Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monbiot - "Phil Jones Should Resign"

I presume readers are already aware of "Climategate", the leaking of a large number of emails from the University of East Anglia's servers - which mails reveal a pattern of highly dodgy activity among professional warmists, particularly Phil Jones of the Climate Research ("then hide the data or tweak it") Unit. Refusing 'unbelievers' access to the raw data, including attempts to work round FOI, trying to get editors sacked and sceptical researchers' access to university resources withdrawn - that is just appalling. My emboldening below :

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

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 [McKitrick, McIntyre] 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 ! ...

UPDATE - all the mails and files (and many news stories) linked to from here.

I'm not an AGW sceptic, btw, but an agnostic. That doesn't mean I think that chucking large amounts of CO2 into the air is a wise thing to do without knowing the possible consequences. And I agree that the consequences could be apocalyptic (the fate of Mars, which it is now believed once had huge oceans, is ever before me), so a precautionary approach is wise. I'm sure human activity makes a difference - the crucial question is 'how much difference' - and 'how much difference compared with 'natural' changes' ?

In the Guardian, noted warmist George Monbiot :

It's no use pretending this isn't a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I'm dismayed and deeply shaken by them.

Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.

Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign.

and in the comments :

I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.


But if the science is that "settled," why refuse to disclose the data? If global warming so obvious and incontrovertible, why be in such a panic about FOI, why talk openly about re-defining "peer review", why threaten to (or actually) delete data?

I agree. It is exactly for those reasons that Phil Jones should resign. There's a word for his lack of openness and control of the data: unscientific.


TDK said...

Monbiot having second thoughts is perhaps more significant than the emails themselves. It was previously looking very much as if the MSM would pretend nothing had happened.

Now that one of the zealots has broken ranks it's going to be very hard to maintain that there is "nothing to see here, move along"

Mark said...

Phil Jones isn't a fit enough person to tie the late Hubert Lamb's boots. His Unit has basked in the reputation it gained from the giant (Lamb) who founded it, but it now stands exposed as part of the warmist claque that has effectively captured the 'green' cause, and several western governments (including our own).

whippersnapper said...

Wikipedia articles that should record this event in a neutral and balanced manner, with journalist-written sources (best to discuss on the talk page, don't just start editing directly):


Revolution Harry said...

Laban, if you have any doubts that AGW is anything other than yet another globalist scam then can I recommend climate expert Lord Christopher Monckton's recent speech at the Minnesota Free Market Institute. Throughout the speech he refers to slides which you cannot see in the video. You can see the slides here. There are a few missing I think but it's worthwhile being able to look at them. Monckton deals only with the science and does a credible job of utterly demolishing the warmist lies.

Monckton is one of the few political figures who appears to see the bigger picture. A glimmer of hope in a darkening world.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that Revolution Harry. Those links were interesting.

I've read a bit about this global warming stuff, listened to the scare stories etc.

I am a mere pleb so what am I to make of it when boffins argue?

So, I go by the general rule of thumb, that if it is being promoted by ernest Guardianistas, you can bet a fair sum its a load of old b*llocks.

This has been my view for a number of years, and I was pleased to see in some survey or other recently that most people in the UK also think its a scam.

Anonymous said...

5:10 Anonymous

If you haven't already visit


The one stop 'AGW is bullshit' site

That goes for you too Laban ; )

Anonymous said...

Revolution Harry refers to "climate expert Lord Christopher Monckton". How is Monckton a climate expert? He has no scientific education at all. So far as I know he has limited experience as a journalist, and spends the rest of his time claiming to be a member of the House of Lords, which he is not. Phil Jones might be weak and a bit naive, but he is worth 100 Moncktons, particularly as a climate expert.

dearieme said...

"He has no scientific education at all": which, all considered, is better than having had a science education and then spending a career abusing it.

Revolution Harry said...

Anon, in a world where Al Gore wins a Nobel peace prize for his work on 'climate change' we can certainly debate whether or not the word 'expert' is relevant where Lord Monckton is concerned.

By all means cleave to the discredited Phil Jones and the wider 'global warming' scam if you want to. If there's anything in Monckton's presentation you disagree with I'd be interested to know. Believe it or not, I'm only interested in the truth and I'm keen to learn.

As for whether or not he is a member of the House of Lords you might find the following of interest from the comments section of Watts Up With That.

“… and who represents himself as ‘a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature’ when he is no such thing and never has been?…”

I’d be very interested in seeing a citation for the quote since it is highly unlikely that Lord Monckton would use that phraseology himself. If your citation should, perhaps, be Wikipedia, then you fail the course. The discussion tab at Wikipedia is always so much more illuminating than the actual article:

Errors by Wikipedia in Lord Monckton’s biography

"Please note that a well-funded campaign paid for by a convicted fraudster who owns a solar-energy corporation and thus has a vested interest in advancing the “global warming” scare is linked to various people who, full time, detrimentally edit the Wikipedia pages of scientists and others who question the alarmist viewpoint. They use automatic bots to monitor the pages, and automatically reverse within minutes any changes intended to restore the truth and remove inaccuracies. The Monckton biography is one of those pages that has been subjected to this corrupt form of editing. Users should note that the following are among the offending passages that have appeared, and may still appear, and which Wikipedia refuses to remove.

Offending passage 2: “Although he has in the past stated that he is ‘a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature,’[3] Monckton has never been a member of either the House of Lords or the House of Commons.” Reason for correction: Lord Monckton has never said he is a sitting member of the House of Lords: he is, however, a member of the Upper House by succession (hence his title), is registered as such on the list of Peers entitled to be elected by his fellow hereditary peers, and, as a member of the House in good standing, is entitled to use its facilities, though not to speak or vote in the Chamber, for it is in this sense alone that the House of Lords Act 1999 removes the right of membership from hereditary Peers. Proposed correction: Preferably, delete this damaging libel altogether. Otherwise, replace by “He is a hereditary peer, but his father’s automatic right to sit and vote, like that of most hereditary Peers, was terminated by the Peerage Act 1999”.

I do have to thank you though. When looking at his Wikipedia page I find that he's an 'Officer of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem [and] a Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Now that is interesting.

Anonymous said...

Phil Jones might be weak and a bit naive, but he is worth 100 Moncktons, particularly as a climate expert.

Going by some of the emails Ive read Id be surprised if Jones wasnt booted out of various professional bodies. At least.

ShinyChuck said...

Unless there are protests at the universities about climategate and the fraud being perpetuated, these reviews and investigations are likely to become cover-ups to save reputations and allow AGW to continue becoming the governing principle and religion of a global government.

It is clear that sunspot activity (aka solar winds, solar mass ejections) interacting with cosmic rays and the resulting cloud cover in our atmosphere are the drivers of the global temperature trends. We cannot allow a fabrication like AGW to continue suppressing and killing poor people and de-industrializing the developed world. AGW is insanity and genocide!