UEA Submission to Tribunal on Wahl FOI

UEA made lengthy submission to Information Tribunal, re-iterating their claim that attachments to the Wahl emails have been destroyed.

The present appeal arises in part from Acton telling to the Parliamentary Committee that they did not inquire deeply into Jones’ deletion of email request because the “emails do exist”:

Q84 Graham Stringer: Thank you. Sir Muir, on page 92 of your report you say, and I paraphrase, that there is no attempt to delete e-mails after there had been a request made, whereas in actual fact the e-mail of 27 May from Jones actually asked for deletion of e-mails, didn’t it?

Sir Muir Russell: It requested them. I think we said that there was incitement to delete. You have quoted half the sentence. The first bit says: “There seemed clear incitement to delete but we had seen no evidence of any attempt to delete in respect of a request already made.” That is quite a tricky area because they do still exist, apart from anything else, but the question that I think you’re getting at is whether we sought to chase that particular question about deletion of requested e-mails through our review.

On this point, UEA made the following submission:

In 18-19 GoA, Mr Mclntyre makes allegations to the effect that evidence given by UEA’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Acton, to the STC as part of its inquiry into climategate was untrue. UEA does not accept that these allegations are well-founded. However, the doctrine of Parliamentary privilege in any event means that these are not allegations which can or should be countenanced by the Tribunal.

Lots of interesting information and interpretation. See here.


  1. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    I don’t understand why “Pariamentary privilege” is invoked. Are some of the contestants Members of Parliament? In any case I always thought that only applied to statements made in Parliament … seems like I’m missing something here.


    • Adrian
      Posted May 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

      ‘I don’t understand why “Pariamentary privilege” is invoked.’

      They are probably referring to the “absolute privilege” enjoyed by witnesses before a parliamentary committee? i.e. the ICT can’t dispute the statements made to the STC (Science and Technology Committee).

      See for example – page 11

      Click to access witnessguide.pdf

      It wouldn’t stop the witness being held to be in comtempt of Parliament, if Parliament decided they were misled.

      • TerryS
        Posted May 9, 2012 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

        You missed an important caveat:

        Witnesses to select committees enjoy absolute privilege in respect of the evidence they give, whether written or oral, provided that it is formally accepted as such by the Committee.

        The bold highlights are in the original document.

        I do not remember the Committee formally conferring absolute privilege on any of the evidence presented to them.

        I’ve searched the report, minutes, questions and answers and the word “privilege” appears exactly twice. The first occurrence is in Lord Lawson of Blaby’s answer to Q17 and the second is in item 2 of a memorandum submitted by Professor Darrel Ince.

        Given this, I do not think privilege was formally given by the Committee.

    • Nick Stokes
      Posted May 9, 2012 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

      As I understand it, a statement made to a parliamentary hearing would be privileged – ie immune from civil law penalty. That doesn’t mean you can’t say it’s wrong. But I assume UEA is arguing that SM is arguing that the Tribunal should find the V_C’s statement false and consequently visit some adverse consequence on UEA (because of its alleged falsity). That would be contrary to privilege.

      • JohnH
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

        No, Steve is not saying the statement is false, only that the statements are odds 100% and only one is correct.

        UEA are lying to the ICO or Parliament.

        • Nick Stokes
          Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

          Well, I said UEA’s argument is based on that:
          “In 18-19 GoA, Mr Mclntyre makes allegations to the effect that evidence given by UEA’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Acton, to the STC as part of its inquiry into climategate was untrue.”

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

        As too often, Nick puts his own words in other people’s mouth. I did not argue that the Tribunal itself “visit adverse consequence” on UEA nor does the UEA submission appear to argue that I did.

        I think that the Sci Tech Committee made it abundantly clear that they wanted a proper determination of the facts about the deletion of emails by the ICO and/or Muir Russell; the SciTech Committee can then determine what, if anything, it wants to do. In the summary of its original report, the STC stated:

        The Deputy Information Commissioner has given a clear indication that a breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 may have occurred but that a prosecution was timebarred; however no investigation has been carried out. In our view it is unsatisfactory to leave the matter unresolved. We conclude that the matter needs to be resolved conclusively—either by the Independent Climate Change Email Review or by the Information Commissioner.

        Muir Russell refused to investigate, but it’s evident that the STC wanted an investigation of when and who destroyed documents. It seems that there may have been several copies of Briffa’s emails. I hope that the Tribunal will give some answers and when and who destroyed each of these copies, though this is probably too much to hope for.

        Bishop Hill has a good post on privilege here. Acton told the STC that nothing had been deleted. Acton’s categorical assertion stopped that line of questioning at the STC. Out of the other side of their mouths, UEA tell the ICO that attachments to emails have been deleted.

        Andrew’s analysis indicates that Acton’s testimony to the STC is privileged as against subsequent civil or criminal proceedings, but he could theoretically be subject to contempt of Parliament. The STC seemed pretty annoyed with Acton, but it’s hard to see matters getting to that extremity.

        • Nick Stokes
          Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

          Steve, I said I assume that UEA’s argument is based on a potential adverse consequence. That is the only way I can see how a privilege argument would be relevant. Privilege (where granted) protects against an adverse consequence following from a statement to a parliamentary proceeding. Can you see any other way to make the connection?

  2. Posted May 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    “UEA does not accept that these allegations are well-founded”
    They did not precisely say you lied (and for any such statement they’d be pounded)
    One curious assertion in the attachment might intrigue any keeping score:
    The Climategate “hack” with November emails actually happened the month before!

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  3. JCM
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    Just under 30 months since police took possession of the UEA servers and on page 6 para 22 we see this “As at the date of this pleading, the Constabulary has yet to return the server”

    When will this investigation conclude and will there be any charges ?

  4. KnR
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    does CRU want the server back for it may well be that while its ‘evidenced; its contents cannot be subject FOI , in other words right now it and much more importantly its contents in a ‘safe place ‘ from CRU’s point of view .

    In this case we known that not only was there request from Jones to delete put at least one person acted on it , Russell could not find his own rear end with map , a DVD on rear end finding and one to one training in the act of finding your rear end . Lets face it he got the job becasue of his inability.

  5. Solomon Green
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    The doctrine of Parliamentary priviledge does not mean that statements made in Parliament or responses to questions asked by members of a Select Committees cannot be (a) reported and (b) used in court cases or tribunals.

    In a public inquiry in which I was recently involved the examniner specifically referred to Hansard reports of what ministers had stated in Parliament in order to better understand a point of law on which there was some legal dispute. This is common practice.

    If the emails did not still exist then Sir Muir’s statement was untrue and either he was lying to the Committee or he was repeating a lie told to him by the UAE witnesses.

    Either way it is a proper subject for the Information Commissioner to have investigated and for the Tribuanl to investigate.

    Since Dr. Proops is a junior barrister of some standing it would be interesting to know upon what precedent she bases her argument for Parliamentary privilege. I note that unlike some of her other points she ahs provided no support to this particular assertion.

    How many other mis-statements are contained in her submission?

  6. Solomon Green
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Please replace previous submission. I motice that I misspelt “privilege”

    The doctrine of Parliamentary privilege does not mean that statements made in Parliament or responses to questions asked by members of a Select Committees cannot be (a) reported and (b) used in court cases or tribunals.

    In a public inquiry in which I was recently involved the examniner specifically referred to Hansard reports of what ministers had stated in Parliament in order to better understand a point of law on which there was some legal dispute. This is common practice.

    If the emails did not still exist then Sir Muir’s statement was untrue and either he was lying to the Committee or he was repeating a lie told to him by the UAE witnesses.

    Either way it is a proper subject for the Information Commissioner to have investigated and for the Tribuanl to investigate.

    Since Dr. Proops is a junior barrister of some standing it would be interesting to know upon what precedent she bases her argument for Parliamentary privilege. I note that unlike some of her other points she ahs provided no support to this particular assertion.

    How many other mis-statements are contained in her submission?

    • Lynn Clark
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

      And yet you appear to be fine with “examniner”, “UAE”, “Tribuanl”, “ahs” in the original post, and “motice” in the “corrected” post.


    • johanna
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

      Solomon Green, I think you have misunderstood how Parliamentary Privilege (PP) works.

      It is quite common for Ministers’ speeches and answers to questions about legislation to be used in the courts to help to clarify what the intention of the legislation is. But that has nothing to do with PP.

      Under the doctrine of PP, anything said by a Member of Parliament during parliamentary proceedings is absolutely immune from any external civil or criminal action. The Parliament is expected to discipline its own members. With regard to witness testimony before Committees, as was explained above, sometimes the testimony is covered by PP and sometimes it isn’t.

      However, even if testimony (or something an MP admits to) is covered by PP, that doesn’t preclude outside authorities from making inquiries if they believe a crime has been committed, or people suing if they believe that they have been wronged civilly. They just can’t use, or refer to in any way, what was said under PP when presenting their case in a court or tribunal. An MP can’t admit to murder in Parliament under privilege and be immune from prosecution because of it. But the admission has no legal standing if the MP is subsequently charged.

      PP is not a get out of jail free card.

      I hope that clarifies things.

  7. Louise
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    As a UK tax payer, I am appalled at the waste of money this whole bear hunt has cost. How much cash has the Canadian host and the Canadian, American and other non-UK posters to this board contributed to the cost of this witch hunt?

    So some scientists were mean. Has this changed the price of fish in any way? Has the world stopped warming? No.

    How has any of this false outrage and pointless enquiry added to the wealth creation of the UK in any way?

    Why don’t you, obviously intelligent people, use this to create wealth rather than waste time, effort, energy and (mine and other UK taxpayers’) cash on what amounts to booger all in the long run?

    • DaveS
      Posted May 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

      As a UK taxpayer I’m appalled at the monumental waste of money represented by lunatic laws like the Climate Change Act, the single most absurd piece of legislation ever passed by the idiots in Parliament, based on dubious ‘science’. If you are happy to throw your own money away in this way, feel free; I’m not.

    • Jan
      Posted May 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

      snip – please discuss the FOI request rather than the state of the world

    • RDCII
      Posted May 9, 2012 at 9:45 PM | Permalink


      You’re writing to the wrong people.

      The people wasting your money are the scientists…being mean again, I suppose…and the University. You should be writing to them and telling them to stop spending your hard-earned tax dollars trying to avoid obeying the FOI laws.

      Aren’t you at all appalled that these scientists, and this University, lie, then lie about lying, then spend your money to avoid getting caught? Wouldn’t it be so much cheaper on your wallet if they just obeyed the law?

      We’re spending our own money, and you have no more business criticizing how we want to spend it than we would have criticizing how you spend your money. But you DO certainly have a right to be outraged at how the University spends YOUR money. And, although you can’t prevent us from spending money, it is technically possible that, as a citizen and taxpayer, you could influence a politician or the University itself to stop misspending your money. If the ill-spent money is your issue, put your time in where there is some possibility of your making a difference.

      (BTW, you seem to have internalized the idea that “we”, whoever we are, believe that money should only be used to create wealth. I donate to many charities that raise no wealth but do good things. I would hope that you understand that wealth isn’t everything in this world, and that things like poverty and sickness and, in this case, injustice, also matter.)

  8. snarkmania
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    As an American taxpayer, I am appalled at the waste of money in this country devoted to the promotion of climate change regulation. Thanks to this blog, we can say that the non-transparent work coordinated at UEA has much to do with this.
    If you are worried about wasting money and if you believe in accountability and transparency, you would support this blog.

  9. pax
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    Louise, getting the facts right about the various aspects the AGW theory may prevent destruction of wealth, i.e. wasting $$$ on useless actions based on wonky science. Paleoclimate is an important pillar of the AGW theory, which is why the Hockey Stick was promoted so massively. If paleoclimatatic studies and the people behind them are not quite what they pretend to be, that that should make you wonder – at least I do. As some other poster said somewhere, honest scientists with solid data simply do not act this way.

  10. Posted May 9, 2012 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Paying 8,910 pounds to copy email files onto thumb drives from three laptops is just another example of the pathetic fiasco that Acton organized. (I suppose that UK taxpayers can take some solace in the fact that much of the CRU grant largesse came from the US DOE).

    snip – you’re making an untrue statement that confuses the real situation

    • Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

      Yep – sorry. Steve your dedication to the facts, just the facts, is commendable!

  11. Cassio
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    “In November 2009, a large number of emails relating to the work of CRU appeared on various websites. The publication of the emails had not been authorised by UEA. Indeed, UEA believes that they were obtained following one or more unlawful hacks of CRU’s backup server, which took place sometime in or around October 2009.”

    However after more than two years Norfolk Constabulary remains unpersuaded that any hacking occurred.

  12. Snotrocket
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    snip – no need to pile on

  13. chu
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    As a UK taxpayer I fully support anyone using the ICO to get to the truth, especially on subjects that are clearly of such intense public interest.

  14. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    At paragraph 8 of the linked APR:
    …”Work done by academics within the CRU includes work in the area of climate change. This is an area where very strong and opposing views are held.”

    So the UAE does not believe the “science is settled”?

  15. Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  16. Salamano
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    According to none other than the great Paul Krugman himself, any expenditure of tax-payer money on the part of government leads to wealth creation. This includes paying people to dig holes and fill them in, and presumably to examine holes in testimony and fill them in.

  17. Steven Mosher
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:16 PM | Permalink


    loose canon

  18. Bob Koss
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    Bishop Hill found out in March that the Norfolk Constabulary hasn’t spent any money on the investigation since February 2011. Evidently they aren’t really doing anything anymore unless something pops up and hits them in the face in the future.

    I imagine the mail server will be held in their evidence locker until it can be considered an antique.

    • Posted May 9, 2012 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

      I wonder if News International has considered sending its email servers to the Norfolk constabulary for a safe stay in limbo? Perhaps Neil Wallis should employ evidence burier par excellence, Edward Acton, as a consultant?

      • mpaul
        Posted May 9, 2012 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

        ZT, I think you are on to something. I understand that the Constabulary is under a bit of budget stress. This could be a whole new revenue generator for them. Anyone who receives a FOIA request and doesn’t want to comply, could simply send the relevant materials to the constabulary and, for a small fee, the constabulary would provide FOIA sanctuary services.

  19. Posted May 9, 2012 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    willis – if the words are spoken under parliamentary privilege, then they can only be contested at the will of parliament. Thus the ordinary law of the land ceases to apply. It dates back to the 18thc. when various members of parliament criticised the government, which was enacting a war in the american colonies, and they were denied a right to speak in condemnation thereof

  20. mpaul
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

    From the submission:

    Mr Mclntyre’s argument that documents 5-8 would have been retained on ‘private computers’ does not take his case any further. It is right to say that, in 2008, Professor Briffa transferred certain information from his work PC onto a memory stick. However, the information which was transferred was limited to emails and did not include any email attachments, such attachments having been stored in a separate file to the emails on Professor Briffa’s PC. For the avoidance of doubt, UEA retains a copy of the memory stick in question. A review of the contents of that device confirms that it contains only emails and not attachments. It follows that documents 5-8 were not transferred onto the memory stick used by Professor Briffa and that the ‘private storage issue is a ‘red herring’.

    On the surface, this would seem contradicted by:

    3939. 2009-10-12 12:07:03
    cc: Keith
    date: Mon Oct 12 12:07:03 2009
    from: Tom Melvin
    subject: Keith Email
    to: Mike
    For Keith’s Email :
    1. Copied the full C:\Eudora directory to my portable.
    2. Deleted the 12000 temporay .gif files from C:\Eudora\Embedded.
    3. Copied 3.5 gig of attachments (1 year or older) from C:\Eudora\Attach to C:\OldAttach – this will need to be copied back to his PC
    4. He is left with a 1.5 gig C:\Eudora directory on my portable which can be copied back to his PC and readily be moved from PC to portable etc.
    5. When using my portable (via yellow cable (in office) or various WiFi networks) Keith logs in to VPN.
    PS. I need to take my portable to a conference w/c 26th Oct.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted May 9, 2012 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

      as i said

      loose cannon

      fish through the mails

      no more clues for now.

      see if you can break the code

      • Posted May 9, 2012 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

        Your identification of Gleick certainly gives your speculations cred. For now, the cryptic pickup man in an elegant lounge can remain Reasonably Cautious until the statute of limitations expires, which Steve says is this November.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:25 AM | Permalink

          as RC (aka FOIA) said here “no deal was made”

          however, if you fish around, you will find that somebody who hasn’t published in a long long long while, just got his name on an important study.

      • mpaul
        Posted May 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM | Permalink

        Interesting. If my guess is correct, I think its better if I not reveal it. Laziness is the mother of all invention.

      • geronimo
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:26 AM | Permalink

        Mosh, is what’s “loose” a “canon” of the ecclesiastical variety or a “cannon” of the weaponary variety, or neither?

      • Martin A
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:28 AM | Permalink


        “Apart from Keith, I think Tom Melvin here is the only person who could shed light on the
        McIntyre criticisms of Yamal. But he can be a rather loose cannon and shouldn’t be
        directly contacted about this (also he wasn’t involved in the Yamal chronology being
        discussed, though he has been involved in a regional reconstruction that we’ve recently
        been working towards that uses these — and more — data).
        Perhaps Phil and I should talk with Tom and also see if Keith is already considering a
        Off to lecture for a couple of hours now…

        • BillC
          Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

          sheesh. Climate Dynamics’ website is down.

        • BillC
          Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

          hard to hit a puck with that one

      • TerryMN
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

        I came from a different starting point (suspected name), but that isn’t very cryptic at all, now that I see it…

  21. Gary
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    “Operation Cabin” ? How did they come up with that name?

  22. Posted May 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    I’m going to have to re-read this “submission” very carefully; because at first reading there were parts that made me wonder if seeing is, in fact, believing! For example, their dance around the thumbs – certainly at first glance – was quite remarkable, IMHO. But in the meantime …

    Gavin’s Nov. 20/09 first post on the matter indicated that this alleged “hack” (for the purpose of an alleged, albeit inexplicable, “upload” to RC) transpired on Nov. 17/09 at which point (at least according to what he told Revkin):

    scientists immediately notified colleagues at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit. [emphasis added -hro]

    Am I the only person who finds it somewhat odd that – notwithstanding the “early warning” CRU received on Nov. 17 – Norfolk’s finest did not deem it necessary to “seize the backup server” until (according to Proop) Nov. 24?

    And isn’t it a shame that CRU had no replacement backup in place until “late May 2010”. A remarkably conveniently closed window considering the April 5/2010 date of Steve’s FOI request. Oh, well … perhaps they were saving all their money so that they could pay the Outside Organization for Wallis’s & Bowen’s services.

    The other thing that struck me as somewhat odd is how much ado they made of the separate storage for emails and attachments (pp 3-4):

    The Eudora system does not store any attachments to emails together with the
    relevant emails. Instead, at the point when they are received onto an individual CRU computer, emails and attachments are automatically separated into different files within the computer’s directory.

    My recollection of Eudora’s behaviour is that she doesn’t really “separate” the attachments, but rather she decodes them into a readable format and drops them into a predetermined folder, with the path conveniently hyperlinked at the bottom of the E-mail.

    Perhaps whoever prepared the above song and dance is not familiar with the fact that a “file” (which an attachment is most definitely considered to be) is typically stored in a “folder”. That being the case, s/he may be unaware that the path to the attachments in Eudora which (at least for Briffa, according to 3939.text) is C:\Eudora\Attach. This makes it as close to the emails as it could possibly be. Certainly far closer than a number of selected tree-ring datasets Briffa had chosen to use;-)

    Not to mention that Eudora makes an attachment far easier to find on one’s computer (without referring to the E-mail) than one which might have arrived (or been sent) via (Outlook and) Exchange – unless one has gone to the trouble of “detaching” or otherwise deliberately saving the attachment elsewhere.

    Seems to me that it would be more trouble to exclude the attachments sub-folder (thereby rendering certain emails considerably less than useful should restoration from backup ever be required) in the backup process than to include them.

    But what do I know, eh?! After all, I’m not an academic – or a “climate scientist”.

  23. R.S.Brown
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:47 AM | Permalink


    Now all you need is an FOI request to the “Constabulary” for the emails
    the ICO Commisioner has ruled are sequestered by the Norfolk Constabulary.

    The Norfolk Police can then “deny” the request because the information,
    drives, etc,, are part of an ongoing investigation or potential
    criminal proceedings;

    OR, state publically that the Constabular has returned the material to CRU;

    Or trot out some other exception saying that although the stuff is
    not part of any ongoing investigation, however, since the final dispostion
    of the backup drive and the downloaded emails are current held by their forensic
    specialist in some sort of special sequestration… you still can’t see it.

    Dave Holland may be the man for this. The ICO seems to have a down on you
    given your allegations, appeals and cross-referenced material that has added to
    their collective confusion and clouded their rulings.

    Good hunting.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

      why did they return tallblokes drive when it was part of an investigation?

      • Graeme W
        Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

        Because they had copied everything they needed and didn’t require the originals any more.

        Why that doesn’t apply to the UEA server, I don’t know….

        • Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

          Perhaps Acton and the Norfolk Chief Constable are chums or Neil Wallis (and the UEAs 112,870.71 pounds) came to an arrangement with someone?

  24. whydoyouasktwodogs
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:53 AM | Permalink

    Parliamentary privilege would mean the statements are not actionable, but that does not mean they can’t be evidence.

    If the STC made a finding that the emails had not been deleted, it is possible that the finding is unusable as evidence. But such a result would be due to the rules of evidence, not parliamentary privilege.

    • johanna
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

      Wrong. If they are privileged, they can’t be used as evidence in a civil or criminal proceeding. That is the whole point of PP.

      • Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

        It’s a bit different in the US
        Privileged statements don’t get you dings
        But they are evidence, else it’s a guess
        If “privilege” really applies to the things

        In the States, if you’re a lawyer involved
        You can say anything: true, false, or weird
        Even before the suit’s brought, you’re absolved
        If suits were contemplated, you’re cleared

        But such decisions must still be made
        Based on the documents’ content and dates
        If they weren’t evidence, such work is stayed
        Or at least that’s how it goes in the States

        The actual use of “privilege” here
        Seems not well-taken, doesn’t make sense
        “Maybe we lied — but you can’t say that here!”
        Should fall quite hard as a form of defense

        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  25. Posted May 10, 2012 at 4:23 AM | Permalink

    An odd little quote
    That seems worth a note
    It’s from your linked doc
    And seems quite a shock:

    “The conclusions reached by these various inquiries confirmed that the allegations that members of CRU had been improperly manipulating climate change data and/or abusing the peer review process…”

    Note that to come up with this bit of art
    I’ve here employed tactics the Team taught us all
    I looked at all data, considered the chart
    And carefully picked out the cherry Yamal

    But this doesn’t change the result (not by much)
    Why, you had the rest of the data already!
    And it’s been confirmed by some research and such
    So “it doesn’t matter!”

    Such logic’s unsteady.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  26. Mark McNeil
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    I agree with JCM. Is there any appeal to the constabulary that can be made to release the servers? Good grief, all they had to do was copy the hard drives. Perhaps there would be some movement if the police were a free subscription to Carbonite?

    • KnR
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

      But there may be good reasons to keep the servers contents ‘off the record ‘ no FOI’s possible for information which is evidenced in an ONGOING criminal investigation?

  27. Don McIlvin
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    In the UEA response pointed to by this post, one forensic expert laboriously extracts files from the backup server to a thumb drive. Then another tries to examine those files and finds them not readily readable – yet details on why this is so are vague or non-existent. Only that it would take weeks and there was implied complexity. In any case the effort to determine if the files exist was thwarted.

    This seems more like peas moving under the cups. One would think the two forensic experts could confer on what the file formats, OS, and applications involved were and conclude the effort.

  28. AndyS
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    “Operation Cabin” ? How did they come up with that name?

    In the UK they tend to give completely random names to operations etc. which give no possible clue as to the nature of the operation. For example “Overlord” rather than say; “Operation Liberate the Froggies”. Makes for a better surprise.

    The Germans made the mistake of naming their WW2 radars after figures from Germanic mythology which were based on their characteristics. It didn’t take long once that was known to figure out what they did and start looking for them.

    Sorry if this is deemed O/T

  29. Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    Perhaps it’s a different situation
    And they were intending verification
    That climate fee revenue would be there:
    In short, Operation Cabin Fee-Ver™

    I added the “tm” to honor initials picked up by Mosh
    (If not yet by officials)

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    • sue
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

      heh, I thought ‘operation CABIN’ = Climate Audit Bin (as ‘toss in the bin/garbage can’)

  30. Stephen
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    I posted (a similar version of) this at Bishop Hill and think it could also be useful here.

    The Yamal controversy is of immense importance for the whole climate debate. However, one must read and digest the various posts before fully understanding the main points. I therefore suggest a simple post in the form of several bullet points at the start (useful for attracting the attention of journalists):

    (1) An update of a temperature reconstruction with more data removes the hockey stick and implies there is nothing unusual about 20th century temperatures.
    (2) The scientist who led this update withheld the results and pretended never to have made the study (this is called cherry picking and is simply not allowed for obvious reasons).
    (3) Freedom of information requests and complaints to journals eventually allowed point (1) to be established and gave strong evidence that point (2) is well founded.
    (4) There is consequently strong evidence that the accounts given to the various Climategate inquiries (including a UK Parliamentary inquiry) about this update (or lack of update) are untrue.
    (5) There are serious questions which UAE must answer. To keep silent or to deride the accusers is unacceptable. Similarly, to respond that it “doesn’t matter since we’ve got other hockey sticks” is also unacceptable, not least since Yamal is strong evidence of publication bias which just as easily affect other activities in this field.

    Unlike many here I feel somewhat sorry for Briffa. I’m also a scientist and whenever improved data destroys the “preferred message” (and there is always such a message whether we like it or not, we’re human) there is always the temptation to withhold or delay the result. One usually tries to convince oneself that more work is needed with the new data, one must have made a mistake, someone else will spot it so the new result will anyway appear eventually etc. Fortunately for me this has never gone beyond an impulse since not following basic scientific ethics would mean not sleeping well at night. I’d like to believe that Briffa holds similar standards and can provide a good defense against these allegations. Therefore I’d like journalists to pick it up and push for a response from UAE. To do this I think the central points should be made clearly and repeatedly. Although others may doubt it, I am sincere in my sympathy for Briffra – I want him to clear his name.

    • RobP
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Permalink


      You are correct that we are all biased to believe results supporting our theories more than results which contradict them – as scientists we try to fight against this and be as ‘self-critical’ as possible, but we are all human. The way scientists guard against this is the review process and that begins with colleagues internally, followed by peer reviewers and journal editors who must all take their responsibilities seriously.

      However, my sympathy with Keith Briffa only goes so far when the emails released in Climagegate I and II show the lengths that his colleagues have gone to to prevent the critical review of the data and his results. To not have been involved in this process of preventing a proper review of his own work is strange, but to have not protested loudly when it was brought to light makes him complicit in my eyes.

      I understand that he is in poor health (at least he was when much of this blew up) and I sincerely hope that this has not made his health worse, but the time for him to stand up and clear his name is fast running out.

  31. Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:13 PM | Permalink


    “as RC (aka FOIA) said here “no deal was made”

    however, if you fish around, you will find that somebody who hasn’t published in a long long long while, just got his name on an important study.

    Does having your last paper published in 2008 constitute not having ‘published in a long long long time’? Also what evidence exists that confirms that the message left by ‘FOIA’ that claims that ‘no deal was made’ was actually left by the original ‘RC’?

    You made a good call on identifying Gleik (just as I did on identifying Gavin as the none Super Bowl watching ‘international man of mystery’) but personally I think you are way off on this one. If Climategate was an ‘inside job’ then ‘The Saint’ could be anyone of these


    Where is the evidence that point to it being this man


    rather than anyone else on that staff list?


  32. Posted May 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM | Permalink


    “pickup man in an elegant lounge can remain Reasonably Cautious…”


    Now who do I know who frequents posh bars in a certain part of the ‘Dark State of Insanity’ on the off chance that he might catch some action?


    • johanna
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 12:38 AM | Permalink

      Heh heh.

      I knew all that time wasted doing cryptics would come in handy eventually.

      Maybe Ross could set a whole climate science puzzle for us! That would be a treat.

  33. Solomon Green
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Permalink


    Parliamentary privilege exists to protect members who make statements in the House. As when, last year, a member broke a court injunction and publicly named a philandering football player.

    Sir Muir Russell is not an MP and, so far as I know, his evidence to a parliamentary committee was not granted special immunity.

    whydoyouasktwodogs makes the point. While it is possible that his evidence to the committee may not be used in a non-parliamentary action action against him there is no reason why his statements to that committee cannot be referred to in any court, tribunal or inquiry.

    Dr. Proops is not afraid to plead Sir Muir Russell’s evidence when it suits her, as with her use of the Muir Russell report, but is prepared to claim non-existant Parliamentsry privilege in an attempt to prevent the Information Tribunal’s investigation when his evidence does not suit her.

    It is noticeable that while she quoted several cases in support of her other points she did not provide any precedent for her argument that Muir Russell’s statement to the committee could not be used as evidence that the relevant informatiion had not been deleted and still existed.

    • johanna
      Posted May 10, 2012 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

      Solomon, nothing you say disagrees with what I said. If the evidence was not privileged, it can be used in court proceedings. If it was, it can’t.

      What is your point?

  34. mpaul
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    I’m still puzzling through all of this. In the Oct 12 email, Melvin states:

    For Keith’s Email :
    1. Copied the full C:\Eudora directory to my portable.

    I’m guessing that this is a C drive on the back-up server. If this is the case, then Melvin copied the entire archive onto the laptop that he was loaning to Briffa. This means that this laptop now included not only Briffa’s email, but everyone’s email that was being backed up by this server.

    Melvin then states:

    3. Copied 3.5 gig of attachments (1 year or older) from C:\Eudora\Attach to C:\OldAttach – this will need to be copied back to his PC

    So he also copied all of the attachments onto the laptop.

    In the submission, UEA states:

    Following Professor Briffa’s recovery, the laptop was returned to Mr Melvin. Mr Melvin wiped all the Briffa material from the laptop before he attended a conference on 26 October 2009.

    How do they know this? Did Melvin tell them this? If so, was he questioned before or after November 17th?

    UEA asserts that the cliamategate emails came from a hack of the backup server. It certainly appears that all the emails in the release were emails that could be found on the backup server. But we now know that a complete image of the emails and attachments was in the possession of Melvin at the time of the leak and in the possession of Briffa shortly before. And there evidence that the Dendro’s were growing weary of the bullying by Mike Mann and the Team whom they viewed as using their data improperly and putting undue pressure on them to produce a “tidy story” for their paymasters.

    At what point do you stand up and say it was Colonel Mustard, in the Library, with the candlestick?

    • Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:35 PM | Permalink

      Re: mpaul (May 10 20:41), At what point do you stand up and say it was Colonel Mustard, in the Library, with the candlestick?

      For some time now it has been obvious that: Professor Plum did it in the study with a Hockey Stick.

      As far as I recall the Mail Server was a Linux box (but maybe not…) so there would be no “C:” drive. There is no Eudora Server for Linux that I recall — but certainly a client for both Linux and Windows and Mac (OSX 10.4 and Higher).

      A quick search did not confirm the OS on the Mail Server. Anyone know?

      • Posted May 10, 2012 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

        Re: WillR (May 10 23:35), A little digging shows that it is currently an (MS) Exchange Server — at least at the two addresses I found. But… who knows what it was at the time of the CG incident.

  35. Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:44 AM | Permalink


    I can’t remember now where I read it but IIRC the CRU backup server was a Linux box running Thunderbird as it’s mail server and each of the CRU staff (the ‘good’ Dr Phil, Keith. Timmy and Mikey at least) were using this mail server via Eudora cients.

    What puzzles me about that Tom Melvin to Mike Salmon email is that last bit

    “4. He is left with a 1.5 gig C:\Eudora directory on my portable which can be copied back to his PC and readily be moved from PC to portable etc.
    5. When using my portable (via yellow cable (in office) or various WiFi networks) Keith logs in to VPN.”

    The ‘When … Keith logs in to VPN.” bit implies that Keith Briffa was accessing these file on Tom Melvin’s ‘portable’ over a VPN from his house while he was off sick and so wasn’t necessarily loaned Melvin’s portable while he was off sick.

    From what is described in the email the clear indication is that Tom Melvin took a full copy of the C:\Eudora folder on Keith Briffa’s office PC (which was not a laptop), deleted any superfluous ‘gif’ files and condensed it content down to 1.5 gigs so that Keith Briffa could the gin access to these files on Melvin’s laptop over the CRU/UEA VPN. If this is so why couldn’t keith access his own office PC overth CRU/UEA VPN directly?

    The first Climategate email/file release (and the second email only relase) included many emails that were clearly not sourced from Keith Briffa’s ‘C: drive’/office PC alone. IMO therefore this Melvin to Salmon email is a ‘red herring’ as far as the original ‘RC’ release (and subsequent FOIA release) is concerned.

    What is more interesting though is the mention of a ‘VPN’ so that Keith could access Melvin’s portable and the mention of ‘various WiFi networks’ (potentially insecure WiFi networks on campus). This implies that it could well have been possible for a ‘hacker’ to access the CRU/UEA system via the same VPN particularly if the details for how to do this had been sent to Keith Briffa’s personal email account in an unencrypted email. Via the VPN it could well have been possible to gain access to the full CRU network including the ‘backup server’ and all the files (not just email files) stored on it.

    Why is the ‘CRU backup server’ still under lock and key? Isn’t that obvious? It’s still under lock and key because it is the only place were all the embarrassing emails and files still exists and so have not been deleted. Because it constitutes ‘evidence’ is a on going enquiry then it can’t be accessed to resolve an FOIA enquiry and IMO this will remian the case for quite some time yet an it will only be possible to get to the bottom of the full extent of the corruption once the CRU backup server has been released and returned back to CRU. Acton and UEA do not want that to happen any time soon hence teh protracted delays in teh Norfolk plod investigations into the claimed ‘hacking’ incident.


    • Mosul
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

      Briffa clearly had possession of the laptop while he was working from home. He probably needed to VPN into the network to get new mail.

      • Posted May 11, 2012 at 11:36 AM | Permalink


        Based on UEA’s submission I’d agree which is why I’m puzzled by the reference to VPN acces to Melvin’s laptop in that email. perhaps Keith Briffa first began by access the files form home on Melvin’s laptop prior to being loaned the laptop at a later date.

        It’s clear to me that the ‘pickup man’ as Ross called him is pretty lax when it somes to IT security. My personal opinion on the Climategate ‘release’ is that the files probably were technically ‘hacked’ but not in the way its been portrayed by UEA. I think their IT security was poor to say the least and the ‘pickup man’ inadvertently cocked up and opened up access to files on their backup server. This security ‘hole’ was spotted by ‘RC’ who proceeded to have a good look around to find to his/her amazement that they had full access to the whole back up of the file store for CRU (Eudora email folders and other ‘shared area’ folders.

        I don’t think in that respect there was any ‘penetration’ of CRU’s network by ‘hackers’ at all, but raher that it was just a wide open door waiting to be found. UEA know this but don’t want to admit to it as if they do they’ll have to admit to their incompetence so instead had to invent a story about Russian hackers hell bent on de-railing Copenhagen.

        • mpaul
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

          Kevin, its mpaul, I was posting from my mobile earlier and mis-typed. I don’t read the email to say that he was using VPN to log into the laptop, rather I read it to mean that he can use the laptop to VPN into the network.

          Briffa needed the laptop to work from home. The laptop had a VPN client. Briffa could connect to a wireless network and then establish a VPN session to connect to the UEA network.

          I agree with your earlier comment, it looks like Melvin copied Briffa’s Eudora directory from Briffa’s PC to Melvin’s laptop. So unless Briffa had a copy of the entire backup volume on his PC, then the only thing Melvin got was Briffa’s emails.

          Another dead end.

          But how did the emails from the back-up server get onto the thumb drive?

  36. Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:25 AM | Permalink

    Hopefully those paying attention to this thread have noted the reference to ‘fish’ by Mosh and the subsequent mention of certain ‘fishy’ sounding people. 🙂 and the removal of links to the CRU staff list posted in this thread.

    If ‘RC’ is a CRU insider and not a ‘hacker’ then who would most likely have full access to all the files located on the CRU backup server and what would his/her job title most likely be? If this was your primary role would you be expected to have a long publication record?


    • morebrocato
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

      Are you implying that the answers to some of these questions may take little more than a swim upstream?

  37. Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:11 AM | Permalink


    Mosh seems to think so, but I think he’s way off base.

    On the other hand if your job was threatened because your role was being removed due to a re-organisation of your department due to ‘centralisation’ activities going on else where within the university, would you not be tempted to spill the beans on the politicised activities of your department’s former (Davies,Wigley) and current (Jones, Palutikof) Directors? Wouldn’t you want to have a ‘miracle just happen’? If you had all the ‘dirt’ and threatened to release it all if you didn’t get to keep your job after first demonstrating how damaging only a small percentage of it is? If you did then maybe you’d get to keep your job. Wouldn’t that only be fair given how long you’d been with the department which you’d seen become ever more policitised over the years?


  38. Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    Mosh wanted to know how someone who hasn’t published for quite a while gets to be included in a recent report. May be this has something to do with it?


    • Marion
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

      One could surmise that the abbreviation for this report ie

      ACRID (Advanced Climate Research Infrastructure for Data)

      is entirely appropriate, an alternative meaning for ACRID of course being ‘unpleasant smell’

  39. Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    And also for Mosh,


    I’ve just done a bit of ‘fishing’ and based on the email above do you still think that ‘RC’ could be who you think it is?


  40. Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    And also for Mosh,


    I’ve just done a bit of ‘fishing’ and based on the email above do you still think that ‘RC’ could be who you think he is? Clearly your favoured suspect has very little respect for our host. He’s also something of a liability when it comes to IT security. I wonder if he set someone else’s IP address by mistake when he was attempting to provide access to the Yamal 2009 files back in Oct 2009 just prior to Climategate?

    If he is this sloppy when it comes to IT security then what’s to stop him being just as sloppy when it comes to access to files stored elsewhere on CRU’s FTP server and for that matter VPN access into CRU’s network?


    • Hyperthermania
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

      Before word gets out, does anyone know of any bookmakers who are taking bets on this ?

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 1:08 PM | Permalink


      On day one I paused to ask myself the basic questions any investigator would ask.
      I looked at the motive aspect differently from anyone else. This is not about climate science.
      The letter left by RC feigned at being an activist piece. That is a false flag.
      That led me to look for personal motive. personal animus.
      That led me to two people. Let’s call them people of interest.
      HOWEVER, one cannot rule out Charles theory. that is, somebody else noted the bad security.
      There are lot more bits and pieces here and there.
      The difficultly of course is living with the possibility of being wrong about this.
      Things would be different if I were asking questions of people of interest. Go check that.
      Go check that interview. hehe.

    • conard
      Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

      The “loose cannon” (Mosher: note two n’s, not one) label was directed at Dr. Melvin by Dr. Osborn.

      That someone would label Mr. McIntyre a “tosser” is hardly interesting much less a smoking gun; why an IT staff member would have ‘personal animus’ towards Mr. McIntyre is beyond me.

      Wild speculation.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:27 PM | Permalink


        This has nothing to do with Steve mcIntyre.

        • conard
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

          do tell

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

          in due course.

          Lets see how well you think. Read the note left by RC. what do you notice about that note
          that is similar to the note in the Ramsey case. And why does that matter?

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

          See http://www.statementanalysis.com/lying/ for some statement analysis of Ramsey case. merely googled, not parsed.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

          the ramsey letter is one of those things that just sticks in my head. when i read RC note the core similarity just hit me.

          funny to think about the crimeof climategate as a kidnapping. now of course the balance of mails are held hostage

        • conard
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

          This has everything to do with Steve McIntyre, especially the unfortunate timing of Steve’s 2009 October re-examination of Yamal. And Yamal too, if my memory is of any use, was an issue raised in Steve’s AR4 review.

          Free time is in short supply, but I am willing to play along– What note? What is the Ramsey case? If I am wrong about the nature of your speculation, I will apologize 😉

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

          if u think it had to do with steve u have lost the trail before u start the journey.

        • conard
          Posted May 11, 2012 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

          Fair enough. I am still time constrained but will wing it from memory:

          1. This post comments on the Steve’s FOI request regarding [ deleted? ] Wahl email attachments [response to MM for inclusion AR4, FOI Holland, McIntyre].
          2. Your first post in this thread suggests a link to Osborn, Melvin, Salmon, and Jones [ re: Yamal, Steve’s AR4 review, data release in 2009-10 ].
          3. What ties these events together? ClimateGate emails and Briffa’s EHDD.

          Where did I go wrong?

  41. jim edwards
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    Re: Whether emails held by UEA or Constabulary

    This is great for UEA. It looks like they will get a top-level ruling that these emails are not held by UEA, when there is no evidence in the record that the emails are unavailable to the university.

    I presume they will rely on this ruling in the future to deny any / all requests for pre-Climategate CRU emails and attachments.

    Point 1:
    “On 5 March 2010, the Constabulary confirmed to Professor Jim Norton, a member of the independent inquiry panel, that it would not be able to provide a forensic copy of the server as it contained data pertinent to its inquiry.”

    UEA’s agent asked for a “forensic copy”, NOT a copy of emails xyz & 123…

    Those are two completely different things. A forensic copy might include evidence of whether documents were accessed or altered on different dates, or accessed by particular users, etc. That’s exactly the sort of information the police would want to hold onto; they wouldn’t necessarily care about the content of individual emails.

    Point 2:
    “It is understood that Professor Sommer was not permitted to and did not take possession of the thumb drives which at all material times remained in the possession of the Constabulary.”

    The passive voice is great. Notice what they don’t claim…

    “It is understood…”, not “John Jones swore that…”, or “Sam Smith stated that he heard that…”

    “Professor Sommer was not permitted to…”, not “Officer Jones told Prof Sommer he wouldn’t be allowed to leave the room with the drive…”, or “The Vice Chancellor instructed Prof Sommer that he would not be paid if he left the room with the drive…”

    Point 3:
    “On 7 October 2010, the Constabulary confirmed in an email to UEA that: ‘both the servers that were seized by Norfolk Constabulary at the start of this investigation are currently evidential exhibits in this investigation Operation CABIN. Therefore any data that currently sits on the items remain part of this process and at this stage we are unable to say when the servers or any data can be released. Upon conclusion of this investigation the data and servers will be returned to UEA expeditiousiy.”

    Quite clearly, the University has no interest in fighting for the return of an obsolete computer which stores data that could either embarass CRU/UEA, or have no effect on their reputation. There is no way for the release of information to be a net positive for CRU/UEA. Quite sensibly, they want the inquiry reports they bought to be the last word.

    Relevant questions are:
    Could the University object to the holding of their computer if they wanted to ? [The police can’t grab a non-suspect’s property and hold onto it forever; They don’t need the computer, after all, only electronic files on the drive. Imagine these were financial records necessary for the operation of a business; if the business really wanted to, they could get copies of the records from the police while fraud or embezzlement were investigated.]

    Is ‘Operation Cabin’ proceeding at the request of UEA ? If so, does UEA have it within their power to request the termination of the investigation ? [If the police haven’t figured anything out yet, they’re at a point of diminished returns…]

    Have the police given the University decision points when it offered to quit or continue ?

    Do the police have a plan to “conclude” the investigation anytime soon ? If the police can’t figure out who broke the law, will the investigation fail to “conclude” ? Will the police hold onto the evidence forever, waiting for UEA to ask for their property back ?

  42. jim edwards
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    Re: The format of requests for information held by the Constabulary

    Typically, one can request information in a hard copy or electronic format.

    The police may object to the release of electronic files, because files have identification properties that the police are attempting to hold secret.

    A printout of the emails of interest would not hold any secret properties, and could be easily redacted.

    Has anybody asked for a paper copy, redacted as necessary ?

  43. Eddy
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    “Steve McIntyre Posted May 11, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    See http://www.statementanalysis.com/lying/ for some statement analysis of Ramsey case. merely googled, not parsed.”

    No doubt completely OT, but that guy’s stuff strikes me as the purest pseudo-scientific bull-twang.

    X says “Y”. This guy thinks it would have been better grammar to have said “Z”, and concludes that X is concealing something.

    Plus: he doesn’t seem to know the difference between tense and mood.

  44. mpaul
    Posted May 11, 2012 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    We are getting OT here, (Mosher started it) but regarding the CGII cover note — was it written by an American or a Brit? It was written, almost certainly, by a native English speaker. All of the money denominations are in US$ yet the numbers are written in a European style (periods separating the 000 rather than commas). The author uses the word “passphrase” — I would think that qualifies as a high entropy word in Mosher’s lexicon (most people would casually say “password”). The author also uses the word “some” in a way that strikes me as a bit more British than American: “This archive contains some 5.000 emails..” and “The rest, some 220.000, are encrypted…”. Its not unheard of for an American to uses “some” in this way, it just seems more British than American to me. The author always puts periods inside of the quotation marks. American Standard English always places periods inside of quotation marks. In the British style, periods and commas are placed inside the quotation marks only when they are part of the quoted material. But in this case, all of the periods are part of the quotation, so we learn nothing. There are American spellings of words, but they are all part of the quotes. None of the words outside of the quotes are idiomatic of either style. Does anyone see anything else?

  45. Posted May 12, 2012 at 7:23 AM | Permalink


    “Lets see how well you think. Read the note left by RC. what do you notice about that note
    that is similar to the note in the Ramsey case. And why does that matter?”

    What ‘note left by RC’ are you referring to here Mosh? I presume you actually mean the reame file left by ‘FOIA.org’ when the second tranche of 5000 Climategate emails was released along with the further 220,000 encryted emails in the zip file http://files.sinwt.ru/download.php?file=25FOIA2011.zip?


    I’m struggling to understand what that has to do with a statement analysis of the randsom note left at the scene of JonBenet Ramsey murder.


    For those wanting to follow Mosh’s (IMO false) breadcrumb trail here is a link to an analysis of the Ramsey ransom note and the note itself.



    and for comparison here is the FULL text from the FOIA readme file

    /// FOIA 2011 — Background and Context ///

    “Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day.”

    “Every day nearly 16.000 children die from hunger and related causes.”

    “One dollar can save a life” — the opposite must also be true.

    “Poverty is a death sentence.”

    “Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize
    greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.”

    Today’s decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on
    hiding the decline.

    This archive contains some 5.000 emails picked from keyword searches. A few
    remarks and redactions are marked with triple brackets.

    The rest, some 220.000, are encrypted for various reasons. We are not planning
    to publicly release the passphrase.

    We could not read every one, but tried to cover the most relevant topics such

    /// The IPCC Process ///


    Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical
    troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a
    wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the
    uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these
    further if necessary […]


    I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it
    which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.


    It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much
    talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by
    a select core group.


    Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive […] there have been a number of
    dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC […]


    The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s
    included and what is left out.


    I agree w/ Susan [Solomon] that we should try to put more in the bullet about
    “Subsequent evidence” […] Need to convince readers that there really has been
    an increase in knowledge – more evidence. What is it?


    In my [IPCC-TAR] review […] I crit[i]cized […] the Mann hockey[s]tick […]
    My review was classified “unsignificant” even I inquired several times. Now the
    internationally well known newspaper SPIEGEL got the information about these
    early statements because I expressed my opinion in several talks, mainly in
    Germany, in 2002 and 2003. I just refused to give an exclusive interview to
    SPIEGEL because I will not cause damage for climate science.


    Hence the AR4 Section dismissal of the ACRIM composite to be
    instrumental rather than solar in origin is a bit controversial. Similarly IPCC
    in their discussion on solar RF since the Maunder Minimum are very dependent on
    the paper by Wang et al (which I have been unable to access) in the decision to
    reduce the solar RF significantly despite the many papers to the contrary in
    the ISSI workshop. All this leaves the IPCC almost entirely dependent on CO2
    for the explanation of current global temperatures as in Fig 2.23. since
    methane CFCs and aerosols are not increasing.


    I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of
    all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here!


    I too don’t see why the schemes should be symmetrical. The temperature ones
    certainly will not as we’re choosing the periods to show warming.


    […] opposing some things said by people like Chris Landsea who has said all the
    stuff going on is natural variability. In addition to the 4 hurricanes hitting
    Florida, there has been a record number hit Japan 10?? and I saw a report
    saying Japanese scientists had linked this to global warming. […] I am leaning
    toward the idea of getting a box on changes in hurricanes, perhaps written by a


    We can put a note in that something will be there in the next draft, or Kevin
    or I will write something – it depends on whether and what we get from Japan.


    Kevin, Seems that this potential Nature paper may be worth citing, if it does
    say that GW is having an effect on TC activity.


    Getting people we know and trust [into IPCC] is vital – hence my comment about
    the tornadoes group.


    Useful ones [for IPCC] might be Baldwin, Benestad (written on the solar/cloud
    issue – on the right side, i.e anti-Svensmark), Bohm, Brown, Christy (will be
    have to involve him ?)


    My most immediate concern is to whether to leave this statement [“probably the
    warmest of the last millennium”] in or whether I should remove it in the
    anticipation that by the time of the 4th Assessment Report we’ll have withdrawn
    this statement – Chris Folland at least seems to think this is possible.

    /// Communicating Climate Change ///


    I can’t overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a
    message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their
    story. They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made
    to look foolish.

    Fox/Environment Agency:

    if we loose the chance to make climate change a reality to people in the
    regions we will have missed a major trick in REGIS.


    Somehow we have to leave the[m] thinking OK, climate change is extremely
    complicated, BUT I accept the dominant view that people are affecting it, and
    that impacts produces risk that needs careful and urgent attention.


    I agree with the importance of extreme events as foci for public and
    governmental opinion […] ‘climate change’ needs to be present in people’s
    daily lives. They should be reminded that it is a continuously occurring and
    evolving phenomenon


    We don’t really want the bullshit and optimistic stuff that Michael has written
    […] We’ll have to cut out some of his stuff.


    the important thing is to make sure they’re loosing the PR battle. That’s what
    the site [Real Climate] is about.


    Having established scale and urgency, the political challenge is then to turn
    this from an argument about the cost of cutting emissions – bad politics – to
    one about the value of a stable climate – much better politics. […] the most
    valuable thing to do is to tell the story about abrupt change as vividly as


    the current commitments, even with some strengthening, are little different
    from what would have happened without a climate treaty.
    […] the way to pitch the analysis is to argue that precautionary action must be
    taken now to protect reserves etc against the inevitable


    we as an NGO working on climate policy need such a document pretty soon for the
    public and for informed decision makers in order to get a) a debate started and
    b) in order to get into the media the context between climate
    extremes/desasters/costs and finally the link between weather extremes and


    […] idea of looking at the implications of climate change for what he termed
    “global icons” […] One of these suggested icons was the Great Barrier Reef […]
    It also became apparent that there was always a local “reason” for the
    destruction – cyclones, starfish, fertilizers […] A perception of an
    “unchanging” environment leads people to generate local explanations for coral
    loss based on transient phenomena, while not acknowledging the possibility of
    systematic damage from long-term climatic/environmental change […] Such a
    project could do a lot to raise awareness of threats to the reef from climate

    Minns/Tyndall Centre:

    In my experience, global warming freezing is already a bit of a public
    relations problem with the media


    I agree with Nick that climate change might be a better labelling than global


    What kind of circulation change could lock Europe into deadly summer heat waves
    like that of last summer? That’s the sort of thing we need to think about.

    /// The Medieval Warm Period ///


    But it will be very difficult to make the MWP go away in Greenland.


    You chose to depict the one based on C14 solar data, which kind of stands out
    in Medieval times. It would be much nicer to show the version driven by Be10
    solar forcing


    A growing body of evidence clearly shows [2008] that hydroclimatic variability
    during the putative MWP (more appropriately and inclusively called the
    “Medieval Climate Anomaly” or MCA period) was more regionally extreme (mainly
    in terms of the frequency and duration of megadroughts) than anything we have
    seen in the 20th century, except perhaps for the Sahel. So in certain ways the
    MCA period may have been more climatically extreme than in modern times.

    /// The Settled Science ///


    The results for 400 ppm stabilization look odd in many cases […] As it stands
    we’ll have to delete the results from the paper if it is to be published.


    [2007] What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural
    fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably […]


    Although I agree that GHGs are important in the 19th/20th century (especially
    since the 1970s), if the weighting of solar forcing was stronger in the models,
    surely this would diminish the significance of GHGs.
    […] it seems to me that by weighting the solar irradiance more strongly in the
    models, then much of the 19th to mid 20th century warming can be explained from
    the sun alone.


    If the tropical near surface specific humidity over tropical land has not gone
    up (Fig 5) presumably that could explain why the expected amplification of the
    warming in the tropics with height has not really been detected.


    would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier
    melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?


    [tropical glaciers] There is a small problem though with their retreat. They
    have retreated a lot in the last 20 years yet the MSU2LT data would suggest
    that temperatures haven’t increased at these levels.


    There shouldn’t be someone else at UEA with different views [from “recent
    extreme weather is due to global warming”] – at least not a climatologist.


    I am not convinced that the “truth” is always worth reaching if it is at the
    cost of damaged personal relationships


    Also there is much published evidence for Europe (and France in particular) of
    increasing net primary productivity in natural and managed woodlands that may
    be associated either with nitrogen or increasing CO2 or both. Contrast this
    with the still controversial question of large-scale acid-rain-related forest
    decline? To what extent is this issue now generally considered urgent, or even


    Phil, thanks for your thoughts – guarantee there will be no dirty laundry in
    the open.


    He’s skeptical that the warming is as great as we show in East Antarctica — he
    thinks the “right” answer is more like our detrended results in the
    supplementary text. I cannot argue he is wrong.


    This will reduce the 1940-1970 cooling in NH temps. Explaining the cooling with
    sulphates won’t be quite as necessary.


    It is interesting to see the lower tropospheric warming minimum in the tropics
    in all three plots, which I cannot explain. I believe it is spurious but it is
    remarkably robust against my adjustment efforts.


    Does anybody have an explanation why there is a relative minimum (and some
    negative trends) between 500 and 700 hPa? No models with significant surface
    warming do this


    This is an excellent idea, Mike, IN PRINCIPLE at least. In practise, however,
    it raises some interesting results […] the analysis will not likely lie near to
    the middle of the cloud of published series and explaining the reasons behind
    this etc. will obscure the message of a short EOS piece.

    Norwegian Meteorological Institute:

    In Norway and Spitsbergen, it is possible to explain most of the warming after
    the 1960s by changes in the atmospheric circulation. The warming prior to 1940
    cannot be explained in this way.

    /// The Urban Heat Effect ///


    By coincidence I also got recently a paper from Rob which says “London’s UHI
    has indeed become more intense since the 1960s esp during spring and summer”.


    I think the urban-related warming should be smaller than this, but I can’t
    think of a good way to argue this. I am hopeful of finding something in the
    data that makes by their Figure 3.


    […] we found the [urban warming] effect is pretty big in the areas we analyzed.
    This is a little different from the result you obtained in 1990.
    […] We have published a few of papers on this topic in Chinese. Unfortunately,
    when we sent our comments to the IPCC AR4, they were mostly rejected.


    there are some nitpicky jerks who have criticized the Jones et al. data sets –
    we don’t want one of those [EPRI/California Energy Commission meeting].


    The jerk you mention was called Good(e)rich who found urban warming at
    all Californian sites.


    I think China is one of the few places that are affected [urban heat]. The
    paper shows that London and Vienna (and also New York) are not affected in the
    20th century.


    […] every effort has been made to use data that are either rural and/or where
    the urbanization effect has been removed as well as possible by statistical
    means. There are 3 groups that have done this independently (CRU, NOAA and
    GISS), and they end up with essentially the same results.
    […] Furthermore, the oceans have warmed at a rate consistent with the land.
    There is no urban effect there.

    /// Temperature Reconstructions ///


    any method that incorporates all forms of uncertainty and error will
    undoubtedly result in reconstructions with wider error bars than we currently
    have. These many be more honest, but may not be too helpful for model
    comparison attribution studies. We need to be careful with the wording I think.


    what he [Zwiers] has done comes to a different conclusion than Caspar and Gene!
    I reckon this can be saved by careful wording.


    Is the PCA approach robust? Are the results statistically significant? It seems
    to me that in the case of MBH the answer in each is no


    I thought I’d play around with some randomly generated time-series and see if I
    could ‘reconstruct’ northern hemisphere temperatures.
    […] The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is
    precisely the phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.


    I’m sure you agree–the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should
    never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year


    Because how can we be critical of Crowley for throwing out 40-years in the
    middle of his calibration, when we’re throwing out all post-1960 data ‘cos the
    MXD has a non-temperature signal in it, and also all pre-1881 or pre-1871 data
    ‘cos the temperature data may have a non-temperature signal in it!


    Now, you Keith complain about the way we introduced our result, while saying it
    is an important one. […] the IPCC curve needs to be improved according to
    missing long-term declining trends/signals, which were removed (by
    dendrochronologists!) before Mann merged the local records together. So, why
    don’t you want to let the result into science?


    I am afraid that Mike is defending something that increasingly can not be
    defended. He is investing too much personal stuff in this and not letting the
    science move ahead.


    One problem is that he [Mann] will be using the RegEM method, which provides no
    better diagnostics (e.g. betas) than his original method. So we will still not
    know where his estimates are coming from.

    /// Science and Religion ///


    I heard that Zichichi has links with the Vatican. A number of other greenhouse
    skeptics have extreme religious views.

    Houghton [MetO, IPCC co-chair]

    […] we dont take seriously enough our God-given responsibility to care for the
    Earth […] 500 million people are expected to watch The Day After Tomorrow. We
    must pray that they pick up that message.


    My work is as Director of the national centre for climate change research, a
    job which requires me to translate my Christian belief about stewardship of
    God’s planet into research and action.


    He [another Met scientist] is a Christian and would talk authoritatively about
    the state of climate science from the sort of standpoint you are wanting.

    /// Climate Models ///


    I’d agree probably 10 years away to go from weather forecasting to ~ annual
    scale. But the “big climate picture” includes ocean feedbacks on all time
    scales, carbon and other elemental cycles, etc. and it has to be several
    decades before that is sorted out I would think. So I would guess that it will
    not be models or theory, but observation that will provide the answer to the
    question of how the climate will change in many decades time.


    [“Future of the IPCC”, 2008] It is inconceivable that policymakers will be
    willing to make billion-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the
    projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and
    simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.


    While perhaps one could designate some subset of models as being poorer in a
    lot of areas, there probably never will be a single universally superior model
    or set of models. We should keep in mind that the climate system is complex, so
    that it is difficult, if not impossible to define a metric that captures the
    breath of physical processes relevant to even a narrow area of focus.


    there is no individual model that does well in all of the SST and water vapor
    tests we’ve applied.


    [IPCC AR5 models] clearly, some tuning or very good luck involved. I doubt the
    modeling world will be able to get away with this much longer


    [IPCC AR5 models]
    So using the 20th c for tuning is just doing what some people have long
    suspected us of doing […] and what the nonpublished diagram from NCAR showing
    correlation between aerosol forcing and sensitivity also suggested.


    Basic problem is that all models are wrong – not got enough middle and low
    level clouds.


    GKSS is just one model and it is a model, so there is no need for it to be

    /// The Cause ///


    By the way, when is Tom C going to formally publish his roughly 1500 year
    reconstruction??? It would help the cause to be able to refer to that
    reconstruction as confirming Mann and Jones, etc.


    They will (see below) allow us to provide some discussion of the synthetic
    example, referring to the J. Cimate paper (which should be finally accepted
    upon submission of the revised final draft), so that should help the cause a


    I gave up on Judith Curry a while ago. I don’t know what she think’s she’s
    doing, but its not helping the cause


    Many thanks for your paper and congratulations for reviving the global warming.


    [on temperature data adjustments] Upshot is that their trend will increase


    [to Hansen] Keep up the good work! […] Even though it’s been a mild winter in
    the UK, much of the rest of the world seems coolish – expected though given the
    La Nina. Roll on the next El Nino!


    Even though I am virtually certain we shall lose on McCain-Lieberman, they are
    forcing Senators to go on record for for against sensible climate policy

    /// Freedom of Information ///


    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


    UEA does not hold the very vast majority of mine [potentially FOIable emails]
    anyway which I copied onto private storage after the completion of the IPCC


    Keith and I have just searched through our emails for anything containing
    “David Holland”. Everything we found was cc’d to you and/or Dave Palmer, which
    you’ll already have.

    McGarvie/UEA Director of Faculty Administration:

    As we are testing EIR with the other climate audit org request relating to
    communications with other academic colleagues, I think that we would weaken
    that case if we supplied the information in this case. So I would suggest that
    we decline this one (at the very end of the time period)


    [FOI, temperature data]
    Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we
    get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (US
    Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original
    station data.”

  46. theduke
    Posted May 12, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    I sense that Mosh believes that both letters sound inauthentic. In the case of the Ramsey letter, I think he’s right. Kidnappers don’t talk that way. But the RC message is different. I’m guessing he’s using the issues listed, which kind of echo the Lomborg position on climate, to justify what he’s done, but that he really has other motives, like a personal affront, loss of job (or the threat thereof), utter disgust at intellectual corruption in climate science, or all of the above.

    The Ramsey letter is clearly a fake. Kidnappers are extremely reticent and will use the shortest sentences possible. RC’s message is more plausibly authentic, but there could be more behind it. The possibility that RC is a blackmailer is extremely unlikely.

    But then I thought it extremely unlikely that Gleick wrote the fake memo.

    • mpaul
      Posted May 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

      but that he really has other motives, like a personal affront, loss of job (or the threat thereof), utter disgust at intellectual corruption in climate science, or all of the above.

      …or having your research funding dry up because your research isn’t suitably aligned with the narrative of the Team. One of the things we saw is that the Team, with a sideways look and a small gesture of the hand, had the power or destroy the careers of “wayward” scientists — even if those scientists specialization was only peripheral to climate science.

      A few years back there was a comment over at RC (I can’t find it now) by someone proportion to be the daughter of a scientists who the Team ruined. She wrote a very passionate comment denouncing the Team. Gavin let the comment through (surprisingly) and dismissed it in his usual charming way. My guess is that there are many scientists out there who are displeased with the antics of the Team and who have suffered because of it.

      I also found the CGII cover letter a bit contrived. It was strangely dispassionate given the cause the author claimed to support. I would have expected something like: “I can no longer sit by and watch children dying of poverty while we spend lavishly on climate conferences. How can we proposed to spend $37 Trillion on energy technology yet ignore the true suffering that exists in many parts of the world”. Instead, we got some antiseptic list of quotes: very academic, very detached.

      And finally, there is no evidence to suggest that the CG1 leaker was the same individual as the CGII leaker. I think they were different people.

      • Posted May 13, 2012 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

        I agree, I suspect that there were two leakers. CGI seems Briffa-centric and CGII less so. Perhaps the first leak came about via the loaned laptop and the second via a more ‘systems’ related access to email archives. Sommer (for the Russell inquiry) had access to Briffa, Jones, and Osborns’ email archives – though Sommer studiously reported that he managed to avoid doing anything with that access.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Jun 10, 2012 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

      they attempt to point away from the real reason and the real persons involved.
      reverse the arrow.

  47. Posted May 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    just wondering why people seem to feel a compelling, overriding, anxious need to identify in public the “leaker/hacker”. Do you want to see him/her on trial? Would you be prepared to endure any jail sentence on his/her behalf? Would you want to endure the publicity?

  48. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    I haven’t noticed anyone else comment on a particular absurdity of this submission (forgive me if I missed it). UEA says:

    It is right to say that, in 2008, Professor Briffa transferred certain information from his work PC onto a memory stick. However, the information which was transferred was limited to emails and did not include any email attachments,

    They also say Professor Acton’s testimony was true. This means UEA is actually advancing the position e-mail attachments are not part of e-mails. Of course, the reality is what they call “emails” are not actually emails, but parts of emails.

    UEA could have said Acton misspoke. I think pretty much everybody would forgive him for saying the e-mails hadn’t been deleted because he didn’t consider the distinction between e-mails and the “bodies” of e-mails. That’s an easy mistake to make. It would probably call into question the quality and value of his testimony, but it wouldn’t require any accusation of dishonesty.

    Instead, UEA is advancing an absurd position, and in the process, making untrue statements. When they say the memory stick “contains only emails,” they are flat-out misrepresenting what e-mails are. I suppose they might argue if something is attached to something else, it can’t be part of that something else, but that’s just silly. No matter what word may be used for files included in e-mails, those files are encapsulated in the exact same message as the text, and that total message is the e-mail.

  49. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted May 14, 2012 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

    I have a comment currently in moderation, but in the meantime, the basic gist was this. The phrase “e-mail attachment” does not mean the file is attached to an e-mail and thus separate from the e-mail. Instead, it is just an example of a phrase not accurately describing what it refers to (just like the greenhouse effect doesn’t describe anything similar to what happens with a greenhouse).

    E-mail attachments are part of the exact same message, and thus the same file, as what the UEA calls “emails.” It makes no sense to split an e-mail into two parts, call one part the e-mail, and then argue the other part isn’t actually part of the e-mail.

    But that’s what UEA is doing.

One Trackback

  1. By Palrimentary procedure | Watts Up With That? on May 10, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    […] by Steve McIntyre. Bishop Hill writes in Acton and parliamentary privilege: Steve McIntyre notes UEA’s recent submission to an Information Tribunal hearing. McIntyre had pointed out that UEA’s vice-chancellor, Edward Acton, had told the House of […]

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