What Fresh Hell Is This?

January 7, 2012

Because This Is All They Got...

The Tribune-Review's editorial board is back, yet again, on the "Climategate" story.  If nothing else, it shows how weak a position Scaife's braintrust is in.  They have nothing about the science, of course, as they're back to talking East Anglia emails.

From today's editorial page:
It's not just the far-reaching claims from the world's leading climate cluckers about "man-made global warming" that demand further inquiry -- it's what they continually attempt to hide.

Phil Jones, the former (and still controversial) lead climate researcher at the University of East Anglia, refused to share U.S.-funded climate data with skeptical scientists. As reported by Forbes, among e-mails made public recently is this explanation from Professor Jones in 2009:

"I've been told that the (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is above national FOI (Freedom of Information) Acts." Additionally, "Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get -- and has to be well hidden. I've discussed this with the main funder (the U.S. Department of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data."
Fire up the Keurig, this'll take some time.

Here's the initial reporting from Forbes.com. By the way, this is all from late November. Doesn't Scaife's braintrust have anything, oh I dunno, more recent to harp on? I hear Rick Santorum (who the braintrust seems to detest) is running for President. [Link corrected]

Anyway, back to Forbes. If you took a look at the article, you'd see that while it was posted at Forbes.com it was written by James Taylor of the Heartland Institute.

Not exactly bias-free, but given that it's from about six weeks ago, we have access to some very interesting responses to the second set of hacked emails.  Namely this from Nature.com:
In an interview with Nature about 12 months ago, to mark the first anniversary of the release of hacked e-mails in an incident now widely referred to as Climategate, climate scientist Phil Jones said he feared that the anonymous hackers were sitting on more material, and that they would release it. He also said, having been through the experience already, that if there were to be a repeat then he was confident he would deal with it much better second time around. Last week he was proved correct, on both counts.

In marked contrast to the original 2009 release, Jones and his employer, the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, this time responded rapidly and with a keen sense of what the media were going to be interested in. This was never a story about the integrity of climate science, but rather about the behaviour of those scientists whose e-mails painted an incomplete but troubling self-portrait. The absence of the chief protagonist last time around only fuelled the flames.

Within 24 hours of the second batch of e-mails being handed to climate-sceptic websites, Jones was in central London answering questions at a press conference. And the university made widely available its explanations of some of the excerpted messages doing the rounds on the blogosphere.
And this from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where Jones responded to the part about the IPCC being above FOI:
Asked about that, Jones said someone had told him that IPCC was immune to FOI rules but he now acknowledges that as "wrong" (as in incorrect). He said he was just "sending concerns I had with FOI." He added that outsiders didn't need to see the excruciating detail that goes into writing a multiauthor report, arguing that skeptics of climate science could misuse the back-and-forth. "Why do they need to know who wrote each sentence in each paragraph?" he said. "They're scientific discussions."

Although the various investigations after the 2009 leak cleared Jones and UEA of wrongdoing, Acton admitted that "our knuckles were collectively rapped over FOI." The university has since addressed the recommendations made by multiple inquiries, and turned over data to requesters.
Interesting that the braintrust never got around to saying any of this.

But let's get back to Forbes.  Since the braintrust validated its reporting, we can trust what it says there, right?

Well, 5 days after Taylor's piece at Forbes, this was published.  The writer, Steve Zwick points out that FOI doesn't have much to say about private emails (of which these no doubtedly were) and the IPCC has already toughened the transparency standards for its scientists - in response to the release of the first set of hacked emails.

And so on.

But do you notice anything?  How much discussion is about the science and how much is about the emails?

Scaife's braintrust can't find fault (and you know that if they could, they wouldn't be bothering with fluff like this) with the science so they pound away at the emails.

And still no mention of NOAA calling climate change undeniable.

But yea, let's discuss yet again the stolen East Anglia emails.


EdHeath said...

I dunno, the link you have to Forbes indicates the author of the piece is Larry Bell, a "contributor".

By the way, he makes a claim that an EPA report "Endangerment Finding" "stated "“given the downward trend in temperatures since 1998 (which some think will continue until at least 2030), there is no particular reason to rush into decisions based upon a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.”"

I, for one, would like to see where the EPA actually said that. Yet this Larry Bell doesn't link to an EPA report, instead the link he where he types the title of the EPA report is to one of his past Forbes "contributions".

I googled "EPA Endangerment Findings" and found a regulatory finding from 2009 (http://epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment.html). I downloaded the "findings" pdf, and searched for "downward" and then "2030". Admittedly I did not download every bit of everything from that page, but I still think not finding the statement Bell quotes in his essay is enough to question the honesty of this Larry Bell.

Meanwhile, even in the Trib editorial it says the data is now public. But then they (quote Anthony Watts in a) whine that the means of adjusting the data is not public. I would have thought that the papers published about Climate Change would have this information in it, otherwise why would other scientists agree with the findings? Strikes me as an elaborate red herring.

And also by the way, Bradley Manning may well be executed for enabling us to know that the US government routinely spies on our allies, to the extent of our diplomats being instructed to acquire biometric and dna information, credit card numbers, etc, etc. Yet it seems like no one cares about private emails of researchers. Sarah Palin's private email account was hacked and McCain screamed and even Obama's spokesman called it outrageous. the kid was arrested, prosecuted and convicted, yet nary a peep about the CmimateGate hacker. Because conservatives are hypocrites.

Dayvoe said...

OOPS - will correct the Larry Bell thing.

MY MISTAKE. Apologies all around.

Heir to the Throne said...

FOI doesn't have much to say about private emails (of which these no undoubtedly were)
Really the emails generated using Government resources and Government discussing Government business were "private"

Just like Eric Holder's emails on Fast and Furious should be considered "private".
Or am I nitpicking or "providing political fodder for a Washington game of “gotcha” that underscores everything wrong with our political system."

Just like Voter registration has nothing to do with voting.