Stocker’s Earmarks

In December, the WG1 TSU of the IPCC sent me a formal notice asking me to remove Climate Audit discussion of the IPCC Zero Draft. In this notice, they stated:

It has come to our attention that several Chapters of the Zero Order Draft (ZOD) of WGI AR5 are being cited, quoted and discussed on the blog that you host, Climate Audit, despite the fact that each of these chapters is clearly marked “Do not cite, quote or distribute”. We would respectfully request that you remove the relevant parts with discussions of the ZOD from your blog and, furthermore, that this does not happen with the FOD.

I’ve been mulling over how to respond. I was not a reviewer of the Zero Draft and had not made any personal agreements with IPCC as a condition of receipt. I had registered as a First Draft reviewer but have not downloaded any documents in this capacity as yet.

In preparing a response, I’d been wondering what authority, if any, was possessed by WG1 or its TSU that entitled it to require or request removal of this discussion from Climate Audit. I’d looked at IPCC Policies and Procedures in connection with previous CRU requests. The procedures used in AR4 (see here) had said that the “review process should be objective, open and transparent” and did not contain any language that specifically granted authority to the TSU of a Working Group to prohibit discussion in public of its draft reports. If anything, the overriding objectives of openness and transparency would seem to support such discussion – a process that seems entirely healthy to me and one that would actually enhance the IPCC.

It turns out that Phil Jones and Thomas Stocker, Co-Chair of AR5 WG1, both agreed with my interpretation of IPCC rules on this point i.e. that the Working Groups lacked specific IPCC authority to insist on confidentiality of their drafts, and that they had, behind the scenes, taken steps to change IPCC rules to authorize Working Groups to do so. Jones’ initial contacts with Stocker on this matter are documented in Climategate 2 and arose from Jones’ reading of Climate Audit posts advocating openness and transparency by IPCC – efforts that both Jones and Stocker opposed.

I only became aware of their actions recently as a result of an IPCC cease-and-desist letter to Galloping Camel, which had posted an excellent collection of WG1 and WG2 sources. To my considerable surprise, the IPCC letter to Galloping Camel contained a quotation from IPCC Policies and Procedures here (bolded below) that contained an endorsement of confidentiality that was absent in the AR4 polices. They wrote:

The IPCC Procedures in Article 4.2 of the Principles Governing IPCC Work state that “The IPCC considers its draft reports, prior to acceptance, to be pre-decisional, provided in confidence to reviewers, and not for public distribution, quotation or citation.” (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles-appendix-a-final.pdf). We therefore request the immediate removal of the ZOD chapters from your website.

This language was definitely not in the AR4 version. Indeed the document linked in the Galloping Camel letter was time stamped January 10, 2012(!). When had the new language been introduced? And by what authority? Tracing the language led to a remarkable story.

The language was almost singlehandedly introduced by Stocker (after being involved by Phil Jones.) Complicating Stocker’s efforts to obtain official sanction for enhanced confidentiality was the lack of interest in this topic by the Interacademy Panel, which had been commissioned by IPCC to review its policies and procedures. Not only did its report not contain the recommendations sought by Stocker and Phil Jones, it re-iterated the importance of openness and transparency. Nor had the language sought by Stocker been recommended in any of the numerous documents on IPCC procedures up to the second week of April 2011, less than four weeks before Stocker’s language was adopted at the Abu Dhabi IPCC meeting in May 2011.

Despite these obstacles, Stocker emerged from the IPCC plenary with his objective. It’s a long story.

Prequel

On May 11, 2009, I reported my request for CRUTEM station data from the Met Office. In a comment, David Holland noted that the AR5 Working Group 1 TSU was in Switzerland and that Switzerland was in the process of adopting the Aarhus Convention on freedom of information.

Jones read this comment and became worried about the prospect of IPCC being subject to the Aarhus Convention. Jones immediately emailed Stocker (May 12 – 4778)

subject: Data access and IPCC
Dear Thomas,
I hope you are enjoying your new job! Apologies in advance for upsetting your morning! Below there is a link to Climate Audit and their new thread with another attempt to gain access to the CRU station temperature data. I wouldn’t normally bother about this – but will deal with the FOI requests when they come. Despite WMO Resolution 40, I’ve signed agreements not to pass on some parts of the CRU land station data to third parties.

If you click on the link below and then on comments, look at # 17. [here] This refers to a number of appeals a Brit has made to the Information Commissioner in the UK. You can see various UK Universities and MOHC listed. For UEA these relate to who changed what and why in Ch 6 of AR4. We are dealing with these, but I wanted to alert you to few sentences about Switzerland, your University and AR5.

Having been through numerous of these as a result of AR4, I suspect thatsomeone will have a go at you at some point. What I think they might try later is the same issue:
Who changed what and why in various chapters of AR5?
and
When drafts of chapters come for AR5, we can’t review the chapter as we can’t get access to the data, or, the authors can’t refer to these papers as the data haven’t been made available for audit.

Neither of these is what I would call Environmental Information,as defined by the Aarhus Convention. You might want to check with the IPCC Bureau. I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process. Hard to do, as not everybody will remember to do it.

I also suspect that as national measures to reduce emissions begin to affect people’s lives, we are all going to get more of this. We can cope with op-ed pieces, but these FOI requests take time, as the whole process of how we all work has to be explained to FOI-responsible people at each institution.
Keep up the good work with AR5!
Cheers
Phil

Jones also notified Peter Thorne of the Met Office that he had alerted Stocker to Holland’s comment.

The next day, Stocker (May 13 – 4378) replied, telling Jones (cc Pauline Midgeley) that allowing access to climate data under laws prescribing “open access to environmental data” would be a “perversion” (Stocker would have been an interesting witness in the EPA case, where an opposite position was taken by IPCC supporters):

subject: Re: Data access and IPCC
Dear Phil (cc to Pauline Midgley, Head TSU WGI)
Thank you very much for bringing this to my attention. I knew about this when the first requests were placed on John Mitchell and Keith Briffa and they informed us. What I did not know is that they have already placed their focus on Bern (# 17)!

At that time I argued that in principle there are two interests to balance: (i) FOI, and (ii) your own privacy when it comes to opening emails or other mail. Obviously, I am not in the position to judge which one obtains and in fact I think a court would be needed to establish
exactly that balance.

However, the Arhus Resolution, it seems to me, had another motivation: open access to environmental data associated with damage, spills, pollution; the latter word is mentioned twice – “climate” never. So to take this convention and turn it around appears to me like a perversion. One important point to consider is whether Arhus really applies to the IPCC activities. In no way are we involved in decision making. We assess and provide scientific information. The decision makers are elsewhere.

More than ever need we be aware of this separation! We will discuss this in the TSU but then, this should be brought to the level of the Secretariat, at least, since it affects the very basis of our assessment work.
Thanks again and best regards,
Thomas

A couple of weeks later, Jones wrote Santer and Wigley (May 22 – 2135)

They have found out that Switzerland has agreed to but not yet ratified some Environmental Information Regulations (Aarhus Convention), so are probably looking to have a go at the University of Bern and Thomas Stocker at somepoint. Never thought I would know so much about the Law!

Climate Audit Submission to EPA

On June 23, 2009, I posted up my submission to EPA. (Re-reading this submission, I thought that it has held up well.) The submission observed that neither EPA peer review procedures in the Endangerment Study nor IPCC peer review procedures complied with US federal standards for “highly influential scientific assessments or with EPA’s own procedures and policies. (Last year, the EPA Inspector General reported on part of this topic – EPA made the embarrassing argument that the Endangerment Study was not a “highly influential scientific assessment” and therefore did not have to comply with these federal standards. In their defence, EPA argued that it was IPCC that was the “highly influential scientific assessment” – an argument which made it all the more important for IPCC to exceed US standards if IPCC reports were to be used as authority for important policies.)

In my EPA submission, I documented various forms of non-compliance by IPCC, commenting at CA as follows”

Indeed, the various discussions that we’ve had over the past months over IPCC’s amorphous legal status – i.e. IPCC participants having dual status as government employees, with their IPCC affiliation being applied to yield a cone of darkness over activities which would be subject to FOI if they were “merely” government employees.

Evasion of transparency has been a long-running concern of this site and I’ve used this comment opportunity to place this and related concerns on the record.

The following day (June 24 – 2440), Jones sent a copy of my submission to Stocker and Midgeley. Jones did not suggest to Stocker that this was a carefully reasoned submission and that they should look closely at criticisms of IPCC transparency and reflect on whether they might be able to improve its processes so that they exceeded US standards:

subject: Re: Data access and IPCC
to: Thomas Stocker , wg1
Dear Thomas,
Attached is a document that you should only bother to look at it you have time to spare – stuck on a train or long flight. It is a submission by a skeptic to EPA in the USA. [http://climateaudit.org/2009/06/23/climate-audit-submission-to-epa/] I’m sending it only for background. I wouldn’t want this issue to be raised at the Venice meeting, but I think you’ll likely to become more aware these people as AR5 advances. I was in Boulder last week and I spoke to Susan. We agreed that the only way IPCC can work is the collegiate way it did with AR4.
These people know they are losing (or have lost) on the science. They are now going for the process. All you need to do is to make sure all in AR5 are aware of the process and that they adhere to it. We all did with AR4, but these people read much more into the IPCC procedures.
See you in Venice
Phil

Stocker’s acknowledgement (June 24 – 4899) said that he was working on the problem:

subject: Re: Data access and IPCC
to: Phil Jones

Thanks Phil. We have not be inactive here at the TSU. I have approached a number of colleagues with the problem and expect more indications in the next few weeks to come. I hope that I will be able to have a clear view on the way forward by the time we think of nominations and when we like to inform our potential LAs and CLAs. Thanks and best regards and ’till Venice,
Thomas

On July 15 (1526), Tim Osborn of CRU wrote to Stocker seeking support from IPCC against David Holland’s assertions that IPCC policies required them to be “open” and “transparent”.

On July 29 (Climategate 1- 991. 1248902393.txt), Jones wrote Peterson of NOAA saying that he had persuaded Stocker and the IPCC Secretariat to raise FOI issues with the IPCC Plenary in the next IPCC meeting (Bali):

I have got the IPCC Secretariat and Thomas to raise the FOI issues with the full IPCC Plenary, which meets in Bali in September or October. Thomas [Stocker] is fully aware of all the issues we’ve had here wrt Ch 6 last time, and others in the US have

Despite Jones’ optimism about Bali, the Bali IPCC Plenary session doesn’t appear to have done anything to implement Jones and Stocker’s secrecy ambitions.


The Interacademy Report

In March 2010, in response to Climategate, the IPCC commissioned a report from the Interacademy Council, the terms of reference of which specifically included a “review IPCC procedures for preparing reports”.

This was the forum that Stocker should have submitted his concerns about enhancing confidentiality in the Working Groups. Did he do so? At present, I don’t know. If he didn’t, he should have. If he did, the IAC disregarded his recommendations as, in the final IAC report, which appeared in late August 2010, there is nothing that comes close to a recommendation along the lines that Stocker sought.

On the contrary, the IAC Report re-iterated the position that processes and procedures be “as transparent as possible”:

it is essential that the processes and procedures used to produce assessment reports be as transparent as possible.

Transparency is an important principle for promoting trust by the public, the scientific community, and governments. Interviews and responses to the Committee’s questionnaire revealed a lack of transparency in several stages of the IPCC assessment process, including scoping and the selection of authors and reviewers, as well as in the selection of scientific and technical information considered in the chapters.

Nowhere did the IAC report recommend the sort of additional confidentiality sought by Stocker and Phil Jones.


Busan IPCC Meeting, October 2010

At the first IPCC meeting after the IAC report (Busan, October 2010) (see here), the IPCC stated that it “agreed to implement many of the recommendations immediately. On others, the Panel decided to form four Task Groups to undertake further work intersessionally, with a view to completing work on the IAC recommendations at the Panel’s next session.”

One of the four Task Groups was the Task Group on Procedures, the terms of reference of which were to examine the IAC recommendations and, for each of the issues, propose implementation, including amendments to the IPCC Policies and Procedures (Appendix A):

The Task Group should address the issues listed below as mentioned in the IAC recommendations (Chapters 2 and 3), IPCC responses at its 32nd Session and IPCCXXXII/Doc. 22. For each of the issues the Task Group should establish a timetable for action, consider resource implications and identify responsibilities for implementation. It should propose amendments to the Appendix A to the Principles Governing IPCC Work and relevant guidance documents if needed taking into account decisions made at IPCC-XXXII.

Geneva, February 2011

The IPCC Task Groups met in Geneva in February 2011 to review progress. The provisional report of the Task Group on Procedures is available here, included in an April 2011 document.

Sections 2-10 of this report discussed issues within their terms of reference i.e. arising from recommendations of the IAC panel. In addition, they included an “Addendum” discussing issues that did not arise from the IAC panel – an initiative that appears to have been opposed by some members, introduced as follows:

To some extent the Task Group also discussed some suggestions that were related to the IAC report recommendations but may be viewed as being not strictly within the mandate given by the 32nd session of the IPCC. The Task Group considered these suggestions useful for further discussion and includes them in this document under the Addendum “Issues for further discussion on Procedures” (section 11 of this document).. Please note that this addendum does not reflect any consensus by the Task Group.

The introduction to the Addendum (see page 10) re-iterated that the issues in the Addendum fell outside the mandate of the Task Group and did not reflect a consensus:

11. Addendum: Issues for further discussion on Procedures page 10
11.1 Introduction
The Task Group noted that a number of issues were raised by Task Group members that maybe viewed as being not strictly within the mandate given by the 32nd session of the IPCC. However, the Task Group considered these issues useful for further discussion as part of an effort to further improving clarity of the Procedures, and the transparency and quality of the assessment process.

Please note that this Addendum does not reflect any consensus from the Task Group discussions at their meeting in Geneva 1-4 February 2011. The reviewers of this document may wish to give their viewpoints on the issues and thoughts below.

Section 11.3 of the Addendum contained a comment on confidentiality that was the first small wedge for the Jones-Stocker secrecy language. It stated that saying that guidance “may be needed” on citation of draft reports and “other documentation” “without contradicting the needed transparency and openness”. (Watch as this language morphs.)

11.3 Review process (sections 4.1 and 4.2 of the Procedures)

Confidentiality
Clear guidance may be needed on what the rules are for citation/publication of draft reports and other documentation during drafting and review and how the draft report need to be kept confidential without contradicting the needed transparency and openness, while different versions of the draft should be accessible after the completion of the report.
….

On February 9, 2011, this draft (with this very vague and buried reference to confidentiality) was circulated to governments with a four week period for review (see here). Invitations to the forthcoming meeting in Abu Dhabi were sent on Feb 23 by IPCC to governments and NGOs, together with a provisional agenda, item 5 of which was “Review of IPCC Processes and Procedures”.

Review comments on the “Geneva Draft” report are here, presumably dating from early March as scheduled. They include comments from both governments and Thomas Stocker (whose input is described as authorized under “P-32″).

No government commented that the TSUs needed greater powers to restrict discussion of draft reports. However, Stocker complained (see page 145; repeated on page 163 for good measure) that the Task Group took a “rather strict” view of its mandate and “missed the opportunity” to tighten up secrecy provisions. Stocker’s comments in this document are the first appearance of the language later used in the letter to Galloping Camel.

(2) The TG Procedures took a rather strict view of its mandate and did not make recommendations on topics that were not raised by the IAC Review. This means that some necessary adjustments to the Principles and Procedures to address other important issues such as confidentiality were not properly developed. This is potentially a missed opportunity.

(3) The draft makes an exception for Topic 10 Guidance Notes, a topic not raised by the IAC Review. WGI proposes that another exception should be made for confidentiality, which is a topic of great importance that was also discussed by the TG during its meeting in Geneva in February 2011. It is mentioned in the Addendum under the review process but clear guidance on confidentiality is needed in a broader context. It is part of the basic way in which IPCC goes about its work and is a necessary requirement for authors to be able to have a free and frank exchange of views. Interim discussions and communications during the preparation and finalisation of the assessment are *pre-decisional* information. As such, these remain confidential and related documents are not public, nor should they be cited, quoted or distributed, as is standard IPCC practice to indicate this on all documents under review. The ability of the WGs to produce an independent and unbiased assessment would be threatened if
material that is in the nature of a draft and/or incomplete information to be further developed were to be released prematurely. It is increasingly clear that this needs to be specified in the Procedures, also showing that it does not contradict the current Principles of IPCC, which state that the assessment is carried out on a “comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis”.

Therefore WGI proposes moving this topic into the first part of the TG report, between Topics 3 and 4. The preceding text in this comment can serve as the basis for the TG consideration and the recommendation would be as follows:
“Section 4 of the Procedures should be amended to discuss the notion of the confidentiality of drafts and other interim documentation. Suggested text could be the following: “Drafts of the reports, interim discussions and communications, and other documentation created during the drafting and review process are considered pre-decisional materials and as such are confidential. Drafts and other documentation may not be cited, quoted or distributed. “”

(4) The Addendum is not very helpful as presented because it is not clear to a reader who was not part of the discussions in February 2011 in Geneva whether all these suggestions have a similar status in terms of degree of support, depth of discussion, etc. They are in fact highly variable and most of these suggestions will need to be discussed properly by the TG first. [Thomas Stocker, Cochair,WG I]


Stocker’s Earmark

As of early April 2011, a month before the IPCC was due to meet, the language long sought by Stocker and Phil Jones had not been recommended in any of the documents. It appears for the first time in a Report of the Task Group on Procedures included as Document 12 in the agenda for the Abu Dhabi meeting scheduled to begin on May 10.

Uniquely among the documents for the Abu Dhabi meeting, the online version of this document bears a time-stamp of May 12 (after the meeting); other documents linked from the agenda are dated April or earlier. It asked for government comments by May 5. This document was accompanied by a IPCC-XXXIII/INF. 1 , Review of the IPCC Processes and Procedures – Comments from Governments and IPCC Office Holders on the initial draft recommendations prepared by the Task Groups”.

Despite earlier concerns on the part of some members of the Task Group that they comply with their mandate to respond to IAC recommendations (which is what it was represented as having done to the IPCC plenary), in their revised report, the Task Group distinguished two classes of decision:

The Task Group on Procedures has dealt with two categories of proposed decisions:
I. Direct responses to IAC recommendations,
II. Indirect responses as a result of the IAC recommendations following the above mentioned
‘addendum’.

The language sought by Stocker was in section 6 bis4, the Task Group stated:

6bis 4 Confidentiality of draft reports
This issue was raised by the WG I co-chairs. Given the upcoming finalization of two Special Reports The Task Group deemed this issue important for consideration.

6bis 4.1 Task Group consideration
The Task Group noted that clear guidance is needed on what the rules are for the confidentiality of draft reports and other documentation during drafting and review. On one hand, there is a need for transparency and openness of the assessment process. On the other hand, publicizing drafts have serious drawbacks. There is a risk that drafts contain errors or statements that are still unbalanced and that have to be corrected at a later stage. These could prematurely circulate in the public domain, creating confusion, and that would be a bad service of IPCC to society. Therefore, the Task Group believes that drafts should be kept confidential until acceptance of the full report.

All drafts of IPCC assessment reports (including the final draft) will be considered to be confidential material, not for public distribution quotation, or citation until acceptance by the Panel of the final IPCC report. The first order draft, second order draft and the final draft, the expert and government review comments, and the author responses to those comments on both drafts will be made available on the IPCC open website on a clearly visible place, within xx weeks after the acceptance of the report by the Panel.

As always, one has to watch the pea. Stocker’s language was not an “indirect response” to IAC recommendations. Nor did it have anything to do with IAC. Stocker and Jones had sought to beef up rights of the Working Groups to demand confidentiality prior to the IAC report. Representing enhanced confidentiality as addressing an IAC recommendation was, so to speak, a “trick” (TM- climate science.)

Although the revised report of the Task Force (dated circa April 11) was distributed for comment, the distribution was very late in the process, less than a month before the IPCC meeting, and only one government (Netherlands) commented (in passing) on the language introduced by Stocker. See XXXIII/INF. 4 – Comments received from Governments and IPCC Office Holders by 6/05/2011 on the proposals by the Tasks Groups.

The only entity to comment at length on the language was Stocker himself. Stocker observed (accurately) that, despite its stated mandate of openness and transparency, “confidentiality is part of the basic way in which IPCC goes about its work”:

We are pleased that many of our comments on the draft in March were implemented in this proposal and in particular that the important point about confidentiality is now treated explicitly in section 6. Whilst this is clearly related to the review process, guidance on confidentiality is needed in a broader context, given that requests occur for access to working papers, emails, etc. Confidentiality is part of the basic way in which IPCC goes about its work and is a necessary requirement for authors to be able to have a free and frank exchange of views. Interim discussions and communications during the preparation and finalisation of the assessment are “pre-decisional” information. As such, these remain confidential and related documents are not public, nor should they be cited, quoted or distributed. It is standard IPCC practice to indicate this on all documents under review. The ability of the WGs to produce an independent and unbiased assessment would be jeopardised if material that is in the nature of a draft or incomplete information to be further developed were to be released prematurely. It is increasingly clear that this concept needs to be specified in the IPCC Procedures, also showing that this is not a contradiction of the current Principles of IPCC, which state that the assessment is carried out on a “comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis”.

Buoyed by his April success, Stocker proposed that the policy be expanded to include other documentation (a recommendation not adopted in the final resolution):

As well as discussing confidentiality of the report drafts, WGI proposes adding wording that discusses the confidentiality of other interim documentation, e.g., “Drafts of the reports, interim discussions and communications, and other documentation created during the drafting and review process are considered pre-decisional materials and as such are confidential. Drafts and other documentation may not be cited, quoted or distributed.”

Please find below our other comments for consideration in finalising the proposal:
1. Introduction
The distinction between category I and category II proposals may require more explanation by the TG Co-Chairs. Priority should be given to the key decisions that were well supported by a
consensus in the TG, and those that immediately affect the next stages of the AR5 process.

6bis4. Confidentiality of draft reports: for the reasons described in our introductory comments, we very much welcome this new section and proposed decision in 6bis4.2. We again stress that the first sentence of the proposed decision text needs some editing in order to include the key term “pre-decisional” and to capture the other kinds of material in addition to the draft reports.

Stocker’s comments are worth reading in full as they touch on other interesting topics as well.

The IPCC meeting was held from May 10-13 following the revised agenda here . During that meeting, Stocker’s language was approved at a Plenary session. See minutes here.

Although Stocker’s recommended language in no way “addressed” recommendations of the IAC Panel (and arguably was even antithetical to their reiterated support for openness and transparency) and although the Task Group had been well aware that these issues were outside the mandate set by the 32nd IPCC plenary, the resolution represented this (and other) recommendations as addressing recommendations of the IAC Panel:

The document presented here contains the decisions by the Panel based on consideration of the report of the IPCC Task Group on Procedures to the IPCC 33rd Session and building on the decisions of IPCC 32nd Session. The Task Group addressed the InterAcademy Council (IAC) recommendations as presented in the IAC report, chapter 2, “Evaluation of IPCC assessment process”…

8. Confidentiality of draft reports
The Panel noted that issues related to confidentiality of draft reports is important and that clear guidance is needed on what the rules for the confidentiality of draft reports during drafting and review.

At its 33rd Session, the Panel decided that the drafts of IPCC Reports and Technical Papers which have been submitted for formal expert and/or government review, the expert and government review comments, and the author responses to those comments will be made available on the IPCC website as soon as possible after the acceptance by the Panel and the finalization of the report.

IPCC considers its draft reports, prior to acceptance, to be pre-decisional, provided in confidence to reviewers, and not for public distribution, quotation or citation.

A long story indeed. But Stocker (and Phil Jones) had gone to a lot of trouble to obtain the language used in the Galloping Camel letter.


159 Comments

  1. diogenes
    Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 8:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    this could stand as a definition of the mediocrity of climate science…Phil Jones, Mann et all…by your deeds shall you be judged.

  2. RuhRoh
    Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 8:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    And what is the enforcement mechanism?
    Trial in The Hague?
    What laws apply?

    Yikes!
    RR

  3. Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 8:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Please somebody remind me what is there to bother about the developing farce called AR5?

  4. Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Perhaps the “leadership” of the IPCC has chosen to redefine “transparency”!

    I had blogged about(what I found to be) the most high-handed and ludicrous parts of all this a few weeks ago.

    But that aside, if one were being charitable, one could consider Stocker’s activities wrt his creative inclusion of this clear attempt to avoid transparency as long possible, as a “balancing” act.

    This would “compensate” for his key role in the “disappearance” of the “rule” (albeit one that was rarely practiced) to the effect that non-peer reviewed material was to be clearly marked in the references.

    [For documentation of the latter, pls. see: When task group says let’s "disappear" a rule, IPCC agrees ]

  5. Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 9:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well you have to admire the brass-neck.

    …and what is the travel budget for this abysmal fiasco?

    ‘Abu Dhabi IPCC meeting in May 2011′, ‘…the Venice meeting’, ‘next IPCC meeting (Bali)’, ‘Busan IPCC Meeting, October 2010′, ‘Geneva, February 2011′, …

    Let’s hope that the taxpayers never find out about GotoMeeting – as Phil might say to Mike – (don’t worry you fool – we’ll just buy carbon offsets, as Mike might fire back).

  6. theduke
    Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 9:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Steve for providing actual “openness and transparency.”

    Much to Stocker and Jones’ chagrin, I’m sure.

  7. Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “despite its stated mandate of openness and transparency, “confidentiality is part of the basic way in which IPCC goes about its work””

    Well, of course. Ala 1984, as in “War is Peace”, etc.

  8. Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Why are you looking up our collective sleeve, Mr McIntyre? There is nothing up our sleeve! Just look where we direct you to look, and at the end of the trick, you will be amazed! /snarc

  9. Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 10:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The plenary panel is a useless collection of bureaucrats from 195 member states. Going through the responses to the Task Group reports there is little evidence that the delegates even read any of the documents they are given, and for the most part they just rubber stamp the proposals from the Bureau.

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Exactly. And add to this the fact that not all 194/5 Govt’s are even represented at any given session. For example, at IPCC 33 (Abu Dhabi in May), there were only 114 “national delegations” who participated. And who knows how many of these delegations were even present when any particular issue was “discussed” and/or “approved”?

      Of IPCC reports … and press releases in which they “hide the declines”

  10. MarkB
    Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Through many years of schooling, every math teacher required me to ‘show your work’ for every exam, test and homework assignment. But these people can do their work in secret, and present the public with a multi-trillion dollar bill while upturning the modern industrial world? You have to give them a sort of credit – they audacity is mind-boggling.

  11. Alan Watt
    Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 11:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Damn Steve. You are good.

    • stan
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 7:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

      If there were still such things as investigative journalists, Steve could teach them how to do it.

  12. Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The lengths these people (and I use the term loosely) have gone in order to remain secretive is simply staggering.

  13. ianl8888
    Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 11:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I suppose there may still be some people who believe that Jones et al have learned nothing from CG1/2, SMc’s articles, Holland’s FOI persistence etc

    This post demonstrates the fallaciousness of that notion. Jones et al have progressed from startled, clumsy, messy reaction to planned, persistent pro-action

    I’ve noted this before (and am well aware that large numbers of people disagree), but what I call “the cynicism of power” is well in evidence here. Consequently, my own implacable distrust of these people is both quite reasonable and eminently defensible. Note Jones comment: ” … I also suspect that as national measures to reduce emissions begin to affect people’s lives …” from 4778

    I should add for completion that I have copies of ZOD Chapters 2,3,4,5,8,9,10 and fully intend to compare/discuss them when later drafts are available

    • WB
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I have them as well Ian and I am reviewing. The IPCC hs no mandate for confidentiality and, as Steve has shown here, they never did have and it is purely Jones and Stocker trying to get cover of ‘confidentiality’. This is disgraceful disgraceful stuff by Jones and Stocker. They are simply appalling and unprofessional people. Shame.

      • ianl8888
        Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 3:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Yes, but one has to admit that SMc, Holland and others have actually taught them a great many things

        I’ve often observed that when you are teaching intelligent people, you can never be sure of what it is that they are learning :)

  14. Kohl P
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    ianl8888 said -

    “Jones et al have progressed from startled, clumsy, messy reaction to planned, persistent pro-action”

    Yes. Exactly. And they will get better at it, and it will be harder to find the traces of what they have done.

    I think your description “the cynicism of power” is most apt to describe what is a syndrome. It happens frequently in all kinds of circumstances.

  15. RomanM
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As well as discussing confidentiality of the report drafts, WGI proposes adding wording that discusses the confidentiality of other interim documentation, e.g., “Drafts of the reports, interim discussions and communications, and other documentation created during the drafting and review process are considered pre-decisional materials and as such are confidential. Drafts and other documentation may not be cited, quoted or distributed.”

    Presumably this would include emails…

    • mitchel44
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 4:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Not to worry, they were all going to be deleted after the process was complete anyway, sort of the belt and suspenders approach.

  16. MJW
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    That “pre-decisional” stuff seems to be a deluded attempt to shield IPCC communications involving government employees from FOIA requests. Most FOIA laws, including the US federal law, exempt pre-decisional material. The problem is, the exemption only applies to pre-decisional discussions where the decision is within the government agency. This issue was mentioned a while back in regard to the IPCC’s plan to set up private discussion groups to avoid email communication with government agency employees.

    • WB
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The material that goes into ZOD and FOD etc and emails between Jones and Stocker (and throw in the rest of the clown crew of Briffa and Mann and Solomon and Hegerl and Hoegh-Guldberg etc etc) are not ‘pre-decisional’ for the purposes of escaping FOI applications because FOI applications can simply be made to Jones’s and Stocker’s places of employ. They are not employees of the IPCC (as the IPCC is at pains to point out). Jones et al are all employees of their various institutions, in Jones’s case the University of East Anglia. I don’t believe for a moment that Jones does any IPCC work on his own dime. UEa pays his wage and they’re delighted for him to be involved with IPCC. they think it’s great (fools). So while communications about ZOD and FOD might be ‘pre-decisional’ from the perspective of the IPCC there is nothing ‘pre-decisional’ about their communications with one another for AR5 from the perspective of their employers. They are merely communications arising in the course of his work. University of East do enjoy bragging (FWIW) about Jone’s being a lynchpin of IPCC output. So Jones can still face FOI applications out the wazoo directed to UEA. Whatever lawyer told Jones and Stocker to use ‘pre-decisional’ as though it was some kind of silver bullet/holywater to stop FOI applications is as dumb as those two numpties.

  17. tomdesabla
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Is being a reviewer something you covet Steve? I think this is very interesting. In a way, they’re kinda forcing you to take a stand aren’t they? I can’t believe these guys, anybody really, thinks that discussions about the freaking climate should be anything other than completely open to the whole world, predecisional or not.

    It’s not like some decision they’re going to make is going to change the reality of the climate, or the history of the earths climate, right? So what’s the difference if it’s predecisional or not. These guys act more like politicians than scientists if you ask me.

    I think you should laugh at them and say they’re a bunch of fools if they think you’re going to keep their “secrets” for them.

    Obviously, even if you complied, it would not put the secret toothpaste back in the tube, and the stuff would remain out there in other places anyway, so I don’t see what would be served by your compliance.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I’m accepted as a AR5 reviewer but have refrained from downloading First Draft documents sinc I am not prepared to agree to the confidentiality terms. IPCC’s main enforcement mechanism seems to be their threat to expel someone as a reviewer. Since they ignored my review comment. I dont see that this thread has much downside for me.

      Otherwise I’m not sure what they can do against someone who doesn’t rely on government grants. (Anyone relying on government grants who defied IPCC would pay the price when he sought new funding – that’s for sure.)

      Would they sue me for commenting publicly on their documents? If so, for what? Offhand, it seems an unattractive course of action for them, but you never know.

      • Tony Mach
        Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 6:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Aside from the ways of retribution you mention (and possibly others like defaming you in the media), I fail to understand how there could be a legal way of retroactively enforcing this rule – a rule that you haven’t even agreed to.

        I hope the Streisand Effect bites them in the ass – but alas, they can get away with so many wrong things, I’m not confident that they can manage to hang themselves in the near future. I look forward that you give them more rope though.

      • P. Solar
        Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I thought IPCC official line was that their work was above and outside the laws of any nation.

        The cuts both ways.

        They could try for crimes against humanity I suppose, if they don’t manage to extradite Saif from Libya they may have a court-room free at the Hague.

      • Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Would they sue me for commenting publicly on their documents? If so, for what? Offhand, it seems an unattractive course of action for them, but you never know.

        Careful…. They might try to sue you for libel in England or Canada! Of course, it’s not libel, but I’m sure they have plenty of lawyers who could twist this into a libel suit… After all, look how they work with statistics!!!! :-)

  18. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Now we know why you have been so quiet for a while, Steve. There is much research in your words and so many unstated side alleys that would have to have been checked in case they had a killer argument that you missed.

    The crux of the matter seems to be ownership. Starting with the expression “…another attempt to gain access to the CRU station temperature data…” one can ask, at which point or event did data collected by others, ofen by agencies in other countries and paid for by their taxed citizens, morph into an entity that CRU assumes it can own and dictate terms of use? We know from past inquiries that there have been essentially no agreements between countries and CRU over several decades, apart from normal copyright in some cases, so there can be no formal transaction by which ownership of the data was passed by a country to CRU. No Contract law. CRU merely holds a gift in custody. Permission to distribute it or to withhold its use resides with the originating author or country and its taxpayers. The most that CRU can claim is that they added value by combining certain data streams with others or by processes such as gridding. However, gridded data are not “station data” as the words say.

    Moving up one step, scientific authors do not, to my knowledge, relinquish copyright when they provide manuscripts to parts of the IPCC. The decision as to whether such manuscripts can be repressed or distributed is not legally within the confines of the IPCC, for no contract seems to be created. Therefore, restrictions would seems to require at least the agreement of each author or data owner on each occasion consistent with general copyright principles.

    In a sense, by the recent actions described above, the IPCC is “stealing & hoarding” work of others by dictating distribution terms – unless authors have provided express permission. They might have a standard method to do this globally. I do not know. Surely the employers of authors, if they are a public-funded University for example, would be required to ensure open and transparent outcomes no matter what Stocker has inserted into the fine IPCC print. The work is “owned” by the funding agency, which might be the taxpayers of a country, or by the author, or an assignee (if any) of the author(s).

    The most worrying suggestion is that the submitted work goes through an immature stage and could be misunderstood if placed in the wrong hands. This has to include the unproven and illogical assumption that IPCC umbrellas over co-workers provide skills that allow them to avoid mutual misinterpretation in a way that non-IPCC scientists are too stupid to combat. The IPCC has no ownership of the data (unless I have missed a critical document). As a test, if an IPCC donor author made a statement that was actionable in the form printed in an IPCC report, would action be taken against the author or against the IPCC in the first instance?

    I’m old enough & poor enough to directly defy the IPCC words that I “Do not cite, quote or distribute”. If you have any documents that you want made public, I offer you a portal. Yes, gallopingcamel, I’d love to put up a draft of AR5. The IPCC does not own the goods in their entirety and therefore it cannot dictate unilateral rules of its use.

    Unless I’m wrong.

  19. William Larson
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Two things. First: Mr. McIntyre, I cannot fathom how anyone could put all these things together as you have done here (and have done many times before), but nevertheless, as unimaginable as it is, you do it. Muchas gracias. Second: that comment that “These could prematurely circulate in the public domain, creating confusion, and that would be a bad service of IPCC to society.” My-oh-my, where to begin with that one!? Shall we just laugh uproariously? Throw a fit? I especially “like” how they treat “the public domain” and “society” as a bunch of imbeciles who (apparently) need to be protected from “confusion” for our own good. How kind of them to be so condescending to us, the Great Unbathed. So the need for “openness” and “transparency” has now devolved into the need for confidentiality in order to protect us poor, weak folk in society from the horrible state of confusion. What’s that line from “The King and I”?: “Give us a kick if it please Your Majesty; give us a kick if you please.”

  20. theduke
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 1:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jones: “I also suspect that as national measures to reduce emissions begin to affect people’s lives, we are all going to get more of this.”

    Every time I read something like this it reminds me that eco-activists had the environmental solutions and policy paths all mapped out back in the 70s. They only needed the science to legitmate it. Jones et al were happy to cooperate.

    Now the scientists, with the backing of bureaucrats like Stocker, are hiding the skeletons and locking the closets because they know any close analytical inspection will show how dubious the conclusions are.

    • stan
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 7:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The MWP wasn’t the only thing that ‘needed to be gotten rid of’.

  21. paul baverstock
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 1:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without crticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy, error undetected, will flourish and subvert.

    J> Robert Oppenheimer.

  22. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 2:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m continually surprised by things.

    I’m surprised that Phil and Stocker have the gall to continue their ways.

    Despite years of disillusionment, I’m still surprised when honest scientists have anything to do with these serial manipulators, and refuse to condemn their actions.

    I’m surprised at the amount of research and puzzle-solving and clue-tracing it must have taken to put the whole story together.

    As for Phil Jones, since my thoughts for him might include speculation on the genetic diversity of his ancestry, and offering him peculiar travel suggestions involving subterranean heat, let me just say that the man is much more of a danger to science than I had thought.

    Finally, I am continually astounded at the unending revelations of wrongdoing, malfeasance, skullduggery, and general mopery that you are able to uncover. My congratulations to you, I wish you the best.

    w.

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 9:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

      “wrongdoing, malfeasance, skullduggery, and general mopery” so many words for bad behavior, and they still fall short.

  23. Punksta
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 2:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jones : These people know they are losing (or have lost) on the science. They are now going for the process.

    So work that is produced by a process based on secrecy, dirty tricks and deception, is still “science” ? A flawed process has no bearing on the conclusions ? Questionable methods don’t render the findings unsafe ?

    As with his earlier “why should I show you my data when I know you’ll try and find something wrong with it”, Jones again making it very clear he has not the faintest idea what science actually IS.
    snip

  24. Disko Troop
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 4:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Perhaps they could send a detachment of the UN Green Police to enforce confidentiality.

    http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-green-police-are-no-longer-a-joke-the-un-may-create-an-army-of-green-helmets-to-fight-climate-change

  25. Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 4:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, I see that The Netherlands government wanted the statement of Stocker even more strict by including all communication and documentation during drafting… Not directly what they say in the open about more transparancy of the whole process…

    • Punksta
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 5:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

      So the Dutch government is coming out in support of secrecy in science ??

  26. Malcolm
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 5:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jones et al may consider that the term ‘pre-decisional’ is key to their secrecy clause but the Arhus Convention states that the public are entitled to participate in decision-making and are entitled to contribute to public awareness of the decision-making process (eg blog about it).
    Nor can they claim that climate change is exempt from the requirements. The Convention includes:
    “The state of elements of the environment, such as air and
    atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms, and the interaction among these elements”

  27. David Holland
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 5:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As usual Steve, a superb forensic job.

    By the strangest coincidence the day before Climategate 2.O, I sent a letter to Mr Ralph Hall, the Chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, in which I explained my view of the affair.

    If anything the offence is worse than Steve describes. Despite my formal FOIA request to our Department of Energy and Climate Change for the proposal documents upon which the IPCC were to vote, they were not made public until after the IPCC decision was made. The only possible reason for not releasing them was to ensure there would be no public debate in blatant contradiction of the claimed policy of open government.

    It was a classic cheat. Some 30 documents were presented for the panel to approve. The one containing the confidentiality clause begins

    The document presented here contains the decisions by the Panel based on consideration of the report of the IPCC Task Group on Procedures to the IPCC 33rd Session and building on the decisions of IPCC 32nd Session. The Task Group addressed the InterAcademy Council (IAC) recommendations as presented in the IAC report, chapter 2, “Evaluation of IPCC assessment process.

    Each recommendation of the IAC is quoted, followed by the decision of the IPCC 32nd Session. Subsequently, the considerations by the Panel at its 33rd Session are briefly represented, followed by a decision of the IPCC 33rd Session.

    This clearly implies that there is nothing being proposed that had not been considered by the panel or recommended by the IPCC. With the exception of confidentiality decision in section 8 each decision is referenced to the IAC an/or the earlier earlier 32nd Session of Panel. Put simply the Confidentiality Decision was smuggled in. When my MP asked the Minister if the UK had voted for this decision, which would have been a clear breach of our Aarhus Convention undertakings, this is the reply he received.

    The decision on confidentiality at the 33rd session was agreed by consensus; a vote was not required.

    The UK considers that this IPCC Decision is in line with current IPCC practices for reviewing emerging reports, which seek to balance the need for openness and transparency of the assessment process with the risks of undermining the review process, or misleading the public, by openly exposing draft reports prematurely.

    Conscious of the value of further developing transparency and openness, the UK urged the panel to consider ways to widen expert comments in the development of reports. The panel agreed that this would be taken forward as part of the ongoing work of the Task Group on Processes and Procedures.

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 8:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

      David’s MP is Chris Heaton-Harris – blessings on him – and, to save you searching in a long page, his question and its answer are here. (Hansard rightly puts lots of anchor or target tags into such documents – less helpfully it doesn’t use these links on the page itself.)

  28. Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 6:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    After the release of stolen emails 1. The need to sheild communications bacam obviuos. Just look back at how some commented out code became proof that nefarious deeds were afoot. Commenters stated as fact that this proved the plots of temperature were wrong.
    Look at how disagreements showing in the stolen mails between mann and briffa have been blown up. Again proof in some eyes that there is NO agreement. It was simply discussion resolving scientific issues.

    Have free access to all communications leading up to publications will have a massive chilling effect on scientid=fic advancement.

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 7:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

      OT

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

      tfp: 1) Hadley only released the code (if they really have, I don’t know) and data AFTER the emails made them look secretive — and Hadley is not CRU. 2) Why should disagreements between scientists about methods and results be a problem? 3) The practice of not publishing the data and code to document new climate papers continues in most cases. Shameful.

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 4:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Inferences, Dirty Laundry, and Limitations

    • jorgekafkazar
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

      As well as a massive chilling effect on the advancement of pseudoscience.

    • Punksta
      Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 12:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Have free access to all communications leading up to publications will have a massive chilling effect on scientid=fic advancement.

      No, it will have a massive chilling effect on disinformation advancement, thereby speeding up scientific advancement.

    • Brooks Hurd
      Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Why would anyone need to hide honest science behind a viel of secrecy?
      How can anyone trust science that has been conducted in total secrecy?
      In any process, the best time to find errorrs is early in the process. Lingering mistakes are much more expensive to correct and ultimately much more emabarrassing to those who are running the process.

      What Steve has reported is how a group of bureaucrats having found themselves at the bottom of a deep hole is responding to thier plight by asking all partcipants to dig even faster. Ford wants to give them bigger shovels.

      Excellent work Steve!

    • John Tofflemire
      Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

      The IPCC produces these documents using a political process with political intent. Since the authors of the report are supposed to use peer-reviewed published papers, then the science that goes into the document is already open and transparent. The question here is the process by which that science is interpreted. To claim that an open, transparent process by which that science is interpreted would have a “chilling” effect on the science is ludicrous.

  29. dearieme
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 6:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    No doubt only inate Canadian good manners inhibit you from writing “We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recurring_in-jokes_in_Private_Eye

  30. alex verlinden
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 6:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Auditing their so called “science” remains important. But analysis such as this – it reads as a Robert Ludlum novel -, exposing their behind the scenes scheming, is just as important, because these blogposts can be easily read by layman.

    And ultimately, these machinations – easily understood by all – will prove them fatal.

  31. Foxgoose
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 7:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The phrase “pre-decisional” perfectly encapulates the anti-democratic ethos of bureaucracies like the UN, the EU and the IPCC.

    Extending the principle, why bother with the US Congress, the Houses of Parliament, trial juries or any other democratic forum – they only discuss “pre-decisional” matters after all.

    Much better for an exclusive coterie of the wise and well-informed to make all our decisions for us and pass them down,with full force of law, in their own good time.

    I mean, it worked pretty well before Magna Carta in 1215 didn’t it?

  32. Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 7:30 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jones read this comment and became worried about the prospect of IPCC being subject to the Aarhus Convention.

    Never has my respect for David Holland been higher. But we do well to ponder the implications. The openness of Climate Audit is the polar opposite of every thought and every act in the dark night the other side. The surprise Willis speaks of is real. That’s why FOIA had to do what they did. We must not stay in shock but fight, as they did, and as Steve does here.

    • Jan
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 9:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

      My thoughts exactly. How ironic that Jones uses the openness and transparency provided on sites like Climate Audit as a vehicle to promote IPCC secrecy.

      I wouldn’t normally bother about this – but will deal with the FOI requests when they come.

      I almost choked when I read that.

    • David Holland
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Richard Drake (Jan 13 07:30),

      Richard,
      I did think about it before I broadcast my intentions and have since. Jones and Stocker may have cited me as a reason for organising the confidentiality decision but it was always clear that the team would conceal things. They even concealed the decline from their fellow Lead Authors in 1998 before anyone was “harassing” them. If I had quietly got on with it and Steve and others had not blogged about their refusals we may not have had Climategate.

  33. Will Richardson
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 8:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Just tell the IPCC that you have not posted or commented on the Zero Order Draft because that would be a “foolish and incorrect thing to do”.

  34. Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 8:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    justbeau Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 6:58 AM | Permalink | Reply
    …Team would want to divulge all its data, all the time.
    =========
    If there were not political forces waging war against them, then this could be the case.
    However, if you provide the code, and the data then the raw data would be requested, demands for explanation of the code would come thisck and fast from those who have no interest and no skills, demands for explanations why a wayward site was discarded with documentation would arrive, why was a full stop used instead of a semicolon, etc.

    Maybe NASA has the funds to provide personnel to action the silly requests etc, but a small UK university does not. This task would sit with the scienitists involved. This would stop further research (the probable intention!).

    Going for ALL communications, lab books, paper scraps means that you have stifled the free flow of information between scientists. Even McIntyre has said this is not sensible.

    There has to be some privacy of scientific discourse. There has to be some way to stop time consuming unnecessary requests.

    If you allow too much access then you stifle research – e.g. FOI requests from this site. If you have unbalanced mega sites like WUWT all sorts of actions can be initiated (including best science blog – vote-for-me requests)

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 10:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

      “If there were not political forces waging war against them, then this could be the case.
      However, if you provide the code, and the data then the raw data would be requested, demands for explanation of the code would come thisck and fast from those who have no interest and no skills, demands for explanations why a wayward site was discarded with documentation would arrive, why was a full stop used instead of a semicolon, etc. ”

      ##################

      Interesting test case for you ford.
      when stevemc and others ( me included) pestered hansen to release his code
      many brought the same excuse to the debate.
      Hansen released his code
      How many questions do you think they got?
      From steve? 0. from me? 0
      what actually happened? look at clearclimatecode if you want to
      know. good things happened. code improved.

      Look at the giss update page. look for the name Dr, Oneil.
      Guess who is finding mistake in metadata and pointing them out for
      GISS. yup, some damn volunteer.

      Those of us who ask for code do not expect support or demand support.
      if we cant figure your code out then shame on us.

      once again ford, you dont know what you are talkng about.
      that should bother you

      Steve Mc: this topic has nothing to do with the issues in this thread. It is an editorial policy of the blog that I discourage people from raising unrelated issues on topical threads. And I prefer that responders not respond to unrelated issues.

      • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I prefer that responders not respond to unrelated issues.

        Yeah, ‘pologies.

    • johanna
      Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 9:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Tom, your model of how engineering works is a testament to why we can almost always cross a bridge, use an electrical appliance or get on a plane with confidence. Of course, engineering failures tend to be very public and identifiable, with potentially serious repercussions for those who were involved in the process that led to the failure.

      With climate ‘science’ driven policy, the failures are diffuse in effect and hard to trace back to an individual or small group. If everyone’s power bills rise 10% because of subsidies to windmills or rooftop solar panels, accountability is ultimately carried by politicians, not the ‘scientists’ who set the process in motion. While this is fair enough on one level, politicians are just a crude metaphor for the current scientific paradigm (the development of nuclear weapons is another example).

      If people were asked to get on planes engineered on the basis of ‘climate science’ as it stands, they would rightly refuse. Why it is then considered acceptable to re-engineer the world’s economies – with nothing but downside for the punters – on that basis, is one of the mysteries of our times.

      Absent a pre-determined agendum, it is very hard to understand why the IPCC is so opposed to transparency. As you point out, the dynamics of an open process maximise outcomes.

  35. Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 9:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It is interesting that in the USA sunshine laws in various jurisdictions require that the minutes of relevant gov’t bodies be public, as well as the meetings open to the public. There are no “predecisional” secret documents. What are they afraid of? The emails reveal how much disagreement goes on during their meetings–and this contradicts the message of consensus which is key to shutting down the critics. So those discussions must not be made public.

    • Eric Anderson
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Not only that, but it is often the case that all materials being discussed have to be made publicly available.

      Now there are execptions, but they are exceptions, not the rule. The general principle is openness and transparency.

    • Mike_K
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 3:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

      The “predecisional” stage has been an issue in numerous lawsuits and in legislation in California. Many local and state jurisdictions have been caught at it and there have been judicial actions requiring taping of meetings, etc. This is very common behavior among bureaucrats and elected officials. The practice has now spread to the politicized “science” of climate prediction. We are starting to see an increase in falsifying of research as the recent example of health effects of drinking red wine shows. Lying is getting more popular.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57357720-10391704/red-wine-researcher-dr-dipak-k-das-published-fake-data-uconn/

  36. Bernie
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    In case others might want to know:

    Short Bio of Thomas Stocker (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/cv-ipcc-new-bureau/cv-stocker.pdf )
    Thomas Stocker was born in Zürich and obtained a PhD in Natural Sciences of ETH Zürich in 1987. He held research positions at the University College London, McGill University (Montreal), Columbia University (New York) and at the University of Hawai’i (Honolulu). Since 1993 he is Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern. His research encompasses the development of climate models of intermediate complexity, modelling past and future climate change and the reconstruction of the chemical composition of precipitation and greenhouse gas concentrations based on ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica.
    Thomas Stocker has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers in the area of climate dynamics and paleoclimate modeling and reconstruction. He was awarded a Dr. Honoris Causa of the University of Versailles (France) in 2006. Stocker served as a Coordinating Lead Author in the Third and Fourth Assessment Reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is Co-Chair of Working Group I of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report in 2008.

    My bold. He is no small fish.

  37. Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There is one aspect particularly cretin of the situation that has not been emphasized enough. And it’s the fact that secrecy begets divulgation. Has Jones and Mann concentrated on the science rather than pretend to be Sean Connery and Roger Moore fighting an imaginary Climate Spectre, Climategate would have not happened and nobody would have read their private exchanges, for the simple reason that nobody would have been interested (FOI or no FOI).

    Years ago I submitted a request to some Italian scientists, to clarify certain arrangements. They replied saying they were willing to talk openly about those. I said it was enough for me, if they could talk it meant they had nothing to hide and therefore there was nothing interesting for me to wade through. There are only so many hours in my waking life.

    It’s that simple. I would go as far as to say, if you’ve got something to hide then make sure everybody knows you’re open to requests, so they will never find what you’ve got to hide. Otherwise, you will be in trouble for the rest of your career, as nobody will ever believe a word you’ll say and everybody will scrutinize your every move. And that’s what is happening with Jones.

    • Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The last Bond movie sucked. Why? The villain was an over-zealous greenie! Those types of villains just aren’t that much fun or interesting! :-)

      • Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 12:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Could be the reason that TOm Clancey’s Rainbow 6 has never been made into a movie either. ;)

      • Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 9:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Same villain as in the Muppet movie. How lame is that?

  38. Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 11:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Thefordprefect (Jan 13 10:41), quoting from an unreferenced message:

    A couple or three obnoxious emails to my private email resulted from the illegal release of my message and email address. And I have done nothing!

    Any way of reducing the stress on the wife and family (emails are visible to all)is to be continued.

    Stress varies according to circumstances and can be healthy or unhealthy, just or unjust. The stress that came upon Phil Jones when he refused openness, acted deceitfully, as he clearly did here, and was then exposed and criticised is of the healthy, just variety. Without such pressure to do what is right society would break down. The PR efforts to relieve ‘poor Phil’ of stress, including all the so-called inquiries into Climategate, have it is increasingly clear been a naked attempt to let him continue in his wrongdoing. We don’t buy it, from Neil Wallis, Muir Russell, Lord Oxburgh or anyone else. The guy should admit what he did wrong and put it right. And then the stress will end.

  39. Alexej Buergin
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I understand why Stocker dislikes papers being looked into. As the readers of “Climate Audit” know, he had to retract one on sea level rise because it contained mistakes and the result was false.
    It would be best if the team would not publish any science at all and simply tell us what we need to do.

  40. Don Keiller
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, I would completely ignore this heavy-handed IPCC attempt to silence you.

    There is an old saying “Publish and be damned!”

    • RomanM
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I would have to disagree with pursuing that course of action at this time.

      Although they do not appear to have any legal recourse for dealing with violations of their surreptitiously developed and approved “policy”, a complaint to WordPress or other providers could have negative effects on the continued existence of a blog including possible (at least temporary) shutdown. I can’t see WordPress going out on a limb to protect the integrity of the blog world by initially ignoring such a complaint. Even a non-permanent shutdown would be troublesome for CA.

      IMHO, continuing with the exposure of the Team’s behind the scenes machinations is a better option at this time.

      • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I’d totally support Steve whichever decision he takes. But WordPress were resolute it seems when put under pressure at the time of the Tallbloke Towers incident. Surely it doesn’t require a takedown, just a civilised conversation between McIntyre and WP and whatever is agreed between them.

      • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 4:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

        “Legal Recourse” before and after SOPA may be very different things.

        Eerie timing.

  41. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I am attempting to get my head around what it is the IPCC is attempting to accomplish with its directives on confidentiality of the drafting process. Based on my precursory understanding by reading here and SteveM’s reactions I get the idea that the directives are aimed at those involved in the drafting process and the need that the IPCC has to control those people and avoid leaks. I strongly suspect that it is a reaction to the climategate emails.

    As a hypothetical, I do not see where a blogger who might also be a reviewer would have a conflict by showing at their blog leaked information from the drafting process that the blogger did not leak. I suppose that the enforcement against a person who was involved in the drafting process who leaked information would be to ban that person from further involvement in the present and future times. A case against a reviewer who was also a blogger who posted second or third hand leaked information could probably be made based on the “spirit” of the directive – assuming that some individuals in the IPCC were looking for a more legitimate excuse to have a person removed as a reviewer.

    What has intrigued me about those who have a problem with transparency is what occurred so frequently between the Bush administration and the NYT (it happens with other administrations and with other publications but there was obviously friction between these two organizations). The Bush administration would attempt to keep something confidential only to have it leaked directly or indirectly to the NYT. What was rather humorous about these situations was if the Bush administration had gone public with the information in the first place it would have done no way near the damage that is done when it is hyped as a leak and indicating that that organization had something to hid. I think the IPCC suffers from this same disease and I suspect the more they attempt to gain confidentiality the more leaks we will see.

  42. Richard Brearley
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I have no sympathy for Jones. So many of his remarks are advocacy and not science. His considerable efforts designed to silence or put up barriers to possible disagreement says everything you need to know about this man’s discharge of his professional and ethical obligations. If his wife is stressed then he should look in the mirror. He is supposed to be a scientist. As to these types of remarks he should have no protection at all. He is in that respect an advocate not a scientist. Argue by all means about the need for the protection of scientific debate betwen scientists (and I personally do think this is a legitimate argument and one where we should be investigating the right balance) but don’t treat us all like fools and whinge about chilling efects so that you can protect your advocacy under this head.

    The same applies to Mann – you can’t advocate and involve yourself in silencing critics and then cry “protect the scientific debate”. From what we have seen of Mann’s and Jones’ emails so far it is obvious that further disclosure will include many messages that have nothing to do with scientific debate, but the “cause” the “message” how best to get it over, etc. etc. There is no basis upon which these deserve protection as the frank and open debate between scientists. They are what they are – advocay and tribalism in action. The ATI should cetainly be focusing on this aspect in its case seeking Mann’s correspondence.

  43. David Silva
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It seems to me there are two issues here that everybody is arguing about, but:

    1) Jones and Stocker wanted secrecy regarding discussions of the various drafts. Since the report of the IAC did not include or even imply that the IPCC should include this kind of secrecy in their processes, Jones and Stocker were absolutely wrong in implying that they did. It would seem to me that most people (this blog or elsewhere) would agree that their character is called into question here. If they wanted this secrecy, they should have pushed for it based on its own merits…not imply that another organization agreed with them on this point.

    2) The issue of keeping the drafts and author comments confidential until after the final draft is complete. I’m actually very torn on this point, because I fully understand why people would want to feel that they can openly give their initial feelings on an issue. Often, I play devil’s advocate before I feel comfortable with a point. If somebody were to listen to me, they would probably misunderstand what I was trying to do. So, my question is the following: If the earlier drafts with author’s comments are going to be released anyway for public consumption, why do people have a problem with waiting? If the answer is that people are afraid that they won’t completely post them, then I don’t think we have anything to worry about. The people who recently released the ZOD for the AR5 would release it when they found out that the IPCC hadn’t fully released what they promised to release.

    Any thoughts?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: David Silva (Jan 13 11:52),

      I agree with your distinction and probably should have emphasized this in my conclusion.

      I labelled Stocker’s ploy as an “earmark” but in actuality it was worse than that because the confidentiality rule was passed off as part of the IAC package, when it wasn’t. The IPCC was tricked into passing Stocker’s resolution.

      And yes, I agree that they could have tried to make a case in favor of Stocer’s confidentiality clause. I happen to think that the arguments against confidentiality are stronger than the arguments in favor, but I understand that reasonable people can disagree on this point. If Stocker and/or Jones wanted changes, they should have presented the case to the IAC panel charged with reviewing IPCC procedures so that a panel mandated to examine these procedures did so. Either they failed to do so or they didn’t get the recommendation from IAC that they wanted. Either way, the decision of IPCC management to present Stocker’s confidentiality clause as addressing IAC recommendations was a deception on IPCC.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

      one other change that has passed under the radar.

      Under previous rules, a reviewer was entitled to see review comments during the process. Under that provision, I asked for Review Comments of the AR4 First Draft. They sent them to me after some reflection. To be annoying, they sent them in a paper copy, non-searchable. Now review comments of the first draft are sealed even for reviewers until after publication of the final report.

      • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

        At which news I’m inclined to quote you from the previous comment:

        I happen to think that the arguments against confidentiality are stronger than the arguments in favor …

        You can say that again. The IPCC should be the gold standard of openness in every way. People should indeed be able to take up “devil’s advocate” positions – in fact they should be encouraged to do so – and all the ensuing discussions should be seen in real time. If a phony concept of consensus is thereby exploded … so what? It’s the argument itself that needs to convince the general public. Let’s see it, all of it.

      • David Holland
        Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Steve McIntyre (Jan 13 12:11),
        Well, “focal points” are entitled to have the first order drafts and the Review comments on them. Renate Christ told the IAC that the purpose of the second review stage was to check that the comments from the first were properly taken into account in the second order draft, so I don’t see how, within the rules, they can refuse to let reviewers have them. All government Reviewers should have them and I will be pressing DECC to get them and to disclose them.

    • David Brewer
      Posted Jan 19, 2012 at 4:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Steve, Great digging, once again.

      However, I think you rather undersell the point that the language the IPCC adopted “arguably was even antithetical to their [the IAC's] reiterated support for openness and transparency”.

      The language Stocker got the IPCC to approve flatly contradicts the IAC observation that “it is essential that the processes and procedures used to produce assessment reports be as transparent as possible” and its statement that its investigations “revealed a lack of transparency in several stages of the IPCC assessment process, including …in the selection of scientific and technical information considered in the chapters”.

      Transparency in the selection of information considered in the chapters could only be assured by publishing the comments that lead to these selections. They are now not going to do this, or at least not when it would be useful, i.e. before the final selections are made.

      The Stocker phrase of “pre-decisional” is also worth considering. The entire process of developing an IPCC report – including all the “stages” mentioned by the IAC – is “pre-decisional”, since only the final report represents the final decision.

      Like David Silva and others, I am not quite sure what the ideal level of disclosure might be at various stages of developing the report. But it is quite clear what the IAC wanted – publication of reviewer comments so that anyone could see (though not necessarily contribute to) the development of the report as it happened. Instead the IPCC now has a policy that is less transparent than that which the IAC said was not nearly transparent enough.

  44. Jim Of CP
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well, Steve, I hope you have saved your work off WordPress. IANAL, but I don’t see what authority the IPCC has over a Canadian citizen. Even if they had a rule against publication of whatever, how does it apply to you? I would tell them to shove it. If push comes to shove, I will and have donated my pittance to fight these watermelons. I appreciate very much the work you do.

    • theduke
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 8:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

      If a Committee sanctioned by the United Nations can trample on the right of a Canadian citizen to publish a blog on the internet, then every citizen in every free country is endangered.

      I think Steve should soldier on and not let them intimidate them. He’s a hero to a lot of people. If they want to turn him into martyr also, that’s their problem.

  45. Tom Anderson
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “I also suspect that as national measures to reduce emissions begin to affect people’s lives, we are all going to get more of this. We can cope with op-ed pieces, but these FOI requests take time, as the whole process of how we all work has to be explained to FOI-responsible people at each institution.
    Keep up the good work with AR5!
    Cheers
    Phil ”

    This tells me very very clearly that Phil Jones knows exactly how important the work of Climate Science and the IPCC is to “peoples lives”; and at the same time working diligently to keep this important work behind closed doors, hidden from the people being affected.

  46. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I think, unfortunately, that those who are opposed or hint at being opposed to complete transparency in a process, like the IPCC drafting of material where governmental authority is involved, are rather vague about what it is that needs to be protected. The conversations that I have read that were held by those involved in drafting and reviewing material, I thought were rather clear and civil and gave me no indication of a hesitancy to give their views. Who is being protected by avoiding complete transparency? Is it the drafters and reviewers or those who make the final decisions on what goes into the final chapters?

  47. Crusty the Clown
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 3:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m no more than a clown and no one need listen to anything I say, but…

    Doesn’t this behavior by Drs. Jones and Stocker merely emphasize the necessity of total and complete transparency, better than anything ever stated by any of their critics? Doesn’t this show that out-of-band covert communications have been (and probably will be) used to game the system? It seems obvious that they attempted to non-transparently strike a blow against transparency, which was revealed only because someone leaked the very type of communications they were desperately trying to hide.

    If they really must have freedom from disclosure perhaps they might consider switching to a field of study without the enormous societal costs – taxonomy comes to mind. But if they want to play with the big boys in an area where real money is involved then they should expect and even welcome scrutiny, criticism, and challenges. That is, after all, the hallmark of a free democratic society.

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 4:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Crusty the Clown (Jan 13 15:28),

      To properly assent to the statement by Crusty, I believe the vernacular of some of my younger acquaintances is called for.

      Yah Crusty! BOOM!

      • dfhunter
        Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Crusty & charles

        for some reason i am reminded of the old westerns (Texas sharp shooters maybe) where card sharps deal from the bottom of the pack or had aces up their sleeves, smart guys all (magicians in fact)
        when you don’t know how the ‘tricks’ are done J Public & MSM are fooled.

        thanks again to Steve for delving deeper & giving context to these shabby dealers.

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I would suggest taxidermy instead. They seem to be good at making things look worse than they actually are.

  48. diogenes
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I feel that there is little point in becoming an official reviewer under the IPCC if their aim is to keep the review process totally secret. If I were a reviewer and my requests for information were ignored; if any dissenting views are ignored in the formulation of the final report; and you are not allowed to formally present a dissenting opinion; then why bother getting into that process? In legal cases, dissenting judgments get published. When Accounting Standards are published, dissenting views are published. Why should it be different for the IPCC?

    • Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 8:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

      It could be that the IPCC just wants the appearance of a review. So if Steve McIntyre declines the role, Pachauri then has the out of saying “He was invited”. It also saves them face because there are no negative reviews to squelch. A very Machiavellian gambit actually.

      • Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

        The way I’ve seen it since I first read the thread. This should be taken in conjunction with Brandon Shollenberger (Jan 16 05:14):

        MBH is included in the ZOD of AR5. I kid you not. There is a note that it may be taken out if it’s decided Mann 2008 supersedes it, but there’s no indication the problems with MBH are an issue for including it in the latest IPCC report.

        Calculated insult doesn’t do the combination justice. The New Statesman made our host one of 50 People Who Matter 2010 and these people despised him all the more. They seem to consider it a battle to the death and I hope they’re right – with the death of their hopes clear blessing for the mass of humanity outside the cynical corruption.

  49. Joe Born
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 5:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “the WG1 TSU of the IPCC”

    Haven’t CAWTA so can’t HOYWE

    GTG

  50. Phil
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 5:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The practice of releasing the Summary for Policy Makers first and the science supposedly supporting it later might be affected by public disclosure of the drafts of the “supporting” science. It might make it easier to see when and how the science might be shaded to conform to the politics. Just a thought.

  51. Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 5:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Urkk. I’m being a contrarian again. I actually think that they should have a right to have working drafts (ZOD) off line and out of view… I see a good case for letting them have free rein in the preliminary stages so they’re not afraid of not being politically correct or wrong in fact or figure.

    Sigh.

    Steve: I think that reasonable people can disagree on this point, but shouldn’t Stocker haven’t taken that up with the IAC Panel who were asked to examine procedures? Rather than represent the change as “addressing” IAC recommendations.

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I disagree Tom. They’re not brainstorming a new product or policy (or shouldn’t be) and thus need to say the unsayable, they’re doing the most balanced and informative summary of the scientific literature possible for policy makers. Every part should be out in the open and it’s hard to see how any other view has ever been taken. (This is different for me than the case of individual scientific research and publishing, as I will say next, in reply to Hilary.)

      • Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 7:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Steve: I think that reasonable people can disagree on this point

        Indeed, do we not have three of them right here in this little corner of Climate Audit? Oh alright, two reasonable people :)

        Tom’s certainly a reasonable chap but the issue for me is whether the people on the inside of the IPCC are. If they had consistently earned our trust through their every deed, perhaps ZOD could all be done in camera with some benefit. But then, if they had, they would surely wish to maintain that reputation by being open about the whole process. The combination of past misdeeds with the extremely shabby way the new policy was foisted on all reviewers this time means that there’s zero order trust at the start of AR5. This doesn’t help.

      • David Silva
        Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 8:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Interesting point making a distinction between individual research (individual researcher) and a group charged with making a summary of the many different pieces of individual research (IPCC groups). I can probably be convinced on this point. I am definitely interested in the situation arising when there have been many different calculations performed on a particular variable. I would like to see how they go about deciding on the “consensus” value.

    • David Holland
      Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 10:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: thomaswfuller2 (Jan 13 17:18),

      In the TAR Chapter 2 Zero order draft the so called “decline” was not hidden. In the first order draft, In John Christy’s words it was amputated. After hyping the TAR and its “hockey stick” Sir John Houghton wrote

      The work of the IPCC illustrates the following five important features which I believe should characterize the scientific assessments that form an input to policy making.

      You can read and make your own minds up about the other 4 but this is what he said about the third.

      Thirdly, all parts of the assessment process need to be completely open and transparent. IPCC documents including early drafts and review comments have been freely and widely available – adding much to the credibility of the process and its conclusions.

      Either the IPCC is open and transparent as claimed or its not.

      • Tom Fuller
        Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Richard, Steve and Mr. Holland,

        All reasonable points. I think that Steve is right that they should be open about whatever procedure they use. Richard, your points helped crystallize my disagreement–I think perpetual examination might well result in a rigid, doctrinaire exposition (remember that they might be equally as sensitive to what their superiors might see as they are about what critics might seize on). Mr. Holland, your point is valid, but I don’t believe it outweighs the value of having a ‘workroom’ for experimentation and discussion–as long as it’s clearly marked out in the process.

        • Tom Gray
          Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

          Mr. Fuller, in regard to your suggestion for privacy as “a ‘workroom’ for experimentation and discussion”, the purpose of the IPCC is not to create a conclusion on the state of the science but to create a summary of the current state. The previous practice of the summary being created in private naturally created a system in which the personal views of the writers was given prominence. We see complaints on this board about IPCC groups dismissing contrary results for arbitrary reasons or completely ignoring them.

          The ‘workroom’ idea ahs been tried before and has been found to be wanting. The IPCC writers were supposed to create a draft which would be shaped by the considered views of numerous reviewers from across the field. That was the stated practice. The real practice was that the writers also took on the role of editors and arbiters and would ignore of summarily dismiss views that they disagreed with. They had a private ‘workroom’ and they used it to ignore the IPCC’s stated process and create own in which they alone would control what was in the final document. They became much more than the chosen scribes of a group of reviewers. They were the final arbiters who could accept or ignore review comments which became mere suggestions. They even felt free to ask for private advice outside of the IPCC process. The ‘workroom’ idea was tried and failed.

        • theduke
          Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

          Yes. The “workroom” became a backroom.

        • Tom Fuller
          Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

          Yes, I’m well aware of the liberties taken in previous convocations. Still, I gotta say these folks need a bit of privacy. As well as adult supervision…

        • Tom Gray
          Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

          To me the point is that the IPCC writers have been allowed to take on a job that does not conform to the published position of the IPCC. The writers are supposed to be scribes who will shape a report which reflects the consensus of the famous “thousands of reviewer”. They have been allowed to take on (perhaps with the encouragement of the governments which set the IPCC up) the quite different roles of being arbiters over the state of the science. If they are arbiters and judges of the science, their behavior is quite proper. They do their job; they make their decision and allow others (reviewers) to make suggestions. If someone disagrees with them then their judgement of that disagreement is final. Is this what people want for the IPCC. Is it likely to be successful?

          The main point of the discussion on its blog is whether or not this is the type of system that is suited to the task of the IPCC. Since the IPCC process has failed and failed spectacularly then one must seriously consider the possibility that the IPCC writing process could be a cause.

        • Manfred
          Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 4:51 AM | Permalink

          I think this is a bit naive.

          There have been errors and untrue statements in previous reports.

          The problem is, once the report is out, there is no process to deal with errors and no corrigendum has ever been written.

          And even if, many people wouldn’t care. MBH98/99 are still in use by some and reappear as well as Rahmstorf 2007 with huge financial implications, just because the authors or journals simply do not retract them.

          Therefore, it would be of upmost importance to avoid such errors before the final product is out.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

          You say, “MBH98/99 are still in use by some.” By some? MBH is included in the ZOD of AR5. I kid you not. There is a note that it may be taken out if it’s decided Mann 2008 supersedes it, but there’s no indication the problems with MBH are an issue for including it in the latest IPCC report.

        • Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

          Tom Fuller (Jan 15 16:33):

          I gotta say these folks need a bit of privacy.

          You do have a point Tom. My wish for some of the more senior players is not just privacy but something that will in the end do them far more good: obscurity.

        • Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

          Hasten the day, Richard. Hasten the day.

        • Punksta
          Posted Jan 17, 2012 at 1:08 AM | Permalink

          these folks need a bit of privacy

          Whatever for? I thought all they were meant to be doing is producing a survey of the science, ie a summary of what other people think.

  52. Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    the IPCC commissioned a report from the Interacademy Council, the terms of reference of which specifically included a “review IPCC procedures for preparing reports”.

    This was the forum that Stocker should have submitted his concerns about enhancing confidentiality in the Working Groups. Did he do so? At present, I don’t know. If he didn’t, he should have. If he did, the IAC disregarded his recommendations as, in the final IAC report, which appeared in late August 2010, there is nothing that comes close to a recommendation along the lines that Stocker sought.

    I have just revisited the responses to the IAC’s questionnaire (well, at least the 268 of the 400 that they chose to release!) and can confirm that there is no sign of any text in which enhancement of confidentiality is recommended (nor of any concerns regarding “pre-decisional” material).

    In fact, at least one respondent had noted:

    I think that, in this era of IT, trying to act as if all draft materials and internal communications are ―confidential is ridiculous. I think it is time to open up the process, talk more openly about what is going on, and let openness protect integrity rather than sometimes letting confidentiality seem to protect departures from integrity.

    For the record, Stocker’s name is listed in the Appendix of the IAC’s report as one who responded to the IAC. So it is possible that he did make such a “recommendation” – and that it just didn’t make the cut of those that were included.

    It is also possible that Stocker may have been “inspired” by a May 26/10 submission to Muir Russell (signed by such luminaries as Bradley, Hughes, Mann, Oppenheimer, Santer, Schmidt, Schneider, Trenberth and Wigley) in which they had urged that Muir Russell consider:

    there is much that is instructive in the history of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) regulations under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. [...]
    [under the subsequently issued OMB "Guidelines" issued following massive protests ...]

    Expressly excluded from the definition of “research data”, however – and therefore protected from disclosure – are “preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues”.

    And speaking of Stocker … as I had noted in an earlier comment here [Posted Jan 12, 2012 at 9:15 PM - but which appears to be stuck in moderation, perhaps because it contains 2 links?] Stocker also played a key role in the “disappearance” of the “rule” (albeit one that was rarely practiced) to the effect that non-peer reviewed material was to be clearly marked in the references. This, of course, was contra the IAC’s specific recommendation that this rule be more strongly enforced.

    [pls. see: When task group says let’s "disappear" a rule, IPCC agrees]

    Then again, perhaps this is all merely a thinly-veiled attempt to … uh… redefine “transparency”!

    • Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

      The Bradley, Hughes, Mann et al submission to Russell had to do (if I recall rightly) with the policy for individual papers. I don’t have a problem with such a closed system until a paper is published – when all data and code should as a matter of course be published too. (Radicals like Cameron Neylon think different but let’s not run before we can walk.) I think this is quite different from the deliberations of the IPCC, where everything should be open. But you may be right that Jones and Stocker wrongly (and deceitfully, in attributing this view to the IAC) took a leaf out of a totally different book. It wouldn’t be first time a sleight of hand was used.

      • Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Stocker wrongly (and deceitfully, in attributing this view to the IAC) took a leaf out of a totally different book. It wouldn’t be first time a sleight of hand was used.

        Quite so. In fact, a similarly misleading phrasing was used during the course of the evolution of the “rationale” for disappearing the flagging of non-peer reviewed material:

        1. The IAC recommended “strengthening, enforcing … and ensuring that unpublished and non-peer-reviewed literature is appropriately flagged in the report.”

        2. Several months prior to IPCC 32 (at which the above IAC recommendation was accepted by the IPCC Panel), i.e. in March 2010:

        the IPCC Chair asked an informal group consisting of: Thomas Stocker (Co-Chair WGI), Hoesung Lee (IPCC Vice-Chair), Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (IPCC Vice-Chair), Youba Sokona (Co-Chair WGIII), Kristie Ebi (Head of TSU, WGII) and Renate Christ (IPCC Secretary), to consider the following topics and make suggestions:

        A. Procedures for preparing IPCC reports and their implementation
        B. Management and structure issues
        C. How to deal with errors
        D. Conflicts of interest
        E. Security and confidentiality

        In the “body” of the report of this Informal Task Group on Procedures (officially known as IPCC-XXXII/INF. 4, submitted by Thomas Stocker “on behalf of the IPCC Chair, Vice-Chairs and Co-Chairs”], one finds (p. 3):

        A4. Non-published/non-peer-reviewed literature: a guidance note has been prepared by the WG TSUs for the ongoing Special Reports (see Annex). This will be developed further by the TSUs and the IPCC Secretariat if necessary.

        In the “Guidance Note” (p. 7), the “rule” was still intact (with a somewhat redundant sentence relocated to a footnote). But, I’ll bet you’ll never guess what popped up on p. 4 of this March 2010 “Informal” document (my bold):

        E1. The issues of security and confidentiality in the work of preparing the next IPCC Assessment Report require urgent attention in order to meet the challenges of modern methods of working and communication and given the experiences during and since AR4. While IPCC is an institution that is open and transparent, the process of producing the reports (e.g., approval meetings, the deliberations by LAs within their Chapters, during LA meetings, and in related electronic communications) are pre-decisional processes which are not open to the public. In order to facilitate exchange, closed electronic discussion fora could be established when needed. The WG TSUs are already actively considering these issues.

        E2. The rights and responsibilities of all those involved in IPCC activities under the Aarhus Convention and in relation to requests under national Freedom of Information legislation needs to be clarified for the various groups: elected officials (Bureau), staff of the Secretariat, TSU staff, and experts involved in IPCC activities. However, IPCC cannot provide individual legal advice.

        So, yes, it does appear that Stocker likes to pick up stuff from one table, and drop it on another. Some might call this “Stocker’s Seeding”, but I couldn’t possibly comment;-)

        For the rest of the sorry saga regarding Stocker’s disappearance of “the rule” – and a link to IPCC-XXXII/INF. 4 – pls. see IPCC’s use of grey literature: To flag or not to flag, that is the question.

        • Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 7:12 AM | Permalink

          Hilary, thanks for suggesting I might be on the right lines! I have tried to get my head round this follow up, though without stepping out to your blog for more detail. I am maxed out with detail of other kinds right now. But I do appreciate and honour you, and others here, for delving into it and thus keeping the IPCC if not honest, then aware that it can’t get away with any old abuse that it might want.

  53. RDCII
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 6:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    You seem to be mulling over whether to be a First Draft Reviewer if you have to sign onto that secrecy clause.

    I vote that you withdraw.

    You know, from past experience, that the IPCC does not value your input, and that you will have little effect on the end result. (This is not a criticism of you; it is a criticism of the IPCC.)That, by itself, might not be a good enough reason for an ethical man to not try again, and again, and yet again.

    However, if you enter willingly into this secrecy clause, you may be permitting them to remove your power as an auditor, where you have been proven to be both passionate and effective. You will probably have little affect on the outcome of the report, and, unlike your last experience as a reviewer, you may be bound in such a way that you cannot describe what happened.

    I don’t see how you could be legally bound by the IPCC to not comment or cite on leaked docs such as ZOD as long as you have not signed onto the secrecy clause, but I think it would be worth your while to consult a lawyer on this one.

    • Eric (skeptic)
      Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 7:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I can’t imagine that there’s much material in the ZOD that they don’t want in the final version. Censorship and exclusion is now solidified in meetings abroad rather than recorded in email. The protection of the ZOD seems like a sizable red herring to distract the Galloping Canels of the blog world. GC”s idea of submitting the ZOD to reviewers outside of the process is commendable, but I don’t see how it will result in anything more than a report on the shape and smell of the IPCC turd.

      We know the report will use the same gray literature sources, except this time those sources will have been granted a PhD in Climatological Sociology and be published in scientific journals. IMO the analysis of the ZOD would probably reveal a bit more of the sordid details, but not much more than what will remain in the final version.

  54. KnR
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 6:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lets remember that to date the IPCC still has no conflict of interest policy , nor any real plans to have one , despite this being a requirement of the IPCC review . In reality the IPCC is acting just like lots of bits of the UN , trying very hard to keep their actions and information undercover and away from the eyes of the ‘normal folk ‘ who clearly would never understand it anyway .

  55. pat
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 7:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    13 Jan: WINA: Michael Mann To Speak At UVA
    The man at the center of a controversial climate change document battle will speak at UVA. Penn State Climatologist Michael Mann will speak on the climate change research that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is contesting in court…
    Michael Mann will speak Tuesday (Jan. 17) at 1:45 p.m. in Clark Hall.
    http://www.wina.com/Michael-Mann-To-Speak-At-UVA/11992072

  56. johanna
    Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 7:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It is indeed a travesty of science when it is seriously suggested that ‘predecisional’ material should be kept secret. It is bad enough that the IPCC routinely publishes its ‘decisions’ long before it releases the supporting data. It now seems that the noose around the neck of transparency is to be tightened even further.

    There can be good reasons for maintaining a reasonable amount of confidentiality while research is underway. Since the IPCC does not conduct original research, but rather reviews and analyses existing material, I would have thought that only a compelling case in individual circumstances could justify any secrecy during the review process.

    Having some experience of government, I agree with Ross McKitrick (above) when he says that many of the member nations on the plenary panel would not have given the material much, if any, proper consideration. Further, in these sorts of fora, a lot of the members just ‘go along to get along’, and those raising awkward issues are treated as though they just spat in the punch bowl – which in a sense, they did.

    If reviewers are embarrassed about their comments being made public, perhaps they should reconsider whether they should be reviewers. I would have thought that those reviewers of past IPCC reports whose pointing out of egregious errors were ignored have had their reputations enhanced in the long run, and those who ignored them have been diminished.

    • EdeF
      Posted Jan 13, 2012 at 10:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Government representatives may not want to read the reports………..but we do.

    • David Holland
      Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 4:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: johanna (Jan 13 19:46),
      The real scandal is that you government, mine and others are willing to vote to accept the IPCC Assessment Reports, as the best science, on behalf of nearly seven billion people. They do so when the ink is barely dry and the public have had no access to the Report or the assessment process. As bad is that they do so on the basis that at most a few hundred self-chosen lead authors have voted to accept their own work.

      • johanna
        Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

        David, in Australia at least the uncritical acceptance by government of IPCC reports is due to a closed loop of senior scientific advisers who are typically also enmeshed in IPCC processes. Not surprisingly, they give their weighty scientific judgement to the government that the IPCC produces ‘gold standard’ science.

        It is only the increasing skepticism of the public (ie voters), fuelled in no small part by bloggers and a few brave scientists outside the charmed circle, that has ameliorated this effect somewhat. The current government has an approval rating of around 30%, but we got the carbon tax anyway because they rely on a small number of Green parliamentarians to cling to power. Now that they have painted themselves into this corner, we will not see any critical analysis of the IPCC from them – which makes it even more important that others have the opportunity to independently assess the process and its results.

  57. Punksta
    Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 1:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Any decision-making process is only as safe as it is transparent.
    IPCC decisions are hence inherently unsafe, and becoming more so.

  58. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 1:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    While Phil Jones is concerned for the health and wellbeing of his wife, he also writes “I also suspect that as national measures to reduce emissions begin to affect people’s lives, we are all going to get more of this.”
    What does he think the wives of affected people are going to feel? Gratitude?
    Surely there is a point at which he concludes that his conduct is reckless and harmful to many parties.

  59. Bill Drissel
    Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 4:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    @FordPrefect >There has to be some way to stop time consuming unnecessary requests.

    Put info subject to FOIA on an FTP partition with anonymous access. Can be done by typing, “cvs commit”.

    How time-consuming is that?

    Keep up the good work,

    Bill Drissel

    • Punksta
      Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 4:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Yes indeed, servicing FOI is only time-consuming if you hide the information in the first place. If everything is by default kept freely accessible to the public, no time at all will be needed.

      And I for one cannot see why ALL information regarding both climate science and the ongoing process that produces it, cannot be available to the public who (a) pay for it and (b) whose lives and wealth could be heavily affected by political action premised on it.

  60. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Jan 14, 2012 at 7:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It is indefensible to hide the process from the public until it is complete under the pretence of not confusing the public with bad science.

    That is a clear statement of arrogance that those involved in the confidential process comprise the entire planetary stock of relevant expertise and that their editorial hierarchy correctly orders its quality.

    If its initial competence is in question as intrinsically implied then so is its final output. Either way, those outside the process should have an opportunity for review and critique before findings are set in concrete for policy makers. That is surely a simple statement of the blindingly obvious.

  61. Punksta
    Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 4:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Taken from Climate Etc’s False Positives blog, here are some more pesky, unprogressive practices for Stoker and Jones to shut down in the service of the Cause :

    - Authors must decide the rule for terminating data collection before data collection begins and report this rule in the article.
    - Authors must collect at least 20 observations per cell or else provide a compelling cost-of-data- collection justification.
    - Authors must list all variables collected in a study.
    - Authors must report all experimental conditions, including failed manipulations.
    - If observations are eliminated, authors must also report what the statistical results are if those observations are included.
    - If an analysis includes a covariate, authors must report the statistical results of the analysis without the covariate.

    - Reviewers should ensure that authors follow the requirements.
    - Reviewers should be more tolerant of imperfections in results.
    - Reviewers should require authors to demonstrate that their results do not hinge on arbitrary analytic decisions.
    - If justifications of data collection or analysis are not compelling, reviewers should require the authors to conduct an exact replication.

  62. Nik
    Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 8:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Phil Jones: “I also suspect that as national measures to reduce emissions begin to affect people’s lives, we are all going to get more of this. We can cope with op-ed pieces, but these FOI requests take time, as the whole process of how we all work has to be explained to FOI-responsible people at each institution.”

    Amazing and spontaneous admission by PJ. His work affects peoples’ lives but it must remain confidential. The basics of democracy are lost on him.

    Imagine that he represents the elite of what passes as an advanced education system.

    How much more is needed to wake up?

    Nik

    • Duster
      Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 3:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Science is not a democratic process. The problem with Jones is that he is not doing the basic science first. The entire AGW hypothesis is founded on assumptions, e.g. that we know how the climate works for example, or, assuming we know how climate works, then we can model it, or that he can trust someone who shares his assumptions to reliably critique his work and point out places in it that need help.

      Another, and to my mind very disturbing assumption he makes is that he knows what he’s doing. In one of the CG2 emails he remarks that he is “hopeless” with Excel. Implicit in this is: 1) if he cannot set up a calculation in Excel, he does not in fact understand the math well enough to model the system; 2) Excel is not an ideal platform for actually conducting analysis of physical processes or structures (no spreadsheet is), since spreadsheets are subject to problems related to numerical representation and rounding. Apparently “Harry” and others did the heavy lifting for him, but they could only do what he asked them to. If he really didn’t know what to ask ….

      All of this avoidance of open data sharing and waffling regarding methods looks as if he were really trying to hide his own incompetence rather than conspiring.

  63. Just Tex
    Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, thank you again for shining light into the darkness, created in wannabe despots hearts.

    While I cant offer solid advice about this situation, I can offer you two wise and important quotes:

    “Repression will provoke rebellion.” – Hugh Williamson

    And:

    “Break up the printing presses and you break up rebellion.” – Dudley Nichols

  64. David Holland
    Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 5:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Tom,

    My point is a simple one. The IPCC Lead Authors were given a clear set of rules in 1993 that all governments had fully discussed and agreed to. The Lead Authors should follow them, and Thomas Stocker and his pals should not have put a confidentiality proposal that was not recommended by the IAC into a document which claimed that it was.

  65. Peter S
    Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 7:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    These guys should run a restaurant – the Climate Chefs… where diners aren’t allowed to know the ingredients or the preparation until after they have eaten the meal (presumably by force feeding). Only then are they permitted to inspect the kitchens.

    Bon Appétit, Monsieur Publique.

  66. tckev
    Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 7:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    From what I’ve seen from these self-appointed masters of ‘the climate’ they can not explain themselves very well – curses and cussing ensues because their methodology and results are questioned.
    Yet they are demanding that –
    1. We (all of us one way or another) pay for their dubious research without question.
    2. From their (faulty, inaccurate, misguided) results the world must change its basic methods of business and trade, at an incredible cost to us all.

    If they have good, reproducible SCIENCE then it MUST be able to stand public scrutiny – anything less is a very expensive con!

  67. gallopingcamel
    Posted Jan 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for explaining those IPCC procedures that will be essential if things turn ugly. I responded meekly to the IPCC request as you can see here:
    http://www.gallopingcamel.info/Docs/IPCC2.doc

    I bowed to the IPCC request in the hope that they would negotiate about opening their deliberations to the public.

    If the IPCC spurns our olive branch and continues to conduct its deliberations in smoke filled rooms hidden from scrutiny, a “Citizen Audit” of the AR5 ZOD files will be carried out. It is likely that the results will be published when the Zero Order Drafts are once more made accessible on the Internet.

    The audit team will consist of people who are inspired by Steve McIntyre, Ross McKittrick, Donna LaFramboise and other Canadians.

    While we would like to co-operate with the IPCC the ball is in their court. We are few but quite determined.

    • David Holland
      Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 4:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: gallopingcamel (Jan 15 23:37),

      I have just noticed, in the email that the IPCC Secretariat sent to gallopingcamel, that the IPCC have indeed issued a revised Appendix A. To me this makes the IPCC a laughing stock. The Principles Governing IPCC Work remain unchanged,

      The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis etc

      but the Jones-Stocker(TM) clause has been added to Article 4.2 of Appendix A. The rational in the proposal for this clause is that because the “practice” of lead authors has always been to ignore the Principle of being open and transparent, we had better change the rules.

  68. David Schofield
    Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 4:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Check out the Phil Jones comment from one of the climategate emails in relation to M&M’s rerun of Mann’s analysis, over at WUWT.
    A stunner. Several comments about it.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/16/the-behind-the-scenes-bumbling-of-the-hockey-stick/#comments

    Phil Jones:
    ….I’m not trying to make any sort of point here, just to state that repeating an analysis with exactly the same data is normally very difficult….

  69. Tom Gray
    Posted Jan 16, 2012 at 4:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Standards work in engineering is commonly done in a completely open process. Certain participants may be selected to create a proposed draft. However such a draft would be open to complete review and modification. The reviewers, that is the other participants, will make open submissions discussing the draft and the group will collectively decide on any change that are needed to the draft including its complete rejection. In many cases, the original draft is considered a straw man and is populated with place holders and the final draft will bear no resemblance to it. The resulting document will be the result of the collective effort of the group and will not be the product of any one group of writers. If the writers of a draft attempted to ignore the comments from the group, their output would be considered unacceptable and rejected. They would not be invited to create drafts again.

    Certain participants may be selected to moderate the group and to guide its discussion. They may intervene to keep discussions focused and on topic. However, they are doing this as a service to the group and eh group may decide to modify or ignore any of their advice. I was involved in one group in which the moderator tried to eliminate discussion of an option to which he was opposed. He was quickly informed by the group that this was unacceptable. Certainly nether the moderators nor the writers have any say over the outcome of the process than any other participant.

    Discussions int these groups are highly technical and consider issues that require significant research and knowledge The results of the discussions can have major financial implications across industries. Issues around proprietary knowledge and intellectual property must be observed. Certain participants may want to have the standard require technology that they have patented. All of the discussions are open and the decisions are made collectively.

    These standards work. I do not see why the IPCC could not function in the same way. Right now it seems to be a poster child fro how not to run a group.

    • Grant
      Posted Jan 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Tom Gray, my sentiments exactly. One only needs to review the depth and breadth of global engineering standards to appreciate that sincere groups can openly work through varying positions and deliver guidance for the benefit of society. As well, we see that these standards are open to challenge and change as new thinking and experience dictates.

      • PJB
        Posted Jan 18, 2012 at 4:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

        That would be if their interest was in the science and the impartial presentation of its findings. The IPCC’s actions to date have been entirely partial and agenda-driven, with the generation and access to funds being their motivation. I find it highly unlikely (to take a rip at their nomenclature for certainty…) that they might even consider the science as science and not as spin or PR for their position.

  70. Joe Ryan
    Posted Jan 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Phil Jones: “Never thought I would know so much about the Law!”

    It’s OK Phil, we never figured you’d know so little about Excel, so it all balances out.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Jan 17, 2012 at 3:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

      What he chiefly knows about the law is how to get around it and how much he can get away with.

      • Jeff Norman
        Posted Jan 18, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Does he know that much?

  71. Bob McDonald
    Posted Jan 17, 2012 at 2:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I say we all start sending each other emails encouraging each other to delete any email about the IPCC.

  72. JJ
    Posted Jan 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Yet another good reason to call and write your congressmen, telling them that they must not pass the acts known as SOPA and PIPA.

    As it stands, if IPCC wants to stop Climate Audit from discussing the ZOD, they have to “respectfully ask” and perhaps hold the threat of recalling Steve’s Reviewer status for FOD.

    Under SOPA, they could shut down Climate Audit in toto by filing a complaint that their “intellectual property” was used without permission. No hearing, no trial, WordPress shut it down.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57326107-93/sopa-copyright-bill-draws-fire/

    • Punksta
      Posted Jan 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Is it really their intellectual property though ?

      • JJ
        Posted Jan 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Probably.

        The point is, it doesn’t matter. If they claim that it is their IP in a complaint to the US AG, then service providers have to remove access to the site or face prosecution. ISPs are not going to go to court over every complaint. Your ISP isn’t going to go to court to defend your ability to read Cliamte Audit. They’re just going to shut down your access.

  73. 2dogs
    Posted Jan 18, 2012 at 5:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Perhaps, we should all write to our relevant national bodies requesting a copy of the ZOD under each of our nations’ FOI laws.

  74. ferd berple
    Posted Jan 19, 2012 at 2:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The IPCC claims their documents are above national laws. Hard to see how you could violate any Canadian laws if these documents are above the law. They could of course use this as reason to exclude you from further IPCC participation.

  75. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jan 19, 2012 at 3:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There does not seem anything new or of substance in this IPCC reply asking what jurisdiction would apply to a disobiedient person who published material labelled otherwise.
    ……………………..
    “With reference to your message concerning the review of AR5 first and later order drafts, please refer to Section 4.2, last par., of Appendix A (Procedures for the Preparation, Review, Acceptance, Adoption, Approval and Publication of IPCC Reports) to the Principles Governing IPCC Work, which you can find on the IPCC website at:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles-appendix-a-final.pdf

    Section 4.2, last par., reads as follows: “The drafts of IPCC Reports and Technical Papers which have been submitted for formal expert and/or government review, the expert and government review comments, and the author responses to those comments will be made available on the IPCC website as soon as possible after the acceptance by the Panel and the finalisation of the report. The IPCC considers its draft reports, prior to acceptance, to be pre-decisional, provided in confidence to reviewers, and not for public distribution, quotation or citation. “

    Please note that these Procedures have been adopted by consensus by member governments of the IPCC, which is a United Nations body not subjected to any national legislation.”
    ………………………
    Clause 4.1 of this document outlines how you get to be selected onto this secretive team. If you appreciate Sir Humphrey talk, here it is. Note the confusion of “evidence” with “views”.

    “Participants should be selected by the relevant respective Working Group Bureau / Task Force Bureau and, in case of the Synthesis Report, by the IPCC Chair in consultation with the Working Group Co-Chairs. In selecting Scoping Meeting participants, consideration should be given to the following criteria: scientific, technical and socio-economic expertise, including the range of views; geographical representation; a mixture of experts with and without previous experience in IPCC; gender balance; experts with a background from relevant stakeholder and user groups, including governments. The Working Group/Task Force Bureau and, in the case of the Synthesis Report, the IPCC Chair will report to the Panel on the selection process including a description of how the selection criteria for participation and any other considerations have been applied, and including a list of participants.
    Based on the report of the scoping meeting the Panel”.
    …………………….
    Bye for now. I’m off to balance my gender.

  76. Paul Matthews
    Posted Jan 19, 2012 at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Unlike Steve, I have agreed to the IPCC no-distribution terms and downloaded the FOD chapters. The FOD refers to several papers that are submitted and not generally available. The IPCC has a process for allowing reviewers access to these papers, under the same no-distribution rules as the draft report itself:

    In accordance with the IPCC Procedures, copies of any non-published or not publicly available literature that is cited in the FOD is held at the WGI TSU and will be provided to Expert Reviewers upon request during the review period. An online form has been developed for this purpose and it can be accessed via the FOD Review website.

    I filled in the form to request three papers on Monday. I was sent three unreadable files with the following information:

    For security reasons, the attached copy is an encrypted version of a pdf. The copy can be viewed by a software (LockLizard) which is provided free of charge and is simple and quick to download. Below you will find instructions on how to download the software, register the license, and view the protected file. Please note that you must be online to open the document for the first time. Subsequent viewing does not require you to be online.

    I immediately wrote back to the IPCC saying that since the software was only provided for PC and Mac, it would not work on my Linux PC, and asking them to provide access to the pdfs through their website in the same way as the FOD files.

    Have a look at the LockLizard website. It features a cartoon of a policeman chasing after a sinister miscreant (tallbloke?) with a confidential document. Clearly an appropriate piece of software for research papers in climate science and the “open and transparent” IPCC.

    • Paul Matthews
      Posted Jan 21, 2012 at 10:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I now have a reply from the IPCC to my request for the submitted papers in pdf form:

      Copies of non-published literature cited in the First Order Draft are accessible during the review through the use of the software LockLizard. The procedure is the same for all reviewers and we cannot make exceptions. Please note that LockLizard may be viewed via Virtual PC on the Linux operating system.

  77. Posted Jan 20, 2012 at 2:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have posted the ZOD for WG1 Ch4 at:
    http://www.davidappell.com/ZODS/

    and am looking to host the other chapters. If you have copies and will share, please click on that link and write me.

    • ianl8888
      Posted Jan 20, 2012 at 7:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for that link – very helpful indeed

  78. Posted May 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Is it true that ‘pre-decisional’ and ‘post-delusional’ always go together?

7 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Stocker’s Earmarks from Climate Audit by Steve McIntyre Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  2. By Openly Confidential « the Air Vent on Jan 13, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    [...] of the IPCC.   As usual, he has put considerable time into the effort and discovered a unique chain of events in the public documentation. The IPCC considers its draft reports, prior to acceptance, to be pre-decisional, provided in [...]

  3. [...] McIntyre now reports that he, and others, have received a cease-and-desist order for publishing excerpts from the AR5 [...]

  4. [...] IPCC seems far more concerned about secrecy than in requiring its contributors to archive data. I received another request to remove discussion [...]

  5. [...] had been strongly opposed by Phil Jones, (see CA post here which reviews Jones’ correspondence with Stocker.) Stocker led a bureaucratic [...]

  6. By Week in review 1/13/12 | Climate Etc. on Sep 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    [...] McIntyre has a must read post Stocker’s Earmarks.  It addresses efforts by IPCC WG1 to circumvent the transparency objectives recommended by the IAC [...]

  7. […] skills in action was thoroughly documented by Steve McIntyre in a Jan. 2012 post in which Stocker is revealed to have slipped in a “rule” regarding increased […]

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