Guest post by James Padgett
There have been several “defenses” to the rather damning emails in the latest release from FOIA. Some, having taken the lead from the CRU itself and cherry-picked their own emails to defend – and then not only declaring they’ve refuted the accusations, but that the accusations themselves were cherry-picked and out-of-context.
But that isn’t the case when it comes to this piece by Steve Zwick on Forbes.com.
Zwick decided to pick emails from an article written by James Taylor, senior fellow for environmental policy at the Heartland Institute, and then bestow his immense wisdom on us with their correct interpretation and context.
As can be expected, hilarity ensues.
“I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process.”
Zwick’s defense, while three-pronged, utterly manages to miss the mark. First he claims that the FOIA laws don’t apply to “private emails” and “early drafts of research papers” Obviously, these are not private emails – they are emails written by publicly-funded researchers, about their work, and during their working hours – nor are they discussing early drafts of research papers. They discuss McIntyre’s desire for their station data and the IPCC reports which are not research papers.
Of course, if this were really a valid defense, then Jones wouldn’t constantly be trying to sneak around such laws. For example, Jones loudly complains that he’d been deleting emails all day in response to an FOI request that didn’t come with a fee. Of course, his friend Tim Osborn, realizing that Jones had incriminated himself, and that the emails would be stored for years in their system, gives him a *wink wink* and *nudge nudge* and suggests that what Phil really meant was that the FOI request merely spurred him into doing a regular cleanup of his email. He further suggest that they use other methods of communication that can’t be traced.
How is that for context Mr. Zwick?
Second, Zwick claims, and put down your drinks, that FOI requests aren’t necessary since the IPCC has “established rules of transparency.”
Oddly enough, the UN’s review of the IPCC itself does not agree with Zwick and stated that they need more transparency.
For the finale in his trifecta of failure, Zwick claims that they must distinguish between “legitimate” requests for information and those by “right-wing activists.” So who will be deciding which requests are legitimate? Are they legitimate if they discover major flaws in the record-keeping (and therefore the ability to reproduce) of one of the major surface station datasets?
Or, more likely, will they be deemed legitimate only if they promote the religion of man-made global warming?
Basically, Zwick believes that FOI laws should not apply to taxpayer-funded scientists. Perhaps he should heed Eisenhower’s words in his farewell address to the nation, that, “we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
For his next trick, Zwick expertly dissects this segment:
“Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (US Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.”
Once again referring to Phil Jones, he explains that “hidden,” just like “trick” and “hide the decline,” don’t mean what they would mean in normal English. I won’t bore you with the Clintonian details. He further claims that they don’t want to release the data because, “You end up with some data that you trust and some that you don’t, so you build your analysis on the data that you do trust and “hide” the rest of it in an appendix.”
Let me break this down for you Mr. Zwick – he directly refers to the original station data. That is to say, the data before it is massaged, adjusted and manipulated decades after the records were written down in dusty tomes. We want to see how they adjust it, what methods they use to alter the actual data, and what their justification is.
If you can’t trust the original data, like you seem to suggest, then why should we trust the numbers that are derived from this untrustworthy source? Garbage in, garbage out.
Next, Zwick, desperately seeking the narrative that these emails are simply taken out of context latches on to this email, which talks about how they need to figure out the “main message” to decide what to leave in and leave out of a summary. In fact, I actually agree that part is probably taken out-of-context, but he, and his source, can’t help themselves but call attention to another segment of the email which I interpret very differently:
“For the IPCC, we need to know what is relevant and useful for assessing recent and future climate change. Moreover, we have to have solid data – not inconclusive information.”
He thinks this is a splendiferous defense and shows that they just want to use “solid data.” I read it differently. It sounds to me, and I believe this has been demonstrated by reality, that the IPCC doesn’t like to include uncertainties in their report – especially certain uncertainties.
Tackling “the cause” of Michael Mann, Zwick claims that it is “just one sentence” and that he doesn’t know what “the cause” is – and that it is irrelevant.
Let me enlighten you again Mr. Zwick, it was not merely one sentence, it was part of a pattern that you can see here, here, and, of course, here. There are, of course, other examples of such language from different climate scientists.
And since you don’t know what “the cause” is then allow me to illuminate you. The “cause” is why they try to get people fired for disputing their work, the “cause” is why they try to discredit journals that publish info they disagree with, and the “cause” is why they do everything they can to control the message of man-made global warming.
In short, the cause isn’t a cause at all – it is a symptom. A symptom of an unscientific and juvenile mindset.
After demonstrating his keen analytical mind, Zwick decides he can play with the big dogs and tackles this infamous statement by Michael Mann:
“I have been talking w/ folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre, and his thusfar unexplored connections with fossil fuel interests.Perhaps the same needs to be done w/ this Keenan guy.”
Of course, he only posted the first sentence, as the rest shows both Mann’s paranoia about Big Oil and his interest in sending a compliant journo-thug after another one of his perceived opponents. In any case, what is Mr. Zwick’s fine excuse for this behavior?
Get this – he is simply fighting back due to the “hacked emails.”
Hello? McFly? That email was written back in 2007 – over 2 years before the first Climategate. Was Michael Mann utilizing his prodigious powers of precognition (his computer-generated powers of retrocognition could use some tuning) to predict that some of his emails would be leaked onto the internet in the future?
Taking this new information into account, and assuming these emails are actually hacked, an argument you make numerous overt and covert references to without any evidence, that would mean that it was the skeptics who were “fighting back” if they hacked to get the CRU emails – fighting back against worthless thugs who’d stoop to digging up muckrakers to discredit people who have discredited you.
Okay, I’m done with you. I’ve dissected nearly three full pages of your propaganda and found it to be utterly lacking.
For a side that is so desperate for context, you are awfully intent on ignoring the context that doesn’t fit your narrative – namely the context behind their quests to fire editors, deny publication, and hide the problems with their data and conclusions. In the style of the artist formerly known as, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, their context can be simply be described as: