Climate change: Climategate

In the last few days the internet has been ablaze with news of leaked documents, emails and computer code from computers at the CRU — The Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, UK.

In what is being called ‘Climategate’, evidence is beginning to emerge of collusion to exaggerate temperature increases, hide temperature declines, block Freedom of Information requests, block scientists with differing views from being published in magazines & group deletion of emails to prevent data disclosure.

But what exactly happened, and why all the fuss?


The first post that revealed details from the files appeared on Thursday 19th November 2009, at The Air Vent, a web site devoted to ‘man-made global warming’ skeptics’ arguments.

At the time of writing, it is still unclear whether the data was obtained by ‘hackers’ or leaked by an insider. Another possibility is that someone got hold of a user account and password sent in plain text in an email — see here.

Some seem to be questioning the initial information that this release of data was the work of ‘hackers’, and the reasons cited for this thinking include (1) timing relating to the upcoming Copenhagen conference in December 2009 and (2) lack of expected ‘housekeeping’ emails within the files released.

Further analysis of the course of events surrounding the leak can be found here: Who leaked the Hadley CRU files and why.

Initially, there were doubts about the authenticity of the data, although some individuals whose contact details appear in emails have now confirmed that those emails, at least, are authentic. Others state that the level of detail contained within the data would just be too elaborate to hoax without enormous resources.

The CRU is one of four centres providing climate data to scientists around the world studying climate change.

Despite repeated Freedom of Information requests over the years to provide the raw temperature data and algorithms used to produce global temperature figures for bodies like the UN IPCC, the CRU has refused to comply and has apparently actively blocked these requests. Phil Jones, director of the CRU, even said he would rather delete the data than provide it as part of a Freedom of Information request!

Access to this data and modelling algorithms is seen as of vital importance in order for others to be able to verify the accuracy of the figures and graphs produced. Allowing others to scrutinise your methods is a necessary part of the scientific process.

If proposed global CO2 emissions policies relating to the concept of ‘man-made global warming’ are to be accepted, then there must be absolute certainty and scientific proof that the data is accurate and correct. So allowing others to see the data and the models used to predict future catastrophe scenarios do need to be verified widely.

After all, as the saying goes: “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it”. That is, there’s no point in trying to fix a ‘problem’ like global warming, that may not be significantly caused by man’s contributions of CO2.

It looks more and more to be the case that minor observed global warming may well be mostly a result of natural climate variability, as temperature and CO2 levels have both been much higher and lower before man’s industrial activities even started. See: What happened to global warming?, where emerging ‘new’ evidence points to solar electromagnetic effects being the likely cause.

First a little background

For the uninitiated, to give you an idea of the previous events leading up to now, take a read of the following, extracted from an article called The Dog Ate Global Warming, written by Patrick J. Michaels, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, retired Research Professor of Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia, and a former state climatologist for Virginia:

The Dog Ate Global Warming

Interpreting climate data can be hard enough. What if some key data have been fiddled?

By Patrick J. Michaels

Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature. Raucous policy debates such as cap-and-trade would have no scientific basis, Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical footnote, and President Obama would not be spending this U.N. session talking up a (likely unattainable) international climate deal in Copenhagen in December.

Steel yourself for the new reality, because the data needed to verify the gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.

Or so it seems. Apparently, they were either lost or purged from some discarded computer. Only a very few people know what really happened, and they aren’t talking much. And what little they are saying makes no sense.

In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature. It’s known in the trade as the “Jones and Wigley” record for its authors, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley, and it served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007. It was this record that prompted the IPCC to claim a “discernible human influence on global climate.”

Putting together such a record isn’t at all easy. Weather stations weren’t really designed to monitor global climate. Long-standing ones were usually established at points of commerce, which tend to grow into cities that induce spurious warming trends in their records. Trees grow up around thermometers and lower the afternoon temperature. Further, as documented by the University of Colorado’s Roger Pielke Sr., many of the stations themselves are placed in locations, such as in parking lots or near heat vents, where artificially high temperatures are bound to be recorded.

So the weather data that go into the historical climate records that are required to verify models of global warming aren’t the original records at all. Jones and Wigley, however, weren’t specific about what was done to which station in order to produce their record, which, according to the IPCC, showed a warming of 0.6° +/– 0.2°C in the 20th century.

Now begins the fun. Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where that “+/–” came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’s response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

Reread that statement, for it is breathtaking in its anti-scientific thrust. In fact, the entire purpose of replication is to “try and find something wrong.” The ultimate objective of science is to do things so well that, indeed, nothing is wrong.

Then the story changed. In June 2009, Georgia Tech’s Peter Webster told Canadian researcher Stephen McIntyre that he had requested raw data, and Jones freely gave it to him. So McIntyre promptly filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the same data. Despite having been invited by the National Academy of Sciences to present his analyses of millennial temperatures, McIntyre was told that he couldn’t have the data because he wasn’t an “academic.” So his colleague Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph, asked for the data. He was turned down, too.

Faced with a growing number of such requests, Jones refused them all, saying that there were “confidentiality” agreements regarding the data between CRU and nations that supplied the data. McIntyre’s blog readers then requested those agreements, country by country, but only a handful turned out to exist, mainly from Third World countries and written in very vague language.

It’s worth noting that McKitrick and I had published papers demonstrating that the quality of land-based records is so poor that the warming trend estimated since 1979 (the first year for which we could compare those records to independent data from satellites) may have been overestimated by 50 percent. Webster, who received the CRU data, published studies linking changes in hurricane patterns to warming (while others have found otherwise).

Enter the dog that ate global warming.

Roger Pielke Jr., an esteemed professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, then requested the raw data from Jones. Jones responded:

“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.”

The statement about “data storage” is balderdash. They got the records from somewhere. The files went onto a computer. All of the original data could easily fit on the 9-inch tape drives common in the mid-1980s. I had all of the world’s surface barometric pressure data on one such tape in 1979.

If we are to believe Jones’s note to the younger Pielke, CRU adjusted the original data and then lost or destroyed them over twenty years ago. The letter to Warwick Hughes may have been an outright lie. After all, Peter Webster received some of the data this year. So the question remains: What was destroyed or lost, when was it destroyed or lost, and why?

All of this is much more than an academic spat. It now appears likely that the U.S. Senate will drop cap-and-trade climate legislation from its docket this fall — whereupon the Obama Environmental Protection Agency is going to step in and issue regulations on carbon-dioxide emissions. Unlike a law, which can’t be challenged on a scientific basis, a regulation can. If there are no data, there’s no science. U.S. taxpayers deserve to know the answer to the question posed above.

— Patrick J. Michaels is a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and author of Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.

What data was stolen / leaked?

Within the zip file called ‘FOIA.zip’ (Freedom of Information Act), there are two directories called ‘documents’ and ‘mail’.

Emails

The leaked zip file contains more than 1,000 emails.

The website eastangliaemails.com (previously AnElegantChaos.org) has now put the entire leaked email archive online and made them searchable, so you can try out some searches of your own.

Some keywords you might like to try in your searches could be terms like: travesty, hockey, FOIA, mcintyre, MM, MMs, tosser, hide, decline, MWP, LIA, lie, Shell, funding, strategic, partnership, gore, moron, delete, FOI, crap, charlatans etc.

Some examples of the emails

Here are some examples of the emails — thanks to Bishop Hill blog for permission to reproduce his annotated list here. His original page can be found here. Also, see Anthony Watts’ post at Watts Up With That which also uses Andrew’s list and mentions Andrew’s new book called ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion‘.

  • Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)
  • Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)
  • Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709). Analysis of impact here. Wow!
  • Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as “cheering news”.(1075403821)
  • Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)
  • Phil Jones says he has use Mann’s “Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series”…to hide the decline”. Real Climate says “hiding” was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)
  • Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.(0872202064)
  • Mann thinks he will contact BBC’s Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article.(1255352257)
  • Kevin Trenberth says they can’t account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can’t.(1255352257)
  • Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi’s paper is crap.(1257532857)
  • Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn’t matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)
  • Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he’s “tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap” out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)
  • Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to ‘”contain” the putative Medieval Warm Period’. (1054736277)
  • Tom Wigley tells Jones that the land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming and that this might be used by sceptics as evidence for urban heat islands.(1257546975)
  • Tom Wigley say that Keith Briffa has got himself into a mess over the Yamal chronology (although also says it’s insignificant. Wonders how Briffa explains McIntyre’s sensitivity test on Yamal and how he explains the use of a less-well replicated chronology over a better one. Wonders if he can. Says data withholding issue is hot potato, since many “good” scientists condemn it.(1254756944)
  • Briffa is funding Russian dendro Shiyatov, who asks him to send money to personal bank account so as to avoid tax, thereby retaining money for research.(0826209667)
  • Kevin Trenberth says climatologists are nowhere near knowing where the energy goes or what the effect of clouds is. Says nowhere balancing the energy budget. Geoengineering is not possible.(1255523796)
  • Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate.(1139521913)
  • Tom Wigley discusses how to deal with the advent of FoI law in UK. Jones says use IPR argument to hold onto code. Says data is covered by agreements with outsiders and that CRU will be “hiding behind them”.(1106338806)
  • Overpeck has no recollection of saying that he wanted to “get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”. Thinks he may have been quoted out of context.(1206628118)
  • Mann launches RealClimate to the scientific community.(1102687002)
  • Santer complaining about FoI requests from McIntyre. Says he expects support of Lawrence Livermore Lab management. Jones says that once support staff at CRU realised the kind of people the scientists were dealing with they became very supportive. Says the VC [vice chancellor] knows what is going on (in one case).(1228330629)
  • Rob Wilson concerned about upsetting Mann in a manuscript. Says he needs to word things diplomatically.(1140554230)
  • Briffa says he is sick to death of Mann claiming his reconstruction is tropical because it has a few poorly temp sensitive tropical proxies. Says he should regress these against something else like the “increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage” he produces. Ed Cook agrees with problems.(1024334440)
  • Overpeck tells Team to write emails as if they would be made public. Discussion of what to do with McIntyre finding an error in Kaufman paper. Kaufman’s admits error and wants to correct. Appears interested in Climate Audit findings.(1252164302)
  • Jones calls Pielke Snr a prat.(1233249393)
  • Santer says he will no longer publish in Royal Met Soc journals if they enforce intermediate data being made available. Jones has complained to head of Royal Met Soc about new editor of Weather [why?data?] and has threatened to resign from RMS.(1237496573)
  • Reaction to McIntyre’s 2005 paper in GRL. Mann has challenged GRL editor-in-chief over the publication. Mann is concerned about the connections of the paper’s editor James Saiers with U Virginia [does he mean Pat Michaels?]. Tom Wigley says that if Saiers is a sceptic they should go through official GRL channels to get him ousted. (1106322460) [Note to readers - Saiers was subsequently ousted]
  • Later on Mann refers to the leak at GRL being plugged.(1132094873)
  • Jones says he’s found a way around releasing AR4 review comments to David Holland.(1210367056)
  • Wigley says Keenan’s fraud accusation against Wang is correct. (1188557698)
  • Jones calls for Wahl and Ammann to try to change the received date on their alleged refutation of McIntyre [presumably so it can get into AR4](1189722851)
  • Mann tells Jones that he is on board and that they are working towards a common goal.(0926010576)
  • Mann sends calibration residuals for MBH99 to Osborn. Says they are pretty red, and that they shouldn’t be passed on to others, this being the kind of dirty laundry they don’t want in the hands of those who might distort it.(1059664704)
  • Prior to AR3 Briffa talks of pressure to produce a tidy picture of “apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data”. [This appears to be the politics leading the science] Briffa says it was just as warm a thousand years ago.(0938018124)
  • Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FoI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!](1219239172)
  • Mann tells Revkin that McIntyre is not to be trusted.(1254259645)
  • Revkin quotes von Storch as saying it is time to toss the Hockey Stick . This back in 2004.(1096382684)
  • Funkhouser says he’s pulled every trick up his sleeve to milk his Kyrgistan series. Doesn’t think it’s productive to juggle the chronology statistics any more than he has.(0843161829)
  • Wigley discusses fixing an issue with sea surface temperatures in the context of making the results look both warmer but still plausible. (1254108338)
  • Jones says he and Kevin will keep some papers out of the next IPCC report.(1089318616)
  • Tom Wigley tells Mann that a figure Schmidt put together to refute Monckton is deceptive and that the match it shows of instrumental to model predictions is a fluke. Says there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model output by authors and IPCC.(1255553034)
  • Grant Foster putting together a critical comment on a sceptic paper. Asks for help for names of possible reviewers. Jones replies with a list of people, telling Foster they know what to say about the paper and the comment without any prompting.(1249503274)
  • David Parker discussing the possibility of changing the reference period for global temperature index. Thinks this shouldn’t be done because it confuses people and because it will make things look less warm.(1105019698)
  • Briffa discusses an sceptic article review with Ed Cook. Says that confidentially he needs to put together a case to reject it (1054756929)
  • Ben Santer, referring to McIntyre says he hopes Mr “I’m not entirely there in the head” will not be at the AGU.(1233249393)
  • Jones tells Mann that he is sending station data. Says that if McIntyre requests it under FoI he will delete it rather than hand it over. Says he will hide behind data protection laws. Says Rutherford screwed up big time by creating an FTP directory for Osborn. Says Wigley worried he will have to release his model code. Also discuss AR4 draft. Mann says paleoclimate chapter will be contentious but that the author team has the right personalities to deal with sceptics.(1107454306)

Documents

The leaked zip file contains a large number of documents. I will mention just a couple of them below.

There are many other documents which you will find commentary on elsewhere.

Document: ‘marooned.jpg’

The following file called ‘marooned.jpg’ shows someone’s artistic handiwork — a dig at the ‘climate skeptics’:

Whilst amusing, it indicates the level of disrespect shown towards highly proficient fellow scientists because they dared to take a skeptical stance relating to the question of whether man-made emissions of CO2 are significantly affecting global temperatures on Earth, despite them having a wealth of comprehensive data to back up their position.

The people shown are John Christy (kneeling down), Patrick Michaels (holding the hat), Richard Lindzen (wearing the baseball cap), and Roger A. Pielke, all standing on one of the last remaining icebergs at the North Pole.

Then we see Senator James Inhofe swimming and wearing a lifejacket and holding a gavel. Finally, another person I don’t recognise is wearing a propellerhead hat and sitting in a yellow duck boat — Fred Singer???.

Document: ‘RulesOfTheGame.pdf’

Page 1:

The Rules of the Game:

Evidence base for the Climate Change
Communications Strategy

The game is communicating climate change;
the rules will help us win it.

Page 2:

The Principles of Climate Change

Why were the principles
created?

The game is communicating
climate change; the rules will
help us win it.

These principles were created as
part of the UK Climate Change
Communications Strategy, an
evidence-based strategy aiming
to change public attitudes
towards climate change in the
UK. This is a ‘short version’
of a far longer document of
evidence that can be found at
www.defra.gov.uk.

There is plenty of evidence
relating to attitudes towards and
behaviour on climate change,
general environmental behaviour
change and the whole issue
of sustainable development
communication. As we reviewed
the research for these principles,
one ‘überprinciple’ emerged:

“Changing attitudes
towards climate change is
not like selling a particular
brand of soap – it’s like
convincing someone to
use soap in the first place.”

At first glance, some of the
principles may seem counter-
intuitive to those who have
been working on sustainable
development or climate change
communications for many years.
Some confront dearly cherished
beliefs about what works; a few
even seem to attack the values
or principles of sustainable
development itself.

However, these principles are a
first step to using sophisticated
behaviour change modelling and
comprehensive evidence from
around the world to change
attitudes towards climate change.
We need to think radically, and
the Rules of the Game are a sign
that future campaigns will not be
‘business as usual’. This is a truly
exciting moment.

Page 3:

2. Forget the climate change detractors

Those who deny climate change science are irritating, but
unimportant. The argument is not about if we should deal with climate
change, but how we should deal with climate change.

Fascinating ‘informational document’ produced by ‘Futerra Sustainability Communications’.

Read it for yourself here: The Rules of the Game, Evidence for the Climate Change Communications Strategy. Additionally, this article has some good commentary regarding this document and other similar ones: Warm Words: the difference between ‘facts’ and facts.

Mainstream Media reaction

At the time of writing, much of the mainstream media have only given this subject very brief coverage, despite the explosive nature of the information contained within the emails.

Are they scared to appear to go against the huge ‘man-made global-warming’ juggernaut, or are they scared of upsetting readers that they have participated in converting over the years, or scared of loss of paid advertisements, government backlash, libel suits or what exactly?

So far, your best sources of information are right-wing news sources, apolitical sources just trying to grasp the facts, and also a vast sea of bloggers.

You’ll have to draw your own conclusions as to why that might be.

A likely reason, though, for this amazing silence by much of the mainstream media is that for years they have been happily publishing article after article citing apocalyptic visions of the future that they say will be the result if we don’t act now.

To appear to do a U-turn now by accurately reporting on this scandal is painful, as it gives the impression that they may have got things wrong. So they say nothing or very little.

For this reason, most of the informational sources I list below are from bloggers and right-wing news sources, as much of the mainstream media are conspicuous by their absence in reporting comprehensively on this scandal, besides a casual story that simply dismisses these events as ‘criminals attacking the very foundations of prestigious pillars of scientific consensus’ etc…

In the meantime, read this article by James Delingpole which discusses this amazing vacuum of mainstream media coverage: Climategate: how the MSM reported the greatest scandal in modern science.

If you would prefer to read left-wing mainstream media sources for detailed coverage of this scandal, then you’ll have to ask your favourite papers why they are not giving this the coverage it deserves. Global Warming has become one of the biggest topics of the decade, and this released data contains serious items worthy of serious coverage. To dismiss it as ‘just another everyday data loss’ or ‘human nature in email discussions’ is a serious misrepresentation of facts. Please send me any links you find that discuss this subject in a responsible manner using the comment box below and I will add them here.

At the BBC, it seems the only person to give this subject reasonable coverage is Paul Hudson. His contribution to this subject can be found in this article: ‘Climategate’ – CRU hacked into and its implications. More articles from Paul Hudson can be found here.

Paul Hudson is the guy who wrote the original BBC article What happened to global warming? in October 2009.

Paul Hudson is not in favour with the ‘Hockey Team’, it seems. I wonder if Richard Black had words with Paul, after the this email where Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann writes:

extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC. its particularly odd,
since climate is usually Richard Black’s beat at BBC (and he does a great job). from
what I can tell, this guy was formerly a weather person at the Met Office.

We may do something about this on RealClimate, but meanwhile it might be appropriate for
the Met Office to have a say about this, I might ask Richard Black what’s up here?

Update 2010-01-29: Andrew Neil appears to be probably the most clued-up ‘climate change’ person at the BBC when it comes to knowing facts — see interesting videos here: Climate change and global warming on the Daily Politics, and read his blog here: Andrew Neil’s blog.

The other BBC reporters on Climate Change, namely Richard Black and Roger Harrabin. These guys seem linked, and certainly sympathetic to the scientists involved in this scandal.

Regarding Richard Black, see this email — search for ‘Black’.

Regarding Roger Harrabin, see this article, where it discusses him in relation to Cambridge Media and Environment Programme: The Freedom of Information Act and the BBC’s willing little helpers. So, no conflict of interests or issues with impartiality of reporting on issues like ‘man-made global warming’ there then.

Officially though, in relation to man-made global warming, the BBC says:

A number of newspapers have picked up on a debate at the Edinburgh TV festival in a session entitled “How Green is TV?”. Broadcasters debated whether TV should make an assumption in their programmes that man-made climate change is happening or not.

Channel Four’s “The Great Global Warming Swindle” came in for sustained criticism from delegates for its alleged loose use of facts. In return, Channel Four representatives criticised the BBC for having a “line” on climate change.

BBC News certainly does not have a line on climate change, however the weight of our coverage reflects the fact that there is an increasingly strong (although not overwhelming) weight of scientific opinion in favour of the proposition that climate change is happening and is being largely caused by man.

BBC news programmes and our website of course reflect alternative views but we do not balance these views mathematically as that is not our judgement about where the argument has now reached.

That is definitely not the same as us propagating a view ourselves about climate change. It’s not our job to do that.

In the Edinburgh session the possibility of the BBC doing a “consciousness-raising” event about the subject, possibly called Planet Relief, was raised.

There has been no decision yet about whether there might be such an event, nor what its editorial purpose might be. However it is clear that all BBC programming about climate change – whether about the science itself or the potential policy response by governments – needs to meet the BBC’s standards of impartiality.

It is not the BBC’s job to lead opinion or proselytise on this or any other subject. However we can make informed judgements and that is what we will continue to do.

Right then.

Other reaction

Dr. Tim Ball, a retired climatologist from the skeptics camp has made the following interview to James Corbett of CorbettReport.com:

Lord Monckton On The Corbett Report:

Andrew Bolt, columnist for the Australian Herald Sun:

Andrew Bolt, columnist for the Australian Herald Sun:

Ed Begley Jr. goes ballistic on Fox News — amazing!:

CATO’s Pat Michaels and Center for American Progress Dan Weiss on Fox News:

Glenn Beck:

Humour:

Humour: Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction.com on Russian TV, where his opponent, Aleksey Kokorin, Climate Programme Coordinator, WWF Russia, claims at 9m 11s into the clip that malaria never existed in Russia until global warming occurred! He’ll never live that one down :) What he should have been aware of is that “the most catastrophic epidemic on record anywhere in the world occurred in the Soviet Union in the 1920s, with a peak incidence of 13 million cases per year, and 600,000 deaths.” — see: Mosquitos, malaria and the IPCC “consensus”. Watch it below:

Yes, Aleksey Kokorin should have taken counsel from malaria experts such as Dr Paul Reiter. This clip is taken from a man-made global warming ’skeptics’ film called The Great Global Warming Swindle:

One of the arguments frequently applied to the climate debate is that the “Precautionary Principle” requires that we take action to reduce CO2. However, this is a misunderstanding of the Precautionary Principle, which means something very different from the kind of caution that makes us carry an umbrella when rain threatens. Some people are taking the Precautionary Principle way too far … Read more.

Learn more about the effects of the ‘Precautionary Principle’ argument used by AGW-ers, and its likely effects on some developing nations, notably Africa:

Humour — ‘Hide the Decline’:

Humour: Imagine there’s no global warming:

Humour: Minnesotans For Global Warming Song — ‘If We Had Some Global Warming’:

The Hacked Files Now Popular Entertainment on YouTube:

tty (Comment#24075) November 21st, 2009 at 11:50 am
Some of these people would seem to be remarkably childish, considering that they regard themselves as being on an urgent mission to save the planet.
They’re not too hot with Photoshop either.

Bigbub (Comment#24081) November 21st, 2009 at 12:21 pm
Any time any organization forms an enemies list, that organization has become paranoid. Paranoia is the antithesis of objectivity. There is really nothing more that can be said about it.
Lucia is correct. This episode is the fodder of sociological studies. It doesn’t have a thing to do with science, other than to show that objectivity is not part of this particular groups method. That is why data and method transparency is vital to any reasoned debate. You take your best shot and let everyone else have at it. If it survives, good for you.
Personally, I’m very grateful that this group of folks chose dendrochronology as their forte and not say, aerospace engineering or something similar.

steven mosher (Comment#24083) November 21st, 2009 at 12:29 pm
I think the bottomline on this whole story is this. The institutions that govern scientific behavior have gone awry. Those institutions have been corrupted by money and power and politics. The tonic for this is transparency. Free the data; free the code; free the debate.
But the AGW side is interested in controlling the message. They fight against data release because they fear what people will do with it. They fear that data will be misused:it will be. They fear people finding errors: errors will be found. They fear that people will be less certain: they will be. And they fear that it may take a long time to convince people to take action: it will. And so they act out of fear and try to control the message. Everyone who understands the nixon whitehouse understands how this fear drives people to do crazy things. The one thing they never feared: disclosure. Leaks. And so the thing they feared the most, delaying action on climate science, is the very thing they may have got. They should have trusted that open debate would yield the next right action in the shortest time possible. They didnt. They feared a “corporate enemy” that would delay action. And ironically in the end they ended up being the thing they feared.

Followers of this scandal

The main followers of this unfolding scandal that I have found are the following:

  1. Anthony Watts of WattsUpWithThat.com
  2. Steve McIntyre of ClimateAudit.org and its mirror site camirror.wordpress.com
  3. The Air Vent
  4. A W Montford of Bishop Hill
  5. Andrew Bolt of The Herald Sun
  6. James Delingpole of The Telegraph
  7. Marc Morano’s The Climate Depot site

Other related news

With a week to go before the UN Conference on Climate Change kicks off in Copenhagen on 7th December 2009, it will be interesting to see (1) what comes out of professional analysis of the data, (2) how widely it is reported in the mainstream media (MSM) and (3) what effect it has upon conference delegates.

I expect, like much of the mainstream media, the conference delegates will try to ignore this scandal, but sooner or later, someone, perhaps a TV reporter, has to ask them what their reaction to the CRU scandal is. Just imagine the reply: Who, what? ;-)

In other recent news the Large Hadron Collider apparatus (LHC) at CERN has restarted after more than a year, and one of their stated experiments called CLOUD, is to study the concepts behind Solar-activity/cosmic ray-induced cloud formation, thought by Danish researcher Henrik Svensmark to provide compelling evidence of global temperature changes.

See: Cloud forecasting and Cosmic rays
See: Status of the CLOUD experiment – November 2009
See: CERN’s cosmic cloudmaker cranks up

Links

  1. Munk Debates, 1st Dec 2009: Elizabeth May & George Monbiot vs Nigel Lawson & Bjorn Lomborg
  2. UK Prove It! poll – still taking votes Do you believe man is causing apocalyptic warming? Vote here
  3. Climategate: hide the decline – codified I feel sorry for this programmer!
  4. Nigel Lawson: Climate science has turned into religion
  5. Cooler Heads with Dr Richard Lindzen on Cap and Trade *highly recommended*
  6. Global WarmingGate: What Does It Mean?
  7. Viscount Monckton on Climategate: ‘They Are Criminals’
  8. The Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers Probe Climate Emails
  9. Reuters: Global warming research exposed after hack
  10. Hacked climate e-mails awkward, not game changer
  11. Hacked Climate Change E-mails Highlight Security Concerns

The leaked data

If you wish to view the leaked data yourself, it has been made publicly available at the wikileaks.org website here.

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2 Responses to “Climate change: Climategate”

  1. Simon
    Thanks for this full coverage. This is a note to urge those interested to have a look at the real scientific debate at our WeatherAction.com Conference in Imperial College London on Oct 28th.
    The GlobalWarmers refused to come to present observational evidence for their case. A very well qualified set of speakers totally refuted the theory of CO2 driven Global warming & Climate Change – visit http://www.weatheraction.com
    Thank you Piers Corbyn

  2. Thanks Piers.

    Would have loved to have attended your conference on 28th October but was unable to make it, unfortunately.

    With your work becoming more well-known, and research from Henrik Svensmark relating to solar wind/cosmic-rays regulating cloud formation, the CERN CLOUD project using the LHC, and with the recent CRU/hockey-team fiasco, it appears there should be a lot more interest and hopefully research into Solar effects on the Earth’s temperatures.

    Cheers,
    Simon

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