What Did Penn State Know?

In an interview yesterday, Mann told Eli Kintisch of Science (see here) that it has been “known for a year and half” that he forwarded Jones’ delete request to Wahl.

If Mann’s claim is true (and I do not believe it to be true), then this raises serious questions about statements in the Penn State Inquiry Report, authors of which were:

Henry C. Foley, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
Alan W. Scaroni, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Ms. Candice A. Yekel, M.S., CIM, Director, Office for Research Protections, Research Integrity Officer

It’s time to find out whether they knew that Mann had forwarded Jones’ delete request to Wahl, whether they knew that Wahl had thereafter deleted emails as requested and why their Inquiry Report made the findings that they did.

Mann’s statement to Eli Kintisch was:

This has been known for a year and a half that all I did was forward Phil’s e-mail to Eugene.”

Let’s grant Mann a little literary licence on the “year and half”. The only salient issue here is whether the Penn State Inquiry (Foley, Scaroni and Yekell) knew that Mann had forwarded the Jones’ deletion request to Wahl and that Wahl had acted upon it.

If the Penn State Inquiry knew that Mann had forwarded the Jones’ delete request to Wahl, then how does one explain the following statement in their inquiry:

Allegation 2: Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones?

Finding 2. After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data related to AR4, as suggested by Dr. Phil Jones. Dr. Mann has stated that he did not delete emails in response to Dr. Jones’ request. Further, Dr. Mann produced upon request a full archive of his emails in and around the time of the preparation of AR4. The archive contained e-mails related to AR4.

If the Penn State Inquiry knew that Mann had forwarded Jones’ delete request to Wahl, then there is no reasonable basis on which they could say that there is no “credible evidence that Dr. Mann had ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data related to AR4, as suggested by Dr. Phil Jones.” Regardless of whether Mann included an endorsement of Jones’ delete request by email or by telephone, the very act of forwarding the delete request was “direct or indirect” participation in “actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data related to AR4, as suggested by Dr. Phil Jones.”

If Mann is right and the Penn State Inquiry knew the facts all along, then Foley, Scaroni and Yekel have some explaining to do.

Of course, it’s possible (and perhaps even probable) that the Penn State Inquiry was negligent rather than dishonest. Perhaps, despite Mann’s assurances that they knew about his forwarding of the delete request, perhaps they actually didn’t know that Mann had forwarded Jones’ delete request to Wahl. Although their question obliged them to ask Mann about his contacts with Wahl, perhaps they negligently failed to do so. Or perhaps they asked, got an misdirection answer and negligently failed to get a complete answer.

One way or another, Wahl’s recent admissions to the NOAA Inspector General show that the Penn State Inquiry findings on Question 2 were objectively incorrect. To find out why they erred, one would have to ask Foley, Scaroni and Yekel.

As to Mann’s claim that it has been “known for a year and half” that he had forwarded the Jones’ delete request to Wahl, I am unaware of any public admission prior to Wahl’s recent admission. Mann told Joe Romm on November 30, 2009 (see here) nothing is the Climategate email “can in no way be taken to indicate approval of, let alone compliance with, the request” – the request, inter alia, including the request that he “also email Gene and get him to do the same [delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4]:

This was simply an email that was sent to me, and can in no way be taken to indicate approval of, let alone compliance with, the request. I did not delete any such email correspondences.

Mann had the opportunity to say at the time that, yes, he forwarded Jones’ email request to Wahl, but that’s not what he said. He said that the Climategate email did not, in itself, show that he complied with Jones’ request that he forward the delete request to Wahl. Although the Climategate dossier shows that Mann told Jones that he would “contact Gene ASAP”, the dossier itself left open the possibility that Mann had second thoughts about the matter and did nothing. To outside observers, the dossier itself constituted prima facie evidence that Mann might well have forwarded the email (as he said he would do) and therefore required the Penn State Inquiry to recommend an investigation of this question – a point on which they were criticized at the time.

As to the new claim that it’s been known “for a year and a half” that Mann forwarded Jones’ delete request to Wahl, I’m unaware of any such admission prior to the Wahl’s recent admission and, if there were such an admission to the Penn State Inquiry, serious questions are raised about their Finding #2.

Update (Mar 11, 2011): A reader emailed me reminding me of the following article in a Pittsburgh newspaper on Dec 3, 2010, a few days after the Romm interview, an excerpt of which stated:

Mann said he did not delete e-mails and regrets that he did not reply to Jones with an e-mail telling him that was an inappropriate request.

“It put us in an awkward position,” Mann said. Instead, Mann forwarded that e-mail to a colleague to alert him to what Jones wanted the scientists to do.

157 Comments

  1. Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, Steve, for your persistence in this matter.

    There is an excellent video explanation from UC-Berkeley on “Hide the Decline.”

    http://anhonestclimatedebate.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/hide-the-decline-explained/

  2. David S
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    A lot can be concealed by the use of the passive voice. “It’s been known” allows the reader to draw his or her own inference as to by whom it has been known, while leaving Mann with plausible deniability if the consequences of any particular inference do not suit him. He has played a poor hand pretty well, what with “supplying a full archive of his emails in and around the time of the preparation of AR4″ when he knew perfectly well that the one he forwarded to Wahl went a year and a half later, but a few days after our host identified the abuse of the IPCC procedure.

  3. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    Here is Eric Steig’s “explanation” of Mann’s involvement in Jones’ deletion request:

    38 DDaze says: 10 Mar 2011 at 7:16 AM

    There are two sides to this story.

    The first is that deletion of emails by Wahl is of absolutely no consequence since he was not bound by FOI legislation and the substance of the deleted material was minor.

    The second is in relation to the allegation put to Mann: “Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones?”

    Clearly, indirectly he did. The allegation doesn’t make any reference to FOI either.

    [Response: Ah yes, that's it! And I was also 'indirectly' involved (or as one of our alert readers put it 'hip deep in the CRU emails!!') since in 1999 I received one or two emails that were also sent to Phil Jones (or, horror, may have been sent to Mike Mann too!), giving me directions to a building on campus somewhere. Quick, call in the police. Suggestion: go read George Orwell's book.--eric]

  4. Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    Steig isn’t prone to hyperbole, is he. Maybe academics are used to Inquiries that don’t inquire.

  5. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    Gavin Schmidt:

    [Response: We've said all along that Jones' email was ill-advised. But no-one outside UEA is responsible for their response to a UK FOI request nor has any obligations. - gavin]

    • ferd berple
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

      There are many things that are legal but unethical. Destroying emails to cover up a breach of IPCC regulations by a lead author is not illegal, as the IPCC has no force of law. However many would consider this unethical because the action casts doubts on the IPCC findings.

      It would appear from Gavin’s remarks that he is trying the magicians trick of misdirection. He is directing your attention to the FOI, but this really is not the issue. It is a chain of events, that go to the professional integrity of those involved. How can one place trust in their findings, when through their actions they seek to hide the truth?

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (Mar 10 11:18), and so why is it libelous to accuse mann of deleting mails or facilitating the deletion of mails?

      it seems that NOW Mann thinks it is horrible to delete mails. So, if he thinks that, why did he pass a request
      to wahl without comment? weird. He forwarded the mail before he was against it

    • stan
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

      So why did the team see the need to delete ASAP?

  6. Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    We’re gonna need a bigger exoneration.

    • jorgekafkazar
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

      We’re gonna need a bigger boot.

  7. ferd berple
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    Gavin is like the magician trying to misdirect attention to the FOI, so you don’t notice the real issue.

    There are plenty of things that are unethical but legal. A serious breach of IPCC regulations by a lead author is not illegal, because the IPCC has no force of law. However, the breach is certainly unethical in that it casts the related findings of the IPCC into doubt.

    The coordinated actions of multiple people to hide this suggest those involved are prepared to accept unethical behavior at the expense of truth. If you cannot place trust in their actions, how can you place trust in their scientific findings? Who can say they didn’t apply the same principles to their scientific work?

  8. Brandon Caswell
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    Does it strike anyone else that the tone from Steig and Schmidt seems to follow:

    -we didn’t do it.
    -we weren’t involved.
    -we said it was bad.
    -Your crazy for even asking the question.
    -But the e-mails were of no importance anyway.
    -And there was no problem in deleting them anyway cause we are not bound by the FOI.
    -Sure they were deleted but nothing illegal was done.

    Nobody over at Real climate seem to realize that helping to “hide the body” sure makes you look guilty of the murder to the rest of the world.

    My two cents.

    • stan
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

      There’s nothing wrong with deletion and it is malicious and defamatory to suggest that Mann did.

    • DEEBEE
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

      The response are as evolutionary as the GCMs

    • Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

      Why are Steig and Schmidt answering for Mann? Isn’t he capable of speaking for himself, outside of carefully choreographed interviews?

    • Jim From Anaheim
      Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

      Perhaps they just apply “hide the decline” to everything.

  9. Tom
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    Fred,

    Gavin is wrong legally too. Go destroy records in expectation of an IRS audit and see where you end up. The answer is jail. Taking action in expectation of a legal action, audit, bankruptcy, divorce, FOI, etc, is the same as if you took action in response.

  10. John Hekman
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    “There is no controlling legal authority…”

    i.e. legal, but still shows exactly what you were doing.

    • Tom
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

      There is controlling legal authority, Jones, Mann and Wahl aren’t the first ones to start destroying records in expectation of a legal action and they wont be the last. This isn’t much of a grey area.

      Steve: Let’s focus on Penn State in this thread and what they knew

      • John Whitman
        Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

        Steve McIntyre asks us to address, ‘What Did Penn State Know?’

        I think PSU did know the critically essential value of the entire set of relevant Mann PSU emails to any independent future auditors of the PSU investigation. The entire set of relevant Mann emails is defined to be those concerning all aspects of AR4 in general and of the more limited matter of ‘Delete the Emails on AR4′. The period of Mann’s PSU emails needs to be defined as the whole period from the end of TAR to today’s date.

        I think PSU knew that no meaningful independent audit could be done on their planned approach to the investigation. An approach which included no release of Mann’s PSU emails and no release of detailed investigation transcripts or recordings.

        I think they were/area naive to think that they will not be questioned in these matters in the near future.

        NOTE: I think the other important aspect of “Delete the Email on AR4″ is the violation of IPCC protocols shown by the participants. If this aspect is stressed to the US Congress then an independent US audit of the AR4 processes could be demanded prior to further funding of the IPCC. If that were to occur it would really put PSU in an untenable position.

        John

  11. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    Let’s focus on Penn State in this thread and what they knew. If you don’t connect your comment to the Penn State Inquiry, please go to another thread.

    I realize that I posted up the realclimate comments and that, by doing so, I distracted from Penn State. But the issues pertaining to the existence of an offence are different than the issues relating to the Penn State finding.

    As I’ve observed on multiple occasions, the Penn State Inquiry could have attempted a narrow technical defence – that, even if the allegations were true, there wasn’t an offence. Had they done so, we might well have examined whether they had established this position.

    However, that isn’t what they did. They took the position that there was no evidence that Mann had “ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data related to AR4, as suggested by Dr. Phil Jones”. The new admissions from Wahl and Mann show that this finding was incorrect.

    Leaving the question – what did the Penn State Inquiry know?

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

      “any actions with intent to delete”

      Mann’s intent was protect Wahl.

      Inquiry: what did you do with Jones Mail
      Mann: I forwarded it.
      Inquiry: Why?
      Mann: I thought he had a right to read it?
      Inquiry: Why?
      Mann: because it might be used against him
      Inquiry: Nicely played. So, you had no intent to delete mails.
      Mann. None. Jones asked me to contact Wahl. I intended to fullfill Jones request with regards to passing the message.
      Inquiry; Nice, can we use that
      Mann: err, maybe just say that I had no intent to delete mails.

    • Richard B
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

      Quite right, I think it is pretty clear what Penn State knew if they were aware that the email had been forwarded by Mann.

      They had read the email:

      “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.”

      Jones clearly asks that Mann delete the emails – (and this is the crucial part, in my view), that Mann gets Gene to do the same.

      What does Mann do? He doesn’t reply (as far as we know) to Jones and say “no, I won’t get Gene to do that.” In fact he does get Gene to do it, by passing on the request – he chooses to get Gene to do it by forwarding the original email, but in response to a request Mann received to get Gene to do it. We all forward emails to pass on requests from others to third parties just as a way of not having to type the whole thing out again – its done all the time – but the intention is still to pass on the request to get the person to whom its forwarded to deal with it (however they may).

      Bearing in mind that Mann confirmed to Jones that he would be in touch with Gene about this ASAP, I don’t see where the doubt arises. I don’t think the words of the emails or the actions of the parties can reasonably be interpreted otherwise and if Penn had knowledge that the email had been forwarded by Mann then they didn’t really need really to ask Mann about it in the legalistic and rather bizzare way that they did unless, perhaps, the goal was to obfuscate.

      And, pure speculation on my part, Mann doesn’t in his recent comments say how the email might have been used against Wahl or by whom. He might have been refering to the team for all we know.

      • Richard B
        Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

        Oops I see below that Steve Mosher beat me to the same point. Sorry.

    • Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

      My question is: does it matter in the end?

      We now know that Mann forwarded the email — without further comment — to Wahl. Wahl deleted the emails as Jones suggested. Mann states that he did not delete those emails. He produced copies of those emails to the inquiry and apparently satisfied their questions.

      Wahl deleting those emails did not violate FOIA.

      Wahl deleting those emails does not appear to have violated AU’s policies on handling email.

      Did Mann mislead the inquiry by his answer? At first glance, the way the report is worded, it might be the case. However, the report is not a verbatim transcript and we have no idea of the context of the discussion and statements. Without the verbatim transcript, we have no way of knowing for certain what was asked and what was answered.

      If there is anything to conclude from this latest “revelation” — aka attempt by certain people *cough* to smear Mann yet again and drum up further cynicism — it might be that the terms of the PS inquiry around deletion of emails and its report could/should have been clearer and more pertinent.

      They asked the wrong question, in other words, or they asked a question of no consequence.

      I don’t care if Mann was involved in passing on an email from Jones that suggested Wahl engage in non-illegal and non-unethical behaviour.

      Non-issue.

      What I care about is equilibrium climate sensitivity and temperature.

      • Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

        I think it is interesting that a major source of equilibrium climate sensitivity and temperature wisdom bragged about exoneration, then subsequently admitted, after the appropriate evidence emerged in the public domain, that he had indeed carried out some of the actions for which he had been exonerated, and then suggested that knowledge of these actions was very old news. But if this is a non-issue to you, why post on a thread dedicated to discussion of the PS exoneration inquiry?

        • Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

          I am interested, as all who purport to care about science should be interested, in the actual findings of science. It seems that people here are more along the lines of “National Enquirer” readers, looking for scandal. Does this “issue” bear on the findings of science? I suggest it does not, but that some people are trying to drum up a scandal in order to deny the science by smearing the scientists. One email out of hundreds, one sentence out of thousands, one word out of millions.

          It’s a successful tactic and has been used before by those intent on discrediting science.

          That’s why I’m interested.

        • Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

          Ok – so you are interested in science, presumably you would agree that science is about truth, and truth does not need peer-review gaming, graph grafting, upside down statistics, or email deletion(?) Furthermore people who are interested in the truth frequently provide honest accounts of their activities. What puzzles me is that you post intensively on what you claim is a “national enquirer” issue, largely saying that it is a ‘non-issue’. Does that mean that you are interested in science and “national enquirer” issues? By the way, hovering the cursor over your icon indicates that you are interested in policy (the word ‘policy’ shows up three times in your profile. What would you say is your priority interest: policy, science findings, or the exposure of misleading statements by ‘nobel prize’ winning scientists?

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

          Susan, in your opinion, do Mann/Jones-style paleo-reconstructions count as “findings of science”?

          Jones’ request to delete emails wasn’t “drummed up”. It’s been an issue almost since day one of the Climategate dossier. It lingers on because the inquiries didn’t deal with it. None of them placed the protagonists on the record or got an explanation from the protagonists. Both Muir Russell and Penn State made “findings” on this matter that flew in the face of facts known to hundreds, if not thousands, of readers – discrediting both “inquiries”.

          Someone like yourself, who is concerned about the impact of the increased CO2, is precisely the sort of person who should be most critical of the failures of the inquiries. And rather than caviling about people pointing out the shortfalls of the inquiries, you should be frustrated at the inquiries failing to resolve obvious problems and asking yourself why they haven’t done so.

        • Frank
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

          Isn’t this about the science? Briffa was supposed to summarize the state of the science in an IPCC forum where he was required to respond scientifically and ethically to all comments from peer reviewers. If Briffa had done so, there would have been nothing to hide and no need for Jones to request that Wahl delete all of his correspondence with Briffa.

          I’d also like to know about equilibrium climate sensitivity and future temperature. The question is: Should you get your information from authors like Jones and his fellow conspirators and from organizations like the IPCC who tolerate them? More importantly, should the EPA rely on IPCC reports when regulating GHG emissions? Here credibility matters. You may think that Steve is “drumming up a scandal”, but others feel the scandal lies in the facts that Steve publicizes. Today’s facts are quotes from PSU and Mann with links to their sources. Yesterday’s are the transcript from the NOAA IG’s report. Follow the trail back to Briffa.

          Today, however, Steve has asked us to consider whether Penn State properly investigated one of its scientists who appears to be linked to a criminal conspiracy to destroy information subject to a British FOI request. New information from the NOAA IG shows that a published conclusion from PSU investigation is wrong. When the issue is climate science, do our taxpayer funded public institutions care if our scientists are behaving ethically?

        • Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

          Susan, if you’re interested in the “actual findings of science” then the episode on this thread should be of acute concern. Summarizing the “actual findings of science” for people like yourself was the assignment of Keith Briffa in his capacity as IPCC Lead Author. The problem, apparently, was that the actual publication record was either over his head or yielded a message he was disinclined to report, or both. So he went outside the structure of the IPCC report-writing process to recruit a highly partisan coach (“Gene”) to provide him some text which would not be shown to the expert reviewers but which would go right into the final draft and be represented as the result of the official IPCC reprt-writing process. Then when a UK citizen (David Holland) began to unravel this through FOIA requests, Briffa’s colleague Jones contacted Mann to ask him to pass along a request to Gene to destroy his emails with Briffa related to AR4.

          The reason this matters is precisely because people who want to learn about the “actual findings of science” were instead shown a distorted summary from people who felt the need to cover up their actions afterwards.

        • RDCII
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

          Actually, Susan, the very fact that you’re here is the reason why this sort of thing is important. I would suggest that, as a policy wonk, you’re not as much interested in the pure findings of science as you are in how those findings can be used to drive policy.

          Eisenhower, in the 1961 speech in which he coined the phrase “Military-Industrial Complex”, also said this:

          “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. ”

          “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite. ”

          And…you’re a policy wonk, berating us for finding fault with the scientific technological elite. :) You are the reason we do this.

          The people that you see here are not interesting in attacking science; if we were, we’d be attacking all scientists (there are many scientists that are held in high regard, here) and all scientific disciplines. What we’re interested in, to wax dramatic, is in freeing climate science from the shackles of policy.

          Those of us who love science cannot understand why this brand of science, unlike many others, must be done in secrecy. Why do the authors fight so hard to avoid releasing the data that would make their scientific findings replicable, when other scientific disciplines make their data and methodology available as a matter of course? Does it not concern you at all that the findings of science you find so interesting aren’t replicable?

          Does it not concern you that a science that is so driven by statistics and computer models is being practiced by people who are neither statisticians or programmers, and who do not feel the need to involve actual statisticians or put their code through QA…and won’t let anyone look at their data or their code? Doesn’t it bother you that when some dataset is finally uncovered, it has issues the scientists didn’t bother to mention, such as a six sigma outlier that, all by itself, distorts the data out of recognition?

          Believe me, the people on this site would like nothing better than to be able to focus on the science. But you’re preaching to the wrong crowd, here. Go tell Gavin, Mann, Jones et. al. to do all their work in a totally transparent manner, and to stop using Peer Review as an underground gatekeeping process, and instead deal with skeptic “bad science”, through above-board comments and counter-papers.

          If you succeed, then this will have two wonderful effects: better science, since the flaws can’t be hidden, and the eventual turning of the focus of a group like this to the “findings of science”.

          BTW, National Enquirer makes things up; the Washington Post, in spite of pursing scandals such as, oh, Watergate, generally doesn’t. Since almost all the issues we talk about here can be cited, I’m sure it was a slip of the fingers, not a bias, that caused you to accidentally write “National Enquirer” instead of “Washington Post”?

      • theduke
        Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

        Susan wrote: “My question is: does it matter in the end?”

        I suggest that it does. If Mann, Jones, Wahl and Briffa violated IPCC governing principles, which most reasonable people would conclude they did, they should exclude themselves from future participation in any IPCC deliberations and reports.

        Forgive me if they have already done so. I’ve been busy with other personal business and haven’t been paying close attention. If they haven’t, they should.

        This is an scandal about scientific ethics. If your argument is that these emails are not unethical, why don’t you make it?

        • Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

          I don’t think that their actions wrt the W&A paper amount to any serious violation of IPCC guidelines, especially since they were done in the interest of getting the best scientific evidence in the IPCC report. They are not “laws” but guidelines, which are meant as useful “guidance” to assist Lead Authors to carry out their duties, not absolutes meant to restrict their actions, at least as far as I understand it.

          This is no scandal except in the minds of the scandalous, who, I imagine, go looking for it either because they’re bored with their lives or have some other interest. JMHO.

        • Gaelan Clark
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

          Susan, so it makes no difference that Wahl changed his position on agreeing with substantive arguments made by a reviewer, SteveMc, after having shared emails with Phil Jones?
          Come on, circle the wagons, hide and obfuscate behind FOIA rules, delete emails showing collusion…, no never mind, nothing to see here, move along, this is old news…..
          !?!?!?
          Really!?!?

        • stan
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

          Susan,

          Thank you for making the point that you have no interest in whether scientists or scientific institutions have integrity. I find that useful in evaluating your comments. Unlike you, a lot of us feel that the scientific process has to have integrity to be believed. If the participants are not honest, their reports have no credibility.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

          Re: Susan (Mar 11 09:00), Then if there is no serious violation we have several things to consider.

          1. Overpecks mail to Roberts. Roberts wanted to contact author’s directly and he was informed by the review editor that this was not allowed. That is in CONTEMPORANEOUS communication about this very issue overpeck told roberts and briffa to use the proper channels. Subsequently, now that the issue has been made public, Overpeck has changed his mind.

          2. Briffa thought it was important enough to label his correspondence confidential.

          3. Jones thought it was important enough to request mail deletions.

          4. Mann thought it important enough to contact gene ASAP, either to get him to delete mails OR (mann’s argument) to protect gene.

          5. Subsequent to the release of mails, people have thought it important enough to hold “inquiries”

          6. Mann thinks it is important enough to use the word libel.. for what?

          It’s clear that some people find it important. True there is no consensus on this. One way to handle it is simply to have folks tell the whole unimportant story. In the open. And perhaps steve could suggest some unimportant changes to ch 06. Since none of this matters I’m sure it would be acceptable to you.

          Your caught in a dilemma. If you argue its unimportant then why all the resistence to just doing the sensible thing. If you argue its important, then you have to defend the indefensible.

          So, the team argument basically comes down to two strategies. One group of useful tools argues that the inquiries were right, forwarding a mail is not a problem. the other group argues nothing wrong was done.

          In the middle are folks like me. Nothing horribly wrong was done. Its no big deal. Just tell the truth and fix chapter 6. People from both sides resist this because of two reasons.

          1. They dont want to admit that steve Mc was right and he caught them OR
          2. they want MORE BLOOD from the team.

        • Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 8:19 PM | Permalink

          Re: Steven Mosher (Mar 11 14:44),

          You’re caught in a dilemma. If you argue its unimportant then why all the resistance to just doing the sensible thing. If you argue its important, then you have to defend the indefensible.

          That theme has a certain familiarity, from discussions with the defenders of Mann08 about that paper’s use of the four three uncalibratible Tiljander proxies data series.

          There, it came down to a very metaphysical “Maybe, and it doesn’t matter.” That’s a difficult position for a scientifically-literate outsider to fathom.

        • Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

          It’s only important because the existence of controversy serves deniers and threatens to undermine public confidence in science and in climate science, which is of course the whole goal. The actual actions being discussed — deletion of emails and forwarding emails and missing deadlines and breaching deadlines in order to consider papers not meeting deadlines are not significant in the long run to the science.

          Nothing has changed when it comes to climate sensitivity, to the temperature record, to the physics of the greenhouse effect, to the energy budget, to the Arctic sea ice, the melting permafrost in Siberia and all the other effects of global warming. The science has not changed as a result of any of this controversy. However, public confidence and opinion has changed and that in turn affects politician’s willingness to act. As a policy wonk that is my concern.

          I am under no illusions that scientists are above the petty foibles that beset the rest of us ordinary folk, like pride and ambition and biases and agendas. They aren’t. The processes and procedures of science are intended to blunt the effects of these human foibles, but they can never totally eradicate them. The science that is produced by flawed humans is still workable and useful despite this fallibility.

          Have you ever read about some of the personalities and conflicts of the scientists involved in the Manhattan project? The Apollo Project?

          It’s like that in all sciences. Scientists are just as competitive and ambitious and petty and tribal and self-interested as non-scientists. Despite this, in spite of it, they produce far better knowledge that is useful to us than other forms of knowledge production in the history of civilization.

          Yes, there are ethics and values and norms that guide scientists and some follow them more closely than others, but I think the claims by some “skeptics” that climate scientists are somehow acting outside of the norm are naive and uninformed. Even during my very short stint as a university lecturer and as a grad and undergrad student, I was aware of these conflicts and personalities.

          In the case in consideration, were some scientists petty about data? Yes. Did they try to prevent critics from getting access to their data? Sure. Some of it was reasonable, legitimate, and some of it may be petty, but to me, it was understandable and regrettable. These scientists had congressional hearings directed at them and their work, they had politicos interfering in their reports, they had PR people working for corporations smearing them and their work, they received threats and faced pseudoscience masquerading as science trying to create the perception of significant dissent when it was really only minor. I might become very petty if I was under that kind of assault.

          Because I don’t have an idealized vision of how science works, I am not surprised by the actions of people involved in this affair, either on the part of skeptics or scientists. I am not horrified. I am not scandalized. People who are have an unrealistic conception of science and scientists.

          Frankly, I know that some of those who claim being shock and appalled are feigning it for political purposes. To me, most of the heat around this issue is about politics rather than science. It’s a policy war and a war over values. Science is merely a tool used to fight the enemy and try to influence the outcome.

          In other words, I’m skeptical of the skeptics. I don’t think many of them deserve that venerable title.

        • John Whitman
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

          snip – nothing to do with Penn State

        • John Whitman
          Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

          OK, Steve McIntyre requested we restrict our comments to “What Did PSU know?”. So let rephrase my previous snipped comment to you more directly into that context.

          – snip

        • Posted Mar 13, 2011 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

          If there is one thing that the climatology community are not like it is the scientists who worked on the Manhattan project. Your reason for ‘interest’ seem to be shifting to apologizing for the human frailties of hard pressed climatologists. That is also a red herring. What matters is the truth.

    • don
      Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 12:54 AM | Permalink

      Well, passing along an email by person X that requests a particular course of action for person Y doesn’t mean the person Z forwarding the email has the “intent” for that requested course of action to happen, unless Z otherwise states so.

      “However, that isn’t what they did. They took the position that there was no evidence that Mann had “ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data related to AR4, as suggested by Dr. Phil Jones”. The new admissions from Wahl and Mann show that this finding was incorrect.”

      Obviously Mann and apparently Penn State is taking the position he, Mann, intended nothing.

    • PhilH
      Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

      Look: PSU asked Mann if he had “indirectly” participated in the deletion of e-mails. Mann now says that he did “indirectly” participate.

      So there are only a few possibilities: (1) Mann lied to the commission. (2)Mann dodged the question by obfuscation. (3)Mann told the truth.

      Given the above, there are these possibilities:(1)The commission took Mann’s lie at face value. (2)The commission took Mann’s non-answer at face value. (3)The commission took Mann’s truth at face value and ignored it.

      Everything else is irrelevant to the question of just how shoddy this whole performance, by Mann and by PSU, was.

  12. Denis McCormick
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    The new governor of PA, Tom Corbett, just proposed a budget that would cut Penn State funding by about $130M. In light of this, maybe he needs to increase that amount. Let’s see how Penn State reacts once this passes Congress. Will it take funding cuts to actually conduct a real investigation?

  13. David Jay
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    Steve:

    I think your formulation about covers it:

    …it’s possible…the Penn State Inquiry was negligent rather than dishonest.

    Those do seem to be the only two alternatives.

    • Al Gored
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

      Yes there does. Negligence or incompetence? In either case, those responsible should go. And your point confirms the need to follow this line and ask ‘What did Penn State know’?

      I suppose PennStateGate is a bit too much of a mouth full but this is starting to remind me of Watergate… I’m guessing this goes all the way to the top, and that it was not a case of incompetence.

  14. Scott B.
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    So clearly, this is all no big deal. Everyone knew about this 18 months ago, no laws were broken, and the substance of the deleted materials was minor.

    Surprisingly, no mention of the ethics involved in any of this.

  15. KnR
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    ‘Mann had forwarded the Jones’ deletion request to Wahl and that Wahl had acted upon it.’

    Manns defence is that he did not know ‘Wahl had acted upon it.’
    However Penn state stated
    ‘Dr. Mann had ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails,’

    The key word is ‘intent’ which does not require Mann to know ‘Wahl had acted upon it.’ merely that it clear the message was to delete . Further has Mann shows concern its clear he was aware not only of the content of the e-mail;but what the consequence of the actions could be .

    I can see Mann claiming that Penn State was wrong in its claims , but that was not his fault as he reported ,correctly to them.

    • JT
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

      “The key word is ‘intent’….” Yes, it is. Read very carefully and LITERALLY what was asked and what was answered. The question was not whether Mann “..engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions…” INTENDED “to delete … ” etc. but WITH INTENT “to… etc”. The question goes to Mann’s intentions as to the consequences of his actions not to Jones’ intentions or Wahl’s intentions or anyone else’s intentions. If Mann forwarded the email with no intention on his part that any emails should be deleted, and if the gentlemen conducting the inquiry accepted that that was the fact of the matter, then the Penn State conclusion follows from the premises.

      • Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

        You can’t derive intent simply by asking the person(s) involved. They most likely won’t tell you the truth. You have to look at evidence surrounding the events. Intent is extremely clear.

        • KnR
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

          Mann was clearly able to understand what the ‘intent’ of the e-mail was , he his able to understand what actions would be needed to meet the e-mails request and still passed the message on. That he expressed concern about it tells us not only did he know its content but he understood the implications of it . Manns defence of ‘I was just the passing it ‘ does not hold .

          If he added anything else to it is another question.

  16. Rattus Norvegicus
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    The only thing wrong with your theory is that in the email you are so fond of citing, Mann says that he will contact Wahl ASAP.

    QED.

    • Scott B.
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

      Can you provide a little more information on the significance of “Mann says that he will contact Wahl ASAP,” and what that brings to the discussion? I don’t follow what that info tells us.

      • Ron Cram
        Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

        I would say Mann’s comment describes his intent to forward Jones’s email to Gene Wahl immediately. It was probably the next thing he did after he hit “Send.”

    • John Carpenter
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

      Contacting Wahl ASAP suggests Mann must have understood that deleting those emails was of an urgent matter, no?

    • Rattus Norvegicus
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

      What it does mean is that:

      a) That Mann had contacted Wahl had been known since the release of the emails
      b) That PSU knew to ask Mann whether or not he had contacted Wahl

      The facts in evidence disprove Steve’s hypothesis.

      Steve: To my knowledge, Mann had never previously admitted that he had forwarded Jones’ delete request to Wahl. Show me a contrary citation. Nor is the Penn State “Inquiry” finding consistent with them knowing about the forwarding.

      Please point to

      • Rattus Norvegicus
        Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

        Steve,

        He *said* that he would contact Wahl. Since this was an email, it is reasonably safe to assume that he forwarded it, either with or w/o comment. That is what it is normal to do with a piece of email when requested to forward it to someone (I don’t recall the exact words which Phil used, but his intent was clear, something like “I don’t have Gene’s current email…”).

        Everybody here, including myself, agrees that this whole sorry episode was ill advised.

        Steve: I agree that it is “reasonably safe to assume that he forwarded it, either with or w/o comment” and, indeed, that was my presumption, despite the “findings” of the Penn State Inquiry. On the other hand, Mann himself said (to Joe Romm) at the time that “This was simply an email that was sent to me, and can in no way be taken to indicate approval of, let alone compliance with, the request”. So while you and I might “assume” that Mann had complied with the request, Mann observed that his compliance with the request was not proven by the Climategate emails themselves. Mann did not volunteer the information at the time that he had in fact complied with Jones’ request, leaving that for others to prove. The first proof came with Wahl’s statement to the NOAA Inspector General; that’s why it’s news now.

        As you say, it’s a “sorry episode”.

        • Rattus Norvegicus
          Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

          Steve,

          What you are saying is that this statement from Wahl confirms what Mann said he would do in his reply to Jones? Well la di dah. Really, this is not news and I would like to see the complete transcript rather than what Inhofe supplied to Horner (or was it also supplied to you?). Please confirm or deny whether you got this from Horner or from Inhofe’s office.

  17. mpaul
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    Any reasonable person looking at the facts of the IG report and the Penn State report would concluded that the Penn State investigation was inadequate. Penn State now faces a challenge. They will, at some point, be forces to make a public statement on this. Will they:

    (1) defend the investigation
    (2) Acknowledge that there were inaccuracies in the report, but claim that these inaccuracies were minor and do not warrant re-opening the investigation
    (3) call for a new investigation

    I suspect their approach will be tempered by their reading of the political climate. If they believe that congress will refer the matter to a enforcement authority, then Penn State will want to get ahead of this by initiating their own new investigation. Otherwise, the Trustees and executives risk looking like party of the problem. At some point in every crisis, leaders begin to understand that managing liability is their primary objective.

  18. Dave L.
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    Do you think the Penn State inquisitors actually read any of the CRU e-mails or the e-mails in Mann’s dossier? And if they did read the e-mails, then there is the issue as to whether they understood the content of the e-mails.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

      It seems to me that as per most of these inquiries, no one actually read any emails. Too much work for busy academics?

    • Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

      I think they did read them. How else would they know which question to not ask?

  19. Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    Mann has frequently drawn attention to the PSU exoneration, e.g. ‘My employer, Penn State University, exonerated me after a thorough investigation of my e-mails in the East Anglia archive.’ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/07/AR2010100705484.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns). Given that Mann (and everyone he says) knew that he had forwarded the ‘delete’ email, it seems strange that he should place so great store in an inquiry that he knew was either negligent or dishonest. Why did he not simply point out that, in the case of the forwarding of ill advised emails, the inquiry had slightly overstated its case?

  20. Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    Suppose Penn State investigated the question: Did you delete any emails that you knew or believed to be subject to US FOIA rules? then I think Mann would be free and clear. He passed along an email from Jones to Wahl pertaining to emails that he could reasonably claim he not believe were subject to US FOIA requests and which were not agency records of the US government, etc.

    The issue here is that Penn State asked a different question, and made a different claim. They asked whether Mann had engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4. Not–nota molto bene–emails etc. under a US FOIA request, or emails belonging to NOAA, etc., but emails related to AR4. Jones’ request to Mann was “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4… Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same?”

    Having asked the question they asked, and light of the fact that Mann did pass on the request, even without Wahl’s admission Penn State was obliged to report the obvious answer that yes, Mann did engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4. And had they checked with Wahl they would have confirmed that it was not mere intent, but that it had the actual effect.

    They might have gone on to say that no laws were broken, or to make a case about why it was entirely appropriate for Mann to facilitate the destruction of this portion of the IPCC review/writing record–after all whose f**king business is it if IPCC Lead Authors toss the rules and engage in unrecorded, backroom re-writing of key sections of disputed text with the help of partisan authors whose involvement as contributors or reviewers is not revealed in the report.

    But that’s not what Penn State did. They went on to state that “After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data related to AR4″.

    I believe we now know what the term “denialism” means.

    • Iain McQueen
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

      Re: Ross McKitrick (Mar 10 13:18),

      “otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4. Not–nota molto bene–emails etc. under a US FOIA request, or emails belonging to NOAA, etc., but emails related to AR4. Jones’ request to Mann was “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4… Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same?”

      McKitrick’s point is very good.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

      “after all whose f**king business is it if IPCC Lead Authors toss the rules and engage in unrecorded, backroom re-writing of key sections of disputed text with the help of partisan authors whose involvement as contributors or reviewers is not revealed in the report.”

      the real point, isn’t it?

      • David Holland
        Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

        Re: Craig Loehle (Mar 10 13:44),

        Gavin just let me into RC for the first time in years. He replied

        This idea that an initial cut-off date is something sacrosanct is nonsense. The cut-offs are there to prevent continually new stuff being added all the time – you want them to be as close as possible to the deadline for the report while still allowing time for an assessment. The relevant result from W&A had been clear for a year and the line in the report was (and remains) correct. But even if that paper hadn’t ended up making the cut, what conceivable difference would it have made to anything?

        I wonder if he will let my response through.

        • David Holland
          Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

          Well it lasted longer than the last time! Three posts before the plug was pulled

        • Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

          Thank you for persevering, David. One might think it would be less effort to answer the questions than laboriously convince everyone that the questions are irrelevant. But, climatology is a complex subject, not intended for mortal comprehension.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

          Re: David Holland (Mar 10 15:52), david, see Jones note to christy for the teams idea of deadlines and what they mean

      • timheyes
        Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

        Exactly. All this Mann and Penn State bashing is tangential to the real issue. The real issue is what was in the AR4 emails that the team were so determined to delete.

    • mpaul
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

      This is not so clear to me. Penn State has a records retention policy. It says:

      Correspondence and other documents sent by e-mail MAY constitute a University record. As such they may need to be retained for longer than an e-mail system is capable of retaining them. It is the responsibility of the sender/recipient to determine if a particular e-mail message constitutes a University record.

      If an e-mail message is a University record (as defined in AD-35) it is subject to the same retention period as the paper equivalent. E-mail messages which require long-term retention should be either retained electronically on retrievable media or printed, including all header and transmission information, and filed with their electronic or paper equivalents by the sender/recipient.

      In a court of law, liability can become involved when such documents (paper or electronic) are not available to be provided during some segments of litigation. Be aware that your decision to retain or destroy an e-mail message may become an issue in a court situation.

      AD-35 defines a University Record as:

      [A]ny documents including both written and printed matter; books; drawings; maps: plans; photographs; microforms; digital or analog files, recordings or data; or copies thereof made or received by any Unit of the University in connection with the transaction of University business, and retained by such office as evidence of the activities of the University or because of the information contained therein.

      So I think Mann might argue that the email was not a University Record. However, to the extent that the email dealt with the coordinated destruction of materials that were clearly a matter of a public controversy and that these materials were paid for by public money, I think others could argue that the emails became a University Record as a result of the public controversy.

      Its also reasonable to assert that Mann should have contemplated that these emails could become a matter of future litigation given the public controversy.

    • John F. Pittman
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

      Re: Ross McKitrick (Mar 10 13:18), Ross, you make an excellent point and analysis. I think it should be expanded to include the words “all the evidence and relevant materials.” ALL is so inclusive. And no comma after evidence, implying that the committee did careful consideration of ALL. Then they confirmed there was no credible evidence. All, no, none should seldom be used in claims. Considering how many times I have been trained by lawyers not to use such unless, I can back it up, it makes me wonder just how much “flying by the seat of the pants” the committee engaged in. Your point of partisanship appears to apply to the committee perhaps more than the AR4 authors themselves. And less credibly as well.

    • PhilH
      Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

      Exactly Ross.

  21. Bob Koss
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    Mann informed Jones of Wahl’s new email address prior to contacting Wahl. If Mann wanted to maintain clean hands he would have told Jones to contact Wahl when he provided Wahl’s address. That he didn’t suggests Mann felt that his being part of the email chain would add some weight to Jones request.

  22. Iain McQueen
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Steve says in the prime post above.

    “The only salient issue here is whether the Penn State Inquiry (Foley, Scaroni and Yekell) knew that Mann had forwarded the Jones’ deletion request to Wahl and that Wahl had acted upon it.”

    The PSU enquiry states:

    “Allegation 2: Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones?

    Finding 2. After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data related to AR4, as suggested by Dr. Phil Jones. Dr. Mann has stated that he did not delete emails in response to Dr. Jones’ request. Further, Dr. Mann produced upon request a full archive of his emails in and around the time of the preparation of AR4. The archive contained e-mails related to AR4.”

    What do we know of the material PSU enquirers [Henry C. Foley, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School
    Alan W. Scaroni, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
    Ms. Candice A. Yekel, M.S., CIM, Director, Office for Research Protections, Research Integrity Officer] considered in their “careful consideration”?

    As Steve says they may have been merely negligent. I would say in these circumstances negligence concerning this very specific allegation and coming up with that particular deliberation “After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials,” begins to look like dishonesty, or at least smell of dishonesty.

    But what were “all the evidence and relevant materials” available to them? Answer:
    [a] Verbal or other communication with Mann (to which we are not party), who may have misdirected’ them in his response. or
    [b] The emails made available to them from Mann’s computer. Readers will recall this amounted to a zip file he himself made, and nowhere have I seen an absolute statement that this zip file comprised ALL the emails in Mann’s computer, though he has certainly lead us to suppose they did. Until the content of Mann’s possibly very specially zipped up file are known, we cannot be completely certain where the dishonesty lies.

    Could be Mann by concealing evidence and giving misdirecting responses, could be PSU by failing to read the zip file (if it was truly complete) = ‘intentional negligence’, or it could be outright PSU lying denial or was Mann’s Zip file possibly intentionally ‘incomplete’?

    Steve’s question cannot be answered without sight of Mann’s carefully zipped files, which is where I personally suspect the concealment process is centred and it may indeed have been a more selective zipping up process with wider implications than we even yet suspect.

    • Iain McQueen
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

      Re: Iain McQueen (Mar 10 13:33),

      In short everyone is assuming Mann zipped ALL the emails . I am not.

    • AusieDan
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

      Ian McQueen
      In this post normal world, being “careful” has acquired a new and rather distasteful meaning.

      “Careful Consideration”
      Say no more.

  23. Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    To an objective observer, it’s pretty clear that Mann and his IPCC colleagues (the Team):
    1. Possessed information that they did not want to be available to the public, or to anyone potentially hostile to their operations.
    2. Knew that some person or persons had requested access to the information that the Team did not want to be made public.
    3. Conspired to restrict or deny access to the secret Team information, and communicated among the Team to coordinate actions.
    4. Carried out activities to erase, delete, destroy or otherwise hide the Team’s secret information.
    5. Subsequently obfuscated the facts stated above: the existence of secret information, the conspiracy to hide the secret information, the communications involved in the conspiracy, and the actions taken to hide the secret information.
    6. One or some of the Team have, since the actions taken to hide the information, been less than candid with various official investigations into their actions.

    These points are mostly developed by an analysis of the email communications, and the drip of information from the investigations.

    The only way to discover the truth is for a whistleblower–an insider who knows details of what actually happened–to provide their testimony.

    Just like most investigations into criminal conspiracies, even though the truth may seem evident to analysts, it is difficult to prove. That’s why the most common way that criminal conspiracies are cracked these days is through the recruitment of a whistleblower.

    If all of the dedicated readers of this website, and other realists who yearn for the truth, focused on finding a whistleblower, we would have the truth much sooner.

    All the logical debates, and point-by-point refutations of the Team’s obfuscations are but smokescreen. A whistleblower can clear all that smoke away.

    Kent Clizbe

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-166051628.html

    “It is still probably the case that whistleblowing is “a form of organizational dissent.” (5) But the recent positive publicity for whistleblowers suggests that whistleblowing is now viewed with less suspicion–and whistleblowers as less politically motivated and more altruistic–than was true in the past. Whistleblowers are now thought of as an integral component of the recently re-regulated system of corporate governance that is supposed to result in better monitoring and control of managerial misconduct (agency costs) in large, publicly held corporations. (6) Tip-offs from insiders have been described as “by far the most common method of detecting fraud.” (7)”

  24. Rhoda Ramirez
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Iain, no, no one is assuming that Mann zipped ALL the emails. Where do you get THAT delusion. Mann was asked to delete any emails associated with Biffra’s AR4 unethical behavior and to pass on a request to Wahl to do the same. Mann denied deleting any emails and it may very well be true if he wasn’t cc’d during those little exercises in manipulation. He’d have nothing to delete. He DID pass on the request so he at least participated in a passive manner.

    Now Mann says that it was know for a year and a half that he did this, implying that the investigating committee knew about it and deliberately wrote an incorrect summary to cover Mann’s ass.

    • Iain McQueen
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

      Re: Rhoda Ramirez (Mar 10 14:11),

      Ramirez

      Well OK, I may be deluded! But we are lead to suppose he zipped the relevant emails are we not? Indeed emails relevant to his part concerning all aspects of the Penn State enquiry. Could be we have all been deluded. My Point is this may include the PSU enquiry panel, What we discuss is the evidence PSU had for their weighty deliberations.

  25. Rhoda Ramirez
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    Wierd, my comment was in response to Ian McQueen but is showing up BEFORE his comment.

    • Geoff Shorten
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

      Geoff: Yes I am.

      Rhoda: Geoff, are you psychic?

  26. Steven Mosher
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    Jones: Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same?”
    Mann: I will contact gene ASAP

    then mann forwards the request.

    Jones can YOU get Wahl to do the same.

    how does mann respond:
    1. no I cant
    2. here’s his email you do it
    3. yes I can
    4. I will contact gene ASAP.

    Jones makes a specific request that mann contact wahl and get him to delete mails.

    • biddyb
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

      And I would love to know whether Mann “just” forwarded the email from Jones or if he forwarded it AND added in a message of his own.

    • Max_OK
      Posted Mar 14, 2011 at 1:38 AM | Permalink

      You forgot one:

      5. I will contact gene ASAP and get him to delete those emails.

  27. Rhoda Ramirez
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    Iain, Mann’s behavior in the past coupled with the extremely weasle worded Penn State report certainly supported the speculation that Mann deleted something. To a large extent, Mann is the author of his own problems by his behavior. Frankly based on his past actions, going all the way back to the dendro studies, Mann has, in my eyes, lost the right to be given the benefit of the doubt.

    The Penn State reviewers stated that Mann gave them his emails, for instance, but give no indication that they verified (throught contact with their IT people) that these were complete. Where they? Who knows, we certainly don’t know and (sadly) I’n not sure the Penn State reviewers know. The behavior of the UVA puts some doubt on that.

    We believe as a culture that it’s up to the accusers to provide proof of malfeascence. This is true up to a point then the situation flips and it’s up to the accued to prove the accusers wrong. Mann and the rest of the AGW crowd are in the mode although I don’t think they’re aware of it yet.

  28. Steven Mosher
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    The other thing to note is this is not the FIRST request Jones makes to mann to delete things.
    Jones believes that mann will not object to the request.

    • Al Gored
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

      Did not know that, but suspected that. What other such request did he make?

  29. Stephen Brown
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    My comment on WUWT is copied hereunder.

    The very first lesson one learns when investigating or prosecuting a case is to ask short, simple questions. This way there in no opportunity for the one answering to obfuscate, prevaricate, ‘carefully speak’ or otherwise avoid giving a complete answer.
    Those making queries of Mann must have known this but they insisted on asking lengthy, complex questions to which only lengthy and complex answers would have sufficed. Mann apparently gave terse, simple answers which appeared to satisfy his inquisitors but which did NOT satisfactorily answer the questions posed.
    Therein lies the crux of the various problems being aired in this thread.
    I am firmly of the opinion that the complex questions posed to Mann were deliberately framed in that fashion so as to give what is commonly termed ‘wiggle room’ when giving an answer. The same ‘wiggle room’ permitted the inquisitors to state that their questions had been answered to their satisfaction and thus proclaim that their investigation had discovered nothing untoward.
    It is thus that the pre-determined outcome of this particular investigation was achieved with the verisimilitude of honesty.

  30. Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    If Mann had provided his emails to the Penn State investigators, wouldn’t have seen the email that he had forwarded to Wahl? Mann did provide those emails, or did he? From the report:

    “On January 15, 2010, and on behalf of the inquiry committee, Dr. Foley conveyed via email an additional request of Dr. Mann, who was asked to produce all emails related to the fourth IPCC report (“AR4”), the same emails that Dr. Phil Jones had suggested that he delete.
    On January 18, 2010, Dr. Mann provided a zip-archive of these emails and an explanation of their content.”

  31. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    ***…it’s possible…the Penn State Inquiry was negligent rather than dishonest. ***

    Now we need another “independent” inquiry to find Penn state was not negligent, but made an honest error.

  32. John Trigge
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    In the email from Jones to Mann, it includes:

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

    Mann responds with:

    “laughable that CA would claim to have discovered the problem.”

    Do you have any comments on their use of “THE problem” rather than “A problem” as, to my reading, this smacks of them knowing there was a known problem with the Nature paper rather that they were hoping no-one would find? Alternatively, I could be becoming a little paranoid about anything these 2 and others might say.

  33. Daniel
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    I’m just wondering why Mann said this awkward phrase ‘known for one and a half year’.

    perhaps, it’s difficult to live in a ‘reconstructed world’ where you have to express only half of the truth, and suppress the other half – a sort of clandestinity – for such a long time ; after some time, it becomes difficult not to make a gross mistake ; here we are !

    now, it’s up to Penn State to be at stake…in the eye of the cyclon ?

  34. MikeN
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    What is in the … in Mann’s response?

  35. Dr Mo
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    Great! We now need an inquiry into the Penn State inquiry!

  36. ferd berple
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    Steve, checking your site, this add is playing 1/2 the times I visit, right under your lead story. Is this accidental or is Google pusing this specific add to your site for political purposes? Might be worth a check. Seems strange that it would appear so often.

    Ads by Google

    The Daily Climate
    Michael Mann exonerated. Climate science prevails, again.
    http://www.DailyClimate.org

    • Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

      Karma.

    • BT Harley
      Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

      ferd berple
      this is the ad currently showing on my browser…fair and balanced? LOL
      Ads by Google
      Video: Catastrophe Denied
      The Science of the Climate Skeptic Position. Free 90-minute Movie.
      http://www.Climate-Skeptic.com

  37. pesadia
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    Finding 2. “After careful consideration of all the evidence and relevant materials, the inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence that Dr. Mann had ever engaged in, or participated in, directly or indirectly, any actions with intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails”
    I find the phrase “There exists no credible evidence” to be a statement of fact. Had they said that they had found no evidence,then perhaps they could be forgiven.
    It would appear that evidence does exist in spite of their assertion and therin lies their problem.

  38. Neil Fisher
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    Even people you would expect to know better have asked me to act unethically and then apologised for even asking when I pointed out it would be unethical for me to do as they ask. It was in their interest for me to act they way they wanted and they should (and I suspect did) know that what they were asking was unethical, but they asked anyway. But regardless of the ethics of asking someone else to act unethically, it certainly appears that UVA was, at best, careless in their investigation. It certainly appears that they are about to be (or already have been) thrown under the bus by the rest of the team, and I can’t help wondering what the consequences for the Team’s previous solidarity such actions will have. Would you, as part of the Team and after watching colleges being thrown to the wolves when their rearguard actions to defend the faith were hit by the light of day, be inclined to bend the truth even the slightest in defense of another Team member? I most certainly would not, even if I thought such actions were ever warranted by the “big picture” or “take home message” (which I do not, but that’s another story).

  39. AusieDan
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Neil Fisher
    if you read “GroupThink” by Irving Janis, you will see that it is common for minor players to be thrown to the wolves, when the heat is really on the main players, who are reaching the begining of the endgame which leads on to disaster.

  40. AusieDan
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    When I first read the terms of the Pen State enquiry, I was overjoyed.

    There was only one outcome that could possibly, rationally come from the enquiry, then still to ensure.

    It seems that I was right.
    But that it is taking rather longer than I could have possibly imagined, for the rational ourcome to emerge.

  41. geo
    Posted Mar 10, 2011 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    I get they are climate scientists rather than political scientists. . . .but the lesson has been clear even in popular culture for about 40 years or so that the “cover up” is the killer. Learn it. Live it.

  42. EA
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

    It’s like a living version of the classic TV show “Yes, Prime Minister”. From one of the episodes:

    PM – A few years ago there was a security inquiry. Does the name Sir Jon Halstead ring a bell?

    Sir Humphrey – Yes, of course. In fact I had to conduct the inquiry myself virtually.

    PM – And you didn’t find evidence of anything incriminating?

    Sir Humphrey – Of course not. In the first place, John Halstead was one of us. We’d been friends for years.
    In the second place, the whole story was got at by the press.
    And in the third place, the whole object of internal security inquiries is to find no evidence.

    PM – Even if the security of the realm is at risk?

    Sir Humphrey – Prime Minister, if you really believe the security of the realm is at risk you send in the special branch.
    Government security inquiries are only used for killing press stories.
    They’re to enable the Prime Minister to stand up in the house and say “We’ve held a full inquiry, and there is no evidence to substantiate these charges.”

  43. Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 5:52 AM | Permalink

    Mr. McIntyre,

    On the previous thread you answered one of my points with this.

    Wahl’s statement that everything is in the public domain is untrue. The attachments to Wahl’s correspondence with Briffa were not in the Climategate dossier. I have an outstanding FOI request for these attachments. The UEA refused the request on the basis that they no longer possessed the documents. The UEA told the Parliamentary COmmittee that they had all the documents, so I’ve appealed to the ICO to find out which of their stories is the right one. Wahl has also refused consent for UEA to release correspondence.

    It may go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, we know of some of the documents yet to be released, but it is certainly possible that there is much more that we don’t know about, either from Mann at Penn State (+1 OT) or Wahl.

    It is incumbent on the next Penn State investigation to bring in the IT dept. and not trust the interviewee’s deliverables.

    • Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

      It really floors me that they would accept such a thing in the first place.

      “Please bring us all your emails so we can see if there is evidence of malfeasance.”

      “OK, here you go, that’s all of em. *wink wink*”

  44. Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 5:58 AM | Permalink

    Oh, and one more thing. Has anyone contacted Jeffrey Piccola yet to make sure he is aware of this?

    He stated this around January of 2010 when the Penn State inquiry was being launched:

    Pennsylvania State Senate Education Committee Chairman Jeffrey Piccola has already promised Penn State that if its investigation is a whitewash, he will do one that isn’t.

  45. Mac
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 6:41 AM | Permalink

    From the “RA-1O Final Investigation Report Involving Dr. Michael E, Mann The Pennsylvania State University June 4, 2010″

    ———————–

    Allegation 2: “Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones?”

    Decision 2: The Inquiry Committee determined there was no substance to this allegation and further investigation of this allegation was not warranted.

    —————–

    Standard of proof used by the Investigatory Committee: Preponderance a/the evidence (happen more likely than not or 51 % certainty).

    Level of intent considered by the Investigatory Committee: The Investigatory Committee considered various levels of intent in order of increasing severity from careless, to reckless, to knowingly, to intentional. These terms are defined as follows:

    Careless – a reasonable person would not have known better or honest error this is not considered research misconduct.

    Reckless – a reasonable person should have known better.

    Knowingly – a reasonable person knew better but did it anyway.

    Intentional – a reasonable person knew better but did it anyway with the intent to deceive.

    ——————

    The Inquiry Committee members asked occasional follow-up questions. Dr. Mann answered each question carefully:

    He (Mann) stated that he never deleted emails at the behest of any other scientist, specifically including Dr. Phil Jones, and that he never withheld data with the intention of obstructing science; and
    he stated that he never engaged in activities or behaviors that were inconsistent with accepted academic practices.

    ——————

    Mann’s statements to Eli Kintisch were:

    “I felt Eugene Wahl had to be aware of this e-mail … it could be used against him. I didn’t delete any e-mails and nor did I tell Wahl to delete any e-mails.”

    “This has been known for a year and a half that all I did was forward Phil’s e-mail to Eugene.

    ——————

    Since it is 100% certain that others knew that Mann had forwarded Jone’s email request to Wahl, a request that Wahl later revealed he had carried out in full, what level of intent should have Penn State ascribed to Mann’s actions if they themselves already knew (there was substance to the allegation)?

    Was what Mann did careless or reckless, and/or was it knowingly or intentionally done?

  46. Mac
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    I think one of the key phrases used by Penn State was, “The Inquiry Committee determined there was no substance to this allegation.”

    The allegation was wide-ranging in its scope and depth. You could call it a catch-all allegation.

    If the Inquiry Committee did NOT know that Mann had forwared the email and that it was acted upon by Wahl it could have determined on that basis there was ‘no’ substance to the allegation.

    If they Inquiry Committee knew that Mann had forwarded the email and knew too it had been acted upon it could have determined that there was ‘little’ or ‘significant’ substance to the allegation.

    However, it is very, very difficult to come to the determination that there was ‘no’ substance to the allegation if the Inquiry Committee had known all along that Mann had forwarded the email and that Wahl had indeed deleted emails in response.

    That determination raises the same questions about the various level of intent that Penn State had set themselves to judge Mann.

    Did the Inquiry Committee behave in a careless, reckless, knowingly or intentional manner in finding that there was ‘no’ substance to this allegation?

  47. Mac
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 7:47 AM | Permalink

    I would add there is difference between the definition of ‘no substance’ and ‘no credible evidence’ as used by Penn State Inquiry committee.

    In this context;

    No substance means no material evidence.

    No credible evidence means evidence that cannot be believed in.

    The admissions by Mann and Wahl highlight that the evidence was substantial and credible, there was nothing circumstantial or anecdotal about the evidence that was, or should have been, presented to the Inquiry Committee.

    This issue is all about the question of intent.

  48. DCA
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    “This has been known for a year and a half that all I did was forward Phil’s e-mail to Eugene.”

    Steve Mac says: “Let’s grant Mann a little literary license on the “year and half”.

    According to the time line, the emails were made public in Nov of ‘09 (16 months) and the PSU inquiry wasn’t until Feb ‘10(13 mo.). Mann’s “year and half” (18 mo.) is a lenient “literary license”.

    Mann must be using the “known” time to be the leak and not the inquiry. Is Mann assuming (or know) that the PSU investigators read the emails at the time of the leak or is this another example of exaggeration as in most of his math?

    13 mo. +- 5 mo. = 18 mo or “year and half”

  49. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    Staying on the Penn State inquiry here I guess the only point left to discuss would be given the digging of SteveM and putting it all in context by RossM, why did the Penn State Inquiry rule and explain as they did.

    I am going to put forth the argument that Penn State was never going to do the investigation and analysis that bloggers such as MM are capable of doing because they (MM) are in better position to do the job by way of motivation and more capable perhaps by being sharper than those at Penn State doing the inquiry. What the defenders of Mann want to look past is also what probably hindered and limited the Penn State inquiry and that is that we can draw ethical and advocacy bias conclusions from learning what Mann did without having to make “official” judgments on what the consequences might entail for Mann. I think those of us who are truly concerned with the output of some climate scientists are much more interested in the looking at ethical and potential advocacy biases of the matter than seeing Mann punished or reprimanded. That is what can be done in the blogosphere that is not readily accomplished in even prestigious institutions, i.e. look at the evidence and judge it without any official threats to Mann and his career.

  50. Max_OK
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    There’s a lot of speculation about Mann’s “intent” in forwarding Jones’ email to Wahl. Obviously, Mann’s intent was for Wahl to see it. Beyond that, only Mann knows his intent.

    • KnR
      Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

      But Mann was aware of the intent of the e-mails content , as seen in his concern it did not just pass it on , but read and understood it .

      • Max_OK
        Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

        So what?

        • curious
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

          I think it is pretty clear his intent wasn’t to discourage Gene from deleting any emails.

        • Max_OK
          Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

          curious, you don’t know what his intent was.

        • Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 5:22 AM | Permalink

          Re: Max_OK (Mar 11 21:56),

          Mann received a request to delete emails in a certain category and to pass on the message to Wahl.

          Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same?

          Mann agreed to this request.

          I’ll contact Gene about this ASAP.

          Mann now admits sending the request to Wahl and Wahl admits deleting email in a certain category based on receipt of this request.

          The logical contortions of people who claim we cannot understand that Mann’s intent was to follow Jones’s instructions which he said he would do. And then did it, and then Wahl followed the passed on instructions which Jones asked Mann to pass on and Mann said he would pass on to Wahl, so Wahl could follow the instructions that Mann passed on to him as he told Jones that he would.

          But we just too stooooopid to realize that Mann really wanted Wahl to do the exact opposite of the instructions he sent, which he said he would send when asked if he would send them.

        • JohnH
          Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

          Neither do you so why do you state ‘Mann’s intent was for Wahl to see it’, if Mann only wanted to see it he would and should have added a comment saying for instance ‘Sent this so you are aware of its existance but its best not to take any action’ . That he didn’t say anything do show he had more intent but was also cute enough to know it would be a defence later if it came out.

  51. francois
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    (…What did they know? Who cares? Does it make any difference in the actual figures? Could we please see yours, which we have been waiting for for ages? With some scientific explanations, if possible.

  52. golf charley
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    The competence of Penn State is in question, and they do not appear to be doing anything about it.

    This does nothing to restore confidence in their competence

  53. W F Lenihan
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    I recall reading that CRU was partially funded during the relevant period by NSF or some other form of US Government grants. If so, CRU research and its interface with Mann, Schmidt et al should make all concerned accountable for potential misuse of funds and/or research fraud.

    No one seems to be investigating this aspect of Climategate and hide the decline.

  54. Ron Cram
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    I remember the Penn State newspaper ran some stories about the initial inquiry. Have they run any stories since the story broke about Wahl deleting emails?

  55. Max_OK
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    Suppose my wife and I are dining out, and before going to the powder room, she asks me to tell the waiter she wants a double Martini. I pass her request on to the waiter, and she returns and drinks the Martini.

    I am subsequently questioned about passing on my wife’s request.

    Max, did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to order a double Martini as requested by your wife?

    Yes

    Max, was it your intent your wife order and drink a double Martini?

    No

    I see no problem here, providing my wife isn’t under age, or unless it’s one of many Martinis she has consumed that evening and I hand her the car keys.

    • RomanM
      Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

      At least, try to get the analogy straight.

      Your wife is Jones, you are Mann and the waiter is Wahl. Now, given this, your following statement does not fit the analogy at all:

      Max, was it your intent your wife order and drink a double Martini?

      Your intent was that the waiter follow your wife’s orders and bring her the drink, which you did induce the waiter to do, i.e. Mann got Wahl to comply with Jones’ original request. Had you wanted that not to occur, you would also have spoken to the waiter (thereby passing your wife’s request along because you must always obey your wife ;) ) to ignore that request and NOT bring the drink (which according to Mann he did not do).

      • Max_OK
        Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

        It’s not a good analogy, but here’s a better one.

        You( Wahl) and I (Mann) are doing lunch. While you are away from the table, the waiter (Jones) recommends a particular appetizer. When you return, I tell you what the waiter recommended. You order the appetizer, but I don’t.

        • Ron Cram
          Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

          If deleting emails was the equivalent of ordering an appetizer, Mann would not have complained that Jones’ request was inappropriate. Look at what Mann actually wrote and actually did.

          Mann’s email response to Jones showed no moral dilemma and no hesitation to comply. His actions (forwarding the email to Wahl) also indicate no moral dilemma and no hesitation. Mann’s ability to produce emails suspected of being deleted could have been produced from a memory stick (having been deleted from his work computer) since Keith Briffa was known to store deleted emails on a memory stick.

          Only after the affair is known did Mann complained that Jones’ request was wrong. If it was wrong, why would he forward the request?

        • Max_OK
          Posted Mar 13, 2011 at 12:03 AM | Permalink

          At the time, perhaps it didn’t occur to him the appetizer would be a problem.

          But enough analogy.

          Do you know for a fact that in forwarding Jones’ request, Mann’s intent was for Wahl to delete e-mails?

          Did Mann tell Wahl he agreed with Jones, so he was deleting e-mails, and Wahl should to?

        • Posted Mar 13, 2011 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

          It’s VERY clear from Mann’s response to Jones that yes, Mann’s intent was for Wahl to comply. He can say otherwise, but we have no evidence, contemporary with the email, that Mann had any other intent.

        • Max_OK
          Posted Mar 14, 2011 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

          Mann didn’t delete his own emails as Jones recommended, so why would he think Wahl should?

          Steve: Had Penn State done their job, they would have asked Mann what his intent was in sending the email to Wahl, cross-checked this against available information and opined on whether his explanation made sense to them.

          In addition, none of us knows whether Mann deleted his emails from his university computer or not. Penn State provided no specifics on these events. All we know for sure is that Mann was able to produce emails to the “inquiry”, but it’s been observed that it’s possible that Mann copied the emails onto a thumb drive and then deleted them from his university computer. We don’t know what steps the university took to verify whether the emails were complete.

        • sleeper
          Posted Mar 14, 2011 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

          Re: Max_OK (Mar 14 01:29),
          And your proof for that is?

        • Max_OK
          Posted Mar 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

          Anything is possible. However, suspicions aren’t evidence.

        • sleeper
          Posted Mar 14, 2011 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

          Re: Max_OK (Mar 14 12:03),
          Is it your suspicion that “Mann didn’t delete his own emails as Jones recommended…” or do you have evidence?

        • Max_OK
          Posted Mar 14, 2011 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

          I don’t suspect Mann did, nor do I suspect he didn’t. Now, If you suspect Mann did, what is your evidence?

          If you suspect or accuse a person of wrong-doing, the burden of proof is on you. That’s the American way.

  56. StuartR
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    “What Did Penn State Know?”

    I am in agreement with that question but also could rephrase as – what does an institution claim it is doing?

    I know I am editorialising, but the power of the concept of a “Univerity”, since when the concept originated in Europeans minds in the 12th century as a place of attributing worth on scholars and letting other scholars use that attribution without further reference back, to save time and minimise the ensuing warlike troubles ;)

    Seems to breaking down on a certain subject….

  57. StuartR
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    Oh.

    BTW I may have missed others saying this, but having this weird system where you have to have a plugin (and change it at random times) to understand what is going on on here, is the best rebuttal to anyone who says McIntyre is a glib shill.

    It is is rubbish and useless and no use at all…

    Why not go back to an easily understood linear system?

    Lead by example?

  58. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    An alternative interpretation of “inquiry committee finding is that there exists no credible evidence”
    might be that (a) it used to exist but exists no more; or (b) that the evidence was not “credible”, being hearsay. Of course, this does not explain some other evidence, but it could be a weasel word way out.

  59. Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    For the newbies or whatever, this is the strongest language I’ve read at CA toward any incident. It is also completely correct and from my own perspective of the ‘team’ completely consistent.

    There is little need for subtlety in this situation. Like the climategate chopping of data, we will know, knew, will reexperience in the future,, etc…

  60. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 11:37 PM | Permalink

    A reader emailed me reminding me of the following article in a Pittsburgh newspaper on Dec 3, 200910, referred to in CA comments at the time. The article was a few days after the Romm interview, where Mann had (as reported above) apparently left open the question of whether he had forwarded the emails:

    This was simply an email that was sent to me, and can in no way be taken to indicate approval of, let alone compliance with, the request. I did not delete any such email correspondences.

    The Pittsburgh interview stated:

    Mann said he did not delete e-mails and regrets that he did not reply to Jones with an e-mail telling him that was an inappropriate request.

    “It put us in an awkward position,” Mann said. Instead, Mann forwarded that e-mail to a colleague to alert him to what Jones wanted the scientists to do.

    While the closing sentence of the above excerpt is probably based on Mann’s comments in the interview, it is not a direct quotation and there is a possibility that it is the reporter’s interpretation of events.

    It doesn’t resolve the question of what the Penn State Inquiry knew or what Mann said to them. If Foley, Scaroni and Yekel knew that Mann had “forwarded that e-mail to a colleague [Wahl] to alert him to what Jones wanted the scientists to do” and that Wahl had responded to the “alert” by doing what Jones wanted (delete the emails), it was not open to them to make Finding 2.

  61. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    A CA reader sent me the following interesting case US v Frank Quattrone – which I’ll try to discuss in a separate post. It discusses circumstances in which passing on what, in many circumstances, would be a legitimate deletion request, escalated into a very serious situation.

    The case was pre-Sarbanes Oxley. (Sarbanes Oxley added some language that may toughen the law further.)

    Discussion of obstruction cases here

    Judgement of the 2nd Circuit appeal here.

    I do not want readers to make a lot of piling on comments. I am more interested in comments from readers with legal backgrounds.

    • Rattus Norvegicus
      Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

      Steve,

      This case had to do with out and out fraud. And Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted in 2002 this decision was handed down in 2006. Furthermore in the case of Wahl’s actions Sarbanes-Oxley is a red herring. It does not apply to privately held entities (which BTW, are not subject to US FOIA law, much less UK FOIA law).

      So quit with the crappy arguments. You’ve been arguing for a long time that standards applied to business (you used to cite Bre-X all the time) or engineering (which seems rather odd, since engineering is applied science and actual science is at the cutting edge and therefore might be wrong) should apply to science as an enterprise. Do you really want to see fraud cases brought against scientists who make mistakes or push the results of knowledge and point to new directions for research?

      As far as I can tell, especially given recent revelations about the financial crisis, the standards of business ethics are considerably lower than those of science. Check out what is going on with the foreclosure crisis in the US, especially what banks are doing in the name of MERS or the robo signing stuff. This is stuff that the largest publicly traded corporations in the US are trying to pull off yet nobody is going to jail for this crap. Are these really the business ethics you want to apply?

      Steve – you have, as on other occasions, misrepresented my position totally. I’ve often observed that some businessmen are unscrupulous and that’s why society has passed laws requiring full, true and plain disclosure and that breaches of the requirement of full, true and plain disclosure are often what society uses or should use to charge fraudulent conduct. I suspect that some U.S. financial institutions breached these laws and believe that it would be healthy for society if such breaches were investigated diligently.

      I do not understand why you want scientists to adhere to the lowest possible standard of conduct.

    • JohnH
      Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

      I am not a lawyer but reading through the 2 links the appeals worked for Quattrone & Annderson because of a technicality.

      On appeal, the Second Circuit held that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions, but that the jury instructions were fatally flawed.

      In both cases the Jury was not advised correctly ie that they had to find that Quattrone the defendant must have acted “knowingly corruptly,” which, the Court held, means with “conscious of wrongdoing.”

      For criminal liability to be imposed upon a defendant who directs others to destroy documents, the “defendant must know that his corrupt actions ‘are likely to affect the proceeding.’”

      So an investigation using these cases as guidelines would not only have to find the email had been sent to Mann to Wahl but also that Mann knew he was doing wrong.

      So should an investigation look at a blank forwarded email together with Manns reply to Jones as saying it was forwarded with knowledge it was wrong.

      In my opinion both emails together say Yes.

      So does a blank forwarded email

      • oneuniverse
        Posted Mar 15, 2011 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

        If the Dec. 3 2009 Pittsburgh interview is an accurate account, Mann was aware, when he received Jones’ deletion request, that the request was inappropriate. Mann’s defense appears to be that the request was so clearly inappropriate that he assumed no further comment was required when forwarding to Wahl – [he incorrectly assumed that] Wahl would see things from the same high ethical perspective as himself, and would therefore not comply with the delete request. ie. Mann is pleading reckless incompetence.

        Mann’s known actions, however, show only co-operation with Jones’ request to delete the correspondence – he replied in the affirmative to Jones’ request, and passed on the request to Wahl without any dissenting commentary.

  62. Rattus Norvegicus
    Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    I would suspect that they interviewed Mann, not Wahl who was not a subject of the investigation. What Wahl did is immaterial.

    • Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

      Since Mann apparently refused to do so, Wahl would have been able to tell them whether Mann added any more to the forwarded email, which would also go towards intent. Totally material.

      • Rattus Norvegicus
        Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

        And why would Mann deny something that he obviously did? It is in the email afterall. And they did interview Mann. It is in the report.

        What planet do you live on?

        • Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 2:45 AM | Permalink

          See Steve’s excerpts from Mann’s statements above. Clearly evasive, to someone who can read.

  63. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

    Does this interchange have elements of “participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones”? My record has a break after “China). The”.

    The key sentences are “The last thing you want to do is help them by
    feeding the fire. Best thing is to ignore them completely.” M. Mann.

    Mann suggests to ignore Keenan
    1177158252.txt

    From: “Kevin Trenberth”
    To: mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Subject: Re: FYI
    Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2007 08:24:12 -0600 (MDT)
    Reply-to: trenbert@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Cc: “Phil Jones” , “Ben Santer” santer1@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

    Hi Phil,

    This is all too predictable. This crowd of charlatans is always looking
    for one thing they can harp on, where people w/ little knowledge of the
    facts might be able to be convinced that there is a controversy. They
    can’t take on the whole of the science, so they look for one little
    thing they can say is wrong, and thus generalize that the science is
    entirely compromised. Of course, as nicely shown in the SPM, every
    landmass is independently warming, and much as the models predict. So
    they can harp all they want on one Chinese data set, it couldn’t
    possibly change the big picture (let alone even the trends for China). The

    So they are simply hoping to blow this up to something that looks like a
    legitimate controversy. The last thing you want to do is help them by
    feeding the fire. Best thing is to ignore them completely. They no
    longer have their friends in power here in the U.S., and the media has
    become entirely unsympathetic to the rants of the contrarians at least
    in the U.S.–the Wall Street Journal editorial page are about the only
    place they can broadcast their disinformation. So in other words, for
    contrarians the environment appears to have become very unfavorable for
    development. I would advise Wang the same way. Keenan may or may not be
    bluffing, but if he tries this I believe that British law would make it
    easy for Wang to win a defamation suit against him (the burden is much
    tougher in the states),

    mike
    …………………………………………

    Hi Phil
    I am sure you know that this is not about the science. It is an attack to
    undermine the science in some way. In that regard I don’t think you can
    ignore it all, as Mike suggests as one option, but the response should try
    to somehow label these guys and lazy and incompetent and unable to do the
    huge amount of work it takes to construct such a database.

    Kevin

  64. JS
    Posted Mar 12, 2011 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

    A reader emailed me reminding me of the following article in a Pittsburgh newspaper on Dec 3, 2010,

    ****************
    Typo – it was in 2009

    Steve - thanks. fixed.

  65. David44
    Posted Mar 16, 2011 at 2:10 AM | Permalink

    From finding 2.)
    “Further, Dr. Mann produced upon request a full archive of his emails in and around the time of the preparation of AR4. The archive contained e-mails related to AR4.”

    If Mann’s archive was indeed complete, the committee should have found his forward to Wahl of Jones’ email. Either it wasn’t complete or they didn’t look or they intentionally ignored it.

    • Iain McQueen
      Posted Mar 16, 2011 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

      Re: David44 (Mar 16 02:10),
      To David44 re;-
      “From finding 2.)
      “Further, Dr. Mann produced upon request a full archive of his emails in and around the time of the preparation of AR4. The archive contained e-mails related to AR4.”

      If Mann’s archive was indeed complete, the committee should have found his forward to Wahl of Jones’ email. Either it wasn’t complete or they didn’t look or they intentionally ignored it.”

      Well did he send them all? He made his own zip file we are told. Perhaps it was a little selective?

      • OldUnixHead
        Posted Mar 16, 2011 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

        Remember, too, per DavidS (Mar 10 10:59 am), above, and our host somewhere else, that the “delete AR4 emails” email happened about a year and a half after “in and around the time of the preparation of AR4″.

        • Iain McQueen
          Posted Mar 16, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

          Re: OldUnixHead (Mar 16 15:44),
          Yeah
          I hadn’t realized that time gap, but remain deeply suspicious PSU enquiry had very selected info from Mann.
          The more so now that you point this out and compare with
          “From finding 2.)
          “Further, Dr. Mann produced upon request a full archive of his emails in and around the time of the preparation of AR4. The archive contained e-mails related to AR4.”

5 Trackbacks

  1. By Top Posts — WordPress.com on Mar 11, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    [...] What Did Penn State Know? In an interview yesterday, Mann told Eli Kintisch of Science (see here) that it has been “known for a year and half” [...] [...]

  2. By What Did Penn State Know? « Bee Auditor on Mar 24, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    [...] Source: http://climateaudit.org/2011/03/10/what-did-penn-state-know/ [...]

  3. [...] [...]

  4. By Deep Throat at Penn State « Climate Audit on Nov 15, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    [...] Committee didn’t do their job, but pointed me to different reasons than those discussed in an earlier post on the [...]

  5. [...] problem with this is Mann told investigators at his place of employment, Pennsylvania State University, that he did not tell others to delete emails. Now his explanation [...]

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