The tribalistic corruption of peer review – the Chris de Freitas incident

Climate Research (journal)From New Zealand Climate Change, this goes beyond “noble cause corruption”. This is outright malicious interference with the scientific process, and it’s damned ugly. I can’t imagine anyone involved in professional science who could stand idly by and not condemn this.

– Anthony

Climategate 2 and Corruption of Peer Review

The post here is a follow-up from my last post on some Climategate 2 emails, which I have tied together into a kind of narrative. Why should you read this? It is very simple. There are plenty of articles, views etc. out there claiming that the climategate 2 emails are being taken out of context. I have also seen Phil Jones has been saying that it is just the normal ‘to and fro’ of normal scientists going about their business etc. etc.

This is most certainly not the case in the emails that follow. There really is no hiding place for the authors, and no ambiguity. The emails will track how annoyance at the publication of a ‘contrary’ article in a journal develops into an attack on the editor, Chris de Freitas, an accomplished scientist. The attack includes a plot to see if they can get him sacked from his job at University of Auckland. Within the story, it is evident exactly what kind of ‘scientists’ the key authors are. The word scientist applied to these people has denigrated the meaning of the word.

Amongst those involved are Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Jim Salinger, Tom Wigley, Barrie Pittock, Mike Hulme + others. In addition Pachauri, the head of the IPCC is copied into many of the emails, meaning that he was fully aware that some of the key scientists in the IPCC were effectively out of control.

The post is very long, but please stick with it. The story unfolds, and is worth the effort if you really want to see what is going on. When quoting the emails, I do so minus annoying symbols such as >>>. Where I am commenting within the email text, I place the text as [this is my comments], and any bold text is my emphasis.

The starting point is email 2683, from 12 April 2003 when there is grumbling about a paper by Soon & Baliunas (S&B) published in the journal Climate Research (abreviated to CR in the emails). There is some discussion of the S&B study, and Mike Hulme discusses the potential of the paper on the thoughts of policymakers with Barrie Pittock:

Yes, this paper has hit the streets here also through the London Sunday Telegraph. Phil Jones and Keith Briffa are pretty annoyed, and there has been correspondence across the Atlantic with Tom Crowley and Ray Bradley. There has been some talk of a formal response but not sure where it has got to.  Phil and Keith are really the experts here so I would leave that to them. Your blow by blow account of what they have done prompts me again to consider my position with Climate Research, the journal for whom I remain a review editor.  So are people like Tim Carter, Nigel Arnell, Simon Shackley, Rob Wilby and Clare Goodess, colleagues whom I know well and who might also be horrified at this latest piece of primary school science that Chris de Freitas from New Zealand has let through (there are a good number of other examples in recent years and Wolfgang Cramer resigned from Climate Research 4 years ago because of it).

I might well alert these other colleagues to the crap science CR continues to publish because of de Freitas and see whether a collective mass resignation is appropriate.  Phil Jones, I believe, is already boycotting reviews for that journal.

The first point to note is their concern is as much about the impact upon policy as it is about the science. This will become important for setting the context for the progressive process in which they eventually seek to destroy the career of the offending editor.We then get a response from Salinger, in response to Pittock’s call for someone to ‘take up the gauntlet’:

Dear Mike, Barrie, Neville et al

Saturday morning here and thanks for all your efforts.  I note the reference to Chris de Freitas.  Chris writes very voluminously to the NZ media and right wing business community often recycling the arguments of sceptics run overseas, which have been put to bed.

I, personally would support any of these actions you are proposing particularly if CR continues to publish dishonest or biased science. This introduces a new facet to the publication of science and we should maybe have a panel that ‘reviews the editors’.  Otherwise we have the development of shonkey editors who then manipulate the editing to get papers with specific views published.  Note the

immediacy that the right wing media (probably planned) used the opportunity!

Your views appreciated – but I can certainly provide a dossier on the writings of Chris in the media in New Zealand.

There are several points of note here. First of all, the positioning of de Freitas as being part of a right-wing, and there is even suggestion of a conspiracy. Finally, just to demonstrate that de Freitas is an ‘outsider’, Salinger will produce the evidence. Having a different view, it seems, is condemnation. Pittock then responds to Salinger:

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I hope the co-editors of ‘Climate Research’ can agree on some joint action. I know that Peter Whetton is one who is concerned. Any action must of course be effective and also not give the sceptics an excuse for making de Freitas appear as a martyr – the charge should surely be not following scientific standards of review, rather than publishing contrarian views as such. If a paper is contested by referees that should at least be stated in any publication, and minimal standards of statistical treatment, honesty and clarity should be insisted on. Bringing the journal and publisher into disrepute may be one reasonable charge.

‘Energy and Environment’ is another journal with low standards for sceptics, but if my recollection is correct this is implicit in their stated policy of stirring different points of view – the real test for both journals may be whether they are prepared to publish refutations, especially simultaneously with the sceptics’ papers so that readers are not deceived.

On that score you might consider whether it is possible to find who de Freitas got to review various papers and how their comments were dealt with. I heard second hand that Tom Wigley was very annoyed about a paper which gave very low projections of future warmings (I forget which paper, but it was in a recent issue) got through despite strong criticism from him as a reviewer.

Here we have our first indications that de Freitas may be about to face problems.


People with bona fide scientific background should not review articles, as they might actually accept them for publication.

is it not partially the responsibility of climate science to make sure only satisfactorily [agreeing with their views] peer-reviewed science appears in scientific publications?

We Australasians (including Tom as an ex pat) have suggested some courses of action.  Over to you now in the north to assess the success of your initiatives, the various discussions and suggestions and arrive on a path ahead.  I am happy to be part of it.

Again, good science is the science that agrees with their own views. Bad science is to take an opposing view. ‘Purity of science’ is taken to mean ‘agreeing with my views’. Again, this is disturbing, but more disturbing is the moral righteousness that leads towards the comment that Salinger is happy to be part of it.

Also assessing copyright as the ‘other’ Soon/Baliunas paper in Energy and Env. is essentially the same as that in CR. Hans wanted to try this first, but didn’t want to tell all what he was doing. Fears a backlash if de Freitas gets removed without due cause.  So let’s all try and keep the emails down, and hope we can report something to all once the correspondence Hans initiates gets replies.

Here, they are trying to get de Freitas through other means, which is copyright violation.

This is all very tragic. I will, if I have time, try to finish the story, or others may want to take it forwards if they have the time or inclination. What I do know is that this particular case appears to be one of the most clear and damning I have yet seen with regards to the ‘team’ seeking to stifle debate, and ultimately destroy the scientific process. It is just all the more shocking for the tribalistic hounding of Chris de Freitas.

Read the full article here.

If you would like to see the next section of the story, it can be found here. It is even more damning, an excerpt:

email 4808.

Phil Jones is following up on the email of Mann, in which he proposes writing a letter to the other editors of Climate Resarch, asking for the editors to resign in protest at de Freitas being an editor.

Did anything ever come of this? [the email to the CR editors]

Clare Goodness was in touch w/ me indicating that she had discussed the matter w/ Von Storch, and that DeFrietas would be relieved of his position. However, I haven’t heard anything. A large segment of the community I’ve been in contact with feels that this event has already done its damage, allowing Baliunas and colleagues to  attempt to impact U.S. governmental policy, w/ this new weapon in hand–the appearance of a    legitimate peer-reviewed document challenging some core assertions of IPCC to wave in congress. They appear to be making some headway in using this to influence U.S. policy, which makes our original discussions all the more pressing now.

In this context, it seems important that either Clare and Von Storch take imminent action  on this, or else actions of the sort you had mentioned below should perhaps be strongly considered again. Non-action or slow action here could be extremely damaging.I’ll forward you some emails which will indicate the damage that the publication has already caused.

Thanks very much for all your help w/ this to date, and for anything additional you may be able to do in this regard to move this forward.

UPDATE: Dr. Chris de Freitas has responded here, well worth a read.


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The funny part is that de Freitas still has his job at Auckland University, while it was Salinger who was sacked from NZ Met Service.- for making unauthorised public comments

George E. Smith;

Well I had the good fortune to get hooked up with Dr Chris de Freitas, when I first returned to my alma mater in March 2004. a friend in the Business Finance Department, arranged the private meeting for me, and we had a good discussion of a number of climate related issues. Chris is a straight shooter, and I wouldn’t give Phil Jones and his cronies a snowball’s chance in hell of submarining him with their childish vendetta.
Besides that, we Kiwi take a dim view of some limey trying to tell us what is proper. We tend to have minds of our own.
And my apologies to the real Limeys, for associating Jones with them.

I’m glad this is being covered.
In Climategate 1 this is story that we largely passed over.
I talked a bit about it to frame the story of how Mann’s response to the Soon paper was to look for traitors. Glad to see somebody pick up the thread and delve deeper


Any doubt now that this is not about science and never has been. CAGW is just a pretext to cause fear so that the ignorant willingly accept the Marxist world envisioned by our betters.


Makes it even more obvious that there is a prima facie case to answer with regard to Wolfgang Wagner’s departure from Remote Sensing over the Spencer & Braswell paper.

Jay Davis

Is there anyway to get this stuff to ATI and Dr. Schnare? Maybe the judge would be interested, given the references to U. S. politics.


The funny part is that de Freitas still has his job at Auckland University, while it was Salinger who was sacked from NZ Met Service.- for making unauthorised public comments.
Yes, but even this year there was another round of media stories attempting to blacken de Freitas’s name.
Starts with ludicrous weather anecdotes, gives de Freitas some time in the middle, then slags him utterly at the end. Balanced, my foot!
“Victoria University’s Manning disagrees: “I think Auckland University does have a bit of a problem with a course looking like it is taking one side of the story and a minority view of that.” Yes, he believes in freedom expression and that it should be deeply ingrained in the structure of the university. “The right to have individual views is something that’s preserved because it is important – but there does become a point when you have to ask should you be teaching that?”
There’s also an amusing bit about how de Freitas is wrong to not teach the IPCC version, but no questions are asked about believers who don’t ever teach the sceptical viewpoint.


Another classic black=white, war=peace post from WUWT.
The corruption of peer review happened under de Freitas’s watch – he passed papers that reviewers had recommended to be rejected essentially unaltered into the journal (ref. Wigley comments). Even Hans von Storch agreed that the S&B paper made claims that were not justified by their analysis. The corruption here is all on the skeptic side and the natural reaction to a disfunctional journal is to abandon it.


Though it’s not clear if he did or not let us hope that Kevin Trenberth got an apology from deFreitas.

Bill Illis

I’ve said before that the Soon and Baliunas paper was actually a very good paper. All they did was gather up all the previous studies on the historical climate that they could find (some of which was just anecdotal since thermometres were not invented in 900 AD) and show that there was, indeed, a MWP and LIA.
Just read it carefully and read every word and review as many of the reference papers as you can stand and you will see they are not biased.
All they did was show that Michael Mann and Phil Jone’s tree-ring reconstructions were not accurate. Well, if anyone today thinks that the tree-ring reconstructions are accurate, they should put their hand up now and out themselves for being so gullible. Soon and Baliunas were just trying to fix the science.
Some of the ClimateGate emailers have shown themselves to be “extremely” paranoid (a psychologist could easily diagnosis this from the emails alone). They went on the attack since it disputed the Mannian Math and they had to do away with the MWP.
It is a very sad example of what the climate scientists became around this time and what they have been ever since.

Andrew Krause

JPY says:
November 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm
“he passed papers that reviewers had recommended to be rejected essentially unaltered into the journal”
You forgot to name the papers and the reviewers. “(ref. Wigley comments)” doesn’t cut it. Try agin please.

Have you read the whole post – can you not see the context – I mean the exact context of it all….this is what the ‘team’ all talk about in climategate 1 – the context.
In this case, somebody publishes a paper which questions the Mann thesis of no MWP, and lo and behold, the person allows this is apparently a corrupt editor. Read Mann’s own words on this….look at the whole story, look at each part of the story in context.
I’m afraid to say, when I have seen comments on this story from those who are not close followers or invested in this debate, they draw the same conclusion as I have. This is the point. Any ordinary person, seeing the whole context, will interpret the events the same way. Only somebody blinded by their own investment in a particular position can see it the way that you have presented here.

Allan MacRae

I wonder if anyone really understands the depths of “global warming” scientific and political corruption.
A trilion dollars has been squandered on inefficient, ineffective wind and solar power scams. One wonders how long our politicians and business leaders will continue as collaborators in this huge misappropriation of scarce global resources.
Some “skeptic” scientists have received death threats, and one had a pet taken from the yard and killed.. Sorry, no names, but this is reliable information, received first-hand from the victims.
One hopes the warmist scientists are a modest lot – they have much to be modest about.


Nothing surprises me anymore. At what point do we get to a modern “Senator McCarthy Moment?”

Graeme W

JPY says:
November 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm
Another classic black=white, war=peace post from WUWT.
The corruption of peer review happened under de Freitas’s watch – he passed papers that reviewers had recommended to be rejected essentially unaltered into the journal (ref. Wigley comments). Even Hans von Storch agreed that the S&B paper made claims that were not justified by their analysis. The corruption here is all on the skeptic side and the natural reaction to a disfunctional journal is to abandon it.

Actually, all I could see was that ONE reviewer recommended rejecting the paper. Do we know what the other reviewers recommended? From ancedotal stories, it seems it’s not that uncommon to have a reviewer reject a paper, but other reviewers to accept it and recommend it be published. I’m not sayng that’s the case here, but I didn’t see any evidence as to what the other reviewers thought about the paper in question.
Or do you believe that revewers should have the right to veto any paper? That the editor isn’t allowed to take conflicting opinions and make a decision as to whether a paper should be published?


Ahem……if you can’t see the buildup in this…..then you are blind as a bat with no radar.
ONLY a denier would not be able to see this. The true colors are becoming more apparant each and every day. The deniers have absolutely nothing of substance to prove that AGW is beyond certainty. It is so far from certainty that it isn’t funny……and one can only wonder…..wonder…….How someone is so blind.
I know….you were on OJ’s Jury……..phewwwwwwwww……that explains it.


james makes it into WSJ:
28 Nov: WSJ: by James Delingpole: Climategate 2.0
A new batch of leaked emails again shows some leading scientists trying to smear opponents..

We need a chart of these frauds.
Many little connections, some larger connections. Where to start,,, seems there may be some of the failed ice age global freezing ones at the head of this long snake.
Big job but seems it can be done. These e-mails could be a starting point.
One chart of the elected ones, one on Universitys, one on the grant money people, one on the hands on fraud infomation people, one on the go along make it seem real media types.
Then it would not such a problem to recreate how this lie/fraud came into being via the above enablers.
What is clear is that the elected ones and their justice system can not be trusted to indict the ones who sign their pay checks and dole out the retirement moneys.

R. Shearer

Right wing media…any mention of drug use in these emails?


The corruption here is all on the skeptic side and the natural reaction to a disfunctional journal is to abandon it.
Intriguing! So why did they have to do it all in secret?
If a journal passes rubbish, then it is ridiculed in public. If it continues to do so, it will no longer be read. None of that requires any secrecy at all.
That the Team were doing this in secret strongly suggests that they knew they were doing wrong. Or do you believe that the methods used by the Team were acceptable?
And when a pro-AGW journal publishes rubbish (say on Antartic warming). Do the Team go into over-drive then to sack editors? Or is this saved only for opponents?

Not sure if this has been covered at WUWT,
It seems to be a reasonably good partial view, it is good to see more work on the actual effects of the CO2 forcings, there might be hope yet for us all.


Archant Press (UEA-connected Board) weighs in:
27 Nov: Norfolk Eastern Daily Press: Tom Bristow: UEA’s Tyndall Centre rejects Mail on Sunday claims over influencing BBC policy
And a spokesman for the Tyndall Centre said: “We infrequently provide advice to media programmes for effective science communication when requested.
“We promote accurate information on climate change research, and will speak up against attempts to confuse the public with obscure, unsupported, or unbalanced reporting of the available evidence on climate change.
“The Tyndall Centre supports and encourages society to debate its options to manage our future climate. There is overwhelming evidence that the world is warming because of greenhouse gases.”


JPY “he passed papers that reviewers had recommended to be rejected…”
Which is an editor’s prerogative.
If Soon & Baliunas’ paper was so easily proved wrong then all the Team had to do was demonstrate how it was wrong.
That’s what real scientists are supposed to do – not conspire to get people fired.
Your attempts to defend the indefensible would be funny if the subject wasn’t so tragic.


Sooner or later, the “fire the traitors” philosophy will backfire – someone will decide that a leak came from a grad student they don’t like too much, and they’ll blackball that student. Who will immediately release all of the dirt they’ve accumulated over the years.

JPY says:
November 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm
I really have to ask what color is the sky in your world? Just because you disagree with something is no reason to start a witch hunt prove it wrong with real science instead of political machinations………..OH that’s right these fools can’t prove someone wrong with science because they have forgotten what science is.

Pamela Gray

JPY, your comment misses a glaring weakness in these alarmists posts about peer-review and sceptical research. And the glaring weakness is in a foundational precept of good science. I don’t think these folks are caught up in criminal acts. I think they are caught up in their “we are right” blindness and fear of the absolutely necessary search for disproof. Contrary research MUST be allowed to run apace and be published along side the alarmist view. Let me say it again, it MUST be allowed, even if it proves to be bad science. Do you get that? And do you understand how extremely disturbing the attempt to thwart that process is?


Bristow, the writer of the Archant piece, looks [like] it’s this guy:
Tom Bristow, Climate Change University of Edinburgh
click on pic and compare with the Edinburgh Climate Change pic…
Tom Bristow, EDP and Evening News reporter!/tomsbristow

I can see why you are posting anonymously. If I engaged in your sort of mendacityI wouldn’t want my family, friends and colleagues to see what a dishonest slime-mold I was either. I can’t tell from the article if Wigley was one of the reviewers for S&B or some other papers that also got accepted, but no where is there any indication that all of the reviewers rejected the manuscripts and they were accepted anyway. Indeed the tenor of the e-mails is concerned that DeFrietas is selecting reviewers who woould accept such papers.
Again, there is nothing in the article suggesting that von Storch had “agreed that the S&B paper made claims that were not justified by their analysis”… rather the quote was “…discussions I had with Hans last week in the US. I think he is now convinced about de Freitas and is drafting a letter with Clare to go to the publishers and to de Freitas…” It doesn’t sound like he had even read the paper.
Sorry, JP, but read the article again and hone your comprehension skills. The corruption is on the alarmist side, and your pitiful attempt at spin is just one more example of the sort of muck that needs to be cleaned out from our society.

Where did these people get their philosophical and ethical educations from? A glib answer would be something like a cereal box. That would simply devalue all the neat, if useless, stuff we got from them when we were children. They learned from two highly reliable teaching sources in western culture. The great religions and any politician you can find. This behavior raises “the ends justifying the means” to a level even Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli would need to work at conceiving.
These men have violated the one component of the philosophy of science that is necessary for it to even operate. That is Trust. I can accept their work even if they have no honor or shame but I can not, and never will again, accept anything they are involved with for they can not be trusted. Trusted to do what? Trusted to adhere to the most basic principals of science as described by Karl Popper and others.
At the very least this behavior is unethical and immoral, not things science is equipped to deal with. These are subjects that fall outside the philosophy of science, questions the scientific method and its attendant logic are not equipped to address. (I have written a number of essays about Trust and Ethics in science, all posted on my blog.)
What to do? 1. Refuse to read or submit papers to any journal that would use these men as reviewers. 2. Refuse to be a member of any organization that would allow any of them to hold any office.
This kind of thing does great harm to our profession and I am angered, disappointed and hurt by it. They have dishonored all of us who would use the name scientist. Being a Geologist I have a back up, Natural Philosopher, others do not.

For those who have never seen him, this is Chris de Freitas, with a viewpoint on Al Gore that I more than agree with:


JPY says:
November 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm
The corruption here is all on the skeptic side and the natural reaction to a disfunctional journal is to abandon it.
No worries, I swore off Nature and Science quite a while ago for not employing the “corrupt” sceptical principles and method of real science.

Joel Shore

Galane says:

“People with bona fide scientific background should not review articles, as they might actually accept them for publication.”
Which one of The Team wrote that? He ought to be shunned for life in scientific circles for that. People with bona fide scientific backgrounds reviewing and fact checking each others work anonymously is what peer review is supposed to be!

Actually, none of the team wrote that. It was a manufactured “paraphrase” by the author of the longer blog post that Anthony excerpted this from: Here is what was actually said:

This second case gets to the crux of the matter. I suspect that deFreitas deliberately chose other referees who are members of the skeptics camp. I also suspect that he has done this on other occasions. How to deal with this is unclear, since there are a number of individuals with bona fide scientific credentials who could be used by an unscrupulous editor to ensure that ‘anti-greenhouse’ science can get through the peer review process (Legates, Balling, Lindzen, Baliunas, Soon, and so on).
The peer review process is being abused, but proving this would be difficult.
The best response is, I strongly believe, to rebut the bad science that does get through.

If a paper is contested by referees that should at least be stated in any publication,
Was he as concerned that a referee should have contested the Mann Hockey Stick?

Galane says: November 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm
“People with bona fide scientific background should not review articles, as they might actually accept them for publication.”
Which one of The Team wrote that? He ought to be shunned for life in scientific circles for that. People with bona fide scientific backgrounds reviewing and fact checking each others work anonymously is what peer review is supposed to be!

Uhhh…. Galane, that was newzealandclimatechange‘s commentary on the e-mail, not a direct quote.


“…I heard second hand that Tom Wigley was very annoyed about a paper which gave very low projections of future warmings…” circa 2003
Oh, the horror!

Torgeir Hansson

DesertYote says:
November 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm
“Any doubt now that this is not about science and never has been. CAGW is just a pretext to cause fear so that the ignorant willingly accept the Marxist world envisioned by our betters.”
I think it is neoliberalism we have to fear, not Marxism. The Thatcher Government invented global warming to go after the coal unions. You can call old Margaret many things, but “Marxist” is not one of them.

I am hurt that nobody mentions my paper “The IPCC Future Projections: are they Plausible?” which was published by Climate Research Vol 10 pages155-162 in 1998. My paper was mentioned in Climategate 1 as an additional reason to be dissatisfied with Climate Research. Of course, I showed that the projections are not plausible, when you compare them with what actually happens and I elaborated this further in my book “The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of Climate Change 2001” where I showed that the currect IPCC projections cannot even predict the past, let alone the present or future.

Joel Shore

Pamela Gray says:

Contrary research MUST be allowed to run apace and be published along side the alarmist view. Let me say it again, it MUST be allowed, even if it proves to be bad science. Do you get that? And do you understand how extremely disturbing the attempt to thwart that process is?

Are you suggesting that there ought to be some sort of “affirmative action” (in the most extreme sense of this word) for such papers … Or, do you think that there should essentially be no peer review at all and all things, no matter how bad, be allowed to appear in the journal?
Basically, it seems like the “skeptics” want to have it both ways: They want to be able to wave around peer-reviewed papers that do support their point of view to non-scientists as evidence that there is not a scientific consensus AND they want the scientific reviewers to allow the papers through no matter how atrocious the science is.
Frankly, I think the “skeptic” community is to blame for the extent to which the larger climate scientific community has become concerned with having bad science published in the journals. In a scientific field that has not been politicized in the way that the “skeptics” have politicized climate science, the solution to having a few bad papers make it through peer review comes about naturally: They just tend to be ignored by scientists working in the field.
In climate science, the same thing would essentially still happen within the scientific community; however, in the larger society, through the echo chamber of the various political and ideological groups that oppose action on AGW, these papers are trumpeted to a public who generally do not have the background to distinguish bad science from good science. The natural reaction of scientists has then been to become more concerned than they normally would be with bad science getting into the journals because in this case their journals are not just serving as the place that scientists in the field go to read articles but are serving another, much more political, purpose.
If you read the full e-mails, rather than just selected parts and poor, even deceptive, paraphrases of what the e-mails actually say, that this is the basic concern of the scientists is quite clear.

FOIA only released 6,000 out of 126,000 emails. So we are working with about 3% of the material.
A few hours ago Willis pieced together emails that demonstrated that Phil Jones a serial liar.
Now this evidence that Phil jones tried to get others sacked for not enforcing a ban on other scientists questioning his settled view of climate change science.
Two silver bullets handed to the UEA on a plate. Are they just going to sit there and wait for the other 97% of the evidence to emerge before getting rid of this silly man who brings disrepute to their university?


Not sure whether these have been seen but try:


Bill Illis says:
November 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm

That’s about the size of it. The team was on record as saying they needed to get rid of the MWP. Now this paper shows up and says not only that there WAS a MWP, that “the hockeystick” was wrong, too. Turns out that Briffa himself apparently did the same thing McIntyre did with random sequences of numbers and got a hockystick result. The hockey stick is bunk, everyone knows it, members of the team say it should have never been published but they won’t say so in public yet they have no problem saying it in private.
A lot rests on that hockey stick because if that is wrong, people start to wonder how much ELSE is wrong. It is sort of a crack in the whole foundation that could lead to the whole house of cards, flimsily built as it is, to come crashing down around them. So they had to fight tooth and nail even though the papers were correct and the team was wrong and they KNEW it.
It is all so very sick.

On the same issue, here’s email 3052- an example ( from Salinger 24/04/2003) of conspiring(?) to put pressure on the VC of University of Auckland re having De Freitas on staff, perhaps implying he should be sacked.
Content of Salinger’s email:
“Dear All
For information, De Freitas has finally put all his arguments
together in a paper published in the Canadian Bulletin of Petroleum
Geology, 2002 (on holiday at the moment, and the reference is at
I have had thoughts also on a further course of action. The present
Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland, Professor John Hood
(comes from an engineering background) is very concerned that
Auckland should be seen as New Zealand’s premier research
university, and one with an excellent reputation internationally. He
is concerned to the extent that he is monitoring the performance of
ALL his senior staff, from Associate Professor upwards, including
interviews with them. My suggestion is that a band of you review
editors write directly to Professor Hood with your concerns. In it
you should point out that you are all globally recognized top
climate scientist. It is best that such a letter come from outside
NZ and is signed by more than one person. His address is:
Professor John Hood
Vice Chancellor
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Auckland, New Zealand
Let me know what you think! See suggested text below.
Some suggested text below:
*** he even provides a suggested letter to write for those in The Cause who are too intellectually challenged.***
Good hunting!


My husband is a chemist with over 25 years of experience in industry. He says the AGW “scientists” have the same level of maturity and grasp of reality as 5-year-olds. I thought he was exaggerating…but after reading this stuff, I see he’s right on target.


My problem with all of this, since the days of FOIA 2009, is this: the average person, with a strongly post-modern mindset, who takes the Team’s statements about the poor quality of the SB paper as factual, may see the Team’s behavior as a bit over the top, but understandable. Starting with the assumption that the paper was truly bad, allows them to forgive the Team (the Good Guys) their anger. Especially where something so important as climate policy is involved.
That’s how most honest people with no real exposure to the details of the situation probably see this, so I somehow think we won’t see any journalists interested in the story. Which is sad – this exposes the attitudes of the Team so clearly for all to see.
In a larger sense, that’s what’s always been the main problem. IF you assume the Team are on the side of the angels, and IF you assume that all sceptics are science-hating idiots, then much of the behavior of the Team can be explained away as justified. It’s very frustrating.


NOTE: 4241.txt is where Briffa apparently believes he recreates what McIntyre is talking about the hockey stick showing up no matter what data you feed into it. Briffa creates randomly generated time series, feeds them in to Mann’s maths and bingo … out pops a hockey stick.

I first generated 1000 random time-series in Excel – I did not try and approximate the persistence structure in tree-ring data. The autocorrelation therefore of the time-series was close to zero, although it did vary between each time-series. Playing around therefore with the AR persistent structure of these time-series would make a difference. However, as these series are generally random white noise processes, I thought this would be a conservative test of any potential bias.

The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is precisely the phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.


Also, anyone with access to Quaternary Research can find articles over the years referencing a warm period of time corresponding in time to the MWP in the Southern Hemisphere, too. There are several such papers. They seem to be more geology related, though, and not so much “climatology” so people in the climate field might have missed them.


3265 de Freitas’ defence :
” The criticisms of Soon and Baliunas (2003) CR article raised by Mike
Hume in his 16 June 2003 email to you was not raised by any of
the four referees I used (but is curiously similar to points raided
by David Appell!). Keep in mind that referees used were selected in
consultation with a paleoclimatologist. Five referees were selected
based on the guidance I received. All are reputable
paleoclimatologists, respected for their expertise in reconstruction
of past climates. None (none at all) were from what Hans and Clare
have referred to as “the other side” or what Hulme refers to as
people well known for their opposition to the notion that humans are
significantly altering global climate.”

The horror expressed by some climate scientists at the publication in a peer-reviewed journal of papers contradicting their position is based on the silly idea that (a) there ever is or could be certainty about a “scientific fact,” and (b) a peer-reviewed journal properly managed is a sure mechanism for ascertaining what is a “scientific fact.”
Both assumptions are based on bad epistemology.
Any fact that is beyond challenge is not a “scientific fact”. It is either an article of faith or a product of deductive reasoning, which by definition, is not a “scientific fact.”
No peer-review process is capable of distinguishing a true fact from a falsehood, a mistake, or a reasonable observation which is not what the observer thought it was.
Moreover, peer-reviewers are typically as fallible as authors of peer-reviewed journals. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be peers. Thus, peer-reviewed journal articles typically contain multiple errors and false inferences. This is a “scientific fact” derived from empirical research on peer review.
Of course, a scientist may not like a particular journal editor, or have much regard for the contents of a particular journal. But so what. There are plenty of other journals. Go publish there and leave it to the community of scientists as a whole to make up there mind which journals do a good job of sifting worthwhile contributions from the dross.

Robert Austin

Joel Shore says:
November 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm
Oh, it’s the skeptics who have caused the politicization of climate science. If we skeptics had just kowtowed to the so called experts on the team and minded our own business, other asture members of the team or members of the climate community at large would have detecteded the gross errors in the hockey stick reconstruction in short order. But before they could clean their own house, we skeptics pushed them into circling the wagons. We forced them into the mode of reprehensible behavior represented in the climategate emails. Alas, Joel Shore, but that is just unmitigated and perverse nonsense that will not wash when billions of dollars and people’s lifestyles are at stake.

Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta

Joel, seriously? You think the Climate Science community is awash in skeptic papers that should never have seen the light of day? Really?
Shall we each start a list? You list-off all the nonsensical skeptical papers that have been published in the past 20 years and I’ll list the absolute crap that has come out of the warmist publications. Would that be an exercise you’d like to see published? Heck, get some help because I’m sure this forum can list at least 20,000 idiotic essays from the who’s-who of Climate science. How are Hansen’s sea level predictions panning-out? And the “Ice-Free Arctic”? Ready to go walk that beach?

Vincent Jappi says: “Yeah, right! No result of arithmetic calculation qualifies as a “scientific fact”.
Exactly right, Vincent. The result of an arithmetic calculation is a deduction, not a scientific fact.
Mathematics is a system of tautologies so that any true statement in mathematics is logically certain, but it is not a scientific fact.
A scientific fact is something inferred from observation. No observational statement is logically necessary, or ever conclusively verifiable. Science tends to advance by the refutation of previously accepted scientific facts.
Hope that helps clear up your confusion.