the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Laura Speaks Out (a polite thread)

Posted by Jeff Id on December 10, 2009

This came from commenter Laura, who says she’s a climate scientist. She also says that somehow the email in the first post here on Climategate is ‘out of context’ Leaked FOIA files 62 mb of gold.

Now Laura is in unfamiliar territory here, because we’re a different kind of blog.  There are a lot of new readers, and we all have questions so keep all comments 100% respectful because I promise that even snide or slightly impolite comments will be clipped.   Laura believes we have taken these emails out of context.  I’m curious which emails are out of context and have questions about others. So far all the MSM has been good for is lies and drivel, let’s see if she’ll tell us where we went wrong.

Anyone can take quotes out of context to slant an argument. This is especially easy when fed thousands of emails that you can google search. Bravo.

I am a climate scientist and please tell me what personal gain are we possibly posed for with a ‘climate conspiracy theory’? I am only aware of a road full of years of study and hard work, large sacrifices in personal lives (especially for women), and pretty minimal pay. The only climate skeptic who is actually a scientist that I know (yes singular), appears only driven by a need for attention and by a bitterness that his science has been popularized by heightened concern for climate change. I would say most climate scientists are attracted to the field because it is INTERESTING and not because they are leftist environmentalists with secret agendas. I’m sorry, but the supporting body of research for climate change is unchanged by ‘climategate’ – maybe you should read it, but that is much more difficult that searching emails for hot key words.

I am saddened for the US and for the world by reading these near-sighted, self-serving posts. Tell me, what motive could possibly be worth it?

102 Responses to “Laura Speaks Out (a polite thread)”

  1. Jeff Id said

    So besides the best comment, pointed out by Steve M on the previous thread, let’s start with the popular one.

    Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
    Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
    first thing tomorrow.
    I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
    to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
    1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual
    land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
    N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
    for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
    data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
    Thanks for the comments, Ray.


    Where is ‘hide the decline’ taken out of context and considering that this email was created in Nov 1999 when was the first published admission that this ‘hiding’ was done? It is a bit of a direct question, but I wonder how this can be resolved.

  2. Matt Pearson said

    As a former software developer for Microsoft ( for 12 years ), I am not so much interested in the emails. ( Though they do provide much needed context ). I am interested in the code, and the harry.txt file. This cannot be taken out of context. I am curious if Laura has any comments on the quality of the code, or the travails of Harry. As she has spent time in the climate science field, and I have only spent 20 plus years as a professional software developer, her insights into how development of the climate modeling software would be very much appreciated.


  3. Matt Pearson said

    Sorry. I forgot to mention my motive. Veritas.

  4. Ed said

    Not an email question but the source code – as a professional software engineer I went through the code in one of the code folders. I found badly documented, poorly written code – I also found outright errors in the code. I learned in source code comments that original data had been irretrievably lost, that original source code had been lost, and apparently when a staff member was lost, there was an inability to get the code working properly.

    To me, this is an organization run in an out of control, unprofessional – and quite frankly incompetent – manner by a group that did not show concern for its work quality.

    Indeed, I came away wondering that if climate science and climate change are so serious, why do the climate scientists not take their work seriously? Why should any of us take this work seriously?

    Don’t take my word for it – Dr John Graham-Cumming made strong comments when interviewed by the BBC:
    “BBC Newsnight’s Science Editor Susan Watts looks at how the source code used in the CRU’s computer files is way below expected standards for this type of commercial software, according to software engineer Dr John Graham-Cumming.”

    On his blog, Dr. Graham-Cumming has to say about some errors he has found:

    Given that context, what quality of code should we expect from the climate science community?
    Would we fly on an airplane whose aerodynamic modeling is based on untested software with these obvious defects?
    What sort of software quality assurance procedures should be in place?
    What audit procedures should be in place?

  5. denise said

    I have found it interesting to see that the media reports the largest increase of warming over the last 10 years. Hasn’t be been the last 10 years that Al Gore has brought this to the world’s attention? I am one of those who has spent the last 10 years working a regular job, paying my taxes, and putting my two sons through college. I have a two year para-legal degree, not much science knowledge. It seems to me that ANY bad data, whether used in 1999 or 2009 would NOT help prove a theory. Science is either theory or proven fact right? That’s for your time away from your family, I’m learning a lot. Oh by the way, I registered for classes at Penn State University (the home of MANN) this winter term.. Finally its my time for school, kids are gone now. What about the lights over Norway tonight, any thoughts?

  6. AJStrata said

    Personal gain? Tell me, is your career or reputation going to be impacted if AGW is proven wrong? Hoew about pure financial survival.

    I am an aerospace engineer – one major screw up and I don’t get any more responsible work.

  7. Raven said


    The “it can’t be a conspiracy” argument is a strawman intended to distract from the issue. The fact is everyone acts in their self-interest and if one’s livelihood depends on an endless stream of government funding then one must come up with reasons to justify that funding.

    Of course, that does not mean that every government funded scientist is a liar but it does mean that significance of research results are going to be exaggerated and biased towards climate alarmism. This problem is aggravated by prominent climate scientists who viciously attack other scientists who disagree with their narrow interpretation of the facts.

    In short, people don’t need to be offered big money or other inducements to ignore data that undermines a view and emphasize data that supports it when holding that view is essential to earning income. All needs is a semi-plausible justification for the bais.

  8. green R&D Manager said

    Inspired by others here, at Audit,WUWT,Strata, and other sites. I did an analysis of 11 Northern California Stations using GISS. Very interesting results when I analyze the raw vs. homogenized charts. I plotted in Excel, broke out their changes to the raw, analyzed the effects, put it in power point, and have put in PDF. Bottom line…there appears to be a systematic drive on these sites to force fit to a model curve that fits a narrative.

    Send me an email back and I will forward you the PDF. I’d just post it, but am unsure of how to.

    Just trying to do my part to restore some respect for the scientific method and design reviews that has served me so well over the years.

  9. Pat Frank said

    Laura wrote that, “The only climate skeptic who is actually a scientist that I know (yes singular)…

    Well,let’s see, Richard Lindzen is a prominent climate scientist. He’s pretty skeptical of large CO2-induced climate warming, which is presumably what you meant to imply by “climate” skeptic. Is that fair? Did you have him in mind? To whomever, though, you’ve ascribed pretty unworthy motives.

    But anyway, John Christy is also skeptical of a large AGW effect. That’s two skeptics. Roy Spencer; that’s three. Francis Massen; four. Tad Murthy; five. Tim Ball; six. Chris Essex; seven. David Deming; eight. Of course, Anthony Watts at WUWT is a career meteorologist, and there’s also William Gray who is prominent in his field. Among plenty of others. And, without wanting to seem to be currying local favor, our own Jeff id has shown himself by his work to be easily as competent a climate scientist as Eric Steig or Michael Mann; and without any formal training in the field. Imagine that.

    So, your thesis about isolated skeptics is pretty blown. Let me add, as another lowly paid physical scientist, that it doesn’t take a climate scientist to understand sources of error in climate measurements and modeling. We’re all trained to one degree or another, in every discipline, to account for sources of measurement error and to propagate them. Published climate studies, especially modeling, are very remiss in this basic but very central practice. One never sees any proper calculation of physical uncertainty, nor propagation of intermediate physical uncertainties and measurement errors through multi-step climate projections. It’s not too far at all from reality to observe that the entire case for AGW rests on false precision.

    And it’s that general perception of false precision in AGW-driven climate science that provides the supposedly missing context for the UEA emails.

  10. There is no need to speculate in reply to Laura’s question. The history of science has many examples of misbehavior — from minor lapses to outright fraud. Is she unaware of this?

    Reply: Please, this is not the thread for F bombs. If Laura chooses to answer, it cannot be under a pile on scenario. The only reason I want it this way is because so many climate scientists have said out of context. I’ve learned from the papers, CA, the emails and by replicating the math ‘exactly’ the context of briffa MXD. She has a perfectly good argument here, but the timeframe of it is the beast. When Briffa’s work was first released, it was in fact hidden in papers and the IPCC documents. Since that time, it has been exposed in papers yet not by IPCC to my knowledge, although the public won’t get it. The results of Hide the decline are, the initial hide, bust by peers, description of what happened and continued use of the ‘clearly not temperature’ data anyway.

  11. green R&D Manager said


    BS,MS or PHD. We all took thermodynamics and we all had to learn physics. We all learned some form of the scientific method.

    Being trained as an engineer and managing engineers, the overriding theme is we must be right. Mistaken designs and weak theories don’t build products that people can rely upon. They kill companies and if mission critical, they can kill people.

    Product teams have others review their work with design reviews, line by line code reviews, stress testing till it breaks, and boundary analysis. No matter how good the team is, we assume they made mistakes. If we don’t find any, we assume the review was too weak.

    If a model that is supposed to predict the future doesn’t, we first check to see if the data is bad and if it isn’t we know the model is wrong and we can’t rely upon it until we fix it.

    If a model we need to rely on is supposed to reconstruct the past but can’t accurately reflect the present, we assume it is wrong and we find out why.

    Products that don’t work because of bad designs or bad theories get returned and the customer’s don’t come back. The reality of making stuff work based science is brutal, stuff works or it does not.

    Climate experts have avoided the proper reviews. Their future prediction models are clearly off given the past 10 years. That does not mean their overall theory is wrong, just the current version of the models. The backward looking models need more justification given the divergence with recent data. Hiding the divergence instead of fixing the model does not look good. If the warming crises people are right and we have a pending crises, then their work will withstand the reviews. If they are wrong and the warming is benign as simple recovery from the little ice age, it will be obvious. I don’t know which is right, I just see the practices of avoiding review, withholding data, and ignoring/avoiding obvious issues with the models that have uncovered in the climate area would be grounds for termination in private industry.

    Detailed questions to find flaws is standard process on mission critical projects. Given the calls are to remake the entire world economy, a close review of the claims is warranted.

  12. PaulK said


    No one here disputes that CO2 is a radiative gas or that human activity can affect climate. The dispute is over the medieval warm period. Biffra, Mann, Jones et al are accused not of engaging in a conspiracy but in an elegant construction; i.e. logically consistent, but nevertheless false.

  13. J. Peden said

    Anyone can take quotes out of context to slant an argument.

    Well, my “context” is about 10 years of finding out about and watching the way the ipcc and the elite Climate Scientists operate to produce their allegedly “scientific” product.

    I started out having no idea that scientists would not do science, especially in a case like this. But, quite simply, it turns out that what the ipcc and elite Climate Scientists are doing is not Science.

    And I’m surprised that you and others did not notice this. Why?

    Just as a very small teaser or two, what credible scientific publication considers it appropriate to publish world-wide only the conclusions/findings of a study, then waits 3 months to publish the alleged scientific basis for the conclusions/findings?

    Until the ipcc came along, I’d never thought that was even possible as a component of a credible scientific process – except in a situation where, say, a study might actually be stopped because its implications would involve some kind of emergency action.

    Or where has it ever before been alleged that “peer review” solely by a scientific publication’s chosen reviewers warrants that the product reviewed is the “given truth”? Rediculous. Or that “the science is settled”? Impossible!

    It only gets worse, much worse. I’m still constantly amazed by the evolving events.

    So given a context involving the fact that the ipcc and its elite Climate Scientists are just not doing Science, what the emails reveal is, in a way, even irrelevant to the question of whether they are doing real Science.

    But, for example, acknowledging and recommending the intentional production of a “trick” to “hide the decline” in Briffa’s tree ring curve, which everyone can see in official ipcc, etc., graphs and is crucial to “proving” what AGW advocates themselves say is necessary to maintain the AGW fiction certainly does fall well within my “context”.

  14. Viv Evans said

    ‘Laura’ may in all probability be someone on the outside of climate research, who has nevertheless been well indoctrinated and has not learned, or been taught, or has forgotten that scepticism and querying are vital for scientific progress.
    I assume this scenario because of her sad/heart-warming/mawkish (you choose) personal story about hard work and sacrifice. Sounds a bit like becoming a member of a priest class to me – after all, other students and researchers working in other areas of the Natural sciences have not exactly become billionaires, nor do they or did they work from 9-5 only.

    However, I am more inclined to think that hers, as other communications by AGW defenders, are crafted following a script more reminiscent of political spin-masters. ‘Out of context’, ‘cherry-picking’ ‘sceptics are not climate scientists’ etc all point that way.
    Watch out for something similar to the well-known phrase ‘just political point-scoring’ when certain politicians have run out of counter-arguments.

    Therefore I see this personal sob story more in the way of a trial balloon, which might be dropped or taken up depending on its reception.

    And who would do such a thing? Who would be capable of spinning like this?
    Look no further than the entities behind …

  15. J. Peden said

    Well, maybe not “irrelevant” to the question of whether they’re doing Science, just not “necessary” to prove it.

  16. timetochooseagain said

    Hey, uh, you know when someone says “taken out of context”-the onus is on them to show the context.

    Until then, it’s all blowing smoke.

  17. Alan Wilkinson said

    I suggest Laura read both the Pielke’s websites and get back to us after that.

    Her comments sound as though they are based on MSM reports which are almost always a complete waste of time reading.

  18. timetochooseagain said

    One other point. Frankly, I’m a little insulted. I read tons of papers in the “literature”-any that I can get my hands on. But people presume we haven’t even bothered to look at it! That wounds me deeply.

  19. WhyNot said

    A climate scientist? I question that. After all these posts and no comments form Laura defending her comment which is lacking in any kind of detail….. Her comment a joke, no substance, no insight, a regurgitation of Al Gores defense for AGW. Why am I wasting my time????

  20. To honestly answer the question – what is the motivation for climate scientists to distort the facts (intentionally or subconciously) – financial gain is not the sole driver. I would not even go so far as to claim that overall financial improvement needs to be an aim for those doing real work. I know my cousin spent 2 years working without a grant (in a much less trendy area) – the academic environment places tough calls on the nature of one’s research.
    All of the scientists I have met (and IT people too) who have been to Antarctica have strong ideological views, and the proponents of renewable energy (up till maybe 10 years ago) were primarily greens who wanted to create a self-sustaining community, not scientists. My guess is that these people are motivated by guilt, rather than greed.
    Maybe environmental research tends to attract more ideologists than scientists (in a personality profile sense). The nature of the whole population is not so relevant, however. The emails in question concern the activities of a fraction of the governing elite. One could equally ask if a supporter of Communism would be in it for financial gain…

  21. Joseph in Florida said

    “Tell me, what motive could possibly be worth it?”

    Truth. It is all about restoring science to honest people instead of scare-mongers like the “Laura” person.

    I think the worst thing to come out of climate gate is the code we saw for raw cheating. This is modern science?? In second place is the politically motivated move to write the Medieval Warming Period out of the history books much like the old USSR would re-write history to serve the current interests of ideology.

  22. Atomic Hairdryer said

    I am a climate scientist and please tell me what personal gain are we possibly posed for with a ‘climate conspiracy theory’?

    Not being fully up on how CRU funding is shared, but Jones took £13m. The emails also show tapping up businesses for more funding and sponsorship, and discussing quoting for contract work to businesses. I don’t know if this translates to pay and bonuses. If so, this is one area of personal financial gain, moreso if scientfic bodies like the UK Met Office are privatised and commercialised.

    The emails also show a lot of travel to exotic locations for workshops and conferences. There’s potential for personal gain from book deals, such as Schmidt & Wolfe’s ‘Picturing the Science’. Or the aptly titled ‘Dire Predictions’ from Mann & Kump, which Mann plugs in his email signature. Then there’s other media earnings from TV appearences and articles for more mainstream/non-peer reviewed journals.

    Biggest opportunity for personal gain probably comes from parlaying scientific and media profile into the commercial and financial world, for example as Maurice Strong did here-

    If CO2 trading becomes legally enforced, it has the potential to exceed oil as a traded commodity. Forecasts range from $2-3tn generating very nice fees to translate into bonuses. If the UN gets it’s way at Copenhagen, there’ll be similar multi-billion funds and investment programmes to manage, requiring ‘Chief Science Officers’ to add credibility. I’d suggest those roles would pay more than government research posts pay.

    Given the total ‘green’ market is estimated in the $100tn range globally, I think there are plenty of opportunities to boost income from consulting, executive or non-executive posts, advisory positions etc etc.

  23. John Bowman said

    I say it kindly, but perhaps Laura has led a sheltered life. Many people working in institutions do, particularly if they are dedicated to their own work and so less aware of life in general.

    There are loads of books written about what motivates people. It is generally expected that the primary motive is money, but this is often farther down on the list.

    So in answering Laura’s question about motive she can consider: pride; unwillingness/inability to admit being wrong; desire for influence; desire to be seen as first or among the first in a peer group; arrogance; conceit; desire to be liked; desire to be in a position of power; promotion; direct and indirect financial reward (this flows from some of the other motives); dishonesty; prejudice and dislike of others; etc

    In other words the whole gambit of the complex Human condition.

    In reading through the e-mails and their tone, Laura may like to consider one context in which they may be taken, and that is they were unguarded comments between like-minded friends and associated so most likely to reflect the true character and behaviour of their authors – some of which listed above.

  24. braddles said

    Perhaps what nearly all scientists crave most is recognition from their peers, and if possible from the wider community. What this coterie of scientists has achieved is to raise climate science from a relative backwater to the most important scientific discipline in the world. In terms of political clout and public policy, these guys are on track to becoming the most influential scientists in history, and arguably (especially if they are right) the most important people in the world.

    This must be a heady elixir. And it doesn’t require a criminal conspiracy. Groupthink and confirmation bias is sufficient, along with a perhaps unconscious realisation that they are in too deep to back out now. They are also in a political positive feedback loop, and have taken on the behaviours, and attitudes to opponents, of politicians. Their incredible success to date has convinced them that their behviour is justified and that they are on the side of righteousness.

  25. Amber said

    #24 I do agree there could be an element of “in too deep to back out now”. It’s often the case that a person finds themself in a situation they can’t back out of. We had a case here (in Australia) recently where a bloke somehow (I don’t know) got himself into a situation where he was thought a war hero, except he wasn’t. Instead of correcting the misperception, he let it go. This went on for about forty years. The longer it went on, the harder it was to fix.

  26. Pouncer said

    Conspiracy may be too strong a word. “Groupthink” is, however,a risk too often realized. Another expression used in business training about this problem is
    “a trip to Abilene”

    It may be that nobody actually believes in the need for or desirability of a “trip to Abilene” or CO2 induced warming. But they go along with the group thinking that everybody else in the group has good reasons.

    This was pointd out years ago in the Wegman report. (Along with problems about bad statistics.)

    If this is “out of context” then there should be messages, UNRELEASED, that show Mann or Jones asking the group to suggest outsider reviewers or skeptics to comment. There should be some messages inviting critique. So far I see nothing of the kind. When there is outside question (Wibj, others) who ask pertinent good questions or raise challenges, the CRU circles the wagons and sometimes actuallly lies in response.

    Protecting the group has dominated concerns over the science.

    Groupthink, Laura. Not conspiracy.

  27. j ferguson said

    Well Laura,
    I keep worrying that the most effective skeptical analysts are finding and documenting defective trees in the forest. I don’t like the term “cherry picking” because it seems to imply malice which I feel is insulting.

    Maybe there are several forests. Some of these seem to have mostly defective trees.

    Tell us about the good trees. Or better, the good forests.

  28. Vangel said

    To suggest that scientists do not respond to incentives in ways that non-scientists do would be foolish. The motivation for the scam is very simple. When the grant application states that money will be provided for research that will show that AGW is legitimate that is exactly what we will get whether AGW is real or not. Simply stated, without the massive government source of funding that goes for AGW the dendro community would be a great deal smaller and a lot poorer.

  29. Peter B said

    Adding to #24, #25, and #26 – a key motivation for scientists in the “academic establishment” is not so much financial gain as such, but “the good life”. The good life that Jones, Mann etc were enjoying – tenure, frequent trips to conferences in exotic or pleasant locations where they stay in nice hotels. Being able to spend most of their time on research rather than on teaching. The prestige and intellectual satisfaction that comes with being members of the “elite” in their field. Able to work on their own time without any real boss and or hard targets. Being asked for their opinions by the press, politicians, the private sector. And, yes, if they choose to, even book deals, or eventually consultancies etc. I mean, look at how fast Mann rose through the ranks, at a relatively young age. If it wasn’t for the hockey stick, he’d still be an obscure assistant professor somewhere, or someone’s sidekick (like Briffa), having to “waste” time with undergraduate students and struggling to get funding for minor projects. The kind of life that Mann and Jones were enjoying is the dream of most career academics. It’s not necessarily about direct financial gain as such.

  30. John Wright said

    You are looking for motives – not hard to find.

    I am nowhere near to being a climate scientist; I am an independent researcher in musicology. For five years I worked on a project in an ethnomusicology department. Now what struck me while I was there was the amount of time spent by the head of department just chasing up funding; it interfered seriously with his work. Now I can well imagine what a boon it must be to suddenly discover that your research has so come into fashion that you are able to hop on to a bandwagon where you can be sure of receiving millions every year. The temptation to bend the data even a little (except that it wasn’t a little) to ensure keeping the taps (sorry faucets) open must be tremendous. That is the road to becoming a self-perpetuating institution.

    The above is just an elementary suggestion that does not even take into account darker motives of pressure groups so protecting their patch as to make sure that a person even slightly in disagreement with or just not conforming to the party line – let alone sceptics – will be left out in the cold:; Even one not particularly versed in IT such as myself can readily see that the vast amount of evidence of such pressure-group-think in those leaked mails (the hacker thesis is not plausible), not to mention what many more qualified than I consider to be amateurish treatment of the raw data (see Harry Readme files) and this on the part of a research unit that receives millions in public funding.

  31. Lady in Red said

    How the climategate conspiracy happened: a theory.

    I have no idea what happened first, but, at some point, a politician(s) expressing concern explained to a scientist: “I understand your concerns, worries, but there is nothing I can do unless there is consensus in the climate community.”

    The effort to achieve consensus was collegial, at first, but more and more it evolved to thuggery and became a religion for the “in” scientists; they began to believe that they “knew” right and proving it was less a goal, demonstrating The Right Side/Truth with the most outlandish, exaggerated graphs and models – the scientific democratic consensus – became the objective. (Only in a democracy could one possibly “sell” good versus bad scientific theory by vote.)

    The scientists forgot who they were and what they were supposed to be doing. They began to believe their own press clippings. (Read Roger Pielke Sr.’s account of his resignation from the IPCC panel, following the rejection of “his” chapter which he worked on for three months to accurately reflect co-authors’ scientific opinion. The “thugs” knew it wasn’t strong enough – one-sided enough — threw it out, and Pielke resigned.)

    I was impressed with this article in Reason Magazine about the way we process facts. Facts! Increasingly, the facts we filter in – or out – are a function of our cultural idealogy. The author uses an example of two global warming news articles, identical in global warming facts, but different in recommended remedies, which completely skews the article’s acceptance, or not, by folks with pre-disposed mentalities. (As a gun-toting Quaker who supports abortion – at least to age twelve…. smile….. — believes in the sanctity of all living things, privatizing Social Security, more death penalty, abolishing the Fed, lynching most of Wall Street, and female supremacy in personal relationships, I’m a tad hard to pigeon hole myself.)

    Here’s the Reason article:

    Here’s another site with an interesting take on the conspiracy angle:

    Climategate is the most recent entry off the menu bar. The site is certainly not the most polished, well-edited, etc., but, before you dismiss it out of hand, remember your responsibility to The Facts. Set aside your inclination to say, “Pshaw! This couldn’t be possible. This is nutty!” Set aside your cultural bias to follow the crowd and do independent evaluation – just of facts – and see where you are left.

    This is not an easy exercise. When I began, I experienced almost a year of mind-numbing mental dissonance: this can’t be true; I must be wrong; if this made sense, many folk much smarter than I would have exposed it…. No, no, no! You have to keep delving, deeper, trust yourself when your mind says: My brain can’t reconcile: what The World is telling me is wrong, untrue, seems true to me, to my mind. If you keep pushing, honestly, toward factual truth, independent of your pre-disposed cultural identity, you don’t *have* to do it again, ever. Then, you will know what is *possible* in deception, how subtly it evolves. And, you will be a better citizen and a stronger person as a result! Like Sudoku for your mind….

    If you do that, you will learn (about more than just climategate; you will evaluate all facts in a new way) and you will see that the climategate “conspiracy,” like Topsy, just “growed,” was not planned at a master scheming session a decade ago. But, today, it is.

  32. NokTang said

    Soooo, wherez Laura now? Reading her response I noticed that she merely parotted the RC “out of context” argument completed with the “I see no climate scientist who can peer review the papers” platitude. Her message sounds more like; “WTF are you doing to our beloved AGW-science by being self servicing and showing the Climategate Papers?”

  33. will said

    Hubris and Money

  34. Squidly said

    Laura, with all due respect, you illustrate, to me, precisely what is wrong with the climate sciences and this whole “climate change” topic. I find the comments in your paragraph to be extremely naive, slightly arrogant and particularly blind. First you present the “context” straw-man, then swiftly shift to the “conspiracy” straw-man while trying to paint a picture that there is but one skeptic out there making waves. You then continue on to morph into some heart-string pulling drivel about sacrifice. Finally you ask the question “what motive could possibly be worth it?”

    I will try to address each of these points from my perspective. Firstly, like many here, I too am an engineer. I have been a practicing software engineer for almost 30 years. I have worked in the private sector as well as government and military. I have been around the block once or twice.

    Context: At the time of first release of the Climategate files (I was among the first to download myself), the “context” was arguably not well formed. However, after careful analysis by many, coupled with corroboration from many others engaged in the original email conversations, the “context” has now become very well formed and quite apparent. Only those who wish to deny this event fail to recognize this “context”. Further, after investigation into the codes and data, the “context” has become evermore crystal clear. To deny these things is simply no more than a CYA effort.

    Conspiracy: There are perhaps some that are presently engaged in a “conspiracy” of sorts. Some names that come to mind would be Al Gore, George Soros, and many others that stand to gain hugely through financial means. And there are many others that stand to gain hugely in the political spectrum’s. These could all, arguably, be participating in what could be term a “conspiracy”. The primary scientific players in this game are driven more by personal recognition, job security, ideology, and just plain old “team membership” or “group think”. Arguably, these people are not directly engaged in a “coordinated conspiracy”, but are certainly engaged by association.

    The lone skeptic: Unless you have lived an extremely sheltered life the past three decades, then it should be quite apparent to you that there are more skeptics of the CO2 induced, runaway global warming theory than there are supporters of it. This is where your utter blindness shines through. Perhaps it is not your fault. Perhaps you are busy diligently working in your laboratory, not exposed to the daily buzz that is society. Perhaps the television, that you only have a chance watch on occasion, only receives transmission from MSNBC. If this is the case, then I fully understand the nature of your blindness.

    Sacrifice: Please, can you be anymore pathetic. I have paid my own dues, I have sacrificed plenty myself. I am sure, even though an impressive one, my story certainly pails by comparison that I am sure many many others could share themselves. Trying to play the “Sacrifice” string of people’s hearts is arrogant and downright stupid. I thought you said you were a scientist.

    Motivation: And finally we come to your question, motivation. I don’t believe Jeff Id has the necessary storage space for me to list all of the possible motivators for this saga. I can think of so very many just off of the top of my head. Not recognizing these mechanisms is to not recognize fundamental human behavior. Again, Laura, you told us you were a scientist. Surely then, even you could see at least a few motives, at the very least the glaring motives of the surface? Money, politics, power, control, greed, ideology, career, job security, preservation, etc…, [the list is almost endless]

    I will close by simply saying to you, that I believe it may be time for you to uncover your eyes and wake up to the world around you. If you are a scientist, the I suspect you wish to be a “good” scientist. If you study climate science because you, as you say, “love it”, then I would tend to believe that you, of all people, would want that field of science to remain pure. Failing to recognize the issues presently at hand is not helping to preserve the integrity of your field. Surely you can see this?

  35. Jeff Id said

    It appears Laura has chosen not to return. Perhaps the crowd here surprised her with some very good descriptions. I was so surprised by the climate data back in 2008 August, that I’ve spent thousands of hours buried in climate science. It’s just nowhere near as clear or settled as it has been presented.

    The point I was hoping a brave climate scientist would help settle is how several of these emails could be out of context. The media (haven’t watched Fox on this) barely discuss the issue and focus on the trick, how it could mean algorithm – this is totally true but it seems to me that the trick is out of context in their defense of it. It’s the ‘trick to hide the decline’ and the physical trick itself of blending in temperature data that give the context.

    When I hear scientists making the claim that this message is out of context, my own reaction is to cringe and say BS. There are other very interesting emails as well which discuss chopping of the downtrend off of temerature graphs in presentations, changing peer review in journals and destroying of data and emials to prevent FOIA by people who wish to understand.

    Gavin’s comments on this have been very disappointing to say the least. Despite the harsh commentary at RC, the censoring of tough questions, I always thought he had the edge of an honest scientist. Now that his friends are in trouble, he’s willing to say anything to sweep it under the rug while simultaneously driving the message for a Copenhagen accord.

    I wonder if anyone here can give a hypothetical context which could defend this particular email. I’m not saying defend it from a lawyerly sense but rather from a rational and reasoned one.

  36. hmmm said

    Quite a knee-jerk reaction you have had here, personally I find it a bit insulting. This is not a group of people who gather to blindly lash out at climate scientists, environmentalists, and/or liberals. If you read through previous posts before climategate you’d find that most readers here are disatisfied with the level of replication that has gone on in certain core climate studies. Many of us actually consider ourselves environmentalists and/or liberals.

    I think your vision of a grand conspiracy theory is completely off base from what people here actually believe. I think you are therefore arguing against something which has nothing to do with this site. People here aren’t denying global warming or of humans CO2 output being a significant affect on 20th century warming. We don’t think all climate scientists are left-wing fanatics who meet annually to fudge data.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I get the impression that people here are mostly sceptical of:

    1) The certainties presented and techniques & assumptions used in historical proxy temperature studies. This is important because this forms our measure of natural variation and feedback.
    2) The adjustments made to modern instrumental records. This is important because it affects the CO2 temperature sensitivy.
    3) The confidence in climate models and their projections which are based on 1) and 2).

    This does not mean we don’t believe that the earth has warmed, or that CO2 output by human activities are significantly to blame. I do, however, believe that the sensitivity and feedbacks have been exaggerated, that temperature proxy reconstructions are less trustworthy than they have been presented, and that a climate model forecast for the next 100 years is pretty much worthless.

    I am not a climate scientist but as an engineer I understand proxy calibration, data homogenization, and dynamic modeling quite enough to validate my scepticism of the so-called alarmist consensus as presented by the IPCC and main-stream media. And because of the amount of funding/attention this area has drawn away from other environmental causes which to my mind seem much more substantiated I find myself irked. And when I see our Congress and President considering such crazy retooling of our energy, economy, and government based on the science I have seen, I find myself irked. And when I see sceptic scientists whose voices are barely ever heard or who lose their jobs, I get further irked. When Al Gore calls me a flat earther and doesn’t even understand the basis of his own arguments, I get incredibly irked.

  37. Kevin said

    Possibly the same gain as when government funded scientists said ICE Age doom was coming in 1975. It’s all about control.

  38. Don B said

    Laura, you know only one skeptical scientist? Here are the names of 141 who wrote to the UN’s Ban Ki-moon about climate.

    Please do not take this letter out of context.

  39. Motorhead said

    Laura, I am a private citizen, not a scientist. So I will offer an explanation as to why this is important from my point of view.

    1) Years ago, scientists bolstered by their media counterparts told us that the Earth was in danger of global cooling. That’s the exact opposite of what they are telling us now.

    2) The entire global warming movement is not simply about global warming or climate change. It’s always hooked into ways to separate the average citizen from his money or rights. Additionally, there are always endless ways for new government programs and bureaucracies to be created to ‘combat’ this threat. Examples – the demand that we all start counting and trading in the very lucrative business of carbon credits. (Note – Al Gore is very tied into this business and stands to make a fortune from it).

    3. Many of us look out our windows and see not deserts or dying species or sinking cities or dozens and dozens of hurricanes. In fact, we see… snow.

    4) The earth is dynamic, not static. To think that a minor change in temperature warrants trillions in intergovernmental action is downright ridiculous. See point 2 above. This is exactly what is going on at Copenhagen at this moment. Not ways to stop global warming, but ways to move money around.

    5) The people who shout the loudest for the REST OF US to do something to lessen damage to the environment are ALWAYS the ones who do the most damage. Al Gore has how many planes, houses, grandchildren and boats? How about the celebrities? How about the fabulously wealthy politicians and billionaires?

    6) The leaked emails/code/documents clearly show a pattern to deceive. The deception is in favor of global warming. This deception is then used as a basis for larger studies that reach all the way to to the UN and many world governments. Example: If you build a castle on sand, no matter how big and beautiful the castle is, the first powerful wave will sweep it away from the bottom up. That is exactly what is happening with the information (which we no longer have because they destroyed it) that was used to ‘prove’ global warming in the first place.

    7) If you are a scientist of any caliber, you have to admit there are serious flaws in all the data here.

    8) There is an alarming and consistent reaction from those who are leading the charge to prove global warming. When asked to provide data, they can’t. When asked to comment on the leaked emails, they won’t. When asked why they don’t start changing their own lavish lifestyles, they change the subject.

    I’ve said enough to make my point. Thank you for reading this.

  40. mrpkw said

    “The only climate skeptic who is actually a scientist that I know”

    She should get to know more people then.

    I also like the “only climate scientists” are eligible to understand all of this.

    I ain’t no rocket scientist but I know what stinks about AGW

  41. Larry Sheldon said

    What motive might the “climate scientists” have?

    In Alk Gore’s case: riches, fame, riches,acclamation, riches, contro, riches, revenge, and …. oh yeah, riches.

    James Hansen: I can only guess, but it looks like what ever makes any othr socialist tick.

    Mann: Fame, religious ferver.

    And on down the list. Whatg made Abbie Hoffman tick? Eldreg Cleaver? Any of the almost countless people bound and determined to destroy what made us great.

  42. Mark T said

    I know Jeff likes to entertain such posters on occasion, and I applaud him for the ability to do so in light of the lack of such ability from other, alarmist, blogs. However, I hope nobody here really thinks that Laura cares what we think. She is no different than Dean from a previous thread. Her world is tidy and neat. That the baseline she compares her work to may be crumbling is something she cannot admit to even herself.


  43. charlie98 said

    I would suggest that Laura is asking the wrong group when wondering about “personal gain”. Laura needs to ask Jones, Mann, Briffa, Schmidt et all what they have to gain. I can “speculate” with the best of them but words like greed, power, recognition come to mind. What motive would a British judge have for ruling that Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth was ‘exaggerated’ and ‘alarmist’? What could Al Gore possibly gain besides a Nobel Peace Prize (anyone for greed)?

    So when Laura asks what is the motive for people responding to the e-mails the way they do maybe, just maybe, it’s because this group isn’t actually convinced that AGW exists and that the ‘science’ proves it to the point that the word ‘catastrophic’ applies. Maybe there are enough real scientists out there who would like to be convinced climate change is real that they therefore want to repeat the processes used by Jones, Mann, Briffa so they can see the same results for themselves. Isn’t that how ‘scientists’ validate results? You would think that as a ‘scientist’ untainted by the need for greed, power, recognition Jones, Mann, Briffa would realize that recognition and the accompanying rewards would flow their way (maybe even their own Nobel prize) once other scientists were able to replicate their results. It’s clearly in their interests to publish as much real data and methods to reap the rewards, unless of course it isn’t exactly true.

    Laura claims that “climate scientists are attracted to the field because it is INTERESTING”. I would suggest that when ‘climate scientists’ claim that the sky is falling unless we spend trillions to stop it the rest of the planet gets ‘interested’ and starts looking for the ‘truth’, the actual scientific truth as opposed to the self-serving version that a small group wants us to accept unchallenged. It’s very convenient that Al Gore invented the internet because it’s that invention that allows so many interested people to hold advocates feet to the fire.

  44. Jeremy said


    That link contains an op-ed written by one of America’s greatest physicists, he helped create the field of solid state physics. He complains:

    “In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.”

    This was written in 1996 by one of America’s best scientists at the time.

    1996, 13 years ago. The reply to this op-ed was by Benjamin Santer, the same man we now have e-mails from threatening to beat up Patrick Michaels. Do you really think these guys have had a total change of heart in 13 years and these e-mails are being taken completely out of context? Or is it more likely these e-mails are simply the proof we never had of a corruption in a field of science that has been perpetrated by a few high-ego, highly-funded bad apples?

    Laura, your field of science has been hijacked for a long time, and these current e-mails are just the latest proof of that.

  45. Leonard Weinstein said

    I recently received an e-mail from a very good scientist friend of mine that is retired. He included the following comments in his e-mail after commenting on having read a write up of mine on a blog at WUWT:

    “A couple of years back, I attempted to address the blogosphere on this issue having had at least a passing acquaintance with the Navier Stokes crowd at Langley and a fair respect for Geology 001, but was receiving some of the most vicious feedback imaginable. I was accused of being a paid shill for the Petro-terrorists and wishes for misery on my family which would be just retribution for my callous disregard for our planet, etc., etc. I finally said to heck with it. Eventually, as with most zealots, they will start devouring each other. I was prone to point out that belief and denial are religious terms and have nothing to do with science. This only assured them that I was a secular humanist [nee Catholic] bent on besmearing God’s intent.”

    This is a common attitude (which I also encountered many times). This is the type of behavior that supporters of CAGW have shown in the MSM, and in published papers, and even by Al Gore and President Obama. You now wonder why the skeptics, most who are honest scientists who have been abused for a long time for their positions, are coming back so strong? While all supporters of CAGW are not rabid, enough are to engender the strong reaction. If you rely on polls to settle science, you are a politician, not a scientist. Often scientists jump on bandwagons even with limited personal review of subjects, and majorities often are shown to be wrong.

    The data that supported that it warmed since 1850 is not basically an issue, although the exact level, and especially the rise rate the last 30 to 40 years is an issue. However, the rise is at most a fraction of a degree C, and may prove to be even less. The starting point of the rise was a period of unusually low temperature (LIA), so the only question is whether AGW or just natural variation is the cause. There is NO supporting evidence that CO2 is the main cause, but it is certainly at least a contributor. Real scientists, who are skeptics, just wanted the truth, and resistance to release of data and even a hint of not accepting CAGW as a given, resulting in the abuse, spurred them on.

    Climate changes on time scales of years to centuries, and historically has changed much more than the small present variation. Looking at the effect during a change will show movement of glaciers, and animal and plant effects. This is how nature adapts to variation. Looking to blame humans needs a stronger and falsifiable set of arguments than has been made.

  46. Jason said

    I think that the MSM’s silence during the first couple weeks of this scandal proves that no one was being taken out of context.

    You can be certain that the news outlets had teams of people looking over these emails, to find something, anything that could cast doubts about them. Had they found examples of it, it would have been front and center on your nightly news. Instead, there was silence.

    Instead, we here the expected talking points, “taken out of context” over and over, in an attempt to get people to accept it. Even without a single example.

    For what its worth, I actually DID find an example in regard to Michael Mann, but it doesn’t help his case. It was the one where Michael Mann talked about “finding a way to get rid of the MWD”. In this lone case that I can find, he was actually quoting another scientist’s words. However, he was doing so because he was agreeing with that scientist, and telling others what a great point it was.

    So in essence, by agreeing with him, and sharing that thought with others, he actually IS saying those words.

  47. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Jeff ID, as moderator of this blog I find that you have let us down. Laura obviously had nothing of a specific nature to say and you should have challenged her to be specific or to get off her chest what she wanted and then move on (as she apparently has).

    Too much time is wasted on these blogs attempting to answer the unanswerable, while some good technical comments and information is given short shrift.

  48. Jeff Id said

    #47 again??

    If you read the headpost, I’m interested in the ‘context’ of the statement. We keep hearing ‘out of context’ but no scientist has put it in context. I thought a ‘scientist’ would have an opinion on that.

    Let me know which technical information needs more attention.

  49. hunter said

    Reducing the problems of global warming to false choices by asserting it is either right as AGW promoters claim, or they are all in a big conspiracy, is not a real analysis.
    History is full of examples of self-selected groups being simply wrong.
    Scientists are no more immune to being wrong tahn any other group of people.
    Think of how banks, investment houses, government programs, wars, international policies, have all been shown to be terribly wrong, without the benefit of conspiracy.
    By refusing to examine the e-mails, the code, and the data in context for the rationale that they all have great motives, except for your one crumudgeon skeptic, is not a realistic response.
    It may be a successful response, in the sense that ‘your team’ will get away with it, but they will get away with getting policies imposed that will not work.

  50. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Jeff ID, I have a couple of posts I want to do here on temperature differences between data sets and a further critique of the Kim, Webster and Curry 2009 paper. I want you to market those posts so as to generate an interest in them that I cannot. (Don’t do smilies).

    My problem is that attention is drawn from the analysis work when so much bandwidth is spent replying to the generalizations of a Laura. I realize that my interests could be different than others posting here, but that does not mean that I will hide those preferences or why I think they are important. By the way Laura sounded very much like Judith Curry.

  51. Jason said

    The common thread to the “out of context” defense is failure to identify the context. What context? This is a deceiving term like “that’s uncorroborated,” the criminal lawyer’s “trick” to make the unwary think one witness’ evidence is not enough, there must be two as a requirement to make and inference.

    The emails are impeachment evidence. Lawyers use these every day and win cases therefrom.

  52. Ian said


    Let’s examine this from two perspectives. First, you ask what “personal gain” is involved. Second, you imply that the quotes or emails have been taken out of context, and the inferences being drawn from them are not supported. I’ll try to deal with those two issues in that order.

    Before, setting out down that path, however, there are two background points that must be made. First, it is patently clear that the principal individuals involved in the email exchanges (Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Keith Briffa, Tom Wigley, Gavin Schmidt, Malcolm Hughes et al.) fervently believe that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is true (and coming to earth at a century near to you…). That does not, however, excuse their behaviour or give certainty to the work in which they have been involved. This belief, however, colours much of what they do, and likely provides a ready moral justification for any instance where they “stretch” their conclusions, manipulate their data or refuse to provide their methods, data and code to critics. If you believe you are saving the world, the end justifies the means – which is very convenient, when such behaviour also boosts your career and ensures your personal advancement. Second, it needs also to be understood that the men involved were, by and large, senior in the field. They were in a position to give effect to some of their threats, and to censor or suppress dissent or contrary views.

    Pecuniary and Career Advancement Interest: I suspect that for most scientists (like many professionals), interest in the work is what draws them to their field. Indeed, you suggest exactly that in your short email – it’s not like getting a job as an investment banker, where by merely depositing your morals at the door, you can potentially garner a six figure income. Men like Keith Briffa apparently like tromping around in the Siberian forests, drilling holes in trees. To carry out their work, however, they need money – grant money, from government or quasi-governmental agencies. Their work is not self-funding – it does not generate a profit. This gives rise to two potential conflicts of interest. First, your work must be “successful” (you need to find what you said you were looking for) and second, it must be of sufficient public interest to garner further grants (so you can go tromping around another forest, drilling more holes in more trees).

    Success in the academic world used to be pretty narrowly defined – publish (or perish) and teach (depending on the institution and your role, that latter was usually second fiddle to the former). Now, enter catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. All of a sudden, the work becomes “front page news” – the more dire the news, the more important the work and the easier it becomes to get grant funding. But that only lasts if CAGW is front and centre on the agenda of the government and other granting agencies. If the sceptics such as Lindzen are believed – and the effects of rising CO2 are enormously overstated – the grant funding will go to other areas of science (or into some other government program). Success now means that CAGW must be correct. If the evidence does not support the story, it is downplayed, truncated or ignored. Jeff quoted the “trick” email; if you read the Climate Audit website, you will find numerous instances where data is either not archived or archived incompletely, or (more recently in the case of Yamal), simply not used because it did not show what the author wanted. Statistical manipulation becomes the order of the day – from Steig’s “smearing” of Antarctic temperatures to Michael Mann’s egregious (and initially undisclosed) statistical manipulations to create his famous “hockey stick”.

    You asked for a motive: career advancement and pecuniary interest are clear motives for downplaying the uncertainties in their own work, and colluding to block the publication of contrary works, or preventing the release of data or code which might reveal the true level of uncertainty and potentially derail public / government interest in funding global warming research. Phil Jones’ excel spreadsheet attests to the financial success of the CRU’s endeavours – some US$20+ million in grants from 1993 to 2006. Not quite investment banker grade (many of the grants are multi-year, and shared, after all) – but nothing to sneer at either .

    Now, Mr. Jones has been refusing to release raw data (and his methods of analysis and related code) for some time. In response to a request from Warwick Hughes, he famously retorted:
    “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

    As noted by other commentators on this thread, and developed more completely elsewhere (see the links in comment #4 from Ed; see also the “Musings from Chiefio” blog), the quality of the code which has been released is best described as poor. Jones knew this when he refused the requests to release it. He knew that when he sought to “hide” (his term) behind a series of excuses to avoid FOIA requests. He was concealing a poor work product, one which is now sufficiently in question that the Met is proposing to reanalyze it all.

    Those behavioural patterns (downplaying uncertainties, overlooking problems in their own published works, suppressing or avoiding the release of data, methods and code, and attacking works which stray from the orthodoxy) are much in evidence in the emails. I commend to your attention the email from Ed Cook to Keith Briffa, dated 3 September 2003 (1062592331.txt). It highlights these impulses very clearly. Since you are concerned about emails out of context, I give you the entire substantive text:

    “From: Edward Cook
    To: Keith Briffa
    Subject: An idea to pass by you
    Date: Wed, 3 Sep 2003 08:32:11 -0400

    Hi Keith,
    After the meeting in Norway, where I presented the Esper stuff as described in the extended abstract I sent you, and hearing Bradley’s follow-up talk on how everybody but him has f**ked up in reconstructing past NH temperatures over the past 1000 years (this is a bit of an overstatement on my part I must admit, but his air of papal infallibility is really quite nauseating at times), I have come up with an idea that I want you to be involved in. Consider the tentative title:
    “Northern Hemisphere Temperatures Over The Past Millennium: Where Are The Greatest Uncertainties?”
    Authors: Cook, Briffa, Esper, Osborn, D’Arrigo, Bradley(?), Jones (??), Mann (infinite?) – I am afraid the Mike and Phil are too personally invested in things now (i.e. the 2003 GRL paper that is probably the worst paper Phil has ever been involved in – Bradley hates it as well), but I am willing to offer to include them if they can contribute without just defending their past work – this is the key to having anyone involved. Be honest. Lay it all out on the table and don’t start by assuming that ANY reconstruction is better than any other.
    Here are my ideas for the paper in a nutshell (please bear with me):
    1) Describe the past work (Mann, Briffa, Jones, Crowley, Esper, yada, yada, yada) and their data over-laps.
    2) Use the Briffa&Osborn “Blowing Hot And Cold” annually-resolved recons (plus Crowley?) (boreholes not included) for comparison because they are all scaled identically to the same NH extra-tropics temperatures and the Mann version only includes that part of the NH (we could include Mann’s full NH recon as well, but he would probably go ballistic, and also the new Mann&Jones mess?)
    3) Characterize the similarities between series using unrotated (maybe rotated as well) EOF analysis (correlation for pure similarity, covariance for differences in amplitude as well) and filtering on the reconstructions – unfiltered, 20yr high-pass, 100-20 bandpass, 100 lowpass – to find out where the reconstructions are most similar and different – use 1st-EOF loadings as a guide, the comparisons of the power spectra could also be done I suppose
    4) Do these EOF analyses on different time periods to see where they differ most, e.g., running 100-year EOF windows on the unfiltered data, running 300-year for 20-lp data (something like that anyway), and plot the 1st-EOF loadings as a function of time
    5) Discuss where the biggest differences lie between reconstructions (this will almost certainly occur most in the 100 lowpass data), taking into account data overlaps
    6) Point out implications concerning the next IPCC assessment and EBM forcing experiments that are basically designed to fit the lower frequencies – if the greatest uncertainties are in the >100 year band, then that is where the greatest uncertainties will be in the forcing experiments
    7) Publish, retire, and don’t leave a forwarding address
    Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will show that we can probably say a fair bit about [less than] 100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know with certainty that we know f**k-all).
    Of course, none of what I have proposed has addressed the issue of seasonality of response. So what I am suggesting is strictly an empirical comparison of published 1000 year NH reconstructions because many of the same tree-ring proxies get used in both seasonal and annual recons anyway. So all I care about is how the recons differ and where they differ most in frequency and time without any direct consideration of their TRUE association with observed temperatures.
    I think this is exactly the kind of study that needs to be done before the next IPCC assessment. But to give it credibility, it has to have a reasonably broad spectrum of authors to avoid looking like a biased attack paper, i.e. like Soon and Balliunas.
    If you don’t want to do it, just say so and I will drop the whole idea like a hot potato. I honestly don’t want to do it without your participation. If you want to be the lead on it, I am fine with that too.

    Note the comments about the uncertainty as to past climate variability – notwithstanding that Michael Mann’s famous “hockey stick”, as used in TAR, showed something like 0.5 deg. C “natural variability” over the course of the handle, and was trumpeted as evidence of previous climatic stability. More worrying, though, is that Mr. Cook is, in effect, self-censoring his work, for fear of upsetting the orthodoxy. That means that an inappropriate level of certitude is promulgated by these scientists. That certitude distorts the debate and potentially obscures the truth. Interestingly enough, the study he was proposing would not even have considered whether the proxies were actually good representations of past temperature – he was simply proposing a comparison of differences between existing published works. Even so, that step had the potential to require early “retirement” with no “forwarding address”.

    Context of the Emails: Now to the second point, the issue of whether the emails and other documents and code which have been released are being taken out of context. The answer is – yes and no. As a blanket statement, you are incorrect, as it really depends on which source you consider. If you wander onto Marc Morano’s blog – well, yup: it’s the end of AGW. Finito. Everyone involved in the field who isn’t a sceptic is a crook. But then, that’s no different than what one would find on Joe Romm’s site, where anytime there’s a hurricane that makes landfall or warm spell (or cold spell), drought or excessive rainfall – it’s all conclusive evidence of CAGW. And every sceptic is funded by big oil, and considered the equivalent of a holocaust denier. Each is pushing a political viewpoint: the science is secondary (at best).

    However, if you look at the treatment on tAV, Climate Audit, the Blackboard, William Briggs’ site, the Pielkes’ two sites, and others like them, the approach is more thoughtful. (Yes, some commentators do pile on; and some, who want to see this all go away, state that this is evidence that it is “all a fraud”. Again, that’s no different than what you see on “Real” Climate and similar sites, where commentators maintain that all sceptics are “flat eathers”, conspiring with big oil to conceal the “truth”.) Since many of the blog writers have had direct interaction with members of the “Team”, and have reviewed their papers – and, in many cases, published (or attempted to publish) their own works – the context of the emails is very well understood indeed.

    It was not clear from your post, how many of the emails you have actually read. Before you say that everyone is taking them out of context, you need to review a substantial portion of them. There are helpful guides – Bishop Hill’s site has a “synopsis” of about fifty emails. Don’t rely on the summaries you may find, since they are potentially slanted. Go read the emails. I have – not all 1073, but the majority. From that review, it is not a stretch to conclude the following:

    1. The participants colluded to suppress dissenting views. They did this by ignoring identified problems in their own work (see #1024334440.txt; #1059664704.txt), vociferously attacking any dissenting views and seeking to suborn the peer review process (and journals) to their goals. Now, the question as to how successful they were (or were not) may not be immediately discernible: the intent, however, is clearly there. That behaviour was improper and unethical. For some examples, see #1051190249; #1054756929.txt; #1089318616.txt; #1106322460.txt; #1132094873.txt; #1233245601; #1249503274.txt.

    2. A number of the participants discussed, considered and implemented various approaches to denying requests for information – data, code, methods. They did so in order to make it more difficult for sceptical scientists to challenge their conclusions. That behaviour was improper and unethical; in the case of the FOIA requests, it may also have been illegal. For some examples, see #1106338806.txt; #1107454306.txt; #1182255717.txt; #1210367056.txt; #1212063122.txt; #1219239172.txt.

    3. The code reviews are ongoing. If you haven’t perused the “Harry_READ_ Me.txt”, you might spend some useful time doing so. The “Harry” document provides evidence that that the code and methods used by the CRU to process raw temperature data is fraught with problems. Is it conclusive evidence that the record produced is “false”? No – we still lack sufficient information to arrive at that conclusion. But its certitude and precision are certainly (and properly) in doubt. The problems evidenced in “Harry” explain why Phil Jones worked so hard to deny FOIA requests, and to prevent reviews of the CRU’s “value added” product and methods against the raw data. Previously, sceptics’ complaints that the surface temperature record was faulty were downplayed or ignored. “Harry” makes those complaints more credible – and reinforces the need for science to be open and transparent. These

    The emails reveal a self-serving arrogance that did little to advance “science” and much to push a particular agenda. Is all “climate science” wrong as a result? No, of course not. But the pattern of behaviour from senior scientists involved – men who had the capacity, authority and position to warp interpretations and results – is alarming and may very well have skewed the results that are now driving a political agenda. As I noted at the outset, the individuals involved may believe deeply in their cause – but that does not excuse their behaviour.

  53. Tom C said

    Wow. Nice post Ian.

  54. ivp0 said

    “Laura” has all the markings of a test balloon launched to discover rational arguments by AGW skeptics. Scientific method in climate science will stand on it’s own merit regardless of ones views on AGW and regardless of scrutiny. Science fiction will not. Can we find our way back to science now?

  55. Frank K. said

    Yes – Ian’s summary of the CRU e-mail was most excellent.

    “From that review, it is not a stretch to conclude the following:

    1. The participants colluded to suppress dissenting views.”

    My reading of select e-mails seemed to show this trait over and over, even to the point of subverting the peer review process.

  56. mrpkw said

    # 52

    Brilliant post !!!

  57. Ed Snack said

    Great Post Ian, can I suggest to Jeff that this be put up as a head post ? Measured and with references, also properly restrained.

  58. AMac said


    Thanks for leaving the original comment. I hope you aren’t overwhelmed by the response in this thread. Perhaps you could pick a couple of issues raised by Jeff Id and commenters, and respond to those?

    My own question to you would be: Prominent climatologists have published “marquee” paleotemperature-reconstruction papers in leading journals. In your opinion, are such papers subject to robust scrutiny by others in the field, during peer review and after publication?

    Even if you don’t return, I hope will be more skeptical when you hear people dismiss all skeptics as Denialists and Conspiracy-Theorists.

  59. Larry Sheldon said

    In other fora “Laura” would be identified as a “sock puppet” and a “troll”.

    “She” is not a bit interested in the answers to “her” questions. A better use of our time here would be to work out who “she is a sock for.

    While the answers do indeed have some value to serious students here, it is unlikely that “she” will ever see them and probably would not understand them if s”she” did.

  60. […] Also, reader Ian has an interesting reply with an email I want to discuss more in the future from Ed Cook.  It shows the fear of doing what’s right in  climatology– rather shockingly.  It’s comment #52 here. […]

  61. stan said

    Laura might want to read Steve Mc’s post putting the “trick” e-mail into context.

    But considering that Steve completely demolishes her heroes, I doubt she will.

  62. tp said

    Dear Ian,

    More worrying, though, is that Mr. Cook is, in effect, self-censoring his work, for fear of upsetting the orthodoxy.

    Your line above indicates you know nothing of which you speak. It is Dr. Cook and the last thing he worries about is “upsetting the orthodoxy”. Your interpretation is laughable.

    Even so, that step had the potential to require early “retirement” with no “forwarding address”.

    Speaking of laughter – you must not see the humor that is obvious in that sentence of “no forwarding address”. If it must be explained….

    you clearly believe what you want to believe, so discussion is futile.

  63. Larry Sheldon said

    In reading “tp” (how appropriate is that?!?) the puzzle focuses for me: Is “laura” “tp”‘s sock, or oar they both the property of somebody else?

  64. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Pardon me Jeff ID but I do not learn much from the TP exchange which I judge to be precipitated by the empty Laura post.

  65. Jeff Id said

    #64. I think it may be Dr. TP actually. I think climatology is feeling the sting of climategate and the reasoned questions above are hurting a bit.

  66. boballab said


    I think the reason why it is stinging to a lot of climate scientists is something I call the Assumption principle.

    You had the core Team members that were working hard to obstruct FOIA requests, connive to get the “Consensus” view out and basically ran an Inquisition that would have made Torqemada proud. However after that you had a lot more scientists that operated on assumptions. They Assumed Mann, Jones, Briffa et al were being ethincal, they assumed that someone somewhere was able to replicate everything in the Team’s reasearch, They assumed “peer review” was working and only good science based work was being publishe. Once you start down the road of believing your assumptions to be fact, then it is even easier to go further with assumptions which led to it has to be CO2 and only CO2 and the rest of the party line. Then when someone comes along and destroys the intial assumption you find yourself feeling a little foolish.

  67. Ian said

    Ah, TP – this is why discussing matters across the great divide can be so difficult.

    Yes, it’s clear that Mr. Cook had tongue (somewhat) in cheek as he wrote the line about “retirement”. He exaggerated for effect, and it makes an excellent sound bite. But only somewhat. He went on to say (as the full email I quoted bears out):

    “If you don’t want to do it, just say so and I will drop the whole idea like a hot potato. I honestly don’t want to do it without your participation.”

    To me, that is evidence of self-censorship. That self-censorship shows up on other occasions: though Messrs Briffa and Cook privately mock Michael Mann’s work, they defend it publicly. Or, at best, sit silently aside while others do so. This is from: 1024334440.txt (again, for Laura’s benefit, and to allay her concerns regarding the individuals being quoted out of context, I include the entire substantive text):

    “From: Ed Cook […]
    To: Keith Briffa […..]
    Subject: Re: Esper et al. and Mike Mann
    Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 13:20:40 -0400

    Hi Keith,

    Of course, I agree with you. We both know the probable flaws in Mike’s recon, particularly as it relates to the tropical stuff. Your response is also why I chose not to read the published version of his letter. It would be too aggravating. The only way to deal with this whole issue is to show in a detailed study that his estimates are clearly deficient in multi-centennial power, something that you actually did in your Perspectives piece, even if it was not clearly stated because of editorial cuts. It is puzzling to me that a guy as bright as Mike would be so unwilling to evaluate his own work a bit more objectively.

    I have just read this lettter [sic] – and I think it is crap. I am sick to death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature representative ) tropical series. He is just as capable of regressing these data again any other “target” series , such as the increasing trend of self-opinionated verb[i]age he has produced over the last few years , and … (better say no more)


    Now, Messrs Cook & Briffa are not the only ones who tip-toe around in public. Rob Wilson (whom I’ve seen described elsewhere, along with Mr. Cook, as one of the “good young dendros”), is similarly concerned about breaching the “orthodoxy”. This is from 1140554230.txt (heads up to Laura: I’ve only quoted the bits I deemed relevant. As TP will be quick to point out, that might mean I’ve made up my mind precipitously. Best check the entire document):

    “Rob Wilson and Tim Osborne re: Mann
    From: “Rob Wilson” […]
    To: Sandy.Tudhope[…], “Tim Osborn”[…]
    Subject: Re: Fw: 2005JC003188R Decision Letter
    Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 15:37:10 -0000
    Cc: K.briffa[…]>, “Brohan, Philip”[…], simon.tett[…]>

    Thanks Tim,

    am working my way through the comments

    Have also re-read Mike Evans 2002 paper.

    I am frustrated with the associate editors comments. He seems to be overtly defending Mike’s reconstruction which are quite different in nature – i.e. he reconstructed 2 spatial fields – the 1st being ENSO related and the 2nd being probably related to the PDO although it is not clear form [sic: from] the text.

    The coral data-sets are also quite different, with only ~ 4 series being common to both studies. In fact, many of the coral series used by Mike did not pass my screening process.

    Lastly, the only statistic use by Mike for validation is the correlation coefficient. I like to think I have been a little more robust at least in this regard.

    I need to diplomatically word all this. I never wanted to criticise Mike’s work in anyway way [sic]. It was for that reason that I made little mention to it initially.

    anyway, I hope to get a more cleaner version done by early next week.

    will keep you all posted

    [… the email continues with Tim Osborne providing comments on the paper]

    Now, the interesting piece here, of course is that he said he avoided mentioning Michael Mann’s work, so he didn’t have to criticise it. An odd approach, to say the least, if the work is deserving of criticism. But, of course, that would stray from the fold. Self-censorship once more.

    Now, returning to my original post, and TP’s criticisms. TP stated, “you clearly believe what you want to believe, so discussion is futile” (hmm…fresh from watching a Star Trek episode involving the Borg, perhaps?). That, frankly, is up to you TP. While I cited only one email in full in my original post, as indicated above, there are many others. To my knowledge (which is limited – so I would be delighted to be corrected), none of Messrs Briffa, Cook or Wilson, despite their clear concerns with Mr. Mann’s work, have seen fit to publish a substantive critique. They obviously share some of the same concerns as Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. Perhaps they could have expressed their issues more eloquently than those two gentlemen, who are the object of such calumny in the released emails for having challenged Mr. Mann’s statistical manipulations in creating his original hockey stick. If TP were to pay but a brief visit to Climate Audit’s new home, he or she would also now discover how the chapter on the paleo-climatic issues of the TAR, under Mr. Mann’s guidance, hid the “decline” arising from Mr. Briffa’s tree ring proxies. (It’s good to see Mr. McIntyre back in action on the substantive issues once more.)

    It is also interesting that Mr. Briffa, when he had charge of that self-same chapter in the 4AR, declined the opportunity to set the record straight, and to both show in graphic form as well as text, the “anomalous” responses of recent tree-ring records in the face of the modern era’s “unprecedented” warmth. (They kept the misleading truncated graphic, and had only a short written piece on the problem of “divergence”.) This is the same Mr. Briffa who is on record – privately, of course, so as not to stray from the orthodoxy – saying (in #1154484340.txt, in an email to Jonathan Overpeck in 2006; Laura: this is an excerpt. In this email, there are other potentially relevant portions which I’ve not quoted – since Mr. Briffa does go on to say that for 4AR, they will make mention of how warm is the period post 1980):


    The TAR was, in my opinion, wrong to say anything about the precedence (or lack thereof) of the warmth of the individual year 1998.

    The reason is that all reconstructions have very wide uncertainty ranges bracketing individual-year estimates of part temperature. Given this, it is hard to dismiss the possibility that individual years in the past did exceed the measured 1998 value. These errors on the individual years are so wide as to make any comparison with the 1998 measured value very problematic, especially when you consider that most reconstructions do not include it in their calibration range (curtailed predictor network in recent times) and the usual estimates of uncertainty calculated from calibration (or verification) residual variances would not provide a good estimate of the likely error associated with it even if data did exist.”

    An interesting view. Did Mr. Briffa voice this publicly when TAR was published? This circles back to my point about how self-censorship and the commitment to the orthodoxy, skews the debate and potentially obscures the truth. Did the politicians who read the TAR summary (we’re probably down to a handful worldwide…) understand that this uncertainty existed? For that matter, did their advisors?

    But I’ve taken up too much time, perhaps, with TP. I would like to return for a moment to Laura’s original post. Laura seems somewhat bewildered by the hostile response – the “piling on” as it is often called – that has arisen from the release of the emails and the code. In some quarters, this is clearly gratuitous. However, for individuals who have dealt with the “Team”, my sense is that their response has been one of confirmation. On many of the sceptical blogs, where they seek to review the results, the science, the conclusions and the implications of this (largely) tax-payer funded research, there has been a suspicion that data, code and methods were not being released because the authors were concerned about what might be uncovered. Peer review is not a bulwark against papers being wrong. Volunteer reviewers probably never ask for the original data and code to attempt replication of the results. (Again, Laura, I readily admit that this is an assumption that I am making. Perhaps those better versed in the vagaries of scientific publishing would care to correct me.) Certain of the bloggers, a number of them published scientists in their own right, however, do undertake this work, to the evident chagrin of the climatologists involved. And, when they do get the details that they seek, they often find mistakes (I will leave it to others to debate the significance of those errors, which, I suspect, occupy a continuum from minor to fatal).

    In my original post, I suggested that the CAGW hypothesis had likely made climatology a more “grant lucrative” field. However, the enormous policy, economic, social – indeed, societal – implications, means that when Mr. Briffa (or Mr. Hughes) bores a hole in a tree in Siberia (or California), he can (and should) expect everyone in the world to be looking over his shoulder. When Mr. Jones “homogenizes” the raw temperature data, he should expect that everyone will want to know what he did, how and why he did it and how the final result compares with the original. If Mr. Hansen is going to proselytize his belief in CO2-driven CAGW, then he should readily be turning over all of his data, code and methods, so that we, too, can believe as he does. The failure to be entirely open and above board – to be frank about the levels of uncertainty and to readily make available all of the research details needed to confirm their work – has left the Team terribly exposed when, as has transpired, it becomes evident that their methods and ethics leave much to be desired.

    So, Laura – a question for you. When you publish, do you ensure that all of your data, code and methods are available so that your conclusions can be replicated?

  68. J. Peden said


    you clearly believe what you want to believe, so discussion is futile.

    Possibly projection, but at least a tactic – one which doesn’t work, except maybe upon its practitioner who desperately wants to think it’s some kind of definitive material rebuttal.

  69. mrpkw said

    # 67

    Zounds and Gadzooks !!
    Another great post !!

    “So, Laura – a question for you. When you publish, do you ensure that all of your data, code and methods are available so that your conclusions can be replicated?”

    As a scientist, why doesn’t the idea that the AGW er’s DON’T bother her????

  70. Jeff Id said

    Nice job again Ian. Some have said the emails are done as far as effect, they don’t realize just how much is in them.

  71. debreuil said

    How is it impossible that one side is some form of ‘conspiracy’, and yet it seems every person who doubts is a member of a world wide conspiracy to bulldoze the truth? Reading the emails they certainly seem to accept that people across the world can form some sort of secret agenda based cabal. And for little gain apparently (unless you count our secret Swiss accounts).

    This is actually a serious question though — I’m wondering how you see the other side in the context of your post. What is the motive for us if it isn’t genuine? And if it is political/financial/other, isn’t it possible for that goes both ways? If not, why not?

  72. Layman Lurker said

    Whenever the TP’s, the Laura’s, the Baptiste’s drop in for a comment it never evolves into full fledged engagement. Instead there is arrogance, appeal to authority, dismissiveness, arm waving, references to the thousands of papers and thousands of scientists, etc, etc. Why not come in with a open mind and willing to engage in point, counterpoint discussions? Many of the of the comments seem to be punctuated with various versions of: “you clearly believe what you want to believe, so discussion is futile”. This seems to me to be nothing more than an excuse to opt out of discussion.

    Good science will survive a process of open discussion. I don’t buy the notion that all skeptics are unwilling to concede the truth when it has been clearly demonstrated.

  73. KevinM said

    Amber #25,

    I believe the point you make is underappreciated.
    There must be many scientists who trusted the data at first, learned more about is sources, but had gathered too many social encumbrances to speak up. Easier to let it slide.

  74. Daryl M said

    Laura writes: “Tell me, what motive could possibly be worth it?”

    I can’t believe anyone could be so naive, but since Laura seems be genuine, I’ll spell out a few possible motives, which BTW are the same motives often ascribed to politicians: M-O-N-E-Y, P-R-E-S-T-I-G-E, P-O-W-E-R.

    Take for example Michael Mann. He has a huge research budget. He gets to travel to exotic locations all around the world and associate on a regular with all of the “great names of climate science” (that is not a compliment). He has a seat on the “UN Security Council” of the AGW movement (including the tightly controlled RC website) and with that exclusive membership, he has the ability to at least indirectly influence if not ruin the careers of scientists (be they authors of papers or editors of journals) whose views he disagrees with.

    Climategate is yet another example of the old adage, power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Mr. Mann, if you don’t like what I wrote, sue me.

  75. Larry Sheldon said

    The continued discussion is sorta kinda interesting (or was several passes ago, but I do have to ask again (kinda sorta):

    Have you noticed that the trolls have not been heard of again?

    I think we need something like a Godwin invocation here so we can move on to something intresting.

  76. Alan Wilkinson said

    To tie up a slightly loose end for future readers of this post, see this for more context than Laura would ever want:

  77. kevoka said

    I was late getting to this thread. I do want to answer debreuil (#71) question of why I am spending my free time reading the emails, poring over the code, and looking at the reconstruction of events of the last decade (especially from the outsiders perspective). I got tired of Al Gore – Inventor of the Internet, Noble laureate , and Oscar winner (credit for just one of these would be enough for anyone else) – telling me the science of AGW was settled.

    Hail, the science of the Law of Gravity is not even settled (not a nut case here, we are still looking for the graviton), and that does effect everyone – to great cost – everyday.

    What amazed me, was that no scientist invested, was standing up and saying “Al, hold on there, we still have some things we do not understand…”. Nope – all we heard was “see look at this graph – it proves….”

    Oh yea, and all the arguments reminded me of the Global Cooling scare of the 70’s…which everyone will remember became Carl Sagan’s Nuclear Winter theory, which then fizzled when a couple of vulcano’s erupted.

    Now we look at the emails and we do see the doubts, the debates, the questions. Where was this “in the literature”, in the debates, in the press?

    Oh, and you want me to pay for it? Ok, hold on a sec, just let me finish some due diligence first.


  78. kevoka said

    To follow up to my previous post, and to direct Laura seeking context for why the CRU team (and others) would not be so forthcoming…

    Summary – nobody else is smart enough to understand this stuff:

    (Keith Briffa, in 907695513.txt)

    “Hi Peck et al.
    A little late but I’d like to put in my twopence worth regarding your original message and Phil’s reply. I have been tied up with a load of stuff so don’t interpret my lack of speedy response as a lack of interest in these matters.
    My first comment is that I agree with all of your general remarks and with your implied rebuke to Phil that we should be very wary of seeming to dam certain proxies and over hype others when we all know that there are real strengths and weaknesses associted with them all. The truth is that all of this group are well aware of this and of the associated fact that even within each of these sub-disciplines e.g. Dendro, coral etc. there is a large range of value , or concern with the external usage of our data. However, my own and Phil’s concerns are motivated ,like yourself, by the outside world’s inability to appreciate these points and the danger that we will all be seen as uncritical or niave about the real value of proxy data. The rationale for the recent Jones et al paper, and some things that I have written in the past is to inform would be users , particularly the modellers, that there are critical questions to be addressed about how the palaeo-data are best used in a ‘detection’ or ‘model validation’ context. Many in the palaeo-community understand these issues , but perhaps there has been some reluctance to air them in sufficient depth or in the right situations where they will be heard/seen by those people who now seek to use the data . I believe that many of the modellers , having been blissfully unaware for years of the need to work with the palaeo-community, are now expecting too much . This carries the danger of a backlash as they undertake simple assessments of the palaeo-series and conclude that they are all of very little use. The problem is that as we try to inform them we may get the balance between valueable self criticism and scientific flagellation wrong. The more so when the whip is seemingly aimed at others!
    There is no doubt though, that many palaeo- types are not concerned with the ‘bigger issues’ of climate change , so it is up to those who do ,such as this group, to try to sort out some sensible approach to how we do explore the good and bad ,fairly, in our collective data and how we present this to the outside world. The meeting you propose is a good way forward.If he is already not included, I also urge you to invite Ed Cook.”

  79. Sharpshooter said


    The context is provided in the remainder of the emails and the program code. None of these, all 60+MB worth, provides any substantiation to the claims of “out of context”. Quite frankly, they substantiate it quite clearly.

    NOTE: I notice that now some 78 responses have been provided, not one of which is from “Laura”. It seems to me that Laura is merely regurgitating the original lame excuse that showed up on George Soros’s RealClimate.

    That, though is an interesting perspective: What is Soros’s motivation? In the same vein, what was Cardinal Richelieu’s motivation? More simply and closer to home, what is the motivation for a kid tattle-tailing on a sibling?

  80. Sharpshooter said

    On last thought:

    Laura, as a scientist, you should be well aware that if you make the claim of “out of context”, it is up to you to provide the proper context, not the rest of the folks to refute you.

    You ask several questions, but that in no way supports your contention; a question is not an answer.

    Laura? We’re waiting.

  81. Sharpshooter said

    One last thought:

    Laura, as a scientist, you should be well aware that if you make the claim of “out of context”, it is up to you to provide/demonstrate the proper context, not the rest of the folks to refute you.

    You ask several questions, but that in no way supports your contention; a question is not an answer.

    Laura? We’re waiting.

  82. Dave_CA said

    The identity of Laura?… Using my engineering induction skills and automatically assuming the first Laura who identifies herself as a climate scientist must be the said Laura in this post, I direct you to At about the 1:31:32 mark of the online debate (, a questioner self-identifies herself as a climate scientist. She doesn’t mention her name, but her advisor, Ron Prinn, addresses her as Laura at about the 1:34:05 mark. If indeed this is the same Laura, I certainly hope Richard Lindzen is not the skeptic she knows. I don’t see him as anywhere close to being a bitter attention-seeker. But maybe she’s comparing him to her advisor who thinks the possibility of dangerous climate change is a 50, 60, 70, 80 percent chance (at about the 1:48:50 mark).

  83. BillT said

    I’m curious which emails are out of context and have questions about others. So far all the MSM has been good for is lies and drivel, let’s see if she’ll tell us where we went wrong.

    Unfortunately, she didn’t address her supposition, she merely made an emotional appeal — “Trust me.”

    “The only climate skeptic who is actually a scientist that I know (yes singular), appears only driven by a need for attention…”

    I know more “climate skeptic” physicists, geologists, and meteorologists than I do AGW proponents. The skeptics all consider AGW to be a cult.

  84. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Interesting psychology here:

    Laura, a female scientist, makes a very generalized and unscientific comment and leaves the premises. In the meantime, and 80 posts later, we see the guys here continuing to reply to her and question her. Do you like talking to walls or are you that desperate to have a conversation with the opposite sex?

  85. FullDepth said

    I’m guessing that perhaps the ‘bitter’ scientist Laura mentioned is the atmospheric scientist who was on the record as saying that humans could not have caused the ozone hole!. For those who say there are many skeptics of AGW Iphysicists, meteorologists, engineers), how about listing these?

    I’m not saying, at all, that the CRU emails constitute fraud. (A few bits out of 61 MB? Has anyone read them all?) But playing devils advocate, lets say that it happened. Fraud is found in all areas of science. There are some notable cases in molecular biology, for example, and which have large consequence for cancer, cloning, and stem cell research. Given that experience are we to now think that all molecular biology is a fraud?

  86. Vangel said

    I’m not saying, at all, that the CRU emails constitute fraud.

    There is enough fraud revealed to blow a big hole in the basis for AGW. A trend that is created by an artificial signal added to the raw data is not empirical evidence of warming.

    Fraud is found in all areas of science. There are some notable cases in molecular biology, for example, and which have large consequence for cancer, cloning, and stem cell research. Given that experience are we to now think that all molecular biology is a fraud?

    You are missing the point. The temperature reconstructions that are the entire basis of the AGW theory were created by fraud. Without them there is no support for the AGW theory. As such it does matter a great deal and no matter of spinning and making excuses will change what is now obvious.

  87. Mark T said

    Kenneth Fritsch said
    December 14, 2009 at 10:51 am

    are you that desperate to have a conversation with the opposite sex?

    Ooooh, that’s just not right, Kenneth! 😉


  88. FullDepth said

    Vangel said:
    “You are missing the point. The temperature reconstructions that are the entire basis of the AGW theory were created by fraud. Without them there is no support for the AGW theory. As such it does matter a great deal and no matter of spinning and making excuses will change what is now obvious.”

    What is the evidence for fraud? In the CRU dataset? The NASA-GISS data? The NOAA data? All three? I’m sorry: the massive ‘fraud’ is not obvious to me.

    And these temperature reconstructions are for land-based stations. You still have 70% of the earth, the ocean to consider, and where evidence of warming is robust. And I’m still waiting for the listing of physicists, meteorologists and engineers who are skeptics.

  89. Vangel said

    What is the evidence for fraud? In the CRU dataset? The NASA-GISS data? The NOAA data? All three? I’m sorry: the massive ‘fraud’ is not obvious to me.

    It is obvious when you look at the raw data. The warming comes from the adjustments, not from the actual measurements.

    And these temperature reconstructions are for land-based stations. You still have 70% of the earth, the ocean to consider, and where evidence of warming is robust.

    English is not my first language so I may have a problem understanding but I doubt that you know the meaning of the word robust. If you were really familiar with the data you would know that there is very little long term data available for the world’s oceans.

    And I’m still waiting for the listing of physicists, meteorologists and engineers who are skeptics.

    As I wrote before, look at the NIPCC report. You will find hundreds of papers and thousands of writers who are sceptical and have refuted the claims made by the IPCC. You can find some of the papers below:

    REPLYCome on, let’s leave that kind of discussion for twitter heads. You’ve made a list of papers. I’m probably not as smart as you but I have to read a paper 2 times to begin to believe it and 10 times to begin to figure it out and I have to replicate it to believe. Please, quote a paper or two but that was nothing but spam.

    I am on the post 30 thousand technical skeptics list and I am an engineer.

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  91. Mark T said

    FullDepth said
    December 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    And I’m still waiting for the listing of physicists, meteorologists and engineers who are skeptics.

    I’ve never met an engineer that is not a skeptic and I’ve known (and know) hundreds. For that matter, aren’t all scientists supposed to be skeptics by design?


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