Interesting new light on the Boultonization of Holland’s submission to Muir Russell at Bishop Hill (here).
Muir Russell’s first statement upon being appointed to look into CRU was:
Given the nature of the allegations it is right that someone who has no links to either the University or the Climate Science community looks at the evidence and makes recommendations based on what they find.
Instead, Muir Russell delegated the critical aspects of the inquiry to Geoffrey Boulton, who had worked for 18 years at the University of East Anglia in Environmental Sciences, overlapping Phil Jones, Tom Wigley, Ben Santer among others. In addition, Boulton has campaigned actively on climate issues and even signed the Met Office petition in December last year supporting CRU. His appointment to the panel was opposed by many submissions.
Muir Russell didn’t even bother attending any interviews with CRU scientists following his press conference, leaving the one interview of Jones and Briffa to the most conflicted panelist, Geoffrey Boulton.
In his press conference, Muir Russell was asked whether communications between the panel and the university would be public and promised that they would be. At about minute 26 in February, Muir Russell was asked (approx transcript follows):
Given that openness is the only weapon you have against allegations about lack of independence, will you do interviews? Will they publish those in some way or will they be public in some way? Will you publish communications that you will have and have had with the university?
Muir Russell answered:
we’ll put all that material on the website. It will come on at different times depending on its relevance to the stages that we’re at.
As with many other undertakings, Muir Russell breached this undertaking and did not place all communications with the University on the website – or even the majority of them. People who wish to see the communications promised by Muir Russell have had to use FOI on the University – with the University refusing many requests.
Muir Russell’s website shows Briffa’s response to some issues raised by David Holland. Boulton did not seek comments on Briffa’s response – the Briffa letter was posted up at the website only after the report was published (despite Muir Russell’s promise to post documents at their website as they were received.)
The response includes a May 6 letter by Geoffrey Boulton which refers to an “annex”, but the original letter together with the annex was not at the website. David Holland submitted an FOI for the original letter together with its annex, shedding some interesting light on how Boulton Boultonized the events described in Holland’s chronology.
The Annex is based on paragraphs 42-53 of Holland’s submission. (Muir Russell refused to place Holland’s full submission on their website.) Boulton’s annex is nearly word for word from Holland’s submission. Boulton removed Holland’s paragraph numbering (though his removal failed at one point and the number for paragraph 50 is embedded in his annex.)
However, Boulton removed some key portions of Holland’s chronology. Boulton removed the following from paragraph 42:
The above instruction imposed additional strict conditions necessary to ensure that Government and Expert Reviewers were reviewing the actual paper, as it would be published. It might be argued that it extended the “in press” deadline to any time in December 2005, although it did not specifically state that. It did make it absolutely clear, however, that a final preprint copy had to be held by the TSU by late February 2006 and that failure meant that citations must be removed.
Boulton removed the following sentence from paragraph 43:
As the writing team began work on the second order draft, Overpeck became concerned at not having the “final preprint” of some papers as the end of February 2006 approached.
Boulton removed all of paragraph 44 which read:
44. On 11 February 2006 in email 1141180962, Wahl tries to secure the acceptance of Wahl and Ammann writing to the editor, Stephen Schneider, of the journal Climatic Change:
Caspar and I expect to have the final manuscript to you in 7-10 days
with all the revisions you requested in December. I have recently had
some correspondance with Jonathan Overpeck about this, in his IPCC
role. He says that the paper needs to be in press by the end of February
to be acceptable to be cited in the SOD. [I had thought that we had
passed all chance for citation in the next IPCC report back in December,
but Peck has made it known to me this is not so.] He and I have communicated re: what “in press” means for Climatic Change, and I agreed to contact you to have a clear definition. What I have understood from our conversations before is that if you receive the mss and move it from “provisionally accepted” status to “accepted”, then this can be considered in press, in light of CC being a journal of record.
The deletion of paragraph 44 led to a non-sequitur in what would have been Holland’s paragraph 45, which stated:
45. The sentence, that Wahl put in parentheses above, shows that he had understood the clear TSU instruction that the paper had to be “in press” by 16 December and was not expecting his paper, written with Caspar Ammann, to be acceptable to the IPCC WGI TSU. Overpeck was overlooking this and a major effort was evidently underway to squeeze this critical paper into the IPCC report. Schneider eventually replied from Australia, accepting the paper in email 1141145428, received by Wahl at 9:33 PM on 28 February 2006.
Briffa’s “rebuttal” seized on the Boultonized omission, pointing out:
No text from Wahl is quoted above and therefore this statement is in error.
The statement in parenthesis was from Wahl’s original email:
I had thought that we had passed all chance for citation in the next IPCC report back in December, but Peck has made it known to me this is not so.
As David Holland observed, Briffa’s response shows that he was in possession of Holland’s submission (contrary to UEA’s original statement that they did not possess a copy of his submission – a point that they conceded a day or two ago.) Briffa’s “rebuttal” applied only to the Boultonized version. Boulton’s reasons for Boultonizing the chronology have thus far not been explained.
More of the “small inaccuracies” that are traditional in British inquiries.
The new documents also show that Muir Russell moved his email contact from the public sector Judicial Appointments Board (which would be subject to FOI) to a generic address and that staffer William Hardie, (who is presumably will_50), seconded from the Royal Society of Edinburgh – an affiliation referred to by Muir Russell at the press conference – also set up a a generic email address distinct from his Royal Society of Edinburgh email (the RSE voluntarily complies with FOI).