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« Cicerone on Climategate | Main | Crushing of dissent »

Weekly Standard on CG2

GWPF reproduces an excellent summary of Climategate 2.0 by the Weekly Standard.

If Climategate II does poor box office, it won’t be because the various internal reviews exonerated the CRU from the narrow allegations of fraud in Climategate I, but because the whole show has become a crashing bore. The latest U.N. climate summit that opened last week in Durban, South Africa, is struggling to keep the diplomatic circus on life support. Yet there is one more tantalizing detail that has been largely overlooked in the commentary so far. According to “FOIA,” the online name of the hacker/leaker behind the release of these emails, there are another 220,000 emails still out there, blocked by a heavily encrypted password that “FOIA” vaguely threatens or promises to release at some future date. Stay tuned for -Climategate III.

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Reader Comments (42)

PhIl Jones admits to Olive Heffernan of Nature at being unhelpful to Steve McIntyre over requests for data but warns her not say anything about it.


On 09/08/2009, ??? <???> wrote:
> > > Olive,
> > > I did send some of the data to a person working
> > > with Peter Webster at Georgia Tech. The email wasn't to
> > > PW, but he was in the CC list. I don't know how
> > > McIntyre found out, but I thought this was a personal
> > > email. This was one of the first times I'd sent
> > > some data to a fellow scientist who wasn't at the
> > > Hadley Centre. As I said I have taken pity on African
> > > and Asian PhD students who wanted some temperature and precipitation
> > > data for their country. The email has only gotten me grief,
> > > so this is another reason for being much less helpful to
> > > people emailing CRU.
This goes against my nature, but
> > > I've been driven to it. You'd better not say this, otherwise
> > > McIntyre will request the emails where to prove I've been
> > > unhelpful!

The resultant Nature article by Olive Heffernan

"Climate data spat intensifies - Growing demands for access to information swamp scientist." - Olive Heffernan

Quote from article;

Jones says he can't fulfil the requests because of confidentiality agreements signed in the 1990s with some nations, including Spain, Germany, Bahrain and Norway, that restrict the data to academic use. In some cases, says Jones, the agreements were made verbally, and in others the written records were mislaid during a move.

Nature are now implicated in the row over access to climate data, they knew in Aug 2009 that Jones was deliberately obstructing FOIA requests for data

Dec 3, 2011 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Free the 220,000!

Dec 3, 2011 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

I can't imagine for a moment that FOIA reviewed the existing 5,000 emails to 'cherry pick' their content therefore if the remaining 220,000 are of an equal spread of lies, obfuscation and deliberate evasion then we could be in for an exciting time!

Dec 3, 2011 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

In what alternate universe does Phil Jones operate?

"I did send some of the data......" "..but I thought it was a personal e-mail."
Again the team makes up their own definitions. How do you construe sending data you were paid by the university to compile to be personal correspondence?

And apparently you need to be "pitiful" to be a deserving recipient of data.

Dec 3, 2011 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Daddis

Dave G - an amended version of a post I made at TAV

The people who released the emails are conflicted. They clearly have a strong desire to release content that identifies dubious behaviour but almost certainly do not have the resources to process over 220,000 emails which would take one or two people many years. They have demonstrated that they wish to read content prior to release and redact information they dont think should be released. However if they retain information on their harddrive in unencrypted form to continue searching then if the authorities should visit they would risk them finding incriminating evidence.

There is evidence from the UEA enquiry that the people who released the information had access to 7.95 GB of emails from at least three researchers which represents a lot more than 220.000 emails and there is now a hint from the CG2 release that they also got emails from at least one furtther researcher. We dont know if the 220.000 is a subset of what they actually took or represents all they could manage to take at the time. My speculation is the 2 limited releases so far represent the limit of what they have been able to process.

I would also speculate that the encrypted 220,000 will contain a lower ratio of interesting to non relevant content because they have already indicated they have been doing searches to find emails of interest. However even if the ratio is lower it doesnt mean there will not be a considerable amount of interesting content.and that the quantity of interesting content will swamp that released so far.

Dec 3, 2011 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterclivere

Don't these climate expert [cru and group] understand that when clmiategate 3 come out they are TOST!!" {or should be!}

Dec 3, 2011 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan Summerell

The Stephen Hayward article is excellent, and it contains very valuable free advice to consensus-activists.

Dec 3, 2011 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

7.95 GB of emails from at least three researchers which represents a lot more than 220.000 emails

Who says it is e-mails?

Some may well even be data, for all we know.

Dec 3, 2011 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

Mooloo - see 6 and 7

Dec 4, 2011 at 12:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterclivere

The great Phil Jones has a manuscript rejected by Glen McGregor:

Dear Prof. Jones
Manuscript # JOC-08-0245 entitled "Perturbing a Weather Generator using factors
developed from Regional Climate Model simulations" which you submitted to the
International Journal of Climatology, has been reviewed.
In view of the comments of the referee(s) your manuscript has been denied publication in
the International Journal of Climatology.
I have taken the above decision as there appears to be a number of problems with the
paper including a deficient review of the literature, few innovative aspects and a lack
of analysis rigour. Sorry I could not be more positive.

Referee 1 wrote: I recommend to reject this manuscript, it is well below the standard acceptable in IJC
or any other refereed journals. The manuscript did not contribute to the area of
research, and the methodology used for comparison is naiveEand unaccepted in scientific

Phil Jones requested a third review and wrote: Can I make one suggestion? Good if the reviewer were
a Brit - then they's know something about the context. Possibilities would be Rob Wilby and Nigel Arnell.
Rob is now at Loughboro (has left the EA - back to academia).
Nigel is now at Reading.

The 3rd reviewer concluded: I think both of these reviews are very reasonable and not overly harsh, especially the lengthy and measured remarks from Reviewer 2.
My major criticisms have all been noted by one or both of the reviewers...

Therefore Glenn Mcgregor decided that he would, "rescind the decision of "reject" and change it to major revisions."

Finally in 5280: "I think this is important - there is some cynicism out there about what this
£40million can really achieve above and beyond all the other climate change initiatives
ongoing. I think DfID will enjoy some clear vision on this matter. What will all this
research and disemmination achieve?"

What indeed...

Dec 4, 2011 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterjd

There is somebody called Ilkka making repeated comments over at WUWT that she or he has cracked the encription on the other 200,000 emails. I can't really understand what she is saying, but there is someone else called BILL, who claims that he can understand and has posted two emails that he claims to have decripted unsing Ilkka's method, whatevere that is.

Sometime Ilkka's English is very central European and impossible to follow.
Other times it is very clear.

Nobody at WUWT seems to be taking any notice, which is very strange.
These comments were attached to threads dated about 2nd December or there abouts.
I have made several appeals to Charles the moderator to have a look and to either feature these cliams in a separate post, if they look to be valid, or to handle Ilkka and Bill as trolls or nucience makers if that's all they are.

Very puzzling!

Dec 4, 2011 at 2:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

@Mac "Nature are now implicated in the row over access to climate data, they knew in Aug 2009 that Jones was deliberately obstructing FOIA requests for data"

What is this peculiar "Nature" publication? [sarcasm intended] It must be some 4th rate tabloid science rag?? Because surely a respectable journal would not be any part of this.... and a respectable journal would have withdrawn the 1998 Mann article long before now??

Dec 4, 2011 at 2:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

As one who has suffered from the "born to rule" syndrome since birth and has had to learn to come to grips with the affliction, I can just about guarantee that those who NEED to learn from the Climategate emails are UNLIKELY to read them. This includes people such as Editors of "superior" journals who might not want to be aware of the releases; and people in high University positions heading off for a sherry before dinner in front of the log fire; and $$$ magnates who don't care a stuff where the money comes from, so long as it flows towards them.

There are quite a few emails of my own that have yet to come through the selection process. I've posted a few over the last 5 years, but the really lascivious ones ... well, you'll have to wait for the next Climategate release or the one after. It is quite evident that two major topics have been selected against, though not 100% completely. These are religion and pornography. It's not real life to have X,000 emails released without encountering at least some porn. Sex porn, I mean.

Dec 4, 2011 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

I came across this. It appears that Crispin Tickell has a habit of keeping uncomfortable truths secret.

Dec 4, 2011 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Bloggsworth

@Shub Dec 3, 2011 at 11:34 PM

The Stephen Hayward article is excellent, and it contains very valuable free advice to consensus-activists.

I agree. Certainly from all the threads I've read, Hayward's inferences and conclusions are right on the mark.


The new batch of emails, over 5,300 in all (compared with about 1,000 in the 2009 release), contains a number of fresh embarrassments and huge red flags for the same lovable bunch of insider scientists. It stars the same cast, starting with the Godfather of the CRU, Phil “hide the decline” Jones, and featuring Michael “hockey stick” Mann once again in his supporting role as the Fredo of climate science, blustering along despite the misgivings and doubts of many of his peers. Beyond the purely human element, the new cache offers ample confirmation of the rank politicization of climate science and rampant cronyism that ought to trouble even firm believers in catastrophic climate change.[emphasis added -hro]

But the big question is: how long will it take before the MSM "science" mavens begin to look at these "huge red flags" - with some degree of (pre-post-modernist) journalistic objectivity and intellectual honesty.

All we seem to have at the moment, in the MSM, are those who could best be described as the Albert Speers of "climatology".

Dec 4, 2011 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

Stay tuned for -Climategate III.

I see that a few people have suggested that the encrypted zip is a "Deadman's Handle" to protect FOIA. I don't know, but they must have been released now to ensure that the emails etc. are out there if he/she gets nabbed.

But 220,000 is a lot of emails to absorb at one go (5K is bad enough) and I guess it is possible to have further encrypted zip files inside this one? You experts will know.

Perhaps there could be Climategate III , IV, V, etc. etc. with the embarrassment racketed up to governments, their departments and its advisers??

Dec 4, 2011 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Re: AusieDan

Ilkka is talking about emails such as 2053.txt. These aren't encrypted emails, they are encoded and there are standard tools for decoding them.

If you have a look here on The Air Vent somebody has decoded all the mime attachments.

Dec 4, 2011 at 9:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

@Dec 4, 2011 at 8:53 AM | Geoff Sherrington
Unless the filtering system is very good and strong one would exppect to see some spam. The person posting the emails has no doubt removed this and not posted any which were found to be on the UEA sever.

Dec 4, 2011 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

One can presume the 5,000 were picked by word search.
There may well be horrors in the rest that don't use FOIA's search terms.
That Academia turns a blind eye to this (pace Jonathon Jones) does them no credit.
The Silence Of The Dons ??

Dec 4, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandy

@ Ian Summerell

Don't these climate expert [cru and group] understand that when clmiategate 3 come out they are TOST!!" {or should be!}

I don't think anybody understands what being "TOST" is. However they might worry about being TOAST.

Dec 4, 2011 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy


Dec 4, 2011 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Richard Verney - Two of the researchers used themed inboxes where they move emails relevent to that theme. Given that the 220,000 are a subset of what was on the backup server I would expect much of this content to be from those inboxes with interesting themes. This would have naturally avoided picking up spam content.

Retired Dave - for me the Deadmans Handle speculation whilst being entertaining is probably far fetched. I see this release as more likely concerned with mitigating risks. They have already taken risks by making 2 releases. By releasing them this way they greatly reduce further risk. We know the content consists of 220,000 messages plus a small readme. There does not appear to be further folders inside the encrypted content. I would speculate their next step for release may be to negotiate with someone who has the resources to process the 220,000 under their specified conditions.

Dec 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterclivere

Assuming that FOIA has worked at the same rate, if 5300 emails took 2 years then 1000 took 4 1/2 months to find, as some of the 1000 were younger than 4 to 5 months at first release then FOIA still had access to the server while he was compiling the 1000, but once they were released he has no longer had access or the Team have swapped to Gmail and the squark box for their macinations.

Dec 4, 2011 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterbreath of fresh air

hro001 wrote:

But the big question is: how long will it take before the MSM "science" mavens begin to look at these "huge red flags" - with some degree of (pre-post-modernist) journalistic objectivity and intellectual honesty.

The problem is that the MSM will always carry the ball for these fraudsters. I say we need to bypass the msm with an innovative web / tv campaign that stresses two key points: 1. current temps are not unusual (no h.stick), 2. via ice cores, and contrary to algore, Co2 has NOT been shown to be a cause (only a result) of temp changes.

Dec 4, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterEric S

You know when you look at alexa stats for that the movement is dying. Just compare them to watts up. The Bish gets a lot more traffic than Gavin and the Team these days.

Dec 4, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRog Tallbloke

I really look forward to Sir Paul Nurse doing another Horizon programme on the importance of consensus in climate ‘science’. Maybe he won’t, "because the whole show has become a crashing bore", as the Weekly Standard astutely observes. When one of my German friends commented last year that The Environment was a real turn-off, and another in Austria suspected global warming was a fiction, I wondered whether the public might be tiring of the alarmist circus.

Dec 4, 2011 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterFZM

Dec 3, 2011 at 9:42 PM | Jimmy Haigh:

"Free the 220,000!"

Quite right, Jimmy! We want more of the Foia Grass!! What a wonderful Christmas present that would be.

Dec 4, 2011 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

FZM at 12:43:-- I'd been thinking about the Royal Society earlier today. The bigger point (my opinion only) is not that the MSM haven't picked up Climategate 2, boring or not, but that the Royal Society, a body of the greatest significance and utmost rigour, so casually and amiably - one might almost say, lazily - slipped into warmist support mode. How on earth are they going to get out of that? By imperceptible (they hope) turns?

Dec 4, 2011 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Spilligan

Mike Spilligan

It's my opinion that the Royal Society have been in considerably more than warmist support mode. I think they wave the baton that conducts the orchestra, by means of influential FRS's representation on the primary UK research Earth Science/Environmental funding councils- NERC and DEFRA- channelling funding for the CAGW agenda.

Dec 4, 2011 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos


"nucience makers"

Or possibly 'nuscience', i.e. the post-normal sort beloved of climatology...

I may use that!

Dec 4, 2011 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"..slipped into warmist support mode"

I think it happened because, contrary to their own advice to everyone else (nullius in verbia), they accepted the then consensus, and have been stuck with it ever since. The higher your profile, the harder it is to accept that you might got something wrong...

Dec 4, 2011 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Mike Spilligan, James P and Pharos: yes, the Royal Society finds itself in a bit of a pickle. It has certainly been intellectually lazy and it has used its position to influence policy. It’s unlikely that there will be a public recantation, but there may be imperceptible turns (as Mike Spilligan puts it). Removing egg from face without anyone noticing is going to be hard, though.

Short term, the RS may learn some lessons, but human nature being what it is, learned societies will be hijacked by special interest groups for as long as there are humans on earth.

Dec 4, 2011 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterFZM

The RS relies on Government funding for about 2/3 of its income. It isn't going to rock HMS Great Britain any time soon.

Dec 4, 2011 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

When I say Government funding, I mean taxpayer funding. The Government doesn't have any money, just huge debts and huge borrowings. The Government can't afford to spend money it doesn't have supporting useless things (ho ho).

Dec 4, 2011 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Phillip Bratby

The Government can't afford to spend money it doesn't have supporting useless things (ho ho).

Ah, there is where you are wrong. The Government must keep spending money on "useless things" because they are in fact quite vital to the functioning of the Government, or at least in the eyes of the members of the Government, who are elected and need to stay in office.

In America, it is called Crony Capitalism. This is how it works. Rich and Important people who are in need of income come up with a new scam. Let's call it Carbon Credits. They invent them with the intention of selling them forcefully to others. To do that they need the Government's help. So they collect lots of money to contribute to the election funds of the members of Government and get they re-elected (or elected if the ones in office are not pliable enough). Once in office, the members of Government pays off its election debts to the Rich and Important people buy investing is stupid projects, passing stupid laws and regulations and giving the Rich and Important people a 1000 times pay back on the money they contributed to the election of said government members. So, as you can see, for the Government to stay in office, they need further election contributions from the Rich and Important people and to get them to do that, the Government really must "supporting useless things".

Dec 4, 2011 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Surely the RS is one of the chief forces behind the CAGW scam.

Dec 4, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneMustGo

Perhaps the Royal Society had ambitions in the post normal equivalent of academic governance, cf the EU ambitions for post democratic authoritarian social governance, both courtesy of our strained and tortured pockets.

Dec 4, 2011 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Seeking context and explanation from anyone interested... I'm still very new to these issues and will appreciate any help here....

I think the email linked below is extremely 'interesting' for a 1997 snapshot with what it says about the state of Wigley and 'the science' just before Kyoto and before MBH98.

i.e., Wigley, at least, is still able to distinguish sharply between the scientific work and the "policy" pronouncements. In terms of the development of these issues, has anyone looked at the motivation and impact for MBH98 with respect to scientists rather than the public? To what extent did MBH98 serve to create and enforce a new "consensus" among scientists that was implausible even a year or two before? It seems to me that in the development of these issues The Team had to corral a 'loose cannon' like Wigley and try to integrate him more tightly so that he would not oppose activists like this.... MBH98 served that kind of role from what I can see so far.

I do realize that Wigley did sneer at "skeptics" at the end of this email, and that he was already in favor of massive govt actions etc. He emphasizes the needs to better understand costs and benefits, competing proposals, etc., and even that theme is toxic to the CAGW activists.

Still, it is interesting to me to see someone central to these controversies able to distinguish clearly (back in 1997 anyway) between the 'science' and one's policy 'opinions' about how to respond. The impact of MBH98 seems to have functioned among scientists as an assault on this kind of distinction between doing the science and making personal policy pronouncements.

[1997 email]: Tom Wigley blasts 11 climate scientists organizing a pre-Kyoto statement of what he regards as a dubious and "dishonest" linkage of previous IPCC work to a call for "immediate control" of emissions. One can see Wigley responding to what he regards as a politicized and "dishonest" attempt to claim the previous IPCC work had specific policy implications.


From: Tom Wigley <REDACTED>
Subject: Re: ATTENTION. Invitation to influence Kyoto.
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 11:52:09 -0700 (MST)
Reply-to: Tom Wigley <REDACTED>

Dear Eleven,

I was very disturbed by your recent letter, and your attempt to get
others to endorse it. Not only do I disagree with the content of
this letter, but I also believe that you have severely distorted the
IPCC "view" when you say that "the latest IPCC assessment makes a
convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions." In contrast
to the one-sided opinion expressed in your letter, IPCC WGIII SAR and TP3
review the literature and the issues in a balanced way presenting
arguments in support of both "immediate control" and the spectrum of more
cost-effective options. It is not IPCC's role to make "convincing cases"
for any particular policy option; nor does it. However, most IPCC readers
would draw the conclusion that the balance of economic evidence favors the
emissions trajectories given in the WRE paper. This is contrary to your

.... [more at link]

Dec 4, 2011 at 10:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

btw, the two relevant email headers are also 'interesting' since the proposed call for 'immediate control
of all emissions was to be made behalf of 'European Climate Scientists'

"Subject: Re: ATTENTION. Invitation to influence Kyoto."

and on anther email:

"Reference: Statement of European Climate Scientists on Actions to Protect Global Climate"

Dec 4, 2011 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

@Skiphil Dec 4, 2011 at 10:23 PM

This particular E-mail was included in the first batch (in fact, I had written about it - along with the "Invitation" virtual chain-mail - in my very first blogpost almost two years ago!)

One of the things that stood out for me, in this response from Wigley, was that (for whatever reason) he chose not to write/send it until Nov. 25 - by which time the Nov. 19/97 deadline for appending one's name to the list of "supporters" had long past.

It is also worth noting that by the time this "Invitation to influence Kyoto" Statement was circulated (on behalf of Mike Hulme and Joe Alcamo) to the CRU crew, it was (conveniently?!) "too late" to make any changes to the wording.

Dec 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

Thanks Hilary! I've been finding your posts very helpful and I'm glad to see your blog now, too. Quite a coincidence that an email that has made a strong impression on me this weekend in my unsystematic browsing was the one you chose to discuss two years ago in your very first blog post!

One of kind of intellectual-science-policy nexus that fascinates me is trying to see how people's beliefs and actions develop over time, and knowing something of the dramatic impacts of MBH98 made me want to understand better the state of thought and belief among the leading players just before that came out.

So far it strikes me that Mann et al were determined to have such a dramatic result that it would silence doubts even among close colleagues. The slovenly process of the "hockey stick" requires a psychological explanation, I think, because in some basic ways these guys "knew better" and plunged onward anyway. I don't know how much was conscious v unconscious, but in trying to understand such 'pathological' science I am trying to see why Mann and co. would put themselves so far out on an extremely shaky limb.

Dec 4, 2011 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

jd - Had to chuckle at your posting revealing that Phil Jones (he of the oh-so-sniffy opinion about anyone who disagrees with him) had a paper rejected for publication - because he clearly HADN'T DONE HIS HOMEWORK PROPERLY....
Then has the temerity to request a Brit to review his work - presumably because he could more easily send the reviewer a nice e-mail suggesting that it might be in his/her interests to support his paper, or else...

Dec 5, 2011 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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