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Hackergate

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November 26, 2009 – Comments (15)

Marketing 101....  Selective quotes.

David in Qatar brings us this reprint of a quote from Kevin Trenberth.

“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.” (http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=1048).

Kevin Trenberth's e-mail is not accurately represented here as the very next line is omitted and should read; 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.

Notably, even in the quote, he does not say that warming is not happening. He says he expected "even more warming" than is currently measured.

It is also relevant to know something about Kevin Trenberth. His work seems to be concerned with answering the question of where the heat is being stored. It is the inability to answer that question that he finds inadequate. He clearly has no doubt that the globe is warming and the heat is being stored somewhere. For $31.00 you can access his full report on our inability to measure temperature changes regionally, or send to Mr Trenberth for a pdf version of what is sumarised below;

aNational Center for Atmospheric Research1, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000, USA


Available online 3 August 2009.

Planned adaptation to climate change requires information about what is happening and why. While a long-term trend is for global warming, short-term periods of cooling can occur and have physical causes associated with natural variability. However, such natural variability means that energy is rearranged or changed within the climate system, and should be traceable. An assessment is given of our ability to track changes in reservoirs and flows of energy within the climate system. Arguments are given that developing the ability to do this is important, as it affects interpretations of global and especially regional climate change, and prospects for the future.

It is also notable that the discussion concerned an article published in the BBC which they seem to believe had errors and how to correct those errors.

Michael Mann wrote:

extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC. its particularly odd,
since climate is usually Richard Black's beat at BBC (and he does a great job). from
what I can tell, this guy was formerly a weather person at the Met Office.

We may do something about this on RealClimate, but meanwhile it might be appropriate for
the Met Office to have a say about this, I might ask Richard Black what's up here?

And it is also curious that the following reply to Mr Trenberth was revealed, but is not being relentlessly repeated in the headline news;

On Oct 12, 2009, at 2:32 AM, Stephen H Schneider wrote:

Hi all. Any of you want to explain decadal natural variability and signal to noise and
sampling errors to this new "IPCC Lead Author" from the BBC? As we enter an El Nino year
and as soon, as the sunspots get over their temporary--presumed--vacation worth a few
tenths of a Watt per meter squared reduced forcing, there will likely be another dramatic
upward spike like 1992-2000. I heard someone--Mike Schlesinger maybe??--was willing to bet
alot of money on it happening in next 5 years?? Meanwhile the past 10 years of global mean
temperature trend stasis still saw what, 9 of the warmest in reconstructed 1000 year record
and Greenland and the sea ice of the North in big retreat?? Some of you observational folks
probably do need to straighten this out as my student suggests below. Such "fun", Cheers,
Steve
Stephen H. Schneider
Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies,
Professor, Department of Biology and
Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment

It is really much to easy to find out that this e-mail chain does not discredit Global warming theory.

Frankly, I think the entire point of Hackergate is not to discredit Global warming science, but to discredit Gov't involvement by asking taxpayers to make the leap into believing that Gov't funded science is corrupt, and private for profit companys are more trustworthy. We can then be convinced that global warming solutions of Gov't spending offered by "treehuggers" and environmental groups of the last thirty years should be disregarded in favor of the "for our profit" solutions offered by corporate interests that require tithing a lender and the perpetuation of debt induced poverty.

Libertarians, Conservatives, small Gov't advocates, and Free Market advocates have been selling the idea that it is better for a borrowers prospects to get burdened with a loan payment for capital improvements than risk the moral hazard of a charitable gift or follow the recomendations of environmentalist do-gooders.

As most of you know, I don't agree.

Right now the question I want answered more than any other is who hacked the e-mails and who made them public.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Devoish

15 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 27, 2009 at 2:35 PM, FreeMortal (29.37) wrote:

Out of the thousands of emails stolen, is this the strongest evidence they can produce of a vast conspiracy of rogue scientists?  Aren't the thieves among the same crowd that is never satisfied with the evidence of AGW, demanding ever more proof even though the evidence of AGW has grown only stronger?  Evidently those lofty standards of proof have been significantly lowered.

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#2) On November 28, 2009 at 1:29 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@FreeMortal,
"Out of the thousands of emails stolen, is this the strongest evidence they can produce of a vast conspiracy of rogue scientists?"
Well, I have 2 hypothesis:
- This is the worst they could find in 13 years of private communications and they think it's enough to make a lot of noise well close to Copenhagen. It seems to me the most plausible explanation.
- There are more "dirty" emails in their possession but they don't want to play all the cards at once. They're going to need something to counterattack in the coming years because some talking points will be rebutted by the cold reality.
"Aren't the thieves among the same crowd that is never satisfied with the evidence of AGW, demanding ever more proof even though the evidence of AGW has grown only stronger?  Evidently those lofty standards of proof have been significantly lowered."
Welcome to the funny logic of denialists. They grasp on the tiniest bit of evidence they can find to present it as the ultimate proof that climate change isn't real, isn't man-made, is a conspiracy, and other absurd claims. At the same time they ignore the mountains of evidence collected by different research groups around the world while pretending to be skeptics. That's not skepticism, that's denialism.

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#3) On November 28, 2009 at 1:56 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Another post is going to look so ridiculous on Monday. Have a good weekend you two.

David in Qatar

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#4) On November 28, 2009 at 2:14 PM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Just a taste, just a little taste. So much more to come on Monday.

These are just the emails. The emails aren't even the big deal here, as you will soon see. Again, the searchable database of emails can be found on each of my last two posts. I'm not going to do your homework for you. If you think that one email is all they've got, you are doing some serious wishful thinking.

Here are some summaries of the CRUgate files.  The refs are the email number.

Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)

Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)

Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709).

Analysis of impact here. Wow!Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as "cheering news".(1075403821)

Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)

Phil Jones says he has use Mann's "Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series"...to hide the decline". Real Climate says "hiding" was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)

Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.(0872202064)

Mann thinks he will contact BBC's Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article.(1255352257)

Kevin Trenberth says they can't account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can't.(1255352257)

Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi's paper is crap.(1257532857)

Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn't matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)

Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he's "tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap" out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)

Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to '"contain" the putative Medieval Warm Period'. (1054736277)

Tom Wigley tells Jones that the land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming and that this might be used by sceptics as evidence for urban heat islands.(1257546975)

Tom Wigley say that Keith Briffa has got himself into a mess over the Yamal chronology (although also says it's insignificant. Wonders how Briffa explains McIntyre's sensitivity test on Yamal and how he explains the use of a less-well replicated chronology over a better one. Wonders if he can. Says data withholding issue is hot potato, since many "good" scientists condemn it.(1254756944)

Briffa is funding Russian dendro Shiyatov, who asks him to send money to personal bank account so as to avoid tax, thereby retaining money for research.(0826209667)

Kevin Trenberth says climatologists are nowhere near knowing where the energy goes or what the effect of clouds is. Says nowhere balancing the energy budget. Geoengineering is not possible.(1255523796)

Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate.(1139521913)

Tom Wigley discusses how to deal with the advent of FoI law in UK. Jones says use IPR argument to hold onto code. Says data is covered by agreements with outsiders and that CRU will be "hiding behind them".(1106338806)

Overpeck has no recollection of saying that he wanted to "get rid of the Medieval Warm Period". Thinks he may have been quoted out of context.(1206628118)

Mann launches RealClimate to the scientific community.(1102687002)

Santer complaining about FoI requests from McIntyre. Says he expects support of Lawrence Livermore Lab management. Jones says that once support staff at CRU realised the kind of people the scientists were dealing with they became very supportive. Says the VC [vice chancellor] knows what is going on (in one case).(1228330629)

Rob Wilson concerned about upsetting Mann in a manuscript. Says he needs to word things diplomatically.(1140554230)

Briffa says he is sick to death of Mann claiming his reconstruction is tropical because it has a few poorly temp sensitive tropical proxies. Says he should regress these against something else like the "increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage" he produces. Ed Cook agrees with problems.(1024334440)

Overpeck tells Team to write emails as if they would be made public. Discussion of what to do with McIntyre finding an error in Kaufman paper. Kaufman's admits error and wants to correct. Appears interested in Climate Audit findings.(1252164302)

Jones calls Pielke Snr a prat.(1233249393)

Santer says he will no longer publish in Royal Met Soc journals if they enforce intermediate data being made available. Jones has complained to head of Royal Met Soc about new editor of Weather [why?data?] and has threatened to resign from RMS.(1237496573)

Reaction to McIntyre's 2005 paper in GRL. Mann has challenged GRL editor-in-chief over the publication. Mann is concerned about the connections of the paper's editor James Saiers with U Virginia [does he mean Pat Michaels?]. Tom Wigley says that if Saiers is a sceptic they should go through official GRL channels to get him ousted. (1106322460)

[Note to readers - Saiers was subsequently ousted]Later on Mann refers to the leak at GRL being plugged.(1132094873)

Jones says he's found a way around releasing AR4 review comments to David Holland.(1210367056)

Wigley says Keenan's fraud accusation against Wang is correct. (1188557698)

Jones calls for Wahl and Ammann to try to change the received date on their alleged refutation of McIntyre [presumably so it can get into AR4](1189722851)

Mann tells Jones that he is on board and that they are working towards a common goal.(0926010576)

Mann sends calibration residuals for MBH99 to Osborn. Says they are pretty red, and that they shouldn't be passed on to others, this being the kind of dirty laundry they don't want in the hands of those who might distort it.(1059664704)

Prior to AR3 Briffa talks of pressure to produce a tidy picture of "apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data". [This appears to be the politics leading the science] Briffa says it was just as warm a thousand years ago.(0938018124)

Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FoI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!](1219239172)

Mann tells Revkin that McIntyre is not to be trusted.(1254259645)

Revkin quotes von Storch as saying it is time to toss the Hockey Stick . This back in 2004.(1096382684)

Funkhouser says he's pulled every trick up his sleeve to milk his Kyrgistan series. Doesn't think it's productive to juggle the chronology statistics any more than he has.(0843161829)

Wigley discusses fixing an issue with sea surface temperatures in the context of making the results look both warmer but still plausible. (1254108338)

Jones says he and Kevin will keep some papers out of the next IPCC report.(1089318616)

Tom Wigley tells Mann that a figure Schmidt put together to refute Monckton is deceptive and that the match it shows of instrumental to model predictions is a fluke. Says there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model output by authors and IPCC.(1255553034)

Grant Foster putting together a critical comment on a sceptic paper. Asks for help for names of possible reviewers. Jones replies with a list of people, telling Foster they know what to say about the paper and the comment without any prompting.(1249503274)

David Parker discussing the possibility of changing the reference period for global temperature index. Thinks this shouldn't be done because it confuses people and because it will make things look less warm.(1105019698)

Briffa discusses an sceptic article review with Ed Cook. Says that confidentially he needs to put together a case to reject it (1054756929)

Ben Santer, referring to McIntyre says he hopes Mr "I'm not entirely there in the head" will not be at the AGU.(1233249393)

Jones tells Mann that he is sending station data. Says that if McIntyre requests it under FoI he will delete it rather than hand it over. Says he will hide behind data protection laws. Says Rutherford screwed up big time by creating an FTP directory for Osborn. Says Wigley worried he will have to release his model code. Also discuss AR4 draft. Mann says paleoclimate chapter will be contentious but that the author team has the right personalities to deal with sceptics.(1107454306)

Phil Jones having problems with explaining issues over the Lamb image of global temps in the early IPCC reports. Says it shouldn't be discussed openly at Real Climate. Says better left buried.(1168356704)

Phil Jones emails Steve [Schneider], editor of Climatic Change [plus others, editorial board of the journal?], telling him he shouldn't accede to McIntyre's request for Mann's computer code. In later email to Mann ("For your eyes only, delete after reading") Jones says he told Jones separately [presumably meaning without saying to the rest of the board] that he should seek advice elsewhere and also consult the publisher and take legal advice.(1074277559)

Briffa says he tried hard to balance the needs of the IPCC and science, which were not always the same.(1177890796)

An anonymous source says that robustness problems with the Hockey Stick are known to anyone who understands his methodology. The source says that there will be a lot of noise over McIntyre's 2003 paper and that knowing Mann'svery thin skin he will react strongly, unless he has learned from the past.(1067194064)

Giorgio Filippo (University of Trieste) says that IPCC is not an assessment of published science but about production of results. Says there are very few rules and anything goes. Thinks this will undermine IPCC credibility. Says everyone seems to think it's OK to do this.(0968705882)

IPCC review editor John Mitchell says that the issue of why proxy data for recent decades is not shown (he says it's because they don't show warming) needs to be explained. [Note to readers, this was not done Let's say that the explanation was nuanced - it said that the divergence problem, as this issue is known, was restricted to a few areas]. Also says that Mann's short-centred PC analysis is wrong and that Mann's results are not statistically significant.(1150923423)

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#5) On November 28, 2009 at 5:30 PM, FreeMortal (29.37) wrote:

Instead of a long cut-and-paste, a simple link to the partisan blog would suffice.  Been there; seen that; dripping with insinuation and agenda.  This is sure to impress those who already have an ideological axe to grind. 

Since I work closely with the environmental industry I'm familiar with several environmental engineers, lawyers, and scientists.  They come from all political stripes, and the vast majority would prefer that their work were not politicized at all.  With the constant spinning of the issue, these scientists are frustrated by how much time they are spending rexplaining themselves and debunking nonsense.  They don't want to be on TV, they just want to do their job and live their own lives. I can guarantee you that these emails are not going to turn their world upside down, but will have them going "here we go again".

Now, if anthropogenic global warming were some sort of grand hoax, there the entire climate science community accross the world would have to be in on it in some vast intellectual conspiracy.

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#6) On November 28, 2009 at 5:49 PM, PabloinMich (< 20) wrote:

Great comment freemortal. I urge everyone to go through the supposedly damning links Dave from Qatar provides. They by no means demonstrates what he says they do.

This is all bizarre. Dave was propaganidizing first thing this morning. I responded then and went about my day. Now I am back 8 hours later and he is still spewing nonsense. WHO HAS TIME TO BE DOING THIS? I originally presumed Dave was commenting as an individual investor. Now it looks like this might be his job.

 

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#7) On November 30, 2009 at 12:52 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@PabloinMich,
"WHO HAS TIME TO BE DOING THIS?"
It's called the Gish Gallop
"Named for creationism activist and professional debater Duane Gish, the Gish Gallop is an informal name for a rhetorical technique in debates that involves drowning the opponent in half-truths, lies, straw men, and bullshit to such a degree that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood that has been raised.
It is often used as an indirect argument from authority, as it often appears to paint the "galloper" as an expert in a broad range of subjects and the opponent as an incompetent bumbler who didn't do their homework before the debate. (Such emphasis on style over substance is why many scientists disdain public debates as a forum for disseminating opinions.)
A variant of the Gish Gallop is employed by bloggers who post an endless series of dubious assertions - each of which can be countered, but to no effect, as it will be buried under the cascade of dubious posts.
"

This is a favourite tactic of denialists of all stripes: global warming denialists, moon landing denialists, creationists, anti-vaccination activists, AIDS denialists and so on.

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#8) On November 30, 2009 at 1:02 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

Fraud denialists prefer the Alinsky Method.

David in Qatar

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#9) On November 30, 2009 at 1:54 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"Fraud denialists prefer the Alinsky Method."
Explain the relationship between climate research and community organizing.

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#10) On November 30, 2009 at 2:29 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

For those not familiar, Saul Alinksy is a famous socialist that penned the Rules for Radicals.

7. Tactics

"Tactics are those conscious deliberate acts by which human beings live with each other and deal with the world around them. ... Here our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take power away from the Haves." p.126

Always remember the first rule of power tactics (pps.127-134):

1. "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have."

2. "Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat.... [and] the collapse of communication.

3. "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

4. "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity."

5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."

6. "A good tactic is one your people enjoy."

7. "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time...."

8. "Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose."

9. "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself."

10. "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign."

11. "If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside... every positive has its negative."

12. "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative."

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.  In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...

     "...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments.... Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...'

     "One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other." (pps.127-134)

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#11) On November 30, 2009 at 2:39 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

And the relationship to climate research is?

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#12) On November 30, 2009 at 2:43 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

9. "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself."

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#13) On November 30, 2009 at 3:08 AM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

If your point is that some people (usually non-scientists) have exagerated the dangers of climate change and said things not supported by the body of evidence, I'd tend to agree. For example the people who link every unusual weather event to climate change. That said, we can apply the same criteria to "skeptics" when they talk about economic ruin if we decide to enact climate policy.

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#14) On November 30, 2009 at 3:29 AM, whereaminow (< 20) wrote:

lucas1985,

Agreed on both sides. Hey, it only took 150 comments for you and I to find something in common!  

David in Qatar 

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#15) On November 30, 2009 at 4:31 PM, lucas1985 (< 20) wrote:

@whereaminow,
"Agreed on both sides. Hey, it only took 150 comments for you and I to find something in common!"
So you agree that there's some unsupported alarmism from climate activists and that economic alarmism is unsupported by the evidence [1, 2].
- What's the reason behind your tirades against climate scientists and your refusal to learn even the most basic aspects of climate science [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]?
- Why you, as a libertarian and Austrian, don't campaign for the end of subsidies [10] to fossil fuels companies?
- Why is so difficult for you to understand that emissions of GHG represent a classic example of the tragedy of the commons because it's currently impossible to enact property rights in the atmosphere?
- What's wrong with making mechanisms (cap and trade, revenue neutral carbon taxes, etc) designed to introduce a price signal for GHG emissions and let the invisible hand of the market decide what's the best low-carbon energy source and how to use energy with maximum efficiency?

1- Pathways to a low carbon economy. McKinsey & Company report.
2- Costs of mitigation. Real Climate Economics.
3- The Discovery of Global Warming. Book by Spencer Weart, physicist and science historian at the American Institute of Physics.
4- Global Climate Change Student Information Guide at Manchester Metropolitan University.
5- Video Lectures of Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast. Book by David Archer, professor in the Department of The Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago.
6- Global Warming: Separating Fact from Fiction. Presentation by Scott A. Mandia, professor of physical sciences at Suffolk County Community College.
7- Frequently asked questions about the science of climate change (PDF). Atmospheric Science Assessment and Integration Section. Science and Technology Branch. Environment Canada.
8- The Global Warming Debate. A Layman’s Guide to the Science and Controversy
9- How it all will end. Video series on global warming, risk management and critical thinking produced by Greg Craven, high school science teacher.
10- Study of the Environmental Law Institute in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.


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