Tinkered, Tailored, Soldout, Sly

The title* neatly sums up what the Climategate 2.0 emails reveal about the activities and opinions  of the ‘elite’ of climate science (*thanks to a comment by Anoneumouse of The Anglo Saxon Chronicle – an who has followed it up with the great montage image (left)).

They tinkered with data and paleoclimate proxies…

tailored the message to what was required by their political masters…

…to the extent that they sold out to political advocacy and lost their integrity as scientists…

…but most of all it showed them as sly and conniving, plotting and manipulating their field to ensure their own position was unassailable.

Here’s what I said of the Climategate 1.0 emails two years ago; it still stands:

 “…individually the emails are boring, don’t say much and are easy to wave off, but when you read again and again phrases that do not sit well with honesty and scientific integrity it is hard to view this collaborative group in any favourable light.”

Reading the emails this time I get the overwhelming impression of a bunch of grownup schoolboys who relish their position at the top of the game and have let it go to their heads. From bullying to scheming and downright nasty, they most of all show a lack of personal integrity.

Here Phil Jones encourages others to have a few quiet words about another professor to colleagues…

0739.txt date: Wed Feb 6 13:21:06 2008
to: James Hansen (from Phil Jones)

“ …I have been having something of a run in with a French scientist called Vincent Courtillot. [ …] If you’re there on the Friday when Vincent is talking then tell him he’s just completely wrong. He will likely say the climate isn’t warming and even if it was it has little to do with greenhouse gases. So shouldn’t be difficult!!

just make sure one or two reasonable scientists are aware that they have invited a bit of rogue!

3124.txt Wed Feb 6 13:36:32 2008
to: Robert Marsh (from Phil Jones)

“You’ll get one awful talk on the Friday from a Vincent Courtillot. If he lays into me, or says the world isn’t warming you have my permission to go and put the boot it. Shouldn’t be difficult.
Have emailed Jim as well.
Vincent is a prat, but he’s a well connected prat – French Academy and all that.”

A few people do come out of it well. For example Richard Alley on the issue of divergence between paleoclimate proxy data and the instrumental record:

I know I’m not in chapter 6, I know I’m not a tree-ring expert, and I know I’m sticking my nose in where it might not belong or be welcome. But the flurry of emails in the last couple of days has not convinced me that this one can be ignored;” (3733.txt)

Having published the Soon and Baliunas paper at which ‘The Team’ took umbrage, Chris de Freitas (of the journal Climate Research) and his boss Otto Kinne, show appropriate assertiveness in the face of the bullying tactics. Even then ‘The Team’ sees no reason to quit:

It seems clear we have to go above him. I think that the community should, as Mike H has previously suggested in this eventuality, terminate its involvement with this journal at all levels–reviewing, editing, and submitting, and leave it to wither way into oblivion and disrepute,” Michael Mann (0255.txt)

I would point out here too that these are not heat of the moment reactions of wounded kids.  The de Freitas affair runs in the emails from the Team’s discovery of the Soon & Baliunas’ paper (1047390562.txt) in early March 2003. In August , thwarted by Kinne, they are proposing getting together an ethics committee to remove de Freitas.

In the meantime, I urge people to dissociate themselves from Climate
Research. The residual ‘editorial’ (a word I use almost tongue in cheek)
board is looking like a rogues’ gallery of skeptics. Those remaining who
are credible scientists should resign.

The further list of their machinations and misconduct includes:

Jeff Id has a good selection of quotes in Their Words but one of the best summaries of the week was by Steven Hayward, at The Weekly Standard via the GWPF:

Leading scientists in the inner circle expressed significant doubts and uncertainty about the hockey stick and several other global warming claims about which we are repeatedly told there exists an ironclad consensus among scientists. (Many of the new emails make this point even more powerfully.) On the merits, the 2009 emails showed that the case for certainty about climate change was grossly overstated.

More damning than the substantive disagreement was the attitude the CRU circle displayed toward dissenters, skeptics, and science journals that did not strictly adhere to the party line. Dissenting articles were blocked from publication or review by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), requests for raw data were rebuffed, and Freedom of Information Act requests were stonewalled. National science panels were stacked, and qualified dissenters such as NASA prize-winner John Christy were tolerated as “token skeptics.” The CRU circle was in high dudgeon over the small handful of skeptics who insisted on looking over their shoulder, revealing the climate science community to be thin-skinned and in-secure about its enterprise​—​a sign that something is likely amiss.
Do read the rest here.

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9 Responses to Tinkered, Tailored, Soldout, Sly

  1. John F. Hultquist says:

    Mann had a long letter in the WSJ today to rebut recent statements therein. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He is either clueless or fighting hard to keep from going under.

    • Verity Jones says:

      James Delingpole has an utterly devastating reply: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100121659/climategate-2-0-junk-science-101-with-michael-mann/

      “What’s perhaps more interesting about Mann’s WSJ letter is his citation of the lead-in-petrol example from a few years back to try to bolster the credibility of his own brand of climate junk science. As we’ll see, he may have cause to regret this.

      Here’s what he says in the letter:

      Climate scientists can also find kinship with Dr. Herbert Needleman, who identified a link between lead contamination and impaired childhood brain development in the 1970s. The lead industry accused him of misconduct. Later, the National Institutes of Health exonerated him.

      Hmm. The Needleman affair is covered very thoroughly in Christopher Booker’s and Richard North’s Scared To Death (Continuum). It does not reflect at all well on the junk science scare industry.

      …Needleman’s study was about as reliable as Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick.”

  2. KevinUK says:


    “He is either clueless or fighting hard to keep from going under.”

    Both! IMO it’s only a matter of time now before he has to release all his UVa emails which will show the extent to which he was personally bought by others far higher up than him in the US NAS/NSF/NRC hierarchy.

    In particular I’ve been convinced for sometime now that once his UVa emails are released and/or FOIA gives out the 7z file passphrase we will see emails to Mann from Ralph Cicerone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_J._Cicerone), Gerry North (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_North) and in particuar from Eric Barron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_J._Barron), Mann’s predecessor at ESSC, PSU. Note how they have all reached senior positions in academia, are in a position to heavily influence US policy on climate change and have all been connected to NCAR in the past.

    IMO this is why Mann his survived thus far, namely because of his sponsors. However teh tid eis turning and each day mann becomes more of an embarrassment to them so IMO it’s now only a matter of time before he will be ‘thrown under the bus’.


  3. Verity Jones says:

    Ooooh here’s another good one! – from Pierre Gosselin:

    date: Tue Jan 18 07:43:29 2005
    from: Phil Jones
    subject: Re: 2004
    to: “raymond s. bradley”

    We all agree on that !
    I’ll have a look when back on Friday.

    At 22:02 17/01/2005, you wrote:
    Ok, thanks–see what I posted at [1]http://www.realclimate.org
    I just read that Schellnhuber got an OBE!!!! I didn’t know you got those for spouting bullshit, but I guess that’s how far standards have fallen. Pretty amazing…

  4. Pingback: Tinkered, Tailored, Soldout, Sly | Cranky Old Crow

  5. Pascvaks says:

    “The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys”, character is rarely a factor, unless it is undeveloped or missing altogether. IOW, the boy is indeed father to the man, as the girl is mother to the woman, and character counts for everything in the long and short of life. Go figure. (Who knew Mann? They all did one way or another, as do we. Wooo to Penn State, et al, when it rains it pours.)

  6. a.batty says:

    Perhapa Mann would study the 2485 year record brought to light from TREE RING DATA from Eastern Tibet.
    Cycles are clearly shown,without any hide the data moments.
    Luck for the Climate warriors the temperature is about to fall 2 to 3 degC ,so Britons will freeze for 30 years ,then “warming will come back” without any eco-help.

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