«Edited and Annotated by John Costella The Lavoisier Group March 2010 About the Author John Costella was born in East Melbourne in 1966. After being ...»
The leaflet appeared so general, but it was prepared by the University of East Anglia so they may have simplified things. From their wording, computer programs would be covered by the Freedom Of Information Act. My concern was if Sarah is/was still employed by the University of East Anglia. I guess she could claim that she had only written one tenth of the programs, and therefore only release every tenth line of the programs.
This is an ingenious attempt to find a loophole, but one unlikely to succeed.
Wigley returns to the original topic:
Let me fill you in a bit (confidentially) (on the VTT Review Panel). You probably know the panel members. … As token skeptic there is Dick Lindzen—but at least he is a smart guy and he does listen.
Glad to know that the “token skeptic” has been appointed! I guess we don’t need to wonder what conclusion that Panel will come to!
Phil Jones replies, refining the loophole even further:
As for the Freedom Of Information Act, Sarah isn’t technically employed by the University of East Anglia and she will likely be paid by Manchester Metropolitan University.
Not that she wouldn’t be covered by the Act: merely that she would be paid by a different University!
I wouldn’t worry about the computer programs. If the Freedom Of Information Act does ever get used by anyone, there is also Intellectual Property Rights to consider as well. Data is covered by all the agreements we sign with people, so I will be hiding behind them. I’ll be passing any requests onto the person at the University of East Anglia who has been given a post to deal with them.
So, yet again, Phil Jones has found another cubby hole: this time behind the various dubious agreements that they have signed with individuals and institutions, giving them legal assurance that the data would remain private, despite the publications and policy recommendations derived from it being most definitely public.
So that’s three potential loopholes: no longer employed by us; intellectual property rights; and the data are not ours to give.
February 2, 2005: email 1107454306Phil Jones writes to Mike Mann:
Just sent loads of … data to Scott Rutherford. Make sure he documents everything better this time!
So it isn’t until 2005 that they decide it is time to document what they are doing?
And don’t leave stuff lying around on anonymous download sites—you never know who is trawling them. McIntyre and McKitrick have been after the Climatic Research Unit … data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the United Kingdom, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send it to anyone.
Does your similar Act in the United States force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days?—ours does! The United Kingdom works on precedents, so the first request will test it.
How uncivilized: actually being forced to respond to enquiries!
We also have a Data Protection Act, which I will hide behind.
Ah, we were wondering how long it would take him to find a loophole to hide behind.
Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it—he thought people could ask him for his computer programs. He has retired officially from the University of East Anglia so he can hide behind that.
Every civilized man should have something to hide behind.
Intellectual Property Rights should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at the University of East Anglia who’ll say we must adhere to the Freedom of Information Act!
God forbid: someone there will insist on them abiding by the law?
Mike Mann responds:
Yes, we’ve learned our lesson about anonymous download sites. We’re going to be very careful in the future what gets put there. Scott really screwed up big time when he established that directory so that Tim could access the data.
Fancy giving independent scientists access to the data!
Yeah, there is a Freedom Of Information Act in the United States, and the contrarians are going to try to use it for all it’s worth. But there are also intellectual property rights issues, so it isn’t clear how these sorts of things will play out ultimately in the United States.
Ah, similar hiding places on the other side of the Atlantic, too.
February 21, 2005: email 1109021312 Phil Jones writes to Mike Mann, Ray Badley, and Malcolm Hughes, regarding news
reports that Mann will be forced to release his data:
The skeptics seem to be building up a head of steam here!
… Leave it to you to delete as appropriate!
… PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the Climatic Research Unit … temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the United Kingdom has a Freedom of Information Act!
One would think that, eventually, people would realize this without having to be told … March 17, 2005: email 1111085657 Ray Bradley writes to Phil Jones and Mike Mann, alerting them to a report by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on the controversy raging over the infamous “hockey stick” graph.
Jones replies to Bradley:
I tried to convince the reporter here that there wasn’t a story, but he went with it anyway. At least he put in a quote from me …
Mike Mann responds:
Yes, the BBC has been disappointing in the way they’ve dealt with this— almost seems to be a contrarian element there.
This is awful. The BBC does not simply parrot their words?
They had better find the culprit:
Do you remember the name of the reporter you spoke to?
The reporter was Paul Rincon.
I’ve got a call in from a different BBC reporter today, Ben Dempsey, who seems much better. He’s doing something for Horizon on climate change.
Do you know anything about this?
On Horizon, I’m supposed to be called in a few minutes by someone. I’m not sure who yet. This program is generally good. They did something on global dimming a few months ago and now want to do something on the truth about global warming, the IPCC and skeptics. That’s all I know so far. The person’s name is Paul Olding. He should be calling at 2:00 pm, so in five minutes’ time.
In other words, it’s acceptable for the BBC to be biased—as long as it is in their direction.
April 27, 2005: email 1114607213
Steve McIntyre writes to Phil Jones:
Dear Phil, In keeping with the spirit of your suggestions to look at some of the other multiproxy temperature publications, I’ve been looking at Jones and co-workers paper of 1998. The methodology here is obviously more straightforward than for the Mann, Bradley, and Hughes paper of 1998.
However, while I have been able to substantially emulate your calculations, I have been unable to do so exactly. The differences are larger in the early time periods.
Since I have been unable to replicate your results exactly based on available materials, I would appreciate a copy of the actual data set used in the Jones and co-workers paper of 1998 as well as the computer programs used in these calculations.
There is an interesting article on replication of results by independent scientists by … some distinguished economists (gives link), discussing the issue of replication in applied economics and referring favorably to our attempts to replicate results in respect to the paper of Mann, Bradley, and Hughes from 1998.
Regards, Steve McIntyre
Phil Jones forwards it to Mike Mann:
I got this email from McIntyre a few days ago. As far as I’m concerned he has the data—sent ages ago. I’ll tell him this, but that’s all—no computer program. If I can find the program, it is likely to be hundreds of lines of undocumented FORTRAN!
Any computer programmer would know that FORTRAN—a computer language so old that its name is spelt in uppercase, because computers did not have lowercase letters back then—is very efficient at performing mathematical calculations, but very obscure to understand if extensive documentation is not provided throughout the program on a line by line basis, and very easy to make mistakes in if the program is not well-structured and well-documented.
So we now know that the Climatic Research Unit had no policies covering the checking of results, data archiving, or anything to control the writing and archiving of computer programs!
That the claims of climate change could rest on such a parlous state of affairs would be hilarious, if it were not so serious.
Jones continues to reminisce about his FORTRAN program:
I recall the program did a lot more that just average the series. I know why he can’t replicate the results early on—it is because there was a mathematical adjustment when there were fewer data sets.
In other words, McIntyre was exactly correct: the data did not match in the earlier time periods, because Jones’s program—the one that he refuses to hand over—fiddled with the data.
It is remarkable that the only thing that Jones can remember about this work from seven years previously is that he had to adjust the data.
June 27, 2005: email 1119901360 Jonathan Overpeck writes to Keith Briffa, Tim Osborn, and Eystein Jansen, concerned about highly influential early diagrams first “created” by Hubert Lamb, pioneer of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Lamb boosted funding for climate research in the mid-1970s by promoting the Ice Age scare, which famously made the front cover of Time Magazine.
I’m sure you saw the recent (to be infamous) Wall Street Journal editorial— they showed what I think was a IPCC First Assessment Report curve— with the good old Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age, etc. (Lamb view?—I don’t have the First Assessment Report with me). The way to handle the hockey stick might best be to put it in an historical perspective along with the older IPCC views. First, show your great figures, discuss them and what went into them, and then—after showing the state-of-theart, discuss how much our understanding and view have changed. In this, simply compare each of the historical views (First Assessment Report, Second Assessment Report, Third Assessment Report) to the current view, and while doing so, play down the controversy(s)—especially the hockey stick. The smart folks will realize that that the fluff in the news is just that, but those with a real stake in that debate will hopefully get the point that it doesn’t matter… This is a remarkable admission. It was the work of Hubert Lamb and others (to be discussed at greater length shortly) that sparked the fears of climate change in the first place. Just as these scientists “re-branded” their claims—from the “Greenhouse Effect” to “Global Warming” to “Climate Change”—so too did they change their apparently “rock solid” results, through the First, Second, and Third Assessment Reports of the IPCC.
The Medieval Warm Period and subsequent Little Ice Age—so well established in both history and the scientific evidence that these very scientists showed them clearly on their graphs in the 1991 Assessment report—gradually became “undesirable”, as it was realized that it would not simply be sufficient to show the planet warming, but essential to argue that it was unprecedented warming.
But by this time—mid-2005—the mainstream media had begun to take note of the increasing number of scientists crying foul over this subtle but systematic form of scientific revisionism—more than four years before the exposure of the “Wikipedia censor”, William Connolley.
Overpeck is here effectively telling his colleagues that “the evidence doesn’t matter”— that all that is important is that, at any point in time, they had some evidence that apparently substantiated their claims. That they subsequently discredited their own evidence is to be swept under the rug!
If there was any lingering doubt that these “scientists” were simply working towards justifying a predetermined conclusion, rather than honestly seeking the scientific truth, then these comments—and those to follow—eliminate them.