Fred Pearce on Climategate Revisited

From MasterResource

By Robert Bradley Jr.

Politicized ends-justify-the-means “science” includes cutting corners, hiding data, spicing-and-dicing–and cancelling those with different theories and findings. All came to light in the Climategate saga.

Yesterday’s post examined the fire behind the smoke that many had noticed for years. Today’s post resurrects Fred Pearce’s “‘Climategate’ was PR disaster that could bring healthy reform of peer review,” which was published in The Guardian (UK) in February 2010.

From The Guardian

In a unique experiment, The Guardian published online the full manuscript of its major investigation into the climate science emails stolen from the University of East Anglia, which revealed apparent attempts to cover up flawed data; moves to prevent access to climate data; and to keep research from climate sceptics out of the scientific literature.

As well as including new information about the emails, we allowed web users to annotate the manuscript to help us in our aim of creating the definitive account of the controversy. This was an attempt at a collaborative route to getting at the truth.

We hoped to approach that complete account by harnessing the expertise of people with a special knowledge of, or information about, the emails. We wanted the protagonists on all sides of the debate to be involved, as well as people with expertise about the events and the science being described or more generally about the ethics of science. The only conditions are the comments abide by our community guidelines and add to the total knowledge or understanding of the events.

The annotations – and the real name of the commenter – were added to the manuscript, initially in private. The most insightful comments were then added to a public version of the manuscript. We hoped the process would be a form of peer review.

Fred Pearce Op-Ed

The response of the science establishment to the hacking is set to become a case study in public relations disasters. One PR figure from a major environment group said: “Their response will be taught in university communications courses – because I’m going to make sure it is.”

(In Denial)

  • The initial response from both the emailers and their employers was to condemn the hackers and ignore what they hacked. Michael Mann at Penn State University called the affair “a high-level orchestrated smear campaign to distract the public about the nature of the climate change problem.” Phil Jones, holed up in the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, called most of the charges against them “ludicrous”.
  • Kevin Trenberth at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri both said they saw it as an attempt to undermine the Copenhagen climate conference, that was due to take place two weeks later.
  • Ben Santer from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California called Jones “one of the gentlemen of our field”. He was standing firm in the face of “the vilest personal attacks” from “powerful forces of unreason.”
  • Bob Ward of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at the London School of Economics said Jones and Mann “have been subjected to a co-ordinated campaign of personal attacks on their reputation.”
  • The UEA put out a statement saying that “the selective publication of some stolen emails and other papers taken out of context is mischievous and cannot be considered a genuine attempt to engage with the issues in a responsible way.”

(Making Hay)

  • But the contents of the emails was not edifying for anyone. And the sceptics were making hay. They gleefully blogged that the emails revealed extensive data manipulation.
  • The Daily Telegraph published a blog by a former news reporter on the paper, James Delingpole, claiming the affair “exposed the conspiracy behind the anthropogenic global warming myth“, adding for good measure that “this scandal could well be the greatest in modern science.”
  • The Daily Express ran a long story headlined: “100 reasons why global warming is natural“. It said the list came from a “dossier” issued by the European Foundation, a UK-based right-wing group that campaigns mostly against European integration. But two months on, the dossier has not been published.
  • Most of the hundred reasons were either meaningless or scientific nonsense, according to New Scientist magazine, which gave up after debunking the first 50.


  • In the US, sceptical physicists used the moment to revive a campaign to overturn a 2007 declaration by the American Physical Society that evidence of man-made climate change was “incontrovertible”. Their letter began: “By now everyone has heard of… ClimateGate, which was and is an international scientific fraud, the worst any of us have seen.”
  • A picket formed outside the offices of NCAR in Boulder, where Tom Wigley, Trenberth and other emailers worked. Wigley was among a number of climate scientists who say they received death threats.
  • Many who might have been expected to defend Jones and his colleagues were silent. Most environmentalists sat on their hands, awaiting events.
  • An exception was Elizabeth May, head of the Canadian Green party. She said she had read all the emails and declared: “How dare the world’s media fall into the trap set by contrarians without reading the whole set.” For her “the enormous volume of emails give a picture of thoroughly decent scientists increasingly finding themselves in a nightmare. They write each other in disbelief, protesting ‘I have never been political. I am an honest scientist’.” But four days after the leak, the environmental commentator George Monbiot said that Jones should resign.

(Facing Reality)

  • The mood changed. Even Mann, whose words featured prominently in early soundbites published from the emails, began an op-ed in the Washington Post with the words: “I cannot condone some things that colleagues of mine wrote.”
  • The website that Mann co-hosts, RealClimate, offered the half-apologetic insight that the emails offered “a peek into how scientists actually interact and the conflicts show that the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined… For instance, we are sure it comes as no shock to know that many scientists do not hold Steve McIntyre in high regard.” The post went on, “Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person.”
  • But such guarded apologies didn’t turn the tide of invective. A survey in the US found that 49% of respondents claimed to have followed news of climategate “very closely or somewhat closely”, and 59% found it “very likely or somewhat likely” that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming.
  • According to American science historian Spencer Weart, the frenzied assaults on climate scientists were unprecedented. “We’ve never before seen a set of people accuse an entire community of scientists of deliberate deception and other professional malfeasance. Even the tobacco companies never tried to slander legitimate cancer researchers.”

Damage Control

  • One PR operator for a leading environmental organisation in Britain told me: “The emails represented a seminal moment in the climate debate of the last five years, and it was a moment that broke decisively against us. I think the CRU leak is nothing less than catastrophic.”
  • The next recourse was to an investigation. Jones stood down while the University of East Anglia’s pro-vice chancellor Trevor Davies, who himself had been director of CRU from 1993 to 1998, launched an independent inquiry to be headed by senior civil servant, Sir Muir Russell.
  • The IPCC’s chairman Rajendra Pachauri initially said the affair was “a serious issue and we will look into it in detail”. But later made clear he would only be looking for lessons to learn and would not investigate the affair itself separately from the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk constabulary. In January the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee announced its own investigation.

(Climate Politics)

  • The emails made little impression at the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen in early December. This was about raw politics and not climate science. A few sceptics such as Senator Inhofe and Danish economist Bjørn Lomborg were present giving media interviews, and others such as Lord Monckton caused offence by declaring that young climate activists were akin to “Hitler youth”. Saudi Arabia’s lead climate negotiator Mohammed Al-Sabban, claimed on the opening day that “it appears from the details of the scandal that there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change” — a view that not even the most sceptical scientists would endorse.
  • But lobbyists were busy organising. In Britain, Lord Lawson launched the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) four days after the story broke. Lawson had been chancellor of the exchequer in 1989, when Margaret Thatcher assembled her entire cabinet to hear a seminar on climate change at which Tom Wigley, then director of CRU, was the star perfomer. But Lawson now opposes measures to fight climate change.
  • The GWPF’s stated purpose is to “bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant”. But its trustees and academic advisers do not reflect that balance. Most have a public record as making sceptical comments about climate science.
  • Lawson appointed as the foundation’s director Benny Peiser. He is a social anthropologist, part-time lecturer at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool’s John Moores University, and long-standing co-editor of the journal Energy and Environment. The journal is trashed by Jones in the emails as “the worst journal in the world” for its patronage of what he regarded as poor-quality papers by sceptics.
  • Even Peiser’s co-editor Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, a geographer from the University of Hull, admits that it espouses what she calls a “political agenda” but she has defended the journal, saying that, “it’s only we climate sceptics who have to look for little journals and little publishers like mine to even get published.” When asked by the Guardian to answer Jones’s specific comment she did not respond.
  • Within hours of his appointment, Peiser had begun what became a frequent media presence on the increasing number of occasions when editors needed a sceptical voice in their climate coverage.

The BBC and the media response

  • One of the most significant outcomes – and perhaps a bellwether of public mood – has been the response of the media. “The CRU hack shifted the balance of legitimacy in newsrooms,” says Ben Stewart, media officer at Greenpeace UK. Many newspaper began to probe the sceptics’ case more thoroughly.
  • Viewers of the BBC watched a crashing of editorial gears. For several years most of its coverage of climate change has been based on the scientific consensus that warming is real and that mankind is to blame. This had been reinforced by a study for the BBC Trust that concluded in 2007: “The weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.”
  • But even before “climategate”, the BBC had been reviewing both its climate and science coverage. Deputy director-general Mark Byford organised an editorial seminar on climate change in September 2009. Insiders say the seminar followed an in-house trawl to find out how much coverage news bulletins gave to climate sceptics. It had been called after an MP complained that sceptics didn’t get a hearing, and it discovered that very often they did not.
  • After the seminar, deputy editor of news Steve Mitchell sent round a memo advising of the “need to reflect deniers in run-up to Copenhagen”. One straw in the wind was the awarding of a Leeds-based BBC weather man with mildly sceptical views, Paul Hudson, with the title “climate correspondent” – to the chagrin of news correspondents covering that beat. In October he began posting blogs on the BBC website.
  • The ripples of the Mitchell memo spread through the BBC. Radio 4’s Today raised eyebrows when, days before the climategate emails leaked, it interviewed an Australian climate change denier, geologist Ian Plimer, giving him what one critical insider called “the easiest of rides” for a string of highly contentious claims. And after climategate the change became even more visible to viewers and listeners. Reports say they have been under pressure from editors to “get more sceptics on”. One major beneficiary has been Benny Peiser from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, who has made repeated appearances of prime-time BBC news. “We are,” one correspondent said privately, “back to the false balance days that chiefs swore had been left behind.”

Beyond the two tribes

  • What about science itself? Science is about producing findings that others can test by trying to replicate or falsify them…. And few are more complicated than those based on huge amounts of data assembled from all over the world over many decades. Both Jones’s temperature data and Mann’s proxy data of past temperatures fall into this category. That is one reason why sceptics, rightly or wrongly, have been able to claim that bad science has proliferated in climate research.
  • That is why the demands for scientists to release their data, even to people outside the research community, have grown. But it is also why researchers who have spent years, sometimes decades, assembling their data, are unwilling to hand it out to the first blogger to ask for it under a Freedom of Information request.
  • For sceptics like Steve McIntyre, the central issue is the principle that scientific findings are only valid if they can be replicated. And some scientists recognise that. Stephen Schneider of Stanford University in California and editor of the Climate Change journal, said in an email to CRU scientists and others in January 2009: “Our best way of dealing with this issue of replication is to have multiple independent author teams, with their own codes and data sets, publishing independent work on the same topics… That is how credible scientific replication should proceed.”
  • But is it enough to ensure replication among the close network of scientists? Do non-scientists, or amateur scientists, or scientists who run politically charged blogs, have an equal right to share scientific data? Jones believes not. In October 2009 he wrote an email to Graham Haughton, a geographer at the University of Hull, about how “science should be conducted through the peer-review literature, as it has been for over 300 years. The peer-review system is the safeguard science has developed to stop bad science being published.”
  • But many are beginning to disagree. In the world of the internet and freedom of information laws, the balance is shifting towards more open access. Some believe that Jones’s cherished peer-review system is itself in jeopardy.
  • And not before time, says McIntyre. “I don’t think there should be any issue of drawing up special rules for outsiders. I simply ask that scientists live up to their own policies,” he says. “There is an unseemliness about scientists willingly providing data to their friends and resisting the provision of data to people who are perceived as critics.”
  • One in the mainstream who agrees is Judy Curry, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She cut her teeth in public debate after publishing a paper on climate change and hurricanes shortly after Katrina hit New Orleans. She says much greater efforts are needed to open up science to outsiders.
  • Reviewing the saga of the leaked emails, she said the various datasets connected to Mann’s hockey stick studies and Jones’s CRU temperature data “stand out as lacking transparency. The raw data behind the key graphs in the climate debate “were not preserved” by the analysts, she said, though it “presumably is available from the original sources”. Rather than being stuck in the archives, it needs reprocessing and reanalysing, she believes.
  • She didn’t blame anyone for this state of affairs, but said “given the growing policy relevance of climate data, increasingly higher standards must be applied.” In an open letter to young scientists involved in climate research, she said she was “trying to figure out how to engage sceptics effectively… I have received significant heat from some colleagues for doing this (I’ve been told that I am legitimizing the sceptics and misleading my students).”
  • Far from it, she said. “Ignoring sceptics from outside the field is inappropriate. Einstein didn’t start his career at Princeton, but rather at a post office. Scientists claim they would never get any research done if they had to continuously respond to sceptics. The counter to that argument is to make all of your data, metadata and code openly available. Doing this would keep molehills from growing into mountains.”
  • Curry says climate science has fallen victim to tribalism. “Climate tribes were established in response to the politically motivated climate disinformation machine…The reaction of the climate tribes… has been to circle the wagons and point the guns outward in an attempt to discredit misinformation.”
  • She had found herself in a political storm after publishing a paper on how the number of hurricanes had doubled in 35 years – probably due to rising sea temperatures. By chance, the paper came out days after hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. “I and my colleagues were totally bewildered and overwhelmed by the assault we found ourselves under” from sceptics, she says. “Associating with a tribe where others were more experienced and savvy about how to deal with this was a relief and very helpful at the time.”
  • Unlike another victim of the hurricanes fracas. Kevin Trenberth, Curry does not appear in the leaked CRU emails. She says that she subsequently fell out with some of her fellow tribes-people after congratulating McIntyre for his work on freeing up data. And the hacked emails, she says, have reinforced her fears about “the systematic and continuing behaviour from scientists that hold editorial positions, serve on important boards and committees and participate in major assessment reports.”
  • Other leading figures are also looking for ways to defuse the tribalism. Hans von Storch, a German meteorologist, often tries to arbitrate between sceptics and mainstream scientists. In December 2009, he wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “We need to repair the damage and heal the public’s new mistrust of the workings of climate science…. The core of the knowledge about man-made climate change is simple and hard to contest. [Nonetheless] data must be accessible to adversaries; joint efforts are needed to agree on test procedures to validate, once again, already broadly accepted insights.” He denounced the “CRU cartel” for their efforts to suppress open access to data.
  • Storch advised that “the authors of the damaging emails would be wise to stand back from positions as reviewers and participants in the IPCC process. The journals Nature and Science must review their quality-control measures and selection criteria for papers.” Meanwhile, he told the media and politicians: “You have the knowledge you need for the political decisions. Let us [scientists] sit in our studies and discuss the remaining issues… Give us time to consider, to test alternative hypotheses, to falsify theories – to do our work without worrying if the results support our causes. Science is a valuable and unique societal institution, but not if it is consumed by short-sighted political goals.”
  • And one of Jones’s former senior colleagues, ex-CRU research scientist Mike Hulme, joined with Oxford science philosopher Jerry Ravetz to write: “Climate scientists will have to work harder to earn the warranted trust of the public – and maybe that is no bad thing.” But to do that, they said, science itself might have to change. “This event might signal a crack that allows for processes of restructuring scientific knowledge of climate change. It is possible that some areas of climate science have become sclerotic… too partisan, too centralized. The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with…primitive cultures.”
  • Hulme and Ravetz called for a “major change in the relationships between science and the public”, with wider public scrutiny of its findings and methods using “the proliferating new communication media…Science is a deeply human activity, and we need to be more honest about what this entails.”
  • Ravetz goes further. He told the Guardian: “In retrospect, it is clear that the Norwich group were practising evangelical science. For them there was a simple truth that would save us, and all naysayers were evil.” After the war on drugs and the war on terror, we now had a war on carbon. He called the “extended peer community” on the blogosphere “necessary for the health of science. In spite of all the hazards of any extension of democracy, the rejuvenating effects must be good.”
  • “Climategate” seems set to lead to far greater openness about research data. RealClimate, the climate science blogsite part-run by Mann, is promising to publish more data and relevant computer codes. “We have set up a page of data links to sources of temperature and other climate data, codes to process it, model outputs, model codes, reconstructions, paleo-records, the codes involved in reconstructions etc,” it announced within a week of the leak.
  • “The climate science community fully understands how important it is that data sources are made as open and transparent as possible, for research purposes as well as for other interested parties… The providers of these online resources are very interested in getting feedback on any of these sites and so don’t hesitate to contact them if you want to see improvements.” That is a sea-change from the days in the CRU bunker.
  • In response to the saga, Britain’s Met Office announced that it was putting into the public domain data on climate change from 1,700 stations round the world. This was not as big a deal as it sounded. Jones had told Nature magazine he was working on this back in July 2009. And, as the Met Office admitted, a lot of it was old data already “publicly available” through the World Meteorological Organization. And, while it might disseminate foreign data, it wants to hang to much of its own data because, according to its spokesman David Britton, “We at the Met Office have to offset our costs for the benefit of the taxpayer, so we have to balance that against freedom of access.”
  • Like other recent battles over access to publicly held information, from lists of paedophiles to school league tables, those demanding freedom of information are winning. But there look like being many battles ahead.
  • There is a separate question for the scientific journals themselves. How much data should they require that scientists provide when they publish. There seems little agreement on that at present. The big two, Nature and Science, are relatively relaxed and demand little on top of what is required to allow the paper to pass muster with reviewers. Schneider asked his board at Climate Change to consider the matter after McIntyre asked him for personal computer codes. They decided that enough data should be provided to allow others, with the skill to write their own codes to replicate the findings. But no more.
  • Others are tougher. The Royal Society in London demands full data disclosure from contributors to its Philosophical Transactions.
  • Schneider told the Guardian there might be some middle ground – especially over researchers’ highly prized and personally written computer codes. Maybe, like commercial patents, they should be allowed exclusive use of their own codes, as their own intellectual property, for two or three years. That, he said, would be time enough to “publish the initial papers using their hard work”. But after that, the codes should all be disclosed. He added: “This broad discussion about the boundaries of data transparency, personal codes and exclusive rights… may be the only positive that might emerge from this unfortunate incident.”
  • But many sceptics are not satisfied with such half-way houses. Many sceptic bloggers are in full cry against the entire peer review process. They talk about “peer-to-peer” review. Meaning an end to centralised control through journals and a free for all in which everything is published and anyone can comment on anything. A journalist active in this movement, the West Coast former street artist and radical arts critic Patrick Courrielche, claims: “Climategate… triggered the death of unconditional trust in the scientific peer-review process, and the maturing of a new movement of peer-to-peer review.”
  • Can an entirely free intellectual market deliver better science? Can the pioneers of scientific review on the blogosphere do better than the journals? Would this ensure quality control or shatter it? Should the Jeffrey Archers of the scientific world have as much access to the journals as the Nobel laureates? They may shudder in the labs, but we may one day find out.


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November 24, 2021 10:24 am

Meanwhile, in the present, Climategate gets dwarfed by far more sinister revelations..

Matthew Sykes
Reply to  E. Schaffer
November 25, 2021 12:18 am

“Denial of Overlaps and Clouds” Yep, thats a biggy.

Good link, thanks,

Reply to  Matthew Sykes
November 25, 2021 3:52 am

All very good if you know what ecs means.

Reply to  Oldseadog
November 25, 2021 7:29 am

I googled climate ecs….

Equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is an estimate of the eventual steady-state global warming at double CO2. Transient climate response (TCR) is the mean global warming predicted to occur around the time of doubling CO2 in ESM runs for which atmospheric CO2 concentration is prescribed to increase at 1 % per year.

Peter Wells
November 24, 2021 10:27 am

The absolute intolerance to other points of view of the climate alarmists who promote the idea of human caused global warming tells me a lot about them.

Reply to  Peter Wells
November 24, 2021 12:08 pm

Global warming is not man made.
Global warming is Mann made.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  SxyxS
November 24, 2021 1:09 pm

Mann-made or man-made it’s a false dichotomy, an insoluble puzzle, a distraction and increasingly irrelevant given the dire policy prescriptions being imposed by Western governments.
Energy policy is the front-line now.

Reply to  SxyxS
November 24, 2021 4:39 pm

Building on the groundwork done by now deceased former Canadian billionaire Maurice Strong, a former UN employee, a friend of the CCP and was given asylum in China when the Canadian EPA wanted him for environmental law breaking.

Strong was one of the creators of the based on natural climate change climate hoax and warming scare campaign, all about politics and money.

Reply to  Dennis
November 24, 2021 8:15 pm

Long ago I wondered whether Maurice Strong was in China rightly advising them or being advised of his rights.

Reply to  SxyxS
November 24, 2021 8:13 pm

The Piltdown Mann.

Steve Case
Reply to  kim
November 25, 2021 4:52 am

comment image

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Peter Wells
November 24, 2021 3:09 pm

In my experience it is a total intolerance of real, competently conducted science that contradicts unproven theory. It is cowardice that prevents advocates of CAGW from ever agreeing to scientific debate with those who have show the theory to be full of holes.

Rud Istvan
November 24, 2021 10:42 am

And yet essentially nothing has changed since. Warmunist momentum from money and careers.

What is changing is
(1) the mounting pile of failed scary predictions, in consequence of which the predictions only get scarier, so will fail even more, and
(2) the mounting failure of renewables as penetration increases and costs rise rather than fall.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 24, 2021 8:18 pm

Many years from now those windmills will stand as a monumental reminder of humanity’s capacity for tragic foolishness.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 25, 2021 5:00 am

Agreed Rud – the global warming (aka climate change) fraud rumbles on, wasting trillions of dollars and millions of lives, impervious to obvious fraud by the warmist perpetrators, the absence of dangerous global warming, further negated by many credible disproofs of the failed CAGW hypothesis.
Global warming alarmism is a failed hypothesis that lives on, supported by mountains of cash bribes and human stupidity – the prattling of scoundrels and imbeciles – it is the Zombie Hypothesis, the Walking Dead.

November 28, 2021 6:14 am

It is simply amazing that despite the obvious corruption of the science revealed by Climategate, despite the obvious ulterior motives of people like Maurice Strong, and despite the thinness of the data/ analysis as a basis for concluding that CAGW is “real,” so many in positions of political, economic, and cultural power have been taken in by the belief that our civilization can and must do something—with the “something” being clearly detrimental to human welfare aside it’s supposed ability to prevent CAGW.

It’s madness on an epic scale….but maybe that’s how civilizations throughout human history have collapsed.

November 24, 2021 10:43 am

There needs to be changes in the publication process that used to be called “peer review” but now enjoys far less complimentary descriptions. It might be something as simple as a sunset clause on the reviewers names and comments. Say, 4 years for names and 6 years for correspondence.

To bed B
November 24, 2021 10:50 am

“Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person”

That reminds me of “An Idiot Abroad” as the idiot asks who was Newton. Ricky Gervais replies that he discovered gravity. The idiot drops a ball and replies “Not that hard”.

The laws of gravity were accepted because people repeated the experiments, not because Newton was the expert to be trusted.

Things like the colours of the rainbow is “science” in primary schools because Newton said so.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  To bed B
November 24, 2021 11:20 am

Our eyes have three types of cone-shaped photoreceptors, which means we see three primary colours (red, blue, yellow)

Unfortunately, this stuck in my craw. When writing about scientific matters, it helps to have a decent grounding in science.

Last edited 1 year ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
lee riffee
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 24, 2021 12:00 pm

Yes, those are only primary colors for paints and pigments, not for light!

bill young
Reply to  lee riffee
November 24, 2021 1:16 pm

Not so. The primary colours for light are red, green and blue. The primary colours for pigments (e.g. printer ink) are cyan, magenta and yellow.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  bill young
November 24, 2021 3:19 pm

Ie the actual opposite of the primary colours, since pigments absorb one primary colour and reflect the other two.

One of my main gripes is yellow being classed as primary, since it is actually secondary, but ho hum, it’s a very common misconception.

John Tillman
Reply to  bill young
November 24, 2021 3:39 pm

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Gunga Din
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 24, 2021 4:41 pm

If your intent is to see what is, you mix those colors of light so you can see.
If your intent is to keep people in the dark, you mix those colors as paint so they can’t see what is true.
Some want to blend and paint the facts and the past for their own present and/or future benefit.
Some just want to shed light on what actually is for the good of all.
(Sorry. I got a bit philosophical there.)

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Gunga Din
November 24, 2021 5:51 pm

Well, apart from being philosophical, the strange fact is that colours don’t actually exist, at least outside of our imagination. They certainly cannot be identified ‘objectively’ since everyone sees different colours. Interestingly, different languages have different colours, too. For example, Italian does not have a colour ‘blue’ like English does. The closest is azure.

Reply to  Gunga Din
November 24, 2021 8:19 pm

Good Goethe!

Reply to  kim
November 24, 2021 8:20 pm


Doug Danhoff
November 24, 2021 11:06 am

There are scientists that are just wrong …and there are “scientists” who are wrong on purpose… The latter I consider as prostitutes , willing to seek their names and reputations for what they consider a worthy cause .. The problem being they have harmed the profession in a great way . They have forgotten the primary meaning of a scientist is to falsify hypothesis if possible, and when not possible to examine its assets . They take a very implausible hypothesis ( carbon dioxide is poisonous) and threatens the world.
The attempt to falsify has been replaced with consensus. A word , for me at least) that has no place in science .
By their actions all real scientists have been diminished. I have anger over this and no respect for the cheaters like Mann . The politically polluted former scientists

Reply to  Doug Danhoff
November 24, 2021 12:16 pm

Even real scientists are to blame.
They never ever bothered to expose or oppose criminal bastards like Ehrlich,Schneider and Mann for what they are,
therefore science got contaminated by more and more people with the Schneider Mann Ehrlich syndrome.
These new guys realised that,no matter what they do they they can not be more wrong than the climate swines trinity.
A job with no downside.

Zig Zag Wanderer
November 24, 2021 11:14 am

If the fate of the world is at stake, they would reveal all of their data and workings, regardless of personal gain, Shirley? The fact that they don’t is telling!

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 24, 2021 11:46 am

That is strange. A bit like saying a Chicxulub size asteroid is on the way and asking everyone to take their word for it. Followed by the government requiring all home owners to dig and supply fallout shelters. Then when someone pops up and wants to know the size, trajectory and impact calculations… they say giving that away would be unfair to the scientists. (lol)

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary disclosure. Anyone who has to pay extra for gasoline at the pump has a right to see the climate data and access the required software. IMHO

Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
Reply to  Anon
November 24, 2021 11:54 am

“the entire planet was in imminent danger of being eaten by an enormous mutant star goat.”

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
November 24, 2021 8:22 pm

Marred to the Spaghetti Porpentine.

Reply to  Anon
November 24, 2021 12:09 pm

But the data are proprietary and protected by privacy laws.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 24, 2021 12:32 pm

Shirley not if said data were captured by taxpayer funded mechanisms and labor?

Reply to  Mr.
November 25, 2021 11:24 pm

I was using Dr Mann’s defense as to why he didn’t have to reveal his data.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 24, 2021 3:22 pm

But the data are proprietary and protected by privacy laws

Privacy is obviously more important than saving the world, eh?

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 24, 2021 2:14 pm

The World will be alright! And stop calling me Shirley!

November 24, 2021 11:16 am

And still the long term cycles in the oceans churn on oblivious to the Climate Crusades on land. What new catastrophic emergency crusades will replace this one when the oceans have finally spoken in turn?

Richard S Courtney
November 24, 2021 11:18 am

Robert Bradley Jr.,

The op-ed from Fred Pearce which you have copied says,

The UEA put out a statement saying that “the selective publication of some stolen emails and other papers taken out of context is mischievous and cannot be considered a genuine attempt to engage with the issues in a responsible way.”

I want it to be clearly understood that
(a) none of the “stolen” (sic) emails which were from me were “taken out of context”
(b) anybody who reads them can see the responses to them demonstrate they were successful and “genuine attempt to engage with the issues in a responsible way”.

My submission to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry about one of those emails is in Hansard and can be read at
That submission provides a copy of my email as its Appendix A, explains my complaint in that email at nefarious method used to block a paper which showed the time series of global temperature are useless, and provides a draft copy of that paper as its Appendix B.

Also, you mention “spicing-and-dicing” in your above article. So, I think it pertinent to cite the article posted on WUWT by Anthony Watts that presents a “stolen” (sic) email from Michael Mann in which
(1) Mann copies an email from me
(2) Mann responds with untruths, insults and a personal threat.
The article is at


Reply to  Richard S Courtney
November 24, 2021 11:35 am

I’ll bet you weren’t interviewed by the BBC for their “documentary” on Climategate and the radio series “The Hack That Changed the World

In other news, the BBC’s Panorama programme is asking where Tesla get their metals from this evening (24/11/21 @ 7.30pm

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Redge
November 25, 2021 4:21 am


No, I was not. The BBC are interested in the narrative they promote and are not interested in reality.


Reply to  Richard S Courtney
November 25, 2021 4:25 am

You got it right there, mate

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Richard S Courtney
November 24, 2021 5:54 pm

Spiced data? Is that what you get from climate modelling?

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
November 25, 2021 4:44 am

Zig Zag Wanderer,

“Spiced data” is what you get from a typographical error.

I am reminded of the schoolmaster who asked his class,
“Can somebody say what the general did prior to the battle?”
Jones stood and said,
“Yes sir. The general peppered the enemy with his artillery while he mustard his troops before ordering his infantry to begin the assault.”
The schoolmaster replied,
“That is enough sauce from you, Jones. Sit down.”


Tom Abbott
Reply to  Richard S Courtney
November 24, 2021 7:34 pm

Thanks for that history lessson, Richard.

Reply to  Richard S Courtney
November 24, 2021 9:14 pm

Spice and dice I smell stuffing.

November 24, 2021 11:47 am

I remember those days here at WUWT. In retrospect, two features of the climate debate stood out back then.
First, there were often calls to “stick to the science”. A widely held opinion was that the CAGW debate was rooted in science and it would be won or lost based on scientific grounds. As such, discussion of the politics was seen as a diversion at best, and unhelpful to the effort showcase the weakness of CAGW theory.
Second, there was a frequent chorus of “final nail in the coffin” as new research was brought forward revealing yet another critical failure of CAGW theory. CAGW got a lot of “final nails” back in those days.
Over the course of the next few years, opinions would shift and the political nature of the CAGW debate became more widely accepted. It seems to have been understood that you could win the scientific debate all day long and still lose the fight because the real action was in a different sphere of influence.

And that seems to be exactly what happened.

Now we are faced with something inconceivable back then. The complete and absolute censorship of any ideas or position which does not align with the party position.
And we have utterly ruinous energy policies forced on us by our own governments. We see pipelines shut down and canceled, oil and natural gas production efforts halted by illegal government permitting and licensing actions. We see huge government expenditures under the guise of “Green New Deal” and “Build Back Better”. All to benefit well connected insider cronies.
And all of this is done without any regard for the expense or the damage done to the people, the society, the country as a whole.
And it is coming, if you say one word in protest of any of this, you will be silenced with charges of “misinformation” and “disinformation”.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  TonyL
November 24, 2021 5:57 pm

A widely held opinion was that the CAGW debate was rooted in science and it would be won or lost based on scientific grounds.

Now a widely held opinion is that the CAGW debate is rooted (in the Australian usage of the word)

Reply to  TonyL
November 24, 2021 8:39 pm

Our grandchildren are already doomed to a lesser standard of living for our foolish alarm and hysterical attempts at mitigation because lost opportunity costs compound.
The one great thing that will help our descendants is that anthropogenic warming will be net beneficial and the anthropogenic greening is superlatively cornucopious.
Gaia has evolved humans for the task of increasing CO2 atmospheric levels for the benefit of every bit of the biosphere.
We can be grateful that the sun, engaged in an opposing task, sequesters carbon both in the refractory carbonates and the supple hydrocarbons whose bonds were too lovingly formed to be broken merely for the energy in them.
We need those hydrocarbon bonds for structure, to house us, to clothe us, and to store our stuff in.
This whole climate and energy scam is exactly backwards.
The leading industrial nations should be given reparations for improving the climate and the whole biome.
Radical? S’truth.

November 24, 2021 11:50 am

Like any religion, it moved on without a big concern. But a few independent thinkers and searchers discovered a lot. That was the start of a widening gulf, especially among the undecided.

November 24, 2021 12:00 pm

They run thousands of models and then take away the first number they thought of

Replication? An average that ‘feels’ right.

Last edited 1 year ago by strativarius
Richard S Courtney
Reply to  fretslider
November 25, 2021 4:24 am


Average wrong is wrong.


November 24, 2021 12:02 pm

The dominant consideration in climate “science” is unarguably “POLITICS, not science.

Which is understandable, since ingrained human behavior dictates that whenever a topic involves 3 or more people, it becomes a political situation.

(where do my interests lie? which side will I choose?)

November 24, 2021 12:12 pm

Where can one find all the Climategate E-Mails, from all the releases?

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 24, 2021 12:37 pm

Buy the ebook by A.W. Montford as a starter.
I found that it provides a helpful “who’s who in the zoo” context.

Steve Richards
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 24, 2021 2:33 pm

[Mods] I looked at the reference pages above –> climategate, but it was full of dead links.

A quick google search shows:

Which lists a lot of emails but the last page of the above document has links to all of the data…

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 24, 2021 7:50 pm

Here’s a list to all the Climategate E-Mails. The last item
links you to ClimateGate 2.0.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
November 25, 2021 6:58 pm

Jim- Steve McIntyre, the man in the middle of Climategate, has
two must-read posts about it @ Climate Audit:


This referenced the post that exposed Briffa’s cherry picking of
tree ring data & possibly triggered Mr FOIA’s huge download of
files beginning after Steve posted it:

(415 comments including some from Ross McKitrick)


This showed how Briffa et al (2001, JGR)’s effect of a “passing
reference to an “”anomalous decline in tree density measurements over
recent decades” … had not been observed and/or reported in Mann
et al 1998″ which then piqued Steve’s interest in proxy series that
eventually led to him discovering Briffa’s cherry picked data.

The first video referenced in the comments (from Climate Discussion
Nexus, featuring Steve) gives a good recap of these events, as well
as explaining “Mike’s Nature Trick”.

(video- )

A simpler, more entertaining version of “Mike’s Nature Trick” from
M4GW- Hide The Decline II- The Sequel- can be found here:


Clyde Spencer
November 24, 2021 12:18 pm

Science should be conducted through the peer-review literature, as it has been for over 300 years. The peer-review system is the safeguard science has developed to stop bad science being published.

It is my understanding that Einstein’s ‘minor’ contributions to science did not undergo ‘peer review’ by gate keepers, and was not well-received by at least 100 peers. I have read at least one informed comment that his contributions would probably experience difficulty in getting published in today’s intellectual climate were Relativity not firmly established as a paradigm.

It would seem that at least some self-appointed climatologists are not acquainted with the history of science;

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 24, 2021 6:01 pm

The whole business of peer review was invented to try to prevent useless papers from being published. It has absolutely zero todo with ‘science’ or the scientific method. It’s patently obvious from what gets published these days, that peer review is utterly useless, and only designed as a gatekeeping mechanism to keep out dissenting opinions.

The Scientific Method trumps peer review every single time!

November 24, 2021 12:20 pm

These were not trivial crimes. The costly measures that may eventuate from the actions of these criminal scientists might result in over $100 Trillion in wasted expenditures.

A lot of really good things can be accomplished with those kinds of resources, but we may end up wasting all that based on lies and deception.

That’s grand theft on a grand scale by anyone’s reckoning.

Reply to  DocSiders
November 24, 2021 12:41 pm

That’s not the worst fallout from the whole agw perfidy –
we have a whole generation of school-age kids who have now been convinced that “we’re screwed” as far as their future lives are concerned.

  • direct quote from a 13-year old nephew
Reply to  Mr.
November 24, 2021 8:55 pm

There has been ‘Neuro-Psychological Engineering for a Collectivist Political Purpose’ of the schoolchildren.
H/t my friend robin, the Early Bird @ invisible who thusly describes Common Core.

Reply to  DocSiders
November 24, 2021 8:49 pm

I count as particularly evil the so-called investigations at Penn State, UEA & the House of Commons. All three were bald-faced corruption , nauseating to any devotee of science.

What is going on here? (H/t Richard Lindzen)
& yes hundreds of trillions.
Possibly quadrillions in the long run & the more likely the longer this hoax hums along, this scam greased by greed for money power and fame. It’s dangerous and disgusting.
Oh how our progeny will regret our stupidity and folly.
They’ll wonder why we couldn’t come to our senses and just stop.’
Or maybe they will curse us.
What disgrace!

Roger Knights
Reply to  kim
November 25, 2021 4:24 am

Two states have just announced that they are withdrawing from a New England compact to limit fossil fuels, owing to a shortage of fuel and upcoming cold weather. If there is an energy crunch this winter, similar backtracking will spread, and the bandwagon may stall—or at least pause.

November 24, 2021 1:04 pm

If the Science is settled, the Alarmists should WELCOME normal “cross examination” by skeptics. If the Alarmist claims survive the cross examination, their claims are strengthened not diminished.

The fact that no counter claims are ever recognized, let alone refuted, diminishes their claims. At least it should.

They won’t play the normal “science game” because they would not win. And the entire Science Community would be revealed to be the fraud that it has become (or perhaps always was).

Robert Austin
Reply to  DocSiders
November 24, 2021 7:05 pm

Don’t want anything interfering with the gravy train. Senior scientists spend more time chasing funding than doing science. Fielding “cross examination” is “non-billable” time, much easier to dismiss hard questioning from “deniers”.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Robert Austin
November 25, 2021 3:27 am

cross examination should be done by the media along with we the public

Reply to  DocSiders
November 24, 2021 8:56 pm

Uncertainty rules the roost but knows when the dawn comes.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  DocSiders
November 25, 2021 3:26 am

Well, there is the Skeptical Science web site:

Their motto is “This website gets skeptical about global warming “skepticism”.”

I once posted there a question there – something like, “Is it OK to be skeptical about those who are skeptical about global warming skepticism”. I then got a warning that any more comments like that and I’d be banned from the site.

They do make an effort to deconstruct all the skeptical arguments.

But those arguments are very poorly constructed. I’m no scientist but I can see that.

November 24, 2021 1:05 pm

I would like to say this is one of the most profound post I ever read, but I have no idea what it means.

Are the numbers molecules, barrels, train cars, ?

Reply to  mkelly
November 24, 2021 1:36 pm

I thought i was the only one and blamed my bad English.
I am still trying to find out what kind of units diesel and food are.
With diesel i can at least suggest a standard unit of volume or height.
But food can be anything,a chewing gumor a 3 pound steak.

Reply to  SxyxS
November 24, 2021 2:19 pm

Total nonsense.

Reply to  mkelly
November 24, 2021 2:18 pm

Just wait, he gets even weirder when challenged on his nonsense.

M Courtney
November 24, 2021 1:29 pm

Do non-scientists, or amateur scientists, or scientists who run politically charged blogs, have an equal right to share scientific data? Jones believes not.

If he extended that to Michael Mann then Jones may have some credibility left.
But what he means by scientists are those who hold his own, orthodox position.

He acts like a religious leader. A self-appointed religious leader.

Coeur de Lion
November 24, 2021 1:36 pm

Several things to observe. One – Steve McIntyre on the fraudulent hockey stick on the frontispiece of Summary for Policymakers in AR6. Devastating. Two – Steve on the Hack. Not a theft or KGB or malignant. Just Briffa’s lax control of password!!! Three – Ross McKitrick’s sober destruction of the five whitewashes – some ‘incompetent beyond parody’. Only Wegman got near it. And do re-read Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
November 24, 2021 9:02 pm

Cocks crowed high and long over the Bishop’s palatial poultry yard.

November 24, 2021 1:42 pm

And of course who could forget….

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Gino
November 24, 2021 6:06 pm

Classic stuff!

Alistair Crooks
November 24, 2021 2:04 pm

I wrote this in an attempt to explain what is happening. In every science not just climate “science”
Trofim Lysenko looks down and smiles.

Reply to  Alistair Crooks
November 24, 2021 9:11 pm

Comin’ into London’s Heathrow,
Carryon’ on dozens of lies.
Please Mr. Petersgate, please,
Give this old sinner wings
That beat better than myocardium.

November 24, 2021 2:17 pm

Looks like the troll Mark Ingraham is back.

Pat from kerbob
November 24, 2021 11:37 pm

“ For sceptics like Steve McIntyre, the central issue is the principle that scientific findings are only valid if they can be replicated. And some scientists recognize that.”


Anyone who doesn’t recognize that is not a scientist.

Last edited 1 year ago by Pat from Kerbob
Matthew Sykes
November 25, 2021 12:09 am

And yet here we are, 14 years later, with the climate change scam still rampant, and gaining more and more ground.

Did Climategate really make any difference? No, we are so mute, so sheep like we allow these minority voices drive policy, regardless of how obvious their lies are.

Churchill said the passive majority will always be overruled by the fervent minority.

Until we make our voices heard we will continue to be overruled and herded like sheep into a nightmarish future.

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
November 25, 2021 5:50 am

Matthew Sykes,

You suggest,

And yet here we are, 14 years later, with the climate change scam still rampant, and gaining more and more ground.

Appearances can be deceptive and the reality is that the global warming scare was killed at the 2009 IPCC COP in Copenhagen when it was decided there would not be a successor Treaty to the Kyoto Protocol.

The scare moves in ways that give an appearance of life which is similar to the movements of a headless chicken running around a farmyard. The chicken may kick over things in its way, and we are confronted with the threat of damage likely to be caused by the death throws of the global warming scare.

While the global warming scare continues to ‘move’ it can be expected that people, organisations and bureaucracies will use it as tool to establish rules, mandates and laws that establish their objectives.
This happened with the Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) of the EU which was established to constrain SOx and NOx emissions in response to the ‘Acid Rain’ scare. The bureaucrats who operated the LCPD wanted to justify their jobs so for decades after the Acid Rain scare was over they progressively tightened the emission limits until the limits forced all UK coal-fired power stations to close.

Effective opposition to those using the global warming scare for their benefit requires recognition of what they are really using. Movements of a ‘live’ scare may be stopped by killing it, but movements of a ‘dead’ scare must be stopped in other ways.
(This goes to the heart of discussions about scientific and political rebuttals of the scare).


William Wilson
November 25, 2021 2:05 am

This is lively. Here is another. Size of GE, taken to be 33C approx. This is derived from the Solar Constant but also from moon temp. If Earth had no ghgs would is temp be 255K like the moon’s average? It does have O2 and N2 plus noble gases. Ah, but these do not absorb IR, but they can get warm not through radiative processes by because of translational energy. Tyndall’s original idea about GE referred to the whole atmosphere because he knew nothing about absorption of IR.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Wilson
Doug S
November 25, 2021 6:05 am

Thanks Robert for the easy to read review of the Climategate fraud and the people involved. I remember following the email disclosure very closely when it happened. At that time there were claims made by people reviewing the raw email files released to the public, that the time stamps on each successive file were too short to have been copied over an IP network. The claim was that the time stamps indicated the files were copied locally to a USB drive or similar direct connected device.

I don’t hear (or have missed) any further discussion of this issue. I Hope someone here can point to some additional writings on this. I believe this is a critical point because if true, the word “hack” is totally false. If true, the disclosure of these email files was performed by a whistle blower inside the CRU.

November 25, 2021 8:40 am

“But its trustees and academic advisers do not reflect that balance. Most have a public record as making sceptical comments about climate science.”

Maybe they don’t reflect the balance because they provide the balance, which is otherwise missing.

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