Smoking guns in the CRU stolen e-mails: A real tale of real ethics in science


Climate skeptics fear that some climate scientists have cooked their data in order to produce a pre-ordained outcome from their research.  Many of these people are excited this weekend at the public release of e-mails purloined from Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in England, from one of the leading climate research labs.  Every crank science and crackpot political site has a story touting the end of research on global warming.

Sure enough, with just a few minutes of searching the e-mails, I found references to ethical breaches in cooking of data, and a discussion about how to talk about  the data and the issue in public.

The paper involved is this one:

David H. Douglass, John R. Christy, Benjamin D. Pearsona and S. Fred Singer, “A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY, Int. J. Climatol. (2007).  Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com) DOI: 10.1002/joc.1651

Unless you follow this issue closely, you probably don’t see the problem with publicizing the ethical breaches scientists thought they saw in this paper and its publication.  Also, if you are a “skeptic” who is chronically apoplectic over Al Gore’s success in informing people about climate change and winning prizes and making money, you may be thrilled that there is a scientist anywhere worried about ethical lapses by scientists involved in this controversy, and you can’t wait to see them brought to justice (cooking data is a federal crime in the U.S., if done with federal research money).

[Yes, I think there are ethical questions about publishing anything from these e-mails, let alone links so the viewing public can read them completely.  However, since much of this material has already been cherry picked and quote mined by political activists who hope to stop action to mediate and stop global warming, I think a good case can be made that, to be fair, we should look at the entire collection to see what they really reveal.  There may be criminal liability for some of the disclosures I’m discussing here — but that liability does not fall on the scientists who have been unfairly impugned in the last few days.  The liability falls instead on the critics of warming.  Let’s be fair.  In  a fair fight, truth wins.]

So, hold your high-fives and “I-told-you-sos” until you look at the data, at the information found.

One of the e-mails is quite explicit:

I think the scientific fraud committed by Douglass needs to be exposed. His co-authors may be innocent bystanders, but I doubt it.

Fraud?  Right there in front of everyone?  In the climate debate?

In the end, the scientists in the discussion determined not to hold a press conference to announce a finding of fraud, but instead to hunker down and work on publishing datasets that would contradict the alleged fraudulent paper, and establish their case with data instead of invective and press conferences.

They even declined to rush to inform the public of the fraud after a lengthy series of attempts to duplicate the results with well-known, accurate methods on accepted data:

Bottom line: Douglass et al. claim that “In all cases UAH and RSS satellite trends are inconsistent with model trends.” (page 6, lines 61-62). This claim is categorically wrong. In fact, based on our results, one could justifiably claim that THERE IS ONLY ONE CASE in which model T2LT and T2 trends are inconsistent with UAH and RSS results! These guys screwed up big time. [emphasis added by MFB]

Anthony Watts and others may be justified in asking that the scientists who wrote this fraudulent paper should be summarily dismissed, and in questioning why other scientists dallied in exposing the fraud.

But there is this to consider:  The paper in question is a paper critical of warming hypotheses, and it was co-authored by at least a couple of the most strident critics of Al Gore, James Hansen, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The smoking gun was used to shoot down a hasty effort to brand climate-change critics as unprofessional and wrong.  The smoking gun was used to enforce the hard ethical rules of science:  Don’t speak until your data allow a fair conclusion.

The smoking gun e-mails show correct and careful behavior by the scientists who contributed to the IPCC report, but unethical behavior by the critics whose backers, we might assume, stole the e-mails in the first place, and published them without understanding the depth of moral character demonstrated by most scientists in the conduct of their professions.

Now, I have not analyzed every possible permutation of this thread, only those with the title shown.  I used the “Alleged CRU e-mails — searchable” cited by Anthony Watts and others.  I stumbled into the thread discussing the paper by “Douglass, et al.”  I then did a search for e-mails discussing “Douglass,” and limited it to the thread on this point.  I suspect there are other e-mails in that thread in which Douglass’s name is wholly missing, and which did not turn up  in the search.

Now you know the rest of the story.  Fred Singer is a leading denialist, one of the organizers of the political campaign to blunt the publication and discussion of evidence of global warming and what to do about it.  The Douglass, et al. paper under discussion was a key component of the denialists’ campaign in 2007.  The purloined e-mails point to unethical behaviors by the scientists on the anti-warming side, the so-called “skeptics.”

So, from a quick dive into the data we learn:

  1. Climate scientists talk like Boy Scouts trying to impress a Board of Review.
  2. Climate scientists are extremely careful with data.
  3. When they think no one is looking, climate scientists behave ethically.
  4. When they think have found a piece of fraud, climate scientists are careful to recheck their numbers several times and in several ways before saying anything.
  5. Instead of holding a press conference, climate scientists like to keep the fisticuffs in the confines of juried journals.
  6. Climate “skeptics” are full of themselves, and probably wrongly accuse climate scientists of fixing data.
  7. Fraud in climate science may occur, but generally on the side of those who argue against warming or who advocate inaction as a response.
  8. The claims of smoking guns that negate the case for doing something about global warming are most likely hoaxes.

Here are the texts I looked at:

Update, November 25, 2009: Be sure to check out these posts, at George Monbiot’s blog in the comments, at Stoat,  and here at the Bathtub. This is the best judgment on the affair, I think, from Our Kingdom at Open DemocracyRespect to any climate-deniers who invest all their pension funds in seashore hotels in the Maldives… otherwise, they should step aside, and let the work of saving the future begin.”

Smoke this:

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89 Responses to Smoking guns in the CRU stolen e-mails: A real tale of real ethics in science

  1. spiritual says:

    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on. Cheers

    Like

  2. […] remind readers that the last round revealed wrong-doing only by accomplices and friends of the thieves, and revealed no wrong-doing on the part of climate […]

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  3. “Unless you follow this issue closely, you probably don’t see the problem with publicizing the ethical breaches scientists thought they saw in this paper and its publication.”

    They didn’t publicize it because they couldn’t show that it was a fraud. The label fraud was simply being used by one alarmist to another to show his opinion of something that he didn’t like. Your reading of ethics among alarmists in this is the one of the biggest and most convoluted stretches that I have ever seen. Have you ever thought of having a competition with Baghdad Bob? I would pay to see it.

    Like

  4. the blog is good i like it very mcuh

    Like

  5. […] my word for it.  Read the AP story.  Read Watts’s rant.  Read the e-mails, if you wish (you can find them from my opinionated take on the flap).  Check with the scientists you know and trust on their views of the science done and […]

    Like

  6. TC says:

    Re: “Fudge Factor” in IDL code… It appears to be all commented, so not active in the “program”. (You’re welcome, Ed.)

    Source: This coder, who was featured on BBC Newsnight a few days ago:

    http://www.jgc.org/blog/

    Suggest you take a look, Ed. Still waiting for you to post quotes, code, etc from the primary sources to back up your second-line-of-defence claims. Let me give a brief tutorial on how to cut-n-paste on a PC: (1) Highlight selected text, (2) Ctrl-C, (3) Switch to new text entry area (4) Ctrl-V.

    Don’t worry, you can get back to writing about Sarah Palin in a few weeks… :-)

    Like

  7. Moderation says:

    My criticism of the science is nothing more than criticism. When I say that the coding is poor, I mean that the coding is poor. When I disagree with something you say, I am not making a blanket statement about global temperatures, I am in fact pointing to the flaws of your statements. I dont pretend to have all of the answers. But it my right to challenege the views of those who feel that their opinion is the only valid one.

    I made my position on AGW very clear on the “Junk Science Movie” thread. Anyone who cares to understand it will would wise to read what is written there. However, understanding people who you disagree with requires an open mind. When any type of criticism is viewed as single minded opposition, the diversity of ideas is not fully appreciated.

    This is why I posted the WSJ link. The author is clearly informed on the impact of humans on the globe, yet they speak a message that diverges from the mainstream AGW advocates. One would be mistaken to beleive that there are only two sides to this issue.

    Like

  8. Ed Darrell says:

    If you’re not arguing against warming, what is your position?

    I mistook your attacks on the science as opposition to it, not questions to learn by.

    Like

  9. Moderation says:

    Ed are you claiming that the wall street journal article link is a fraud?

    If you actually read my post and avoid unecessary assumptions you will see that I am more interested in what the post is saying rather than who is saying it. I feel that it provides a level headed analysis of the current situation. Try reading things with an open mind every once in awhile.

    Let me remind you that I am not arguing against global warming. I am arguing against certain statements that you have made. You can construe this as you wish but that doesnt change my stance.

    Let me also remind you that you are the one who used “perfectly accurate” to describe the published data. Check out your post on Nov. 24 at 9:28pm. Then you seem to counter your own statement in the last post. You also seem to think that I am using NASA’s “skewed” analysis as a counterpoint to global warming when this is clearly not the case. Only preconceptions would lead you to this conclusion.

    I also see that you make no further comment about the “worried” feelings of the programmer. I have provided a rational analysis of this subject, after you provided a less than rational one. Your inability to understand my position on this subject indicates to me that you will take an untenable stance if it is in opposition to my position.

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  10. TC says:

    Oh yeah, and the way you try to spin the data manipulation as showing MORE warming… lol! Classic stuff.

    Like

  11. TC says:

    Zzzzz. Even BBC is looking at the modelling code now. People will look back at this post and marvel at your asshattery, Ed.

    Like

  12. Ed Darrell says:

    This article suggests that NASA has also been slow to respond to requests for information. NASA reported that 1998 was the hottest year on record, then said it was 1934, and now say it was 1998 and 2006. Obvioulsy their data has not reached “perfection.”

    Nor will it ever reach perfection. Any expectation of such perfection is foolish, shows gross misunderstanding of science, and the lack of perfection in no way makes any of the projections wrong. That’s why ranges of temperatures are given, in ranges of years, for future predictions — and why ranges are given for past periods as well.

    Temperatures fluctuate over time. This year may be cooler than last year. But over time, the mean temperature changes, too. What climate scientists are looking at is the changing mean. For most of human habitation, the means have risen a bit and fallen a bit. For the past 200 years, the longest in human recorded history, and the longest anyone can find in any prehistoric data, the means have risen constantly under the annual fluctuations. The annual fluctuations are weather; the mean is climate.

    Climate is warming, even as annual temperatures fluctuate.

    These fluctuations also produce some instability in data. Measured year to year, it looks very inaccurate Averaged over five years, trends are more clear. Averaged over a decade, even more clear — and averaged over a century, the trends become rock-solid data.

    What you’re complaining about is year-to-year fluctuations adjusted for learned differences in temperature. 1998 was off of the all-time hottest record by less than a tenth of a degree, averaged, over 365 days. Very little else can be measured with such astounding accuracy over such a period. NASA discovered that satellite temperature readings were skewed slightly, and corrected the data to eliminate the skew. That knocked 1998 behind 1938 as the hottest of the century.

    But look at the trends. The years around 1938 were not so hot as that year. In 1938, the average annual temperature stuck out a bit. Since 1998, average annual temperatures have not declined as significantly, if at all.

    If the best argument you have against global warming, your most powerful argument for cooling, is a tenth of a degree adjustment for accuracy made by NASA in 1998, you’ve got less than nothing at all. You’ve got a false claim.

    And so it is.

    Like

  13. Ed Darrell says:

    This is an article written by a professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia. Nothing more than that.

    No, it’s not. Go to the WSJ site, and the words you attribute to this professor are not there.

    There’s a good reason I like to see even crude citations. You just smashed into one.

    Got any real commentary? Anything that checks out to be not deceptive?

    Like

  14. Moderation says:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB30001424052748704107104574571613215771336.html

    ^This is an article written by a professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia. Nothing more than that.

    A few comments on the code and the desire to hide it:

    If a scientific programmer does not want to release his code for examination, or is worried that someone will ask to look at it in a critical manner, it suggests by reason that there is error contained in the code – unless of course the code is proprietary and the programmer is worried that he will not be given the proper credit for his work which is clearly not the case here. The word used to describe the programmers feelings towards releasing the code is “worried.” He has feelings of anxiety which by reason suggest that he is not confident in the code. A lack of confidence would suggest that the code cannot easily withstand criticism, may contain deficiencies or errors, and is not entirely competent for the task at hand.

    The calculations depend on the code and therefore are not independent. So if the code is not perfect then by reason the calculations are not perfect. Unless we are talking about calcualtions which are separate from the code. In this case, it would bizarre to describe such calculations as “perfect” unless we wanted them to be more precise than they actually are.

    So it is entirely reasonable to suggest that the data that is published is not “perfect.” Again, becasue few things are perfect and also becasue the data is manipulated by code which is imperfect. Using the word “perfect” to describe these results and analysis is a Smoking Gun of an inflated sense of knowledge.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/2462-nasa-faces-foi-lawsuit-over-climate-data

    ^This article suggests that NASA has also been slow to respond to requests for information. NASA reported that 1998 was the hottest year on record, then said it was 1934, and now say it was 1998 and 2006. Obvioulsy their data has not reached “perfection.”

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/11/crus_source_code_climategate_r.html

    ^This article is describes some of the “fudge factors” in the code. It also addresses the tree ring “trick” and suggests that it is not appropriate to use tree ring data prior to 1960 to calculate temperatures if the same data has shown to be unreliable at and after 1960. It would also be unethical to use this “trick” and not state so explicitly in a journal article.

    However, I do not intend to completely dismiss AGW but would simply like to explain that complications and uncertainty cannot be ignored, as stated in the first link of this post.

    Like

  15. […] a must read post, Ed Darrell (Millard Filmore’s Bathtub) found damning evidence of a smoking gun while going through the hacked CRU emails: with just a few minutes of searching the e-mails, I found references to ethical breaches in […]

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  16. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed, sorry to hear you’re having to deal with “nutballs”. But back to the primary sources which you love to talk about in such detail…

    A guy called Michael Suede posted a couple of YouTube vids starting to analyse of the CRU modelling code:

    http://catastrophist.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/video-cru-climate-modelling-code-analysed/

    Begging the question (which means, assuming as fact that which he seeks to prove).

    This guy says “since the results are now known to be fraudulent . . .” as if he knows what he’s talking about, as if the reports of weather services around the world don’t count, as if the data substitution was not a moderating factor (meaning that it lessened the effects predictions), as if the models were high on the heat and damage predictions instead of low.

    Not only are the models not known to be fraudulent, there’s a sleeper, O. Henry twist in claiming fraud: The projected temperatures, even after being adjusted upward, are lower than what we now see. That means the “fraud,” if you wish to call it that, skewed the data to be lower than the real world case.

    That means, in case you’re still adrift, that warming is much worse than predicted.

    It doesn’t matter how good a programmer this guy is, he appears to be out of his depth at science history, weather, climate and logic.

    But that’s just the first two minutes of an almost ten minute tirade.

    Here’s a key problem you guys seem to miss: The smoking gun is yours, pointing at your head. Look at the video at about 4 minutes (I stopped it at 4:16). He’s complaining about the proxy data, tree-ring data, and maybe some other non-temperature reading stuff. As he explains the programmer’s problems, the issue should be clear to climate skeptics, but apparently is not. The proxy model in question suggests sinking temperatures — cooling, that is — after 1960. The difficulty in 1995 is we know that’s wrong. Temperatures didn’t dive.

    I’ll type this slowly so you might fathom what it means for climate skeptics: In the model, the temperatures went down; the “data manipulation” was to substitute real data for what really happened. What really happened was that temperatures rose in contradiction to the tree-ring proxy projections. So, you’re accusing these climate scientists of making the “hockey-stick” effect too small.

    Here’s the part that leads me to believe climate “skeptics” are mathematically challenged: If the real data show an increase, that means the proxy data are too low, or it means that warming is proceeding much more rapidly than anyone feared to guess.

    Alas for climate skeptics, the truth is the latter: Warming damage is much farther along, much sooner, than even the most pessimistic models predicted.

    I don’t know how to break this to you, TC, but it looks like the data were manipulated by “skeptics,” by Douglass or Monckton, to show less damage and less warming than has happened.

    Bob Crandall of American Airlines was accused of price fixing once at a stockholders’ meeting, or a news conference, or somesuch. He noted that air ticket prices had fallen 50% in the previous few months, and said, “If we’re fixing prices, we’re damned incompetent at it.”

    If this is “data corruption,” and the bad data show warming much less than has been experienced, either its completely incompetent data manipulation and you have no harm, or it was done by the “skeptics,” and it’s skewed governments toward inaction as tragedy looms.

    Did you ever do charts and deal with negative numbers in high school algebra? Have you bothered to plot out what it means that the chart underestimates actual warming?

    Using real data, this clown says, is “completely fraudulent.” (4:40 into the video) (You didn’t bother to watch this video, I must assume.)

    You know, when the guy on your side starts claiming reality is “completely fraudulent,” it’s time to change sides.

    Worse, he sits there and laughs at looming tragedy.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but if we were to discover tomorrow that NASA’s and ESA’s hotshot asteroid watchers had somehow missed a 20-mile-across rock that will collide with Earth next June 11, I’d think that whining about “data manipulation” isn’t the smart thing to do, and laughing about how they got the prediction wrong isn’t going to save our tails, either.

    What do you make out of the actual temptertures being higher than predicted? What would you conclude about the data manipulation?

    What do you think? I’m guessing you still haven’t touched HARRY_READ_ME.txt?

    I know you haven’t read it — but yes, I did. And I looked up the chart in the IPCC report, and I noticed that the chart is now out of date because the projected temperatures were lower than reality.

    And so I understood at once when I looked at this guy’s video that he’s a fool.

    Is that what you meant to portray?

    Like

  17. TC says:

    Ed, sorry to hear you’re having to deal with “nutballs”. But back to the primary sources which you love to talk about in such detail…

    A guy called Michael Suede posted a couple of YouTube vids starting to analyse of the CRU modelling code:

    http://catastrophist.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/video-cru-climate-modelling-code-analysed/

    What do you think? I’m guessing you still haven’t touched HARRY_READ_ME.txt?

    Like

  18. Ed Darrell says:

    Gee, TC, maybe you could be more deft in answering the crackpots. I’ve offered no new direction, only more explanation, including an explanation to some nutball that the president’s cabinet does not include all presidential appointees, and is not 432 people big.

    People who did not get to a position by reason are unlikely to be dissuaded from it by reason.

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  19. TC says:

    Ed has been doing his thing on the comments at my blog, clumsily attempting to take this story in an entirely different direction…

    http://catastrophist.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/hadley-cru-climate-research-unit-leaked-data-foi2009-zip-62-megs/

    Scroll right down for the comments.

    Like

  20. […] warming a hoax as a result. Never mind that, as I just stated, the e-mail exchanges actually show scientists behind closed doors trying to undo the damage, ergo acting ethically, even though “nobody was looking”. Imagine what would have […]

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  21. […] • Ed Darrell Purloined: CRU e-mails on climate science: One scientist pleads for accuracy and Smoking guns in the CRU stolen e-mails: A real tale of real ethics in science • The Guardian: Global warming rigged? Here’s the email I’d need to see • Wired: […]

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  22. Ed Darrell says:

    What does the docs folder show? It shows the data are difficult to manipulate into graphic form.

    How is that a problem for the case for global warming? Obviously it’s far beyond the ken of “skeptics,” since the skeptics can’t get a chart to contradict warming. Here’s a clue: The secret is, you have to have data in the first place.

    Since there are no data to really contradict the fact of warming over the past couple of centuries, the docs file isn’t going to be a magic bullet for you. It contains no contradictory data, either.

    Like

  23. Dave says:

    Forget the emails. The docs folder is the juice.

    Harry_Read_Me.txt.

    A Programmer´s nightmare journey through CRU data.

    Like

  24. “BTW I once heard a presentation by a dendro guy. He reckoned tree rings were a rainfall proxy, not temperature.”

    Well, that’s compelling evidence. If all of science could be built solely on what someone “heard” someone say, we’d know so much more.

    And anyways, the reason trees are used as a proxy is because when you compare them to temp. you get a correlation with statistical significance. If you didn’t get a high correlation, they wouldn’t be used, just as many other natural phenomena are not used as proxies — because they do not correlate well.

    A drop of mercury in a tube is a proxy for temperature. All thermometers, including fancy electronic ones, are proxies for temperature.

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  25. […] Climate change Deniers hoax themselves … again. http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/11/21/climate- … Scholars and Rogues » Climategate? Not likely. http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2009/11/20/climat … "The hacked climate science email scandal that wasn’t" http://scienceblogs.com/islandofdoubt/2009/11/the_ … ClimateGate reveals nefarious conspiracy? NOT! http://getenergysmartnow.com/2009/11/20/climategat … "Smoking guns in the CRU stolen e-mails: A real tale of real ethics in science" http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/smoking … […]

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  26. Ed Darrell says:

    Fact is the AGW crowd have just had one of the main pillars of their argument pulled out. Not only is the surface temperature record unreliable but also the tree rings.

    So, you think that substituting the actual thermometer measurements is “fraud?” You think that using the actual, rising temperatures, means that the temperatures are not rising?

    Is that how things work on your home planet? Or are you generally larcenous in all your dealings?

    Seriously, can you explain how any of these e-mails suggests any problem in the case for warming? Can you explain why you denialists are so excited, if you have any real, contrary evidence?

    And especially for me, more a biology guy than physicist: Can you explain how the warming “conspiracy” managed to recruit every tree in North America, 60 species of wild birds, and the ice at the North Pole, to pretend warming is occurring?

    Actually, all you need to answer is the last one. You won’t have to lie nearly so much, if you have a real answer based on data.

    Like

  27. […] Smoking guns in the CRU stolen e-mails: A real tale of real ethics in science Climate skeptics fear that some climate scientists have cooked their data in order to produce a pre-ordained outcome […] […]

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  28. Mike Borgelt says:

    Wow,
    That is the most convoluted and self delusional defense of the indefensible that I’ve seen so far.
    How do you manage to function from day to day?
    Fact is the AGW crowd have just had one of the main pillars of their argument pulled out.Not only is the surface temperature record unreliable but also the tree rings. BTW I once heard a presentation by a dendro guy. He reckoned tree rings were a rainfall proxy, not temperature. Now we can begin to look at all the other data the AGW crows reckons supports them. Wonder how much will turn out to be made up?

    Like

  29. encs says:

    Whereas behavior which prevents replication, among other sins, reduces our chances of approaching the truth.

    Do you even know what replication means? The data and methods to replicate a paper are always in the paper itself. Always.

    Like

  30. Matthew Baker says:

    Ed Darrell (Nov 24 2009, 4.13pm) said

    “In any case, there is no place that Jones says, “shred the data” in any way, shape or form. Had there been, your source surely would have noted it.

    There’s a lot of smack talk about the British FOIA running around the internet. I’m not convinced any of these data would necessarily fall into any zone making it illegal to shred them.

    For example, the studies were all published well before the Act became effective, in 2005. Much of the data requested is not in the possession of the British Government, nor any British authority (is Hadley a governmental organization?). Instead, much of the questioned data came from Russia, over which the Act has no jurisdiction.

    Hadley’s data probably would be covered under the Environmental Information Regulations, in any case, which differ from the British FOIA in requiring more friendly access (oral requests work; data may be given in any format available, not just as requested). I’m not sure that there isn’t a solid defense in saying the study was already published, and that’s access enough.”

    Ed get your information right before trying to judge another nations system.

    firstly FOI requests can be made to any public institution in the UK, and the CRU is part of the UEA. Secondly it can be on any data help by that institution, regardless of when it was created. Thirdly the Act came into force in 2000, not 2005. Fouthly the European EIR (2004) comes into play, and this is more stringent when applied to environmental requests. Fifthly it is a criminal offence to attempt to delete data requested in a FOI request; this is treated like comtempt of court in the High Court.

    Finally check Thread 1212063122 in the mails

    “Mike,
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
    Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
    We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

    Cheers
    Phil”

    If that’s not proof to you that someone wants to delete emails subject to an FOI request, then I don’t know.

    Like

  31. Ed Darrell says:

    Once again I will say that the FACT that the programmer did not want to release the code suggests to a reasonable person that there are serious flaws in the code.

    Why should that suggest any flaws in the code?

    What’s the problem of flaws in the code if the calculations are correct?

    Is there any reason to think the data as published are not perfectly accurate?

    Like

  32. Greg F says:

    Hope I didn’t mess up the link. Please read the addendum before jumping to conclusions like the authors of the emails did.
    Addendum to
    A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model Predictions

    Like

  33. Moderation says:

    Sorry I did not see the comment on #2. But the emails clearly show a designed attempt to delete emails, and when Phil Jones says “I will delete the data before I release it to anyone,” he is acting unethically. I beleive the FOIA request concerned emails as well as data, and since the emails were obviously deleted, there is the potentail of a crime.

    Go back and read the comments that I referenced in my last post. Then explain to me how much faith we should put in the code.

    Like

  34. Moderation says:

    Here is a list of comments by people on the Watt’s site (link #1) that read the HARYY_READ_ME file.

    (11-22-09)
    20:56:26
    23:56:46

    (11-23-09)
    12:57:01
    18:31:54
    19:44:37

    And here is a link to further discussion of the code.

    http://www.tickerforum.org/cgi-ticker/akcs-www?post=118625&page=13

    I think the problem is much deeper than simply “complaining about using the real data” as Ed suggests.

    Once again I will say that the FACT that the programmer did not want to release the code suggests to a reasonable person that there are serious flaws in the code.

    This group recieves billions of dollars in public funds and their analysis could potentially impact trillions of dollars in the future, but the quality of the code seems to fall short of basic standards and is open to manipulation. Sorry, Ed, if I am critical of this fact.

    Ed argues that there are emails that show ethical conduct by these scientists. I agree. These scientists do seemed concerned with the scientific method. But they also seem to slip into poor form on occasion and act in ways that are questionable. I dont think that these guys are blatant unethical hacks, but I think that they are not what they pretend to be. And there is certaintly more to the story than what is represented here by Mr. Darrell – this is beyond debate.

    #2 is still waiting for a response

    Like

  35. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed, I dont really see how that gets around the fact that the model was “artificially adjusted to be closer to the real temperatures.”

    There was no way to “naturally adjust” the tables. Think about this for a moment. What are you asking for?

    The dendro data was already established to be accurate to 1960, and not representative after 1960. Why shouldn’t anyone want accurate data in the report? Your insistence, and that of all the AGW critics bugged about this, that these guys should have used inaccurate data is just bizarre. Had they done that, you’d have yelled “inaccurate!”

    They can’t win on the critics’ complaint here, but the complaint is silly, and petty, in context.

    It would seem to me that if the data set was unreliable it should not have been used and certaintly should not have been “artificailly adjusted.”

    The data were known to be reliable and representative to 1960, and not representative after 1960. Why do you object to use of the reliable data and discarding of unreliable data? There is this third possibility you don’t deal with, which seems common sense to me.

    The White House history site used to say that Millard Fillmore introduced the plumbed bathtub to the White House in 1851 or so. I needed a quick biography of Millard Fillmore. Should I have discarded the White House biography for that one known inaccuracy? Or may I use all but that statement, and call it good?

    Must we remain in ignorance because a hoax data point sneaked in, we can identify it, and we know it’s a hoax, plus we’ve verified the rest to be accurate? Your solution of ‘throw it all out’ seems wasteful and uninformative to me. Your solution of ‘leave the false bathtub story in’ seems dishonest, and wasteful and uninformative to me. These scientists excised from a table information they knew to be misleading.

    How is that harmful, to refuse to be misleading?

    We’re trying to nail Jello to a tree here. You’re complaining because part of the Jello displaced by the nail fell to the ground. The rest of it is hanging on a tree. Give credit for the miracle worked, and don’t complain about that drib of Jello on the ground.

    I dont pretend to have read the code or understand by what is meant by “artificially” but it does not sound like “undebatable” science to me.

    Ah, then you have contrary data? No?

    Now you understand what “undebatable” means, too.

    No one claimed this one table was absolutely undebatable — and if you bother to read more of that thread of posts, you’ll see that there was indeed a lot of debate, including over whether tree-ring data could be informative at all, where it could be informative, and whether it should be included because it corroborates all the other measures, or left off because the corroboration is only corroboration. This was not the main source of data saying the globe warmed — the thermometers tell that tale more than adequately.

    But once the debate was settled — yes, with the qualifications that the correlation breaks down after 1960, the dendrochronology data are an astounding corroboration of all the other data — then the conclusion of the panel, that all sources of data considered, the Earth is warming more now than ever before in human past, the conclusion is undebatable.

    Anthony Watts’s claim that there might be an unexpected, unevidenced anomaly somewhere in the past is just hoooey. Yeah, God might have boiled life off the Earth and covered up his footprints. Also, all life might have started last Tuesday with memories of things before then deificially created.

    We can only say what we have evidence for. And when we know the evidence is not representative because we have other, better measures, we should use the best stuff we have.

    I also consider the fact that the programmer was worried that his code would be made public which shows me that the code was less than sound.

    Are you a programmer?

    Almost all the programmers I’ve ever hired had to work quick, and when they got us a product that worked, over a beer they’d tell of how they could have done it better, and how they’d do it better with what they now knew, if only we’d hire them again. None of them wanted anything they did fast held up as a model.

    You know what? That’s also true of lawyers going to trial, of performers on opening night, of students at the end of the semester, and anyone else who has a hard deadline and too much work to do.

    That’s not criminal. It’s not unethical. It’s life.

    I beleive that the “trick to hide the decline” comment was more a bad choice of words than anything else.

    A bad choice of words is not evidence of a crime, not unethical, and should be discussed over a beer when the report’s done. Alas, beer just makes AGW critics violent, and then they claim it’s a crime and unethical. We see how they are.

    Being critical is the basis of understanding. In this sense, a “critic of AGW theory” does not necessarily disagree with every part nor accept every part of the theory. What I am doing is trying to identify the real weaknesses while you are ignoring them.

    A good critic doesn’t rehash old stuff that was already decided. A good critic doesn’t hurl claims of illegality where there is no evidence, knowing that such claims are libelous, and destructive of constructive criticism. If you want to see constructive criticism, go read those e-mails and see how Mann and Edward Cook go after each other, and then conclude by noting they’ll agree to work together for the sake of accuracy when they know accuracy and truth is the most important thing in this vitally important project to the whole world. They confess obeisance to the unwritten, high ethical codes of science when they think no one is looking. That’s remarkable. It’s a great showing of good character. It’s the sort of story you tell at Eagle Scout Courts of Honor.

    Why don’t you focus on that?

    Like

  36. Ed Darrell says:

    Moderation said:

    The second link shows how Phil Jones deleted certain emails and data sets. They were deleted either after a FOIA request on in anticipation of one. The first case would be illegal and the second would be unethical. When we consider the power and responsibilty given to Phil Jones we must conclude that he acted inappropriately.

    The second link shows no destruction of data of any sort. Moreover, though I’ve looked, I can’t find any message from Jones that suggests data were destroyed. There are comments that a gullible and naive reader could read to interpret that Jones threatened to delete data — but having dealt with several investigations of people who destroyed data rather than turn it over to courts or to FOIA requests, it would be awfully odd to talk about it and do it. I don’t know of a case off-hand where data destruction was uncovered by an e-mail or other communication to a colleague in which data destruction was ordered and the reasons given. Most often such statements are expressions of frustration at bizarre requests, or requests that are difficult to answer years after the study was done and the data misfiled by the temporary file clerk. Instead, when data are destroyed, generally the destructors go to great lengths to hide any illegality. Even Arthur Andersen’s order to shred Enron files came couched in the company’s standing policy to shred files more than six months old (a standing policy at the time at all Big Six accounting firms — we followed the rule scrupulously at Ernst & Young, even in the consulting side). Had Andersen shredded the files on schedule, rather than not shredding them and then ordering the act after the files had been implicated as evidence in a then-obscure questioning session, I doubt any liability could have attached.

    In any case, there is no place that Jones says, “shred the data” in any way, shape or form. Had there been, your source surely would have noted it.

    There’s a lot of smack talk about the British FOIA running around the internet. I’m not convinced any of these data would necessarily fall into any zone making it illegal to shred them.

    For example, the studies were all published well before the Act became effective, in 2005. Much of the data requested is not in the possession of the British Government, nor any British authority (is Hadley a governmental organization?). Instead, much of the questioned data came from Russia, over which the Act has no jurisdiction.

    Hadley’s data probably would be covered under the Environmental Information Regulations, in any case, which differ from the British FOIA in requiring more friendly access (oral requests work; data may be given in any format available, not just as requested). I’m not sure that there isn’t a solid defense in saying the study was already published, and that’s access enough.

    I was party to a similar attempt to frustrate a government study with bureaucratic requests. We argued in court that the plaintiffs had the information all along, but didn’t know it; and we provided good evidence that they should have had it. The judge said we had gone above and beyond the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act though our lead agency technically violated the letter of the law; having more than fulfilled the spirit of the law, the judge dismissed the case. Critics demanded a Congressional investigation; the GAO grudgingly agreed with the judge that we had fulfilled the spirit of the law and materially met all requirements.

    I’m not sure that a similar defense wouldn’t get the same result from a British judge with a lick of common sense.

    Like

  37. Moderation says:

    Ed, I dont really see how that gets around the fact that the model was “artificially adjusted to be closer to the real temperatures.” It would seem to me that if the data set was unreliable it should not have been used and certaintly should not have been “artificailly adjusted.” I dont pretend to have read the code or understand by what is meant by “artificially” but it does not sound like “undebatable” science to me. I also consider the fact that the programmer was worried that his code would be made public which shows me that the code was less than sound.

    I beleive that the “trick to hide the decline” comment was more a bad choice of words than anything else.

    Being critical is the basis of understanding. In this sense, a “critic of AGW theory” does not necessarily disagree with every part nor accept every part of the theory. What I am doing is trying to identify the real weaknesses while you are ignoring them.

    Link #2 is still waiting for a response.

    Like

  38. Ed Darrell says:

    Moderation complains:

    It would be wise to stick to the topic of this thread which is the characterization of the CRU emails. I have already provide two links that show some of the more questionable statements. None of the STRONG AGW supporters have commented on these links so far. It would be beneficial if we could evaluate the conclusions that they contain.

    1)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/22/cru-emails-may-be-open-to-interpretation-but-commented-code-by-the-programmer-tells-the-real-story/

    Here’s the response I wrote at Watts’s site. I’m saddened that people who claim to be such sharp critics of the scientists involved in these studies are so dim on this piece of data — anyone can read the thread in the illegally-obtained e-mails and see what’s going on:

    As I’ve read through the e-mails, the data “dropped after 1960″ is dendrochronological data — tree rings. As you recall from your vast experience in this issue, tree ring data correlates very well with other temperature measures until about 1960, and then it tails off as if temperatures declined. However, thermometer readings from the same places [and same times] don’t show a drop. So, the data aren’t used where they cease to be informative. Critics, unused to trying to make serious science studies, will argue that all the dendro data should be scrapped — that only strengthens the trends of the other data toward warming, though, as I read it.

    There is a mystery as to what happened in about 1960 and afterward which impinged on the growth of trees. It may be additional pollution. It may be acid rain. It may be insect plagues (though that should be regional, shouldn’t it?). Critics again may argue the data should be dropped, but the “divergence issue” is well known, described in papers, and of course you’re well aware of the debate in all its incarnations.

    I don’t follow the dendro stuff that closely. My suspicion is that the forests used for the tree ring samples were afflicted by air pollution in the latter 40 years of the 20th century, and that caused a decline in growth that shows up in a study that tries to correlate growth with temperature, as equivalent to a decline in temperature. Critics should be wary here: If the cause is anthropologically-related, it damages the case against warming even more. If air pollution itself masks the results of warming, then there is a double whammy to deal with. Surely you’ve covered this issue before, Mr. Watts.

    If you read the e-mails, you learn that the “Nature trick” is to impose hard measures of temperature on the charts — real data, as opposed to predictions or projections from measures based on hypothesis or theory. The “trick” is to make the charts more honest, to expose errors in models, and generally to shed more light.

    Are you really opposed to using real measures of temperature in place of calculated values? Why?

    I think that pretty much covers it. I think the ethical lapses of AGW critics are exposed when they criticize scientists for substituting actual measured temperatures in place of a proxy projection known to be in error. That wouldn’t be good science, nor would it be honest. If we have to “artificially manipulate” the correct information into a chart, we should do it. Our point is to be accurate, after all.

    I suspect all other “artificial manipulations” were also done to increase accuracy, to tell the story, damn the torpedoes, as the scientists repeatedly state in the e-mails, especially if you read them in context. The artificial manipulations of these scientists are ethically preferable to publishing data known to be wrong just to promote the political goals of AGW critics.

    Like

  39. […] the most part the emails do not actually tell us. One exception is documented by Rabett and Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub where they show that in at least one instance the researchers simply published refutations (ie […]

    Like

  40. Moderation says:

    It would be wise to stick to the topic of this thread which is the characterization of the CRU emails. I have already provide two links that show some of the more questionable statements. None of the STRONG AGW supporters have commented on these links so far. It would be beneficial if we could evaluate the conclusions that they contain.

    1)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/22/cru-emails-may-be-open-to-interpretation-but-commented-code-by-the-programmer-tells-the-real-story/

    2)

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/emails-that-damn-cru-head-jones

    The first link shows how the code or models could not objectively account for all of the data so certain sets had to be “artificailly manipulated” to make the models appear to be more accurate than they really are.

    The email that states,

    “Tom Wigley has sent me a worried
    email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that.”

    shows that even those who were writing the code knew that it would not stand up to peer review. We must all realize that the system is very complex and that the models are inadequate representations that are often manipulated to produce the desired results.

    The second link shows how Phil Jones deleted certain emails and data sets. They were deleted either after a FOIA request on in anticipation of one. The first case would be illegal and the second would be unethical. When we consider the power and responsibilty given to Phil Jones we must conclude that he acted inappropriately.

    I see that Ed has contacted Dr. Mann about the hockey stick graph. I would be happy for Dr. Mann to come on this forum and explain his analysis that led to that curve. The emails seem to suggest that people at CRU seriously doubted the validity of the curve. But since Mann seems to be aligned with their interests, he was not ostracized. Other people who generally agree with much of Phil Jones’ work but were more critical of some of the conclusions, seem to have been targeted and alienated.

    Important public policy decisions will be based on these scientific efforts. It is important that we avoid exaggerations. We should represent our understanding as accuratley as possible. There is a disconnect between the public view and scientific view of global warming. The public does not understand nuances and complex analysis. I beleive that there are scientists out there who will sacrifice their own ethical standards to produce results that exaggerate the certaitny and severity of their conclusions. In this way, the public may be more easily persuaded and policy more easily enacted.

    Like

  41. Ed Darrell says:

    Bart said:

    This really shows your true colors. You aren’t interested in evidence. You aren’t interested in truth. You have an Agenda. You are righteously dedicated to The Cause, and you will not let mere facts get in the way. Just like the guys in East Anglia.

    Ah, yes! We are the evil ones, united across time and space to drive a particular agenda. And what is that agenda? Here, see if this isn’t it exactly:

    The Way I See It #289

    So-called “global warming” is just

    a secret ploy by wacko tree-

    huggers to make America energy

    independent, clean our air and

    water, improve the fuel efficiency

    of our vehicles, kick-start

    21st-century industries, and make

    our cities safer and more livable.

    Don’t let them get away with it!

    – Chip Giller
    Founder of Grist.org, where
    environmentally-minded people
    gather online.

    Like

  42. Ed Darrell says:

    The mark of the true denialist: We’re talking about temperature measurements worldwide since 1960. In the exchange with Bart:

    “…even when we know it’s 100% correct,…”

    Spoken like a true Believer. Or, the Queen of Hearts. Verdict first, trial afterward!

    So, you think the thermometers around the world are in on the conspiracy? What can a mercury thermometer get from a working climate change protection treaty? How did the mercury thermometers recruit the alcohol thermometers?

    You assume powers for Al Gore that neither Superman nor Green Lantern ever had, that Mohammed and Jesus and Isaac and Joshu and Zeus, Oden, Vishnu, Shiva and Osiris didn’t have.

    There was that Christian prophet who said that, were he silenced, even the rocks would cry out the truth. Mercury comes from rocks.

    Have you studied alchemy recently?

    Like

  43. Ed Darrell says:

    But, right now, the leg which states that we are undergoing “unprecedented warming” is GONE.

    So, when in history have we seen annual average temperatures so high for so long? When have the average annual temperatures ever been so high?

    What was the planet like then?

    You’re assuming that temperature readings are all hypothetical. They’re not. You’re assuming that the rapidity of change we see now is normal. It is not. You’re assuming that when these disruptions occurred in the past — and such a disruption has never occurred so quickly in the lifetime of our species on this planet — there was not massive extinction and upheaval. That’s not so.

    Because you refuse to look at the information without bias, you push a politically-dictated claim that warming is not occurring in an unprecedented fashion.

    The rest of us live on planet Earth. If you had a case, we’d pay attention to you. The birds have moved. Crops differ — and they’ve failed across Sub-Saharan Africa, and they are failing in West Texas. Water tables are sinking where we need them higher, and rising where we need them lower — unfortunately, rising with salt water where we need it fresh. Malaria spreads up mountain slopes where it has never been before, and it threatens to return to those nations that were able to wipe it out largely due to their being in temperate zones where annual freezing weather knocked down the mosquito population.

    The botanical evidence is mountainous, and incontrovertible. You ignore it. The zoological evidence is massive and incontrovertible. You appear not even to consider it. The hydrological evidence is worldwide, costly and potentially disastrous. Not your concern. The weather measurements of the last 400 years are clear. You choose to ignore it because something happened to the last 40 years of tree growth that we can’t explain — tree growth limited in a way contrary to your predictions, and in a fashion that exacerbates many of these other climate problems.

    You’ve watched too many Warner Bros. cartoons about ostriches without getting the point: When we put our heads in the sand, our asses are exposed, and our necks are ripe for cutting.

    Dylan had it right: Get out of the new road if you can’t lend a hand. You’re making the right choice.

    Like

  44. John Mashey says:

    One can easily know that something is unusual without having perfect data.

    Suppose one knew that for 100 years, the yearly average temperature was 70 +/-2, with usual jiggles.

    It may or may not be a record if you measure 72 +/-1 (better thermometers), but if you get 75 +/-1, it is unusual, even if you don’t know whether the previous record was 68 or 72. Get 10 years like that…

    Like

  45. Bart says:

    One last thing, and then I am outta’ here (hold the cheers until I am finished, please). There may be other reasons you all abide in your faith. Those legs will be yanked out from under you in the time to come, as the climate continues to cool and people become more open to challenging the orthodoxy. But, right now, the leg which states that we are undergoing “unprecedented warming” is GONE. You cannot cite the proxy record as proof of unprecedented warming on the basis of “we know it’s 100% correct [anyway]” in your typically circular, caveman logic.

    That gangrenous leg, as of now, has been pitched to the garbage heap. It is GONE.

    Like

  46. Bart says:

    Bart @November 24, 2009 at 9:27 am

    “Fixed that for you.”

    Missed it by that much! What I mean to get across is, your uncertainty ranges are HUGE without knowing the past. Without knowledge of the past, you are operating on blind faith. Faith is not Science. You can justify it however you like, but when you try to dress it up in pseudo-scientific language, you are prostituting science in the service of your own goals.

    Like

  47. Bart says:

    John Mashey @ November 24, 2009 at 12:16 am

    “Now, *knowing* the past history would let people expand uncertainty ranges on what we could predict on the future, but it would have zero direct effect on the future, except insofar as it affected our actions.”

    Fixed that for you.

    Ed Darrell @ November 23, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    “…even when we know it’s 100% correct,…”

    Spoken like a true Believer. Or, the Queen of Hearts. Verdict first, trial afterward!

    This really shows your true colors. You aren’t interested in evidence. You aren’t interested in truth. You have an Agenda. You are righteously dedicated to The Cause, and you will not let mere facts get in the way. Just like the guys in East Anglia.

    Like

  48. Bart says:

    Not to mention that, the very fact that we are debating this now shows the motivations of East Anglia in suppressing the information – they knew it would spark debate, and they wanted to foreclose that debate before it happened. That is not Science. It is a warped, grotesque parody of Science.

    Like

  49. Bart says:

    Pathetic. This is like reading some literalist trying to justify the contradictions in the Bible. Basically, if the data, after a series of adjustments, correlate to a tiny fraction of time in which there is actual direct measurement, then you are justified in extending it back 600,000 years and declaring it a valid record over that time. And, if I can’t find a better record for that time, I have to completely reorient my life and submit to a lower standard of living to appease your Earth God. Why don’t we just throw up a plate of pig entrails and see what patterns they form when they splat on the ground? Then, we’ll sacrifice a few virgins at the altar, burn a few heretics at the stake, and break out our grass skirts and maracas and dance for rain.

    The climate always varies. Human nature is the only constant.

    Like

  50. John Mashey says:

    This is all purposeful red-herring-land.

    1) Suppose we had a Billion years of modern records, of anything we can measure now. Ther, because we’d know everything..

    We would know that it has sometimes been much warmer.
    It may well have been warmer ~8000 years ago (it ought to have been given Milankovitch).
    It likely was generally *not*t warmer 1000 years ago.

    2) Suppose it was warmer. Suppose it was even warmer 1000 years ago. Exactly how does that change:

    a) The temperature today
    b) The temperature next year
    c) The temperature in 2050.

    A: It makes *No difference whatsoever*. Zero.

    3) What matters now is the Earth’s current state: variable heat content (mainly in ocean), amount of GHGs in the atmosphere (especially the long-lived molecules), state of the cryosphere, forest coverage, etc. What matters for the future is our current state, a bunch of laws of physics that simply *do not care* about long-ago temperatures, and of course, decisions we make about emissions, land-use, albedo changes.
    Old temperatures *do not matter*.

    4) Now, *knowing* the past history would let people narrow uncertainty ranges on what we could predict on the future, but it would have zero direct effect on the future, except insofar as it affected our actions.

    5) When people say “It was warmer before … whew, no problem” they forget:

    When it was a lot warmer, we didn’t have $trillions of sea-level infrastructure, that descendants will have to move/replace without having cheap fossil fuel. When it was a lot warmer, some big chunks of the USA were deep underwater.

    When it was even a little warmer, we’ve often had serious dustbowls in the US SouthWest, and TX climate scientists tell us to expect a lot more of that, from Hadley Cell Expansion.

    When it was even a little warmer, we didn’t have Galveston, Houston or New Orleans, or millions of other people living on the Gulf Coast. Even a meter of sea level rise is ugly, just from salt-water incursion. One reason the USA is rich is the long, heavily-populated seacoast, not a benefit shared by Russia or Canada, for example.

    6) Temperature reconstructions are one of numerous elements helping bound uncertainty better for forecasts, and that matters, because if we go over the edge of tipping points (like melting tundra or clathrates), it will get Very Bad … but some people want to spend their time stopping researchers from doing this by endlessly wasting their time. After the Southern SouthWest turns much drier, and Galveston / New Orleans has disappeared, that may not seem to have been such a smart idea…

    Like

  51. Eli Rabett says:

    “Denialism of warming is no less dangerous than denialism of gravity in rock climbing.”

    Denialism of warming will lead to your immediate death?”

    OK, denialism of warming is no less dangerous than denialism of tobacco’s dangers or that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus.

    In both cases death is not immediate, nor certain, but the odds are strongly against you and a lot of other folks surviving to old age.

    Denialism kills.

    Curiously the overlap between the flavors of denialists is pretty comprehensive. Whodda thought.

    Like

  52. Ed Darrell says:

    It’s like I’m listening to a tree stump talk about the intricacies of a steel mill.

    The proxy data shows that temperatures were not so high in the past. The new measurements show temperatures have risen. Thus, we have the claim that there is unprecedented warming.

    There were at least three different threads of data, including dendrochronology data. There was extremely high correlation in many areas where there were overlaps, except those from trees growing in the past 40 years. In a thousand year timeline, that would be a tiny part.

    You may be aware that carbon daters ran into a similar problem early in the development of that science. Scientists discovered that there was a lot more carbon and carbon 14 in the air after about 1820, so carbon dates for objects that died after about 1890 became highly suspect. Corrections could be made on historic records of carbon in the atmosphere, but the data recorded for objects from 50,000 years ago to 180 years ago were all consistently measured on one scale.

    On one hand, carbon dating is a last-gasp mechanism for things that died in the past 200 years. On the other hand, the corrections made the measurements highly accurate. Critics always refer to these corrections as “skewing the data,” and “scientists deciding to make corrections when the data don’t show what the scientists want the data to show.”

    This tree-ring issue isn’t the first time we’ve seen denialists trying to make hay where they lack all data, and this isn’t the first field where politically-motivated critics have tried to make an adjustment to improve accuracy look like “cooking the data.”

    Why shouldn’t those data from tree-rings be tossed out if we have accurate thermometer readings from 1960 on? Critics lack any grounds to challenge the tree-ring data previously, and where we know the tree-ring data diverge from other sources, we leave it out. Then you grouse about it? Why? I thought you were interested in accuracy and truth?

    But, if the proxy data are bogus, we have no information to make that conclusion.

    Let me repeat that. If the proxy data are bogus, we have no information to make that conclusion.

    So, your only argument to challenge the tree-ring data is to claim that, if it’s off at the tail end of the scale, and we can’t tell the reason, we must assume it is off even where it is correlated well with other measures, and even where we have absolutely no reason to believe it is off?

    If you had serious data to challenge the proxy data (and scientists have hashed this out, not to your liking, obviously), bring your new data forward. If you don’t have such data, your challenge cannot be based on a correction made to make the temperature charts more closely parallel reality when we know reality is what it is.

    The proxy data DO NOT AGREE with the measurements in the time frame that was excised from the plot. Since they do not agree in the only time we have overlap, they must be assumed to be inconsistent.

    The proxy data agree with real data for a few hundred years prior, at least. It is incorrect to say this is the only overlap that exists.

    And, since this debate on the proxy data was loud and public, and the scientists determined then to leave the data in when reporting it, but other scientists decided to leave it out where it would skew an averaging method away from what we knew to be correct, I’d be real interested in your finding someone actually familiar with the data and the debate who could make a case for chucking the whole set or keeping the errors in.

    For the climate paper, these guys made the right decision, I think: Show warming as the thermometers had it, where the thermometer data were known.

    If we assume the measured record is good, we then MUST CONCLUDE that the proxy data are suspect.

    I haven’t seen any data that suggest the close correlations prior to 1960 are inaccurate. Do you have some?

    Thus, WE HAVE NO BASIS for making the conclusion that the measured data demonstrate “unprecedented warming.”

    Why not? What evidence of a precedent do you have?

    It’s not like there are not other corroborating data. Have you read the paper these guys wrote? Have you read the reports made that cite the paper?

    I really can’t make it plainer than this.

    Maybe you shouldn’t. It seems pretty clear to me that you wish to suppress all evidence of warming, even for no good reason, even when we know it’s 100% correct, because you wish . . . well, I don’t know what you wish, but it certainly isn’t straight reporting to help policy decisions.

    Stretching to find some technical reason to fail to report known warming seems an ethical fault, to me. You would be unable to make a case anywhere that these guys did something wrong by working to make the data and charts based on the data accurately reflect reality.

    And if people understand what the data set adjustments were for, to make the charts better reflect reality, I think you’d have a tough time making a case anywhere that something wrong was done.

    Like

  53. Ed Darrell says:

    Although I am skeptical of AGW Catastrophism . . .

    I hope, but don’t detect, that you’re also skeptical of anti-AGW panglossianism, too.

    Like

  54. DWPittelli says:

    “Assuming it is correct that anyone planned to destroy material requested under anyone’s FOIA,”

    1107454306.txt
    2/2/2005, Phil Jones wrote:
    “Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

    So yes, data was to be hidden, not put online where a statistician like McIntyre will find it, and even destroyed in the face of an FOIA request.

    “how does that make a case against global warming? Assuming strong-arming of science journals, where is the harm, especially if the science is right?”

    So framing a defendant is a good thing if he is guilty? The problem is we have a system, whether it be a trial or science, where we believe that ethical behavior allows us to determine, the best we can, the truth. Whereas behavior which prevents replication, among other sins, reduces our chances of approaching the truth.

    Naturally, if you are omniscient and already know the truth, then you can justify all sorts of otherwise unethical behavior to convince us of the truth. The ends would justify the means. But I don’t accept your premise that the CRU scientists are omniscient. And the behavior of scientists who are afraid to let a statistician check their work does not make me confident that they are omniscient either.

    Your argument would make some sense if we had a simple boolean question (e.g., AGW or no AGW) and the answer to the question will simply tell us our preferred response (e.g., Kyoto, or no Kyoto), as long as you are at least 51% sure that your side is right. (Which you would be, in this case.) But we actually have questions (how much AGW? what are its effects? what are the various forms of remediation?) whose answers are very complex, and which require more than just “which side is right?” to answer.

    Like

  55. Bart says:

    And, if you want evidence directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, try this:

    I support the continued collection of such data, but I am disturbed by how some people in the paleo community try to oversell their product. A specific example is the ice core isotope record, which correlates very poorly with temperature on the annual to decadal timescale (and possibly also on the century timescale)—question, how do we ever demonstrate the usefulness or otherwise of ice core isotopes on this timescale?

    Like

  56. Bart says:

    Ed Darrell @ November 23, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    “How does substituting actual temperature measures showing warming instead of tree ring data that go the other way constitute scientific error, or ethical error? Do you want accurate readings or not?”

    It’s like I’m talking to a tree stump.

    I do not care about the actual measurements. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that the actual measurements are the best thing available. OK?

    However, to sell the idea of global warming, they are using the older data to sell the idea that the temperature measurements are unprecedented.

    We do not have temperature measurements covering the time the proxies are reputed to cover. That is why we use proxies.

    The proxy data shows that temperatures were not so high in the past. The new measurements show temperatures have risen. Thus, we have the claim that there is unprecedented warming.

    But, if the proxy data are bogus, we have no information to make that conclusion.

    Let me repeat that. If the proxy data are bogus, we have no information to make that conclusion.

    The proxy data DO NOT AGREE with the measurements in the time frame that was excised from the plot. Since they do not agree in the only time we have overlap, they must be assumed to be inconsistent.

    If we assume the measured record is good, we then MUST CONCLUDE that the proxy data are suspect.

    Thus, WE HAVE NO BASIS for making the conclusion that the measured data demonstrate “unprecedented warming.

    I really can’t make it plainer than this.

    Like

  57. Ed Darrell says:

    Bart said:

    The problem isn’t with the “actual measured temperatures.” The problem is that the “actual measured temperatures” diverged from the proxy data meant to show that the new temperatures showed “unprecedented warming”.

    My understanding is that the diverging data came from tree rings. They were projected temperatures from tree rings.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but in my laboratory we prefer to use thermometers to measure temperature. We use tree rings only in the absence of any other credible data for the site.

    Yeah, the tree rings showed a decline in growth, just as if the temperatures had declined. That decline in growth may have been due to a raft of other issues, some of them related to air pollution hitting tipping points at that time (think of acid rain — we should dig up the dendro paper and see what the real stuff is).

    How does substituting actual temperature measures showing warming instead of tree ring data that go the other way constitute scientific error, or ethical error? Do you want accurate readings or not?

    You’re in the odd position of claiming that because the planet was warming faster than one set of data predicted, we must dismiss reality from our data set.

    Do you see your own ethical log yet?

    Like

  58. DWPittelli says:

    Nick Kelsier: “This is to the skeptics, I have this question: What if you’re wrong?”

    Although I am skeptical of AGW Catastrophism, I do not doubt that human emissions are probably responsible for global warming on the order of 1F, which is about the amount of warming we have seen in the past century. I’m also in favor of eliminating the burning of coal. This will require a massive nuclear program, some more hydropower, and yes, some wind etc. to generate more electricity, as well as various conservation measures. So if I became philosopher king, even if you are “right” then I would not be harming the planet.

    But none of this has anything to do with how unacceptable the behavior shown in the CRU emails is.

    I am not in favor of unethical science. It seems to me a problem similar to when the police frame people. Naturally, most of the time the police frame people who are, in fact, guilty. But that doesn’t make it acceptable, and “what if he’s guilty?” is not a question which should be directed at people complaining that the police have framed the defendant.

    In this climate case, even if “AGW is real” — as I would agree — that doesn’t mean that dishonest or unethical science leading us to an exaggerated sense of the problem isn’t itself a problem. The agents of governments cannot make reasoned decisions about remediation efforts — which may cost trillions of dollars and thus lead to actual suffering especially in the third-world countries that environmentalists claim to care about — unless they have reasonable and ethical scientists to advise them as to the degree of and probable effects from, as well as the existence of, AGW.

    Like

  59. Ed Darrell says:

    Sad Experience Department
    What the e-mails say:

    From: Edward Cook
    To: “Michael E. Mann”
    Subject: Re: hockey stick
    Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 15:25:41 -0400
    Cc: tom crowley , esper @ xxxxxxxxx.xxx, Jonathan Overpeck , Keith Briffa , mhughes @ xxxxxxxxx.xxx, rbradley @xxxxxxxxx.xxx, p.jones @ xxxxxxxxx.xxx, srutherford @ xxxxxxxxx.xxx

    Hi Mike,

    No problem. I am quite happy to work this stuff through in a careful way and am happy to discuss it all with you. I certainly don’t want the work to be viewed as an attack on previous work such as yours. Unfortunately, this global change stuff is so politicized by both sides of the issue that it is difficult to do the science in a dispassionate environment. I ran into the same problem in the acid rain/forest decline debate that raged in the 1980s. At one point, I was simultaneous accused of being a raving tree hugger and in the pocket of the coal industry. I have always said that I don’t care what answer is found as long as it is the truth or at least bloody close to it.

    Cheers,

    Ed

    All spellings sic

    Like

  60. Ed Darrell says:

    I claimed unethical behavior. Such as hiding data and planning to destroy material in the face of an FOI request, and strong-arming scientific journals. Do you disagree that such actions are unethical in a scientist? Or do you fail to see that such actions are clearly shown by the emails (unless they are forgeries)?

    Show your stuff, then. Where are these things manifested?

    Assuming it is correct that anyone planned to destroy material requested under anyone’s FOIA, how does that make a case against global warming? Assuming strong-arming of science journals, where is the harm, especially if the science is right? And remember for your answer of the last one that climate skeptics founded their own journal to institutionalize strong-arming in their favor, and that denialists in other realms are rather famous for trying to strong-arm journals to print faux-science (Sternberg affair).

    I’m from Missouri: Show me.

    Like

  61. Bart says:

    Ed Darrell @ November 23, 2009 at 10:39 am

    “You appear to be assuming that the “trick” of adding in a line on a chart that shows actual, measured temperatures, is somehow illicit and wrong.”

    This may be difficult, because I know the lemmings who believe anything they are told by the people they have placed on a pedestal are not given to logically progressive thinking.

    The problem isn’t with the “actual measured temperatures.” The problem is that the “actual measured temperatures” diverged from the proxy data meant to show that the new temperatures showed “unprecedented warming”.

    Let’s try that again more slowly.

    The new measurements show recent warming.

    The old temperature reconstruction does not.

    The old temperatures therefore have a problem.

    But, the old temperatures nevertheless are cited as evidence that the globe is heating up.

    Do you see now?

    Like

  62. DWPittelli says:

    “I haven’t seen any thread that suggests to me that there is any doctoring of data. You appear to be assuming that the “trick” of adding in a line on a chart that shows actual, measured temperatures, is somehow illicit and wrong.”

    Who’s assuming? I did not claim doctored data. I did not reference the “trick” email. I claimed unethical behavior. Such as hiding data and planning to destroy material in the face of an FOI request, and strong-arming scientific journals. Do you disagree that such actions are unethical in a scientist? Or do you fail to see that such actions are clearly shown by the emails (unless they are forgeries)?

    “It’s as if the real world doesn’t matter. Real measurements of real temperatures are, somehow, dishonest to the denialists. Real harms to real plants, real animals, real people — how can they be snarkily denied with a well-dressed website? Ergo, to the denialists, real data can’t count. Real data are dishonest.”

    Is this a parody or a strawman? Only by assuming that I have made every claim ever made by an AGW skeptic, could you think your reply is on topic. Finally, do you think unethical behavior is acceptable if in defense of victimized plants, animals and people?

    Like

  63. Moderation says:

    “Denialism of warming is no less dangerous than denialism of gravity in rock climbing.”

    Denialism of warming will lead to your immediate death?

    Maybe you should start a thread on weak analogies.

    Oy. Oy. Indeed.

    Here’s a link that describes how comments in the computer code admit that,

    ‘Data has been “artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures.”’

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/22/cru-emails-may-be-open-to-interpretation-but-commented-code-by-the-programmer-tells-the-real-story/

    This link describes how Phil Jones deleted numerous emails and instructed others to do the same. He also refused to release some of his raw data so that his analysis could not be checked, and much of that database was also deleted. He very possibly violated the Freedom of Information act by intentionally destroying the information that was requested. There are other damaging emails contained in the link as well.

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/emails-that-damn-cru-head-jones

    To understand the magnitude of these allegations you must understand the power of the position held by Phil Jones. He is head the CRU and one of the main “gate keepers” of information that is given to the IPCC. A man with great power holds great responsibilty.

    Like

  64. Ed Darrell says:

    Amitakh Stanford pushes about all the hoary false beliefs of the true anti-warming believer in one fell swoop.

    Denialism of warming is no less dangerous than denialism of biology in evolution, or denialism of gravity in rock climbing.

    Your yeoman wackiness almost demands a post of its own. Considering that no one is predicting mass calamity, I can only guess that you’ve never read any real science papers, and that you think “The Day After Tomorrow” (2004) was a science publication.

    Oy. Oy.

    Like

  65. Scientific Doomsday Mania
    by
    Amitakh Stanford
    22nd November 2009

    There is a doomsday message that is swiftly gaining global acceptance. The new wave is clothed in acceptable clichés and has won over the support of many of the respected scientific communities.

    Unlike most other doomsday messages, this one is supposedly based upon scientific evidence. The scientific “doomsdayers” wear masks and pretend that they are predicting calamities based on hard evidence. This lulls the unsuspecting public into absolute belief and acceptance of the doomsdayers’ ravings.

    If the same message were given in a spiritual setting, the adherents would probably be encouraged to turn to God in preparation for the final days. Generally, scientists have sneered at and mocked spiritual predictions regarding the end times, and the same scientists have convinced the general public to do likewise. Further, governments of the world use their police powers to suppress, restrict, or even eliminate these spiritual-based groups. Scientists have now one-upped the spiritual believers by supporting their dire predictions of calamity with supposed scientific evidence. Using their scientific clout, they have now convinced most of the world leaders to meet in Copenhagen. The stated agenda of the gathering is to halt global warming with a unified and urgent approach.

    People may remember that there have been similar gatherings to solve the global economic crisis. In those meetings, every leader attending was told to boost their economies by stimulus spending. By and large, the world leaders have dutifully followed those dictates. One might ask: Is the global recession over due to this unified approach – or is it deepening? Many thinking economists have finally realized the latter to be the case.

    […]

    Were the carbon traders truly concerned that global warming is a seriously urgent issue, they could perhaps justify following their untested carbon-trading notion. But if it were an urgent situation, why would they offer a solution that will take decades to take effect? If they have decades to work on the solution, by definition, it cannot be that urgent. And, if they have decades to implement their plan, could they not spend at least a few years or even a few months openly and transparently debating which course of action will save the planet from its imminent death?

    To demonstrate the absurdity of the current “green” position, consider that they are proposing massive increases in nuclear power because it is supposed to be carbon friendly. The nuclear proponents do not seem to care about the disposal of nuclear waste from these sites. This means that they are presenting an extremely short-sighted solution, which is not really a solution at all. Besides, the proponents of expanding nuclear power want to tremendously restrict who can and who cannot use nuclear power. For instance, Iran and North Korea are presently being ostracized for, among other things, having nuclear-power programmes. This is a glaring instance where part of the real agenda of the ruling elite shows through; the nuclear proponents are not as concerned about global warming as they are with political dominance.

    As indicated earlier, humans are only marginally responsible for global warming. The hotter sun is undeniable, and it is the main reason for global warming.

    […]

    This would be all well and good if it could be believed that scientists are acting in the people’s best interests. But, since when have scientists been assumed to be altruistic? Why is it accepted that they will only act in the best interests of humans? And why should it be accepted that the scientists are correct about human causes of global warming?

    […]

    The carbon-trading schemes, and other emissions-based solutions presented by the ruling elite’s scientific doomsdayers, will not solve global warming. But, if they get their way, they will change the lives of people for the worse.

    Like

  66. charles says:

    So, one of the few papers to get any play at all is disliked by the CRU folks, who cry “fraud”, and then debate whether they should just publicly attack the authors, or if they should maybe get some data somewhere to support their claim.

    In the end, they decide that in this case, data would be a good thing, except they can’t get the data to say what they want, so in the end nothing comes of the charge that the “skeptic” author is a “fraud”.

    And the fact that the CRU folks, in this particular case, didn’t call the guy a fraud even though they had no evidence is somehow a great sign of how “ethical” they are?

    Whereas, the rest of us see the scientists upset over an article they didn’t like, and spending a lot of money, probably including public money, trying to come up with some data they can use to support their preconceived belief that the paper is a fraud.

    Like

  67. Moderation says:

    This article provides a more balanced analysis of the emails than you will find from Ed,

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2009/11/23/cru-emails-reveal-a-worrying-pattern-of-bad-behaviour/

    and concludes that,

    “statements suggesting “the science is settled” can no longer be sustained”

    and

    “the emails do provide evidence of attempts to subvert the peer-review process, refusal to make data available to journals, attempts to manipulate the editorial stance of journals, attempts to avoid releasing data following FOI requests, tax evasion, rejoicing at the deaths of opponents, manipulation of results, apparent misappropriation of grant money, and threats to physically assault rivals.”

    Like

  68. Nick Kelsier says:

    So, DWP, if one scientist acted unethically that proves that all scientists acted unethically?

    Like

  69. Nick Kelsier says:

    This is to the skeptics, I have this question:

    What if you’re wrong?

    Like

  70. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    Nice takedown! I’d completely missed that one. I’ll have to look into it, and the other ones more carefully. Thank you.

    Like

  71. Dano says:

    Tilo Reber said: “They didn’t publicize it because they couldn’t show that it was a fraud.”

    Huh.

    I wonder if anyone else in this dust-up showed similar restraint.

    I wonder…I wonder….I wonnnderrrrrrrrrrrrrr……

    Best,

    D

    Like

  72. Ed Darrell says:

    You think it’s significant that, while many threads show unethical behavior, other threads do not?

    I haven’t seen any thread that suggests to me that there is any doctoring of data. You appear to be assuming that the “trick” of adding in a line on a chart that shows actual, measured temperatures, is somehow illicit and wrong.

    It’s as if the real world doesn’t matter. Real measurements of real temperatures are, somehow, dishonest to the denialists. Real harms to real plants, real animals, real people — how can they be snarkily denied with a well-dressed website? Ergo, to the denialists, real data can’t count. Real data are dishonest.

    One of the biggest complaints I have against the gaggle of people who claim to be skeptics on the issue is that very few appear to understand how science works, and none of them can point to contrary data.

    If these e-mails are legit, and if there is a case to be made from the skeptics, the e-mails should point to specific places where the data have been doctored. These e-mails should work like Superman’s traveling off into space at great speed to intercept the light rays from past events and photograph them.

    Can you point me to any place where there is such a revelation in these messages? I’ve read the complaints, and they don’t suggest evidence of wrongdoing, to me — what few I’ve read on FOIA requests show why some data could not be delivered (in possession of a foreign government), and no crimes under U.S. standards.

    In contrast, I spent three or four minutes reading through these things one by one, read less than half a dozen, and found the thread where, to me as an attorney and investigator of fraud, there is a lot of exculpatory evidence, and an example of shining ethical scientific work.

    Your dog isn’t barking in the night. So far as I can see, there isn’t a crime being committed by the scientists who warn of warming.

    Like

  73. DWPittelli says:

    “These e-mails have been touted across the internet as showing unethical behavior by the authors. That’s not what this thread shows at all.”

    You think it’s significant that, while many threads show unethical behavior, other threads do not? How does that work logically? How many “ethical” threads would one have to write to compel the reader to ignore a thread showing unethical behavior? Does this work in other contexts? For example, if a cashier gives extra money to his friends, how many of his rivals or opponents must he give correct change to before we are compelled to ignore the isolated incidence of embezzlement?

    “It would be an odd universe where self-incrimination were the only acceptable evidence.”

    Yes, but it would be an even odder universe where letters showing that a defendant’s opponents believe him to be unethical would carry the same weight as letters showing that the defendant knows himself to be unethical.

    “If you read the thread I have specified, and not just an out-of-context quote from one odd e-mail”

    Actually, I have read numerous emails in their entirety. Quite a few are damning. The fact that you have found one that is not, does not change that.

    Like

  74. Don Thieme says:

    Given the above anecdote from these purloined emails, it becomes even more understandable that the raw data on tree ring widths would have been protected by one of these scientists.

    Like

  75. […] For something you’ll never read at Climate Depot or Wishart’s crank central, try this exposé of ethical behaviour by climate scientists confronted by rubbish, and for a candid opinion on the quality on Chris de […]

    Like

  76. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by _victor_: Uh-oh. Climate skeptics, there’s a smoking gun in the CRU e-mails: http://bit.ly/4spn8o #agw #climatechange #cru…

    Like

  77. Ed Darrell says:

    Are any of the e-mails written by Douglass or a coauthor or skeptic? If not, then what you have is evidence that their opponents think they are unethical, which is not the same thing, really — not evidence at all, in fact — as an email which shows its own author to be unethical.

    It would be an odd universe where self-incrimination were the only acceptable evidence.

    What we do not have, so far as I can find, is evidence of unethical behaviors by the people involved. If you read the thread I have specified, and not just an out-of-context quote from one odd e-mail, you’ll get a better understanding for what is going on.

    In any case, this string details what one of the authors thought to be unethical conduct, and what to do about it. In any case, the string shows an astounding adherence to ethical principles by people who think they are writing privately. There is no great show of invective. There is concern in almost every post to making sure accurate information gets to the public.

    Would Douglass argue differently? No doubt. But we now know that at least one of his co-authors was along for the ride almost solely for political reasons, to make a political case contrary to the warming evidence.

    Would the e-mails between Singer and Douglass demonstrate the same high regard for getting the facts right?

    These e-mails have been touted across the internet as showing unethical behavior by the authors. That’s not what this thread shows at all.

    “Dog bites man” isn’t a news headline. Apparently, to you, neither is “scientists work hard to get accurate information.”

    So, where’s the beef?

    Like

  78. […] Smoking guns in the CRU stolen e-mails: A real tale of real ethics in science […]

    Like

  79. Eli Snyder says:

    Tilo Reber said: “They didn’t publicize it because they couldn’t show that it was a fraud.”

    That makes a lot of sense — they have, supposedly (according to “skeptics”) the power and influence to orchestrate the biggest hoax in history, and yet they cannot manage to prove a fairly obvious fraud even with extensive evidence?

    Yeah, that’s plausible.

    It says a lot about the skeptical camp that they are willing to pounce on the slightest hint that there might be something untoward about the handling of data (though they have no scientific evidence to show that) when it comes from the AGW crowd, yet they are willing to ignore significant scientific evidence of outright fraud when it’s one of their own.

    Like

  80. I'll bet you do says:

    Was this article written by a machine?

    Was it approved by M. Mann?

    Like

  81. duder says:

    yes i would also like to thank you for telling me what to think since i don’t want to do the work myself

    sincerely: Sheople

    Like

  82. Tilo Reber says:

    “Unless you follow this issue closely, you probably don’t see the problem with publicizing the ethical breaches scientists thought they saw in this paper and its publication.”

    They didn’t publicize it because they couldn’t show that it was a fraud. The label fraud was simply being used by one alarmist to another to show his opinion of something that he didn’t like. Your reading of ethics among alarmists in this is the one of the biggest and most convoluted stretches that I have ever seen. Have you ever thought of having a competition with Baghdad Bob? I would pay to see it.

    Like

  83. DWPittelli says:

    “The purloined e-mails point to unethical behaviors by the scientists on the anti-warming side, the so-called “skeptics.””

    Are any of the e-mails written by Douglass or a coauthor or skeptic? If not, then what you have is evidence that their opponents think they are unethical, which is not the same thing, really — not evidence at all, in fact — as an email which shows its own author to be unethical.

    At any rate, I would hope we could agree that unethical behavior, by people of either side of any debate, should have serious consequences. Most notably, one consequence is that no one should take said unethical person seriously; consequently, no reputable institution or government should pay such a person anything to engage in such debate.

    Like

  84. […] where private e-mail exchanges show climate scientists suppressing skepticism of global warming? Turns out the e-mails were actually a discussion of how to deal with a case of probable fraud. This surprises me more than it should–perhaps because I’m less used to following the […]

    Like

  85. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Victor Abrahamsen, Victor Abrahamsen. Victor Abrahamsen said: Uh-oh. Climate skeptics, there's a smoking gun in the CRU e-mails: http://bit.ly/4spn8o #agw #climatechange #cru […]

    Like

  86. […] of the mainstream blogger response is this post which draws attention to a skeptic paper (Douglass, Christy, Pearsona and Singer) discussed in […]

    Like

  87. Lars says:

    Good work, Ed.

    Like

  88. Anastasia says:

    Thank you for this critical analysis of the “fraud”. I don’t have the time to look through the emails my self, so I really appreciate your taking the time to find out what was really happening – especially since you provided so many links so readers could check your conclusions for themselves.

    Like

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