The secret letter UEA and CRU doesn't want us (or anybody else) to read

Uh oh.

Steve McIntyre has written an eviscerating essay about a secret letter circulated by the IPCC to UEA/CRU, which they are refusing to divulge, because:

there would be an adverse effect on international relations between IPCC WG1 and academic institutions within the United Kingdom because it would force is to reconsider our working arrangements with those experts who have been selected for an active role in WG1 AR5 from your institution and others in the UK”.

McIntyre writes:

On Feb 26, 2010, as part of their first response to Climategate, Thomas Stocker, a Climategate correspondent of Phil Jones and by then Co-Chair of AR5 WG1, sent a still secret letter to all WG4 Lead Authors, Coordinating Lead Authors and Review Editors under the letterhead of WG1, purporting, it seems, to represent the parent IPCC organization. The existence of this secret email came to light as a result of David Holland’s persistence in trying to cut through IPCC authoritarianism and secrecy. After learning of its existence, David submitted an FOI request, which has been refused, and which is now under appeal at the Tribunal.

We might also want to start a betting pool on how long they’ll be able to hold out.

[Edited] Readers might consider consulting the list of AR4 lead authors and asking institutions in their own jurisdiction (USA for example) for FOI requests that might yield better results than my original suggestion of FOI requests to UEA. UEA as usual isn’t in a cooperative mood, so those requests probably will be fruitless.

Another university or organization with no dog in the fight might be more receptive.

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Glacierman

If your job was to “present the current, best understanding of the science regarding climate change”, why would you be worried about secrecy? Why would transparency hurt working relationships with scientists who are asked to do this? Maybe things are not as publicly stated?

An Opinion

The letter also went to others around the world, including the U.S. So, there are other targets for FOI requests.

john

Hopefully someone will leak this “secret” letter, what do they have hide excepyt the truth?

David Larsen

I believe there was one Prof. in Montana part of the charade.

clipe

Change “because it will:” to “because:”

I’m assuming any British citizen can file a FOIA? My son-in-law just happens to be one. 🙂

John in NZ

Before a dam collapses there is seeping on the down stream side.

Andrew

You misplaced the procedure for FOI requests in the UK? I think they misplaced it, too. That’s why it’s taking so long. A simple mixup.

Steve McIntyre

Please don’t file FOI requests on this matter to UEA. That’s already been done and is under appeal. Further efforts doing the same thing will make it more difficult in the future. Please don’t do this.
On the other hand, you may wish to consider steps in your own jurisdiction.
REPLY: I’ve made some changes to the text which will likely yield better results – Anthony

Spence_UK

I would advise against a mass writing of FOI requests to the UEA. That wasn’t good PR for the sceptics last time it happened.
Note Steve McIntyre’s observation at the end. This letter went to other IPCC authors – including some in other countries that may have FOI legislation with more power than the weak UK one – possibly including people in the US. That angle is probably more productive.

Ron

Another fantastic and intriguing story for any investigative journalist to relate for his or her readers; ripe fruit hanging off the lowest branches ready to pick! Seth! Seth? Where arrrrrrreeee you?

Spence_UK

Oops – crossed post with the good Mr McIntyre. Luckily I’m on message today 🙂

Gunga Din

When people were commenting on “denier” vs “skeptic”, I said that “suspicious” would best describe my take on whatever they’re calling “global warming” now. “The Team” has yet to do anything to change that.

Jeff D

I am sure it would be easy to FOIA this in the US. We were promised an open and transparent Government. //sarc off….

David L. Hagen

What could possibly persuade the IPCC to renege on its policy of transparency and hide a letter to lead authors?

Today the IPCC’s role is also, as defined in Principles Governing IPCC Work, “…to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.”

Could history provide be any guide?
Or did Orwell better understand human nature subject to money and power?

James Abbott

[Snip. O/T. ~dbs, mod.]

Gunga Din

“Today the IPCC’s role is also, as defined in Principles Governing IPCC Work, “…to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding ….”
====================================================================
Kinda sounds like what this blog is attempting to do with things like the “Watts et al” paper.

Gunga Din

James Abbott says:
August 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm
So, away from “who said what” gossip …
Looks like 2012 may well see a record melt in the arctic:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
So while clearly there is not going to be a ‘nearly ice free arctic’ this year, the mocking piece
“Arctic Sea Ice Nearly Disappears September 22nd, 2012 1 month to go”
does not look so smart.
The ice in the Siberian sea is looking thin and vulnerable with open areas beginning to form – as it did in 2007. But concentration is less throughout almost the whole of the arctic region compared to the same date in 2007.
===========================================================================
Lowering the goal post?

cui bono

Secret mails. Cloak and dagger. What do these people say to each other when they actually meet?
” ‘I hear it is very warm in Lithuania this time of year’ “.
” ‘Yes, but that is due to Nadia, not global warming’ “.
“OK, quick, where’s the microfilm of WG6?”

Steve in SC

Wonder if Uva or pENN sTATE were included on this missive?

eyesonu

James Abbott says:
August 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm
So, away from “who said what” gossip …
=========================
And off you go to Arctic ice.
So you don’t like the thread?
Why are you here and why did you post such an OT comment?

HaroldW

“…the list of AR4 lead authors…”
The email was addressed to AR4 WG1 lead authors (& CLAs &c.), not all AR4 lead authors.

Fitzcarraldo

[Off topic. ~dbs, mod.]

James Abbott

I posted it because there is so much dross bouncing around the internet about climate change based on gossip and sniping, “secret” information, claims about false data, etc when what counts is real observations.
So right now we are looking at 2012 heading towards being the biggest melt in the arctic in the satellite record in terms of ice area – and the ice looks much thinner than in the previous record year of 2007.
This is IMPORTANT.
Maybe there is no recent WUWT piece on this because its inconvenient to the sceptic narrative ?
[Reply: There are regular sea ice articles and threads at WUWT, just wait for the next one. Please try to be patient, and calm down. What you are seeing is simply natural variability. ~dbs, mod.]

Gunga Din

eyesonu says:
August 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm
James Abbott says:
August 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm
So, away from “who said what” gossip …
=========================
And off you go to Arctic ice.
So you don’t like the thread?
Why are you here and why did you post such an OT comment?
====================================================================
I see two possibilities.
1. Obvious thread jack attempt. (That I fell for.)
2. He came across abit of information that relates to an old post about the artic melting and couldn’t/wouldn’t look up the the original post so made his comment on the most recent one. I’d advice him to wait. Whether the artic ice cap disappears as predicted or not, it will come up again as a post.

DirkH

Spence_UK says:
August 3, 2012 at 1:45 pm
“I would advise against a mass writing of FOI requests to the UEA. That wasn’t good PR for the sceptics last time it happened.”
“Good PR”? Skeptics NEVER have good PR because the Old Media are warmist. So, whether something is “good PR” cannot be a consideration for a skeptic. By definition the Old Media will be against him.

Robert of Ottawa

Secret letters amongst co-conspirators … this is politics, not science.

DirkH

Another thing. Whether one or 1,000 or 1,000,000 people write a FOIA request for the same thing is irrelevant, as all it takes is to add their e-mail address to a list.
So, when the warmist institutes or the Old Media complain about “harrassment” by mass FOIA requests that is a smokescreen. It means nothing. They are offended by it? Oh let them be offended, a law is a law.

Brian R Adams

Sunlight – The best disinfectant. And the most efficient planet warmer, as if …

Maus

Glacierman: “Why would transparency hurt working relationships with scientists who are asked to do this? Maybe things are not as publicly stated?”
Because people can be informal when they believe they can be informal. And some people are simply incorrigible cads and back-biters. Which may say a great deal about who should get first pick of the donuts in the break room, but what it does not do is have any necessary bearing on their formal and technical literature.
If their technical literature is well written, attempts caution and the avoidance of bias, the experimental setup is well described and vetted, replicable, and their conclusion do not speak beyond what the experimental setup allows? Then they could prefer infants parboiled as a food staple for all it mattered to the literature in question.
But it’s a longstanding tradition that if the employer pays for it, the employer owns it. And in a democracy the populus employs the government, and the government is hiring scientists on behalf of its employer. It all belongs to the public if it was done on company time. The question is less whether people would wish to keep off-color informal statements away from the HR department. It is a question as to whether or not the populus employs the government; or if it is that the government owns a herd of free-range humans.

Gunga Din

James Abbott says:
August 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm
I posted it because there is so much dross bouncing around the internet about climate change based on gossip and sniping, “secret” information, claims about false data, etc when what counts is real observations.
So right now we are looking at 2012 heading towards being the biggest melt in the arctic in the satellite record in terms of ice area – and the ice looks much thinner than in the previous record year of 2007.
This is IMPORTANT.
Maybe there is no recent WUWT piece on this because its inconvenient to the sceptic narrative ?
=============================================================================
Attempt #2.
If you have something, put it “Submit Story”.
Otherwise, wait, and when the ice cap is still there after Hansen or whoever said it would be gone you might realize what the REAL “Inconvient Truth” is. CGAW ain’t happening.
Now, back to the “Transparency”.

P Wilson

[Off topic! I’ll email Anthony asking for a new sea ice thread so everyone can put their comments in the right place. ~dbs, mod.]

wayne

IPCC: is, and always will be, corrupt to the core. Its parent, the UNFCCC, the framework, is also hopelessly corrupt at its administrative core. Dissolution is the only cure.

Jimbo

Secrecy in climate ‘science’ – that’s the ticket. Hide the decline, instruct others to delete emails, try and fire editors, try and block sceptical papers, refuse to divulge our paid for data. Why would you need to do such things if your ‘scientific’ evidence is so ‘clear’?
Part of the answer is follow the (oil & gas) money >>>
http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/
Billions have now been invested by governments, ‘green’ capitalists (Gore), the fossil fuel industry and other money schemers on this brazen scam over the trace rise of the trace gas CO2. How did we get to this?

P Wilson

[Although I agree with you, sea ice is OFF TOPIC in this thread. There will be a new sea ice thread soon. Save your ammo. ~dbs, mod.]

Ally E.

Robert of Ottawa says:
August 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm
Secret letters amongst co-conspirators … this is politics, not science
*
And very much part of the story of Global Warming. Science is important and the truth of science will win the day. Meanwhile, politics is responsibile for costs and damages. It’s politics that’s hiding the truth and politics trying to tear down civilization. We need to hear it all.

Ally E.

Judging by the number of off topic approaches in so short a time, this seems a discussion some are desperate to stop us having! 🙂

David A. Evans

Does this have any bearing on UNFCCC seeking in effect diplomatic immunity? (A concept I have never understood!)
DaveE.

Ally E.

David A. Evans says:
August 3, 2012 at 5:34 pm
Does this have any bearing on UNFCCC seeking in effect diplomatic immunity? (A concept I have never understood!)
*
I would say UNFCCC seeking diplomatic immunity is very much so that these inconveniences (FOI disclosure) won’t matter. If they were to get their immunity, the monster can show its face. They will no longer have to hide behind a mask of honesty or science or environmentalism.
You would think that this very secrecy and refusal to show their data and manipulation of data would raise more questions from the warmist camp. If their “science” is so sound and their only trouble is convincing the skeptics, first on their list should be willingness to share and prove. They’re the ones claiming time is running out and sacrifices are needed, yet they are so shy – world wide – to show what belongs to the people in any case. The data and methods.
Seriously, the warmist should be asking why is that. More, they should be putting pressure on those in charge of the data to do the right thing and reveal all. What’s to hide, right?
If THEY seriously believe CAGW is real, and WE seriously want to see the data and manipulations, WE COULD ALL PULL TOGETHER for the transparency necessary. So, I’m inviting the warmists to help us move this whole thing forward. They want to see action. So do we. Let both sides tell the climate scientists to stop behaving like selfish children and show everyone what they’ve got.

TerryT

Fix ” because it would force is to reconsider ” to ” because it would force us to reconsider”

Brian H

What would cause university researchers and authors to become disillusioned with the IPCC Working Group 1? Admission/evidence that “the Fix is In”, and the papers and authors will be cherry-picked, the conclusions fore-ordained, and rights of final edit approval denied.
Exactly the sort of sham “analysis” at the WG2 and WG3 level that caused many authors and reviewers to withdraw in protest, and even have to threaten to sue to have their names removed from the end document(s).

Gunga Din

“there would be an adverse effect on international relations between IPCC WG1 and academic institutions within the United Kingdom because it would force is to reconsider our working arrangements with those experts who have been selected for an active role in WG1 AR5 from your institution and others in the UK”.
==============================================================================
They almost sound like a company talking about the secret recipe for Coca Cola or Colonel Sanders’ (KFC’s) 11 herbs and spices.
What were they cooking up?

jdgalt

I wonder if Michael Mann’s name is included, either as one of the writers or as a recipient? Because if it is, then discovery in the upcoming Mann v. National Review libel case will very likely be able to reach this letter.

Rolf

The main problem is really that almost all people on any government payroll do seem to think the people on who they are living is only there to support their lifestyle. They do not understand they really should be and act as the servant of the people who make their position and lifestyle possible.

JFD

[SNIP: Sorry, JFD, but it is still off-topic. To allow this mention would get the thread off track again. Please. -REP]

CRS, Dr.P.H.

Tip o’ the hat to the Mods, you folks are working overtime tonight! Cheers, Charles the DrPH

Hot under the collar

The thing about a ‘secret letter’ between the IPCC and ‘the team’ is that I am sure we can all think of our own versions of what was probably included. Unfortunately most of the suggestions I can currently think up although very funny are unprintable.
Still, that’s never stopped me before – how about;
“…. just stall on any FOI requests and hope they get bored or run out of time, if rumbled just say ‘I know nothing governor’…….get our peer review friends to stop them publishing…..we can always get our friends in the societies to whitewash any inquiry ….If this email gets out onto WUWT and we get a bloody climategate 3 you will be waking up with a horses head and swimming with the fishes…….delete this email immediately”.
Just sayin 🙂

Caleb

I imagine an honest scientist would be disgusted with any request for any sort of cover-up. However they might also know that if they are the one who blows the whistle, they could kiss good-bye to any further grants. Therefore they would be unlikely to blow the whistle unless they were very ill, and had no future to care about, or else were independantly wealthy.
One escape for an honest scientist might be to have some underling release the email. If the whistle-blower is some part-time secretary, who simply answers the FOI request because he/she is doing their job and doesn’t know better, the honest scientist can look like they had nothing to do with it.
Now, regarding sea-ice…..

If the claims made by these people about climate fears were true then secrecy would not be required. The cover ups go a long way to show what a scam this alarmism is.

David Holland

Thomas Stocker’s letter went to some 40 Coordinating Lead Authors, Lead Authors and Review Editors of WGI with USA affiliations, and for Steve in SC, yes one was at Penn State – Richard B. Alley was a LA on Chapter 6.
One was from NASA – David Rind, Ch6/LA
Seven were from NCAR:
Guy Brasseur, 7/CLA
William D. Collins, 10/LA
Elisabeth Holland, 7/LA
Linda Mearns, 11/LA
Gerald A. Meehl, 10/CLA
Bette Otto-Bliesner, 6/LA
Kevin E. Trenberth, 3/CLA
Seven were from NOAA:
David Easterling, 3/LA
David W. Fahey, 2/LA
Thomas R. Karl, 3/RE
Sydney Levitus, 5/LA
Thomas Peterson, 1/LA
Venkatachalam Ramaswamy, 2/CLA
Ronald J. Stouffer, /LA
Who knows maybe one of them could post it up?