Maxim Lott of Fox News has an interesting article drawing attention to the co-opting of US Department of Energy funders by CRU and their associates – co-opting in the sense that the US Department of Energy totally failed to ensure that their grant procedures complied with US federal policy for requiring grantees to archive data.
In the article, Lott quoted extensively from Jones’ emails between 2007 and 2009 in which he assured correspondents that the US Department of Energy had assured him that he didn’t have to archive data:
Making that case in 2009, the then-head of the Research Unit, Dr. Phil Jones, told colleagues repeatedly that the U.S. Department of Energy was funding his data collection — and that officials there agreed that he should not have to release the data.
“Work on the land station data has been funded by the U.S. Dept of Energy, and I have their agreement that the data needn’t be passed on. I got this [agreement] in 2007,” Jones wrote in a May 13, 2009, email to British officials, before listing reasons he did not want them to release data.
Two months later, Jones reiterated that sentiment to colleagues, saying that the data “has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.”
A third email from Jones written in 2007 echoes the idea: “They are happy with me not passing on the station data,” he wrote.
I was contacted by Lott and drew his attention to correspondence in 2005 between Warwick Hughes and the US Department of Energy, which was reported at CA in October 2005 here. Earlier in February 2005, Jones had famously refused Warwick Hughes as follows:
Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. There is IPR to consider
In my October 2005 post, I reported Hughes’ email to Tom Boden of the US Department seeking Jones’ data, together with Boden’s response advising Hughes that the terms of Jones’ grant did not require him to provide the funding agency with the data. Curiously, in the early 1990s, under earlier Department of Energy contracts, Jones had provided the US Department of Energy with a complete station data base which was published online by the DOE. (The University of East Anglia has never provided any theory of how alleged confidentiality agreements from the 1980s remained “actionable” given that Jones had either not been prevented by these agreements from providing station data to the US Department of Energy for their online publication or had done so without complaint by the NMSs at the time.)
The October 2005 post is well worth re-reading as it reviews US federal policy which would appear to have required the DOE to ensure that grantee CRU archived data. It also quotes policy from UNFCCC which also clearly required NMSs to have ensured that a system for archiving station data was established. The position of Nature and other defenders of CRU as justified due to elusive confidentiality agreements entails that IPCC participants who rely on these supposed agreements have failed to live up to these UNFCCC obligations. In my opinion, Jones, in his capacity as IPCC AR4 Coordinating Lead Author, ought to have reported such NMS consent refusals to IPCC participants as breaches of UNFCCC commitments. Jones’ failure to do so is hard to separate from his expressed desire as CRUtem proprietor to prevent critics (for reasons that remain unclear) from examining this data.
In my October 2005 post, I wondered at the tactical wisdom (from the Team’s standpoint) at obstructing access to this (and other) data, noting then (as on numerous subsequent occasions) that I did not necessarily anticipate large changes in the temperature history, but equally, given the wide public interest, why the record should not be made available for scrutiny.