Another Stupid UEA Trick

On October 22, 2010, David Holland re-iterated his FOI requests 08-23 and 08-31. Once again, the University of East Anglia has refused 08-31, this time using an excuse the obtuseness of which is remarkable even for the University of East Anglia.

08-31 is, of course, the request that prompted Phil Jones to ask Briffa to deny the existence of the Wahl correspondence to UEA administration and then to ask Briffa, Wahl and others to delete the relevant emails – emails that showed what Fred Pearce called a “subversion” of IPCC policies of openness and transparency. 08-31 is, of course, the email that Muir Russell obtusely pretended not to exist – a piece of obtuseness that Fred Pearce hoped was “cockup rather than conspiracy”.

UEA has once again provided tortured refusals to 08-23 and 08031 respectively are in Appendix E and Appendix F to David Holland’s FOI – see here.

I’ll discuss 08-31 today. The original request is online here.

Holland’s request stated (excerpt here):

I have now read Dr Briffa’s letter of 15th May in answer to mine of 31st March for which I have thanked him. As he indicates that he will refer further enquiries to you I must advise you that I do not feel it answers any of my questions satisfactorily apart from the last and continue to seek any and all documents held by CRU relating to Dr Briffa’s participation in the IPCC, 2007 assessment reports.

In addition to the questions I put to Dr Briffa, and without limiting my request for all information relating to the IPCC assessment process not already in the public domain, I will specify further particular areas for which I am seeking information.

1. The IPCC stated1 on July 1, 2006:
“We are very grateful to the many reviewers of the second draft of the
Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report for
suggestions received on issues of balance and citation of additional
scientific literature.”

Did the IPCC receive any such “suggestions” in a written form other than those reported in the documents for each chapter entitled “IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report: Expert and Government Review Comments on the Second-Order Draft”2? If so, please provide them.

As CA and Climategate readers know, in July 2006, Briffa sent the supposedly confidential IPCC final draft and his proposed replies to Second Draft Review Comments to Eugene Wahl, a protagonist in the Mann controversy. Wahl inserted a change to the IPCC assessment of the Hockey Stick controversy, a change which passed into the Final Draft, without any recorded discussion.

In refusing item (1), the University of East Anglia’s response says that Wahl’s comments to Briffa – comments solicited by Briffa in his capacity as an IPCC author – were not received by IPCC and that the suggestions sent by Wahl to Briffa fall outside the scope of Holland’s question:

In regards question 1, we have no idea of what suggestions the IPCC received and I have verified that if, indeed, they did receive any, they did not pass them on to any staff member within UEA. There is no question that a suggestion was received by Prof. Briffa from Eugene Wahl and this material is publicly available and has been widely commented upon.

This ‘suggestion’ was not provided to the IPCC, only to Prof. Briffa and therefore is outside the remit of question 1.

I wonder what East Anglia think that they are accomplishing by pretending that Briffa did not receive the Wahl comments in his capacity as an IPCC lead author.

In addition, their statement that the Wahl “suggestion” is already “publicly available” is untrue. The Wahl suggestions are contained in attachments to Climategate emails. I sent an FOI to UEA last spring for the attachments and they refused, saying that they didn’t have them. (I guess they’d been deleted.) Despite the fact that they told me that they didn’t have the attachments any more, Acton told the Sci Tech Committee that they had everything, that nothing had been deleted.

This is precisely the sort of intentional obtuseness that brings both the University of East Anglia and climate science into disrepute.

There are many Climategate articles wondering how climate scientists can regain public trust – with the Guardian praising the creation of an attack squad. A better method would be for institutions, including IPCC and CRU, to provide straightforward answers. To stop playing the stupid word tricks that characterize so many climate science “answers”.

67 Comments

  1. Brian H
    Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    The grammar is tortured beyond endurance, too! Blech.

  2. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    For MOnty Python on idiocy at the U of East Anglia see
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNBNqUdqm1E script here

    At the time, UEA only awarded undergraduate degrees in idiocy; Acton appears to have introduced graduate degrees.

    • Robert
      Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

      I thought of this skit as well…but wasn’t sure if it fit within your blog policies. Glad to see you did!

  3. Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    It must be the Freedom To Withhold Information Act!

  4. golf charley
    Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    I think it is worth reiterating respect for students of UEA, past and present, who have maintained the Guardians illusion that there are people who believe these deceits, by continuous postings at CiF.

    Good effort boys and girls, but you are not helping your employability

  5. suyts
    Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    (I guess they’d been deleted.)

    No way! They almost asked them specifically about deleting certain e-mails. And, it was inferred that they didn’t! So, they must still be there! Meir all but said so! And, of course, all of the other inquiries almost asked the pertinent questions, too, and they all inferred the same thing!

  6. Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    The two key steps to regaining public trust are: being straightforward and doing good research. Not too difficult really.

  7. PhilH
    Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    It is becoming more and more obvious that the British system of “inquiry,” either by a specially appointed panel or a legislative committee, simply does not work; at least not in any truly fair-minded way. I am old enough to recall the McCarthy hearings where the Senator was repeatedly roasted over the coals by a smart and determined “country” lawyer employed by the legislative committee. “Have you at last no sense of decency, sir?” was one of his questions. A question, I might add, which could well have been put to any of the gentlemen we are presently discussing.

    As we all now realize, these inquiries, as I suspect many of them are, were stacked from the very beginning in favor of UEA and the politically and economically correct fad of the month/decade. The outcomes were never really in doubt. When I watched the last legislative hearing at which all three inquiry chairmen were questioned, it was clear that although there were some -a few- members who tried to bore through the BS they were simply not equal to the task or were not adequately prepared. Now if they had employed one of those legendary English trial lawyers and given him, or her, enough time to come up to speed, I believe the outcome would have been entirely different and we would not all be sitting around with our mouths agape wondering what the hell happened.

    Perhaps the Bishop could tell us whether such a procedure is ever employed in Britain.

    • Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 2:56 AM | Permalink

      ‘Inquiries’ in Britain are a staged managed, expensive, time consuming waste of the public’s tax money. They are regarded as a joke by the British public, and they read between the lines to take away the opposite of whatever conclusion the Inquiry reaches.

      The Govt wonders why the public have such a cynical attitude. They taught it to them!

  8. Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    Keep going McIntyre,

    You may get your man one day. But you have not disproved the CRUTEM data which surely must be what an audit site is about (yes, I know it is your site and you can editorialise on what you like!)

    The world may or may not be heading for thermal disaster and what are you (generic) doing belly-aching about possible inconsequential point of order. Trying to discredit the opposition by going for personalities and not their data.

    What the world needs is proof that AGW is fact or fiction. The world will not be helped by discrediting a small UK University and one of its incumbents.

    You may get great satisfaction by discrediting another human and a University who refused your request (validly) for data. But exactly how is this going to advance the science?

    Take a look at WUWT they are now going after a blurred slide used as a background to a “corporate” photo (Dr. Ray Bradley’s amazing photo).
    Watts does not seem to understand that “Present” means 1950 in most ice core parlance.
    P A T H E T I C!

    • John M
      Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

      Of course Wegman is fair game.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

      Contrary to what you may think, my position on this is probably not that different from George Monbiot’s initial position. Monbiot’s initial position was that the people and institutions needed to acknowledge their conduct, apologize to people who they owed apologies and do what it took to reassure the public that similar conduct would not recur in the future. Had that been done on a timely basis, everyone, including me, could have moved on.

      This hasn’t happened.

      The inquiries didn’t do their job. That’s their fault, not mine. I take no satisfaction in dissecting these inquiries. They waste my time. I wish that they’d just done their job so that everyone could move on, including me.

      As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m thin-skinned about defective inquiries because of bitter personal experience with the handling of a complaint that I made about police misconduct arising out of one of my sons being brutally beaten to within an inch of his life, a complaint that, among other things, reported the destruction of a witness statement by a Toronto policeman. My complaint was blown off by two “inquiries” without the “inquiries” contacting the witness whose statement was destroyed.

      The policeman came into prominence later when his “private” phone conversations about taking bribes subsequently became public. However even wiretap evidence of corruption wasn’t enough to result in his prosecution. The police were not going to do anything to one of their own.

      I come from a family background where inquiries were regarded as an important public service and to carry with them obligations and responsibility to the public. In my opinion, the conduct of Oxburgh and Muir Russell was inconsistent with discharging such responsibilities. If their failures to do their job result in any setback to climate policy, then the blame lies with them for not doing their job, rather than with those who criticize them for failing to do their job.

      • Red Etin
        Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

        As funders, directly or indirectly of these scientists, the tax-paying public is entitled to :
        “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

    • PhilH
      Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

      Steve, as you well know, has done and continues to audit these people’s science. And what has it got him or us, Ford, except insult, ridicule, slander, outrageous attempts to discredit him, statements of his being in the pay of Big Oil, etc., etc? And what has it got for and from the “science” or the scientists except obfuscation, denial and stonewalling? And from the “inquiries”? Garbage.

      For you to call him pathetic is…well, pathetic.

    • curious
      Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

      Ford – please take note of the comments Steve makes re: the integrity of the “inquiries”. It is a separate issue to the science. If you had ever been on the wrong end of a rigged procedure I would be surprised if you didn’t understand why this is so disgraceful. Those involved deserve all the ridicule and exposure they are receiving.

    • stereo
      Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

      That will be the day there is an ‘audit’ of anything on WUWT.

      • Alan F
        Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

        Anthony Watts isn’t reaching for my grandson’s wallet.

      • Don Wagner
        Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

        So fill your boots. Anthony is pretty free and easy with disenting opinions.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

          No. McIntyre selle himself as the fearless auditor. What would he make of Goddards efforts at predicting ice extents? Or is he not the fearless auditor, trying to arrive at the truth, and just cherry picking his targets? By doing so, he creates the illusion that all science supporting AGW is suspect, but all skeptics are correct. Just look at the comments to see whether or not I am correct.

          Steve: I’ve never claimed to have the time or energy to examine every climate-related article and blog post in the world. I can barely scratch the surface of IPCC-related matters – which is my area of interest. In the past, I’ve offered unfettered author privileges at CA for authors presumed to be adverse in interest who wished to critically review articles. For the most part, they haven’t taken up the offer. I haven’t endorsed Goddard’s work; I haven’t even read it. As with anything else, I encourage you and other readers to carry out due diligence on his claims before uncritically adopting them.

        • Don Wagner
          Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

          Steve doesn’t “sell” himself as anything unlike your climate scientist buddies who pose as stataticions. They can’t and don’t cover every discipline, why should Steve. They are welcome here and at WUWT to defend their positions. For the most part they don’t. Why is that do you suppose?

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

          “Steve: I’ve never claimed to have the time or energy to examine every climate-related article and blog post in the world. I can barely scratch the surface of IPCC-related matters – which is my area of interest. In the past, I’ve offered unfettered author privileges at CA for authors presumed to be adverse in interest who wished to critically review articles. For the most part, they haven’t taken up the offer. I haven’t endorsed Goddard’s work; I haven’t even read it. As with anything else, I encourage you and other readers to carry out due diligence on his claims before uncritically adopting them.”

          You do have plenty of time. You create numerous posts. You have spent a whole year on CRU, many years on Hockey sticks. Yet no time for anything by a skeptic. No, not quite right. Anything by a skeptic is correct. Take the Wegman report, for instance. It’s an amazing story. The IPCC just gets it wrong all the time, but the skeptics get it right every time. What are the odds of that.

        • suyts
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

          Stereo, Goddard’s site is pretty free-wheeling too. If you have a problem with his assertions, bring them to the table. As you’ve pointed out, Steve Mac spends time with inquiries and hockey sticks. You think he should venture out into the sea-ice extent world? He may feel as I do, that it isn’t significant in the general debate. As pointed out in a post @ WUWT, Goddard’s predictions were significantly better than many “experts”. Is this a new trend now? I notice that just the other day, DC fans went to WUWT in an attempt to refute Wegman and M&M. Steve Mac and Ross Mac both had an active presence here. Why didn’t they come here with their accusations and questions? Just like if you have a problem with Steve Goddard, why don’t you go there? He’s on line right now. http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/explaining-met-office-communications/

    • Shallow Climate
      Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

      It’s pretty obvious to me that in these Inquiry posts, as in all his other posts (save doubles squash posts), SM is “only” and constantly striving to maintain and promote the integrity of true scientific pursuit. He is always placing truth above personal agendas, above ego-investment. All of science–including you, Msr. thefordprefect–need surely to be beholden to him for these efforts. Feynman would be doing exactly the same thing were he here. SM is a champion of true science (stating the obvious), whereas so many “climate scientists” are not, sad to say. Well, SM doesn’t need me to present an apologia for him–I have overstepped in so doing.


      Steve – while I appreciate the compliments, there’s no need for such praise either. I haven’t made grandiose claims on my own behalf. I’ve worked on things that interested me at the time.

      • Dave
        Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

        “while I appreciate the compliments, there’s no need for such praise either.”

        I respectfully disagree. In a world in which integrity is becoming a scarce commodity, yours is worth more than words can express. Your intention may have been no more than to investigate that which interested you, but it is that very humility that has been a mark of your integrity which leads you to discount the true impact of your actions and conduct. Yours has been one of the rocks in the lee of which the frail shoots of sanity have sheltered from the storm of pseudo-science that has threatened to carry all away.

  9. JRR Canada
    Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    Keep grinding away at them Steve, I think very soon the politicians will start throwing the science help to the angry and impoverished taxpayers. Canada and USA appear ready to start this spring.I love the way each evasion you expose leaves the team stammering.In my opinion they are their own best enemies.Thanks for your fine work.

  10. GrantB
    Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

    OT- please do not rise to OT bait.

  11. Chris S
    Posted Nov 24, 2010 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    Not sure, but I seem to remember that Acton told the Sci Tech Committee that no e-mails had been deleted. His careful choice of words may allow him to claim that attachments are not technically e-mails, and therefore not covered by his statement.

    Steve: Unfortunately, that’s the sort of parsing that has become all too typical of climate institutions. If these institutions wish to regain public trust, they would do well to stop such tricks altogether.

    • Alan F
      Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

      Attachments can’t exist without that little beginning and end of file marker called an “email”.

  12. Martin A
    Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    ZT said “The two key steps to regaining public trust are: being straightforward and doing good research. Not too difficult really.”

    Doing good research? Not too difficult? For the Hockey Team – it would be OVERWHELMINGLY difficult to do start doing good research.

    They really and truly believed (and still do believe) that what they were doing not only was science, it was “good science” (in their own email words).

    To them, finding methods and searching for evidence that gives the result they believe they should find is fundamental to their thinking. Short of a mind transplant, nothing is likely to change their outlook.

  13. Jack Savage
    Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    It is a rotten job but thank heavens someone is doing it. Sooner or later this culture has to be exposed and changed. The devil really is in the detail.

  14. Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    @Jack – maybe you are right, but I hope Steve sees this as something very different to a rotten job. Rotten pay perhaps, but a job worth doing.

    Steve: actually I’m deriving very little enjoyment from the present phase of this.

  15. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    When TFP says:

    “You may get your man one day. But you have not disproved the CRUTEM data which surely must be what an audit site is about (yes, I know it is your site and you can editorialise on what you like!)

    The world may or may not be heading for thermal disaster and what are you (generic) doing belly-aching about possible inconsequential point of order. Trying to discredit the opposition by going for personalities and not their data.”

    I think what gets lost on some participants here (or they do not want to see) is that Steve M does not have to “get” his man in order to show the world the underlying resistance of the investigators and the investigated to come completely clean.

    It is rather obvious that a compelling reason for not being forthcoming in these matters is that the issues have become politicized and that advocacy interests are prevailing over the science. In my view, thinking people can read the “behind the curtain” details of these matters that Steve M and others provide and make up their own minds as to its importance and how it could affect the credibility of the people involved, and particularly the IPCC.

    I suppose there are a number of defenders of the consensus view in these matters who are embarrassed by these revelations and have a tendency to attempt to minimize the importance of the details. That reaction is rather obvious also.

  16. stereo
    Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    “Steve: actually I’m deriving very little enjoyment from the present phase of this.”

    Why don’t you audit some of the posts from WUWT. That should be hugely entertaining.

    • Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

      Re: stereo (Nov 25 18:32),

      Perhaps you should read SM’s replies before you post something else —

      Steve, replying to you, above: “I’ve never claimed to have the time or energy to examine every climate-related article and blog post in the world. I can barely scratch the surface of IPCC-related matters – which is my area of interest.”

      —and save yourself looking foolish.

    • RomanM
      Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

      If WUWT makes an attempt to rearrange the world and possibly send our economies down the tubes, you can be sure that Steve (and the rest of us) will be there in spades to audit it.

      What’s the matter, can’t you do it yourself? As my mother used to say, “If you don’t have the horses, you can’t pull the wagon”. Maybe you could find a donkey or two at RC or over at Joe Romm’s to help you… ;)

      • Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 8:29 PM | Permalink

        RomanM
        Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 7:00 PM |

        WUWT are playing with the future of the world by using Non – science to destroy valid research.

        IF AGW is true the consequences of this misinformation could be dire.

        PS Is my previous post of 7:05pm going to be un-moderated?

        • RomanM
          Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

          Re: thefordprefect (Nov 25 20:29),

          Your personal insecurities regarding these issues have surfaced here on numerous occasions, usually eliciting replies which draw threads off topic. If the science is solid, it won’t be destroyed.

          Any damage has been a result of the machinations of people these threads are about who attempt to twist the views of the policy makers in the directions which in a single-handed fashion they have arrogantly deemed to be unquestionably necessary to prevent catastrophe. As Steve has demonstrated, time and time again, they will act in deceptive and unethical fashion to stifle debate and silence those who question their work and their aims.

          It is not surprising that their credibility has suffered and rather than rebuild it with open and honest behaviour, we have blatant whitewashes which serve to dig the hole deeper.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 4:25 AM | Permalink

          The scientific debate has been ongoing and will continue to do so. Why would you think there is no debate? The damage is due to those Oreskes terms the ‘merchants of doubt’. Creating science is a time consuming process. Creating doubt and attacking individuals is much easier.

          The fundamental science has been correct from day one. All CA has contributed is a massively over egged cake.

        • sleeper
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

          Re: stereo (Nov 26 04:25),

          The scientific debate has been ongoing and will continue to do so.

          The fundamental science has been correct from day one.

          Please see RomanM (Nov 26 08:50) for an example of lucid thought.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

          The radiation physics is settled to a degree that is past debate, it was first investigated 1896, and there has been 114 years of time to progress the research. You won’t find Lindzen or any other skeptical scientist arguing against it. It is textbook stuff.

          The degree to which the feedbacks will affect global warming is hotly debated among scientsts, since it is not as well understood, and is far more complex.

          So, the fundamental science is not disputed, the degree to which feedbacks will affect the warming is debated.

        • sleeper
          Posted Nov 27, 2010 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

          [RomanM: snip – Please don’t bait the bear.]

        • RomanM
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 8:50 AM | Permalink

          Re: RomanM (Nov 25 21:01),

          History has shown that when scientists turn activist, true scientific debate can easily become derailed. The scientist-activists vocal interpretation of their own results becomes exaggerated propaganda intended to further their own aims. Anyone drawing attention to the shortcomings is vilified in an attempt to silence further objections.

          Unfortunately, as evidenced by the emails, this seems to have become the case with a core group of climate scientists. Although they raise questions about their results in private, their public face is that the science is settled. Uncertainties of knowledge are suppressed for fear that someone may use them to question the climate change scientific structure. Presentation of inconvenient results can be hidden by clever tricks which are later rationalized by mere arm waving.

          Their own published research gets a relatively free pass from review scrutiny while at the same time they actively suppress the work of those that disagree with them. The activism overtakes the scientist and unethical behaviour becomes the norm in some cases. This is followed by personal attacks using derogatory labels such as deniers or merchants of doubt and even conferences on the mental illness behind questioning even the slightest portion of global warming climate change global climate disruption dogma.

          You claim that what is going on is attacking the scientists, but I see it as exposing the distortion of the science created by this group of individuals and now being covered up by stage-managed inquiries intended solely to minimize the self-inflicted damage. Let’s put some honesty into the examination of what these group of individuals have done and start moving climate advocacy back towards becoming climate science again. That’s what the current sequence of posts is all about.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

          Fantasy. There are many hundreds of active climate research scientists around the world who don’t dispute AGW. The ‘trick’ being done here is to concoct a different narrative, where the research is controlled by a few ‘bad’ scientists. That is entirely false. The work is being truly replicated, independependently around the world, and proven to be the best supported scientific position to take on the issue.

          It is not dogma. The other scientists don’t accept the findings without question. What is done here is not replication, it is nitpicking. Independent scientists around the globe redo the research, in their own way, not demanding to be spoonfed like children, and come up with the same answer. AGW is real, and it is happening now.

        • RomanM
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

          I think that I should reply to you by dismissing the issues you have raised with a wave of the hand and changing the topic … but wait a minute, you’ve already done that! The basics of AGW are settled – it’s only the details that matter, as you point out in another comment without any understanding that the existence of a problem depends mainly on those details and not the “basic” science. Just how do you replicate a retrospective study – the format of so many of the papers that have been audited on this site? Steve is right, unless you keep people on topic, every thread get reduced to the same fallback positions.

          Address the issues I have raised beyond the statement “The ‘trick’ being done here is to concoct a different narrative …” or find another thread or another blog to play on. It may not be issues which you are willing to address, but changing the subject doesn’t cut it.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

          You replicate by rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work yourself. Zeke Hausfather and Nick Stokes have done this with the temperature record. It did’nt kill them, and they came up with answers that confirmed the existing ones. Replication is not repeating what someone else has done by wrote, all that does is open you up to the risk of repeating their mistakes. Replication is recreating with your own work.

          As for changing the subject, I don’t see why CA should be able to construct a narrative that is false from the start. By only ‘auditing’ the science he doesn’t like, McIntyre has created the false impression that everything else is right. You still have people out there claiming there is no ‘greenhouse’ effect in the climate, which is completely contrary to the established science. For some reason, that is not worth commenting on, but the political results of such non-science is extremely powerful.

        • RomanM
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

          You replicate by rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work yourself.

          I asked you a scientific question and you don’t seem to be able to comprehend it. The words I asked have specific meaning as does the term replication. Probably not too surprising that you “don’t see why” much of anything else either.

          Where you get the idea that one has to act like a climate sheriff must fall in the same nebulous ballpark. You want to clean them up, you go for it. I’ll pick my own material to analyze. If you have anything cogent to offer on the topic of the thread, by all means do so. Enough trolling.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

          Yes, replication. There are, for example, multiple teams of scientists around the globe writing their own climate models. They don’t take the one from NASA and pick it to bits, and make snarky remarks about how bad the code is. They write their own code and see if they come up with results that replicate those of the other teams.

          Zeke and Nick replicated the surface temperature record from the raw data, they didn’t just duplicate it, and make snarky remarks about the code. Their results replicated the surface temperature record from other sources, independently.

          The ‘auditing’ process here is highly deficient, and does nothing to advance science, but focuses on a few select scientists and demonizes them. An audit has two purposes, to find what is right, and and what is wrong. There is no evidence of that here, unless it is work that CA supports, like Wegman, in which case it is apparently flawless, or not work that CA supports, in which case it is full of errors. Due to lack of time constraints, however, there is no time to point out that the cryosphere is shrinking, temperatures are rising, the greenhouse effect is real,and one of the components of the greenhouse effect, CO2, is rapidly increasing in concentration in the atmosphere.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 27, 2010 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

          ‘Steve is right, unless you keep people on topic, every thread get reduced to the same fallback positions.”

          [RomanM: You are proving the above statement. No more OT discussion in this thread]

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 27, 2010 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

          Afraid of the science, Roman? Because CA will not discuss it. Your narrative fails if the science behind AGW is discussed.

          RomanM: No. However, this blog does not exist for the purpose of people wandering in and derailing the discussion of a thread in any direction they choose and at any time they wish to do so. If you do not have the common courtesy to respect this simple fact, then your completely OT diatribes will justifiably be deleted.]

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 27, 2010 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

          Scienceofdoom seems to have no trouble with the basics of the greenhouse effect, and clearly states they are beyond dispute.

          snip

          Steve: as a matter of blog policy, I request commenters to deal with the topic of a thread so that every thread does not immediately converge to the same talking points. I also do not believe that there is much utility in people either trying to prove or disprove AGW in a paragraph or two.

          It seems to me that the primary “big picture” issue pertains to feedbacks and not to radiation physics. I don’t have any personal interest in debating radiation physics and have in the past referred readers in such discussion to scienceofdoom.

          As you know, I also prefer to discuss mainstream references. Had Climategate not occurred and if the inquiries had done their job, I would have liked to spend more time on cloud and water cycle feedbacks – a topic that I was starting to report on in fall 2009.

          In the meantime, I would appreciate it if you would comment at the issues at hand.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 27, 2010 at 6:04 AM | Permalink


          History has shown that when scientists turn activist, true scientific debate can easily become derailed. The scientist-activists vocal interpretation of their own results becomes exaggerated propaganda intended to further their own aims. Anyone drawing attention to the shortcomings is vilified in an attempt to silence further objections.

          You don’t much of a sense of irony, do you? The vilification on this site has been a constant for years. It is not possible for McIntyre to have a page without a comment like this “I wonder if they snickered when they wrote this. “.

          [RomanM: -snip - More OT]

    • Mark F
      Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

      Stereo – have you tried Gas-X or Bromo? One of them is bound to help you, in my opinion.

    • TimM
      Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

      Stereo – where’s your blog auditing WUWT? You clearly have a desire to do so, show us what you’ve got.

      • stereo
        Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

        Just what the world needs, another blog about climate science. *rollseyes*

        • James Evans
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

          Ah, the old *rollseyes*. Always an excellent addition to any reasoned argument.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

          The advance in science is not proportional to the amount of bloggers on the web. If anything, it seems to be an inverse ratio.

        • MrPete
          Posted Nov 27, 2010 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

          Complete agreement, stereo. And if anything, it seems the cause is the breakdown of scientific integrity, and the effect is the increase in those who are raising a ruckus about it.

          You’ve made a lot of assertions about lack of “real science” here. Maybe if you took a look at the blog post categories that address such issues, you would learn a thing or two. Or perhaps you don’t have any more ability to reflect on statistical issues than the non-statistician climate scientists you are rooting for?

          Head on over to one of the meaty categories (there are many — check out the category list!), read up on the subject, and feel free to point out the many errors made by Steve, RomanM, UC, Bender, Craig L, Hu McC, Anna V and many more in their analyses. Since their arguments are so weak, I’m sure you can quickly put them in their place. (Of course, since this blog is a working lab notebook, one must follow entire threads to watch the vetting process as readers refine the work. Yes, there are initial mistakes, but they are caught rather quickly here :) )

          I hope you really do have an interest in solid science rather than trolling. Poking at the political and wordsmithing shenanigans is a distraction for everyone.

        • Velocity
          Posted Nov 29, 2010 at 4:38 AM | Permalink

          Stereo

          Science and mans technological progress has always advanced by individual effort.

          The amount of bloggers on the web is an entirely separate issue, i don’t see the connect!

        • Brian H
          Posted Nov 29, 2010 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

          Right. So the inverse ratio would suggest a blog with 0 or 1 reader would be far more influential than one like CA or WUWT etc. no matter how many qualified readers and commenters it had.

          Clearly an intelligent position and contribution to the discussion!

          Not.

  17. Posted Nov 25, 2010 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    From a letter from various high profile US researchers to the Muir Russel enquiry:

    Dear Sir Muir,
    After reading the submissions posted on the Independent Climate Change Email Review’s website – and seeing some of our own submissions delayed or redacted – we are writing to express some serious concerns, and to provide specific suggestions. We recognize the complexity and difficulty of the task you have undertaken, and offer these views in the hope that you will find them helpful.
    Although the ICCER has not yet issued any substantive findings, many submissions to the Review panel questioned its competence, impartiality and integrity. Stephen McIntyre’s submission, for example, attacks the ICCER’s statement of Issues for Examination as displaying a “frequent and almost embarrassing tendency to miss the point”, dismisses the ICCER’s work plan as “totally unsatisfactory” (mainly for not interviewing either McIntyre or his collaborator Ross McKitrick), asserts that two current ICCER members should be disqualified from service, and accuses ICCER members of making “misleading or untrue statements” and “misrepresentations”.
    As climate scientists, we are, regrettably, all too familiar with these tactics. The unfortunate reality is that, to research climate issues today – at least if one’s research findings tend to support human-caused climate change – means to live and work in an environment of constant accusations of fraud, calls for investigations (or for criminal prosecutions), demands for access to every draft, every intermediate calculation, and every email exchanged with colleagues, daily hate mail and threats, and attempts to pressure the institutions that employ us and fund our research. Through experience, we have learned that there is no review of climate scientists’ work that isn’t deemed a “whitewash” by climate change contrarians; there is no casual remark that can’t be seized upon, blown out of proportion and distorted; and there is no person whose character can’t be assassinated, no matter how careful and honest their research.
    [...]
    The Shelby Amendment provoked an uproar in the scientific community. There was widespread concern that if it were interpreted too broadly, the law would interfere with scientists’ ability to carry out their research. Such concerns were expressed in Congressional testimony by Dr. Bruce Alberts, (who was at the time the President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences). Dr. Alberts warned that, unless the new standards were appropriately limited, they would have a “chilling effect” on scientific collaboration, and would “be used by various special interest groups to harass researchers doing research that these interest groups would like to stop”. The American Association for the Advancement of Science voiced similar concerns to OMB, and noted that overly broad disclosure requirements would have “serious unintended consequences for scientists, their institutions, federal funding agencies, and the wider public”.

    Ultimately, after receiving more than 12,000 comments, OMB issued guidelines (reported at 65 Fed. Reg. 14406) that balance the public’s interest in disclosure against scientists’ need for confidentiality and protection from harassment. Under the guidelines, when federally funded, published research is used in developing agency action that has the force and effect of law, “research data” relating to the published findings are available under FOIA. “Research data” is defined as “the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings …”. Expressly excluded from the definition of “research data”, however – and therefore protected from disclosure – are “preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues”.

    (Emphasis added.)

    We strongly believe that CRU and other research institutions should operate under similar guidelines, and hope that the ICCER will be able to make such a recommendation. Specifically, when CRU publishes research, the “research data” (see above for definition) should be made available. Other information, however – including preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues – should be expressly protected from disclosure. These procedures would allow anyone who wished to test published research findings to do so, while affording some measure of badly needed protection from harassment to scientists. They would also avoid placing burdens on scientists at CRU (and elsewhere in the U.K.) that their colleagues in the U.S. Federal Government do not have to bear.

    see also:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_a110-finalnotice

    http://www.oria.cornell.edu/documents/FOIA.pdf

    http://guides.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/content.php?pid=125160

    http://nccam.nih.gov/news/events/grants08/slides16.htm

    So there we have it.
    The US will not make emails private or not available to FOIers
    So NONE of the Emails should be made available
    So there would be NO reason for Jones etc to request destruction.
    So The last clag of entries in this blog are meaningless if the US FOI were followed.
    So I repeat P A T H E T I C !

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

      Ford,

      It was climate scientists who politicised their work in the first place. Now it seems they can’t handle the inevitable results of that politicisation. Too bad!

      • stereo
        Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

        If you are a scientist and sincerely believe that your research has revealed information that is of importance to the well being of the human race, you are morally obliged to publicise that information.

        That is in fact what happened with CFCs and the ozone layer.

        Jones strikes me as being the kind of person who would much rather be doing his research and avoiding all publicity.

        • John M
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

          Jones strikes me as being the kind of person who would much rather be doing his research and avoiding all publicity.

          After the last year, sounds like a good plan.

        • stereo
          Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

          That is exactly what he was doing all along, or trying to do. He did not seek the public attention.

    • Posted Nov 28, 2010 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

      Re: thefordprefect (Nov 25 19:05), To quote part of TFP’s quoted letter from scientists,

      Although the ICCER has not yet issued any substantive findings, many submissions to the Review panel questioned its competence, impartiality and integrity. Stephen McIntyre’s submission, for example, attacks the ICCER’s statement of Issues for Examination as displaying a “frequent and almost embarrassing tendency to miss the point”, dismisses the ICCER’s work plan as “totally unsatisfactory” (mainly for not interviewing either McIntyre or his collaborator Ross McKitrick), asserts that two current ICCER members should be disqualified from service, and accuses ICCER members of making “misleading or untrue statements” and “misrepresentations”.

      As climate scientists, we are, regrettably, all too familiar with these tactics. The unfortunate reality is that, to research climate issues today – at least if one’s research findings tend to support human-caused climate change – means to live and work in an environment of constant accusations of fraud, calls for investigations (or for criminal prosecutions), demands for access to every draft, every intermediate calculation, and every email exchanged with colleagues, daily hate mail and threats, and attempts to pressure the institutions that employ us and fund our research. Through experience, we have learned that there is no review of climate scientists’ work that isn’t deemed a “whitewash” by climate change contrarians; there is no casual remark that can’t be seized upon, blown out of proportion and distorted; and there is no person whose character can’t be assassinated, no matter how careful and honest their research.

      IMHO, this is exactly the point where a mirror is needed to show the true situation. To call Steve McIntyre’s work “tactics” is misleading and pejorative, and sits in a sentence that could easily be passed over and unconsciously absorbed.

      The scientists here are accusing Steve McIntyre & co who, with due diligence and courtesy, are exposing malpractices in Climate Science. They are accusing Steve, untruthfully, of something that seems pretty bad – as bad as the malpractices that they initiated but here deny. A classic ploy of villains is to accuse the accuser, pre-emptively, of their own crimes.

      The investigation they feel harassed by, only commenced after IPCC had put out a graph whose shape Steve recognized as familiar, as one often used by those wishing to promote something for which there is not good evidence in its favour. This is the “Hockey Stick” that climate scientists said gave evidence that “never before” had temperatures been so high or risen so steeply. Steve was alerted by the telltale shape, and simply started auditing the Hockey Stick graph – he has a lifetime of professional auditing experience.

      In the course of this investigation, it became clear that there was a whole “nest” of problems of bad scientific practice used in attempts to push conclusions rather than follow evidence. This, THE ATTEMPTS TO PUSH CONCLUSIONS, and the abandonment of Scientific Method in so doing, is the concern of McIntyre et al. The concern is not, per se, with Global Warming, Cooling, Cycles, or Stasis, manmade or natural; it is with the abandonment of openness and transparency of both data and methods, that should allow work to be checked and audited by any reasonably intelligent concerned citizen.

      In the process of auditing, the serious ethical issues confirmed by Climategate emails surfaced. These issues were never sought simply to discredit, nor do McIntyre et al feel anything but sorrow and shame at what has been revealed, nor do they (unlike those investigated) receive any remuneration or public honours for the work of audit.

      If we experience joy over these matters, it is when we see the possibility of Truth prevailing, and courtesy and humility and true Scientific Method, with openness and checkability, being restored to Climate Science and the scientific community; and it is in the knowledge that generally we practice these scientific virtues ourselves, to the best of our ability. We find that the exposition of truth can be its own reward.

      If UEA were man enough to say “we were wrong, and we came from wrong attitudes to Science”, trust could be restored, and their work could be revised and reinstated where appropriate. And they would surely feel better. But instead they dig deeper and deeper holes of iniquity for themselves.

  18. Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 1:08 AM | Permalink

    Steve, small suggestion. Create a climategate category to collate all these currently ‘uncategorized’ posts. It’ll make life easier later.

    Cheers

  19. Alexander K
    Posted Nov 26, 2010 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    Fordprefect, the (nonfuzzy)slide you refer to on WUWT does NOT refer to ‘present’ but clearly reads ‘Today’, another matter entirely and nothing to do with the conventions of carbon dating

One Trackback

  1. [...] Sadly, all FOI requests to UEA for details about the above will never be fulfilled, as there was a North Korean student once at [...]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,381 other followers

%d bloggers like this: