Quote of the week – Note to UEA and CRU: get a clue

You’d think that after all the pain and suffering caused by Climategate to the University of East Anglia and the Climate Research Unit, these guys would have a clue. You’d think that they’d want to get the monkey off their backs, and move on to other research, other issues, instead of repeating the same behavior that got them into trouble in the first place. As the late great John Belushi might say: But nooooooooo!

Steve McIntyre sums it up succinctly:

The easiest way for the climate science to “move on” would be to voluntarily disclose the list of sites and the regional chronology rather than fighting FOI tooth-and-nail. This request is not going to disappear.

This in in response to his latest FOI request for tree ring data, which was denied.

He writes of the denial:

Not only did East Anglia refuse my request for the regional chronology, they even refused to identify the sites. The University claimed that even identifying the sites would result in “financial harm” to the university though an adverse impact on their “ability to attract research funding”. See [the refusal] here.

It’s hard to imagine an institution purporting to justify its conduct in such crass commercial terms.

I suppose this would be to point where we all go Michael Tobis on them and launch a fusillade, but it will accomplish nothing.

I’d like to point out what Steve wrote about Yamal and its role in Climategate:

Yamal was not an incidental issue in Climategate. As noted in my recent post, Phil Jones’ first reaction to Fred Pearce was that Climategate was about Yamal. Refusing essential documents on Yamal simply fuels suspicion.

The reason for that becomes clear in this climategate email from Monday Oct 5 2009 – email # 1254751382.txt written just over a month before Climategate happened. Colored text mine:

David Schnare wrote: [to Tom Wigley]

Tom:

Briffa has already made a preliminary response and he failed to explain his selection procedure. Further, he refused to give up the data for several years, and was forced to do so only when he submitted to a journal that demanded data archiving and actually enforced the practice.

More significantly, Briffa’s analysis is irrelevant. Dendrochonology is a bankrupt approach. They admit that they cannot distiguish causal elements contributing to tree ring size. Further, they rely on recent temperature data by which to select recent tree data (excluding other data) and then turn around and claim that the tree ring data explains the recent temperature data. If you can give a principled and reasoned defense of Briffa (see the discussion on Watt’s website) then go for it. I’d be fascinated, as would a rather large number of others.

None of this, of course, detracts for the need to do research on geoengineering. David Schnare

That’s pretty damning. Wigley responds:

At 02:59 05/10/2009, you wrote:

David,
This is entirely off the record, and I do not want this shared with
anyone. I hope you will respect this. This issue is not my problem, and I await further developments. However, Keith Briffa is in the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), and I was Director of CRU for many years so I am quite familiar with Keith and with his work. I have also done a lots of hands on tree ring work, both in the field and in developing and applying computer programs for climate reconstruction from tree rings. On the other hand, I have not been involved in any of this work since I left CRU in 1993 to move to NCAR. But I do think I can speak with some modicum of authority. You say, re dendoclimatologists, “they rely on recent temperature data by which to *select* recent tree data” (my emphasis). I don’t know where you get this idea, but I can assure you that it is entirely wrong. Further, I do not know the basis for your claim that “Dendrochonology is a bankrupt approach”. It is one of the few proxy data areas where rigorous multivariate statistical tools are used and where reconstructions are carefully tested on independent data. Finally, the fact that scientists (in any field) do not willingly share their hard-earned primary data implies that they have something to hide has no logical basis.
Tom.

Phil Jones responds:

From: Phil Jones <p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
To: Tom Wigley <wigley@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
Subject: Re: [geo] Re: CCNet: A Scientific Scandal Unfolds
Date: Mon Oct 5 10:03:02 2009

Tom,
Thanks for trying to clear the air with a few people. Keith is still working on a response. Having to contact the Russians to get some more site details takes time. Several things in all this are ludicrous as you point out. Yamal is one site and isn’t
in most of the millennial reconstructions. It isn’t in MBH, Crowley, Moberg etc. Also picking trees for a temperature response is not done either. The other odd thing is that they seem to think that you can reconstruct the last millennium from a few proxies, yet you can’t do this from a few instrumental series for the last 150 years! Instrumental data are perfect proxies, after all.
[1]http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/10/un_climate_reports_they_lie.html
This one is wrong as well. IPCC (1995) didn’t use that silly curve that Chris Folland or Geoff Jenkins put together.
Cheers
Phil

Bollocks ! This point comes to mind: if you have nothing to hide, and the data provenance has  “rigorous multivariate statistical tools are used and where reconstructions are carefully tested on independent data” then sharing it for replication shouldn’t be a problem at all. If this “science” can’t stand independent testing, then it isn’t science at all.

I think we need to help Steve get this data. For that, a website now exists to facilitate the submissions of FOI requests, and UEA has an entry:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/new/university_of_east_anglia

Read this before writing your Freedom of Information request

  • First, search the authority’s web site …
    … to check that the info isn’t already published.
  • Browse other requests to ‘University of East Anglia’ for examples of how to word your request.
  • Write your request in simple, precise language.
  • Ask for specific documents or information, this site is not suitable for general enquiries.
  • Keep it focused, you’ll be more likely to get what you want (why?).
  • This site is public. Everything you type and any response will be published.

Don’t make frivolous requests, keep it focused to the task at hand. Use Steve McIntyre’s submission here to formulate your request.

Reading the rejection may also prove useful.

CRU and their supporters won’t like this, and those submitting FOI requests for this data will once again be accused of “harassment” for asking for it repeatedly. CRU knows what they need to do, we just need to make sure they listen to themselves.

However, if this stonewalling keeps up, and CRU does not allow independent testing, I would not be at all surprised to find another batch of damning emails and documents, maybe even the data itself, anonymously dropped on the doorsteps of climate blogs worldwide by friends of “Setec Astronomy“.

Get a clue, CRU.

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91 Responses to Quote of the week – Note to UEA and CRU: get a clue

  1. Al Pipkin says:

    The proper term is that “UEA and CRU are “acluestic” … that is, “one without a clue.”

  2. AGW Moriarty says:

    Try to find out what UEA Chancellor Brandon Gough has been up to.

    He is one of the main controllers of the AGW fraud.

    http://www.stopcp.com/cpclimategate.php

  3. GPlant says:

    Doesn’t the failure to allow for independent verification disqualify the research as scientific?

    Love the Setec Astronomy. “We will change the world”

    GPlant

  4. Gary says:

    At least in their eyes, this tactic has been working and a reversal would admit that previously it was wrong, encourage more FOI requests, and not gain them any good will. Their behavior is easy to understand even if it’s obviously a losing strategy.

  5. jmrSudbury says:

    “…monkey off their …”

  6. polistra says:

    Negative learning is the hallmark of the English-speaking elite. Normal organisms learn positively: once burned, twice shy. The ruling class of the Anglosphere appears to learn backwards: once burned, twice put your hand in the fire and leave it there.

    In reality there is no feedback at all, thus no learning at all.

    Securitization, globalization and tenure cause all error signals to be detoured. The elites continue doing monstrous things, and all the suffering and misery pours onto the plebeians, who are unseen by the elites.

  7. Gary says:

    Setec Astronomy? I prefer “Necessary Motto” and “Comatose Sentry.” http://wordsmith.org/anagram/

  8. Juraj V. says:

    We are not going to disappear.

  9. Paul in Sweden says:

    “Quote of the week?”

    As “Climate Science” is the main topic of this blog, I feel it is rather presumptuous to declare “Quote of the week” on a Tuesday.

  10. NoAstronomer says:

    “… identifying the sites would result in “financial harm” to the university …”

    UEA states that they’re dependent on the government money they receive for studying climate change. Yet we’re supposed to believe that the research they’re doing is *not* influenced by the need to keep that funding.

  11. climatebeagle says:

    Why does Wigley say his reply is “entirely off the record”? Reading it I only see a natural defense of what he assumes to be valid science.

  12. My wife deals with a lot of freedom of information requests and it is very clear that the ethos in here organisation is that such requests have to be dealt with seriously and appropriately (even if some are quite ridiculous).

    I suspect that one of the main reasons she is becoming increasingly sceptical is because:

    1. the UEA clearly broke the law by trying to hide FOI data
    2. the UEA continue to disregard the FOI act
    3. Basically because the UEA attitude on FOI completely stinks

    AT WHICH POINT I’VE LITERALLY GOT AN EMAIL MARKED “FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST WHICH I SENT YESTERDAY ON A TOTALLY DIFFERENT SUBJECT

    … How weird

    AT WHICH POINT I GET A SECOND POP UP (forgot to send the text)

    Wow!

  13. John Silver says:

    “The University claimed that even identifying the sites would result in “financial harm” to the university though an adverse impact on their “ability to attract research funding””

    That’s a euphemism for “We’re guilty as hell”

  14. Olen says:

    They have made their claims of warming and refuse to show their work. Considering their claim was to be used to tax and regulate major life style changes in the entire population showing the work should be mandatory. Yet politicians were content to act only on the claim.

    If they fear disclosing the information could cause financial harm then the question has to be asked, why.

  15. Jeff Alberts says:

    It’s obvious to me why they don’t want to disclose the list of sites. It would display their extreme cherry-picking. They have to choose the right series and give the proper trees within those series in order to achieve a hockey stick shape.

    Yamal is the perfect example. One tree in the series displayed an HS shape. ONE. And that’s the science we end up with.

  16. John Marshall says:

    It is what they get the grant money for. They will not change their plans even though this plan is bankrupt. A case of Pavlov’s dogs. To get the grant you have to bark the same tune!

  17. Fred says:

    So, let me get this straight. Despite the fact that all the raw data are already available on line (see the CRU response for URLs), and despite the fact that the analysis McIntyre is asking for has not been published, you think that CRU should release all work-in-progress, draft analyses and preliminary results?

    By that same logic, Roger Pielke Sr, who I suspect might have data related to your surface station project, and who is working at a state university, should have to hand over all preliminary data, analyses and preliminary results related to your paper before it is published? And while we are at it, perhaps all of the email correspondence you and he have shared via his UC email?

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Anthony Watts.

    REPLY: I think they should respond to the FOI request for the data associated with papers published. The issue is what data they chose. i.e YAD061. The difference here is that we will release all the data in an SI when out paper is published, as is common practice with respectable researchers. I’ve already shared my data with one researcher, Muller of BEST. CRU has neither published an SI or nor provided the data based on an FOI request.

    Plus, I’m private, not public, I don’t have to do any of this if I don’t want to and could ignore FOI requests if I choose. Does your private company hand over documents and data to anyone who demands it? I don’t think so.

    Your point is irrational – Anthony

  18. tty says:

    “The University claimed that even identifying the sites would result in “financial harm” to the university though an adverse impact on their “ability to attract research funding”

    You can’t really put it much clearer than that: “Our research funds are dependent on our ability to fudge results”

  19. Bob K. says:

    Did you mean Phil Jones… rather than Phil FONES… ?

    REPLY: Fixed, head cold bleariness. Thanks – Anthony

  20. Sam Hall says:

    I think they are right. If they hand over the data and everyone sees just what they have done, their funding will indeed be cutoff. At least, I certainly hope it would be.

  21. tadchem says:

    Before the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein *acted* as if he had WMDs, even though it has since been confirmed that he did not. This was a deliberate piece of tactical ‘theater’ in which he sought to deceive his greatest enemy (Iran) by first deceiving third parties (the US, UN, and UK). According to Sun Tsu, all warfare is based on deception, and victory requires decieving your foe with respect to your strengths, weaknesses, location, and plans.
    Having said that, the behaviour of UEA and the CRU is indistinguishable from that of someone with something to hide. If they *really* have nothing to hide (as was the case with Saddam Hussein in Iraq), then one must ask the question “Why are they acting as if they have something to hide, if they really do not? What are they trying to mislead us about, and why?”
    Whether or not they really have something to hide, their behaviour is scientifically unprofessional, and their reports are not to be trusted.
    Trust is like a bubble, prick it once and it is gone forever.

  22. Jeff Alberts says:

    Fred says:
    April 26, 2011 at 7:32 am

    So, let me get this straight. Despite the fact that all the raw data are already available on line (see the CRU response for URLs), and despite the fact that the analysis McIntyre is asking for has not been published, you think that CRU should release all work-in-progress, draft analyses and preliminary results?

    I’m guessing you’re the same FredT that’s posting the same drivel on CA.

    Steve M already answered your question this IS in relation to a published paper. What part of that don’t you get?

    As for all the raw data being online. That’s fine. Do you know their data selection process? Do you know which sites were actually used? No, you don’t (unless you’re one of the authors and are just trolling and disinforming).

    As someone else said, “your point is irrational”.

  23. Roy says:

    I wondered how other fields approach the question of data disclosure when the cost of collecting the data is so prohibitive that no individual or small group could replicate the experiment to obtain their own data. The obvious comparators (to me) were the LHC and the Tevatron data sets.

    Sure enough, it turns out they both withold data, sharing it only with “contributors”. A contributor is not merely someone who would be willing to contribute; it seems it is someone who has actually contributed (something).

    This rather muddies the moral waters IMO. If other disciplines routinely withold expensively acquired data for the sole use of selected approved persons, then CRU’s behaviour meets the norms.

    Of course neither LHC nor Tevatron are campaigning actively to restructure our economy and our way of life, so perhaps they are right to expect to be held to a lower standard.

  24. Personally, I’m of the opinion that anyone who claims a subject to be “the greatest problem facing mankind” and for us all to “take immediate action” (not direct quotes), has by default defined their position as one where it is indefensible to withhold any information because it is the most important information in the world which is so important that no other issue take dominance.

    In contrast, UEA are portraying this as such an unimportant issue that small commercial details override the public importance of this subject. Which is really saying that even they put global warming below day-to-day contractual terms.

    So, on the one hand we are being told that everyone must sacrifice the very foundation of their economies to “solve the biggest problem in history”.

    And there is this third rate university telling the world that minor issues over contractual details override concerns of global warming.

    Contractual details of the UEA over ride “the greatest problem in human history” … which just about sums up the arrogant attitude of the UEA regarding their place in the world!

  25. Fred says:

    Anthony, you apparently haven’t even read the FOI request Steve made. It has nothing to do with any of the Yamal trees rings – they are already all online and have been since before Climategate.

    He is asking for an unpublished analysis and preliminary results from a reconstruction that is work-in-progress and has not yet been published. Exactly the same as if was to ask Roger Pielke Sr for his unpublished research (note I specifically named RP Sr, not you, because he works in a state university). You have previously argued that no state entities should be exempt from FOI. If RP Sr is entitled to keep work-in-progress confidential until publication, then so are CRU. You can’t have it both ways.

    REPLY: Apparently you haven’t read Steve’s post on the issue, note the title:

    CRU Refuses FOI Request for Yamal Climategate Chronology

    he writes:

    Recently I sent an FOI request to the University of East Anglia for a regional chronology combining Yamal, Polar Urals and shorter (presumably Schweingruber) chronologies referred to in Climategate email 1146252894.txt, as well as a request for even a simple list of sites used to make the chronology.

    It has everything to do with Yamal. – Anthony

  26. What we need is someone to face down the UEA and ask them:

    If global warming is so important that everyone else has to change their way of life, fundamentally change all manner of aspects of the way we live, pass news laws, etc. etc. etc. etc. why is the UEA so different? Why won’t the UEA comply with a simple request for information under FOI law, information which according to them if released would only support the need to act on Global Warming?

    If it’s that important, they themselves should have gone to a judge to demand they be allowed to amend the contract “for the good of all humanity”.

    If the UEA really believed in global warming, they would be the ones desperately wanting to get the information out to help the cause: If they really believed it there would never have been a Steve McIntyre and no climategate exposing their attempts to thwart those having to drag it out of them!

  27. mycroft says:

    sounds like Steve M should be sending emails to the The Information Commissioner’s Office, and complain, Perhaps CRUand UEA think they can get away with the old “stalling for time trick”……again

  28. Jeremy says:

    Fred says:
    April 26, 2011 at 7:32 am

    So, let me get this straight. Despite the fact that all the raw data are already available on line (see the CRU response for URLs), and despite the fact that the analysis McIntyre is asking for has not been published, you think that CRU should release all work-in-progress, draft analyses and preliminary results?

    All the raw data already available? Did you read the original refusal? That’s not what the lawyer wrote back. McIntyre isn’t requesting an analysis, he is requesting data. And no one said they had to release all works-in-progress, draft analysis, or preliminary results. Your entire first paragraph is entirely made up from fantasy land in order to construct a gigantic straw man argument. Come back to reality sir, you seem to be drifting too far to reach.

  29. Fred says:

    You might try reading more than just the title.

    All of the raw tree ring data from this region are online:

    All of the data that we have used within this area are publicly available (including their ITRDB identifiers or equivalent) on several websites. …
    http://web.utk.edu/~grissino/itrdb.htm
    Additional data are available at other websites:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/treering.html and
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/yamal2009/data/
    There are some Russian sites not within the ITRDB database and the identifiers for those can be found on a Russian website:
    http://lib.ipae.uran.ru/dchrono

    That includes all data from Yamal. McIntyre is not asking for the raw data, but for:


    a tree ring composite identified as follows:
    “URALS” (which includes the Yamal and Polar Urals long chronologies, plus other
    shorter ones).

    A composite which has not yet been published, or described in the scientific literature.

    This is exactly equivalent to someone’s preliminary analysis of public surface temperature records using some method they are working on, and which is not yet published.

    I note you did not answer the main question, so I’ll repeat it: Is RP Sr entitled to keep confidential his and your analysis of the surface station data before it is published or is he not? Whatever you answer has to be the same for CRU.

    REPLY: Fred you are on the losing end of this argument, but you are too proud and stubborn to realize it. That data is associated with a 2006 paper. The issue is about papers that have been published and the data used to support them, not future papers. Of course anyone could claim they are “still using the data” for years, decades into the future, and use that as a lame excuse not to release it. That’s what CRU is doing. In 2012, they’ll claim yet another paper in the works…ad infinitum.

    If somebody were to make a FOI claim against RP, the University would be within their rights to deny the request, since no paper has been published. Whether they would or wouldn’t is hypothetical. The point is moot anyways since we are voluntarily releasing it with the publication of our paper.

    What isn’t moot is that CRU did in fact publish a paper in 2006 with the data McIntyre seeks, and that is FOI actionable. For them to say “oh, oh, we are still using that data” is disingenuous and wrong, and that’s where you fail in your argument. McIntyre is fully within his rights and the rights of FOI. Perhaps you forget that CRU was guilty of this same exact bullshit in the past, but skirted the charge only on a technicality, the legal loophole of which has been closed specially because of the CRU and their crime that went unpunished.

    And stop with the condescending “you haven’t read this or that”. Sheesh. Your entire argument is FAIL writ large. – Anthony

  30. Jeremy says:

    Fred says:
    April 26, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Anthony, you apparently haven’t even read the FOI request Steve made. It has nothing to do with any of the Yamal trees rings – they are already all online and have been since before Climategate.

    He is asking for an unpublished analysis and preliminary results from a reconstruction that is work-in-progress and has not yet been published.

    No, McIntyre *is not* requesting “unpublished analysis”. I challenge you directly to demonstrate where he is asking for unpublished analyses. If you cannot, I request you publicly acknowledge on this thread your error in this matter.

  31. Jeremy says:

    Fred says:
    April 26, 2011 at 8:32 am

    You might try reading more than just the title.

    You might try reading more than just what you want to read.

    what follows that is:

    Could you please provide me a digital version of this series together with a list of all the measurement data sets used to make this composite, denoting each data set by ITRDB identification or equivalent. For the Polar Urals site, would you please identify the individual data sets used by ITRDB identification or equivalent. If any of the data is not in a public archive, please provide the measurement data.

    Which states quite clearly that he is seeking what is referred to as URALS series composite (stated previously) and a list of all measurement data sets used to make it.

    You call this:

    A composite which has not yet been published, or described in the scientific literature.

    Yet this e-mail it was pulled from was in 2006. So if this series has not yet been published, they’re exceedingly slow, yes? You seem to accept how the lawyer describes it without question. If you really believe that they’ve sat on this work since 2006, I have some bridges you might be interested in. You have no evidence on which to state that this is an unpublished analysis. You have only the word of a lawyer working for an organization that has refused legitimate FOI requests in the past. I think you need more to go on.

  32. JohnH says:

    As part of the Climategate inquiries, Acton VC of UEA made a commitment to the FOI Commissioner on future compliance to UK FOI legislation.

    I think he just stuck 2 fingers up to the FOI commisioner, let the chips fall where they may.

    http://www.ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/promoting_openness/~/media/documents/library/Freedom_of_Information/Notices/uea_foi_undertaking.ashx

    In particular

    I, Professor Edward Acton, Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia (the “UEA”), for and on behalf of the University, hereby acknowledge the details set out below and undertake to comply with the terms of the following Undertaking:

    1.
    The University is a public authority as defined in section 3(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act”), and regulation 2 (2) of the Environmental Regulations 2004 (the “Regulations”).
    2.
    The Information Commissioner, having regard to complaints made to him under section 50 of the Act; the findings of Sir Muir Russell’s Inquiry; and the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s report into the “disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia” (Eighth Report of Session 2009–10), considers that the University need take further steps to ensure that both current and future
    1
    Ref: ENF0280278
    requests for information are dealt with appropriately. In particular he considers that a public statement of intent, facilitated by this Undertaking, will provide assurance that the University has embraced the culture of openness and transparency the legislation seeks to promote.
    3.
    The relevant provision of the Act is section 1 “the general right of access to information held by public authorities”.
    4.
    The relevant provision of the Regulations is regulation 5 “the duty to make available environmental information on request”.

  33. TomB says:

    tadchem says:
    April 26, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Before the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein *acted* as if he had WMDs, even though it has since been confirmed that he did not.
    The ~first~ Gulf War? Sorry, he DID have WMDs. The use of chemical weapons is a known and documented fact. That he had chemical warheads suitable for fitment to his SCUD missiles is a known and documented fact. The fact that he had SCUD missiles and mobile launchers, and used them, is beyond dispute. The attempt to build a super artillery piece that could reach Israel is a known and documented fact. And on, and on.

    Now if you mean the ~Second~ Gulf War, I’m in agreement with you and I take your point about intentional deception.

  34. Let’s not fight the UEA! Instead, let’s work with them to help them overcome the obstacles preventing publication! If the law is a problem to help them persuade the public, then mere changes to technical legislation cannot be a problem so lets change the law what MP could possibly against it?

    Does anyone know an MP who could draft a nice short bill giving freedom from contractual liability for anyone who has information to publish regarding global warming? Let’s give them what they want!!!

    It’s for the good of humanity – it’s to tackle the greatest problem facing mankind, let’s not hinder them, instead, let’s help them find a way to release the information they say will help persuade the public of their cause.

    And if when every last obstacle to their obfuscation is finally removed, and they still refuse to release the information that supposedly supports their cause then …

    By their actions we, and everyone else, will know the truth!

  35. A. Capitalist says:

    Sorry, for the obvious question.
    Who paid for this research? If the “grant or grants” came from a government, US or English or even Scottish, then the Property, data, belongs to the researcher or the government? Being privately employed, all my intellectual property belongs to my employer. The employer in the case of these grantees is the grantor.
    Who’s money funded the grant?

  36. Fred says:

    Jeremy, before you do any damage to your blood pressure, perhaps you might care to point out where this “URALS” composite has actually been published? (That’s a lot easier than me trying to prove it hasn’t been).

    To give you a bit of a head start, the paper mentioned by McIntyre is Briffa et al (PNAS, 2008), which is online here (open access):
    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/363/1501/2269

    Please point me to where the “URALS” composite appears in that paper (because I can’t find it). The raw data for all those analyses are online at the sites given above, and the composites that do actually appear in Briffa et al (2008) are given here:
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/melvin/PhilTrans2008/

    So, absent some actual evidence that the URALS composite has indeed been published, it is correct to continue to assume that it actually hasn’t been. Perhaps you would care to acknowledge that?

    At some point, unpublished data that is not being actively worked on should become available. But many scientific projects take years to come to fruition, and according to CRU, they have an ongoing project involving this work (due to finish in Oct 2012). In summary, we have a request for unpublished data that is a work-in-progress – just like RP Sr’s analysis of Anthony’s surface station work.

  37. Sam Hall says:

    Roy says:
    April 26, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I wondered how other fields approach the question of data disclosure when the cost of collecting the data is so prohibitive that no individual or small group could replicate the experiment to obtain their own data…

    This is publicly funded work. It is our data, not theirs. Phil Jones and the rest have no ownership rights to this data.

  38. Fred says:

    Anthony, please provide the reference to the 2006 paper that includes the “URALS” composite. If I am mistaken about this I will be happy to apologize, but if there is no 2006 paper with this analysis, I think you will owe everyone an apology. As I pointed out to Jeremy, the analysis is not the Briffa et al (2008) paper that McIntyre cites in his blog post, and his FOI request makes no mention of any published paper.

  39. Anthony Watts says:

    Fred will of course continue his stubborn diatribe, but I won’t comment further, it’s past 9AM and I have to go to work. I have to stop because I could spend all day arguing with anonymous cowards over pointless issues.

  40. pat says:

    heh,heh,
    “The University claimed that even identifying the sites would result in “financial harm” to the university though an adverse impact on their “ability to attract research funding”.

    Yeah. That would be because the hoax revealed would result in a demand for a refund and no further “investments” in voodoo science.

  41. It’s 1940, the battle of Britain is lost and the German invasion fleet are waiting to invade and then it turns out the UEA home guard have found that by mistake the German high command have sent them a copy of the German battle plan to invade Britain. on discovering this, Winston Churchill sends a General to the UEA to personally collect the plans …

    Arriving at the UEA he is met by the chancellor who (speaking with a oily foreign accent) says: “I’m very sorry the plans say copyright of the German High Command. Sorry, we would love to help, but sorry!

    Does the General:
    a) Say, oh dear, pity that!
    b) Go back and ask Churchill to pass a new law overriding German copyright.
    or,
    c) shoot the chancellor.

  42. Jeremy says:

    Fred says:
    April 26, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Jeremy, before you do any damage to your blood pressure, perhaps you might care to point out where this “URALS” composite has actually been published? (That’s a lot easier than me trying to prove it hasn’t been).

    It doesn’t matter how hard it is to prove your claim. You made it, you back it up. I’m sorry you did that to yourself, perhaps you should think twice before posting next time.

    So, absent some actual evidence that the URALS composite has indeed been published, it is correct to continue to assume that it actually hasn’t been. Perhaps you would care to acknowledge that?

    Perhaps you care to acknowledge that you have nothing to go on outside the word of a lawyer when claiming that McIntyre is requesting unpublished analyses? Again, since you cannot demonstrate what you claim, why should anyone believe anything you say? You claimed McIntyre was requesting unpublished analysis. you cannot demonstrate this. You have no documented evidence that this is so. Instead you are trying to tell me to do your work for you by finding a publication in which this URALS composite was used. That’s not how this works. You made a claim, you need to back it up.

    Until then, the responders in this thread would be wise to ignore your claims.

    At some point, unpublished data that is not being actively worked on should become available. But many scientific projects take years to come to fruition, and according to CRU, they have an ongoing project involving this work (due to finish in Oct 2012). In summary, we have a request for unpublished data that is a work-in-progress – just like RP Sr’s analysis of Anthony’s surface station work.

    That’s actually fine. It’s fine for universities to take years to finish work. It is not fine for data that is publicly funded to be refused because of funding concerns. This is what is happening here. Steve asked for the raw measurement data that was used to construct the composite, or even the list of sites so that he could find what was already available. Those requests were also refused. What possible reason could there be for that refusal? It appears from reading the climate-gate e-mail which spawned this request that no small amount of work was going into creating the composites. Since this e-mail was from 2006, it would seem that raw measurement data would be an easy thing to share. In other words, if they’ve been working on this analysis for so long there’s a lot of added-value to their analysis, so releasing the raw data would not harm their research. Still, they refuse.

  43. Pat Frank says:

    Tom Wigley: “It is one of the few proxy data areas where rigorous multivariate statistical tools are used and where reconstructions are carefully tested on independent data.

    No matter how you gussy it up, it’s still correlation = causation and it’s still wrong.

    Dendrothermometry actually takes the idiocy a step further. Its methodological claim is that correlation in the present = causation in the past. This is the bright light of new science gifted to us by Michael Mann, Tom Wigley, and Phil Jones.

  44. crosspatch says:

    We know who they are. We know where they live. We are many. They are few.

    That said, what *really* needs to happen is for the media to come to their senses and treat any science that isn’t backed up with the data as “alleged” claims. Once the media takes the approach to treating unverified claims as just that, they will really have little choice.

    The problem at this point is that they do not need to release anything in order to gain the acceptance of their targets (policy makers and the media). Should they begin to lose carte blanche acceptance from those quarters, their act will clean up. Until that time, probably not.

  45. John Blake says:

    A useful principle applies to UEA’s ongoing stonewall of perfectly legitimate FOIA requests: In fact, in logic, and in law, one cannot prove a negative. It is therefore not for outsiders to refute Josh’s lovely caption (“If you’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen Yamal”), but incumbent upon the Green Gang’s Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al. to provide independently verifiable Proof Positive in support of their extreme-radical hypotheses.

    The burden of proof thus lies exclusively, solely, upon UEA. Absent evidence acceptable to objective, knowledgeable third-party satisfaction such as McIntyre within a reasonable time (measured in weeks or months, not years), the case against UEA and its peculating administrators stands. No even-handed judiciary would rule otherwise, while threatening prosecution for the ongoing evasions, excuses, simple lies for which AGW hysterics are notorious.

  46. ew-3 says:

    “It’s hard to imagine an institution purporting to justify its conduct in such crass commercial terms.”

    This line says it all. They do see it in commercial terms. It’s a business and not science. But they are a business that can only survive on funding, because their “product” has no real worth.

  47. Gary Krause says:

    It would be reasonable that to retain grant funding the grantee would be required to provided those who request information relating to grant progress without the FOI. Furthermore, should a grantee not respond to a request, they lose further grant funding.

    Assuming their money they refer to losing is from grants.

  48. Tilo Reber says:

    Anthony, I want to note what Wigley said here:

    “You say, re dendoclimatologists, “they rely on recent temperature data by which to *select* recent tree data” (my emphasis). I don’t know where you get this idea, but I can assure you that it is entirely wrong. ”

    And what Jones said here:

    “Also picking trees for a temperature response is not done either.”

    I have a link from a Briffa and Osborn paper where they discuss their method.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/suppl/2006/02/06/311.5762.841.DC1/Osborn.SOM.pdf

    It contains this:

    (d) We removed any series that was not positively correlated with its “local” temperature observations [taken from the nearest grid box of the HadCRUT2 temperature data set (S9)]. The series used by (S3) were already screened for positive correlations against their local annual temperatures, at the decadal time scale (Table S1). We removed series from (S1) that did not correlate positively with their local annual or summer temperatures (Table S1), or which did not extend into the period with instrumental temperature to allow a correlation to be calculated. The series from south-west Canada (named Athabasca) used by (S1) did not correlate positively with local temperature observations, but has been replaced by a new, better-replicated series (S10) that does correlate very highly with summer temperature (Table S1) and has also been RCS-processed to retain all time scales of variability.

    I can’t find Briffa’s response letter over the Yamal issue right now, but in it he again admits that series are selected based upon their correlation to the local instrument records.

  49. Latimer Alder says:

    Quote from UEA’s reply

    ‘The ‘adverse affect’ to intellectual property rights is based upon the fact that release of these data sets and the methodology used in their construction would, effectively, be publication of the creative work of the CRU staff. This would seriously reduce the likelihood that any high impact journal would publish the results pertaining to this work, thus effectively causing the University financial harm via adverse impact upon reputation’

    Am I the only one who reads this as an admission that if anybody was actually allowed to see what the ‘creative work of CRU staff’ consisits of, they will quickly realise that its all a bunch of hooey..and be able to show it on blogs like this.

    I can’t read this para in any other way. ‘We ain’t going to show you because you’d find out what we do. And that is baaad’. I detect the hand of Trevor Davies all over this.

  50. Lady Life Grows says:

    Yes, they wanted the monkey off their back. so they had that whitewash. Now they are “exonerated” and suing anybody who says otherwise.

  51. Allan M says:

    polistra says:
    April 26, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Negative learning is the hallmark of the English-speaking elite. Normal organisms learn positively: once burned, twice shy. The ruling class of the Anglosphere appears to learn backwards: once burned, twice put your hand in the fire and leave it there.

    In reality there is no feedback at all, thus no learning at all.

    Perhaps this is their beloved ‘positive feedback.’

  52. patrioticduo says:

    What a doozy of a line in the refusal letter “Creative work went into the selection of the site locations to include…,”

    Creative work indeed! Pure fantasy, such imagination! What a wonderful work of fiction!

  53. jorgekafkazar says:

    “rigorous multivariate statistical tools?” Those must be the ones that produce the “robust” lies they want to tell.

    I’m not sure flooding UEA with FOI requests will accomplish anything other than giving them a putative basis for claiming that complying with the law is excessively onerous. If the entire population of the UK (except for the usual suspects) were to request the data, it would still not be forthcoming. Releasing the data would be suicide for the UEA. Besides, they consider themselves elites, and no one else matters to them. Their only viable course of action is to stonewall until the FOI Act is repealed.

  54. jorgekafkazar says:

    Tilo Reber says: “Jones said here:

    “Also picking trees for a temperature response is not done either.”

    “Briffa and Osborn paper…discuss their method:

    (d) We removed any series that was not positively correlated with its “local” temperature observations [yatta-yatta, yatta-yatta]

    Excellent. But knowing the specious mindset of dildoclimatologists, it’s likely that they consider picking series to be something different from picking trees.

  55. SSam says:

    Parroting Latimer Alder, but there is an EXTREMELY valid point there.

    “This would seriously reduce the likelihood that any high impact journal would publish the results pertaining to this work”

    In other words, it’s total B/S, so they won’t release it.

    ’nuff said.

  56. M White says:

    Do they still have sympathetic ears at the FOI office?

  57. Theodore says:

    Well if they have to reveal data a processes the prove they have been cooking the books all along it certainly “would result in “financial harm” to the university though an adverse impact on their “ability to attract research funding”.”

    They built their grants on faulty science and they have to hide the decline in their credibility to keep the dollars and pounds flowing.

  58. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    If I recieved a request for the “raw data” from my square-necked beetle pheromone trap tests, I would send a photocopy of the “raw data”, one bioassy tally sheet of the at a time.

    It is very likely a principal investigator hasn’t a clue where the student or lab assistant put “the raw data”. In academia, the principal investigator usually never sees or checks the “raw data.”

  59. crosspatch says:

    “rigorous multivariate statistical tools?”

    I believe that is an apt description of the entire “hockey team”.

  60. 3x2 says:

    You’d think that after all the pain and suffering caused by Climategate to the University of East Anglia and the Climate Research Unit, these guys would have a clue.

    They did get a clue. They found that their activities were “licensed” and found themselves protected by all and sundry right into the British HoP. Given that experience, why on earth would they change anything?

  61. Alexander K says:

    i have been following this topic at Climate Audit; every legal mis-step the CRU and the UEA makes with regard to requests for publicly-owned data should drop those organisations deeper into a legal swamp. Thumbing their noses at Steve Mc does not, to normal people, make any kind of sense at all and I feel the Information Commissioner may be about to issue some sort of ruling. Hopefully, this will force the errant and arrogant institution to comply with the legislation and the assiduous Steve Mc will eventually provide clarity regarding exactly what the dendrowhatsits have done to further destroy their credibility.
    And Fred, when all you achieve with your stubborn refusal to take sound advice is to dig yourself in deeper, stop digging!

  62. Wondering Aloud says:

    The main point ought to be if the data isn’t public and the methods are not spelled out in detail the results are non reproducible and impossible to evaluate. Therefore by definition not science at all. Any data used in any published paper should be available to everyone to check. If UEA continues to do their usual and hide data, hide methods and on and on than nothing by anyone associated with them should ever be published by any serious journal. Most of this stuff about proprietary information is total smokescreen and is anti science.

    I guess I am saying Fred that even if you were right in some technical sense, which it appears you are not, their actions would still be inappropriate both in terms of the definition of science and in terms of the responsibilities of a publicly funded project. How many times do you have to catch someone lying before you start to doubt them the next time they tell you an obvious whopper?

  63. Tilo Reber says:

    jorgekafkazar: “But knowing the specious mindset of dildoclimatologists, it’s likely that they consider picking series to be something different from picking trees.”

    It is different in that it is picking groups of trees instead of individual trees. But since there are many series to choose from to create a proxy, the opportunity to cherry pick in order to get correlation still exists. Also, as Steve McIntyre has shown, sometimes a thin series can depend on a single tree for the majority of its trend representation.

    In any case, this objection by David Schnare is completely valid:

    “Further, they rely on recent temperature data by which to select recent tree data (excluding other data) and then turn around and claim that the tree ring data explains the recent temperature data.”

  64. Ian W says:

    Paul in Sweden says:
    April 26, 2011 at 6:42 am

    “Quote of the week?”

    As “Climate Science” is the main topic of this blog, I feel it is rather presumptuous to declare “Quote of the week” on a Tuesday.

    As it is climate science you should realize that the initiators choose the start point of any series to suit their purpose. This is the quote of the week that started last Wednesday :-)

  65. Ken Hall says:

    Surely the reasonable response is to resort to legal redress for their unlawful refusal to grant a valid and legal FOIA request.

    I do hope that they cannot get off on a time limited technicality again.

  66. C.M. Carmichael says:

    If our donors found out the kind of crap that passes as (climate) science at UEA, our money tree will die.

  67. mikemUK says:

    Reading Latimer Alder’s comment at 10.36am prompted a more mischievous analogy to my mind.
    That of the manager of a stage magician who refuses to divulge details of the tricks he performs, on the grounds that to do so “would seriously reduce the likelihood that any” major variety theatre would book him in future.

  68. RockyRoad says:

    Really… Is anybody here surprised at all? From what we saw of their operation before Climategate, from what Climategate revealed about them, and from how they whitewashed themselves afterward through inquiries that actually turned out to be complete shams–can anybody really say they’re SURPRISED?

    I’m not surprised, not one little bit! Those guys were nefarious climsci scoundrels before, during, and now after their involuntary “outting”. Funny how villains, crooks and thieves never see themselves as problem people. Funny how they revert back to their same old modus operandi (or was there even the slightest reformation from whence they reverted?) Funny, but not at all surprising.

    These guys were unrepentant before, during, and now after Climategate. Their actions shred the term “scientist” and their status quo remains.

  69. Ed Scott says:

    I would believe this “editorial” with a date-line of 1 April 2011, but, that not being the case, it seems, rather, to be an ad for an opening for editorial writer at the Aurora Sentinel.

    From the UofEA, Aurora Colorado Unit:
    ————————————————————–

    Colorado rivers running with evidence of global warming

    http://www.aurorasentinel.com/email_push/opinion/article_455ddb0c-6fba-11e0-9a27-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=print

    Monday, April 25, 2011 10:03 pm
    EDITORIAL: Colorado rivers running with evidence of global warming THE VOICE OF AURORA, The Aurora Sentinel Aurora Sentinel

    Talk about old news. The Interior Department this week determined that global warming will reduce stream flows in wester river basins, reducing the water available to an already thirsty U.S. Southwest.

    For years scientists have been issuing warnings like these, and for that same amount of time, the past administration and past congresses have not only ignored those warnings but enthusiastically worked to discredit them.

    As the EPA has worked to take control of a country that refuses to believe what is impossible to deny, illogical and misguided deniers have worked hard to become their own undoing.

    We are now at the crossroads of disaster. And even at this point, with heatwaves that kill thousands and with the arctic ices melting before our very eyes, former-Vice President Dick Cheney and his ilk scoff at reality and push for exploiting energies that threaten our very existence. Few things in American history parallel such a degree of greed and irresponsibility. Perhaps nothing will.

    The newest evidence points out that the planet’s warmer temperatures will reduce stream flows from Colorado and other water-producing states by between 8 percent and 14 percent in a matter of decades, according to the Interior Department report. It’s not the first to predict this kind of trouble, and it probably won’t be the last.

    Despite what history has already shown to be America’s embarrassing past on this issue, it’s encouraging that the government is now free to tell the world what it’s long known: global warming could kill millions, and the United States must act strongly to combat it.

    While it’s painful to imagine how different things would be had this federal epiphany taken place 15 or 20 years ago, America must immediately imagine our lives without fossil fuels. It means huge change for American oil and coal companies — but it doesn’t mean their demise.

    On the contrary, these very companies have the capital needed to develop and implement new energies, or at the very least to develop ways to use fossil fuels like coal without producing greenhouse gasses. Rather than see this as nothing more than an inconvenience and disruption to Big Oil profits, we can embrace this as an answer to our economic woes. We can end our debilitating dependence on foreign oil, not by drilling Alaska and our costal areas into oblivion, but by ending the need for foreign oil for good. The United States stands to become an exporter in energy technology instead of the reverse.

    Global-warming scoffers must move out of the way. Congress has no more excuses to wait to act with meaningful legislation, and constituents should do all they can to demand federal lawmakers start now.

  70. David says:

    Worth mentioning that as well as worrying about their ‘research funding’, the UEA has confirmed that they intend to charge the maximum £9000/year student fees.
    Which goes to confirm that they really do think they are among the ‘elite’…

  71. Rick says:

    So if you’re a student at UEA and are suspected of cheating and don’t want to co-operate with the investigation, all you have to do is say that doing so could potentially hurt you financially, and you’re off the hook, right?

  72. Latimer Alder says:

    @David

    ‘Worth mentioning that as well as worrying about their ‘research funding’, the UEA has confirmed that they intend to charge the maximum £9000/year student fees’

    I can put my house on the market with an asking price three times over what the market will pay. Its whether anybody takes up the offer that counts. 27 Grand for three years just outside Norwich among the ugliest public architetcure of the last 100 years doesn’t sound liek much of a bargain to me.

    Not even the chance of going to drinkies with Ed Acton and Trev Davies once a year would persuade me. Nor the opportunity to occasionally see PhilBoy scurrying into his data strewn office…….

  73. ggm says:

    Please, can some politician please stand up, and promise criminal charges against all those involved unless they hand the data over immediately.

  74. MattN says:

    Setec Astronomy? I prefer “Necessary Motto” and “Comatose Sentry.” http://wordsmith.org/anagram/

    Too many secrets…

    Great movie, BTW.

  75. I loooove that Anagrammatizer.
    Cremates Snooty
    Steamer Tycoons
    Monetary Cosset
    Smarten Coyotes
    Amnesty Scooter
    Tearoom Encysts
    Steamy Coronets
    Moots Try Seance
    Moony Tesseract
    An Ecosystem Rot
    Yes Monster Coat
    Testy Morons’ Ace
    Menaces Try Soot
    Oysters Came Not

  76. BravoZulu says:

    “The University claimed that even identifying the sites would result in “financial harm” to the university though an adverse impact on their “ability to attract research funding”

    That statement alone is probably not enough to dry up all their “Big Oil” funds that build some of their buildings courtesy of Shell Oil but it should be enough so US tax payers quit funding them.

  77. Keith says:

    There are probably several ‘things’ going on at once here:

    1. The data, if made public, will prove an ‘over extension’ of significance in the conclusions as presented;
    2. I suspect the exact data set being requested could be proving hard to locate.

    The systematic FOI smoke screen being used against what are essentially valid requests for publicly funded information speak volumes about potentially how disorganized they could indeed be. Quite shameful really.

  78. jorgekafkazar says:

    jorgekafkazar said: “But knowing the specious mindset of dildoclimatologists, it’s likely that they consider picking series to be something different from picking trees.”

    Tilo Reber says: It is different in that it is picking groups of trees instead of individual trees. But since there are many series to choose from to create a proxy, the opportunity to cherry pick in order to get correlation still exists…

    Absolutely.

  79. Roy UK says:

    Surely a counter argument to “identifying the sites would result in “financial harm” to the university though an adverse impact on their “ability to attract research funding” ”
    would be “Providing the data requested, thereby proving what we have said all along, would ensure future funding by showing how significant and important our ongoing research is”.

    Or maybe they can see the end is in sight for their future funding if they do release the information. The Gravy Train is approaching the end of the line. It was always about the money.

  80. Mr Green Genes says:

    It’s not that they won’t reveal data, it’s that they can’t. There isn’t any. They made it all up. That’s why they’re so defensive – they live in mortal dread of being found out.

    As has already been pointed out, it’s the funding, stupid!

  81. P Wilson says:

    In summary:

    The science is settled.

    The science is a secret.

    No transparency=instant no trust, I’m afraid, Mr Jones, Wigley, et al.

  82. P Wilson says:

    it seems that these hacks at UEA are afraid have invented for themselves a lie of forfeiting giving some highly sensitive economic information away, that would cause their department to collapse in prestige or status.

    this is utter nonsense.

    The greater the transparency, the greater the real status, provided that the scientific technique is valid

  83. TonyG says:

    It just seems to me that the quickest way to shut up Steve & Anthony & other such critics would be to release the data. Of course, that assumes that the data actually SUPPORTS the claims they make.

    It is VERY difficult to accept their claims as valid, and to accept that the data supports it, when thy continue to refuse – it throws a lot of doubt on their certainty about the data and their conclusions.

  84. NikFromNYC says:

    The people to be taken to task are not the scoundrels themselves for whom revenge is a dish best served cold, piece by piece, but their enablers and apologists which include entire scientific bodies who still support runaway greenhouse theory based on X factor water vapor feedback as being a law of nature merely based on hand waving arguments.

    News Flash: Richard Feynman is dead.

    It’s obvious to anybody though where he would stand on this topic, no?

    These days he wouldn’t even get tenure.

  85. sceptical says:

    Seems that since there has been no prosecutions for failing to follow the law concerning FOIs that the law has been followed. There is no proof the law has not been followed.

  86. R. Craigen says:

    The University claimed that even identifying the sites would result in “financial harm” to the university though an adverse impact on their “ability to attract research funding”.

    HA! This is like an accused in a bank robber refusing to say where he was at the time of the robbery because he doesn’t want to do time in the slammer.

  87. TonyG says:

    sceptical says:
    Seems that since there has been no prosecutions for failing to follow the law concerning FOIs that the law has been followed. There is no proof the law has not been followed.

    Following that logic, the only crime Al Capone was ever guilty of was tax evasion (and possibly illegal possession of a weapon – although that case was dropped). After all, he was never arrested or prosecuted for anything else.

  88. Jimbo says:

    “Bollocks ! This point comes to mind: if you have nothing to hide, and the data provenance has “rigorous multivariate statistical tools are used and where reconstructions are carefully tested on independent data” then sharing it for replication shouldn’t be a problem at all. If this “science” can’t stand independent testing, then it isn’t science at all.”

    Need I say more?

    The reason they won’t shove is because it is no longer science but a religion.

  89. Jimbo says:

    Here are the AGW hallmarks of a religion according to the BBC!

  90. johanna says:

    crosspatch says:
    April 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    “rigorous multivariate statistical tools?”

    I believe that is an apt description of the entire “hockey team”.
    ——————————
    Thanks, crosspatch, best laugh of the week.

    Seriously, when a publicly funded university refuses to release data because it might affect their future funding, something is very wrong. Someone (I am at the other end of the world) should ask them to tease out that statement and explain exactly what it means.

  91. jtom says:

    Fred:

    First you must READ the FOI’s definition of the URALS composite:
    ““URALS” (which includes the Yamal and Polar Urals long chronologies, plus other shorter ones). ”

    I have tracked down that the Yamal series contributed to the reconstructions in Mann and Jones 2003, Jones and Mann 2004, Moberg et al 2005, D’Arrigo et al 2006, Osborn and Briffa 2006 and Hegerl et al 2007, among others.

    No, I don’t have the paper – I’m not about to spend money to prove you wrong – even though you are.

    Per my research, Osborn and Briffa 2006 DID use the Yamal data which the FOI is requesting.

Comments are closed.