The Jones "rehabilitation"

UPDATE: A prescient comment from Willis Eschenbach has been added to the body of the story, see below.

There’ an article in Nature Magazine which is an interview with Phil Jones of the CRU regarding his role in Climategate and what has happened in the past year. It seems to be mostly a sappy rehabilitation piece where Dr. Jones gets to play the victim and the reporter is fully sympathetic. Even more troublesome,  Dr. Jones seems to have fully rationalized everything that has happened in the past year.

For example, we all vividly remember this email:

From: Michael Mann mann@xxxxx.xxx

To: Phil Jones p.jones@xxxxx.xxx

Subject: Re: IPCC & FOI

Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 08:12:02 -0400

Reply-to: mann@xxxxx.xxx

Hi Phil,

laughable that CA would claim to have discovered the problem. They would

have run off to the Wall Street Journal for an exclusive were that to

have been true.

I'll contact Gene about this ASAP. His new email is: generwahl@xxxxxx.xxx

talk to you later,

mike

Phil Jones wrote:

>

>> Mike,

> Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

> Keith will do likewise. He's not in at the moment - minor family crisis.

>

> Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don't

> have his new email address.

>

> We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

>

> I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature

> paper!!

>

> Cheers

> Phil

>

> Prof. Phil Jones

> Climatic Research Unit Telephone [removed]

> School of Environmental Sciences Fax [removed]

> University of East Anglia

> Norwich Email p.jones@xxxxx.xxx

> NR4 7TJ

> UK

Look at what he says now about email deletion in the context of the ongoing FOI requests:

“We just thought if they’re going to ask for more, we might as well not have them.”

Regarding the Chinese Weather Station fiasco:

Jones said in a separate interview with Nature2 that he was considering a correction. He now says such a step is unnecessary and that he stands by the claims in the paper. He was on medication during the previous interview, he says, and felt under pressure then to publicly concede that he had made mistakes. He says the description of weather-station

movement “has been completely misinterpreted”.

The set of 84 Chinese stations referred to in the paper were drawn from a larger group of 265, for which the Chinese had location histories. Jones and his colleagues did not claim

that none of the selected stations had moved, only that they picked out ones that had moved the least, he says.

Such shifts do not significantly affect results, Jones says, because there was no general pattern to the station relocation: on average, ones moving to colder places were balanced by ones moving to warmer spots. But the Chinese scientist who supplied the station information has now retired and the authorities there have not released the full station-history data — making it impossible for Jones, he says, to provide the evidence to support the statement.

Okaaaayyyy. I call BS on this, because 20 years later, NCDC’s Dr. Matt Menne developed USHCN2, with a change point detection algorithm in it specifically to detect and correct change points in temperature data resulting from station moves. If station moves “don’t significantly affect results”, why did NCDC dedicate so much time and effort to develop such an algorithm? Either Dr. Jones is in CYA mode, uninformed, or both.

Professor Jones apparently hasn’t learned anything except this:

“I’m a little more guarded about what I say in e-mails now,” he says. “One thing in particular I’m doing is not responding so quickly. I might have got an e-mail in the past and responded with an instant thought in the next 10 to 15 minutes, whereas now I might leave it a day.”

In a time-line of the career of Professor Jones, the November 2010 entry is interesting:

Jones tells Nature he is on the mend, but still fears more e-mails could be released in the future.

“Jones and others connected to the CRU fear the hackers may be sitting on more stolen e-mails, but Jones feels confident the worst is behind him.”

Hmmm…

Here’s the article in Nature Magazine (PDF)

h/t to Shub Niggurath

UPDATE: I’ve added this from comments as it is very germane to the story”

Willis Eschenbach says:

I enjoyed this from the Nature article:

The e-mails also triggered several official investigations, including one by the UK Parliament, which ultimately determined that Jones had not committed any serious offences. Case closed.

As my daughter says, “In your dreams, Dad”.

They were more subtle in their timeline, lying by omission.

2005 Britain introduces the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, giving critics a legal route to demand data from Jones and the CRU (above).

July 2009 The CRU receives 58 FOI requests in under a week as part of a blog campaign.

Makes it sound like things were going swimmingly, then suddenly the CRU is bombed with FOI requests.

In fact, I made the first request in (IIRC) 2006 for the CRU data. It was turned down. Other requests were made. We got the list of stations but not the data. They claimed there were secrecy agreements. We said OK, show us the agreements. They refused. We filed FOI requests for specific countries, about six countries at a time. That was to avoid any one of them being rejected because they entailed too much work.

That’s how we got to 58 requests in a week. Because they had blown off all of our FOI requests that had gone in one by one.

You don’t want to get 58 FOI requests, Phil?

Try answering the first one. If he had answered my initial FOI request, that would have been it for requests for the data. He could have avoided a host of grief.

Of course, the emails about the IPCC subversion were a different matter. Those are the ones that mysteriously vanished … Phil says he didn’t delete them, but somehow, they’re still gone.

Curiously, I find I feel sorry for him. He was caught in a paradigm shift, where suddenly his scientific work was being used to justify billions of dollars in expenditures. His knowledge and standards of data handling and documentation were insufficient, perhaps even wildly insufficient, to the task. They were fine when it was just him in his office fiddling with the global temperature. But …

For example, when I asked Phil for the data, I assumed it would be like almost every other database of climate information I’d dealt with. It would be in one single block, with the rows representing years and columns for station identification, monthly data, and the like. I thought it would be easy for him to email me that single block of data.

Instead, as the CRU HARRY_READ_ME file showed, there were hundreds and hundreds of individual data files. In addition, there were often identically named files that were for different stations, there was no semblance of version control, and no overall record of what files were, or where they might be located.

I was astounded when I read that. Everybody puts their data in a single block, with perhaps a second block for metadata … everybody but CRU, it seems …

That’s what I mean about how his skills and knowledge weren’t up to the task.

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the_Butcher

I can’t believe the emails weren’t enough to fire him and take him to law.

kwik

“Jones and others connected to the CRU fear the hackers may be sitting on more stolen e-mails, but Jones feels confident the worst is behind him.”
Does this mean we can hope for a Climategate II for Cancun?

The UK Information Officer responsible made it clear that Jones was not prosecuted because of the ridiculously short statute of limitations (6 months) which meant that any bureaucratic delay would allow the miscreants to escape.
They also made it clear that there was prima facae evidence that Jones had broken the FOIA.

BCBill

It is a bit heart wrenching to watch cognitive dissonance in action. One of the big failings of our scientific education is that scientists are not trained to recognize and deal with self delusion.

R. de Haan

British Rubbish

Manfred

he appeared to be a much better scientist, when he was on medication.

KenB

Yeah, I could be sorry for him, but only if he faced reality and accepted that he had bought climate science to an historic low in public perception. He should learn that confession is good for the soul AND rehabilitation!!

Jimmy

Last year he was more honest under pressure, not under medication. Since time has passed he cannot believe he had such a lucky escape, remorse is over once out of the limelight and it’s back to old ways. New miracle junk science for all, happy days.

The first necessary step to tackle a problem is to admit there is a problem. Jones hasn’t got even as far as the first base on rehabilitation.
… on a lighter note, with the knew hairstyle don’t you think he now looks exactly like his namesake and mentor: Corporal Jones of Dad’s Army!
Don’t Panic, Don’t Panic!
They don’t like it up mmm!

Don’t worry Jones, the fuzzy wuzzies** are not coming to get you!
**I lie … Natural variation!

Rob M

Quote:
Had Jones
broken the spirit of the law? “Not necessarily,
if you’ve deleted them ahead of time,” he
says. “You can’t second guess what’s going to
be requested.”
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alex the skeptic

“Jones and others connected to the CRU fear the hackers may be sitting on more stolen e-mails, but Jones feels confident the worst is behind him.”
Hehehehe… So there are more damning e-mails that Jones et al know about and that these could have been stolen together with the published ones but are still up the hackers’ sleeves. It seems that Jones should not only wait for a day before replying to an e-mail. He should wait for a week before replying to a journalist’s question. What’s his IQ? I wonder.

Jeff B.

I broke out my tiny violin for Phil. Don’t like your life? Stop living a lie and it will get better. Duh.
The public has figured out the scam whereas Dr. Phil is still in denial.

Kate

Who’s “the denier” now?

Willis Eschenbach

I enjoyed this from the Nature article:

The e-mails also triggered several official investigations, including one by the UK Parliament, which ultimately determined that Jones had not committed any serious offences. Case closed.

As my daughter says, “In your dreams, Dad”.
They were more subtle in their timeline, lying by omission.

2005 Britain introduces the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, giving critics a legal route to demand data from Jones and the CRU (above).
July 2009 The CRU receives 58 FOI requests in under a week as part of a blog campaign.

Makes it sound like things were going swimmingly, then suddenly the CRU is bombed with FOI requests.
In fact, I made the first request in (IIRC) 2006 for the CRU data. It was turned down. Other requests were made. We got the list of stations but not the data. They claimed there were secrecy agreements. We said OK, show us the agreements. They refused. We filed FOI requests for specific countries, about six countries at a time. That was to avoid any one of them being rejected because they entailed too much work.
That’s how we got to 58 requests in a week. Because they had blown off all of our FOI requests that had gone in one by one.
You don’t want to get 58 FOI requests, Phil?
Try answering the first one. If he had answered my initial FOI request, that would have been it for requests for the data. He could have avoided a host of grief.
Of course, the emails about the IPCC subversion were a different matter. Those are the ones that mysteriously vanished … Phil says he didn’t delete them, but somehow, they’re still gone.
Curiously, I find I feel sorry for him. He was caught in a paradigm shift, where suddenly his scientific work was being used to justify billions of dollars in expenditures. His knowledge and standards of data handling and documentation were insufficient, perhaps even wildly insufficient, to the task. They were fine when it was just him in his office fiddling with the global temperature. But …
For example, when I asked Phil for the data, I assumed it would be like almost every other database of climate information I’d dealt with. It would be in one single block, with the rows representing years and columns for station identification, monthly data, and the like. I thought it would be easy for him to email me that single block of data.
Instead, as the CRU HARRY_READ_ME file showed, there were hundreds and hundreds of individual data files. In addition, there were often identically named files that were for different stations, there was no semblance of version control, and no overall record of what files were, or where they might be located.
I was astounded when I read that. Everybody puts their data in a single block, with perhaps a second block for metadata … everybody but CRU, it seems …
That’s what I mean about how his skills and knowledge weren’t up to the task.

John Marshall

I am sorry, this man,and Mann, should have been sacked. This action was deplorable and to compound the felony drove government policy to pass acts of parliament which directly led to unnecessary energy price increases and wasteful use of resources building wind farms.

Stuck-Record

“Nature understands it wasn’t an inside job…”
Translation: ‘Someone at UEA or the police told us’.
Forgive me for being dense, but there are only three people who potentially know the truth, 1. The leaker/hacker, 2. The Police. 3. UEA.
Are we supposed to believe Nature spoke to the leaker/hacker? If not, then either 2 or 3 has leaked confidentiall info.
Is this legal? We’ve been told this is a live criminal investigation. Should UEA or police be leaking to friendly news outlets? Anyone know if I can FOI this, or make a complaint?
The 4th option is that UEA or Phil Jones lied to Nature. But that can’t be true, surely?

Steeptown

Willis:
You have to remember that UEA was a start up 3rd rate university in the 1960s looking for new subjects to study. 3rd rate environmental scientists like Jones latched onto the CRU. Jones was only a data clerk and a very poor one at that, who had no idea about quality control and data handling. He was totally out of his depth as a “climate scientist” and he still shows his lack of ability.

John R. Walker

It’s not over yet – this is the lull before the storm…

Roger Knights

kwik says:
November 16, 2010 at 12:05 am

“Jones and others connected to the CRU fear the hackers may be sitting on more stolen e-mails, but Jones feels confident the worst is behind him.”

Does this mean we can hope for a Climategate II for Cancun?

I’m keeping a lookout Friday (the 19th) for “Another miracle just happened.”
So’s the Team, I suspect.
(Back to the bunker, boys!)

Capn Jack Walker

Yar, she be about to blow hard me mateys, just check Oz on-line full circle of wagons with Ben suuch and such defending Flip Jones and .
The Bund is back in town.
The ponzis are not happy they got caught short.

I am delighted to know that Phil knows that there are more emails to come. Even if they don’t the fact is that Phil has admitted they may be out there.
And yes, there really should be a data dump of the CRU servers.

Stacey

Even more troublesome, Dr. Jones seems to have fully rationalized everything that has happened in the past year.”
Do you mean post rationalised, Anthony. 🙂

KnR

The journalist from the nature article is an ex-guardian hack , in turn the Guardian’s attitude to Jones is to report his words as if they come straight from god and are unquestionable, now you understand why the articles looks like it does. As for Jones views well its clear his really learnt nothing over the last year but who now will actual give much value to his ideas outside of those fully and blindly committed to AGW ? And this, amongst his other troubles, are issue of his very own making.

Tim

He was on medication during the previous interview, he says, and felt under pressure then to publicly concede that he had made mistakes.
And then he got his orders from above.

John Wheelahan

Nature.com article on Jones appears to be blocked for comment. Is it my subscription level or is Nature filtering critical comments? I wanted to highlight this email: Phil Jones, 11 March 2003, 1047474776.txt
“…….even with the instrumental record, the early and late 20th century warmings are only significant locally at between 10 – 20% of grid boxes.”

J. Watson

“Jones and others connected to the CRU fear the hackers may be sitting on more stolen e-mails, but Jones feels confident the worst is behind him.”
If he’s done nothing wrong, what has he got to fear?

Gareth

If Jones and others fear [alleged] hackers may be sitting on more stolen e-mails what else has Phil got to hide?
Nature believes it wasn’t an inside job. They imply it was an outside job. The third option of incompetence doesn’t appear in their thoughts?
Phil doesn’t look too warm in the picture.

Pederin

So much lying and fraud going on. Do the governments really think people are so stupid? We have Internet now. Internet SEES ALL, KNOWS ALL, REMEMBERS EVERYTHING. And it is not forgiving. Internet archives will not be kind to jones, gore, pachauri, and their ilk.

cedarhill

Text book case of how the media and those they support always bet on two things: the relative short memory of “the public” and it’s not what’s reported but what’s “repeated”. Until the modern era it worked virtually 100% of the time. With Jones, et al, if not for sites such at this one, Jones would be lining up shortly for a Nobel.

Goz

This just goes to show – we are dealing with criminals. A lying, dishonest crook, when caught, will continue to lie. That’s their nature.
And this is where we will fail.
Until people and politicians, start calling for jail sentences for people like Jones, Mann, Hansen, they will continue to lie and deceive because they know they will get away with it. They know they media is in on this fraud, and that the media has as much culpability as them – so the two will cover for each other.
This will only end, when these people face jail sentences, and are offered a “deal” for the first ones that come clean.
If the GOP for example, was to propose jail sentences for the people at the top of AGW hoax, but that there would be an amnesty for those that come clean immediately, you would see them fall like dominoes.

Alex the skeptic

If the AGW scientists were to design a rocket/module designed to land on the moon, basing their designs on physics/science having the same level of reliabilty as their climate science, the rocket would miss the moon by a hundred thousand miles and the module would land on alpha-centauri, or thereabouts.

Vorlath

Classic case of “it’s not me, it’s you” syndrome.

phonyjones

Something new added into our cultural lexicon:
Phil Jones = Global Laughing Stock
Example:
“Dude, you messed up man, You’re gonna be a total Phil Jones tomorrow!”

Al Gore's Holy Hologram

“One thing in particular I’m doing is not responding so quickly. I might have got an e-mail in the past and responded with an instant thought in the next 10 to 15 minutes, whereas now I might leave it a day.”
That’s how you respond to a girl on Facebook you want to sleep with. Except in this case it is Jones trying to screw the public.

Chris Wright

If I remember correctly, the person responsible for the Climategate release specifically said there were more emails. What better time to release them than on the first anniversary of Climategate? And just before Cancun? Fingers crossed….
By the way, when sanity returns to the world, I nominate two people for the Nobel Peace Prize: Steve McIntyre – and the person responsible for the Climategate release. In very different ways, both have made a huge contribution to the future wellbeing of humanity.
Chris

Anthony, you may have been misled by the subtitle of the story. If could just as easily have emphasized the Jones is “unrepentant ” one year later angle. Anyway, this reporter did a good job with the story:
http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/11/16/lessons-learned/

On UHI in China the climate emails provide this little tidbit:
From Jones to David Parker, coincidently sent by Jones while in Beijing 18 July 2007
“I’ve been giving some talks here and have more tomorrow. At CMA I’ve found they have a homogenized dataset of 745 stations for the country which they are preapred to give me at some point for inclusion. They have adjusted for all site moves but not for urbanization. It seems that it is almost impossible for sites here to be rural (maybe only 1% of the total). Sites move out of the city at regular intervals as the cities expand. So Beijing has 6-7 site moves since 1951! Also China seems to be the only
country that doesn’t use airport sites. None are located at airports. I’m going to give them my Chinese sites in return so they can do some comparisons. I’ll talk with their person (Mr Li ) more tomorrow.”
http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=809&filename=1184779319.txt

Darren Parker

Jones must be [snip . . . you know the policy] bricks – he KNOWS there’s other emails – of course he does, he wrote them – the ultimate M. Night Shyalaman twist would be, he is also the leak – Jekyll and Hyde style.

MattN

Why would he be afraid of any more emails the hackers might possess? Hmmm……

Robert of Ottawa

We knew wot we done weren’t right, so we pre-emptively got rid of the evidence.
Good grief!

Alan the Brit

Look here, chaps ‘n chappesses from the Colonies, we’re not all bad back in Blighty! The reality, as my dear elderly mother used to say, is “the Americans may have many faults (her views not mine) but they certainly know how to wash their dirty linen in public”! Whereas in the UK, it’s not, well cricket actually! We like to lift the rug & brush the [snip . . c’mon now] underneath so everyone keeps smiling, & chin up, stiff upper lip, etc. Professor Phil Jones is 58 so I understand, he’s is probably going to take early retirement at 60, so he has to hang on in there it get his years in for his pension, he is employed by a taxpayer funded organization (for the most part), so all pay & conditions are related to the public sector salary scales to the nearest penny, etc. I am afraid it’s in the British nature, that we feel revulsion & anger at being deceived & betrayed & lied to, regardless of whether it’s done for a noble reason of not, especially by public bodies & representatives, yet we lack the brutal trait to punish the perpetrator as he/she should be, we feel sorry for them for some peculiar reason, it’s just the way we are. (Personally, I think he (& all who have conspired) should be stripped of his position, title, & pension rights for using his position to further a “political” cause by lying – but hey, I am not your typical Briton, I have pride & standards for people in public life) That is why we have Public Inquiries, you know no one will get the blame unless they’re either retired or about to retire on a fat public funded pension, or in Blair’s case, he did only what he “believed was the right” thing, now there is a “get out of jail free” (GOOJF) clause if ever there was one 🙂

Solomon Green

“The e-mails also triggered several official investigations, including one by the UK Parliament, which ultimately determined that Jones had not committed any serious offences. Case closed”.
The critical word is “serious”. That impies that Jones had committed offences but that they were either not illegal or they were not sufficiently criminal for a prosecution to be set in motion.

Alexander K

As Dr Goebbels laid down in his propaganda manual, “repeat an untruth suficiently and it becomes truth.”
Reporters with their brains tuned to belief mode must help, too.

Coalsoffire

I used to have a busy criminal defense practice. I’ve moved on to better things. One observation that I made over and over in the particular, but share in general, is the ability of an offender, once caught, to rehabilitate himself in his own mind. When you visit him in jail on the night of his arrest he’s all contrite and remorseful for what he’s done. Upset that he’s been caught, of course, but still often exhibiting even some relief for the fact that the truth is coming out and perhaps some compassion for his victim. Even eager for some genuine rehabilitation. But as time goes on he usually begins to lose his sense of remorse entirely and rare indeed was the offender who continued over time to accept any moral responsibility for his actions. To the point that, even faced with overwhelming evidence, and often even his own admissions given in the first moments of his arrest or exposure, later on he will begin to sing his innocence and declare himself a victim of some conspiracy or unfair treatment.
This process is even more pronounced for those who, for whatever reason, (usually to accept a favourable bargain from the prosecution) enter an early guilty plea and have the matter resolved. Years later they will meet you (their defense counsel) and accuse you of having surrendered them unwillingly and wrongly to a completely unjust end, since in their current judgment they did nothing wrong and so the punishment they received must have been your fault. If you were to go back and show them their signed confession given under warning and without any promise or favor they would say as we read here that they weren’t thinking straight at the time, but now they understand it better. As they say, the jails are full of “innocent” men.
There is a perceived “benefit” to this self delusion, or it would not take place. It allows offenders to live with themselves in the happy delusion that they are the victims instead of facing and dealing with the nasty reality that they are perpetrators. Of course this sort of justification stands in the way of any change or improvement in their current or future behavior, as the foundation of all improvement is the self recognition of some defect that requires correction. This, in part, explains the strong tendency to re offend. When nothing useful has been learned from the exposure of the offence, the offender is unchanged and decidedly NOT rehabilitated.

DaveS

“Such shifts do not significantly affect results, Jones says, because there was no general pattern to the station relocation: on average, ones moving to colder places were balanced by ones moving to warmer spots. But the Chinese scientist who supplied the station information has now retired and the authorities there have not released the full station-history data — making it impossible for Jones, he says, to provide the evidence to support the statement.”
The notion that all these moves neatly balanced out the pluses and minuses seems so fundamental to the justification for the original paper that you have to ask, why was it not stressed in the original paper. To suddenly come out with it now, and claim that the supporting evidence is no longer obtainable, is bizarre, and does nothing for his credibility.

kim

Pushing guilt about lifestyle. Heh, the BRICs are guiltless.
============

RockyRoad

I don’t consider this Phil Jones to be a scientist, at least not when it comes to climate-related issues.
See, a scientist has data, can produce data, WILL produce data to support his hypotheses. Phil Jones won’t/can’t/didn’t. And neither is his methodology crystal clear, although humanity’s industrialized societal methodologies hang in the balance. It’s all a series of deep, mysterious pronouncements–apparently the unwashed aren’t allowed inspection rights.
He’s an abject failure–either due to complete disorganization, wilful misconduct (see Willis’ post stamped November 16, 2010 at 1:07 am), mental incompetency, or working some nefarious scheme to defraud others while aggrandizing himself.
But for whatever reason, he’s not a scientist. He’s a charlatan of the first order.
And that will be his sad legacy. He’s spent his whole professional life being a non-scientist!
(I hope, I hope, I hope there’s a repetition to Climategate–I’m betting what’s been revealed so far is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg!)

Sean Peake

Oh good, I love anniversary presents! OT, but looking at that photo of Jones, is he standing on a roof?

HR

After going thru the inquires and such maybe he believes he’s now invincible.