The Right Kind of People
Posted by Jeff Id on November 28, 2011
UPDATE: Reader Stacey left a bomb in #9 of the thread below.
Long time readers here will recognize this theme, new readers can assume it from the URL I’ve been using. The concept of a complete consensus among humans only occurs when a structure bands them together on an opinion. In AGW science, we know for certain that we don’t really know much, therefore a consensus must come from unscientific pressures. I and many others have maintained that government funding has corrupted the science and systematically eliminated dissent at all levels. It is a self-filtering process (not a centrally controlled conspiracy) which ensures that climate scientists have a nearly singular mindset on global warming and a singular cause to crusade for. Scientists are naturally skeptics as the infighting on truly major issues in these emails shows. Discussions are often had in terms of good and bad people, causes and damage. How is it that a paper causes damage? Much of the malfeasance in these emails focuses on mitigation of damage to the ‘message’.
When publicly funded, leaders know that outward appearance is critical to the mission. In something as big as global warming, the illusion of a perfect consensus must be maintained for the now massive environmental departments and organizations including the IPCC to succeed in their political goals. Probably the single largest message from both climategate releases is the open viewing of the effects this mechanism has on the science itself. Repression of conflicting evidence in exchange for more extreme results.
It is actually humorous reading these guys talk to each other about how skeptics are oil funded and politically motivated followed by the next proposal for 3million euros from the taxpayer. They never seem to notice that the blogs are unfunded or that their cohorts who disagree don’t take oil money and the few who have get values 1/100th of the UEA. There is even an email from Mike Hulme telling greenpeace that the UEA won’t support their extremist attacks on Exxon and a second ‘private’ email telling them that he does. In case you are unaware, Greenpeace has become an openly anti-capitalist group with a stated mission of reigning in capitalism for the purpose of reducing our standards of living. Hulme, and many of his friends, are absolutely political extremists who somehow never seem to notice that they all agree with each other on politics. If you happen to be one who doesn’t agree, well they know how to take care of that little problem.
This first email relates to a paper I haven’t read that very well may have problems, but it shows the filtering process in action. It is a long email but important. I have highlighted a few quotes which help bring my points above into light.
From email #3265
X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version 5.1
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 09:29:22 +0100
To: c.goodess@uea,phil Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Mike Hulme <email@example.com>
Subject: Fwd: Re: Climate Research
Since Clare and CRU are named in it, you may be interested in Chris de Freitas’ reply to
the publisher re. my letter to Otto Kinne. I am not responding to this, but await a
reply from Kinne himself.
From: “Chris de Freitas”
To: Inter-Research Science Publisher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 13:45:56 +1200
Subject: Re: Climate Research
X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Win32 (v3.12c)
Otto (and copied to Mike Hulme)
I have spent a considerable amount of my time on this matter and had
my integrity attacked in the process. I want to emphasize that the
people leading this attack are hardly impartial observers. Mike
himself refers to “politics” and political incitement involved. Both
Hulme and Goodess are from the Climate Research Unit of UEA that is
not particularly well known for impartial views on the climate change
debate. The CRU has a large stake in climate change research funding
as I understand it pays the salaries of most of its staff. I
understand too the journalist David Appell was leaked information to
fuel a public attack. I do not know the source
Mike Hulme refers to the number of papers I have processed for CR
that “have been authored by scientists who are well known for their
opposition to the notion that humans are significantly altering
global climate.” How many can he say he has processed? I suspect the
answer is nil. Does this mean he is biased towards scientists “who
are well known for their support for the notion that humans are
significantly altering global climate?
Mike Hulme quite clearly has an axe or two to grind, and, it seems, a
political agenda. But attacks on me of this sort challenge my
professional integrity, not only as a CR editor, but also as an
academic and scientist. Mike Hulme should know that I have never
accepted any research money for climate change research, none from
any “side” or lobby or interest group or government or industry. So I
have no pipers to pay.
This matter has gone too far. The critics show a lack of moral
imagination. And the Cramer affair is dragged up over an over again.
People quickly forget that Cramer (like Hulme and Goodess now) was
attacking Larry Kalkstein and me for approving manuscripts, in
Hulme’s words, “authored by scientists who are well known for their
opposition to the notion that humans are significantly altering
I would like to remind those who continually drag up the Cramer
affair that Cramer himself was not unequivocal in his condemnation of
Balling et al’s manuscript (the one Cramer refereed and now says I
should have not had published – and what started all this off). In
fact, he did not even recommend that it be rejected. He stated in his
review: “My review of the manuscript is mainly with the conclusions
of the work. For technical assessment, I do not myself have
sufficient experience with time series analysis of the kind presented
by the authors.” He goes on to recommend: “revise and resubmit for
additional review”. This is exactly what I did; but I did not send it
back to him after resubmission for the very reason that he himself
confessed to ignorance about the analytical method used.
Am I to trundle all this out over and over again because of criticism
from a lobbyist scientists who are, paraphrasing Hulme, “well known
for their support for the notion that humans are significantly
altering global climate”.
The criticisms of Soon and Baliunas (2003) CR article raised by Mike
Hume in his 16 June 2003 email to you was not raised by the any of
the four referees I used (but is curiously similar to points raided
by David Appell!). Keep in mind that referees used were selected in
consultation with a paleoclimatologist. Five referees were selected
based on the guidance I received. All are reputable
paleoclimatologists, respected for their expertise in reconstruction
of past climates. None (none at all) were from what Hans and Clare
have referred to as “the other side” or what Hulme refers to as
people well known for their opposition to the notion that humans are
significantly altering global climate.” One of the five referees
turned down the request to review explaining he was busy and would
not have the time. The remaining four referees sent their detailed
comments to me. None suggested the manuscript should be rejected. S&B
were asked to respond to referees comments and make extensive
alterations accordingly. This was done.
I am no paleoclimatolgist, far from it, but have collected opinions
from other paleoclimatologists on the S&B paper. I summarise them
here. What I take from the S&B paper is an attempt to assess climate
data lost from sight in the Mann proxies. For example, the raising on
lowering of glacier equilibrium lines was the origin of the Little
Ice Age as a concept and still seems to be a highly important proxy,
even if a little difficult to precisely quantify.
Using a much larger number of “proxy” indicators than Mann did, S&B
inquired whether there was a globally detectable 50-year period of
unusual cold in the LIA and a similarly warm era in the MWP. Further,
they asked if these indicators, in general, would indicate that any
similar period in the 20th century was warmer than any other era.
S&B did not purport to do independent interpretation of climate time
series, either through 50-year filters or otherwise. They merely
adopt the conclusions of the cited authors and make a scorecard. It
seems pretty evident to me that temperatures in the LIA were the
lowest since the LGM. There are lots of peer-reviewed paleo-articles
which assert the existence of LIA.
Frankly, I have difficulty understanding this particular quibble.
Some sort of averaging is necessary to establish the ‘slower’ trends,
and that sort of averaging is used by every single study – they
average to bring out the item of their interest. A million year
average would do little to enlighten, as would detailed daily
readings. The period must be chosen to eliminate as much of the
‘noise’ as possible without degrading the longer-term signals
As I read the S&B paper, it was a relatively arbitrary choice – and
why shouldn’t it be? It was only chosen to suppress spurious signals
and expose the slower drift that is inherent in nature. Anyone that
has seen curves of the last 2 million years must recognize that an
averaging of some sort has taken place. It is not often, however,
that the quibble is about the choice of numbers of years, or the
exact methodology – those are chosen simply to expose ‘supposedly’
useful data which is otherwise hidden from view.
Let me ask Mike this question. Can he give an example of any dataset
where the S&B characterization of the source author is incorrect? (I
am not vouching for them , merely asking.)
S&B say that they rely on the original characterizations, not that
they are making their own; I don’t see a problem a priori on relying
on characterizations of others or, in the present circumstances, of
presenting a literature review. While S&B is a literature review, so
is this section of IPCC TAR, except that the S&B review is more
The Mann et al multi-proxy reconstruction of past temperatures has
many problems and these have been well documented by S&B and others.
My reading of the IPCC TAR leads me to the conclusion that Mann et al
has been used as the basis for a number of assertions: 1. Over the
past millennium (at least for the NH) the temperature has not varied
significantly (except for the European/North Atlantic sector) and
hence the climate system has little internal variability. This
statement is supported by an analysis of model behaviour, which also
shows little internal variability in climate models. 2. Recent global
warming, as inferred from instrument records, is large and unusual in
the context of the Mann et al temperature reconstruction from multi-
proxies. 3. Because of the previous limited variability and the
recent warming that cannot be explained by known natural forcing
(volcanic activity and solar insolation changes) human activity is
the likely cause of the recent global change.
In this context, IPCC mounts a powerful case. But the case rests on
two main foundations; the past climate has shown little variability
and the climate models reflect the internal variability of the
climate system. If either or both are shown to be weak or fallacious
then the IPCC case is weakened or fails.
S&B have examined the premise that the globally integrated
temperature has hardly varied over the past millennium prior to the
instrumental record. I agree it is not rocket science that they have
performed. They have looked at the evidence provided by researchers
to see if the trend of the temperature record of the European/North
Atlantic sector (which is not disputed by IPCC) is reflected in
individual records from other parts of the globe (Their three
questions). How objective is their assessment? From a purely
statistical viewpoint the work can be criticised. But if you took a
purely statistical approach you probably would not have sufficient
data to reach an unambiguous conclusion, or you could try statistical
fiddles to combine the data and end up with erroneous results under
the guise of statistical significance. S&B have looked at the data
and reached the conclusion that probably the temperature record from
other parts of the globe follows the same pattern as that of the
European/North Atlantic sector. Of the individual proxy records that
I have seen I would agree that this is the case. I certainly have not
found significant regions of the NH that were cold during the
medieval period and warm during the Little Ice Age period that are
necessary offsets of the European/North Atlantic sector necessary to
reach a hemispherically flat pattern as derived by Mann et al.
S&B have put forward sufficient evidence to challenge the Mann et al
analysis outcome and seriously weaken the IPCC assertions based on
Mann et al. Paleo reconstruction of temperatures and the global
pattern over the past millennium and longer remains a fertile field
for research. It suggests that the climate system is such that a
major temporal variation as is universally recognised for the
European/North Atlantic region would be reflected globally and S&B
have given support to this view.
It is my belief that the S&B work is a sincere endeavour to find out
whether MWP and LIA were worldwide phenomena. The historical evidence
beyond tree ring widths is convincing in my opinion. The concept of
“Little Ice Age” is certainly used practically by all Holocene paleo-
climatologists, who work on oblivious to Mann’s “disproof” of its
Paleoclimatologists tell me that, for debating purposes, they are
more inclined to draw attention to the Holocene Optimum (about 6000
BP) as an undisputed example of climate about 1-2 deg C warmer than
at present, and to ponder the entry and exit from the Younger Dryas
as an example of abrupt climate change, than to get too excited about
the Medieval Warm Period, which seems a very attenuated version.
However, the Little Ice Age seems valid enough as a paleoclimatic
concept. North American geologists repeatedly assert that the 19th
century was the coldest century in North America since the LGM. To
that extent, showing temperature increase since then is not unlike a
mutual fund salesmen showing expected rate of return from a market
bottom – not precisely false, but rather in the realm of sleight-of-
His email exposes not only how he has been attacked but the general weakness of our understanding of extreme warming – which is the real reason for the vehement attacks. In another email (#3052), the correct reaction to this paper was discussed extensively by the ‘in crowd’.– my bold again.
cc: email@example.com, Peter.Whetton@csiro.au, Roger.Francey@csiro.au, David.Etheridge@csiro.au, Ian.Smith@csiro.au, Simon.Torok@csiro.au, Willem.Bouma@csiro.au, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Greg.Ayers@csiro.au, Rick.Bailey@csiro.au, Graeme.Pearman@csiro.au, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 11:21:50 +1200
subject: Another course of Action – Recent climate sceptic research and the
to: Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au, email@example.com, Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phil Jones, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
For information, De Freitas has finally put all his arguments
together in a paper published in the Canadian Bulletin of Petroleum
Geology, 2002 (on holiday at the moment, and the reference is at
I have had thoughts also on a further course of action. The present
Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland, Professor John Hood
(comes from an engineering background) is very concerned that
Auckland should be seen as New Zealand’s premier research
university, and one with an excellent reputation internationally. He
is concerned to the extent that he is monitoring the performance of
ALL his senior staff, from Associate Professor upwards, including
interviews with them. My suggestion is that a band of you review
editors write directly to Professor Hood with your concerns. In it
you should point out that you are all globally recognized top
climate scientist. It is best that such a letter come from outside
NZ and is signed by more than one person. His address is:
Professor John Hood
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
Auckland, New Zealand
Let me know what you think! See suggested text below.
Some suggested text below:
We write to you as the editorial board(review editors??) of the
leading international journal Climate Research for climate scientists
We are very concerned at the poor standards and personal biases
shown by a member of your staff. …..
When we originally appointed … to the editorial board we were
under the impression that they would carry out their duties in an
objective manner as is expected of scientists world wide. We
were also given to understand that this person has been honoured
with science communicator of the year award, several times by
your … organisation.
Instead we have discovered that this person has been using his
position to promote ‘fringe’ views of various groups with which
they are associated around the world. It perhaps would have been
less disturbing if the ‘science’ that was being passed through
the system was sound. However, a recent incident has alerted us
to the fact that poorly constructed and uncritical work has been
allowed to enter the pages of the journal. A recent example has
caused outrage amongst leading climate scientists around the
world and has resulted in the journal dismissing (??).. from the
We bring this to your attention since we consider it brings the
name of your university and New Zealand into some disrepute. We
leave it to your discretion what use you make of this
The journal itself cannot be considered completely blameless in
this situation and we clearly need to tighten some of our
editorial processes; however, up until now we have relied on the
honour and professionalism of our editors. Sadly this incident
has damaged our faith in some of our fellow scientists.
Regrettably it will reflect on your institution as this person is
a relatively senior staff member.
> At 16:19 17/04/03 +1000, Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au wrote:
> >Dear all,
> >I just want to throw in some thoughts re appropriate responses to all
> >this – probably obvious to some of you, but clearly different from
> >some views expressed. This is not solely a reply to Phil Jones, as I
> >have read lots of other emails today including all those interesting
> >ones from Michael Mann.
> >1. I completely understand the frustration by some at having to
> >consider a reply to these nonsense papers, and I agree that such
> >replies will not get cited much and may in fact draw attention to
> >papers which deserve to be ignored.
> >2. However, ignoring them can be interpreted as not having an answer,
> >and whether we ignore them or not, there are people and lobby groups
> >which will push these papers as ‘refereed science’ which WILL be
> >persuasive to many small or large decision-makers who are NOT
> >competent to make their own scientific judgements, and some of whom
> >wish the enhanced GH effect would turn out to be a myth. In our
> >Australian backwater for example, such papers WILL/ARE being copied
> >to business executives and politicians to bolster anti-FCCC
> >decisions, and these people do matter. There has to be a well-argued
> >and authoritative response, at least for private circulation, and as
> >a basis for advice to these decision-makers.
> >3. I see several possible courses of action that would be useful. (a)
> >Prepare a background briefing document for wide private circulation,
> >which refutes the claims and lists competent authorities who might be
> >consulted for advice on this issue. (b) Ensure that such misleading
> >papers do not continue to appear in the offending journals by getting
> >proper scientific standards applied to refereeing and editing.
> >Whether that is done publicly or privately may not matter so much, as
> >long as it happens. It could be through boycotting the journals, but
> >that might leave them even freer to promulgate misinformation. To my
> >mind that is not as good as getting the offending editors removed and
> >proper processes in place. Pressure or ultimatums to the publishers
> >might work, or concerted lobbying by other co-editors or leading
> >authors. (c) A journalistic expose of the unscientific practices
> >might work and embarass the sceptics/industry lobbies (if they are
> >capable of being embarassed) e.g., through a reliable lead reporter
> >for Science or Nature. Offending editors could be labelled as “rogue
> >editors”, in line with current international practice? Or is that
> >defamatory? (d) Legal action might be useful for authors who consider
> >themselves libelled, and there could be financial support for such
> >actions (Jim Salinger might have contacts here). However, we would
> >need to be very careful to be moderate and reasonable in our reponses
> >to avoid counter legal actions.
> >4. I thoroughly agree that just entering in to a public slanging
> >match with the offending authors (or editors for that matter) on a
> >one-to-one basis is not the way to go. We need some more concerted
> >5. One other thought is that it may be worthwhile for some authors to
> >do a serious further study to bring out some statistical tests for
> >the likelihood of numerous proxy records showing unprecedented
> >synchronous warming in the last 30+ years. This could be, somewhat
> >along the lines of the tests used in the studies of observed changes
> >in biological and physical systems in the TAR WGII report(SPM figure
> >1 and related text in Chapter 19, and recent papers by Parmesan and
> >Yohe (2003) and Root et al. (2003) in Nature 421, 37-42 and 57-60).
> >Someone may already have this in hand. I am sure the evidence is even
> >stronger than for the critters. That is of course what has already
> >been done in fingerprinting the actual temperature record.
> >Anyway, I am not one of the authors, and too busy (for a retired
> >person), so I hope you can collectively get something going which I
> >can support.
> >Best regards to all,
> >Dr. A. Barrie Pittock
> >Post-Retirement Fellow, Climate Impact Group
> >CSIRO Atmospheric Research, PMB 1, Aspendale 3195, Australia
> >Tel: +613 9239 4527, Fax: +61 3 9239 4688, email:
> > WWW:
> >Please Note: Use above address. The old >firstname.lastname@example.org> is no longer supported.
> >Currently I am working on a couple of books and other writing re
> >climate change and science issues. Please refer any matters re the
> >Climate Impact Group to Dr. Peter Whetton, Group Leader, at
> >, tel.:
> >+61 3 9239 4535. Normally I am in the lab Tuesdays and Thursdays.
> >”Far better and approximate answer to the right question which is
> >often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question which can
> >always be made precise.” J. W. Tukey
> >—–Original Message—–
> >From: Phil Jones [mailto:email@example.com]
> >Sent: Wednesday, 16 April 2003 6:23 PM
> >To: Mike Hulme; Barrie.Pittock@csiro.au
> >Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; Peter.Whetton@csiro.au;
> >Roger.Francey@csiro.au; David.Etheridge@csiro.au; Ian.Smith@csiro.au;
> >Simon.Torok@csiro.au; Willem.Bouma@csiro.au; email@example.com;
> >firstname.lastname@example.org; Greg.Ayers@csiro.au; Rick.Bailey@csiro.au;
> >Graeme.Pearman@csiro.au Subject: Re: Recent climate sceptic research
> >and the journal Climate Research
> > Dear All,
> > There have been a number of emails on these two papers. They
> > are bad.
> >I’ll be seeing
> > Hans von Storch next week and I’ll be telling him in person what a
> >disservice he’s doing
> > to the science and the status of Climate Research.
> > I’ve already told Hans I want nothing more to do with the
> > journal. Tom
> >Crowley may be
> > writing something – find out also next week, but at the EGS last
> > week Ray
> >Bradley, Mike
> > Mann, Malcolm Hughes and others decided it would be best to do
> > nothing.
> > that respond to work like this never get cited – a point I’m
> > trying to
> >get across to Hans.
> > We all have better papers to write than waste our time responding
> > to
> >drivel like this.
> > Cheers
> > Phil
> Prof. Phil Jones
> Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
> School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
> University of East Anglia
> Norwich Email email@example.com
> NR4 7TJ
Dr Jim Salinger, CRSNZ
P O Box 109 695
Tel + 64 9 375 2053 Fax + 64 9 375 2051
Now even if the paper was bad, you can see the extremeness of the team response to it. I can tell readers from my own experience in publication that even papers with ‘less’ global warming message are forcefully resisted by some. I have also been privy to other paper’s reviews which suffer the forceful gatekeeping as is implied above. If the authors truly did make an honest attempt at publishing as DeFreitas wrote, and it truly was accepted by four reviewers, even if it had a mistake, can you imagine the difficulty they will now have in promotions or acceptance of future work in their field? I wonder if the huge climate funds will still find their way to them or if their proposals will fall on deaf ears?
There are literally mountains of similar emails. So many that I can’t even begin to discuss them. Of course, feel free to copy your own on-topic ones below. If you select the right data as paleoclimate does by standard practice, you get the predicted result.
If you select the right people…..