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« Was Briffa the mole? | Main | The madness of warming »

Mail on the splice

Wow. A 3000-word article on the nitty gritty details of some paleoclimate shenanigans in a major newspaper.  Kudos to the Mail.

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Reader Comments (9)

I also note a letter from a certain Andrew Montford in the Telegraph.

Dec 13, 2009 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Thanks for pointing that out!

Dec 13, 2009 at 10:41 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

What is with "warmergate" ?

And why the "russian' slant ? Is this maybe an attempt to paint the whole scandal as something fabricated by the KGB ?

Overall a poorly-researched and poorly written piece.

Dec 13, 2009 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Jack - did you actually read beyond the headline?

Dec 13, 2009 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterHysteria

Good article in the Mail. This will reach the 'unlearned' folk who listen to the BBC but don't read the Grauniad. Time they got some balance to the State propaganda.

Meanwhile, Christopher Booker reports on the first real effect of carbon trading: the closure of the steel mill at Redcar. With these first major job losses, how does our esteemed PM think he'll be able to afford the 1.5 billion ££ he's promised to stop the earth from turning? (That's stopping the climate from changing, to you and me!)

Never mind - ideology beats real life hands down, and if it doesn't they'll jolly well make it so.


Dec 13, 2009 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Hi Hysteria !

I've just read the mail piece again. It's got some merit - but here are the failings:

Why does the headline bring in the Russian angle? I don't think this is relevant at all to the story - it's being used as a deflecton by the AGWers.

Why does he call it "warmergate" when within 2 days everyone else was calling it Climategate?

Dec 13, 2009 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

I (an American) for one was very impressed with the article. It was as balanced a presentation as I've seen anywhere, the fact that it was showing the skeptics respectfully and was questioning - editors ALLOWING questioning by their journalists - the claims of the East Anglia boys. There is so little of that, it is a breath of fresh air. 1,000 such articles around the world would have the whole world's AGW sheep finally waking up and thinking critically again.

And Jack, why not start with the Russians denying it? That is the spin the AGW folks have on it in the main stream media here in the US, so I am glad to see the Russians flat out pointing elsewhere.

I'm throwing in another comment here, about the name Climategate...

Dec 15, 2009 at 6:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteveGinIL

"Climategate." "Warmergate."

Jack, it doesn't matter the first part of the name. Perhaps the journo is trying to throw out a term that will stick and make him famous someday.

But the "gate" part - THAT is lovely, AND appropriate.

"Watergate" "Deep Throat" - - - "Deep Leak"?

Watergate began with hardly a whimper. Bit by bit, over months, almost unnoticed by the general press and public, and certainly not given any hope of taking down a Presidency. Hints at the extent of the wrongdoing were hardly more than that in the beginning and for quite a number of months.

All we have in Climategate so far is hints at wrongdoing. We here see things more starkly than the rest, so we think there is already enough to convict. But there is a world of people out there who have been accepting AGW at face value; they accept the honesty of scientists as a given in their world view.

Yes, pressure was put on Briffa in 1999 to "change his story." We can see that, and the amount of pressure that we see - the threat to grants and future access publishing in journals - but most people cannot see that; it is too obscure. They don't see the "whoring" scientists can be faced with if those are threatened. Accusations of "working for oil companies" is an easy sell and whoring in that case the public can see (it comes down from long-told tales of robber barons and Simon Legree, etc.). Scientists taking money to do research into saving Bambi's mother is another story - that is not bribery, even if the threat to pull the money is extortion.

Briffa in 1999: we cannot imagine that that that was the only time. But Briffa had POWER himself. He had some standing within their crowd. He may even have toned down Mann and Jones, et al, on occasion. He had some ability to fight the extortion.

But what about the non-insiders? How many of them were plainly told, "Your data conflict with the consensus and will have to be re-done so they agree." There are almost certainly many of them out there. And it was not only Mann at that level; university departments all over the world knew which side their bread was buttered on, once the bullying had taken over: publish against AGW at your own risk, especially when opponents were labeled quacks and accused of taking money from the bogeyman, the energy-abusing corporations. Most of the threat was un-voiced, but careers hung in the balance, and people knew which side of the divide to not be on.

Mann seemed overconfident in the email about the "hornet's nest," as if he had been through this before and knew how to handle it, how much pressure to apply without seeming to bully (even though that is exactly what he was doing). He even preceded his leaning with a humbleness (which I took as phony), before he went into full bully mode. Briffa caved in like a rented goalie. (But that one incident was 10 full years ago; would he have harbored a grudge all this time before striking?... maybe)

Anyway, the Watergate situation went on a long time before the public and Congress and the media saw a tipping point. Everyone thought, "Oh, Nixon was playing politics and maybe went a little overboard - big deal!" That is the same impression many are getting from these emails, that it seems to be "a bit of wrangling in trying to get their message out, but the message is the right one." At the present stage most of the world (even though half the Daily Mail readers may not agree) believes the message was important, so they see the effort as well-intentioned and perhaps a momentary lack of good judgment. <B>The world - as its collective mind is now - wants to give them a pass on this. They've heard "global warming" "panic" "global warming" "panic" so many times they believe it as a matter of faith.

If these emails are all there is, the U of Pennsylvania in its investigation of Mann will let him off with a slap on the wrist. More emails need to be forthcoming. The smoking gun may yet be out there. And "Deep Leak" may be playing all of this for maximum effect. Hopefully so.

In Watergate, the smoking gun was THE TAPES. It is a GREAT parallel that these emails exist. How close to tapes can we get? These are these people - in their won premeditated words, well thought out for maximum effect among their own crowd - spelling out their own wrong-doing.

But this "gate" did not start with the emails. It started with the conspiring, conspiring to thwart the scientific method, just as Watergate started with the White House trying to thwart the democratic process. But in the press, the beginning of Climategate really was when Steve McIntyre found improperly processed data at NOAA. That was such a little thing at the time, but when the history of all this is written, the first chapter will be Steve's correcting their data in one particular. Steve is the Woodward and Bernstein of Climategate. Deep Leak is more like Daniel Ellberg (the Pentagon Papers) - so far. But Deep Leak hopefully is not done.

Chapters yet to be written? We can speculate, but it will be more interesting to watch it all evolve - or maybe we could say unravel instead. As Watergate unraveled, people became more an more outraged. Will that happen here? Will the public wake up one day and realize they've been scammed and bullied?

Every participant one on this site knows the bullying: There are many situations where we just are NOT going to breach this subject. If we live in a liberal bastion,we can't "go there" among our friends. I even live in a conservative area, and yet all the schools teach all the mantras of GW, so even here I can't speak freely. I would become a pariah VERY quickly.

...Watergate only really unraveled right near the end. Until then everyone thought it would be a black mark on Nixon, but they would still give him an overall pass - all but the crazies, the denier-equivalents, the skeptics about his inner principles. When the full extent came out, no one could support him, even his staunchest supporters in the Senate, whose votes were always seen as the last defense against impeachment. Only when they came to him and let him know he could no longer count on their votes did the end come.

In the Watergate Hearings, Nixon's closest insiders revealed most of the really damaging information.

In Climategate, those on the inside are the ones who know the extent of the scientific criminality. If they are willing to come forth (one apparently already has), we will see what went on.

Right now, the leaker/hacker is a clear, clear equivalent of Deep Throat. Deep Leak seems like a good first trial balloon.

That is such a good thing, that someone is leaking! Let the leaking continue!

I can't wait to see what else comes out.

There is hopefully MUCH more to come.

Dec 15, 2009 at 7:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteveGinIL

I've just read the mail piece again. It's got some merit - but here are the failings:
Why does the headline bring in the Russian angle? I don't think this is relevant at all to the story - it's being used as a deflecton by the AGWers.
Why does he call it "warmergate" when within 2 days everyone else was calling it Climategate?
spelling practice

Sep 14, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterhomer

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