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« Hulme on Climategate anniversary | Main | Submission to the BBC science review »

It's Google's fault

Phil Jones also appears in the Telegraph today, where he seems to blame Google for the lack of progress in persuading people of imminent catastrophe:

Prof Jones, 58, blamed the way that research papers are posted on Google for providing people with easy access to long lists of dismissive blog postings by sceptics, while making it difficult to source original research papers that support climate change.

He said: "It’s way down there because of the way Google works. People will potentially get the misinformation first."

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Reader Comments (36)

Yes the easy availability of information must be a serious problem when you want to control the discussion.

Nov 16, 2010 at 9:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterEdBhoy

Notice no journalist has the balls to put their name to the article?

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

[snip - venting]

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterjoe p

I'm with joe p. Phil seems to be timidly/ineffectually trying to resurrect his reputation. Mann is much more bellicose in this area, but with [snip] effect so far. Interesting, I think, that none of the other players seem to want to be too close to Mann these days.
They spot a Dead Mann Walking?

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterLevelGaze

Ahhhh... the great unwashed...

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Well well well - Google's fault, is it? And, of course, the fault of all those peasants who google and find all sorts of things which Jones et al would rather had not seen the light of day.
Yeah - lets all go back to the good old times when nobody would have dared to even think about looking at the emperors' new clothes ...

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Please can commenters moderate their language and refrain from venting.

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:42 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

lol Google should sue jones for slander.

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered Commenterphonyjones

"Climategate scientist insists sceptics will accept global warming when Arctic ice melts..." says the Telegraph headline.

Yup, absolutely true. When it does, we will.

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Simon Lewis explaining why he went to the media with his Amazongate complaint (in this thread):

I made my complaint the story simply becasue I have little faith in the Press Complaints Commission, and wanted to get the correct science to be at the top of google searches.

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Something new added into our cultural lexicon:

Phil Jones = Global Laughing Stock

"Dude, you messed up man, You're gonna be a total Phil Jones tomorrow!"

Nov 16, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterphonyjones

I think he would have a point if he were bemoaning the general lack of accurate reporting of report findings, but he doesn't seem so concerned about the 'spin' put on papers by both the scientists who 'publish by press release' and by the media who 'sex up' the resulting stories. Both those mechanisms (on many subjects, not just climate) distort, influence and manipulate public perception. I think he's on very very shaky ground in selectively targeting Google. Most restrictions on access to original papers come from the learned societies and publishers, not from search engines.

Hoorah for t'internet says I.

Nov 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Notice no journalist has the balls to put their name to the article?

The decision as to whether a given story does or does not carry a by-line is typically taken by editorial staff, not by the journalist who wrote the piece. Many stories do not carry them and I'm sure that the omission of one in this case has little or no significance.

What is interesting is that Jones's lengthy rehabilitation is being covered anew in a range of media outlets. It seems someone decided that the time is ripe (Cancun, anyone?), got him to change his underwear and sent him out to knock on doors.

With, it seems, some success.

Nov 16, 2010 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

Charlie says:

"(Climategate scientist insists sceptics will accept global warming when Arctic ice melts..." says the Telegraph headline.

Yup, absolutely true. When it does, we will.)

I agree with this and would juat add...and when it stays melted!

Nov 16, 2010 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

Dave B

I suspect the occaision is less likely to be Cancun, than the anniversary of Climategate.

Nov 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

@ Cumbrian Lad

Let's not forget this gem from the WWF to Mick Hulme

in which environmental activists claimed that an imminent paper

"may present a slightly more conservative approach to the risks than they are hearing from CSIRO. In particular, they would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible...I guess the bottom line is that if they are going to go with a big public splash on this they need something that will get good support from CSIRO scientists (who will certainly be asked to comment by the press)."

So the media manipulation not leading the "science" at all, then.

Nov 16, 2010 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

If only there were some warmist blogs to balance it all up. Like on the BBC, for instance...

Nov 16, 2010 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

So the Hockey Team having redfined the peer review process, now want editorial control over Google.

Meglamania or desparation?

Nov 16, 2010 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

So those smartypants sciencyheads haven't worked out how to manipulate search engine listings yet? I thought they knew everything.

Oh well, I'm not telling them

Nov 16, 2010 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterEd Butt

I believe global warming is happening even before the ice caps melt, it's just that it has nothing to do with me and I can't do anything about it anyway and as I have just gone and dipped my heating oil tank, bring it on!
It's good to see that the windmills are making a major contribution to the countries energy needs this last couple frosty of days! (At least they are not mangling wildlfe)

Nov 16, 2010 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

'or even wildlife'

Nov 16, 2010 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

I suspect the occasion is less likely to be Cancun, than the anniversary of Climategate.

You could well be right. But does that not raise the question of who reminded the hacks of the anniversary? What with financial crises, LibCon fire sales, the Ashes and the rest, who would ever have suggested to an editorial board meeting that such an arcane issue was newsworthy? It isn't.

A good PR wallah OTOH would try to ensure that Climategate is stale news by the time the hacks are heading home after the Cancun flop.

"Someone get that Jones fellow from the University of Easy Angling or whatever it's called to phone me . . . Now. Thank you, Miranda. Good Girl."

Nov 16, 2010 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveB

I find the irony of Phil's comment is that he has it exactly backwards. It was the blogs that corrected the lies of those pushing an agenda which he was clearly a part of.

It appears that they see everything in reverse, for some reason and claim those opposing them were doing what they themselves were actually doing.

I am waiting to see what happens at Cancun, and who shows up.

Nov 16, 2010 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

The high priest wrings his hands and ululates dismay at the uninitiated being given access to heretical dogma. Reminds me of this:

Nov 16, 2010 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Phil Jones obviously hasn't spent his time in the wilderness thinking very hard about how he got into this situation. His complaints about the openness of Google and the 'poor' information (I paraphrase) that it provides contrast so well wiith the 'good' information that he and his fellow academics have that they are so proud of that they'd rather the great unwashed didn't see it. He always had a rather unworldly look (somewhat vitiated by the venality of some of his emails), and this suggests that his time as a functioning academic is drawing to a close.

Nov 16, 2010 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterjpkatlarge

"People will potentially get the misinformation first"

I am only aware of one (alleged) source of misinformation; William Connolley. Google "global warming" and the first hit is wikipedia so I find that I agree with Phil Jones on that one.

Nov 16, 2010 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

"I am only aware of one (alleged) source of misinformation; William Connolley."
Nov 16, 2010 at 5:33 PM | simpleseekeraftertruth

Crikey - you've not heard of Lord Monckton then?

Nov 16, 2010 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

"I am only aware of one (alleged) source of misinformation; William Connolley."
Nov 16, 2010 at 5:33 PM | simpleseekeraftertruth

Crikey - you've not heard of Lord Monckton then?
Nov 16, 2010 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Don`t you mean All Gore with his CO2 drives temperature and his million degrees for the earths core.

Nov 16, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob

Since Jones and the team are the major purveyors of climate misinformation, I would say that he has inadvertently hit nail on head.

Nov 16, 2010 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I understood Monckton was sceptical and said so whereas Connolley was not and did not. However, Google proves Jones' ascertation correct by simple inspection but disproves his implied complaint. I could of course be out of date: Wikipedia may now be an unbiased source on all things climate.

Nov 16, 2010 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

In this interview it becomes clear that either: 1) Jones thinks that there is no one in the public capable of pointing out where he is wrong, or 2) Jones is crazy or stupid. But Jones has plenty of experience to teach him that there are people out here who can correct him. Which leaves 2.

Someone should take that shovel away from him before he really, really hurts himself.

Nov 16, 2010 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

The option is still open for Jones, he can make the "good" information/data public and indexed by google. Strange that he struggle to keep the "good" and "true" information for himself even after FOI requests...

Nov 16, 2010 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred

Do they even know what 'Google' is?

It is an Internet search engine - 'not the answer to everything'.

You don't have to be bothered if your paper does not come up as the first link to a search on "the answer for everything".

Maybe they can take money from their university departments and buy sponsored links at Google - that'll keep their papers and information right at the top.

Nov 16, 2010 at 9:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

The Google sort algorithm, the code that determines the order in which search results appear, is generally "democratic"; there are ways of getting "your" particular item to come up in the first page or so of results, (you can buy this from Google, or pay someone to hack it for you) but otherwise the Google algorithm sorts results by counting the number of times a particular item is opened when it comes up in response to a particular search. That is, the items most often chosen (opened) by users entering a particular query appear in the first couple of pages of results, so if items supporting a skeptical position tend to be more prevalent in the first few pages of results for a particular query it's because most of the users appeared to want these items (at least as measured by the Google sort algorithm).

Nov 16, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJim Berkise

Jones (I hope alone) but likely with people behind/in concert with him, really think they can 'move on'
& and leave each old campsite for others to clean up (SM tm)'.
he/they believe nobody will notice the non science driven agenda!! like nothing has happened!! (wish him good health as a person by the way).

the net/goggle now becomes the evil enemy that is to be controlled,the paywall limited access will be safe for all, but for us (public money/public access)? no way.

can see where this is going.

Nov 17, 2010 at 12:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterdougieh

This guy (Jones) really seems to be quite stupid, and arrogant. He's like the dumb one in the gang who gives the whole game away sending emails to delete FOI requested data.

Nov 17, 2010 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames

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