Monday, November 30, 2009

Criminal Indictments for the Climate-Gate Scientists? Hopefully Them and Others, Like Al Gore (UPDATE: HotAir)

 (Libertarian Republican h/t-import)


On the eve of the Copenhagen Summit criminal indictments may be handed down by British officials against those scientists and researchers who purposely hid data and deceived authorities. Lord Monckton, Viscount of Brechley, tells interviewer James Corbett that he and his colleagues have just formally requested that such charges be filed.


Corbett: "Bombshell after Bombshell continues to emerge from the leaked documents behind the academic Berlin Wall at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the Univ. of East Anglia. The latest developments, the Vicount of Brenchly and Professor Fred Singer have filed a joint request with the UK Information Minister to investigate the possibly criminal wrongdoings of the Scientists involved in this scandal..."

Lord Monckton: We have a Freedom of Information Act in the UK, paid for by taxpayer's money, that requires that such information be made available to any legitimate inquirer, Steve McIntyre of Canada... Prof. Jones at the Univ. of East Anglia put out an email to his colleagues after the request was received, saying we do not want to answer this material so therefore please, will you destroy all your emails on how we worked together on the UN's 4th Assessment Report... He said destroy the data. That is a criminal offense. We have reported Prof. Jones, and the University and the Freedom of Information officer there and the Research Unit to the Information Commissioner, and we have asked him to investigate and prosecute those responsible...
Lord Monckton was educated at Cambridge. He is a former Advisor to Margaret Thatcher. He is a member of the Conservative Party, and holds numerous distinguished titles, in the UK and abroad.

Climategate: University of East Anglia U-turn in climate change row
Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data - dubbed Climategate - have agreed to publish their figures in full.

The U-turn by the university follows a week of controversy after the emergence of hundreds of leaked emails, "stolen" by hackers and published online, triggered claims that the academics had massaged statistics.

In a statement welcomed by climate change sceptics, the university said it would make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements. ...(more)...

The University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit — already in a deep scandal over the e-mails released by either a hacker or a whistleblower that shows highly unscientific behavior behind the scenes — now admits they threw out the raw data on which much of their theories on anthropogenic global warming are based (via Fausta):
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.
The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.
So now the only data that other scientists can check are those that have been, er, adjusted by UEA-CRU.  Were those “adjustments” proper?  Did they have a scientific basis for making those adjustments?  Were there any gaps in the data?


Now, though, even some AGW scientists say that the scientists involved in the UEA-CRU scandal have to go.  One of the contributors to the UN IPCC effort, Dr. Eduardo Zorita, says that several of the people involved in the IPCC should be banned, the result of their credibility deficit.  Climate Depot has Zorita’s statement:
CRU files: Why I think that Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Stefan Rahmstorf should be barred from the IPCC process.
Short answer: because the scientific assessments in which they may take part are not credible anymore.
A longer answer: My voice is not very important. I belong to the climate-research infantry, publishing a few papers per year, reviewing a few manuscript per year and participating in a few research projects. I do not form part of important committees, nor I pursue a public awareness of my activities. My very minor task in the public arena was to participate as a contributing author in the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC.
By writing these lines I will just probably achieve that a few of my future studies will, again, not see the light of publication. My area of research happens to be the climate of the past millennia, where I think I am appreciated by other climate-research ’soldiers’. And it happens that some of my mail exchange with Keith Briffa and Timothy Osborn can be found in the CRU-files made public recently on the internet.
To the question of legality or ethicalness of reading those files I will write a couple of words later. I may confirm what has been written in other places: research in some areas of climate science has been and is full of machination, conspiracies, and collusion, as any reader can interpret from the CRU-files. They depict a realistic, I would say even harmless, picture of what the real research in the area of the climate of the past millennium has been in the last years. The scientific debate has been in many instances hijacked to advance other agendas.
These words do not mean that I think anthropogenic climate change is a hoax. On the contrary, it is a question which we have to be very well aware of. But I am also aware that in this thick atmosphere -and I am not speaking of greenhouse gases now- editors, reviewers and authors of alternative studies, analysis, interpretations, even based on the same data we have at our disposal, have been bullied and subtly blackmailed. In this atmosphere, Ph D students are often tempted to tweak their data so as to fit the ‘politically correct picture’. Some, or many issues, about climate change are still not well known. Policy makers should be aware of the attempts to hide these uncertainties under a unified picture. I had the ‘pleasure’ to experience all this in my area of research.
I thank explicitly Keith Briffa and Tim Osborn for their work in the formulation of one Chapter of the IPCC report. As it distills from these emails, they withstood the evident pressure of other IPCC authors, not experts in this area of research, to convey a distorted picture of our knowledge of the hockey-stick graph.
Is legal or ethical to read the CRU files? I am not a lawyer. It seems that if the files had been hacked this would constitute an illegal act. If they have been leaked it could be a whistle blower action protected by law. I think it is not unethical to read them. Once published, I feel myself entitled to read how some researchers tried to influence reviewers to scupper the publication of our work on the ‘hockey stick graph’ or to read how some IPCC authors tried to exclude this work from the IPCC Report on very dubious reasons. Also, these mails do not contain any personal information at all. They are an account of many dull daily activities of typical climatologists, together with a realistic account of very troubling professional behavior.
Zorita’s point is well taken.  The bullying atmosphere in Academia on AGW has ruined the credibility of the effort — and not just at the University of East Anglia.  Any PhD student in the field would have known on which side the bread would be buttered, and would be unlikely to commit career suicide by producing contradictory data.  The actions of the IPCC authors created an atmosphere of groupthink, paranoia, and toadyism, not science or truth.  Any results coming from this arena have to be entirely suspect.