The roadmap less traveled

Guest post by Chris Horner

Information continues to flow in the struggle to bail out the Hockey Team, piecing together the relevant “context” to ClimateGate. This pursuit is of critical importance to the Team, and “the cause”, given the solemn vow that this missing context would explain ClimateGate away as something other than “the worst scientific scandal of our generation“. Despite this, and the eagerness of certain among the team to claim “exoneration” where sadly none exists, the Team don’t seem to want to be helped.

To date we have been provided many hundreds of public records from numerous public bodies, if still not the entirety needed for the job at hand. But now we have a very helpful roadmap for going forward.

A few weeks back we received from the University of Arizona two indexes of emails, in response to a request for records citing Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Ammann and Wahl, GRL, Famiglietti, and Saiers. The indexes were produced by two gents whom the University asked — in a move more than slightly burdened by conflicts — to turn over what they thought ought to be turned over, and withhold what they thought the public shouldn’t see. Being more expert on the Open Records Act than the school’s OPRA officials, apparently.

That latter category amounts to around 1,700 emails, laid out as an accessible if incomplete roadmap of what was going on, when, helping fill in blanks: date, author, general description, and a generally ill-fitting, often risible basis for withholding. These details can be seen at the two links below:

Overpeck_Withheld_Records_Log_00011199 2  (PDF)

Malcolm_Hughes_Withheld_Records_Log_Dec_2011_Request_9-7-12_00011861 2 (PDF)

Questions abound for students of the scandal. One leaping from the pages is, who are the other correspondents whose identity might justify the claimed privilege, which does not otherwise apparently apply? Where a paper involved has the withholding faculty member as a co-author, it is identified; so, what are these other papers whose mention in an email makes the entirety privileged; were these gents authors? What does this tell us about the relevant process, and possibly beg about “pal review”?

Also, catch the date on emails withheld as being “correspondence to Phil Jones and others in the deliberative process of drafting IPCC 5th Assessment Report”, written before there was an AR5 deliberative process (for whatever that is worth: Arizona’s law recognizes no such exemption; also, IPCC acknowledges performing no scientific research). There are also some fun claims of privilege for, e.g., a workshop concepts paper, an AGU meeting abstract, and a “UCS summary”. That’s just the Overpeck index of withholdings; the Hughes index crafts dozens of categories or reasons why emails should be exempt (e.g., not merely “correspondence between authors”, and “between colleagues”, but “between collaborators”…).

A helpful roadmap for the interested, particularly now as our attentions are again drawn to the IPCC process. It’s hard to say which of these records are likely to be of most interest in providing the Team their missing context. Unless of course you are RC, who might have thoughts, at least on the correspondence with UEA…

38 thoughts on “The roadmap less traveled

  1. ‘between authors”, and “between colleagues”, but “between collaborators”…’
    Somebody owns a thesaurus and looked up synonyms for ‘co-conspirators.’ ;)

  2. Bring on the password Climategate the gift that keeps on giving.
    Hughes is quite honest, “collaborators” says it all in the context.
    Overpeck , preprint discussion are private? The papers concerned are now published, the machinations to prepare them were tax funded, so show your work.
    Thanks for posting this , looks like a big dig here sign and the irony of allowing these two to decide what belongs to the public record, very nice. Context indeed.

  3. My thanks to Chris Horner and the many others who participate in the filing of these freedom of information requests as it is quite plainly an often frustrating effort to pry truth from these so called scientists who are financially raping and destroying the reputation of once proud institutes of higher learning . It seems that so many of the attendees of these universities are just people looking for an easy free ride and the ones in charge and supposedly teaching the attendees how to work and think are actively demonstrating that the way to succeed is to just make up garbage and apply for grants . Just another sign of the times .

  4. I am reminded here of a pseudo “soap opera” which was featured periodically on the Carol Burnett Show, called: “As the Stomach Turns”.

    This continuing saga makes me want to “toss my cookies”. Is there no honor among climate scientists?

  5. @mpainter – Chris Horner has a distinctive writing style, reminds me of the late William F. Buckley. I’d respectfully suggest re-reading it with respect to the content there, especially after a quick zip through the file links he has. What is revealed is one more instance of our AGW promoter friends seeing a need hide things rather than dump it all out and say “Well, there’s everything we have, but you aren’t going to find a thing wrong with it.”

  6. Chris Horner is doing worthy work. His posting is not up to the level of his work. He makes a mistake commonly seen on blogs: he imagines that, because he understands perfectly what he means, others will as well. Clarity and cogency of expression is important when dealing with important issues. Thank you for your attention.

  7. “mpainter says:
    December 18, 2012 at 7:54 am
    this post is poorly written; it should be re-written and edited for clarity”
    And your version of clarity is????

  8. From the log:
    ”August 13, 2006 Christoph Kull christoph.kull@pages.unibe.ch Correspondence to Phil Jones, me and others in deliberative process of journal paper in preparation. Critical analysis for paper before it was published: Jones, P.D. et al. (2009). Highresolution paleoclimatology of the last millennium: a review of current status and future prospects. The Holocene 19, 3-49.

    From that paper on page 32 under Solar irradiance:

    Additionally, the changes in UV affect ozone production in both the stratosphere and troposphere, and this mechanism has been shown to affect both the total radiative forcing and dynamical responses (Haigh, 1996; Shindell et al., 2001, 2006). Within a chemistry–climate model this effect would potentially modify the radiative impact of the original solar forcing, but could also be included as an additional (parameterized) forcing in standard GCMs.

    LOL, perhaps if we had UV variation incorporated into the models in 1988 we might not have scared half the population with our doomsday scenarios!

  9. Authors of ‘withheld’ emails:

    Mann, Bradley, Hughes, Rutherford, Trenberth, Jones, Wigley, Overpeck, Osborn, Wahl, Ammann, Rahmstorf, Solomon, Briffa, Schmidt, Schneider, Oppenheimer…

    Hmm…it’s walking like a duck, and quacking like a duck…

  10. mpainter – the problem with the post. Is it the writing or the reader’s ability to comprehend? I had no problem understanding the post.

  11. “if we had UV variation incorporated into the models”

    Upon a little more thought, I’d rather say “solar spectral output” instead of just “UV”. It’s probably not just one thing.

    Anyway, I’d also like to make a request of RGB or anyone with the appropriate knowledge to write something on the quality of energy as apposed to just the quantity. What I’m getting at is a watt of IR is not the same as a watt of UV, for example, IR can’t split O2 but UV can and does. It seems to me that the 3.7 W/m2 increase in IR is thought of as being equivalent to the same increase in average solar radiation (i.e.: watch the video of the Scott Denning & Roy Spencer debate). I know this to be false but struggle with a good explanation, a good description of the implications, and a good sense of the scale of the divergence nor how to begin calculating it.

  12. I also agree with MPainter.

    Horner usually writes well, but I get the feeling that this post is written in some kind of code that I can’t translate. Or, perhaps he is being coy about what he actually wants to say.

  13. A.R.S. 15-1640 Public records exemptions; confidential information; historical records; donor records.

    excerpts:

    A. The following records of a university under the jurisdiction of the Arizona board of regents are exempt from title 39, chapter 1, article 2: ….

    (d) Composed of unpublished research data, manuscripts, preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research and prepublication peer reviews.

    I would love to see the withheld list in the context of what was provided list.

    I agree that this is not a great post.

  14. You can decide what it anything it’s worth, but I’m a freelance writer with a couple of Pushcart Prize nominations to my credit. I cite that as hopefully prima facie evidence that I’m a reasonably literate man. I still find this post awkwardly written and difficult to understand.

  15. I agree with mpainter, here, but i’m a bit of a stickler for complete sentences.
    A sentence really must have a subject and predicate,

    “Being more expert on the Open Records Act than the school’s OPRA officials, apparently.”
    “A helpful roadmap for the interested, particularly now as our attentions are again drawn to the IPCC process. ”
    “Unless of course you are RC, who might have thoughts, at least on the correspondence with UEA…”

    I can tell that TomO has no problem with incomplete sentences.
    “mpainter – the problem with the post.”

    Pity the unemployed proof-readers!

  16. Chris Horner is a tireless warrior fighting the money grubbing watermelons.
    Merry Christmas and a happy New year to all the great contributors and especially to the captain of this wonderful Ship/blog Anthony Watts.

  17. Louis Hooffstetter: “Mann, Bradley, Hughes, Rutherford, Trenberth, Jones, Wigley, Overpeck, Osborn, Wahl, Ammann, Rahmstorf, Solomon, Briffa, Schmidt, Schneider, Oppenheimer…” These names are well suited as a partial list of defendants in a future RICO suit.

  18. mpainter says:
    December 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

    this post is poorly written; it should be re-written and edited for clarity
    _______________________________________
    He is an attorney.

  19. I also agree with mpainter. And I don’t believe the whole issue is the writer’s “style”. For example see the difference in the clarity of his book Red Hot Lies versus the inscrutable Power Grab. I think maybe Chris is starting to do too much and the quality of his writing suffers.

  20. mpainter says:
    December 18, 2012 at 7:54 am

    this post is poorly written; it should be re-written and edited for clarity
    _______________________________________
    He is an attorney.

    ____________

    Well, that explains it.

  21. So long as “Those E-mails” are requested for IPCC purposes and utilized En-mass or in part for the purposes of producing subsequent reports, will they remain in a constant state of FOI protection?

  22. It’s clear he is being careful what and how he says things in case he is misconstrued.He wants us to think for ourselves and join the dots.

  23. I think this is an implicit invitation to crowdsource the cross-correlation task with the CG1 and CG2 mail troves. If you don’t get it, maybe you aren’t the target.
    JMHO.
    AC

  24. mpainter says:
    December 18, 2012 at 7:54 am
    this post is poorly written; it should be re-written and edited for clarity

    I frequently edit the work of others for clarity and correct use of language. I see only a couple of minor stylistic points I’d suggest changing. Otherwise clarity is excellent, although it assumes knowledge by the reader.

  25. Well, sure, one has to have read about certain subjects a bit over the past ten years to understand this post. Those that haven’t done the reading ought to do so. Then, among other things, all of the things below will be clear to you and you could flesh out another dozen pages explaining this subject. Herewith, a few things for which explanatory notes are required:

    Hockey Team: What is the meaning of this phrase, and then,
    Why does a hockey team need to be bailed out?
    ClimateGate: Where did this term originate? When? How does this relate to “the cause” – and what “cause” is being referenced?
    What is context and why is it missing?
    Exonerations (in quotes) means what?
    And can someone claim something that doesn’t exist?
    Is OPRA in the school’s music department; if not where?
    Who or what is in this list:
    Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Ammann and Wahl, GRL, Famiglietti, and Saiers

    Should Overpeck and Malcom Hughes be in the above list or do they substantially differ from the members of that group?

    What does “pal review” mean?
    IPCC – is that part of the University of Arizona or some other entity?
    Is there a “deliberative process” in any common sense meaning of these words? Who does the deliberating, where, and who asked them to?

    RC: If you are RC, is it possible for you to have thoughts?

    UEA: ‘Correspondence’, the word, can have one of several meanings. Which fits as regards RC & UEA?

  26. Explaining references and argot is a tricky business. Too much and the reader is swamped with repetitious background information. Not enough and the writing becomes “inside baseball”. Any regular reader of this site will catch all his vocabulary; a naive reader, not so much.

  27. Hopefully there are newbies and naivete’s continually joining the skeptic band wagon. The ‘right’ amount of information to keep them aboard without boring the oldtimers is an art.

  28. I agree with mpainter. This is a very important avenue of investigation that Mr. Horner is working on and it only lessens the impact that it is so poorly written. There are numerous incomplete sentences, run on sentences as well as periods and commas placed almost at random. This really needed a good scrubbing before being published.

    This isn’t an attack on the information that Mr. Horner is diligently providing, nor an attack on Mr. Horner personally. Every professional writer has an editor. This post simply needed a second set of eyes.

  29. “synonyms for ‘co-conspirators’.”

    “Conspirators” does the job. The “co” prefix to the existing “con” prefix is (to be redundant myself) extraneous and erroneous.

  30. John

    I want to reprint your part of your post here and bring it to the attention of our Leif Svalgaard.

    From the log:
    ”August 13, 2006 Christoph Kull christoph.kull@pages.unibe.ch Correspondence to Phil Jones, me and others in deliberative process of journal paper in preparation. Critical analysis for paper before it was published: Jones, P.D. et al. (2009). Highresolution paleoclimatology of the last millennium: a review of current status and future prospects. The Holocene 19, 3-49.

    From that paper on page 32 under Solar irradiance:

    Additionally, the changes in UV affect ozone production in both the stratosphere and troposphere, and this mechanism has been shown to affect both the total radiative forcing and dynamical responses (Haigh, 1996; Shindell et al., 2001, 2006). Within a chemistry–climate model this effect would potentially modify the radiative impact of the original solar forcing, but could also be included as an additional (parameterized) forcing in standard GCMs.

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