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Climategate - emails were deleted

Steve M is reporting some fascinating new information about a US Department of Commerce investigation into Climategate. As part of this inquiry they have interviewed Eugene Wahl about the notorious "delete all emails" message sent by Jones to Mann, in which Mann was asked to pass the request on to Wahl.

According to the report, Wahl has confirmed his belief that he did delete his AR4 email correspondence in accordance with Mann's request.

Full story here.

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Reader Comments (35)

It appears that the Penn State Inquiry only asked Mann to produce his emails related to AR4. They never asked Mann to produce the email he sent to Wahl in response to Jones' email asking Mann to contact Wahl to delete the AR4 emails.

Feb 24, 2011 at 8:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

He can he confirm "his belief" that he deleted the emails. Either he did delete them or he didn't. It is not a question of belief. It is a question of fact. These guys can never be straight.

Feb 24, 2011 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterFred Bloggs

I'm pretty certain that Wahl and Mann both can wriggle out of this, no probs.

For example: Wahl was moving to another work place (NOAA) - so of course he would remove e-mails prior to moving.
Followed by a look of innocence, emphasised by a slow movement up-and-down of eye-lids ...

So, yet again: nothing to see here, move along ...

Feb 24, 2011 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Phillip, the secret of any public inquiry is not knowing the right answers; it's knowing the right questions!
There is an art in such phraseology that convinces me that somewhere deep in Sir Humphrey's desk there is a handbook devoted exclusively to that one subject!
Revealing its existence carries the ultimate penalty -- blacklisting from future government Inquiries and no chance of getting your knighthood.

Feb 24, 2011 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

O/T: WWF, Greenpeace, "cut and paste Louise"?

Guardian: Churnalism or news? How PRs have taken over the media

Not convinced it will get journalists living up to the name and adding value, but might be interesting to try a few articles...

You know straight away when you see "A new study by..."

Feb 24, 2011 at 9:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

If you know the answer then you can ask the right questions.

That seems to be the basis of all these pseudo-inquiries.

The order went out from Jones to delete evidence of wrong doing and everyone acted accordingly, including those who were empowered to investigate it.

Feb 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Given that to date the full range of e-mails files at the bottom of the CRU ‘leaks’ is still not investigated ,despite this being a requirement of one of the reviews, it is hardly a surprise to find that there more dirt out there. In addition, remember Mann’s old work place is fighting very hard not release his e-mails from there too.

How known’s what a good investigation of the ‘Teams’ e-mails would turn up , but should one ever happen its odds on its would not be good news for them.

Feb 24, 2011 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR


"It is not a question of belief"

It's the other sense of 'belief', as in "I believe I'll have a another beer".. :-)

Feb 24, 2011 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"In addition, remember Mann’s old work place is fighting very hard not release his e-mails from there too."
Feb 24, 2011 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

I get a little bemused by this! When Ken' Cuccinelli started down this road some of the sceptical guys over at WUWT said it was not the right thing to do. I never saw one say why but obviously they had their reasons.

Immediately I start to think.."What have they got to hide!" I can live with sniping about other scientists. Its human nature and we have all "dissed" someone at some point. What the hell is it they are hiding! If nothing is there.....what the heck! Read a load of boring emails bitching about fellow scientists, who cares....Its the data and how its been handled we are interested in!

Feb 24, 2011 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Carbon plan a betrayal:

Please help me understand. Most people in the world already know global warming is a scam but governments continue to push carbon trading. What's really going on? Why are governments so eager for carbon trading? It can't just be about money. Is this more about control on a global scale, by a small group of self-appointed "saviors"? So they can reset the world economy or something?

Feb 24, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for that Jiminy, life for some jounalists is going to get more interesting. I passed your link to EU Referendum as there has been a fair amount of comment on environmental churnalism there.

Feb 24, 2011 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterEddy


"a slow movement up-and-down of eye-lids"

I thought it was only girls that did that... :-)

Feb 24, 2011 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Anonymous - Global warming is not a scam, it is a fact. It has been happening, on and off, ever since the last Ice Age. It's only in the past century that anyone noticed global warming and panicked. Climate change - warming and cooling - has been a natural phenomenon for billions of years. At this point in geologic time, the global temperature is actually below the historic average. There is no reason to think global warming will stop, or should stop, or that we can prevent it by buying Prius's and CFL lightbulbs.

The scam is anthropogenic global warming (AGW), an unproven theory based on incomplete, flawed and mysteriously 'adjusted' data, and computer models that have a proven history of failed predictions. Unquestioning belief in AGW pseudo-science leads the public to support carbon trading, which will generate immense profits for carbon exchange investors like Goldman-Sachs. AGW belief also generates billions of public dollars for biased climate "research," and the creation of huge national and global bureaucracies.

AGW believers like to proclaim that skeptics 'deny global warming,' but most climate skeptics accept global warming as a fact. What we question is the role of anthropogenic CO2 in global warming, which is still only dimly understood.

Feb 24, 2011 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

@ Anonymous

Governments like carbon trading because it is a huge tax disguised as a price increase on goods and services. It is collected and levied not by direct expropriation (which would annoy you and might cause you to vote differently), but by goods and services suppliers.

The model for this approach of is the hatred a lot of people feel towards oil companies because of the price of petrol. At £1.35 a gallon, the price of the actual petrol is £0.52. The other £0.83 is tax, but lots of people are dim enough to blame the oil companies for the price of fuel, assuming the entire £1.35 goes into their pocket.

So governments sell licences to emit CO2 to companies, who have to buy them. Say you make 1,000 widgets a year, and in doing, you emit 100 more tonnes of CO2 than you're allowed. This means you have to buy an indulgence from the government, in the form of an emissions allowance, one per tonne you emitted. A one-tonne CO2 indulgence costs about £12, so you spend £1,200 on carbon indulgences and increase the price of your widgets by £1.20 each to pay for them.

The customer simply sees a price increase, not a tax, and the government sees a load of money which it literally gets to print for doing nothing. It provides no new service, it reduces no other tax with the proceeds, it doesn't even fund ways of helping you avoid the tax by emitting less. It just collects the cash, p1sses it against the wall and lets Widgets'R'Us take the blame for the rising price of widgets.

Just like VAT, which works the same way, it will facilitate a fair bit of sneaky price-hiking. Also, if ever it were to be abolished, the price of stuff won't fall because you're prepared to pay an extra £1.20 for widget. So even when it's abolished you'll still pay it, it's just that the seller will trouser it.

But hey, we have to save the planet, right? So cough up and don't be selfish.

Feb 24, 2011 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Anonymous - it's really a tax on oxygen.

Feb 24, 2011 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

"Global warming is not a scam, it is a fact."

Jack Maloney,

I have to disagree with you here. The popular use of the phrase Global Warming implies that smart people KNOW the whole globe (global) is warming right now. They don't know. They claim to believe.

It's a disinformational phrase.


Feb 24, 2011 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Bad Andrew - Global warming is a fact. Anthropogenic Global Warming is a theory. What you call "The popular use of the phrase Global Warming" is a demonstration of ignorance by people who don't know the difference between the two.

As long as people, politicians and the media can be suckered into conflating the two terms, AGW believers will be able to pass off a flawed theory as a proven fact.

Feb 24, 2011 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

"Global warming is a fact."

Jack Maloney,

This is just an assertion. Global Warming is a political slogan, nothing more.


Feb 24, 2011 at 6:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Jack Maloney; Bad Andrew

Actually, I think AGW is properly classified as an hypothesis, although I suspect Gavin Schmidt would differ sharply on this point and demand that it be upgraded to a theory.

'Global warming' is an observation, and so a fact (unless you believe that the entire picture of GATA over the last 150 years is entirely faked and worthless. Including the satellite data from 1979 onwards).

Feb 24, 2011 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Please read the PSU investigation/inquiry language very carefully.

They don't go into any detail, and the rhetorical trick they use to elide over this fact is very naked.

The first step is assume the stupidity of the reader. 'An impression has been created by Jones that Mann deleted some emails. Deleting emails is obviously a bad thing, dear reader. So did the eminent Dr Mann do this very 'bad thing'?

The real question, of course is: It is not per se, that deleting emails is bad. Which specific email was deleted, why was it deleted? These things are more important, to the case at hand. To even ask these kinds of questions, you should *know* what the heck is going on.

The second step is obfuscation: 'We are led to believe, dear reader, that these supposedly deleted emails 'relate to AR4'. If Mann deleted emails, he wouldn't have any such emails in his possesion, would he? Shall we check?'

The final step - a low-down play with words, the dirtiest trick. It takes place in two steps. Firstly, note the wording of the initial 'set-up':

On January 15, 2010, and on behalf of the inquiry committee, Dr. Foley conveyed via email an additional request of Dr. Mann, who was asked to produce all emails related to the fourth IPCC report (“AR4”), the same emails that Dr. Phil Jones had suggested that he delete.

Dr Phil Jones did *not* ask Mann 'all emails related to the AR4'. He specifically asked Mann to delete emails 'sent by Kieth Briffa, relating to AR4'. If the committee sought proof in a transparent manner (as they pretend), Foley's question would have been specific.

Then the second step, the assessment. This is the mindboggling part.

Dr. Mann has stated that he did not delete emails in response to Dr. Jones’ request. Further, Dr. Mann produced upon request a full archive of his emails in and around the time of the preparation of AR4. The archive contained e-mails related to AR4.

What is a 'full' archive? An archive containing ten emails will be 'full' with those ten emails. So will an archive containing twenty emails. How would you tell one from the other? The inference we are to draw, is that, Mann's 'archives' were 'full' because he hadn't deleted any emails. And because he hadn't deleted any emails, he did not delete emails from Keith Briffa - about which the inquiry never asked, to begin with.

Feb 24, 2011 at 6:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub


Properly nailed.

But this is an inquiry. You seem to expect precise framing of questions and a rigorous pursuit of the truth.

Get a grip.

Feb 24, 2011 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


'Global warming' is an observation, and so a fact (unless you believe that the entire picture of GATA over the last 150 years is entirely faked and worthless. Including the satellite data from 1979 onwards).

Given that the "satellite data" has been in the hands of James Hansen of the NASA, actually, yes, I do believe that the entire picture could have been faked and is probably worthless. Unless the original raw data as collected together with reliable calibration data can be recovered, I would scrap it all.

And I also don't believe that plants can do gaseous diffusion of isotopes, any more than enzymes can tell C13 from C12. You might say I am skeptical about all of the "research" done on climate over the last 20 or 30 years.

Feb 24, 2011 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra


Let us in on the secret, where are you getting petrol at £1.35 a gallon?

Feb 24, 2011 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Tolson

"'Global warming' is an observation"


I beg to differ. When you say observation, I take it you mean any person can observe it. This not true. Your 'observation' requires you to take for granted the reports of others. Global Warming is not an observation, by definition.


Feb 24, 2011 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

Don Pablo; Bad Andrew

So Roy Spencer is in on the scam too? Wow.

Feb 24, 2011 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"So Roy Spencer is in on the scam too? Wow."


Now you are putting words in our mouths. All I did was take issue with your use of the word 'observation'. Didn't say anything about Roy Spencer.


Feb 24, 2011 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

I am now, officially, High Priest of a new religion: that of the worship of Justice4Rinka.

1) For providing the most coherent, complete and concise account of why governments love AGW. It should be re-printed in letters THOUSANDS of feet high across the globe (warmed or not). It should became the mantra of us all.

2) For reminding us all of the tragic fate of Rinka (last mourned by the mighty Dog Lover, Auberon Waugh).

Feb 24, 2011 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Creator

I'll be the Temple Minion of the J4R shrine.

Feb 24, 2011 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub


Best to check the job description before applying.

It could be worse than we thought.

Feb 24, 2011 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


"So Roy Spencer is in on the scam too? Wow."


Now you are putting words in our mouths. All I did was take issue with your use of the word 'observation'. Didn't say anything about Roy Spencer.


Me too. Where do I say the words "Roy" and "Spencer"? Now, perhaps I did make an allusion to your post normal scientific sweetheart "PaulB" but that is only because he is clearly a scientific ignoramus.

Feb 24, 2011 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Thanks chaps.

I initially called myself Justice4Rinka so I could troll LibDem websites, but I kept getting banned so I gave it up. I thought it was a bit more subtle than calling myself "Norman Scott's Pillow" or whatever.

Sadly I know of nowhere you can petrol for £1.35 a gallon. Using a Tardis, you could get it for that price around 1983. Otherwise it's £1.35/litre maybe.

In fact the widget example is not quite right. The price of a widget will rise by £1.44, not £1.20, because of course there is 20% VAT on widgets.

Even if the whole thing is withdrawn, the price will not fall because the punters will have shown their willingness to pay an extra £1.44 for a widget. Asbestos is a good model here. The stuff is mostly not dangerous, but it's still banned in the wake of hysteria in the 1970s.

Feb 25, 2011 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

What is global warming?
It is what happens when you are 'insufficiently educated' to realize that you have been 'psychologically manipulated'.

Who is a sceptic?
One is 'insufficiently educated' to even be 'psychologically manipulated'

Derived from Jo Abbess.

Feb 25, 2011 at 5:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

With all respect, this doesn't seem to be about money. There seems to be a deeper agenda here... like someone is trying to create a global central authority under the guise of a falsified environmental issue? Why would they want to do this?Why would govts be willing to destroy their own economies to push through this scam? Despite climategate and the debunked hockey stick pseudoscience, govts and their paid scientific lackeys keep forcing this crap on the masses (e.g. EPA), even when the avarage Joe and Jill on the street clearly suspect this is a scam--hence the US midterm elections swing and Kevin Rudd losing his job.

What is so scary and important that a false issue has to be cooked up to push the world towards a global central authority?

Feb 25, 2011 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

"Why would they want to do this?"


I think the gambit is the polarization of believers vs. non. that would result in a confrontation that would break down the current power structure so it can be replaced.

Power and the desire for, corrupts.


Feb 25, 2011 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

"And I also don't believe that plants can do gaseous diffusion of isotopes, any more than enzymes can tell C13 from C12. You might say I am skeptical about all of the "research" done on climate over the last 20 or 30 years.
Feb 24, 2011 at 7:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra"

You might try looking at the isotope page on wiki. C13 and C12 have appreciably different masses and this affects the way the electron bonds behave.

Feb 25, 2011 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterEddy

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