On those stolen CRU emails

The global warming denialists have predictably gotten very excited about the emails that were stolen from CRU, declaring that they prove that there’s a big climate scientist conspiracy (presumably to install a COMMUNIST WORLD GOVERNMENT). We don’t know whether or not the thief altered the emails, but since there isn’t really anything incriminating it’s likely that they are all genuine.

Most of the fuss has been generated by taking emails out of context and bad faith interpretations of what was written. If you’re interested in the gory details the RealClimate comment thread addresses most of them, while John Cook explains what Phil Jones meant by “Mike’s Nature trick”.

But the best take on the whole affair is this: Newtongate: the final nail in the coffin of Renaissance and Enlightenment ‘thinking’

Comments

  1. #1 mark
    November 26, 2009

    Wallace,

    When the solutions to problems conflict with your political views, is it sensible to shoot the messenger?

  2. #2 Gaz
    November 26, 2009

    William Wallace:

    And we all remember how James Hansen didn’t want to release his slopping and buggy source code that ended up erroniously identifying 1998 as the warmest year on record.

    What? You mean the world hasn’t been cooling for 10 … err hang on…. 11 years?

    Was that oft-repeated denial mantra actually “slopping” and “erronious”?

    Flamin’ heck!!

  3. #3 Bernard J.
    November 26, 2009

    Bray-fart (say it quickly) opines:

    Science attempts to describe what is. It doesn’t advocate for what should be. Cap and trade, command and control economies, etc. These are not science. It one [sic] front for creeping socialism and a steeping [sic] stone to communism.

    So the Montreal Protocol and its successors were a step toward communism? The reduction, through cap-and-trade, of sulphate emissions to reduce acid rain brought us all one goose-step closer to a science-less socialist hell?

    What of the limits put on heavy metal emissions into the environment, or of dioxins, or of intenstinal microflora?

    Heck, we muct all be cherry-red tunic-wearers by now, according to your logic.

    Do you even have a clue about what it is that you speak of?!

  4. #4 William Wallace
    November 26, 2009

    Some readers will be aware the Hansen recently put himself forward for arrest at a Mountain-Top coal-mine protest. Later we found that Hansen was suffering cancer (which has now been operated on).

    Other readers might not be aware that before James came out of the protest closet, he once came to Minnesota to spread the AGW news. The Globe Is Warming!

    However, when they’re right-wing activists…

    Give me an example of a right-wing activist scientist.

    Everybody, happy thanksgiving, I hope you get to spend it with loved ones. And remember, don’t eat too much tofu turkey.

  5. #5 Brian D
    November 26, 2009

    @#404:

    Actual quote from one such right-wing activist scientist:

    We are dealing with an unholy alliance of special interest groups determined to bring about the resurrection of the New International Economic Order (NIEO) [...]. Cynics referred to NIEO as a scheme in which money is transferred from the poor in the rich countries to the rich in the poor countries. Third World kleptocrats now see their chance to reconstitute the NIEO in the guise of ecology. Central planners and starry-eyed utopians want to see natural resources and even national economies brought under international control — preferably theirs. Then there are the environmental activist groups, collectively a $400-million-a-year lobby in Washington. Although the foot soldiers are still sincerely concerned about our environmental future, the generals are more interested in the perks — traveling from international conference to international conference and extorting funds from U.S. industry.

    The author of this screed is none other than S. Fred Singer, who still tries to call attention to his science credentials for authority.

    There’s many more, too. Look into the tobacco fiasco, or CFC/ozone denialism, or the George C. Marshall Institute’s defense of Reagan’s Star Wars program (by setting a handful of right-wing physicists versus the consensus of the community through the popular press rather than through research). Singer’s involved in all of these, by the way, but he’s hardly alone.

    Of course, I doubt this’ll make any impact to your rhetoric, just as surely as no creationist will change when presented with “just one transitional form”.

  6. #6 dhogaza
    November 26, 2009

    Give me an example of a right-wing activist scientist.

    John Christy, Roy Spencer, Robert Lindzen.

    Oops, epic fail, I gave more than “an example” …

  7. #7 Janet Akerman
    November 26, 2009

    In addtion to the evidence presented by Brian D, plus your ignoring evidence that [already countered](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php#comment-2103367) your opinion, there are few more points of note:

    Love the [primary source](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWnMlUPqnas) science you present here Wallace, that’s a fail.

    And your last post reinforced the point that:

    >William your small minded sniping is an embarrassment in the face of such to acts of enormous integrity [[of James Hansen](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php#comment-2103276)]

    Then there is your [continuing failure](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php#comment-2103259) to present requested evidence to support your attacks on science.

  8. #8 Janet Akerman
    November 26, 2009
  9. #9 William Wallace
    November 26, 2009

    Real science is falsifiable. But when guys like Phil Jones won’t disclose his data or methods, the process is no longer science, but “trust me”.

    Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist, wondered where that “+/-” came from, so he politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’s response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so 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?”–Sonja A Boehmer quoting Phil Jones, Oct 02, 2009 in email titled ‘RE: Please take note of potentially serious allegations of scientific ‘fraud’ by CRU and Met Office’

    Somebody else wrote:

    the generals are more interested in the perks — traveling from international conference to international conference and extorting funds from U.S. industry.

    Sounds like this has been partially corroborated by the CRU emails, too.

    It would be ideal to have a 1 to 1.5day mtg in Boulder since we have many of the needed perspectives (ice core, coral, seds, data, etc) here. What would be the best dates for you (and Keith – I’m hoping he’ll be up for this too). We can find the extra $$ to get folks to Boulder
    and have a quality time (do you ski?).–Oct. 1 1998 email from Jonathan Overpeck to Phil Jones

    And that email goes on, with an AGW alarmist double entendree

    Once we set the dates with you (PLEASE SEND FAVORED DATES), Mike and Ray, we can set the agenda. The main thing is that it would set the stage for the extra degree of data sharing we’ll need before the planned Santorini mtg (still no dates – please bug Jean-Claude!!). Sound ok?

  10. #10 Janet Akerman
    November 26, 2009

    Wallace,

    Is it that you don’t want to get pinned down on [the detail](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php#comment-2104379)? Do you prefer to keep to smear-and-run tactics?

    I’m sure with thousands of emails you could say what ever you like, so long as you keep running and never get hung up on the context nor detail.

    Unfortunately running a propaganda campaign is different to truth seeking.

    And unfortunately the overwhelming evidence suggests we are on a path of extreme risk, and such (as your) focus on propaganda in place of truth seeking is contributing to reducing our opportunities to create a ‘safe landing’.

  11. #11 William Wallace
    November 26, 2009

    Release the data and analysis for scrutiny, then we’ll talk. Otherwise, all you have is “trust us, we’re scientists, we know more than you.” That, and a bunch of incriminating emails.

  12. #12 Phil.
    November 26, 2009

    And we all remember how James Hansen didn’t want to release his slopping and buggy source code that ended up erroniously identifying 1998 as the warmest year on record. Fortunately, the so-called deniers were able to reverse engineer and identify his mistake. Opps.
    Posted by: William Wallace | November 25, 2009 11:09 AM

    Ooops indeed, strange memory you had since that didn’t happen! Prior to the posting by McIntyre, Hansen had pointed out that 1934 was in a statistical tie with 1998 and that the record year was 1934.

  13. #13 William Wallace
    November 26, 2009

    Ooops indeed, strange memory you had since that didn’t happen!

    J.H. released the source code before refusing to release it to McIntyre?

  14. #14 Janet Akerman
    November 26, 2009

    William Wallace, change the IP laws and the remaining data can be released. Or lobby for more funds to buy out the IP rights.

    Until then I am to understand all the GISS data is avaliable, it is shows the world is warming faster than CRU data.

    So perhaps you’d suggest we now adapt GISS as the more accurate?

  15. #15 Janet Akerman
    November 26, 2009

    Wallace, Hans has [a ditty](http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=2019#comment-144118) which expresses the frustration of harassed scientist, caught between IP laws, miss-information, and what some experience as seemingly malicious attacks.

  16. #16 MrPete
    November 27, 2009

    Tim et al,
    I deal with computer security quite a lot. What you’re not understanding is this: while it is painful to admit (esp for CRU), to date we have exactly ZERO evidence that anyone has committed a crime in releasing these emails. Don’t fly off the handle quite yet… :)

    Among security nonspecialists…

    1) By *FAR* the most common method for secure and/or confidential information to be released is an “oops” on the part of those who hold the information. It happened earlier this year at CRU, just by way of example.

    2) The second most common way: purposeful release from the inside, either by someone who didn’t realize the information was confidential, or someone who did but felt the information should get out. (That latter would be a whistleblower of course.)

    3) It is actually quite rare for someone to hack their way in. If CRU *were* subject to a knowledgeable data attack, the attack would be quite easy to accomplish and they would never know it happened. A good attacker can cover all tracks.

    With those realities in mind, it is rather early to be claiming the data was stolen via external attack. That’s by far the least likely path for it to have been released.

    I don’t mind your venom however. One thing I’ve learned this year: when people go over the top in their politicized perspectives, they lose the ability to see things clearly, and more quickly make it obvious to the rest of the world just how off base they are. The truth ultimately does get revealed, no matter what.

    [D -- last I heard, the samples were being isotope-analyzed, which may provide far more interesting info than a simple refutation of stripbark BCP as climate proxies. Since there's no budget for any of this, it's all done on lowest-priority lab time. I'm frustrated by the delay as well, but hey, we're in no danger of falling back to the Team's disclosure record :). Nothing hidden, nothing to hide. All available data still remains online, including all recent corrections found.]

  17. #17 caerbannog
    November 27, 2009

    Speaking of William Wallace…..

    Why did William Wallace wear a kilt?

    Because sheep can hear a zipper a mile away!

    That might give folks a clue here as to what the individual who uses the handle “William Wallace” likes to do when he’s not spamming message boards with his idiocy.

  18. #18 Bernard J.
    November 27, 2009

    MrPete.

    You’re engaging in pocket hockey.

    1) By FAR the most common method for secure and/or confidential information to be released is an “oops” on the part of those who hold the information.

    What, you mean “oops, I’ve accidentally released some information that I hold, whilst simultaneously using Russian and Turkish servers in the process, and also whilst attempting to ‘release’ it on the RealClimate site”?

    In your game of pocket hockey, I think that’s an own goal.

    2) The second most common way: purposeful release from the inside, either by someone who didn’t realize the information was confidential, or someone who did but felt the information should get out. (That latter would be a whistleblower of course.)

    When I approached senior management about data fabrication, I didn’t feel the need to hack into the emails of everyone in the department. I certainly didn’t think that it needed to be released on an internet denialist site first, when there are numerous institutional oversight mechanisms available.

    Additionally, it is inconceivable that workers do not know what material in a department is confidential – in Australia an essential part of every job application, and of every subsequent job induction, is the demonstration of appropriate understanding of institutional confidentiality conditions, and I doubt that British standards are any less stringent.

    3) It is actually quite rare for someone to hack their way in. If CRU were subject to a knowledgeable data attack, the attack would be quite easy to accomplish and they would never know it happened. A good attacker can cover all tracks.

    Hmmm…

    So, it’s “quite rare for someone to hack their way in”, but it’s “quite easy to accomplish”? Well, you have at least one out of two correct, and judging by the industry in firewall software and by the convictions for hacks into US military and law enforcement sites, it’s patently obvious which of the two it is.

    And who said that this was a “good” hack? Whoever was responsible bungled their attempt to break into RealClimate.

  19. #19 bi -- IJI
    November 27, 2009

    I’m trying to get this posted on my blog, but alas WordPress is being its slow and stupid self again (somehow it thinks that it needs to load maps.google.com when I fire up its blog editor — wtf?). Anyway:

    * * *

    I just downloaded the FOI2009.zip file containing the cracked CRU content (I used the megaupload copy), and while I don’t intend to open up the actual content inside, I did study the structure and metadata of the .zip file, and I found some interesting things:

    Of the 4,662 files in the archive, 3,172 seem to have been last modified under a timezone of -0500 (somewhere in the Americas), 1,487 under a timezone of -0400, and 3 under a timezone of around -0000 (ah — now that’s closer to Britain).

    The .zip file itself contains two smaller .zip files:

    (1) mbh98-osborn.zip, in which 2,171 of its files yielded a timezone of -0400, and 4 files had a timezone of -0500;

    (2) russia.zip, which contains no timezone information.

    All archive members with timezone information gave a user ID (uid) and group ID (gid) of 1,002, which is very close to a nice round number.

  20. #20 J
    November 27, 2009

    why is it that the supporters (dhogaza, D, and others) sound like bullies and resort to name calling, while the skeptics sound a lot more reasonable? whatever your opinion on the matter of AGW, shouldn’t we be focused on the truth and not worried about being right?
    personal attacks do not makeup for scientific shortcomings.

  21. #21 dhogaza
    November 27, 2009

    why is it that the supporters (dhogaza, D, and others) sound like bullies and resort to name calling, while the skeptics sound a lot more reasonable?

    Selective reading or downright dishonesty on your part.

  22. #22 dhogaza
    November 27, 2009

    Whoever was responsible bungled their attempt to break into RealClimate.

    My understanding is that they were successful – that’s why Real Climate was down for the day a week ago Wednesday.

    I’m sure MrPete will respond that whistleblowers commonly distribute their goods via committing a felony (breaking into Real Climate) that’s not protected by any whistleblower act I’m aware of.

  23. #23 dhogaza
    November 27, 2009

    I don’t mind your venom however. One thing I’ve learned this year: when people go over the top in their politicized perspectives, they lose the ability to see things clearly, and more quickly make it obvious to the rest of the world just how off base they are. The truth ultimately does get revealed, no matter what.

    Strange, I didn’t realize MrPete had an autobiography fetish.

  24. #24 question.
    November 27, 2009

    interesting story…. i’m not a scientist, but am looking for help with this. a friend, who doesn’t believe in global warming, said 95% of greenhouse gas is water vapour. less than the 5% remaining is carbon dioxide. less than 5% of that is man made, the rest coming from nature somehow. so from that only 0.25% is from man. And we only want to reduce our usage by about 15%. this is only 0.0375% of greenhouse gases. (I think my math’s right. not sure if i paraphrased him correctly). i can see why he wouldn’t believe global warming if this is true. my question is, is it true? something seems to be missing.
    thanks for everyone’s help.

  25. #25 Brian D
    November 27, 2009

    Question: For general pointers on climate science, I suggest heading to RealClimate.org and clicking the Start Here link.

    A general answer to your overall question is: Small things can have huge effects. A tiny wind doesn’t seem all that important, but if you’re balanced on top of a post, it can topple you. (Likewise, a virus is a ludicrously small proportion of your body mass, but it only takes one to get you into bed for a week.)

    A more specific answer to your question can be found here, numbers 26 and 27. I’d also add “Read the IPCC reports”, but those can be hard to follow for people with no scientific background at all (even a little helps, though).

    An even better answer, though, is to question your own (and your friends’) ability to evaluate scientific data without going through the years of training the experts have. What you can do well, though, is sidestep the question: Given how you can’t know for certain whether climate change is real or not, what’s the most rational course of action to take? The outstanding book What’s The Worst That Could Happen? is a great guide to this (it’s based, somewhat, on this series of videos, which are available for free but take longer to go through), and is usually the first resource I suggest to people who aren’t already familiar with the argument.

    Hope that helps.

    (FWIW, a 15% reduction is NOT a science-based goal, and several scientists are angry over this. If you read the most recent scientific report (the Copenhagen Diagnosis, discussed here), you’ll see that the science is calling for an emissions peak (i.e. no more increases period) from 2015 to 2020, followed by a sharp drop of 100% (not 15%!) afterwards.)

  26. #26 Bernard J.
    November 27, 2009

    [Dhogaza](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php#comment-2106872).

    “Bungled” was a poor choice of wording on my part. The fact that the cracker(s) didn’t enter and exist RealClimate without being spotted straight away was the point that I was trying to make.

    It’s secondary though to the more important point that one doesn’t “accidentally” release information by committing a felony and breaking into others’ servers, nor does one blow the whistle by committing a felony and breaking into others’ servers.

    However one slices it and dices it, MrPete is full of it.

  27. #28 bi -- IJI
    November 28, 2009

    To reiterate:

    Most of the files in the .zip file seem to be packaged under timezones of -0500 or -0400.

  28. #29 Janet Akerman
    November 28, 2009

    William Wallace,

    >*Release the data and analysis for scrutiny, then we’ll talk. Otherwise, all you have is “trust us, we’re scientists, we know more than you.” That, and a bunch of incriminating emails.*
    >*Posted by: William Wallace | November 26, 2009 9:23 PM*

    Oh you mean [this data?](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/)

    Does Hans [anticipate your response?](http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=2019#comment-144118)

  29. #30 dhogaza
    November 28, 2009

    However one slices it and dices it, MrPete is full of it.

    Oh, yes, it’s one of those self-evident truths Tom Jefferson talked about …

    (MrPete’s been around a long time)

  30. #31 Ray
    November 28, 2009

    *[comment deleted. Ray is only permitted to post to the Ray thread]*

  31. #32 bi -- IJI
    November 29, 2009

    > I was amazed at the sheer dogmatism I found on this site and the frequency of insults and ad hominem attacks directed against Plimer and anyone who may be naturally skeptical about the certainty of this issue.

    > By contrast, when I visit sites on the other side of the fence, I find the commentators and posts much more reasonable.

    Did you keep rehearsing those content-free lines while you were at the back of the car? Because I must have heard it a hundred times.

    There’s a reason why Deltoid has a special thread reserved just for you. So get back in that thread.

  32. #33 dhogaza
    November 29, 2009

    By contrast, when I visit sites on the other side of the fence, I find the commentators and posts much more reasonable.

    Gosh, creationists do the same. If I felt like spending the time, I’d categorize Standard Anti-Science Claims and start counting how many times creationists, AGW denialists, HIV denialists, etc use them.

    This one – “they’re not nice, so science is wrong!” has got to be one of the top five arguments used by all science denialists.

  33. #34 Mark Byrne
    November 29, 2009
  34. #35 bi -- IJI
    November 29, 2009

    Mark Byrne:

    Haha, thanks. :)

    * * *

    I found that the most recent access time (atime) of the files in FOI2009.zip is 16 Nov 07:27:52 UTC, which would probably mean the .zip file was packaged after that time.

  35. #36 William Wallace
    November 30, 2009

    Regarding realclimate as a source. The raw data GHCN v.2 didn’t seem to have pressure and humidity. Necessary, in my view, to determine how much heat is in the atmosphere, since dry air and wet air at the same temperature have different amounts of heat.

    Realclimate commenting on climate science by climate scientists who get paid to study the climate and who might have a vested interest in getting people alarmed. But other than that, solid source.

  36. #37 Bernard J.
    November 30, 2009

    It had to happen.

    Aynsley Kellow, an arts graduate, previous co-author with Energy and Environment editor Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, acknowledged climate change sceptic, misrepresenter of DDT policies, and all-round distorter of genuine science, has just been interviewed by Michael Duffy on [Counterpoint](http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/default.htm) about the theft of data from CRU.

    He has a spray at many folk, particularly at Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann, distorts the facts of the matter with complete unashamedness, and even managed to squeeze in that the term “denier” is used in an effort to link denialists with Holocaust deniers.

    I hope that Duffy gives someone the right of reply: “counterpoint” is one thing, but out-and-out lying is completely over the top.

    Kellow? Erk, I need a shower.

  37. #38 Steve Chamberlain
    November 30, 2009

    WW (436): Do you have even a skerrick of evidence for this sly little smear: “Realclimate commenting on climate science by climate scientists who get paid to study the climate and who might have a vested interest in getting people alarmed” (emphasis added).

    If so, provide it. If not, act like any decent human being and retract the statement.

  38. #39 Steve Chamberlain
    November 30, 2009

    Bernard, this is typical of the sorts of “guests” Duffy insists on giving air-time to. Duffy give the right-of-reply? Not bloody likely.

    Presumably this is all in the name of the oft-quoted but sorely misunderstood principle of “journalistic balance”. IMO people sharing el gordo’s views have a lot to answer for.

  39. #40 Janet Akerman
    November 30, 2009

    Wallace states:

    >*Realclimate commenting on climate science by climate scientists who get paid to study the climate and who might have a vested interest in getting people alarmed. But other than that, solid source.*

    Nice little closed logic their Willaim, so if you are a climate scientist you should not be trusted on climate science.

    ****

    BTW, what is this “might have a vested interest in getting people alarmed”? Why not accuse aids researches, or public health reserachers, smoking reserachrs of that charge?

    I would have thought, might have a vested interest in aquiring knowledge would be the significant driver. Or might have a vested interest is getting the science right, accurate, and faithfully represented.

    On the other hand there are [these motives](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/new_zealand_climate_science_co.php#comment-2110106). Compare and contrast.

  40. #41 Bernard J.
    November 30, 2009

    [Steve](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php#comment-2111808).

    Sadly, your description of the Counterpoint approach is correct. Nevertheless, I have posted on their guestbook, and in case it doesn’t pass moderation muster (which wouldn’t be the first time…), I’ll repeat it here:

    I was disappointed, although not surprised, to hear the interview with the biased AGW denier Ansley Kellow.

    Kellow complains about the misbehaviour of climate scientists, but his own many misrepresentations and distortions of the science during the interview are gobsmacking at the least. I am sure that he knows better – but as long as there is an audience that will credulously accept his erroneous statements it seems that he is happy to feed the beast.

    I challenge Counterpoint to provide a right of reply, from someone who actually understands science and the profession of climatology. There are many eminent, qualified, and impartial academics/scientists who could unpick the garbage that Kellow sprayed about.

    Michael Ashley, Ian Enting, Kurt Lambeck, Malcom Walter, or Mike Sandiford are all knowledgable and highly respected men, if the likes of experts such as David Karoly, Barry Brook or Andrew Glikson are too much for the sensibilities of the Counterpoint presenters to bear.

    If Counterpoint can’t provide its own counterpoint, then there will be other fora in the Australian media only too glad to illustrate the sometimes astonishing anti-science leanings of this program.

  41. #42 Bernard J.
    November 30, 2009

    I was outside listening through a closed window, so I am wondering – did I hear correctly?!

    Did Joe Hockey just say that he’d appoint Ross Garnaut and Ian Plimer to derive a Coalition policy on the science of climate change, should Hockey gain the leadership?

    This goes from the comic to sheer tragedy, if so…

  42. #43 Steve Chamberlain
    November 30, 2009

    Bernard, accusing one or more ABC programmes of bias is something of a national sport, as el gordo and his puppet masters right-thinking mates well know. Ergo Counterpoint. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve yelled and raved incoherently at the radio when Duffy is banging his favourite climate change “scepticism” tin drum, and it’s got to the point where I’ve sworn off (instead of at) Duffy when driving – the potential road toll would be too much to bear.

    I still can’t see how Duffy’s anti-climate science pogrom programme lives up to its name, it’s like calling Andrew Bolt a member of the intelligentsia.

  43. #44 Janet Akerman
    November 30, 2009

    >*Did Joe Hockey just say that he’d appoint Ross Garnaut and Ian Plimer to derive a Coalition policy on the science of climate change, should Hockey gain the leadership?*

    1) An economist; and 2) a non-climate-scientist error riddled polemicist.

    Can anyone spot the skill set that is missing?

  44. #45 Gaz
    November 30, 2009

    Did Joe Hockey just say that he’d appoint Ross Garnaut and Ian Plimer to derive a Coalition policy on the science of climate change, should Hockey gain the leadership?

    No, it was Senator Steve Fielding, calling for a Royal Commission.

    Sigh.

  45. #46 Bernard J.
    November 30, 2009

    Gaz.

    Yeah, I caught the PM repeat on local ABC, and heard Fielding speak after the Hockey story. It was just another example of his detachment from reality… I should have guessed that it would be one of the nutjob senators that came up with that one.

    One thing for Australian politics at the moment – if it wasn’t so serious in consequence, we’d all be splitting our sides laughing!

  46. #47 Deen
    November 30, 2009

    I heard this weekend that the controversy manufactroversy has even lead to parliamentary inquiries here in the Netherlands. Some MP’s want the Minister of Environment to explain what she thinks about all this deception. Ugh. At least she’s on record saying that the hackers have been cherry-picking the emails. By the way, the questions came from MPs who all just happen to be from populist, right-leaning parties.

    And this morning I found a link to a horrific Sunday Times article:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6936289.ece
    Seems like they swallowed the denialist talking points whole, hardly any other perspective is given. The comments are pretty much as you’d expect too.

  47. #48 William Wallace
    November 30, 2009

    Here is a thoughtful piece the alarmists should read:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8aefbf52-d9e1-11de-b2d5-00144feabdc0.html

  48. #49 dhogaza
    November 30, 2009

    Here is a thoughtful piece the alarmists should read

    It was a quick read, because I stopped at the first lie …

  49. #50 Janet Akerman
    November 30, 2009

    For smear-and-run fetishist

    *”a thoughtful piece”* = [???](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php#comment-2112668)

  50. #51 Steve Chamberlain
    December 1, 2009

    WW @ 448: if this condescending, derivative collection of other people’s witless opinions is what passes for “thoughtful” in your mind, it’s no wonder you won’t answer a straight question.

    I’ll ask again: either provide evidence of your sly attempt to smear other people’s character and reputation (@436), or retract it. After all, if you’re going to who bang on about how it’s easier to discredit scientists who don’t agree with you than it is to debate with them, surely you need to lead by example.

  51. #52 sod
    December 1, 2009

    never heard of that source, but this [report](http://www.advertiser24.co.uk/content/advertiser24/news/story.aspx?brand=NOROnline&category=News&tBrand=NOROnline&tCategory=News&itemid=NOED30%20Nov%202009%2017%3A02%3A26%3A850) about the investigation sounds interesting:

    Meanwhile it is believed that hackers unsuccessfully attempted to secure data from the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis (CCCma), a division of of the climate research branch of Environment Canada.

    and

    A UEA spokeswoman also confirmed that the information was not available on a server that could be easily accessed and could not have been inadvertently released.

    let us see

  52. #53 William Wallace
    December 1, 2009

    Regarding realclimate as a source. The raw data GHCN v.2 didn’t seem to have pressure and humidity. Necessary, in my view, to determine how much heat is in the atmosphere, since dry air and wet air at the same temperature have different amounts of heat.

    Evidence for that? see here. Climate scientists. LOL. What a bunch of jokers.

  53. #54 luminous beauty
    December 1, 2009

    Willy,

    >Regarding realclimate as a source. The raw data GHCN v.2 didn’t seem to have pressure and humidity.

    You aren’t [looking](http://daac.ornl.gov//CLIMATE/climate_collections.html) in the right place.

  54. #55 elspi
    December 1, 2009

    William,
    Almost all of the thermal inertia of the earth is in the oceans anyway. The true measure of the amount of heat in the system is the average temperature of the oceans.

    We are able now to measure the temp of the oceans reasonable well, but these records only go back a few decades. The point of the air temp. record is as a proxy for the ocean temp.

    Thus your argument is pure red herring.

  55. #56 Steve Chamberlain
    December 1, 2009

    Bernard, looks like you’re off Aynsley Kellow’s Christmas card list if his response to your comment to Counterpoint is any indication ;-)

    http://tinyurl.com/ya6glx6

  56. #57 Ray
    December 1, 2009

    *[comment deleted. Ray is only permitted to post to the Ray thread]*

  57. #58 MartinM
    December 1, 2009

    Carbon is essential for all life. Carbon dioxide is essential for our life. Without it, plants die and we die.

    Which is, of course, utterly irrelevant to the question of whether it’s a pollutant.

    Can’t help but notice the rest of your comment was essentially a content-free whine.

  58. #59 Ray
    December 2, 2009

    *[comment deleted. Ray is only permitted to post to the Ray thread]*

  59. #60 MartinM
    December 2, 2009

    You didn’t actually make an argument for CO2 not being a pollutant, you know. You just asserted it. Which makes you a hypocrite as well as an idiot.

  60. #61 Chris O'Neill
    December 2, 2009

    Wallace:

    Realclimate commenting on climate science by climate scientists who get paid to study the climate and who might have a vested interest in getting people alarmed. But other than that, solid source.

    Nice little closed logic their Willaim, so if you are a climate scientist you should not be trusted on climate science.

    Of course, Wallace doesn’t go to doctors because they might tell him he has cancer so that they can get cancer surgeons to charge him huge fees for surgery, he doesn’t go to dentists because they might send him to a maxillo-facial surgeon to charge him a huge fee for implant surgery, he doesn’t ask solicitors for legal advice when he faces court because they might tell him to engage a barrister who charges big fees.

    In short, Wallace has nothing to do with professionals because they “might have a vested interest in getting people alarmed”.

    Otherwise he’s a hypocrite.

  61. #62 Ray
    December 2, 2009

    *[comment deleted. Ray is only permitted to post to the Ray thread]*

  62. #63 MartinM
    December 2, 2009

    You think the fact that CO2 is absolutely essential for life as we know it on this planet, as I stated, is not an argument for CO2 not being a pollutant?

    Quite obviously not. The fact that a certain quantity of a substance is necessary does not imply that more of it is not a bad thing.

  63. #64 Kessler
    December 2, 2009

    Martin’s logic is impeccable Ray,

    Now its time to make your case. You needn’t make it 1,000 pages, since that was in fact only your straw man beat up, presumably to distract from Martin’s correct logic.

  64. #65 Ray
    December 2, 2009

    *[comment deleted. Ray is only permitted to post to the Ray thread]*

  65. #66 MartinM
    December 2, 2009

    Repeating your previous fallacious arguments does not strengthen them, especially after the fallacy has been pointed out.

  66. #67 Bernard J.
    December 2, 2009

    Would you like me to give you a 1,000 page dissertation on why carbon and carbon dioxide are essential for life?

    Oh, go on – why not?!

    Do you need me to go through the photosynthesis process whereby [sic] plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, sequester the carbon in the process as they grow, and release the oxygen molecules that are part of CO2, so we can breathe?

    I would seriously like to read your “1,000 page dissertation” where you “go through” these points.

    And if it takes you one thousand pages to explain photosynthesis, even to a lay person, you will no doubt be including detailed explanations of the toxicity of CO2 to organisms at various concentrations, and even to particular photosynthetic reactions.

    You will also, no doubt, have plenty of room in your “1,000 pages” to discuss Leibig’s Law of the Minimum, to discuss the relative contributions (positive and negative) of various other photosynthetic components to carbon reduction, and to discuss the various complexities of additive and synergistic interspecies interactions in the overall primary productivity budget.

    Oh, and there are more than a few biologists here waiting with bated breath for your opus magnum.

    One thousand pages? I can’t wait!

  67. #68 Kessler
    December 2, 2009

    >Repeating your previous fallacious arguments does not strengthen them, especially after the fallacy has been pointed out.

    Martin’s point is flawless Ray.

    Yours, Ray is something else.

  68. #69 P. Lewis
    December 2, 2009

    Would you like me to give you a 1,000 page dissertation on why carbon and carbon dioxide are essential for life?

    If you could get me a printed copy, on soft paper (don’t want anything too scratchy — and please, no staples!), then I’ll review it over the next few weeks “whilst doing the business”.

  69. #70 Janet Akerman
    December 2, 2009

    Back to your thread Ray.

    You couldn’t be clearer in demonstrating what rubbish and pollution is.

  70. #71 Ray
    December 2, 2009

    Back to your thread Ray.
    You couldn’t be clearer in demonstrating what rubbish and pollution is.
    Posted by: Janet Akerman | December 2, 2009 6:57 AM

    Thank you Janet. I knew you would understand.

  71. #72 sod
    December 2, 2009

    Would you like me to give you a 1,000 page dissertation on why carbon and carbon dioxide are essential for life?

    yes, please. title, author and year, like a proper citation.

    but how should you know how to cite properly?

    you believe that the average dissertation has 1000 pages?

    and has a topic like “why carbon and carbon dioxide are essential for life”?

    your academic career did not progress beyond kindergarten?

  72. #73 Ray
    December 2, 2009

    *[comment deleted. Ray is only permitted to post to the Ray thread]*

  73. #74 William Wallace
    December 7, 2009

    Could somebody here identify instances when legitimate scientific advances were disseminated and conducted outside of the peer review process?

    Because, I think you should get used to it. Peer review is dying, thanks to Dr. Phil Jones et al.

    Even Judith Curry, Chairperson of School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, recognizes that blogging skeptics are providing a legitimate scientific function.

    Yet the extreme left wing scienceblogs bloggers continue to characterize these people as “denialists”.

    Your sweater is unraveling.

    But the failure to distinguish between, like, the advocacy group, talk radio kind of skeptics versus scientists, researchers and even people on blogs who are actually doing analysis, you know, technical people analyzing the data and doing analyses, I think all of that kind of skepticism needs to be looked at, rather than trying to dismiss it in the way that I’m seeing, you know, in these emails.–Dr. Judith Curry inverview broadcast on NPR

    LOL. Looks like Guy Raz forgot to read the memo to kill the climategate story by ignoring it. I wonder how long before he’s reassigned to cover less prestigious issues by the libturd powers that be.

  74. #75 William Wallace
    December 7, 2009

    Of course, Wallace doesn’t go to doctors because they might tell him he has cancer so that they can get cancer surgeons to charge him huge fees for surgery, he doesn’t go to dentists because they might send him to a maxillo-facial surgeon to charge him a huge fee for implant surgery, he doesn’t ask solicitors for legal advice when he faces court because they might tell him to engage a barrister who charges big fees.

    In short, Wallace has nothing to do with professionals because they “might have a vested interest in getting people alarmed”.

    Otherwise he’s a hypocrite.

    I do view doctors and dentists advice with skepticism, and have sought second and third opinions only to find out that the first was for lack of a better work, wrong.

    There is a reason why they call it “practicing” medicine and only an idiot would believe everything their doctor tells them based solely on their M.D.

    On the other hand, I bet you would be extremely skeptical if your M.D. endowed doctor told you, indirectly, that you should skip your swine flu shot and instead take a food supplement derived from rice because it strengthens your cells and immune response by better allowing energy to get to the cells by treating their Mitochondrion.

    I would be skeptical, too, even if the M.D. stated that he skipped his flu shot and is on the suppliment.

    So who is the hypocrite?

  75. #76 Bernard J.
    December 8, 2009

    Any individual cell has many mitochondria.

    Science is just something that you met once, briefly, back in junior high isn’t it?

  76. #77 sim
    December 8, 2009

    Wallace,
    The climate has had a second, third, and 4th assessment. The prognosis stands.

    You are in denial.

  77. #78 MrPete
    January 2, 2010

    What, you mean “oops, I’ve accidentally released some information that I hold, whilst simultaneously using Russian and Turkish servers in the process, and also whilst attempting to ‘release’ it on the RealClimate site”?

    You have too little imagination. More like “oops, we left the files out in the lobby. Sarah’s nine-year-old daughter shared them with her friends. One of her friends is a thirteen year old whiz kid who posted them online through an anonymizing proxy.” Or whatever.

    I didn’t feel the need to hack into the emails of everyone in the department.

    Again, you’re assuming a hack. Not a necessary element.

    it is inconceivable that workers do not know what material in a department is confidential

    Wow, you have high standards. I can count on one hand the number of corporate entities I’ve consulted for who actually keep confidential material locked up. (Look around your office suite next time you go in: how much material could a janitor collect?)

    So, it’s “quite rare for someone to hack their way in”, but it’s “quite easy to accomplish”? Well, you have at least one out of two correct, and judging by the industry in firewall software and by the convictions for hacks into US military and law enforcement sites, it’s patently obvious which of the two it is.

    You clearly know little of this. Not something I’m going to discuss in detail online, for obvious reasons. Knowing some top-level experts, I consider myself knowledgeable but not expert.

    A mini-introduction: there are three levels of security: commercial, non-commercial, and government. “the industry” is commercial. “US military” is government. The best non-commercial easily defeats the best commercial (often within seconds or minutes.) CRU clearly has lower-than-commercial security practices.

    who said that this was a “good” hack? Whoever was responsible bungled their attempt to break into RealClimate.

    I remain unconvinced there was any real breakin attempt. Non-experts easily see scary attacks in ordinary events or breakdowns. And yes, if there was an attack on RC, the fact that it was bungled is ample evidence it was not done by a pro.

    Oh, in answer to the conundrum about rarity of hack vs simplicity:
    a) Leaks are far more common than hacks. This alone makes release-by-hack relatively rare.
    b) For a determined opponent, non-hack attacks are usually simpler and cheaper than hacking. Why bother with hacking when you can just walk into the building? Again, this makes hacking the more uncommon method.
    c) Simplicity of hacking: let’s just say that with the right tools it is scary-easy. I used to have a fifteen-second demo I did for executives to put the fear of God into them, so to speak. You get me a cup of coffee, I get all your passwords. :-D

  78. #79 dhogaza
    January 3, 2010

    I remain unconvinced there was any real breakin attempt.

    On the other hand, the admins and the police – who actually have had the opportunity to work with the server – are convinced.

    Anon self-proclaimed internet expert MrPete, or those who have been able to actually read access logs and the like, who to believe?

    The level of grasping at straws by the denialsphere in an attempt to legitimatize the publishing of stolen e-mails is thoroughly disgusting.

  79. #80 luminous beauty
    January 3, 2010

    MrPete might be right. Someone may have filched access codes by walking into somebody’s office and copying them from an open computer.

    It’s still a criminal act, though.

  80. #81 MrPete
    January 3, 2010

    the police…are convinced.

    I’ve not been paying a lot of attention. Has this been reported somewhere?

    In the absence of further info, my own guess about most-likely-source has been someone closely related to one of the players, not necessarily an employee.

    My example about grabbing access codes was an example of breaking in, and yes that would presumably be criminal. Remember, my opinion is that a breakin or hack is a much less-likely scenario. I’m open to whatever is discovered. We’re all curious about that, of course.

    (LB, I’m not anonymous like you. I just like to use the MrPete handle. You can easily find me as Pete Holzmann. Or, if you’ve been around long enough to recognize this: {hpda,pyramid}!octopus!pete :-D …)

  81. #82 Gaz
    January 4, 2010

    I’ve not been paying a lot of attention.

    *Sigh.*

  82. #83 Martin Vermeer
    January 4, 2010

    LB, that would have to have been a root account then to the back-up mail server. Because that’s how the entire mail database, in mbox format, got lifted.

  83. #84 MrPete
    January 4, 2010

    Gaz, why “sigh”???

    I’ve now searched for any confirmation or even rumor that the police believe it to be a hack, as dhogaza claims. In fact, I’ve searched for any statement from the police at all. Obviously, the web is a big place, but I’ve found nothing. If dhogaza, you or anyone have any links providing an update from investigative authorities, I’m quite interested.

    The most interesting new thing I found is evidence that (some of?) the material may have come from one of Tim Osborn’s computers, perhaps his home computer: http://ijish.livejournal.com/692.html

    Nothing conclusive, of course. The obvious question for an investigator: who has access to Tim’s computers.

    All in all, a gut-wrenching situation.

  84. #85 dhogaza
    January 4, 2010

    I’ve now searched for any confirmation or even rumor that the police believe it to be a hack, as dhogaza claims. In fact, I’ve searched for any statement from the police at all. Obviously, the web is a big place, but I’ve found nothing. If dhogaza, you or anyone have any links providing an update from investigative authorities, I’m quite interested.

    The University made a public statement that the break in was being investigated by the police. I wouldn’t surprise me if the police themselves have issued no PR about it.

  85. #86 MrPete
    January 4, 2010

    Martin,
    A variety of PC email software packages understand mbox format, including the Eudora software that CRU staff use on their Windows computers.

    No roots, servers or sysadmin experts need have been involved for mboxes to be part of the picture.

  86. #87 TrueSceptic
    January 4, 2010

    480 Luminous,

    Why do the email files all have an identical creation date of 1 Jan 2009? Why does the zip show a timezone outside the UK?

  87. #88 TrueSceptic
    January 4, 2010

    480 Luminous,

    A number of email accounts were accessed. What sort of “open computer” would this be?

  88. #89 TrueSceptic
    January 4, 2010

    486 MrPete,

    That doesn’t make sense. You need access to the accounts that own those files, whatever the format or email client.

  89. #90 dhogaza
    January 4, 2010

    Don’t feed MrPete, the whole exercise is meant to counter criticism that it Is Not Nice To Read Stolen E-mail. They cast doubt on its being stolen in an effort to whitewash the actions of The Mob who are using them to try to get people like Jones and Mann fired.

  90. #91 MrPete
    January 4, 2010

    I honestly am not interested in any particular outcome of the investigation. Just sharing from my experience with other examples of confidential information releases.

    One of the things that often surprises people is how “impossible” bits of evidence eventually turn out to be not so impossible.

    Obviously, this certainly COULD be a hack attack. Doesn’t negate anything I’ve suggested.

    [I could give you plausible ways that the various bits of curious dates/etc happened, but it is not worth speculating. Unless/until someone is found/confesses, we can't really know for sure.]

    Yes, it’s Not Nice To Read Stolen E-mail. It’s also Not Nice To Game The System, etc. Lots of “Not Nice” stuff has been revealed through all of this.

    A lot of disinfectant is needed to clean up this mess. Probably way more than what it took to clean up the gross mess I found downstairs on New Year’s eve… dead mice clogging up our plumbing. Yechhhh.

    Frankly, it’s of little concern to me what happens to Jones and Mann. I’m far more concerned about what has been destroyed in recent years (not just in climate science) w/ respect to the integrity of science, and the politicization of science. What is quickly coming to a head has been developing for a long time. Scientists are finally waking up. THAT has nothing directly to do with Jones and Mann.

  91. #92 JBM
    January 10, 2010

    When a crime is exposed I have a hard time punishing those that expose it. Let’s take care of these Bernie Madoffs of the energy scare first. Billions of dollars are changing hands.

  92. #93 dhogaza
    January 10, 2010

    Doing science is now a crime in some people’s eyes.

    What a world we live in …

  93. #94 Bernard J.
    January 10, 2010

    Bernie Madoffs of the energy scare…

    Nincompoop.

    Attempting to protect the planet from pollution is not going to affect the real approaching “energy scare” that is Peak Oil/Coal.

    If anything, careful husbanding of finite fossil resources is also the best mitigation of the coming “energy scare” – but of course, acknowledging this and acting upon it would be counter to the fundamental tenets of the laissez faire ideology upon which starry-eyed nonsense comments such as JBM’s are made.

    Truly, JBM would make Tim Curtin proud.

    On a different matter, it seems that I am finally about to lose my borrowed computer. So many moles to whack, and no Interweb umbilicus to whack them through…

  94. #95 William Wallace
    January 29, 2010

    LOL, they broke the law, and thanks to a tantamount 6 month statue of limitations, they won’t be prosecuted. So climate researchers in the U.K., feel free to break the law…if you can hide it for 6 or more months.

    Sha naw naw naw, naw naw naw naw, hey hey hey, good bye (phil jones).

    This can’t be good for his career.

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