Science

According to recently disclosed e-mails from a National Academies of Science listserv, prominent climate scientists affiliated with the U.S. National Academies of Science have been planning a public campaign to paper over the damaged reputation of global warming alarmism.  Their scheme would involve officials at the National Academies and other professional associations producing studies to endorse the researchers’ pre-existing assumptions and create confusion about the revelations of the rapidly expanding “Climategate” scandal.

The e-mails were first reported in a front-page story by Stephen Dinan in the Washington Times today. The Competitive Enterprise Institute has independently obtained copies of the e-mails.  A list of excerpts, with descriptive headlines written by me, can be found below.  The entire file of e-mails has been posted as a PDF and can be read here.

In my view, the response of these alarmist scientists to the Climategate scientific fraud scandal has little to do with their responsibilities as scientists and everything to do with saving their political position.  The e-mails reveal a group of scientists plotting a political strategy to minimize the effects of Climategate in the public debate on global warming.

Selected Excerpts.

Note that the descriptive headlines in italics are by me. The statements in quotation marks are excerpts from the e-mails.

Can we get corporate funding for some splashy ads in the NY Times?
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 26: “I will accept corporate sponsorship at a 5 to 1 ratio….”

But our ads will be untainted by corporate influence.
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “Over the past 24 h I have been amazed and encouraged at the support my proposal has received from Section 63 and beyond. We have had about 15 pledges for $1000!  I want to build on that good will and make sure that the facts about the climate system are presented to a very large section of the public—unfiltered by the coal, oil and gas industries….”

What is it about the New York Times?  Aren’t Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman enough?
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “Op eds in the NY Times and other national newspapers would also be great.”

Scientists should be effecting social and political change.
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 26:  “I want the NAS to be a transformational agent in America.”

Snow in Washington is anecdotal, but no snow in Vancouver is proof.
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “…the coal, oil and gas industries (who, ironically, are running commercials on NBC for the winter Olympics, while the weather is so warm that snow has to be imported to some of the events.)”
Robert Paine, Feb. 27: “The beltway’s foolishness about climate change seems especially ironic given the snowless plight of the Vancouver Olympics.”
David Schindler, Feb. 27: “I’d add that Edmonton is near snowless….”

This is a political fight, and we’ve got to get dirty.
Paul R. Ehrlich, Feb. 27: “Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules.”

Top scientists adore Al Gore.
David Schindler, Feb. 27: “I recall an event at the Smithsonian a couple of eons ago that I thought did a great job, & got lots of media coverage. AL Gore spoke….”
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “Al Gore has a very well written article in the NY Times.”

Forget the science, we want energy rationing!
William Jury, Feb. 27: “I am seeing formerly committed public sector leaders backing off from positions aimed at reducing our fossil fuel dependence.”

They’ll forget Climategate if an authoritative institution repeats the same old line.
Paul Falkowski, Feb. 27: “An NRC report would be useful.”
Steve Carpenter, Feb. 27: “We need a report with the authority of the NAS that summarizes the status and trends of the planet, and the logical consequences of plausible responses.”
David Tilman: Feb. 27: “It would seem wise to have the panel [writing the report] not include IPCC members.”
Stephen H. Schneider, Mar. 1: “National Academies need to be part of this….”
Stephen H. Schneider, Mar 1: “It is imperative that leading scientific societies coordinate a major press event….”

The last academic defense: It’s McCarthyism!
Stephen H. Schneider, Mar. 1: “…Senator Inhofe, in a very good impression of the infamous Joe McCarthy, has now named 17 leading scientists involved with the IPCC as potential climate ‘criminals’.  ….  I am hopeful that all the forces working for honest debate and quality assessments will decry this McCarthyite regression, and by name point out what this Senator is doing by a continuing smear campaign.  ….  Will the media have the fortitude to take this on–I’m betting a resounding ‘yes!'” [Note that Schneider has already sent this e-mail to the media asking for their help.]

To read all the e-mails that CEI has obtained, go to the PDF posted here.

Richard Morrison, Jeremy Lott and Brooke Oberwetter unite to bring you Episode 82 of the LibertyWeek podcast. In addition to our other stories, we cover Christopher Booker’s recent column on how Climategate has produced a perfect storm for the IPCC (segment begins ~10:20 in).

Richard Morrison, Jeremy Lott and Marc Scribner collaborate to give you Episode 81 of the LibertyWeek podcast. Among other topics, we look into the rising uncertainty about sea levels and other cousins of Climategate (segment starts ~16:20).

The arrival of President Barack Obama and over one hundred other heads of state in Copenhagen for a photo op at the UN global warming conference has buried the really big story here.  No, it’s not the fact that no agreement will be reached on a new international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  That outcome was foreseen months ago.

The big news is that the grand alliance pushing global warming alarmism and energy-rationing policies has started to break apart here in a spectacular way.  The official United Nations global warming bureaucracy have thrown out the twenty to thirty thousand environmentalists who traveled to Copenhagen to attend the meeting as officially-accredited delegates of non-governmental organizations (or NGOs).  The environmentalists are extremely angry and have every justification for being angry.

This is potentially momentous because the two wings of alarmism are totally dependent on one another.  The UN’s Kyoto bandwagon has been pushed along by the environmental movement and no new treaty to follow the Kyoto Protocol, when it expires at the end of 2012, will have a chance of being adopted without the continuing and unremitting backing of the environmentalists whom the UN has unceremoniously booted out this week.  For the environmental groups, Kyoto and its successor treaty are the only viable vehicles for achieving their goals of reducing emissions and putting the world on an energy starvation diet.

What has happened this week in Copenhagen is not based on any ideological disagreements.  It’s all the result of four things: the size of the room, the number of attendees, total incompetence, and poor manners.  The UN chose to hold what was billed as “the most important meeting in the history of the world” in a conference center that only holds fifteen thousand people.  The environmental NGOs sent lists of delegates that added up to over thirty thousand.  The UN looked at these two numbers and decided everything would work out fine.

Everything hummed along fine last week because it was the first week of the conference, which is devoted to technical meetings.  The majority always come for only the second week because that’s the glamorous part.  The second week is when the heads of delegations arrive to begin high-level negotiations and when the media arrive in huge numbers to cover them.

Over the weekend the United Nations organizers of the meeting realized they had a big problem.  They announced that each NGO was going to be limited in the number of its delegates that would be allowed into the conference center beginning Tuesday.  A total of seven thousand passes were to be handed out.  Thus for example the World Wildlife Fund sent approximately 120 delegates to Copenhagen and was going to be given 23 passes.

Then on Monday, thousands of people waited for up to nine hours outside in the cold to get into the building.  They were trying to register and get their ID badges.  In the huge crowd were the heads of a couple major environmental organizations.  At the end of the day, the UN let in a few to register and told the rest to go home.

Luckily, I didn’t arrive until Tuesday and it took only ninety minutes standing in the cold and another ninety inside to get registered.  That’s only partly because the UN started processing people much more quickly.  It’s also because a lot of people gave up–and are probably still trying to get warm.

The reason given for restricting the NGOs to seven thousand attending at any one time was that it was necessary to keep the total below the conference center’s capacity of 15,000.  It’s baffling that the UN’s global warming secretariat didn’t think of this weeks ago and send e-mails to the NGOs telling them that they couldn’t send so many people to the most important meeting in the history of the world (which it might be from the perspective of the environmental NGOs).

That was only the beginning, however.  On Tuesday, it was announced that only 1,000 NGO delegates would be allowed to attend on Thursday and Friday and that the method for choosing the lucky few would be announced later in the day.  A notice was posted that said the decision would be made by 6 PM.  At 6, another notice said come back at 7.  At 7, we were told that NGO representatives would meet with Yvo De Boer, the head of the Secretariat, at 7:30 and to watch our e-mails for an announcement of when we would meet.  At 7:45, we were told to assemble at 8 to find out which lucky thousand would be allowed to attend the last two days of the conference.  At 8, the meeting with Mr. de Boer was still going on.  So we sat and waited.  Ditto 8:30.  Ditto 9.  At 9:35, our NGO representatives appeared.

By this time, enough people had given up that I thought I had a good chance.        of getting a pass (and I should explain that CEI for whom I work is one of the few accredited NGOs not on the global warming bandwagon).  Then the NGO representative told us that UN security had advised Mr. de Boer that no NGO delegates should be allowed to attend the last two days, when over one hundred prime ministers and presidents, including President Obama, would be in the building. But de Boer had insisted on the rights of “civil society” to be represented and had secured a compromise. Instead of a thousand passes for NGOs, there would be three hundred.

Thus the approximately thirty thousand NGO delegates who traveled from around the world to Copenhagen to attend COP-15 were limited to seven thousand on Tuesday and Wednesday and to three hundred for the last two days.

The reason that UN security advised banning the NGOs altogether is that some of the environmentalists had been behaving badly. On Monday, there had been a small demonstration inside the conference center. I wasn’t there, but from television coverage it looked like the demonstrators were shouting at official government negotiators walking down the hall past them and that the demo was close to turning into a small riot.

Now, world leaders don’t like demos or riots close to them. Instead of glowing news reports all about them meeting with their fellow important world leaders, the stories from COP-15 would be about the protesters who are angry at them. One thousand NGO delegates in the building might include just enough malcontents to cause an ugly and highly televisable ruckus.

Consequently, there are many thousands of environmental activists in Copenhagen without a lot to do. Many of them are extremely angry. It snowed Wednesday night and gusting winds have made Thursday bitterly cold. The news reports say that four thousand protesters tried to push their way past police barricades and into the conference center. Two hundred sixty were arrested. I don’t know what might happen on Friday outside.

Inside everything will no doubt run smoothly where the heads of state are having their photos taken and making their speeches about how important it is to save the world from the ravages of global warming by agreeing to a new treaty. We will be expected to overlook the fact that after two years of negotiations begun at COP-13 in Bali, the major nations are further apart than they were then. The news from the conference center will be that these hundred-plus heads of state have pulled the world back from the brink of failure and a new treaty is now within sight. Sure.

The real news is that there is now a tremendous amount of animosity and distrust between the UN establishment and the environmental establishment. They know that they need each other, which is why the mainstream environmental NGOs have not made a stink and why the establishment press hasn’t made it a front-page story. But the fissure arising out of the UN’s incompetence is going to take a long time to heal and could easily grow much wider.

That is the very good news coming out of Hopenchangen.

Originally posted on Pajamas Media

When the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming held a hearing [1] on the state of climate science on December 2, the Republicans were ready to focus it on the Climategate fraud scandal [2]. And the first witness, President Obama’s science adviser, Dr. John P. Holdren, was ready to respond.

Instead of summarizing his written testimony in his oral remarks, Holdren read a prepared statement on Climategate. He said that the controversy involved a “small group of scientists” and was primarily about one temperature dataset. He said that such controversies were not unusual in all branches of science and that they got sorted out through the peer review process and continuing scrutiny. Holdren also said that openness and sharing of data was important, which is why the Obama administration is strongly committed to openness. In the case of the disputed dataset (the “hockey stick” graph [3]), the National Academies of Science (NAS) undertook a thorough review of it and all other similar datasets and concluded that the preponderance of evidence supported the principal conclusion of the research. Holdren concluded by predicting that when the dust settles on this controversy, a very strong scientific consensus on global warming will remain.

Well, that sounds pretty plausible, but anyone who has followed Dr. Holdren’s amazing career knows that he is a master of plausible buncombe that disguises his “outlandish scientific assertions, consistently wrong predictions, and dangerous public policy choices,” as my CEI colleague William Yeatman has put it [4]. Everything that Holdren said in his opening statement is incomplete and misleading. But explaining that is a job for another day. The point is that the alarmist establishment and environmental pressure groups have settled on these talking points in order to try to contain and sanitize the scandal.

When Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and other Republicans on the committee challenged Holdren’s analysis of Climategate, the president’s science adviser responded by repeating that it was just a small group of scientists engaged in some narrow research. Any mistakes or misdeeds on their part couldn’t possibly compromise the scientific consensus, which is as strong as it is vast.

But when asked about some of his own extreme statements and predictions, Holdren replied that scientific research had moved on from the latest UN assessment report in 2007. The most up-to-date scientific research was contained in a report written by some of the world’s leading climate scientists and released last summer. Holdren mentioned and referred to this report, Copenhagen Diagnosis [5], several times during the course of the hearing.

I remember when Copenhagen Diagnosis came out because nearly every major paper ran a story on it. Global warming is happening even faster than predicted, the impacts are even worse than feared, and that sort of thing. I also remembered that the authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis included many of the usual conmen who are at the center of the alarmist scare. So I asked my CEI colleague Julie Walsh to compare the list of authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis with the scientists involved in Climategate.

I’m sure it will come as a shock that the two groups largely overlap. The “small group of scientists” up to their necks in Climategate include 12 of the 26 esteemed scientists who wrote the Copenhagen Diagnosis. Who would have ever guessed that forty-six percent of the authors of Copenhagen Diagnosis [6] belong to the Climategate gang?  Small world, isn’t it?

Here’s the list of tippity-top scientists who both wrote the authoritative report that Holdren relied on to support his statements and belong to the “small group of scientists” who are now suspected of scientific fraud:

Nathan Bindoff, also a lead author of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (hereafter LA-IPCC FAR)

Peter Cox, also LA-IPCC FAR

David Karoly, also LA-IPCC FAR and the Third Assessment Report (TAR)

Georg Kaser, also LA-IPCC FAR

Michael E. Mann, also LA-IPCC TAR (the hockey stick scandal made him too radioactive to participate in writing FAR)

Stefan Rahmstorf, also LA-IPCC FAR

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, merely “a longstanding member of the IPCC.”

Stephen Schneider, also LA-IPCC FAR, TAR, and the First and Second Assessment Reports (SAR) plus two of the IPCC’s synthesis reports

Steven Sherwood, only a contributing author to IPCC-FAR

Richard C. J. Somerville, co-ordinating LA-PCC FAR

Eric J. Steig, no connection to IPCC listed

Andrew Weaver, also LA-IPCC FAR, TAR, and SAR

In the interests of space, I’ve left out all of their distinguished positions as professors, editors of academic journals, and heads of institutes. You can search for their Climategate emails here [7].

Then there are those Climategate figures who didn’t help write Climate Diagnosis, but who have been involved in the IPCC assessment reports. Here are three that come to mind:

Phil Jones, contributing author IPCC TAR

Kevin Trenberth, co-ordinating LA-IPCC FAR and SAR, LA-IPCC TAR, and an author of the summaries for policymakers for FAR, TAR, and SAR

Ben Santer, convening LA-IPCC First Assessment Report

Now, I wouldn’t want to jump to any conclusions here, but it kind of looks to me like the “small group of scientists” caught out by Climategate are pretty much the same people who make up the vast and strong scientific consensus on global warming and write the official reports that the U.S. and other governments rely on to inform their policy decisions. I’m sure Dr. John P. Holdren, President Obama’s science adviser, has a plausible alternative explanation. He always does.


Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/climategate-obamas-science-adviser-confirms-the-scandal-%e2%80%94-unintentionally/

URLs in this post:

[1] hearing: http://globalwarming.house.gov/pubs?id=0014#main_content

[2] scandal: http://republicans.globalwarming.house.gov/Press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=2740

[3] the “hockey stick” graph: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3099

[4] put it: http://cei.org/webmemo/2009/01/13/dr-john-p-holdren

[5] Copenhagen Diagnosis: http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/

[6] Copenhagen Diagnosis: http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/authors.html

[7] here: http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=browse-events&event-type-id=10&event-id=1913&event-context-theme-id=1&c=10&s=coverage&r=true&p=1&t=overview

Dr. Ben Santer, one of the climate modelers who works on the public dime at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has called all his comrades to join him in a weep-fest over the “crime” of Climategate. Of course this bully who wanted to “beat the crap out of” former Virginia state climatologist Pat Michaels thinks he’s the victim, as he explains in a letter to “colleagues and friends:”

I am sure that by now, all of you are aware of the hacking incident which recently took place at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU). This was a criminal act. Over 3,000 emails and documents were stolen. The identity of the hacker or hackers is still unknown.

The emails represented private correspondence between CRU scientists and scientists at climate research centers around the world. Dozens of the stolen emails are from over a decade of my own personal correspondence with Professor Phil Jones, the Director of CRU.

How the Climategate emails were extracted from the UEA CRUnit may or may not have been a “criminal act” — that has still not been determined. But Dr. Thug clearly doesn’t understand how this whole public/private nature of correspondence is categorized. Let me explain.

Private emails between two or more parties: These are sent and delivered between personal email accounts such as those set up for individuals and private businesses on services like Google and Yahoo! You know, like the personal accounts that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin utilized last year that were illegally hacked.

Public emails subject to open scrutiny and broad dissemination: These only need to be sent by, or delivered to, at least one email address that is a public, government institution funded by taxpayers. An example in Great Britain would be the University of East Anglia, where Phil Jones was once director of the CRU. Another example, in the U.S., would be the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where every employee has a “llnl.gov” email address. That “dot-gov” suffix is a dead giveaway.

I suppose there are exceptions in the law for LLNL and other government agencies to withhold documents and emails from the public for national security purposes. Much as Santer might like to think global warming is one of those exemptions, I doubt he could successfully make a legal case for that.

So Santer’s messages to Jones and others at UEA were not “private” or “personal” correspondence. If he wanted them to be, he should not have used his llnl.gov email account with his official LLNL affiliation in the signature line. He should know better, since LLNL makes clear those distinctions. But if he did want to communicate with Jones on that level, I doubt he could have conducted official government business — such as discussion of climate data — on a Google account. That would have been evading public scrutiny. A Santer-Jones Google exchange would have had to been about the merits of U.S. vs. European football or something like that.

One last thing about Santer: he might want to review LLNL’s “Mission, Vision and Values” statement “that guides the way we accomplish our work and the way we interact with each other, our colleagues, sponsors and stakeholders, and the public.” Included among the values:

  • Integrity and responsible stewardship of the public trust
  • Intense competition of ideas with respect for individuals
  • Treating each other with dignity
  • A high-quality, motivated workforce with diverse ideas, skills, and backgrounds

How the desire to “beat the crap out of” someone who is a fellow scientist, and who is also a taxpayer who helps pay his salary, is in accord with these above values is something I’d love to hear Santer explain.

But from the looks of his whiny letter, he’s of a completely different mindset. He thinks that while he’s on the public payroll that he has the right to intimidate dissenters, and to keep everything he writes in his LLNL role a secret. Clearly he hates accountability to his bosses.

Looks like there’s no other choice for him, then, but to quit.

The Associated Press is reporting  from London that Professor Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia is temporarily stepping down as director of the Climatic Research Unit, which is at the center of the Climategate scandal.

No surprise there.  Jones has been a goner for days. What is surprising is the reason that the AP gives for his “temporary” removal from his directorship:

The university says Phil Jones will relinquish his position until the completion of an independent review into allegations that he worked to alter the way in which global temperature data was presented.
The AP story’s lead sentence is even more surprising:
Britain’s University of East Anglia says the director of its prestigious Climatic Research Unit is stepping down pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change.
One wonders how long this reporter will last in the mainstream media. He’s clearly not with the MSM program to contain and sanitize this mushrooming scandal.
(Originally posted on Pajamas Media here.)

(Note: this is a copy of part of a post on Pajamas Media, which can be found here.)

When I read the Washington Post’s disgraceful editorial the other day on the Climategate scandal, I thought of how far they have fallen since their big moment in the sun, Watergate.  In those heady days, Editor Ben Bradlee  and a team of crack investigative reporters led by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein exposed the Watergate coverup and brought down President Nixon.  Of course, they were then on the side of the permanent Washington establishment, who loathed Nixon (as he loathed them), just as they are now on the side of the permanent Washington establishment, for whom global warming alarmism is a deeply held commitment.

If it were up to the Washington Post and the New York Times and the three major teevee broadcast networks, the Climategate scandal would be last week’s news.  Their strategy is clearly to contain it and sanitize it.  The “world’s leading climate scientists” and the environmental pressure groups and the mainstream media have all agreed on their talking points.  Their story is: Critics are cherry-picking a few nasty e-mails and taking them out of context, but the vast edifice of scientific consensus is unshaken.  And they’re sticking to it.  But already this coverup isn’t working.  The blogosphere is pushing forward with new revelations and connecting the dots.  This is the work of tens of thousands of people, some of them with more scientific and statistical expertise than the tippity-top climate scientists at the Climatic Research Unit and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies.  And a lot more honest and dedicated to finding the truth, of course.

In the meantime, the Post editorial page editors are in denial.  Today, the Post published three letters in reply to their editorial article.  I’m not surprised that they didn’t print mine, which I sent the day the editorial was published.  I copy it below.  But they did print a letter from Associate Professor Michael E. Mann of Pennsylvania State University, one of the figures at the center of the Climategate scandal.  I am tempted to repeat Mary McCarthy’s remark about Lillian Hellman (“Every word she writes is a lie, including and and the“), but will restrain myself.

Mann’s effrontery knows no limits.  In his letter, he advises readers to go to RealClimate.org to get the straight dope on the scandal.  RealClimate is a a global warming alarmist propaganda effort run by Mann and several of the others implicated in Climategate.  Going to Real Climate is like going to Nixon’s White House Press Office to get clear about Watergate.

Here’s the e-mail of my unpublished letter:

From: Myron Ebell
To: letters@washpost.com
Sent: Wed Nov 25 15:40:28 2009
Subject: Letter in response to editorial article, “Climate of denial,” page A18, 25th November

25th November 2009

The Letters Editor
The Washington Post
Via e-mail

Sir or Madam,

Your editorial article “Climate of denial” is remarkably ill-informed and tendentious. The article begins by claiming that, “A hacker stole and released….” Do you have any evidence it was a computer hacker rather than a public-spirited whistleblower from within the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England who finally grew so disgusted by the ongoing scientific fraud that he made the documents public?

Second, after tsk-tsking at a few of the e-mails and rebuking the scientists involved in the scandal for not responding to the scandal effectively, the article then proceeds to claim that the vast scientific edifice supporting global warming alarmism is unshaken. This is outrageous. The scientists implicated are at the center of producing the U. N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Assessment Reports and are regularly referred to as some of the world’s top climate scientists. Have you looked at some of the three thousand files or just a few of the juicier e-mails? Here is just one comment in one of the files from the scientist working on one of the temperature datasets:

“What the hell is supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no )’supposed’, I can make it up. So I have :-)…So with a somewhat cynical shrug, I added the nuclear option – to match every WMO possible, and turn the rest into new stations (er, CLIMAT excepted). In other words, what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don’t think people care enough to fix ’em, and it’s the main reason the project is nearly a year late. ” (From the “Harry Read Me” file, which may be found at http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/HARRY_READ_ME-30.txt.)

Dozens of similar comments have already been noted in the files. How does the Post know that similar corruption is not to be found in other major research supporting the so-called scientific consensus? After all, a number of the scientists implicated are at other institutions, including the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies in NYC, and several U. S. universities.

There is certainly a climate of denial, and it includes the Post editorial page. Instead of joining the effort to stonewall this scandal, the Post should be leading the way and demanding that full civil and criminal investigations be undertaken of the scientists implicated. Or have you forgotten your role in Watergate?

Yours faithfully,
Myron Ebell.

The nation’s best science reporter, John Tierney, today publishes a great piece on Climategate on the front page of the New York Times’s Science section.  He goes through some of the hilarious comments in one of the juiciest files unearthed in the scandal so far, the “Harry Read Me” file (which I earlier wrote about here). Anyone who thinks that the “world’s leading climate scientists” don’t have anything to hide might want to read Tierney’s article.  Forget about the likely possibility that fraud was being commited.  Professor Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit, must have known that the data was a mess and hopelessly compromised by ad hoc fixes, yet presented the Hadley/CRU historical global temperature dataset as authoritative.  Phil Jones has now been removed as director of CRU. I think the new operating principle for dealing with climate research should be former President Ronald Reagan’s motto for dealing with the Soviet Union (AKA the Evil Empire): “Trust but verify.”   With emphasis on verify.

The public posting on a web site of private e-mails and documents from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England is going to cause an uproar.  Just a quick look at a few of the e-mails provides some startling revelations.  My colleague Julie Walsh lists a few of them in today’s issue of the Cooler Heads Digest.  Much more detail is provided at Steve McIntyre’s web site, ClimateAudit.

Here is CEI’s press release, and my colleague Chris Horner’s post is here.

Andrew Revkin’s story in tomorrow’s New York Times has already been posted on the Times’s web site.  Here is one interesting tidbit from Revkin’s story:

In a 1999 e-mail exchange about charts showing climate patterns over the last two millennia, Phil Jones, a longtime climate researcher at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, said he had used a “trick” employed by another scientist, Michael Mann, to “hide a decline” in temperatures.

‘Dr. Mann, a professor at Pennsylvania State, confirmed in an interview that the e-mail was real. He said the choice of words by his colleague was poor but noted that scientists often use the word “trick” to refer to a good way to solve a problem, “and not something secret.” “It sounds incriminating, but when you look at what you’re talking about, there’s nothing there,” Dr. Mann said.

Yes, that’s right, everyone knows that “trick” is used as a technical term in many professions.  For example, in prostitution “trick” means….