Blatant Misrepresentation by Muir Russell Panel

The Muir Russell panel blatantly misrepresented the facts surrounding Jones’ notorious request to “delete all emails”, a misrepresentation that, in my opinion, was done, at a minimum, either recklessly or out of gross negligence.

The Muir Russell Report
Muir Russell’s findings on the “delete any emails” incident are contained in chapter 10 paragraph 28. Obviously the issuing of an FOI request affects the right of Jones or anyone else to delete documents. Muir Russell purported to exonerate CRU on this count on the empirical basis that the “delete any emails” request had not occurred in the context of a prior FOI request – a claim that is totally untrue.

There seems clear incitement to delete emails, although we have seen no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect of a request already made. Two e-mails from Jones to Mann on 2nd February 2005 (1107454306.txt) and 29th May 2008 (in 1212063122.txt) relate to deletion:

2nd February 2005: ―The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone”.

29th May 2008: ―Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise”.

As hundreds, if not thousands of people, know, David Holland had submitted an FOI request (denoted by UEA as 08-31) on May 27, 2008, only two days prior to the “delete any emails” request, a request which covered the correspondence between Eugene Wahl and Keith Briffa that Fred Pearce described as “back-channel communications that were a direct subversion” of IPCC policies of openness and transparency.

Holland’s request initiated a flurry of activity by Climategate participants. The next day (888. 1212009215.txt), Jones emailed FOI officers Palmer and McGarvie and Briffa and Osborn stating that “Keith [Briffa] should say” that the back-channel Wahl-Briffa correspondence didn’t exist. The following day (May 29), Jones sent the notorious email (1212063122.txt) to Mann and Briffa famously asking them to “delete any emails” with Briffa regarding AR4, saying that they planned to also ask Ammann, and asking Mann to contact Wahl to delete his emails.

Holland’s prior email request is hardly something that the Muir Russell could or should be unaware of. The UK Information Commissioner was aware of Holland’s request, commenting that it would be “impossible” to contemplate “more cogent prima facie evidence” of a section 77 offence than Jones’ email (while also regretting that poor wording of the legislation meant that the prosecution was time barred under the statute of limitations before the incident had been brought to light.)

The incident had also drawn the attention of the Parliamentary Committee, who stated that the importance of a “conclusive resolution” of the resolution meant that the incident should be “thoroughly investigated” regardless of the time bar:

93… There is prima facie evidence that CRU has breached the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It would, however, be premature, without a thorough investigation affording each party the opportunity to make representations, to conclude that UEA was in breach of the Act. In our view, it is unsatisfactory to leave the matter unresolved simply because of the operation of the six month time limit on the initiation of prosecutions. Much of the reputation of CRU hangs on the issue. We conclude that the matter needs to be resolved conclusively— either by the Independent Climate Change Email Review or by the Information Commissioner.

Muir Russell’s blatant misrepresentation of the undisputed factual record on this point meant that the conclusive resolution requested by the Parliamentary Committee obviously didn’t occur.

Nor is there any evidence that Muir Russell carried out the “thorough investigation” of the matter that the Parliamentary Committee requested. The supplementary information on the inquiry website does not contain any answers, oral or written, on the “delete all emails” incident. Geoffrey Boulton and Muir Russell not only appear not to have investigated the incident “thoroughly”; they don’t appear to have investigated it at all.

The March 4 interview with Jones and Briffa by Clarke and Norton (Muir Russell not bothering to attend) was primarily about CRUTEM, but the topic of “suggestions that emails be deleted” was mentioned passim, with Jones saying that “he had not received any specific training:

Suggestions that e-mails should be deleted
17. Prof Jones, in response to questioning, noted that he had not received any specific training on DPA/FoIA/EIR issues from the UEA.

The only other interview with Jones et al came on April 9, (09 April Jones and Briffa.pdf) this time by Geoffrey Boulton (a vigorous climate campaigner who worked for 18 years at UEA) and Peter Clarke, Muir Russell once again not bothering to attend. There is no transcript of the April 9 meeting. There are partial minutes (“Salient points”), which evidence that FOI had been raised in connection with CRU’s obstruction of Willis Eschenbach’s September 2007 request for CRUTEM data, but “time ran out”. There is no mention of the “delete all emails” request. Boulton sent some follow-up written questions to Jones and Briffa, but none touched on FOI or the notorious “delete all emails” request.

Subsequent to Jones’ March 4 claim that “he had not received any specific training on DPA/FoIA/EIR issues from the UEA”, there was a March 30 interview with FOI officials Palmer and Colam-French, who described FOI training programs for UEA staff. The minutes do not record whether Palmer and Colam-French were asked whether they agreed with Jones’ assertion that he had never been “trained” in FOI (not that a supposed lack of training would justify the “delete all emails” request.)

Rather than the Muir Russell panel “thoroughly investigating” an issue highlighted by the Parliamentary Committee, there is no record of Jones’ answering a single question about the request to “delete all emails” or the equally damning instruction that Briffa “should say” (untruthfully) that there had been no such correspondence between him and Wahl.

The UK Research Councils have a code of conduct here which includes misrepresentation under its code of conduct, including the following:

misrepresentation of data, for example suppression of relevant findings and/or data, or knowingly, recklessly or by gross negligence, presenting a flawed interpretation of data;

Note that misconduct arises here (as it does in society in tort law) not just from dishonesty, but through recklessness or gross negligence.

The Muir Russell panel misrepresented the fact that the “delete any emails” request came after an FOI request, leading to a “flawed” interpretation. It was an important issue – one that the Parliamentary Committee had asked them to attend to; the facts were easy to ascertain and known to thousands. If the Muir Russell panel or its members were subject to this code of conduct of the UK Research Councils or an equivalent code of conduct, in my opinion, there is convincing prima facie evidence that their misrepresentation of the facts surrounding Jones’ “delete any emails” request was done “knowingly, recklessly or by gross negligence” and would thus warrant investigation.

It is, of course, possible that the Muir Russell panel is not subject to any code of conduct and can blatantly misrepresent the facts surrounding the “delete any emails” request with impunity.

The most logical way to clear the air would be for the Parliamentary Committee to invite Muir Russell (and Oxburgh) to testify to them about their findings. They had asked Muir Russell to thoroughly investigate the ‘delete any emails’ request and to “conclusively resolve” the matter. They should invite Muir Russell (and obviously Geoffrey Boulton as well) to explain the basis of their findings on the “delete any emails” request, as well as other incongruous findings that I will report on in other posts.

89 Comments

  1. Sean McHugh
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    There needs to be an inquiry into the inquiry. Perhaps Phil Jones could head it.

    • John A
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

      Well since Phil Jones selected the 11 papers used to exonerate him by the Oxburgh “Inquiry”, its not as far-fetched as you’d think.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

      More than a week ago I suggested to the new House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that they have unfinished business. I would not be surprised to see another investigation, but not one led by Phil.

      • Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

        The new Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee is Tim Yeo MP. He is a fully signed up warmist and member of the British Establishment and I am told that he has business interests in companies making money from AGW (haven’t checked that out though). Only a few days ago, he wrote an interesting article praising carbon trading and suggesting it should be expanded – you can read it here: http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2010/07/tim-yeo-mp.html

        I doubt you will get any help from him!

        • Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 2:29 AM | Permalink

          No, the new chair is Andrew Miller, a Labour MP. I don’t know much about his previous statements on climate science and policy – and overstating the case either way may well not be helpful to the guy, as he gets his feet under the table. But Tim Yeo he definitely ain’t. And Graham Stringer is still there, the only common element from last time (and thus likely to be more influential than ever), the only one with a PhD in chemistry, the only one who took the opportunity to meet with Steve McIntyre last Monday. It’s very worthwhile that Geoff has taken this initiative.

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

          Thank you Richard. The case was not overstated. It was neutral and logical, offering assistance if requested.

        • Christopher
          Posted Jul 24, 2010 at 1:02 AM | Permalink

          Tim Yeo is Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee of the House of Commons. See http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/energy-and-climate-change-committee/membership

          He is strongly warmist, and has relevant business interests (which he has declared).

  2. pesadilla
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    In my opinion, the true mandate of the enquiries, particularly Muir Russell, was to ensure that the funding was reinstated.
    Phil Jones had to return and a clean bill of health had to be declared.
    Contencious issues had to be avoided at all costs in order to recover the not inconsiderable funding.
    An interesting question arises out of all this which is WHERE HAS ALL THE MONEY GONE? What was it spent on?

  3. John Norris
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    Oh, he wasn’t trained not to delete e-mails …

  4. Hector M.
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    About Latin:
    Steve: you write: “the topic of “suggestions that emails be deleted” was mentioned passim”.
    I think you mean “was mentioned only in passing”. “Passim” means “everywhere (or “in many places”) in the document”.

    • Dr Iain McQueen
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

      Re: Hector M. (Jul 22 15:58),
      To Hector
      You are right; one of Steve’s few mistakes in his outstanding, and multi-linguistic use of language. It it immediately caught my eye as well!

      ‘en passant’ in his mind maybe?

  5. Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    On 27 March 2008 Jones wrote to his colleagues (1206628118.txt)

    “The person who sent you this is likely far worse. This is David Holland. He is a UK citizen who send countless letters to his MP in the UK, writes in Energy & Environment about the biased IPCC and has also been hassling John Mitchell about his role as Review Editor for Ch 6. You might want to talk to John about how he’s responding. He has been making requests under our FOI about the letters Review Editors sent when signing off. I’m sure Susan is aware of this. He’s also made requests for similar letters re WG2 and maybe 3. Keith has been in contact with John about this.”

    Two months later, on May 29, Jones asked his colleagues to delete “any emails you may have had with Keith regarding AR4″. Bear that in mind when reading Sherlock Russell and his team of Watsons say

    we have seen no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect of a request already made.

  6. L Nettles
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    As I am viewing this site I get Google ads attacking Sharon Angle for supporting BP. In honor of Steve I clicked through chuckling with delight at the though of some trivial amount of money going from Harry Reid to CA.

  7. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    Steve,
    Thank you for your persistance.
    These inquiries have been conducted in such a surreal way that I keep thinking that I must be dreaming. The people who conducted the inquiries seem to be either devoid of integrity or totally inept in understanding the basics of science.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

      Brooks, Agreed. It’s almost as if, unknown to reasonably informed people, there is some force akin to sub judice acting. What ways can be used to get movement?

  8. stereo
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    Face it Steve, you have nothing to add to the science. You are a one trick pony. Now all that’s left for you to do is wallow in the pig sty you helped build.

    • Alan Wilkinson
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

      The quality of “stereo”‘s comment mirrors the author’s courageous anonymity. Surely a climate “scientist”?

      • Phillip Bratby
        Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 1:13 AM | Permalink

        STEREO is a NASA/GISS mission. Need one say more?

    • Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

      Why would a pony wallow in a pig sty?

      • Tom C
        Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

        These guys not only “can’t shoot straight”, they are serial metaphor mixers.

    • geronimo
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 3:05 AM | Permalink

      Oh dear stereo! We don’t speak to each other that way on this blog if you have views about the issue at hand then everyone on this blog would be glad to hear them, and engage with you. Abuse is not the path to knowledge.

      As a matter of interest which “trick” is Steve’s “one trick” is it “Mike’s trick” by any chance?

      • Laurent Cavin
        Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

        So let’s me cite another influencial blog:

        “The only corruption of science in the “hockey stick” in the minds of McIntyre and Montford. They were looking for corruption, and they found it. Someone looking for actual science would have found it as well.”
        <a href=http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/"RC

        So Climate Science is fun – you can find ANYTHING in there apparently :-).

        I guess Steve is sick of responding to this sort of description of his work…

    • Gord Richens
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

      Release the data.

  9. Political Junkie
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    So, Stereo, the science is settled and the inquiries were robust?

  10. Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    The ‘Decision Notice’ of the Information Commissioner, issued on 7.7.10 casts more light. It refers to 3 relevant emails.

    1. 31.3.2008: ‘The complainant emailed a member of staff at the CRU on 31 March
    2008 and asked a number of questions related to his role as a lead
    author for the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. The email also
    included the following request: “During the writing of the final draft of Chapter 6 there must have been considerable email discussion between the authors and the
    review editors. May I see these emails?” ‘

    2. 5.5.2008: The complainant emailed the public authority and explained that he had received no response to his email 31 March 2008. He requested “All letters, facsimile and email correspondence to or from [two named members of staff] in connection with their work as IPCC lead authors.

    15.5.2008: The complainant received a reply from the member of staff providing a response to his questions [31.3.2008] and informing him that his request for copies of the emails was now under consideration by the relevant officers of the public authority.

    3. 27.5.2008: Further email from complainant described as a reiteration of his 31.3.2008 request. This is the trigger referred to by Steve. But this was a repeat of a request already made.

    Note in the written evidence (item number 116) to the Russell report which lists ‘all FOI nd EIR requests received relating to the Climatic Research Unit since 2005′, only the 5.5.2008 request is included. There is no mention of the 27.5.2010 ‘reiterated request’ of the original 31.3.2008 email to ‘a member of staff’

    1. http://www.cce-review.org/evidence/02%20July%20CRU%20FOI%20&%20EIR%20requests.pdf
    2. http://www.scribd.com/doc/34013027/Information-Commissoner-s-decision-on-one-of-the-climate-data-FoI-requests

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

      Re: Cameron Rose (Jul 22 17:26),

      Cameron Rose observed that 08-31 had been left out of the summary of FOI requests.

      Note in the written evidence (item number 116) to the Russell report which lists ‘all FOI nd EIR requests received relating to the Climatic Research Unit since 2005′, only the 5.5.2008 request is included. There is no mention of the 27.5.2010 ‘reiterated request’ of the original 31.3.2008 email to ‘a member of staff’

      I’d noticed the same thing last week and had notified David Palmer of UEA on July 13 of the error. He apologized for the error and reported that he immediately notified Muir Russell so that Muir Russell could correct the record at the Inquiry website. Muir Russell has not done so to date.

      Palmer (who seems to have behaved honorably despite being placed in a difficult position by CRU) further added:

      I would assure you that we have made no secret of this request; indeed, it was mentioned on several occasions in our most recent submission to the ICO in connection with the request for which we recently received a Decision Notice and is listed on our public Disclosure Log (see: https://www.uea.ac.uk/is/foi/disclosure/research)

    • jim edwards
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

      The March 31 language ["May I see these emails?”] could fairly be interpreted NOT to be a demand for documents, but a request for a response like: “Yes”, “No, they’re private”, or “Only if you send a FOIA request.”
      [I'm not saying this would be a friendly / helpful way to treat the request, just, possibly, faithful to the letter of the statutory requirements. It certainly put CRU on notice that somebody was interested in the IPCC-related e-mails.]
      “Please send me these e-mails” would have been better.

      The May 5 request looks much more narrow, requesting e-mails between two named lead authors [e.g., Briffa]. The March 31 interrogatory, in contrast, was referring to ALL e-mails between Lead Authors and Review Editors.

      The May 15 response that his “request for copies of the emails was now under consideration by the relevant officers of the public authority” indicates to me that the recipient / CRU / UEA considered the May 5 communication to be a FOIA request for the e-mails between two named lead authors.

      The May 27 “reiteration” appears to me to be the first formal request for e-mails between IPCC Lead Authors and Review Editors. Would back-channel communications between Briffa and Wahl / Amman have been covered by this FOIA request ?

      Maybe not.

      It stretches credulity, however, that the May 27 request is unrelated to the Jones’ May 29 e-mail. A world-wide, multi-institutional request to “Delete all e-mails relating to X” is NOT deleting old e-mails in the normal course of business.

      The trend in the two formal requests is for broadening in scope of IPCC-related communications to / from CRU Lead Authors. It’s logical to assume that Jones was smart enough to surmise that the third FOIA request would be even more expansive.

  11. Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    I mistyped the 27.5.2008 date at the end of my comment as 27.5.2010. Apologies.

  12. Steven Mosher
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    Nice.

    After all this time of talking about this question people still dont get it. Thanks for your persistence

  13. geo
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Of course Jones, Briffa, and Osborn would have had no need for email on a great many occassions, since they had offices in the same building and could drop by each others offices for a good. . err. . . “planning session” whenever they wanted. This is just the trail we’ve found.

  14. Theo Goodwin
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    You have made a case that is open and shut, as we say. My guess is that Muir Russell will refuse to speak to you or correspond with you. What choice has he? He can’t say that Jones’ lack of training in “not deleting emails under FOI excuses him.” Then, again, I guess he might just say that.

  15. Dave L.
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    Regarding Jones’s testimony:
    “Suggestions that e-mails should be deleted
    17. Prof Jones, in response to questioning, noted that he had not received any specific training on DPA/FoIA/EIR issues from the UEA.”

    Page 93 of the Muir Russell Report contains the following:

    “There is evidence that the IPCM did try to warn Prof. Jones about deliberate deletion of information; for example, an email from Jones to Santer (1228922050.txt) 10th December 2008
    states: ― I did get an email from the FOI person here early yesterday to tell me I shouldn’t be deleting emails – unless this was ‘normal’ deleting to keep emails manageable!”.”

    and

    “In this context, the IPCM and the Faculty FoIA contact may not have been empowered to be sufficiently rigorous: Jones to Santer sent on 3rd December 2008 (1228330629.txt): When the FOI requests began here, the FOI person said we had to abide by the requests. It took a couple of half hour sessions – one at a screen, to convince them otherwise showing them what CA was all about. Once they became aware of the types of people we were dealing with, everyone
    at UEA (in the registry and in the Environmental Sciences school – the head of school and a few others) became very supportive.” However at interview the IPCM explicitly denied that he behaved in the way suggested in this e-mail.”

    Jones’s e-mails directly contradicted his testimony. One would think that the reviewers would have confronted Jones with the above e-mails and demanded an explanation.

  16. Political Junkie
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    Geez, Steve, I hope you were not offended by Stereo’s post.

    When he uses the term “trick,” he’s paying you the ultimate compliment for your ability to use clever techniques for dealing with scientific problems.

    You must understand that “climatologists” have a different interpretation of the English language.

  17. Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    “Obviously the issuing of an FOI request affects the right of Jones or anyone else to delete documents.”

    Actually, that’s not true. EIR Sec 77 does forbid deletions, but is quite explicit about to whom the restriction applies:

    “2. Subsection (1) applies to the public authority and to any person who is employed by, is an officer of, or is subject to the direction of, the public authority. “

    So that would cover UEA employee Jones, but not Mann or Ammann or Wahl (who are in any case outside UK jurisdiction).

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

      Nick, surely not if there were emails or letters originating from Jones and sent to another jurisdiction. Like “Friend in USA, can you please fence those diamonds I lifted from Harrod’s last week and sent to you”.

      • Alan Wilkinson
        Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

        Geoff, Nick’s point is that Mann’s actions are not covered by the FOI whereas Jones’s are. Jones is not permitted to delete any emails – sent or received. However Jones is not prevented under the FOI from asking Mann to delete copies or any other relevant emails.

        I expect a request to destroy evidence of a criminal offence would offend a different law and could well incriminate both the request and any action taken to comply no matter where and by whom.

    • Mike Davis
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

      They are covered by their own restrictions in the US. Most government agencies have those restrictions in place.

      • Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

        But as in the UK, those restrictions only come into force if and when an FOI application is received by that organization, and apply within that organization to documents relevant to that application, and to those who have custody of them.

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

          Nick,

          But this is not a deletion if the material has merely been shipped offshore. Using the diamonds example, a US copy might now be the only piece of relevant paper existing, but it is still a Jones property, merely in the custody of another and the correct procedure would not be to ask to destroy it, surely? If it was a lottery ticket that had won, I’m sure Phil was ask not to destroy it.

    • anonym
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

      Thus is the good name of Phil Jones and the Russell report vindicated.

    • anonym
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

      You seem to have mixed up FOIA 2000 section 77 and EIR section 19. However both laws’ offence-of-altering provisions seem to be effectively identical for present purposes. Also, subsections (1) come into this too, since while Briffa’s copy of a Wahl-Briffa email is a record held by UEA, Wahl’s copy is surely not.

      However the culpability or inculpability of the Americans is a red herring here, because the remit of the Russell inquiry extended only to CRU. Jones and Briffa and their CRU email records do come under the Russell inquiry, and under UK FOIA 2000 sec. 77. So Briffa’s apparent deletion of those emails needed a convincing investigation and verdict. Actually, so did Jones’ request for the Americans to delete the emails too, since while (for example) Wahl’s email records aren’t records held by UEA or CRU, it’s clear that Jones’ purpose in asking Wahl to delete certain Wahl-Briffa emails was partly to conceal the existence (or the former existence) of those emails in Briffa’s CRU email records. Was this conceal[ing a] record held by the public authority (FOIA 2000)? Again, surely the inquiry was obliged to give a convincing answer to this.

      It’s also worth adding that part 3 of the remit, the FOIA/EIR part, is not to assess CRU’s compliance with the law of the land in handling FOIA and EIR requests, but to assess CRU’s compliance with UEA’s policies and procedures for handling those requests. So the standard which the inquiry had to hold Jones and Briffa to may have been higher in some ways than the law of the land.

      Then there’s the part 2 of the remit, which doesn’t address legal or institutional compliance but asks if CRU was meeting best scientific practice in its ways with data and research findings. Is the apparent effort by CRU members to conceal the illicit IPCC backchannel in relation to CRU research something that demands convincing investigation under part 2? If not, why not? Again, to say that CRU skated around the letter of the law and the poorly-drafted terms of an inquiry is not to say much for either CRU or the inquiry.

  18. mpaul
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

    Anthony just publish a post that refers to a new peer reviewed law paper with a concluding remark:

    “This case study provides evidence that there is a culture of antagonism towards anyone who may wish to make independent appraisals of information relating to climate change and particularly if it relates to variations in global temperatures and greenhouse gas emissions. This is shown through both the CRU emails and the approach to Mr Holland’s request to the Met Office. The reluctance to comply with the Fol legislation does not result from bureaucratic misunderstanding of relatively recently enacted legislation. Instead it stems from an antagonism by institutional climate scientists towards those who may wish to independently examine evidence for climate change and its causes. The dangers revealed lie both in operating an effective Fol system, and openness and transparency in an area of immense scientific importance.”

    http://climaterealists.com/attachments/ftp/Abbot_Marohasy_FOIA_DavidHolland_a.pdf

    • Mike Davis
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

      Under standard scientific practices FOIA should not be needed.

  19. sbd
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    The fact that Muir Russell can quote from the email dated May 29, 2008 as not having to do with a FOI request is just plain arrogance. There can be no other explanation other then to tell everyone he can do what he wants in this report and if you don’t like it, so what. I say this because the subject of that quoted email id “IPCC & FOI”

    1212073451.txt

    From: Phil Jones
    To: “Michael E. Mann”
    Subject: IPCC & FOI
    Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008

    Mike,

    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

    Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

    We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

    I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!

    Cheers
    Phil

    Steve: quite so. It’s all amazing.

    • Alan Wilkinson
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 3:31 AM | Permalink

      I wonder if there are any archival backups at UEA dating back to 2008 that might reveal Jones’ deleted emails? Worth an FOI request?

    • abry
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 4:46 AM | Permalink

      On the specific issue of what prompted Dr Jones to request other to delete emails, according to a BBC report quoting Dr Jones, Dr Jones himself accepts that this was an FOI request:

      “R – Why did you ask a colleague to delete all e-mails relating to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC?

      This was an e-mail sent out of frustration at one FOI request that was asking for the e-mail correspondence between the lead authors on chapter six of the Working Group One Report of the IPCC. This is one of the issues which the Independent Review will look at.”

      See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8511670.stm

  20. Doug in Seattle
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    They all seem to be pretty sure of getting this affair swept under the rug. While the British press seems a little bit miffed by the whitewashes, the American media has silent (with a few exceptions such as WSJ).

  21. mpaul
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    The House of Commons committee members simply need to decide whether they want to be played for fouls or not. If they choose not to re-open this investigation, then history will regard them as small men of little consequence.

  22. Rattus Norvegicus
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    Steve, give me a break. There were literally hundreds of emails in the snatch which fulfilled Holland’s FOI request. This is de facto evidence that emails were not deleted.

    • RomanM
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

      There were still some e-mails left so nothing was erased???

      Oh, wait a minute, climate science word spin! Of course, you meant that the emails that were left were not erased.

      Yeah, that’s true…

      • Richard T. Fowler
        Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

        RomanM: “Yeah, that’s true…”

        The problem is, his statement “give me a break” only makes sense if he is claiming that no e-mails responsive to Holland were deleted.

        Otherwise, he is in effect saying:

        “Gimme a break, only a few mails were deleted. Don’t we get a few mulligans?”

        which makes no sense at all.

        RTF

        • galileonardo
          Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

          Maybe I missed it elsewhere in this thread, but if it is absent I figure this would be a good place to bring this up. Isn’t everyone forgetting about this Jones email?

          http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=940&filename=1228330629.txt

          Excerpt from Jones: “The inadvertent email I sent last month has led to a Data Protection Act request sent by a certain Canadian, saying that the email maligned his scientific credibility with his peers! If he pays 10 pounds (which he hasn’t yet) I am supposed to go through my emails and he can get anything I’ve written about him. About 2 months ago I deleted loads of emails, so have very little – if anything at all.”

          It was written by Jones just about 6 months after the infamous “IPCC & FOI” email. I’m sure there was positively no way whatsoever that any of the “loads of emails” related to the DPA request that Jones admits to deleting could have possibly overlapped with any of the FOI-related AR4 emails he asked the others to delete. No, definitely not.

          I guess I’m not supposed to notice that the “CA claim” is what prompted the initial Jones request for email deletions and that the “loads of emails” that were purged “about two months ago” that mentioned “a certain Canadian” were not at all any of the same FOI emails “re AR4.” That would just be a coincidence, and it certainly is not something that More Hustle should have investigated. After all, “we have seen no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect to a request already made.”

          We’ve all heard it a million times by now but it bears repeating in this case. “Nothing to see here. Move along.”

          P.S. Steve, did you ever pay the 10 pounds?

        • Rattus Norvegicus
          Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

          At least under US civil disclosure laws it is OK if you have a data preservation policy. For example at the last company I worked at we were subject to lots of patent infringement suits so we instituted a policy of having IT automagically delete any emails older than 60 days. That’s considered to be OK.

          I don’t think that it is considered a criminal or civil violation if you delete emails *before* they are subject to request. If they are still held on a central server as backups, they would still be subject to request, but just because they have been deleted from an employee’s inbox (a very common thing) prior to a request does not make the action of deleting email a crime.

        • Richard T. Fowler
          Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

          It seems you have not thoroughly read galileonardo’s post, in which he writes (among other things):

          “It [the statement that he had deleted loads of emails two months before] was written by Jones just about 6 months after the infamous “IPCC & FOI” email.”

          The “infamous” email referred to is the “delete any emails” mail.

          RTF

      • Rattus Norvegicus
        Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

        I’m not saying that no emails were deleted, it just appears from the contents of the CRU emails that a large body of emails responsive to the request were *not* deleted. If they had been, they wouldn’t be there, would they?

        • Richard T. Fowler
          Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

          Unbelievable. So you actually are endorsing the “climate science word spin” described by RomanM!

          When has McIntyre ever claimed that _all_ the Holland-request-related mails were deleted?

          And how can you seriously advocate that deletions after the fact are acceptable so long as not _all_ the relevant mails are deleted?

          And if you’re not saying that no responsive e-mails were deleted after the FOI request, then how can you tell McIntyre to “give [you] a break” over this issue?

          RTF

        • EdeF
          Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

          All of these emails could have been “deleted”. Or so thought the participants. It could be that the leaker found these on the server
          as a backup. The fact that you don’t complete the bank robbery does not mean the attempt was not made in a most earnest manner.

        • MikeN
          Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

          So they thought they deleted something, but really had no clue about how the e-mail system keeps its own copies.

        • DEEBEE
          Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

          That is a political argument not necessarily a logical one. You are making unwarranted assumptions about size of the universe of e-mails in question.

        • Atomic Hairdryer
          Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

          99.7% of the emails are as yet unquestioned according to the Russell report. I still like this email-

          http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=387&filename=1074277559.txt

          “Mike,
          This is for YOURS EYES ONLY. Delete after reading – please ! ”

          which Jones didn’t delete, or wasn’t for Mike’s eyes only. But without full headers, there’s no bcc: field which may make it too obvious who’s CYA file this emails orginated from.

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

          Nuclear hairdrier
          Does this help at all?
          From: Phil Jones
          To: mann@virginia.edu
          Subject: CLIMATIC CHANGE needs your advice – YOUR EYES ONLY !!!!!
          Date: Fri Jan 16 13:25:59 2004

          Mike,
          This is for YOURS EYES ONLY. Delete after reading – please ! I’m trying to redress the
          balance. One reply from Pfister said you should make all available !! Pot calling the
          kettle
          black – Christian doesn’t make his methods available. I replied to the wrong Christian
          message
          so you don’t get to see what he said. Probably best. Told Steve separately and to get
          more
          advice from a few others as well as Kluwer and legal.
          PLEASE DELETE – just for you, not even Ray and Malcolm

          Cheers
          Phil

          Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 12:37:29 +0000
          To: Christian Azar , christian.pfister@hist.unibe.ch
          From: Phil Jones
          Subject: Re: AW: CLIMATIC CHANGE needs your advice
          Cc: “‘David G. VICTOR'” , ‘Katarina Kivel’ ,
          N.W.Arnell@soton.ac.uk, frtca@fy.chalmers.se, d.camuffo@isac.cnr.it, scohen@sdri.ubc.ca,
          pmfearn@inpa.gov.br, jfoley@facstaff.wisc.edu, pgleick@pipeline.com,
          harvey@geog.utoronto.ca, ahs@ansto.gov.au, Thomas.R.Karl@noaa.gov, rwk@ucar.edu,
          rik.leemans@rivm.nl, diana.liverman@eci.ox.ac.uk, mccarl@tamu.edu, lindam@atd.ucar.edu,
          rmoss@usgcrp.gov, ogilvie@spot.colorado.edu, barrie.pittock@dar.csiro.au,
          pollard@essc.psu.edu, nj.rosenberg@pnl.gov, crosenzweig@giss.nasa.gov,
          j.salinger@niwa.co.nz, santer1@llnl.gov, h.j.schellnhuber@uea.ac.uk,
          F.I.Woodward@sheffield.ac.uk, gyohe@wesleyan.edu, leonid@atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca,
          shs@stanford.edu
          Dear Steve et al,
          I’ve been away this week until today. Although the responses so far all make valid
          points, I
          will add my thoughts. I should say I have been more involved in all the exchanges
          between
          Mike and MM so I’m probably biased in Mike’s favour. I will try and be impartial,
          though, but
          I did write a paper with Mike (which came out in GRL in Aug 2003) and we currently have
          a long paper tentatively accepted by Reviews of Geophysics. With the latter all 4
          reviewers
          think the paper is fine, but the sections referring to MM and papers by Soon and
          Baliunas
          are not and our language is strong. We need to work on this.
          Back to the question in hand:
          1. The papers that MM refer came out in Nature in 1998 and to a lesser extent in GRL
          in
          1999. These reviewers did not request the data (all the proxy series) and the code. So,
          acceding to the request for this to do the review is setting a VERY dangerous
          precedent.
          Mike has made all the data series and this is all anyone should need. Making model
          code available is something else.
          2. The code is basically irrelevant in this whole issue. In the GRL paper (in 2003 Mann
          and Jones), we simply average all the series we use together. The result is pretty much
          the same as MBH in 1998, Nature and MBH in 1999 in GRL.
          3. As many of you know I calculate gridded and global/hemispheric temperature time
          series
          each month. Groups at NCDC and NASA/GISS do this as well. We don’t exchange codes
          – we do occasionally though for the data. The code here is trivial as it is in the
          paleo work.
          MBH get spatial patterns but the bottom line (the 1000 year series of global temps) is
          almost the same if you simply average. The patterns give more, though, when it comes to
          trying to understand what has caused the changes – eg by comparison with models. MM
          are only interested in the NH/Global 1000-year time series – in fact only in the MBH
          work
          from 1400.
          4. What has always intrigued me in this whole debate, is why the skeptics (for want of
          a better term) always pick on Mike. There are several other series that I’ve produced,
          Keith Briffa has and Tom Crowley. Jan Esper’s work has produced a slightly different
          series
          but we don’t get bombarded by MM. Mike’s paper wasn’t the first. It was in Nature and
          is well-used by IPCC. I suspect the skeptics wish to concentrate their effort onto one
          person as they did with Ben Santer after the second IPCC report.
          5. Mike may respond too strongly to MM, but don’t we all decide not to work with or
          co-operate with people we do not get on with or do not like their views. Mike will say
          that MM are disingenuous, but I’m not sure how many of you realise how vicious the
          attack on him has been. I will give you an example.
          When MM came out, we had several press calls (I don’t normally get press calls about
          my papers unless I really work at it – I very rarely do). This was about a paper in
          E&E, which when we eventually got it several days later was appalling. I found out
          later that the authors were in contact with the reviewers up to a week before the
          article
          appeared. So there is peer review and peer review !! Here the peer review was done by
          like-minded colleagues. Anyway, I’m straying from the point. Tim Osborn, Keith Briffa
          and I felt we should put something on our web site about the paper and directs people
          to Mike’s site and also to E&E and the MM’s site. MM have hounded us about this for
          the last four months. In the MM article, they have a diagram which says ‘corrected
          version’ when comparing with MBH. We have seen people refer to this paper (MM)
          as an alternative reconstruction – yet when we said this is our paragraph MM claim they
          are not putting forward a new reconstruction but criticizing MBH 1998 !! We have
          decided to remove the sentence on our web page just to stop these emails. But if a
          corrected version isn’t a new or alternative reconstruction I don’t know what is.
          So, in conclusion, I would side with Mike in this regard. In trying to be
          scrupulously
          fair, Steve, you’ve opened up a whole can of worms. If you do decide to put the Mann
          response into CC then I suspect you will need an editorial. MM will want to respond
          also.
          I know you’ve had open and frank exchanges in CC before, but your email clearly shows
          that you think this is in a different league. MM and E&E didn’t give Mann the chance
          to
          respond when they put their paper in, but this is a too simplistic. It needs to be
          pointed
          out in an editorial though – I’m not offering by the way.
          I could go on and on ….
          Cheers
          Phil
          At 10:36 15/01/2004 +0100, Christian Azar wrote:

          Dear all,
          I agree with most of what has been said so far. Reproducibility is the key word. If the
          Mann el al material (to be) posted on the website is sufficient to ensure
          reproducibility, then there is no compelling need to force them to hand it out. If not,
          then the source code is warranted. Also, even if there is no compelling need to make the
          source code public, doing it anyway would clearly be beneficial for the entire debate.
          Yours,
          Christian
          ——————————————————————–
          Christian Azar
          Professor
          Department of physical resource theory
          Chalmers University of Technology
          Göteborg University
          412 96 Göteborg
          Sweden
          ph: ++46 31 772 31 32
          [1]www.frt.fy.chalmers.se
          [2]www.miljo.chalmers.se/cei

          Prof. Phil Jones
          Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
          School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
          University of East Anglia
          Norwich Email p.jones@uea.ac.uk
          NR4 7TJ
          UK
          —————————————————————————-

          Prof. Phil Jones
          Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
          School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
          University of East Anglia
          Norwich Email p.jones@uea.ac.uk
          NR4 7TJ
          UK
          —————————————————————————-

          References

          1. http://www.frt.fy.chalmers.se/
          2. http://www.miljo.chalmers.se/cei

        • Atomic Hairdryer
          Posted Jul 24, 2010 at 6:01 AM | Permalink

          Not really :)

          It’s more about what remains unseen or overlooked by Russell et al. We have a traffic analysis shortly after the leak showing the message exchanges. That was only based on the simple header info though because the full headers were stripped. Why would a hacker bother doing this?

          That email is curious because Jones suggested deletion, but either didn’t delete it himself, thought he did, or bcc’d it to someone else.

          Russell report includes a brief ‘forensic’ report which has some odd things in it. The analyst had a copy of the complete data, but only seems to have done a cursory word frequency analysis of the released subset. There was a comment about needing different software, which is puzzling given the mail system seems to be standard mbox format.

          It doesn’t seem to difficult to me to find where the released emails and any copies were located on the server. But neither UEA or Russell wanted to follow that path, because I suspect they already know the answer.

          It may also have shown if there were any attempts to delete. It’s fairly common in mail clients to not delete a message on first pass, just flag the message for deletion. Thunderbird does this and only actually deletes the email when mailboxes are compacted. Some mail systems can override that behaviour to aid retention.

        • Joe Horner
          Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

          Rattus, rather than expressing the disbelief some seem to be feeling at your posts, let me try to explain why your point has no relevence whatsoever:

          Granted, there were some emails still in the “Climategate” release that might have come under DH’s FOI request. And you seem to accept that there could have been others that have been deleted. The fact that some still exist doesn’t make those missing ones innocent – in fact, it begs a question of why was it particularly important to hide their contents rather than the others’?

          As an analogy: suppose I have a folder on my computer containing pornographic photos of my neighbour’s girlfriend*. My wife asks to see all my pictures, so I remove the dodgy files and pass over the rest. The photos I show her provide no evidence at all that I’m not having an affair, do they?

          Similarly, the existence of some (or even a lot) of relatively innocuous emails doesn’t say anything whatsoever about the content of the missing ones!

          * for the record, my neighbour is about 85 and married and the analogy is NOT a true account ;)

    • Lake
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

      Actually, the emails may have been deleted from Jones’ system but he was probably unaware of the archiving being done for the FOIA Climategate email collection. But just because the emails still existed somewhere, wasn’t it still wrong for Jones or others to delete their copies once under FOI?

      You don’t think that the Climategate emails were collected by getting them from each CRU member’s computers, do you?

  23. Theo Goodwin
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    The Muir Russell Investigation was eaten alive by the Bunker Mentality that it was supposed to investigate and to dissolve. Climategate has fed itself three times recently and is growing ferociously. Who else has been eaten? Some government minister? America’s Department of Energy? Who will be next?

  24. Pat Frank
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    “Blatant misrepresentation” … isn’t there a 3-letter word that conveys the idea more succinctly?

    It appears the Muir Russell exercise is an attempt at the standard upper class British practice of letting an offense-giving insider resign gracefully, keeping wealth and public reputation intact.

    This only works when full knowledge of the offense is hermetically sealed within the aristocratic insider network.

    That won’t work anymore. The offense is publicly known, not just in the UK, but world-wide. The offense is also against the global population, not just against the people of the UK. Too many educated middle class folks know what’s going on, they’re offended, and they know the law is on their side. They won’t stop, and the upper class, “isn’t done, you know” just won’t be allowed to let everyone walk away.

  25. stan
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    Years from now, climategate will be seen as the equivalent of quicksand. The more people who get thrown into the mess to try to save the reputations of the team, the more reputations get tarnished without accomplishing a rescue. Of course, a genuine rescue isn’t really possible — the e-mails are available for anyone to read and the damning evidence is plain to see. Only illiterates should have to depend on some investigation panel to tell them what to think about the evidence.

    I’m really fascinated to see who else is willing to venture into the quicksand. Of course, I’m equally fascinated to see how long it will take before the IPCC becomes radioactive for honest, competent scientists. That’s coming, too.

  26. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

    Surely even without training a college professor should know that it’s not permissible to delete material that’s under FOI request. That’s not much of a defense.

    • stan
      Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

      But Paul, if even he really didn’t know, can’t we expect professors with PhDs to know how to find the answers to questions when they don’t know something. You know, that would be like, uhhh, research.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

      They seemed to have had certain ideas on intellectual property rights, a minefield subject for specialists. Many including me do not understand the many implications of IPR, despite having dabbled in the subject for years. This is not said here as a defence. A cautious scientist will preserve rather than destroy. How many times have you erased a private file, only to regret it within a month?

      • ianl8888
        Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

        Geoff

        Yes, I only did that the once – regret learned

        Most of us now may delete the data or file(s) from a workplace computer if requested, but keep a copy on a home computer

        Recent lawyerly requirements in respect of due diligence projects may include the obligation to destroy data when the project is finished, but quite a few times I have been asked months later by these same lawyers for a reprise of certain points … naturally, they assume I have the enabling data

  27. Just Tex
    Posted Jul 22, 2010 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    Steve, thank you for diligently untangling so much of this nefarious,dastardly, and very deliberate con-job mess. In time, I’m certain you will have it nailed down so tight, there will be no way for anyone with a conscience to ignore what you have uncovered. Your dutiful patience and herculean efforts are much more appreciated than you may know. As a long time lurker here, I just had to get all that off my chest.

  28. Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

    Steve what did you expect? An inquiry into a field that makes up assertions based on no facts that doesn’t bother to look at the facts and makes unsupportable assertions!

    If you want to see where this is all going checkout “WMD inquiries”. Everyone in the UK knows that Blair told blatant lies to get the UK parliament to agree to go to an (illegal) war with Iraq, yet we’ve had half or dozen inquiries and each one appears to “exonerate” Blair much like all the inquiries “exonerated” the Climategate Research Unit.

    snip – overeditorializing

    • Ian B
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 4:24 AM | Permalink

      The comparison with the Iraq inquiries is interesting as they’ve followed a similar modus operandi – set up multiple inquiries with different and non-overlapping remits, making sure that the most contentious issues fall into the cracks between each, then publish reports that are interpretted as exonerating those under investigation even when the main questions have not been correctly asked or answered.

      Is it worth someone (possibly Bishop Hill, as he seems to have good ability of extracting the important elements and expressing them plainly) doing a detailed summary of perhaps 4 or 5 key issues arising from Climategate (off the top of my head, I would suggest FOI responses, e-mail deletion, ‘Hide the decline’ and the subversion of journal peer review) and looking at how these fall into the scope of each inquiry and then how the inquiries dealt with these and whether their conclusions can be justified.

      Might also make useful submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee, to demonstrate how the two UEA investigations weren’t what Parliament was told they would be: Oxborough’s review of the science being based on papers selected by the people being investigated, and Muir Russell being factually incorrect (as shown above) and also being an absentee Chairman.

  29. Punksta
    Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

    Clearly the official Climategate investigations are themselves in need of investigation.

    I do hope someone will put it all together in a book sometime – ‘The Climategate Coverups’ ?

  30. Barry Woods
    Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    Look what is buried away in the ESSEX section of the BBC website….
    The Sunday Times had this on page-3, 5 days ago. (behind a paywall now)

    “Climate study funding at Norfolk university suspended
    Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have had funding of $200,000 (£131,000) suspended by the US government in a row over e-mails.”

    Is the BBC, AGW media Gatekeeping again?
    Is the Essex section a good place to bury bad news? ;)

    The US DoE halts funding to CRU, (after 20 years) despite the result of Muir Russell Enquiry. Surely this is of interest to the Environment team and deserves some sort of analysis

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-10712286

    “Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have had funding of $200,000 (£131,000) suspended by the US government in a row over e-mails.

    The US Department of Energy (DoE) said it had not decided whether to reinstate the long-standing funding after the so-called ClimateGate affair.

    Climate sceptics alleged leaked e-mails undermined the integrity of UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

    The UEA confirmed the DoE has held off funding despite the unit being cleared.”

    Watts Up:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/18/doe-funding-for-cru-placed-on-hold/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/21/us-doe-apparently-funded-cru-millions-not-200k-as-reported/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/19/breaking-phil-jones-got-to-endorse-papers-for-oxburgh-inquiry/

  31. Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    There is far wider scope than just the “deleted emails” for the new House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology to revisit the UEA inquiries, as well as the old Committee’s very hasty and inconclusive inquiry, and particularly to question the people involved: Acton, Davies, Russell and Oxburgh.

    Climategate Inquiries: It’s up to Graham Stringer and Andrew Montford now

    Graham Stringer, who is the only member of the old Committee to survive the election to be on the new one, has laid the foundations for an investigation into why the inquiries went wrong. The problem is how to generate sufficient pressure to make action by the Committee unavoidable.

  32. anonym
    Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    (Sorry if this is old hat, but a bit of searching didn’t find any earlier reference to this.)

    After Nick Stokes helped to bring it to my eye, I decided to take a quick look at the question of what UEA’s policies and practices regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act (‘the FOIA’) and the Environmental Information Regulations (‘the EIR’) were in 2008. The Russell review was charged with investigating CRU’s compliance with these institutional directions, not (directly) with the laws themselves. The distinction is significant, especially because UEA’s FOIA policies might impose on CRU additional requirements not mandated (or not precisely mandated) by the FOIA. (Such policies have an official standing in Part III of FOIA 2000 itself.) For example, there might be retention policies governing the preservation and deletion of emails (or other data) that applied in general, not only once a FOIA request arrived and FOIA sec. 77 came into play. (Though one might argue that such a policy isn’t a policy governing specifially requests under the FOIA, once again vindicating all involved.) In fact, as DaveL pointed out, 1228922050.txt seems to indicate that UEA did have such a policy.

    It seems that since 2004 UEA’s master FOIA-compliance document has been its Code of Practice for Responding to Requests for Information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Russell report duly notes it and provides the link. The Code of Practise commits UEA to comprehensive management of “all records” (emphasis in original), so that it can among other things “maintain that information in a manner that effectively services its needs and those of its stakeholders”. For the detailed records management policy, the Code of Practise refers the reader to the parallel Guidelines for the Management of Records under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, to which it provides the URL. Unfortunately, at the moment it seems that the Guidelines, unlike the Code of Practise, is password-protected on the UEA intranet. The Guidelines could conceivably be publicly available under some different URL not given in the Code of Practise, but searching Google and the UEA website didn’t turn it up. Perhaps a Freedom of Information Act request would release the Guidelines to the public, or perhaps not. The Russell report doesn’t mention the Guidelines. It devotes attention to various FOI issues in UEA and CRU, but doesn’t seem to say what UEA’s FOI-specific record filing/retention/deletion policies were, even when it cites 1228922050.txt .

    (The new Records Management Policy, established just this May, is publicly available. But it too refers to other documents for specifics, including an email retention and disposal policy. I can’t find that either, though to be fair it may still be in preparation.)

  33. Adam Gallon
    Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    snip – policy

  34. Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    Surely any guidelines related to compliance with FOIA should themselves automatically be subject to FOIA.

  35. Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    Come on folks, these were enquiries set up by the cosy coterie of Westminster/Whitehall and the University. Politicians and Civil Servants conducted them, the “Conclusions” were already written before any evidence was examined and the “evidence” was then selected to fit to outcomes/conclusions. That is how all Whitehall “Enquiries” are conducted.

    Muir Russell, the Parliamentary Committee and the Universities own simply followed this rule. Truth and Whitehall are complete strangers.

    • Barclay E MacDonald
      Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

      But for some of us who apparently aren’t cynical enough, it’s one thing to see speculative allegations, but rather shocking to watch it in detail actually happening.

      • Posted Jul 24, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

        Having worked to Civil Servants and been the victim of several of their “reviews” I have first hand experience of their methods and practices. The Conclusions are set out by the Committee at the outside when setting up the “parameters” of the review. Then they go looking for evidence to fit, anything that doesn’t is rejected and anyone who dares try to inject anything that doesn’t fit the picture they want to paint is immediately silenced.

        The Official Secrets Act is a wonderful weapon n the hands of a Whitehall Mandarin.

  36. Laurent Cavin
    Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    Dear Steve,

    for your information, an interview of you has been published in a weekly swiss newspaper yesterday.

    If you don’t have a copy, I can send you a PDF. I don’t post it because it’s of course (c) Weltwoche so it may well be illegal just to put it for download.

    Regards,

    Laurent

  37. Brigette Debois
    Posted Jul 23, 2010 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    Email 1212063122.txt from Mann on 29 May does indeed include Jones’ email, but it does not show what date the email was written, sent, or received. You should revise your statement above:

    “The following day (May 29), Jones sent the notorious email (1212063122.txt) to Mann and Briffa famously asking them to “delete any emails” with Briffa regarding AR4, saying that they planned to also ask Ammann, and asking Mann to contact Wahl to delete his emails.”

    • Alan Wilkinson
      Posted Jul 24, 2010 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

      The reference should be to 1212073451.txt:

      From: Phil Jones
      To: “Michael E. Mann”
      Subject: IPCC & FOI
      Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008

      Mike,

      Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
      Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
      Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t
      have his new email address.
      We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
      I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!
      Cheers
      Phil

      Prof. Phil Jones
      [RomanM: Contact details deleted]
      —————————————————————————-

      • Alan Wilkinson
        Posted Jul 24, 2010 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

        Oops, sorry, please delete Jones’ contact details.

  38. Bill Hunter
    Posted Jul 24, 2010 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

    The appropriateness of naming this affair Climategate increases almost every day just like its namesake Watergate that eventually for the first time in history toppled a US administration. One has to wonder just how big this will get and who else is going to fall on his sword.

5 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Update 7/23/2010:  Steve McIntyre covers the entire “deleted” issue in much greater detail here. [...]

  2. By Top Posts — WordPress.com on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    [...] Blatant Misrepresentation by Muir Russell Panel The Muir Russell panel blatantly misrepresented the facts surrounding Jones’ notorious request to “delete [...] [...]

  3. [...] ) and the Muir Russell Inquiry that didn’t Inquire too much about the naughty bits ( see: http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/22/blatant-misrepresentation-by-muir-russell-panel/ ), had made it safe for them to return to business as usual just got a bit of bad news: 31 August [...]

  4. [...] words, was a ‘subversion” of IPCC policy on openness and transparency. See here for a review showing the falseness of their [...]

  5. [...] See here for a review showing the falseness of their “finding”. [...]

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