Phil Jones

Post image for Climategate 2.0 – Another Nail in Kyoto’s Coffin

The individual (or individuals) who, in November 2009, released 1,000 emails to and from IPCC-affiliated climate scientists, igniting the Climategate scandal, struck again earlier this week. The leaker(s) released an additional 5,000 emails involving the same cast of characters, notably Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, and Michael Mann, creator of the discredited Hockey Stick reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature history. The blogosphere quickly branded the new trove of emails “Climategate 2.0.”

The timing in each case was not accidental. The Climategate emails made painfully clear that the scientists shaping the huge — and hugely influential — IPCC climate change assessment reports are not impartial experts but agenda-driven activists. Climategate exposed leading U.N.-affiliated scientists as schemers colluding to manipulate public opinion, downplay inconvenient data, bias the peer review process, marginalize skeptical scientists, and flout freedom of information laws. Climategate thus contributed to the failure of the December 2009 Copenhagen climate conference to negotiate a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol. Similarly, Climategate 2.0 arrives shortly before the December 2011 climate conference in Durban — although nobody expects the delegates to agree on a post-Kyoto climate treaty anyway.

Excerpts from Climategate 2.0 emails appear to confirm in spades earlier criticisms of the IPCC climate science establishment arising out of Climategate. My colleague, Myron Ebell, enables us to see this at a glance by sorting the excerpts into categories. [click to continue…]

The University of East Anglia’s carefully selected “International Panel” released their report on the ClimateGate scientific fraud scandal today.  At eight pages, it’s not even a thorough whitewash.  They don’t even make a minimal effort to rebut the obvious appearance of widespread data manipulation, suppression of dissenting research through improper means, and intentional avoidance of complying with Freedom of Information requests.  It appears that they concluded that the only way they could produce a whitewash and protect the interests of the establishment was by making only the most superficial investigation.  Perhaps they realized that doing more than taking the representations of Phil Jones and the others on trust would involve them in the moral difficulty of having to choose between being honest and maintaining their exoneration.

The seven panel members only looked at eleven published articles from CRU selected on the advice of the Royal Society.  And all eight panel members didn’t read all eleven papers.  Instead, “Every paper was read by a minimum of three Panel members at least one of whom was familiar with the general area to which the paper related.  At least one of the other two was a generalist with no special climate science expertise but with experience of some of the general techniques and methods employed in the work.”  Perhaps the third reader was a chimpanzee.  Yes, they have done a thorough and professional whitewash.

However, the report makes one concession, which is quite damning: “We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.”  In fact, the handling of the historical temperature data and production of the Hadley/CRU temperature record by Jones et al. and the handling of the paleoclimatological data and fabrication of the hockey stick by Michael Mann et al. was only possible because they hid their data and methods from professional statisticians.  When professional statisticians were able to look at Mann’s methods and data, the result was the Wegman report, which was devastating.

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.)

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….