: “Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites…” The attempt to claim that data sharing is not done in climatology is contradicted by the fact that the CRU do share data, but apparently only with scientists they think won’t look for anything wrong with it.

  12. Joe Crawford
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well, I find it hard to be sympathetic since they’ve done it to themselves… the ‘Team’ by placing their ‘true belief’ in man’s destructive nature above any and all scientific principal… and the rest of the climate science community (with a few notable exceptions) by first assuming the ‘Team’ were competent, and then, when they actually saw hints of malfeasance, ‘looking the other way’ and refusing to get involved, thus threatening their own research and funding.

    Congratulations Steve. Your years of hard work are finally coming to fruition:

    “I’m a scientist,” Labour’s Graham Stringer said. “If I want to check your results, I can’t.”
    … His reply to a request for information was quoted: “Why should I make data available to you when you only want to find something wrong with it?” Stringer concluded: “That is unscientific!”

  13. David Bailey
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It is a relief to me that the press has responded so badly towards Prof Jones, because the UK has a long tradition of inquiries that just turn into whitewashes, so maybe this will encourage the MP’s to perform a real inquiry this time.

  14. Simon Anthony
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I knew there weren’t many people at CRU but to find “the unit has only three full-time members” surely shows that governments are themselves only pretending to take AGW seriously. When they’re serious, governments assemble Oppenheimer, Fermi, Feynman, Szilard, Wigner, Frisch, Bohr, Teller et al at Los Alamos and give them effectively unlimited resources. And that was when the problem was merely Nazi Germany and Japan.

    Nowadays, with humanity faced by what many claim to be the greatest threat in history, the threat-to-end-all-threats, all we can muster is a handful of ex-geographers and a part-time programmer at the University of East Anglia.

    • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

      “Nazi Germany and Japan” were a very clear and logically simple threat which even a government could understand. Climate change (if it occurs, and if yes, for what reason) is incomparably a more intellectually demanding issue. It might be well in the interest of the society to replace the school of “ex-geographers” by competent physicists, many of whom are now suffering a persistent decline of financial support for their conventional academic research. To announce a kind of mobilization of physicists for them to turn their eyes and minds to the climate problem.

      • Simon Anthony
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

        It’s quite true that understanding climate is a far more difficult problem than making a fission bomb; this makes the point still stronger.

        Governments and supportive scientists have wrongly claimed that climate change is also a “very clear and logically simple threat” demanding dramatic and immediate action but their assumed belief in their claim is contradicted by their actions. If they genuinely thought the threat was real, huge resources would be deployed, all the more so for a much harder problem than merely making a bomb,

        In the light of events, I suspect “competent physicists” had very sound reasons for not becoming involved with climate science.

        • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

          “I suspect “competent physicists” had very sound reasons for not becoming involved with climate science.”

          My experience of talks with physicists is as follows. Some senior colleagues say that, when at University, those who went to atmospheric science were the weakest students at the physical faculty. (This attitude mirrors the history of the problem.) Some believe that there is nothing interesting or difficult or unsettled about climate (compared, e.g., with high energy physics). Some would be interested, but at the age of over 40 and with an established career, it looks like a risky business to radically change the research topic. In my view, a huge intellectual potential is gradually being lost.

        • DABbio
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

          I would have to agree with a physicist who might say that climate physics is unlikely to present any strong scientific challenges and could not possibly contribute new physics. The challenge is statistical, and toward that issue everyone in and out of climatology, skeptics as well as AGW believers could do with a big dose of humility toward the unknown, if not unknowable (at least in a human lifetime or time scale). I wonder if physicists have to deal with such large variances. Perhaps they do, but I would be surprised if the controversies in physics have so much to do with the squidginess of the data and the statistical methods used to unravel the variances. Do they? Just curious.

        • Invariant
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

          The Navier-Stokes equations for fluid flow are at the heart of every climate model. A skilled physicist can in a few hours derive the world famous Lorenz approximation (1963) from the Navier-Stokes equations:

          dx/dt = σ(y-x)
          dy/dt = ρx – y – xz
          dz/dt = xy – βz

          Try yourself; this involves a lot of cool physics by doing a number of trivial approximations. However, compared to the achievements of modern physics,

          I think it is fair to say that the physics involved in climate science in general is trivial from a physicist’s point of view in that each phenomenon is well understood. It is the complexity of the entire system which is the non-trivial part, in particular if one is going to determine the relative amplitude of each climate mechanism.

          Steve: This has nothing much to do with the Parliamentary Inquiry reviews.

        • Invariant
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

          > Steve: This has nothing much to do with the Parliamentary Inquiry reviews.

          Sure! I tried to conform the point by Anastassia Makarieva that “competent physicists” had very sound reasons for not becoming involved with climate science.

        • Simon Anthony
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

          “In my view, a huge intellectual potential is gradually being lost.”

          In what way? (I don’t mean that at all aggressively; I’m just not sure what’s being lost, or how)

        • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

          “In what way?”

          This is just my personal view which may reflect the peculiarities of my own path to science. Theoretical physics is a unique culture of understanding the reality by linking it to fundamental laws of nature, examining from all sides and building a coherent picture of the world from the emerging knowledge. This is by far not modelling. This is an intellectual pursuit in its purest form, some of the highest peaks the humanity has achieved in this area.

          This culture has formed around a particular number of research topics, like those summarized in the volumes of Landau and Lifshitz with an emphasis on some. As long as physics remained military oriented, this research flourished and was readily supported and “consumed” by the society. Right now the demand for this research has declined; physicists try politically to sustain it by promising to solve energetics problem… But still the demand declines; the funding of conventional research declines; there is little enthusiasm among the young researchers, and the School of Thought is being lost right when it could be most meaningfully used for solving climate problems instead of leaving that to “ex-geographers” (no offense, just a generic term). I am not sure if I am being clear.

          I disagree with the idea that climate change is a statistical challenge that cannot bring new physics. In my view, this is a misconception.

        • Vid S
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

          Excuse the OT, Steven, just as a PSA:

          Some theoretical physicists have already mingled themselves in the debate:

          No ‘proper’ refutation posted anywhere (1 official refutation attempt by Smith, refuted itself again in a comment by Kramm et al).

        • harrywr2
          Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

          Watched a Lindzen presentation. His ‘wish list’ item is 4 geostationary satellites that could accurately measure clouds. Difficult to do ‘hard science’ when one has no tools to measure the most important variables.

  15. Tony Rogers
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It is interesting that Jones talks about his work as a “product” as highlighted by Viv Evans above. I think it is probably the result of a big push in all areas of government and the civil service to appear corporate (mostly since the arrival of NuLabour in 1997), presumeably because private corporations are seen to be more efficient and responsive than the public sector.

    Such thinking has led to HM Revenue and Customs calling taxpayers its “customers”.

    I think Jones et al started off in a little backwater of research 20+ years ago where little of what they did mattered. They encouraged the whole world to look at them and their message as the biggest problem facing the planet.

    Well, they suceeded and now the whole world is looking at them. Perhaps they are wishing that they had been a little more diligent in the early days and followed better practices, with better documentation, archiving and procedures.

    We are all looking very closely now. Be careful what you wish for…

  16. JohnHekman
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I had just about given up on the British. Terminally squishy about political issues and delusional about climate. But it is really inspiring and encouraging to read some of these comments. Terrific dry sense of humor and very high-def bs meters. I laughed out loud at how cleverly they skewered Jones and Acton. After reading these take-downs, it would be pretty difficult to build Jones back up into the giant of climate science he had been assumed to be.

    • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

      A lot of the British had given up on the British too. But some of us felt that well, with our backs against the wall … you know. We’ll see. Long way to go. But good to have some fun along the way.

  17. ZT
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Whoever voted for Graham Stringer – well done.

    With this awakened journalism, I can’t help but wonder how Muir Russell and Geoffrey Boulton (Boulton in particular) will fair in their next press conference. (If they have another press conference…)

    • Bruce of Newcastle
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I hope there is one (a press conference) since our local SBS news piece last night on Jones’ responses also mentioned the concurrent UEA inquiry under an “independent head”. After Steve’s exegesis of Boulton it makes me sad that UEA seems to be adhering to this porky.

  18. thefordprefect
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Institute of Physics NewsThe Institute of Physics recently submitted a response to a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee call for evidence in relation to its inquiry into the disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

    The Institute’s statement, which has been published both on the Institute’s website and the Committee’s, has been interpreted by some individuals to imply that it does not support the scientific evidence that the rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is contributing to global warming.

    That is not the case. The Institute’s position on climate change is clear: the basic science is well enough understood to be sure that our climate is changing – and that we need to take action now to mitigate that change.

    More information about IOP’s views

    The Institute’s response to the Committee inquiry was approved by its Science Board, a formal committee of the Institute with delegated authority from its trustees to oversee its policy work.

    It reflected our belief that the open exchange of data, procedures and materials is fundamental to the scientific process. From the information already in the public domain it appears that these principles have been put at risk in the present case, and that this has undermined the trust that is placed in the scientific process.

    These comments, focused on the scientific process, should not be interpreted to mean that the Institute believes that the science itself is flawed.

    • PJP
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

      No – just untested. As untested and untestable science, it is close to worthless.

      • DABbio
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

        What balderdash. The last sentence is a contradiction in terms. If the scientific process is flawed how can the “science itself” –whatever that is other than the scientific process andits results– not be flawed?

      • DABbio
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I meant to direct my reply toward the IOP’s statement, not yours, PJP.

        • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

          Re: DABbio (Mar 2 13:19),
          Absolutely. We keep hearing statements along the lines of “none of this affects the science of climate change”, which is nonsense.

    • Hoi Polloi
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

      A new Hockey Stick has been released:

      • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

        How come my eyes were instantly drawn to the yellow line of the spaghetti for ‘Geeks who obsessively scan the Internet 18 hours a day’?

    • Hoi Polloi
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Just a another AGW disclaimer, like “Text may contain explicit materials some readers may find objectionable, parental guidance is advised.”

      The original statement was devastating for CRU.

    • Jeremy
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

      It seems the institute of Physics doesn’t understand the implications of it’s own principled stand, if the process is faulty, the results cannot be taken seriously.

  19. DABbio
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Brits are so great! Their sense of humor unerring. These newspaper accounts are just the sort of takedowns we need in the US to take the wind out of the sails of our stuffed shirt profs. We’re all so long faced and defensive over here. Let it all hang out.

  20. Kevin
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Good stuff. Glad to see CRU/Hockey Team getting this kind of attention. Very much deserved.

  21. Tom Brown
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For reference comments below are relative to approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes into the proceedings (

    As an engineer some of Mr. Jones’s replies to questions from the Right Honorable Mr. Stringer are astounding. As RH Stringer is pressing Mr. Jones regarding Hughes (emails 21st of January, 2005) request for raw data he indicates that:

    Jones: “It’s not standard practice to do that” (provide raw data)
    RH Stringer: “If it’s not standard practice then how’s the science to progress?
    Jones: ““Maybe it should be standard practice but it’s not, it’s not standard practice across the subject”

    Again from an engineer’s perspective why is the subject of AGW different from any other scientific discipline?

    It gets better:

    RH Stringer: “Can you explain your email to Hughes on the 21st of January, 2005 when you said you aren’t going to make the data available to him because all he wants’ to do is find something wrong with it. That’s the nature of scientific pursuit isn’t it?” … “He wanted the data but you refused to give it to him, why?
    Jones: “Because we had a lot of work, resources invested in it. That was way before the FOI request was started”

    RH Stringer presses:

    RH Stringer: “ Science shouldn’t have to rely on individuals making FOI requests… why have you refused to give them (scientists) the data?”
    Jones: “We have given them the gridded product so that we have the, not the raw station data but the product in grid boxes.
    RH Stringer: ”But they can’t go back to the basics as any scientists would want to and say “Is this right” You’ve denied them the right to check it.”
    Jones: “We have made the gridded product available from the very beginning but not the raw station data and most scientists don’t want to deal with the raw station data they would rather deal with a derived product”

    I take exception to Mr. Jones’ views that scientists (and engineers) “would rather deal with a derived product… Rubish.

    • thefordprefect
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

      “I take exception to Mr. Jones’ views that scientists (and engineers) “would rather deal with a derived product… Rubish”

      But the clamioring is for the code – “free the code”. Tis is the same as providing the derived product in my engineering view.
      All data is available from the WMOs. Most data is available for those too lazy to ask the wmos, from cdiac giss etc.

      As an engineer I would take the raw data, process it without reference to others code, but perhaps using their documented methods (if I agreed with them), compare the results, and if different start demanding the code. Tamino and Lucia(?) seem to have managed it. Why hasn’t McIntyre? The data has been available a few months now.

      What is very clear from the broadcast is that some wmos, e.g. Canada, have requested that CRU does not pass on thair data. They wish to get people to use their web site.

      CRU and the MO do not have rights to send the data out even if a FOI is used. Surely this is obvious?

      • curious
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 4:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Listen to RT’s evidence re: FOI and EIR 41m58s to 42m57s

      • DCC
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

        No, there’s nothing “obvious” about that at all. Produce the original documents that govern data disclosure to third parties.

      • Carl Gullans
        Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 1:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

        There are two things I find ridiculous about your comment.

        #1: Providing derived product and raw product is the same thing as having both of them plus code. No, it isn’t, for multiple reasons… you cannot check whether the raw data, run through the code, produces the published output. You can’t figure out the impact of “questionable” choices of method via sensitivity analysis. And, it is a hell of a lot of work to reverse engineer something… McIntyre has done this multiple times, before and after requesting code (e.g. MBH). The other parties still have to be willing to give code, and they weren’t/aren’t.

        #2: CRU can’t give us raw data because WMOs don’t want them to. Ok… how hard could it be supply all raw data for which there are no agreements, and then for the few weather stations that do have agreements, to supply a hyperlink to the data source (e.g. canada’s WMO website)? To say that this is a lot of work, or even something not regularly done in other contexts, is absurd.

      • Gord Richens
        Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 2:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Canada? Heh. Tough luck, Steve.

      • Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 2:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

        “As an engineer I would take the raw data, process it without reference to others code, but perhaps using their documented methods (if I agreed with them), compare the results, and if different start demanding the code. Tamino and Lucia(?) seem to have managed it. Why hasn’t McIntyre? The data has been available a few months now.”

        As an Engineer I would do things differently. It all depends on what your goal is. But in general I have always done this.

        1. Get the raw data and the processing code.
        2. Get that code running on the native platform it was hosted on.
        3. Run that code and see if the published results match the output of
        the code.

        Then I would start down a path very similar to the path you described.
        The nice thing about having the code and the data is this. I have an piece
        of code and data that has already been peer reviewed. I dont have to bug
        the guy if my own answer is different.

        “CRU and the MO do not have rights to send the data out even if a FOI is used. Surely this is obvious?”

        1. FOIA allows CRU to pass on confidential data if it is in the public interest.
        2. Jones violated these agreements by passing it on to rutherford and Webster. In fact, when he passed it onto rutherford, he commented that if others asked for it he would destroy it rather than send it on

        • David A
          Posted Mar 6, 2010 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

          I agree, but let us start with…
          1. Get the raw data and the processing code.
          …You cannot back into the raw data. We have to know exactly what stations were used, what stations were dropped over what time periods, with out this the raw data is of little use. Jones has not released this either to my understanding. BTW, have the original claimed non-disclosure agreements been released?

  22. dearieme
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “I don’t know much about statistics but I know what I like” seems a pretty good summary of the attitude that CA has skewered.

  23. DABbio
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    One other thing that has fascinated me is that the warmist scientists do not seem to accept the seriousness of this whole thing, how inimical their approach and attitude are to the cause of science, and that as that begins to be perceived what a perilous position many of them are in. Otherwise, they would be far more organized, even less forthcoming, and much better scripted. Prof. Jones has been so poorly prepared for the public relations campaign that the warmists should have organized for him long ago that I do actually feel sorry for him. I just don’t think they see what is coming when the rest of science starts to see its reputation put into question.

    You can see the same attitude permeated throughout the AGW blogs, also. They continue to be almost as dismissive of skeptical inquiry as they were before the CRUtape dump. Now that is where someone from the US might actually be able to help the Brits, as we originated the first ” ‘-gate” scandal and have many practised PR specialists to deal with this sort of a screw-up. The Brits have helped us out by showing the immense power of a great sense of humor.

    Steve: I find the term “warmist” distasteful and ask readers not to use it.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 5:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: DABbio (Mar 2 13:31),

      Steve, what is the problem with Warmist? I’d personally prefer just plain warmers (as opposed to one of the CAGW / AGW alternatives), but what exactly is the problem with ”
      warmist”? We have Capitalists, Marxists, Scientists, Atheists, etc. I don’t see where your distaste is coming from.

      • Joss
        Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 7:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

        At a guess it is becuase Steve wants to keep the forum polite and a place where discussion can be helped by having people from all walks and opinions visiting. If language likes that becomes common along with the more inflammatory attacks then it allows the site to be more easily sited as an extremist site with a polarised opinion as opposed to being a serious attempt to ensure the science is correct whether AGW turns out to be true or false.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

          Re: Joss (Mar 3 07:02),

          I certainly recognize Steve’s right to prevent impolite language from being used here. What I fail to understand is what’s impolite about “warmist”. “Teabagger” has a sexual connotation which has brought it into disrepute, though I’d never heard the term before it crossed over into political use. “Denialist” has an obvious strike against it. If I were to start using a term such as “Gorematon” one could complain just from the structure of the word. But “Warmist?” In structure it means someone who accepts, studies or promotes warming (in this case of the Earth). And that’s precisely the context in which it’s used. I don’t see any ill will toward those who push CAGW in the word “warmist”. That why I was asking Steve why he regards the word as negative in some sense.

        • Stefan
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

          To you it might mean “someone who accepts warming”. To someone else it might mean, “crazy left wing tree hugging commie”. Not only does it pigeonhole people, it also confuses and potentially insults.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

          Re: Stefan (Mar 3 12:13),

          Huh?? Well, ANY word can be made to take on any meaning if you want. For the Team, I’m sure “McIntyre” has some pretty unsavory meanings, as indicated by some of the liberated e-mails. That doesn’t mean either that they’re correct in their evaluation of Steve or that his name should have any connotation /denotation the team chooses. Ultimately history decides the meaning of a word. But I only want to know why Steve has a negative feeling toward “warmist”; to such an extent that he feels it necessary to essentially ban it’s use on this blog.

          You’ll have to explain how “warmist” pigeonholes, confuses or insults people. If we’re not allowed to use any word which groups people in terms of their general viewpoints on a subject, confusion would be the least of our problems.

        • Dr Iain McQueen
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (Mar 3 14:08),
          I agree with Stefan. Steve has to be VERY careful to avoid remotest risk of his blog being regarded as even tinged or tainted by a fixed decided position.

        • Dr Iain McQueen
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

          , Re: Dave Dardinger (Mar 3 14:08), Linguistically you may have a point, but the journalists won’t think like that. I have used “warmist” but also became uncomfortable with it.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

          Re: Dr Iain McQueen (Mar 3 14:53),

          Kinda peculiar snipping Steve did to this threadlet, though I’d been expecting it. I thought he might leave my Haiku, though. I did save them, however, so if anyone’s interested (like Lucia) I can post it elsewhere.

        • Sleeper
          Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (Mar 3 23:33),

          Yeah, like snipping my comment in support of you.

      • Dr Iain McQueen
        Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 6:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Dave Dardinger (Mar 3 18:23),
        De gustibus non est disputandum.

  24. ZT
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Additional journalistic reviewing:

    Including the following:

    “Russell said Michael Mann had emailed him at one minute to midnight and “if that takes us into the statistical area, then fine”. The MPs didn’t look impressed.”

    Is Muir now moving to review the ‘process’ of statistics?

  25. mpaul
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For years now they have argued that (1) the raw data is all available and (2) that the raw data cannot be disclosed because it’s proprietary. Journalists never pressed them on this contidiction. This two sided argument is a trick.

    Argument #1 is a bit like a chemist saying “all of the chemicals used to create my new compound are available in nature”. But what’s not said is that in order to produce the compound, one needs to know *which* chemicals were used along with the processing method (temperature, pressure, time, etc.). The panel quickly dealt with this canard and got nearly all of the witnesses to state that the disclosure must be sufficient to allow others to reproduce the result.

    Argument #2 is a claim that CRU received raw data under confidential restrictions and therefore is not free to give the data to others. Basically, they have been arguing that the data exists in the public domain and is published by the individual stations. But that the stations have asked CRU not to give the data to third parties. So they are arguing that an individual can go and collect the data from the individual stations, but CRU cannot give the same data to that person because of confidential agreements.

    But there’s a problem. A party can’t take public domain data and make it subject to a confidential disclosure agreement with another party. In other words, once the data is public domain, it is forever more in the public domain and no one can later assert proprietary rights to that data.

    In the end, they got caught. There was a part where the three cheerleaders were clearly thrown off their game when the questioning turned to ‘is the data available or not’? While their trick to hide from disclosure has worked with journalists, I think the cheerleaders were smart enough to know that they were talking to lawyers. In the end they were forced to provide a written response to exactly what data is in the public domain.

    I think we have seen the end of the three card monte game with regard to the data.

  26. Simon Anthony
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 1:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I suppose it’s obvious to most people here but I was just wondering…if all the those emails which referred directly or indirectly to Steve McIntyre or which arose in response to his work or enquiries or to other people following up his enquiries or otherwise related or arising from his activities, if all these emails were removed from those liberated from CRU, I’m not sure that there’d be very much left of any interest to anyone. There’d have been no Climategate (or at any rate it would have been very muted) and no Parliamentary Enquiry.

    Yet the Enquiry apparently didn’t need to interview SM. Perhaps the committee members went on in the evening to a performance of Hamlet without the prince…

  27. MinB
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    All the press reviews I’ve read have been decidedly negative in their reporting of Jones/Acton. However, there is a bias in what I read. Is anyone aware of any positive comments toward their defense? Plus, any reports from the American MSM?

    • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

      In my extensive clicking on Google News this morning the positive articles are about as rare as submissions to the Select Committee saying that all’s well with the world of climate science. In fact there wasn’t one that I can recall.

      • DCC
        Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

        The NYT has an essentially useless article to which the AP “contributed.”
        It’s positive, all right. Positively in support of AGW.

        • Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

          Yep, fair enough, I restricted myself to London and Scottish papers. I should have made that clear.

  28. Poly
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is really an extreme amount of “ink” spent covering stuff that is “general global warming controvery” rather than your actual auditing. Seeing all this makes me think more and more that you are “running PR”, rather than really checking science. I won’t comment on it more (but let this post through…it is reasonable to make this observation…and you have a huge amount of “high five” posts that are the bulk of the commentary.)

    • Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 6:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Steve has ironically used the term ‘room service’ in reply to Tom P’s demands for an immediate answer to his questions on dendrochronology in the last 24 hours. What’s different in your case? Did Steve McIntyre enter into a contract with you that your desire for what you consider proper auditing of climate data and papers would always be satisfied through a quick browse of Recent Posts, regardless of the situation eg an anonymous whistleblower having started just a few rabbits running with “A Miracle Just Occurred” in November 2009.

      Of course Climate Audit has changed – it’s Steve’s place and he can do with it what he likes. Indeed he can start to post detailed audits of the latest from Mann at any point – and delete anything OT to that. If he chooses. I sure everyone would respect that. But I particularly take exception to the “high fives” comment. After the amount of merciless and stupid propaganda in this area, of which Steve’s been almost the worst victim, it’s hardly surprising that a few of us feel and sound a bit more cheerful this week. Once again, I’d totally respect Steve’s wishes if he snipped such things as OT. But if he promotes something like this to a full CA post, fine too. His place, his rules, his change of pace, whatever.

  29. PeterB_UK
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 3:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Institute of Physics forced to clarify submission to climate emails inquiry

    Strongly worded submission to the parliamentary inquiry is being used to imply the institute questions the scientific evidence for climate change, statement says

  30. geo
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 4:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Yesterday’s hearing actually gave me at least a bit of hope that Russell’s inquiry could come back with some statements that might be useful going forward re bunker mentalities, evolving (even tho they aren’t) requirements for greater openness and sharing of data, etc.

    Acton was scarier than Jones. And Acton picked Russell, so that is worriesome. But there was definitely some cover built there by the public submissions and the MPs to come back with a report that demands the doors be thrown open so that the skeptics can at least engage in the scientific fight without one hand tied behind their backs by stonewalling on access to data and methods.

  31. Micky C
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 4:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Personally, and for what I watched of it, I was reminded of that interesting human characteristic of ‘they are starting to get it about 6 months/6 years after someone/you pointed it out to them but they did nothing’. Generally experienced by technical people in relation to managers. Call it the “Robert de Niro speaks to Sheriff Stallone in Copland effect”. The one about ‘I gave you a chance…and you blewww ittt!!!’
    However even then the committee didn’t really press Phil Jones enough I thought. The bit about how he said his work could be repeated (as talked about by Steve Mosher) was a bit disingenious

  32. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    On Von Storch’s Klimazwiebel most scientists claim that it’s unsual to ask for data/codes, because “lack of time” to scrutinize the data. Von Storch even admits that he lost data from his earlier work. Some interesting posts here:

  33. kim
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m beginning to hope the Norfolk Constabulary catches the leaker so a grateful world can honor him/her.

    • George M
      Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 8:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Amen to that!

  34. Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 6:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for the marvelous title! This is indeed either Theater of the Absurd, or Theater of the Mind.
    At least the drama is playing out in front of a larger crowd, who might actually “buy tickets” and engage their mind on the whole subject. Even if the True Believers will get more converts, I’m betting on the average person to have much more common sense and intellectual acumen than the journalists who can’t spot Phil Jones’ red herring obfuscation of the scientific method. Maybe the youth won’t get it, but until this gets in Tiger Beat, they won’t care. Still, I was taught the Scientific Method in school, with the Aristotelian dynamic… so I’m betting on my contemporaries, even the ones who didn’t go into science like me, to see through with clarity, and of course, we all vote regularly, too.
    Newt Love
    “The most famous person nobody has heard of.”

  35. Jere Krischel
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 7:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Silly question -> watching the video now, but it’s not clear who everyone is besides the witnesses. Can anyone who recognizes the people in the video give us a list of names, from left to right?


    • George M
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 10:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

      See Bishop Hill’s blog. He works with identifying the participants.

  36. philh
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 7:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “The early medieval period is something we should spend more time researching,” he mused.

    Perhaps someone could introduce Lord Acton to the existing literature on the Medieval Warming Period. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of academic papers researching the realities of the MWP.

    • Rhoda R
      Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 2:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

      But damn few on Wikipedia.

      • PhilJourdan
        Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Thank you William Connelly.

  37. Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 7:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    watching the tremulous Professor Jones, will have been less impressed.

    A sure giveaway when trapped.

  38. Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 8:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    More obfuscation at Climate Gate
    No mention at the House of Commons hearing on 1st March that Robert Watson (billed as Chief Scientific Adviser at DEFRA) has a day job:

    Institution: University of East Anglia
    Current position: Director of Strategic Development
    Phone: +44 (0)1603 593118
    Postal Address:
    School of Environmental Sciences ZICER University of East Anglia Norwich Norfolk NR4 7TJ United Kingdom

    Regrettably the VC stated that CRU at the same university has only 3 staff. Here are their names (according to its website accessed on 3rd March 2010). Admittedly possibly not all are on the current payroll (eg Wigley), but if not, why is Wigley listed as Staff? An offence under the Trade Descriptions Act?
    Maureen Agnew
    Mansour Almazroui
    Jonathan Barichivich
    Ben Brabson
    Keith Briffa
    Manola Brunet
    Simon Busby
    Declan Conway
    Richard Cornes
    Janice Darch
    Trevor Davies
    Andrew Dlugolecki
    Dimitrios Efthymiadis
    Johanna Forster
    Nathan Gillett
    Chris Gooch
    Clare Goodess
    Marisa Goulden
    Colin Harpham
    Ian (Harry) Harris
    Malcolm Haylock
    Mike Hulme
    Phil Jones
    Alexey Karpechko
    Sarah Keeley
    Mick Kelly
    John Kington
    Thomas Kleinen
    I Chien Lai
    Hubert Lamb
    Sally Lampkin
    Peter Liss
    David Lister
    Douglas Maraun
    Tom Melvin
    Astrid Ogilvie
    Tim Osborn
    Alan Ovenden
    Jean Palutikof
    Huy Luong Quang
    Sarah Raper
    Mike Salmon
    James Screen
    Sylvia Sheppard
    Ian Simpson
    Mike Thorne
    Jorge L. Vazquez-Aguirre
    Jessica Vial
    Bo Vinther
    Craig Wallace
    Tom Wigley
    Clive Wilkinson

    • George M
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 10:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

      WOW! Why hasn’t someone posted this list previously?

    • Tim
      Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 11:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Hubert Lamb died in 1997. I don’t think that list is current.

    • TerryS
      Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 8:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The VC said they only had 3 permanent staff. The rest could be part time or temporary.

  39. Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 9:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Given the importance they claim, it’s as if the British army consisted of half a dozen men and an officer.

    You mean it doesn’t???

    • Chris Vassaux
      Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 10:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

      No, that’s the Canadian army! ;)

  40. Declan O'Dea
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 9:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Sympathy for Jones might have been warranted if he had started to behave with integrity. But his responses to the committee’s questions displayed all the weaselly evasiveness, half truths and downright lies that we have come to expect of Hockey Team members, so as far as I’m concerned he deserves all he gets. If he could manage to say these things with a straighter face, he might have a career in politics.

  41. ThosThos
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 12:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Allow me to clarify the employment situation in CRU for those unable to understand the descriptions on the Web Site. It’s quite simple really for anyone who understands the nightmare of university research funding.

    According to the UEA VC, CRU has three full-time researchers. I assume these are Jones, Briffa, and Osborn. All other staff are either part time UEA employees, paid from research contracts, or both. This is common in research institutes throughout the world. So, to the Web list:
    Acting Director – temporarily replacing Jones – presumably funded by UEA
    Deputy Director – presumably one of the full-time UEA funded researchers
    Research Manager – probably funded partly by UEA and research grants
    Academic Staff – a mix of fully funded and research grant funded
    Research Staff – research grant funded
    Now go down the list to:
    Support Staff – research grant funded
    Postgraduate Students – funded by awards from various funding bodies.
    All the above are currently based in CRU (subject to Web site updating!).

    So, most staff are paid through UEA on a series of short-term contracts. Which might explain why they don’t have much time to spend on queries external to the contract they’re currently working on.

    Now, to the others on the list:
    Visiting Fellows and Previous Directors – essentially academics from other institutions who occasionally do unfunded research in CRU on sabbatical visits.
    Associate Fellows – people from other institutions who used to work in CRU and wish to maintain research links to CRU and UEA.

    So, there’s nothing particularly sinister about the contents of this rather outdated Web site.

    BTW have you seen the latest on the claim that the Information Commissioner said that CRU broke FOI legislation, but that it was too late to prosecute. It seems the Press made it up (Sunday Times, quoted verbatim by other UK “newspapers”). Shock horror, some people just have no ethics!

  42. justbeau
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 12:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Super reporting by British journalists. Hilarious and humane.

  43. Al Gored
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 1:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    In case you don’t check out the list of stories on this site, this is a rather good one posted there by Martin Ackroyd

    “By this point Jones and Acton appear to have lost the sympathy of the Committee’s Chair, Willis.”

    • Al Gored
      Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 1:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Oops. Redundant! Its already posted above.

  44. Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 3:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, was it you who signed my petition at (#199) and if so, would you mind explaining the comment?

    Steve: Not me, an impostor.

    • Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 5:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Philip, you say: (1) “Stealing emails…”, You have no evidence any were stolen, either they were up for grabs on ftp, or an insider blew the whistle.

      (2) “magnifying the significance of errors” – actually the errors are beyond magnification, eg tippexing Roman glory days and the MWP

      snip –

      • Vid S
        Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 10:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

        snip – blog policies discourage attempts to prove/disprove AGW in a couple of paragraphs. Otherwise all threads become the same.

        • Vid S
          Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

          Fair enough,

          ..but you did make ‘the attempt’ sound sillier than it actually was :P

  45. janama
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 3:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve – I give up mate – I’ve been actively pressing your cause – linking to your latest report on the Hockey stick but to no avail. No one believes you, you are a puppet of the oil companies and not even a scientist.

    In my country we have Tim Lambert of slagging off at you daily so when I post any of your fine work I get shouted down by the Deltoid fanatics.

    On the ABC Drum website I lauded your science only to be dismissed by the true believers.

    In the US disputes all your claims and dismisses you as an old hack past it’s prime.

    Now I’m happy to continue your fight but perhaps you could assist me by taking these people head on and defending yourself.

    It would be greatly appreciated by the people who believe in you and your science.

    • Brooks Hurd
      Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 4:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

      The problem with Steve going on the websites which you listed is that most of what Steve would say in defence would be deleted. I have had numerous postings to RC and others go missing in action.

      • janama
        Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 4:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

        well why not use this website to defend himself – eh Steve?

        That little [snip - language] at Deltoid brushes you off like and old suit, because he can – there is no challenge back except from people like me and we get cut down time and time – BUT – If Steve and Anthony excused themselves from their own sites and went out into the world and fought for their ideas on these sites maybe we could have some breakthroughs.

        I have instances on my own site (TOTALLY DIFFERENT SUBJECT btw) where people have made accusations of others in my profession yet when the person they attacked appeared on the site posting in his own name they suddenly went silent, were all ears, were apologising in all directions etc.

        worth a thought.

        • Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

          There is something a little surreal about ‘janama’ making this point about ‘Steve’ and ‘Anthony’. We all know the two great men you refer to – but who are you? Now bender would be a different matter. He’s more than earned the right. But janama, well, perhaps try again in five years, when many here have come to respect your opinion and expertise?

          As for me, I do use my real name – at least the easier-to-spell parts of it. I’ve only said bits on Climate Audit for a few months. But a snip from Steve yesterday gave me the chance to get back into the politics, at least for a short while, at a blog called The Policy Lass. You could say I’ve been defending Steve from accusations of being an underhand bigot – a right-wing underhand bigot at that. It felt like time to engage, to see if I could keep my (legendary) politeness going, all that kind of thing.

          It might be time for other lesser mortals to have a go at this kind of thing. Doesn’t it get boring preaching to the choir sometimes? As for Steve and Anthony, bless ‘em in whatever they’re up to – even if it’s eating an ice-cream.

  46. janama
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 3:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Yeah – I know – it’s not for you to defend yourself as you know what you know.

  47. Richard Green
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 9:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Quentin Letts likens Professor Acton to Professor Calculus from the Tintin books. I liken him to Charles, Prince of Wales – in voice, manner, content and, to some extent, appearance.

    Acton, you may not be surprised to know, is a minor member of the English nobility.

    He is, in fact, the Hon. Edward David Joseph Lyon-Dalberg-Acton, son of the 3rd Baron Acton. It was his great-grandfather, the 1st Baron Acton, who famously said, in 1887:-

    “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

    Very apt!

  48. Sean
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Reading the UK press and then reading the US press on the same story makes you wonder if there isn’t something much bigger than an ocean between us.

    For example, the New York Times published an overview of the whole issue today entitled “Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate”.

    These are the people they interviewed and quoted in defense of the IPCC / climate change industry:

    1. Peter C. Frumhoff “an ecologist and chief scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists”

    2. Ralph J. Cicerone, “President of the National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious scientific body in the United States”

    3. John Holdren, “an environmental scientist and the White House science adviser”

    4. Rajendra K. Pachauri, “leader of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”

    5. Gavin A. Schmidt, a senior climatologist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies

    And this is a list of people quoted on the other side. Note they did not interview anyone on the other side, they included an excerpt from a blog comment:

    1. Willis Eschenbach, “an engineer and climate contrarian who posts frequently on climate skeptic blogs.”

    • Janice Baker
      Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 1:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      A much truncated version was published in today’s Globe and Mail, with a different heading: “Scientists open up climate data”. the comments of individual scientists, except for Pachauri’s e-mail, were deleted.

      Both versions used the phrase “unauthorized release . . . of e-mail messages” to refer to Climategate.

  49. Dr. George A. Reilly
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    As to Jones’ assertion that Canada will not allow the distribution of historic weather data for Canada, he should check out the Environment Canada website: , where such data is freely available online from the year 1840 to the present.

    • mpaul
      Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 1:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

      This is a trick by CRU. What they are claiming is that THEY can not give out the data. They claim that they have made agreements with countries not to give out the data to others even though the data is publicaly available.

      The FOIA requests in the summer were aimed at obtaining copies of the actualy agreements. CRU has been unable to produce any such agreements and said they didn’t keep any copies. To my knowledge, no one has FOIAed Canada to obtain copies of such agreements with CRU should they exist.

  50. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 5:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jones made one comment which I have not seen discussed. This was when he was been asked about the divergence issue. He was asked why he did not show the post 1960 tree ring data on any of the graphs in his papers.

    Jones responded that it would be wrong to show the divergent data.

    This statement really shocked me. If it is wrong to show divergent post-1960 dendro data, then why is it OK to show the pre-1800 dendro data? Tree ring data either is a good temperature proxy or it is not. It can not be good pre-1800 and bad post-1960.

  51. 3Ms
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 8:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Uncorrected transcript of the UK Parliamentary hearing now available at:-

    • ianl8888
      Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 9:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for that link :)

  52. Mikkel
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 9:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry for long quote.
    Jones on question 122:
    That particular email relates to this document that I produced for the World Meteorological Organisation at the end of the last millennium in 1999. One of the curves was based on tree ring data which showed a very good relationship between the tree rings and the temperature from the latter part of the nineteenth century through to 1960, and after that there was a divergence where the trees did not go up as much as the real temperatures had. We knew that because we had written a paper the year before in 1998 in the journal Nature which discussed this divergence between tree growth and temperatures in recent times. Not all tree ring series show that but this particular one we knew did, so we knew that putting the tree ring series in from 1960 onwards would be wrong because it does not agree with the instrumental temperature. What we did for this simplified diagram was to put the instrumental data on the end from 1960, so that only applies to one of these curves on this cover. We had written about it the year before, in one of the first papers on the divergence problem – I think other groups had actually called it the divergence problem – and, since then, we have been working with other tree ring data trying to improve the way we process the data to try and make sure we keep as much of the low frequency information on longer timescales in the trees because you have to standardise trees in a certain way to produce temperature reconstructions.

    Funny how the mail in question spells out he grafted the temperature onto all 3 series on that diagram. Or did he really? Its obviously clear for Briffa series, but also the other two? Have you, Mr. McIntyre, (or anyone else for that matter) checked if the representation of the other two series are as in the quoted literature or have they had their data after 1981 replaced as implied by the email?
    In such a case Jones would be caught in a flat out lie.

    From the link 3Ms provided to transcript (uncorrected) of hearing.

    • Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 4:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Mikkel (Mar 3 21:49),
      Mikkel, the answer to your question is fairly clear from a glance at the WMO picture. If any doubt remains, look at the CA post Mike’s Nature Trick. The CRU statement of Nov 24 referred to on that page has now moved to here.
      The diagram there shows clearly that the instrumental temperatures were indeed added to all three curves on the cover. The text says “it was necessary to combine the temperature reconstructions with the instrumental record” (note plural). So yes, it does appear that Jones gave false information to parliament.

    • Jean S
      Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 8:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Mikkel (Mar 3 21:49),

      Its obviously clear for Briffa series, but also the other two? Have you, Mr. McIntyre, (or anyone else for that matter) checked if the representation of the other two series are as in the quoted literature or have they had their data after 1981 replaced as implied by the email?

      Well, he did not replace data after 1980 (for MBH99) but added the instrumental series (the MBH99 reconstruction ends 1980) and then smoothed. This is obvious even by comparing the original WMO graph to his own Nov 24 update graph.

      In such a case Jones would be caught in a flat out lie.

      Well, one can argue that he meant that only in one of the graphs he replaced data or that only in one of the graphs instrumental series was added after 1960.

      In the hearings (and elsewhere) there seems to be one obvious question to Dr. Jones missing: why did you call it Mike’s Nature trick?

      BTW, UC has posted a nice timeline for the Trick.

    • Dr Iain McQueen
      Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 9:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Mikkel (Mar 3 21:49),
      Upon re-reading your quote I note Jones says

      “….and after that there was a divergence where the trees did not go up as much as the real temperatures had.”

      Did they not actually go down? or have I got that wrong?

  53. ErnieK
    Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 12:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t think I have seen this reported elsewhere:

    Investigators say they avoided some of the most piercing, some say most critical, questions intentionally due to Jones’ frail mental state. Since the scandal erupted last November, Jones has become the subject of scrutiny, scorn, and death threats. He admitted that he had contemplated suicide and is currently relying on prescription anti-depressants to maintain social functionality.

    Investigators did not ask him to explain emails where he detailed how he used a “trick” to “hide the decline,” nor did they ask him to account for emails where he and others discussed how to coerce editors of scientific journals to reject work from scientists that are skeptical of his global warming research. Jones was also not asked to account for the deletion data that might be damaging to his research conclusions and alleged tampering of field data across multiple interdependent studies that was alluded to by some emails.

    British Hearing Leaves Climategate Professor Shaking

    • Patrick Garcia
      Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 10:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I believe they also failed to drill him on his e-mail asking others to delete their e-mails related to AR4.

    • Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 12:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I have no pity for him. His situation is his own fault.

      • Bob
        Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 8:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Surely you must realize that there doesn’t have to formal conspiracy. It is a self-selecting process. Virtually 100% of the many billions of government, industry and NGO funding dollars are directed to promoting AGW. The people who continue in the field of “climate science” are the believers, the ones that don’t just leave the field to pursue others studies. Ask yourself this question – What do you suppose the climate change debate would be today if even half of the allocated grants/budgets were directed towards understanding global cooling? You would be surprised at the answer.

      • Dr Iain McQueen
        Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 8:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: thefordprefect (Mar 5 07:15),
        I have a great deal of pity for him in his present plight. However it would be utterly wrong for him to be exonerated and reinstated, wouldn’t it?
        Your defence of him rests on the hypothesis of a giant conspiracy which no one has blown and that this is an unlikely course of events. It may indeed be that the email ‘emergence’ does represent someone ‘blowing it’, though I do not think even remotely that there is a huge conscious conspiracy, though I do suspect some internal CRU and Penn State complicity.
        It cannot easily be denied that his personal actions were designed to ensure somewhat high handed imposition of his personal notions about climate change, and rather broadly at that. I doubt if he really thought about how significant his actions were, especially given that he actually really thought he was unarguably right.
        However a sense of rage and death threats and filth is reprehensible, and I agree with almost all your sentiments.

      • RomanM
        Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 8:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Remember, Some of the death threats Jones (and others presumably) get will be from readers of this and watts blog.

        I see this as a very serious allegation against myself and other regular commentators at this site. I would suggest that you either provide some evidence to support this or withdraw the statement.

        Sending threats of causing harm to someone is a vile and despicable act. Making an unfounded accusation that I am part of a group of individuals that will do that is irresponsible at best.

        • Dr Iain McQueen
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

          Re: RomanM (Mar 5 08:36),
          That really jarred with me too, but fordprefect is probably, regretfully, correct that some of the fanatics and morons who issue threats will have read this site, much as they will have read a newspaper!
          We can’t stop ‘em.

        • RomanM
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

          It may very well be true that some mentally unstable individuals could have read the blog (and as Dave points out, many other things) before sending a threat. However, that is a far cry from the implications inherent in the very specific identification of “will be from readers of this and watts blog”.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

          Re: RomanM (Mar 5 08:36),

          This is the old “Rush Limbaugh caused Oklahoma City” ad blogium fallacy. Guess what, Ford? Some of the people sending threats read the New York Times. And some read Real Climate.

        • Dr Iain McQueen
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

          Re: Dave Dardinger (Mar 5 08:48),

        • Dr Iain McQueen
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

          Re: Dr Iain McQueen (Mar 5 09:03),
          Sorry that yup was meant to be for Roman, but again yup!

        • thefordprefect
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

          Please note I did not mean contributors here as McIntyre usually reigns comments in. In fact there are probably millions of readers at these sites and only a few contribute. I’m sure you will admit that they will have gaioned information from these blogs and some will consequently have written “strong” messages to AGW researchers.

          Why was a whole thread pulled at CA a year(?) ago?

          From Watts

          Lemon (11:01:28) :
          I have no more sympathy for these fools than I had for Siegried & Roy after the lion attacked. Play with fire…
          Their death might save trillions of dollars and millions of lives
          Chemist (16:48:18) :
          I’ll be the one to say it: I hope they die so that their deaths will draw attention to the truth of this issue. If they succeed, then it will be just another propaganda piece. With their deaths, they can bring actual change by allowing the world to industrialize

          There are others But these are still on the web site.

        • Dr Iain McQueen
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (Mar 5 10:09), Those should be snipped by Watts – unacceptable

        • thefordprefect
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

          It’s an eye opener reading a few of the threads on Judith Curry’s essay trying to pour oil on troubled waters. Such hatred (including in the blog entry) is really a sad reflection on humanity.
          Work back fropm here:

        • curious
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

          Ford – have you ever read at RC? “This blog is better than that blog” is going nowhere, especially when in the context of the introductory remark you gave where PJ is “oddly cheered” by the death of someone he disagrees with. In the same email PJ is also promoting his view of IPR in relation to scientific work:

          From: Phil Jones
          Subject: Fwd: John L. Daly dead
          Date: Thu Jan 29 14:17:01 2004

          From: Timo H‰meranta
          Subject: John L. Daly dead
          Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 12:04:28 +0200
          X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.4510
          Importance: Normal

          In an odd way this is cheering news ! One other thing about the CC paper – just found
          another email – is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals
          to give all the data and codes !! According to legal advice IPR overrides this.


          “It is with deep sadness that the Daly Family have to announce the sudden death of John
          Daly.Condolences may be sent to John’s email account (

          Reported with great sadness

          Timo H‰meranta

          John Daly’s site is here:

          including an obituary which conludes:

          “About midday on Thursday January 29, 2004, after being interviewed for a UK radio show, John Daly was suddenly struck down by a heart attack. As news of his death was sent around the world, condolences to his family and tributes to his massive contribution poured in. His life is testimony to the fact that one person, if armed with intelligence, energy, perseverance and a commitment to the truth, can change events. John Daly was above all valiant for truth and his memory will long endure.”

          I wonder if PJ will be remembered as “valiant for truth”?

          As far as your query “why a thread was pulled a year ago” it was Steve’s direct and prompt response to a poster’s request.

        • Gord Richens
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

          “Hate the sin but love the sinner.” Hating both only degrades the discourse.

        • thefordprefect
          Posted Mar 20, 2010 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

          Apologies for this but for comleteness sake:

          From Watts again:
          Rachelle Young (20:52:54) :

          I would be content to see all three of them freeze to death or be eaten by ‘endangered’ polar bears. That would teach the world something.

          More hate stuff

          RO: Am I the only one that sent you an email saying that I thought it was awesome what you did?!

          EB: There were maybe 5 people total in three days, three by email and two phone calls, versus hate mails coming in at a rate of 50 an hour for a couple days. And so then you start to think, “I know climate change is real, but maybe I am an asshole?!”

          I should’ve just been quiet. “Lets agree to disagree and let’s get some light bulbs.” This is the interesting thing, the biggest point the angry emails were making was, “How dare you go there to talk about climate change? Who the fuck are you any way?” And my response was, ‘I didn’t go on there to talk about climate change, I came in there to talk about a light bulb giveaway program!’”

        • Posted Mar 21, 2010 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

          Hate occurs on both sides. Doesn’t make it right. But Ed Begley IS an [expletive deleted], so your point is kinda moot. ;)

          [RomanM: Watch the language.]

        • PhilJourdan
          Posted Mar 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

          YOu mention Ed Begley and Hate mail, but give no examples. What does EB consider hatemail? How do YOU know that perhaps they were just saying “you are wrong” and to him that is hate mail? clearly the only thing you have shown is that some people do not like Alarmists (Rachelle) and Alarmists like to yell hate mail, but seldom (if ever – I am giving them the benefit of the doubt) show concrete examples.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (Mar 5 10:09),

          Sorry Ford, but you’re stuck in the psychologicalist mode. By that I mean that everything a person does is a result of his or her environment. There is no place for free will in such a philosophy. I reject such a philosophy utterly, and I expect many others here do too.

        • RomanM
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

          I’m sure you will admit that they will have gaioned information from these blogs and some will consequently have written “strong” messages to AGW researchers.

          No I will not admit that “consequently” they have written death threats to anybody. I doubt that you have any genuine evidence of this so kindly restrict your accusations of wrongdoings by CA denizens in the future. Your loose cannon accusations are a slur on everyone here.

          All of your examples refer to WUWT. If you have complaints about them, present them at that blog site, not here. Do not, by implication, associate them with CA.

          The “whole thread” you refer to was given to a climate scientist whose demeaning attitude towards the commenters rapidly degenerated to abuse on both sides. It was pulled at the request of that person. It has nothing in common with Prof. Jones problems.

        • Keith Herbert
          Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

          the fordprefect,
          Are you asking about the deleted thread that Steve set up to allow a disgruntled commenter to make his point? The problem was the commenter never presented anything so the thread was a waste. It consisted of a bunch of folks asking him to say something…but he never did.

        • Posted Mar 6, 2010 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

          I fully agree, these are very serious allegations, and – if proven to be true – the perpetrators of such acts are reprehensible and fully deserving of opprobrium and whatever penalities the law prescribes.

          However, what is invariably conspicuously absent from such (repeated) allegations is any substantiation [which would include E-mail headers, body text etc.] Not to mention the absence of any indication that the alleged victims have taken the first step towards remediable action, i.e. contacting the appropriate investigative authorities.

      • Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 9:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

        If your reply was to me, then you put an awful lot of words in my mouth. I have no pity for him being grilled by ethics committees, his own actions put him there. Whether or not he contemplates suicide as a result is irrelevant. He sounds a bit unstable to me, frankly.

  54. ianl8888
    Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 3:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I vaguely remember an early post in this thread to the effect that Mann had contributed a submission, but at “one minute to midnight”

    Seems to have dropped off the planet – anyone seen/read it, possibly with a link ?

    • 3Ms
      Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 6:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Try “UK Parliamentary Hearings Thread” The posts start 1st March at 6.10pm

    • Tony Hansen
      Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 6:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

      It may be a ‘private’ email

    • 3Ms
      Posted Mar 4, 2010 at 6:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

      You will find it under Q179 of the Uncorrected Parliamentary Notes mentioned earlier. You can also listen to it on the video referred to in the threads.

    • JCM
      Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 8:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      the submission was to Muir Russell not the Parliamentary Cttee.

  55. thefordprefect
    Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 6:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    £40,000,000 budget/year and the IOP does what?

    • Arthur Dent
      Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 5:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Why don’t you find out instead of making ad hominem innuendos. The IoP is a well respected and highly regarde body that has represented professional physicists for many years.

      The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of over 36,000 and is a leading communicator of physics-related science to all audiences, from specialists through to government and the general public

      Note what it says about values..

      Our values are to demonstrate integrity, objectivity and rigour; a clear drive to benefit society; and the strongest commitment to physics.

      Is it any wonder that it sent a strongly worded input into the HoC Science & Technology Committee. Like many scientists, regardless of their views on AGW, they were appalled at what was revealed in the CRU e-mails. As should you be.

  56. derekcrane
    Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 5:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Undaunted by a rash of scandals over the science underpinning climate change, top climate researchers are plotting to respond with what one scientist involved said needs to be “an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach” to gut the credibility of skeptics.

    In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of “being treated like political pawns” and need to fight back in kind. Their strategy includes forming a nonprofit group to organize researchers and use their donations to challenge critics by running a back-page ad in the New York Times.
    “Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules,” Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails.

    Full Story:

    • 3Ms
      Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 5:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Jeff Id has commented on this. I enjoyed reading the comments.

    • Barclay E MacDonald
      Posted Mar 5, 2010 at 10:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Interesting that it is Paul Ehrlich quoted here. For me he has always been one of the earlier examples of the chicken little syndrome that seems to affect climate science. For those who may not remember him here is a portion of a synopsis from Wikipedia.

      “In December 1967, Ehrlich wrote in the New Scientist that the world would experience famines sometime between 1970 and 1985 due to population growth outstripping resources. He stated that “the battle to feed all of humanity is over … In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” Ehrlich also stated, “India couldn’t possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980,” or “be self-sufficient in food by 1971.” He has been criticized as being wrong in these predictions. Ehrlich himself concedes that he did overstate his case here, underestimating the effects of the green revolution, but that part of the reason that there have not been such serious famines has been due to a reduction in birth rates that his book had argued were necessary. He also stated that in some areas The Population Bomb actually underestimated the dangers of high population – it made no mention of global warming, for instance.”

9 Trackbacks

  1. By Climategate, what is going on? - EcoWho on Mar 2, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    [...] (22nd Jan 2010)UK Parliament to investigate ClimateGate and CRU data issues! Update (3rd March 2010)UK press coverage of parliamentary review. Does not seem to be going at all well for the CRU and Prof Jones; reasonable chance they might be [...]

  2. By Coverage of UK Parliament testimony « CO2 Realist on Mar 2, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    [...] Opening Night Reviews in the UK Press [...]

  3. By A quick teaser « TWAWKI on Mar 2, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    [...] A quick teaser Fascinating – opening night reviews in the press on Phil Jones – more here over at Climate Audit here [...]

  4. By Top Posts — on Mar 2, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    [...] Opening Night Reviews in the UK Press Richard Drake sent in an interesting selection of opening night reviews for the Parliamentary Inquiry from UK [...] [...]

  5. By Coverage of the Hearings « The Policy Lass on Mar 2, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    [...] CA: [...]

  6. [...] Phil Jones' moment in the sun While I can't vouch for the accuracy of this report, I can't help but find it more than a little amusing: Not since the late David Kelly has a select committee witness looked so queasy. A pale, shaky Professor Phil Jones was appearing in front of MPs to discuss allegations he concealed scientific evidence. [...] The committee dealt more gently with Professor Jones, perhaps because he was not an old political pro, perhaps because MPs have an Establishment bias towards believing in the climate changers. Ian Stewart (Lab, Eccles) seemed particularly to lean towards the East Anglian. Jones was accompanied by his university's vice-chancellor, Professor Edward Acton, who provided much-needed comic relief. Professor Acton, a younger version of Professor Calculus from the Tintin books, beamed and nodded at everything Professor Jones said. 'I think that answer was spot-on,' he cried, after listening to one response from the terror-stricken Jones. Professor Acton's left eyebrow started doing a little jiggle of its own. His eyeballs bulged with admiration for the climate-change supremo. His lips were pulled so wide in wonderment they must nearly have split down the seams like banana skins. Others, watching the tremulous Professor Jones, will have been less impressed. He may be right about man-made climate change. But you do rather hope that politicians sought second, third, even 20th opinions before swallowing his theories and trying to change the world's industrial output. More coverage here. [...]

  7. [...] Other emails show that Wallis and Outside Organisation prepped Acton and Phil Jones for their appearance before the Parliamentary Committee. If the resulting appearances represented improvement on their pre-coaching standards, one can only wonder at what they were like before coaching by Outside Organisation. Both Acton and Jones were savaged by the London press – see contemporary CA report here. [...]

  8. By Acton “Tricks” the ICO « Climate Audit on Feb 6, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    [...] also appeared before the committee on March 1, with his appearance being memorably recorded by Quentin Letts as follows: Jones was accompanied by his university’s vice-chancellor, Professor [...]

  9. […] Mann’s pleadings placed great importance on reports of the investigations in international media. However, CRU and Jones received savage coverage in contemporary articles (see CA post here). […]

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