BREAKING: University of Arizona loses FOI suit for emails – Overpeck and Bradley's emails to be made public

People send me stuff. It looks like the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund just blew another wad of money for nothing. A long running court battle to get access to Malcolm Hughes (one of Mann’s hockey-stick MBH98 co-authors) and Jonathan Overpeck’s (paleo tree guy and ranter on Twitter) just came to a head with a decision.

Here is the ruling:

IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion requesting disclosure of the withheld emails which were identified in the initial and supplemental logs as prepublication critical analysis, unpublished data, analysis, research, results, drafts, and commentary is GRANTED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall submit a request for attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to ARS §39 – 121.02(B) by July 8, 2016. The request shall include an affidavit and itemized billing statement in compliance with Schweiger v. China Doll Rest., Inc., 138 Ariz. 183, 673 P.2d 927 (App. 1983). Defendant shall file any objection/response by no later than July 22, 2016. Plaintiff may file a reply, if desired, by no later than August 3, 2015 [sic].

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall submit a proposed form of judgment by July 8, 2016. The form of judgment shall have a blank space for the Court to write in any attorney’s fees and costs it deems are warranted.

Ouch! We’ll post the emails when we have them. These emails go all the way back to 16 years ago, and may solve some of the mysteries and questions surrounding the Climategate emails.

UA-FOIA-ruling (PDF)


For Immediate Release:

June 16, 2016


Craig Richardson

AZ Superior Courts Sides with E&E Legal and Orders UofA to Disclose ‘Climate’ Related Public Records Including Correspondence of Longtime Activists Hughes and Overpeck

Washington, DC – On June 14, 2016, the Superior Court of Pima County, Arizona, the Honorable Judge James Marner, ordered the University of Arizona to disclose certain “climate” related public records sought by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), correspondence of two U of A academics, Malcolm Hughes and Jonathon Overpack, who featured prominently in the 2009 and 2011 “ClimateGate” releases of public records.

The University had withheld these records, dating from 11 to 15 years ago, from public view since a 2011 Arizona Public Records Law request.  The request deals predominantly with climate change communications and specifically should provide further insight into development of the so-called “hockey stick” graph, activism by university professors using public resources, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The 2009 and 2011 “ClimateGate” releases of public records also were subject to freedom of information laws, and the subject of stonewalled requests prior to being leaked apparently by a whistleblower concerned over those same efforts.  One of these U of A employees was a co-author of a particularly controversial paper at the center of these revelations, with his lead co-author, Michael Mann, describing the activist climate agenda in several emails as “the cause”. The other U of A employee has been at the center of this “cause” by his activism relating to and arising out of his work at the University, using University resources.

As such, these records likely include significant overlap with those withheld for years during the University of Virginia’s decade-long efforts to keep its own involvement in climate alarmism from the public.

Commenting on the decision, Dr. David Schnare, E&E Legal’s General Counsel, and lead counsel in the case, stated: “This is a landmark case that address the joint needs to ensure transparency while preventing harassment of academics. Academics have increasingly become a significant part of the policy-making process, requiring significant transparency in their activities. Judge Marner struck a wise balance.”

Schnare continued, “The decision is a straight-forward and clear factual and legal ruling, the result of deep and thoughtful efforts by Judge Marner to sort through this difficult issue, which are plainly evident in the hearing transcripts.  Those hearings and the briefing in this case helped refine the arguments central to striking the proper balance of scrutiny that comes with public funding, as well as concerns inherent in the transparency which is essential to research, particularly research  that serves as the basis for economically and socially significant policies.”

The Court found that the University did not “specifically identify” any “substantial and/or irreparable private or public harm” that would come from releasing the documents; without such a harm, the legislature’s clear and overriding preference for transparency and public accountability prevailed.

The Court rejected the University’s argument that “release of the requested emails would set a dangerous precedent that would seriously and negatively impact higher education in Arizona and throughout the country.”  The Court did not “ignore the repeated ‘chilling effect” concerns” raised by the University, but concluded that “potential harm is speculative at best, and does not overcome the presumption favoring disclosure of public records containing information about a topic as important and far-reaching as global warming and its potential causes.”

The Court also addressed the University’s arguments regarding protection of academic freedom, holding “they go beyond championing academic freedom and, in effect, promote the creation of an academic privilege exception to [state public records law]. This is a proposition more properly made to the legislature rather than the courts.”  This finding may be the most critical outcome of this case, regardless of the public education that results on this matter of great public interest.

Upon receipt, E&E Legal will begin review of the more than 1,700 emails and other documents, after which it will make them publicly available to all interested in the history of this important period during which academics demonstrated significant influence on the public discussion on global warming and the human influence thereon, and the often highly political “cause” being undertaken by academics, the IPCC and others.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is a 501(c)(3) organization engaged in strategic litigation, policy research, and public education on important energy and environmental issues. Primarily through its petition litigation and transparency practice areas, E&E Legal seeks to correct onerous federal and state policies that hinder the economy, increase the cost of energy, eliminate jobs, and do little or nothing to improve the environment.


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June 16, 2016 4:44 pm


June 16, 2016 6:42 pm

… and they are MILD
~Pall Mall

Reply to  gary turner
June 17, 2016 6:17 am

… and they are WILD
– Something Else

June 16, 2016 8:31 pm


Reply to  Wrusssr
June 17, 2016 1:01 am

the legislature’s clear and overriding preference for transparency and public accountability prevailed.

What ? Transparency? But … but .. this is SCIENCE ! That’s different.

June 16, 2016 4:49 pm

When the light flicks on
Shining in dark spaces
We see hidden truth

Reply to  coaldust
June 16, 2016 4:52 pm

Oh drat I missed a syllable…

Reply to  coaldust
June 16, 2016 5:06 pm

When the light flicks on
Shining bright in dark spaces
We see hidden truth

Reply to  coaldust
June 16, 2016 5:08 pm

which one? Looks like 5-7-5 to me…

Reply to  coaldust
June 16, 2016 5:50 pm

We also see the cockroaches heading for cover…

Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
June 17, 2016 11:42 am
Follow the Money
Reply to  coaldust
June 17, 2016 4:24 pm

Maybe we will see the origins and evolution of the treemometer theory. I.e., the misinterpretation of strip bark as caused by increased CO2, later changed to caused by increased temperature because such interpretation was more lucrative. Following, dendros around the world fell into a money-fed mania measuring treeline tree rings as temperature proxies.

June 16, 2016 4:53 pm

holy cow

Reply to  chaamjamal
June 16, 2016 7:45 pm

No not a cow, Honorable Judge James Marner.
With emphasis on the word Honorable. But yes it’s simply amazing.

Reply to  SC
June 17, 2016 12:19 am

I suppose he couldn’t be seconded to the Mann v Steyn trial? At least a decision might be made then.

June 16, 2016 4:54 pm

The situation with regard to emails is a bit <a href=" The alarmist scientists’ emails are subject to FOI because they are public servants. Exxon’s emails aren’t subject to FOI. It is what it is.

Reply to  commieBob
June 16, 2016 4:59 pm

Sigh! Second time today that I’ve messed up a link.

The situation with regard to emails is a bit asymmetric.

Reply to  commieBob
June 16, 2016 5:58 pm

They aren’t subject to FOIA, but are to subpoena – which can be much worse. However, in both cases you generally have to be specific – in this (FOIA) case, they were. In the Exxon case, it was a 40 year fishing expedition, with no evidence of a crime a priori. That’s not allowed in either situation.

Scott Scarborough
Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
June 16, 2016 6:35 pm

Yes it is allowed. FOIA is FOIA. No crime has to be even implied!

Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
June 16, 2016 7:50 pm

Scott, you are incorrect – FOIA does not apply to private companies or individuals, just government entiies, including universities, etc. No crime has to be invoked for FOIA, but it does for subpoena – which is why the Exxon situation makes no sense. See this:

Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
June 17, 2016 12:35 am

Scott pay attention to what you are reading. Exxon’s internal communications are not subject ot an FOIA request, especially one that simply hopes to find evidence of wrong doing somewhere, some time. There’s very likely at least some mildly dingy laundry related to climate issues, but probably very early and focused on very specific issues. Public institutions (operated by tax money) in contrast are. The MBH hockey stick was poor practice from start to finish and the Climategate emails reveal clear confirmation biases in the investigators. More to the point, a scientific discussion should always be open, regardless of funding. That leaves you wondering what the investigators might want to conceal.

Bryan A
Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
June 17, 2016 2:20 pm

Did e-mail even exist in 1975?

Stephen Greene
Reply to  commieBob
June 16, 2016 7:53 pm

If you use tax payer grants, we have oversight. Always. Academics think think they are exempt. Bottom line!

Reply to  Stephen Greene
June 16, 2016 9:15 pm

Indeed. The notorious Dr. Phil Jones noted in one of the Climategate emails that he didn’t see himself as a “civil servant”. Which is exactly what he is.

Reply to  Stephen Greene
June 17, 2016 1:11 am

Jeremy. Don’t confuse USA and UK. Two different nations each with their own laws.
Research in the UK even when publicly funded is not in automatically in the public domain. When it is actually a govt. body ( like UK met office ) it is usually it is crown property.
This is why actual data is so hard to get hold of in UK and you are likely to have to pay an exorbitant “extraction fee” for the most banal climate data if you want the original records or daily data.
Phil Jones is not a civil servant. Those working for Met Office are ( it is part of the UK ministry of defence ).

Reply to  Stephen Greene
June 17, 2016 3:45 am

There would never have been a problem if they had kept climate research to the rather arcane theoretical (though no doubt interesting) subject that it was for decades.
As soon as the environmental activists got their hands on it and saw an opportunity to further their anti-human, anti-modernist, (dare I say “anti-science”?!) agenda and the researchers saw a goose laying a lifelong stream of golden eggs and the UN activists saw a tailor-made opportunity to enhance their own prestige then this was always going to be the outcome, no matter how long delayed.
Hubris rules!

John Silver
Reply to  commieBob
June 17, 2016 4:25 am

Of course, the main question is: Why does Climate Science need a Legal Defense Fund?
Why, oh why, oh why, oh why?
Climate Science isn’t criminal, is it?

Reply to  commieBob
June 17, 2016 4:27 am

Interesting isnt it?
that emails created pursuant to employment by the federal government, or use of federal grants is covered by FOIA, when private emails aren’t?
Perhaps thats because FOIA is meant to address federal documents and information. you think?

ferd berple
Reply to  commieBob
June 17, 2016 8:46 am

Exxon’s emails aren’t subject to FOI.
Did the taxpayers provide the $$ to fund the Exxon research? That is really the crux of the matter. If you take public money you are accountable to the public to show what you did with it. If you use your own money, then it is your own business.

Reply to  ferd berple
June 17, 2016 12:25 pm

There is a Federal level FOIA, and individual state ones, as well as individual university ones, but in all cases the FOIA only covers “government owned/run” entities-organizations that “belong” to the State or Federal Government, and even then, only certain types of information can be requested, and not all requests must be granted. This particular case was with regard in particular to the State of Arizona and the University of Arizona’s FOIA policies.
Since EXXON is a privately owned/held company, it doesn’t matter if it received federal or state taxpayer money for anything, it is not defined as “a government owned/run entity”, and the FOIA does not apply to private organizations/companies. The Act was designed to allow citizens to inspect workings within their government run agencies, period.

Mario Lento
June 16, 2016 4:57 pm


June 16, 2016 4:59 pm

Outstanding news. Hope Mann’s are the next to be made public.

Reply to  kramer
June 16, 2016 5:30 pm

“Why should [he]make the [emails] available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with [them].”

Reply to  Aphan
June 16, 2016 10:53 pm

Because here is strong evidence that there IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM,

Reply to  Realist
June 17, 2016 11:27 am

I was hoping the subtle reference was clearer…:)
“Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”-Phil Jones-response to Warwick Hughes when he asked for Jone’s data.

Reply to  kramer
June 16, 2016 5:47 pm

Mark Steyn also hopes that Dr. Mann has to produce his emails. Mann has sued Steyn and has delayed producing discovery for four years.
I wonder if Mann has any way to appeal the ruling that he has to comply with FOI.
I also hope this will help Dr. Tim Ball. What is happening with his case? This link says Mann’s case was dismissed because he didn’t produce discovery as required. Why, then, do I see no mention of it on Dr. Ball’s site?

Reply to  commieBob
June 16, 2016 6:47 pm

I found this dated 2-15-2016- not sure if it’s factual or not-

Javert Chip
Reply to  commieBob
June 16, 2016 9:53 pm

Wow, good stuff in Alphan’s link. Lines like “Pinto the Wonder Horse” and (my personal favorite) “[Mann being intoxicated]… by the smell of his own bulls**it,…”.

Reply to  commieBob
June 17, 2016 11:58 am

Your link to “Mann’s case was dismissed …” only links back to this article, not the one you referenced. I would be interested in seeing that.

Reply to  commieBob
June 17, 2016 3:01 pm

teapartygeezer says: June 17, 2016 at 11:58 am
Your link to “Mann’s case was dismissed …” only links back to this article, not the one you referenced. I would be interested in seeing that.

I have no idea why but I had a series of brain farts. I was trying to link to the site that Aphan found above. I find it ‘interesting’ that Dr. Ball’s site isn’t trumpeting the victory.
Civil suits often end on terms that require non-disclosure. Dr. Ball’s silence doesn’t automatically mean that he didn’t win.
Anyway, Dr. Ball commented on the case in a WUWT story back in February. link

Reply to  commieBob
June 17, 2016 4:01 pm

commieBob … Thanks for the February 2016 link to Tim Ball’s WUWT article. His comment on the case states …

… McConchie advised my lawyer that the Michael Mann case that was filed after the Weaver case will go to court on February 20, 2017.

So, the court dismissed the case BEFORE it came to trial … because Mann refused to produce his (Hockey Stick) data for expert examination??? That surprises me … I would have thought that would be an issue for the trial itself.
Tim Ball wrote his article on 2/13/16.
Bret Harte wrote his article just 2 days later, on 2/15/16.
Are we sure that the Bret Harte article is credible?

Reply to  commieBob
June 17, 2016 6:55 pm

teapartygeezer says: June 17, 2016 at 4:01 pm
… Are we sure that the Bret Harte article is credible?

I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. 😉

Reply to  commieBob
June 18, 2016 7:23 pm

Are we sure that the Bret Harte article is credible?

Dr. Ball says it’s bogus.

Reply to  commieBob
June 18, 2016 7:31 pm

Thanks for the follow-up, commieBob. Gee, we have to be so careful not to fall for bogus stories like this.

June 16, 2016 5:00 pm

….Oopsy !

June 16, 2016 5:06 pm

I work in the private sector, I understand I would not want my emails made public. There is always a little fudge factor to get through the daily grind which could be construed as dismissive but definitely not fraud or endangerment. Would I go to court over them and spend many thousands to prevent releasing them, absolutely not. When it is public money, I guess the purse is limitless. As well, my emails are not driving policy of governments to spend billions of tax payer money.

Reply to  Duncan
June 17, 2016 4:12 am

I’m a lecturer at a public University in my country, which has an FOIA. There is nothing in my e-mail that the world couldn’t see with my good will. If I wanted to keep mail secret these days, I’d put it on the back of a postcard.

Reply to  Richard A. O'Keefe
June 17, 2016 5:17 am

If I wanted to keep mail secret these days, I’d put it on the back of a postcard.

Exactly so. The list of people who have been tripped up by their email and text messages is long. My favorite is David Petraeus who, as Director of the CIA, should have known better.

george e. smith
Reply to  Richard A. O'Keefe
June 17, 2016 7:44 am

Or post it on your front door !
I did that once. Posted a note in plain English, where to find the key, so my MIL and FIL could get in. They were on their way by car, so I couldn’t phone them to tell them where the key was.
It’s a real problem, cleaning up the bones that my dog didn’t eat. Yes, only eats live prey !

Reply to  Richard A. O'Keefe
June 17, 2016 8:00 am

You could set up your own e-mail server in your basement.

Reply to  Richard A. O'Keefe
June 17, 2016 8:25 am

Exactly, never put anything in emails, texts or phone calls that you would not want the world to see/hear.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Richard A. O'Keefe
June 18, 2016 5:53 am

Ah yes – but in South Africa, the chance that the Post Office would actually DELIVER it is rather less than 50%!

June 16, 2016 5:07 pm

Great news, they are not above the law. ANy update on Lord Monckton and his group?

June 16, 2016 5:12 pm

I liked this part in particular- (bold mine)
“Here, upon de novo review, the Court finds that AzBOR has not met its burden justifying its decision to
withhold the subject emails. In making this finding, the Court does not ignore the repeated “chilling effect” concerns raised in the affidavits and in the pleadings. However, the Court concludes that this potential harm is speculative at best, and does not overcome the presumption favoring disclosure of public records containing information about a topic as important and far-reaching as global warming and its potential causes.
As noted in the previous ruling, the affidavits/arguments of AzBOR are compelling. However, they go
beyond championing academic freedom and, in effect, promote the creation of an academic privilege
exception to ARS §39 –121.
This is a proposition more properly made to the legislature rather than the courts.”

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Aphan
June 16, 2016 5:15 pm

Subject matter should have no bearing on FOIA.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
June 16, 2016 5:26 pm

Michael, never said it did.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
June 16, 2016 5:36 pm

I was just adding to your post since the mention of it is right between your bolded sections…sorry if that wasn’t clear.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
June 16, 2016 6:29 pm

Ah. 🙂
It edited funny when I posted it-incomplete paragraphs etc. I just liked how the judge basically said “You know…your concerns that making public documents available TO the public, as per the well established and well known laws, might cause someone potential harm, are pure speculation, and have zero effect on those well established and well known laws. Academics are just like everyone else, they don’t get special treatment or exceptions to that law either. So cough up the emails.”
Subject matter should have no bearing. And neither should academic standing or whatever the public employees consider to be “chilling”. 🙂

June 16, 2016 5:16 pm

Well, when I win the great big lottery, the The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is going to be on my “here’s a big pile of money” list.

Reply to  DonM
June 16, 2016 5:19 pm

Then you will be thus be named…” Big Oil” !!

Reply to  DonM
June 17, 2016 12:43 am
June 16, 2016 5:18 pm

Something tells me that hard drives are crashing all over the place right now and we’ll see next to nothing.

Reply to  nigelf
June 16, 2016 5:25 pm

Nigelf-Hard drives crash all the time. Data is retrievable, and neither one of this guys was even smart enough to NOT write such emails using University email addresses. We’re not dealing with geniuses here. 🙂

Reply to  Aphan
June 16, 2016 7:54 pm

Well we are dealing with geniuses here but obviously not the ones who’ve read Asimov’s “Thinking About Thinking” or Rosner’s “Dumbass Genius” which list funny and completely stupid things that those 2 very bright fellows did. At least those 2 have a good time poking fun at themselves over it.
Warnings unheeded will now be paid for.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Aphan
June 16, 2016 8:17 pm

Check out what happened to the computers in the office of Premier Dalton McGinty of Ontario after he had a billion dollar shady goof.

Reply to  Aphan
June 17, 2016 4:34 am

I hope your correct but remember when the East Anglia University CRU all of a sudden “lost” their original temperature data when after years of dodging and legal wrangling with Steve McIntyre they were finally ordered to release it. As far as I know there were no legal or punitive repercussions for that at all. But this is the US and not the UK so I guess we shall see.

Reply to  rah
June 17, 2016 11:57 am

Well, technically it wasn’t “lost” so much as abandoned, thrown out, discarded etc according to East Anglia-
“We are not in a position to supply data for a particular country not covered by the example agreements referred to earlier, as we have never had sufficient resources to keep track of the exact source of each individual monthly value. Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data.”
There is a big difference between data that you choose to get rid of “due to storage space issues in the 1980’s” and the digital data already written on a hard drive today. And while you CAN “crash” a hard drive on individual computers, or attempt to delete all of the “emails” from a specific account, copies of those emails sent to and from the University are stored on the University’s server backups somewhere as well, not to mention in the computers and servers of everyone those emails were exchanged with. And emails deleted from one place and not all of the others would be proof that someone was trying (stupidly) to hide something that cannot actually be hidden that way.
The judge even mentions that “At the time the emails were generated, Professors Hughes and Overpeck were aware that, because they were state employees using their employee email addresses, the emails were subject to public records requests.” AND “Alternative methods of communication have been and remain available to Professors Hughes and Overpeck and any other similarly situated person should they desire to correspond in confidence regarding research projects and like endevours.”
It’s a huge WAKEUP call to academics at least here in the US, that if they work for state/federal run schools and assume/pretend/are misinformed that their “academic” emails and communications with others are “private” or somehow protected as their own “intellectual property”, they are SADLY mistaken. What they do and say while acting in the capacity of employees of “the people” belongs to those people and that those people have the RIGHT, by law, to request to examine those things whenever they choose to.

Reply to  Aphan
June 18, 2016 5:13 am

A case in point about intellectual property is the invention of the laser. It was a long drawn out affair in court. Bell claimed that he invented it when he worked for them and he claimed he invented in college. Just because you invent something doesn’t mean it’s yours.
I have a lot of ideas too. I wouldn’t even bother.

Tom Halla
June 16, 2016 5:23 pm

My, my! A university opposed to transparency. Who would have thought of such a thing? 🙂

Reply to  Tom Halla
June 17, 2016 6:55 am

My school, good ol’ U of A. Lived in Tucson many years long ago…

Reality Observer
Reply to  emsnews
June 17, 2016 11:12 am

Still here, it hasn’t changed all that much. Interesting to me, though, is that the AZ AG actually had the guts to sign the letter telling the extortionists in other States that, OK, you pulled out the lawfare – so will we.
Overpeck may just have to change his name to “OverPeckOTrouble” – he would be a fine target for a fraud trial.

June 16, 2016 5:36 pm

Maybe a way into Mann’s emails via a back door.
Sorry for the possibly ineradicable image that might conjure.

June 16, 2016 5:40 pm

It is a big step on the road to truth, no matter where it will lead us. I think some one else asked about where Moncton’s case is at . Can he elaborate ( anybody) without jeopardizing his case?

June 16, 2016 5:44 pm

More chickens coming home to roost. About time.

William Rambo
Reply to  ristvan
June 16, 2016 6:52 pm

Oh this is gonna be good. It’s better than any soap opera I’ve ever seen.

Just Some Guy
June 16, 2016 5:44 pm

Looking forward to reading them. Although if there are any big smoking guns related to the Hockey Schtick, I doubt the media will cover it.

Reply to  Just Some Guy
June 17, 2016 4:12 am

If the MSM have any sense, they’ll recognise the tide is turning. This will mean a subtle shift away from outright advocacy to the “other scientists suggest” meme, but without any admission they were wrong, and ‘forgetting’ to interview alarmists such as Gore, etc.. Question is, do the MSM have any sense?

Reply to  ilma630
June 17, 2016 5:49 am


Question is, do the MSM have any sense?

If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes. FYI, the MSM are no longer the lead dogs.
Blogs rule! ABCNNBCBS drool.

Reply to  ilma630
June 17, 2016 7:28 am

“If the MSM have any sense, they’ll recognise the tide is turning.”
The MSM are for the most part Leftwing ideologues who are not too influenced by public opinion.
The MSM often hold views that are not held by the majority of Americans. Such as climate change danger. The MSM thinks climate change (CAGW) is a danger, most of the American public do not.
This rejection of the CAGW theory by Americans has not caused the MSM to reexamine their position on CAGW. They think they are right, and the American public is wrong. They will continue this theme as long as there is doubt as to the future direction of the Earth’s temperature.

Sweet Old Bob
June 16, 2016 5:49 pm

Overpeck must be having a bad day …maybe he has pecked off more than he can chew ?
Maybe he just got debeaked ? Karma ……8>))

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
June 16, 2016 7:17 pm

Well, I bet his feathers are ruffled but hopefully he won’t chicken out and run afowl of the court. The fox is in the henhouse now.
Get it? Poultry Puns?!
/Norm MacDonald

June 16, 2016 5:50 pm

Overpeck has a pool also…the pump is a big energy hog

Reply to  Jamie
June 16, 2016 6:05 pm

If he was in the pool when this news was announced, I’ll bet he’s going to have to check the filters…

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
June 16, 2016 8:35 pm


June 16, 2016 5:51 pm

Is there any difference between “academic freedom” and freedom of speech. I think not!

Reply to  Steve Heins
June 16, 2016 6:02 pm

Ah, but Freedom of Speech is not “academic”, it’s a fundamental right. Sorry, had to have my little play on words…

Reply to  Steve Heins
June 16, 2016 10:20 pm

As a retired professor, I can clearly tell you there is a difference. Academic freedom makes it difficult to fire people for exercising their freedom of speech. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is much less effective against attempts to get people fired for what they say.

Bruce Cobb
June 16, 2016 6:03 pm

Uh oh. Get ready for the weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and cries of “this is a monstrous attack on science and on all scientists everywhere who are only trying to do what they’ve been trained to do – science, by the oil-funded D-word-ist Industry”.

Ray Van Dune
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 17, 2016 2:19 pm

Nope – they know if they make that much noise, the MSM can’t just ignore it as a “local” story. If they keep it quiet, he lofos will never hear about it, and the Climate Change racket will continue to be a cash cow for thousands of amateur and professional hustlers, and continue to siphon funds away from real science..

Jimmy Haigh
June 16, 2016 6:13 pm

Excellent! When will we get to see them?

June 16, 2016 6:26 pm

and what did he win, johnny?
maybe wait to see the contents to decide if the struggle was a win or just a trip down the garden path.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  gnomish
June 16, 2016 7:11 pm

Hard to believe they didn’t have something to hide considering their legal battle to keep them hidden in response to a FOIA request.

Reply to  gnomish
June 17, 2016 12:28 am

But surely it will have set a precedent?

June 16, 2016 6:37 pm

No chance those E mails get released . The dog ate them or someone broke into the office have already been used .

June 16, 2016 6:37 pm

This is an excellent decision, because it drives home the point that work done with taxpayer support is completely subject to FOIA. If you take public money, you have to divulge all your communications and results.
Next up: Public access to computer code written/used by tax-funded researchers
In high school math class, the maxim was “Show all your work”

Reply to  GeologyJim
June 16, 2016 7:11 pm

GeologyJim – Oh, my! Public access to the computer code for MBH98. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
My guess is that a few of the statisticians and mathematicians around this site would have a field day with that code. Talk about a peer review!

Steve Fraser
Reply to  GeologyJim
June 16, 2016 8:36 pm

Hmm…NASA, too?,yummy.

Reply to  GeologyJim
June 17, 2016 7:18 am

Except in Ontario according to McKitrick!

June 16, 2016 7:16 pm

I don’t understand. A year ago Arizona U won on this issue in what appears to me to be the same court(Arizona Superior Court, Pima County). Can anyone explain how the same court can decide both ways, a year apart?

Reply to  JohnMacdonell
June 16, 2016 7:23 pm

We appealed the first decision because the judge used the wrong standard of review. The appellate court agreed with us and sent the case back down to be done properly. The first couple of paragraphs in the decision explain what happened.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  JohnMacdonell
June 16, 2016 8:29 pm

In the USA cases always go first to the most incompetent court available. That way, all the lawyers and all the judges and all the TV reporters and TV hack commentators and all the celebrities get to have their moment in the spotlight. 300 million people and many times that number of opinions.

June 16, 2016 7:17 pm

Can this ruling be appealed?

Reply to  Louis
June 16, 2016 7:28 pm

Yes, they can appeal. However, because the decision was as to the facts (not a decision about what the law says) to win on appeal the university would have to show the trial court’s factual findings were clearly erroneous. To protect his decision, the judge made multiple findings and cited to specifics. It will be a very high bar to clear for the university. Time will tell if they want to take a run at it. They have 30 days to decide.

Reply to  David Schnare
June 17, 2016 7:12 am

Kudos to you and your colleagues, David. This truly is a landmark ruling, and possibly pivotal in the battle against the alarmists and their sham science. Your check is in the mail.

June 16, 2016 7:40 pm

Pulling the warmist pants down one leg at a time for the great reveal, do they wear green underwear?

John Harmsworth
Reply to  TG
June 16, 2016 8:35 pm

Changing colour as we speak!

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 16, 2016 9:02 pm

LOL +97 Elons

Javert Chip
Reply to  TG
June 16, 2016 10:11 pm

We may be in for the full Monty, hockey-stick-wise.

Reply to  TG
June 17, 2016 3:56 am

They’re “Watermelons” (taking UK journalist James Delingpole’s analogy, & title of his book) “Green on the outside but red on the inside”.

Edmonton Al
Reply to  TG
June 17, 2016 7:52 am

Green pants— red underwear

Reality Observer
Reply to  TG
June 17, 2016 11:17 am

No, they don’t. Green pants, red underwear. With tasteful hammer and sickles on each… lobe? (Trying to stay PG, t’ain’t easy…)

Evan Jones
June 16, 2016 7:45 pm

Good Lord!
Not only was the motion granted, but they got dinged for attorney fees. I work in a law office and that only happens once in a blue moon. Sort of like when a jury pronounces you “very, very guilty”.

Reality Observer
Reply to  Evan Jones
June 17, 2016 11:23 am

Yep. We have one of those “you can’t vote to hire them, but you can vote to fire them” judicial systems here. So my normal practice is to vote every last one of them out.
With a very rare exception (the lawyers have to really, really hate them). Here’s another one – vote to “Retain” Judge Marner 2016!

June 16, 2016 7:55 pm

“…by their fruits ye shall know them” Matthew 7:16-20
Not that I am in any way religious. However, not only are scientists perceptive. Consider this, if you are to “”bring the light to science” how do you propose to do this in the dark?
Such a stratagem will, and has, worked for those with the attention span of a gnat. Not so much for those that do not. (hence the ruling)
However the most intriguing question is that which is almost never asked: Can anthropogenic emissions of GHGs extend Holocene interglacial warmth? The ultimate test of the AGW hypothesis.
This question the Overpeck’s, Bradley’s, Mann’s and Alley’s etc. of the academic world brush aside with a wave of their scholarly hands.
If it were that simple.
Anthropogenic GHGs either can or they cannot extend interglacial warmth. That’s it! That’s all there is to this.
Only 1 post-MPT interglacial has lasted longer than about half a precession cycle, and that was MIS-11, which consisted of two insolation/precession peaks, separated by many thousands of years of near glacial conditions. The very best we can hope for is that via AGW we can not only span the time to the next precession peak but perhaps obviate glacial inception even beyond the next, regularly scheduled, interglacial.
As H. sapiens we get to the next interglacial via the only means so far proposed, GHGs, or we arrive at the next interglacial via typical population “bottlenecks” during the next glacial. Or we deplete the late Holocene atmosphere of glacial-cheating GHGs and then beat H. sapiens with genetic tools like CRISPr.
It literally is just that simple.
I’m sorry, I truly am, but that is all that all of this is about, period.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  William McClenney
June 16, 2016 8:45 pm

Except given the limited amount of time we have left using fossil fuels and the even more limited residency time of atmospheric CO2, it’s pretty iffy that we will dodge the next glaciation without putting Oprah- sized mirrors in space. Also, CO2 has next to nothing to do with temps.

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 16, 2016 8:50 pm

“We will illustrate our case with reference to a debate currently taking place in the circle of Quaternary climate scientists. The climate history of the past few million years is characterised by repeated transitions between `cold’ (glacial) and `warm’ (interglacial) climates. The first modern men were hunting mammoth during the last glacial era. This era culminated around 20,000 years ago [3] and then declined rapidly. By 9,000 years ago climate was close to the modern one. The current interglacial, called the Holocene, should now be coming to an end, when compared to previous interglacials, yet clearly it is not. The debate is about when to expect the next glacial inception, setting aside human activities, which may well have perturbed natural cycles.
“On one side, Professor Bill Ruddiman carefully inspected and compared palaeoenvironmental information about the different interglacial periods. This comparison let him to conclude that glacial inception is largely overdue [4, 5]. According to him, the Holocene was not supposed to be this long, but the natural glacial inception process was stopped by an anthropogenic perturbation that began as early as 8,000 years ago (rice plantations and land management by antique civilisations). On the other side, Professor Andre Berger and colleagues developed a mathematical model of the climate system, rated today as a `model of intermediate complexity’ [6, 7] to solve the dynamics of the atmosphere and ice sheets on a spatial grid of 19 x 5 elements, with a reasonably extensive treatment of the shortwave and longwave radiative transfers in the atmosphere. Simulations with this model led Berger and Loutre to conclude that glacial inception is not due for another 50,000 years, as long as the CO2 atmospheric concentration stays above 220 ppmv [8]. Who is right?”
ask Crucifix and Rougier (2009)

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 16, 2016 8:54 pm

“Decreases in orbitally-forced summer insolation along with downward trends in greenhouse gases (GHG) have been precursors to incipient glaciation in the past. In the last several thousand years of the current interglacial, while summer insolation has decreased, there was a reversal of the downward trends in CH4 and CO2 concentration within the Holocene around 5,000 and 7,000 years ago. While the cause of this reversal remains unresolved, a leading hypothesis is Ruddiman’s Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis that early agriculture, starting several thousand years ago, caused emissions of GHG large enough to reverse natural downward trends in CO2 and CH4 and kept Earth’s climate anomalously warm, with the corollary that this may have prevented incipient glaciation during the late Holocene. Here we use the 1-degree, fully coupled Community Climate System Model version 4 (CCSM4) with climate forcings (orbital parameters and GHG) of a previous glacial inception to investigate whether glacial inception should have occurred prior to the industrial revolution if the concentrations of CH4 and CO2 had followed their natural downward trends throughout the Holocene. Tzedakis et al. [2012] show that for the previous eight interglacials, Stage 11 and Stage 19 are the best analogs of the Holocene because of their low eccentricities, and Stage 19 is a better analog than Stage 11 for the Holocene due to the in-phase relationship between obliquity and precession. Furthermore, their study suggests that 777 ka BP (777,000 years before present) is the timing of glacial inception for Stage 19, based on the occurrence of the earliest bipolar seesaw event associated with glacial melting. Not only do the orbital parameters at 777 ka BP resemble pre-industrial conditions, but the concentrations of CO2 at that time were essentially the same as their expected ‘natural’ pre-industrial values in the absence of anthropogenic greenhouse emissions. Our multi-millennial coupled CCSM4 simulations show that the ‘natural’ climatic forcings (GHG, orbital parameters) during pre-industrial (corresponding here to year 1850) produce essentially the same global climate as at the glacial inception of Stage 19. The simulation of ‘natural’ pre-industrial climate also produces similar Northern Hemisphere permanent snow cover as at the glacial inception of Stage 19, which is almost twice as large as the permanent snow in the CCSM4 control run with observed year-1850 GHG concentrations. We also found that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation slows down in the simulations of the glacial inceptions and contributes to the strong cooling and growth of permanent snow cover in Northern Hemisphere polar regions. Our study provides supports for the overdue glaciation hypothesis that early agriculture may have prevented incipient glaciation during the late Holocene.”

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 16, 2016 9:15 pm

“Also, CO2 has next to nothing to do with temps.”
And that is the truly intriguing bit! Apply the Antithesis! Assume that CO2 has everything to do with temps. For the sake of argument.
Which is where the AGW hypothesis becomes unhinged. It would be one thing if they were correct, and Holocene climate would just have gone on and on except for our AGW intervention But exactly the opposite if the Holocene was now about half a precession cycle old, like it is, and like 7 of the last 8 were when they suffered glacial inception.
This is what is known as turning the plaintiffs argument on its head.
If, and as I agree this is a very big IF, anthropogenic emissions from the burning of fossil fuels produces as good a climate insulator as “they” say, then wouldn’t removing said climate security blanket be precisely the wrong thing to do, here in the late Holocene?
Therin lies “reasonable doubt”.
I will buttress with this:
“The situation is completely different for a CO2 concentration of 240 p.p.m., which is close to that observed at the end of MIS19. In this case all four model versions simulate rapid ice growth several thousands of years before the present and large ice sheets exist already at the present time (Extended Data Fig. 1). This means that the Earth system would already be well on the way towards a new glacial state if the pre-industrial CO2 level had been merely 40 p.p.m. lower than it was during the late Holocene, which is consistent with previous results.”
Paywalled here:
It’s simple. This cannot be had both ways. Either AGW emissions can delay or offset glacial inception, or they cannot.

Reply to  John Harmsworth
June 16, 2016 9:21 pm

John,… actually we can put large mirrors up there. Several large sheets of reflective mylar.
That can be taken down or adjusted as conditions warrant.

Edmonton Al
Reply to  William McClenney
June 17, 2016 7:59 am

Wm. Mc
Maybe you can answer this question for me??
To date there is no empirical proof, that I am aware of, that CO2 can “trap” “heat” and cause global warming.
The UN IPCC claims that a doubling of CO2 from 400ppm to 800ppm wil result in a global temperature rise of about 2C degrees. The increase[400ppm], is one part in 2500. Please tell me how 1 molecule of CO2 can have enough heat capacity to raise the temperature of the other 2499 molecules of Oxygen and Nitrogen 2C degrees.

Reply to  Edmonton Al
June 17, 2016 1:27 pm

EA, you have misconceived the core physics. Energy comes into Earth via solar radiation energy, mostly visible light, SWR. This energy heats the surface.You can easily observe this in daytime yourself. The same amount of energy has to leave Earth back out to space in the form of infrared LWR (‘heat’ radiation at surface ambient temperatures) if the surface temperature is to remain constant. If less leaves, then the planet will warm until its new higher temperature produces more LWR to again equal incoming energy.
Now CO2 is a GHG because the molecule absorbs LWR photons coming up from the surface, which can cause it to vibrate and ‘heat’ up surrounding molecules–or simply re-emit the LWR photon in some random direction. Remission resilys in scattering LWR that was orininally mostly foing skyward. Your formulation, equivalent to a microwave oven. But that is not the main atmospheric GHG effect. CO2 is like a ‘fog’ , that prevents the LWR from escaping to space. LWR gets scattered around, just like visible light in real fog. Foggy = scattering. So less LWR escapes to space and temperature rises. The greenhouse effect is NOT a direct warming effect. Warming is SLR. It is a diminished LWR cooling effect. Greenhouses work by trapping SLR heat; the glass hinders convective cooling of the air inside warmed by the SLR heated greenhouse surface. GHG works by trapping SLR heat; the GHG hinders radiative cooling of the SLR heated Earth surface.

Reply to  Edmonton Al
June 17, 2016 4:27 pm

This is why I have such a problem with people saying that green house gases “trap” heat. The definition of the verb “trap” is: “catch (an animal) in a trap. Synonyms: confine, cut off, corner, shut in, pen in, hem in; imprison, hold captive”. In other words, to “trap” something is to catch and HOLD ONTO it. To KEEP. To retain, indefinitely. CO2, and other greenhouse gases simply slow down the rate at which LWR returns to space. They impede, retard the progress of, inhibit briefly, etc…but they do not “trap heat”.
Any object that transfers some of it’s “heat” or radiates energy to another object is COOLING, including those CO2 molecules! Heat is not self generating or self preserving…it does not create itself or remain constant. It warms and then diminishes, dissipates, spreads out and its effect weakens.
“CO2 is like a ‘fog’ , that prevents the LWR from escaping to space. LWR gets scattered around, just like visible light in real fog. Foggy = scattering.”
Fog occurs when water vapor in the atmosphere (close to the ground) condenses to the point of near saturation. It is thick, dense, and “light” molecules get scattered by it=reflected off the water droplets.
CO2 is NOT “like a fog”. It does NOT “prevent” LWR from escaping to space! It simply impedes, delays, slows down, it’s eventual release to space. The amount of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is so directly opposite of the “saturation” mechanism of fog that the analogy fails completely. If ANYTHING they are more like a very, VERY loosely woven sort of NET surrounding the Earth, which a very very narrow group of outgoing infrared molecules bump into, linger for a moment, and then zoom off elsewhere. 99% of this “net” is made up of gaping holes that allow even the delayed radiation to eventually slip easily through.
“So less LWR escapes to space and temperature rises.”
No. The same amount of LWR escapes to space, it just takes a little longer. Temperatures rise due to SWR coming from the SUN. SWR= highly active energy required to heat Earth’s surfaces. LWR =very slightly active energy that has no ability to heat Earth’s surfaces! Earth’s surfaces COOL by releasing that much weaker LWR that dallies on it’s way BACK to space. More greenhouse gases-and the atmosphere just COOLS less quickly. ie-something with a “diminished cooling effect” is STILL COOLING.
“The greenhouse effect is NOT a direct warming effect. Warming is SLR. It is a diminished LWR cooling effect.”
What is SLR? SWR=short wave radiation from the Sun LWR=long wave radiation released from Earth’s surfaces….
“Greenhouses work by trapping SLR heat; the glass hinders convective cooling of the air inside warmed by the SLR heated greenhouse surface. GHG works by trapping SLR heat; the GHG hinders radiative cooling of the SLR heated Earth surface.”
In a greenhouse, the glass allows the SWR from the Sun to penetrate, which warms the surfaces inside the greenhouse-the ground, tables, plants, and air. The glass DOES NOT ALLOW for the LWR given off by all those surfaces as they COOL, to escape, so its MORE than just “hindering convective cooling”…the LW radiation cannot penetrate the glass…which is “preventing radiative cooling”. With no convection OR release of outgoing LWR, heat builds up inside of this CLOSED system which has a one way heat valve….in but not out. (Unless it grows too hot in which the owner then opens up an air flow which allows the system to COOL and not overheat)
Earth is NOT like a greenhouse. It is NOT a closed system. 99% of the atmosphere is transparent to LWR so it cannot even “hinder” or “slow down” the escape of LWR to space (much less prevent it) and hence even remotely trying to compare it to the glass roof of a greenhouse is ridiculous. LWR DOES penetrate 99% of the atmospheric ceiling all day every day, and it has a two way heat valve-in AND out.
GHG work by slowing down LWR, which hinders the radiative cooling of the SWR heated Earth slightly (but not it’s convective or conducive cooling) .

June 16, 2016 8:46 pm

Ah. That strange smell is the stench of fear in the once
sacred halls of truth in academia. Charlatans beware;
“what goes around comes around” bites hard indeed.

June 16, 2016 9:09 pm

But the very best part of the order was the Court telling the winners to write their own judgement, and in particular, to leave a blank space for the judge to write in the amount of attorney’s fees to be awarded to the winners. It’s not a blank check (Atty fees have to be reasonable and documented), but it IS rather open-ended.
I wonder how many of these kinds of cases, where taxpayers (or universities) are on the hook for both sides’ fees, will it take before the powers that be tell the climate scientists to knock it off and divulge the emails without a fuss.

June 16, 2016 9:18 pm

Can you smell it?
I can. …..
Hope and Change, through due process, beyond the stong arm of the current administration is upon us.
The rats will continue to scatter, but remain in sight moving forward.
Those that are in the know, will be singing for immunity soon.
Justice will be served…..
Change you can actually believe in!

Javert Chip
June 16, 2016 10:18 pm

Speaking of self-inflicted wounds, and updates on the Shulka George Mason stink-pot?

Javert Chip
June 16, 2016 10:18 pm

and = any

Eyal Porat
June 16, 2016 11:56 pm

I can hardly wait for these Emails.
Well done!
The notion of defining academic, publicly financed Emails as “private” is outrageous. It is like a bank employee would claim her/his worker’s Emails are her/his own property.

Reed Coray
Reply to  Eyal Porat
June 17, 2016 7:11 am

I think it is more like a bank teller claiming the money in the drawer is his.

June 17, 2016 12:36 am

Isn’t real science about not being afraid to show your work ? Why is it so hard for those in science to acknowledge the fact that the study of climate is in it’s infancy and very much a work in progress .
Making sound bites to feed the scary global warming industry isn’t science it is propaganda .

Jimmy Haigh
Reply to  Amber
June 17, 2016 4:15 am

Absolutely. I’d have no problem showing all of my work to anyone who asked. Mind you I am neither an academic nor a liberal.

Coeur de Lion
June 17, 2016 1:10 am

Are we seeing the long-awaited death of ‘climate’ and all its works?

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
June 17, 2016 6:23 am

No death of climate alarmist syndrome. They tend to ignore anything that interferes with their religion.

David Smith
June 17, 2016 2:02 am

Popcorn time!!! 🙂
Wait for all the greenies whining about a Big Oil Conspiracy (TM) designed to oppress innocent academics.

Bob M
June 17, 2016 3:14 am

FOIA (in its current form) was a missile launched at a Republican administration (vetoed by Ford) which turned into a boomerang. (thus a law that applies equally to all). Well done (even if it took far too long).

June 17, 2016 3:20 am

Remember this interesting list of the withheld files dated 2012:
University of Arizona Public Records Request: WITHHELD Log (Overpeck)

Reply to  dennisambler
June 17, 2016 7:13 am

Interesting; most of the “team” are listed including one I would have not recognised until this year – Shukla.

June 17, 2016 3:42 am

When they are released, it would be prudent to do an audit to follow the conversation threads, to see if anything was ‘accidentally’ omitted.

June 17, 2016 3:50 am

Perhaps we Phelim McAleer could do another of his dramatisations similar to the Hilary Clinton staff depositions he’s currently doing, this time with the ClimateGate emails. Would be powerful drama, and really bring it into the public consciousness.

June 17, 2016 6:03 am

Just for the record, U of A is also off the college search list.

June 17, 2016 6:58 am

It looks like the CSLDF is turning itself into a real entity, no sign of Scott Mandia at their new web site. I wasn’t able to find a IRS 2014 form 990 for them, I’ll look harder some day. They have indeed been active in this case, see which says in part:

We expect the Arizona state court to also ultimately rule for the protection of science. (In fact, it already has.) But, as E&E Legal is well aware, “while they lose repeatedly, in one way they are successful: they confuse the public debate, and force universities and scientists to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending themselves.” E&E Legal is also able to force scientists to attend to litigation instead of spending their time researching – in Arizona, Dr. Hughes and Dr. Overpeck spent ten weeks and six weeks, respectively, reviewing emails in response to this lawsuit. And while E&E Legal’s efforts to force the Arizona Superior Court to reconsider its earlier decision will likely yield the same result, E&E Legal has the satisfaction of inflicting an additional round of litigation.
We are committed to protecting the scientific endeavor, especially defending scientists from abusive legal attacks. We are hopeful that the Arizona Superior Court will, on remand, again rule that overbroad and invasive public records requests for researchers’ scientific correspondence are not appropriate.
Many thanks to our terrific legal team at Mayer Brown and Osborn Maledon for their wonderful help.

June 17, 2016 9:23 am

Hopefully this will blow the lid wide open and others, e.g. NOAA, will be forced to show their internal deliberations. But whom are we kidding? Even if the emails explicitly states that they are knowingly committing fraud, the Climate Cult will deny it.

Joel Snider
June 17, 2016 12:16 pm

Unfortunately, absolutely none of this will matter if Hillary gets the White House.

Reply to  Joel Snider
June 17, 2016 1:28 pm

Yeah, it is crunch time.
Republican elites should stop trying to get Hillary elected.
It will be crunch time for the Republican elites, if they don’t.

June 17, 2016 1:24 pm

This more of the garbology science from the U of A.

Reply to  Resourceguy
June 17, 2016 1:57 pm


June 17, 2016 5:04 pm

time for ‘accidentally store ‘ some high powered magnets next to some hard drives ?

Pamela Gray
June 18, 2016 12:23 pm

Let’s hope the emails are searched for references to emails that seem to have disappeared. Often it ain’t the chatter that is important, it’s the gap in the chatter that tells the tale.

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