CRU Vindicated

The House of Commons has released its report on the CRU email release. Here is the summary of its findings:

We believe that the focus on CRU and Professor Phil Jones, Director of CRU, in particular,
has largely been misplaced. Whilst we are concerned that the disclosed e-mails suggest a
blunt refusal to share scientific data and methodologies with others, we can sympathise
with Professor Jones, who must have found it frustrating to handle requests for data that he
knew—or perceived—were motivated by a desire simply to undermine his work.

In the context of the sharing of data and methodologies, we consider that Professor Jones’s
actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community. It is not
standard practice in climate science to publish the raw data and the computer code in
academic papers. However, climate science is a matter of great importance and the quality
of the science should be irreproachable. We therefore consider that climate scientists
should take steps to make available all the data that support their work (including raw data)
and full methodological workings (including the computer codes). Had both been
available, many of the problems at UEA could have been avoided.

We are content that the phrases such as “trick” or “hiding the decline” were colloquial
terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a
systematic attempt to mislead. Likewise the evidence that we have seen does not suggest
that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process. Academics should not
be criticised for making informal comments on academic papers.

In the context of Freedom of Information (FOIA), much of the responsibility should lie
with UEA. The disclosed e-mails appear to show a culture of non-disclosure at CRU and
instances where information may have been deleted, to avoid disclosure. We found prima
facie evidence to suggest that the UEA found ways to support the culture at CRU of
resisting disclosure of information to climate change sceptics. The failure of UEA to grasp
fully the potential damage to CRU and UEA by the non-disclosure of FOIA requests was
regrettable. UEA needs to review its policy towards FOIA and re-assess how it can support
academics whose expertise in this area is limited.

The Deputy Information Commissioner has given a clear indication that a breach of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 may have occurred but that a prosecution was time-
barred; however no investigation has been carried out. In our view it is unsatisfactory to
leave the matter unresolved. We conclude that the matter needs to be resolved
conclusively—either by the Independent Climate Change Email Review or by the
Information Commissioner.

Thanks to Climate Progress who covers it, as well as Rabett Run.

In my opinion at the time, the skeptics did a very poor job of making their case. There were a number of unsubstantiated claims and a lot of bluster, but not any substance. I felt that Jones did well for the most part, although I think more should have been made about how this “free the data free the code” BS was just a strawman used to attack climate scientists. I thought the bureaucrats did very well. In the end, I’m glad that the committee got it.

Joe Romm at Climate Progress has this to say:

No doubt virtually all of the core findings will be ignored by the anti-science crowd, who will continue to push their while conspiracy theories about climate scientists. For CP readers, however, the findings simply reinforce what scientists have been saying about these e-mails from the beginning.

Rabett has this to say:

Eli’s general conclusion is that we should have aggressively submitted evidence to the Committee dealing with the way Prof. Jones and the CRU had been attacked for many years, and how the denialists have systematically distorted his and others work. The denialists did not make this mistake and their fulminations crept into the Science and Technology Committees report.

Of course, the contrarian blogs and their commenters are not happy. As I have said earlier, contrarians reject the evidence and deniers don’t care about the evidence. No matter what inquiries find, they will not accept them.

While the inquiry is snippeted at WU, Watts has nothing to say. His commenters do:

paullm (17:07:31) :
Well, it seems that the UK-HOC has bought into the AGW scam hook, line & sinker!!!!! Bad timing – the gig’s up.

The IPCC has hung itself and the UK-HOC seems hellbent on joining them. Talk about a house of cards. This one is built on a fault line that’s already quakin’.

The Arctic ice is ready to hit recent record hi extent, Nino’s over the hump, and the rest is lining up for AGW’s facing the music. The Big’s want to hit the ground hard – got it.

Here’s Air Vent:

Of course the spending of trillions of dollars is absolutely unscientific and it has not been determined as being useful in any way whatsoever. It makes environmental extremists happy because it mitigates our economic success, however it will do exactly nothing to solve climate change as we do NOT have the technology to do a single thing about it. It’s fairly bold to put that comment right in the summary, but it shows just how far politics has gone these days.

Also, claims that “hide the decline” had a meaning outside of a non-braindead readers understanding, are more than difficult to swallow. Again the point was to make the paleo-reconstructions look more consistent for the IPCC report. Nobody except a few specialists would even recognize that there was some question in the data. If you take parliaments report on this aspect of climategate, the data, as presented, is still good!! I wonder if they would be as happy with someone plotting a stock market result by clipping the decline in one stock and replacing it with another. As though that is too complicated for our pretty little heads to figure out.

When reading the following report, remember they are powerful government officials, talking about trillions of pounds in government directed money. That’s enough power and influence to sway nearly any “average” politician, so what did you expect. However, the review was not a complete loss they did conclude that it might make sense to release the temperature data and code.

One more baby step on disclosing data and methods. I suppose that with the nature of the ’science’, the politicians already know what they want, so that’s the best we will get.

Here’s CA:

Interestingly, McIntyre has nothing to say, other than to claim it was a “split decision” but while he is technically correct, this committee was not a boxing match. The actual findings were stronger than a “split decision” as it is usually understood. There were four ‘judges’, while there is usually only 3 in a typical “split decision” such as in boxing in which two out of three find one way and one finds the other way. For someone who is such an expert on statistics, I would think that 75% in favor of the findings would be seen as more than “split”. It appears that there was a dissenting voice, which is much less significant.

I tried to google Stringer to see what he is about but other than being a denier of “dyslexia”, I didn’t find much.

Anyway, I felt pretty good after watching the inquiry and now am pretty happy to see that the committee vindicate Jones and CRU. If anything, UEA comes out as the weak link as they did not provide proper guidance to the CRU on issues such as FOI, etc.

Advertisements

About Policy Lass

Exploring skeptic tales.

33 Responses to “CRU Vindicated”

  1. Give me a break. All of these bogus panels are run by people who only care about sweeping the trash under the carpet so they can go on peddling their alarmism.

    We need a proper public inquiry run by a judge with a reputation of being fair and taking no BS. Inquiries by politicians or scientists who have professional or financial interest in promoting climate alarmism are meaningless.

  2. Don’t know much about Stringer. The entire report was approved by Boswell, who’s a member of U.K.’s Conservative Party, which is known for global warming denial.

    Stringer’s qualms appeared to be mainly with a few paragraphs, and they were mostly mild objections, along the lines of “not enough evidence one way or another”. I did find one of his proposed statements (rejected by the others) to be rather bizarre.

    “Given the increasingly hostile attitudes of both sides on this issue, it is vital that these two inquiries have at least one member each who is a reputable scientist, and is sceptical of anthropogenic climate change”.

    The logic is strange. Why should “hostility” dictate who’s on an inquiry panel? Talk about encouraging such behavior. Using Stringer’s logic, if contrarians sling enough mud and scream loudly enough, they can influence the composition of a panel. It’s also another “faux balance” approach to the issue – like insisting that someone skeptical of evolution be on a similar panel. Such should not be a consideration.

    Tim writes:

    “We need a proper public inquiry run by a judge with a reputation of being fair and taking no BS.”

    McIntyre wouldn’t do too well under that scenario.

  3. Tim @ 1, be careful what you wish for. Such an inquiry would probably result in some prominent deniers/contrarians being put behind bars, or at least facing fines for misconduct or being disgraced for scientific misconduct.

    What I love is that those in denial DEMANDED this inquiry! And when they don’t get the exact result they wanted, they then start making yet more fallacious and slanderous accusations, and start throwing their toys. How juvenile.

    Tim @#1, please stop being such an alarmist. You should note that your response (by someone in denial about AGW it seems) was quite predictable, and that is unfortunate. Try and at least concede or acknowledge some points and then take issue with others. That is what a reasonable person might do. But damning the whole report without so much as having read it from start to finish smacks of prejudice.

    Did you not notice that it is not exactly a glowing review, but the extremely damaging (libelous, fallacious) allegations were all found to be bogus, and anyone in their right mind who took the trouble to look into the facts at hand would have already known that before the panel reached its decision.

  4. Mark B,

    SteveMc would have no problems dealing with a honest inquiry run by a judge. It is people like Mann and Jones that would need to be worried because they would no longer be able to get away with repeating nonsense without facing a challenge.

    Ultimately, all I am looking for is a decent cross examination where knowledgeble sceptics are able to confront the alarmists and compell them to answer the questions which the skeptics believe should be answered instead of the strawmen that they make up for consumption by enablers.

  5. Tim :
    Mark B,
    SteveMc would have no problems dealing with a honest inquiry run by a judge. It is people like Mann and Jones that would need to be worried because they would no longer be able to get away with repeating nonsense without facing a challenge.
    Ultimately, all I am looking for is a decent cross examination where knowledgeble sceptics are able to confront the alarmists and compell them to answer the questions which the skeptics believe should be answered instead of the strawmen that they make up for consumption by enablers.

    Simply delusional.

  6. MarkB :
    Don’t know much about Stringer. The entire report was approved by Boswell, who’s a member of U.K.’s Conservative Party, which is known for global warming denial.

    Actually the UK Conservative Party is known for their green policies and support of action on climate change.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100319-709559.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesEurope

  7. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8595483.stm
    “Labour MP Doug Naysmith said he hoped the committee’s report would prove to be a “corrective” to climate sceptic hysteria.

    “Before becoming an MP, I earned a living as a scientist,” he said.

    “Scientists are human. Most scientists I know when off duty say things that wouldn’t be said when writing a scientific paper.

    “E-mails are the modern method of chatting to colleagues around the world.”

    Isn’t it time the Denialati just simply grew up, smelled the coffee, and stopped behaving like 9/11 Troofers? It’s become embarrassing to share the same gene pool with them.

    Global Warming Troofers is all they are. Every time there’s an inquiry, an Oregon style petition, an API petition, I think I might start betting on the outcome and let them make me wealthy.

    On the subject of the Conservative Party and its stance on climate change, that’s the official policy, but there are plenty within the ranks who are denialists. Lawson was Chancellor of the Exchequer under Thatcher, Monckton was a junior advisor to Thatcher. Not that there aren’t denialists in the other parties, including genuine sceptics, but you’ll find that the right has far more leanings that way including UKIP and the BNP (spit).

    Get over it and grow up. McIntyre calling it a split decision just goes to show how deluded they’ve become, and AGW denialism has become an ideological cause lacking substance, reason or perspective.

  8. I agree, the denailist should be very careful for what they wish for.

    This was there “Dover moment” – just like Kitzmiller v Dover, an anti-science movement is shown to be hollow. Just like the creationists, they’ve been handed a serious defeat.

    The inquiry was their *best shot* of trying to legitimise their claims, and it went against them badly.

    It should be noted that all the big names in the denial movement submitted material to the inquiry. Each of them trying to shoot down the science and reputation of the CRU.

    And they failed, *spectacularly*.

    The ramifications are going to take a few days to sink in, but they made a coordinated push to influence the outcome of the inquiry and got pwned.

  9. I have requested on McIntyres blog that they find suitable independent people to chair a committee.

    The only response has been “a judge”

    The problem is there is little possibility of finding anyone in climatology who do not have an opinion. McIntyre, bellyached about one of the participants in the CRU enquiry having worked at UEA 20 years ago. Using criteria like this would make selection impossible. 31,000 “scientists” signed an anti AGW petition 1700 UK scientists signed a pro AGW letter. None of these can be considered independent.
    How many other graduates have been through the various universities connected with pro or anti AGW? How many other scientists are so far up their ivory tower they have no view on AGW?
    Try suggesting just 6 names and I bet that all could be dismissed because of some connection discovered with a couple of google searches!

  10. thefordprefect :The only response has been “a judge”

    You know something? I’d be more than happy to see that.

    It would, however, be a travesty against science, and completely unreasonable to expect climate scientists to have go through it. I don’t see any way a judge would bother their court with such a case after going through the preliminaries. It probably wouldn’t even get past the Crown Prosecution Service. Even if the likes of Monckton, Lawson and Peiser brought a civil suit they’d end up paying for the whole affair as well as being counter-sued.

    The Troofers just don’t get it. Their claims just don’t have any legs. Sad.

  11. The CRU was not vindicated by this report, the report shows the MPs did not consider the evidence. It seems these government types don’t realize the internet changes things. People do not have to rely on newspapers for information anymore. Newspapers will cover the report’s findings but not the evidence. Blogs like Climate Audit and WUWT will cover the facts. People can see the MPs have screwed up. MP Graham Stringer voted for a number of statements which would have somewhat improved the report if they had been adopted. See http://climateaudit.org/2010/03/30/stringers-dissents-a-split-decision/

    The report did get one thing right which validated the main point Steve McIntyre has been making for years, climate science has to be open or it is not science.

  12. Ron.

    You crashed and burned. The grownups have spoken.

    Get over it.

  13. JimR :

    MarkB :Don’t know much about Stringer. The entire report was approved by Boswell, who’s a member of U.K.’s Conservative Party, which is known for global warming denial.

    Actually the UK Conservative Party is known for their green policies and support of action on climate change.
     http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100319-709559.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesEurope

    JimR :

    MarkB :Don’t know much about Stringer. The entire report was approved by Boswell, who’s a member of U.K.’s Conservative Party, which is known for global warming denial.

    Actually the UK Conservative Party is known for their green policies and support of action on climate change.
     http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100319-709559.html?mod=WSJ_World_MIDDLEHeadlinesEurope

    George W. Bush also ran on supporting Kyoto.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cameron-hit-by-tory-backlash-on-environment-1832208.html

    Ever read Telegraph?

  14. @Ron

    Do you ever get tired of being wrong? The denialists wanted an investigation. They got it. Just because the result is not what you want does not make it invalid.

    “Blogs like Climate Audit and WUWT will cover the facts.”

    Uh, ok. Sure.

  15. Tim :Mark B,
    SteveMc would have no problems dealing with a honest inquiry run by a judge. It is people like Mann and Jones that would need to be worried because they would no longer be able to get away with repeating nonsense without facing a challenge.
    Ultimately, all I am looking for is a decent cross examination where knowledgeble sceptics are able to confront the alarmists and compell them to answer the questions which the skeptics believe should be answered instead of the strawmen that they make up for consumption by enablers.

    Funny you’d say this. If this were a real trial, McIntyre would have been slammed with perjory. Didn’t you know he made false claims with wrong graphs in his statement, was informed as such, and *decided not to inform the committee* ?!

    Also, why not get a cross-examination of some skeptics? I’d love to see McIntyre answer why he used a tree ring chronology with a very pronounced divergence problem. Or explain why he made so many incorrect claims about Briffa’s work. Or explain why he so desperately attacks papers by supposed ‘alarmists’, but makes evasive comments whenever he’s asked to judge ‘skeptic’ papers. I’d also love to see Lindzen explain what arguments he used to choose the time periods that were used in Lindzen&Choi. It’s rather ‘surprising’ that even the smallest changes in chosing the time periods/intervals immediately invalidated his claims. I’d love to see Pielke Sr explain why he’s defending Anthony Watts, despite the latter being shown wrong time and time again, and even make malicious false claims about NOAA.

  16. Marco, good points. Just how then do we get the contrarians in front of a committee? They are freelancers, accountable to nobody it seems. Except for Lindzen. He was also behind the cherry picking of 1995 as the start date so as to obtain no stat. sig. warming between 1995 and 2009. WUWT even has the email on their site. That is scientific misconduct in my book as least. Christy should also be looked at more closely.

    Someone suggested making FOI requests to find out exactly who has been making these vexatious requests. And then take them to task if and when they did nothing with the data they demanded.

    What I find odd is that while the committee rightly exonerated Jones and CRU, it did not take action or state very strongly that the skeptics were full of it and wrong. Maybe I missed those parts in my speed read. Do the Muir or Oxburgh inquiries have powers to push back on those making the fallacious and libelous allegations of fraud etc. against CRU?

    If not, maybe demands should be made to investigate the skeptics. The HoC committee states a few times that

    “The challenge that this poses is extensive and some of these decisions risk our standard of living. When the prices to pay are so large, the knowledge on which these kinds of decisions are taken had better be right. The science must be irreproachable.

    See the double standard here? We have been delaying on this file for decades, mostly due to the stalling tactics of the deniers. If we are going to delay any further, then their ‘science’ must be shown to be irreproachable. And what is the ‘best” science they can proffer?

    Loehle and McCullogh- Fail
    Soon and Baliunas– Fail
    Lindzen and Choi– Fail
    McLean et al.– Fail
    Douglass et al.– Fail

    Why the hell are the media and other snot blasting these facts over the front pages and taking them to task for subverting the peer review process, fudging data and scientific misconduct?

    So many questions, as Marco illustrated, and yet Monbiot, Pearce, Revkin and others are not asking them, but choosing to continue fawning over the deniers even after they have blown their best shot to date. I say that b/c I think the Russell and Oxburgh inquiries will be much more detailed and rigorous, and they will probably find some legitimate qualms and grievances, especially wrt the damned FOI fiasco.

    It is time to push back folks, and hard! B/c if we don’t folks 40 years from now will be lamenting why we younger scientists and media types did not try harder….the septics will of course be forgotten and in their graves, so there will be no holding them to account.

  17. Johnmac:

    Simply delusional.

    I’ll even coin a term to describe it. People like Tim suffer from the Dover Delusion.

    (Dover as in the trial begged for by intelligent design creationists, presided over by a judge appointed by Bush, which to their surprise led to their being thoroughly crushed.)

  18. I see that Mike beat me to the Dover reference …

    Ron Cram: you also suffer from the Dover Delusion.

  19. Well if the internet changes everything who pays for the servers and the site administrators?

  20. Eli @20. I’m probably being a dumb bunny. But I don’t quite get the relevance of your comment.

  21. George W. Bush also ran on supporting Kyoto.

    Wrong again, not that I’m surprised. Bush openly opposed Kyoto prior to the election.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/28/science/28CLIM.html?pagewanted=1

  22. “On March 13, Bush reversed a pledge to legislate limits on C02 emissions from U.S. power plants, saying such a rule would be too costly, in light of rising energy prices. In a speech last September, Bush vowed to require limits on C02 emissions, along with other power plant pollutants including sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury. ”

    http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=143

    What happened to that pledge? U.K. conservatives running for office might have different ideas once they get in.

  23. Bush pledged to reject Kyoto and to reduce CO2 emissions. Two different campaign promises only one of which he kept. And you need to be careful in confusing UK conservatives with US conservatives.

  24. JimR :
    Two different campaign promises only one of which he kept.

    Hmm. Are you sure? Words and actions are two different things:

    http://www.fragilecologies.com/nov17_03.html
    “Bush professes to pursue greenhouse gas reductions through its suggested voluntary emission reduction efforts for various socioeconomic sectors of society. [NB: However, the Bush administration is bringing legal action against those US states that are seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through their own state laws. “

  25. If “everything” has to be available on the internet, who pays for the data archive and its operation?

  26. Aah, thanks Eli. Well, taxpayers of course. Hmm, Republicans won’t like that, even though they are the ones demanding it.

  27. What’s so twisted about these fiascos is that the scientists merely honoured agreements that governments imposed, and now we see those scientists being pilloried and demonised by members of those same governments who imposed the restrictions in the first place.

    History will not be kind to those members.

  28. Just saw this at BBC,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8618441.stm

    “…is set to be released later”. Later today? Later when?

  29. Be sure to have the graphs and links ready, the ones verifying CRU’s graphs 😉 For example: http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Picture-102.png
    GISSTemp
    Jeff Id / Roman M, Residual Anlaysis, Zeke v2 mean, NCDC, HadCRUT.

  30. Oh, you’ll like this. 🙂
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/14/oxburgh-uea-cleared-malpractice

    Scientists cleared of malpractice in UEA’s hacked emails inquiry

    Researchers ‘dedicated if slightly disorganised’, but basic science was fair, finds inquiry commissioned by university

    […]

    The report concluded: “We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal.”

  31. Yay 🙂 Not surprised.

    Thanks J Bowers, I only recently saw that JeffId and RomnM had also produced the HadCRUT SAT record. In fact, JeffId get more warming than the official HadCRUT.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: