Whose Team Are You On?

Distracted (excited?) by melodramatics, Lucia and Anthony Watts miss the most interesting part of this tantrum by Michael Tobis, when he says to Steve Mosher:

I believe you that you are not on Koch’s team. I think you are on [Julian] Assange’s team, Team Loose Cannon.

I’m interested in this because so many discussions involving Assange (and Wikileaks) conflate motivation and character flaws with deed. In my opinion, this conflation colors the perception of the big WikiLeaks “document dumps” such as the last one. Fortunately, plenty of journalists get the value of WikiLeaks; unfortunately, many don’t, which has puzzled me. (The same split has occurred among transparency advocates.)

So how does this relate to Steve Mosher and the climate debate? Well, Mosher is the co-author of this book, an unpardonable sin to many in the climate community, including Tobis, who consigns Mosher to eternal damnation,

Unless and until you find it within yourself to understand that you have major fucked up, big time, by throwing big juicy meat to the deniers to chew on and spin paranoid fantasies about for years, even decades…

Now if Tobis merely left it at that and didn’t suggest (in a negative way) that Mosher was cut from the same cloth as Assange, I wouldn’t find this outburst so interesting. So what is Tobis after here, more than two years removed from Climategate? He’s grasping for an underlying motivation for an action that he finds contemptible. Typically, Tobis is prone to sweeping statements:

My point, alas, is not to revive the controversy (comments on that matter will be summarily booted) but to raise the question of Mosher’s M.O. If he is a coherent and honest person, he has no respect for privacy, and explicitly holds that anything held in confidence is grounds for suspicion. This is totally out of keeping with existing culture, so much so that I suspect it is inherently inhumane. Of course, when we think about Assange, we have to raise exactly the same questions.

Leaving aside the “inherently inhumane” crack, which strikes me as pretty over the top, I think the most intriguing question related to all this was raised by PDA in the comment thread:

Let’s assume Mosher is sincere in his stated motivation, and give the same benefit of the doubt to Assange. Now make the same assumption about Daniel Ellsberg, notably a supporter of Assange.

What’s the substantive difference between the three, when you abstract out your judgment about the actors themselves, and likewise the outcome of their actions?

It’s a real question, not a gotcha. Because I don’t know the answer myself.

That’s a good question to chew on if you’re one of those people that likes to judge an action by someone’s character.

Personally, I’d rather a person’s action, or blog post, newspaper article, or academic study be judged for itself and not on the basis of an inferred motivation.

147 Responses to “Whose Team Are You On?”

  1. Barry Woods says:

    personally Michael Tobis actions and perceptions of sceptics and Lukewarmers like Steven Mosher is fascinating (and of Tom Fuller)

    His repsonse is almost guaranteed to make anyone on the fence more sceptical.

  2. grypo says:

    The motivation aspect is important in asking ourselves what we are looking for.  If the liberty of private communication is superseded by something more important, then the reasoning for that is important. What is Anonymous looking for when exposing internal communication for BofA?  What is Assange looking for when exposing the State Departments around the world?  What is Mosher/McIntyre looking for when exposing scientists’ emails?  What is Cuccinelli looking for?  What is Greenpeace looking for?  Then the really important question of whether or not these reason is important enough to infringe upon liberties, or even if the action will produce the results sought regardless of liberty.
     
    There is also the question of the target’s vulnerability of being seriously harmed without justified cause.  This would be the most important question for the climate-gate question and the assault on academia as a whole.

  3. Barry Woods says:

    A similar response in the UK is going on with George Monbiot
    .
    Why are senior greens and environmentalists attacking George Monbiot and Mark Lynas, for being ‘Chernobyl death deniars’ !

    Ie in a continuationsof Keith when George went nuclear thread..

    same sort of response to these 2, as MT has given to Steve Mosher, actually worse, as these 2 are fully members of the CAGW club..

    http://www.marklynas.org/2011/04/time-for-the-green-party-and-guardian-ditch-nuclear-quackery/#comment-877

    Don’t thse environmenatlists realise how they are coming across, to those outside of ‘green social circles’?

    Mark Lynas extract (author of 6 Degrees)

    “Yesterday I was an environmentalist. Today, according to tweets from prominent greens, and an op-ed response piece in the Guardian, I’m a “Chernobyl death denier”.

    My crime has been to stick to the peer-reviewed consensus scientific reports on the health impacts of the Chernobyl disaster, rather than ““ as is apparently necessary to remain politically correct as a “˜green’ ““ cleaving instead to self-published reports from pseudo scientists who have spent a lifetime hyping the purported dangers of radiation.”

  4. JD Ohio says:

    Wikileaks is measurably different than the other 2 leaks because, by leaking the materials pertinent to specific military actions, deaths of exposed people were sure to follow.  The Climategate emails are very different because their emails were not confidential because the researchers were supported by government funds.  Also, their release was not likely to lead to the deaths of anyone.
    A quick look at Ellsberg & wikipedia seems to indicate that Ellsberg released government deliberations that were not likely to endanger soldiers.  So his release appears to be very different from Wikileaks.  However, it does appear that Ellsberg’s release was in fact a crime, but he was not convicted because of government misconduct in prosecuting his case.

  5. steven mosher says:

    Basically what MT is saying is that our other values, our values related to the process of science, transparency and openness, can be given short shrift because the planet is at stake.
    In our book, we called this “noble cause corruption”
    Steve McIntyre actually suggested that phrase to me, and it seemed to fit perfectly. Still does,  and in a way you see MT agreeing. He’s on a mission to save the planet. Anything goes.
     

  6. ivp0 says:

    Who’s Team are you on???  The question smacks of modern McCarthyism.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism
    A modern day witch hunt among greens and moderates calling out the disloyal as the AGW issue moves off the front page and back near the obituaries.  Joseph McCarthy was wrong then and MT/Romm/Schmidt are wrong now.

  7. Keith Kloor says:

    JD Ohio

    Can you point to some proof where WikiLeaks disclosures led to U.S. military deaths?

    In this particular case, I’m referring to the release of diplomatic cables, but go ahead and point me to where wikiLeaks has been responsible for deaths as a result of its actions.

  8. It’s not so much about the book, not that I approve of the exercise.
     
    There’s also Mosher’s behavior after the publication of the book, where Sharper00 provides us a nice example in the comments to my notorious posting. (Mosher urges a corruption case (!) against Eric Steig on the basis of a perceived insult and yet another minor disagreement on statistical methodology.) But it’s mostly the murky beginnings of the whole sordid business, wherein Mosher at least lent a hand in getting the ball rolling.
     
    In other words, there is reason enough even at face value to suspect that the great calumny-fest of 2010 would never have happened without the participation of Mr. Mosher.
     
    There is also the fact that the story of how so-called Climategate started originates in large measure with Mosher’s testimony. It’s plausible that his version of events is self-serving in some way.
     
    As for “noble cause corruption”, that is an interesting idea and not without merit. However, if you actually subtract the fireworks and read what I said, it was the other way around. The ignoble cause of relentlessly embarrassing scientists can and does proceed on the thinnest of evidence. Participating in this is itself corrupt.
     
    Since whatever flawed scientific institutions we have are crucial in present circumstances, acting to distract, derail and demoralize science is an ignoble cause, unless of course the science can be shown to be very deeply corrupt. That is, we have to weigh the benefits against the costs.
     
    But the problems revealed by the CRU emails are mostly trivial and in no case severe. No formal publication was tarnished in the least. People were embarassed, half-educated zealots continue to hound them, a corner of climate science is reduced to almost complete paralysis, and the general public is left with a sense that the crisis is still scientifically controversial. To my knowledge the balancing benefits were and are and will probably remain nil.
     
    This is where matters tie in with Assange and Manning, and why what they did has to remain illegal. Yes, it is fun to see what people are really thinking. I understand the fascination of it; being a journalist is like having a busybody license. But people had an expectation of privacy, acted on that expectation, and the expectation was violated. To celebrate that act is willy-nilly to destroy privacy in the interest of openness. Should we publish our computer passwords too? Our bank statements? Our children’s medical reports?
     
    Openness in science is a valuable principle among many. It doesn’t trump everything, including the rights of flawed humans to privacy and dignity.  So who has the “noble cause corruption”? I think Mosher ought to try that shoe on for himself.
     

  9. lucia says:

    Keith,
    As you point out, Tobis has a penchant for overstatement.  For example, let’s consider this:
    If he is a coherent and honest person, he has no respect for privacy, and explicitly holds that anything held in confidence is grounds for suspicion.

    But what’s are Tobis’s reasons to believe Mosher has no respect for privacy?
    What happened here is:

    Tobis participated in discussions on some private back channel and wrote a blog post here he revealed the information he wanted to reveal.

    Others participating on overlapping private back channels revealed  information they wanted to reveal.

    When outsiders evaluating their claim asked them to reveal additional information that might be pertinent they refused on the grounds that the communications on backchannels were private.

    Mosher points out that this pattern of behavior– i.e. selective revelation of private information— will tend to make outsiders suspicious.
    Tobis appears to conclude this  Mosher’s observation in (4) means he has no respect for privacy whatsoever.

    I should note that Mosher’s observation 4, seems to be a statement of empirical fact: If you selectively reveal what you want to reveal from private communications but refuse to reveal the remaining bits, claiming they are private, outsiders and third parties will tend to suspect you might be distorting the truth.  It’s true you might not be doing so. But I think those who observe people will see that outsiders often see insiders selective revelation of private information as suspicious.

    Of course, Tobis might have explained why his selective revelation of contents of discussions on private back-channels ought not to be viewed with suspicion.  But instead, he posted a rant filled with F-bombs making rather sweeping statements about Mosher’s ideas about privacy and likened Mosher to Julian Assange.

    As you observe, the Julian Assange bit is intellectually compelling than the F-bombs.
    But it also strikes me as somewhat equivalent to Anthony mentioning Charles Manson last week.
    Tobis throws in the reference to Julian Assange and that inflammatory reference at least temporarily prevents people from focusing on what it is Mosher really actually said and what the clear meaning of what those words meant.
     

  10. ivp0, I agree that the use of the word “team” is unfortunate. But it is worse still trying to reduce everything to two “teams” as if climate science were a football game. In general, it is those attacking climate science who use the word and are attached to the concept.
     
    It was Mosher who introduced the concept of “team” in the present context; he claimed to be on my “team”. I was willing to tolerate him as a respectful enemy, but in now way am I willing to be associated as a supporter of his behavior. This is the trigger for my anger.
     
    He is no ally of mine. His interest in scientific content or sustainability policy are minimal compared to his gleeful interest in stirring up suspicion about scientific practice. Whether that level of suspicion is grossly disproportionate seems not to affect him. But it affects the rest of us a great deal.
     

  11. Keith Kloor says:

    Lucia,

    I don’t agree that the Assange association in Michael’s post is “somewhat equivalent” to Watts’ Manson post. That was obviously a sleazy guilt-by-association that more resembled the commenter (i think on this thread: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/loughner-left-right-or-just-a-grammar-obsessed-loon/) who was pointing out all the genocidal killers who were atheists. If I recollect, you called him out on that, too.)

    Anyway, Michael’s comparison of Mosher to Assange, while wrongheaded in my opinion, is more thought out than a lazy link to a ridiculous newspaper article by Watts for point-scoring purposes.

     

  12. ivp0 says:

    MT,
    I appreciate your thoughtful and reasoned response.  Ultimately I believe science, reason, and cooler heads will prevail.

  13. JD Ohio says:

    #7 KK
    My understanding is that Wikileaks released the details of military operations. Wikipedia describes 92,000 documents related to the the war in Afghanistan. If so, that would expose Afghans who cooperated with the U.S. to death.  If I am wrong about the nature of the exposures, I am happy to be corrected.  Personally, I don’t have a great deal of problems with the diplomatic cables that have been released.  However, I think there needs to be laws protecting the secrecy of diplomatic cables or the U.S. government would be unable to receive frank dispatches from foreign governments.
     
    JD

  14. cagw_skeptic99 says:

    MT “Since whatever flawed scientific institutions we have are crucial in present circumstances, acting to distract, derail and demoralize science is an ignoble cause, unless of course the science can be shown to be very deeply corrupt.”

    The concept that bloggers can actually “distract, derail, and demoralize” ‘science’, whatever that means, and/or working scientists is weak. Why would legitimate scientists care about bloggers?

    Then “science can be shown to be very deeply corrupt” is actually an accurate description of the ‘science’ and ‘scientists’ who created and publicized the Hockey Stick and continue to promote and defend it. I suspect that some of the folks defending that group’s work have accepted their words about what they did without bothering to read the CRU emails and the analysis presented by SM and others. But the work itself was corrupt and those who know what and how it was done and still defend it are defending corruption.

    The ongoing criticisms and investigations are bound to be distracting because their professional reputations, and possibly their liability to actual legal consequences, are severely at risk. Any investigating body with the ability to compel sworn testimony will force them to invoke rights against self incrimination or disclose extremely embarrassing information that would damage their professional reputations and possibly end their careers.

    Certainly those with an interest in preserving the reputations of the Team and its work have reason to complain about ongoing demands for data disclosure and openness. The Team has a lot to lose and nothing to gain by disclosing the data and methods of manipulating it that led to the Hockey Stick. The truth will continue to leak out and be pulled out, and one day the Team will likely receive their long overdue public humiliation.

    MT seems to be a nice fellow who wants so much to believe, and really does believe, but he is just one of many whose faith in fellow academics was misplaced and abused.

  15. cagw_skeptic99 says:

    #7KK You are unlikely to know about those who suffer because their role was disclosed in the leaked cables. When someone with inside information shares it with a US agent, and the information becomes public, there are often only a limited number of people who could have been the source. That is why source and methods are, and should be, carefully protected.

    Generally the State Department cables should not have contained source sensitive information, but eventually policy is made based on it and those who didn’t want the information disclosed to US agents will have the opportunity to figure out who leaked.

    When people in war zones die, it isn’t likely that either side wants to disclose that the dead person was leaking information to a US agent. Some information simply should not be disclosed, and that should not have been in the cable anyway, but if you were the informant would you want your life dependent on how carefully the State Department employees are in putting your information into secret cables?

  16. Jeff Norris says:

    PDA suggested that we consider the outcome of Climegate CRU Tape Letters and the wikileaks absent the personalities behind them.   Currently there is a plausible argument that the released cables helped galvanize the frustrations that lead to the current Arab Uprising.
     http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/feb/02/wikileaks-exclusive-book-extract
    So now consider the CRUtape and how it may have had significant effects on the peer review process and the availability of data.  Laypersons like me may have naively thought that peer review was similar to doctors doing a medical consult.  Scientist  would look at the data for any obvious mistakes, make suggestions, and either agree or disagree with the diagnosis.  All in all it was a very calm and cordial event when in fact it was like two sides in a celebrity child custody case.  Now look at what has happened so far this year.  O’Donnell and Steig were encouraged to take their fight into the streets.  This week we had Romm torpedoing a study with a reviewers help, along with  Box outing himself to take on another study.  Imagine how this practice of public street fighting will evolve in the future.  We might get to the point that reviewers will start arguing in the public square the minute they get the papers.  No more slow rolling and hoop jumping sabotage.  The next IPCC report maybe on the internet months before it is officially released. 

  17. JD Ohio says:

    !6 Norris  “We might get to the point that reviewers will start arguing in the public square the minute they get the papers.  No more slow rolling and hoop jumping sabotage.  The next IPCC report maybe on the internet months before it is officially released.”
    This would definitely be an improvement on the way peer review was used and manipulated in the past.
    JD

  18. steven mosher says:

    MT:
    “There’s also Mosher’s behavior after the publication of the book, where Sharper00 provides us a nice example in the comments to my notorious posting. (Mosher urges a corruption case (!) against Eric Steig on the basis of a perceived insult and yet another minor disagreement on statistical methodology.) “

    I simply pointed out what I called a nuclear option. If I wanted to urge such an action, I’d just do it. basically, McIntyre was being threatened with legal action and well, if they wanna go there, then one always has the nuclear option and to hit them back.  For me the question about whether or not one could go after steig is an academic question. the same way one would wonder about contacting Micheals university about revoking his Phd? The same way one could wonder about collecting files on an editor to have him removed. The same way jones could write ‘keith could say he didnt recieve anything”  Except, I was suggesting that people look at LEGAL options. i was suggesting that IN THE OPEN. I wasnt suggesting obstructing an FOIA request in secret. So, MT, which is worse, suggesting in the open that people look into a legal option, or suggesting, as Jones did, that keith could say he didnt recieve anything? Weird, you want to let Jones and others off the hook for minor infractions and hold me to account for suggesting legal options. weird.
     
    “But it’s mostly the murky beginnings of the whole sordid business, wherein Mosher at least lent a hand in getting the ball rolling.

    In other words, there is reason enough even at face value to suspect that the great calumny-fest of 2010 would never have happened without the participation of Mr. Mosher.”
    Well, as much as I would like to take credit, its pretty clear that the liberator wanted the data out. One way or the other. As I’ve said before, if the files were under my control, they would have been dripped out slowly over time.

    “There is also the fact that the story of how so-called Climategate started originates in large measure with Mosher’s testimony. It’s plausible that his version of events is self-serving in some way.”

    Its possible that leprauchans change the climate MT. You need to put some substance on it. Let me help you.

    You might argue that I broke in and stole the mails, posted them to WUWT and several other blogs. Then acted surprised when Charles called me about them. pretended to stay up for days reading mails. When you speculate  like this you look foolish to me because I know, charles knows, anthony knows, Mcintyre knows, fuller knows that I had nothing to do with the release. I believe CRU knows as well. So how does it feel to be dumber than the people you criticize.

    “As for “noble cause corruption”, that is an interesting idea and not without merit. However, if you actually subtract the fireworks and read what I said, it was the other way around. The ignoble cause of relentlessly embarrassing scientists can and does proceed on the thinnest of evidence. Participating in this is itself corrupt.”

    You obviously dont understand noble cause corruption. In noble cause corruption, individuals ( say the police) break their OWN rules to promote their noble cause. In Climategate, we argued that a few scientists broke their own rules (like FOIA) because they believed they were saving the planet. I’m unaware of any rules I broke for my greater cause of freeing data. The emails were already freed. I wrote a book explaining how the mails do not change the science. the earth still needs to be saved. AND we do NOT have to sacrifice our other values in doing this. We can save the planet AND respond to FOIA. we can save the planet AND share data.

    You believe that sharing data or answering FOIA may imperil the cause. So you approve of breaking a few minor rules here and there. That approach, got you the reputation every dirty cop deserves.

    “But the problems revealed by the CRU emails are mostly trivial and in no case severe. No formal publication was tarnished in the least. People were embarassed, half-educated zealots continue to hound them, a corner of climate science is reduced to almost complete paralysis, and the general public is left with a sense that the crisis is still scientifically controversial. To my knowledge the balancing benefits were and are and will probably remain nil.”

    As I’ve said repeatedly, the best course of action was to admit the small errors. Correct them where possible and move on. Instead, people still deny some basic facts. We can discuss the Muir inquiry if you like.

    “Openness in science is a valuable principle among many. It doesn’t trump everything, including the rights of flawed humans to privacy and dignity.  So who has the “noble cause corruption”? I think Mosher ought to try that shoe on for himself.”

    The sad thing MT is that you think LIKE JONES that sharing data and the cause are in opposition. Jones would not share data becuase he was afraid about what people would do with it. In fact, that decision NOT TO BE OPEN, was the most distructive thing. It was the idea that openness was not most important, that lead to this whole issue. that’s the lesson.

    You and Jones thought those values were in CONFLICT and that saving the earth trumps openness. I think just the opposite. I think you save the planet by being open.

    Now, we have tested YOUR idea. Jones tested that. How’d that work?
    maybe Mooney should write a piece about why people dont learn from their failures.

  19. steven mosher says:

    With regards to publishing private information. There is only one individual who had his private information passed around. That individual had his private info passed around between a few individual doing climate science.
    Does anybody know which man had his personal information passed between climate scientists?
    You see MT doesnt really care about the protection of personal information. because if he did, he would know the one single individual who had his personal information passed around.
     
    The funny thing is that we discussed this personal information issue very early on. We realized that if the mails came out one mans personal info would be comprimised. But it was already being passed around by climate scientists.
    Who was in danger?
    MT doesnt know.

  20. Marlowe Johnson says:

    personally Keith i’d prefer if you’d use your ‘editor’ button and refrain from characterizations like ‘tantrum’.  it says more about you than it does about the subject….
     
    and of course +1 to MT.

  21. Marlowe Johnson says:

    oh and Mosher is a drama queen just like Steve Mc…..

  22. steven mosher says:

    MT,
    you have it backwards.
    “His interest in scientific content or sustainability policy are minimal compared to his gleeful interest in stirring up suspicion about scientific practice. Whether that level of suspicion is grossly disproportionate seems not to affect him. But it affects the rest of us a great deal.”
    I’m really most interested in the scientific content and process. As I said when I requested data, i did NOT expect to find anything wrong with it. I said this repeatedly to Gavin. I know there is nothing there. there’s no reason to hold it back. Other people took the hiding of data as a cause for suspicion. I did not. I took it as a sign of pig headed stupidity.
    you get my argument BACKWARDS. because there is nothing to hide, you should give the data. Dont hold it back to be cute, or because you have fears, because holding back data will cause wingnuts to have suspicions.
    And, you can see, your plan worked. Hold back data when there is nothing wrong with it. Presto, you cause more trouble.
    Dont believe me? THE INQUIRYS AGREE WITH ME. not you. not jones. they agree with my position. cru brought trouble on themselves. Thats your doing, not mine.

  23. kdk33 says:

    “Its possible that leprauchans change the climate”

    Indeed.  In fact, there is considerable uncertainty regarding this theory of climate.  We’ve not yet been able to prove that leprauchans are NOT changing climate.

    Until we know for sure, we must do penance.

    (ROTFLMAO)

  24. Keith Kloor says:

    Marlowe (20),

    Are you trying to get me to stop taking you seriously?

  25. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @keith
    if anything I”d have thought #21 would have done the trick not the prior.  while i freely admit to misusing ‘pathos’ in a previous post, can you not admit to your own error with ‘tantrum’? MT is many things, but childish certainly isn’t one of them….

  26. Eli Rabett says:

    Eli is going to enjoy it when Assange and Bradley Manning win the Nobel Peace Prize for setting off the Arab Spring, which to date has significantly improved the governments of Tunisia and Egypt, with Yemen, Libya and Syria lying in the balance.
     
    Yes, it exposed Afghans and Iraqis to retribution, but on balance, so far, so good.  Yes, Assange is a drama queen and a loose cannon.  Bradley Manning, who knows, very strange cat.

  27. Aw hell, I hate to pull the rug out under you, but I’ll cop to the textual equivalent of a tantrum just this once, Marlowe.
     
    The real question is whether Mosher’s carefully constructed worldview makes sense. Here he is in one breath claiming himself pure as the snow and accusing me of wanting Jones’ data locked up which I don’t. It’s just that I don’t think Jones deserves to spend the rest of his life chased by a pack of rabid hounds for it. But suddenly I’m the one arguing for closed data!
     
    Can we just establish a sense of proportion here? That’s really all I’m asking for. Mosher’s “it’s out of my hands” posture is ridiculous. The “if I hadn’t done it somebody else would have” defense has never held water and it doesn’t now. And though I hammed it up a bit, it genuinely makes me angry.
     

  28. Tom Fuller says:

    Michael Tobis,
    For at least two years now you have systematically attacked people who agreed with you regarding the science but differed from you on policy solutions. Lucia Liljegren, both Pielkes, myself, Judith Curry and now Steve Mosher. You’ve dragged us all through the mud. ‘Hammed it up?’ Hysterical mudslinging is more accurate.
     
    Meanwhile, you haven’t written a word about people or organisations that a rational observer would think you should be opposing. Where are the exposes and expositions against the Ken Cuccinellis, Marc Moranos, Competitive Enterprise Institute, etc.? Nada.
     
    You and Romm, Lambert, Rabett and the commenters who trail clouds of inglory behind you are holdovers from an era of left-wing infighting famous for striving for party purity at the cost of achieving anything.
     
    Must the world wait for you all to pass from the stage before anything can get done?

  29. Alexander Harvey says:

    The relevence of any comparison with Julian Assange is mostly lost on me, but then so is the identification of the Wikileaks material uniquely to Assange,

    Of the debate on Democracy Now, the man from Salon.com had at least some idea of how the material is converted into news, whereas the man from the FAS seemed broadly uninformed.

    The Wikileaks process for turning secrets into news, is sophisticated and bizarrely anything but open. For the big dumps, the converstion to news is performed by the print media under strict handling controls, in a way that seems a parody of an intelligence agency, with I believe a seperate dedicated bureau existing inside the papers.

    Wikileaks is causing a rethink of what Journalism is, and what Publishing is. It puts demands on the newspapers that are novel in terms of data mining and combining data with public sources to enrich it so that it can be evaluated. These are techniques that have more general uses that also have a bearing on transparency.
    I fail to see the benefit of comparing an organisation that has brought about a sea change in how the media thinks about Journalism and its relationship to government sources, and the author of a book on the CRU emails.
    On one hand, a mechanism for moving covert information into the public domain that has shook governments, and may change the nature of what is and is not secret, A mechanism that reveals just how thin the ice is under basic concepts relating to freedom on the internet and in the media, with particular concern over whether the internet is a public space with inherent protection from interference, or one formed of a private enterprise that is free to act as it pleases or under state duress.
    On the other hand an author of a book for whom I have no disrespect, but can’t quite see in the same light.
    I suspect that Wikileaks is not understood in the US the same as it is here. The UK in particular offers strong support for the organisation and also personal support for Assange notably from the Frontline Club and its president.

  30. lucia says:

    Tobis
    It’s just that I don’t think Jones deserves to spend the rest of his life chased by a pack of rabid hounds for it
    You say that as if anyone wants to chase Jones around for the data for the rest of his life.
    Jones isn’t spending the rest of his life being chased for the data. People just wanted the data and were going to continue to request data until the data were available. Chasing for the data ended when the data were made available.
    After that, there was some investigation into Jones’s trying to get around FOIA. But all that could have been averted by Jones making the data available. But this is separate and is related to Jones not wanting to hand over data.

  31. Keith Kloor says:

    Marlowe (25),

    It should be clear to you (and others– from both sides) by know that I’ve lost patience for the BS phony outrage and semantic games. You have nothing to say about my post except to take issue with my characterization of Michael’s profanity-laced post as a “tantrum.” If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were tone trolling.

    Your comments of late suggest you’re not really interested in engaging, just scoring points. Honestly, I can’t be bothered. Get real, be a straight shooter, or don’t waste my time.

  32. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom Fuller (28),

    I know that your experiences with Michael in the blogosphere have left you with a real bad taste. But I have to say that I don’t put him into the same category as Rabbet, Romm, and Lambert. They’re black and white. It’s zero sum with them.

    Michael can be lacerating but he strikes me as sincere and guileless. And for all his catastrophizing, he can be nuanced (unlike the aforementioned knuckle draggers). Maybe I’m wrong, but this is just my gut feeling based on reading his blog the last few years. When he writes his posts, I just don’t imagine him being tactical or political. That doesn’t mean I agree with how he characterizes you or Mosher, but I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t see him being driven by a political or ideological agenda.

    That counts for something in my book, though I recognize that will be small comfort to you.

     

  33. Tom Fuller says:

    I look at Michael Tobis as playing the conflicted card to buy his way out of big time trouble. He takes it beyond the limit and tries to walk his way back to polite society. I think it’s something he does intentionally.
     
    Your mileage may vary, of course. But when he calls Judith Curry out of touch and incompetent, I don’t see any nuance in that. When he says that Mosher and Lucia are ‘forces of evil’, I don’t see any nuance in that either.
     
    Tobis wrote six posts about me in a one or two-month timespan saying I didn’t understand the science. He never once asked me anything about the science, despite repeated requests from me. I offered to interview him at examiner.com. He refused. I offered to give him a guest post. He refused. I don’t see any nuance in that.
     
    He agonises in public about whether he should continue his excoriation of those he attacks. But the decision following these Shakespearian soliloquys (sometimes duets, if he includes Willard, who might just be his alter ego) never changes. More in sorrow than in anger, he just plunges in the knife again.
     
    I don’t blame you for being gentler with him than I am. That’s your call. But I don’t buy it.

  34. Jeff Norris says:

    Eli (26)
    I admit that you hedged your comment by saying “which to date” and “so far” but it could be construed that you are making an argument for the ends justify the means.  I would hope that the Nobel Committee would not rush to judgment and risk further damage to their credibility. Although it is easy to have this sentiment safe in Stockholm or Virginia
     “To attain all this however rivers of blood must yet flow, and years of desolation pass over. Yet the object is worth rivers of blood, and years of desolation for what inheritance so valuable can man leave to his posterity?” Thomas Jefferson

  35. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom (33),

    Well, I just went over to his site and see the latest climate therapy session you’re referring to and yes, it is dismaying that he calls Mosher and Lucia “forces of evil.” I just don’t get why he does this sort of thing. My first blog spat with Michael two years ago involved his cavalier use of such language. I wish he’d lose the habit.

  36. Paul Kelly says:

    Polling data shows that climategate, the root of Tobis’s rejection of Mosher as a teammate, had little or no effect on public opinion. Nobody but us blog wonks know or care anything about data sharing issues or Steig. If climate is an existential threat, it would be prudent to grab any ally available. That seems to be tough for some. On the other hand, MT is the one climate blogger who writes openly about his internal intellectual and emotional conflicts, so I’m willing to cut him a little slack.

  37. Jeff Norris says:

    Hey, man, you don’t talk to the Michael Tobis. You listen to him. The man’s enlarged my mind. He’s a poet warrior in the classic sense. I mean sometimes he’ll… uh… well, you’ll say “hello” to him, right? And he’ll just walk right by you. He won’t even notice you. And suddenly he’ll grab you, and he’ll throw you in a corner, and he’ll say, “Do you know that ‘if’ is the middle word in life? If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”… I mean I’m… no, I can’t… I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s… he’s a great man! I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas…

    Apologies to Mr Coppola

  38. steven mosher says:

    “Michael can be lacerating but he strikes me as sincere and guileless.’
    keith that is why I like MT as well. He does hang it out there once in a while, but I’ve always found him as you have.. sincere and guileless
    The only times he really gets under my skin is when he is factually wrong.
     
     

  39. Tom Fuller says:

    Sadly,l Steve, that is too often for my taste.

  40. Tim Lambert says:

    In successive comments (32 and 35) Keith calls me a “knuckle dragger” and then complains about Michael Tobis’ “cavalier use of such language”.  There’s a word starting with “h” for Keith’s behaviour.

  41. lucia says:

    Keith–
    Steve Bloom’s reply to you  is
    It’s the effect they have, not how they rationalize their behavior inside their own heads. You too, for that matter, albeit that you’re lower on the scale.
    So, the effect Michael has is for people like Steve Bloom to decree that you too are a force for evil!

  42. Keith Kloor says:

    I love that there’s an evil scale! I think perhaps on this scale you and Mosher would be Dr. Evil and I am Dr. Doofenshmirtz.

  43. Tom Fuller says:

    Keith, you write that you wish Tobis would lose the habit of demonizing his enemies.
     
    It’s not a habit. It’s his schtick. Without it he has nothing to say.

  44. steven mosher says:

    yes Tim. The word is “honest”
     

  45. steven mosher says:

    Re #42.  Ha Keith, I miss having little ones around the house. They really rounded out the kinds of TV I watch.
    Dr Doofenschmirtz. ha.
    with MT I’m struggling with figuring out exactly what I have done. But let me try this and see if   the knuckledraggers (KD) like it. I think they see me as a traitor. As if believing in the science obligated me to act in ways congruent with the rest of the tribe.
    For example, if MT was sent a link to the emails, he would have called up CRU and alerted them to the breach. What would You do Keith?
    Maybe that’s a good topic. If people were put in my shoes or jeffIds shoes what would they do? And how is it connected to science, and how to policy.
    The way MT tells the story I am evil because I am the straw that broke the camels back and now the planet is lost.
    Imagine that you open your mailbox one day Keith and its full of emails between pat michaels, anthony watts, steve mc, ete etc. what runs through your mind
     
     

  46. harrywr2 says:

    Eli Rabett Says:
    April 23rd, 2011 at 8:37 pm Eli is going to enjoy it when Assange and Bradley Manning win the Nobel Peace Prize for setting off the Arab Spring.
     
    Actually Eli, some of my acquaintences familiar with matters involving national security expect Private Manning to receive a rather short prison sentence and have expected that since a few days after the leaks. On balance, the leaks presented a favorable image of the US and an unfavorable image of others.
     
     

  47. Tom Gray says:

    Do you people actually read teh words that yopu write?
     
    The world is facing a potentially serious problem. The science seems to be inadequate to craft useful policies. The technology does not seem to be there to implement useful policies. And you are discussing the sue of rude words and insults
     
    Knuckle draggers, forces of evil, various obscene eptehts, talking animals … Evidence of an intelligent civilization

  48. Stu says:

    This reminds me more of a school gang, where one of the kids starts to make friends with the weird new kid from out of town. The other boys don’t like it, so in order to stay in the group the other boys let it be known that their friend ‘prove’ somehow that he is still cool, still part of the gang. The scene is staged, the fight announced- the weird new kid is pushed, kicked and tossed in the mud by the other boy. What a scene! What entertainment… Yes. It’s all an act, a performance. The boy has signaled to the group that he is still loyal… he has done what is required of him. The gang is satisfied, the boy has proven himself and things go back to how they were. The other boy from out of town doesn’t really understand, he thought things were going well and he was making friends. He looks down at his torn, muddy clothes and bruised legs. Confused…
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO-tSXFq1fY&feature=related

  49. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    Is Michael Tobis ideologically motivated? Yes. He wants to “save the world.” But it’s more than that. In the one exchange we had, Michael Tobis called me a “sock puppet” without any reason simply because I had the audacity to disagree with him on an issue completely irrelevant to concerns of global warming.

    Apparently failing to agree with him on every issue is enough to justify him insulting you. Even worse, he uses these in place of arguments. This means he attacks people while failing to convey any meaningful information.

    Is he sincere? Yes. He’s a sincere jerk.

  50. Matt B says:

    Music break! Hard to believe this is 25 years old….originally written for Reagan but hey, it’s an equal opportunity commentary………..
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-iBsaNUdV4
     

  51. Eli Rabett says:

    Jeff Eli is a very conservative bunny, but it’s been a while since the Wiki leaked, and maybe the hedging was not needed.
     
    Harry, Eli thinks that the US government and the army has a real hard on for Manning, and you are probably wrong, but the Rabett does agree with you that the image of the US and the seriousness of the State Department and the Armed Forces officers was shown in a very favorable light by the leaked letters.  Also their ability to spot corruption.

  52. willard says:

    In #18, we read:
     
    > The sad thing MT is that you think LIKE JONES that sharing data and the cause are in opposition. Jones would not share data becuase he was afraid about what people would do with it.

    Moshpit is putting thoughts into Jones’s mind and into MT’s mind.  This is a trick.

    Moshpit is associating some of MT’s mind states with some of Jones. Jones did some bad deeds because of these mind states.  So Moshpit is judging MT’s mind states by associating them with Jones’s.  This is a trick.

    These two tricks might not be evil tricks.  But they are wrong.  This is quite easy to see.  The first trick is innocuous. But Keith considered the second trick (i.e. associating by guilt) “sleazy” in a related context.

    We can all see how using tricks like these is wrong. If Mosphit can’t see that these kinds of tricks are wrong, no big deal.

  53. steven mosher says:

    Jones would not share data becuase he was afraid about what people would do with it.
    Moshpit is putting thoughts into Jones’s mind and into MT’s mind.  This is a trick.
    #####
    No Moshpit is interpreting Jones words to Warwick hughes. Why should I give you the data when all you want to do is find something wrong with it.
    Moshpit is making sense of a change in Jones behavior. Where Jones went from somebody who was willing to share data from from 2002 to 2004 to somebody who was unwilling to share data with VERY SPECIFIC exceptions. So from 2002 through 2004 Jones was willing to share data with mcintyre and hughes. he even stated that this data might be confidential. Then, Jones  wrote that he would rather destroy this data than share it with skeptics. Then, mann sent Jones a mail saying I cant fight these skeptics on my own. Then Briffa sent Jones a mail showing mann getting savaged in the press for not sharing data. then Jones decided not to share data. Later, when GISS decided to share code they wrote to Jones and said, that should relieve the pressure.
    the trick is willard’s. Willard wants people to ignore what they can read with their own eyes.  It has not worked since nov 2009. It does give comfort to those unwilling to face the tough questions.

  54. steven mosher says:

    From: Phil Jones <p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    To: mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Subject: Fwd: CCNet: DEBUNKING THE “DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE” SCARE
    Date: Wed Apr 27 09:06:53 2005

    Mike,
    Presumably you’ve seen all this – the forwarded email from Tim. I got this email from
    McIntyre a few days ago. As far as I’m concerned he has the data – sent ages ago. I’ll
    tell him this, but that’s all – no code. If I can find it, it is likely to be hundreds of
    lines of
    uncommented fortran ! I recall the program did a lot more that just average the series.
    I know why he can’t replicate the results early on – it is because there was a variance
    correction for fewer series.
    See you in Bern.
    Cheers
    Phil
    ########
    context: debunking the climate scare.
    Mcintyre has requested code and data for a published paper. he has requested it because he cannot replicate the results of the paper. he has followed the methods as described in the paper and cannot reproduce the results. he seeks the data and the code in order to replicate the results and attack them. That’s his mode of operation and this is known to both Mann and Jones by this time.
    Jones claims to have sent the data. But he will not send the code. He will not look for it. he knows that the code does more than is described in the paper. he knows why Mcintyre cannot reproduce the results. He is fine keeping mcintyre in the dark?
    Why? this question was never asked by any inquiry. We will never know exactly what was in Jones’ mind. Jones may not even know. Willard cannot construct a LAUDABLE motive for these actions. We however are free to suggest a variety of motives. Thwarting Mcintyre was the end result, so a good place to start is by ascribing a motive consistent with the outcome. That’s just a start, understanding the whole story and construction a RATIONALE for why the characters did what they did is not a trick. It is what we do in every day life. we do this because we dont have access to people’s motives. they dont even have access to their motives ( if you’re a freudian you understand this). So absent any credible narrative from willard explaining the whole of the text, what he has is a thin skeptical trick. One that doesn’t work.

  55. steven mosher says:

    The question is did Jones deny data to McIntyre because he was afraid of what Mcintyre would do with it?
    Well, to try to establish what was in Jones mind, one thing we can do is look at the views others expressed to Jones leading up to his denials. This establishes a plausibility for our explanation. what ideas and conceptions were being fed to Jones. Also note that this the kind of thing we do when we try to understand what any author or historical figure is thinking. it’s called an influence study. Willard is doubtless aware of this practice.
    Recall again, that in 2002 Jones shared data with Mcintyre.  By the end of 2004, however, mcintyre had a paper in the GRL which was causing some alarm. That alarm hits a peak on dec 30th, and mann puts the following to Jones:
    X-Sender: mem6u@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 6.1.1.1
    Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 09:22:02 -0500
    To: Phil Jones <p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    From: “Michael E. Mann” <mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>
    Subject: Re: Fw: Rutherford et al. [2004]
    X-UEA-MailScanner-Information: Please contact the ISP for more information
    X-UEA-MailScanner: Found to be clean
    X-UEA-MailScanner-SpamScore: s
    Phil,
    I would immediately delete anything you receive from this fraud.
    You’ve probably seen now the paper by Wahl and Ammann which independently exposes
    McIntyre and McKitrick for what it is–pure crap. Of course, we’ve already done this on
    “RealClimate”, but Wahl and Ammann is peer-reviewed and independent of us. I’ve attached
    it in case you haven’t seen (please don’t pass it along to others yet). It should be in
    press shortly. Meanwhile, I would NOT RESPOND to this guy. As you know, only bad things
    can come of that. The last thing this guy cares about is honest debate–he is funded by
    the same people as Singer, Michaels, etc…
    Other than this distraction, I hope you’re enjoying the holidays too…
    talk to you soon,
    mike
    ######
    So is it plausible to argue that Jones has adopted mann’s thinking? That Mcintyre is a shill and that nothing good will come out of sharing stuff with him? Yup. I dont see any competing theory. Shortly after this mail, jones will discuss FOIA and destroying data if he is asked to produce it.
    Then in feb briffa sends Jones manns press clippings. mann needs help. the skeptics are gaining ground. on that day, Jones pens his infamous words;
    Why should i give you the data when all you want to do is find something wrong with it. . And so, We have mann planting the idea in Jones head that these guys are bad. and Jones saying, no data for you, you”ll do bad things with it.
    So, is it a trick to suggest that this idea was in Jones head? nope. The trick would be to come up with some other explantion. Maybe it was the sunspots? maybe natural variation?
    there’s more, later
    .

  56. steven mosher says:

    Willard should note that putting thoughts into people’s heads is not a trick.
    After all, he used the word “insincere” when describing Mosher.
    “we all know that Moshpit is insincere”
    I take this to mean what what I have read from them. That I say one thing and believe another.
    ########
    Now, onto the second issue.
    Here is what i wrote:
    “The sad thing MT is that you think LIKE JONES that sharing data and the cause are in opposition.”
    Here is what willard wrote
    “Moshpit is associating some of MT’s mind states with some of Jones. Jones did some bad deeds because of these mind states.  So Moshpit is judging MT’s mind states by associating them with Jones’s.”
    So the  first question is what can say about Jones mind state when he refused data? Well, technically nothing. We cant observe it. the best we can do is to try to make sense of a variety of input. We have mann explaining to Jones that he should not share with mcintyre because mcintyre is evil and no good will come of that. We have Jones then discussing the two people who are asking for data (Hughes and Mc) and then we have mann asking for help in the fight against evil skeptics. We also have Jones admitting that he suffered from a bunker mentality. We then have jones telling wigly that if he was ordered to give the data under FOIA he will destroy it first. Then we have briffa sharing Manns press clippings about attacks on mann for not sharing data. then we have jones words: why should I share my data when all you will do is find fault with it. And lets not forget that Jones also thought this data should be shared under WMO guidelines. later we have jones suggesting that he rearrange the data so that its harder to understand. So, when we ascribe a ‘thought” to Jones, we must realize that A) we are ALWAYS ascribing mental states to people. When I believe what you say I am ascribing a mental state of sincerity to you. B) such ascriptions are always hypothetical. Somebody may have a better explanation of why you produced the verbal signs you did. In the end, we are always trying to make sense of utterances by ascribing unobservable “mental” states. That is not a trick, that is how we operate. Very simply, if we are trying to make sense of all of Jones writing it is reasonable to predict that he would assent to the following: “I think sharing the data with people who want  to create mischief would cause a delay in taking action on the climate. So I am willing to place my commitment to save the planet above my commitment to be open with data.”
    To be precise, i think it is highly probable that MT will agree with such a sentiment.  He thinks LIKE jones. he thinks or rather would agree that denying data to delayers is justified if it saves the planet.
    Again. I think Jones believed that by denying the data he was protecting the cause. I called this noble cause corruption.
    I think MT has the SAME KIND OF LOGIC. he thinks the same. he thinks in the same way, he uses the same types of arguments. he thinks LIKE jones thinks. That does not mean they have the same mental states. It means they think alike. in the same way.
    Evidence?
    “I understand you want to air the dirty laundry. You understand that I don’t, but you don’t seem to understand why I don’t.

    Let me explain why. It is not because I am a pusillanimous chickenshit, Mosher. It is because the fucking survival of the fucking planet is at fucking stake. And if we narrowly fucking miss pulling this out, it may well end up being your, your own fucking personal individual fucking self-satisfied mischief and disrespect for authority that tips the balance. You have a lot of fucking nerve saying you are on my “side”.
    Maybe willard gets it now.
    Both Jones and MT appear to believe that the planet is at stake. And, they dont want to air the dirty laundry or the data because they are afraid that skeptics will use this dirty laundry to delay action. So the ends of saving the planet justifies the means.
    When I read MTs statement I think: that sounds like the logic jones uses and mann uses. it sounds like the logic I have read a hundred times. Dont share this data, dont discuss this topic, dont show the decline BECAUSE the planet is at stake and skeptics will have a field day with it. Those types of arguments have been made repeatedly.
     
    please note. I don’t think this is evil. I think it is mistaken. My position is that we do need to save the planet, and fearing what skeptics will do with data or dirty laundry is a baseless fear. Its baseless because the refusal to release data or to discuss dirty laundry causes MORE HARM to the cause.
    So, here we are in 2011 still discussing dirty laundry. why?  because no body has wanted to own the dirty laundry and take the right action to correct the problem. Jones hid the data. mistake. I think he hid it because he was concerned about the confusion skeptics might cause with it.
    MT doesnt want to talk about dirty laundry? why? I argue that he thinks LIKE JONES, he thinks sharing dirty laundry will hurt the cause.
    I think thats a fair reading of MT and Jones. but I could be wrong. It could be sunspots that cause  them to have such positions.
    If we want to have a discussion lets have the real discussion.
    MT, did Jones action of denying data hurt or help the cause?
    MT, does refusing to admit that jones request to delete mails WAS IN FACT connected to an FOIA request, help or hurt the cause?
    You object to me imputing thoughts to MT. let him answer some questions and we remove all doubt. I have a load of questions. Hint, they are all about dirty laundry. which MT doesnt want to air. he is afraid that talking about dirty laundry will hurt the cause. I am afraid that not talking about it squarely hurts the cause. it leads to talk about talk which causes delay.
    When Tom and I wrote the book we both thought the following.
    If people face the small issues squarely and disown certain behaviors squarely and change a couple things in the process, the matter can be put to bed in 6-9 months. If they dont, it will linger. forever and make action even harder.
     
     
     
     

  57. Quiet Waters says:

    I’m sure that in the interests of openness and whatever else it is that goads Mosher into continually publishing other people’s private emails we can look forward to seeing the imminent publishing of the complete, unexpurgated email conversations between Mosher & Fuller.
     
    Or perhaps not…

  58. Stu says:

    Steven’s points above are echoed by Steve McIntyre quoting in a new post at climate audit..
     
    “But there’s a price for not being offended, because the public expects more. If climate scientists are unoffended by the failure to disclose adverse data, unoffended by the trick and not committed to the principles of full, true and plain disclosure, the public will react, as it has, by placing less reliance on pronouncements from the entire field ““ thus diminishing the coin of scientists who were never involved as well as those who were. This is obviously not a happy situation at a time when climate scientists are trying to influence the public and many have lashed out by blaming everyone but themselves, using the supposed exonerations by these ineffectual inquiries as an additional pretext.”

    I find it very hard to understand why people such as MT and others react so forcefully to this viewpoint. It’s a viewpoint which is obviously shared by a majority of the interested public. It is also a very practical viewpoint. If climate scientists really have nothing to hide, why appear as though they do? Instead, MT adopts a situational ethics perspective (the ends justify the means), or as I heard someone put it recently- ‘all’s fair in love and war’. This seems to also be a post-normal viewpoint.
     
    Situational ethics’ original aim- how best to serve love, is replaced by MT and others with how best to serve the planet. But the problems inherent to situational ethics are present again here.
     
    Eg, from wiki-
     
    “The problem is that it gives people an excuse for not obeying the rules when it suits them. If someone wants to do something badly enough, they are likely to be able to justify it to themselves.Agape love is an ideal, whereas humanity is a practical species full of selfishness and other flaws.”
     
    Saving the planet is obviously a complex goal, therefore it requires multiple solutions or multiple perspectives in order to work. By chopping off, labeling all other perspectives, approaches and voices as ‘evil’ – MT and the rest of his post normal climate scientist encampment have climbed out onto a limb. They appear to be sawing away furiously at their own last branch.
     
     

  59. Jay Currie says:

    MT is an excellent example of how badly the Team and their supporter communicate.
    Biffing Mosher is tactically idiotic simply because Steve can fight his corner and fight hard. And strategically it is moronic as all it does is paint the Team into the corner of arguing that the leaked emails were not intended for public view and that was just fine.
     
    But it isn’t fine as the emails were about matters of public importance.
     
    MT should realize that the public is no longer willing to accept the experts; views merely based on their, often faux, expertise.
     
    The fact is that this round is over. The Warmists have lost. They may be able to regroup, improve their observations and their models and take another run about 2025; but I doubt it. The corruption runs too deep. Until a leader emerges who takes science seriously, the whole enterprise of “climate science” will be stuck with the flying quotes and believed by no one more sophisticated than the third graders stuck with being taught this drivel.

  60. steven mosher says:

    re 57. well, lets see. I’ll start showing you some things I wrote to tom during the writing of the book. Tom wrote me and asked me what questions I would have for Dr. Mann. I wrote

    GIVEN that we are seeing an erosion of trust what are you going to  DO
    Dr. Mann to restore confidence.


    1. Does the behavior of climate scientists in episodes like hiding the decline Build trust
    or erode it?
    2. Does denying data to your opponents build trust or erode it?
    3. Does working to get editors removed from journals build trust or erode it?
    4. Does demonizing your opponents as “deniers” build  trust or erode it?
    5. Calling for Phil Jones resignation would obviously build trust, what do you
    intend to do to build trust Dr. Mann?
    6. Alarmist warnings that don’t come true don’t build trust. Isn’t it time for You and
    other leading figures to denounce this kind of behavior?
    7. Do you think that IPCC communications should be carried out with complete
    and utter openness? Will you publish all your correspondence on Ar5?
    8. Since skeptics can’t get published how in the world can they erode trust?


    So basically the frame is this. Consensus in those governed is vital to taking action.
    But that consensus is being eroded by a lack of trust in climate scientists. we know
    this from public surveys. What role have climate scientists themselves played in undermining
    public trust and what should they DO ( not say) to restore the public trust.


    These emails reveal what many suspected. The behavior of scientists behind closed doors does
    not comport with the high standards we demand of them. Their integrity is vital to public trust
    and public trust is key to taking effective action. Words and PR can only go so far and as we have seen they can backfire. 

    #######
    Quiet waters. here is what you do not get. Nothing I say to tom and nothing tom says to me  changes the science. nothing we talk about changes what the mails say. So in the end, you still have to deal with that.
    The argument that Jones said X, remains even if I’m dr evil as Tobis asserts. What I did was very simple. I arranged the mails in chronological order. I arranged the blogs in chronological order. I quoted from both and explained what you see. If I were an axe murderer that would not change the fact that Jones asked mann to delete mails and requested that mann contact Wahl to delete mails. And it would not change the fact that wahl says he deleted mails as a consequence of mann forwarding that request to wahl.. Tom and I could be swimming in Koch money and that would not change the facts. And until you face THOSE FACTS no amount of diversionary tactics will help you. in fact JUST THE OPPOSITE. avoiding that discussion, highlights the thing you wish to hide. Ironic. The more you try to make me the topic, the more the topic of the mails remains in play.
     
    ######
    As for openness and my mails? Unlike some I have no problem complying with any legal request for documents covered under open records law.  So, . Find the law, craft your request to me and tom under the law and I’ll dump what I have.
     
     

  61. steven mosher says:

    quiet here is another mail

    Tom Fuller wrote:

    Mosher,
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with McIntyre re The CRuTape letters?
    Anthony will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

    Can you also email Horner and get him to do the same? I don’t
    have his new email address.

    We will be getting Morano to do likewise.
    #######
    I love this game of people suggesting that mails between me and tom might be interesting. It allows me to take the mail from Jones, substitute skeptic names and then ask people what they think about it. That is an interesting thought experiment. maybe I could do a few others like this.
    Willard, thank you. You are a great ally.
     

  62. steven mosher says:

    Re 59.
    What’s worse is that I had agreed to stop discussing mails. I was happy to sit on MT’s site and discuss anything BUT the mails. an olive branch of sorts. willard should have been perceptive and realized that as long as i was commenting on MTs site where I promised to not talk about mails that this was a good thing. If willard was perceptive he would have seen that and explained that to MT.  All MT had to do was this.
    a. not bring up the mails himself.
    I made it pretty clear when i went over to MTs. i would not discus mails or paleo, provided other people did not bring them up. I was pretty happy on MTs discussing things other than mails and paleo. It was like a new home. I stopped wasting my time truing to correct skeptics at other sites. and talking with people who believe in AGW seemed like a much better use of my time. but, MT doesnt like me on the team of people who believe in climate science. why? because I want to clean out the dirty laundry and get back to the science. he wants to pretend that the dirty laundry doesnt exist. which of course put the dirty laundry back in play.
     

  63. Quiet Waters says:

    “Quiet waters. here is what you do not get. Nothing I say to tom and nothing tom says to me  changes the science. nothing we talk about changes what the mails say.”
    Imputing again. I don’t care whether it changes the science or not – I just wonder how far you are willing to go in the name of openness & airing of laundry, dirty or otherwise.
     
    “Find the law, craft your request to me and tom under the law and I’ll dump what I have.”
     
    That’s how far, I see.

    “I love this game of people suggesting that mails between me and tom might be interesting. It allows me to take the mail from Jones, substitute skeptic names and then ask people what they think about it.”
     
    But not actually publish the lot, unexpurgated, to let others sift through & see what they can ‘impute’…
     
     
     
     

  64. lucia says:

    Quiet Waters–
    There is nothing wrong with the position that one must disclose material when the law demands it but one need to disclose material when the law does not demand it.  It happens that the law requires certain material be disclosed under FOIA, and Jones worked actively to not disclose that material.
     
    As for the CRU emails themselves: Steve Mosher is not the one who published them. Someone else did.  Once they were published, people who were interested read them.
     
    If someone did hack in to Mosher’s email and published all his emails, I would not criticize you for reading them, discussing them or writing a book. (It’s unlikely the book would sell, but I wouldn’t criticize you.)  At the same time, Mosher would be within his rights to ask the police to investigate the hacking. If or when the hacker was identified, that person could be prosecuted for whatever crime involved.  But this has no bearing on whether a third party is permitted to write the story about the theft of the emails or their contents.
     
    The act of hacking into the material, and the action of discussing material that came to light are separate.

  65. Lazar says:

    Mosher,
     
    “I take this to mean what what I have read from them. That I say one thing and believe another.”
     
    This is the problem. I see a reasonable Steven Mosher say to one audience
     
    “In my discussion with Muller I raised the following issue. First off the land record is only 30% of the total record so it has very little leverage in the overall number. Second,existing research puts the number for UHI somewhere between .05C (Jones) and ~.3C McKittrick. I’d be surprised to see anything more than .1C-.15C out of BEST, which amounts to mousenuts”
     
    I see a Stephen Mosher pumping up the faithful with…
     
    “the balance of the evidence still indicates that the world has warmed, but the amount of warming is now less certain
     
    and irrelevancies…
     
    “There are periods in the instrument record that show rates of warming statistically indistinguishable from what we witnessed between 1975 and 1998. And the most recent years, since 1995, have shown no statistically significant warming.”
     
    Mousenuts. Balance of evidence. Mousenuts. Satellites. Now less certain. The world is warming. No statistically significant warming. The time for action is now.
     
    Whe I followed the “now less certain”… the less certainty is McKitrick & Michael’s paper, and Christy promoting three of his papers, I only found two. The first, Christy was misrepresenting the results, what Christy claimed the paper found was a tentative, untested hypothesis tacked on at the end. The other was a hypothesis test with one degree of freedom… a coin toss. Mousenuts. Less certain.
     
    Grypo sees a reasonable Steven Mosher say
     
    “We also explained that the behavior was not fraud. In short the science didnt change, some behaviors needed to be changed. In my submission to Parliament that is what I argued. CRU needed better document control. That’s it.”
     
    Grypo sees a Steven Mosher pumping up the faithful…
     
    “Lucky for them a loophole in the law may save them from prosecution, but should not save them from disbarment.”
     
    Better document control. Disbarment. Mousenuts. Less certain.
     
    Who is Steven Mosher, for those few of us who want to believe in Steven Mosher, who really don’t mind being duped, could you be a little bit more consistent. Just out of f’ing courtesy. That word again. Scientists are not the only ones with problems of trust, Mosh.

  66. Tom Fuller says:

    As for Mosher’s offer of our email correspondence, I would have no problem with that.

  67. Tom C says:

    From MT’s first post in this thread:”

    …relentlessly embarrassing scientists..”

    Oh, how terrible!  And “relentlessly” even.  Maybe the scientists should stop embarrassing themselves.  Just a thought.

  68. Tom C says:

    Wow – I just read MT’s rant.  From his photo I always assumed he was the last guy chosen for basketball teams in gym class, and that explained much of his problem.  But a guy who can use the F word so often in a blog post is really tough!  I’m going to switch sides now and join his team, as soon as I send my check back to the Kochs.

  69. Mosher makes an equivalence between my not wanting to say everything I dislike about climate science and Jones “hiding” data.
     
    As I understand it, whether correctly or not, Jones did not believe that he was under an obligation to share data upon which his publications were based, and specifically avoided such sharing with people he believed to be harassing him for non-scientific purposes.  He may have been wrong about the funding, but from all appearances he was quite right about harassment and non-scientific purposes.
     
    I, on the other hand, am admitting that there ways in which I wish the conduct of science, and particularly climate science, would improve. I owe no one even this admission (which I have made in the past), never mind any elaboration upon it. Insofar as I know I have no obligation to discuss these in any way or timing other than those of my choosing. But nothing in that constitutes data.
     
    However, the REASON for my reticence does indeed resemble that of Jones. I think it’s clear that we are surrounded by malign enemies who choose to portray our science as a pure fabrication. Every shred of criticism directed at the field becomes Morano bait and thence even Drudge or Limbaugh bait. It gets magnified and distorted beyond recognition, to the point where it feeds into the perception of a massive scandal. This is evidently true.
     
    McIntyre, Mosher et al’s push toward openness could not possibly be designed more effectively to achieve a closed and suspicious conversation. Which, I believe, thrills them. I don;t know if it’s consciously their goal, but it’s an effective polarizing tactic nonetheless.
     
    On the other hand, in #62, Mosher has a point there. I did invite him to contribute to conversations on my blog, stipulating we stay away from CRU. But both he and many of my readers began to act as if we were allied. I decided to make it very clear that the reservoir of anger I have toward his behavior remains very deep, and I think justified.
    Quoth Mosher “None of those positions on the SCIENCE and on the Need for ACTION, is inconsistent with my views on open data and open source and on best practices. Global warming is true. we should act now. AND hiding data and code is a short sighted tactic. Hiding the decline and other silly chartsmanship games are bad tactics. And I want my tean to STOP employing bad tactics. We’ve got the science on our side, there is no need for us to compromise our dedication to transparency or our dedication to the highest quality science.”
     
    This presents something of a challenge. An unrepentant perpetrator of the “climategate” calumnies claims to be on my “team”. He speaks of “hiding data and code” implicitly raising the issues and also insinuating that he and I are cooperating. Well, it’s not inconceivable that we could cooperate at arm’s length on something. There is no possibility of mutual trust without some acknowledgement of the enormous harm he has done in concert with “some other team”. No, he’s not on my team by any stretch.
     
    Finally I see no reason to eschew the word “evil” regarding the perpetrators and celebrators of the CRU hack and the set of calumnies and vague suspicions that go under the name “climategate”. Do you think I should say “unethical” instead? The whole point of the outburst is to remind people that I have been, from the very beginning, very very very angry about “climategate”. I think it one of the most brilliantly malevolent propaganda efforts ever. It’s hard for me to imagine anything ethically worse that doesn’t actually spill blood, and a lot of it at that.
     
     

  70. Tom Fuller says:

    Yummm. Malign. Evil. Calumnies. Unethical.
     
    From a guy who libeled Judith Curry six ways from Sunday.
     
    Choice.

  71. Sashka says:

    A fascinated thread! I had a really loooong lunch today, just couldn’t stop reading it!

    Tobis’ inability to understand and appreciate Mosher’s position is truly amazing.

    Mosher gets top mark for his debating skills. He makes his position very clear and well-founded. It’s a pity that such an eloquent guy associates himself with Tobis on science and policy.

  72. Barry Woods says:

    Michael  Tobis..

    Why did Phil Jones and company feel the NEED to ‘hide the decline’?

    Or the NEED to ask people to Delete emails realting to IPCC reports?

    Any other field, or a business, or a pharmaceuitical, or even say the finacial services industry.  Anyone seeing that would ask questions, and would not be satisifed by a few whitewash inquiries conducted by those with naked self vested interests.

    No-one elese wrote the damaging content but the ‘climate scientists’ themselves..  If the content was not bad, their would be no interest.

  73. Stu says:

    A film before its time! Post normal productions proudly presents…
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25q3hxlgvw4
     
    ‘do you realise it’s snowing in my room?!!
     
    (In an age where sharing data has become an act of evil, scientists are still getting their kicks…)
    ‘It’s PURELY SEXUAL!!!’
     
     

  74. Tom Gray says:

    Perhaps the acceptance of the science and the changing of message to sell it by stealth is not such a good idea
     
    Canada has a national medical program called “Medicare” which is a single payer medical insurance program. The cost of this program has always been an issue and a whole school of health care economic advisors have grown up around it.
     
    These health care economists discovered the concept of “supplier induced demand” or SID. With SID, a supplier who has  more control or knowledge than a purchaser  can induce the purchaser to buy more than they need. So the idea was that doctors would recommend more examinations, tests and medications than the patient really needed to support their own income.
     
    SID naturally led to the idea that Medicare costs could be controlled by limiting the number of doctors. Doctors would take on more patients since they did not need the recommend the superfluous procedures, examinations etc that they were doing previously. Costs would be limited for the same degree of care. As a result, the number of positions in medical schools was severely limited in the early 90s along with the provision of Medicate licenses to graduating physicians.
     
    This was all supported by peer-reviewed articles in learned journals and attested to in recommendations to government by learned professors of economics.
     
    The result of these peer-reviewed recommendations  is not controled cost for Medicare but of a massive shortage of doctors. Out of a population of about 33 mullion about 5 million have no family doctor. Specialist appointments take months to arrange and then more months to wait. Even cancer patients are forced to wait for treatment.. If your family doctor retires then you cannot get a new one.
     
    So perhaps reliance of quick ideas from the peer-reviewed literature and recommendations from learned professors is  not so good after all. As demonstrated with the SID work in Canada, these ideas could just be all hogwash. When I hear the talk of problems in climate science and the solutions proposed by learned climate scientists, I always think of SID.
     
    Problems that look tame can be very complex and easy answers can be just that – easy.  Groups of learned professors can just be packs of fools blathering on about topics about which they know very little. Health care economists please take note and discuss this with your climate science colleagues.
     
    Perhaps the science of climate science is not yet ready to be the basis for world changing policies. Perhaps it ahs been tainted by too much consideration of its political effects already. Health care economists and their peer-reviewed recommendations caused great damage to the Canadian medical system. Perhaps we do not want to allow climate scieits the same free rein to do it to the world economy despite their peer-based approval of the intellectual brilliance  and rigor of their own ideas and techniques.

  75. Tom Gray says:

    Stan Palmer – where are you when we need you

  76. Tom Gray says:

    Do you think that F-word explosion means that the climate science blow wars have met their Stan Palmer moment.

  77. PDA says:

    Keith, I thank you for elevating my question to a full post, though I suspect it’s gotten lost (perhaps appropriately) in the ensuing “forces of evil” comments hubbub.
     
    Given that we’re at a bit of a (predictable) impasse, though, I’ll indulge myself in raising the question again. Was the CRU hack wrong because it was wrong, or because the outcome has really sucked? Is WikiLeaks right on the basis that diplomatic correspondence is “not confidential because they… were supported by government funds?” And what about the Pentagon Papers?
     
    If the standard is “by their fruits ye shall know them,” then I think we’re on really interesting ethical grounds.

  78. Sashka says:

    @ PDA

    Like Mosher, I think it was a leak rather than a hack.

    But if it was indeed a hack then it was wrong. WikiLeaks is not just also wrong but it is significantly more wrong because IMO it can be reasonably argued that at least some diplomatic correspondence should stay private for legitimate reasons. This is quite different from using the employer’s e-mail system whereby people are often warned explicitly that one is not to expect privacy.
     

  79. willard says:

    Without entering into any exegetical analysis for now, we will note that Moshpit’s lenghy responses (#53-#56) do not answer the second trick, which Keith called “sleazy” in a related context. These answers are supposed to answer the first kind of trick, a kind I considered innocuous anyway.  In fact, we already touched the subject almost one year ago:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2010/04/23/an-inconvenient-provocateur/#comment-3677

    These responses only answer the first part of the first trick: they do not tell us anything about MT’s mental states.  Considering MT’s comment in #69, everyone can see that Moshpit’s trick consisted in burdening MT with Jones’ purported dilemma.

    ***

    These responses make us see how this innocuous trick is being transformed into a more potent one: how mindreading is becoming coatracking chapters and verses of Climategate correspondence.  Here is the basic formula: talk about Jones (for instance) in a way that people might feel the need to contest what is being said about Jones; wait for someone to contest; then quote chapters and verses.

    In fact, Moshpit already told us how this trick works almost one year ago:

    > It would [be] MOST unwise to to have people who dont [sic.] know the facts try to defend Jones. That just invites me to repeat the facts. do [sic.] you not get this. `

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2010/04/23/an-inconvenient-provocateur/#comment-3680

    This is peddler’s trick: take anything your customer says and use it as a springboard to rehearse your salepitch.

    ***

    This quote is interesting as we see Moshpit justifying his action by someone else’s.  Someone Makes Moshpit Do It.  Yet another trick, which is being reused in #62.

    It is also interesting as we see Moshpit presuming that whoever counters what he says about Jones is defending Jones.  In our case, this premise is false: I believe that Jones’s actions were suboptimal.  Jones himself already admitted that he wrote awful emails.  So yet another trick.

    These tricks are not evil.  They are just wrong.  Anyone should be able to see it.

    If Mosphit can’t see that using these tricks is wrong, well, no big deal.

  80. PDA says:

    Again, I’m asking if the different cases – assuming arguendo that all are leaks rather than hacks – are ethically comparable in nature, irrespective of the real or potential consequences.
     
    Daniel Ellsberg leaked. Bradley Manning (allegedly) leaked. The Supposed CRU Leaker also leaked. In no case are the leaks being justified – even by the leakers themselves – with any argument like the “no reasonable expectation of privacy” often applied to corporate email. Indeed if there’s a company that warns its employees that their email might end up on the public internet, I’m not aware of it.

  81. Jeff Norris says:

    PDA
    All leaks start out ethically the same, a breaking of confidence, it is only when the context of motivation and consequences are applied are the ethics  mitigated or enhanced. 

  82. PDA says:

    it is only when the context of motivation and consequences are applied are the ethics  mitigated or enhanced.
    and who determines motivations?

  83. lucia says:

    PDA/Jeff-
    For that matter, who identifies which things that happen afterwards are consequences and whether or not those consequences were, on the balance, good or bad?

  84. Jeff Norris says:

    PDA
    True motivations are not always known; usually it is a mixture of Money Ideology, Conscience, and Ego.  We (society) often have to infer which was the dominate motivator based on words and actions.    
    Lucia
    We usually have to let the Historians make the connections and then Society makes the judgments of Good or Bad.  I will admit different Societies can come to different conclusions based on their proximity to events.   John Brown is a good example.  Is he a hero, terrorist, martyr or murderer?

  85. Quiet Waters says:

    Lucia @ 64 fails to understand my position. I have no interest in the why’s and wherefore’s of the CRUhack case in this regard, nor really any interest in the content of the Mosher/Fuller correspondence*. I am mainly interested in how far Steve is prepared to go in support of openness.

    (Whether they had any dirty laundry there would be, I suspect, up to those who read the correspondence not those who wrote it – I’m sure that those who originally talked about “Mike’s trick” would feel that they had nothing to hide at the time of writing…)

    As it is, it appears Steve is prepared to be open about this private correspondence only if required to be by law and if someone can “craft” a request that forces him to. Interestingly, Tom appears more willing.

    *I would be interested in what the discussions about context were (i.e. how much they should take into account the massive number of FOIA requests instigated by the McIntyre rabble) and how they selected which emails to include in the book and, more importantly perhaps, which to leave out. But whether I’d be interested enough to bother wading through what is likely to be a voluminous amount of verbiage is unclear to me. This of course is a moot point because I doubt Steven likes openness enough to publish the correspondence anyway.

  86. kdk33 says:

    “the massive number of FOIA requests ”

    This is, it seems to me, is a silly defenses: we’re justified in not making public/open information available because we were asked too often to make public/open information available.  

    So, the public gets to see the information they paid for as long as it’s not inconvenient. 

  87. Tim Lambert says:

    Michael Tobis in comment 69: “I did invite him to contribute to conversations on my blog, stipulating we stay away from CRU. But both he and many of my readers began to act as if we were allied.”


    Michael, a troll is playing a different game to you and I.  Inviting one to comment can be a win for both sides — it is possible that he stimulates an interesting discussion (a win for you) and gets lots of attention (a win for him).  But what happened here is that you let him wind you up and your post was a big distraction (a loss for you) and gave him lots and lots and lots of attention (an enormous win for him). DNFTT.

  88. Quiet Waters says:

    kdk33: I say “context” and “take into account” you see “defenses”. You may not be aware, but there is a difference between these words/phrases and their meanings.

  89. Dave H says:

    @Steven Mosher # 60
    > 8. Since skeptics can’t get published how in the world can they erode trust?


    I find this particular line extremely telling.
     

    Skeptics can and do “get published” so the line is wrong, on its face.
    The implication that skeptics cannot get published appeals to the notion of a conspiracy to crush dissent, when the far more obvious intepretation is basic quality control.
    Skeptics can thus erode trust by representing themselves as diligent and honest scientists whose groundbreaking work is cruelly overlooked by a closed shop of groupthink-afflicted scientists, gaming the system and tweaking the editorial process to their own ends.
    Skeptics can erode trust by getting published far and wide outside of actual scientific publishing – disproportionately compared to their body of work or standing. Having a small number of skeptics on hand to counterbalance any related science pieces gives the stage to skeptics – their mere existence and inevitable presence in reportage is enough to erode trust in legitimate output.

    The whole thing seems highly disingenuous to me, especially that question, and I also find it interesting given that subsequent actions went on to enable the erosion of trust by playing on all of these themes.

  90. Dave H says:

    @Steven Mosher#55
     
    Again, the problem is that you have an unwavering attachment to your own interpretation of the content of the emails. In much the same way that you refuse to accept arguments for CO2 warming deniers, you refuse to accept other assessments of the email contents. The problem is that where it is sensible to accept as futile dialog with those in denial of basic physics, it is far more unreasonable to adopt the same stance where subjective interpretation is possible.
     
    In your comment you put together a chain of reasoning to suggest that Mann poisoned Jones against both McIntyre and Warwick Hughes. All very interesting but no evidence apart from words and events that can all be construed in a number of different ways. As you know, the infamous “why should I give you the data” line can be read as frustration with Hughes unwavering determination to keep poking solely with the intent to find a flaw he was convinced must be there, rather than to make a useful contribution to the sum of human knowledge. This is not fear of being found out – this is annoyance at having one’s time wasted, and completely understandable (and – again – the best analog is the Shlafly/Lenski affair).
    My interpretation is built on as much evidence as yours. Claiming that your position is right and no-one can come to the party until they accept your position as right is dogmatic nonsense.
    You claim there is no competing theory – did you get Jones’ browser history as well?
    Also – disagreeing completely with your interpretation on a majority of cases with which you’ve made much hay is *not the same thing* as saying there’s nothing wrong in the emails. That’s a strawman you’ve battered a few times in this thread.
     

  91. kdk33 says:

    @qw
     
    Please.

  92. Quiet Waters says:

    Thank you
     
    But seriously, please point out where I’ve mounted any defence of Jones et al in this thread. I am interested how Mosher & Fuller discussed context I’m not interested in rehashing old arguments..

  93. lucia says:

    QuiteWaters
    how they selected which emails to include in the book and, more importantly perhaps, which to leave out.
    The emails can all be found on line here http://www.eastangliaemails.com/
    You can read through as can anyone who bought Mosher and Fuller’s book.
     
    Out of curiosity: If Mosher was willing to reveal you the emails but under the condition of your signing a confidentiality agreement not to post, would you sign? What if the condition was you providing your real name and address in a publicly viewable communication(as one must with an FOI), would you provide your real name and address?   How about if he had a third party go through to redact any truly personal information that might have gotten into the emails. (In an FOI, some information is protected.)  For FOI’s people are permitted access to information, but they also may have to cover costs of government workers assembling the info– would you be willing to spend money to cover those costs? (UVa is telling Horner he will have to pay costs. I think UVa is wise on this score.)
    You may be curious to know whether Mosher would release all these emails. But what I want to know is whether you are willing to make the request under your own name and pay some reasonable hourly wage for someone to compile all these for you.  Or do you just want to create 40 hours of work for Mosher just to fullfill some idle curiosity?
     
     

  94. Dave H says:

    > Or do you just want to create 40 hours of work for Mosher just to fullfill some idle curiosity?
    Gosh no. I think a far more sensible approach would be to get a few dozen like-minded individuals to create similar specific requests that all have to be dealt with separately. Really rub in the fact that I have no interest in the actual contents and am just out to waste time.

  95. grypo says:

    “Who is Steven Mosher, for those few of us who want to believe in Steven Mosher, who really don’t mind being duped, could you be a little bit more consistent. Just out of f’ing courtesy. That word again. Scientists are not the only ones with problems of trust, Mosh.”

    That experiment with MT went exactly as planned.

  96. lucia says:

    DaveH-
    Everyone who wrote requests for that information wanted it.  The request with information all collated had been refused on the grounds that there were agreements with some — but not all countries. The requests for information omitting that from those countries with non-disclosure agreements was refused. So, finally, people sent in requests from small subsets of countries as a possible way to craft the request to get eventually get information from which ever countries did not have non-disclosure agreements.  We all wanted the information and wanted it to be used.
    I asked for information from 5 countries.  It was refused.
    Turns out there never were any non-disclosure agreements.
    It is true that FOIA applies and people try to get around it, those who would like to obtain information will re-craft their requests based on the reasons given for turning it down. If the reason given for turning down information from a whole bunch of countries is that there are non-disclosures for a few of the countries, and requests omitting data from any countries covered by non-disclosure are declined, people who want the information will continue to try to get the information.
    If, on the other hand, the reason for refusing makes sense, or the information is granted, people will stop asking.  That’s how it works.

  97. PDA says:

    Everyone who wrote requests for that information wanted it.
    Especially Sarah Ferguson:

    I assume that the reference number means that this is the 100th email Palmer has received! This will presumeably [sic] totally foul up his plans for a vacation.

  98. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @keith
    the last thing I want to be is a tone troll and now that MT has left me out to dry I guess apologies on my end are in order.  FWIW I agree with you that it is more  polite in blogland to judge actions rather than speculate on motives.
     
    Since this thread is related to FOI, I’m curious your thoughts about this kind of legislation as a journalist.  I know that Revkin has said in the past that he’s a big supporter.  To me this seems like a self-serving position, as it’s all upside from his perspective.  All he has to do is submit a request.  It’s the folks on the other side of the equation that have to do all the work and put up with the enormous inconvenience.
     
    IMO FOI legislation has almost no place in academic settings.  If people are interested in openess and transparency within academia they should take it up with the journals that publish their work.
     
    FOI legislation is designed to ensure transparency in governments, not schools.
     
    @90
    well said.
     
     

  99. Stu says:

    I think some people here have the idea that Steve M, Lucia and others really enjoy trying to extract information through FOI.

    I’m pretty sure they don’t.

  100. lucia says:

    PDA–
    Ok. I wanted it. I think most people wanted it. I can’t look into the heart of Sarah Ferguson, but likely as not she also wanted it. She wanted to give it to Steve so he could use it– but she still wanted it.
    Of course, there is the possibility she didn’t even plan to send it to Steve and merely planned to get it and burn it.  Or was hoping for a turn down. Or something. But I think most people wanted it– to give to Steve.

  101. NewYorkJ says:

    Personally, I’d rather a person’s action, or blog post, newspaper article, or academic study be judged for itself and not on the basis of an inferred motivation.

    This, after a series of “inferred motivation” posts regarding Joe Romm that completely avoids his argument.  Strange double standard.

    Dave H has it right in #89 and #90.  Well put.

    Also, questioning Mosher’s motivations seems fair, since the narrative he pushes is critically based on character assassinations of scientists.  With that…

    http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2011/04/moshers-team.html?showComment=1303534423639#c5577235193891884455

    MT’s mistake, if any, is assuming to date that Mosher is acting in good faith.

  102. lucia says:

    Marlowe
    I know you asked Keith:
    It’s the folks on the other side of the equation that have to do all the work and put up with the enormous inconvenience.
    First, the folks on the other side are being paid by the state whose operations are funded by tax payers.  Complaining state employees have to do work while on the job is a bit like complaining the hamburger flipper at McDonalds has to flip the hamburger when you order something.
    That said, it’s fair to expect the person requesting information to defray costs particularly when they are large. FOIA has provisions to permit this. UVa is replying to Chris Horner and Greenpeace by informing them that their requests are large and that they will be billed.
    IMO FOI legislation has almost no place in academic settings.
    Of course it has a place. Consider the case of about 800 students whose parents had done favors for politicians and later were admitted to the top-tier state funded university. The only way to prove the shenannigans was to get the email from the University president. I think the press’s use of FOI was totally appropriate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Illinois_clout_scandal
    If people are interested in openess and transparency within academia they should take it up with the journals that publish their work.
    The “clout list” incident isn’t something that would end up published in a journal. Moreover, there is no reason that state tax payers should need to rely on private journals to ensure transparency between an state funded entity and the tax payers supporting the university.
    If you have a concern about a particular FOIA request, you should just be specific.  Are you worried about Chris Horner’s request? UVa has replied and informed him of the cost for the request he actually made.  I doubt Chris will continue to pursue that particular request. Either he will narrow the scope or he will have to spend one heck of a lot of money.  The UVA may have to hire a few part time people to do the work. In this economy, those people may be glad for the work.
     

  103. JD Ohio says:

    #98  “IMO FOI legislation has almost no place in academic settings.
    Easy solution.  Neither the scientists nor the universities should accept government money.

  104. Lazar says:

    “Since skeptics can’t get published how in the world can they erode trust?
     
    Incredible. I think willard nailed the position as one of *pure* contrarianism. It is the only plausible explanation thus far.

  105. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @102
    the Illinois example is why I said almost no place. However, that’s a much different case than the FOIs that were launched at Jones and other researchers. Surely you can see the difference? More to the point, if the primary criteria for applying FOI legislation is who’s paying the bills, then there are far more effective ways of addressing the issue.  In Canada we have this thing called the Auditor General.  Can’t say she’s ever investigated a university though.  I wonder why…
     
     

  106. NewYorkJ says:

    In the spirit of openess and transparency, let my take a crack at the Mosher game.  My fair and unloaded questions for him:

    1. Do the behavior of contrarians and attention-seekers in episodes like ClimateGate build trust or erode it?

    2. Do FOI requests designed to harass scientists and waste their time build trust or erode it?

    3. Do the acts of contrarians attempting to game the peer review system by build trust or erode it?


    4. Does demonizing your opponents as “alarmists”, “hoaxsters”, “warmists”, “CAGWists”, “fraud perpetuators”, build trust or erode it?


    5. Calling for Richard Lindzen’s resignation would obviously build trust, what do you
    intend to do to build trust Mr. Mosher?

    6. Unsupported claims and ad homs directed at climate scientists, selectively quoting stolen emails out of context, and scientifically-unsupported claims by contrarians don’t build trust. Isn’t it time for you and
    other figures to denounce this kind of behavior?

    7. Do you think that Anthony Watts’ communication and that of the Heartland Institute and AEI should be carried out with complete

    and utter openness? Will you publish ALL of your personal correspondence in matters related to climate science?

    8. Since dogs bark, how in the world can cows moo?


  107. willard says:

    In #56, we read:

    > Willard should note that putting thoughts into people’s heads is not a trick.  After all, he used the word “insincere” when describing Mosher. “we all know that Moshpit is insincere” I take this to mean what what I have read from them. That I say one thing and believe another.  After all, he used the word “insincere” when describing Mosher.

    I surmised that Moshpit was insincere there:

    http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2011/04/willard-and-i-reflect-on-latest.html

    Opining that Mosphit is insincere is not “describing Moshpit”, but describing his speech behavior.  This judgement does not need to presume particular mindstates, like “Moshpit feared X” or “Moshpit thinks that the sharing data and the cause are in opposition”.

    Opining that Moshpit is insincere is not that much difficult to see.  Reading this thread and the links therein should suffice to show that Moshpit’s insincerity. See for example what Lazar said in #65. See also this kind of experiments:

    > So, it would be fun if other people who also believe in the science, got booted off the team. You see the only way for people to get a handle on the real rules for membership is to cross a few lines and watch for explosive reactions.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/they-are-forces-of-evil/#comment-74558

    In any case, Moshpit should be able that this response in #56 relies on a logical trick: my belief of his insincerity is independent of the interpretation of Moshpit’s mindframing or of his opponents and of his friends.

    Moshpit should recognize that he was using a trick.  Quite simple for anyone to see.  If Moshpit refuses to recognize that this is a trick, etc.

  108. lucia says:

    Marlowe–
    More to the point, if the primary criteria for applying FOI legislation is who’s paying the bills, then there are far more effective ways of addressing the issue.  In
    Oh? Financial audits wouldn’t find something like the clout list at a publicly supported institution because it doesn’t involve financial shenanigans. FOI found it. Seems to me that means FOI was more effective at uncovering this at an institution that is supported by my — yes my–tax dollars. I live in Illinois.
    Financial audits would also not find all sorts of things that could hypothetically go wrong at a university.  Refusing to share data, various sorts of incompetence, nepotism, trading grades for favors– none would be found by a financial audit.
    Nevertheless, tax payers have a right to know what is going on. FOI is a flexible tool and useful for many possible issues. That’s a good thing.
    FOIs that were launched at Jones and other researchers
    I think FOIs were the correct way to request information they refused to share. If they refuse to share it, how else is one to get it?  You know, outside this whole CRU thing, FOI isn’t considered a punishment. It’s the standard way to request document from my town government, and from the county. I requested preliminary flood maps for a subdivision that my mom’s friend was interested in. (After  we got them, she didn’t buy.)
     
    The reason I requested by FOI, is I called the county office where my brother in law worked. He asked around. He talked to the woman who worked on the stuff and she said: To see those, just write an FOI. Then, I’ll schedule an appointment. This is the official way to get stuff!

  109. steven mosher says:

    In the spirit of openess and transparency, let my take a crack at the Mosher game.  My fair and unloaded questions for him:

    1. Do the behavior of contrarians and attention-seekers in episodes like ClimateGate build trust or erode it?

    You should be more specific.  which contrarians, what behavior, and whose trust. But generally speaking everyone is acting to make trust the issue and trying to erode it.


    2. Do FOI requests designed to harass scientists and waste their time build trust or erode it?
    Well, before there was ever a single FOIA request Jones contemplated and planned avoiding them. Up until 2009 when Jones misrepresented the agreements ( the appeal office agreed that he did) the number of FOIA was about 4 in 5 years. in 2009 there were 60 requests. they were handled BY LAW in less than 18 hours total. That is they were combined into one request and handled in less than 18 hours. IF CRU thought, merely THOUGHT that the request would take more than 18 hours they could deny it. I know, they denied my request, which I wrote specifically to test this. 


    3. Do the acts of contrarians attempting to game the peer review system by build trust or erode it?

    Need to cite some examples here. But with the soon paper it was obvious that mann was upset

    4. Does demonizing your opponents as “alarmists”, “hoaxsters”, “warmists”, “CAGWists”, “fraud perpetuators”, build trust or erode it?

    That erodes trust. Partly why i wrote an article saying that jones was not guilty of fraud. You remember that article. when the right wing attacked me you were there to defend me. NOT

    5. Calling for Richard Lindzen’s resignation would obviously build trust, what do you
    intend to do to build trust Mr. Mosher?
    I’m not aware that Lindzen has asked anybody to delete mails. If he did, I would have to consider the option of suggesting he step down from some positions.

    6. Unsupported claims and ad homs directed at climate scientists, selectively quoting stolen emails out of context, and scientifically-unsupported claims by contrarians don’t build trust. Isn’t it time for you and
    other figures to denounce this kind of behavior?
    I have repeatedly. Palin for example got some things horribly wrong.
    I think in the book I gave complete mails were ever I could. I limited my comments to actual misdeeds we could see in the mail itself. Like asking to delete. where I speculated about things beyond the mails I made that clear that it was unknown.
    7. Do you think that Anthony Watts’ communication and that of the Heartland Institute and AEI should be carried out with complete
    and utter openness? Will you publish ALL of your personal correspondence in matters related to climate science?
    The IPPC has a charter that claims it wants to be open and transparent. I hold them to their word. People like heartland and AEI who have no such commitment have ZERO credibility in my mind. nothing they say matters to me. it is utter junk, BECAUSE they have no commitment to openness. Te IPCC, does have a commitment. since I’ve spent years promoting openness I dont want to see that coin debased. get it?

    8. Since dogs bark, how in the world can cows moo?

    precisely

  110. steven mosher says:

    Willard. you didnt OPINE. you said, we all know.
    and willard one doesnt have to be insincere to cross a line.
    I say this. scientists who say that hide the decline is accepted practice are being insincere when they TOW the line. when they say what they think, rather than what is allowed, they are being sincere.
    Nice try. Now, since i’ve had conversations with people who believe in the science but dont dare break the thin green line I know things you dont.
    You see, I know that hiding the decine is not acceptable. so do you.
    and i know that some people just keep their mouths shut.
    I’m suggesting they break that rule and be sincere.
    get it
     

  111. Quiet Waters says:

    Lucia @92. It seems you either didn’t read, or perhaps didn’t understand my posts.

    I reiterate: I am not interested per se in the content of the emails, I am interested in how far Steven personally is prepared to go in the name of openness and transparency.

    As it is he is prepared only to provide his emails when required by law (note that the Mosher/Fuller conversation was a convenient example, I could equally have asked for all Mosher/Liljegren emails to the same end). This is fair enough, I didn’t expect anything different.

     
    (I find it interesting that kdk33 and, to an extent, lucia both respond to the footnote and follow-ups to my post #85. This seems to be a common modus operandi: ignore the main body of work & focus on the minutiae).

  112. Quiet Waters says:

    errata: …I am more interested in how far…

    Further: lucia states in response to my “how they selected which emails to include in the book and, more importantly perhaps, which to leave out.”

    “The emails can all be found on line here…You can read through as can anyone who bought Mosher and Fuller’s book.”

    How does lucia think reading the full set of emails will provide a window into the Mosher/Fuller decision-making process?

  113. Quiet Waters says:

    More lucia: “First, the folks on the other side are being paid by the state whose operations are funded by tax payers.  Complaining state employees have to do work while on the job is a bit like complaining the hamburger flipper at McDonalds has to flip the hamburger when you order something.”

    No, it is like complaining that a hamburger flipper has to provide full documentation on the provenence of the meat in the burger whilst flipping the flipping burger when you order it. Time spent on FOI is time not spent on doing the work a state employee is actually employed (and qualified) to do. Perhaps lucia supports the spending of additional taxpayers funds in employing people to respond to FOI demands?

  114. lucia says:

    Quite
    I reiterate: I am not interested per se in the content of the emails, I am interested in how far Steven personally is prepared to go in the name of openness and transparency.
     
    Yes. I get this. And I am interested in knowing whether to fulfill your curiosity about how far Steven is prepared to go in the name of openness and transparency whether you are willing to walk in his shoes. To fulfill your curiosity, are you willing to reveal who you are as Steven has? Are you willing to make your requests openly as Steven does?  That’s what I am interested in knowing.  You responded by re-iterating what you want to learn about Steven, I am re-iterating what I want to learn about you.
     
    that a hamburger flipper has to provide full documentation on the provenence of the meat in the burger whilst flipping the flipping burger when you order it
    Restaurants are require to share one heck of a lot about the provenance of the meal to people who ask.  You don’t ask the hamburger flipper, and the FOI’s weren’t sent to Phil Jones.   So, your concern for the hamburger flipper is touching, but it’s up to the appropriate contact for FOI  to identify whether that particularly information must be conveyed under FOI and to decide on the proper internal mechanisms and to comply with the schedule mandated by law.  Similarly, if you want to know more about the provenance of the hamburger, you ask for an appointment with the manager who can decide whether the specific information you wished to get is required to be divulged (some is, some isn’t) and then decides how to allocate his internal resources to provide required information.  This may or may not involve the hamburger flipper- but if it does, the manager will figure out how to schedule the hamburger flippers time, and the hamburger flipper will be paid while he is occupied doing a slightly different duty from flipping hamburgers.

  115. lucia says:

    Quite
    On this:
    Perhaps lucia supports the spending of additional taxpayers funds in employing people to respond to FOI demands?
    Is that meant to be a rhetorical question? The answer is “No” and “You should pay attention before asking questions that have been answered in posts addressed to you”.
    FOI permits the state operated agencies to bill the people requesting data; I approve of this and have said so in comments. One was addressed to you; one to marlow:
    To refresh your memory and discover the answer to what appears to be your rhetorical question, please see comment # http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2011/04/23/whose-team-are-you-on/comment-page-3/#comment-58816
    where I wrote:
    For FOI’s people are permitted access to information, but they also may have to cover costs of government workers assembling the info”“ would you be willing to spend money to cover those costs? (UVa is telling Horner he will have to pay costs. I think UVa is wise on this score.)
    (Note: You have not answered that question I asked you.)
    I also discussed my views on who should pay the costs in
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2011/04/23/whose-team-are-you-on/comment-page-3/#comment-58837 where I wrote
    That said, it’s fair to expect the person requesting information to defray costs particularly when they are large. FOIA has provisions to permit this. UVa is replying to Chris Horner and Greenpeace by informing them that their requests are large and that they will be billed.
    Note that I ended that particular comment with:
    The UVA may have to hire a few part time people to do the work. In this economy, those people may be glad for the work.
    So, if you wish to revert to the hamburger flipper analogy: More hamburger flippers will be hired and the money to pay them will come from the individuals who specifically requested the additional work be performed– not from the taxpayers in general.
     
    How does lucia think reading the full set of emails will provide a window into the Mosher/Fuller decision-making process?
    You can at least learn what was left out to discover whether there is any evidence that material you consider exculpatory was left out.  It may be a small window, but it’s a window.  If you are too lazy too look through it, that doesn’t make make the window ‘not a window’.
    Meanwhile– is your curiosity about how far Mosher is willing to go to reveal stuff sufficient to motivate you to reveal who you are, ask your questions publicly etc.?  Is your curiosity sufficient to answer questions or just ask them? Are you willing to spend the money for effort to collate the emails — as one would be if this were an FOI request?  To make a formal request describing what specifically you want? Or is your curiosity only sufficient to ask for stuff secretely, not cover the cost of the effort and so on. My questions are not rhetorical. Like you, I am asking merely to fulfill my curiosity.
     
     
     

  116. Sashka says:

    IMO Mosher presents a weird position in 109

    People like heartland and AEI who have no such commitment have ZERO credibility in my mind. nothing they say matters to me. it is utter junk, BECAUSE they have no commitment to openness.

    That’s quite ridiculous. They may be doing good science and they may be absolutely open but for lack of commitment to openness they are downgraded by Mosher directly to utter junk. What they say may be utter junk indeed but for entirely different reasons.

    @ 110

    scientists who say that hide the decline is accepted practice are being insincere when they TOW the line. when they say what they think, rather than what is allowed, they are being sincere.

    Usually there is very small gray area around what’s allowed. Granted, statistics is not a science so there may be ground for legitimate disagreement. But I have no respect for people who circle the wagons. They have zero credibility, AFAIC.

  117. Tom Fuller says:

    Steve Mosher and I discussed this yesterday. I’ll let him speak for himself, but I’m willing, subject to this going through a process with elements as described by Lucia.
    Tell us who you are. In detail.
    Tell us what you want. You don’t have to be quite so detailed.
    Pay for (real, not imagined) expenses incurred.
    Steve might have other conditions. I think it might be wise to have an intermediary involved–maybe Lucia wants to play, or could suggest someone.

  118. Quiet Waters says:

    lucia: “Yes. I get this. And I am interested in knowing whether to fulfill your curiosity about how far Steven is prepared to go in the name of openness and transparency whether you are willing to walk in his shoes.”

    You evidently don’t get it. I already have my answer – why should I need to do anything more? My curiosity is more satiable than your own it seems.

    Steve is prepared to be open if required by law, Tom if certain conditions are met. That is my curiosity on this matter sated. (More sated than I expected them to be – though of course words on a blog post are just that…) Further curiosity would be aroused should the emails ever appear, but until that never happens that curiosity lies dormant – I just gave examples above of what may interest me.

    I confess to being intrigued as to how the words of the CRU scientists & their colleagues would betray the thoughts of Mosher & Fuller years after they were written – is this post-modernism at play?
     
    Tom: Sincere* thanks for the offer. To answer the elements of your demands – I am an anonymous blog poster, more detail would have to come via a back channel but would likely not be as detailed as you’d require. I have what I want, laid out above by yourself, Steve & Lucia above (though I never asked Lucia for anything) thanks again to you all. If I wanted any more I wouldn’t have the money to pay for it so the rest is moot.

    *Truly sincere – It’s a shame that, like sarcasm, sincerity, or its lack thereof cannot be determined through words on a screen…

  119. lucia says:

    Tom–
    I could play but I think we need to work out the details and figure out what’s a suitable dollar figure per hour of effort to supply Quite Waters with the sort of response he could get under FOIA.  It can’t be less per hour than minimum wage + compulsory taxes.  If it’s not an overwhelming amount of money, I think we can also donate any funds to groups of your and Mosher’s choice.   (If it’s huge, we need to hire someone and pay them– in which case, we pay the person we hire from the money collected.)
     
    But clearly, he needs to provide a real name, address etc. Also, if the time involve requires hiring someone, we will need him to provide a deposit to show good faith and also sign a document indicating that he agrees for any reasonable costs.  This seems to be what UVa is requiring– and as I said, I think they are reasonable.  So we might need someone to draft such an agreement.

  120. NewYorkJ says:

    As I’m writing a book “DenierGate: How Faux Controversies are Manufactured”, Mosher, a leading figure in that movement, has provided some responses (or nonresponses).  To summarize:

    1. Do the behavior of contrarians and attention-seekers in episodes like ClimateGate build trust or erode it?

    No answer

    2. Do FOI requests designed to harass scientists and waste their time build trust or erode it?

    No answer

    3. Do the acts of contrarians attempting to game the peer review system by build trust or erode it?

    No answer

    4. Does demonizing your opponents as “alarmists”, “hoaxsters”, “warmists”, “CAGWists”, “fraud perpetuators”, build trust or erode it?

    Yes, which means Mosher admits to eroding trust with use of the term “alarmist”.  The Amazon description of his book also describes scientists as taking active part in a “scandal” as “seamy as what happened on Wall Street”.  That would erode trust.  Frequently bought together are books on “ClimateGate and the Corruption of Science” and “ClimateGate: A Veteran Meteorologists Exposes the Global Warming Scam”.  That would seem to erode trust as well.

    5. Calling for Richard Lindzen’s resignation would obviously build trust, what do you intend to do to build trust Mr. Mosher?

    No answer.

    6. Unsupported claims and ad homs directed at climate scientists, selectively quoting stolen emails out of context, and scientifically-unsupported claims by contrarians don’t build trust. Isn’t it time for you and other figures to denounce this kind of behavior?

    No answer, although claims to have denounced Sarah Palin, and admits to speculating on motives.

    7. Do you think that Anthony Watts’ communication and that of the Heartland Institute and AEI should be carried out with complete
    and utter openness? Will you publish ALL of your personal correspondence in matters related to climate science?

    Partial answer.  Heartland Institute and AEI have zero credibility because they are not open.  No answer on Watts or publishing his own personal correspondence related to climate science in full.

    8. Since dogs bark, how in the world can cows moo?

    No answer.

    Given the above, my book will portrary Mr. Mosher as a dodgy figure who has eroded trust, and does not apply his high standards uniformly.

  121. lucia says:

    Quiet–
    I already have my answer ““ why should I need to do anything more?
    Huh? I’m not saying or suggesting you need to do more.   Am an asking you a question to fulfill my curiosity.
    I want to know how far you would go to fulfill your curiosity. It seems you would not be willing to go as far as to comply with the requirements that would be imposed on you if you made a request under FOIA.  Meanwhile, Mosher and Fuller are willing to comply with those requirements and don’t require scientists or state agencies to be forced to send out information to any and every sock puppet who asks for something, particularly if the anonymous sock-puppet is not willing to cover the costs associated with fulfilling the request.
    My curiosity is more satiable than your own it seems.
    You didn’t answer my questions until now. The answer appears to be that you are not willing to meet the obligations that would be required when making a request under FOIA.  Now, my curiosity is satisfied and I don’t need to repeat my question.
    I also observe that it appears that Fuller is telling you he and Mosher discussed the possibility of granting you access to the emails, that Fuller is willing but that you need to wait to hear from Mosher is enough to make you no longer wish to read the documents.  Right now, it looks suspiciously like you don’t wish to risk having Mosher come back and say he’s willing to let you read the emails either.
    though I never asked Lucia for anything
    No one suggested you did.
     

  122. Tom Fuller says:

    New York J, it is clear you live in a different world from the rest of us, a mystical land where
    Not responding to a hostile crazy who comments on a weblog
    equals
    Admitting to the lunatic charges the hostile crazy makes.

  123. Quiet Waters says:

    lucia: “Right now, it looks suspiciously like you don’t wish to risk having Mosher come back and say he’s willing to let you read the emails either.”
     
    A strange kind of risk. Note the effort to push this away from “publish” *to “let one person (QW) read them…
     
    *see #57 #63 etc. I never said I wanted to read them  – just that I wondered whether Steve would publish. It is lucia who has pushed the FOI angle for all she is worth.

  124. Jeff Norris says:

    NewyorkJ
    Please consider my responses for your upcoming book although I am a mindless follower of the movement.
    First I must say your definition of unloaded questions leaves much to be desired.
    In the spirit of openess and transparency, let my take a crack at the Mosher game. My fair and unloaded questions for him:

    1. Do the behavior of contrarians and attention-seekers in episodes like ClimateGate build trust or erode it?
    I would need specifics regarding behavior to evaluate the outcome or purpose of it.  Also, by definition attention-seekers are engaging in inappropriate behavior

    2. Do FOI requests designed to harass scientists and waste their time build trust or erode it?
    I think the reaction to harassment or people wasting your time is what builds or erodes trust.

    3. Do the acts of contrarians attempting to game the peer review system by build trust or erode it?
    Again need more specifics give evaluations but anyone “gaming the system” would erode trust in said system

    4. Does demonizing your opponents as “alarmists”, “hoaxsters”, “warmists”, “CAGWists”, “fraud perpetuators”, build trust or erode it?
    That is the whole point in demonizing them.  Do you think when you call someone MOSHPIT(Willard’s term) it is supposed to instill trust in them


    5. Calling for Richard Lindzen’s resignation would obviously build trust, what do you intend to do to build trust Mr. Mosher?
    What has Lindzen done that would call for his resignation.  I guess Mosher could write another book or just keep calling them as he sees them.

    6. Unsupported claims and ad homs directed at climate scientists, selectively quoting stolen emails out of context, and scientifically-unsupported claims by contrarians don’t build trust. Isn’t it time for you and other figures to denounce this kind of behavior?
    Denouncing bad behavior on both sides would be a full time job for a hundred people and each side willstill attack them as partisans.  Although perhaps the solution is for a knowledgable journalist to start a blog and point some of these errors out.  I am sure both sides would react positively to this and welcome his efforts.  

    7. Do you think that Anthony Watts’ communication and that of the Heartland Institute and AEI should be carried out with complete
    and utter openness? Will you publish ALL of your personal correspondence in matters related to climate science?
    Sure but why stop at them?  Let’s see every body’s communications who has an opinion.  I am sure both sides would be able to take an unbiased look at them for the betterment of Science.

    8. Since dogs bark, how in the world can cows moo

    Because just like” The Scorpion and the Frog “it is their nature

  125. lucia says:

    Quiet Waters–
    I asked the FOI type questions because I was curious about whether you would meet standards Mosher and Fuller have to meet when requesting materials.  You asked Mosher and Fuller stuff because you were curious about something. (It’s not entirely clear to me what that something is.)  Seems to me that in one regard, our motives were similar: We are both curious and asked questions to fulfill our own curiosity.
    You now write:
    never said I wanted to read them
    but  previously wrote:
    I am interested how Mosher & Fuller discussed context I’m not interested in rehashing old arguments..
    I don’t know how you would learn how Mosher and Fuller discussed context without reading the emails you requested.  I thought you intended to read them so as to learn something you were interested in learning. But evidently not.  I guess I jumped to a conclusion here.
    It seems to me this whole asking questions thing was very fruitful. What we learned from your test is Fuller and Mosher are willing to hold themselves to the same standards they expect of the scientists who are subject to FOI.  What we learned from my test of you is that you are not willing to hold yourself to the standards Fuller and Mosher have to meet when using FOI.

    Maybe you’ve come to some different conclusion, but that’s how it looks to me.

  126. PDA says:

    Fuller and Mosher are willing to hold themselves to the same standards they expect of the scientists who are subject to FOI.
     
    Mosher and Fuller wrote a book based on the contents of other people’s emails that were posted anonymously on JeffId’s site. It’s a little tendentious for you to hold them up as paragons of “holding themselves for standards.”

  127. Quiet Waters says:

    lucia: “You now write:
    never said I wanted to read them
    but  previously wrote:
    I am interested how Mosher & Fuller discussed context I’m not interested in rehashing old arguments..”
     
    …but before that wrote the following (context seems difficult for some it seems):
     
    “I have no interest in the why’s and wherefore’s of the CRUhack case in this regard, nor really any interest in the content of the Mosher/Fuller correspondence*. I am mainly interested in how far Steve is prepared to go in support of openness.
    *I would be interested in what the discussions about context were (i.e. how much they should take into account the massive number of FOIA requests instigated by the McIntyre rabble) and how they selected which emails to include in the book and, more importantly perhaps, which to leave out. But whether I’d be interested enough to bother wading through what is likely to be a voluminous amount of verbiage is unclear to me. This of course is a moot point because I doubt Steven likes openness enough to publish the correspondence anyway.”
     
    Again, I have found that Steve & Tom, while willing to publish other people’s private emails are unwilling to publish their own. For me, anything else in this thread is mere ephemera. It is illuminating to see you (lucia) spend so much time & effort on this though – and the familiar rhetorical tricks that have been employed.

  128. Tom Fuller says:

    We’re not paragons of anything, as fas as I know, PDA. But I’m trying to understand what you think we did wrong.

  129. NewYorkJ says:

    TF:  it is clear you live in a different world from the rest of us, a mystical land where Not responding to a hostile crazy who comments on a weblog equals Admitting to the lunatic charges the hostile crazy makes.

    Welcome to ClimateGate!

  130. NewYorkJ says:

    TF: But I’m trying to understand what you think we did wrong.

    On the book stuff (note the deconstruction of some of Fuller’s claims in the comments):

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/06/how_to_figure_out_what_the_sto.php

    On other matters (pre CRU hack):

    TF: I actually don’t believe men of honour publish correspondence without permission. Nor do I believe men of honour would select portions of the email that don’t correspond to the entire message. I must say that you and your fan club deserve each other.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/tom_fuller_and_senator_inhofe.php#comment-2044149

  131. PDA says:

    not wrong, Tom, but I wasn’t playing gotcha with Quiet Waters using you as a standard of comparison.

  132. Tom Fuller says:

    NewYorkJ, as I have written in response to your rather tired accusation on a number of occasions, I waited until Real Climate published, discussed and pointed to the emails on the Internet before I started. As I have replied to you on a number of occasions in response to your rather tired accusation, I had the emails first and could have published them, but did not. I waited until Gavin did.
     
    I shall copy this response and save it to paste in the next time you repeat your rather tired accusation.

  133. willard says:

    This last answer in #110 deserves due diligence. 

    First, observe Moshpit’s dodge:

    > Willard. you didnt OPINE. you said, we all know.

    To opine is to express one’s opinion openly and without fear or hesitation. People usually opine about stuff by saying things.  I did say and I did opine that Moshpit was insincere.  So Moshpit is incorrect to say that I did not opine.

    I said “opine” and “surmised” earlier to underline that I was stating my opinion, which entails that I was putting thoughts into my head, and not into Moshpit’s.  Moshpit’s first sentence  does not adress anything that was said afterwards, e.g. that Moshpit’s insincerity is showing.  It looks like Moshpit addressed the points, but he did not.  The minutia on the meaning of “opining” and “saying” is irrelevant to my comment, which was about Moshpit’s tricks.  This is a dodge, not unlike what Quiet Waters noticed in #111.

    ***

    Second, observe how Moshpit switches topics after this dodge:

    > one doesnt have to be insincere to cross a line.

    Of course, but why does Moshpit says this?  It’s tough to know exactly where Moshpit is heading here, so let’s see the next sentences:

    > I say this. scientists who say that hide the decline is accepted practice are being insincere when they TOW the line. when they say what they think, rather than what is allowed, they are being sincere.  Nice try.

    Notice how the topics changed, out of sudden.  We were talking about Moshpit’s tricks.  Moshpit is now talking about scientists.  Moshpit is using my belief about his insincerity to shift the topic towards “scientists”.  (For the latin lovers, this ill appear to be what is called a **tu quoque**.)

    ***

    Third, observe how Moshpit appeals next to his own authority:

    > Now, since i’ve had conversations with people who believe in the science but dont dare break the thin green line I know things you dont.

    Observe how the topic changes, yet again.  Moshpit was talking about scientists.  Now, the topic is Moshpit’s knowledge base. 

    Notice an interesting variation on the first trick we underlined in #52.   Moshpit is not putting thoughts into my mind: he’s putting a lack of knowledge into my mind.  This stance being uninteresting for our present concern, let’s look at Moshpit’s conclusion:

    > You see, I know that hiding the decine is not acceptable. so do you.  and i know that some people just keep their mouths shut.  I’m suggesting they break that rule and be sincere.  get it

    I think we do get that the “green line” meme seems quite important for Moshpit’s narrative.

    And I think we do get that Moshpit is using tricks, there and elsewhere.

    And I think we do “get” that Moshpit is being insincere for the sake of openness, transparency, portrayed (for his tu quoque to operate) as sincerity, …

    and lower taxes, to use Moshpit’s own trick. 

    This sudden switch provides us the freedom to quote almost anything Moshpit said online, for instance this:

    > It is time to pay an “end-of-life” visit to ObamaCare.

    http://biggovernment.com/smosher/2010/09/23/let-us-euthanize-obamacare-before-it-euthanizes-us/

    Dodge and switch.  Switch and bait.  Important rhetorics (TM) tricks.

  134. Tom Fuller says:

    Willard, I think that qualifies as too much information, but as long as you’re here, how closely do you think ‘tu quoque’ is related to ‘y tu mama tambien?’

  135. NewYorkJ says:

    I know, TF.  Your story is that you waited until RC started to defend climate scientists from your Team’s libel so you could feel justified in joining them, contradicting your first “men of honour” preaching.  Your second “men of honour” preaching deals with assigning misleading or false narratives to a set of words found in emails.  You’ve written a book that does just that, and your reaction on the first Deltoid link is revealing.

    I shall copy this response and save it to paste in the next time you repeat your rather tired excuses.

  136. lucia says:

    PDA–
    I’m not saying Mosher and Fuller are paragons of virtue. I’m only saying they are consistent and hold themselves to the same standards they expect of others.
     
    If someone hacked into their emails, I’m sure they would involve the police– just as cru has. They haven’t criticized Cru for that. They would be able to do nothing about people reading and discussing those emails– just as Cru can’t. But Quiet Waters is trying to test something and it seems to me that Steve and Tom are holding themselves to the same standard as they expect of others.
    Their publishing a book based on the hacked emails was already known before Quiet Waters’ “test” questions. No one disputes that. No one has ever disputed it. That undisputed fact doesn’t change the fact that the outcome of the test is Fuller and Mosher hold themselves to the same standards they expect of others.

  137. NewYorkJ says:

    Mosher: In other words, ObamaCare will only pile more debt on the mountain of debt that Obama’s other forays into socialism have caused.

    Obamacare will then be used as Obama, Reid and Pelosi intended, as a vehicle to promote and perform abortions.
    It seems to me that our choice as Americans is simple:  Either we euthanize ObamaCare before it is too late, or it winds up euthanizing us.

    Dang.  The crazy socialism, fundamentally similar to what that crazy socialist Romney did in MA, is going to kill us all!  And it will create mountains of debt too…never mind that the CBO disputes that claim.  Reagan good.  Obama bad.  Interesting piece right before the U.S. midterms too.  And he seemed to be trying hard to not to appear like Jeff Id.  To Jeff Id’s credit, he doesn’t try too hard not to appear like Jeff Id.

  138. willard says:

    Perhaps Tom Fuller might be able to answer this shorter one.

    In another context, we read:

    > No one who can put two brain cells together can argue that these processes and the people who abused them are untainted. Instead, they will argue that nothing changes in the science. But without a trusted process there is no science.

    http://biggovernment.com/smosher/2010/02/01/leake-and-the-london-times-climate-scientists-thwarted-foia/

    In #18 we read:

    > I wrote a book explaining how the mails do not change the science.

    According to Tom Fuller, how many brain cells should the author of the first quote attribute to the author(s) of the second quote?

  139. JohnB says:

    @NewYorkJ. Asking people to destroy documents that are subject to an FOI request is an illegal act in most nations, including the UK. Except for the poor wording of the Act, Dr. Jones would have faced criminal proceedings.

    How do you believe this act or email was taken out of context? The wording of the email was quite straighforward and unambiguous.

  140. Tom Fuller says:

    Willard, more than I would attribute to the author of post 137. Is that specific enough for you?

  141. NewYorkJ says:

    JohnB,

    I don’t think Dr. Jones would disagree that such an email was inappropriate (even in the context of being harassed and provoked by those who think it’s appropriate to issue FOI requests for personal email correspondence), nor would others.  He has in fact said he had written some awful things. 

    It’s where you go much beyond a few poor emails by one individual over a decade that the Mosher/Fuller/Montford/etc case falls apart rapidly, and you can see a bit of that in the first Deltoid link I provided (along with a look at Fuller’s zealotry).  They claim the emails are a great tempest that swamps conventional wisdom on climate change, as seedy as what happened on Wall Street, shatters trust, and as a result (depending on which audience Mosher is speaking to it seems), there is no science.  The various nonpartisan inquiries don’t agree with their conclusions, nor does any objective look at the issue.  SM/TF have perpetuated a (well-received among some circles) narrative and have worked to fix the facts around it.  There’s not a genuine desire on their part to understand anything.  One can see this in Mosher’s suggested questions for Mann, some of which amount to “when did you stop beating your wife” style of questioning.

  142. Barry Woods says:

    135#

    care to actually identify any of the ‘libel’

    thought not, just handwaving…

    why did Jones feel the NEED to ask for emails to be deleted in the face of FOI requests.  Shame nobody has ever asked him that.

  143. willard says:

    NewYorkJ,
    You are not alone.  Here are other people like you who believes that this kind of email you mentioned in #141 was inappropriate.

    For instance, Bart V, on the 2010-11-18, at 09:07 admitted:

    > Yes, there were indeed signs of inappropriate behavior in the emails (the request to delete emails ranks number 1 imo).

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/climategate-scandal-that-wasnt-and-scandal-that-was/#comment-9458

    J Bowers, on the 2010-11-19, at 14:10, admitted:

    > I’d most likely accept that Jones thought there was a loophole […]

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/climategate-scandal-that-wasnt-and-scandal-that-was/#comment-9543

    Even dhogaza agrees that deleting emails:

    > [W]as unethical and his buddies have said so.

    http://blogs.chron.com/climateabyss/2011/02/steig_this_is_not_complicated.html#c2050840

    Notice on that thread how JAE is not there to read but to mindframe, so dhogaza had to repeat:

    > I already said it [deleting emails] was unethical.

    http://blogs.chron.com/climateabyss/2011/02/steig_this_is_not_complicated.html#c2051799

    Even Mapleleaf, on the 2011-03-22, at 01:24:

    > Jones was an idiot for suggesting people delete emails for the purpose he was suggesting, that was plain wrong (even if he was under stress at the time), and I do not know of anyone (including “the team”) who disagrees.

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/open-thread-march-2011/#comment-12163

    ***
    If you know any other testimony like that, you should send it to me via my tumblog.  If we all come out and say it, it will get better.
    It gets better already.

  144. PDA says:

    I agree with Michael Mann on this: Jones asking people to delete emails was “not appropriate.” And Mann should have told him so at the time.

  145. willard says:

    > Do you think when you call someone MOSHPIT(Willard’s term) it is supposed to instill trust in them.

    Reading back, I need to correct this.  This was Moshpit’s own invention, back in September 2007:

    > hey Tamino is pissed because i dared to mention pascals wager and compare it to
    the precautinary principal. mosh pit was very respectful and uncharacteristically
    restrained

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/10/14/ushcn-3/#comment-111537 

    If one digs into CA, one can find more than 80 hits with “Moshpit”.  It would be easy to provide more examples. 

  146. willard says:

    Back in August from the same year, at Steve’s:

    > Well, let me bring you all another Mosh pit moment. 

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/08/17/detectives-in-tucson/#comment-99992 

    Ah, the good old days. 

  147. Tom Fuller says:

    Great. Against the law gets dumbed down to inappropriate. I feel so much better now.

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