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Important News, still breaking, about Climate Science propaganda

21 November 2009

This major theft and release of information from the UK Climate Research Unit has validated long-held suspicions about the AGW story.  It’s a look behind the veil at the Global Warming propaganda campaign.  More broadly, this shows the power of the Internet, and (using John Robb’s phrase) super-empowered individuals.  Information can be liberated and disseminated by a single person.  And unlike the standard Hollywood narrative, they need not run around the world pursued by fiendish agents seeking to reclaim the data.

One amusing aspect of this is watching the mainstream media attempt to whitewash this story.  And they wonder why they’re going broke!

Update:  also see the follow-up posts About the significance of the CRU hack, and this look behind the curtain at climate science at work and A look at global warming written in a cooler and more skeptical time, giving us a better understanding of climate science.

Contents

  1. A Breach in the wall
  2. Background:  the struggle to hide or explain the lack of warming
  3. Excerpts from those covering this breaking story
  4. For more information, and an Afterword

(1)  A Breach in the wall

Excerpt from “Hadley CRU hacked with release of hundreds of docs and emails“, Terry Hurlbut, The Examiner, 19 November 2009:

The University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climatic Research Centre appears to have suffered a security breach earlier today, when an unknown hacker apparently downloaded 1079 e-mails and 72 documents of various types and published them to an anonymous FTP server. These files appear to contain highly sensitive information that, if genuine, could prove extremely embarrassing to the authors of the e-mails involved. Those authors include some of the most celebrated names among proponents of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

… Some of the most embarrassing e-mails are attributed to Philip Jones, the Director of the CRU; Keith Briffa, his assistant; Michael E. Mann of the University of Virginia; Malcolm Hughes at the University of Arizona; and others. One such e-mail makes references to the famous “hockey-stick” graph published by Mann in the journal Nature (bold emphasis added):

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. …

Mr. Mosher offered this summary of the rest of the e-mails that he had found:

And, you get to see somebody with the name of phil jones say that he would rather destroy the CRU data than release it to McIntyre. And lots lots more. including how to obstruct or evade FOIA requests.

and guess who funded the collection of cores at Yamal.. and transferred money into a personal account in Russia[.] And you get to see what they really say behind the curtain.. you get to see how they “shape” the news, how they struggled between telling the truth and making policy makers happy. [Y]ou get to see what they say about Idso and pat micheals, you get to read how they want to take us out into a dark alley, it’s stunning all very stunning. You get to watch somebody named phil jones say that John daly’s death is good news.. or words to that effect. I don’t know that its real.. But the CRU code looks real

… As embarrassing as the e-mails are, some of the documents are more embarrassing. They include a five-page PDF document titled The Rules of the Game, that appears to be a primer for propagating the AGW message to the average subject/resident of the United Kingdom. The document suggests that it is a precis of a longer document housed at the Web site of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

(2)  Background:  the struggle to hide or explain the lack of warming

An important background factor to these papers and emails is the effort to hide the lack of warming during the lack decade.  The US mainstream media is MIA on this story, as usual.

What happened to global warming?“, BBC, 9 October 2009 — Bold emphasis in the original.  Excerpt:

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.

Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out“, Der Spiegel, 19 November 2009 — Bold emphasis in the original.  Excerpt:

Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents.

… not much is happening with global warming at the moment. The Earth’s average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium, and it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year.

(3)  Excerpts from those covering this breaking story

These are only brief excerpts to give a feel for the material.  Please read these posts to see the full story.

Update:  the best summary list (with links) of the dirt is at Bishop Hill.  Quite remarkable.

(a)  Analysis of “Mike’s Nature trick”

The most circulated e-mail from the CRU hack is the following from Phil Jones to the creators of the famous tempature  hockey stick (Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes).  See this Climate Audit article for an analysis of it’s importance.

From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,mann@xxxxx.xxx, mhughes@xxxx.xxx
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Cc: k.briffa@xxx.xx.xx,t.osborn@xxxx.xxx

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow.
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.

(b)   Excerpts from Jeff Id’s The Air Vent.

Despite what {RealClimate} says, there are several glaring problems in these emails which Gavin Schmidt is working feverishly to gloss over. Here are the items I have a problem with.

  • Discussion of interference with IPCC procedures to block low-warming reasonable and published papers.
  • Discussion of removal of climate reviewers who are open minded to low-warming papers. The fact that in GRL this apparently occurred after these discussions is a problem.
  • Discussion with the government about denial of FOIA to any climate audit blogger. FOIA is not meant to be for non-controversial topics it’s SPECIFICALLY for the contriversial ones. Free speech doesn’t protect nice words, it protects strong words.
  • Data manipulation discussions. These are mostly hinted at except for a few instances but they are real and directed only toward strong warming.

An email which is published in Investigate magazine from Phil was questioned by a reporter who obviously knows little about the issues of paleo. Phil Jones of HadCRUT, replied with an answer which was a flat lie in my opinion. All he had to do is tell the truth but he couldn’t when faced with the damming implications of what originally read to me as a carelessly worded email about a widely known horse crap data excising procedure in paleoclimatology.

Instead, in the heat of the moment Dr. Phil chose deception. This email is copied from the report linked below. …

These emails are amazing. Look at how they collude to eliminate people they don’t agree with:

“This is truly awful. GRL {Geophysical Research Letters} has gone downhill rapidly in recent years.  I think the decline began before Saiers. I have had some unhelpful dealings with him recently with regard to a paper Sarah and I have on glaciers — it was well received by the referees, and so is in the publication pipeline. However, I got the impression that Saiers was trying to keep it from being published.

“Proving bad behavior here is very difficult. If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted. …”

(b)  Some shiny gems among the emails appear at The Reference Room

Excerpts from “Hacked: Hadley CRU FOI2009 Files“, Luboš Motl (theoretical physicist, see his Wiki bio), The Reference Frame:

Stepan Shiyatov instructs his colleagues about the optimal ways to commit tax evasion:

“… That is why it is important for us to get money from additional sources, in particular from the ADVANCE and INTAS ones. Also, it is important for us if you can transfer the ADVANCE money on the personal accounts which we gave you earlier and the sum for one occasion transfer (for example, during one day) will not be more than 10,000 USD. Only in this case we can avoid big taxes and use money for our work as much as possible. Please, inform us what kind of documents and financial reports we must represent you and your administration for these money…”

… When we talk about tricks, this message is even more entertaining by its honesty and chosen vocabulary:

“I really wish I could be more positive about the Kyrgyzstan material, but I swear I pulled every trick out of my sleeve trying to milk something out of that. It was pretty funny though – I told Malcolm what you said about my possibly being too Graybill-like in evaluating the response functions – he laughed and said that’s what he thought at first also. The data’s tempting but there’s too much variation even within stands. I don’t think it’d be productive to try and juggle the chronology statistics any more than I already have – they just are what they are (that does sound Graybillian). I think I’ll have to look for an option where I can let this little story go as it is.”

… Imagine that the year is 2005 and you want to define the “normal temperature” from some data that begin in 1961 or so. Will you choose the normal temperature to be the average of 1961-1990 or 1961-2000? David Parker of the Met Office has an answer, including the right justification agreed upon by a whole IPCC atmospheric chapter:

“… There is a preference in the atmospheric observations chapter of IPCC AR4 to stay with the 1961-1990 normals. This is partly because a change of normals confuses users, e.g. anomalies will seem less positive than before if we change to newer normals, so the impression of global warming will be muted….”

… The e-mails are full of Phil Jones’ and other tricks how to circumvent the FOIA legislation: search for “FOIA”. For example,

“… 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 [McKitrick, McIntyre] 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 !”

… It may be more interesting to look at “highly confidential” things:

From: Phil Jones (XXXX@uea.ac.uk)
To: “Michael E. Mann” (XXXX@virginia.edu)
Subject: HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL
Date: Thu Jul 8 16:30:16 2004

… I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

(c)  The Empire stikes back, feebly

  • The CRU hack, no author stated, RealClimate, 20 November 2009

(d)  Do your own research on these files

The Internet is an amazing place. Now there’s a website that has put all of the emails into a searchable database with a web engine interface: Alleged CRU Emails – Searchable

(4a)  For more information from the FM site

To read other articles about these things, see the following:

Reference pages about other topics appear on the right side menu bar, including About the FM website page.

Some posts about the sociology and politics of climate science:

  1. President Kennedy speaks to us about global warming and Climate Science, 7 August 2008
  2. “Aliens cause global warming”: wise words from the late Michael Crichton, 15 November 2008
  3. My “wish list” for the climate sciences in 2009, 2 January 2009
  4. Apostasy against core leftist doctrine at the Huffington Post!, 13 January 2009
  5. Peer review of scientific work – another example of a flawed basis for public policy, 22 January 2009
  6. Obama opens his Administration with a powerful act that will echo for many years, 4 February 2009
  7. Science in action, a confused and often nasty debate among scientists, 5 February 2009
  8. Richard Feynmann, one of the 20th centuries greatest scientists, talks to us about climate science, 12 February 2009
  9. An opportunity to judge for yourself the adequacy of today’s climate science, 2 March 2009
  10. A note on the green religion, one of the growth industries in America, 17 March 2009
  11. An example of important climate change research hidden, lest it spoil the media’s narrative, 22 May 2009
  12. An army of Davids storm the walls of the scientific establishment, 19 June 2009
  13. More attempts to control the climate science debate using smears and swarming, 19 October 2009
  14. An important letter sent to the President about the danger of climate change, 24 October 2009
  15. About those headlines of the past century about global cooling…, 2 November 2009

(4b)  Afterword

Please share your comments by posting below.  Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 word max), civil and relevant to this post.  Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. mikyo permalink
    21 November 2009 7:55 pm

    Hacking wins again. :)

    Like

  2. mlsimon permalink
    21 November 2009 8:46 pm

    It is possible that some of the e-mailers could be brought up on charges. I would say that a full audit of the science is required before we go forward with anything political.
    .
    .
    FM reply: Perhaps. The emails implying tax evasion look suspicious.

    “I would say that a full audit of the science is required before we go forward with anything political.”

    Agreed. That’s what I and many others have said for a long time!
    * My “wish list” for the climate sciences in 2009

    Like

  3. g2-edbbad6c4df93b21339ac81d25ccdb66 permalink
    21 November 2009 11:31 pm

    (c) The Empire strikes back, feebly

    “Feebly?” Come now. So far very little smoke and no gun.
    .
    .
    FM reply: I disagree, but only time will tell who is correct. The look for a “smoking guns” suggests that you watches too much TV. Jeff Id provides an excellent summary of the situation in his new post “Baby Steps“, the Air Vent, 21 November. It provides a powerful rebutal to your view.

    Update: As people look through the released emails, they find more evidence supporting things long suspected but unproven. For a list of highlights, with links to the actual emails, see Bishop Hill.

    Like

  4. complexfatwa permalink
    21 November 2009 11:53 pm

    Comment #2: “It is possible that some of the e-mailers could be brought up on charges.”

    Should we really prioritize bringing charges against misleading climate scientists above financial robber barons, mining-industry polluters and (potential) Bush-era war criminals? To me that would smack of pandering and political theater….
    .
    .
    FM reply: The IRS does not care about those things. The government needs money, and they get it.

    Like

  5. complexfatwa permalink
    22 November 2009 1:12 am

    Pretty sure that if the IRS really wanted to they could find some significant tax evasion on Wall Street and other large corporate entities. There’s a history of this:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/tax/

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=aik6KD3k1hlc

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/series/tax-gap

    http://www.gfip.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=250&Itemid=70

    http://wapedia.mobi/en/Chevron_Corporation#3.

    http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/nader-ralph_property-tax-evasion.html

    Except pursuing this would involve actual real investigation of politically powerful business interests, and we all know how that goes. Why slog through due-process when hackers can get you what you want much faster and easier?
    .
    .
    FM reply: I don’t believe this is quite right. The hackers here might have exposed small fry doing small-scale tax evasion, the sort of thing the IRS does well. IRS attacks on powerful and politically powerful corporations happen rarely. Preditors prefer to prey upon the weak and infirm.

    Like

  6. ryackov permalink
    22 November 2009 1:33 am

    We need more hackers like him.

    Like

  7. hugofpenteado permalink
    2 December 2009 1:41 pm

    Please, I urge this blog immediately to certify if this event was really true and if the involved people explained the facts, because could be a hoax and part of the conspiracy created by monopoly industries (see Tim Flannery about that). Since global warming issues was revealed by science, as a result of many decades of research, surged a strong opposition. The same thing happened to the ozone lay problem and tobacco. The industries involved firstly denied. The major producer of CFC gases, tried to deny the relationship between ozone hole and CFC. Fortunately later that big company leaded the change. This problem almost extinct humankind, since ozone hole was a really threat against life, without that protection, every single living being would die in an agonizing death. Tobacco industry made lobbies and misleading propaganda with doctors claiming that tobacco was good for health. Only in the end of the 90´s this abnormality was reverted. The same thing is happening with global warming issue and its main opponents.

    Scientific debate has to be preserved, so a reply from this post is urgently necessary.

    Thanks in advance, Best wishes, Hugo Penteado
    .
    .
    FM reply: Are you kidding? Phil Jones has resigned as Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent Review resulting from allegations. Penn State has initiated an investigation of Prof Mann’s activities. There will probably be Congressional hearnings in the US and some sort of investigation in the UK.

    While these will probably just be floods of whitewash, it shows that the liberated CRU documents and emails are genuine.

    Like

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