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« Sheppard on Sheppard | Main | Climate-no-science now with Kaos! - Josh 97 »

An interview with Phil Jones

Harold Ambler, a journalist who has written a forthcoming book about global warming entitled "Don't Sell Your Coat", was lucky enough to get an interview with Phil Jones several months before Climategate and he has published some of the details at his website.

This is definitely a "read the whole thing" article, but to whet your appetite, here is an excerpt that I rather enjoyed:

One other reason Jones offered for refusing to share data appeared bizarre, to say the least:

I will say one more thing. Have you considered this issue from a perspective of a Met Service in Africa or South America. I have been told by people from these Met Services that one of the reasons they restrict access to data is that scientists in Europe and North America use their data to further their own scientific ends. This is a sort of data imperialism. They get nothing back and think of themselves as mere data collectors. They want to improve the lot of their scientists. I am able to help a few of them with grants to come and do MSc and PhD courses here at UEA, but it is only a few.

I take Jones at his word here, but it has been a matter of some surprise that he has not mentioned these issues in dealing with other journalists. More to the point, alluding to the plight of underprivileged meteorologists as a means of explaining why data sharing should not be moved forward as expeditiously as possible is, for lack of a better word, weird.

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Reader Comments (26)

An interesting little quote, especially in the light of the Climategate e-mail showing that he was quite happy sending the data to an errrrrr, "acceptable" recipient!

May 2, 2011 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

His remark makes no sense at all. If you want the originators of the data to get credit, you do not further that aim by black-holing the data yourself.

May 2, 2011 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

a scientific field where someone like Jones can be considered a leader is not in good shape, is it!

May 2, 2011 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Down with imperialist weather satellites! sarc/off

May 2, 2011 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterTomRude

The loathsome Trevor Davies at the Guardian debate in London last summer often referred to UEA's obligations ot the health of its employees.At the time I took it to mean that Jones had suffered a nervpus breakdown after the revelations. But this interview suggests that the breakdown may have come first.

Maybe we have a new suspect as the e-mail liberator? Excellent insider knowledge, easy access to the servers and data ..and a few sandwiches short of a picnic......

May 2, 2011 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterStirling English

That reason makes no sense, as has been noted. It's weather data, that IS both it's value and it's utility. What does this guy think he should "get back"? A cookie? A pony?

It's DATA. Collect it and pass it on. That's why we pay for you.

May 2, 2011 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

I see the CAGW crowd response on that page is still keeping it scientific and evidence based.

"I fully support withholding any and all data from lying McKitrick and his denialist fraud operation to the fullest extent allowed by law.Day 14, still no scientific fraud uncovered from the CRU hack."

Do these guys all learn from the same training manual..? :)
I was going to post there and mention that no one ever looked for fraud..but thought..whats the point if the opposition is that dim..

May 2, 2011 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermike Williams

Josh has provided the explanation: this was just the next card in the 'chance' pile in Phil's Kaos set.

Q. Why withhold data from certain researchers?
A. (Any answer that you can think of)


Q: (Any question you’d like.)
A: That will be because of man made global warming

May 2, 2011 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Actual it’s a view which has no value , the requirement is to follow scientific practice for data availability to allow critical review which is a central to science or the laws of the land which are legal requirement . Your ‘concern ’ for how other scientist are treated has nothing to do with the collect and use of data.

May 2, 2011 at 10:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

let us extend these gestures of magnanimity and give the position of professor Jones to a resident of mombasa university.

May 2, 2011 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

'ave a care, Mr Bishop bloody 'ill, or I'll send my Seal units to your villa in the bleedin' 'ills and 'ave you dealt wiv.

May 2, 2011 at 10:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterProf Jones's Mum

Smacks a lot of "trying to come up with a reason after the event".

Those types of excuses are never convincing.

May 2, 2011 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence

"I am able to help a few of them with grants to come and do MSc and PhD courses here at UEA, but it is only a few."

That is interesting. It seems these downtrodden potential Phd students have to be first filtered by the likes of Phil Jones before they are considered eligable for a UK scholarship?

Imagine if johnny foreigner even breathed a slightly sceptical word before that assessment of worthiness for UK scholarship?

Who has the opportunity to act like an imperialist in that case?

May 3, 2011 at 2:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement


May 3, 2011 at 2:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

That was a very good read. Thanks!

Somebody named John Norris made a great comment that I never considered.

May 3, 2011 at 3:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterkramer

The Team's inner circle all know their arguments are not supported by any quality data, or credible statistical treatment thereof, and are thus bogus but their careers were and still are conditioned on a consistently alarmist/catastrophist position.

Put simply, they cannot afford the luxury (i.e. intellectual integrity) of conceding valid points.

May 3, 2011 at 5:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterdread0

I seem to remember that the reasons given circa 2009 for governments withholding permission to share data were quoted as being commercial - small Caribbean islands and similar tourist traps wanting to copyright the temperatures of their lagoons or something. Then when CRU refused to say which governments were refusing, McIntyre suggested that his readers each send in requests for three countries, resulting in several dozen FOI requests, and the reason became resistance to “harassment”. Then we learnt that the countries refusing permission were Sweden, Canada, and Russia. None of this fits in with Jones’ reasoning.

May 3, 2011 at 6:08 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

The level of disclosure must match the weight of emphasis placed, or likely to be placed, on the corresponding findings - regardless of the subject.

Odd that an esteemed, first rank scientific personage like Phil Jones, on whose word so much once hung, would not feel duty-bound to expedite, perhaps even "go out of his way" to ensure, the kind of full and frank disclosure which would surely only confirm his findings, unimpeachable certainties that they are.


May 3, 2011 at 7:46 AM | Unregistered Commentergreenland beach bum

Cheers, guilty.

May 3, 2011 at 7:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan

Yep - 'weird' is a good word - but I could think of a few more...

May 3, 2011 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

In my opinion Jones is a weak and foolish man, who has been gained his courage through his association with Mann. He's the type of boy you met at school who wouldn't say boo to a goose, and now he's found himself useful to the school bully, and for a while there, revelled in the freedom he felt at being in the big boys' gang.

What he hasn't considered, of course, is that the truth will eventually out. And where will he be then? He'll be with Mann, Trenberth, Steig, Osborne, Briffa et al in the Scientific Hall of Infamy. Whether they blink now, or not, that's where they'll end up. And I believe they know that.

May 3, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo, beatifully and succinctly put. To me, Jones is still a weak little creature trying desperately to emulate his bully peers. But they are not his mates, they would willingly (and probably gleefully) throw him under the school bus if that would keep them safe from their coming infamy.

May 3, 2011 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Even if it is old news, thanks for the link, Bish. True investigative journalism. I've been regularly visiting Harold Ambler's site for a number of years now, but he updates it very irregularly so I missed that one.
NQOT (Not quite on topic)There was a hilarious interview in March '09: where he notably talks about his Huffington Post article - For those who haven't read it already, it is worth reading before watching the video clip.

May 3, 2011 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn in France

Glad to see the comments here and that Google tracking malfunctioned sufficiently to lead Bish to post. I have focused on the forthcoming book, with the blog suffering in the meantime, though I am highly grateful to those who continue to visit and will be posting as often as I can moving forward. Among my reactions to Jones's comments, a year and half on, is that standard academic Leftism clearly trumps scientific transparency, meaning science itself, at one of the four or five most important hubs of "climate change" research on Earth.

May 3, 2011 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarold Ambler

"In my opinion Jones is a weak and foolish man, who has been gained his courage through his association with Mann."
May 3, 2011 at 10:15 AM geronimo

He could not even answer question in front of the Parliamentary Committee without a sad V.C. to try to cover his back so I just cannot find it within me to disagree.

His ability is so bad he loses or misplaces records (that was said by investigators so it not me doing Ad hom!) but he is in a position to say "I am able to help a few of them with grants to come and do MSc and PhD courses here at UEA"!

My heart breaks for those working collecting real data for him and his friends to bastardize! with their modelling!

I still feel sorry for any student working their butts off at the UAE on other subjects! In 10 years from now employers will sneer down their noses at them simply because of the the CRU was being used as a cash cow!


May 3, 2011 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

It's nonsense.

Are those same meteorologists not able to gather freely available data from better funded nations to publish their own studies? Anyone in the world could have started It was easier for Anthony watts to do it. Anyone could replicate what he's doing in the U.S. in any other country provided you had a good grasp of the native language. The notion that data is not available freely in order to protect the feelings of academics in lesser-funded countries is tangible bull-s&*%.

May 4, 2011 at 3:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

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