More on Hadley’s hiding behind the curtain

CRU Refuses Data Once Again

by Steve McIntyre on July 24th, 2009

Let me review the request situation for readers. There are two institutions involved in the present round of FOI/EIR requests: CRU and the Met Office. Phil Jones of CRU collects station data and sends his “value added” version to the Met Office, who publish the HadCRU combined land-and-ocean index and also distribute the CRUTEM series online.

I requested a copy of the “value added” version from the Met Office (marion.archer at metoffice.uk.gov) which has been refused for excuses provided in my last post. On June 25, 2009, learning that Phil Jones had sent a copy of the station data to Peter Webster of Georgia Tech, I sent a new FOI request to CRU ( david.palmer at uea.ac.uk) requesting the data in the form sent to Peter Webster. This too was refused today.

We now have a new excuse to add to our collection of excuses – each excuse seemingly more ridiculous than the previous one.

My most recent request was as follows:

Dear Mr Palmer,

Pursuant to the Environmental Information Regulations, I hereby request a copy of any digital version of the CRUTEM station data set that has been sent from CRU to Peter Webster and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between January 1, 2007 and Jun 25, 2009.

Thank you for your attention,

Stephen McIntyre

The full response was as follows. (I’ve included full address particulars for readers that may wish to follow up):

Dear Mr McIntyre

ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS 2004 – INFORMATION REQUEST (FOI_09-44; EIR_09-03)

Your request for information received on 26 June 2009 has now been considered and it is, unfortunately, not possible to meet all of your request.

In accordance with Regulation 14 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 this letter acts as a partial Refusal Notice, and I am not obliged to supply this information and the reasons for exemption are as stated below:

Exception Reason
Reg. 12(5)(f) – Adverse effect on the person providing information Information is covered by a confidentiality agreement

Regulation 12(5)(f) applies because the information requested was received by the University on terms that prevent further transmission to non-academics

Regulation 12(1)(b) mandates that we consider the public interest in any decision to release or refuse information under Regulation 12(4). In this case, we feel that there is a strong public interest in upholding contract terms governing the use of received information. To not do so would be to potentially risk the loss of access to such data in future.

I apologise that not all of your request will be met but if you have any further information needs in the future then please contact me.

If you have any queries or concerns, or, if you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request please contact me at:
University of East Anglia
Norwich
NR4 7TJ
Telephone: 0160 393 523
E-mail: foi AT uea.ac.uk

You also have the right of appeal against the decision. If you wish to appeal please set out in writing your grounds of appeal and send to me at the same address as noted above.

Subsequent to our determination of your appeal, you also have a further right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.ico.gov.uk

Yours sincerely
David Palmer
Information Policy and Compliance Manager
University of East Anglia

This is the first time that we’ve heard that their supposed confidentiality agreements merely restrict “further transmission to non-academics”. A couple of observations on this. I’m sure that CRU will soon receive a similar request from someone to whom this excuse does not apply.

However, aside from that, there are other troubling aspects to this refusal. If there actually are confidentiality agreements, I would expect the relevant language to be framed in terms of “academic use” as opposed to guild membership i.e. I’d be surprised if the language were framed in terms of institutional affiliation as opposed to use. I’ve published relevant articles in peer reviewed literature, acted as an IPCC reviewer, been cited in IPCC AR4, been invited to present to a NAS panel – my use of data is “academic” by any legal standard.

Secondly, over at the Met Office, they say “it cannot be determined which countries or stations data were given in confidence as records were not kept.” But over at CRU, they purport to “know” nuanced details of the contractual language of the confidentiality agreements – clauses that have the effect of justifying the refusal of the data.

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62 thoughts on “More on Hadley’s hiding behind the curtain

  1. Wonder if any members of the UK parliament read this blog. One would have thought any MP worth his/her salt would fire of a PQ (parliamentary question) about this matter.

  2. Steve this is Britain under ZaNu-Labour, figures can’t lie, but liars can figure.
    Are the stats BS? – probably!
    The Met office is an extension of government and consequently tows the line, long ago all scientific rigour ( in the Met’ Office) evaporated guess you could blame it on global warming. Why let science and reason get in the way of politics and towing the line, too many jobs and reputations at stake, and Mr. Mcintyre they are frightened of you.

  3. I have spent a number of years dealing with confidentiality agreements and universities who create knowledge with taxpayer funding. This smells pretty fishy to me. If it were US government, the presumption would be that funded work is available to all; either through publication or other disclosure, or (if the work produced a patented research tool or other working asset) through nonexclusive licensing to all comers on reasonable terms. Without distinction to type of party requesting the license (university or commercial licensee). University grantees often try to run close to, or over this line, but the NIH has been pretty good at pushing them back. The policy is, obviously, that the taxpayer did not want to see her money spent to create assets that can be left idle or enjoyed only by a few. In the case of weather data, where there is no commercial “invention” worth exploiting, that argument is all the stronger. What universities have acquired privileged access to these data? Where are the agreements? When do they expire? Who approved them? Who paid how much for what?

    Keep digging.

  4. I’d say, having seen the pathetic excuses for refusing the request, I would ask them to clarify the phrase, “Adverse effect on the person providing information.”

    Adverse effect? Adverse as in catch them out, perhaps? Or maybe they fear you would beat the chap or chapette about the head with your rolled up HADCRUT hardcopy ?

    To paraphrase:

    “…there is a strong political interest in withholding contract terms governing the use of received information.”

    Why?

    Because, Mr McIntyre, you are not the type of knowledgeable person they want nosing around and spoiling their little taxpayer funded, government mandated, seriously on-message club.

    Please keep up the pressure. Make the buggers squirm!

  5. You could use the Georgia State open records act to get the info from GA Tech:
    Under the Act, a “public record” includes all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, computer based or generated information, or similar material prepared and maintained or received in the course of the operation of a public office or agency. A “public record” also can include items received or maintained by a private person or entity on behalf of a public office or agency where the records are received or maintained by a private person, firm, corporation or other private entity in the performance of a service or function for or on behalf of a public agency. It does not include any computer program or computer software used or maintained in the course of operation of a public office or agency.

    O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70(a), § 50-18-72(e)(2).

  6. Why not you search between who or among who it has been made such confidentiality agreements, my guess is that there are no such agreements and they are simply hiding that information because of the embarrasement they would experience if the general public knows how wrong they were with their forecasts based on xbox or playstations games.

  7. What are the adverse effects? There is an odd excuse. If I read that right, the adverse effects is that they would no longer be able to access the data if they shared it. Why is sharing methodology detrimental to those who produce it?

  8. Steve,
    please keep digging.

    [citation]….that prevent further transmission to non-academics…..[/citation]

    So, non-academics can’t stand the truth?
    Very funny, indeed.
    Welcome back to the return of the medieval.

    KlausB

  9. It seems like an awfully big amount of effort is being expended with all this twisting, turning and dodging by CRU and Met. This is one cat they don’t want out of the bag.

  10. UK Sceptic (08:57:48) :
    If it were US government, the presumption would be that funded work is available to all;

    Steve’s had similar issues in the US, though not as blatant.

    Mark

  11. I suggest that you contact Peter Lilley MP who is one of the few of our tribunes who has been willing to stand up against the AGW hysteria which has take over Westminster (sadly so far unsuccessfully).

    There is also a DUP MP Sammy Wilson who is of a similar mind.

    They might have some clout to get the data issued. Peter Lilley is probably the better bet.

    The Sunday Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker who regularly quotes your work would probably also love to hear from you about this.

    Alec J

  12. Regulation 12(1)(b) mandates that we consider the public interest in any decision to release or refuse information under Regulation 12(4). In this case, we feel that there is a strong public interest in upholding contract terms governing the use of received information.

    Is it not in the public interest to know if the CRU & Met data are validated by third party reproduction? Wouldn’t third party validation require CRU & Met methodologies and data? And why is a proprietary process needed to interpret publicly financed data? The taxpayer should have uninhibited access to the data path.

  13. May I suggest that you approach the wonderful open country of USA and obtain the data – as you note:
    I hereby request a copy of any digital version of the CRUTEM station data set that has been sent from CRU to Peter Webster and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between January 1, 2007 and Jun 25, 2009.

    You are asking CRU to break confidentiality agreements and they are refusing. Try Georgia Tech and see what response you get. I would be surprised if it is any different, as they will have the same confidentiality agreements passed on.

    If an independant university researcher obtains this data for research. Is it wise for them to pass this info on to yourselves?

    I’m sure Mr. McIntyre, if you had been passed information which was confidential/or had been purchased by yourself you would not make it freely available to allcomers thus illegally distributing (pirating) data.

    I agree that such data should be freely available – but it seems there are restrictions placed by some sources. Is this CRU’s fault!? This campaign of requests will be costing the british taxpayer (me) yet more money!!

  14. “This campaign of requests will be costing the british taxpayer (me) yet more money!!”

    Indeed. The price of using publicly financed data for a proprietary product. Your unenlisted partner is the public. And they want to know what you’re up to.

  15. So let me see if I am understanding this.

    They can not release the data because they are sure that at least some of it is covered by confidentiality agreements. But since they don’t know which of it is covered by these agreements, they can’t release any of it. And they no longer have the actual agreement but they are sure that the agreement prevents distribution to Steve McIntyre (though other “academics” are allowed to get it) but since the “dog ate” the actual agreements, they can’t produce them either.

    So we have secret temperature data protected by agreements that themselves are so secret they were “burned” after signing? And the limitation on distribution seems to be to Steve McIntyre or anyone associated in any way with Steve McIntyre.

    This isn’t science. This is a game of “keep away”.

  16. “This campaign of requests will be costing the british taxpayer (me) yet more money!!”

    You’re already been getting fleeced. NOW you’re complaining about it? Odd timing. ;)

    Andrew

  17. There must be some statute of limitations. Maybe they can release all data older than a certain age. I mean, how “secret” can the temperature of even the most secret military base in 1955 be now?

    That there is such secrecy surrounding the data makes me wonder if there really IS any. Did they just make up a data set out of thin air? Have they lost the original data and using only some derivative with the exact procedure used to derive that data also lost and they are embarrassed to say?

    They apparently have something to hide and are willing to expend considerable effort to keep it hidden.

  18. Stephen McIntyre
    You should simply appeal both refusals as a matter of principle and when you have been denied access for the second time you go to the
    Information Commissioner at:
    Information Commissioner’s Office
    Wycliffe House
    Water Lane
    Wilmslow
    Cheshire
    SK9 5AF
    Telephone: 01625 545 700
    http://www.ico.gov.uk

    outlining your reasons why this information should be made available.

    This individual was instrumental in helping to have Parliament disclose MP’s expenses and I am sure that he would demand release of the information as scrunity is clearly in the public interest.

  19. Mr. McIntyre perhaps if you check your local phone book you could find a guy named James Hansen, call him up and see if you can talk him in to submitting a request for the data for you. If they turn him down as well, you will at least have a great headline for a press release.

  20. I’m certain that Obama’s administration as one of full open government and science will get to the bottom of this non-disclosure… He’s probably turning the wheels as we speak…. if he can get into city police matters then surely this is within his personal purview…

  21. This is the bureau (Met office) that has made the most catastrophic errors in seasonal climate prediction, and regular daily errors in weather prediction. Its costs us, the taxpayer, some £89Million per year for this non information. I wouldn’t have thought, however, that temperatures were a matter of censorship and secrecy.

    so yes, we are being fleeced over here.
    to their credit howqever, in ther past whwen they understood weather and climate, they were outstanding at predicting the short term weather

  22. I am sure it is not covered by secret stuff it is simply commercial data (i.e. normally paid for). Just see if you can obtain the data at no cost from all the sites.

    If these commercial interests are willing to give CRU the data under the condition it is not passed on then surely that is OK?

    If CRU have agreed to this then that is ok?

    If these agreements were by word of mouth 20 years ago then there would be no records. isn’t that OK?
    If they were written agreements then digging them out from past encumbents lair may be more trouble than it is worth?

    Haven’t CRU given the data to Peter Webster at Georgia Tech because they are a bon fife place of learning.

    Doesn’t that prove that the data is not secret?

    As I said – get it if you can from Georgia Tech if this is public domain data.

    The data does not seem to be hidden to me!

  23. Those who have manipulated and misrepresented Earth’s temperature data should be held responsible for wasting our limited resources on this phony fight against global warming. Our resources would be much better spent on development aid for farming instruction, clean water resources, vitamins, medical services, inexpensive energy, disaster relief, etc. and instead our resources are being funneled into the pockets of the Global Warmists. The Global Warming Debacle will likely dwarf the magnitude of Bernie Madoff’s scheme and hopefully the prison sentences of those responsible will dwarf Mr Madoff’s sentence. There’s nothing like spending the rest of your life measuring the long term temperature trends in Cell Block D, right Mr. Palmer?

  24. In May of 1999, they put the entire data set up on the CRU website. It was a zipped file called cruwlda2 and was about 3.5 mb. I downloaded the file. My analysis using the file didn’t really support CRU’s analysis. Among other things, the error bars on the trend looks to be much larger than 0.2 C to me. The data file also contains lots of typos.

    In June, they noticed I was looking at the data and getting somewhat different answers. They took it down then and refused requests to other people. I know, because other people asked me for the file.

    The point should be made that the data was not confidential in 1999.

  25. Instead of using FOI requests for past data, wouldn’t it be more useful to ask for future data?
    If we know what the data are, for this time next year, then that gives us more time to calculate what adjustments need to be made to current data to meet the planned trend.

  26. I should have added that the Met Office seems to have no problems with issuing detailed information about long range future climate data – even down to post code zones.
    It’s thise pesky historical data they have issues with!

  27. Steve’s standards in statistical Math is a lot higher than those at CRU or the Met Office. He and fellow Scientists have continuously seen corrupt information being used to forcast future Climate events. I know Steve hasn’t come out and said this because His interest is strictly in the Math side and try’s His best to keep out of the Politics end…He does a very good job at His site, Climate Audit in controlling the responses there! Thank God for all who contribute!

  28. Just The Facts (12:32:34) :

    Those who have manipulated and misrepresented Earth’s temperature data should be held responsible for wasting our limited resources on this phony fight against global warming
    I would suggest you the following (I am an foreigner so I can not propose anything): Issue a bill creating a tax of 55% or more to the sales of “carbon shares”. This would stop inmediately all this foolishness.

  29. Alec J (10:24:32) wrote:
    “I suggest that you contact Peter Lilley MP who is one of the few of our tribunes who has been willing to stand up against the AGW hysteria which has take over Westminster (sadly so far unsuccessfully).”

    I have tried Peter Lilley a couple of times in the past and have got no reply. I understand he does believe in AGW (or accepts that the AGW position may be right) but is sceptical about the calculations made by the UK Government of the cost/benefits of their environmental law compelling the UK to reduce man made CO2 by 80% by 2050. David Cameron is his leader and David C. has suggested that Peter Lilley may be brought into a future Conservative government so he is probably not going to rock the boat at this point since there is a very good chance he may be a minister a year from now.

  30. Please pursue this under the UK FOI Law. You will win.

    I have sent the following email:

    Subject: FOI_09-44; EIR_09-03‏

    I find your reasons for withholding information ridiculous, at best.

    The Information Commissioner will undoubtedly rule in favour of the applicant.

  31. bill (12:41:47) said:

    “bon fife place of learning.

    hmmm!
    bona fide is probably what I meant!”

    Actually, I think you meant Barney Fife.

    Only has one file, and is forced to keep it in his pocket, otherwise he’d probably shoot himself in the foot.

  32. Freedom of Information Act. Congress didn’t let NASA get away with sitting on data collected by taxpayer money, and if it finds out about the Met Office using the US to launder it’s public funded data I am willing to bet the fur will fly.
    This would make a great story for the NY Times, and some hot ammo for the Republicans in Congress.

  33. David (09:48:12) :

    The adverse affects of letting the data out is that when it’s monkeyed with to support agendas it easy to expose. Keep it hidden and nobody knows how badly it’s been tampered with, how much of it was altered and what the real data looks like.
    If it isn’t done above board, it’s wide open to suspicion.

  34. “I am sure it is not covered by secret stuff it is simply commercial data ”

    Now that makes the most sense of any explanation I have heard to date. If an entity that normally charges for this data gave it to the Met office with the caveat that it must not be distributed, then that might explain things but if that is the case, why don’t they just say so?

    I do remember reading that some places (Australia?) charge for weather data. Might be interesting to make a request with the addition of wanting to know how much it might cost for reimbursement for any data that is normally available only from commercial sources.

  35. bill (12:27:34) :

    See my Comments below:

    “I am sure it is not covered by secret stuff it is simply commercial data (i.e. normally paid for). Just see if you can obtain the data at no cost from all the sites.”

    I find it odd that you can be more sure that Jones who controls the data.
    If the reason were merely “The data must be purchased” then Jones could say that. He hasn’t. His only written comment on the data is that he refuses
    to give the data to people because they will just find something wrong with it. Further, if it were merely commercial limitations, then What prevents him from identitfying those entities? According the FOI requests, he doesnt have any records indicating who demands “confidentiality”

    “If these commercial interests are willing to give CRU the data under the condition it is not passed on then surely that is OK?”

    Again you assume they are commercial interests. There are no such facts in evidence. If the data is WMO data then those organizations are under the obligation, according to their guidelines, to produce the data free of charge.
    Second, Jones is under an obligation as a scientist to “source” his data
    in such a way that it can be passed onto others. Hansen, for example, does a global average without using any confidential data.

    Continuing:

    “If CRU have agreed to this then that is ok?”

    Not necessarily. That is why in my FOI request I asked for CRU policies with regard to entering into confidentiality agreements. The organization will have policies and the employees will have obligations. Jones, for example, may have violated CRU policies about ACCEPTING confidential data without a proper legal review. He may have violated document maintainance policies by “losing” the records of these agreements. So, it’s not necessarily OK. That’s why in my FOI I requested the relevant CRU policies and procedures.

    Continuing:

    “If these agreements were by word of mouth 20 years ago then there would be no records. isn’t that OK?”

    Again, not necessarily. That is why in my FOI request I asked for CRU policies and procedures WRT verbal agreements. For example, Jones may
    be under obligations to create no “verbal agreements” or under obligations to create written documentation for verbal agreements. CRU now claims
    that the agreements cover transfer to “non academics” This is highly implausible as confidentilaity agreements cover USE. these are called
    USE RESTRICTIONS. They do not cover use by particularly individuals:
    ei. “non acedemics” for the simple reason that I can instantly enroll in an on-line school and become an academic. The Reason why one DOESNT make verbal agreements to confidentiality is to avoid this kind of issue.
    Further, Since Jones is interested in science it would be an easy matter for him to contact the parties and request them to update the verbal agreement with a written understanding.
    If they were written agreements then digging them out from past encumbents lair may be more trouble than it is worth?

    Continuing:

    “Haven’t CRU given the data to Peter Webster at Georgia Tech because they are a bon fife place of learning.”

    1. Sorry but Ross McKintrick has now requested the data as have other professors at [sic] bon fife place of learning.
    2. CRU claims the agreements preclude sending the data non “non academics” It says nothing about how this term is defined. Phd? currently
    employed by a university? by a non profit? emeritus professor? graduate student? undergraduate? Does publishing in an acedemic journal make one an “acedemic”. Now you see why agreements cover USE and not the user.

    Continuing:
    “Doesn’t that prove that the data is not secret?”

    No it doesn’t. Secret is a relative term. Top Secret data is not secret to those who have a clearence. So, you point is rather trivially true. The point is the data is relied on for public policy and good public policy requires open and transparent records.

    finaly

    “As I said – get it if you can from Georgia Tech if this is public domain data.

    The data does not seem to be hidden to me!”

    That legal process is most likely underway as I write. Now, re read your last sentence and see if you get the self defeating irony. the data is hidden to YOU. and me too for that part. I have no trouble supporting pblic policy when I have access to the data it was based on. When I don’t have access I raise my right to have access to it.

  36. Doesn’t this explain the problem?

    In accordance with Regulation 14 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 this letter acts as a partial Refusal Notice, and I am not obliged to supply this information and the reasons for exemption are as stated below:

    Exception Reason
    Reg. 12(5)(f) – Adverse effect on the person providing information Information is covered by a confidentiality agreement

    Regulation 12(5)(f) applies because the information requested was received by the University on terms that prevent further transmission to non-academics

    Regulation 12(1)(b) mandates that we consider the public interest in any decision to release or refuse information under Regulation 12(4). In this case, we feel that there is a strong public interest in upholding contract terms governing the use of received information. To not do so would be to potentially risk the loss of access to such data in future.

    ie:
    the information requested was received by the University on terms that prevent further transmission to non-academics

    it is being witheld because of conditions placed on the University.

  37. Canada has similar legislation to the FOI in the UK. Having worked for the Canadian government for 12 years, I know how these rules work (I’ve been on the other end of these requests too often). The rules are quite rigid and bureaucrats tend to get very defensive of their internal documents and data.

    Not knowing the specifics of the confidentiality agreements regarding the CRUTEM data, I will not say that they’ve “acted stupidly”. In fact, they may well be within their legal rights to withhold this info.

    That being said, the penalties on bureaucrats for unjustifiably withholding information from the public are very severe. Moreover, from a political standpoint, the optics are very bad if they refuse to be transparent. Consequently, if you push hard enough and make it into a political issue, they are likely to cough up the data at some point.

  38. Hi, Douglas.

    In May of 1999, they put the entire data set up on the CRU website. It was a zipped file called cruwlda2 and was about 3.5 mb.

    I’ve got a copy of that file – the corresponding station data is what I used in the Then and Now comparison in my most recent post. Warwick Hughes also downloaded the data at the time and sent it to me. I agree 100% with your point that the data was not “confidential” at the time. I re-visited the CRU FTP site today to see if it was still there by any chance. It wasn’t but there was something interesting. Stay tuned.

    re-visited the CRU site looking for old data to see if it was still there

  39. Re: good story for Republicans in the US. Hardly. Many of them have voiced an opinion about climate change (which was coined by conservatives wanting to appear concerned about climate), that would mitigate against them using this story. The term “flip flopper” comes to mind. I also think that conservatives (as well as quite a few dems) are willing to believe just about anything, if you have the right credentials. Notice the religious beliefs touted ad nauseum. The dems are willing to believe the snake oil salesman touting low carbon fixes and the repubs are willing to believe that God will fix you right up. What IS a sane person to do?????

  40. Hmmm… I wonder how long it will be before AGW papers will be published in Latin so that only ‘academics’ can read them?

  41. I’ve published relevant articles in peer reviewed literature, acted as an IPCC reviewer, been cited in IPCC AR4, been invited to present to a NAS panel – my use of data is “academic” by any legal standard.

    So what? Most of the cranks in the [snip] also have articles in peer reviewed literature. You have a habit of posting findings which are sensational, out of line with the consensus view and without qualification of the limitations or the literature which covers the established view, and without paying respect to the nature of emerging results. You pimp every smallest conceivable doubt you find slanted to fit your blog’s brand image to increase your reader base.

    The University has every reason to believe you’ll just be finding the first plausible-sounding flaw – whether or not it has any credit – and throwing it to this pack of hungry wolves. It wouldn’t matter if your challenges get proven wrong or not – the damage to the images of the people involved would suffer.

    You can still come up with significant results acting as you are – science has a long history of the black sheep coming up with robust findings which have long-lasting change – just don’t expect helping hands taking this approach.

  42. steven mosher (20:25:52) :
    [edited for privacy reasons~ctm]
    arguably NOT i.e. you do not know.

    I would suggest Jones will not suffer, but the CRU will by loosing data sources

    What would be your honest reaction to this scenario:
    You sold data that was bringing in money to your home/company.
    You have an agreement that allows your data to be merged with other data to create a product of global importance, but would not allow your data to be accessed individually.
    Then your data gets given to others (who could be your customers) without permission.
    Would you would be a mite upset?
    Would you in future be willing to allow your source of income to be given away?
    I think you might decide not to allow your data to be used any more.

  43. Another Point that Bill misses. CRU, a university, refuses to send data to McIntrye, contenting that

    “Regulation 12(5)(f) applies because the information requested was received by the University on terms that prevent further transmission to non-academics”

    Problem? CRU sends the data to MET which is not an academic institution.

    Opps.

  44. steven mosher (22:05:56) :
    Another Point that Bill misses. CRU, a university, refuses to send data to McIntrye, contenting that “Regulation 12(5)(f) applies because the information requested was received by the University on terms that prevent further transmission to non-academics”

    Problem? CRU sends the data to MET which is not an academic institution

    I thought that the met office did not have raw data?

  45. Sam Vilian states “you have a habit of posting findings which are sensational(and)out of line with the consensus” how very Stalinist of you.

    “You pimp every smallest conceivable doubt you find” isnt that what scientific enquiry is all about or has it now changed to ‘toe the party line at all costs’.

    When exactly did science become a partisan political game where enquiry or dissent is thought to be a crime, departure from the artificial consensus becomes a crime. I thought science was about challenging the staus quo?

    The thought that people are not allowed to challenge the dogma and narrative because that dogma and narrative might be actually exposed as mistaken and/or built on flase foundations smacks of a religious doctrine or a political doctrine like national/international socialism.

  46. Sam Vilain,

    Who is to decide whether he is a crank? We need to recall precisely what is at stake here. There are two significant surface temperature series being produced for the world, the one from GISS and this one from CRU.

    These figure prominently in public domain policy materials as the basis for conclusions about the likely future of climate. They are not the only bases, but they are important bases.

    The policy materials of which these series form part have excited public authorities in the OECD countries to move to measures which will cost trillions of dollars and require major changes of lifestyle to combat what are seen as likely future catastrophes. The series are commonly used as evidence that these future catastrophes are right now under way in their early stages.

    In addition, the CRU series is significant input to the UK Met Office. The Met Office has produced with that as input of some sort what purport to be forecasts on a 30km grid out until 2030. They are urging local authorities in the UK to take these forecasts into consideration when making policy decisions on flood defence, building permits, location of key infrastructure, disaster planning and so on. I say input of some sort, since we are not able to see the basis for the Met Office forecasts, but it seems most probable that they used the CRU data among other sources as part of the input.

    In short, there are huge public investments which are being to some extent based on the CRU series. We have to be able to assess, whether we strike some people as cranks or not, whether this series is robust. Otherwise we simply cannot make the informed choices which it is our democratic duty to make.

    This is not about whether SM is an academic in good standing. This is about the future of the planet and the human race on it. You cannot at the same time claim that the pending climate catastrophe is of this kind of importance, and then suggest that it is legitimate to withhold data about it on grounds of commercial confidence and whether individuals like each other. Did we not use some technologies in the war against the Nazis because they were under patent protection? If the future of the planet really is at stake, then all this nonsense has to be dropped and the materials and code placed in the public domain at once.

    As Hansen did, let us remind ourselves. As Hansen did.

    Now, the last time we went around this loop with Professor Jones was on the issue of the Chinese stations. Look it up. We really learned something on that one. All of us, apparently, except the Professor.

  47. Time for a few letters to the editor of the Times etc
    Might get a parliamentary response, or a question or two from the opposition.

  48. Sam Vilain (19:24:37) :

    “So what? Most of the cranks in the [snip] also have articles in peer reviewed literature.”

    Most of the cranks in the AGW creationist community also have articles in peer reviewed literature.

  49. ““I suggest that you contact Peter Lilley MP who is one of the few of our tribunes who has been willing to stand up against the AGW hysteria which has take over Westminster (sadly so far unsuccessfully).”

    I have tried Peter Lilley a couple of times in the past and have got no reply. ”

    A shame. But, for the benefit of UK readers of this post, the thing that really makes British civil servants jump (and I speak as an ex-Whitehall employee) is a Parliamentary Question (PQ). When a PQ is asked in The House, all sorts of systems swing into place to ensure that an appropriate answer is given, and woe betide the department that can’t give a good account of itself…

    So, now that we are getting down to the silly objections, if a British citizen/resident can find a good constituency MP (and elections are coming up) who will ask a suitably crafted question, Met Office/Hadley will be horribly exposed. You won’t see the results externally – if necessary Cabinet Office will have to put spin on to cut down on embarrassment – but the Met Office/Hadley will certainly feel the effects during their next vote (budget) negotiations. CO do not support those who embarrass it…..

  50. Today 27 July I made an FOI request to the University of East Anglia as follows;

    I understand that the CRUTEM station data set that has been sent from
    CRU to Peter Webster and/or any other person at Georgia Tech between
    January 1, 2007 and Jun 25, 2009 is covered by confidentiality
    agreements and requests for this data have been denied as regulation
    12(5)(f) applies because the information requested was received by the
    University on terms that prevent further transmission to
    non-academics.

    Please supply copies of each confidentiality agreement. Copies by
    email are acceptable.

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