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Climate Science Proves Scams Don’t Die of Exposure

Do my hard-pressed editor a favor and click the link to the original here

It’s the tenth anniversary next week of the 2009 Climategate email dump that exposed top climate scientists’ chicanery and subversion of science – and did so in their own words and out of their own mouths, or keyboards. I’ll list a few emails-of-infamy shortly, but first some background.

For the three years before Climategate, the climate crowd was ascendant with its pseudo-narrative of “settled science”. Al Gore’s error-riddled propaganda movie Inconvenient Truth of 2006 had swept the Western world and its readily-traduced schoolkids. In 2007 Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shared the Nobel Peace Prize. In late 2008 Barack Obama won the White House, proclaiming in his modest way, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

The Climategate emails hit the blogosphere just a month before the Copenhagen summit was scheduled to lock Western countries into Kyoto Mark 2, a legally-binding commitment to renewables from 2012. Climategate destroyed warmists’ moral high ground and reinforced the natural reluctance of most governments to up-end their economies with emission controls. The  Copenhagen circus fell apart, resolving merely to “take note” of the exhortations to action by Obama and like-minded leaders.

The mainstream media strove to ignore and bury the Climategate  revelations. The climate establishment ran half a dozen inquiries with limited briefs and ludicrous lack of rigour, all of which purported to clear the climate scientists of wrong-doing.[1] But even today, ten years after, scientists faithful to their calling and disciplines can only shudder at what Climategate revealed. Those who subverted the scientific method were not fringe players but at the pinnacle. They were doing the archetypal studies “proving” catastrophic human-caused catastrophic warming (CAGW) and shaping the content and messaging in the six-yearly reports of the IPCC.

The hacked (or otherwise revealed) email archive spanning the prior decade was stored by the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit[2]. The CRU co-compiled the HadCRUT global temperature series, along with the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre. This data set charting alleged global warming in fractions of a degree was a key input to the climate computer models forecasting doomladen heat for this century. (The model forecasts continue to exceed actual measured warming). Based on these dud modelled forecasts, the West is now spending $US1.5 trillion a year in quest of zero CO2 emissions.

Today, anyone questioning this colossal enterprise is told to “respect the science”. Based on the Climategate emails released in 2009, 2013 and 2015, I’d rather respect the Mafia, who at least don’t claim to be saving the planet. For example, today we’re told that warming of 2degC above pre-industrial level is some sort of a tipping point of doom. Phil Jones, Director of the Climatic Research Unit, emailed on September 6, 2007, that the supposed 2-degree limit was “plucked out of thin air”, a throwaway line in an early 1990s paper from the catastrophists at the Potsdam Climate Impacts Institute.

Now for the emails. We journos love a local angle, and here’s one – the CRU’s Ian “Harry” Harris worked for four years to de-bug and properly document a CRU data base “TS 2.1” of global stations recording monthly temperatures.

One input  was from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, with its frequent adjustments that result in a greater warming trend (think Rutherglen and Darwin). Harry’s comments in a 200-page logging of notes:

What a bloody mess. Now looking at the dates… something bad has happened, hasn’t it. COBAR AIRPORT AWS [data from an Australian weather station] cannot start in 1962, it didn’t open until 1993! … getting seriously fed up with the state of the Australian data. So many new stations have been introduced, so many false references … so many changes that aren’t documented … I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was…Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight…!

What else did Harry Harris mention? Perhaps science-respecting Dr Ross Garnaut (Q&A on November 11) could get his head around this lot (emphasis added):

OH F**K THIS. It’s Sunday evening, I’ve worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I’m hitting yet another problem that’s based on the hopeless state of our databases Bear in mind that there is no working synthetic method for cloud, because Mark New lost the coefficients file and never found it again (despite searching on tape archives at UEA) and never recreated it … This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!! So, uhhhh what in tarnation is going on? Just how off-beam are these datasets?!! … Unbelievable — even here the conventions have not been followed. It’s botch after botch after botch …Where is the documentation to explain all this?! … It’s halfway through April and I’m still working on it. This surely is the worst project I’ve ever attempted. Eeeek … Oh bugger. What the HELL is going on?!.. Oh GOD if I could start this project again and actually argue the case for junking the inherited program suite!! .,. Am I the first person to attempt to get the CRU databases in working order?!! … So, we can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage…

Who added those two series together? When? Why? Untraceable, except anecdotally. It’s the same story for many other Russian stations, unfortunately — meaning that (probably) there was a full Russian update that did no data integrity checking at all. I just hope it’s restricted to Russia!! … What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no ‘supposed’, I can make it up. So I have 🙂 … [My attempted corrections]will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don’t think people care enough to fix ’em, and it’s the main reason the project is nearly a year late.”

That was then. How’s things today?

In 2015 Prime Minister Tony Abbott set in train an audit of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology’s  temperature adjustments that  increased Australia’s apparent warming, but one of the first moves of  his successor, Malcolm Turnbull, was to scuttle that audit. Of equal significance is that late last year, Melbourne scientist Dr John McLean published the first-ever audit of Britain’s HADCRUT4 temperature data set and commented,

It’s very careless and amateur. About the standard of a first-year university student Governments have had 25 years to check the data on which they’ve been spending billions of dollars. And they haven’t done so once.

For example, he found that for two years the temperatures over land in the Southern Hemisphere were derived from just one site in Indonesia, and on two occasions the average December temperature at an airport on tropical St Kitts in the Caribbean was reported at zero degrees. The inaccuracies in the data record are so bad, McLean believes, that it is impossible to know how much global temperatures have really risen – probably about 0.4degC in 70 years, not the 0.6degC claimed.

Subverting peer review

Climategate showed how warmist scientists gamed the peer review process to ensure a monopoly for their views. When two papers contrary to their ‘consensus’ were published, CRU director Phil Jones and his circle pulled out all stops to get the editor sacked and prevent such papers being considered by the IPCC. Jones, 8 July 2004:

…I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [Trenberth, leading climate scientist] and I will keep them out somehow, even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!

US colleague Dr Michael Mann (author of the influential-but-wrong Hockey Stick graph of the past 1000 years’ temperature), July 3, 2003:

It seems clear we have to go above [the sceptic author Chris de Freitas] … I think that the community should, as Mike H [warmist scientist] has previously suggested in this eventuality, terminate its involvement with this journal at all levels –reviewing, editing, and submitting, and leave it to wither way into oblivion and disrepute.

(De Freitas at the  University of Auckland served as deputy dean of science, head of science and technology, and for four years as pro vice-chancellor. He also served as vice-president of the Meteorological Society of New Zealand)

Concerning another sceptic scientist, Steve McIntyre (who used his superior statistical skills to refute Mann’s work), Mann wrote, in August 2007,

I have been talking [with] folks in the States about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose [him].

Restricting and adjusting data

CRU director Jones destroyed emails subject to Freedom of Information requests and urged colleagues to do the same. Some of the emails could have exposed improper manipulation of IPCC processes. In 2004 Jones refused a sceptic’s request for his source data:

…We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try to find something wrong with it?

He had good reason to conceal his data. Perhaps here’s why:

# Jones, April 15, 2009: For much of the SH [Southern Hemisphere] between 40 and 60 [degrees] S[outh] the normals are mostly made up as there is very little ship data there.

# Jones, November 10, 2009: For the 1940-1960 period if the SSTs [sea surface temperatures] were adjusted they would look much better

# Scientist Dr Tom Wigley, then with the US Government, to Jones September 28, 2008, urging more adjusting: …If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s warming blip. So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say 0.15 deg C, then this would be significant for the global mean—but we’d still have to explain the land blip… It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with ‘why the blip’.

# From Jones’ CRU colleague Dr Tim Osborn, December 20, 2006: Also we have applied a completely artificial adjustment to the data after 1960, so they look closer to observed temperatures than the tree-ring data actually were…

# Jones in November 2007 mentioned research malpractice allegations against some climate people in the US and Europe…I reckon only a few in the climate field know the full extent of what is going on behind the scenesin climate science. The Nobel Peace prize will certainly help, but some skeptics are redoubling their efforts.

# Jones’s University of East Anglia colleague Anthony Footitt, June 25, 2009: I do hope all these emails are just staying within UEA because it really makes us – UEA as a whole – look like a bunch of amateurs

 

Hiding the decline

On November 16, 1999, Jones welcomed and had re-used professionally a “trick” in a Nature article involving secret switching from tree-ring proxy temperature data to actual data. This covered up that tree-rings ceased to suggest rising temperature after 1960. That would have invalidated Mann’s tree-ring-based temperature chronologies for earlier centuries.

Jones: I’ve just completed Mike’s [Mann] Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s [Briffa] to hide the decline.

Scientist Tom Wigley points out flaws in Mann’s own research:

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

UK climate researcher Douglas Maraun:

How should we deal with flaws inside the climate community? I think that ‘our’ reaction on the errors found in Mike Mann’s work were not especially honest.

 

The IPCC exposed

UK Met Bureau’s Peter Thorne, concerning work on the IPCC’s 2007 fourth report:

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

Jones admits the political bias in the IPCC’s all-important Summary for Policy Makers (SPM):

He says he’ll read the IPCC Chapters! He hadn’t as he said he thought they were politically biased. I assured him they were not. The SPM [Summary for Policy Makers] may be, but not the chapters.

IPCC coordinating lead author Jonathan Overpeck:

The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guide what’s included and what is left out [of IPCC reports].

Need it be said that leaving out inconvenient stuff is anathema to real, genuine, principled science?

Warmist Mike Hulme agrees that

the debate around climate change is fundamentally about power and politics rather than the environment … There are not that many ‘facts’ about (the meaning of) climate change which science can unequivocally reveal

From climate scientist Giorgi Filippo, who contributed to all five IPCC Assessment Reports:

I feel rather uncomfortable about using not only unpublished but also un- reviewed material as the backbone of our conclusions (or any conclusions)…I feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes

Email 5286 from scientist Hans von Storch:

We should explain why we don’t think the information robust yet. Climate research has become a postnormal science, with the intrusion of political demands and significant influence by activists driven by ideological (well meant) concerns.”

Also from von Storch:

The concealment of dissent and uncertainty in favor of a politically good cause takes its toll on credibility, for the public is more intelligent than is usually assumed

Scientist Richard Somerville, 2004:

We don’t understand cloud feedbacks. We don’t understand air-sea interactions. We don’t understand aerosol indirect effects. The list is long.

Warmist Kevin Trenberth:

We are nowhere close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter

Michael Mann, 2006:

We certainly don’t know the GLOBAL mean temperature anomaly very well, and nobody has ever claimed we do.

Jones’ CRU was meant to provide part of the gold-standard science in the IPCC reports. Sadly, it lost or destroyed massive raw data from global temperature stations, admitting on its website in 2011,“We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.”

Warmist Keith Briffa:

It seems we got the balance between realism and hype about right

In light of all the above admissions of lost data, mangled data, twisted data and the stated intentions of the Climategate correspondents to produce work that confirmed warmist preconceptions, there is a delicious irony to the lament of Phil Jones in 2008

Why can’t people just accept that the IPCC is right!!

Miscellaneous mayhem

# University of East Anglia’s Mike Hulme: I am increasingly unconvinced by the majority of climate impact studies – including some of those I am involved in.

# Michael Mann: It would be nice to try to ‘contain’ the putative ‘Medieval Warming Period’. His Hockey Stick did just that. The medieval warming remains an embarrassment to climate scientists, since it is natural rather than CO2-related.

#  Milind Kandlikar, 2004: Tuning [of models] may be a way to fudge the physics.

In November 2007: UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon, perhaps actually believing what he was saying on the strength of the guff being fed to him, suggested CO2 might cause sea levels to rise six meters in 10 years — that is, by 2017!

Needless to say, universities have showered climate guys with honors. IPCC author Ben Santer agreed with honors for Jones and Wigley: “Phil Jones is one of the true gentlemen of our field” and the pair “deserve medals as big as soup plates”, he wrote, October 8, 2009.

After Climategate

Climategate’s influence on the public debate was fleeting. But now groups like Tim Flannery’s Climate Council persuade many citizens that any weather drama or fire is proof of global warming.[3] A steady stream of younger scientists, fuelled by propaganda from their earliest years in high school and locked onto their career rewards at “woke” universities for adhering to the warmist party line, is continuing the tradition of shoddy climate scholarship. Meanwhile,  non-conformers like reef expert Peter Ridd get sacked.

Call me an optimist, but I see warming extremists alienating voters with a panoply of far-left “social justice” issues attached to their climate narrative — causes that make Greenpeace seem traditionalist.

The debate about the many interpretations of the science has become esoteric compared with close-to-home arguments about fossil-fuel power versus renewables. While Climategate exposed dud science, ten years later the hot topic is the exposure of unfeasible electricity makeovers.

Tony Thomas’s hilarious history, The West: An insider’s tale – A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ’60s is available from Boffins Books, Perth, the Royal WA Historical Society (Nedlands) and online here

 

[1] “The inquiries were largely unable to deal with the issue of the issue of blocking publication of papers, or intimidating journals. But academics reading the emails could see quite clearly the tribalism at work, and in comparison to other fields, climatology comes off looking juvenile, corrupt and in the grip of a handful of self-appointed gatekeepers and bullies.”

[2] The still-unidentified Climategate “hacker” said his motive was to help divert useless trillions for renewables towards doing genuine good for the world’s poor.

[3] Warmist scientist Steve Schneider perceptively said: “A mega heat wave this summer is worth 3 orders of magnitude more in the PR wars – too bad we have to wait for random events since evidence doesn’t seem to cut it anymore with the MSM [mainstream media].”

91 thoughts on “Climate Science Proves Scams Don’t Die of Exposure

  1. Pleased to see someone use Harry’s file rather than just confine criticism to the e-mails. For me this is the crux of the matter. Much of the data was (and still is ) garbage and throughout climate “science” GIGO reigns.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Not that I’m very familiar with the emails, but Von Storch is the only scientist so far who comes across in a positive light from this sorry affair. He at least appeared to be trying to do the right thing by resisting the temptation to cut corners, over-egg results and allow politics to intrude upon presentation of the science. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why his very reasonable discussion paper on the pause, which highlighted the fact that internal variability might be underestimated and/or sensitivity to CO2 might be overestimated to account for what was a very puzzling event, was rejected by Nature in 2013.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BBC Channel4’s programme yesterday evening about Climategate was packed from start to finish with lies and propaganda and was accompanied by weird music. Any programme featuring non-climate scientist alarmists like the Moonbat and Bob “fast fingers” Ward has to be totally suspect, and it was. This was typical BBC, getting its propaganda out there a week before the Cimategate anniversary.

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  4. Phillip. I don’t agree with your claim that from beginning to end the programme was full of lies and propaganda. Take for example the section upon “hiding the decline”. I believe they made a decent fist of explaining, truthfully, that this had nothing to do with a temperature decline but concerned a divergence between the tree-ring proxy record and the instrumental temperatures. The ‘trick’ was to remove the troublesome decline in the proxy record. This the programme did clearly and economically. What the programme failed to do was provide an adequate explanation for the decline, exclude the distinct possibility that earlier parts of the proxy record may well be underestimating temperatures (like say during the Medieval Warm Period) -making the uniformity of the Hockey Stick bogus. The programme was full of such omissions which we sceptics would have loved to have a chance to fill.
    The greatest puzzle for me is why Steve McIntyre agreed to participate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yep, some of them had genuinely listened to and learned from Steve, Mosh and maybe even Fred Pearce on “hide the decline”. The multiple justifications for it that followed, including from Mann, with no comeback from Steve, were the problem. The dark side was active in the editing but it was not all-conquering. For that reason, I think Steve and Mosh (and Pearce) made the right choice and Anthony Watts didn’t.

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  6. Without reference to the transcript or iplayer to review the ‘hide the decline’ explanation given in the program, I can’t quote exactly how it was explained, but they seemed to suggest it was all a fairly innocent procedure of just removing some troublesome modern tree ring data which did not agree with the instrumental data which was probably due to some environmental factors unique to the late 20th century, i.e. probably anthropogenic. Sounds all fairly above board and straightforward doesn’t it? But it’s not. First the terminology used by Jones:

    Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
    Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
    first thing tomorrow.
    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
    to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from
    1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

    An honest scientist would not use such terminology but, as it turns out, his terminology was an accurate way to describe what was not in fact an honest scientific procedure. Because what Mann actually did, when he realised the tree ring data was going the wrong way, is splice instrumental data onto proxy data and only then smooth this hybridised data to get a curve which showed the ‘correct’ trend, graphically representing this curve as proxy data, which it was not. That to me is fraud, it’s certainly trickery and Jones should never have entertained doing such a thing.

    Statistical trickery was bad enough, but Osborn, Briffa and Jones also entirely deleted inconvenient tree ring data which showed a huge decline in temperature in the late 20th century. The significance cannot be lost on anybody: if you massage data to show what you want it to show, if you delete inconvenient chunks of data which doesn’t show what you want it to show, but you leave in all the rest which does show what you want to show, then your entire methodology is, at best, not robust, at worst, complete crap and tantamount to scientific fraud. I’m afraid I don’t have much sympathy for these ‘scientists’ now claiming how they were victims of an intimidation campaign. maybe they did receive death threats. One cannot condone that. But how many? How credible? And were these threats ever investigated by the police?

    Liked by 7 people

  7. jaime: Quite; the whole process was dishonest and if the tree ring data was shown not to agree with temperature in the late 20th century, then you cannot use the tree ring data to derive temps for the last 1,000years. They dare not admit this. It is several years now since I read both of Andrew Montford’s books and the Climategate email analysis, but the BBC programme definitely did its best to hide the truth from the viewers and deceive them (just as all the “independent” inquiries did). Non of the scientists involved showed any honesty or scientific integrity, and that remains the case today.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Tony, thanks, that’s a really good summary.

    An important fact that you mention is that the other climate scientists showed they were aware of the flaws in Mann’s work.

    As well as the emails you mention from Wigley and Maraun, that actually admit to dishonesty in the climate science community, there are these ones

    http://assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/1024334440.txt

    Briffa: “I have just read this lettter – and I think it is crap. I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature representative ) tropical series.”

    Cook: “Of course, I agree with you. We both know the probable flaws in Mike’s recon”

    http://di2.nu/foia/foia2011/mail/3373.txt

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

    http://di2.nu/foia/foia2011/mail/1527.txt

    Rob Wilson: “There has been criticism by Macintyre of Mann’s sole reliance on RE, and I am now starting to believe the accusations.”

    http://di2.nu/foia/foia2011/mail/3259.txt

    Tom Wigley: “Phil, I have just read the M&M stuff critcizing MBH. A lot of it seems valid to me. At the very least MBH is a very sloppy piece of work — an opinion I have held for some time.”

    http://di2.nu/foia/foia2011/mail/3994.txt

    John Mitchell: “Is the PCA approach robust? Are the results statistically significant? It seems to me that in the case of MBH the answer in each is no.”

    [MBH = Mann Bradley & Hughes, the original 1998 hockey stick]

    That’s a least 6 different people, and there are more in a similar style.

    Last night’s BBC documentary should have mentioned this – it would have tied in the first part about the hockey stick with the second part about climategate. But of course it told the truth, which the BBC was desperate to avoid.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Jaime,

    I couldn’t agree more. Knowing how to multiply by 9, by first multiplying by 10 then subtracting the number to be multiplied, is what mathematicians call a ‘trick’, because it is an efficient method for arriving at the correct answer. Splicing and smoothing two datasets that don’t even fall into the same class, in order to hide the unreliability of one of the datasets and yet still arrive at the desired answer — that’s what mathematicians call a con.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. After 10 years, not much has changed:

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Jaime: Quite. This is what happens when you take Michael Mann of 1998 short-centred PCA and Graybill stripbark infamy and promote him to be, in effect, the gatekeeper for all parts of “the science,” mentoring the newbies like Katharine Hayhoe. It’s a licence to produce any garbage as long as it fits, or even just seems to fit, the catastrophe narrative. Pielke Jr is a stalwart of the resistance on behalf of true science – and thus is blocked by Mann and Hayhoe on Twitter. (Though I’m sure the latter is a very loving, Christian block.)

    One reason I was pleasantly surprised by the programme was that the decision to have a handsome mugshot of the Penn State prof as the only online graphic, which I took made it likely it was going to be all about the great Mann as heroic victim, was not fully backed up by the facts, and Mc and Mosh’s helpful commentary on them, that the programme makers were honest enough to show. Sure, it was deeply flawed but it wasn’t at the Attenbollocks level. And that in turn is why it was hidden away on BBC4 and not trumpeted on BBC1.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Here’s a transcript of the “hide the decline” segment in the programme:

    Michael Mann: “Hide the decline” happened to appear in an email from Phil Jones to me, and it’s amazing how this email has been laundered and misrepresented and cherry-picked to feed all of these different mythologies.

    Gavin Schmidt: That email, the “hide the decline” email, was written about a graph that appeared in a 1999 WMO publication, there was like a – it was cover art.

    Tim Osborn: For that particular diagram, the purpose was to show the course of temperatures across the northern hemisphere over the last 1,000 years.

    Michael Mann: And Phil’s showing three different reconstructions. But one of them is using tree-ring density data. There was a problem that was known as the “divergence problem”, which is that after about 1960 these tree-ring densities, which correlate so well with temperatures in previous decades, starts to break down.

    Tim Osborn: We chose not to include the last three decades of the tree-ring density record, because we knew they were showing something that wasn’t backed up by the accurate thermometer data, which show the ongoing warming. Trees are complex biological organisms, and therefore they respond to multiple factors – not only temperature. Something else could have affected the tree that year.

    Michael Mann: And there have been various theories for why this unnatural decline in the response of these tree-ring data to temperature after 1960 might happen.

    Tim Osborn: The most convincing explanations are linked to other things that happened in the late 20th century, that didn’t happen before.

    Michael Mann: It could have to do with acid rain, it could have to do with ozone depletion. And so in the email, when Phil Jones’ refers to “hiding the decline” all he meant was: not showing the bad and misleading data.

    Tim Osborn: The word “trick” in the email was simply used to indicate a useful or convenient way of addressing a particular problem.

    Michael Mann: So it was an entirely innocent and appropriate conversation between three scientists talking about the most honest way to depict what we know, on the cover of a government report to policy makers who might want to know something about climate change.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. The Times TV reviewer fell for the fake BBC 4 prog
    Throughout her review she uses the words “hacked” “the deniers” “scientists vindicated” etc.

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  14. The word “news” in BBcNews or GuardianNews
    is merely an ambush word which really means “PR trickery
    ie I don’t read nor try to debunk BBcNews or GuardianNews item on Green issues
    cos after a time all those items fall apart anyway.

    So I did not waste my time watching the BBC4 prog
    I expected it to be a stitch up
    .. a fantasy narrative and not the truth.

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  15. This morning @Tomo posted
    Richard Black crowing about the BBC4 Climategate prog
    But when I checked it seems to me Black’s already deleted that tweet

    His pinned tweet does seem to show he has skeptophobia

    As a Conservative government commits to #netzero emissions and public support for sorting climate change soars
    … whatever happened to the UK’s once influential climate-contrarian elite?
    This is the first and only book to chart their rise and fall
    amazon.co.uk/Denied-rise-fall-climate-contrarianism/dp/1912119951

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  16. Stew, that book by Black was published on 16th November 2018. I’d not heard of it till today. Another anniversary. I’m really sad to see what Peter Oborne wrote in praise of it. We live and learn.

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  17. Richard, Stew,

    It hasn’t been the ebb and flow of evidence and counter-evidence that has determined the fate of contrianism; it has been the ebb and flow of respect for evidence.

    My next post will elaborate on the above point, but I am holding fire until everyone has had their say on this particularly disreputable episode wihtin the sad decline of the BBC.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. On Jaime’s comment:

    “I’m afraid I don’t have much sympathy for these ‘scientists’ now claiming how they were victims of an intimidation campaign. maybe they did receive death threats. One cannot condone that. But how many? How credible? And were these threats ever investigated by the police?”

    Back in 2012 somebody calling themselves ‘whatdotheyknow.com’ put in an FOI request to Norfolk Constabulary on this particular issue:

    https://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/more-info-on-the-ueacru-climategate-investigation-by-norfolk-police/

    “June 2012
    Dear whatdotheyknow.com
    Freedom of Information Request Reference No: FOI 69/12/13

    I write in connection with your request for information received by the Norfolk Constabulary on the 14th May 2012 in which you sought access to the following information:

    Please provide a breakdown per month, the number of:
    A threats to life
    B threats of bodily harm

    which were reported to Norfolk Constabulary by members of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit in the period 1st November 2009 to 30th April 2012, inclusive.

    Response to your Request

    Norfolk Constabulary were made aware of emails that had been received by a member of the staff at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. No specific complaint or report was made to the Constabulary and no crimes were recorded detailing threats to life or threats of bodily harm.

    This response will be published on the Norfolk Constabulary’s web-site http://www.norfolk.police.uk under the Freedom of Information pages at Publication Scheme – Disclosure Logs.”

    ………….

    So the answer to the last question “And were these threats ever investigated by the police?” is No.

    There was some footage of some threatening-looking e-mails included in the recent BBC4 documentary, but that might have been a ‘reconstruction’ for the documentary.

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  19. I can personally vouch for Keith Briffa discussing with me his receiving multiple vile and threatening communications following Climategate. I also witnessed Phil Jones looking absolutely shattered and being informed by the Head of School that he had received death threats. I have no doubt whatsoever that this abuse occurred and to suggest otherwise on no evidence whatsoever beggars belief.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. “Harris worked for four years to de-bug and properly document a CRU data base “TS 2.1” of global stations recording monthly temperatures.

    One input was from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, with its frequent adjustments that result in a greater warming trend (think Rutherglen and Darwin). Harry’s comments in a 200-page logging of notes:

    What a bloody mess. Now looking at the dates… something bad has happened, hasn’t it. COBAR AIRPORT AWS [data from an Australian weather station] cannot start in 1962, it didn’t open until 1993! … getting seriously fed up with the state of the Australian data. So many new stations have been introduced, so many false references … so many changes that aren’t documented … I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was…Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight…!”

    There is a reason why CRU TS2.1 was Never intended for use as a climate dataset.
    People who read the warning labels on data understood it was not ready for prime time.
    Anyone who knows CRU TS 2.1 knows this. At the time it was clearly marked as not
    suitable for climate studies. duh.

    basically harry worked on a dataset that wasn’t used climate studies, boring.
    contrast this with the HS.

    I do wish that skeptics would not elide over these critical details. When I first read harry’s mails
    my thoughts went like this.

    What a moron, whining about the data. Of course it’s confusing. silly english twit. suck it up.
    The job is detective work, not SQL.

    Then I researched the dataset he was working on. oh, CRU TS. FFS, what a waste of time
    it’s basically a poor mans re analysis done with splines instead of physics.

    But Mosh!! all of climate science Rests on CRU TS!!!

    err Nope. Not even close.

    But the mail reads great, even if he’s a bit over dramatic and hyperbolic.
    I will agree that australian data is shit, same goes for Env Canada and worst of the lot, USA.
    Basically, I’ve looked at the data Harry was working on ( more even) and he is a bit prone
    to hyperventlating.

    Anyway you can believe a mail about data or go check the data yourself and decide
    if harry was a snowflake whiny ass bitch or not. Na, take the mail at face value.
    easy peasy and we like that story.

    I always find it weird that many skeptics read mails as if they were scripture. very odd.
    My experience? I read a mail about an airplane flight. I go check to see if there is such a flight.
    I read a mail from mcintyre to jones. I call Mcintrye to check if its real. I read a mail talking
    about a post on the internet. I check, did that post exist. Dude writes about
    programming problems. is he a whiny bitch or is there something here. go look.
    it is tedious work being a skeptic.

    This came to me late one night reading the mails. Oh fuck, we demanded data. because we doubted
    what was written in papers. Now instead of data, I got mails.. and I still need the data , but now I need it to check the claims made in mails. cause they are not scripture, unless I choose to accept them as
    gospel.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “The greatest puzzle for me is why Steve McIntyre agreed to participate.”

    I agreed to participate because as a first hand witness to history it is your duty to testify.
    I am sure a lot of the 2 hours or so ended up on the cutting room floor.
    Then after it becomes your duty to correct the record.

    So I need to get a copy.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. “Today, anyone questioning this colossal enterprise is told to “respect the science”. Based on the Climategate emails released in 2009, 2013 and 2015,”

    Please correct your dates. RTFM.

    Like

  23. “Jones’ CRU was meant to provide part of the gold-standard science in the IPCC reports. Sadly, it lost or destroyed massive raw data from global temperature stations, admitting on its website in 2011,“We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.”

    Err No.

    Jones had COPIES of raw data supplied by NWS to him and he misplaced/lost/couldnt find the COPIES
    he got from the NWS. He also mentions this in a mail when he is contemplating going back to the NWS
    and getting another copy of the data.

    So to be clear: Countries NWS transmit raw data to WMO, NOAA and CRU and they keep originals
    CRU (Jones) got COPIES and homongenized it, calling it value added.
    Over the years Jones lost track of the Copies provided to him by the NWS
    The data still exists ( just go ask the NWS or NOAA or WMO)
    Most importantly Mcintyre wanted the data to show that CRU
    wasnt doing anything to add value.. eg no substantial changes.

    So lost data?
    nope.
    Lost copies of data files.

    details details details.

    I will tell you one thing these details drive interviewers CRAZY. because from both sides they want
    a really clean story.

    There are only two acceptable stories here

    story 1: Mean sceptics beat innocent scientists over nothing
    story 2: Whistleblower exposes science crime of the century.

    These are the only acceptable stories

    neither is remotely true.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Dave,

    Many thanks for supplying that FOI result from Norfolk Police.

    Alan,

    “I can personally vouch for Keith Briffa discussing with me his receiving multiple vile and threatening communications following Climategate. I also witnessed Phil Jones looking absolutely shattered and being informed by the Head of School that he had received death threats. I have no doubt whatsoever that this abuse occurred and to suggest otherwise on no evidence whatsoever beggars belief.”

    I do not believe anybody suggested that death threats did not occur; I merely questioned how many and how credible. On the evidence from Norfolk Police, it would seem that no actual complaints were registered by members of the CRU and no crimes were registered by them as a result. It would be natural to assume that if you receive a communication where your life or personal safety is threatened and you consider that threat to be crdible, real and genuine – as apparently members of the CRU admitted on film – then you would go to the effort of reporting that as a crime. No crimes were reported. No investigations took place. Draw your own conclusions.

    As to abusive communications, I’m sure Jones and others received quite a few and probably were quite upset by them. It’s a tough old world. Actions have consequences. Not all of them nice. Not all of them fair. Of course, this debate could be cleared up by the release of another tranche of hacked emails and data files, this time detailing all the malicious communications received by members of the CRU from persons unknown.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Jaime. After the second e-mail release, I received my share of horrid comments and threats. I never reported them, never made complaints to the police who consequently never learned of their existence and there is no record my receiving any in police files. Apart from Keith Briffa (who I swore to secrecy, and who has since died) this is the first time I have admitted this. Make of it what you will.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Thanks Alan, but ‘share of horrid comments and threats’ is not enough for me to go on so I shall reserve judgement in your particular case and obviously, Keith Briffa was not around to be interviewed by the BBC to make claims that he was a victim of serious intimidation.

    Like

  27. Steve. Thank you for your comments upon a) Harry’s file and b) the “loss” of data.
    With regard to a) your explanation does not rule out the possibility that CRU results were not contaminated by inappropriately massaged data, nor by entirely made up data.
    The claim that the original data had been lost came from CRU. Even if CRU originally said that it was copies that had been lost, rather than the originals (and AFAIK there is no evidence supporting this) , why when an incorrect statement was being broadcast (and CRU were being mightily chastised) didn’t CRU correct the inaccuracies. Something still smells.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Steven’s right about the media wanting a clean narrative to promote to its audience. In the case of the BBC, it seems fairly obvious that the narrative they wanted to convey was “story 1: Mean sceptics beat innocent scientists over nothing.” Steve McIntyre was portrayed as the archetypal ‘mean sceptic’ who may even have been the elusive hacker himself who put those poor scientists through so much personal grief and who contributed to a climate of doubt where a climate of certainty was needed in order to justify action on climate change.

    The truth is rather more mundane, but no less unsettling. Climate scientists were caught red-handed engaging in highly dubious and unprofessional practices, manipuating data, massaging data, erasing data, minimising or hiding uncertainty, censoring scientific dissent from within their own community, resisting attempts from the public to access data, etc. for political purposes, ideological attachment to consensus and/or personal career enhancement. Even more unsettling, not much has changed since; in fact the situation may have become worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. SM gave himself the Stockholm syndrome,. Holding himself hostage to get the cool guys to let him hang out and make ice bag runs when the ice runs low.
    Here are the range of responses from SM when not in delphic haiku mode.
    A skeptic makes a mistake (from his perspective):
    All skeptics are evil, counter productive, and are the reason science is not succeeding.
    vs.
    Scientists are not only wrong but document it over thousands of emails:
    “Just boys being boys and talking in sciencey jargon.”
    Scientists make wild bullshit predictions of doom for decades that fail to come true:
    “A skeptic somewhere claims CO2 is a trace gas! It’s all the fault of skeptics for not believing the physics. Bad skeptics!”
    vs.
    Society is making regressive, massively expensive, society destroying mistakes due to decisions directly inspired by climate scientists and their untruths about the science and data:
    “It’s all skeptics fault”
    or more commonly:
    “sounds of crickets chirping”.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. By the way, the vast majority of claims about intimidation and threats by alleged skeptics to alleged scientists have turned out to be in reality false claims.
    The most logical reason Jones had the reaction he claimed is that he got nervous over being caught out lying.
    His loss of copies of data were still his loss of his data. The contortions SM goes to to defend him is emblematic of his hard earned position as water boy for the consensus.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Another aspect of the programme rings true with me and that is the constant harassment people in CRU felt under a constant barrage of demands (and I use the word advisedly, instead of requests) for data. Just before Climategate these demands were relentless and severely impeded their academic work. Furthermore CRU were only compelled to supply data to further academic research. Yet demands were coming from every which way. I made a suggestion that they employ an ex-student to handle the load and let the obviously spurious demands just pile up in a queue. But like other suggestions made in the Common Room, it was not acted upon.

    Jaime I should feel aggrieved that my first-hand testimony is not sufficient, but hey ho!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Alan, your ‘first hand testimony’ was not deemed by me to be ‘insufficient’, as you claim. You will note that I used the term ‘reserve judgement’. This means that I decided that the information you gave was insufficient for me to form a definite opinion. That is all. It was not a character judgement as you seem to be implying.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Let us also not forget that it was a selection of e-mails that was released. As discussions concluded post-Climategate, this probably meant one of 2 possibilities
    1. The release was from someone within CRU, and suspicion fell upon Keith Briffa (although he adamantly denied this), or
    2. It was from group of emails previously assembled (perhaps anticipating a FOI request) that was placed in a very insecure location that could easily be hacked. This explanation never made sense to me because it does not explain the shear panic that occurred in the university. They had no idea what was out there ready for further release.
    It was argued that to be able, as an outsider, to be able to rifle through all of CRU’s emails would have required a detailed knowledge of all of CRU’s storage, which only an insider would have had. This argumentation would throw doubts on any suggestions that any outside sceptic was responsible for any hacking. But I wouldn’t be surprised by anything – I’ll not even rule out our future monarch!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Hunterson7 how about some evidence to support your wild, hurtful and so far completely unsupported claims? The most logical explanation for Jone’s (and Briffa’s, Osborne’s and for my (later)) claimed hate mail and threats is the they are all true. Not really first-class evidence, but look at some of the hate-filled responses to my support of my colleagues (or my refusal to damn them) at WUWT and Bishop Hill back in 2013. I and some that supported me were shocked at how vitriolic they were. Now we appear to be seeing a resurgence of this unthinking behaviour, unsupported by any evidence.

    Like

  35. Alan,
    Clearly you are more in tune with the CRU social fall out from climategate than I am. That said, human nature rules and creating Boogeyman opponents is frequently utilized. We already know the gang, which you had already been excluded from, was practicing deception. There was a case in Australia where the climate scientist did turn out to be fabricating threats. I do tend to interpolate and my interpolation is that deceivers deceive. They had loads of practice and are after all pretty bright and creative and not just with data and truth.
    Climategate dramatically showed Jones and gang committing fraud, which did put them at deep risk until the cover-ups kicked in.
    Did some unpleasant emails get sent?
    I’m not surprised. But by whom were they sent? The internet’s a funny anonymous place in many eays. Frankly while not supporting making threats serious or not, what do you expect?
    Look how Mann, ATTP, Lewandowsky, etc. ad nauseum behave to great acclaim. They shred careers, vilify, lie, sue, gang attack, support XR, etc.
    So if the only thing worrying Jones were some unpleasant emails, and not the fact that his lies and deception were uncovered and he was for awhile at risk, great. But ten maybe he is more pathological than I thought, and didn’t give a hoot that he and his gang have sold the biggest systematic fraud in the history of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I hate to sound like Mosh but, merely as a persuasion technique:

    1. believe Alan
    2. condemn the few who sent such terrible emails
    3. get back to the meat of what was wrong and not-so-wrong with the programme.

    And also because it’s right.

    Apologies to Tony that the comments on his thread have been overtaken by the BBC’s effort.

    Apologies to Mosh in that I tried to convert the BBC DRM-infested format to mp4 and failed. (It was for your sake I tried and perhaps the other Steve too. It reminded me I’d failed before.)

    Like

  37. Alex:

    I’m putting up a complete transcript here (work in progress…)

    Thank you. Again.

    [Caption: An unprecedented criminal attack was about to take place. Its focus would be one of the world’s most important centres of climate science.]

    Ah yes, that was the one: “unprecedented criminal attack”.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. It has just dawned on me that Tim Osborne’s comment (thank you Andy for the transcript) “Trees are complex biological organisms, and therefore they respond to multiple factors – not only temperature.” echos one that I made at the time, and which led me to propose an undergraduate research project. I proposed that different trees from across the university campus be investigated and compared. Clearly a willow on the river bank would not suffer from water shortage even during summers with low rainfall compared with ash or oak in a tree plantation. Exposed trees would suffer differently to more frequent windstorms than those more protected. By comparing tree ring widths in different trees (different species and different locations) it might be possible to isolate the different influences and perhaps get a handle on the divergence problem. No one was interested. It was sacrosanct that tree rings responded to temperature, except when they didn’t. At such times they were ignored or their evidence hidden. For the programme however non-temperature influences are suddenly recognized.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. STEVE MOSHER 16 Nov 2019 4.14am

    There are only two acceptable stories here
    story 1: Mean sceptics beat innocent scientists over nothing
    story 2: Whistleblower exposes science crime of the century.

    I can’t think of any sceptic who would describe what the emails revealed as the crime of the century. Can Steve Mosher?

    Normally I wouldn’t dream of being so pernickety. But, as Steve says: details details details.

    The true story is:
    1. Rubbish science
    2. Cover up of rubbish science by university authorities, scientists, official enquiries and journalists.
    3. Ubiquitous lying about the innocence of scientists based on cover ups.

    Liked by 7 people

  40. Fair comment Geoff. My only quibble would be ‘lying’ in 3. There are many who have been taken in by 2 and are passing on untruths without knowing it. But Mosh was setting up a straw man and claiming it as the only story acceptable to sceptics.

    I continue to feel that the treatment of “hide the decline” was the weakest point in the BBC programme for us to hit:

    Sadly the full YouTube versions of the excellent Fox hour in Dec 2009, linked to by Steve, are now defunct. Where did all that famed fossil fuel money to sceptics go?

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Alan,
    I did make a response earlier to your reasonable request. It is apparently in some sort of Limbo, hopefully to be found and posted.
    If it doesn’t show up soon, I will post another response early Sunday (US time).

    Like

  42. H7, found and released from spam bin. Not sure why some of your comments get put there.

    I’m sure Alan’s right. But the programme wallowed in this. In contrast, the actual content of the emails was hardly discussed at all.

    Like

  43. wonder why nothing was mentioned about the leaker/hacker with the give away name FOI – something (can’t find a link for some reason)

    Like

  44. “The truth is rather more mundane, but no less unsettling. Climate scientists were caught red-handed engaging in highly dubious and unprofessional practices, manipuating data, massaging data, erasing data, minimising or hiding uncertainty, censoring scientific dissent from within their own community, resisting attempts from the public to access data, etc. for political purposes, ideological attachment to consensus and/or personal career enhancement. Even more unsettling, not much has changed since; in fact the situation may have become worse.”

    Red handed?
    Nope.

    The mails are just WORDS, unless they have, as in some cases, actual data attached.
    What does that mean? mails are just words? It means the same thing when
    I say scintific papers are just words on a page.. unless you have the data.
    This is the fundamental precept of reproduceable science. Papers are just advertisments
    for the science.

    For example, many skeptics read a Jones mail about “changing SST” and they assume
    that the mail actually determines a fact about data. Namely that data was changed.
    Does it? well you actually have to check. Did Thompson make the change
    that Jones was speculating about?. or not. Did you check?

    or lets take “censoring scientific dissent” what about THAT! mails show that right?

    Do we see Jones desire (expressed in his July 8 2004 mail) to do this WRT to Ross McKittricks Paper
    on UHI?

    YUP
    The mail says so!!! Lets keep that paper out of ar4!!

    Now, if you are a believer you believe the mail. Jones kept mckittrick out of Ar4 just as he said
    he would do in the mail.!!! If you are a SKEPTIC you question the MAIL as hard as you
    question any paper or data.
    you LOOK. Observe. Independent evidence.
    Were the papers Jones was referring to kept out or not?

    Oh My, Jones was just puffing his chest up. mcKittrick was NOT excluded from Ar4.
    The process of review forced him into AR4

    But the story doesnt end there. Yes science was was self correcting. Yes Jones bad behavior
    was caught and McKittrick was included in Ar4. But it didnt stop there.

    In Ar4 Jones wrote that McKittricks paper was invalid. !! He couldnt keep it out, but he did spin
    it.

    So. Science is done by humans. As as we know humans make mistakes and they can have
    personal motives. Over time of course we see that these mistakes and personal motives
    cannot hold up. the truth will out. And so Mckittrick made it into AR4, But Jones left a parting shot.

    This is what he wrote.

    ‘However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development
    are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric
    circulation changes (Sections 3.2.2.7 and 3.6.4), which exhibit
    large-scale coherence. Hence, the correlation of warming
    with industrial and socioeconomic development ceases to be
    statistically signifi cant. ”

    is that the end? Science corrupt! move on!
    Nope

    The story is not done yet. And so McKittrick was answered
    in the Journals by Gavin.

    Did that end it?

    Nope

    It didnt stop there because the record had to be corrected in Ar5. Peter Thorne Corrected
    Jones error in Ar4. That’s right Thorne pointed out Jones error in Ar4. Here is what he wrote

    “McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and de Laat and Maurellis (2006)
    assessed regression of trends with national socioeconomic and geographical indicators, concluding that UHI and related LULC have
    caused much of the observed LSAT warming. AR4 concluded that
    this correlation ceases to be statistically significant if one takes into
    account the fact that the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric
    circulation changes but provided no explicit evidence for this overall
    assessment result. Subsequently McKitrick and Michaels (2007) concluded that about half the reported warming trend in global-average
    land surface air temperature in 1980–2002 resulted from local land
    surface changes and faults in the observations. Schmidt (2009) undertook a quantitative analysis that supported AR4 conclusions that much
    of the reported correlation largely arose due to naturally occurring
    climate variability and model over-fitting and was not robust. Taking
    these factors into account, modified analyses by McKitrick (2010) and
    McKitrick and Nierenberg (2010) still yielded significant evidence for
    such contamination of the record.”

    BUT even THAT is not the end. Corrections continue. They continue because our knowledge is
    imperfect and our character is imperfect and our institutions are imperfect. They continue because
    you get rewarded for finding the other guys error and showing it.. (psst blogs is a bad place to
    do this )

    The final chapter in the story is that mckittricks paper was flawed. How do I know?
    he posted his data. and his population figures for population growth are grossly
    innacurate because of mistakes he made in geostats/metadata and mistakes he made
    about country growth rates. Here is what I found. First that McKittrick used HARRY READ ME
    DATA.. haha too funny. Next he fucked up populations!

    So I wrote the following. In some sense I was forced to expose the error ( I had talked to Ross
    about it privately) because as a reviewer he demanded that I address his paper in the paper I was working on. Here is the final chapter on his paper.

    ‘the apparent contradiction of these studies is partly due to
    different areas of focus and perhaps to gross data errors in Mckitrick
    [20,21,23]. De Laat and Maurellis [19], McKitrick and Micheals
    [20,21] and McKitrick and Nierenberg [23] use the CRUTemp
    gridded product, which as mentioned, contains little effort to remove
    urban heating effects. McKitrick and Micheals [20,21] and McKitrick
    and Nierenberg [23] also focus on finding the heating signal in local
    trends rather than evaluating the effect on a global average. Finally,
    the severe data errors in Mckitrick [20,21,23] derive from the method
    used to estimate population and population growth rates for 5 × 5
    grid cells. In each of the papers the population for individual grid cells
    is derived by taking the national population and applying it to every
    grid cell scaled to the grid cell area. For example, the population for
    the Gobi Desert grid cell is the same as the population for Beijing. In
    addition, no care was taken to differentiate the population of countries
    from their territories, such that the grid that contains St. Helena,
    is assigned the same population as England. the same error causes
    Antarctica to have the population of England since temperature
    stations there are identifed as belonging to the United Kingdom. If
    these errors were corrected, it might be possible to diagnose the exact
    reasons for the different results given by those papers.”

    Now, Which story is more exciting to you?

    Me? I like the stories that Mcintyre tells. About chasing down all the details. tracing from paper
    to paper, data set to data set. Digging, digging.

    Other people?

    Scientists bad! reject!
    Scientists good! submit to their will.

    Well of course science makes mistakes. Of course humans are social creatures. Of
    course they have petty jealously, agendas, politics, blah blah blah.

    That is why we dont trust the words on the page
    That is why we dont simply take mails at face value.
    That is why you have to dig.

    So for me anyone who says “the mails show” hasnt really thought about the problem very deeply.

    let me put it this way. Suppose I read a mail from Anthony watts saying he had faked all
    his site survey data. What would these words establish?

    Nothing.

    I would want to check the data to see if he was actually telling the truth.

    That’s what I mean when I say that mails can’t change science.

    Skeptics should be the first ones to acknowledge this.

    Like

  45. Steve , life’s too short, some words you have to take on trust. Words that were never expected to be revealed (like the Climategate emails) can often be given greater weight (in exposing truth) than those within carefully composed logic trains designed to skirt uncertainties.
    You reveal a great love of data, relying upon it to expose truth. Yet data can lie or mislead just as effectively as interpretations of it do.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. “You reveal a great love of data, relying upon it to expose truth. Yet data can lie or mislead just as effectively as interpretations of it do.”

    yes of course. but 1 means 1.

    look at the confusion over the words “trick to hide the decline”

    how many skeptics get it wrong.. which decline.

    yes 1 means 1.

    now you may doubt the source of the data. you may doubt its handling.

    but we have agrement that 1 means 1.

    you can be skeptical of data and should be, but you know at the base, what you are questioning

    was 1 correctly recorded? etc ect etc

    Like

  47. “Steve , life’s too short, some words you have to take on trust. Words that were never expected to be revealed (like the Climategate emails) can often be given greater weight (in exposing truth) than those within carefully composed logic trains designed to skirt uncertainties.”

    I suppose so but then thats an argument you have to make on a case by case basis. Which words
    should be given the greater weight. Those that you labor over, that get reviewed? or the tweet
    you just pushed out “because” . or the private mail?

    Not at all clear there is any principle, objective principle, at work here.

    So I am skeptical of your claim, as you should have been before making it

    Like

  48. OK, I get your point Steven that statement of intent is not the same as actual deeds. After all, you cannot be prosecuted for thought crimes – yet. So technically, in those cases where bad intent was expressed but not subsequently carried out, one cannot show that the suspects have actual blood on their hands. The point remains that the emails are solid evidence of an unhealthy culture of consensus enforcement and group think, data manipulation and misrepresentation of uncertainty in order to pander to the requirements of policy makers.

    It would be interesting to see just how many of the bad practices mentioned in the emails were actually enacted, but I would imagine this would be a monumental task. Generally, people are more interested in analysing motivations and expressions of intent in the presence of a prevailing culture, a culture of regimented groupthink and protectionism of consensus which was clearly on display in the Climategate hack.

    But take for example email 5286, where Hans Von Storch warns about the unrelenting pressure from a non scientific audience to see policy relevant regional projections of climate change from models which have very little skill on the regional scale. What happened? Von Storch’s warnings were largely ignored and regional projections of climate change were included in the report, with insufficient caveats attached. Jones et al included the graph constructed using Mann’s ‘Nature trick’ in the WMO report. It wasn’t just a statement of intent. The deed was done.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. So Steve you agree, but with caveats that such agreements are unimportant. Playing with words, denying truths others have gleaned from the same data. Ignoring the fact that the emails are themselves data capable of interpretation. Whitewash.

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Steve Mosher’s criticisms of sceptics would have more force if we were prosecutors looking for a conviction in a court of law, but we’re not. We’re simply observers of and commenters on human behaviour. Our conclusions are pretty consensual (for what it’s worth) and they are that these people are not fit for purpose and that this fact is evident to any normal observer.

    Whether words were translated into actions would be important in a court of law, but not when assessing these people and their actions. This is why Jones’s remarks about keeping papers out of IPCC reports, pressurising editors etc. are so much worse than Santer’s about meeting McIntyre in a dark alley. The latter is no more than a bad tempered rant, even if beating someone up is morally and legally more serious than sabotaging their career. Jones’s emails on the other hand demonstrate a concerted effort to screw the science. This is the modern equivalent of corrupting youth and denying the existence of the gods. Hemlock would have been the right remedy.

    Liked by 4 people

  51. Alan,
    The post I wrote yesterday seems to have been stuck in Limbo and I don’t want to not reply to you.
    First to be clear: I categorically reject threats, sincere or histrionic, against anyone. To the extent that credible threats are made they should be criminally investigated.
    That said, where were the police in the alleged threats after climategate?
    Were the actual authors of the alleged threats ever identified? The internet is famous for false flag. In the US we are suffering through years of fabricated claims by tearful victims who turn out to be liars who still manage to damage or destroy innocent people.
    In Australia a case I recall in general regarding a climate scientist and threats ended with the police closing the case as contrived. Perhaps I interpolated my assertion from some of those influences. If it is an interpolation, it is also based on the observation that in the early days of climategate, before the massive cover-up went into effect, there was a brief period where honest impressions of the emails existed.
    As I recall, that was the time when Jones and gang actually had honest reactions to their being caught. A lot of climate consensus opinion leaders were openly angry. In Wall Street, when those committing large scale frauds are outed, emotional/mental reactions from depression to nervous breakdowns to even suicide are not uncommon. For Jones to suffer some anguish to me is more well explained by what he was caught doing. Not by nasty anonymous emails
    As to threats and damage, lets do not forget the ever growing list of well qualified academics whose careers have been damaged by actual assaults from climate extremist scientists. Think of the editor whose during was arranged and celebrated by Jones and gang. Or Pielke Sr., driven into near silence. Or Mann’s lawsuits against critics, or the many, many others suffering real harm for not agreeing with the consensus. Those exposed in climategate and others are still actively suppressing and censoring and hurting academics and others today.
    So if “vast majority” was wrong, I apologize for my hyperbole. Will the consensus apologize for ruining careers, lives a field of science or society itself?

    Like

  52. SM has gone full blown native.
    So now we don’t judge people by their emails.
    Unless they are anonymous alleged threats by alleged anonymous skeptics.
    But if they are climategate emails any flimsy transparently self serving bullshit excuse is enough.
    SM has become Inspector Clouseau.
    The reality is far more mundane:
    A bunch of academics were getting great funding and lots of attention and acclaim and convinced themselves that their narrative trumped evidence. So they incrementally walked into the swamp of lying and deceiving.
    Most embezzlers start off rationalizing a small theft. Just like embezzlers, climate science started with small deceptions and fabrications until they left the truth far behind.

    Alan, since it seems my posts specifically to you to make clear my condemnation of threats are never going to see the light of day, pjease know I categorically condemn threats, unlike Santer or Mann or many others. And if my use of “vast majority” was incorrect hyperbole, I apologize.

    [Fixed up some spelling—BK]

    Liked by 2 people

  53. So the BBC gives some dodgy character in a position of power an hour of prime time to explain that he’s done nothing wrong and has nothing to apologise for – no sweat. And then they go and do the same thing for Prince Andrew.

    Liked by 3 people

  54. Alan,

    you understandably were upset by Hunterson7’s apparent dismissal of your own witnessing of the kinds of things Jones was subjected to.

    However, if you read Hunterson’s offending comment again, you’ll notice that you and he are arguing at cross purposes.

    Hunterson wrote:

    The most logical reason Jones had the reaction he claimed is that he got nervous over being caught out lying.

    You replied:

    The most logical explanation for Jone’s (and Briffa’s, Osborne’s and for my (later)) claimed hate mail and threats is the they are all true.

    Hunterson didn’t dispute that the claims were true (even if, as he later pointed out, similar claims have been made by Australian pseudoscientists like David Karoly and discovered to be pure fiction)—he merely doubted that the hate mail was the reason for Jones’ pallid, tremulous and reportedly suicidal abreaction in the wake of the leak.

    I also have my doubts. It seems likeliest to me, based on folk psychology or common sense or whatever you prefer to call it, that:

    – Jones did indeed receive some vile emails from cretins

    – but it was the contents of his OWN emails that were haunting him as he contemplated punching his own ticket

    You may, of course, be in a privileged position to further inform this conclusion. For example, when Jones described the threatening emails, did he exhibit his now-famous emotional distress, and if so, did that negative affect “track” the contents of his words as he described what he’d found in his letter-box? In other words, did he seem to be horribly upset about receiving the hate mail, or did he merely seem to be horribly upset around the same time he received it?

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Mosh,

    thanks for your technical corrections of facts that we (or in this case, Tony) may have missed or gotten wrong.

    That’s what you excel at. That’s your forte.

    Asserting generalities about climate skeptics is… how can I put this nicely?… your piano.

    Here’s a rule of thumb for ya. If your sentence contains the words “many” and “skeptics” in that order, don’t bother typing it, because it’s wrong.

    Liked by 2 people

  56. This debate brings to mind something I had to deal with in one of my former roles.

    Whilst in the process of developing policies, standards and procedures required for my employer to gain the requisite information security management credentials, I had to concern myself with the small matter of document security. The principle, of course, was that the degree of security required for a document was not just a matter of sensitivity of information, it also hung upon the use to which the information in the document was to be put. For example, documents that were to form part of a body of evidence, for which the integrity of said evidence was important, required higher levels of security to ensure that the integrity of the information could not have been compromised (think, for example, of forensic evidence to be submitted in a court case). As a result, the evidence set would not simply be the documentation – it would be the documentation together with proof that it had been handled in accordance with the appropriate security procedures.

    I mention this only to point out that there is a difference between facts and established facts; the latter are more influential than the former and usually emerge from an approved process designed to ensure integrity. The problem with Climategate is that it exposed attitudes that were non-conducive to this aim.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Alan,
    Reading Brad’s post I do see that I wrote less than clearly in trying to make an otherwise valid point. I apologise.
    Brad, thank you for pointing that out.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. It seems the internet gods are unhappy with me yet again. I wanted to like one of Jamie’s comments but to no avail. Being a tad pissed off about this- I’ll repost a short video by a smart guy on why Dr. Mann’s work would of received an F at UC Berkeley.

    And why I compare his actions to those of the experts who said Theranos technology worked- see Bad Blood- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theranos

    Climategate ‘hide the decline’ explained by Berkeley professor Richard A. Muller

    Liked by 3 people

  59. Pingback: Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove

  60. Brad:

    I also have my doubts. It seems likeliest to me, based on folk psychology or common sense or whatever you prefer to call it, that:

    – Jones did indeed receive some vile emails from cretins

    – but it was the contents of his OWN emails that were haunting him as he contemplated punching his own ticket

    Exactly right. One of a number of things that convinced me the BBC treatment wasn’t a total whitewash is that they showed the moment Jones was quizzed by Graham Stringer in the Houser of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee in March 2010 and said “I’ve written some terrible things.” That was his existential problem. One respects him for it, up to a point. But the whistleblower much more.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Hunterson7,Brad
    Let me unload what I know about the immediate aftermath of the Climategate email release from my point of view. For at least 3-4 days we didn’t know whether the emails were genuine or not. There was much speculation and rumour. Some members of CRU were spotted, white faced and huddled into themselves. Then a meeting of all academic staff was called at a time that was really difficult for me to attend but I just about managed it. It was important for me to attend because, first students were already beginning to ask for my opinions, but more importantly there was an upcoming student recruitment meeting, which I was responsible for, where I would doubtless be questioned by parents. I desperately needed information. I didn’t get it. The Head of School, started with a tirade against all sceptics, calling them evil and despicable, responsible for sending vile emails, many containing death threats. (This I subsequently realized was independent confirmation of this harassment). The Head of School knew full well of my scepticism, so her tirade, felt as if it was directed at me personally. I stormed out (loudly). Later I learned that immediately after my departure, Keith Briffa got up and defended me (something I never forgot). Keith later told me that the abuse they received was despicable, threatening and unrelenting, day after day.
    My experience several years later was similar, but apart from the initial shock of being accused of twisting young impressionable minds, I ignored it. I reasoned anyone intent on doing me harm would hardly inform me beforehand nor explain in exquisite detail how it was to be accomplished. Different people must react differently – Phil Jones badly, Keith Briffa apparently shrugged it off.

    What really annoyed me in the aftermath of Climategate was a promise extracted from all of us to refrain from any comment until the University had got its act together and had made an official statement. I turned down several opportunities. Then all of a sudden, and before any statement, several senior staff appeared on TV giving what eventually became the official spin (which is now being respun today with ever finer thread). By then the media was getting its story and didn’t want to be confused. I was told by one media source that I had missed my chance. I never forgave UEA for its duplicity. To see originators of that duplicity smirking all over the BBC programme rekindled real anger.

    My impression is that what shook the denizens of CRU most was caused by their firm belief that they were doing the right thing. Their research had revealed to them the truth. This truth was extremely important and significant. It needed to be protected and made stronger. Attacks upon it were not only wrong but wicked. It was because of these insights, that I have (until very recently) refused to join in with the overall condemnation of my former colleagues. It is this belief that means I doubt much of the unqualified condemnation of them.

    Liked by 4 people

  62. Mosh,

    As we all know, Jones said he’d just finished using Mike’s nature trick of blah blah blah to hide the decline.

    I’ve had arguments with some believalists who insist nothing was hidden, to which I reply:

    So Jones was just lying to his colleagues. That’s OK then.

    When Jones says he’d rather delete the station data than give it to anyone, that’s obviously different—the mere expression of a desire to do something obscurantist. But even if he never went through with it, it tells you something about his anti-scientific value system and should be a source of shame to the people who gave him tenure.

    Changing the topic, the legal doctrine of ‘excited utterances’ actually gives *more* weight to a witness’ spur-of-the-moment outbursts than to calculated, rehearsed speech—on the reasoning that statements are more reliable when the speaker doesn’t have time to make something up.

    Like

  63. Well Alan, I’d be more sympathetic if it was not obvious that there was a high level of dishonesty involved. Most climate scientists knew that Mann’s methods were flawed, including Briffa. Yet this fact was hidden and actively suppressed including attempts to keep critical papers from being published. Indeed, Real Climate actively defended these methods in a very dishonest way. The emails are the reason we now know all this. To me whoever leaked them did a public service much like the Pentagon papers episode. The only difference is that in the latter case, no one was foolish enough to publicly try to deny the obvious facts in the papers. In Climategate, there is a continuing propaganda campaign to deny what is obviously an important issue. You can read Schmidt’s post at Real Climate. It contains further dishonesty in the form of a transparent attempt to rewrite history.

    “Some people will continue to obsess of two-decade-old minutae which even at the time were obscure and irrelevant, but now I don’t see why anyone sane would want to even bother.” Real Climate had scores of lengthy posts trying to defend Mann’s flawed methods directly showing this statement to be dishonest.

    Liked by 2 people

  64. DPY6629 there is nothing you have written that I can disagree with. Yet we see things through different lenses. Mine was forged over many years interacting across committee tables or agreeing marks for student’s work. Even debating climate matters. Some people I even admired, others not so much. I find it difficult to believe they are as culpable as they are commonly portrayed, but that may just be my hang-up. Certainly I never pushed my luck criticizing Keith Briffa’s work; I valued our discussions too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Here’s a bit more information on the abusive e-mails sent to CRU following the Climategate incident. An FOI request was submitted in 2012 to the University of East Anglia which asked for the e-mails to be supplied:

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/threats_to_life_or_of_bodily_har

    “Simon Hopkinson 12 May 2012

    Dear University of East Anglia,

    Please supply electronic copies or transcripts of all emails, telephone conversations or letters by post, of all messages received by scientists at the CRU or related departments in the period from November 2009 to present, inclusively, which were:
    – considered by the individual scientist or faculty members to constitute a threat to life;
    – considered by the individual scientist or faculty members to constitute a threat of bodily harm.

    In each instance, please also provide information regarding any action taken by the scientist, department or university in response to these messages (eg. informing the police, etc).

    Please note that I am happy for redactions to be made regarding email addresses and individuals’ names.

    Yours faithfully,

    Simon Hopkinson”

    UEA sent back a PDF file with a set of abusive e-mail messages (mainly written to Phil Jones) that covered the period Nov 2009 to Feb 2010:

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/116404/response/288373/attach/4/Appendix%20A%20Data%20file%20072.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  66. I just find myself obsessing over the two hour old minutiae of Gavin’s bad English. If you can’t be bothered to get spelling and grammar right, why would you bother with the nitty gritty details of getting science right?

    Liked by 1 person

  67. A lot of those very sweary semi-literate abusive emails are very similar in content and style. My guess is they are from the same person. I’m surprised no formal complaint was made to the police and the sender was not traced.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Alan, Just to be clear. Climate science in my view is not that much worse than many other fields. The main difference is just the politization of the field and many of its leaders. This leads to social and professional pressure to hue to the party line. I think Briffa looks like an honest individual who just succumbed to a lot of peer pressure. Climate science self selects for people with environmental activist tendencies. That also can explain some of the lack of diversity of opinion.

    In reality Mann looks by far the worst in this episode. His subsequent behavior is just repressible especially his frivolous legal actions. The one against Ball was just dismissed with prejudice in British Columbia because Mann obstructed the process by refusing to respond to discovery requests. Mann is just a terrible person with no respect for anyone who disagrees with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. “The plain meaning rule, also known as the literal rule, is one of three rules of statutory construction traditionally applied by English courts. The other two are the “mischief rule” and the “golden rule”.

    The plain meaning rule dictates that statutes are to be interpreted using the ordinary meaning of the language of the statute. In other words, a statute is to be read word for word and is to be interpreted according to the ordinary meaning of the language, unless a statute explicitly defines some of its terms otherwise or unless the result would be cruel or absurd. Ordinary words are given their ordinary meaning, technical terms are given their technical meaning, and local, cultural terms are recognized as applicable. The plain meaning rule is the mechanism that prevents courts from taking sides in legislative or political issues.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plain_meaning_rule

    I adopt a similar approach when reading the Climategate emails. Special pleading regarding their meaning strikes me as largely fatuous. They meant what they obviously said.

    Liked by 3 people

  70. I would like to thank Alan for his remembered CRU input/insights on this thread.

    from your comment above – “their firm belief that they were doing the right thing. Their research had revealed to them the truth. This truth was extremely important and significant. It needed to be protected and made stronger”

    sums up to me why Climategate happened.

    for what it’s worth, from the emails & other blog sources (CA) I always thought Briffa pushed against the political/IPCC agenda & tried to be as unbiased as he could.

    @dave – https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/threats_to_life_or_of_bodily_har

    thanks for the link to the threats, never seen that before, read a few & then had to go to the toilet to be sick.
    what a bunch of wan*ers.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. Jaime,

    while I wouldn’t put anything past certain people, I don’t see enough stylistic consistency across the hate-mails to suspect they were the work of a single hand. Some of them are *more* literate than Jones himself.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. The death threat mails seem to come from the USA (one claims Canada) and a half dozen are almost certainly from the same hand. It’s not just the style of insult (I couldn’t see a single good old British rude word) but the constant urging to “shoot yourself” shows a lack of awareness of life in Norwich.
    People like Alex Jones reach millions of listeners a day I believe, all of them obsessed with their right to bear arms. About 0.0001% of them will fire off letters to anyone their hero doesn’t like, it seems. Is that such a big deal?

    Liked by 1 person

  73. Geoff and Alan,

    regarding verbal threats, Alan writes…

    “I reasoned anyone intent on doing me harm would hardly inform me beforehand nor explain in exquisite detail how it was to be accomplished. Different people must react differently – Phil Jones badly, Keith Briffa apparently shrugged it off.”

    …which seems to agree, perhaps inadvertently, with the official narrative that Jones’ mental breakdown was triggered by the hate mail he’d received—and not by, say, the public disclosure of his own disgraceful emails.

    One of plural problems I have with this narrative is that the worst hate mail appears to refer to reports of Jones’ descent into suicidal desondency. So unless ante hoc ergo propter hoc has become an axiom of logic while I wasn’t looking, the alibi is chronologically absurd.

    Like

  74. Brad. Is it certain that the earliest hate mail was preserved? In my case, I trashed them all as soon as I opened them. So as far as I know there is no record of them. At the time, I told only two others (one my shared secretary) and they kept my secret.
    I could find the answer myself, but I have no wish to delve into a swamp so will deny myself the pleasure.
    Of course it would be advantageous to believe that Jones was fearful and/or remorseful about his emails because this would confirm his (and CRU’s) guilt. I just don’t buy it. AFAIK, no admission of any guilt was ever admitted, except for the rather out of character sentence about having written some terrible things in his emails.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Alan:

    AFAIK, no admission of any guilt was ever admitted, except for the rather out of character sentence about having written some terrible things in his emails.

    But when else was Phil Jones questioned in public by someone with any intelligence and attention to detail? This old tweet (in 140 character days) points to the very amusing Climate Audit thread the next day:

    What Jones blurted out at that moment I thought at the time was highly significant. I still do.

    As for the man asking the questions:

    As on 17th on Cliscep, I much prefer to concentrate on real heroes. I was glad to hear that Stringer is standing again as an MP.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. Mann is a scam artists just like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio neither of these two charalents are real scienists ones a politician and the other actor all this proves that like you mentioned scams never die their like the enegiser bunny they keep on going and going and going

    Like

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