The UVA Emails and Confirmation Bias: Seek and Ye Shall Find

You have to hand it to the American Tradition Institute. Unlike Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, they’ve found a way to get the University of Virginia to release at least some emails and other documents from climate researcher Michael Mann’s time working there–by using freedom of information requests for “public” documents. (News here, scathing Washington Post editorial here.)

The University of Virginia is complying, although its president says they will take advantage of every exemption allowed by the law. Still, though, it sounds as though a lot of documents are going to be released. So what will happen next?

For an answer, we can look to an important new book, Michael Shermer’s The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies, How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. In it, Shermer discusses the phenomenon of confirmation bias, invoking the biblical line “seek and ye shall find” to describe this pervasive cognitive flaw. 

The American Tradition Institute–and indeed, conservative climate skeptics across the board–have gone seeking scandal among the ranks of climate scientists. That’s what Ken Cuccinelli did. That’s what happened in “ClimateGate.” That has been the strategy for some time.

So does anyone think that that, whatever these documents say, they are not going to be treated as a scandal by those who went searching for them?

Confirmation bias tells us what will happen. Those who went seeking went in with a theory–that wrongdoing has been done. They all believe “ClimateGate,” shown by multiple investigations to be a fake scandal, was actually a real one. So that is their premise.

They will therefore read whatever emails they receive and find wrongdoing in them. They will find politics. They will find closed-mindedness and bias. And who knows what else they will find–but it will all be made to look bad.

Will any of the charges be valid? I don’t know, although I seriously doubt it. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that things will be taken out of context and used selectively. That’s what happened in “ClimateGate” and that’s what will happen again.

Conservatives, in short, are targeting Mann and expecting to find another ClimateGate scandal. And I am watching conservatives and also predicting that they will find another ClimateGate “scandal.” There’s only the slightest difference between our views: The quotation marks.

Which one of us do you think is going to be right? 


Peer-Research By Atmospheric Physicists Confirm That Modern Climate Fluctuations Are Normal

And on that bigot blog (see the “Climate alarmists” spiel they need to produce for the cultists) a link to another blog: co2science.

Then on that blog, nothing about the paper, just an editorial.

From the paper itself:
(Submitted on 16 Apr 2011)

So it’s submitted but not accepted.

Not yet peer reviewed.

Unlike as attested by James who took it as gospel from c3headlines who took it as gospel from co2science who didn’t read the dates.

Hardly a great display of skepticism, is it.

Now read the abstract from the paper:

“There is argument as to the extent to which there has been an increase over the past few decades in the frequency of the extremes of climatic parameters, such as temperature, storminess, precipitation, etc, an obvious point being that Global Warming might be responsible.”

The frequency of extremes in fluctuations of temperature. Not temperature. How often they are extreme.

Second fail by this gullible reporting, isn’t it.

Now, lets look at other papers on the subject:

Trends in Extreme Weather and Climate Events: Issues Related to Modeling Extremes in Projections of Future Climate Change*
Gerald A. Meehl,+ Francis Zwiers,# Jenni Evans,@ Thomas Knutson,& Linda Mearns,+ and Peter Whetton**

Summary: trends have been recorded.
Trends severely up.

J. Ind. Geophys. Union ( July 2005 ) Vol.9, No.3, pp.173-187
Extreme Weather Events over India in the last 100 years
U.S.De, R.K.Dube1 and G.S.Prakasa Rao2

trends: up

But as to actual observation, extreme events are newsworthy:

Seems like the actual reports are that extreme events are up too.

So why is one paper right when so many more are wrong?

Because you’d prefer the conclusion of “there’s no problem”?

Also from the paper

Research highlights

► We studied the possible rise of the frequency of extremes in some climatic parameters. ► We analysed Global surface temperature, Cloud Cover and MODIS Liquid cloud fraction. ► In no case fluctuations of these parameters increased with time.

Funny how you mention CO2 science. I didnt even know that was where the paper was initially reported.

But according to Al Gore the science is settled. How does this paper square with that lame assertion? Only non-scientists ever claim that science is settled. Science by its nature is never settled thus Einstein oveturning Newton after 200 years.

Why the mention of the gospel? I thought that we were talking about science not religion.

“Funny how you mention CO2 science.”

Funny how he missed that the link he gave pointed to CO2Science as the source of the paper, and that site just says what they perceive the paper to be.

This isn’t what has been sent to the journal, let alone the commentary that has been peer reviewed, so why didn’t he click the link to read the actual paper?

Because he’s gullible.

As to “the science is settled” where did Al Gore say that? Monckton has said it:

…And I’m going to show you the latest science, which now doesn’t leave the question unsettled anymore this is now settled science, it is now settled science that there is not a problem with our influence over Climate. The science is in, the truth is out and the scare is over.

– Christopher Monckton. 10/14/9 Minnesota Free Market Institute presentation Hmmm.

Google Docs allows you to find this paper for a “quick view”. I took a quick read of it. Under no circumstances does this paper refute AGW. Quite the opposite, the paper fully accepts it.

“Although the IPCC Report gives a probability of less than 10%
that Global Warming is due to causes other than anthropogenic
gases (AG) our inspection of the details shows that the probability
is nearer 2–3%.”

The point of the paper (as I understand it) is to see how often certain parameters, such as cloud cover and temperature, fluctuate from year to year. Is AGW causing more and more heat waves, fewer cold waves? That’s the kind of question they addressed.

I believe the current theory is that extremes will become, actually, LESS frequent, but more severe when they happen. I may be wrong on that one.

I am curious if this paper will be refuted, however. The current temperature records hitting the books are about 3:1 favoring “hottest on record” vs “coldest on record”, as I recall.

But good work there, James, on finding another unbased denial.

I have another one for you.

Consensus of Idiots: “Global Warming Will Cause Cascade Mtns. Snowpack To Decline” - Wrong, Twice

And not only were the Democrats, progressives and green radicals wrong about the snow, they were wrong about the temperatures. Since 1990, the Cascade Mtn. area has not been warming, but instead slightly cooling, despite all the human CO2 injected into the atmosphere since the 1950’s. Oooppsss!

“The residual time series of Cascade snowpack after Pacific variability is removed displays a relatively steady loss rate of 2.0 percent per decade, yielding a loss of 16 percent from 1930-2007. This loss is very nearly statistically significant, and includes the possible impacts of anthropogenic global warming.”

The snowpack has, indeed, declined. A very minor rebound in the last two decades doesn’t change that fact. But cherry-picking the time frame is typical of the denial movement.

genealogymaster is a climate zombie. Somebody with the identical name has been spouting his crap over at the WAPO.
Warning: Avoid cats and coffee before reading the zombies’ comments.

You don’t get it do you. If you are on the public dime you can’t shield your work from public scrutiny. Show your data and code and back up your huff and puff. You spout a lot of bile show me the data or are you afraid something really is in Dr. Mann’s emails that you don’t want to see? We know the hockey stick is debunked so get a life please.

Their private emails aren’t their work. The research papers are their work.

Just because you sweep the floors that I paid for doesn’t mean I get to look at your phone records.

“Show your data and code and back up your huff and puff.”





No, of course you won’t because you have nothing to say nothing to add and nothing to do except hate.

Dear Deniers

I am just a layman, but have spent a minimum of 4,500 hours studying climate change and it’s supposed debate. I have probably read 6,000 articles minimum.
I have yet to hear of a well known skeptic scientist who is not funded directly or indirectly by industrial interests. I don’t think I have ever seen a skeptic claim that was not based at least in part on cherry picking.
* I have seen maybe a hundred examples of clear faking of graphs. (Spend some time at Tamino’s or Real Climate and see for yourself. )
* complete misrepresentation of legitimate scientists’ work,
*misquoting and twisting the meaning of their work
*quote mining partial quotes, taken out of context to imply something that was never said or intended.
*citing published work that completely contradicts the points being made by the “skeptic”,
*lies, innuendos, conspiracy theories,
*repitition by people that should know better, of arguments that were debunked a decade or more ago,
*encouragement of urban legend type denier arguments, by people who know damn well they are bogus, (John Christy did exactly that about a week ago in front of Congress as a congressional witness, perpetuating the absurd -“scientists were predicting an ice age in back in the 1970s” rubbish)
*phony lists of skeptic scientists ( I guess about a half dozen such lists so far),
* Failure to acknowledge the 9 or 10 independent lines of evidence for AGW.
*Criticizing the IPCC, or climate scientists in general, when predictions they never made don’t immediately materialize.
* Gish gallop spewing of a littany of skeptic arguments, none of which are true, in an attempt to distract and derail honest discussions.
*Trolling blogs (see above)
*FOX News featuring paid fossil fuel lobbyists who have no science background as climate experts.
*GOP Senators and Congressmen preferring science fiction writer Crichton and complete amateur charlatan, Monckton, as “expert” witnesses on climate change, rather than listening to the National Academy of Science, NOAA, EPA, NASA, NRC etc.

And you think this is all a search for scientific truth?? Are you on drugs??

Great! with all that “might” and “Right” on your side, then why all the fuss about a few more emails?

What you ignore is the fact that the CRU at the UoEA was found not to have treated legitimate FoI requests properly and that the UK Information Commissioner stated that an offence had been committed but due to the law being badly written, in the UK you can ignore a FoI request for more than 6 months then the statute expires and the “problem goes away! Crazy but true.

Nor surprising then that repeated requests had to be made.

“The ICO said today that the hacked emails show that requests for documents made under FoI laws in 2007-08 were not handled properly. The emails make clear that Philip Jones, the unit’s head, repeatedly tried to frustrate the FoI process, including advising colleagues to destroy data.
In a statement, the ICO says: “The FoI Act makes it an offence for public authorities to act so as to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information.
“But the legislation requires action within six months of the offence taking place, so by the time the action taken came to light the opportunity to consider a prosecution was long gone.” It says that it will seek a change in the law to address this point.”

You also gloss over the Statisticians summation that the statistics used to bolster the alarmist viewpoint is and has been substandard.

You are fighting your particular corner with nothing more than character assassination. Stop taking requests for information, data and code as personal affronts to your dignity and standing and look at them as other scientists do - as simply part of the scientific process.

It is that lack of normal scientific process in Climatescience that has got it into the mess it is now in.

A mess that unless there is openness and honesty it will never recover from.

It’s easy to make fun of idiots, especially ones pretending to be intelligent, so here goes:

FOI_09- 97

‘I hereby make a EIR/FOI request in respect to any confidentiality agreements)restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involing [sic] the following countries: [insert 5 or so countries that are different from ones already requested1] {sic}

1. the date of any applicable confidentiality agreements;

2. the parties to such confidentiality agreement, including the full name of any organization;

3. a copy of the section of the confidentiality agreement that “prevents further transmission to non-academics”.

4.a copy of the entire confidentiality agreement,

Dunning-Kruger Effect anyone?

talk about pot calling kettle black. LOL!

If anything applies to the statistics used in Climate science it is the Dunning-Kruger effect!

“Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

1.tend to overestimate their own level of skill; to recognize genuine skill in others; to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
4.recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.”

Currently Climatescience has the chance of 4) but the “if” is a big one it seems.

The data was already available from the owners of the data.
The requests were stated to be from researchers who wanted the data when none of them have actually done any research off them.
The requests were split up and orchestrated to overwhelm the CRU (deliberately).
The requests were not from people who paid for the work (UK taxpayers and residents).

The quote you give is from The Times. Pity you don’t have the link to the ICO, since there should be such available.

Maybe you or the times have made stuff up, hmm?

God you must be DESPERATE to see your version of the truth as the one and only! To accuse me and the Times of making stuff up! How silly can anyone be?

Read it and weep

“We regret that the ICO made a statement to the press that went beyond that which it could substantiate and that it took over a month for the ICO properly to put the record straight. We recommend that the ICO develop procedures to ensure that its public comments are checked and that mechanisms exist to swiftly correct any mis-statements or misinterpretations of such statements.”

Statistics: “Although inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used by some other groups, presumably by accident rather than design, in the CRU papers that we examined we did not come across any inappropriate usage although the methods they used may not have been the best for the purpose. It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results. The published work also contains many cautions about the limitations of the data and their interpretation.”

Most importantly: ‘ “Even if the data that CRU used were not publicly available—which they mostly are—or the methods not published—which they have been—its published results would still be credible,” the report indicates. “The results from CRU agree with those drawn from other international data sets; in other words, the analyses have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified.”’

Amazing that given the wealth of information at the link you cite that clearly shows the TRUE situation - you cherry pick just one section that quoted out of context enables the Alarmists to spin the facts their way:-

The reality is VERY different!


“91. The ICO’s most recent letter, dated 3 March, in UEA’s view, “makes plain that there is no assumption by the ICO, prior to investigation, that UEA has breached the Act; and that no investigation has yet been completed.”[128] The ICO’s letter confirmed that the “ICO is not pursuing any investigation under section 77 of the Act. That matter is closed as far as the ICO is concerned, given the statutory time limits for action”. It added that:

The ICO acknowledges your concern about the statement made and the subsequent media and blog reports. Given that the Deputy Commissioner has already been publicly associated with the matter, any Decision Notice will be reviewed and signed off by another authorised signatory.[129]

We regret that the ICO made a statement to the press that went beyond that which it could substantiate and that it took over a month for the ICO properly to put the record straight. We recommend that the ICO develop procedures to ensure that its public comments are checked and that mechanisms exist to swiftly correct any mis-statements or misinterpretations of such statements.

92. The disclosed e-mails appear to show a culture of non-disclosure at CRU and instances where information (disclosable or otherwise) may have been deleted, to avoid disclosure. The Deputy Information Commissioner’s letter of 29 January gives a clear indication that a breach of the FOIA may have occurred but that a prosecution was time-barred.[130] As, however, UEA pointed out, no investigation has been carried out.

93. It seems to us that both sides have a point. There is prima facie evidence that CRU has breached the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It would, however, be premature, without a thorough investigation affording each party the opportunity to make representations, to conclude that UEA was in breach of the Act. In our view, it is unsatisfactory to leave the matter unresolved simply because of the operation of the six-month time limit on the initiation of prosecutions. Much of the reputation of CRU hangs on the issue. We conclude that the matter needs to be resolved conclusively—either by the Independent Climate Change Email Review or by the Information Commissioner.

94. On the question of the six-month time limit on the initiation of prosecutions, Mr Thomas pressed for a revision of the law. He pointed out that apart from in the most blatant cases “it will usually be impossible for the ICO to detect an offence within 6 months of its occurrence” and thus to be able to initiate a prosecution.[131] He drew attention to a recent debate in the House of Lords on a proposal to amend the time limit. In reply, in the debate the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice said that:


And so on and so on.

And then when you actually READ the emails!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whereas Solitha linked to the place where the ICO said it.

So who do we take as correct? The uncited troll or the link to the actual source?

Well, for a denier, the decision is obvious! Whichever one casts aspersions on scientists, ‘cos then you can say that this proves CO2 doesn’t act the way it does. Somehow.

So a cherry pick out of over 100 statements is if it’s less than 4%, is it doug?

You see, those numbers there? They’re sequential and I would suspect that they start from 1. That means you’ve left out AT LEAST 90 statements.

I wonder why…

“There is prima facie evidence that CRU has breached the Freedom of Information Act 2000. ”

False. There are reasons to refuse a FOIA request. E.g. if the data is already given, it’s vexatious, it’s someone else’s data (you don’t want them committing crimes, do you?) or the data is available elsewhere.

The ICO gave a statement that the officer making that statement overstepped their bounds.

He, like you, didn’t like the science.

he found evidence that their was a atmosphere and attitude of deception and said so. What came after that was a desperate desire to smear what he said.

The reality is seen in the email wording.

The reality is seen in the obstruction by Mann in the release of other email data and files.

Open data is the true science.

Science is not advocacy, it is being sceptical and open until no other conclusion is possible.

What you don’t like is anyone challenging your belief system because so far Climatescience is all assumption and advocacy.

Well…………. - you need to get used to it happening because with the latest revelations re Climatescience (PLEASE do not confuse this with REAL science!) about to spill in the US, you are going to be busy!

So when someone says I do not like their version of “science” - what they are really saying is I do not like the cynical manipulation demonstrated by some who call themselves scientists.

All we have to do is wait.

So far Climatescience is doing a wonderful job at shooting itself in the foot by repeating the wrong moves and actions all the time.

How can this be known?

Because the investigation found no evidence. If there had been any available, he could have presented it.

It shows nothing that changes the science nor the findings.

But you are desperate for something to show that your blind faith in denialism is not in fact faith.

Therefore you continue with irrelevancies.

“Science is not advocacy, it is being sceptical and open until no other conclusion is possible.”

Yes it is. And that is what climate science is doing.

What the denialist science is doing is hiding, lying and plain flat out nutcase conspiracy hidden with “We’re a private company!!!”. And therefore NOT SCIENCE.

“So when someone says I do not like their version of “science” - what they are really saying is I do not like the cynical manipulation demonstrated by some who call themselves scientists.”

Like Wegman, Ball, Plimer, McIntyre and Watts. They’re cynically manipulating the science to increase their personal wealth.

“by repeating the wrong moves and actions all the time”

Yup, denialists keep shooting that foot with both barrels whilst they put their foot in their mouth.

As can be seen by, for example, Simon’s lies about Bill’s opinion piece or Grists’ statements and your flailing attempt to produce controversy that doesn’t exist and wouldn’t invalidate the science.

Science is done by replicating someone else’s work, not by looking through their emails.

It’s just that there’s no science on the side of the denier, so they go with whatever they can get hold of. Even if it’s scotch mist.

“Science is done by replicating someone else’s work, not by looking through their emails.”

Agreed. What the emails demonstrated tho’ was that “REAL” science was not what was going on at the CRU.

And sharing and allowing others to get hold of Data and Code is what those emails demonstrated Jones Mann et al were keen NOT to allow.

If Climatescience was open and honest as you and I obviously agree that true science should be - then Climatescience would not be in the awful mess it is today.

The boil of obfuscation and obstruction needs to be lanced within Climatescience. It will and is, being painful.

The original article smacks of the author getting prepared for bad news.

…have been available on-line for years.

Anyone with programming skills can verify the CRU’s global-temperature calculations using freely available raw temperature data and free, open-source software development tools. A number of independent individuals have done exactly that, and have published their results on the web for all to see (google up “clear climate code” for an example).

There is no magic involved in computing global-average temperature estimates from temperature station data – it’s straighforward math/programming that on-the-ball college freshmen students could do, with or without access to the CRU’s data and code.

The fact that global-warming deniers haven’t been able to figure out how to do that for themselves says a lot more about denier competence (or the lack thereof) than it does about the CRU’s supposed lack of openness.

Then why the wording used in the emails and why the obfuscation?

Why not publish when asked?

But again and again - you miss the point. The reason why the specifics were requested was to replicate the work. Something you already agree is “Science”.

The quotes from Jones et al re deleting data, manipulating the peer review process as well as circumventing legitimate requests leaves Climatescience with a whole heap of problems and difficult explanations.

Which leads many of us to question if Climatescience is Science by the standards that we work to.

The latest foot shooting episode concerning Mann is yet another disastrous own goal.

Asking for those emails from Mann’s previous uni is not “Science” - but it is a necessary and required action to lance that boil.

And as I say - it seems to me that those close to the situation are a) distancing themselves and b) pre-empting possible yet more bad news for Climatescience.

Your faith and support for what you believe is admirable. In some ways I genuinely hope your faith is justified. But we have to have the answers. The evidence of manipulation and obfuscation (which is STILL going on and seems like “situation normal” for climatescience) is such that unless we have a totally open honesty - climatescience will not recover and end up being dismissed as a fad, a con, a “dead parrot” that if the believers had not nailed it to the perch it would be a rotting corpse on the floor of reality.

Climatescience has a chance to recover - but as I say - from where I stand - it keeps making the wrong moves.

‘Why not publish when asked?’

FOI was never intended for information that was available through peer-reviewed journals and data sequestered at sites open to use by other true scientists. That is how information is disseminated through the scientific community.

It should be remembered that McIntyre was FOI requesting stuff that he already had, and sat on instead of using it to check himself.

Now it turns out that McIntyre was making a f****** nuisance of himself bombarding scientists with FOI after FOI - he was on a fishing expedition and wasting peoples time. After all if you can keep scientists from their real work then the resulting delay in stronger supporting evidence for AGW (as if there isn’t more than enough for those intelligent enough to appreciate it and not so ideologically bent as to turn the conclusions upside down) is valuable to McIntyre’s sponsors.

‘But again and again - you miss the point. The reason why the specifics were requested was to replicate the work.’

No! No! No! You miss all the points.

Start here:

wherein you can link to here:

And much more on McIntyre (watch out for Wegman references and follow links - it is best that you don’t remain an ignoramus on this issue) found through here:

and watch out for this one in particular:

<—extract, but without images—>

Inhofe, Horner, McIntyre and Watts fabricate another phony “despicable smear” against Michael Mann

By Joe Romm on Mar 9, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Let’s see if any of the serial disinformers have the minimal human decency to put up a full retraction of their falsehoods [so far the answer is no]. I have Mann’s response at the end.

Last month we saw the umpteenth exhaustive investigation of the stolen emails that ended up vindicating the science and the scientists, this time by NOAA’s IG. “Inspector General’s Review of Stolen Emails Confirms No Evidence of Wrong-Doing by NOAA Climate Scientists,” as NOAA’s release put it.

A bunch of widely discredited pro-pollution scientist-smearers — Anthony “shout them down” Watts, Chris Horner, Marc Morano, Steve McIntyre — have spun a partially leaked transcript from the IG investigation into a bunch of libelous falsehoods. Sen. Inhofe has now reposted those stories on the Senate EPW website (here). The most plausible theory is that Inhofe himself leaked the information to right-wing fabricators so he could quote those stories (see below).

Sadly, no matter how many times Dr. Michael Mann has been vindicated, there will always be those who think libelous smears against one of the country’s leading climate scientists is their best strategy. Such people deserve to be widely condemned — especially since their lies are primarily aimed at undermining efforts to preserve the health and well-being of billions of human beings.

UPDATE: The disinformers almost made me forget that the whole point of their smears is to distract attention from the science, specifically the increasingly strong scientific vindication of Mann’s original Hockey Stick analysis. Multiple independent analyses reveal that recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause. The rate of human-driven warming in the last century has exceeded the rate of the underlying natural trend by more than a factor of 10, possibly much more. And warming this century on our current path of unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions is projected to cause a rate of warming that is another factor of 5 or more greater than that of the last century. As WAG notes, within a few decades, nobody is going to be talking about hockey sticks, they will be talking about right angles (or hockey skates, see figure above) “” when they are done cursing our greed and myopia and gullibility in the face of polluter-funded disinformation, that is.

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” “” Mark Twain

That’s how Prof. Scott Mandia begins his post, “Lie by Usual Suspects Traveling Around the World – Demand Retraction,” which I will excerpt below.

Michael Mann NEVER deleted any emails nor did he ever ask anybody to delete emails.

The well-known truth:

It is has been known for more than a year that Phil Jones sent Dr. Mann an email asking him to ask Dr. Eugene Wahl to delete emails, and that Dr. Mann did no such thing. Dr. Mann forwarded Jones’ email directly to Dr. Wahl without comment, believing Wahl had the right to see that email.

Mann did not ask Wahl to delete emails, a fact that has been confirmed by both Mann (many times, including an email below) — and now by Dr. Wahl himself, in this official reply:

The Daily Caller blog yesterday contained an inaccurate story regarding a correspondence that was part of the emails hacked from East Anglia University Climate Research Unit (CRU) in November 2009.

For the record, while I received the email from CRU as forwarded by Dr. Mann, the forwarded message came without any additional comment from Dr. Mann; there was no request from him to delete emails. At the time of the email in May 2008, I was employed by Alfred University, New York. I became a NOAA employee in August 2008.

The emails I deleted while a university employee are the correspondence I had with Dr. Briffa of CRU regarding the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, all of which have been in the public domain since the CRU hack in November 2009. This correspondence has been extensively examined and no misconduct found. As a NOAA employee, I follow agency record retention policies and associated guidance from information technology staff.

Dr. Eugene R. Wahl

March 9, 2011

Mandia runs through the false statements, insinuations, and smears (you can go to his website for all the links if you really want to subject yourself to the original, defamatory posts):

Anthony Watts has this post written by Steven Mosher highlighted on his blog:

“Sources confirm that a federal inspector has questioned Eugene Wahl and Wahl has confirmed that Mann asked him to delete emails. Wahl has also informed the inspector that he did delete emails as the result of this request.”

Flat-out untrue and Mosher has shown no evidence to support that claim. Mosher, in that same blog post, shows the excerpt from the Penn State investigation that was also featured by Chris Horner. That excerpt reveals that Dr. Mann said he did not delete emails. So, Steven Mosher, which is it? Are you lying or can you not read your own writing?

Watts actually put a note atop this Tuesday post, “Note: this will be a ‘top post’ for a day or two.” This is precisely his idea of a ‘top’ post.

Anthony Watts has perhaps more than any other leading anti-science blogger, viciously smeared scientists and urged his readers to do the same (see Watts urges WattsUpWithThat readers to disrupt Forbes blog: “shout them down in the comments section”).

Chris Horner writes: ”Wahl says Mann did indeed ask Wahl to destroy records, and Wahl did.”

Flat-out untrue and Horner has shown no evidence to support that claim. In fact, Chris Horner himself in an earlier article states that Dr. Mann said he did not delete emails. So, Chris Horner, which is it? Are you lying or can you not read your own writing?

Chris Horner, in addition to writing for The Daily Caller, is an attorney who has represented the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). CEI is no friend of the truth but has been very friendly with ExxonMobil and Koch Industries among others.

This is nothing new for Horner, who has also falsely “accused NASA’s chief climate scientist, James Hansen, of “doctor[ing] temperature data on two occasions in 2001 and once in 2007 in attempts to show an impending climate catastrophe.”

On ClimateAudit, McIntyre published the leaked partial transcript and writes: “From Capitol Hill come excerpted notes from the interview transcript between the NOAA Inspector General and Eugene Wahl.”

Horner writes here of the leaked transcript, “This has been confirmed to Senate offices.”

So it would appear that the source is a Senator. And what a shock that Sen. Inhofe was the fastest to repost these lies. And what a shock that one of his former staffers was one of the fastest to repost these lies — though, in fairness to Marc “Swift Boat smearer” Morano, I’m quite certain he would have reposted these lies no matter what the source (see Even now, ClimateDepot’s Marc Morano reiterates his call for a “hostile reaction” to climate scientists).

Let me give the final word to one of the country’s leading climate scientists, Michael Mann:

The claim by fossil fuel industry lobbyist Chris Horner in his “Daily Caller” piece that I told Eugene Wahl to delete emails is a fabrication–a lie, and a libelous allegation. My only involvement in the episode in question is that I forwarded Wahl an email that Phil Jones had sent me, which I felt Wahl needed to see. There was no accompanying commentary by me or additional correspondence from me regarding the matter, nor did I speak to Wahl about the matter. This is, in short, a despicable smear that, more than anything else, speaks to the depths of dishonesty of professional climate change deniers like Chris Horner, Marc Morano, Stephen McIntyre, and Anthony Watts.

UPDATE: RealClimate has a post that explains some of the background in more detail:

So what is the actual issue at the heart of this? A single line in the IPCC AR4 report (p466) which correctly stated that “Wahl and Ammann (2006) also show that the impact [of the McIntyre and McKitirck critique] on the amplitude of the final reconstruction [by MBH98] was small (~0.05C)”. This was (and remains) true. During the drafting Keith Briffa corresponded with Eugene Wahl and others to ensure that the final text was accurate (which it was). Claims from McIntyre that this was not allowed under IPCC rules are just bogus – IPCC authors can consult with anyone they like at any time. However, this single line, whose inclusion made no effective difference to the IPCC presentation, nonetheless has driven continuing harassment of everyone involved for no good purpose whatsoever. Wahl and Ammann did show that MM05 made no substantial difference to the MBH reconstruction, whether it got said in the IPCC report or not.

That this inconvenient fact has driven hundreds of blog posts, dozens of fevered accusations, a basket load of FOI requests, and stoked multiple fires of manufactured outrage is far more a testimony to personal obsession, rather than to its intrinsic importance. The science of paleo-reconstructions has moved well beyond this issue, as has the interest of the general public in such minutiae. We can however expect the usual suspects to continue banging this drum, long after everyone else has gone home.


So much dirty linen aired in public and all of it belonging to those you champion. Stop being a chump.

And now

‘Please quote the words in the emails and explain how they obfuscate.’

but remember this has been gone over many times (and here), as have all the zombie arguments people like you bring up. So you have zero excuse for continuing this line of argument else it is into the bozo bin for you too.

This latest fishing expedition is just time a wasting stunt that will enrich a few lawyers.

I noted with amusement that Chris Christie (NJ Gov’) ‘…cant figure this stuff out…’ as quoted here:

Confused Chris Christie embraces climate science, rejects climate action


And Christie actually flip-flopped on the science in making this announcement. Back in November, Christie was a skeptic, saying,

Mankind, is it responsible for global warming? Well I’ll tell you something. I have seen evidence on both sides of it. I’m skeptical “” I’m skeptical….

And that’s probably one of the reasons why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can’t figure this stuff out. But I would say at this point, that has to be proven, and I’m a little skeptical about it.

Yes, Christie “can’t figure this stuff out.” Just the kind of person you want to be governor or president.


See what happens when lawyers get involved - truth sold to the highest bider - unless principle steps in.

Careful how you use that word obfuscate for it could turn on you for that is what you appear to be doing.

“But again and again - you miss the point. The reason why the specifics were requested was to replicate the work. Something you already agree is “Science”.”

What work is to be replicated? Please be specific.

“The quotes from Jones et al re deleting data, manipulating the peer review process as well as circumventing legitimate requests leaves Climatescience with a whole heap of problems and difficult explanations.”

Complaining about garbage papers is not “manipulating the peer review process”.
And what legitimate FOI requests were circumvented? To assist you, here’s a complete list of the FOI requests received by the CRU: Please do tell us which of those requests were legitimate and were improperly circumvented.

“But again and again - you miss the point. The reason why the specifics were requested was to replicate the work. Something you already agree is “Science”.”

What work is to be replicated? Please be specific.

ALL of it! - If the Alarmists want my money spent on re-inventing the economy such that the third world decelopment is to be compromised and “Carbon Tax’s” applied then I damn well want the science to be sound. Nobody can possibly say that “the debate is over” and that “The sciencentists have spoken” because what they have said as demonstrated by the various “…gates” is a crock!

“The quotes from Jones et al re deleting data, manipulating the peer review process as well as circumventing legitimate requests leaves Climatescience with a whole heap of problems and difficult explanations.”

Complaining about garbage papers is not “manipulating the peer review process”.
And what legitimate FOI requests were circumvented? To assist you, here’s a complete list of the FOI requests received by the CRU: Please do tell us which of those requests were legitimate and were improperly circumvented.

True - but this is not what they did is it!!!! But stating that you will alter the peer review process to keep a paper out is manipulation.

No other word for it!

It is NOT Science! If a paper is published and shown to be garbage then it is retracted after it has been pulled apart - that is the science methedology. Climatescience seems to have invented a whole new way of publishing papers - using the old boy network via a mutual admiration society, travesety of peer review review that only allows publication of the like minded.

As for the FoI requests - the only reason there are a number of them is that the initial ones were ignored.

Careful what you wish for if you want specifics - the spec in others eye can end up being far smaller thatn the plank in your own.

Clearly you are just too dumb or too ideologically blinkered to understand the core issues here. I doubt that you gave yourself time to UNDERSTAND the implications of my responses.


ice melt continues to accelerate,

the continental US is hit by record and early tornado systems, drought and fires and floods,

species loss and dislocation continues to accelerate with so many canaries in the coal mine it is difficult to keep count,

other areas of the world are subject to more extreme weather events too.

Go play your fiddle on semantics whilst the world warms up because of our increasing impact on our life support systems.

It is disruption and death on a vast scale that you are supporting, no ifs or buts about it.

You have my sympathy! Likewise I have had to wade through their horsecrap for over a decade. The main thing is that the more of it you see the more of it becomes instantly recognisable - nothing new most of the time, just the same old cocktail of tired-out, long-debunked talking-points. I don’t know who they are trying to delude, apart from themselves, though I guess in a lot of instances the money’s good. The only thing that puzzles me is that if you’ve worked as an Astroturfer, how do you describe it on your CV? I mean, do you say something like, “I spent 5 years lying to a satisfactory standard”? Or what??

Nobody clicks on spam any more. But spammers are still making bucket-loads of money off selling spam services.


Because they’re not selling to the person receiving the spam, but selling to the marketing departments of companies. Those marketing bods don’t click on spam either, but they “know” that lots of people do (because unlike them, everyone else is dumb as bricks). So they pay the spammers and since they can’t tell what’s caused a change in profits (it goes up because of their great skill, it goes down because the market is in trouble), they assume that the money is well spent.

Denialists think that they’re much smarter than everyone else and that they can prove what they “know”. They think everyone else is dumber than them so continue to try the same arguments that worked on them.

“funded directly or indirectly by industrial interests”

You mean they ‘work’? This might come as a surprise to you but the number of people who pull their crust from the public purse are actually in a minority.

Why then do you want them to do their work for free? Worse, why do you want them to not do the work they’re paid for for free? Worse still, why do you want them to not do the work they’re paid for but get me to pay for it?

er..forgive my ignorance. If I push a report that says my company is financially solvent when in fact it is teetering on the brink…ie I bias the report in other words order to get a loan of a bank,isn’t that a bad thing AKA fraud ?

“Confirmation Bias: Seek and Ye Shall Find”

Yes, like seeking evidence for climate change.

Or, alternatively, the search for what changes the climate of the planet earth.


Orbital cycles
Solar activity
Continental configuration
Greenhouse gasses

and the feedbacks such as

Ice cover
Water vapour

Now, out of the forcing list:

Orbital changes: Orbital changes takes thousands of years and we’re going in to a configuration that leads to cooling.
Solar activity: Solar output changes on a scale of millions of years.
Continental configuration: Tens of millions of years.
Greenhouse gasses: We’ve increased them 35%.

So the only two that make a difference on human civilisation scales (decades to centuries) are solar and GHG.

We’re warming faster than solar is changing and it is less active in the past decade than for many decades before, yet the temperatures are much higher than last time the sun was this quiet.

The warming from CO2 however could cause it.

What causes CO2 to increase:

volcanoes: not seen any 30-billion-tons-a-year-of-CO2 eruptions accumulating (if it took 30 Mt St Helens, we’d see 300 continuing extra Mt St Helens in the past decade, and similarly for the past 50-80 years. I think someone would have noticed)
sea warming: takes ~800 years to kick in, so that can’t have increased concentrations 35% in 150 years and if the sea was a source, it would not be getting less alkaline.
human activities: bingo. The increase is appropriate in level if 50% of our output gets into the atmosphere.

Where could the rest of the CO2 be going?
Into plant matter: we don’t see ~2100billion tons extra plant matter
Into the sea: it would reduce alkalinity by a notable portion. This is seen.

So therefore the processes that caused warming or cooling in the past are still operative.

CO2 is the culprit this time and it’s industrially produced.

“At 09:41 AM 2/2/2005, Phil Jones wrote:

Mike, I presume congratulations are in order - so congrats etc !

Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? - our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it.We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it ! “

And was anything deleted? No.

But you want to get government into thought-crime. Not satisfied with persecution for actual crimes and invading the streets with cameras, you want them in our heads?

And FTP sites are insecure and the data is copyrighted.

Do you know what happens when you share copyrighted works over the internet?

That’s right: a crime.

So clearing up FTP sites ensures data sharing with the minimum chance of someone committing copyright infringement (unless you’re one of those hippies who thinks copyrights and patents should be outlawed).

And when you have 5 people, work to do an 300 man-hours of work comes in as an orchestrated FOI request on the Saturday, the 20 day limit is impossible to keep.

The spamming was orchestrated so.

Just like that other criminal act: DDoS.

Seems this email is just complaining about how criminals are abusing the system.

But maybe you’re on the side of the crims.

You’re right, no deleted emails were found.

No I lie. There was one, here’s the deleted email which was found…

But as you can see there’s nothing incriminating in that deleted email.

No it wouldn’t have any direct bearing on science as it exists in reality, but it could have a bearing on our understanding of it.

And it wouldn’t change he fact that the parent poster is a numbty for expecting deleted emails to be found.

… but hitting the “delete” button does not always vanish a file or email into Never Never Land. An entity that may have to provide emails on demand often has a backup server that saves everything.

No, it wouldn’t change our understanding. Why? Because the understanding is printed openly in the scientific journals. If you’re CONVINCED it’s wrong, ask Texaco for some research grant (they’ve offered) and do your own research and get it published.

Or would that be, you know, actual effort, probably resulting in you actually learning something?

I recall the time when I used to go out there and debunk all the deniers. I think that comments sections like these really are a nuisance. I suspect the reason you don’t filter out the crap content is so that people who are not yet aware of the depths of willful ignorance can learn here.
My expert eye tells me these are paid professionals. I haven’t seen any comment that remotely looks like a genuine concern from a new kid on the skeptics’ block.
I’d say, until you start getting genuine comments, block the trolls.
To the trolls: don’t bother to challenge me into debates. My response is a huge yawn.

“From: Phil Jones To: “Michael E. Mann”
Subject: IPCC & FOI
Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008


Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment - minor family crisis.

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

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!


Phil: “

So I guess every company with an email system is committing fraud.

And, given that Microsoft have put in encryption and deletion policies that allow automated and unrecoverable deletion and hiding of any document, Microsoft are enabling all the fraud.

…. and this negates the science how, exactly?

“genuine comments” ??? - I am not paid to have a viewpoint and how ridiculous it is to make such an assumption about others.

So only “genuine comments” should be allowed? - By that do you mean the consensus bandwagon? Or do you want to live in glorious isolation?

How is life in that bubble?

But repeated babble from the denialist echo chamber is not genuine comment.

For a quick run-down of the denialist tropes, check here:

If what you’re about to say is merely a repeat of one of those canards, you’re not making a genuine comment.