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Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?
The secret emails of the CRU have got a LOT of attention in the press by now. Even the NYT has weighed in, contrary to its usual practice of ignoring news it doesn't like. So it is difficult to know what to reproduce here but I have chosen two pieces below -- JR
By James Delingpole
If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That)
When you read some of those files – including 1079 emails and 72 documents – you realise just why the boffins at Hadley CRU might have preferred to keep them confidential. As Andrew Bolt puts it, this scandal could well be “the greatest in modern science”. These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest: " Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more."
One of the alleged emails has a gentle gloat over the death in 2004 of John L Daly (one of the first climate change sceptics, founder of the Still Waiting For Greenhouse site), commenting: “In an odd way this is cheering news.”
But perhaps the most damaging revelations – the scientific equivalent of the Telegraph’s MPs’ expenses scandal – are those concerning the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause. Here are a few tasters. (So far, we can only refer to them as alleged emails because – though Hadley CRU’s director Phil Jones has confirmed the break-in to Ian Wishart at the Briefing Room – he has yet to fess up to any specific contents.) But if genuine, they suggest dubious practices such as:
Manipulation of evidence: "I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline."
Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up: "The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate."
Suppression of evidence: "Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise."
Fantasies of violence against prominent Climate Sceptic scientists: "Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted."
Attempts to disguise the inconvenient truth of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP): "……Phil and I have recently submitted a paper using about a dozen NH records that fit this category, and many of which are available nearly 2K back–I think that trying to adopt a timeframe of 2K, rather than the usual 1K, addresses a good earlier point that Peck made w/ regard to the memo, that it would be nice to try to “contain” the putative “MWP”, even if we don’t yet have a hemispheric mean reconstruction available that far back…."
And, perhaps most reprehensibly, a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with AGW can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority: “This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?” “I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”“It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice!”
Hadley CRU has form in this regard. In September – I wrote the story up here as “How the global warming industry is based on a massive lie” – Hadley CRU’s researchers were exposed as having “cherry-picked” data in order to support their untrue claim that global temperatures had risen higher at the end of the 20th century than at any time in the last millenium. Hadley CRU was also the organisation which – in contravention of all acceptable behaviour in the international scientific community – spent years withholding data from researchers it deemed unhelpful to its cause. This matters because Hadley CRU, established in 1990 by the Met Office, is a government-funded body which is supposed to be a model of rectitude. Its HadCrut record is one of the four official sources of global temperature data used by the IPCC.
I asked in my title whether this will be the final nail in the coffin of Anthropenic Global Warming. This was wishful thinking, of course. In the run up to Copenhagen, we will see more and more hysterical (and grotesquely exaggerated) stories such as this in the Mainstream Media. And we will see ever-more-virulent campaigns conducted by eco-fascist activists, such as this risible new advertising campaign by Plane Stupid showing CGI polar bears falling from the sky and exploding because kind of, like, man, that’s sort of what happens whenever you take another trip on an aeroplane.
The world is currently cooling; electorates are increasingly reluctant to support eco-policies leading to more oppressive regulation, higher taxes and higher utility bills; the tide is turning against Al Gore’s Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. The so-called “sceptical” view is now also the majority view.
Unfortunately, we’ve a long, long way to go before the public mood (and scientific truth) is reflected by our policy makers. There are too many vested interests in AGW, with far too much to lose either in terms of reputation or money, for this to end without a bitter fight. But if the Hadley CRU scandal is true,it’s a blow to the AGW lobby’s credibility which is never likely to recover.
The Warmist conspiracy: the emails that most damn Jones
An excerpt from Andrew Bolt's latest comment:
These are the emails that should have Professor Phil Jones most worried about his future. Jones, head of the CRU unit whose emails were leaked, has been under most fire so far over one email in particular in which he boasted of using a ‘“trick" to “hide the decline” that would have otherwise spoiled his graph showing temperatures soaring ever-upward.
But far more serious - at least in a legal sense - may be his apparent boasting of destroying data to stop sceptics from checking this alarmist work. If, as some emails suggest, he destroyed it to thwart FOI requests from Professor Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre, who’d already exposed as fake the Michael Mann “hockey stick”, Jones, one of the most active of the IPCC lead authors, could even face criminal charges.
(Note: in saying that, I should add that these emails may simply be poorly worded, out of context or even altered by the whistleblower who leaked them. Jones may also not knowingly have done anything wrong, and there is no proof that he did anything against the law. UPDATE: Several updates on Jones below, including his “selfish” wish to see global warming “regardless of the consequences” just to be proved right.)
Whether laws were broken or not, the emails prove beyond doubt how resistant Jones and his colleagues were to having their work properly scrutinised by anyone not of their “team”. No wonder, perhaps, when the documents reveal Jones has so far attracted $25 million in grants.)
The most damning emails on this point are the following, starting with 1107454306.txt, in which Jones refers to MM - McIntyre and McKitrick:
At 09:41 AM 2/2/2005, Phil Jones wrote:
Mike, I presume congratulations are in order - so congrats etc !
Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? - our does! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it !
Jones admits he was warned by his own university against deleting data subjected to an FOI request from McIntyre - or anyone:
From: Phil Jones
Subject: Re: A quick question
Date: Wed Dec 10 10:14:10 2008
Haven’t got a reply from the FOI person here at UEA. So I’m not entirely confident the numbers are correct. One way of checking would be to look on CA, but I’m not doing that. I did get an email from the FOI person here early yesterday to tell me I shouldn’t be deleting emails - unless this was ‘normal’ deleting to keep emails manageable! McIntyre hasn’t paid his £10, so nothing looks likely to happen re his Data Protection Act email.
Anyway requests have been of three types - observational data, paleo data and who made IPCC changes and why. Keith has got all the latter - and there have been at least 4. We made Susan aware of these - all came from David Holland. According to the FOI Commissioner’s Office, IPCC is an international organization, so is above any national FOI. Even if UEA holds anything about IPCC, we are not obliged to pass it on, unless it has anything to do with our core business - and it doesn’t! I’m sounding like Sir Humphrey here!
Makes you wonder very strongly what Jones is trying to hide, doesn’t it? Also makes you laugh all over again at his claim once that the data being sought had, sadly, been ... um, lost.
In1212063122.txtm, Jones urges another colleague, Michael “Hockey Stick”, Mann, to join in the deleting - at least of emails about the IPCC’s controversial ARA report on man-made warming which Jones co-authored, and which claimed warming was “unequivocal” and “most likely” caused by humans:
From: Phil Jones To: “Michael E. Mann”
Subject: IPCC & FOI
Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008
Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment - minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!
For years Jones has made clear his determination to keep crucial data from the eyes of sceptics:
From: Phil Jones To: email@example.com
Subject: Fwd: CCNet: PRESSURE GROWING ON CONTROVERSIAL RESEARCHER TO DISCLOSE SECRET DATA
Date: Mon Feb 21 16:28:32 2005
Cc: “raymond s. bradley” , “Malcolm Hughes”
Mike, Ray and Malcolm,
The skeptics seem to be building up a head of steam here ! Maybe we can use this to our advantage to get the series updated !
Odd idea to update the proxies with satellite estimates of the lower troposphere rather than surface data !. Odder still that they don’t realise that Moberg et al used the Jones and Moberg updated series !
Francis Zwiers is till onside. He said that PC1s produce hockey sticks. He stressed that the late 20th century is the warmest of the millennium, but Regaldo didn’t bother with that. Also ignored Francis’ comment about all the other series looking similar to MBH.
The IPCC comes in for a lot of stick. Leave it to you to delete as appropriate !
PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data.
Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!
And when Jones is really forced to the point of handing over his data, he considers ways to may checking it more difficult or annoying:
Options appear to be:
Send them the data
Send them a subset removing station data from some of the countries who made us pay in the normals papers of Hulme et al. (1990s) and also any number that David can remember. This should also omit some other countries like (Australia, NZ, Canada, Antarctica). Also could extract some of the sources that Anders added in (31-38 source codes in J&M 2003). Also should remove many of the early stations that we coded up in the 1980s.
Send them the raw data as is, by reconstructing it from GHCN. How could this be done? Replace all stations where the WMO ID agrees with what is in GHCN. This would be the raw data, but it would annoy them.
But Jones figures a way out:
At 04:53 AM 5/9/2008, you wrote:
Mike, Ray, Caspar,
A couple of things - don’t pass on either…
2. You can delete this attachment if you want. Keep this quiet also, but this is the person who is putting in FOI requests for all emails Keith and Tim have written and received re Ch 6 of AR4. We think we’ve found a way around this…
This message will self destruct in 10 seconds!
Prof. Phil Jones
WHY NASA SHOULD CLEAN UP ITS OWN HOUSE
NASA's rocket scientists have been debunking on their official website the current "end of the world" hysteria generated by the latest Hollywood Armageddon movie -- 2012. In an alternately serious and mocking entry titled "No, The World Isn't Going to End in 2012" at www.nasa.gov, they explain that no, come Dec. 21, 2012, the supposed end of the Mayan calendar, the world isn't going to be destroyed by (a) unusual solar activity, the theory in 2012, or (b) getting clobbered by another planet -- another popular scenario.
Now, if only NASA's space cadets could get their own doomsday climatologist -- James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies -- to stop preaching end-of-the-world hysteria about man-made global warming, they might do some good.
Because as long as Hansen, one of Al Gore's senior scientific advisers on An Inconvenient Truth (enough said) and the first climatologist to start banging the Armageddon drum on global warming 20 years ago, keeps racing around the world hysterically preaching we only have a few years left to save the Earth -- his latest number is four, according to a recent interview with the Sunday Observer -- NASA will remain a maze of contradictions, hypocrisy and unintentional irony.
If you look at the movie trailers for An Inconvenient Truth and 2012 on the Internet, you'll see both used many of the same marketing techniques to scare the bejeebers out of everyone in hopes of getting them to buy a ticket -- pounding, ominous music and narration and scary slogans overlaid with scenes of destruction -- some of which, even in the "documentary" An Inconvenient Truth, are imaginary.
In debunking that the world is about to end -- which NASA said it did because it was getting so many inquiries about 2012 -- Don Yeomans, senior research scientist, writes: "Incorrect doomsday predictions have taken place several times in each of the past several centuries. Readers should bear in mind what Carl Sagan noted several years ago; 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.' " Indeed.
NASA scientist, David Morrison, who posted a YouTube video on the 2012 controversy, is quoted in the New York Times saying he did it because: "I get angry at the way people are being manipulated and frightened to make money. There is no ethical right to frighten children to make a buck." In his video, Morrison said some young people who contacted NASA were so scared, they were contemplating suicide.
Right. NASA, heal thyself.
Hansen, who once charged the Bush administration with silencing him -- which obviously didn't work because he never shuts up -- has been preaching environmental Armageddon for years, albeit, he would say, not to make money, but to save the planet for his grandchildren. And unlike the makers of 2012, he believes his rhetoric.
Which would be fine if Hansen -- whose views are extreme even for a climate scientist -- was speaking as a private citizen. But how does a NASA "scientist" get to run around preaching democracy isn't working, get arrested for civil disobedience and lecture the U.S. Congress that energy company executives should be tried for "high crimes" against humanity?
If NASA is so concerned about hysterical claims of Armageddon scaring children, it should worry less about science-fiction movies and more about cleaning up its own house. As for 2012, that's when the Kyoto accord expires. Not the Earth.
Greenies partly responsible for British flood disaster
And they're not repentant. People are disposable
Furious Cockermouth residents have complained that fears over disturbing salmon spawning has made the flooding problem far worse this year. Residents had called for the river bed to be dug into by 10ft in order to prevent flooding following discussions about the problem with the authorities earlier this year. But they claim their plan was rejected by the Environment Agency because it would interfere with salmon laying their eggs in the River Derwent.
Today residents reacted with fury and complained that the authorities are treating salmon as being 'more important than people.' Jacqui White, Gote Road, Cockermouth, said: 'I attended a meeting with Natural England earlier this year when we told them we wanted to dig 10ft deeper so that the waters wouldn't flood and alleviate any flooding. 'But the officials there stood up and told the meeting that the salmon in the river were more important.' Jacqui added: 'I've been here 16 years. I know the area is prone to flooding, and it was bad in 2005, but this year is definitely the worst."
Fiona Tunstall, 38, was left in tears after her terraced home was flooded in Gote Road yesterday. She said: 'The authorities seem to think salmon is more important than people and their houses.' 'The residents of this street had a meeting with Natural England and other authorities because they wanted to dig 10ft down into the riverbed around this street. 'Natural England wouldn't let them because would be detrimental to salmon to do that.
'If it had been dug, then maybe we wouldn't be in this mess now. 'My kitchen and living room are under about 4ft of water yesterday. My carpets, and my sofa and everything else are under water now. 'We have lost everything. 'My four-year-old Ryan, just cried and cried. 'I don't know what we are going to do. We'll have no electricity and no water, I don't know how I'm going to feed us. 'Something needs to be done. It's ridiculous. I've got not contents insurance. 'I'm so angry with the Environment Agency. They didn't contact me even though I gave them my phone numbers ages ago. I gave them that because they give you a phone call or a text to warn you your house is under threat, but obviously I never got that. 'I don't want to go back to my house.'
Maggie Robinson, Natural's England's Freshwater Advisor for the North West Region, said: 'The River Derwent has been designated as a site of special scientific interest and an important area of conservation. 'It's one of the most important rivers of its kind in Europe. 'It has some of the rarest species of fish in Europe, the river has Atlantic salmon and three different species of lamprey. 'The river, although being nutrient poor, supports some important species of moss and other river fauna.
'Digging into the bed of a river isn't always the best thing to do because it can undermine the channel and riverbed which can cause more deposition cause problems. 'Atlantic salmon are considered throughout Europe to be rare. Salmon dig into reeds in the gravel on the riverbed and they lay their eggs in the reeds.
Australia: Conservative politicians are "coming out" over their disbelief in global warming
The Libs' Senate leader is encouraging climate sceptics to speak out. Nick Minchin, the Liberals' Senate leader, is playing a very edgy political game as he tries - in a direct challenge to Malcolm Turnbull - to get the Opposition to vote down the emissions trading scheme. It's high risk for Turnbull, Minchin and the Liberals. Minchin is openly rejecting the science on climate and encouraging other Liberal sceptics to speak out. This is audacious behaviour by the fourth most-senior person in the Opposition, who's in the leadership group.
But it seems likely Minchin, chief of the Liberals' conservative wing, is more in tune than Turnbull with the party's grassroots. Sources report the rank and file has become more critical of the ETS in the past three months, and Minchin's outspoken comments have been getting positive feedback.
The obvious downside for Turnbull is that his pro-ETS view has become increasingly out of sync with the membership (which, of course, should not be equated with the public). However unhelpful Minchin's comments, he's reprising views he expressed in the Howard years. By 2007, the then prime minister, previously himself a sceptic, had shifted, in the desperate hope of getting some ''cred'' on climate, and the government started to look to an ETS.
But Minchin, though government Senate leader, was having none of it. Saying ''scepticism is one of the all-time great Australian attributes'', he told The Age's Katharine Murphy the science of global warming wasn't settled, and ''to have some Mickey Mouse thing in Australia might make some people feel good but will do nothing for emissions and it will hurt the Australian economy''.
If a greater cause demands, he can, however, be flexible on the issue. When in July last year Turnbull and environment spokesman Greg Hunt were trying to stop then Opposition leader Brendan Nelson moving to the right on emissions trading, Minchin backed the Turnbull-Hunt line, presumably fearing that if they were thwarted, the leadership of Nelson, who he supported, would be undermined (it was anyway, even though Nelson gave in).
Minchin is one of the most experienced and savvy Liberal MPs. He is also among the toughest factional warriors, and yesterday was accused by moderate Liberal backbencher Mal Washer of using the climate change issue to pursue the factional war between conservatives and small-l liberals in the party.
In personal style, Minchin is friendly, relaxed and open (perhaps partly because he was always around journalists - his mother was in the federal parliamentary press gallery; his wife worked in The Age's Canberra bureau before their marriage). But in views he's an ideologue, with strong stands on issues ranging well beyond climate. When Howard in 2006 was trying to reassure people he wouldn't bring in even more severe industrial relations changes after WorkChoices, Minchin was caught on tape advocating another wave of reform. He has also championed unfashionable causes such as voluntary voting.
As the emissions trading issue inches towards its dangerous climax, Minchin seems emboldened.
He said last month that even if the Government met all the Opposition's demands, there was no guarantee the party room would approve the legislation (which begged the question of why you'd bother with negotiations).
Then last week came Four Corners, where Minchin said a majority of the Liberal Party wouldn't accept the position that humans were the main cause of global warming; it would be difficult for Coalition members to vote for the scheme, he said.
Addressing the Senate yesterday, Minchin began by congratulating Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce (who won't vote for the scheme in any circumstances) for his ''erudite contribution to this debate''.
In interviews this week, Minchin did not take a backward step. But he insisted it was not about Turnbull's leadership. At one level this might be correct, despite Minchin battling to keep Turnbull out of the leadership after the last election, and later attempting to prop up the failing Nelson. Joe Hockey, the most likely alternative, is a left-winger; his views on climate would be no more acceptable to Minchin than Turnbull's. Minchin would find Tony Abbott's opinions congenial, but knows Abbott lacks one vital attribute - numbers.
Minchin is not, however, going to do Turnbull any favours or worry excessively if his in-your-face campaign against the legislation undermines Turnbull, who has declared that having a credible climate policy is for him a leadership issue.
The tough line taken by Minchin is empowering other hardliners. Earlier, it was thought most critics would be inclined to roll over if they didn't have the numbers. Now their behaviour is unpredictable, which means that if Turnbull gets party support for a deal, the number of Liberals crossing the floor in the Senate could be quite large, putting up in lights how split the party has become.
The irony would be that Minchin, bound by shadow cabinet solidary, would be forced into formal lockstep with his leader.
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