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
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.
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.