«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 ...»
It is quite possible that Jones would have resigned from enough societies and blackballed enough journals that he would have effectively put himself into early retirement, even if Climategate hadn’t effectively ended his career eight months after this email!
May 4, 2009: email 1241415427 Tom Wigley writes to Phil Jones and Ben Santer, attaching an extensive report from the Internet, “Climate science fraud at Albany University?” This continues the saga that we first encountered over two years previously (April 21, 2007) in which Doug Keenan had raised questions about a paper of Phil Jones and Wei-Chyung Wang from
1990. The report included the following comment:
Wang had a co-worker in Britain. In Britain, the Freedom of Information Act requires that data from publicly-funded research be made available. I was able to get the data by requiring Wang’s co-worker to release it, under British law. It was only then that I was able to confirm that Wang had committed fraud.
You are the co-worker, so you must have done something like provide Keenan with the Department Of Energy report that shows that there are no station records for 49 of the 84 stations. I presume Keenan therefore thinks that it was not possible to select stations on the basis of … “… station histories: selected stations have relatively few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location, or observation times” (THIS IS ITEM “X”) (Discusses two possibilities, both problematical for Wang) Now my views. (1) I have always thought Wei-Chyung Wang was a rather sloppy scientist. I therefore would not be surprised if he screwed up here.
But ITEM X is in both the Wei-Chyung Wang and Jones and co-worker papers—so where does it come from first? Were you taking Wei-Chyung Wang on trust?
Wigley has not only passed judgment on Wang—he furthermore fears that Jones and colleagues didn’t even check the data that they used.
(2) It also seems to me that the University at Albany has screwed up. To accept a complaint from Keenan and not refer directly to the complaint and the complainant in its report really is asking for trouble.
Such actions eclipse their allegations that Keenan breached a confidentiality agreement with the State University of New York; Wigley’s damning observation reveals their “investigation” to be nothing more than a whitewash.
(3) At the very start it seems this could have been easily dispatched. ITEM X really should have been … (modified version of ITEM X) … but this is not what the statement says.
Why, why, why did you and Wei-Chyung Wang not simply say this right at the start? Perhaps it’s not too late?
Wigley’s lamentations suggest that this is simply wishful thinking.
I realise that Keenan is just a trouble-maker and out to waste time, so I apologize for continuing to waste your time on this, Phil. However, I am concerned because all this happened under my watch as Director of the Climatic Research Unit and, although this is unlikely, the buck eventually should stop with me.
Despite labelling Keenan as a trouble-maker rather than a seeker after truth, Wigley is facing up squarely to the realization of this scandal—and accepting responsibility for it as their leader, despite being unaware of it at the time. This speaks volumes about his fundamental integrity. However, where is the concern that this fraudulent data has been used for 19 years, and where are the suggestions for dealing with the research that has used this false data for 19 years?
May 16, 2009: email 1242749575 Let us now gain some further insight into the fundamental character of Mike Mann.
He writes to Phil Jones:
On a completely unrelated note, I was wondering if you, perhaps in tandem with some of the other usual suspects, might be interested in returning the favor (of being awarded a Fellowship of the American Geophysical Union) this year ?
Now we know why he was so adamant about securing Jones’s award!
I’ve looked over the current list of American Geophysical Union Fellows, and it seems to me that there are quite a few who have gotten in (e.g. Kurt Cuffey, Amy Clement, and many others) who aren’t as far along as me in their careers, so I think I ought to be a strong candidate.
If he does say so himself.
Anyway, I don’t want to pressure you in any way, but if you think you’d be willing to help organize, I would naturally be much obliged. Perhaps you could convince Ray or Malcolm to take the lead? The deadline looks as if it is again July 1 this year.
I’m looking forward to catching up with you some time soon, probably at some exotic location of Henry’s choosing.
Does any remnant of doubt remain that awards in this field are absolutely and completely meaningless? Mann may as well pin a gold star on his own chest!
Jones understands the obligation:
I’ll email Ray and Malcolm. I’d be happy to contribute.
Have gotten replies—they’re both happy to write supporting letters, but both are too busy to take it on this year. One suggested waiting till next year. Malcolm is supporting one other person this year. I’d be happy to do it next year, so I can pace it over a longer period. Malcolm also said that (skeptic Fred) Singer had an American Geophysical Union Fellowship!
But that would be impossible!
What with all the work that these fine fellows (and Fellows) were busy with—lining up to award each other in every conceivable combination, with all the paper-work involved—it is no surprise that they didn’t have enough time to properly document or archive their data or computer programs!
Apart from my meetings, I have skeptics on my back—still; I can’t seem to get rid of them. Also the new United Kingdom climate scenarios are giving government ministers the jitters, as they don’t want to appear stupid when they introduce them (late June?).
So even government ministers realise that they will look stupid trying to forecast the climate in 50 and 100 years’ time, when they can’t even forecast next week’s weather.
That sounds good. So why don’t we wait until next round (June 2010) on this then. That will give everyone an opportunity to get their ducks in a row. Plus I’ll have one more Nature and one more Science paper on my resume by then (more about that soon!). I’ll be sure to send you a reminder sometime next May or so!
Well that’s one onerous task that can be struck off the schedule!
The contrarians’ attacks certainly have not abated. The only hope is that they’ll increasingly be ignored.
He hopes scientific skepticism will be ignored by the media and governments. Given that the very important Copenhagen summit was just seven months away, Mann’s confidence in their ability to avoid scrutiny is highly optimistic.
May 26, 2009: email 1243369385
Darrell Kaufman, of Northern Arizona University, to many:
I just received the reviewers’ comments and editor’s decision on our Science manuscript (attached).… … (2) The reviewer suggested that, if we are concerned about (a standard issue in statistics), we should attempt a so-called “robust” regression procedure, such as median absolute deviation regression. Does anyone have experience with this?
You’ve got to be kidding! They don’t even know what this is? Do any of these climate scientists understand statistics?
July 19, 2009: email 1248902393.txt Phil Jones writes to Tom Peterson, of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in
the United States:
I have a question for you. I’m going to write a small document for our web site to satisfy (probably the wrong word) the 50 or so Freedom Of Information / Environmental Information Regulations requests we’ve had over the weekend. I will put up the various agreements we have with Met(eorological) Services.
That he so nicely “hides behind”.
The question—I think you told me one time that you had a file containing all the data you couldn’t release (i.e. it’s not in the Global Historical Climatology Network).… Do you know off-hand how much data is in this category? Would the NCDC mind if I mentioned that you have such data—not the amount or locations or anything, just that there is some?
More restrictions to hide behind! And Jones is explicitly trying to not put specific bounds on which data is restricted in this way—so that he can apply the excuse to anything and everything!
Data that we can’t release is a tricky thing here at NCDC. Periodically, Tom Karl will twist my arm to release data that would violate agreements and therefore hurt us in the long run, so I would prefer that you don’t specifically cite me or NCDC in this.
In other words, they do release data, against these very agreements that Jones wants to hide behind. Importantly, Peterson does not want to be dragged in to supporting Jones. Are cracks beginning to appear?
But I can give you a good alternative. You can point to the Peterson– Manton article on regional climate change workshops. All those workshops resulted in data being provided to the author of the peer-reviewed paper with a strict promise that none of the data would be released. So far as far as I know, we have all lived up to that agreement—myself with the Caribbean data (so that is one example of data I have that are not released by NCDC), Lucie and Malcolm for South America, Enric for Central America, Xuebin for Middle Eastern data, Albert for south/central Asian data, John Ceasar for South-East Asia, Enric again for central Africa, etc.
The point being that such agreements are common and are the only way that we have access to quantitative insights into climate change in many parts of the world. Many countries don’t mind the release of derived data, but very much object to the release of actual data (which they might sell to potential users). Does that help?
Again, restrictions on access to data.
July 30, 2009: email 1249007192 Kevin Trenberth to Mike Mann and others, regarding their submission to the Journal
of Geophysical Research:
I think you should argue that it should be expedited for the reasons of interest by the press. The key question is who was the editor who handled the original, because this is an implicit criticism of that person. We may need to point this out, and ensure that someone else handles it.
Is there any journal left in their field that they are not threatening in one form or another? Should papers be published expeditiously because of press interest? Such an attitude is anathema to any semblance of worth left in the “peer review” process in this field.
Folks, I was thinking exactly the same thing … it does immediately call into suspicion the integrity of the review process.
We probably need to take this directly to the Chief Editor at the Journal of Geophysical Research, asking that this not be handled by the editor who presided over the original paper, as this would represent a conflict of interest. If we are told that is not possible, then we would at least want the Chief Editor himself to closely monitor the handling of the paper.
August 5, 2009: email 1249503274
The Journal of Geophysical Research’s standard request:
Please list the names of 5 experts who are knowledgeable in your area and could give an unbiased review of your work. Please do not list colleagues who are close associates, collaborators, or family members.
Phil Jones flouts the requirements, explicitly, by considering people that are close
associates and collaborators:
I agree with Kevin that Tom Karl has too much to do. Tom Wigley is semiretired, and, like Mike Wallace, may not be responsive to requests from the Journal of Geophysical Research.
We have Ben Santer in common! Dave Thompson is a good suggestion. I’d go for one of Tom Peterson or Dave Easterling.
To get a spread, I’d go with three in the United States, one Australian, and one in Europe. So I suggest Neville Nicholls and David Parker.