Crowley’s Apology

Tom Crowley has asked that the following apology be published at Climate Audit for his 2005 EOS article, as well as a similar interview on BBC, both of which contained numerous untrue and damaging allegations against me. See the original EOS article is here , my rejected reply here, the underlying correspondence here with some contemporary commentary. As I noted at the time, Crowley and I subsequently corresponded constructively, but he has continued to sharply criticize me in public e.g. at dotearth in 2009 here and had never apologized for his untrue allegations. His apology today is quite generous though belated (and is one of a kind.)

With respect to Steve’s comment on my Eos article, I would like to make the following statement:

when I wrote that article, and later gave an interview on BBC, I was genuinely under the BELIEF that what I said was true (I had deleted the original emails long ago, so could not verify my belief).

However, a few months ago I had an idea where I might be able to access at least some of those mails. I was shocked when the mails did not reveal what I had totally come to believe Steve had written.

This realization called to mind another, entirely different, situation where I was also convinced about something that I thought I had read. That too later turned out to be unverifiable — I still can’t believe that either, but the evidence (not as strong) seems to suggest so.

The only way I can understand this is that my memory is not NEARLY as good on specifics as I thought it was – it can in fact play gross tricks on a person (I suppose that is why police are always wary of visual descriptions, etc).

Whatever, I know I didn’t intentionally lie, but I also now know that what I said was not true.

I had been meaning to apologize to Steve for that matter but, like many things, I forget about this and many other resolutions when I actually sit down at a computer (I in no way spend all day at it).

Whatever, for the record I now apologize to Stephen for that matter and request him to post it on his climateaudit site. I know some people will not believe my (proposed) explanation, but that’s life – I
for one know I did not lie (intentionally tell a falsehood) because I try quite hard to say what I think is the truth, by all means to not lie, and teach my children likewise.

With regards, and final sign-off on both these matters, I wish you all the best for the new year, Tom Crowley

Crowley didn’t mention where he located the missing correspondence. However, had he consulted the first google in “crowley mcintyre”, the correspondence has been online for the past five years.

The comment referred to in his apology was from email correspondence arising out of Crowley’s statement at dotearth commenting on the 88 pages of review correspondence in connection with O’Donnell and challenging me to produce evidence.

I am concerned about McIntyre’s claim of 88 pages of reviews and responses to the Journal of Climate paper – I have never heard of any paper having that much of a go-around. I think he needs to post this evidence on his blog.

I have seen a few thousand reviews in my life (I used to work at NSF) – if McIntyre is right he may well have a point about fairness – but he HAS to present the evidence or his charge is meaningless.

This led to correspondence among Ryan, myself and Crowley, in which Crowley observed that we had had “run ins” in the past, to which I replied:

..as Tom pointed out, we have had “run-ins” in the past . Tom may not be familiar that one of these incidents contributed strongly to my bad impression of “peer review” as carried out in climate science. In 2005, Tom wrote an article in EOS that contained strong assertions against me – claims that, in my opinion, were both untrue and unsupportable on the record. The article was very damaging to me – for example, it was cited as evidence of poor conduct on my part in a visit to KNMI a year later. I submitted a detailed reply to EOS refuting these claims. EOS took eight months to peer review the article. The reviewer conceded that I had legitimate grievances. However, the editor said that the article was no longer timely and rejected it. At the time (and still), this struck me as a very unfair handling of the matter both in the suppression of the response but in the unequal standard of review between the original commentary (which seems to have had either no peer review or negligible peer review) and the lengthy peer review that my reply was subjected to.


73 Comments

  1. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Nothing conveys sincerity like starting off an apology with “whatever.”

    • Michael Jankowski
      Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

      I also note in George Costanza-esque fashion (“a little thing called Step 9″) that he never really directly apologizes to Steve. His entire comment seems to be an address to readers with a 3rd-person reference to Steve and the words “for the record I now apologize.”

      Why was it impossible to send a email directly addressing Steve (somewhere containing the words, “I apologize, Steve,” or “I’m sorry, Steve”), explaining his “I did not tell a lie” circumstances, and asking him to publish it at Climateaudit?

      • Alan F
        Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

        Answered himself in all-caps. “I was genuinely under the BELIEF that what I said was true” which speaks volumes regarding the emotional connection he has towards his agenda and how that emotional investment played out.

  2. Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    Steve

    The link to the EOS pdf is broken. It is listed as http://www.climateudit.info when you hover over it. the correct link is:

    http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/news/crowley.2005.EOS.pdf

  3. John M
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    This is constructive and admirable, but it would be more so if steps are taken to set the record straight with EOS.

  4. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

    After Crowely repeats a few times that he does not lie, I now would like to know how his past communications suddenly were revived. More details on that matter are certainly in order – if only to clear the air and be totally honest.

    • Alan F
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

      As we all did way back, adding an FTP dump to the backup procedure in our SCO file servers made destroyed tapes a worry of the past and he likely ran into a new index from a student archiving of all those tars from his office.

  5. Doug in Seattle
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    Good show Crowley. Now its time to accept the apology with grace and await the next climateaudit adventure. Glad to see Steve continues to play by this simple rule. I hope his detractors are paying attention.

    • Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

      I agree with you, Doug.

    • Margaret
      Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

      I agree with the many comment on how difficult it is to write such an apology, and good on Crowley for doing it and clearing up the record.

      I think that a few of the comments above casting aspersions on him are totally unwarranted, whatever the background, and I am sure that Steve will accept this apology with grace.

      It is good to see that some of the difficult relationships from the past are starting to be put right, and it would be unfortunate if the comments of a few on this list should undermine future progress.

  6. AusieDan
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

    This post speaks well of Tom Crowley and must have been hard to write.

    Next I would like to note my admiration for: either Steve McIntyre’s faultness memory or his first class filing, indexing and data retrieval system OR perhaps both! It is an object lesson to everyone – take care when you challange Steve’s statements!

    But mainly I want to point out the psychology underlying this incident. When our emotions and beliefs are engaged, it is very easy to have a distorted view of othere peoples’ actions and motives. I know this to my own cost and am often very surprised when I take the trouble to look back at exactly what the person wrote some time ago, when I do not agree with his views.

    The arguments swirling round climate analysis have become so heated that it is severly inhibiting a better aunedstanding of what causes the climate to change.

  7. GrantB
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see what Andrew Revkin posts about this.

  8. Salamano
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    Was this, perhaps, part of a New Year’s resolution? One with more to come?

  9. RomanM
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    C’mon folks, cut Prof. Crowley some slack.

    Such apologies are difficult at the best of times, and more so when volunteered by the individual making them. I find this an admirable and positive action.

    • E O'Connor
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

      Quite so.

    • Duke C.
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

      Re: RomanM (Jan 4 22:02),

      Well, this doesn’t “read” like a voluntary apology. I get the feeling there was some arm-twisting involved, something along the lines of “You will publicly apologize to Steve McIntyre”.

      Steve: nope, it was essentially out of the blue. NO pending grievances or anything like that.

      • RomanM
        Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

        I wouldn’t bet any money on that if I were you. ;)

        [Clarification: My comment was addressed to Duke and not to Steve's later inline explanation.]

        • Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

          Talking back to the Voice of God is always a risky enterprise. Or even being thought to talk back :)

  10. Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    That was decent of Tom Crowley, though a more manly apology would have left out all the excuses. And it ought not to be the “final” sign-off: He should write to Eos and retract his comments in the forum in which he first made them. He will surely know that few of the Eos readers will see the apology and retraction here on CA. Only then is he entitled to ask that the matter be dropped.

    The Editor of Eos also owes Steve an apology–how on Earth could they claim that they are not obliged to correct a slander simply because *they* took so long to read the documentation that they considered the topic to have become stale.

    • stan
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 12:37 AM | Permalink

      I think Ross is right. As apologies go, this one is “decent”. Not particularly manly, he spent far more time and space making excuses. But he apologized and that is far more than we have seen from a number of his contemporaries who also have need to apologize for quite a lot.

      Genuine repentance would include taking all necessary steps to correct the record everywhere that the libel was spread. We shall see.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

      This is a public apology by Crowley and I think he should be congratulated for it. It was also ‘out of the blue’ and he said it could be published on the blog – a big step. Seems to me it’s been playing on his conscience for some time.

      It is actually quite ‘manly’ to make an apology in this public way.

  11. Hector M.
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    I agree with Ross. Publishing his apology in ClimateAudit is preaching to the faithful; he should retract his errors in EOS. Also, his apology should be more explicit: whoever reads his apology without Steve’s explanation and links is unable to understand what he is talking about, and even with those links and introduction one has to guess what was exactly the mistake he made. He should, I think, for the benefit of EOS readers and also for the benefit of journalists and others, clearly state “I said X”, and “It was wrong, because the truth is Z”, possibly adding “At the time I sincerely believed X was true” but “I am now convinced that Z is true for this and that reason”. Is this too much to ask for?

  12. ben
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    Coincidentally, genuine belief (or rather ‘BELIEF’ as Tom so subtly says) is a defence against defamation in commonwealth countries. Apologies also carry a good deal of weight before courts. So I’d say this apology is about as genuine as my respect for Mr Crowley, and indeed all climate science.

  13. ben
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    I had been meaning to apologize to Steve for that matter but, like many things, I forget about this and many other resolutions when I actually sit down at a computer (I in no way spend all day at it).

    I have to say this is especially lame from Mr Crowley. It isn’t necessary to spend all day at your pc to send an apology.

    I also think Mr Crowley may be having a dig at Steve in this comment as well. Poor show, Mr Crowley.

  14. TerryMN
    Posted Jan 4, 2011 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    Far too many excuses, parentheticals, and scare quotes for me to take it seriously, but whatever…

  15. Edwin
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    It is admirable of Crowley to apologise in a manner that pointed to the state of his competence (in cross checking with source material) and memory capacity at the time.
    He has even admitted putting faith/belief before objective science.
    A simple apology would have caused much less damage to his future credibility. In this he has my respect although he failed to display any sense of shame or guilt. Still, it is a start.

  16. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Dear folks, we all make mistakes. There is no shame in admitting to them. The shame is to conceal them and be caught out. If you go to the thread before this, NASA GISS Ajusting the Adjustments, you will see at my post at Jan 3, 2011 at 7:22 PM which starts “I made an error”. It was posted within an hour of my error recognition, following cross checking.

    It is hard to understand that some people find it difficult to write “I made an error”. I appreciate people who take the effort to correct my errors, because that is a learning mechanism. No big deal.

  17. kim
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

    So does Tom C still want to see the 88 pages of review? I would. And with Grant B, I’d like to see Andy Revkin write up ‘The Story’ of the review.

    C’mon, you’re a big boy. Time to pull on the long pants.
    ================

  18. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 1:24 AM | Permalink

    This is not an apology. At best it is a search for an excuse. It is not admirable, nor is it hard to be honest, when everything you do in life rests upon your integrity.

  19. Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    Seems that Crowley is discovering that beliefs (whether shouted in caps or not) are not the same as specifics.

    EOS and the BBC ought to provide a similar amount of space or air time to the retraction/apology as they did to the false statements.

  20. stevenmosher
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 1:39 AM | Permalink

    Good job, Mr. Crowley.

  21. Mac
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    A ‘reserved’ apology – methinks!

  22. Lazlo
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

    C’mon, publish the 88 page review, along with the other reviews. I have been on all sides of the peer review process for an engineering discipline. Our community is moving towards fully open reviews, so I consider the (anonymous) reviews I write to be public property. Unless you have signed up to some confidentiality agreement, you should have no qualms publishing the reviews here.

    Steve:stay tuned. I’m going to spend some time looking at peer review, including this case.

  23. Kevin
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    Steve, you’re a patient man. Vindication like this has to feel good.

  24. Stacey
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    If a person is proposing to tradduce another person it is not enough to believe what they say is true based on the recollection of words written in emails, they have since deleted.

    A man’s reputation is precious and should be treated so unless the facts show otherwise.

    It seems that Mr Crowley is engaged in a large dose of post rationalisation.

  25. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    I believe Crowley when he says he misremembered events. My own memory has betrayed me at times. Memory is a fallible thing. This was definitely hard for Crowley to write and I appreciate the way Steve has accepted the apology gracefully.

    Ross and others have commented that Crowley should run the apology in EOS. Certainly, this would be best. But there is no guarantee EOS would run it, in part because it raises the issue that they would not allow Steve to correct the record. At this point, that has to be a point of embarrassment for EOS.

    Dr. Crowley, you done good. Thank you for setting the record straight.

    Steve, again your grace in relations to others has paid off. You are a terrific ambassador for science.

  26. John F. Pittman
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    I think that some are missing that Dr. Crowley may be making a sincere apology. After reading the emails, I think you will find this approach in his communicating is typical. He did communicate several items well, such as his belief led him down the garden path of wronging Steve, that he was apologizing, and, particularly, he was shocked by his behavior.

    Perhaps others are making the same mistake that Dr. Crowley did. It would be something to consider.

  27. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    Hmmm… I used the wrong word there. I meant to say Steve accepted the apology graciously. I did not mean to make him sound like a ballerina.

    • Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

      I can see the headlines now:

      Steve McIntyre behaved like a prima donna, admits Climate Audit regular.

      As for me, I know next to nothing of the original incident, so until Steve covers the peer review question in detail, bringing in Crowley’s contribution, I’m content to follow the crowd and adopt the ‘decent but not quite manly’ formulation that seems the consensus so far. But it’s the crowdiness on the other side that really fascinates me. Surely TC’s ‘bad memory’ was not unconnected to the way Steve was talked about and thought about among the in-crowd to which the Edinburgh professor belonged? One thing I do feel pretty sure about is that he didn’t start the problem – though it sounds like he didn’t help either. Until now. How then to explain how so many took such an unwarranted, negative view of McIntyre for so long? That would truly be worth understanding.

      Respect to Crowley for helping us all grasp that puzzle just a little bit better today.

  28. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    Steve,
    I think you should resubmit your comment to EOS and include Dr. Crowley’s apology and a short endorsement of the McShane and Wyner paper (or not). As long as Crowley is owning up to his mistakes, EOS should own up to theirs as well. The apology proves the issue is still timely. I cannot see Crowley objecting to his apology appearing in the same journal where the mistakes were published.

  29. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    1) Memory is fallible and when we are true believers (or angry) it is awful.
    2) There is a conceit that “true” scientists never make errors, which makes it doubly hard to admit mistakes. This is of course absurd, but part of the mystique of science.

  30. geir
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Peak coal in 2011!? Pls take a look at this;

    http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/20593576/885722944/name/Patzek+and+Croft+2010+-+Peak+Coal+2011.pdf

    Problem solved?:-)

  31. jmotivator
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    While these apologies are hard to write it is important to point out that Crowley found it excessively easy to smear Steve McIntyre without, apparently, checking his notes.. and also excessively easy to allow the smear to last for five years without redress. If Mr. Crowley wants the record to be set straight he needs to contact EOS and demand that the McIntyre rebuttal be printed.

    That doesn’t mean it would be, obviously, but he needs to stick his neck out a bit farther then the “whatever” laden response.

    I have two suggestions for Mr. Crowley, both constructive:

    1) Don’t delete emails pertinent to your business.

    2) Don’t comment on data or emails that you have deleted.

    When you make an accusation you need to be ready at a moments notice to provide the data to back up your claim otherwise you will find yourself in rather embarrassing situations like this one.

    • kim
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

      Particularly ironic, given that Tom has stated that the evidence of over-the-top review is insufficient unless Steve releases the 88 pages.

      I’m not sure Steve should release them, but someone should. How about Revkin and Crowley jointly?
      ============

      • kim
        Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

        Or else, behold a
        Flock of Eat Crow doggerel.
        Like red pepper to….
        =========

  32. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    I think it is good that at least Crowley’s apology and the background for it can appear on a blog and we can all judge for ourselves the worth of it and what has not been said or done.

    Maybe Crowley thought this gesture would allow others to cut him some slack – and on a revelation and documentation that was already revealed and documented.

  33. Mike B
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    As apologies go, I’d rate this one about a 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. I see little to no contrition, and it seems that the only thing he is really apologizing for is being mistaken. A truly genuine apology would include more direct reference to his failure to conduct due diligence in verifying his memories, and most importantly, acting in a very public fashion in attacking Steve.

    Would it have killed him to say, “I was mortified to learn that my attacks on Steve were unfounded, and I profoundly apologize to him for not being more thorough in verifying my memories. I take full responsibility for these errors.”

    I might also say that requesting that his apology be posted on Steve’s blog is in very poor taste. The apology belongs in two places: private communication with Steve and in the same public venue that contained the scurrilous attacks.

    All that said, it is an apology, and those don’t come out of the team very often.

    • Duke C.
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

      Re: Mike B (Jan 5 10:57),

      Exactly spot on. I might give it a 2. When a public apology contains phrases like “make the following statement” and “for the record” it sounds like legal maneuvering, and just more behind the scenes trickery coming from the team.

      • Neil Fisher
        Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

        Re: Duke C. (Jan 5 11:30),

        …phrases like “make the following statement” and “for the record” it sounds like legal maneuvering…

        Really? To me it sounds more like “for something quotable and attributable to me, use this”.
        I thinks SM’s handling of this, which appears to follow his usual posting style, is commendable – simply post the availble facts, thank those involved in what appears to be a genuine correction, and move on. I like to think I am a very patient and tollerant man in general, but I don’t know how you manage it Steve – it will certainly be interesting to see how (and who!) the rest of the climate blogosphere presents this.

  34. Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    I concur with the general consensus – it was a very nice apology. We ALL make mistakes and sometimes crow does taste bitter. But a good man will eat his share so that he can then go about his life without an albatross hanging over his head.

    • kim
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

      Oh, Phil, I had a water, water one going.
      =========

  35. mpaul
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    I do think we are going to see a change in behavior from some of the peripheral Team members as they contemplate a future in which actual congressional oversight occurs. This incident, if left unrepaired, would have certainly drawn Crowley into the oversight process.

  36. PJB
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    It is, most importantly, a start.

    Definitely more than has been seen since the start of this. Admirable for the effort to fly in the face of “co-enablers” with their “wagons in a circle” mentality.

    OTOH is is important for magnanimity to have its place in the debate as that will help to reduce the polarization and ease the polemics.

    Time to take a chill pill, move on and re-engage in a debate that leaves the niggling behind and stays on the straight and narrow.

    • Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

      As Churchill once said, in victory, magnanimity. But not before victory.

  37. Shallow Climate
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    I have for some years belonged to a 12-Step group. In that group we distinguish between “apologies” and “amends”. An apology may accompany an amend but is not synonymous with it, and our aim is to make amends, not apologize. So I side with those here who ask for more from Crowley–his job, like ours in 12-Step programs, is to make things right, not apologize for them. If Crowley makes AMENDS he will be helping himself character-wise and will certainly receive the admiration of all of us here. Perhaps SM is content with this apology–this is his stuff. But an apology does not right the wrong.

  38. geo
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Unless someone can make a convincing case of what Crowley has to gain here, I think he deserves respect for making a voluntary apology on a long-standing issue that it surely would have been much easier to just let it fade away over time.

    • Barclay E MacDonald
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

      Unless someone can make a convincing case this action by Crowley is purely voluntary, there is no hidden agenda or motivation, and that this issue wwould otherwise just fade away over time, Crowley has earned zero. A child could do better. Crowley is no child.

      Steve: I said previously that this apology was out of the blue and that there was no pending grievance. I’m better placed than anyone to render this opinion and speculation otherwise is , in my opinion, meanminded.

      • Mike B
        Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

        That’s a little harsh. The apologies exchanged by my two boys (11 and 8) are typically of the, “I’m sorry your head got in the way of my fist; It hurt me more than it hurt you” variety.

        Crowley’s is better than that. Barely, but better.

  39. Tom Fuller
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Apologies are a good first step, and I wouldn’t take this lightly. Well done Mr. Crowley, and I hope Mr. McIntyre feels better because of it.

    However, an apology is really only a first step in rectifying a situation of this sort, and I hope Mr. Crowley also recognises that. I would expect that a sincere effort to have this apology distributed appropriately (i.e., in all major publications that carried any of Crowley’s criticism of Mr. McIntyre based on this mistaken perception) would be the next step–a bit harder, but real evidence of contrition and a desire to put things right.

  40. Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    It was big of Tom to write this.

    As to the 88 pages, I read em, they exist and it was a very clear lesson for me.

  41. Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    I just read the Crowley-McIntyre correspondence. It was certainly a right step from him (Crowley). A follow-up at Eos would be the logical next step.

    Crowley seems to have operated under the impression that data requests were for the purpose of harassment. The sooner climate scientists give up on this paradigm the better.

  42. Martin A
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    Cut the guy some slack. He’s said he was wrong and he makes it clear

    “I had been meaning to apologize to Steve for that matter but, like many things, I forget about this and many other resolutions when I actually sit down at a computer (I in no way spend all day at it).”

    that he found it very hard to bite the bullet and do it.

  43. dearieme
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    The chap apologised – clumsily, perhaps.

    Mr McIntyre has accepted the apology without rubbing it in – rather generous of him.

    And that’s that, isn’t it?

    • Mike B
      Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

      Except that it’s been posted here with our comments welcomed.

      And THAT’S that, no?

    • Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

      Mr McIntyre has accepted the apology without rubbing it in …

      With respect, Steve said

      His apology today is quite generous though belated (and is one of a kind.)

      and then, rather pointedly

      Crowley didn’t mention where he located the missing correspondence. However, had he consulted the first google in “crowley mcintyre”, the correspondence has been online for the past five years.

      Not rubbing it in? Depends how you read it. Rueful smile, at least, comes to my mind. I think Steve is, quite rightly, reserving judgment, based on past experience. He’s made the communication public, as Crowley suggested, and I’ve found the various reactions here, for instance ben on possible legal motives, fascinating and helpful. The jury’s out. I don’t think anyone can expect better than that.

  44. Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    better late than never…
    This is hopefully the start of some renewed dialogue, marked by constructive language and less defensive, reactionary personalization.
    Throughout all his forays, Steve has been civil, cordial and patient, and as meticulous in his personal correspondence as he is in his statistics. Its not easy for those in self-imposed academic bunkers to overcome their shackles, and Crowley has taken an important step.
    While some have commented on his language and tone, his apology is public and is posted on CA at his request: that does speak to his sincerity.
    Now to remove fighting from hockey…

  45. profootballwalk
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    On general principle, I am not big on apologies. I prefer to say: Dont’ do it in the first place. If you do it, it’s done. In this case, we have a different reason to look askance at an apology. If I didn’t know the entire backstory, I’d have no idea what was being apologized for. I understand that some people feel that anything is better than nothing, but personally, I hold that if it isn’t done right, there’s no sense doing it. The worst of all possible apologies is the ‘If I have offended anyone’ card – this is not in that category. I do know that if I had tried this on my parents, they would have raked me over the coals to say what it was I was apologizing for – to make me understand the wrong I had done. In this case, I don’t see much more than “I said it – now leave me alone.” Needless to say, when there is any self-serving element in an apology, it doesn’t wash.

    But that’s just me. Ever man has to judge the value of his own reputation.

  46. Philip Thomas
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    I have seen better written letters by children forced to apologise for bullying their classmates.

  47. curious
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    I applaud Mr Crowley’s action to set the public record straight by requesting this is published at CA. Only Steve can judge to accept the apology.

    I wasn’t following in 2005 but, having read the article linked in the post, I echo comments above that the publication should also set the record straight. If this is the publication concerned,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eos_%28journal%29

    they appear to have been in publication since 1920, so accuracy of the record should be of great importance to them.

    Given Mr Crowley’s revelation, I think it would be appropriate that they should offer Steve a right to reply in the same word count as the original article.

    With regard to Mr Crowley’s article and his comments on data disclosure in other branches of science inc. medical research – this crossed my radar the other day and IMO seems relevant:

    13.10.2010
    IQWiG: Law must prescribe obligation to publish all clinical trials

    https://www.iqwig.de/index.1133.en.html

  48. pesadia
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    Having read the letter three times in order to get a feel for the sentiment, i am of the opinion that this apology together with the request that it be put on the website, is significant.It may have be somewhat overdue but both parties benefit significantly. Not everybody is big enough to apologise and Thomas Crowley appears to be. Apologizing to Steve in particular, sends a message to those on the other side of the debate that he and consequently this website deserve respect. I salute you Thomas Crowley and i hope that your opinion of this honest man is enhanced.

6 Trackbacks

  1. [...] [Jan. 4, 9:08 p.m. | Updated An exchange between Stephen McIntyre of ClimateAudit and Thomas Crowley of the University of Edinburgh, prompted by a comment here by Crowley, has evidently begun to clear up a longstanding dispute between these two men. See an apology from Crowley posted here.] [...]

  2. By Top Posts — WordPress.com on Jan 5, 2011 at 7:18 PM

    [...] Crowley’s Apology Tom Crowley has asked that the following apology be published at Climate Audit for his 2005 EOS article, as well as a [...] [...]

  3. [...] Crowley’s original EOS editorial is online here, reported at CA at the time here, rejected reply here, apology here. [...]

  4. [...] Crowley’s original EOS editorial is online here, reported at CA at the time here, rejected reply here, apology here. [...]

  5. [...] similar experiences, as have John Christy and David Douglass and Roy Spencer, and I am sure others. The unfortunate side-effect of this differential treatment is that a [...]

  6. [...] similar experiences, as have John Christy and David Douglass and Roy Spencer, and I am sure others. The unfortunate side-effect of this differential treatment is that a [...]

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