Are Disclosed Climate Emails Fair Game?

Last week, after a second batch of climate science emails were publicly released, I got the sense that most science and environmental reporters assigned to cover the story were holding their noses. They dutifully reported the basics, but were not inclined to treat the latest disclosures as especially newsworthy, much less as a story with new revelations or wrinkles.

In fact, some, such as Damian Carrington at the Guardian, claimed the opposite, that “the real scandal” was “the failure to catch the email hacker.” Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones said the hacker’s identity was the “real remaining question of ‘Climategate.'” Picking up on this theme, the Guardian’s Leo Hickman has asked readers to help crowdsource “the hacker’s profile.”  (More on this in a minute.)

Only a few journalists (who don’t work for Fox News or dismiss climate change as a hoax) have thus far dared to suggest that there is more to this story than advocacy outlets and representatives for the climate science community would lead us believe. I can count them on two fingers. There is freelancer David Appell, who writes on his blog that the latest email dump

doesn’t show anything nefarious, but I think it does raise questions about how much purported unanimity has been artificially created by IPCC reports, and whether the full state of uncertainty is being communicated.

Similarly, Andy Revkin gives this perspective:

Do I trust climate science? As a living body of intellectual inquiry exploring profoundly complex questions, yes.

Do I trust all climate scientists, research institutions, funding sources, journals and others involved in this arena to convey the full context of findings and to avoid sometimes stepping beyond the data? I wouldn’t be a journalist if I answered yes.

Translation: I trust climate science but not everybody and everything associated with it. Some people have agendas that tend to skew the science.

Can we all agree that this a reasonable position for a journalist to take?

So why the seeming reluctance of mainstream climate reporters to look beyond the surface of these emails and acknowledge that the story is not so black and white as: Nothing in these exchanges overturns or undermines the basic findings of climate science (the earth is warming, humans are contributing, we probably want to take that more seriously, etc). I mean, if we really want to get past that simplistic angle, there’s great fodder in the emails for a more substantive, nuanced discussion on the kinds of uncertainties that get seized on (and often distorted) by the more politicized climate skeptics and contrarians. But because proxies for the climate science community have declared this latest episode a no-fly zone, they effectively cede the debate over vexing climate change questions to skeptics, who are now laboriously wading through the whole file and mining it for nuggets that advance their own agendas.

Instead, as I mentioned above, there seems to be more journalistic appetite for unmasking the identity of the hacker/leaker. And just to be clear, that is a legitimate line of media inquiry (who doesn’t like a good mystery?). But this effort along those lines in the Guardian seems to have rubbed its readers the wrong way. Responses have ranged from outrage to sarcasm, such as this one:

I take it your next project will be to enlist help identifying anyone and everyone who has ever provided leaks to wikileaks, right?

The Wikileaks comparison was brought up by numerous readers (the Guardian has notably collaborated with Julian Assange on several occasions). But Leo Hickman (author of the help us-catch-the-email-hacker article) and a Guardian editor, each who participated in the thread, ignored the repeated mention of the Wikileaks parallels. [See update below] Readers noticed:

Leo, some of us wish you would respond to your critics who have pointed out the difference between the Guardian’s enthusiastic participation in Wikileaks and its determination to out the individual responsible for this one.

Could you kindly tell us your rationale?

I’d like to hear it, too. I’d also like to know why the illicitly received communications about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the confidential embassy cables of government diplomats are considered fair game (by reporters), but not the frank exchanges between climate scientists that sheds light on the inner workings of a field that informs public policy and political messaging on a host of energy and climate issues.

This is not to say I condone illegal theft of government/university/industry-related communications, whether that involves international relations, military deliberations, private company practices, or scientific disagreements. But let’s not pretend–especially in the media–that there is a difference between how information has been received in any of the recent high profile cases, be it Wikileaks and say, the trove of embassy cables it turned loose, or the anonymous hacker/leaker who has made public thousands of climate science emails.

Journalists who turn up their noses at the latter and willfully look away aren’t acting like journalists.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that I had a brief twitter exchange with Leo Hickman several days ago, related to the article of his that I discuss. He did acknowledge that there is an “interesting debate…about the moral equivalence between these two types of ‘whistleblowers” but at the same time he wondered if the whistleblower was  “*always* justified just because the blower feels they’re justified? A chewy debate…” He also said he “didn’t respond” to the Wikileaks comparisons “because it would have prob[ably] been considered off-topic” by Guardian moderators.

UPDATE: For those wishing to see Leo’s full responses in that twitter thread, you can start here and here, then follow the sequence on that November 26th string. Additionally, as Hickman reminds me, the Guardian conducted an exhaustive investigation of the first “Climategate” affair (which did not endear them to the proprietors of Real Climate).

 

162 Responses to “Are Disclosed Climate Emails Fair Game?”

  1. thingsbreak says:

    Perhaps they’re wary of ending up like David Appell in assuming they actually understand the emails well enough to make any claims about them and then getting egg on their faces?
     
    I think it’s expecting a little much for journalists to start doing independent evaluations of claims being made now, don’t you? With the exception of Seth Borenstein, how many were actually willing to do something in response to claims that “we’re cooling” other than look for an opposing quote? How many journalists are willing to point out that someone is engaging in cherry-picking time periods to get certain trends when the evidence is spelled out for them? Any at all?
     
    And you think they’re going to try to evaluate out of context emails about subject matter they have little to no formal education in? That seems incredibly naive.

  2. grypo says:

    RE: wikileaks v climate and the guardian.

    We already know where the wiki cables came from.  Bradley Manning.  Plus, understanding where the climate  emails came from, would give incite into why certain emails were selected, timing, etc.   And whose to say the guardian would not establish a relationship similar to the Assange collaboration.

    If there is something in the emails that cause you not to trust certain individuals in climate science, just report it specifically.  Otherwise its not better than bland commentary.  Ambiguous assertions from Revkin won’t have much of an effect on those not invested in this story.

  3. Stu says:

    “So why the seeming reluctance of mainstream climate reporters to look beyond the surface of these emails and acknowledge that the story is not so black and white”

    Pretty simple if you ask me. They will get called bad names. 

  4. Keith Kloor says:

    TB (1)

    Interesting argument. I guess political reporters should have abided by your same standard when writing about the embassy cables? Same with war reporters on the classified info related to Iraq and Afghanistan?

    Funny how your expectations of climate reporters is much higher other times, like when they report on new findings in journals. 

  5. sharper00 says:

    I think the wikileaks releases are different for two reasons.

    1. They contain classified not private information. They’re reports, communiques etc which were mostly all intended to be on public record and probably made public eventually just not right now for security reasons. Thus they’re not people in “unguarded” moments nor are they communicating in a context where a close working relationship is necessary to understand what’s being said.

    2. In relation to the above wikileaks reveals fundamental truths about how things work which people were otherwise unaware of. If the accusations levelled against climate scientists such as “They’re fabricating data” were true then they would be at a similar level, instead our understanding of reality remains the same with at most some unpleasant FOI shenanigans being revealed.

    “the frank exchanges between climate scientists that sheds light on the inner workings of a field that informs public policy “

    As per point #1 it’s because they’re frank exchanges and of a type which isn’t all that unusual for anyone familiar with professional or academic work. We’re all aware that we say things in a certain context which when presented outside that context would sound awful and damning. 

    Journalists who turn up their noses at the latter and willfully look away aren’t acting like journalists.”

    So if journalists were to ignore the contents of hacked voicemail accounts they’re not real journalists? Or are they instead applying a small slither ethics to the situation?

  6. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @5
    +1

    especially the last bit. 

  7. grypo says:

    I think a better story, than using the emails to color opinions of individual scientists, would be a commentary on a specific process of a specific institution.  This would be of interest to everyone, and not just a select few people with hard-ons for Trenberth and Mann and Jones.  If you think a scientific process is broken because a select few people (no matter who they are) can break it, than it is the process that needs work and sunshine.  Pointing out that people have biases is like telling us the sky is blue usually.

  8. OPatrick says:

    I think it’s fairly clear why so many decent journalists, correctly, focused on the real scandal rather than the contents of the e-mails – because it’s the bigger and more important story. The deliberate misinformation being spread by so many different sources, which is undermining positive action on addressing anthropogenic climate change, is an overwhelmingly important story and it’s not getting enough attention in the media. There may be interesting question raised by careful analysis of the e-mails, but this is totally swamped by the obvious and undeniable (ha!) manipulation evident in the selective excerpting from the e-mails.

  9. thingsbreak says:

    Keith,
    I guess political reporters should have abided by your same standard when writing about the embassy cables? Same with war reporters on the classified info related to Iraq and Afghanistan?
     
    As usual, you’re letting your imagined idea of what I must think color your interpretation of my words and are arriving at something different from what I actually said.
     
    I am not making any claims about what “should” be done. Far from it. I am giving my opinion about what is happening, not what I would like to see.
     
    It should be apparent from the context of my comment that I think climate reporters “should” take a more active role in analyzing claims- be they in these emails or not. I think they should be willing to do (or at least outsource) the heavy lifting required to make an independent analysis rather than just look for quotes from their rolodexes.
     
    My reference to Seth Borenstein actually going about having claims of “cooling” tested by independent statisticians (which I regularly point to as an example of what I’d like to see more of) was- I thought- plenty of indication of what I would like to see happen. 
     
    I think that many journalists are out of their depth on these emails, and that they can’t be bothered bringing themselves up to speed in order to assess them accurately enough to avoid making fools of themselves. The last go round proved to be a giant nothing burger, and it’s a bit of a “fool me once…” scenario.
     
    Funny how your expectations of climate reporters is much higher other times, like when they report on new findings in journals.
     
    I’m making the same point in both cases- I wish journalists were willing to do more independent assessment. But that requires an effort that is probably unrealistic, not because journalists are awful lazy people, but because they simply don’t receive the kind of institutional and financial encouragement to make going the extra mile worth it. [Now, don’t get me wrong, some do. But these tend to be the exceptions that demonstrate the rule.]
     
    But again, your personal antipathy for me (based on who knows what) has led you to some conclusion that I don’t really follow.

  10. Keith Kloor says:

    @9
    You are an anonymous commenter/blogger. I only work up antipathy to people I know.

    Also, Fred Pearce and the Guardian did do a thorough analysis the first time around. You probably just didn’t care for it, for the same reasons that the folks at Real Climate and like-minded others didn’t.

  11. Matt B says:

    @5 sharper00; “So if journalists were to ignore the contents of hacked voicemail accounts they’re not real journalists? Or are they instead applying a small slither ethics to the situation?”

    Your comparing the News of the Word etc voicemail hacking to the Climategate E-Mails, right? Here’s a difference- the News of the World employees DID he hacking.

  12. thingsbreak says:

    Keith,
     
    You are an anonymous commenter/blogger. I only work up antipathy to people I know.
     
    If there’s no antipathy on your part, your insistence on assuming bad faith and ascribing to me opinions I don’t hold becomes even more puzzling.
     
    Also, Fred Pearce and the Guardian did do a thorough analysis the first time around.



    I suppose that depends on which Fred Pearce we’re talking about, doesn’t it? This Fred Pearce seems to be on relatively solid factual footing. This Fred Pearce, by contrast, makes a number of factually incorrect and/or misleading claims. 
     
    You probably just didn’t care for it, for the same reasons that the folks at Real Climate and like-minded others didn’t.
     
    That it claimed demonstrable factual inaccuracies? Well, okay, I guess- guilty as charged.
     
    Fred Pearce doesn’t mind just making stuff up (or alternatively just repeating stuff made up by others). The number of “like-minded others” who “don’t care” for that kind of “journalism” is, I imagine, quite high.

  13. sharper00 says:

    @11

    “Your comparing the News of the Word etc voicemail hacking to the Climategate E-Mails, right?”

    Yes. 

    “Here’s a difference- the News of the World employees DID he hacking.”

    It’s a difference yes but not an especially relevant one to my point.

    Keith has chosen to compare climategate to wikileaks and ask “Why treat them differently?” which is a fair question to ask since they have some similarities. 

    It’s also fair to compare to another hacking scandal which most people agree was completely unethical, compromised people’s privacy in a way which should never have happened and provided little or nothing of any real value.

    Also remember we don’t know who hacked the emails nor who released them in either case.  

  14. Dean says:

    “I mean, if we really want to get past that simplistic angle, there’s great fodder in the emails for a more substantive, nuanced discussion on the kinds of uncertainties that get seized on (and often distorted) by the more politicized climate skeptics and contrarians.”
     
    This doesn’t strike me as what reporters usually do. Unless maybe they are writing lengthy articles for feature magazines. Historians do this kind of analysis and take years doing it. And nuanced history of complex events generally benefits from letting the dust settle. Even books such as the ones by Woodward a year or two after events covered will be considered the first version. Don’t rush it. I doubt it will be possible to separate the nuances of the internal interplay in climate science from the politics. Only when the current phase of politics has moved on can that analysis really be done.
     
    As to Wikileaks, don’t we already know who released the cables? However similar or dissimilar anybody considers the two cases to otherwise be, the big difference is that in once case we know who released the info and in the other, we don’t. Another difference: Bradley Manning released everything he got. He didn’t play political games with the timing or by choosing what to release. This alone is a good enough reason for ethical media outlets to downplay this release.

  15. harrywr2 says:

    So why the seeming reluctance of mainstream climate reporters to look beyond the surface of these emails and acknowledge that the story is not so black and white’?
    Because one man’s ‘freedom fighter’ is another man’s ‘terrorist’, the ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ and the ‘friend of my enemy is my enemy’.
    Always has been and always will be.

  16. sharper00 says:

    @14 Dean

    “Another difference: Bradley Manning released everything he got. He didn’t play political games with the timing or by choosing what to release. This alone is a good enough reason for ethical media outlets to downplay this release. “

    I think that’s an interesting angle: If the cables were held back until a few weeks before the US presidential election and were keyword mined to specifically damage either Republican or Democratic policy people would have a different view on the virtues involved.

    Whether you agree or disagree with what Manning and wikileaks did it’s difficult to argue they weren’t not at least trying to uphold some type of principle.

    Emails that have been searched and keyword mined, held back for years and timed to be released just before policymakers meet make it hard to argue there’s any goal other than disruption of those policies.  

  17. Keith Kloor says:

    Dean (14),

    You are quite right that more time and distance is required for truly nuanced discussion. It wouldn’t be fair to expect any reporter to do a thorough analysis on the fly, either. My post is more a gauging of an attitude I detected in the early going.

    In terms of Wikileaks, Bradly Manning didn’t do the public releasing (as far as I know). That was Assange and he has learned how to maximize publicity of such events. A few years ago, he would just post stuff like that on the Wikileaks website and hope it got picked up. After that didn’t work to well, he learned how to collaborate with major media organs (but by all accounts, he’s a major pain in the ass who tried mightily to control the process) and that did the trick. Of course, he’s been accused of having an agenda, too, but that didn’t stop the Guardian, NYT and others from making use of what he provided.

  18. Paul in Sweden says:

    Granted the team in pursuit of “the cause” maintains temperature data and correspondence as if they were state secrets during time of war with calls for death sentences by some of the AGW proponents for the whistleblower but equating climategate with cablegate is a stretch for me.

    Nobody is facing charges of aiding the enemy, court marshal & the death penalty in climategate as is the reality in cablegate.

  19. Anteros says:

    I’m surprised everybody has to be so tribal about this. Surely there is no harm in stepping back just a little and allowing a realistic perspective on the whole thing?
     
    Yes, of course people over at WUWT are going completely over the top [I have done myself a couple of times..] and the advocates are indeed taking things out of context. But at the same time, to pretend that it is irrelevant and that some serious issues aren’t raised by the release of the emails is to be wilfully obtuse. They don’t change temperature records or basic science, but climate science exists in a political sphere, so cherry-picking authors, bullying journal editors and behaving as if the ’cause’ is more important than the truth is worth getting a bit agitated about.
     
    However, it makes not the slightest bit of difference to anything important [whatever WUWT says] that Phil Jones appears to be a bit vindictive or that M. Mann gives a good impression of being a nasty piece of work, or that Ray Bradley is ‘nauseating’. It is truly irrelevant and playing on it just embarrasses those that do it. All the same, I wish some consensus devotees would be a little more open [cf S Mosher] about the revealed problems – accept that there have been serious faults.
     
    Because we’re talking about something that is not only so politicised but is so important, I think it is crucial that the processes involved (peer review, IPCC structure and so on) are as transparent and honest as possible. The ‘liberation’ of the emails can actually help that – I think everyone should just ‘get over’ the fact that they are being milked for all (or more than) they are worth. ‘AGW’ is not in any way threatened, so surely we should learn and move on.
     
    One word about context – if the original 1000 emails were a thin selection, this tranche of 5000 does indeed provide a great deal of context – narratives can be followed over long periods of time and give a much clearer picture of the kinds of things that were occurring at Team Headquarters. Some of it was indeed reprehensible – in important ways – but in the great scheme of things? Not the end of climate science by any manner of means.

  20. Dean says:

    17
     
    Keith – The person who hacked the emails didn’t do the actual releasing either, as far as we know. Manning is the analogy to the mystery hacker in this case. I’m not going to even get into Assange here, as that is a huge case of it’s own. You might say that the blogs the emails got publicized on are the analogy to wikileaks, but hardly so, as wikileaks is all about releasing, and has been successfully targeted by the establishment as a result. I’m not a particularly large fan of the release-everything-under-the-sun method of exposing wrongdoing. But the way in which wikileaks has been financially strangled is as chilling as it gets in this modern world. Many books will be written about that – if they can get financing to be published.

  21. Jarmo says:

    My take on the identity of the hacker is that the person is not  a hired gun but some computer nerd who broke into UEA servers, found the emails and realized what they were. However, the haphazard way the emails were selected and how the two batches contains same or related mails reveals that the hacker is not well-enough versed to pick the right stuff by any other means than keywords.

    Anyway, the hacker considers himself/herself a whistleblower, that much is apparent. 

    Nobody can deny the issue at hand (climate change science and policies) is very important measured by financial or other parameters.

    If wrongdoing is suspected, what should a man do? Especially if there is no way to ask for help in assessing the content without incriminating oneself? 

    A tough question. Be as it may, the hacker’s actions have probably improved climate change science…. unless you regard the actions of Mann, Trenberth & Jones as exemplary.

  22. grypo says:

    Interestingly Assange had thoughts on hosting the climategate emails on Wikileaks after the release (as an aside, it appears he doesn’t know the provenance or didn’t understand the questions)

    http://wikileaks.org/WikiSecrets-Julian-Assange-Full.html#

    Q. I mean, the reason that people raise that is, for example, is they question whether or not you have a partisan political agenda.
    A. Well, it’s absolutely false. I mean, you can see the proof of that in all of the material we have released, from Climategate on the one hand, broadly sympathetic to Republican politics, and the U.S. diplomatic cables on the other, which actually reveals abuses from many organizations all over the world, but including the central powers in Washington, like the State Department.
    Q. Climategate is an interesting case. What’s the intent that you had when you leaked the Climategate e-mails?
    A. The truth needs no policy position, so there does not need to be an intent. We have a framework, and the framework has an intent. We have policies that have an intent as a whole. And our intent is to bring knowledge to the people where it can do some good.
    We have, unlike every other media organization, a very concise and clear editorial policy. So our editorial policy is we accept information of diplomatic, political, ethical or historical significance that is under active suppression, that has not been published before.
    Q. But if you believed that we had a climate problem, that man was contributing to rising greenhouse gases — I don’t know, do you believe that’s a reality?
    A. I believe the issues are very complex. I do not think anyone working outside of climate science understands whether that is true or not, because people simply do not understand all the complexities. Rather, instead we look to see who is the most critical voice. What are the motivations behind those people?
    On the one hand, we can see scientists are typically not very good political players. They’re not very good manipulators. They are geeks. On the other hand, we see well-funded oil companies and politicians associated with them, powerful interests that are good political players.
    When these two are starting to achieve parity in political debate, it is natural to assume that this group is more credible because their ability to manipulate and influence the political debate without facts is reduced compared to this group, who has long experience and plenty of money behind them. So my view is it is probably the climate scientists are right because they are scientists, and they are a more critical voice.
    Q. Did it give you any second thoughts that by releasing the Climategate e-mails, it would give credence [to] the climate-change deniers?
    A. It gave me pause for thought that we have established policies. We make promises to sources that we publish material of that sort. And in that particular case, we had the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, a central hub in Climategate science, deliberately try to suppress information from the Freedom of Information Act, asking other scientists to delete information before Freedom of Information request got it.
    So on the one hand, in this particular case, was justice served or not in the overall? We are not sure. Certainly when we look at keeping effective Freedom of Information Act and exposing abuses of the Freedom of Information Act, justice was served.
    But it is important to keep the system as a whole, our system as a whole, as integral as possible. So we must dispense our duties in a manner that is in accordance to what we are publicly promising. And that is what keeps us on the straight and narrow in terms of this journalistic project, to be doing as most editors do do, picking and choosing cases to promote up or promote down, depending on whether they like the people associated with it. It’s a topic corruption, and that is something that we are seeking to fight against. 

  23. Keith Kloor says:

    Anteros (19)

    That’s a good take on the dynamics and state of affairs.

    Dean (20)

    Agreed about the chilling, and I don’t think the media has stepped up to the plate on this, out of distaste for Assange. 

  24. RickA says:

    You ask whether the disclosed emails are fair game:

    In my opinion – yes.

    Because the are between scientists working for governmental organizations, they are all subject to FOIA anyway.

    So, while the manner of obtaining the emails may be illegal (the investigation is ongoing) – the information itself should be considered “fair game”, as it was subject to FOIA.

    It would be interesting to review the emails against existing FOIA requests to see how forthcoming the various agencies were in responding to the existing FOIA requests.   

  25. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @24
    The FOIA was for the data not their emails.  Nice try though. 

  26. WRT 25
     
    Wrong Marlow
    Hollands FOIA was for all communications.
    idiot

  27. Dean says:

    @19 Anteros
     
    You want the emails to bring light to various (potential) problems in climate science and the IPCC, but my impression is that the IPCC ie being held to a higher standard. For example, there are frequent complaints that it is has in inadequate conflict of interest policy, and comparisons are made with the political sphere.
     
    But my impression is that much of science is well behind politics in this regard. Other fields of science have been heavily criticized by environmentalists for example in being highly dependent on researchers under the employ of companies with a financial interest in the results. Drug regulators in the US uses studies run and funded by companies that are studying their own products in order to determine if they are safe and effective.
     
    The general point is that specialization in science forces it to depend on a limited number of experts and that unlike in politics, there simply is not a big enough pool to choose from, so there is no choice but to have people with conflicts take on tasks that in other venues would not be allowed. So they depend on public knowledge of conflicts rather than people not participating because of it.
     
    The argument can be made that given the policy implications, climate science should have stricter controls, but it is important to recognize that what is being asked of the IPCC and climate science, at least in some cases, is above and beyond what is asked of science in general.

  28. You see keith.
    We have an education person like Marlow who doesnt even know that there were FOIA’s for the correspondence between Briffa and the other authors of chapter 6 of AR4.
    that is the key detail in the only story that matter in climategate. the only story that involves a crime. the only story where the investigations found wrong doing. and your bright readers dont know it.
     
    I think journalist avoid the mails cause its too hard. so many names, too many documents, they are out of order, it’s like reading Gravitys Rainbow on acid..err

  29. Alexander Harvey says:

    Round one was not the UK environmental media’s finest hour.
     
    There was a lot of planned commitment to Copenhagen, and if the timing of the release didn’t embarras COP15 it did embarras two of the largest environmental media team, those of The Guardian and the BBC.
     

    They did not get it, and when they did they had little or no cooperation from either UEA and the UK police. The police decided that they would do what they almost never do and say nothing to the press, UEA went home for the weekend and couldn’t be raised. For the UK media this could be rather important due to UK libel laws and the need to get every reported word from a leaked source verified and passed by a lawyer.
     
    There was little in it for the environmental media, it wasn’t their story, they didn’t have an inside line, and the content was freely available. The crime story was not going anywhere and the bigger story was Copenhagen and that is what it said on their tickets.
     
    Meanwhile the story was developing a life of its own.
     
    It might have been different had it been a slow news week and the selected highlights, a synopsis, some context, plus the all the emails had landed with a thud on the desk prior to hitting the internet. They could have started investigating the story prior to a kraal mentality setting in. They would have the leverage of knowing what was in the emails which UEA and other science representatives, might just have to guess at. They could of course have simply pushed it into the bin.
     
    Similarly other players were elsewhere engaged or blindsided. Had the story been investigated prior to breaking, the science bods would have had a chance to put some clear water between themselves and those most directly involved. As it was they may have seen their best option to be choosing to defend the people involved against any and all accusations and hoping for the best, e.g. that there was no case to answer.
     
    As I found to be the case with the scientists, I heard journalists being more frank and honest about what a farce the premiere UK environmental teams made of the story than they readily admitted until perhaps just recently. Not their finest hour, but perhaps it was never going to be given the way the story broke.
     
    They failed to position themselves in the middle of the story and I am not sure that they ever really tried to.
     
    Alex

  30. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @26
    wanted to hit the retract button about 5sec after submitting. oh well.

  31. Dannyboy7 says:

    Possibly the media is hesitant to report on this due to the case of Fred Pearce. Even a writer like Pearce with a solid reputation as an environmental reporter was trashed by the AGW mafia for his reporting of Climategate. Journalists aren’t necessarily a brave lot and one mention of Pearce’s name above and the Fred Pearce trashing starts again as it will forever more.

  32. sharper00 says:

    Of course! Journalists will write articles critical of despotic regimes, criminal cartels, sitting presidents, military officials but fear to tread on Phil Jones.

  33. Keith Kloor says:

    @31
     
    Interesting, but reporters, while not immune to public criticism,generally build up a thick skin, so not sure that flies.

    That said, in the age of the blogosphere, everything gets amplified, so who knows. For sure, Fred took his lumps over there and Revkin still gets his head handed him to regularly over here. Just doing my blog has been an education….and I’m a piker compared to those guys. 

  34. Dean says:

    I think there is a big difference in moral equivalence between somebody who had legal access to something and violated a trust to release it because they thought that was needed and somebody who steals content from those they already oppose and then trickle it out in politically-motivated releases.
     
    To be fair, we don’t know _for sure_ the motivations of the hacker/leaker in the climate case, though the way they have been released certainly gives us a hint. But if they want the moral equivalence of Manning (whatever one considers that to be), then we do need to know who they are and whether they have long ties to anti-AGW causes. As long as they remain hidden, we can’t really know.

  35. EdG says:

    “”I trust climate science but not everybody and everything associated with it. Some people have agendas that tend to skew the science.”

    Can we all agree that this a reasonable position for a journalist to take?”

    It is a lot more reasonable than the ‘debate is over’ and it is all beyond questioning meme.

    Since it mirrors my repeated point here – that scientists are just individual humans with varying qualities – I obviously see this as a step forward. 

    Next step. To recognize that it is as simplistic and inherently false to say “I trust climate science” as it is to say “I trust climate scientists.” It all depends on which particular aspect of climate science you are talking about, just as it depends on which individual climate scientists you are talking about.

    And here Revkin is suffering from Convenient Cognitive Dissonance or Doublethink or even the d-word. Monty Python’s ‘Black Knight’ comes to mind.

    As to this attempt to shift the discussion from the message to to the messenger (the ‘heaker’ as nobody seems to know the source), good luck with that.  That’s like trying to smear Daniel Ellsberg re the Pentagon Papers. Won’t matter. Because these emails are devastating, and the people that matter know it. 

    For example, on another thread BBD suggested that my comments about the corruption of the Peer review process by the (untrustworthy) Team was just ‘nutty conspiracy theory.’ That was wishful thinking based on what we already knew and the new emails just add more confirmation. Like this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/27/the-tribalistic-corruption-of-peer-review-the-chris-de-freitas-incident/

  36. EdG says:

    #28 steven mosher writes:

    “it’s like reading Gravitys Rainbow on acid..err”

    Funny. Brought back a few memories. But I thought you had to be on acid to read that book.

  37. Anteros says:

    Dean @ 27
     
    I agree with much of what you say, but I think there is a difference of perspective due to nationality – if I’m right in thinking you are American. We don’t [in England] have Fox news or wealthy Republican pressure groups selling (or giving away free..) stuff that even I would class as ‘disinformation’. We have very few people – in comparison – who are signed up to the ‘AGW is a hoax/lie/fraud’ meme. So what a reasonably sceptical person ‘sees’ happening here is the BBC and the national press marginalising non-consensus views. It is perhaps hard for those outside Britain to realise just how important [for educated 40+ people] the BBC is, in terms of providing a frame of reference.
     
    The reason the climategate emails have such a resonance for those of a sceptical view (who are already ‘seeing’ a biased public debate) is that we have clear evidence of the holders of power – Jones, Trenberth etc – putting a great deal of effort and energy in gate-keeping on behalf of the IPCC. And that gate-keeping is not for the benefit of science or truth, but a particular political narrative.
     
    I’m well aware that it is all business as usual for politics, and the IPCC is a political organisation. I just think we shouldn’t settle for anything less than the highest standards possible. 
     
    I think maybe in the States, there are forces representing sceptical views more than adequately. Somehow – I’m not sure why – that makes me think that the IPCC will appear in a different light. For an English sceptic, it is even more important that dissenting voices are heard in the IPCC deliberations, because our national media made its mind up a long time ago.
     
    It is also worth saying that the IPCC will always appear ‘biased’ to sceptics because the consensus, by definition, is a majority view. I suppose the most legitimate criticism is that the IPCC – for political reasons – overplays the certainty of its conclusions. This is one of Judy Curry’s most cogent observations – and one I agree with.
     
     

  38. Lewis Deane says:

    Keith
     
    I was absolutely appalled at Leo Hickmans referenced hack piece as I sense you were, from what you say – the rank hypocrisy from a Guardian journalist, who were quite happy to get into bed (!), for a while, with the odious Mr Assange ( whose self denying ordinance about not putting people in danger proved damnable hollow once he was cut adrift!), and the attempt here to almost out do the late ‘lamented’ NOTW in witch finding (one of the gutter presses favorite pastimes here in Blighty!) was really beyond the pale, whether one be on the ‘left’ or ‘right’ of the issues involved, and I hope, with some reflection, Mr Hickman is thoroughly ashamed of himself.
     
    It is ironic that some were saying, I believe rightly, that the wikileaks saga was not journalism at it’s best but rather the opposite, since it merely became a conduit for uncontexted ‘stuff’ sans what journalism proper is really about – investigating, analyzing, bringing context and judgment to the ‘happenings’ of the everyday. But what else is eliciting ‘help to find the ‘hacker” other than a resignation of journalistic work itself – hence, it’s provenance in the tabloids.
     
    And for those parsing a ‘difference’ between wikileaks and CG2, the former were, by definition, criminally hacked (not yet confirmed, in this case), just as much selectively leaked by stages and, with an even more pronounced, nakedly ideological bent, and, more, with a direct danger of threatening the lives of people (rather than threatening ideas!). It is such hypocrisy and closed mindedness as displayed by the usual suspects here (your commentators, Keith, seemed to have been over run by a pretty one sided pack, latterly) and Leo Hickman that brings the partisans, climate science and the press into contempt. And they wonder why people are ‘dissident’ and ‘skeptical’, nay, cynical! Quaeritur!

  39. harrywr2 says:

    #14
    Another difference: Bradley Manning released everything he got
    Or released everything he was fed. Spy’s that don’t know they’ve been ‘found out’ can be extremely useful tools. It is illegal for the US DOD to provide disinformation to US journalists. It is not illegal to provide disinformation to spy’s. I think the CIA actually has a department that specializes in feeding spies lies.

  40. Anteros says:

    EdG @ 36
     
    If anyone was on acid while reading the whole of ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’, I’m surprised they have any memories to bring back 😉

  41. OPatrick says:

    Anteros, we may be lucky with the TV we have in comparison to the US, but it’s laughable to suggest that somehow our media marginalise the non-concensus view. Are you unaware of the Telegraph, The Mail, The Express, even The Times at times?

    The balance of media here leans towards the ‘sceptics’. 

  42. Lewis Deane says:

    Actually, Manning did not ‘leak’ (as apposed to what?, criminally stealing state secrets, which is what he really did – interesting that Manning, whose sincere reasons I do not doubt but whose actions are prima facae (!sic) criminal is called a ‘leaker’ – words betray the sophistry of the speaker rather than any truth) ‘everything at once’ but rather dumped his load on to the delicate shoulders of Assange, an obviously political actor, to use and selectively leak as he wished. Which Assange duly did. Do people deny this? To quote a famous philosopher, “Error is not stupidity, error is cowardice!”

  43. EdG says:

    #40 Anteros

    I tried to read it, unsuccessfully, without the acid, so I was guessing that was at least part of the problem. Most of the people I knew who did read it, or claimed to have read it, were employing perception enhancement products back then, and their explanations of its deeper meanings seemed to confirm that link. Far out man!

    A lot of the same people were reading Erlich back then and apparently suffered long term psychological damage, with ongoing chronic or flashback doomsday episodes.

  44. Lewis Deane says:

    OPatrik
     
    There is a certain perspective that would see any mention of so called ‘skeptics’ as leaning towards the ‘skeptic’ side. In fact, for instance, the Telegrath is pretty much ‘on message’, not with standing it’s barely noticeable two bloggers, Delingpole and Booker. There ‘proper’ journalists lean very much the otherway. You should sponser UEA’s Tyndall if your that bothered.

  45. Dean says:

    @37 Anteros
     
    Indeed if rational discussion of AGW is the larger political scene is feasible where you live, then it would come across much differently. I am aware that discourse on this and other issues is particularly bad in the United States where I live, but do now know the scale of difference elsewhere.
     
    “the IPCC ““ for political reasons ““ overplays the certainty of its conclusions”
     
    When I have read the actual chapters of AR4 (I have not read it cover-to-cover, but have read sections), I don’t see all that much certainty. Different opinions and uncertainty seem well and frequently stated (for example, there are numerous cites of the Pielkes, though apparently not enough for them). The complaints about too much certainty seem to be mostly about summaries and reports. By their very nature as summaries, they have to summarize. And emails may sometimes demonstrate frustrations and be examples of offloading these stresses more than documentation of actual actions in many cases.
     
    So I am not convinced that this is a serious problem. In highly politicized issues, every work gets wordsmithed and such issues are unavoidable. So I really don’t think it is much different from other fields, except that nobody is wordsmithing every report and summary produced in other fields to nearly the same degree.

  46. Tom Scharf says:

    Sports journalists are by nature very big sports fans.

    Environmental journalists are by nature environmental activists (maybe too strong a word, but you get the point).

    Did the sports journalists hold their noses and report faithfully the recent Penn State child abuse crime, even though it was damaging to a sport they may love?  Did they independently investigate it? Yes.

    Do environmental reporters do the same when Climategate  I & II occurred?  Not so much IMO.

    I accept that most environmental reporters are “in the tank” as far as green issues go, it is simply unrealistic to expect anything else.

    However I do expect journalistic integrity and that means reporting the facts on what was found in the now public e-mails.  Some bloggers go as far as considering it unethical to even look, this is simply willful disregarding of facts that you don’t like.  You aren’t doing journalism, you are doing PR at this point.

    Sport reporters also don’t attack each other for uncovering unethical conduct in sports.  It is expected, even increasing one’s reputation, when reporting unethical behavior.  It is interpreted as doing a public service.

    Sports reporting is journalism, environmental reporting can easily be seen as a PR effort.  Romm sure sees it that way.  

  47. Lewis Deane says:

    And, actually,Keith, what is really ironic is that real journalist work, ie putting the emails in context, analyses and considered judgment is being done, at this moment, by the so called ‘deniers’, whatever you might think of their perspective. Take, for instance, McIntyre’s masterful narrative, ‘Behind closed doors:”Perpetuating rubbish”‘ that he wrote the other day. (For those who are not curious and open minded, close your ears.)
     
    And isn’t this a pretty pass, where, because journalism has abandoned journalism it has to be done on blogs and by ‘amateurs’ and outdone. The other day you rightly drew ones attention to the absurdities of those who would wish to call the death of ‘old’ journalism. But they can only do this because a vacuum is being created by irresponsible, lazy and unprincipled journalists themselves.
     

  48. Tom C says:

    Thank you Mosher for reminding everyone that the leaker is also a whistleblower.  The odious team was supposed to provide the information by law but was not complying.  He/she saw this and blew the whistle.

  49. Dean says:

    @42
     
    “To become publicly known through a breach of secrecy”
    — one definition of “leak” on thefreedictionary.com
     
    Lewis – I think that leaking is the exact correct term. My understanding is that Manning had legal access to the cables. His violation was not in how he got them, but that he gave them to others who did not have legal access. This is not how I define stealing. It is a criminal action, but I wouldn’t call it theft.
     
     

  50. BBD says:

    EdG @ 35

    For example, on another thread BBD suggested that my comments about the corruption of the Peer review process by the (untrustworthy) Team was just “˜nutty conspiracy theory.’

    You said:

    First, since the peer review process in this field has been so thoroughly corrupted into a pal review process, this is essentially meaningless.

    Which is, of course, a nutty conspiracy theory. Why? Because you said “peer review… so thoroughly corrupted… essentially meaningless”.

    The truth appears to be rather less dramatic and widespread. But that’s not enough for a good ‘sceptic’ attack on the corrupt, lying scientists, is it? So, you embellish and make yourself sound daft.

    Thanks for bringing this up again.

  51. EdG says:

    BBD – Nice selctive editing and spin on my comment. The popular phrase ‘out of context’ also comes to mind.

    Perhaps you would like to show me a 1900-2000 graph about the LIA again?

  52. hunter says:

    BBD’s dismal defense aside, Kloor has hit nail on head: Any journalist and any media outlet rationalizing away their emargo on climategate 1 or 2 based on the idea that the effort to cover them is unseemly is indulging in a level hypocrisy not really sustainable by allegedly serious people. that most of the feeble attempts at covering C1 or C2 by media have involved repeating self-serving defenses by those exposed- and accepting them at face value- places modern media at the leveel of Pravda or Izvestia back in the bad old days.
    If the science is unimpeachable, and this only represents the humanistic failings of oterwise competent and great guys, what is there to be afraid of?

  53. BBD says:

    EdG
     
    BBD ““ Nice selctive editing and spin on my comment. The popular phrase “˜out of context’ also comes to mind.
     
    Oh come on.  I didn’t ‘edit’ or ‘spin’ or misrepresent out of context. You just got made to look silly, that’s all.
     
    As I have said previously, pre-1900 data are considered less reliable than C20th data, and are geographically limited (N America and Europe). That’s two good reasons for starting at 1900. The third is that a 110y time-series is long enough for analysis of climate trends.
     
    Again, it is a very clear indication of how weak your arguments are that you immediately resort to this sort of tactic when challenged.

  54. Stu says:

    “I think journalist avoid the mails cause its too hard. so many names, too many documents, they are out of order, it’s like reading Gravitys Rainbow on acid..err”

    Then you get called anti-science for your troubles.  

  55. Lewis Deane says:

    #49 Dean,
     
    What nonsense, what parsing of nonsense! So to download from a server, to which he had a partial right to access, a massive ‘tranche’ of ‘secret’ and ‘top secret’ material, on to a, what was it, a Britney Spear DVD, which, by definition was illegal and a criminal act, in and of itself, and, also, I might add, broke his bond and trust that he was signed up too, and then smuggling out this material, that in the wrong hands (Assanges!) could not only benefit possible enemies but also kill allies, friends, Americans – this is ok with you but those ‘evil’ ‘hackers’ (circumstances of which we still do not know) that delivered to the public emails that might muddy the water and disturb, O the so delicate republic of ideas, is beyond the pale! Your having me on!

  56. EdG says:

    #53 – Nice spin, again. Funny but I don’t feel like I have been made to look silly. Try reading that original post again. for starters. The peer review process was corrupted by your AGW heroes, period. And that was the context of my comment.

    And, again, since you choose to ignore the pre-1900 data for the discussion of the LIA, I sure hope that you are not also choosing to use it to make your claims about the ’20th century warming.’  That is ‘very likely’ to indicate excess selectivity on your part.

  57. EdG says:

    I’m just wondering. Would any of you who are now keen to lynch the ‘heaker’ here also have been as eager to lynch Daniel Ellsberg who leaked the Pentagon Papers?

    If not, why not?  

  58. Lewis Deane says:

    Dean
     
    I really want to know (perhaps I want to see you embarrass yourself) what is the difference between Mannings hauling as a thief who betrayed his word, his employers and his government of all that ‘stuff’ that wikileaks, NYT, the Guardian, Das Spiegel and El Pais selectively delivered to us and this ‘hacker’ who stole a ‘tranche’ of emails (of which you say there is nothing in it!) which merely embarrass and do not kill! The difference, perhaps, between ‘breaking my bones’ and ‘sticks and stones’, respectively?

  59. WRT 36.
    Pynch Lived here while writing the book
    http://g.co/maps/a4cky
    hung out at the either/or book store in hermosa.
    I was never lucky enough to run into him, although stories abounded.
    probably more of a pot smoker. shrugs

  60. Lewis Deane says:

    ‘Gravitys Rainbow’? What’s the story – I’m completely in the dark but it’s sounds poetical.

  61. Lewis Deane says:

    #56 I meant, of course, ‘sticks and stones’ that ‘break my bones’ and ‘words’, the verbiage and garbage of the UEA, respectively!

  62. OPatrick says:

    EdG, if I were to play the victim I might make some underhand implications about your use of the word ‘lynch’ – oh look I’ve just done it – see how easy it is?

    As to why people are critical of the person who ‘released’ these e-mails, do you not see how the staggeringly dishonest excerpts might suggest that their intentions are less than honourable? 

  63. Lewis deane says:

    #62 OPatrick

    staggeringly dishonest excerpts might suggest that their intentions are less than honourable

     By this do you mean the ‘selective quotes’ in the README file or in the emails themselves? For the latter are gaining more and more context, not just cg1 and 2, but the collective and fascinating analyses which is, I think, unravelling a whole speghatti of stories that ‘old’ journalism would have licked it’s lips at. Of course, it’s all a partial glimpse in this seemingly hole in the corner, underground world but even the most convinced have noted the contrast between the private and public and are just as much, as those invested in this issue, fascinated and, in particular, are fascinated with what McIntyre’s forensic mind, par example, might turn up and how he, for one, might put Phil Jone et al ‘in context’. Watch their space!

  64. OPatrick says:

    Primarily I mean the excerpts in the README file, but the utter failure of many who want to be taken seriously to deride this excerption has set the tone for any further discussion.

  65. EdG says:

    #62 OPatrick

    Oops. I apparently forgot how selectively sensitive some people are to words and used one which provides a convenient distraction from the point. So heckuva victim act given that weak material.

    You seem to be attempting the blame the heakers, who released that huge volume of emails, for what you see as the ‘dishonest’ subsequent selection of some of them for publication by other people.

    That doesn’t make sense, even if we accept your labels.

    So, would you have thrown Ellsberg in jail, or prosecuted him in some way, for releasing the Pentagon Papers… which were selectively published by the NYT… or not?

  66. Anteros says:

    OPatrick
     
    I think the ‘failure to deride’ is most evident on the part of those who have aligned themselves to the ‘cause’, and simply turn a ‘blind eye’ to all the disgraceful behaviour as evidenced by many of the emails.
     
    You talk about the ‘many who want to be taken seriously’. If you want to be taken seriously yourself, how about making amends on your ‘utter failure to deride’ the abuse of power and process by ‘scientists’ who just happen to share some of your beliefs. It would at least show that you’re not completely and irretrievably partisan.

  67. Lewis deane says:

    OPatrick

    I will, with you, take exception with the ‘excerpting’ but I hope, at the same time, you will agree with me that in the actual emails there is a lot to interest any ‘interested citizen’ and the fact that the grand papers, upon which we depend, to some extant, for a ‘lead’ are not doing so, is somewhat disturbing? That a treasure trove of private communications of those most intimately involved in a science that has become existentially important, at least according to some, can be overlooked by most in the journalistic world, surely, is strange? Don’t you think, that as democrats, we all should want to peer, as much as possible, into every detail of what this means?

  68. Lewis deane says:

    Keith,

    I’m not signed up with twitter (should I be? I hate the whole idea, which the world and her aunt seems to have fallen for, that a discussion in 140 characters can be so curtailed and yet be productive? Or do I just despair that not everyone is Basho or Zen enough? Then, the inane ‘public’ ‘outing’ and dissattention? Though, for my sins, I’ve dipped my toes in FB) so I can’t see the other side of your ‘twittering’ – can’t I do without signing up? Naive, yes.

  69. Stuart Lynne says:

    Its apparent that some of the emails probably would be disclosable under various FOI legislation. But we’ve also seen a lot of indications of attempts to circumvent their disclosure via that route. 

    However these emails where obtained and released, they where and now are disclosed. As they would most likely have been if the authors had been playing by the FOI rules and made them available through those channels.

    What goes around comes around. If you are going to conspire you probably shouldn’t be doing it via email as you have little or no control over what the recipients will do with your email. The larger the CC list the higher the probability that someone will archive it and it will become public at some point.

    And this probably does not become inadmissible by government agencies following up (unless of course it could be shown that it was a government agency that obtained and released the emails, but even then only for those specific jurisdictions.) 

    There may be a possibility of pursuing the leaker in civil court for damages (unless he can claim protection under whistle blower laws.)

    Anyway, far too late to try and sweep it under the carpet and pretend they don’t exist and that we should ignore them!
     
     

  70. Lewis deane says:

    Of course, we thought they had learned, the ‘journalists’, in late 2009, that taking on trust what ‘experts’ say should be treated with the same contempt than any other ‘source’. But, in fact, between the papers existential butt clench and lack of spirit, on the one hand, and the continual brow beating of their ‘sympathy’, allegedly, against the ’cause’ we can see the ultimate Thule and emptiness and sheer cowardice of what is left of the press. Not just to ignore this and the larger issues it relates to but the absurd diarrhoea that ‘wikileaks’ and other ‘investigative journist’ episodes have turned into – pathetic opinions, without curiosity, without intellectual conscience, without an attempt to do anything but pontificate on a platform of very slender support. But what is more surprising is the supiness of their readers, who will except this bilge as ‘conformation’ rather than asking why is this flatulent and foolish man taking my attention. Maybe this is just a nadir, one of those calm days in the Pacific, where nothing goes nowhere and one can only shoot going extinct birds whose wings shadow disturbs you, but, being alive, I don’t think so. 

  71. Lewis deane says:

    OPatrick’

    A rather ambiguous statement, if I may say so

    the utter failure of many who want to be taken seriously to deride this excerption has set the tone for any further discussion

    I think you mean those who have used the README without actually seeing those in context – though that context itself should be put in ‘context’ – aren’t you bored with context, j’appelle un chat une chat? – which is fair enough.. But it is a bit like that old joke how close is a context? And how partial can it be?

  72. BobN says:

    Keith – As I typically do with such cases, I try no to rush to judgement, but rather to see what transpires for a bit before rushing to judgment. Now, a few days removed from the release of the emails and having followed this fairly closely, I think that Revkin’s assessment is reasonably correct; that is, Climate Science is ok, but I definitely do not trust all of the actors.  In particular, Michael Mann comes off as an ***, and should really consider recusing himself from any further participation in the IPCC, as did Phil Jones.  Coherent, in-context, storylines are being developed by many in the “skeptic” camp that just make Mann and a few others look really bad.

    Despite this, there is nothing that I have seen or read in the emails that totally blows away the concept that humans are having an effect on climate.  Whether that effect is “dangerous” or potentiallly catastrophic is another question entirely.

  73. BobN says:

    Further, with respect to the positions that the sort of ad hominem attacks displayed in these email is typical of many disciplines, I can say that I never saw anything as egregeous in 20+ years as a consultant in the environmental industry.  Yes, there were many regulators, opposing consultants, or opposing attorneys with whose position I disagreed.  But I never say anything near the level of vitriol as expresssed in the released email, either in emails send to me or even in non-recorded personal communications.  So, at least to me, the claims that such perjorative statements are typical of academic disputes rings hollow.

  74. OPatrick says:

    Lewis deane:
    “I will, with you, take exception with the “˜excerpting’ “ 

    But can you show me where you took exception when it was first released? Where you were remonstrating with others who were delighting in the supposed revelations these brief, isolated quotes supposedly represented? 

    These second lot of emails don’t show anything that wasn’t evident from the first ones and there is almost nothing in any of the emails that couldn’t already be seen in the public debate, if you look for it.

    I’ve said, and most people I trust have said similar, that the FoI issue is clearly embarrassing for those involved and there is plenty evidence of an over-defensive attitude. But then I think it fairly clear where this over-defensiveness comes from, the inexcusable reposting of, and uncritical reaction to, the excerptions being a vivid example.

    Anteros, I am sure you do think “the “˜failure to deride’ is most evident on the part of those who have aligned themselves to the “˜cause’“, but then you also thought that Richard Black’s article on the GWPF was vitriolic but apparently couldn’t see any problem with the flood of comments coming from Bishop Hill, and lead by Andrew Montford, so you will understand that I do not trust your judgement.

    Any significant issues in the e-mails, any genuine concerns that genuine critics have, are being swamped by patently absurd exaggeration. This is the real story of the e-mails and it’s the real story in the coverage of climate science generally.

  75. Nullius in Verba says:

    #72,
    “Despite this, there is nothing that I have seen or read in the emails that totally blows away the concept that humans are having an effect on climate.  Whether that effect is “dangerous” or potentiallly catastrophic is another question entirely.”
     
    Most sceptics don’t dispute that it has an effect on climate.
     
    However, to uderstand the point you make in the wider context, it really depends on the reason why you believed humans were having a potentially catastrophic effect. Was it because you knew and understood the chain of evidence showing it to be true, or was it because you trusted the scientists?
     
    And if you no longer trust the scientists, what does that leave you?
     
    I would hope that the revelations – after all the partisan dust raising has died down a little – will lead many to reflect for a moment on their reasons for continuing belief. What do you believe? Why do you believe? Who told you?
     
    Not all climate science is bad and for not all of it should judgement be suspended. But it will take some time to sort out what is what – and indeed, to come up with a method for doing so.
     
    True partisans, though, will not see any need.

  76. Lewis deane says:

    OPatrick

     But can you show me where you took exception when it was first released? 

    Don’t be cheeky! I don’t have to show anyone to what I take exception to, least of all you, thank you! And, further, I must say my ‘exception’ is more to do with the use of these quotes than their excision themselves, since, if one puts them in their real context, as I’m sure you have, one discovers that the situation is even worse!

    So when you say

    These second lot of emails don’t show anything that wasn’t evident from the first ones and there is almost nothing in any of the emails that couldn’t already be seen in the public debate, if you look for it.

    I hope you are doing so from real knowledge. The Nixon tapes didn’t add anything new but they certainly gave real evidence for what we already suspected. And when you say ‘new’ do you mean Phil Jones confirming, explicitly, that he had deleted emails subject to FOIA?

    But then I think it fairly clear where this over-defensiveness comes from, the inexcusable reposting of, and uncritical reaction to, the excerptions being a vivid example

    Ah, now we have an inversion of history! The leak of emails came before the reluctance of CRU et al to confirm to FOIA? I think you meant that you believe they were over duly ‘harassed’ by demands to comply with the law? I mean why should these lordly men and women comply with that when they have the whole weight of the world on their shoulders? God forbid!

    But for all that, I take your good faith and overlook your silence as regards the bad behaviour, as evidenced here, by these Profs and Doctorates. See, I can be cheeky, too!

     

  77. Steven Sullivan says:

    Pearce (and Revkin to an extent, and heck, Kloor too)  on the hacked emails, I think  illustrate something of the psychology of the journalist ‘tribe’: congenital anxiety over being *perceived* as the creature of any one side.  Nothing serves better for reporter who typically accepts the ‘mainstream’ view, than to take a stern,critical pen to it now and then, to prove his bona fides as a truth-teller.   “See, I *can too* question authority!”  
    You see this sort of thing a lot more on the left than the right.  
     
    The “false balance” fallacy is obviously  another manifestation of it.
     
    It’s a perilously egotistical move, though,  if the reporter is not in firm possession of the facts. He or she could end up having been a useful pawn in a disinformation game.   Look how Monbiot had to dial back his over-the-top condemnation of Phil Jones, once more facts had come out.
     
    Keith, have you been following along at all as RealClimate scientists address specific questions raised by Emails II, in the comments of their ‘two year-old turkey’ thread? 

  78. BBD says:

    EdG @ 56

    #53 ““ Nice spin, again. Funny but I don’t feel like I have been made to look silly. Try reading that original post again. for starters. The peer review process was corrupted by your AGW heroes, period. And that was the context of my comment.

    It’s funny how the ‘sceptics’ are always so sure that they are the wronged party. Instead of on the receiving end of justified criticism.

    Tellingly, you linked to WUWT making a fuss about Chris de Freitas. Who attracted opprobrium for waving through Soon & Baliunas (2003) over the objections of reviewers.

    Not only was S&B (2003) highly problematic, Soon himself is clearly compromised:

    But according to a Greenpeace US investigation, he has been heavily funded by coal and oil industry interests since 2001, receiving money from ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Insitute and Koch Industries along with Southern, one of the world’s largest coal-burning utility companies. Since 2002, it is alleged, every new grant he has received has been from either oil or coal interests.

    In addition, freedom of information documents suggest that Soon corresponded in 2003 with other prominent climate sceptics to try to weaken a major assessment of global warming being conducted by the UN’s leading climate science body, the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/28/climate-change-sceptic-willie-soon

    So it’s not exactly a great leap to see that de Freitas is compromised too.

    When Hans von Storch protested, he was gagged. So he resigned as Editor-in-Chief of Climate Research.

    This is the ‘Team’ corrupting peer review how, exactly? To anyone but a blind partisan, it’s obvious that the ‘sceptics’  are the ones doing the corrupting.

    And, again, since you choose to ignore the pre-1900 data for the discussion of the LIA, I sure hope that you are not also choosing to use it to make your claims about the ’20th century warming.’  That is “˜very likely’ to indicate excess selectivity on your part.

    I cannot help it if you reject my reasoned explanations for why the C20th data is more reliable. Nor can I help the fact that you are in denial about what the data show.

  79. Nick Stokes says:

    The clear contrast is that Wikileaks were of high news value and were analyzed as such. No-one was trying to work out whether writer A had said something rude about writer B. In fact, no one was really trying to spin them at all. The interest was obvious.
    The climate emails are nothing without spin – lots of it. And even then, there’s nothing.

  80. Alexander Harvey says:

    That “The Guardian” decides, not just that the real scandal is the failure to identify the original publsher of the emails, but to enlist the public to help in identification, seems akin to shouting “Come out, come out, wherever you are” down the wrong end of a howitzer.

  81. BBD says:

    Alexander Harvey
     
    The wrong end of a howitzer? Or a pea-shooter?
     

  82. Alexander Harvey says:

    Keith,
     
    Regarding (Climategate and Penn State) Anthony Watts has lifted the first paragraphs of a Tim Tynen piece in the “Daily Herald”. The conflation was not Watts’ but Tynen’s.
     
    Alex

  83. Alexander Harvey says:

    BBD,
     
    Should this affair come to trial, it seems plausible that the defence would seek to establish that the action was in the public interest. One could have a proxy trial of the science and the behaviour of the scientists. It has already been established that the emails revealed some criminal activity under the FOIA. It could well lead to an acquital and an inferrence that the guilt lay elsewhere.
     
    On the way various of the people involved could have to testify under oath. Now can we be certain that all the evidence given to the various inquiries was strictly true and whole?
     
    If it turns out to have been not a foreign agency but a UK one the above is possible and I doubt that the defence would be in need of funds.
     
    Alex

  84. BBD says:

    Oh be serious. Enough with the barrack-room lawyer stuff.

  85. Alexander Harvey says:

    BBD,
     
    OK, How do you think a trial would proceed?
     
    What benefit could you forsee from having this whole affair trawled through in court?
     
    Alex

  86. andrew adams says:

    Alex,

    I don’t doubt that the defence would try to do what you suggest, but it is difficult to think of a “public interest” defence which would stand up in court. People have suggested that if the person responsible was an employee of UEA they would be protected by whistleblowing legislation but this only protects people against being victimised by their employer, it doesn’t protect them against a criminal prosecution.

  87. sharper00 says:

    I don’t see how anyone could argue that taking possession of the emails and then keeping them for two years without releasing them is “in the public interest”.

  88. Alexander Harvey says:

    Hi andrew,
     
    I would risk hypocricy for supporting the acquittal of the “Kingsnorth Six”, or cheering for the MacLibel defence if I did not have some sympathy over the release of these emails.
     
    My broad understanding is that in both the criminal proceedings and civil proceedings mentioned, the defendents had broken the law and went on to actual or moral victories as a result of a trial.
     
    I say that those that may seek to see this UEA affair play out in court should be careful they do not wish for something that they come to regret.
     
    I expect that there would be significant media interest and much muddying of pools. The FOIA strand would again go against UEA and charges of a cover-up both could be levelled whether they be truth or fiction. There is a precedent for the calling of expert climate witnesses from Jim Hansen’s defence of the “Six”, I doubt that a deep pocketted defence would find it difficult to find experts to say what a service the email release was for the public good.
     
    Such a defence may be completely bogus and may not be successful and it might go to appeal. Whatever happens it could be a long old furrow and one that people might regret ploughing but that gulls would love picking over for worms, either real or imaginary.
     
    Alex

  89. […] controversy. Well, actually, two controversies. But, despite Keith Kloor’s insistence that it reveals a lack of journalistic instincts, I just can’t muster much enthusiasm for ClimateGate 2.0. So back to the controversy I […]

  90. […] controversy. Well, actually, two controversies. But, despite Keith Kloor’s insistence that it reveals a lack of journalistic instincts, I just can’t muster much enthusiasm for ClimateGate 2.0. So back to the controversy I […]

  91. Alexander Harvey says:

    shaper00:
     
    I think they are called barristers for the defence. A ruling that such a defence were ruled inadmissable could be spun.
     
    I cannot say how it would play out, but I am thinking about it. I wouder if people seeking a prosecution really have thoought about it. If they have, all well and good. If they haven’t I am encouraging them to do so.
     
    The placing of confidential information into the public domain is something that the media have seen as in their interest. Such a trial could make for strange bedfellows. Right now the UK media are castigating some journalists for outrageous intrusion into people’s privacy but I must wonder if that would still be the case by the time any case could come to trial.
     
    I think it might have been a different matter had the FOIA aspect of this not been there. I doubt that the apparent inequity of prosecuting the realease of information exposing an alleged and officially confirmed crime against FOIA would be missed. Just the sort of thing that “The Guardian” might wish to point out.
     
    Alex

  92. Dean says:

    @58 and others by Lewis Deane
     
    I was merely quoting the definition of a word and demonstrating that that definition matched the action we were attaching to it. You then go on a rampage. I did make some comparisons between the two actions, but did not defend Manning. But what you infer from my post is a far stretch from anything I said. So go on your merry way, I won’t bother you any more.
     
    My position on Manning is that he broke the law and deserves to be prosecuted according to the law (but only according to the law). If he felt that the cable release was justified on moral grounds, then he can suffer his punishment on those terms.
     
    My other comment addressed the difference between somebody who has legal access to something and gives it away illegally and somebody who breaks into something and takes it from an organization they opposed. The latter part of that is conjecture to some degree regarding the climate emails since we don’t know who did it or what their connection was. But the two facts of how the releases have occurred, combined with the attempt to hack into Realclimate to post them certainly suggests it wasn’t just some internal whistleblower at CRU.
     
    If in fact anybody died as a result of Manning’s release (and I have not seen that this actually happened), then the moral implications of that do hang on Manning and dwarf anything related to the climate emails.

  93. BBD says:

    Alexander Harvey

    OK, How do you think a trial would proceed?

    This is very unlikely to come to trial if the UEA servers were hacked from outside UK/EU. Even more unlikely if whoever did it is a foreign national (especially non-EU).

    What benefit could you forsee from having this whole affair trawled through in court?

    None whatsoever.

  94. andrew adams says:

    Hi Alex,
     
    I also supported the defendents in the “Mclibel” trial and I was sympathetic to the “Kingsnorth six”, although I think they were rather lucky to be found not guilty. There was also the case of the people who sabotaged the hawk aircraft which were due to be exported to Indonesia, who I did support.
     
    I think it is possible to have sympathy with or even support the actions of people who are prepared to break the law in order to pursue what they feel is a just cause, while at the same time recognising that the rule of law has to apply and so they have to accept the consequences of their actions. Of course if they can find a defence which stands up in court then so much the better (for them and their supporters anyway). But every case is different and I don’t think that having supported the above cases means one has to have a particular view on the hacker/whistleblower.   
     
    I still don’t see any obvious defence which would be available to them – unlike the above cases they claim to be exposing past misdeeds rather than prevent future ones, which I think would make a difference. As I said before, I don’t think a “whistleblowing” defence would work.
      
    But you are right when you say that even if they were found guilty the actual trial process would still prove beneficial to their cause – in fact a guilty verdict may well increase sympathy for them and allow them to be portrayed as persectuted martyrs, so I can’t argue with most of your points. My only real gripe would be with your claim that there has been an “officially confirmed crime” – what the ICO said that there was <i>prima facie</i> evidence of a breach of the FoI act that’s not quite the same thing. I agree that there would certainly been grounds for an investigation had the absurdly short deadline not expired but we can’t assume that Jones would have been prosecuted and found guilty.

  95. hunter says:

    @ sharper00 87,
    None of us on this blog are likely to know the back story on this. Asserting that there is no way this could be in the public interest is just a whistle in the dark.
    I can think of some scenarios where it is in the public interest to dole it out, but I am giong to decline to speculate.
    Even if it is not being done ‘in the public interest’, it may well be in the strong personal interest of the leaker/whistleblower/hacker.

    Of course the parties being leaked, if they had nothing to hide, could do the smart and clever thing and pre-emptively release their e-mails in whole and demonstrate not only their good faith, but show the ocntext they keep on about.
        
     
       

  96. WRT 79: Nothing?

     Tell that to De  Frietas.
     Tell that to McIntyre, Mann slanders him
     Tell it to Soon, Mann slanders him
     Tell it to Holland, Jones denied him his rights.

    When the people who were wronged say there is nothing, you have an argument. Until then we have your judgement of the wrongs done to others. Your judgement is not even relevant. But for the mails
    and the investigations people would still believe some of the silly
    things they did at the time. For example: that pointing at GHCN and saying “find the data” was a good faith answer to FOIAs. But for the investigations, people would not understand that CRU brought trouble on itself ( as the investigations found). Some might not care about the behavior of CRU around FOIA. Those of us who do care
    about FOIA understand that it takes cases like this to improve
    compliance. 
     

  97. Jeremy Harvey says:

    Keith, this is another nice post on this topic. I think you are right, it is interesting that many in the press have decided that this is a non-story. I also agree with you that after the yah-booing, anyone who looks at this story with an open mind should conclude something along the lines of your: “I trust climate science but not everybody and everything associated with it. Some people have agendas that tend to skew the science.” I would argue that the second sentence qualifies the beginning of the first one so much that it almost guts it of all meaning. (Although I also understand where you are coming from when writing that you “trust climate science”, in a country where so many people seem to manage to be confident, on political grounds alone, that all of climate science is just a fraud. In that sense, even as a lukewarmer, I “trust climate science” – but I think I give a slightly different meaning to that from you.)
    Why no interest from the media? I’d argue that there are two main reasons. One is that it is really quite hard to work out whether “adding the context” to the quotes released in the README files does indeed neutralize them, or not. Steve McIntyre spent ages digesting the message of CG1 and illustrating the ‘backstory’ – he has started doing this now for CG2, but attending to his stories requires a level of dedication, and willingness to engage with at least part of the science, that many journalists do not have.
    Another reason is ‘side’. Many – perhaps even almost all – environmental/science reporters tend to approach the AGW story from the consensus ‘side’. Some are even quite friendly with some of the AGW scientists who have the agendas you mention. In cases like wikileaks/embassy cables, journalists around the world tend to split into ‘sides’ with opposing views on the desirability of backing that story. Going with the consensus side is at one level a sensible thing to do: it is the ‘side’ of the majority of scientsts. As I argued on a previous thread, it makes sense for journalists to back the view espoused by the leading scientists, i.e. to use the argument from authority, on most science stories. But where you deviate from “normal science” for whatever reason, it is not such a good strategy. I think there are lots of cases like that where science journalists have shown they are not so sure-footed.

  98. WRT 74

    “Any significant issues in the e-mails, any genuine concerns that genuine critics have, are being swamped by patently absurd exaggeration. This is the real story of the e-mails and it’s the real story in the coverage of climate science generally.”

    True. That has been my complaint from the begining. The skeptics have over charged the case. That gives defenders of CRU a rather easy job. For example, skeptics repeatedly claim that the mails somehow indicat that CRU has messed up the land surface record
    ( usually pointing to harry readme) the defense is easy. CRU have
    not screwed up the land record. Inquiries have a look at that and the matter is settled. However, that is not the issue. The issue ( one of them)  is simple:  Did Jones delete mails as he requested that others delete mails? and is this illegal. That question was not even
    asked or investigated.  

  99. sharper00 says:

    @93

     “Even if it is not being done “˜in the public interest’, it may well be in the strong personal interest of the leaker/whistleblower/hacker.”

    I don’t believe “It was in my personal interest” has a strong history as a successful defence in court. 

  100. OPatrick says:

    steven mosher #96
    “True. That has been my complaint from the begining. The skeptics have over charged the case.” 

    So whilst the media are not investigating and reporting on the more significant issue we shouldn’t be looking to them to address these lesser issues – that would be pandering to the agenda of people who are willing to spread blatent disinformation.  
     

  101. Alexander Harvey says:

    Hi Andrew
     
    Perhaps I should have said “confirmed by an official”
     
    If I use google to search for:
     
    site:uea.ac.uk “to Dep Information Commissioner”
     
    I get two letters from UEA to ICO. The first gives the strong statement allegedly given by Graham Smith, which was perhaps a little incautious if true. The UEA are not best pleased with Mr Smith.
     
    The second includes:
     
    “However, you will appreciate that it is the University’s reputation which has been subjected to these damaging and incorrect assertions claiming to be based on your statment and we must take some steps to put this right. We will be writing to the media which carried
    reports based on your statment, pointing out the inaccuracies and asking them to rectify the position. If they are unwilling to do so we will have to consider taking the matter to the Press Complaints Commission.”
     
    I do not knwo how this ended, did Mr Graham retract?
     
    The alleged allegation was:
     
    “The emails which are now public reveal that Mr Holland’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act were not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation. Section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act makes it an offence for public authorities to act so as to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requests for information. Mr Holland’s FOI requests were submitted in 2007/8, but it has only recently come to light that they were not dealt with in accordance with the Act.”
     
    Whatever is the truth, that much is in the public record and Mr Graham could have to testify, if push came to shove.
     
    FWIW, I do not think Jones could be prosecuted, nor am I sure could anyone else. It is a crime only only as in so far as it is against a law.
     
    I think the ultimate sanction is the authority involved is held in contempt of court if it refuses to comply. I presume that in turn leads to fines levied until the authority complies.
     
    Regarding the “Kingsnorth Six”, the acquital was rather perverse, they had the luck to have a jury trial, (a right that seems to have been taken away for lesser cases), and for it to have been a criminal not a civil case. I seem to recall the “legal excuse” was to prevent a harm to Bangladesh, Namibia and a host of other threatened environments. The law was stretched a little I think, as it should be when needs must.
     
    In my judgement, the local mood due to the police turning the peninsula into a no-go area and generally poking everybody off may have had more affect on the jury than the climate evidence. The details of the case are quite extraordinary but that is another story.
     
    Alex
     

  102. Nullius in Verba says:

    #78,
    “Tellingly, you linked to WUWT making a fuss about Chris de Freitas. Who attracted opprobrium for waving through Soon & Baliunas (2003) over the objections of reviewers.”
    It wasn’t waved through over the objections of reviewers. The appropriate revisions as requested by the reviewers were all implemented, as the journal director reported. Where do you get your information from?
     
    I’ll accept your ad hominem oil-industry conspiracy theory about Soon (for the sake of argument) if you will agree that every researcher funded by or associated with Greenpeace, WWF, any renewable energy firm, carbon trading firm, left-wing political think-tank, or other pro-AGW interested party is likewise barred. Since CRU and half the IPCC authors acknowledge such associations, there’s not a lot left, is there?
     
    It’s ironic – isn’t it? – that the meme passed around is that sceptics are the ill-informed internet conspiracy theorists and industry shills, when it’s actually CRU that’s funded by Shell and other wealthy interests and it’s the scientists like Mann & Co. who are (wrongly) convinced there’s a global industrial conspiracy out to get them.
    Could they be projecting, do you think?
     
    Or is it simply a way to ensure that only their side gets funded?

  103. BBD says:

    NiV
     
    It wasn’t waved through over the objections of reviewers. The appropriate revisions as requested by the reviewers were all implemented, as the journal director reported
     
    I must admit this isn’t something I’ve burrowed into. Remind me: why did Hans von Storch and four others resign from CR? Something to do with an inadequate review process that let through substandard papers wasn’t it?
     
    I’ll accept your ad hominem oil-industry conspiracy theory about Soon (for the sake of argument)
     
    What ad hominem? Soon has been copiously funded by the oil industry (see Guardian link above). This is a fact. It just happens to be one you don’t like because it illustrates what we all know to be true: Big Oil, right-wing think tanks like the Marshall Inst., Cato, Heartland etc and ‘sceptical’ science are all tightly woven together.
     
    Fact.
     

  104. hunter says:

    BBD,

    Magical conspiracies of devilish people are a standard prop for the faithful.
    I bet you can’t wait to see Mooney talk about the subhuman aspects of wicked denialists and their genetic make-up. Perhaps you can co-author the logical subsequent volume on how to finally solve the the problem of denialist scum.

    @ shaper00 97,
    We are a long, long way from court. It is not even on the horizon. You can indulge yourself in speculatoin about the wickedness of the leaker(s)/whistleblower(s)/etc. all you want. The facts, if we are lucky, will speak for themselves.  Although I note with interest your silence irt what the ‘team’ could do to pre-empt all of this.
     
       

  105. WRT 98.
    I see two reactions.
    I see the skeptical reaction which is to generally overcharge the case
    I see the other reaction. There is nothing here.
    In my mind both are wrong, but they are both easy stories to tell.
    I dont know how you tell the real story without getting into loads of mind numbing detail. People don’t want to wade though piles of documents to discover that Muir Russell never asked Jones the most important question of all: did you delete mails. They don’t want to rummage through piles of documents to discover that no forensic analysis of this question was performed.
    Its far more satisfying to reduce the entire story to binary opposites
    whitewash/exoneration
    fraud/boys behaving badly
    if you read the mails and come away shrugging your shoulders rather than whincing, I’d suggest some soul searching. If you read the mails and come away livid, I’d suggest a tranquilizer. 

  106. Niv
    there are some interesting mails in the second stack related to how they crafted their message to appeal to Oil companies.. sorry no link

  107. Nullius in Verba says:

    #101,
    “What ad hominem?”
    The definition of an ad hominem argument is one where the identity or other characteristics of the arguer are used to determine the truth of a claim, rather than the content of the argument itself. It’s when one claims that an argument must be wrong because of its source.
    It’s like a converse of the argument from authority, in which one argues that a claim is right because of its source, rather than looking at the content. It’s a fallacy for the same reason.
     
    An example of an ad hominem fallacy would be if I said your story is wrong because it’s in the Guardian, a notoriously left-biased propaganda outlet with no credibility whatsoever. It’s not a valid mode of argument.
     
    You may be thinking of the ad hominem abusive, where an insulting characterisation of the arguer is used to argue their claim is wrong or dismiss what they say.
     
    You’re wrong to say it’s a fact I don’t like. I simply don’t consider it to be relevant. But for the sake of argument I was willing to go along with your thesis that being funded by special interests matters, since it would require you to acknowledge that since CRU are also funded by big oil, all their output must likewise be rejected as suspect. It’s not an argument I’d normally make against them, but if that’s the principle you really want to establish…
     
    So, do you acknowledge that since CRU are undoubtedly funded by Big Oil (and Big Green) that we can go ahead and throw away all their output? Or do you plan to waffle some more, first?

  108. sharper00 says:

    @103 Stephen Mosher

    “I see the skeptical reaction which is to generally overcharge the case
    I see the other reaction. There is nothing here.”

    What if reaction#2 was actually a product of reaction#1.  If the claims about what was in the mails were more accurate and more reasonable perhaps more could agree with them.

    From what I can see the most popular claims are the least accurate. This defines the scope of the debate and the context in which I have to profess agreement or interest. I would not claim there is “nothing” of interest in those mails but there is certainly nothing of scientific interest in them.

    In terms of how individuals reacted with varying levels of appropriateness to various external factors there is content of interest. In the context of “Prosecute them for fraud!” being screamed from the same people that had a hand in creating some of the behaviours in the mails themselves I fail to see how such a discussion can occur.

  109. Nullius in Verba says:

    #104,
    Thanks, I’ll have a look some time.
     
    I was thinking partly of those from the first batch, but it’s not a secret. They had the list up on their public web page.

  110. OPatrick says:

    steven mosher #103

    “I see the skeptical reaction which is to generally overcharge the case

    I see the other reaction. There is nothing here.

    Its far more satisfying to reduce the entire story to binary opposites
    whitewash/exoneration
    fraud/boys behaving badly”

    Might the problem be your eyesight? I don’t see these binary opposites, I don’t see people saying there is nothing here, but at least a few of them are correctly saying what’s here is acceptance and dissemination of obvious dishonesty by people who want to be taken seriously. We then see these same people trying to put forward a ‘nuanced’ argument and expecting to be listened to with respect.

  111. BBD says:

    hunter

    Magical conspiracies of devilish people are a standard prop for the faithful.

    You may not like the facts, but they stand. ‘Sceptical’ science is all tangled up with right-wing think tanks and oil money. You can deny this all night, but it’s true. Rant away all you like – it makes no odds.

    NiV

    The definition of an ad hominem argument is one where the identity or other characteristics of the arguer are used to determine the truth of a claim, rather than the content of the argument itself. It’s when one claims that an argument must be wrong because of its source.

    The content of ‘sceptical’ science is a big problem if you argue that it presents any challenge to the mainstream position.

    That being so, looking at who is funding it is illuminating.

    An example of an ad hominem fallacy would be if I said your story is wrong because it’s in the Guardian, a notoriously left-biased propaganda outlet with no credibility whatsoever. It’s not a valid mode of argument.

    This is called ‘bullshit’. If a major newspaper publishes a factually incorrect article – especially of this type – it will be sued by the subject(s). If no legal action is forthcoming, it is safe to assume that the article is factually correct.

    You’re wrong to say it’s a fact I don’t like. I simply don’t consider it to be relevant.

    Then you are even further sunk in denial than I realised.

  112. Nullius in Verba says:

    #109,
    So what was your answer to the question? Can we now throw away all the CRU’s output, or what?

  113. jeffn says:

    “I see the skeptical reaction which is to generally overcharge the case ”
    My, my. Now why in the world, after a decade of having foaming at the mouth “believers” in AGW screeching “denier! denier!” at them, would skeptics “overcharge the case” when it turns out their well-reasoned concerns about shoddiness in the statistics, the science of feed backs, and the peer review are confirmed?
    BBD,  NiV’s point was that your conspiratorial stance on funding is conveniently selective- “follow the money” applies to everyone. In fact, the Washington Post (the outfit that made that phrase famous when taking down Nixon) used that very same loaded wording “follow the money” just last Sunday. It appeared in a recap of the paper’s great journalistic work investigating apparent corruption in “green energy” grants. In other words- following the money flowing in and around the climate glitteratti is proving to be…far more interesting than simplistic bleats about “oil money.” Look up “ombudsman” at the Washington Post to see it.

  114. BBD says:

    NiV

    This is so naive it makes my teeth ache:

    But for the sake of argument I was willing to go along with your thesis that being funded by special interests matters, since it would require you to acknowledge that since CRU are also funded by big oil, all their output must likewise be rejected as suspect. It’s not an argument I’d normally make against them, but if that’s the principle you really want to establish”¦

    If you had ever been exposed to the wicked ways of the real world, you would have come across superficially contradictory behaviour that makes perfect sense.

  115. Nullius in Verba says:

    #112,
    Are you saying your stance on Big Oil funding is only superficially contradictory? How so?

  116. Alexander Harvey says:

    steven mosher #103
     
    “If you read the mails and come away livid, I’d suggest a tranquilizer.”
     
    There are at least two reasons for being livid, and mine and others may differ.
     
    Mine being that they have debauched climate science. They were aided and abetted by the inquiries, and the media. I would be thankful that paleoclimatic reconstructions are not exactly central to the science, were it not that they were made central to the debate. That made me whince too. I fail to think of anything in any of this that was necessary. Why do people do these things? Stuff has consequences. It puzzles me how people fail to see that their writing stuff down discussing how to avoid the disclosure of other stuff written down is a smart way to behave under the FOIA. It is not benign to be sneaky but at least its not dumb.
     
    Alex

  117. BBD says:

    jeffn
     
    BBD,  NiV’s point was that your conspiratorial stance on funding is conveniently selective


    Not really. Big Oil funds organised ‘scepticism’. It’s neither a well-kept secret nor contentious – unless you are a ‘sceptic’ of course.


    In which case you have one more obvious truth that must be denied at all costs.

  118. BBD says:

    NiV
     
    I have no ‘stance’ on Big Oil. It’s a fact that it funds organised scepticism. A fact that you are trying to deny, which is making you look silly.

  119. RickA says:

    So I guess we are all in agreement then.

    The emails are fair game. 

  120. kdk33 says:

    It’s also fair to say that every breathing inhabitant of the developed world is tightly woven together with Big Oil – being that Big Oil makes their very existance possible.

    an itty-bitty inconvinient tid-bit

  121. “Mine being that they have debauched climate science.”
     
    Oh, mary.

  122. EdG says:

    #117 Yes they are. As for those who wish they weren’t, methinks they doth protest [and spin] too much.

     

  123. jeffn says:

    “Not really. Big Oil funds organised “˜scepticism’. It’s neither a well-kept secret nor contentious ““ unless you are a “˜sceptic’ of course.”
    still willfully missing the point, I see. The question is whether money influences. I do not deny that “organized scepticism” is funded or that “organized climate advocacy” is funded. For that reason, I think both are suspect. By the way, the actual peer reviewed study on this shows there is more money in organized climate advocacy- this is a fact. So are they the more corrupt?
    Meanwhile the news grinds on- Andy Revkin notes that Science magazine has confirmed that all the claims that “we just lack political will” to solve global warming was… well, they’re too polite to use the word “lie” but the inference is obvious. 
    Obama’s economic adviser notes the obvious about “big alarmism”: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-28/goolsbee-says-those-in-u-s-opposing-keystone-xl-are-na-ve-.html
    So even beyond the emails, we have today the NY Times, Science Mag and the administration’s own experts calling climate advocates less than truthful, naive,  and wedded to dumb policy. But you can’t imagine why anyone would rise in opposition to that absent  corrupting “oil money”! 
    Carry on.

  124. EdG says:

    # 78 BBD writes:

    “It’s funny how the “˜sceptics’ are always so sure that they are the wronged party. Instead of on the receiving end of justified criticism.”

    BBD, I must hand it to you. Not only are you dedicated but you have quite the lively imagination.

    To clarify, this particular skeptic doesn’t feel “wronged” at all by anything you wrote and nor does my reply to you suggest that. At the same time I see little in your response that represented any “justified” criticism. Just your opinion and some picked cherries.

    More on Team corruption of the peer review process:

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/inappropriate-interaction-between-an-ams-bams-editor-and-phil-jones/

    You really ought to read more of what is pouring out of the Climategate 2.0 files. Very illuminating. And the response on the blogosphere does include plenty of genuinely “justified criticism.”

    Maybe Big Oil made them write these damning emails?

  125. Jonathan Gilligan says:

    My question is different: The criminal provenance is an issue, but no more so than the Pentagon Papers, as EdG notes. These are relevant documents about a highly politicized topic, so it’s appropriate for media to look at them.
     
    But here’s the problem: if you have 25,000 pages of documents and if you have a journalistic ethic to report fairly what those documents say, don’t you have to actually read them before reporting, rather than just grabbing bits and pieces without knowing their context?  I don’t see why there should be a rush to report before having read the whole mess. Is there some reason poorly informed reportage today would be better than more informed, level-headed reportage in two to six months?
     
    It’s not as though anything substantial is going to happen during that time frame regarding climate policy, so I can’t see a problem waiting and getting the story right.

  126. Keith Kloor says:

    Jonathan (121),

    You ask a fair question. As I’ve said, the first wave of stories are really just superficial reporting of the news. Not much anyone can do about that. This is the way journalism works with all such news events. 

    The second wave included the fuller responses from the climate science community, then we started to see, as I pointed out, stories about the state of the police investigation into the hacker/leaker.

    It’s quite possible (and likely) that journalists at some media outlets will do a deeper dive into the emails, which as you note, will take some time to do properly.  

  127. Nullius in Verba says:

    #121,
    You report what you have context for, and save the rest for later. You don’t have to cover the entire lot in one go – that would be impossible anyway. Do what the bloggers are doing. Pick a bit that looks interesting, seek out the context surrounding that one bit, and report on that. Then move on to the next bit.
     
    Lack of context doesn’t normally bother reporters. They’ll report speculation and errors if it suits them. Or they’ll ignore interesting stories if that suits, too. It’s been two years since Harry’s ‘read me’ came out – where is the comprehensive (or even superficial) coverage from a pro-AGW reporter on that one?
     
    There are lots of questions. Who is ‘Harry’? What is CRU TS? What is it for? Where is it used? Who first wrote it? Why is it so bad? What coding standards do UEA use? How do their back-ups and testing regime work? Where’s the documentation? What do independent software engineers think? What advice would they give? What are the problems described? Why are they problems and what effects might they have? Why did they arise? Are they real problems and were they subsequently fixed? To what extent can we trust the results? What do other researchers who have used the database output in their own work think about it? What has happened to the database, and to ‘Harry’ since Climategate? Has UEA upgraded its software standards yet? Have they got in outside help? What are the lessons learned from this, and how far does the problem go? Could there be any other datasets with similar problems, that we don’t know about yet?
     
    They’re all straightforward, routine questions any journalist could ask. It doesn’t have to be a hit job against the University, you can do a balanced and sympathetic piece that acknowledges the problems but also goes into the context of writing research software and the way they’ve tried to fix things. It could be educational, with information on modern software engineering practices like configuration control. It could inform the policy process by exploring what has been put in question and what can still be trusted. It could show how science is self-correcting, cleaning up some of the tarnish on its reputation. And it could show scientists to be fallible but well-meaning human beings who are trying their best.
     
    Has anyone done it? Not that I am aware.
     
    ‘Harry’ is an absolutely fascinating story. About human struggle, ethical dilemmas, good practice, humour, science, policy, and possibly the end of the world. What’s not to like? But they all want to bury it, because of everyone being on ‘sides’.

  128. harrywr2 says:

    BBD Says:
    November 29th, 2011 at 3:12 pm
    Big Oil funds organised “˜scepticism’. It’s neither a well-kept secret nor contentious ““ unless you are a “˜sceptic’ of course.
    Why would it make a difference to a sceptic? Does the fact that ‘big oil’ also funds a whole host of environmental groups change anything?
    Corporations fund what they think will make a difference to their bottom line.
    Coal,Oil,Gas,Nuclear, Wind,Solar all fund paid shills. So do the people who sell laundry soap and toilet paper. So what.
     

  129. BBD says:

    jeffn
     
    still willfully missing the point, I see.


    Not at all


    The question is whether money influences.



    Obviously the funding of organised ‘scepticism’ has been highly successful in creating and fostering confusion and doubt.


    I do not deny that “organized scepticism” is funded or that “organized climate advocacy” is funded. For that reason, I think both are suspect.
     
    But that doesn’t stop you championing the ‘sceptical’ viewpoint over the mainstream position – even though all the evidence supports the latter.

  130. BBD says:

    Jonathan Gilligan @ 121
     
    It’s not as though anything substantial is going to happen during that time frame regarding climate policy, so I can’t see a problem waiting and getting the story right.
     
    If only. Look at this thread – ‘sceptics’ will own this story unless there is pushback from rationalists. But rationalists care about tedious details like research, factual accuracy and narrative consistency.
     
    ‘Sceptics’ care about nothing except being ‘right’ (yes, ha ha).
     
    See how they swarm all over blogs drowning out common sense and driving dissenting voices away.

  131. BBD says:

    NiV
     
    There are lots of questions. Who is “˜Harry’?


    Ian ‘Harry’ Harris.

  132. Nullius in Verba says:

    #127,
    Yes, I know. I also know about CRU TS, and software standards, and so on. But readers of mainstream newspapers don’t. I’m listing the questions a newspaper article on the subject would/should answer.

  133. OPatrick says:

    BBD 126 / Jonathan Gilligan 121

    It seems the obvious answer for what a decent journalist should do is to hold off on the stories contained in the actual e-mails until a level-headed analysis is realistic, as Jonathan Gilligan suggests, but in the meantime report on the obvious, glaring evidence of misinformation which is swamping the debate.

  134. Eric Adler says:

    I agree with the consensus of most journalists. The story is not worth covering in detail.
    Covering the story means that the out of context quotes have to be put in the context of the correspondence, and the detailed issues and procedures, and personal relationships have to be explained. Then we have to understand if there are issues involving ethics, interpretation of the science or personal vendettas involved. I read some of the explanations of the out of context quotations by some of the writers of emails, originally appearing in the Guardian and East Anglia Univ.,   that were posted on Joe Romm’s blog. My  eyes glaze over. As Joe Romm points out, “Warning:  It ain’t The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/11/28/376188/hacked-emails-explain-cherry-picked-phrases/
    In the final analysis, why bother if it really doesn’t affect our conclusions about the science, based on the peer reviewed literature. 

  135. Niv.

     CRU TS?  have a look at it. its not that interesting which is why you dont find me discussing  the harry readme.

     

  136. jorge c. says:

    Mr.Kloor: have you read this news from Durban?

    [Climate Change Conference] COP18 in 2012

    Qatar has beaten South Korea to host next year’s conference, it was announced on Tuesday.

    and from Qatar’s wikipedia page:
    Environmental issuesIn 2005, Qatar had the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions, at 55.5 metric tons per person. This is almost double the next highest per-capita emitting country, which is Kuwait at 30.7 metric tons (2005) and they are three times those of the United States. By 2007, Qatar’s emission rate increased to 69 tons per person per year.[37] Qatar had the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions for the past 18 years. These emissions are largely due to high rates of energy use in Qatar. 
    wowww!!!! 

  137. hunter says:

    Eric Adler,
    @131 Your powers of circular reasoning and false conclusions are remarkable.
     

  138. hunter says:

    BBD,
    Consensus teams are entangled much more with lefty, big green and enviro extremists than skeptics ever ahve been.
    Your continuous denial of this (the rich irony) is a spectacular tell that you are full of hot air.
     

  139. EdG says:

    Re #134, 

    Posted this earlier on another thread (Road to Nowhere) but it appears to be dead so… this seems to be a pretty good link for keeping up-to-date on what’s happening in Durban:

    http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/special/2127808/durban-climate-summit 

    So far their only success appears to be planning their next conference.

  140. Nullius in Verba says:

    #132,
    Some people don’t find any detailed science interesting, unless it has some sort of personal consequence for them. It’s a matter of taste, I guess. But it’s a common sentiment that tastes are, or should be, universal: that if I don’t find it interesting, nobody else should, either.
    Everybody knows that ‘mathematics is boring’.
     
    In this case, though, the ‘Harry’ story is interesting not only for what it means about CRU TS specifically, but more for the insight it gives into climate science generally. It depends how legal-literal-minded you want to be. What’s ‘proved’ or ‘not proved’ in the sense of making a pseudo-legal case is a different way of thinking from simply understanding how climate science is typically done.
    Forget whether things ‘matter’ to the greater debate – Harry’s wit makes it an entertaining story in itself.

  141. Niv.

    The CRU TS series isnt very interesting. Basically you take CRU stations and then you  interpolate them down to a very fine grid scale, 1 degree or less.  That data is then used as an input to environmental models. not GCMs so dont go hoping its anything grand.

    I would not think you can generalize from how how CRU works in that one instance to how anyone else works. In fact, I know that would be wrong as I’ve had the opportunity to work with other people.   

  142. andrew adams says:

    Hi Alex,
     
    Fair enough, I can’t argue with most of that.
     
    AFAIK there were no further developments in the spat between UEA and Graham Smith – he did not retract his statement and they did not pursue the matter further.
     
    I think that you are right that in the event of non-compliance with a ruling from the ICO UEA would be held in contempt of court. In the case of the request from David Holland there were no actions necessary because he informed the ICO he didn’t want to pursue it any further.
     
    I completely agree with your take on the Kingsnorth case.

  143. andrew adams says:

    #94

    Tell that to De  Frietas.
    You’re kidding, right? De Freitas presided over a collapse in editorial standards which undermined his journal’s credibility. Trying to portray this as some kind of misdeed on the part of the “team” is perverse. Or do you think von Storck and the other members of the editorial board who resigned are just patsies?
     
    Tell that to McIntyre, Mann slanders him
    Tell it to Soon, Mann slanders him

     
    Does saying unpleasant things about people in private emails constitute slander? Is what Mann said about McIntyre and Soon any worse than what is often said about Mann at WUWT or Climate Etc? And, more importantly, did we really need to know about it?
     
    Tell it to Holland, Jones denied him his rights.

    Look, I’m pretty hawkish on FoI myself but having a FoI request mishandled does not make someone a modern day Rosa Parks. It was UEA not Jones who refused or failed to respond to Holland’s FoI requests. Holland appealed to the ICO, which ruled that UEA had not properly handled his requests (although the ruling didn’t say that they had to release the information he had asked for). That’s how the system works, and it did work, and the emails didn’t change the facts of the case. So yes, UEA fully deserves criticism for the way it handled the requests, and Jones too for his part in that, but Holland wasn’t ultimately denied his rights. He had to wait longer and expend more effort than he should have done but unfortunately this is hardly unusual – the ICO upholds hundreds of such complaints every year. 

    FoI is a fairly new thing in the UK and many institutions have taken time to come to terms with it. The ICO does an excellent job both in enforcing the regulations and working with institutions to help them properly comply with them, we also have plenty of people in the media or in campaigning groups keeping them on their toes. Climategate hasn’t particularly helped in this respect and we don’t need self-appointed “guardians” of FoI from outside the UK telling us how to improve the way the law works.       

  144. BBD says:

    hunter @ 135

    Consensus teams are entangled much more with lefty, big green and enviro extremists than skeptics ever ahve been.
    Your continuous denial of this (the rich irony) is a spectacular tell that you are full of hot air.

    You do not pause to consider that the mainstream science is correct. So any entanglement with ENGOs is far less distasteful and damanging than ‘sceptic’ pseudo-science sponsored by Big Oil for its own corporate benefit.

    This is a spectacular tell that you are an idiot.

  145. RickA says:

    BBD @114:

    I find your insistence that “the mainstream science is correct” amusing.

    We don’t know that.

    What we do know is that we do not know what the climate sensitivity is. 

    We do not know whether the recent warming is due to natural variability or the higher CO2 level.

    We do not even know whether the recent warm period is exceptional or just another in a string of warm periods, caused by lots of things other than CO2 level.

    Only time will tell if the mainstream science is correct.

    Saying it over and over doesn’t make it so.

  146. RickA says:

    I meant BBD @141.

  147. BBD says:

    RickA
     
    Have you noticed that the entire rational world except ‘sceptics’ has determined that RF from CO2 is the main factor in post-1950 warming?
     
    Climate sensitivity is ~3C for 550ppmv (hint: break the habit of a lifetime and read the primary literature).
     
    Pretending that it isn’t CO2 don’t make it so.

  148. RickA says:

    BBD @144:

    At least I admit to uncertainty.

    I don’t ignore the error bars which exceed the signal you pretend is so certain.

    Maybe it is CO2 causing the warming and maybe it isn’t.

    Only time will tell.

    Personally, I will be very interested in what the average global temp will be when CO2 is 550 ppm.

    At least then, we will have an actual observation on CS which we can use to judge all of these CS estimates and the climate models. 

    It will also be interesting to then measure the actual sea rise.

    While I am at it, I may glance at the sea ice up north and maybe even scan the ice down south.

    We will be in a much better position to actually know what is going on with actual observations to compare to model predictions.

    By the way – why was it as warm or warmer around 1200 (CO2 was 280 ppm)? 

  149. BBD says:

    RickA

    Maybe it is CO2 causing the warming and maybe it isn’t.

    Why would additional CO2 (which we know for a fact absorbs and re-radiates LW) not cause energy to accumulate in the climate system? You would need to re-write the laws of physics to stop it doing so. Yet ‘sceptics’ seem unaware that they must answer this question.

    By the way ““ why was it as warm or warmer around 1200 (CO2 was 280 ppm)?

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16892-natural-mechanism-for-medieval-warming-discovered.html

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/medieval-warm-period-intermediate.htm

    I repeat: Have you noticed that the entire rational world except “˜sceptics’ has determined that RF from CO2 is the main factor in post-1950 warming?
     
    Do you never wonder if you might just be wrong?

  150. OPatrick says:

    erm, RickA:

    “I don’t ignore the error bars which exceed the signal you pretend is so certain.”

    “By the way ““ why was it as warm or warmer around 1200 (CO2 was 280 ppm)?”

  151. andrew adams says:

    OPatrick,

    Indeed, and you need biiiiiiig error bars to make that claim even remotely plausible.

  152. BBD says:

    OPatrick
     
    Indeed. But perhaps you are being a bit subtle for RickA?
     
    😉

  153. andrew adams says:

    There is nothing inherently wrong with oil companies, political think tanks or environmental groups funding scientific research or public information on scientific subjects. But if the results of this research or the information given to the public turns out to be suspect then that may raise questions about whether the source of funding had any bearing on this. So “follow the money” is only half the story – you have to start with dodgy research or misinformation and then follow the money. And where a pattern starts to emerge where certain parties crop up repeatedly then we might wonder if there is a concerted effort to mislead the public in order to promote a particular agenda, especially if there are undisclosed links between some of those parties, or they try to disguise their involvement, or they have have behaved in a similar way in the past, or there is a close resemblance to previous well documented attempts to mislead the public. And we might be inclined to treat any new research or sources of information associated with those parties with suspicion.
     
    Personally I always prefer to address the arguments rather than the credibility of those making them, at least in the first instance, but it is silly to pretend that the above considerations are not relevant, or that certain parties have not been trying to twist the public’s understanding of the science to suit their own agenda.  

  154. RickA says:

    O’Patrick @146:

    So I should have said  why could it have been as warm or warmer around 1200 (CO2 was 280 ppm)?

    The question still stands.

    This potential warming is within the error bars, and  clearly could not have been caused by CO2.

    Now you can say it never got that warm – but that conclusion is not supported by the data and the margin of error.

    If it did get that warm – and it was not caused by CO2 – why might the current warming also be coincident with higher CO2 levels?

    Isn’t that at least a possibility? 

  155. BBD says:

    [Keith – 8:49am comment stuck in moderation is response to RickA @ 151]

  156. andrew adams

     you have no standing to comment on the wrongs done to others.

     Let’s just take Mcintyre as an example. McIntyre has never publically nor privately to my knowledge called Mann a fraud. The public accusations by commenters and other folks are all ANSWERABLE because they are PUBLIC.

    Mann wrote to journalists and claimed Mc was a fraud. he wrote to other people who were reviewers of Mc and claimed he was a fraud.
    Those charges because they were in private could not be answered. it is far worse to poisen the well behind someone’s back, where they cannot face their accuser and meet the charges.
     
    Holland did not receive the documents he requested.
    Again, you are in no position to have any opinion whatsoever
    on whether Holland in the end was given what he deserved and when he deserved it.

    In short, you were not wronged and your opinion is worthless. 

  157. OPatrick says:

    “McIntyre has never publically nor privately to my knowledge called Mann a fraud.”

    This seems an odd argument to me. We don’t know whether McIntyre has called Mann a fraud privately because his e-mails haven’t been ‘released’ for public viewing. But more importantly he has at least some responsibility for the moderation of blog and I assume you aren’t going to try to argue that there haven’t been comments to the effect that Mann is a fraud there.

  158. NewYorkJ says:

    McIntyre has never publically nor privately to my knowledge called Mann a fraud.

    Nah just very transparent implications – perhaps enough to avoid libel.

    The stories in Eichenwald’s book about Fastow’s rage reminded me of Mann’s rage

    Fastow being an Enron criminal.  See also other posts comparing Enron fraud to Mann’s work.

    Enron Trial in the News

    ClimateGate from an Enron Perspective

  159. andrew adams says:

    steven mosher,

    So I can’t comment on wrongs done to others unless I have been wronged myself? Seriously? So how have you been wronged? What standing do you have to comment on the supposed wrongs done by Jones and Mann?

    I don’t claim McIntyre called Mann a fraud, just as he didn’t accuse Briffa of cherrypicking over the Yamal data. His followers are happy to do his dirty work for him.

    As for Holland, I am in a position to have an opinion because I have read the ICO’s judgement and understand the UK FoI act. No he didn’t get what he asked for – not everyone who makes FoI requests does, there are sometimes valid grounds for refusing a request. Whether you or he think he “deserved” to get the information is absolutely irrelevant – it’s whether he was legally entitled to it which is the relevant question.     

  160. OPatrick says:

    “So I should have said why could it have been as warm or warmer around 1200 (CO2 was 280 ppm)?”

    No, you shouldn’t have accused someone of something which you then did in the very same comment. 

    (BBD 149 – I think you may have been right.)

  161. EdG says:

    “McIntyre has never publically nor privately to my knowledge called Mann a fraud.”

    Because he is too much of a gentleman and he doesn’t need to. Mann’s work and words speak for themselves.

    On the other hand, look at what some people have called McIntyre. But his work and his words speak for themselves.

  162. OPatrick says:

    “Because he is too much of a gentleman and he doesn’t need to. Mann’s work and words speak for themselves.” He has a blogful of people to do it for him.

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