Open thread – Nov 2011


Another open thread for discussing climate related issues of the day. It’s a strange world where that includes private emails of scientists, but that’s the world we live in.

Try to be somewhat courteous to people you disagree with. No namecalling.

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122 Responses to “Open thread – Nov 2011”

  1. Bart Says:

    Excellent comment by Jonathan Gilligan (as usual) at CaS:

    “I don’t see a team ganging up on the truth in a dark alley.

    I see members of the so-called team arguing vigorously amongst themselves, even saying very unflattering things about one another, with their attention fixed on the quality of the science. They are not emphasizing the need to create a coherent picture. When out of the public eye, they are attacking anything their colleagues do that seems substandard and fighting passionately about the quality of the science.

    The following smells unlike team spirit:
    * I’m sure you agree–the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year “reconstruction”.
    * I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions
    * We don’t really want the bullshit and optimistic stuff that Michael has written [...] We’ll have to cut out some of his stuff.
    * We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.
    * Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive…

    Who knows what the big picture will be when folks with level heads have had time to sort through this batch of emails and see what it says as a whole, but in the tidbits that have been highlighted to the public so far, I see much more disagreement and rancor amongst the team members over purely scientific questions than seems at all consistent with the notion that, as a group, they’re more interested in spin and PR than in finding the truth.”

    As I wrote elsewhere: Scientists are a very disagreeable bunch.

  2. J Bowers Says:

    Tom Fuller“… you will most certainly need to explain why a hack is a more reasonable hypothesis.”

    Because, if it were a whistleblower, all Norfolk Constabulary would have to do is focus on CRU/UEA employees who use non-English keyboards. Alternatively, perhaps when FOIA 2011 said they had “220.000″ emails, they were really saying they had “220″ emails?

  3. Neven Says:

    Why would a whistleblower not release everything at once and be done with it? Why select mails and release several batches, just in time for climate conferences?

    I would think a whistleblower would be someone inside CRU who is upset at the way science was conducted by the Team (which is of course pure drivel, but let’s say it is for hypothesis sake), and is not necessarily driven by ideology.

    However this whole thing is now even more clearly driven by ideology, considering the tactics and the total lack of transparency. Not to mention of course the hacking of RC and the denialist WUWT-level smell surrounding the whole way the mails were spread. I really wonder how someone with such a mindset gets to work for an organisation like CRU.

    No, you don’t have to be biased to conclude that this was a hack. I really wonder why folks are so eager to question that.

    One day the truth of this whole charade will come out. That will be the real Climategate.

  4. Deech56 Says:

    Hmmm… Science as a contact sport. Where have I heard that before?

  5. Tom Fuller Says:

    J Bowers and Neven, an inside cull of the server is by far the most parsimonious explanation of what happened. It would be trivially easy for a member of the institution to copy the emails. Evidently the password to the Real Climate administration engine was passed out like candy at Halloween.

    It would have been more difficult by an order of magnitude to hack in from outside.

    But I have to reiterate that it doesn’t really matter. It won’t rock my world or the world of climate change if it turns out you are correct. I just don’t think you are.

  6. Steven Sullivan Says:

    Fuller exhorts us: “Read the emails yourself. Read the emails yourself. Read the emails yourself. ”

    Emails chosen by the hacker(s), you mean.

    “Nobody cares how the emails got into the public sphere. Nobody.”

    Wrong again, Tom.

  7. Neven Says:

    Of course it matters, Tom. If it was a hack possible suspects aren’t restricted to UEA. It could be a WUWT or CA commenter, or worse yet, a hit job paid for by some think tank or you name it.

  8. Tom Says:


    You’re right about Gilligan’s comment. Might be the most intelligent thing I’ve seen written about this yet.

  9. JvdLaan Says:

    Sure it was a hack! The hacker downloaded the content of CRU to his computer. Next the hacker went to the server of RealClimate, gained access and tried to download the content ofthe RC-server. But then, the hacker made a common mistake. Instead of copying the content to his computer, he copied the content of the directory of his computer to the server of RealClimate. There it was quickly noted and the access was disconnected.
    Everbody who ever copied files from one directory server or disk has made that mistake very often. Perhaps it was nerves, fatigue, who can tell. It doesn’t matter. A hack it was.

  10. Tom Fuller Says:


    None of what you write answers any of the relevant questions. Obviously someone gained unauthorized access to Real Climate, probably using an admin password that was passed around too freely.

    It’s what happened at UEA that is of concern to all…

  11. dhogaza Says:

    Obviously someone gained unauthorized access to Real Climate, probably using an admin password that was passed around too freely.

    Yeah, right.

    Not only does this not jive with what gavin’s said about the felony break in of the RC server, it’s nothing but speculation on the part of Fuller.

  12. dhogaza Says:

    It would have been more difficult by an order of magnitude to hack in from outside.

    An order of magnitude more difficult than “easy as pie” isn’t very difficult. Most networks aren’t locked down very securely, university networks less so than large commercial sites and, of course, we know commercial sites are frequently hacked. Heck, even RSA got hacked into this year with the thieves getting away with the master key list to RSA’s SecureID product.

    My guess is that Tom knows less about computer security than he does about science … and that doesn’t leave much for him to know.

  13. dhogaza Says:

    BTW and FWIW, regarding RC, gavin has said that they hackers gained SSH access. They probably got the blog’s admin password after SSH’ing into the server, or more likely simply changed it in the database using the encryption routines found in the blog software’s source code.

    An SSH exploit giving shell access to the server … exactly how one might break into a network at, say, UEA …

  14. dhogaza Says:

    BBC Science and Environment writer Robert Black:

    “I have it from a very good source that it absolutely was a hack, not a leak by a “concerned” UEA scientist, as has been claimed in some circles.”

  15. J Bowers Says:

    Tom, do a google of “SSH exploit” and tell us it’s a whistleblower while you keep a straight face.

  16. Neven Says:

    Tom, why do you want it to be a leak by a whistleblower?

    Maybe you could find out more through your connections in the world of denial. You’ll be a hero if you find out who hacked the UEA server. And I’ll send you a 100 bucks. :-)

  17. Tom Says:

    Umm Neven, read the thread. I don’t care which it is. I’m just estimating possibilities.

  18. OPatrick Says:

    Estimating possibilities? There are probably a few hundred people who could be whistleblowers, but quite a few million who could be hackers. Doesn’t that somewhat skew your probabilities? Hacker seems more parsimonious to me.

  19. dhogaza Says:


    Tom, why do you want it to be a leak by a whistleblower?

    Because it supports the meme that “The Team” is guilty of Really Bad Stuff. The story line that runs “someone within CRU was so upset at the Bad Behavior and Scientific Fraud being practiced by The Team that they felt they had to expose the truth” plays much, much better than the story “a common felon, possibly hired by people with a financial interest in discrediting climate science, hacked the site and stole the e-mails”.

    I should hope this is obvious …

  20. Neven Says:

    It is quite obvious, but I’d prefer it if Tom admits it himself. Not holding my breath though.

  21. willard Says:

    Thanks for the Gilligan comment, Bart. Here it is:

    In return, here is John Nielsen-Gammon’s take on this:

    A quote:

    > It’s a shame, really. With names and identifying information redacted, the emails would constitute a treasure trove of information for sociologists seeking to document how science is done and evaluated. As it is, their selective release constitutes not just an extreme violation of privacy but an attempt to mislead the world about one of the most important issues of our time. Yes, it really is a shame.

    I tend to be sympathetic to this viewpoint.

    Auditors ought not to ask why.

  22. willard Says:

    And by way of a more neutral descriptor, my suggestion is Miracle Worker:

    Auditors are already rereading all they have been saying until now, no doubt.

    Speaking for myself, I’m glad I bought an e-reader last week. Twas for a book on an obscure Pacific island.

    But now having Moby Dick will me all the time might prove handy.

  23. Tom Says:

    Sorry boys I’f don’t join in this little game. I’m doing what you should be. Reading the emails. But carry on–I’ll leave you with the simple repetition: it seems spell to explain with an internal source, and I don’t really care one way or another.

  24. J Bowers Says:

    @ Tom.

    Try this email.

  25. dhogaza Says:

    J Bowers:

    McI behaving badly? Who woulda thunk it …

    I’m surprised, I say, SURPRISED, that Tom, Watts, and others aren’t highlighting this …


  26. dhogaza Says:

    Tom, who knows less about computer security, hacking, and related issues than he does about climate science, sayeth “I’m taking my ball and going home”, leaving these words of wisdom:

    “it seems spell to explain with an internal source”


    I assume Tom believes he has more details about the break-in than, say, the UEA IT people who undoubtably did their forensic due-diligence afterwards, leading them to conclude it was a break-in not inside job.

    (Tom – computers keep log files!!!! I bet you didn’t know that)

  27. Tom Says:

    J Bowers

    Glad you’re doing the footwork. keep at it.

    We covered that topic at length in our book. Mac was asking for data because he wanted to be more diligent in his reviews. Ah, the scandal of that…

    If you don’t want to buy the book, McIntyre covers it off on CA in pretty good detail.
    Obviously it’s from his POV.

  28. dhogaza Says:


    Mac was asking for data because he wanted to be more diligent in his reviews. Ah, the scandal of that…

    Ah, the double standard Tom applies to McI vs. practicing scientists. Hey, I’ve chased the link and read it …

  29. J Bowers Says:

    Incidentally, the searchable database I linked to doesn’t seem to like search terms like ‘abuse’ or ‘abused’ and hangs on a blank page. (Hmmm). If you use Google and enter into the search field…


    …followed by your search term, it works.

  30. J Bowers Says:

    In fact, using Google might be better because you can enter full search strings in inverted commas, which I can’t find a way of doing on the original site. E.g.:

    site: “The second would be appropriate if the Soon and”

  31. J Bowers Says:

    That said (sorry for this), Google site search doesn’t get any results on some words, either. Good for phrases. I’d suggest using both.

  32. J Bowers Says:

    Leaked climate emails force carbon dioxide to resign

    …..According to one of the emails, sent by Julian Cook, a researcher at the University of East Anglia, carbon dioxide had got drunk and admitted it had made the whole thing up.

    Cook adds: “He says he’s not even a gas, never mind a greenhouse gas. He says his name’s Brian and he used to work for Kwik Fit in Norwich….

  33. willard Says:

    #2961, 2009-09-22, Outside, Tim Osborne:

    > I’m now going outside to see the Perseid meteors!

  34. willard Says:

    #225; 2007-12-07; The National Press Club, Washington DC; David Douglass, John Christy, S. Fred Singer:

    > Once one accepts the documented evidence that CO2 is insignificant in warming the climate, all kinds of consequences follow logically: [REDACTED?]

  35. willard Says:

    Not while ago, Roger Pielke Junior recalled one of his favorite bedtime story, the one about his “Shameful paper”. He provides some backstory and then some more:

    > Here is some further background on the “shameful paper,” which despite being ignored by the the IPCC, has been cited 179 times according to Google Scholar and appears to be consistent with the most recent IPCC report on the subject.

    An unriable source tells us that Donna Laframboise is skimming this list of papers since this week-end.

    As a token of a semblance of veracity, he offers me this paper, by an obscure philosopher of science named Don Howard, from Notre Dame University. In a paper entitled **Better Red than Dead—Putting an End to the Social Irrelevance of Postwar Philosophy of Science**, Howard argues that:

    > We cannot wait as long to decide whether ocean temperature fluctuations are consistent with historical, decadal patterns of variation or, instead, signify human-induced perturbations that will produce a steady intensification, on average, of hurricanes and typhoons.

    This sentence ends with footnote 20, which reads:

    > For contrasting views on the question see Pielke et al. (2005) and Mann and Emanuel (2006).

    So here we have a citation using Pielke et al (2005) as a “constrasting view” from his own opinion.

    Let’s hope our source is right.

    Science is corrupt,


  36. willard Says:

    Too busy preparing my trip in an exotic place (my parents), I forgot my link to Howard (2007):

    Enjoy your weekend,

    Due diligence,


  37. MikeN Says:

    Disagreements are more amusing than anything else. The issue is when they hide the disagreements to put on a public face in support of the cause and not wanting to do damage to climate science.

  38. J Bowers Says:

    MikeN — “Disagreements are more amusing than anything else. The issue is when they hide the disagreements to put on a public face in support of the cause and not wanting to do damage to climate science.”

    Now that one of the most common sceptic talking points that there’s too much agreement amongst these climate scientists, which has been deemed as evidence of poor scientific practise, has been thoroughly trashed by this latest release it suddenly becomes irrelevant, in fact amusing and therefore trivial, and focus switches to a new talking point that allows for the image of a deceptive clique to be maintained.

  39. MikeN Says:

    Those are the same point. Disagreeing in private and not in public leads to a loss of credibility. It is basically the same Tiljander argument that was had in June on this site. There is one approach, call it the bunny path, that says mistakes should not be called out because it takes an effective advocate for the cause out of the running. Another approach is to have mistakes be admitted clearly by scientists. This has the downside of weakening the public argument by giving fodder to skeptics, but I think it boosts credibility, and ultimately weakens skeptics. I think it is very easy to tell people that climate science should be ignored because they use upside down data to make their point. I have no clever name for this approach.

  40. MikeN Says:

    It’s possible it was a hack, even likely given the attack on RealClimate. However, there is the other possibility. There are e-mails discussing how they will give you a password to RC to post something, etc. So it’s likely that in the e-mails the hacker has access to is an access password to RC. This makes the possibility of it’s not a hacker, just a leaker more likely than before, as now the leaker has access to both RealClimate and the e-mails. Still it could be either one.

    I think leaker is probably too strong but perhaps a physical hack from inside the institution. How close are students to the premises?

  41. sharper00 Says:

    “Disagreeing in private and not in public leads to a loss of credibility.”

    Can you provide any examples where scientists agreed in public but the emails reveal they did not agree at all? Note: Emails showing disagreement before the public agreement aren’t the same thing.

    Otherwise your point is “They agree on some things in public and then they disagree about other things in private”. If your point is that the private disagreements should be public then I cannot agree. The entire purpose of a field of study is that they work out the details and then present them when, by some criteria, they’re thought to be correct.

    Attaching a full public record of every disagreement from “I just heard about this and I think it’s the stupidest idea I ever heard” to “I’ve dedicated years of my life to proving this wrong” would take us from a firm physical view of reality to a fuzzy one where people can simply sort through and pick the viewpoint they want.

    We already see this in the context of the wider climate debate. People pick the view on the greenhouse effect and climate sensitivity they “like” best rather than the one best supported by evidence.

    Science works because the views best supported by evidence win out and those that aren’t lose over time. Putting all of those views in the public realm guarantees they live on long after they’ve lost scientifically.

  42. Deech56 Says:

    From what has been reported, it appears that the disagreements are about how to present various conclusions and in areas that are cutting edge – like 2003 temperature reconstructions based on proxies. These disagreements are vital to making sure that the final product is the best possible and that the newest science is properly vetted.

    But maybe some other examples exist.

  43. J Bowers Says:

    “Those are the same point.”

    My point was that there is now no justification for the accusation of there being a clique who always agree, which was based on the previous email release, and now that that’s no longer useful fodder the accusation is that they do disagree, but lie to the public about it.

    “Disagreeing in private and not in public leads to a loss of credibility.”

    Not if the chronology can demonstrate that there was room for the differences to be reconciled in the meantime. Was there? Can you show us your evidence for there not being? Sharper00 says the rest.

  44. willard Says:


    You don’t get it:

    Climate scientists do not say the same thing in private than in public.

    Climate scientists do not say the same thing on their own behalf than using their professional voice.

    Climate scientists do not realize that a public statement must include all the provisos about uncertainty, and so take no less than a hundred words, a third of which must take four syllables.

    You should say this here, right now.

    More Omertà, Deech56?

    Science is nobly corrupt,


  45. MikeN Says:

    Sharper, as Tom Fuller says, read, read, read. Rough paraphrases: email that this is the worst paper they’ve done, Bradley agrees too. I don’t think we’ve been honest in defending the hockey stick.
    These are reference to papers already published. DO they attack the papers or defend them in public?

  46. Deech56 Says:

    MikeN – Bradley’s comment was about a paper from 2003. Bradley was a coauthor with Mann on the reconstructions published in PNAS and Science in 2008 and 2009. AFAIK, Bradley was criticizing a single paper, not reconstructions (“hockey sticks”) as a whole; do you have information (as in later e-mails in which he criticized his own papers) to the contrary?

    Willard, I think the expectation is that scientists will provide a 50-word sound bite that includes the main point as well as all of the uncertainties and nuances of cutting edge research. ;-)

  47. sharper00 Says:

    “These are reference to papers already published. DO they attack the papers or defend them in public?”

    That seems like a question you should be answering.

    I don’t consider “Read the emails!” a satisfactory answer. I find reading emails boring, I’d rather be reading things which contain useful information about reality.

    When someone says something like “They claim to agree in public but disagree in private” I expect that person to have at least one example to hand and ideally many examples considering we’re talking about a cherry picked subset of emails which range across a decade.

    Unless your point really is “They agree on some things in public, disagree about others in private” in which case it undermines other arguments about group think and confirmation bias.

    Remember you’re asking people to accept certain conclusions about a group of people, how they act, their motives and their ethics. It’s pretty clear the vast majority of the skeptic movement are fully prepared to accept any negative conclusion about climate scientists based on even a single out of context quote, or better just a word e.g. Mann using the word “cause”. You should at least consider the possibility that other people are not as primed to accept these conclusions as you are.

    “Rough paraphrases: email that this is the worst paper they’ve done, Bradley agrees too. I don’t think we’ve been honest in defending the hockey stick.”

    Rough paraphrases? Really? Is there a “rough paraphrase” search engine?

  48. sharper00 Says:

    “do you have information (as in later e-mails in which he criticized his own papers) to the contrary?”

    This is the critical question. People appear to be reading emails in 2011 as if they were written in 2011 and not at some point in the last 10 or more years.

    Example: Climategate 2.0 email – Mike Mann characterized as “crazy” over MWP and “serious enemy

    First comment

    “Sounds like Climate Science is only looking for an excuse to ditch Mann. Go on!”

    Date of the emails in question? 2002.

    Point to emails where someone was highly skeptical of a particular paper before they themselves went on to publish on that topic demonstrates climate scientists are largely a skeptical bunch and work to improve the science, not that they simply assume such and such is true and slap each other on the back for it.

  49. dhogaza Says:


    This makes the possibility of it’s not a hacker, just a leaker more likely than before, as now the leaker has access to both RealClimate and the e-mails. Still it could be either one.

    By taking down RC, your hypothetical “leaker” still committed a felony.

    Now, why would an honest whistleblower, understanding his or her supposedly noble action to be protected by whistleblower protection laws, totally screw the pooch by committing a felony take-down of RC?

    Also, Gavin Schmidt has stated that the person who hacked into RC also gained SSH access to the underlying server itself. This was undoubtably due to some sort of SSH exploit as I mentioned above.

    Give me SSH access to the underlying server and sufficient privileges (privilege escalation is par for the course when a server is hacked), and I can read the configuration files for the blog instance. This will give me the information needed to access the database used by the blog instance. This will allow me to find the admin password. If it’s encrypted, I can read the source code for the blog (typically implemented in a scripting language like PHP), look at what encryption algorithm is used and how it generates salt values, etc, and put the encrypted version of a password of my choice in the database.

    At this point, I can log in as a blog administrator and do what I please at the blog level.

    On the other hand, having the blog admin password doesn’t help me gain SSH access at all.

    Your hypothesis fails the sniff test, sorry. But again, even if it did, you are hypothesizing that the leaker committed the felony of bringing down RC.

  50. Tom Says:

    Okay, folks–you’re getting hammered out there, and those of you involved are just… too involved.

    Every specific you cite or contest just brings back a flood of comments quoting emails and long dead arguments from the past.

    Step back and take the 30,000 foot perspective. What are the basics that we all know is true? That is what is needed from you now.

    Temperatures have climbed. So have concentrations of CO2. Given the pace of industrialization, it would be absurd not to investigate the correlation and look for a cause.

    The stakes are high. Even two degrees of warming will prove to be seriously damaging to some, and those some are probably those who least need the aggravation.

    ‘Our’ (your) heroes may turn out to have feet of clay. We’ll all see soon enough. But the cause we have in common with them is worth pursuing. It is just as much in the interest of skeptics as it is in ours to shift from fossil fuels as soon as practical. And there’s no shame in being committed passionately to this cause.

    When the smoke clears from this battlefield, not much will have changed. Take the longer view.

  51. OPatrick Says:

    Out where?

  52. J Bowers Says:

    Tom, I don’t see it. The MSM seems to be mainly seeing it as a move to disrupt Durban.

    Don’t flip-flop and say blogs are influential now ;)

  53. Tom Says:

    J Bowers, if that’s your example of a positive spin on the news, you’re sort of making my point.

    As for the importance of blogs, well, 1 week out of every two years they are important…

  54. dhogaza Says:


    Temperatures have climbed. So have concentrations of CO2. Given the pace of industrialization, it would be absurd not to investigate the correlation and look for a cause.

    Gee, all these years and Tom still doesn’t know the cause was known long before the correlation was observed?

    Being lectured on climate science by Tom is sort of like being taught calculus by Michelle Bachmann.

  55. dhogaza Says:

    Apparently Tom has at least figured out there’s no money to be made from this latest release of 2009′s news …

  56. Tom Says:

    What’s your answer, mule skinner?


    …you go down there.

    - You’re saying, go into the coulee?
    - Yes, sir.

    There are no Indians there,
    I suppose?

    I didn’t say that.

    There are thousands
    of Indians down there,…

    …and when they get done
    with you,…

    …there won’t be nothing left
    but a greasy spot.

    This ain’t the Washita River,

    …and them ain’t helpless women
    and children waiting for you.

    They’re Cheyenne brave, and Sioux.

    You go down there
    if you got the nerve.

    Still trying to outsmart me,
    aren’t you, mule skinner?

    You want me to think that
    you don’t want me to go down there,…

    …but the subtle truth is you really
    don’t want me to go down there.

    Well, are you reassured now, Major?

    Men of the Seventh!

    The hour of victory is at hand!

    Onward to Little Bighorn

    and glory!

  57. J Bowers Says:

    “I’m not licked. I’m tarred and feathered, that’s all.”

  58. Tom Says:


    Am I still in this world?

    Yes, Grandfather.

    I was afraid of that.


    …sometimes the magic works,
    sometimes it doesn’t.

  59. Paul Middents Says:

    I anxiously await Willard’s exegetical take on the Fuller and Bower venture into Glossolalia.

    Paul Middents

  60. willard Says:

    Paul Middents,

    I will simply point to dhogaza’s post above:

    and I will point to the literary comments hereinafter.

    That is all.

  61. Deech56 Says:

    Willard, thanks for pointing to dhogaza’s post. Since my knowledge of the inner workings of computer systems is rather weak, I want to make sure I get this right: Having a password that allows posting privileges at RC does not allow one to get into the underlying system itself. The 2009 posting at RC involved access to the underlying system; therefore, the 2009 post could not have been done using a password to RC that was “out there”.

  62. willard Says:


    Yes, our Miracle Worker seemed to know how to exploit WP weaknesses. The only way I see to promote the hypothesis that our Miracle Worker is a whistleblower would be to drown Gavin’s testimony into “lots of theories”. See for instance the always suave Nicolas Nierenberg (unless his dad’s name is mentioned):

    > I think there was just a post that linked to it, and Gavin is mistaken. But it is just an opinion.

    Another one:

    > [I]t’s entirely possible that at sometime Gavin or somebody else sent a admin logon and password for RC [...] just a theory.

    There are 27 occurences of the word “Gavin” on that page. There might be as much “theories”, perhaps even more. And there are other “theories” elsewhere.

    When confronted by a difficult fact, one needs to stretch interpretations in so many ways as to convey the feeling that any theory is possible. At the very least, one gains time: it’s easier to come up with theories than it is to destroy their logic. And one shifts attention away from the fact.

  63. dhogaza Says:


    Having a password that allows posting privileges at RC does not allow one to get into the underlying system itself.

    Correct, unless the WP admin password is also used for an account on the underlying system. But that would be unusual, a breech of the most basic of security concerns. Gavin’s comment regarding SSH access makes it clear that this probably wasn’t the case.

    I’m not familiar with WP, but also most content management software allows for the creation of users with different roles. Logically, if one were to e-mail an account and password to someone for them to use to make a guest post, one wouldn’t pass along the actual administration account password.

    The 2009 posting at RC involved access to the underlying system; therefore, the 2009 post could not have been done using a password to RC that was “out there”.

    Not sure regarding that portion of what happened, but SSH was used for a reason, so this is probably right.

    Regardless, it’s a felony to abuse a system even if you’re given access to it to (say) make a guest post. And the notion that a member of UEA that was part of the e-mails about posting to RC would turn around and, in essence, destroy the site is ludicrous.

    If the RC cracker got access by reading the poached e-mails, the felony case is cut-and-dried.

  64. J Bowers Says:

    McKitrick hides the context

  65. Deech56 Says:

    Thanks, dhogaza. This all makes the “whistleblower” hypothesis that much less likely. For your last point, finding a house key on a sidewalk does not make breaking into a house legal.

  66. dhogaza Says:


    For your last point, finding a house key on a sidewalk does not make breaking into a house legal.

    Speaking from personal experience, leaving your garage door open and your car door unlocked doesn’t make walking into the garage and entering the car and stealing a $15 paperback book legal.

    The dude that got caught doing so in my car copped a plea to burglary II and theft III – not just theft – 21 days in county and three years pro.

    On the other hand, apparently it’s not breaking and entering because nothing was broken while entering :)

  67. willard Says:

    On the 2009-11-21, in a post entitled **CRU Refuses FOI Request** on the post but **Test** on the URL, we read:

    On Nov 18, 2009, I received the letter attached below from Jonathan Colam-French, Director of Information Services of UEA, turning down my appeal. The letter is dated Nov. 13, 2009. In the letter refusing the appeal, Colam-French says that he consulted a file on the matter.

    Now consider the following chronology.

    On Nov 17, 2009 at 9.57 pm occurred the first public notice of the 63 MB CRU file entitled “” came at Jeff Id’s blog [] by a poster called “FOIA”, who stated:

    We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.

    We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.

    The file contained emails up to and including Nov 12, 2009 (the most recent is 1258053464.txt) the day prior to the date on the letter refusing the appeal.


    I first learned of the existence of the file a few hours after notice was posted at Jeff’s blog and first saw the files a day later. I know nothing of the provenance of the that is not in the public domain.

    (Let’s hope I can insert blockquotes inside blockquotes.)


    * * *

    Some random notes:

    NB1 Auditors might notice how to introduce a temporal relation:

    > Now consider the following chronology.

    So an auditor can point to the timing of exhibit A and to the time of exhibit B.

    That is all that an implicit theory needs.

    Lots of theories are possible that way.

    NB2. We note that in the first case, our Miracle Worker claims to have published a “random selection”. We could wonder how our Miracle Worker conceive randomness.

    NB3. Auditors might follow the trackbacks on Jeff Id’s thread, under a post about a letter from Arnd Bernaerts that deserves due diligence.

  68. willard Says:

    NB4. I note that I quoted this from Colam-French’s letter:

    > I would note that we are, however, proceeding with efforts with the international community to secure consent from national meteorological institutions for the release of the information that they provide us with, and it is fully our intention to publish such data where, and when, we have secured such consent.

    NB5. Speaking of Arnd Bernaerts, we note his comment on the Test thread, addressed to FOIA:

    > You did it. You made many people very, very happy with your visit here and the given link.

    NB6. RyanO took notice of the URL:

    > Test satisfactory, Steve!

  69. willard Says:

    Speaking of Colam-French, I recall this comment from Rob, addressed to Steve:

    First, the data you asked for was neither produced nor owned by CRU. National meteorological institutions provided the data under an agreement that governed confidentiality.

    Second, your assertion that “Jones had claimed….” was flat out wrong.

    Third, your assertion that ” It was a total fabrication by CRU and the University of East Anglia.” is disenginous at best, given the fact that they admitted a mistake (point (2) above was not correct), provided you with an appeal process, and were bending over backward to satisfy you wants (without you even mentioning for which purpose you wanted that data).

    If I were in CRU’s shoes, I would have sent you straight to the national meteorological institutions, and that would have been the end of it. Good thing that I’m not running CRU.

    As is often the case, this exchange is in a somewhat unrelated thread, in which Jones’ name has been coatracked into Vergano’s story.

    As is often the case, Rob’s comment has not been answered.

  70. dhogaza Says:

    willard, points for highlighting the obvious (for those of us who’ve followed this for some time).

    Hopefully it’s not a revelation for you. Fuller and Mosher both know this history, but have ignored it, along with the rest of the denialist horde.

  71. willard Says:

    Thanks, dhogaza.

    This is not a revelation, although I was surprised to find this in my notes.

    As is often the case, the most revealing information hides in plain sight.

    For instance, Rob had some other interesting comments. This one might be of some interest to you:

    In the software industry, it is not uncommon to charge $10 per line of source code, which is still bound to a strict license agreement with restricted use. It seems to me that there is a serious lack of accountability to the US tax payer going on with these FOIA requests.

    If an average email is 10 lines, then a request like ATI (with 34,000 emails matching the request), a charge of $3.5 million should not be unreasonable (with the additional constraint that the receipient should guarantee not to further distribute the received data). In fact, because of the risks of accidentally making a mistake and releasing an email that would have been exempt under FOIA law, the charge should probably be much higher than that.

    Instead, the US government allows itself to be abused by frivolous requests from entities in obscurity (like ATI) and serves such entities over the backs of US tax payers.

    Rob also asked a question to Schnare (from ATI) and Steve, which remains unanswered to date, as far as I know. As is often the case, it’s not difficult to find.

    As is often the case, “as is often the case” can become handy.

  72. willard Says:

    While following up breadcrumbs about Andy Revkin’s editorial practices, e.g.

    I’ve stumbled upon this intriguing statement:

    > The simplest phrase to explain Revkin’s actions over the past couple years is “intellectual dishonesty”. He is not expected to be balanced at the NY Times, yet, he like other liberals still perpetuates the myth of self-effacing “journalistic balance” in the media.

    The author of that comment is Dr. Ryan N. Maue, who provides this page under his name:

    Dr. Maue is a frequent contributor at Tony’s:

    Dr. Maue is also a featured author at Steve’s:

    Dr. Maue is both an author at Steve’s and Tony’s.

    Auditors might wish to dust up their Social Network Analysis toolbox.

  73. willard Says:

    Let’s also note this website:

    As is often the case with auditors, we do like puzzles.

    What would be the abbreviation “poli” stand for, in “policlimate”?

    The answer might be found by reading Dr. Ryan N. Maue’s blog.

  74. willard Says:

    We are glad to report that our unreliable source in Donna’s backchannels reported another piece in the puzzling citations of Roger’s 2005 “shameful paper”:

    In **The increasing intensity of the strongest tropical cyclones**, James B. Elsner, James P. Kossin & Thomas H. Jagger (2008) review the litterature thus:

    > An important concern about the consequences of climate change is the potential increase in tropical cyclone activity. Theoretical arguments5, 6 and modelling studies7, 8 indicate that tropical cyclone winds should increase with increasing ocean temperature. Direct observational verification of this relationship over the global tropics is lacking, but Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST), which is correlated with global mean near-surface air temperature, helps explain1 the recent upswing in frequency and intensity of Atlantic tropical cyclones. However, it has been argued that the data are not reliable enough to make assertions about the relationship between climate change and hurricanes9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and that the correlation may involve both regional and remote SSTs14, 15. Here we shed new light on this topic by using globally consistent satellite-derived tropical cyclone wind speeds16 and by focusing on the lifetime-maximum wind speeds of the strongest tropical cyclones each year.

    Perhaps in reference to the Beatles, number 9 is (Pielke & al, 2005). It would also be interesting to know if 10-11-12 and 13 cite “the shameful paper”.

    It appears that when comes time to review the litterature, citing “the shameful paper” might be mandatory.

    In any case, the authors’ result seem to confirm the theory according to which

    > The potential intensity of a tropical cyclone is directly related to SST below the cyclone, all else being equal.

    This theory has been put forward, or so say the authors, by (Emanuel, 1991) among others. In other words, the authors’ result seem to be compatible with a view which was “contrasted” by (Pielke & al, 2005) by our philosopher of science cited above, viz.
    Don Howard.

    And so our unreliable source is shedding more light on Roger Pielke Junior’s comment that started his search:

    > Here is some further background on the “shameful paper,” which despite being ignored by the the IPCC, has been cited 179 times according to Google Scholar and appears to be consistent with the most recent IPCC report on the subject.

    Auditors might begin to be puzzled by the expression “appears to be consistent with”, an expression that truly deserves due diligence, as is often the case.

  75. dhogaza Says:

    Willard, good work, and I have to say I admire that Rob fella …

  76. dorlomin Says:

    In a more humerous vane, potholer destroys the Chris Monckton

  77. willard Says:

    James Annan, in a discussion following is article entitled **Climate sensitivity is 3C**, told Mugwump:

    > No-one credible considers his analysis reasonable, and I guess that the reason he does not explicitly discuss the implied depths in his paper is that the inconsistency would be too stark.

    This article is (Douglass & Knox, 2005):

    Auditors might wonder which honest brokers are citing this paper. Here’s a dig:,5

    There are 36 titles that cite this paper. From that list, auditors will recognize these names:

    D Rapp –
    CR De Freitas – Journal of Geophysical Research, 2009
    N Scafetta – Journal of Geophysical Research, 2007
    M Lewis Jr – Competitive Enterprise Institute.
    C Knappenberger –
    R McKitrick –
    RW Spencer –

    Honest brokers should ask if these citations considered Douglass & Knox’ analysis reasonable, or if they are to be considered serious researchers by Annan.

    As is often the case, the presentation of (Douglass & Knox, 2005) in that network deserves further diligent analysis.

    Scientists are nobly corrpupt,


  78. Quiet Waters Says:

    willard. From one of the 36 (Knutti & Hegerl; 2008), the cite appears in relation to this paragraph:

    “There are few studies that yield estimates of S that deviate substantially from the consensus range, mostly towards very low values. These results can usually be attributed to erroneous forcing assumptions (for example hypothesized external processes such as cosmic rays driving climate), neglect of internal climate variability, overly simplified assumptions, neglected uncertainties, errors in the analysis or dataset, or a combination of these”

  79. willard Says:

    Quiet Waters,

    Indeed, due diligence must be paid before invoking a citation number as an argument, like Roger Pielke Junior did above:

    > Here is some further background on the “shameful paper,” which despite being ignored by the the IPCC, has been cited 179 times according to Google Scholar [...]

    For instance, honest brokers might wish to declare authors that belong to their own social network — of which they always form a clique, in the technical sense of the word.

    They might also wish to distinguish when a paper is cited approvingly or disapprovingly.

    Auditors might ask if it’s possible to cite a paper neutrally. For instance, here is how McKitrick introduces (Douglass & Knox, 2005):

    > An alternative way of measuring climate sensitivity is to examine recent observations on how the climate system responded to major volcanic eruptions, such as Mount Pinatubo in 1991, since the forcing can be more precisely characterized and the actual climate response can be directly observed in temperature data. Douglass and Knox (2005a) took this approach and concluded the climate had stronger dampening characteristics than typically shown in climate models, such that the implied sensitivity to GHGs was very low.

    This looks quite neutral. An alternative exists. It was tested. Here are the results. Now let’s look at the next sentence:

    > A response to this paper was published by Tom Wigley, Caspar
    Ammann, Ben Santer and Karl Taylor (Wigley et al. 2005), all of whom are past IPCC authors, and two of whom (Ammann and Santer) were recruited to be Contributing Authors of AR4 Chapter 9.

    Auditors might consider this sentence as pertaining to Social Network Analysis. Here is next sentence:

    > Douglass and Knox published a rebuttal to the Wigley et al. paper (Douglass and Knox 2005b), but were not invited by the IPCC Bureau or the Lead Authors to be contributors to Chapter

    So McKitrick states that Douglass & Knox has published a rebuttal, without taking position on the rebuttal itself. Then McKitrick states that Douglass & Knox has not been invited by the IPCC Bureau.

    The inference between the two sentences is implicit. Ethologists might want to test if dogs hear it. Honest brokers will recognize that McKitrick has not cited Annan, according to whom:

    > No-one credible considers his analysis reasonable, and I guess that the reason he does not explicitly discuss the implied depths in his paper is that the inconsistency would be too stark.

    Social network analysts might appreciate that McKitrick has not cited (Knutti & Hegerl; 2008).

    What’s the title of McKitrick whitepaper, again?

    Proposals for a Radical Reform

    Scientists are nobly corrupt,


  80. willard Says:

    Reviewing LaFramboise’s book, Steve McIntyre shortens his audit and pronounces:

    > Recommended.

    Commenting on the thread, Ross McKitrick sidesteps the argument of commenter David Weisman (that LaFramboise devotes one chapter on the fact that “people didn’t have doctorates at the time they did the work”, an argument we should take with a grain of salt) by focusing on What It Is Really About:

    > [T]his is about the discrepancy between the IPCC’s claims that its authors are the world’s top scientists, yet many of them on inspection turn out to be underqualified activists[.]

    Auditors should recognize that this trick is not there to bring “a very pleasant experience” to David Weisman.

    In the same thread, I took issue with the concept of “activist”:

    > The concept of “activist” is taken for granted. It’s at least half of the what “this is about”. It is yet underspecified. Describing what is to be an activist deserves due diligence.

    As is often the case at CA, this comment went unchallenged.

    Yes, but RC moderation.

  81. willard Says:

    Here is the permalink for my comment above:

  82. Marco Says:

    Willard, ask them

    How many “on inspection [turned] out to be underqualified activists” ?

    and you’ll likely see yet another shift of the goalposts.

    They are already conflating issues discussed in LaFramboise’s book (“not qualified” – which in itself was not qualified in the book, and “activists” – which also was not defined in the book).

    No surprise a confusionist like McIntyre recommends such a book, and yet more evidence that the “auditors” of CA are not auditors, but activists themselves.

  83. willard Says:


    I’m not sure whom to ask, and I’m afraid we might not get a meaningful answer if we asked “them”. What would be your own answer to this question?

    We do not need to ask anyone to see that Steve is endorsing Donna’s book. Nor do we need to read emails to see that being an “activist” does not look good. For instance, in his LaFramboise’s review, Steve McIntyre says of WG2:

    > [W]here activist influence is most pronounced[.]

    In a recent op-ed, Ross McKitrick also states:

    > Then this fall, Canadian investigative journalist Donna Laframboise released her book The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert, a superb exposé of the IPCC that shows convincingly that the IPCC has evolved into an activist organization bearing little resemblance to the picture of scientific probity painted by its promoters and activist allies.

    As is often the case, auditors might wonder how McKitrick defines activism, and if he does, how he succeeded to exclude his own line of work from being considered activism.

    But climate activists are nobly corrupt,


  84. Marco Says:

    Willard, it’s quite funny to see them go after people without a PhD, and McIntyre nodding appreciative in the background…

  85. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    Willard you’re in fine form these last few days…..

  86. willard Says:

    Marlowe Johnson,

    Invoking definitions partakes of the arsenal of many auditors. See for instance how we could introduce the topic of plagiarism:

    > US. federal policy defines plagiarism as follows: [...]

    Now imagine a blog post that starts with:

    Here is how Wikipedia defines activism:

    > Activism consists of intentional efforts to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. Activism can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, and hunger strikes.

    I personally enjoy the simplicity of invoking Wikipedia.

    But I’m sure we could sophisticate our auditing trick.

    * * *

    As CA readers may know, there are many other examples at Steve’s along these lines, regarding plagiarism and other concepts. Let’s recall that around the times of L’Affaire Wegman, Steve declared that:

    > Plagiarism is not a topic that has been discussed much at Climate Audit.

    Searching for “ plagiarism” gives me 344 hits this morning.

    There is even a tag:

    More than 25 posts have been filed under that tag.

    Auditors might take a moment on the carelessness on facts:

    * * *

    There might be many more definition games at Steve’s. If that this does not suffice, we could take a look at Lucia’s. I vaguely recall one about what is a truism.

    So much to do, so little time.

    * * *

    You remind me to tell you about the linear model, which as an honest broker yourself, I believe you condemn.

    Thank you and Marco for your feedback,

    Scientist activists are nobly corrupt,


  87. willard Says:

    Auditors might take a moment **to ponder** on the carelessness on facts, of course.

  88. Rattus Norvegicus Says:

    And speaking of definitional games, here’s one from today:

  89. willard Says:


    Thanks for the link. You are referring to the word “extreme”, right? Awaiting developments in the current audit, I’ll follow through the dig of the “plagiarism” tag and follow bender’s advice to “read the blog”.

    * * *

    This is the first one, vintage 2007:

    We note that the first commenter exclaims that this is Hansen’s own hockey stick.

    If auditors pay due diligence and search for the word “plagiarism” that page, they’d find only one occurence of “plagiarism”. Not in text, but in the tag itself. They will only see the tag when underlined by the search function, or by looking in the source of the page.

    The tags of CA posts are hidden in plain sight.

    * * *

    The same phenomenon can be observed in the following posts:

    One hit: the tag.

    * * *

    The next one gets four hits:

    Analyzing this post and the comments might shed some light on the accusation of plagiarism. For now, let us note that of the four occurrences, two are a quote from the blurb of that World Conference, one is the tag, and a last one comes from the same commentator that exclaimed himself above.

    * * *

    In the following post, we find 13 hits. Auditors can sense a dig, perhaps not the mother load, but something. In that post, we get a first appeal to Wikipedia:

    > For reference, plagiarism (Wikipedia) includes: [...]

    A game that goes into multiple overtimes, with lots of general fight between the usual enforcers.

    * * *

    We’ll stop here for the “plagiarism” tag. Auditors who wish to pay due diligence to the definition game should know what to do.

    So much to do, so little time,

    Due diligence,


  90. MikeN Says:

    dhogaza, I am not claiming honest whistleblower, like say a Phil Jones or Keith Briffa, as my theory, and it’s not my theory either. Rather a student prank as Steve Mosher described. Yes the RC attack was a crime. The theory would also mean that Gavin was incorrect or covering up that he or others were lax with security, as you say an ssh exploit is unrelated to an available password.

    Incidentally, I read an extensive review of Climategate where the author explained why it was most likely a leak and not a hack. I found myself agreeing with his analysis, but his part 2 contradicted part 1, and makes hacking more likely. I forgot the site, but essentially he said hacking was unlikely because of the time frame and patience involved, therefore it’s a leak. Part 2 was that this is a patient person with a master plan, expect to see a part 3 with emails to politicians exposed.

  91. Deech56 Says:

    In applying due diligence to the links supplied by Rattus and willard (!) I have to think that the long knives will be unsheathed for AR5. AR4 was wishy-washy in some ways and attempts to solidify conclusions based on more recent publications may be scrutinized carefully. Of course, whether there is coordination among members of the Auditing Team remains uncertain.

  92. dhogaza Says:


    I forgot the site, but essentially he said hacking was unlikely because of the time frame and patience involved, therefore it’s a leak.

    Part of this unrealistic attempt at rationalization by the denialsphere was based on the fact that the Climategate 1.0 release was only of carefully selected e-mails.

    The argument was in part that it must’ve been an insider, because a hacker wouldn’t stick around and carefully select a very small percentage of the e-mails to remove from UEA’s computers.

    Of course, Climategate 2.0 has made it clear that 220,000 e-mails were removed en masse from UEA’s computers, and that they’ve been analyzed offsite. This is consistent with a hacker diving in, grabbing as much as possible as quickly as possible, getting the hell out and then analyzing the contents at their leisure.

    As far as Mosher’s “student prank” notion, a student wouldn’t be protected by US whistleblower laws, at least, as these laws exist to protect employees (and I doubt very much that a student would be protected by UK whistleblower laws, either).

    And whistleblower laws don’t, in general, make it OK to steal. A whistleblower seeking protection would take action such as informing superiors or the press or whoever that “UEA’s e-mails show scientific fraud on the part of …”.

    Not steal and release the e-mails. I can’t take a gun into a university computing center, line people up against the wall, and steal data and claim whistleblower cover for my crime. Nor can I steal by more indirect means.

    I can blow the whistle, that’s it.

  93. dhogaza Says:

    I must add that absconding with all 220,000 e-mails is as inconsistent with the whistleblower claim as it is consistent with the hacker claim.

    Because if you’re going to seek whistleblower protection, you’re not going to steal the whole damned set, most of which undoubtably have absolutely nothing to do with whatever you’re “whistle blowing” about.

    That lack of discretion is exactly what’s *not* covered by the concept of whistleblower protection …

  94. MikeN Says:

    It’s perhaps easier to steal all data and analyze offsite, rather than run long searches on university computers. Indeed, for a hacker without physical access, only downloading a portion might be easier. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that a student prank would be covered by whistleblower laws,though they might try it.

  95. MikeN Says:

    The patience being referred to was not that they only released a portion, but that the hacking itself would require patience.

  96. dhogaza Says:


    It’s perhaps easier to steal all data and analyze offsite, rather than run long searches on university computers.

    This runs opposite of the denialsphere argument trying to whitewash the theft as being done by a whistleblower.

    Indeed, for a hacker without physical access, only downloading a portion might be easier.

    You’re contradicting yourself here. Which is easier, for a hacker to leisurely spend perhaps hours or days running searches on university computers, or taking it all offline? You know the answer to that one …

    The patience being referred to was not that they only released a portion, but that the hacking itself would require patience.

    Most hacks are done by people running canned scripts and don’t take much patience at all …

  97. willard Says:


    Glad for your diligence. I’m interested by your concept of Auditing Team. Do you have a roster in mind?

    Reading the hurly burly on the Loehle thread I mentioned previously, readers will notice Chris’ contributions, starting with this one:

    We note welcoming comments by Pat Keating, Lance Hilpert, a guest appearance of Eli Rabett, and more welcoming comments by M. Jeff, who challenged Chris’ familiarity with Steve’s. Chris response is interesting:

    > Please see all the “Categories” here: [...] How many of them can I click on and not find a bunch of complaining about the hockey stick? Maybe I’ll find a post of radiative physics and the infrared absorption bands of CO2? Help me out

    More “pleasant experience” (an expression that got some ice time recently) by M. Jeff, and Mike Davis. Then comes a comment by Steve which honest brokers might appreciate:

    First, we point at yet another occurence of the engineer-level-derivation argument:

    > I’ve been looking for some time for an article that clearly derives 2.5 deg C from doubled CO2 – one which does not merely report on a GCM run, but which describes in engineering-level detail the key parameterizations for the major feedbacks.

    Second, we point at this:

    > Yes, there are some errors in Loehle, but there are some errors in Moberg as well. [...] My beef is their failure to be consistent and to apply similar diligence to the other studies.

    Third, we point at this:

    > Look, I’m just one person and there’s only so much that I can do. As it is I’m covering a lot of ground.

    This last reply deserves due diligence. Auditors will acknowledge that Steve took the time to answer Chris’ request:

    > [I] simply asked if [McIntyre] would blog on some of the evidence for AGW, and placed the same criteria on RC to not be so kind with the article on Gore’s movie, or other “pro-AGW yet erroneous” articles. [...] I realize the blogosphere has to be dramatic and everyone needs to take sides, something that isn’t so obvious in the peer-reviewed literature, but c’mon

    We let the readers decide if Steve’s answer provided more than a “pleasant experience” to Chris, i.e. if it was fully responsive. We can’t know from Chris, who did not answer Steve.

    We finally note this pleasantry from our favorite Steve’s gatekeeper:

    > Despite the nonsense in most of his posts, Chris did what appears to be at least one good thing [...]

  98. willard Says:

    As often is the case, reading the blog can provide pleasant experiences. Susann seems to agree:

    > When reading both RC and CA over the past week, I am forced to think of an episode of Seinfeld when Banya comments, “This is GOLD, Jerry! GOLD!”

    Her next paragraph is interesting:

    > I’m trying to think of a good hockey / war related title for my possible climate policy blog. I’m taking suggestions and will offer full credit to the winner.

    Perhaps to make sure Susann had a most pleasant experience, CA commenters made many suggestions:

    - “I went to a global warming debate and a hockey game broke out” (theduke);

    - “Went to a war and a hockey game broke out” (J.C.H.)

    - “Slapshot” (Jim Edwards) [the greatest Hockey movie]

    - “Big stick, no puck” or “Bristle Cone Blues” (Cliff Huston)

    - “laying on the lumber” or “mental dentistry” (Steve Mosher)

    - “a hockey game broke out” (theduke, noticing the lenght of his first try)

    - “I went to Stockholm and all I got was this lousy hockey stick” (Terry)

    - “Penalty Box” (jeez)

    - “Stickhandled” (Susann)

    - “Faceoff” (Andy)

    - “CrossCheck” (Joe Black, and many more hockey expressions)

    - “Clime & Punishment” (PeterS)

    - “2 Minutes for Instigating, 5 for Fighting” (robp)

    - “The Hockey Stick & The Boomerang!” (mccall)

    - “Puttin’ on the foil!” (mccall, having watched **Slapshot**)

    - “30 Seconds Over Kyoto” (Nicholas)

    - “Launching the puck with a trebuchet.” (Sam Urbinto)

    - “Battle of the Puck Ice” (paul)

    - “Get the puck out of there” (Larry)

    - “Two Minutes for High Sticking” (pochas)

    - “Weather Change” (Andrey Levin)

    - “Ice Time” (Philip_B)

    Readers might notice that one of the term has been used by Susann in a comment by Steve’s jester:

    > If you were to do an honest-to-goodness spaghetti-o-gram that included the kinds of uncertainties that a young and honest policy wonk like Susann is asking for, you will simply not find a difference between MWP & CWP

    Socialnetworkers will notice this list from that same comment:

    > Nobody but Steve M (and the CI gang: UC and Jean S, and now Hu McCullough) seems to understand [these papers are all "lots of theories"].

    Perhaps this “CI gang” is a part of the Auditing Team Deech56 alluded to in his comment above.

    All in all, a very pleasant experience.

  99. willard Says:

    Speaking of mental dentistry, we can return to the post itself, where we read:

    > In some cases, RC non-linking to climateaudit is mere pettiness, but, in this particular case, they cite information on Loehle that was initially made available at climateaudit.

    This sentence might have prompted Walt Bennett:

    Speaking of “petty”: Steve basically concurs with RC on Loehle but (a) accuses them of plagiarism for evidently borrowing from CA info provided by Loehle (isn’t it Loehle’s info and not CA’s?); (b) comlains that RC applies standards to Loehle that ought to also apply to other reconstructions (not that Steve has an actual ptoblem with these rules); and (c) can’t resist another opportunity to trot out MBH98.

    Hey Steve, do you think that by 2008 we can celebrate the tenth anniversary of MBH98 and find something new to pick on?

    Wordnet defines pettiness as “narrowness of mind or ideas or views”, “the quality of being unimportant and petty or frivolous”, “lack of generosity in trifling matters”.

    Auditors might hesitate to consider this blog post as pertaining to pettiness. After all, it has been filed under “pettiness”, but “plagiarism”. This might explain why Phil stated:

    > I didn’t say that you had accused them of plagiarism, I note that you prefer to use innuendo rather than direct accusation, as you have above.

    Finding to whom the “you” refers is left as an exercise to mental dentists.

    * * *

    Honest brokers should conclude that this post is either about pettiness, or about plagiarism, or both.

    Here would be a better example of pettiness by Hu McCulloch, a member of the CI Team:

    > “Eli Rabett”, who I gather is really [PETTINESS REDACTED] writes in #49, [...]

    Here is Hu’s page:

    In that page, one can find some op-eds:

    “Let’s Not Save Social Security”
    Column in the Toledo Blade, 3/12/99, revised with 2000 figures.

    “Double Delusion”
    Letter to Wall St. Journal, 3/18/99.

    There is also a page of selected letters to Editors:

    My favorite quote this morning is this one:

    > Since we all want more jobs and less unemployement, unemployement compensation is completely counterproductive.

    For reference, activism (Wikipedia) includes writing letters to newspapers.

    * * *


    Find Eli Rabett’s link in Steve’s blogroll.

  100. MikeN Says:

    dhogaza, the page I read referred to hackers being patient, not using easy scripts. They would use only one port a day to avoid detection.

    >Which is easier, for a hacker to leisurely spend perhaps hours or days running searches on university computers, or taking it all offline? You know the answer to that one

    No idea. It depends on the size of the download. Given that we know a large set of files were taken, we can assume they went with taking all of them.

  101. willard Says:

    Following the second release of emails, Ross McKitrick wrote an op-ed to the National Post about the need to reform or “fold” the IPCC:

    For reference, activism (Wikipedia) includes intentional efforts to bring about socio-political change and forms like writing opinion pieces for newspapers

    In a recent post, DC showed that

    > McKitrick has reversed the order of the quotes and juxtaposed them as if they were part of the same exchange.

    In a comment at Judith’s, Ross McKitrick responds to this criticism:

    > For the point at issue it hardly matters.

    Here is how an hypothetical auditor might frame this issue:

    > In some cases, not mentioning the author of a criticism is mere pettiness, but, in this particular case, McKitrick responds to information from DC’s post that was initially made available at

    * * *

    In a recent editorial at Steve’s, Ross McKitrick concludes:

    > That [Steven Schneider] turns out to have been intensely biased, arrogant and careless with facts matters a great deal.

    Compare and contrast the implicit reasoning involved in both cases.

  102. Rattus Norvegicus Says:

    On the hack vs. whistleblower front: Tallbloke has had a few of his computers seized by the Norfolk police.

  103. dhogaza Says:


    Tallbloke has had a few of his computers seized by the Norfolk police.

    Where did you run across this?

  104. Neven Says:

    WUWT, Air Vent.

    Hopefully they find something, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  105. Bart Says:

    No details though, just a report that a handful of police came in his house with a search warrant and confiscated two laptops and a router.

  106. Paul Middents Says:

    Policy Lass is following this with great relish.

  107. willard Says:


  108. J Bowers Says:

    No big deal IMHO. When you announce with relish that you have new evidence relating to an ongoing criminal investigation (though that may be plural now that the US DoJ’s involved) to the entire planet and start to throw it around like confetti, Plod will come knocking on your door.

    I dare say if there’s anything criminal on Tallbloke’s laptop it’d be something like Justin Bieber in his music folder.

  109. andrew adams Says:

    Meanwhile, this is pretty low stuff by Judith Curry – using the emails as a “gotcha” against Gabi Hegerl because she demolished Curry’s crappy paper

  110. ds Says:

    “Specific statements from the emails that bolster my arguments and seem to refute the arguments made by Hegerl et al”

    And yet she was unable to refute these arguments in her reply to the comment by Hegerl et al.

  111. andrew adams Says:


    That’s the thing. Leaving aside arguments about whether it was appropriate for Curry to cite the emails ISTM that the fact she resorted to doing so is an indication that she was not able to provide any substantial refutation of Hegerl’s arguments.

  112. Tom Fuller Says:

    I am at a loss as to why Curry shouldn’t refer to published material that is relevant to the issue. She didn’t leak the emails. She didn’t publish them. How stupid (and unscientific) it would be to just pretend that we all don’t know they exist…

  113. andrew adams Says:


    I’m not saying we should pretend the emails don’t exist – they are now in the public domain and are going to get discussed. I don’t even object in principle to people writing a book about them ; )

    It’s the context in which Curry used the email which I object to. This was a serious scientific argument conducted through the literature, for Curry to suddenly bring up an email sent by Hegerl which was released without proper authority and try to use it against her makes it look like she’s more interested in winning cheap applause from her audience at CE than conducting a serious argument.

  114. Tom Fuller Says:

    As usual, you have a point, Andrew. I gotta think on this.

  115. sharper00 Says:

    As I mentioned on Curry’s post I don’t even see how the email is related to the argument. Sure the email is about models and tuning but I don’t see how it supports Curry and Webster at all.

  116. MikeN Says:

    Dhogaza, part of the difference in analysis is that I do not assume Gavin is telling the truth about the details. I leave open the possibility that the CRU emails contain passwords that gave access to RC.

  117. dhogaza Says:


    Dhogaza, part of the difference in analysis is that I do not assume Gavin is telling the truth about the details.

    Thanks for the entertainment. It’s obvious now that if the facts don’t support you, you just make an excuse to bend reality to your beliefs.

    That pretty much sums up the denialist position to everything …

  118. Steven Sullivan Says:

    Fuller, November 21 2011, on the thread that spawned this one:

    “Nobody cares how the emails got into the public sphere. Nobody.”


  119. Doug Cotton Says:

    Tom Curtis

    I have continued the arguments on WUWT where you have been addressed and might do well to take the opportunity to reply to my strong criticism of your comments thereon.

    Doug Cotton

  120. Doug Cotton Says:

    January 29, 2012 at 16:48

    “Specifically, the theory of CAGW is not supported by any of the climate data and none of the predictions of IPCC since their first report in 1991 have been supported by measured data. The scare is merely a computer modeled theory that has been flawed from the beginning, and in spite of its failure to predict, many of the climate scientists cling to it. They applauded the correlation of surface temperatures with CO2 content from 1960 to 1998 as proof, but fail to admit that the planet has cooled after 1998 in spite of the CO2 content increasing.

    “The failure of the IPCC machine is especially evident in the use of “models” to justify claims, so it might be worthwhile to just look at modeling and science.

    “Modeling is more correctly a branch of Engineering and there are some basic rules that have been flouted by CAGW _ CO2 modelers.

    “Firstly there has to be a problem analysis which identifies relevant factors and the physical, chemical and thermodynamic behaviors of those factors within the system.

    “Any claim that this has been done in the CO2 warming problem is PREPOSTEROUS.

    “There are perhaps a thousand PhD topics there waiting to be taken up by researchers.

    “We could start with work on understanding heat transfer between the main interfaces; eg Core to surface / surface to ocean depths/ ocean depths to ocean surface / ocean surface to atmosphere and so on, not having yet reached the depth of space at just slightly above absolute zero.”

  121. Bart Says:


    Thanks for taking this to the open thread.

    A quick reaction:

    - There is no “theory of CAGW”.

    - You’re providing a perfect example of how (not) to falsify AGW. Via a similar line of reasoning, you could falsify the theory of gravity.

    - Models are an integral part of any science.

  122. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Mr. Cotton,

    At the weblog I recently started, I have made as strong a case as I can that energy consumption on this planet will grow faster than expected, reaching 1,000 quads around 2030, 2000 quads around 2050 and 3000 quads around 2075. As things stand now, over half of that energy is expected to be produced from burning coal or liquid fuels.

    The world used 3,730 quads between 1990 and 2000, a period of time when temperatures rose rapidly. We will be using an amount approaching that total every year during the lifetimes of your children.

    What I have written above alarms me.

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