Resemblances: Climategate and Penn State

Jim Tynen writes is his column at The Daily Herald

Consider the resemblences between the Climategate and  Penn State scandals.

Climategate emails — leaked, not “stolen” — reveal the key players as egocentric, ruthless game players. As per this report. And this comment.

Note how often they admit they are cooking the data. “As one e-mail states: ‘The figure you sent is very deceptive . . . there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change].’”

So they’re aware, but they plug on. It reminds me of the Penn State scandals. A grad student, later a coach, sees a coach molesting a boy in the shower. There are plenty of other complaints, even investigations. But nothing happens. They do not act; many seem oblivious to the problem.

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40 Responses to Resemblances: Climategate and Penn State

  1. Interstellar Bill says:

    While eschewing obvious, crude analogies
    we’ll be content to know that NEVER
    will this connection be made on TV news.

    You see, there’s this invisible shield separating
    the climate computers and the shower building.

    That’s because their being on the same campus
    is a total coincidence, you see, merely a random juxtaposition
    of completely unrelated matters.

    You know they’re unrelated because they NEVER
    come up in the same story.

    The measures taken by germ-warfare labs
    to isolate deadly plagues
    are nothing compared to the titanic effort
    made to keep these two stories separated forever.

  2. scm15010 says:

    Here is an email I tweeted to my Virginia legislators and some news anchors on the same point after Penn State broke and included one of your posts….
    PLZ READ Why I want Mike Mann’s Emails | Watts Up With That? http://bit.ly/sZR2Jp
    I have heard pundits squeal that the Penn State fiasco was an indictment on football programs at the big universities. Michael Mann, and UVA’s refusal to release emails related to his “research” is a perfect example of the very same attitude, and lack of accountability. These schools protect their money makers, whether its football, science, or whatever brings prestige, helping attract students, donations and grants. The unethical behavior of those representing these institutions be damned… by politicians, university administration, the trustees, if it hurts the schools status! The “Climategate” release of Mann’s emails was evidence enough that he acted improperly. Its time for these cloistered schools and their protected class of professors to live in the same world, and by the same rules the rest of us do!

  3. Jeff Wiita says:

    I wonder if there is any chance that Penn State might reopen their investigation on Michael Mann. Probably not. Penn State does not have the morals or ethics to do so.

  4. crosspatch says:

    Ok, so we have figured out the cash trail for UEA. CRU generates the research and the input to IPCC that results in UNFCCC ouput that DEFRA takes up and contracts to Tyndall to implement completing the cash cycle. What about Penn State? Do they have any cash cow along the lines of Tyndall Centre? Does Mann’s work directly result in implementation income to a “center” at that institution?

  5. To see the analogy between these two scandals, one doesn’t need to leave the Penn State campus.

    Mainstream media (including Fox News) frequently pays attention to the alleged molestation of minors by a football coach at Penn State University (they practically buried him before a trial, which is in itself a worrisome social phenomenon) but almost never mentions another well-known and well-researched Penn State scandal, that of professor Michael Mann, his hockey-stick producing and decline-hiding tricks, his wriggling out of impartial scrutiny, his and his friends’ obvious, in-your-face abuse of the peer-review process.

    The latter scandal is much more consequential: professor Mann and his “team” are causing irreversible financial damage to the whole world, at the same time undermining a public trust in science — with total impunity. Overwhelming majority of the population (69% in the US?) sees them through but media outlets and most of politicians are in cahoots with them: there’s too much money and power in this “save the planet” thing.

    On one hand, we have a relatively mundane crime here, the memory of which will evaporate next year; on the other, we have a scam of historic proportions, which may open the way to the new Dark Ages. If we want the truth to prevail, we absolutely must claim the higher moral ground in this battle. And that means no favoritism, playing by the rules, never abusing any prerogatives, and keeping our heads while all around us are losing theirs and blaming it on us.

    [snip. Without any context or examples whatever, gratuitously attacking Willis is uncalled for. He neither wrote this article nor commented on it. ~dbs, mod.]

  6. Julian Willaims in Wales says:

    There was a program on the radio this morning where they were interviewing a reformed credit card fraudster. His job included telling lies to get credit card information out of people. He said he was able to tell lies by putting himself in a mental state of believing his lies, and this was the key to being a successful. He also believed his fraud did not really hurt people because they reclaimed the money from the card companies, but when he realised the anguish his work caused he felt very guilty. He came to hate himself and eventually wrote a book and reformed himself. He now works with the banks stopping fraud.

    It makes one wonder about the state of Phil Jones and M Mann’s minds. And those around them. And how they are coping with this rather compelling evidence that they are fixing the truth to fit their message which is becoming less believable by the day, and their work is often hurting the needy.

    Maybe they have no feelings of guilt, maybe the dishonesty can be mentally explained and brushed aside. How about those forced to constantly defend the indefensible, such as Phil Jones lies to Willis, like Gavin on Real Climate. It must be taking a toll on their self esteem too.

    In away you are left with a choice, either brutalise yourself or come clean.

  7. keithkloor: This conflation is repulsive. Anthony Watts has no shame. RT @wattsupwiththat Resemblances: Climategate and Penn State wp.me/p7y4l-dzn

    Keith Kloor twatted this message. Funny how he failed to realize that the ‘conflation’ is not a conflation. Funny how the alleged crime at Penn State is repulsive, but one should not dwell much on the failure of Penn State to investigate said crime. Funny how Kloor failed to realize that the story was by Jim Tynen who is a journalist, just like Kloor, and a former “liberal” just like Kloor.

  8. Alan the Brit says:

    It amazes me that one university can afford to have two climate research divisions on the same campus – taxpayers ought to demand that one or the other close, pronto! Wheels within wheels & all that.

  9. Bloke down the pub says:

    The similarities to Papal infallibility are obvious.

  10. Alvin says:

    Lil green footballs is in full attack mode.

  11. Mike Mangan says:

    Funny thing about that “deceptive” email, the figure in question is Gavin Schmidt’s! LOL!

    http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2011/11/apology-to-michael-mann.html

  12. Buffy Minton says:

    Apologies for O/T

    I don’t know if this is a useful tool for anyone:
    I’ve extracted date/time, to, from, cc and subject from the email headers of FOIA2009 & FOIA2011 and made a spreadsheet.
    It’s especially useful if you want chronological ordering of the emails. The times are all corrected to GMT so the chronological order should be correct. There are about 15 files which didn’t parse correctly due to having massive CC lists or, in the case of Greenpeace, their server had dated their mail as been sent in the year 2094 (surely the Earth will have reached a tipping point by then).
    I wrote the program to do this in MS C#…..but I’m about as capable as Phil Jones with Excell (though I actually used Open Office), so feel free to improve on my efforts…

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ZXM4O4EQ

  13. UK Sceptic says:

    Why aren’t these so called scientists being investigated for fraud? And should we also be investigating the politicians who pushed for this scam and are still pushing for it?

  14. dfbaskwill says:

    “Penn State does not have the morals or ethics to do so.”

    As a PSU Science graduate and 3-time letterman in XC and Track, I suggest that flippant statements like that are quite immature. People have morals and ethics, not institutions. When those in charge without ethics and morals are removed, problems get solved by those that remain that have morals and ethics. My experiences at PSU, both in the classroom and on the track, greatly added to my ethics and morals. Don’t you dare impugn me with the same brush as a monster like Jerry Sandusky.

    But you are right about the Mann thing, it won’t be reopened.

  15. If you google Attorney General of Pennsylvania they provide all the ways you can contact them including sending an e-mail. I am sure some thoughtful e-mails asking for a thorough and independent investigation of Professor Mann considering the revelations that he was trying to find ways to discredit McIntyre would get their attention.

  16. Tucci78 says:

    At 1232 AM on 29 November, scm15010 writes:

    I have heard pundits squeal that the Penn State fiasco was an indictment on football programs at the big universities.

    Which implies, I expect, that sodomitic “horseplay” between adult men and prepubescent boys goes on in the facilities of NCAA Division I programs all across the fruited plain as a natural (well, maybe not natural, strictly speaking…) part of the “jock culture,” and we should all just back off and get on with the game.

    Y’know. “No harm, no foul,” and “It ain’t cheatin’ if the whistle don’t get blown,” and “All of us can’t have cheerleaders, but isn’t the towel boy kinda cute?”

  17. PhilJourdan says:

    I guess that is why the crack about Penn State and the State Pen is so funny. There is truth to it.

  18. polistra says:

    As I said before, you’re missing the important difference. PSU finally came clean about the bad sex, and fired the perps, because bad sex makes alumni contributions dry up. PSU will never come clean about the bad science, because grantors pay ONLY for bad science.

    Bad sex is unprofitable, bad science is highly profitable.

    Always the money.

  19. TomB says:

    If you want Penn State to really look into these things and take a true, hard, introspective look at their behavior – the person this should be communicated to is Louis Freeh. I do link the Sandusky scandal and the Michael Mann whitewash because it demonstrates that the CYA reaction is endemic to the institution. If Penn State really wants to revive their reputation, it is their response to unfavorable news that must be examined, addressed, and changed.

  20. dp says:

    I hope this discussion focuses on the policies that permit these two offenses to co-exist and less so on the details of the specific offenses. It is starting to look like a freak show and that is going to undermine credibility. This thread should be frozen now and restarted by including the equivalent of Dr. Curry’s frequent thread starter admonitions that this is a serious topic with serious legal implications and school boy titillation and unsupportable linkages of the two offenses will be summarily deleted.

    I would hate to see all your hard work here stuffed by critics as being the “Faux News of Climate Blogs”.

  21. TimH says:

    Perhaps the Sandusky case will help reverse PSU’s exemption from state open record laws… this would seem an opportunity for transparency in the case of Mann’s research conducted there.

  22. Spector says:

    Perhaps these universities should require that applicants pass a Bladerunner ‘Voight-Kampff’ style, emotional sensitivity test for those positions that might attract persons with defective social tendencies due to the opportunity for frequent contact with students in partially-clothed and potentially compromising situations.

  23. Unrelated comments–I don’t know about all of Division 1, but a local football team was apparently very fond of hiring convicted felons a few years back.

    Has any body besides me wondered where the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. is?

  24. [REPLY: Alexander, your complaints are OT for this thread and a public exchange would be distracting and counter-productive. You can contact Anthony directly using the contact tab on the About page in the bar at the top of the page beneath the logo. -REP]

  25. Alan Watt says:

    Not to be construed as offering legal advice, but the Climategate 2 emails will probably bolster Dr. Tim Ball’s defense of the lawsuit filed by Michael Mann (which now in context seems just another extension of his standard bullying tactics).

    Perhaps someone conversant with Canadian libel law could comment: is someone guilty of libel for making statements which turn out to be true if the defendant did not possess evidence of their truth at the time? If libel can be defended based on information developed *after* the fact, then I would think Dr. Ball would have basis for discovery of *all* of Mann’s emails or other communications which establish a pattern of unethical behaviour [I'm not British, but when I post to this blog, the spell-checker insists on British spelling], incomplete or misleading representations to funding agencies, congressional committees, etc.

    If Dr. Mann can be served with a subpoena during discovery, the Penn State could be similarly served. There would be no FOI-exemption dance possible here. They either certify under criminal penalties they the requested documents do not exist or they cough them up.

    Another interesting question for those with appropriate knowledge: If a suit is filed in Canadian courts by a U.S. Citizen, would Canadian discovery powers reach CRU in the UK? Is there some kind of reciprocity agreement between the two countries to cooperate on matters of discovery?

  26. papiertigre says:

    This is update worthy;

    http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/11/penn_states_open_records_exemp.html

    It’s not just a cultural thing at Penn State. Avoidance of records disclosure, like emails involving Michael Mann and their climate dept, is a feature of the school policy, voted on and enacted by the Pennsylvanian government.

    It’s a government supported coverup that is all encompassing. Set in place before Mann left Virginia.
    Probably the reason for his transfer to Penn State in the first place.

  27. It has always been the position of the elite in any society to place themselves above the laws and standards of that society. I think the old adages about power corrupting are more true then we may wish to think. No group, no class, no association, no profession is beyond it.

  28. Neo says:

    Pitt and Penn State have been exempted from the state open records laws. Their budgets, for example, are kept secret.

    Think about it: a huge university, getting millions from taxpayers, and its records are kept secret. So people in it become used to immunity to the normal scrutiny a high school principal or small-town mayor gets.

    This certainly explains why Mann moved to Penn State.

  29. petermue says:

    Alan Watt says:
    November 29, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Not to be construed as offering legal advice, but the Climategate 2 emails will probably bolster Dr. Tim Ball’s defense of the lawsuit filed by Michael Mann (which now in context seems just another extension of his standard bullying tactics). …

    Thanks Alan, that’s exactly what I mean.
    Even if the libel was after the (first) release of the Climategate files, they show a lot more about the intentions and strategies of “the Team” to muzzle uncomfortable people.
    IE see the great efforts of “investigations” about Steve McIntyre.

    Dr. Ball commented the first Climategate files 2 years ago and he commented the libel case.
    Since then, it somehow became a little bit quiet around him.

    I hope, Dr. Ball has not surrendered yet and I would appreciate only a few personal words from him about a possibly turn for his charge, resp the new insights of Mr. Mann’s attitudes.

  30. nukemhill says:

    I noted the connection to my wife the day we started seeing the CG II emails. She’s been gradually changing her opinion about AGW over the years (CG I was a big eye-opener for her), and as soon as I started to describe the stark similarities in how Penn State has been dealing with both scandals, she got it. She’s pretty disgusted, to say the least.

  31. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Well, Thank God, at the University of Illinois, we’re only inept!

  32. scm15010 says:

    Tucci78 says “Which implies, I expect, that sodomitic “horseplay” between adult men and prepubescent boys goes on in the facilities of NCAA Division I programs all across the fruited plain as a natural (well, maybe not natural, strictly speaking…) part of the “jock culture,” and we should all just back off and get on with the game.”
    Excuse me? Not even close. It IMPLIES that our universities have become essentially a joke and very expensive ones at that, across the board They are in their own little world and the rules that the rest of us live by, they are exempted from, shielded by their tenure. The media and politicians have made that possible ignoring their crimes until they get caught. Obviously the billions spend on climate grants, laws changed, damage to our economy and rights in the name of global warming due to these “climate scientists” and Al Gores fantastic fantasy, are not severe enough for that accountability thing to kick in.

  33. Tucci78 says:

    At 10:46 PM on 29 November, scm15010 had responded to sarcastic post of 5:51 AM on 29 November with:

    It IMPLIES that our universities have become essentially a joke and very expensive ones at that, across the board They are in their own little world and the rules that the rest of us live by, they are exempted from, shielded by their tenure.

    Which in turn implies that scm15010 couldn’t figure out the difference between a snerk and a sincerity if one were to put a [sarc] tag into the text in big, bold print.

    Not that I’m going to argue with the observation that American undergraduate and graduate schools (with the exception of outfits like Hillsdale College) have become for the greatest part not only ruinously, wastefully expensive but also objectively injurious – not just ineffective but pathogenic – in their effects on young minds.

    Speaking of Hillsdale College – of which I am not an alumnus, but which I know about because of their publication of Imprimis, a monthly newsletter and broadsheet I’ve been reading now for about thirty years in spite of its social conservatism (which I’m not) and persistent cozening up to the Republicans (not only “no,” but “Hell, no!”) – I’d been informed by a specialist to whom I’ve referred patients that his daughter was of age to attend college, and she couldn’t find a school that didn’t disgust her.

    I made some non-specific suggestions – find a small school so she won’t get “lost” in a student body the size of a reinforced mechanized corps, check out the bibliographies of the professors in the departments important to her desired major field of study (just the titles can tell you something useful about ‘em), and for ghod’s sake encourage her to acquire marketable skills by looking at the online jobs listings like Monster.com or even get in touch with headhunters working in the field(s) closest to where she thinks she might want to carve out a career for herself.

    At our next couple of meetings – CME activities, “corridor consults,” the usual kind of Brownian motion encounters – he mentioned his daughter’s on-again, off-again interest in this mega-university and that Enormous State Meatgrinder, until finally he told me that she’d settled on a little place in Michigan I’d probably never heard of.

    “Hillsdale College,” he said, a bit sheepishly. “I know it’s not famous or anything, but it’s supposed to be a good little school, and they’ve got the courses she wants.”

    Yeesh. He tells me she’s doing pretty well there two (or is it three?) years on, but I don’t think either the kid or her dad have been paying any attention to the football program (Division II, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, finished 8-2 this season to win the conference).

    No indications of shenanigans in the showers with glabrous trebles as yet, but give ‘em time….

    Er, should I do a “[/sarc]” here to make it smack-in-the-schnozzola obvious?

  34. scm15010 says:

    Scm15010 PLEADS GUILTY to not recognizing sarc…. jeez!

  35. Division I Universities ARE a joke–farm clubs for the NFL and NBA.

    At a local NBA farm club, “Athletics” is an “Administration” (not “Academic”) department, with Buildings and Grounds.

  36. Tucci78 says:

    At 8:40 AM on 29 November, Larry Sheldon had observed:

    Unrelated comments–I don’t know about all of Division 1, but a local football team was apparently very fond of hiring convicted felons a few years back.

    Might could be they got an “affirmative action” credit or some such. Besides, wouldn’t “convicted felons” tend (all other things being equal) not only to work for a lesser compensation package and bring a bit of “real world” practical experience to the education of our young college men and women?

    Mr. Sheldon then asks:

    Has anybody besides me wondered where the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. is?

    Why, it’s in University Park, Pennsylvania, in Centre County, along with most of the rest of the Penn State facilities. Smack in the middle of Hostigos.

    Dunno what it’s like this time of year, but I was out in the town of State College, on the main PSU campus, for a conference on the writings of H. Beam Piper one summer about twenty-something years ago. Nice, picturesque, relatively small “flyover country” college town it was, back then.

    But, of course, that was before they let Michael E. Mann and his co-conspirators set up in town.

  37. Neo says:

    State Rep. Eugene DePasquale, D-York County, says withholding those records is wrong, especially as Penn State scrambles to rebuild trust. He plans on Monday to introduce legislation with 31 co-sponsors to extend the Right-to-Know Law to Penn State and three other state-related universities — the University of Pittsburgh, Temple and Lincoln — that are largely exempt from it.

    It’s easy to see why Mann moved to Penn State.

  38. David Hemmann says:

    One question here for the uninitiated. Comments from warmists state on other sites have stated that FOIA has published only partial Emails contents to help color the context of team’s meaning. Was Climate-gate 2 an unedited dump or are some Emails “edited” for effect?

  39. Brian H says:

    Alan Watt;
    I think the spellcheck is a function of your browser. The site itself doesn’t do any, AFAIK. In FF, Tools>Content>Languages. If you use the “Add” function, you get about 20 varieties of English to choose from, and then prioritize.

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