Monbiot issues an unprecedented apology – calls for Jones resignation

From Andrew Bolt, my “mate” down under at the Herald Sun, comes this surprise. I’ll have to say, it is to George Monbiot’s credit to do this. I embrace his first statement, because it succinctly sums up the situation:

http://localfoods.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/georgemonbiot.jpg

It’s no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging(1). I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.

– George Monbiot on his personal blog

George seems to realize that, “it’s worse than we thought”.

From Andrew Bolt:

Even George Monbiot, one of the fiercest media propagandists of the warming faith, admits he should have been more sceptical and says the science now needs to be rechecked:

It’s no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.

Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.

Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed.

Sure, Monbiot claims the fudging of what he extremely optimistically puts as just “three or four” scientists doesn’t knock over the whole global warming edifice, yet…

If even Monbiot, an extremist, can say that much, why cannot the Liberals say far more? And will now the legion of warmist journalists in our own media dare say as Monbiot has so belatedly:

I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.

Scepticism is the essential disposition of our craft, yet too many journalists have abandoned it. Remember: the opposite of sceptical is gullible.

UPDATE: Here’s the screencap from Monbiot’s blog on the Guardian:

Click to see the original.


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mark in austin

this is amazing! where does it end? i hope that the clamor continues to grow….

j.pickens

Quote Monbiot:
“Yes, the messages were obtained illegally.”
If the person who copied this data had legitimate password access to the server with the data files, then his dissemination of the data may very well have violated CRU’s policies, but it would not have been “obtained illegally”.
And this Monbiot guy is supposed to be a journalist?

Douglas DC

He’s like oh, a Jonestown follower who drank the Kool-Aid and it didn’t work.When this
all falls there is going to a gold mine in psychoanalysis and counseling .This will be hard work but it can happen as I have said:E-mail,Forward,E-mail….

JP Miller

Here’s the note I left on George Monbiot’s blog. I think he needs support and encouragement…
George, thank you for your brave act of journalism, calling for Phil Jones’s resignation and apologising for not being a more demanding reporter.
However, the last part of your article seemed to say you would not change your mind on AGW until the heavens part and the Almighty Himself makes a pronouncement — or something to that effect. Let me suggest you carefully review the science.
AGW researchers have NOT accounted for cloud cover effects, for PDO/ENSO effects, for UHI effects (see the temp record manipulations and admissions), for GCR, for ozone interactions. There is a lot still unknown about how our climate works. And, now, the temperature record may be such that there is no “signal” of warming of any kind from any causes in the last 50 years if one properly handles the data pre-1960.
The AGW advocates’ case is weakly circumstantial. That CO2 causes warming through IR interaction with H2O is a phenomenon demonstrated in the lab but absolutely not demonstrated in the far more complex atmosphere. AGW research lacks some fundamental findings, most importantly the 10KM tropospheric tropical hot spot.
Most AGW findings seem reasonable only if one assumes that CO2 has an effect on temperatures AND if one assumes there is no other “reasonable” explanation. Well, there ARE other reasonable explanations. It’s just that those would not be “news” and people wouldn’t pay attention and politicians would not see an “issue” on which they can build visions of how they want society to operate.
George, take this opportunity to step back and re-examine what you believe you know and how you know it. This is very hard to do, I know. But, you now have the chance to help us find truth and not be easily comforted by an ideology (the “green” movement) that allows so many to feel they now have a way to atone for their sins since they no longer believe in the Almighty.
I wish you well in what now should be a serious phase of investigative journalism for you. How exciting!

David

Kudos to him for owning up. Good on you sir.

Perhaps George could find some of these non-mainstream papers Phil Jones refers to in 1168356704.txt “That darned diagram”
> This is all getting quite complex. It clearly isn’t something that
> should be discussed online on RC – at least till we know all
> the detail and have got the history right as best we can. A lot
> of this history is likely best left buried, but I hope to summarise
> enough to avoid all the skeptics wanting copies of these
> non-mainstream papers. Finding them in CRU may be difficult!
Dog ate the homework…again?

Dieter

“I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.”
This takes the cake!
George forgets that he wasted that investigative time on pumping up the fear volume and helping to bring into question anyone who dared to be skeptical.
Yes George, as a journalist, you should have been skeptical. You should have started that way.

R Shearer

Monbiot apologizes for the actions of a few rouge scientists. Does he really think that is all? What would Hansen’s email’s reveal?

Larry M

Better read the rest of that Monbiot blog. Doesn’t sound like an apology to me.

Cromagnum

The begining of the antidote? or another spin?
Is there more info that links to more than 3 or 4 dirty hands? If what was released was a sample, then i think so ,,,,, you guys have rammed a hole into Great Ship Global Warming. The cold water is entering, and the rats are scampering. The coverup is worse than the crime.
Is this Monbiot the Scribe of the CRUtape….. like Toadpipe was in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Screwtape_Letters
Will Monbiot like to add more sunshine disinfectant to this expose, or just wash his hands and not harm his friends?

David Alan

This story from Monbiot is so bizzarre, that it must be read now….. by everyone!
http://monbiot.com/archives/2009/11/23/the-knights-carbonic/
“Luckily for the sceptics, and to my intense disappointment, I have now been passed the damning email which confirms that the entire science of global warming is indeed a scam. Had I known that it was this easy to rig the evidence, I wouldn’t have wasted years of my life promoting a bogus discipline. In the interests of open discourse, I feel obliged to reproduce it here..”
[…]Gentlemen, the culmination of our great plan approaches fast. What the Master called “the ordering of men’s affairs by a transcendent world state, ordained by God and answerable to no man”, which we now know as Communist World Government, advances towards its climax at Copenhagen. For 185 years since the Master, known to the laity as Joseph Fourier, launched his scheme for world domination, the entire physical science community has been working towards this moment.[…]
I don’t know what this means. Has Monbiot been duped? Is this e-mail Monbiot produces genuine. I am utterly shocked.
Shocked and speechless.

chainpin

George if you’re reading this, we got your back.
And JP, that is an excellent comment.

steven

To admit you have made a mistake is not an easy thing to do. I applaud this action by Monbiot.
As a seperate point there are quite a few comments at RC regarding the damage being done to reputations by the release of these emails. Is not the reputation of a scientist based to a large degree on their publication record? Is not the concerted action to deny a scientist a chance at a fair peer review in order to get published damaging to their reputation? In one case you have reputations damaged by words and actions unbecoming. In the other case you have reputations and careers damaged by no fault of their own other then their research led them to a conclusion that some in positions of power disagreed with. Imagine who will get my first dose of sympathy.

Cromagnum

The water is gushing into the ship, an observant rat notes that, and exclaims “I should have know the timbers were rotten. A pox upon those 3 or 4 termites”
But does the rat abandon the sinking ship?
Me thinks the rat is a Toadpipe

MarcH

Wonder if George supports this sort of behaviour from Susan Solomon? Didn’t Feynmann have a phrase for this (Cargo Cult Science?)
from 1169238969.txt Shorter presentations at Paris
“A number of the policy people will be lawyers, and a number will be legalistically looking to find anything that can advance their position. Most of them will however just be looking to ask questions and to better understand, and many will be constructive in how they use the information provided. So it is quite a mix.
They should not be given input that distracts from the job at hand. “

Tony Hansen

But how serious was George M when he concludes with the fake e-mail?
And as for GeorgeW using a Ford Mustang….. I thought they used goats!!

Not meaning to spam (last copy of this), but I did post my analysis to Monbiot’s article to show there is more than emails here:
http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11420
There is CRU data and reports which show there is no significant global warming.

J.Hansford

Well, his lucidity only lasted half his article, before he slipped once more into moonbattery and was dragged into that dark place that consumes his reason;-)

MarcH

This gift just keeps on giving…1169653761.txt Re: 2006
Kevin (Trenbath)
> Thanks. The averages of the values in Fig 3.6 over 1961-1990 turned out
> not to be exactly 0.000 owing to missing data in the reference period (a
> perennial problem Phil is well aware of). But Susan (?) wanted the SPM
> curve to average exactly 0.000 in 1961-1990 so the values were shifted
> by somewhere between 0.02 and 0.03.
>
> Regards
>
> David Parker

Hans L

Wow! Impressive and an honorable statement. Now if RC would just fess up. they are still in defensive mode over there.
Will our politician listen now?

helvio

In his text we can feel someone seeing his professional life flash before his eyes. We can only praise him for being honest and humble the way he was, but we must not let him forget his wrong behavior. Journalists are journalists, they have no scientific training and lack the intuition on what a reasonable scientific argument looks like. That could be a valid excuse. However, most of them showed a blatant violation of their impartiality, taking sides, and that’s no excuse. Especially when their stories violate common sense, as they did so many, many times. Common sense exists for a reason!

Uhm anyone read the Monbiot blog post, he is making fun of you, me, us. He does not believe what he posted, it is a sacarsm laden poke in the eye.
The lead in is simply to set you up for the punchline.
People be a little wary in our reading of the reactions of AGWers.

Steve S.

Dear Oregonian an every other newspaper,
Repeat after me,
“I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.”
Dear Al,
Repeat after me,
“I apologise. I have been championing what I knew to be a sham and have profited mightily while doing so. I encouraged others to trust evidence I knew to be untrustworthy. I was urging those who provided the evidence to find date where none existed. I championed a cause which has been the biggest hoax in history.
I will return the Nobel and fade away in shame.”

LarryOldtimer

All of this clearly points out the importance of what Anthony has been doing. When garbage goes in, garbage will always be the outcome. Instead of arguing about how the garbage looked smelled or was shaped, researchers should have been working at replacing the garbage input with actual and reliable data.
Temperature data from the years before satellites should have been know to have margins of error far larger than the small changes that were actually measured and (supposedly) recorded, even if the measurements were done properly and accurately.
“To err is human, to forgive divine” ~ Alexander Pope
This time around, I am not about to attempt to do the Almighty’s work for Him.

Un-****ing-believable.
As you say, stout fellow for admitting his gullibility.

Jeremy

BBC Richard Black’s Blog update:
After being shut down for more than 3 days it up and running again.
Looks like the BBC had a change of heart and realized that the massive cover up that they orchestrated just made them look like the bunch of silly green zealots that they are. We will not forget that they tried to cover up fraud. The BBC were complicit in this entire manipulative alarmist agenda.
======================
Update 2309: Because comments were posted quoting excerpts apparently from the hacked Climate Research Unit e-mails, and because there are potential legal issues connected with publishing this material, we have temporarily removed all comments until we can ensure that watertight oversight is in place.
Update 2 – 0930 GMT Monday 23 November: We have now re-opened comments on this post. However, legal considerations mean that we will not publish comments quoting from e-mails purporting to be those stolen from the University of East Anglia, nor comments linking to other sites quoting from that material.
Update 3 – 2116 GMT Monday 23 November: As lots of material apparently from the stolen batch of CRU e-mails is now in the public domain, we will not from now on be removing comments simply because they quote from these e-mails.

Steve S.

find “data”

Paul Vaughan

Well-said:
“Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

Daryl M

Wow, wonders never cease.

Calvin Ball

Not to pour salt on moonbat’s wound, but:
Iowahawk Geographic: The Secret Life of Climate Researchers

philincalifornia

…. and this from the BBC, lifted from another thread:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2009/11/is_cumbria_a_victim_of_climate.html
Is this whole thing falling off a cliff ??
Was this planned ?? With China and Russia and other countries making obvious noises that Copenhagen would be an excellent way to fleece the US and Europe, did someone finally realize that now would be a good time to apply the brakes ?? Better late than never, eh ?? Just thinking aloud.
If so Phil and the Motley Cru – don’t bother getting up from under the bus. There are plenty more coming.

Jesper Berg

Wow, this is a gift that just keeps on giving! You better watch out, sanity is coming to town!

IanP

Will George publish a new book? – A rebuttal of the tones he has written such as “Heat”. Will he refund my time to read his misleading books and the cost of purchases? I doubt it. George Monbiot will capitalise on this and make money. Another Al Gore in the wings.

APF

J.Hansford (20:28:05:
Well, his lucidity only lasted half his article, before he slipped once more into moonbattery and was dragged into that dark place that consumes his reason;-)
RIGHT ON. ALWAYS ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT PPL. MONBIOT IS STILL INSINCERE AND UNSTABLE.
These guys have invested their lives and the institutions they control into this – it’s not just gonna go away politely once the dishonesty has been exposed.

I’m confused though… is the apology sincere? Whats with the clearly ironic email at the end?

Neil O'Rourke

As several others have pointed out, this feels mostly like the apology George was given in Seinfeld by Jason Hanky (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Apology_(Seinfeld))
HANKE: (talking with two men in Monk’s) Guys, there’s no doubt that the pay is good. But I don’t just know if I see myself working with ice cream.
MAN #1: You get pretty buff forearms.
HANKE: I don’t know if I’m into that.
GEORGE: (entering Monk’s) Oh, hello, Hanke, others.
HANKE: George.
GEORGE: You know, Jason, I, uh, I couldn’t help notice, I… I didn’t get my apology.
HANKE: Apology? For what?
GEORGE: A drafty apartment? A… sweaterless friend? A ball-game giveaway Metlife windbreaker?
HANKE: George, come on, not that neck hole thing.
GEORGE: Yeah, the neck hole thing, and I would appreciate it if you would say you’re sorry.
HANKE: No way, you would’ve completely stretched it out.
GEORGE: You’re an alcoholic! You have to apologize. Step Nine! Step Nine.
HANKE: All right, George, all right. I’m sorry. I’m very, very sorry. I’m so sorry that I didn’t want your rather bulbous head struggling to find its way through the normal-size neck hole of my finely knit sweater.

Alan Wilkinson

“The hacked emails are a hard knock, but the science of global warming withstands much more than that.” – Monbiot
As a scientist, I don’t have much interest in a journalist’s opinion on science. So let’s just take his apology at face value assuming that journalism IS something he knows something about.

Chris Thorne

Over at the _Grauniad_ site, it has been common for quite some time that any pro-AGW article, by George Monbiot or anyone else, will have the overwhelming majority of skeptical comments promptly editorially censored.
I have seen a few comment threads there on AGW articles where quite literally nine-tenths of the entries on the page, over and over, consist simply of the stern admonition that
“This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.”
So fierce is their desire to dampen out any embers of dissent that you will have your post yanked even if that post simply quotes the _Grauniad_ itself in a manner or context which they consider to cast aspersions upon the AGW theory.
Of course, the wildest and most hysterical sorts of pro-AGW comments are left entirely alone by the moderators. I’ve never seen one be pulled.
So does Monbiot’s recantation mean that all of those enormous numbers of vanished skeptical comments will now be restored in full, and that future censorship will not be practiced by the gnomes of the _Grauniad_?
I doubt it. I doubt it highly.
Recall that these people took the comical Catlin crew seriously.

Cromagnum

Moonbat’s post, now that i have read it, looks like a liberal’s attempt at clever distraction. It is spin, not apology. He is “dismayed and deeply shaken” ….
He tries to equate the CruTape Letters with a Kooky email from a ?fictious Carbonic Knight, thereby discrediting both. Its a false association and straw man argument disguised in false apology.
“This (carbonic knight) is the kind of conspiracy the deniers need to reveal to show that manmade climate change is a con. The hacked emails are a hard knock, but the science of global warming withstands much more than that.”
A real apology would not read that way.
The real clue: “published in the Guardian, 23rd November 2009”. That paper refuses to publish any anti-Watermelon story or column.

Ron de Haan

In the mean time the AGW propaganda machine is firing from all guns.
Today prominent in the news: IPCC scientists issue warning. Never before in human history our atmosphere has been so polluted by greenhouse gasses!
Very scary, very untrue.
It’s time to smoke this gang of criminals out.
We need more push and power to get moving.
Lord Moncton has issued a complaint, read here: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/viscount-monckton-on-global-warminggate-they-are-criminals-pjm-exclusive/ but is not sure the British Government will take an action.
Senator Inhofe has called for an Investigation (which is a good idea because it could force the British Government to undertake action) But the AGW Conspiracy currently relies on the support of Princes, Presidents and Celebs who will look very stupid if the general public finds out they are supporting a bunch of scam artists.
I say we push this through. The price we have to pay now will be peanuts compared to the price we ahve to pay if those loons turn their scam into legislation.
So send links from articles, youtube video’s and to your representatives, to the press, and push the scam.
This has to stop.

Folks, “Me thinks he doth protest too much!” Do NOT fall for his fake sincerity. He is still AGW thru & thru! He is laughing at us all right now!

Kip Kotzan

This week has been an amazing moment in the history of science.
We had all suspected that behind all the smoke and mirrors the Wizards of Climate Oz were really quite different from what their followers expected,
and now that the curtain has been pulled back we see how small and petty and pathetic they really are.
You can hear them screaming ” Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”
just a beautiful moment for those who have labored so hard to pull back the curtain.
Thank you all so much.

Raven

Hey guys. Are you sure Monbiot is not making a practical joke?
I know its not April Fools but that does seem more likely……

chainpin

Jeremy,
Thanks for that update, the BBC and the NYT will make good bed fellows when this is all said and done.
Oh, wait, I forgot, Revkin is STILL not allowing any of the the emails to be posted on his blog.

Jeremy

As far as forgiving a dolt and a fool. Forget it.
I read some of the forgiving remarks here and want to puke.
This is one of the big cheerleaders who has been complicit in a fraudulent manipulative alarmist agenda.
These journalists are in a unique position of authority to influence millions of people – they are supposed to be the very ones whom we can trust to be independent. They are supposed to behave responsibly. They are required to investigate what they claim.
The apology of such a fool is not worth anything at all.

Jesper Berg

Or at least to a town near Mr. Monbiot …

back to the future

As I tell my staff at work all emails are admissable evidence in a court of law.

Mark

I hope this story stays alive for a while. In one of those emails, somebody said a media blitz is coming in December for Copenhagen. We’re going to need all the ammo we can get.

April E. Coggins

Oh, brother. No way, Jose. Slick Willy has a brother and his name is George. In other words, I’m not buying it. Too easy and too late. If I could think of some other way to communicate a cheap attempt, I would. How about, GADS!!, we are being struck from the rear?

Jason

Climate news story breaks on the front news page of the BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8375576.stm
pity it’s a story about how alarming the science is and that floods, extreme weather and thremaggedon are on the way if we don’t cut co2 now, it must be true the met office say so.
I’m sick.
The BBC “we are not biased” have gone to far, they forget they are a public body and this is breaking their charter.