The Final Straw

Steven Mosher

Steven Mosher

Guest post by Steven Mosher

In Climategate: The Crutape letters we tried to avoid accusing Professor Jones of CRU and UEA of outright fraud. Instead, based on the record found in the emails, we argued a case of noble cause corruption. I enlarged upon that charge at Pajama’s Media . Commenters took me to task for being too soft on Jones. Based on the extant text at that time I would still hold to my case. No skeptic could change my mind. But Phil Jones makes it hard to defend him anymore. On March 1st he testified before Parliament and there he argued that it was standard scientific practice to not share data.  Those who still insist on being generous with him could, I suppose, argue that he has no recollection, but in my mind he is playing with the truth and knows he is playing with the truth.

In 2002 Steve McIntyre had no publications in climate science. He wrote to Jones requesting temperature data. The history of their exchange is detailed in this Climate Audit Post. Jones sent data to McIntyre along with the following mail:

Dear Steve,

Attached are the two similar files [normup6190, cruwld.dat] to those I sent before which should be for the 1994 version. This is still the current version until the paper appears for the new one. As before the stations with normal values do not get used.

I’ll bear your comments in mind when possibly releasing the station data for the new version (comments wrt annual temperatures as well as the monthly). One problem with this is then deciding how many months are needed to constitute an annual average. With monthly data I can use even one value for a station in a year (for the month concerned), but for annual data I would have to decide on something like 8-11 months being needed for an annual average. With fewer than 12 I then have to decide what to insert for missing data. Problem also applies to the grid box dataset but is slightly less of an issue. I say possibly releasing above, as I don’t want to run into the issues that GHCN have come across with some European countries objecting to data being freely available. I would like to see more countries make their data freely available (and although these monthly averages should be according to GCOS rules for GAA-operational Met. Service.

Cheers

Phil Jones

We should note these things: Jones sent data. That was his practice. Jones is aware of the problems in releasing this data. Jones believes that these monthly averages should be released according to GCOS [WMO resolution 40] rules. In 2002 his practice is to release data to a total unknown with no history of publication. And Jones releases the data to him knowing that there are issues around releasing that data.

In 2004 Warwick Hughes exchanges a series of mails with Jones. In 2000 Jones appears to have a cooperative relationship with Hughes.  In 2004 the record shows the following

Dear Jean Palutikof, Dr P.D. Jones,

I was just reading your web page at; http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/ and wish to access the station by station temperature data, updated through 2001 referred to on your CRU web page; http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/#datdow as

“Over land regions of the world over 3000 monthly station temperature time series are used.” Where can I download the latest station by station data which is a foundation of Dr Jones et al published papers ? Note, I am not asking about the CRU gridded data which I can see on your web site. Looking forward to your help,

Best wishes,

Warwick Hughes

Warwick,

The station data are not on the CRU web site. If you look at the GHCN page at NCDC, you’ll see they have stopped access and cited WMO Res. 40 for this. To my mind this resolution is supposed to make access free. However, it was hinted at to me a year or two ago that I should also not make the station data available.

The gridded data are there as you know.

I would suggest you take this up with WMO and/or GCOS. I have raised it several times with them and got nowhere.

Cheers

Phil

As Jones points out he believes that WMO Resolution 40 should make access free. Jones also says that he himself has taken up this issue with them. One can presume he took it up because he wanted to give access to data. Further, he knows that there may be agreements that preclude release of the data.

The start of 2005 is a critical point in the story line. Jones had cordial exchanges with Hughes in 2000. Jones shared data with McIntyre in 2002 and in 2004 Jones believed that the data should be shared. In 2005 he has been transformed. In January of 2005, McIntyre published a paper (MM05) critical of Mann. As luck would have it at this time former CRU employee Wigley sent an email to Jones about a flyer he has received that discusses FOIA. At this stage no FOIA have been sent to CRU. But Wigley and Jones are concerned about skeptics.  What ever willingness Jones had to share data is gone. Again, Jones shows a clear understanding of the existence of agreements:

Data is covered by all the agreements we sign with people, so I will be hiding behind them. I’ll be passing any requests onto the person at UEA who has been given a post to deal with them.

At the start of Feb 2005, Jones’ attitude toward data sharing becomes clearer and also contradictory. Some people can get this data in violation of agreements, while others who ask for it using legal means will be thwarted.

Mike,

I presume congratulations are in order – so congrats etc !

Just sent loads of station data to Scott [Rutherford]. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs  [McIntyre and McKittrick]  have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send

to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? – our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it !

Two weeks after the publication of MM05, prior to the issuance of any FOIA whatsoever, Jones contemplates destroying data rather than sharing it. But read closely. Jones sends this data to Scott Rutherford. So what’s the standard scientific practice? The data is covered by confidentiality agreements. Jones shared it with McIntyre in 2002, and now shares it with Rutherford in 2005. Jones knows it is covered by agreements and he’s questioned those agreements—except when he finds it convenient to hide behind those agreements. He violates them as he pleases. He shares data as he pleases. And if he is pushed to share it he contemplates destroying it.

On  Feb 21, 2005 Keith Briffa sends Jones a mail with a list of editorials that are critical of Dr. Mann for not releasing data. Jones replies to Warwick Hughes’ request for data that same day:

Warwick,

Hans Teunisson will reply. He’ll tell you which other people should reply.   Hans is “Hans Teunissen”

I should warn you that some data we have we are not supposed top pass on   to others. We can pass on the gridded data – which we do.  Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data.  We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. There is IPR to consider.

You can get similar data from GHCN at NCDC.  Australia isn’t restricted there.

Several European countries are. Basically because, for example, France doesn’t  want the French picking up data on France from Asheville. Meteo France  wants to supply data to the French on France. Same story in most of the  others.

Cheers

Phil

Jones has changed his attitude about the WMO. Prior to the publication of MM05 Jones believed that the WMO guidelines would make the data available. Moreover he argued with WMO that it should be released. Now, Jones changes his tune. He argues that he will not release the data even if the WMO agrees. His concern? Hughes will find something wrong with it.

When it comes to deciding whether to share data or not, standards have nothing to do with the decisions Jones made and he knows that. He knows he shared confidential data with Rutherford while he denied it to McIntyre and Hughes. He knows he regarded the confidentiality of those agreements quixotically. Violating them or hiding behind them on a whim. This was scientific malpractice. Lying about that now is beyond excuse.

April 2005 comes and we turn to another request from McIntyre:  There is a constant refrain amongst AGW defenders that people don’t need to share code and data. They argue that papers do a fine job of explaining the science: They argue that people should write their own code based on description in papers. Here is McIntyre’s request. Note that he has read the paper and tried to emulate the method:

Dear Phil,

In keeping with the spirit of your suggestions to look at some of the other multiproxy publications, I’ve been looking at Jones et al [1998]. The methodology here is obviously more straightforward than MBH98. However, while I have been able to substantially emulate your calculations, I have been unable to do so exactly. The differences are larger in the early periods. Since I have been unable to replicate the results exactly based on available materials, I would appreciate a copy of the actual data set used in Jones et al [1998] as well as the code used in these calculations.

There is an interesting article on replication by Anderson et al., some distinguished economists, here [1]http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2005/2005-014.pdf discussing the issue of replication in applied economics and referring favorably to our attempts in respect to MBH98.

Regards, Steve McIntyre

When you cannot replicate a paper based on a description of the data and a description of the method, standard practice is to request materials from the author. McIntyre does that. Jones’ “practice” is revealed in his mail to Mann:

From: Phil Jones <p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>

To: mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx

Subject: Fwd: CCNet: DEBUNKING THE “DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE” SCARE

Date: Wed Apr 27 09:06:53 2005

Mike,

Presumably you’ve seen all this – the forwarded email from Tim. I got this email from McIntyre a few days ago. As far as I’m concerned he has the data sent ages ago. I’ll tell him this, but that’s all – no code. If I can find it, it is likely to be hundreds of lines of uncommented fortran ! I recall the program did a lot more that just average the series. I know why he can’t replicate the results early on – it is because there was a variance correction for fewer series.

See you in Bern.

Cheers

Phil

Jones does not argue that code should be withheld because of IPR[Intellectual Property Rights]. It’s withheld because he is not sure he can find it and he suspects that it is a mess. More importantly Jones says he knows why McIntyre cannot replicate the results. Jones does not argue “standard scientific practice” to withhold code; he withholds code because it’s either lost, or sloppy and because it will allow McIntyre to understand exactly how the calculations were done.  This is malpractice.  Today when questioned whether people could replicate his work from the papers he wrote Jones “forgot this mail” and said they could replicate his work. And we should note one last thing. Jones again acknowledges sending data to McIntyre. So, what exactly is Jones’ notion of standard practice? To share or not to share? What the record shows is that Jones shared data and didn’t share data, confidential or not, on a basis that cannot be described as scientific or standard. He did so selectively and prejudicially. Just as he refused data to Hughes to prevent his work being checked he refuses information that McIntyre needs to replicate his published results. At the same time he releases that data to others.

That’s not the end of the story as we all know. In 2007 the first two FOIA were issued to CRU for data. One request for a subset of the data was fulfilled after some delay. The larger request was denied. By 2009 it became clear to McIntyre that the CRU data had also been shared with Webster. When McIntyre requested the very same data that Webster got from Jones, CRU started again with a series of denials again citing confidentiality agreements, inventing the terms of those agreements ex nihilo. Webster could have the data. McIntyre could not.

What the record shows is that Jones had no standard scientific practice of sharing or not sharing data. He had no consistent practice of abiding by or violating confidentiality agreements. He had his chance to sit before Parliament and come clean about the record. He had an opportunity to explain exactly why he took these various contradictory actions over the course of years.  Instead he played with the truth again.  Enough.

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I think this sets out a definite difference between science and “climate science”. Clearly “climate science” does not adhere to the normal, standard expectation of science, that all data, methods, materials, data etc. be open and shareable so that it can be fully tested, by people who support AND people who are sceptical.
Climate science is a unique scientific discipline where research begins at the conclusion and works backwards, selectively adopting (and manipulating) evidence to fit the conclusion. Where the hypothesis never changes, but the evidence changes instead to fit the hypothesis.
In short, climate science is NOT science.
if (science) then world = cooler; if (!science) then world = warmer.

michel

Yes, this is a very convincing account. But surely with the recent inputs of the learned societies, this is over now? Surely from here on in, no-one is going to be able to say, I have studies which demonstrate looming disaster for life on earth unless we immediately start spending trillions and do large scale geoengineering of the climate.
But no, you cannot have the data and the code, because… of commericial confidentiality? Or because its too much trouble to get them into shape? Or because I have lost some of the data in an office move? Sorry, you are just going to have to trust me and spend the trillions?
Its game over at this point.
If you want to read a fictional account of a similar affair, 100 years ago now, I would strongly recommend Penguin Island, by Anatole France. Very funny, and it will remind you eerily of today’s events.

Ross Berteig

As I recall, Jones wouldn’t even release the identities of the stations that he had used. Of course, it is becoming clear that he probably doesn’t actually know what stations were used…
Worse, he knew then and knows now that he is not good at record keeping. Why didn’t he spend even a tiny portion of his immense grant budgets on some archival expertise?

Pete

Are there no rules for telling untruths during hearings of the U.K. Parlament and its committees? Is there going to be any legal consequences for Jones telling tall tales or is he just going to walk away with this?

R.S.Brown

Normally, an official finding (especially in court) of a public
employee having accomplished the thresholds for misfeasance,
malfeasance, and/or nonfeasance are enough for the Court
to order the employee terminated.
Most employment agreements and public employee
appointments include clauses that hold the employer harmless should such a judgment be rendered… no matter what any
“in house” or “independent” investigation or “peer review”
might find or recommend.
Folks or institutions with deep pockets might want to
“lawyer up” if the whitewash gets much deeper.

I am unsurprised that the Parliamentary committee did not ask searching or even terribly intelligent questions of Prof Jones as most of the political world wants to believe in ‘the science’ as it offers the prospect, through the mechanism of spurious and monstrous ‘green’ taxes, of getting them off the hook of the financial mess they allowed to happen on their watch. Political man seems to have learnt nothing since the collapse of the ‘South Sea Island Bubble’, ‘The Tulip Bubble’ and other major confidence tricks over the preceeding centuries.
Jones doesn’t even pretend to be a ‘post-modern scientist’ but has very obviously bent his ethics to fit the demands of his political masters.

Neville

Surely the bottom line is that he should go. He is an inconsistent fool and should be relieved of his duties as soon as possible.
Imagine taxpayers around the world paying out billions of dollars annually on this shonks evidence, it just makes my skin crawl.

RIP IPCC

You want the Truth? You can’t handle the Truth!

Peter Hearnden

One long ad hom, science content zero.
When will you people get off the backs of people like Dr Jones and leave them to get on with their research?
Incidentally, who are you Mr Mosher? If you think it’s right that everything about Dr Jones should be public knowledge because it might cost us billion if he’s wrong so his science needs infinite testing, then it’s also the case that if you’re wrong it might also cost us billions and so everything about you should be public knowledge.
Therefore I demand you place on public record all your scientifc notes, workings, jotting, e mails, code (every scrap) and papers for the last ten years. All of it, everything, every last word , figure and number. If you don’t do that i will be demanding it by FOI and I wont desisit, I’ll shower you with FOI request for a decade.
Get it?

jeez

Dear Peter.
Steven Mosher is not a public employee and not remotely subject to FOI requests. You really should have some understanding of the process involved.

Peter, what a [snip] reply you give here, you haven’t learned anything and repeat just what you have read on other blogs!

CodeTech

This is a very good summary, and I’d like to add my own thoughts (sorry if this is rambling).
Through the 90s the entire concept of AGW and the possibility that humanity was doing things that could alter the climate was somewhat of a given. 1998 was a scorcher, at least here where I live, and it was very easy to believe that things were changing… maybe even out of control. AGW theory was hitting mainstream, I remember Letterman making jokes about Al Gore claiming that the caveman frozen in the ice had been exposed by “global warming”, and the audience laughed… but after the 98 lack of winter people were starting to wonder.
When I personally first started researching AGW for a business project in early 2002, I was looking for data. I also completely believed, and was searching the internet for supporting data to convince people who were not familiar with what was happening. I wanted the historical temperature records, the background behind the hockey stick, everything. Even in 2002 I stumbled across a few “skeptic” sites but was turned off by them. I mean, you know the drill, these guys were oil company shills, they were in denial, etc. I ignored them.
However, now that I see this timeline laid out, I realize that I was coming to my realization around the time this was all playing out. It seems Steve McIntyre was also looking for SUPPORTING evidence, not a way to damage or destroy the idea. But human nature is more stable than climate… when someone balks at giving you what should be relatively basic information that underlies their entire premise, you start wondering why.
I came to realize that the vast majority of supporting websites were all parroting the exact same things, with very little variation, and not a single one had anything like “proof”. Nobody was doing what Science says you should do, which is to question what you are seeing. I started to notice the liberal use of the words “could” and “might”, and the big weasel words, “scientists say”. Which scientists? Why are they saying it? Are these all scientists, or just two?
I still remember the day I found “Still Waiting for Greenhouse”. It was ugly, amateurish, and I normally would have just skipped past it except for that picture of the tide mark. Having been told how sea levels are rising (living at 3500 feet I don’t see the ocean very often), it seemed odd that an old tide mark was still showing modern levels. Tuvalu not being inundated by rising seas? Hmm.
I looked around for other “skeptics”, expecting (honestly!) them to be slick, oil company budgeted productions poo-pooing the entire concept. That’s not what I found. Remember, I live in an oil city, I KNOW what oil company budgeted stuff looks like. It looks like deep pockets. Skeptic sites were ugly, amateur sites asking questions. The right questions.
I don’t remember where my epiphany was, but I do remember that my realization that the whole thing was a complete sham was rapid. There was no evidence. There was no supporting data. There still is neither. The folly and futility of measuring surface temperatures should be obvious to even elementary school students who think about it. I can have huge temperature differences just a few hundred feet away depending on the breeze, or wind direction, or where I am relative to the nearest hill or valley.
Also, the oceans are the vast majority of the planet’s surface. Sun heats ocean, water evaporates, rises as high as it needs to to lose its heat, and falls back down. This is a no-brainer, really, it’s both intuitive and scientific.
I remember reading some of McIntyre’s early writing, and being appalled at what he was saying. Not at him, but at the sheer audacity of someone stonewalling for data. I understand the need for industry to keep trade secrets, but this data should have been freely available. Is the weather not free?
I mentioned before that my car club had a massive argument once back in the late 90s regarding the best color for an intercooler. Either a light color or a dark color would radiate the heat better, and people fell out over this argument. (The answer is, NO color: painting a radiator insulates it. Although color may have some effect, it is completely overwhelmed by the other effects and thus is safely ignored). I saw the parallel. Yes, CO2 will have some effect, I doubt anyone would question it. But it was soon obvious to me that this was in the same level. The effect is vastly overwhelmed by other natural processes, and can be safely ignored.
At around the same time that this was all going on (2002-up) the “scientists” were starting to get known. There was Hansen, and Jones, and Mann, and Briffa, and they’re all getting something like “famous”. They stopped being scientists, though, and became activists for their cause. This trend went beyond ludicrous after Gore’s movie came out. I personally know people who came out of that movie in absolute terror.
However, back to the topic… what I get out of Jones’ testimony and explanations is that his particular cards, the basic bottom layer of the giant house of cards that is the modern AGW theory, has collapsed. There may be warming. There may not. But anyone who says either way with certainty is either mistaken or lying. With the collapse of these base cards, the entire structure must, and will, come tumbling down in a heap.
Science that is not replicable is not science.
Losing data, fudging data, stonewalling data, deleting data, altering data, each is an unpardonable offense to science. The combination is unpardonable-squared.
So many people have “done science” based on the premise of rising global temperatures, and I don’t doubt that the vast majority of that work was done in good faith. However, take away the basic premise that Jones’ work provided and you have nothing.
There was no such thing as “climatology” just a few years ago, and from what I’ve seen there is still no such thing. There are a few people who call themselves climatologists, and with that they appear to believe that they can do whatever they want as they create a whole new branch of science. But it all hinges on an accurate record, which does not exist. 30 years may be the “standard” for climatologists, but they’re willfully blind if they don’t realize that that is HALF of a long-term well documented climate CYCLE. There are no straight lines in nature, and no trend continues unabated in a feedback system.
I am not a “scientist”, but I know BAD SCIENCE when I see it. And I too want it to stop. It is shameful what these guys have done, and switching to activism was the end of all credibility.

anna v

Re: Peter Hearnden (Mar 2 02:04),
No, I do not get it.
There is no one in the skeptics camp that is proposing taxes and pyramid schemes in the billions. Where did you get this idea?

Peter Hearnden (02:04:34) :
One long ad hom, science content zero.
A recounting of events with regards to a person’s role in them is not an ad hominem attack.
To paraphrase a popular talking point, “You’re entitled to your own opinions — you’re *not* entitled to your own definitions.”

Once we relegate land surface temperatures we won’t need the CRU temperature index (or GISS):
Why Global Mean Surface Temperature Should be Relegated, Or Mostly Ignored

Baa Humbug

Re: Peter Hearnden (Mar 2 02:04),

Get it?

I have re-read your post and I still don’t “gettit”. Could you expand further for me please.

Michael Ozanne

“Peter Hearnden (02:04:34) :
One long ad hom, science content zero.
When will you people get off the backs of people like Dr Jones and leave them to get on with their research?”
Mentioning Jones and Research reminds me of Gandhi being asked about Western Civilisation “I think it would be an excellent Idea, when will you start”
As for Mosher being subject to FOI, he would need to be spending public (i.e our) money before that would apply….

Peter Hearnden

Dear Peter.
Steven Mosher is not a public employee and not remotely subject to FOI requests. You really should have some understanding of the process involved.

Dear ‘Jeez’,
If what people like Mr Mosher say is wrong it might cost the world billions because climate change science will have been right all along but we didn’t listen to it and sort the problems when we could because we listened to the Mr Moshers of this world. So, therefore, he should be open to the same scrutiny as everyone else in this business – views like his might cost the world BILLIONS. What kind of an excuse for not scrutinising views that might cost us billions is it that Mr Mosher isn’t a public employee? It’s a nonsensical excuse.

jeez

Dear Peter,
It is this kind of excuse. It is the law. It is standard ethics in democratic society with laws protecting freedom of speech. It is the way it is. Good luck filing an FOI against Steven.

Mike Haseler

Can I make a plea to stop this focussing on “open data”. Yes the data should have been made available, but the main reason they didn’t want to make it available is because it would show how bad the data was in the first place.
Anyone who has ever had any real experience of temperature measurement knows what a difficult subject this is. It is bad enough in a carefully controlled laboratory, but in real life, in the real world, with real people … it is a nightmare.
Let me recount one story. In the days when the lighthouses in the UK used to take Met readings, the lighthouse keepers took the readings. Now these guys were paid a pittance and treated like dirt by the lighthouse board – so there were a few people who did the job because their health wouldn’t allow them to do other jobs. And, let’s just say that not everyone with a heart condition would make the regular journey up and down the lighthouse to take the temperature reading – and who was going to be awake in the early hours to know anyway that the readings had been made up.
I’ve also seen the same thing in factories: reading after reading after reading of absolutely perfectly running equipment which when you look isn’t working at all!
There’s also the timing of readings which is pretty key. If e.g. the local temperature is 20C in the day and 10C at night, it will be heating up by 1-2C/hour in the morning. A 0.33C difference thus corresponds to 10-20min. That is an incredible 0.1C for each 3-6minutes. Now tell me honestly whether some station attendant in the darkest reaches of Africa who hadn’t seen England for years, let alone anyone from the Met Office and relied on a pretty wonky sundial/clock, is going to be standing over the Met Station waiting in the gathering heat to take a reading at the precise time appointed, ensuring that the temperature of all the readings was taken precisely within a minute of the hour?
There are good reasons why we automated the temperature readings worldwide – but that WILL have changed the nature of those readings. It also means that there isn’t the same regular check of equipment so that e.g. insects, animals, moisture can contaminate the readings without anyone noticing for long periods.
The fact is this data was never intended for this purpose, and those “scientists” pretending their data analysis can make bad data good are kidding themselves!

Re: Peter Herndon. (March 2, 2010)
Peter, please use a quality dictionary to ascertain for your personal enlightenment the definition of ‘ad hominem’, then use the term correctly and with an understanding of the post you wish to comment on.

Peter Hearnden

Re: Peter Hearnden (Mar 2 02:04),
Get it?
I have re-read your post and I still don’t “gettit”. Could you expand further for me please.

Yes.
It’s claimed climate science needs to be deeply scrutinied because acting upon it will cost the world BILLIONS and thus we need to be completely sure it’s right so to act. But, equally, if sceptic are wrong they will have cost the world BILLIONS because we listend to them, you, but you were wrong and we didn’t act. Therefore sceptics also need to be deeply scrutinised. Everything for the last decade they have produced, jotted, discarded, emailed, calculated, coded, everything needs to be in the public domain. I therefore demand Mr Mosher (amongst others) do this – and put it all in a form anyone can understand.
Is that clearer?

3x2

Pete (01:47:41) :
Are there no rules for telling untruths during hearings of the U.K. Parlament and its committees? Is there going to be any legal consequences for Jones telling tall tales or is he just going to walk away with this?
And who would you call as an expert witness to testify regarding what is or is not standard practice in “climate science”?

The quote One problem with this is then deciding how many months are needed to constitute an annual average. is a perfect example of why replication based on the published papers is not practical. In this field, there are so many tiny details (infilling, end padding) which have a variety of valid approaches.
The hypothesis of some of the skeptical work is that the series are more noisy than is accepted by the primary work, and that the outcome is more by chance or an artifact of the analysis method.
In order to test this particular hypothesis it is necessary to understand each stage in precise detail. This is evidenced by Mann’s response to MM03 where several errors in the analysis are held up as invalidating the whole paper – but it was the lack of openness which led to these errors.
In order to test the hypothesis that the method or data flaws are contributing to the result, an independent analysis based on raw data can never be conclusive (see the Yamal discussions where there is no agreement). Either the specific analysis is mathematically flawed, the elective decisions made in the analysis are (most likely subconsciously) biased, or the result is valid.
If the whole analysis can’t be questioned, there is no chance of independent scientists being convinced that the result is valid with a high level of confidence (rather than hope/belief)

Peter Hearnden

Dear Peter,
It is this kind of excuse. It is the law. It is standard ethics in democratic society with laws protecting freedom of speech. It is the way it is. Good luck filing an FOI against Steven.

So, we’re not all equal under the law. That’s bunkum.
Sceptics should be open to the same level of scrutiny as everyone else. I can’t for the life of me see how anyone could argue they should above a law that applies to others.
If sceptics are wrong but we mistakenly listen to you, you will have cost the world BILLIONS! Thus scepticism needs to be scrutinised as much as science.

jeez

Dear Peter,
I struggle to explain it to you any more clearly, but I will try.
A law prohibiting the purchase of alcoholic beverages by a minor under the age of 21 does not apply to a non-minor over the age of 21, such as a 45 year old man who is legally entitled to purchase alcoholic beverages.
A law that says public employees are subject to FOI requests of disclosure does not apply to non-public employees who are not subject to these same FOI requests.
Does that help?
I invented a saying a long time ago.
I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.
I think it applies in this case.
jeez

Brent Hargreaves

CodeTech (02:14:32) :
“I don’t remember where my epiphany was, but I do remember that my realization that the whole thing was a complete sham was rapid.”
My own journey has mirrored yours. For a while, I played “pick the authority figure”, and surrendered my judgment to eminent men of irreproachable integrity. But I quickly realised that this was lazy, and went in search of corroborating evidence.
I asked: “What is the longest continuous record of direct CO2 measurements?”, “What is the longest continuous direct temperature record?”, “What is the longest direct/indirect glacier record?”, and “How do they measure sea levels – to what datum?”
The answers I got were: (i)Mauna Loa, 1958 (ii)Central England, 1659 (iii) Aletsch Glacier 3200 years and (iv) By satellite, but durned if I can understand the methodology.
Which brought me to my current layman’s stance: (i) CO2’s going up (ii) Temperatures go up and down (iii) Glaciers come and go (iv) Dunno, but I ain’t building any ark just yet.

@Peter Hearnden (02:04:34) :
One long ad hom, science content zero.
————————–
CRU has just three scientists working on data which guides government policies worldwide and that data is at best suspect. I watched the video of Jones being questioned and anything more like a cornered rat I can’t imagine. This catastrophic climate B/S has got our city into very serious trouble, where a previous city council sold out the city to warmists in the NZ govt to the extent that 104 ,40 story wind turbines are planned for the city’s water supply and last remaining native forest and towering over 2,000 homes. The corruption has been unbelievable. If you think Jones is the victim of an ad hom, just what do you think an attack like this on 80,000 people is??
This kind of save the planet disaster will just happen everywhere if the carbonistas win. Thank God they are not.
http://www.palmerston-north.info
There, I wrote this without a single expletive.

AusieDan

Steve Mosher.
Hi – I suggest you forward a copy of your report to each member of the parliamentary committee.
I agree with an earlier comment.
I believe there is a law about submissions to parliament in the UK.
The committee should be aware of the events that you have described.

Nylo

Re Peter Hearnden (02:04:34) :
“Dr Jones should be public knowledge because it might cost us billion if he’s wrong so his science needs infinite testing”
You don’t get it. The reason why his science needs testing is not because otherwise it would cost us billions. His science needs to be testable because OTHERWISE IT IS NOT SCIENCE.
Get it now?

Jean S

Additional dates to add to the timeline:
-Jones released his station data back in 1993. See here:
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp020/
-In 2001, he published his Antarctic pressure and temperature data, see here:
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp032/

Pete

Re 3×2 (02:46:01):
As I recall, correct me if I am wrong, Jones did not even release the station list (their identities) and still claims to have released all data and methods necessary for other scientist to replicate his findings. You don’t need any witnesses for that, it should be easy to verify it with help of documents.

Vincent

Peter Hearnden,
“Therefore I demand you place on public record all your scientifc notes, workings, jotting, e mails, code (every scrap) and papers for the last ten years. All of it, everything, every last word , figure and number. If you don’t do that i will be demanding it by FOI and I wont desisit, I’ll shower you with FOI request for a decade.”
Peter, I have to say, [snip]. We are talking professional misconduct at the very least, before we even get into the quality of Jones science. Jones is a disgrace to science, a disgrace to the office he holds and a disgrace to the British people. He has brought science into disrepute and abused the trust placed in him. But I guess that’s alright with you because Jones is “on message.”
Your demands to Mosher to release “every scrap” are no more than ravings. You flail about in all directions because you see the AGW scam collapsing before your eyes. What the hell has Mosher got to do with any of this? He is smart enough to see the logical inconsistencies in Jones testimony – lies actually – and you aren’t. You think releasing Mosher’s emails would change what Jones has done?
When you write of Mosher “I’ll shower you with FOI request for a decade,” all I see is the impotent rage of a [snip].

Vincent

Peter Hearnden,
“Thus scepticism needs to be scrutinised as much as science.”
Actually Peter, scepticism IS science – doh!

Baa Humbug

Re: Peter Hearnden (Mar 2 02:44),

Is that clearer?

Yes it is.
I’m a skeptic and am very active on blogs. I’m doing everything I can to stop this madness including lobbying my politicians (it worked here in Australia).
I own and operate a video store. I don’t do research nor do I collect data (but I make “The Great Global Warming Swindle” available to my customers free of charge).
What exactly should I be making public? All my blog comments already are. Just google Baa Humbug.
p.s. I’m also having an affair, should I make that public? Will that stop the waste of billions?
Or maybe you are refering to people who are INTEGRAL and CRUCIAL in the AGW debate. People like those who help produce the IPCC reports, (those pesky reports the politicians rely on)
Skeptics have been beating the drum for 22 years now. Name me one instance that a skeptic influenced the IPCC reports profoundly?

KlausB

@Peter Hearnden
First, you complain that people think, Jones etc. should comply FOI requests.
Then you write everybody else should too be requested by FOI.
You are contradicting yourself.

David Wells

Would you believe it, we have just moved and I had to register with the doctor and ask for an opinion on certain symptoms that I have been experiencing.
Doctor said, I know exactly what you mean go home take this and trust me everything will be OK, I responded, sorry I didnt catch your name, funny thing this he said it was Al Gore, and again repeated those reassuring words “trust me”.
Today I registered with a new doctor and he recommended that he perform some tests!
And trust me human induced global warming as an entity is not over yet, the UN is constituting a review body (more overpaid out of work flunkies) to review the work of the IPCC because the concept of human involvement in climate change is robust so the words change again, it was global warming then it was climate change and then the science is settled (what science) and now its robust.
For me the overriding issue is what is all the fuss about, climate change has been happening since forever for one reason or another and will continue to do so. Human Co2 remains at 0.117% and methane 0.066%, this is the only fraction that we can have any effect on and with a rising population try as we might those figures are not going to change, they may get worse but long before our bit has any effect (if indeed it ever will) most carbon resources will have expired so – as previously – the earths atmosphere will automatically correct.
Because there is no science what we have is lies damned lies and climate statistics, most of which have been manipulated and fudged and the resulting war of words will continue until our political masters decide that enough is enough.
Whatever the motives of the UN, EU and IPCC really are we may never know but instead of wasting huge amounts of cash on supposed scientists we should divert that cash into building the flood defences and similar pragmatic solutions that will actually confront the practical issues that communities will face whether or not human induced global warming exists or not or are such commonsense practical initiatives beyond simple comprehension?
Maybe both sides of the debate have a vested interest in the continuing farago of cant and humbug that emanates from everyone involved, more committes, more carbon trading, more taxation, it all proves to me that the real issues is that there are too many people on this planet and too many of them have very little of anything worthwhile to do with their lives so they spend it fulminating about who said what and when.
In essence there is just too much hot air and maybe that is what is causing the problem after all?
David Wells

G.L. Alston

Steve Mosher:
It sounds to me like the whole thing can be described thusly —
From Jerry Pournelle’s site — “Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself.”
Consider Dr. Judith Curry’s recent post here wherein the upshot seemed to be that the consensus amongst fellow practitioners was a resolution to use crayons or speak slowly so as to better “communicate” with benighted outsiders. The obvious answer to this entire situation is “hey, I work for the public, so I’ll put everything online for them and stay out of any politics.” Sort of the I Report You Decide thing.
jeez — Steven Mosher is not a public employee and not remotely subject to FOI requests.
Bingo. I’m still not following how it is that data paid via public funding ought to be hidden such that FOIA is even required. Why is it not automatic that public funding requires a particular standard? Good grief, if you wrote code for DoD in the 90’s you had standards and/or requirements up the yingyang.

JackStraw

>>Peter Hearnden (02:44:40) :
>>Is that clearer?
No. I would suggest you do a little more thinking on the relationship between the individual and the state in a free society. AGW has become nothing more than another government program, one with huge implications for the rights and responsibilities of people, industry and society as a whole, and individuals have not only the right but the responsibility to question the logic and the motives of any new government program.
If AGW is real then the proof should be clear and the scientists advocating this theory should be willing to show all of their data and methods. Given their dire predictions, they have an ethical and moral responsibility. Given their status as quasi-government officials, they have a legal responsibility which they already been shown to have breached by ignoring FOI requests.
Mr. Mosher’s motives, which I believe are an honest attempt at testing the accuracy of the theories, are irrelevant. Your demand for all the information from him or other skeptics makes no more sense than demanding the information from every person who is skeptical of any new government program.

Peter of Sydney

So there we have it. The “dog ate my homework” so I can’t “hand in the work I used to come up with the findings in my climate research assignment”. So, Mr teacher will you still pass my assignment? Mr teacher would rightly say: “No, I can’t since you have not shown how you came to your findings. So, they may be incorrect. You have failed your assignment. Go away and do it again.”.

Peter Hearnden

Hello, the personal stuff starts.
I just don’t see why, if the sceptic case is so strong, it can’t be placed under the same scrutiny as the science? What has the sceptic case got to hide?
Remember, if the sceptic case is wrong but we act upon it, then it will be scepticism that costs the world BILLIONS!
Anway, like I say, the personal stuff has started so I’ll go and do something more productive for a while.

Mike Bryant

If the so called climate scientists had been open with all data, codes and models for the last thirty years, no one would have filed FOI requests, no one would have suggested that Global Warming might be catastrophic.

Roger Carr

Many thanks, Steve. Clear, clean, concise. It adds immeasurably to my understanding.

kim

Heh, Peter, the world no longer wants Phil Jones and the like to get on with their research.
==========================

Copner

:@Peter Hearnden:
1. FOI
As far as the Jones is concerned, FOI only applies to the work they do on the public purse. It applies to all public bodies. It’s back stop that allows the public to know what their money is being used for.
Nobody is suggesting we need to know what Phil Jones does in his private life, or things done not using public facilities and funds. if Phil Jones wants to engage in whatever activities he likes, in his private time, not using public facilities and funds, those activities would not be subject to FOI.
If Steve Mosher or anybody else works for a UK public institution, then those activities will also become subject to FOI requests too. But activities Mosher does privately, like activities like Jones does private, are not paid for by the public, not subject to FOI.
2. Data
FOI is actually a side-issue.
The only reason FOI came up, is because Jones and others wouldn’t release the data – and FOI was used as a means to try to make them release it.
But FOI should not have been necessary.
Both funding bodies (which the CRU took funds from), and many journals (in which Jones et al published), and good scientific practise (ref, e.g. IoP, RSC, RSS) is to release scientific data behind a paper. See for example – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_data_archiving
The problem was the funding bodies and the journals were not enforcing their own rules on Jones. And Jones apparently thought it was standard practise in climate sicence to ignore good scientific practise of releasing data.
But I absolutely agree with you to the extent, anybody publishing in a journal, or, accepting funding from official bodies, should be required to release their data. That includes Jones, but that also includes Mosher or McIntyre or anybody else – should they publish.

thetideishigh

Hi Peter
I don’t believe in God or the after life. If someone tells me they have scientific proof of such a thing I’d like to see the evidence. What you are saying is hey stop demanding to see the proof and oh by the way what is your evidence for the no God theory, let’s see your evidence for that. You also add that if I’m wrong and people listen to me then they are being condemned to an eternity of hell and damnation.
I think AGW is a religion, if I’m to change my mind I want to see the proof and have it tested by open minded people – not fellow believers. I’m not going to believe a lot of old wives tales.

RichieP

Lawson at the hearing, by Quentin Letts, acerbic and ironic Parliamentary sketch writer:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1254763/Lord-Lawson-labelled-climate-alarmists.html
“Jones was accompanied by his university’s vice-chancellor, Professor Edward Acton, who provided much-needed comic relief. Professor Acton, a younger version of Professor Calculus from the Tintin books, beamed and nodded at everything Professor Jones said. ‘I think that answer was spot-on,’ he cried, after listening to one response from the terror-stricken Jones.
Professor Acton’s left eyebrow started doing a little jiggle of its own. His eyeballs bulged with admiration for the climate-change supremo. His lips were pulled so wide in wonderment they must nearly have split down the seams like banana skins.
Others, watching the tremulous Professor Jones, will have been less impressed. He may be right about man-made climate change. But you do rather hope that politicians sought second, third, even 20th opinions before swallowing his theories and trying to change the world’s industrial output. “

Re: Peter Hearnden (Mar 2 02:44), Everything for the last decade they have produced, jotted, discarded, emailed, calculated, coded, everything needs to be in the public domain.
How does that advance the science? The respectable lukewarmers and skeptics have been open with their calculations, are not significantly involved in the peer reviewed literature, and don’t seem to have made a significant contribution to the policy debate.
Fairness and even-handed treatment is fine, but why would you be interested to know who has sent me draft copies of their own papers for my critical review? The demands for greater visibility of the inner workings of the team are a problem of their own making. Encouraging journalists to stay ‘on message’ by threatening to cur off their access to authoritative quotes isn’t something that a skeptic has much weight with, only the more public figures in the debate have that ability.
Is it more relevant where Monkton’s funding comes from, or where Pachauri’s money comes from? Which one would be expected to be impartial?

kim

And, Peter, you are wrong about the skeptics costing billions. Here’s the difference. Really, skeptics, who’ve been called denialists, are just agnostic. We do not know the truth, but have figured out that the alarmist case is not the truth.
You will find it difficult to find a reasonable skeptic who will claim that CO2 has no effect. Most say that they do not know the effect, though we suspect it is small. The skeptical case is really not about ‘denying’; it’s about saying ‘we don’t know’. We would like to know, so that policy can be created to spend money wisely.
Well, so much for the symmetry of your objection. I’m sorry you are so blinded by rage and fear not to be able to see what is going on around you. Things’ll get better, I’m sure.
=================

Graphite

Thanks for that Steven – what we need is a presentation like that in court!
CodeTech – great write up – thanks for your contribution. I had a similar experience of looking for evidence and finding nothing except stone walling and abuse of people who didn’t hold to the ‘party’ line! – That get’s may back up too and makes me dig deeper! 😀
The bolgs and many of the papers seem to have got this all sorted now – BUT – there doesn’t seem to be ANY change in political or governmental policies! – It is so enormously frustrating!
There aren’t any of the mainstream parties I could vote for (here in the UK) 🙁

Graphite

– sorry ‘blogs’ not ‘bolgs’ LOL 😀

R.S.Brown

Re: Peter Hearnden (02:56:07) :
Actually, we are all equal under FOIA law in England,
and in America.
We all have the legal right to file FOIA requests for
any document, summary, data, or program held or created by
a public institution or a public employee. There are very
limited exceptions to the “open records” written into the laws
on both sides of the Atlantic.
Station identifications, temperature data, statistical programs
for extrapolating weather or climate trends used by public
institutions like CRU, the Met Office, NOAA, NASA, NCDC, etc.,
don’t really fit into the “exceptions” catagories… and therefore should be open and available.
The public institutions have the legal obligation
to provide this information in a timely manner, or explain why it
can’t. Saying it is covered by one of the “exceptions” can be
appealed for review. If that doesn’t satisfy the person making
the FOIA request, trotting the matter into court is the last resort.
For the public employee or the FOIA officer to furnish wrong
information in this context would be misfeasance, to deliberately or willfully not fulfliil a legitimate FOIA
request that’s is known as malfeasance, and to just
ignore the request into oblivion is nonfeasance.
To obtain work product or documents from a private citizen
requires a subpeona to be issued by a competent court of law
or legislative body empowered to issue subpeonas. As private citizens and/or corporations we have constutional rights
preventing unwarrented seaches and seizures not available to public employees or public instututions in reguard their public work.
When one accepts a public appointment, either as a worker,
a professor, or a reseacher, one has automatically accepted
FOIA as a condition of their employment.
Take a refesher couse in civics, and quit trolling.

Gaz

This is all really sad.
You so-called sceptics are tying yourselves into knots trying desperately to prove that the intrumental temperature records are wrong, the UHI effects that have been allowed for are biasing the data, that the satellite records are wrong, that all the different proxy reconstructions are wrong, that the temperature data you think are rubbish show the world is cooling, that the glaciers aren’t retreating, that the ice caps aren’t losing volume, that the ice shelves aren’t disintegrating, that the saturation argument wasn’t disproved 60 years ago, that species aren’t migrating their habitats, that growing seasons aren’t changing, etc etc etc.
This latest attack on Phil Jones is the most grotesque example of a witch-hunt since the McCarthy era.
It really will go down in history as a truly shameful episode.
Does anyone here really think that once all the raw temperature data comes to be freely available (instead of just almost all of it, which is the case now), that there is even the slightest chance that someone will come up with an analysis of it that shows something significantly different from what the various satellite and surface instrumental series already show?
Really?
If Jones was recalcitrant in dealing with the numerous demands for data with the aim of concealing something, rather than simply reacting understandably to harrassment, then I look forward to contributors to this blog demonstrating, while making available all your coding and methodology, just what it was you think he was concealing.