Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
I published the following article on Canada Free Press (CFP) in 2010. I also posted it to my web site in 2012. This posting was required because CFP withdrew all my articles from their archive at my request. I did this because CFP published an apology written by Roger McConchie, lawyer for IPCC author and Green Party leader in British Columbia, Andrew Weaver. I was not aware of this action but in the three lawsuits filed against me by McConchie he also files against the outlet for the article. I pursued a “not guilty” defense against the lawsuit and as was reported here, the judge dismissed the case.
The article is republished here to illustrate that many are starting to realize what I realized years ago, the extent and manner of the deception. As I explained in court and elsewhere, most people can’t believe that a small group of people could deceive the world. But as I also wrote before, Anthropologist Margaret Mead,
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
The entire story is available in my book, “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science,” or you can get a synopsis in “Human Caused Global Warming: The Biggest Deception in History.”
IPCC/CRU Self-Deception Through Groupthink
March 2010, Dr. Timothy Ball
Few understand the extent of corrupted science produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Data was altered, or completely ignored and research deliberately directed to prove their claim that humans were causing global warming. A.W.Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science is a litany of refusals to disclose information. They all work to prevent other scientists carrying out the most basic test namely, replication of results.
In his report on the hockey stick debacle for the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Professor Wegman wrote; Sharing of research materials, data, and results is haphazard and often grudgingly done. We were especially struck by Dr. Mann’s insistence that the code he developed was his intellectual property and that he could legally hold it personally without disclosing it to peers. When code and data are not shared and methodology is not fully disclosed, peers do not have the ability to replicate the work and thus independent verification is impossible.
People identified in the leaked emails of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) were primarily responsible through the Physical Science Basis Report of Working Group I of the IPCC and the Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Politics is clearly the motive for some scientists like James Hansen, Stephen Schneider and others, but this is not so clear for most at the CRU. Which begs the question how and why supposedly intelligent people became involved and continued to participate in such corruption?
Irving Janis developed the concept of Groupthink, which requires unanimity at the expense of quality decisions. “Groups affected by groupthink ignore alternatives and tend to take irrational actions that dehumanize other groups. A group is especially vulnerable to groupthink when its members are similar in background, when the group is insulated from outside opinions, and when there are no clear rules for decision-making.”
The CRU/IPCC pattern is a classic example.
Here’s a list of some symptoms of groupthink with examples from CRU/IPCC emails and actions.
· Having an illusion of invulnerability. Content of the emails has many examples of arrogant invulnerability. In a backhanded way, Overpeck provides support for this position because he advised them on Sep 9, 2009, to “Please write all emails as though they will be made public.” They didn’t listen because they believed they were invulnerable. Others within the general community reinforced CRU invulnerability. On October 2003 Ray Bradley, who had published the original hockey stick with Michael Mann, wrote. “Because of the complexity of the arguments involved, to an uniformed observer it all might be viewed as just scientific nit-picking by “for” and “against” global warming proponents. However, if an “independent group” such as you guys at CRU could make a statement as to whether the M&M (McIntyre and McKitrick) effort is truly an “audit”, and if they sis it right, I think would go a long way to defusing the issue. If you are willing, a quick and forceful statement from The Distinguished CRU Boys would help quash further arguments, although here, at least, it is already quite out of control.”
· Rationalizing poor decisions. Jones rationalized the decision to withhold Freedom of Information (FOI) to the University of East Anglia staff on December 3, 2008 as follows, “Once they became aware of the types of people we were dealing with, everyone at UEA (in the registry and in the Environmental Sciences school – the head of school and a few others) became very supportive.”
· Believing in the group’s morality. The entire body of emails supports this claim. Rob Wilson wrote on 21 February 2006 “I need to diplomatically word all this. I never wanted to criticise Mike’s work in any way. It was for that reason that I made little mention to it initially.” On 6 May 1999, Mann wrote to Phil Jones, “Trust that I’m certainly on board w/you that we’re all working towards a common goal” and later “I trust that history will give us all proper credit for what we’re doing here.” So do I!
Conversely, Keith Briffa, who I believe was the whistleblower, battled with Mann and became increasingly alienated from the group.
On 17 June 2002, he wrote,
“I have just read this letter and I think it is crap. I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature representative) tropical series.”
· Sharing stereotypes which guide the decision. This takes the form of unethical comments of practice going without challenge because they were all doing it. On 19 September 1996 Funkhouser wrote, “I really wish I could be more positive about the Kyrgyzstan material, but I swear I pulled every trick out of my sleeve trying to milk something out of that.”
· Exercising direct pressure on others. On 24 April 2003, Wigley wrote, “One approach is to go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed work. I use the word ‘perceived’ here, since whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about — it is how the journal is seen by the community that counts.” They also got James Saiers, editor of Geophysical Research Letters, fired.
· Not expressing your true feelings. On the 14 October 2009, Trenberth expresses something to Tom Wigley that none of them ever dared say in public. How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are nowhere close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!”
· Maintaining an illusion of unanimity. Briffa struggles to maintain the illusion when he writes to Mann on April 29 2007, “I tried hard to balance the needs of the science and the IPCC, which were not always the same. I worried that you might think I gave the impression of not supporting you well enough while trying to report on the issues and uncertainties.”
· Using mindguards to protect the group from negative information. “The idea is that we working climate scientists should have a place where we can mount a rapid response to supposedly ‘bombshell’ papers that are doing the rounds and give more context to climate related stories or events.” This was Mann’s comment to the group about establishment of Realclimate to act as “mindguards”.
Some of the negative outcomes of groupthink also fit the actions of the CRU/IPCC group.
· Examining few alternatives. They narrowed the options by the definition of climate change to only those caused by human activities. Of the three greenhouse gases almost all the focus is on CO2.
· Not being critical of each other’s ideas. Not only were they not critical, but they peer reviewed each other’s work and controlled who they recommended to editors for reviewers. Mann to Jones 4 June 2003 “I’d like to tentatively propose to pass this along to Phil as the “official keeper” of the draft to finalize and submit IF it isn’t in satisfactory shape by the time I have to leave.” On August 5, 2009 Jones wrote to Grant Foster in response to his request for reviewers for an article, “I’d go for one of Tom Peterson or Dave Easterling. To get a spread, I’d go with 3 US, One Australian and one in Europe. So Neville Nicholls and David Parker. All of them know the sorts of things to say – about our comment and the awful original, without any prompting.”
· Not examining early alternatives. There was a graph of temperatures drawn by Lamb showing the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and used in the first IPCC Report. It was correct but contradicted their claim of modern warming. As Mann said to Jones on 4 June 2003, “it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back.” They chose to rewrite history.
· Not seeking expert opinion. Professor Wegman spoke directly to this problem in his report for the US Senate on the infamous hockey stick graph. “It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community.”
· Being highly selective in gathering information. Apart from only looking at human causes, the CRU emails have many examples of data selected to prove their point. Tim Osborn to the group on 5 October 1999 speaks of the issue McIntyre identified of truncated records.
They go from 1402 to 1995, although we usually stop the series in 1960 because of the recent non-temperature signal that is superimposed on the tree-ring data that we use. On the 19 March 2009 Santer wrote to Jones about the Royal Meteorological Society (RMS) asking for data used for a publication. “If the RMS is going to require authors to make ALL data available – raw data PLUS results from all intermediate calculations – I will not submit any further papers to RMS journals.” On 27 September 2009 Tom Wigley wrote to Phil Jones about a problem with Sea Surface Temperatures (SST), “So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 deg C, then this would be significant for the global mean – but we’d still have to explain the land blip.”
· Not having contingency plans. They never expected they would be exposed. Maybe Benjamin Santer’s comment on April 25 counts.
I looked at some of the stuff on the Climate Audit web site. I’d really like to talk to a few of these “Auditors” in a dark alley.
But they were exposed. Now most can’t believe scientists could ignore or deliberately manipulate data, distort procedures and not have more of them speak out. As Janis explains groupthink, “occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment.” The relatively small group involved with the machinations of proving fossil fuels was producing CO2 that was causing warming or climate change appears to be a classic example of Groupthink. Professor Wegman in his report identified 43 people all linked in various ways, but especially publishing together and apparently peer-reviewing each other’s work that apparently constituted this group. They controlled the CRU, the critical roles of the IPCC and therefore world climate science and the resulting policies.