Why all the cloak and dagger stuff if this is all settled science…?

Reader “just the facts” writes in comments:

Here is an example of Phil Jones trying to avoid a FOIA request, but he apparently struggles with the implementation…:

2577.txt

“date: Thu Sep 25 15:24:48 2008

from: Phil Jones

subject: Re: CONFIDENTIAL: Response

to: “Mitchell, John FB (Chief Scientist)”

John,

I’ve called Jo to say I’m happy with their response.

I’ll also delete this email after I’ve sent it.

We’ve had a request for all our internal UEA emails that have any bearing on the subject, so apologies for brevity.

See you in November!

Cheers

Phil”

http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=2577.txt&search=CONFIDENTIAL%3A+Response

I wonder why Phil planned to delete this email. Here is the response from Jo that Phil was happy with:

http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=5122.txt&search=CONFIDENTIAL%3A+Response

The Daily Mail covered this issue in 2010, i.e.

“Professor John Mitchell, the Met Office’s Director of Climate Science, shared responsibility for the most worrying headline in the 2007 Nobel Prize-winning IPCC report – that the Earth is now hotter than at any time in the past 1,300 years.

And he approved the inclusion in the report of the famous ‘hockey stick’ graph, showing centuries of level or declining temperatures until a steep 20th Century rise.”

“Some of the FOI requests made to them came from the same person who has made requests to the Met Office.

He is David Holland, an electrical engineer familiar with advanced statistics who has written several papers questioning orthodox thinking on global warming.

The Met Office’s first response to Mr Holland was a claim that Prof Mitchell’s records had been ‘deleted’ from its computers.

Later, officials admitted they did exist after all, but could not be disclosed because they were ‘personal’, and had nothing to do with the professor’s Met Office job.

Finally, they conceded that this too was misleading because Prof Mitchell had been paid by the Met Office for his IPCC work and had received Government expenses to travel to IPCC meetings.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1249035/How-Met-Office-blocked-questions-mans-role-hockey-stick-climate-row.html

Why all the cloak and dagger stuff if this is all settled science…?

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Bob Diaz

It would be interesting to try a FOI request on research not related to AGW. I willing to bet that all the “Cloak And Dagger” issues only happens when the work isn’t properly performed and questionable.

crosspatch

Why all the cloak and dagger stuff if this is all settled science

Because there is a lot of money and people’s personal celebrity status at stake. Tyndall Centre’s success is directly related to what those engaged in “The Cause” present. If CRU were to say “we were all wrong, CO2 has some but possibly a negligible impact on temperature changes we are seeing” then thousands of bureaucrats lose their jobs and thousands in academic “centers” do as well in addition to losing billions of dollars of government funds that pour into those various “centers” in countries around the world. Climatology loses its luster, they are no longer celebrities, no more trips to Tahiti for “vital” conferences and no more TV interviews. It goes back to the academic drudge work you might find in the geology department.

mark wagner

Why all the cloak and dagger stuff if this is all settled science?
Substitute “Conspiracy” for “Cloak” and “Obstruction” for “Dagger” and you’ll be closer to the truth.

Ed Caryl

I agree with Crosspatch, and add the real possibility of prison time and the loss of pensions.

DSW

^^^ What he said ^^^

jim hogg

I used to work for a local government authority not too far away from East Anglia and attended a seminar on implementation of the Data Protection and FOI Acts. The Local Authority’s lawyers conducted the seminar and it was plain from their approach that the standard attitude towards FOI requests – regardless of subject – was anything but cop-operative. This wasn’t just bravado talking at the seminar, it was consistently implicit in all of the responses to questions about dealing with requests for information. Basically there was an unofficial policy of sandbagging . . . . It was easy to get the impression that this wasn’t just the local approach. I suspect that many public authorities and bodies have a “this is our information and we’re keeping it” ethos, and this attitude might very well be at work in the CRU and similar places elsewhere in the UK – except where Chief Officers have a more principled approach or the law has been brought to bear effectively . . . though in such places there might still be unofficial deletion policies . . . . Human’s have many motivations for secrecy . . sometimes it’s all about control, or creating the impression of privilege etc . .

Dr Burns

Don’t you mean:
Why all the cloak and dagger stuff, if this is supposed to be science ?

jim hogg

I must learn to spell co-operative the new way . . and throwing apostrophes where they’re not supposed to go . . .

jim hogg

. . I give up . .!

RB

Isn’t this rather alarming?
Met office receives an FOI request. As a public body it has the obligation to respond. It runs its response past someone who is not part of the MET office? That person then states that he is deleting his reply approving the MET’s response, apparently because his own organisation has had an FOI request for emails held by his organisation in respect of the same subject matter.
So is it accurate to suggest that Jones deletes as a means (in his mind) of:
a) concealing the fact that he has commented on the response to the FOI request received by the MET, an organisation to which he has no connecion in the context of its own dealings with FOI: and
b) to conceal within his own organisation that he ever had such email contact with the MET?
Would some not describe this as dishonest?

ThePowerofX

[Using multiple screen names violate site Policy. ~dbs, mod.]

Steve from Rockwood

Start with the fact that people treat their company emails as private and confidential (even though they are not) and add to it the fact that some climate scientists are engaged in what is effectively political science. That pretty much explains it.

crosspatch

If there is a “puppet master” in all of this, it appears to be Hulme.

Given Prof Jones is a) a Prof, and b) in charge of all of this data he doesn’t seem to know much about data does he ?

Joachim Seifert

The flat temp plateau since 2001 makes them nervous and feel to have to resort to cloak and dagger style……. especially, (not to forget), the millenium achievement, the TAR and SRES reports of 2001, in which the “cream” of 40 institutes participated, predicted steep temp increases and not one single institute predicted flat rates to come….
their credibility is at stake…….therefore gatekeeping, collusion, info suppression and sharpening of knifes…..

Lars P.

crosspatch says:
November 26, 2011 at 11:28 am
Well said.

Doug in Seattle

It’s hard to get a grasp on what is more important to the team – research funds or “the cause”.

crosspatch

Part of the problem is one of culture. The British have a very deep seated culture of official secrecy. While they did pass a FOIA, that they treat it the way that they do is pretty understandable given their bureaucratic culture.
I would guess that much of this behind the scenes, inside baseball talk has now migrated to very unofficial correspondence using personal email accounts and private mailing lists and other fora. (such as in the US we had “Journolist” where various journalists coordinated their support for one political party, which was actually a predecessor of one called Townhouse which was also exposed).

crosspatch

Opps, meant Townhouse was a predecessor of Journolist.

It has already reached the ‘tipping point’. When someone in power, with the required courage, gives it a nudge, down it comes. Maybe the nudge is behind the AES-256 password, or maybe that will be revealed after the nudge happens. And these phonies will then be consigned to the dustbin of history…to atone for the wasteful sham that they maintained.

Hugh Pepper

It’s easy to understand how Professor Jones would be reticent to respond to FOI requests. He’s a scientist, not a PR person. His work is available on line and and in Journals. Many of the requests are repetitive and unnecessary. The world needs Dr Jones and his colleagues doing what they do best ie conducting research in an effort to clarify the world’s emerging climate crisis.

Hugh Pepper:
Your comments are really beyond parody. Are you sure you’re not a secret skeptic trying to make honest warmists look bad?

Hugh Pepper, when scientists take government money to perform research, they are legally obligated to respond to FOI requests. Their work is paid for by the tax payers, and therefore have a legal (and moral) obligation to make their work available to the public. They know this before they accept the funds. If they don’t want to deal with FOI requests and all that, then they shouldn’t accept government grants. Accepting government grants and then failing to respond to FOI requests isn’t just wrong, it’s illegal.

Gail Combs

Hugh Pepper says:
November 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm
It’s easy to understand how Professor Jones would be reticent to respond to FOI requests. He’s a scientist, not a PR person. His work is available on line and and in Journals. Many of the requests are repetitive and unnecessary. The world needs Dr Jones and his colleagues doing what they do best ie conducting research in an effort to clarify the world’s emerging climate crisis.
________________________________
OH Bull
The world need the scientific method brought back into “Vogue” instead of this kindergarten post-normal scientology type crap.
Scientist are human and they lie and cheat and make mistakes just like the next person. Open publication of the methods and the data so the results can be validated by another is part of the scientific method for that exact reason.
If it is hidden and can not be replicated it ain’t science. Pseudo-science to prop up propaganda is what these buffoons are doing not science.
You DO NOT toss your data if it is important enough to write a peer reviewed paper about. It should be archived in one form or another so the data is available to other scientists.
The fact that these guys tossed the data, data that is SO IMPORTANT that the results demand that we as an entire species are supposed to completely change our economies and life styles, is just a wee bit more than I can swallow.
JUST the fact the data got dumped is enough to tell me this stinks. It reminds me of the dog ate my homework excuse of a little boy.

Gail Combs

jim hogg says:
November 26, 2011 at 11:46 am
I used to work for a local government authority not too far away from East Anglia and attended a seminar on implementation of the Data Protection and FOI Acts. The Local Authority’s lawyers conducted the seminar and it was plain from their approach that the standard attitude towards FOI requests – regardless of subject – was anything but cop-operative…..
_________________________________
I am not at all surprised.
Why did citizens want FOI Acts in the first place???
Because of the waste, bureaucratic bumbling, graft, kickbacks, back scratching, lying, cheating…. and all the other reasons why we have protection for whistle blowers too.
Here is a really great example of the type of stuff that goes on when bureaucrats can hide in the dark.
SHIELDING THE GIANT: USDA’s “Don’t Look, Don’t Know” Policy for Beef Inspection
This investigative report, is part of an ongoing series on corporate and government accountability… http://www.whistleblower.org/storage/documents/Shielding_the_Giant_Final_PDF.pdf
People became ill and died but it was all swept under the rug and even to this day, despite a Congressional Investigation, no one has been brought to account. That is the type of thing that is being hidden and that is why bureaucrats will do everything they can to avoid FOI Acts.

Why all the cloak and dagger if they are being honest?

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Re Hugh Pepper on November 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm:
Once again Hugh Pepper delivers a blanket denial of wrongdoing suitable for release to the media, as would be expected from a professional damage control consultant.

RichieP

‘Hugh Pepper says:
November 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm
It’s easy to understand how Professor Jones would be reticent to respond to FOI requests. He’s a scientist, not a PR person. His work is available on line and and in Journals. Many of the requests are repetitive and unnecessary. The world needs Dr Jones and his colleagues doing what they do best ie conducting research in an effort to clarify the world’s emerging climate crisis.’
Yeah, that explains it all. Dream on and go back under your bridge. ‘Doing what they do best’ … fooling the gullible.

Jimbo

Can you imagine today any “cloak and dagger stuff” in relation to the theory of relativity? “I’ll delete my emails relating to mass, I will inform others to do likewise.”
The science is definitely not settled. We were told to expect to see more of the human fingerprint of warming as the decades proceed; now we are told to wait and see for the next 30 years, all in the face of flat temps for over a decade.
Follow the money. >>>>>>>>>

crosspatch

And if there is anyone who I feel kind of sorry for in all of this, it is Keith Briffa. He seems to reluctantly go along in order to get along but has serious doubts about the quality of the data that is being used as such a key part of everything.

Gail Combs

ThePowerofX says:
November 26, 2011 at 12:55 pm
…..A lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike for the people that request data (i.e. sceptics who too often allege “fakery” and “fraud”). That is why, when the same data is requested by a respected university, they have no problem supplying the information.
Climate scientists hate you. Simple as that.
_____________
No it is not that simple.
The scientist at the “respected universities” are all part of the you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” clique. The sceptics, some from well known Universities, are not only hated but FEARED
You can see in the e-mails that the CAGW group was not happy with Mann’s “Hockey stick” but NONE of them were willing to stand by McIntyre and McKitrick. Also remember Ross McKitrick worked in the Department of Economics, University of Guelph.

Hugh Pepper: What part of “it is against the law” do you not understand?

Still want to know who put both ClimateGate and ClimateGate 2.0 out!

If you grep for Teri, now Tata, you will find another cloak and dagger story. I just read it diagonally and don’t make head or tails of it, but it’s full of secrets.

crosspatch says: November 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm: If there is a “puppet master” in all of this, it appears to be Hulme.
Ah-ah! My growing notion indeed, although he was not the only one. Lots of the most doubtful stuff appears to go through him.

Dr. Everett V. Scott

The problem is systemic and global. Organizations have learned to game the system to their own advantage. They really do believe the ordinary citizen has a duty to unquestioningly step up and pay the bills and not complain:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-government-agencies-20111125,0,1389031.story

jorgekafkazar

crosspatch says: “…If CRU were to say “we were all wrong, CO2 has some but possibly a negligible impact on temperature changes we are seeing” then thousands of bureaucrats lose their jobs and thousands in academic “centers” do as well in addition to losing billions of dollars of government funds that pour into those various “centers” in countries around the world…”
Climatology: too big to fail.

They remind me of a bitch killing her whelp to protect it from another dog, better to destroy the data than to let i fall into the hands of the unanointed. Now the next step the cabalistic machinations to cover their tracks. They have obviously left the domain of science and entered the domain of clericalism; and they call us deniers!

crosspatch says: November 26, 2011 at 11:28 am […] If CRU were to say “we were all wrong, CO2 has some but possibly a negligible impact on temperature changes we are seeing” then thousands of bureaucrats lose their jobs and thousands in academic “centers” do as well in addition to losing billions of dollars of government funds that pour into those various “centers” in countries around the world.
It is likely, at the current point, that even if Phil and the entire CRU and even Mike said that, politicos would rather replace them than say the last decade’s policies and huge investments pushed by the CAGW idea were based on an error — oops, we’re sorry. As someone said (reference will not be given) from a certain stage on scientists are no longer needed. Everybody but the taxpayer sems to have an ongoing interest in this.

Political Junkie

PowerofX writes:
“Question: Why all the cloak and dagger stuff..?
Answer: A lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike for the people that request data (i.e. sceptics who too often allege “fakery” and “fraud”). That is why, when the same data is requested by a respected university, they have no problem supplying the information.
Climate scientists hate you. Simple as that.”
Duh! Surely the main reason FOI laws were designed (and needed) was for precisely the cases where information that should be in the public domain was being withheld from a “hated” party!

crosspatch

As someone said (reference will not be given) from a certain stage on scientists are no longer needed. Everybody but the taxpayer sems to have an ongoing interest in this.

Well, sort of. The “scientists” in this case are priming the pump. It is apparently Hulme who saw all this coming and configured UEA to take best advantage of it (e.g. founded Tyndall Centre). At some point this crop of scientists will no longer be “needed” but will retire in high status as “founders” of an entire new cash stream employing lots of people whose entire product is inefficiency in the name of “environmentalism” and “saving” the Earth.
But when that time comes, nobody inside will be able to raise their voice because they will be squashed. If they appear skeptical in school, they will be given bad grades, they will see their theses shot down, they will not be published, they will be silenced. If they change their stripes after becoming successful, they will be portrayed as having gone “Whacko”, they will be called names and ridiculed. The culture in climate science will become much as it is now with political science and journalism departments at many schools … only the “correct” point of view will be tolerated and all other points will be weeded out and/or suppressed.

Robert E. Phelan says:
November 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm
Hugh Pepper:
Your comments are really beyond parody. Are you sure you’re not a secret skeptic trying to make
honest warmists look bad?
====================================================================
Is it possible that someone invented a “parody post producer” and that’s the most wicked one they could generate??

edbarbar

Here is my essential issue with the Warmistas. Let’s grant the Warmistas all their assumptions, global warming is real, it’s here, and it’s going to have massive economic consequences, millions will be killed, wars will break out, etc.
Then why not develop Nuclear energy? There’s so much Uranium, we make bullets out of U-238, which can be converted through an admittedly slow process into Plutonium like the French do. And we could also invest in developing Thorium based nuclear power plants, and export the energy technology to the world. Instead, the US hasn’t built a nuclear power plant in the US in decades.
Somehow, though, the most obvious non-c02 producing energy producer is off limits. The arguments that apply to green energy are not allowed for nuclear, such as “productizing it will make it better and cheaper,” but is off limits to the Warmistas. Their solution is to make expensive energy, alla Solyndria, and other worthless wasteful Green projects that seem to reward their friends and large corporations.
It makes little sense to me, the complex mind of the Warmista. I think I’m missing something essential in the equation.

Thank you for all your work trying to uphold what I was taught was the essence of science; theory, experiment, observation, followed by revision of theory as necessary in the light of those observations. Since most commenters here are from North America, it might be useful to be reminded that ‘ First Amendment Rights’ are something of which we Brits can only dream.
The fact that our current head of the Royal Society (which I fondly think of as the fons et origo of modern science) is a Warmist makes me despair.

cui bono

crosspatch says (November 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm)
If there is a “puppet master” in all of this, it appears to be Hulme.
———————–
Perhaps, but the message from so many of the mails is that the egomaniacal, bullying, manipulating Grand Vizier in all of this is Mann, urging the team on to ever more dubious levels of nefarious activities. If Jones and his CRU had made public their doubts about Mann and his work the history of the last decade in terns of climate science would have surely been very different.
To misquote Hamlet:
“What a piece of work is Mann, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god!”
Well, a ‘piece of work’ anyway….

crosspatch

Then why not develop Nuclear energy?

DING! DING! DING!
Because it isn’t REALLY about CO2 and it isn’t REALLY about “global warming”. It is about making people AFRAID of CO2 and “global warming” so that they can implement their other strategies. Nuclear power plays poorly to their political base (ever seen a Green Party member of any consequence that was in favor of nuclear power?).
If this REALLY was about CO2, sure, they would be bending over themselves to actually cut CO2 production but they aren’t. What they are about is MOVING the CO2 production from Europe and the US to China, India, and Brazil (chiefly, among other places). All of the rules and regulations won’t change CO2 production one iota on a global scale but it will change it locally in the target countries. What this is about is making energy production much more expensive in developed countries, hamstring their economic development, force production to less developed nations and do so under the direction of unelected bureaucrats (various UN agencies, “centers” such as Tyndall, even CARB in California etc) who can’t be thrown into office by the voters and were not put into office by voters.
If we faced such a drastic danger from CO2, they would be beside themselves in demanding that we switch our power production to nuclear NOW, but they aren’t. It is about creating a centrally managed global economy and using the fear of CO2 as the mechanism for getting people to accept it. Nuclear would require no new bureaucracies, no centers, no lifestyle changes, no “radical” activism. It would pretty much mean life as usual with much cheaper electricity without major changes.
It isn’t REALLY about CO2 at all.

richdo

Nothing “cloaked” about non-compliance with FOI in this exchachange (text 4911) between Phil and Mike ….
Phil: “This was the first thing I tried in order not to comply back in Feb.”
http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=4861
Phil Jones wrote:
Mike,
I think many people at IAMAS will be a long way from the conference centre.
I’d just go along to the session and enjoy Umbria the rest of the time. You
might find wireless there, so maybe add an extra hour or two to get some
decent connection time.
For the UK FOIA, anybody can make a request. The UK Act isn’t limited to
UK citizens. It seems this isn’t generally realized even within the UK. This was
the first thing I tried in order not to comply back in Feb. Our Act also applies to
all data – regardless of where it comes from, so is not restricted to UK data. The
Canadian Act is also this wideranging.
So if I’d written a paper about some Martian data, then a person from Venus could
ask me for it !!!! The Act in the UK clearly wasn’t designed that well!
Ciao
Phil

crosspatch

cui bono says:
November 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm

What we have here is a case of two very powerful “useful idiots” (Mann and Jones) who seem (to me) to rate pretty high on the narcissism scale. Their narcissism is being stroked. They love it. They are now famous. Briffa, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to be nearly so narcissistic and seems troubled that the science really isn’t all that settled.
Mann and Jones (among others) are being used but they are being stroked and they like it, actually, they THRIVE on it. As long as they find a source of that narcissistic energy, they will feed on it.

crosspatch

Actually, toss Hansen in with Mann and Jones.

richard verney

Phil Jones says “I’ll also delete this email after I’ve sent it.”
Surely, Jones could not have forgotten to press the delete button once the email had been sent. I understand that he has problems with Excel but surely he knows how to use email and the delete button on the keyboard!
Did Jones delete the email?
If so, why is it amongst the emails that have been released?
What does this say about the source of these emails, by which I mean the server on which they were stored?