You may have noticed some strange news articles over the weekend, saying things like, “All that these emails prove is that climate researchers are in fact honest and diligent scientists, if a bit testy in private.”
Honest, the Emperor does too have clothes!
Now that it’s been more than 48 hours, I think I can make some substantive comments. Here’s the story:
Last week the following comment appeared on a blog post at the Air Vent:
November 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm e
We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.
We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.
Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.
The comment was accompanied by a link to a zip file on an obscure server in Russia. The zip file contained 157 megabytes of emails and documents that appeared to have been taken from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, which just happens to be the major repository for climate research data for studying global warming. The emails span a period of almost 15 years, from 1995 or so to the fall of 2009.
After several days it is apparent that the emails and files are genuine. The CRU has admitted that someone stole their files, and has not denied their authenticity. The story is ongoing at Climate Audit (and its alternative mirror site), Bishop Hill, Watts Up with That, The Blackboard, and the aforementioned Air Vent, among many others.
What the documents contain is telling. They do not provide a perfect “smoking gun” — they don’t say “we made it all up” — but they do cast serious light on the science and politics behind the global warming movement.
Defenders at such bastions of academic freedom as Real Climate and Discover magazine are pooh-pooing the idea that lowly proles such as yourselves could ever interpret the subtle and exalted thoughts of real scientists, who are all shown to be as pure as the driven snow.
Questions of technical scientific interpretation aside, there are some demonstrably shady things going on:
- At the very least, they clearly reveal criminal conspiracy to destroy or deny data subject to Freedom of Information requests:
If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? – our does!
Also see 1212063122.txt, 1106338806.txt, 1228330629.txt and 1219239172.txt. This is criminal activity, plain and simple.
- The emails also clearly reveal collusion to control the scientific peer review process, by rejecting articles critical of the global warming “team”, and then detracting from their critics by saying “they’re not peer-reviewed“:
This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.
One approach is to go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed work. I use the word ‘perceived’ here, since whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about.
I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!
This is nothing less than a subversion of science. The whole point of science is that members of one particular school of thought should not be able to prohibit the publication of dissenting views. Debate is the essence of science.
The emails are a classic example of what Thomas Kuhn calls “groupthink” in science: a tight-knight group who polices their members for political reliability:
Be a bit careful about what information you send to Andy and what emails you copy him in on. He’s not as predictable as we’d like.
- The “science” of global warming relies on complex computer models where the final output and predictions are the result of multiple layers of mathematical processing. This processing relies on many variables that must be tuned to make the models reflect reality. Except…
I want to make one thing really clear. We ARE NOT supposed to be working with the assumption that these scenarios are realistic. They are scenarios-internally consistent (or so we thought) what-if storylines. You are in fact out of line to assume that these are in some sense realistic-this is in direct contradiction to the guidance on scenarios provided by the synthesis team.
The dominant theme throughout the discussions of data processing (and the actual source code used), is of manipulating the data to fit a pre-conceived idea:
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.
This telling phrase has been explained as a mere slip of the tongue, but it is part of a bigger pattern:
I really wish I could be more positive about the Kyrgyzstan material, but I swear I pulled every trick out of my sleeve trying to milk something out of that … I don’t think it’d be productive to try and juggle the chronology statistics any more than I already have.
So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip.
I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from.
- These would be enough. But the very worst thing about these emails, as far as I’m concerned, even more than the criminal activity and the perversion of science, is that “the team” is NOT EVEN SURE THEY ARE RIGHT. They are pressuring global leaders to do irreperable harm to the economies of the world — which will devastate the developed world, and condemn the developing world to a century of abject poverty, all for something they are not certain about! They are well aware of problems with the data and the process at the IPCC:
The fact is that in doing so the rules of IPCC have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal) but production of results. … Essentially, I feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes. I think this will set a dangerous precedent which might mine the IPCC credibility, and I am a bit unconfortable that now nearly everybody seems to think that it is just ok to do this.
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
We probably need to say more about this. Land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming — and skeptics might claim that this proves that urban warming is real and important.
How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not!
The kicker from Phil Jones:
I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences.
He would rather see the death and destruction he’s been predicting come true than for him to have made a mistake.
So if the core group of climate change scientists:
- Is unsure about the actual data.
- Is controlling the literature to make sure only the right voices are heard.
- Is committing criminal acts in not releasing their data.
Are they really justified in demanding multi-trillion-dollar economic programs that could otherwise go to feeding the poor (hopelessly naive, I know)?
Even worse: as Christopher Monckton says, Copenhagen is nothing more than a power grab:
These climate â€œscientistsâ€ on whose unsupported word the worldâ€™s classe politique proposes to set up an unelected global government this December in Copenhagen, with vast and unprecedented powers to control all formerly free markets, to tax wealthy nations and all of their financial transactions, to regulate the economic and environmental affairs of all nations, and to confiscate and extinguish all patent and intellectual property rights.
I hope that the world leaders in Copenhagen will be able to smell the rat. But if ultimate power is involved, I fear not.
UPDATE: an excellent article at the Wall Street Journal:
We do now have hundreds of emails that give every appearance of testifying to concerted and coordinated efforts by leading climatologists to fit the data to their conclusions while attempting to silence and discredit their critics. In the department of inconvenient truths, this one surely deserves a closer look by the media, the U.S. Congress and other investigative bodies.