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« Environment correspondents | Main | David Henderson on Newsnight »

Jones in Sciencemag

There is an extended interview with Phil Jones in Sciencemag. I think it's fair to say that people are going to take issue with some of the things he has to say.

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Reader Comments (48)

Q: What are your plans as a scientist now, apart from dealing with this Muir Russell review.

P.J.: That's the main thing I have to deal with now. I've really got nothing else to do at the moment. That's the main thing I'm doing.

In all likelihood these words should come to haunt you.

I don't know how old you all are or how long you expect to live. But chances are one day years from now you'll switch on the news or look outside and realise how horribly you got it wrong. Then you can remember how you all helped to stop scientists from doing their jobs.

Feb 18, 2010 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank O'Dwyer

From the article on the differences between the US and UK data used.

Phil Jones "We have different techniques of deciding whether the stations are used or not"


Frank - maybe read this about Henk Tennekes

Feb 18, 2010 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Call the violins off Frank. He's not working because he's suspected of criminal and totally unethical behaviour. Please get a grip and take it seriously.

Feb 18, 2010 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Don't feed the trolls.

Feb 18, 2010 at 11:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterHoi Polloi


I know I'll never regret stopping scientists from doing their jobs. That's not what this is about - why do you think it is? Science is supposed to be open and honest. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming? "Eppur si muove" (yes I know Galileo maybe didn't say that).

If Phil Jones is between a rock and a hard place than that's where he has chosen to be. I've had plenty of "opportunities" (I prefer to think of them as "commercial pressures") in my career to say the "right" thing to take money from a customer to fit the spin of people I've collaborated with. I prefer to sleep at night. Being honest has never done me any harm so I'll stick with that.

Carry on bashing the bishop. It'll make you blind in the end though.


Feb 18, 2010 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave (no relation) Boulton

Phil Jones' rehab has consisted of five interviews now or have I missed some? The Sunday Times on 7 Feb, Roger Harrabin of the BBC on 13 Feb, Nature on 15 Feb, the Guardian on 16 Feb and Science on 19 Feb. Busy boy - and more to the point, busy PR boys in the Climategate damage limitation department. Meanwhile Jones can see the questions he's going to be asked by Muir Russell, with lots of time to spare, and that's all going to be done in secret, in case he makes a mistake or two, which I'm sure his friends the defence lawyers - sorry, I mean Sir Muir's Team - will help him with. To add to all that, we have the likes of Frank on the blogs serenading the poor man with his violin.

My advice, if you want to get away with fraud, is join the climate club. Great service, guys.

Feb 18, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

F O'D,
"Haunt" us? as if the world is going to suffer if his brilliance is at all obscured by his self-inflicted ethical and professional failings?
Thanks for the laugh.
Regards, etc.

Feb 18, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

"Methinks the witness doth protest too much!"
Need to ask more WHAT ,WHY, AND WHEN questions
Does he accept that he brought it on himself. YES or No
Did he deliberately ignore FOIRs YES or No
Did he EVER comply fully with any FOIR YES or No
I could go on but there is not much point, the wheels are already in motion to minimise the damage. I just hope that they don't get away with it.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Maybe Frank is engaging in some Freudian projection?

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

"Then you can remember how you all helped to stop scientists from doing their jobs."

The problems of Jones and co are of their own making.

There are plenty of examples scientists who were "stopped from doing their jobs" simply because they did not sign up to the AGW hypothesis and who were never involved in shenanigans like conspiring to break FOI laws, bullying editors who published papers they did not like, deleting irreplaceable data - and so on.

Jones still does not get what science is about. He has not grasped that trying to replicate someone else's results is a vital ingredient in science. If your experiments are not repeatable, it is not science.

He still seems to believe that if someone looks for errors in your work, they are seeking to destroy your work. Such a view is just nonsense. If they find errors, it is because the errors were already there. Your work is not invalidated by the discovery of the errors - it was already invalid, but its invalidity was hidden. Ideally, you should have found the errors yourself - but much better that someone else has found them than that they remain lurking undetected.

Years ago, Jones should have read and taken to heart what Richard Feynman had to say about "Cargo Cult Science". How you can do all the things scientists do - except that if you do not ruthlessly seek out your own errors, then what you are doing is not really science.

But if you attempt to prevent others from finding your errors, as Mann, Jones and co did, then what you are doing is worse than not really being science - it is anti-science.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Ackroyd

"I don't know how old you all are or how long you expect to live. But chances are one day years from now you'll switch on the news or look outside and realise how horribly you got it wrong. Then you can remember how you all helped to stop scientists from doing their jobs."

I wish!
Frank, why is it that holiday brochures have pictures of white beaches, sun and palm trees? If warm is so bad, why aren't Greenland, Baffin Island and Svalbad all mass market tourist destinations? I can attest to girls still looking good with ski gear on, so why the fascination with hot is bad, four legs, ehh sorry, cold is good, when people vote with their feet and savings for hotter?

I wish I could believe in the coming mediterranean climate for these islands, but I've not seen any convincing evidence for it coming.

Jones et al went out to play with the big boys, now they are learning that things can get rough. If they had adheared to basic scientific conventions, like publish your data, they wouldn't be having this trouble now.

I feel for the guy as a human being, but his own hubris got him here. Now he's meeting Nemesis.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

A lot has been made about the "Harry readme" file. Before reading this interview I had not considered the "different project" possibility:

"Q: Is that the so-called "Harry Code"?

P.J.: He was working on a completely different project. That code has nothing to do with the development of the CRU temperature data set. It was a different project."

So, I read through some of it at:

Now it doesn't look, to me, like a temperature project. More like precip....

samples of text:

"Then, I moved on to rd0 (wet-day frequency). This time, when I searched for the normals files required ('glo.pre.norm' and 'glo.rd0.norm'), I could not (as before) find exact matches. The difference this time is that the program checks that the normals file supplied is a 0.5-degree grid....

Onto vapour pressure, and the crunch. For here, the recommended program for synthetic grid production is ''. In fact, there is no sign of a ''. And, in the program notes, it reads: ; required inputs are: ; ** vapour pressure and temperature normals on 2.5deg grid...

The conclusion of a lot of investigation is that the synthetic cloud grids for 1901-1995 have now been discarded. This means that the cloud data prior to 1996 are static.

Examined the program that converts sun % to cloud oktas. It is complicated! Have inserted a line to multiple the result by 12.5 (the result is in oktas*10 and ranges from 0 to 80, so the new result will range from 0 to 1000).

Precipitation Converted pre.0611301502.dat to pre.0612081045.dat Found one corrupted station name: BEFORE 4125600 2358 5828 15SEEB AP./=MUSCAT*0.9OMAN 18932006 301965 AFTER 4125600 2358 5828 15 SEEB INTL/MUSCAT OMAN 1893 2006 -999 -999.00

Next, Phil requested some statistical plots of percentage change in annual totals, and long-term trends. Wrote 'anntots.for' to convert monthly gridded files into yearly totals files. Then tried to write precipchecker.m to do the rest in Matlab.. it wasn't having it, OUT OF MEMORY! Bah. So wrote 'prestats.for' to calculate the final stats, for printing with an emasculated precipchecker.m. BUT.. it wouldn't work, and on investigating I found 200-odd stations with zero precipitation for the entire 1901-2006 period! Modified anntots.for to dump a single grid with those cells that remained at zero marked, then plotted. "

Tons of badly managed data and questionable competence to go around.... but a smoking gun? IMHO, not here.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRJ

"Q: When did the pressure grow most severe?

P.J.: In July 2009 we received 60 Freedom of Information requests in a few days--each request was for five countries' worth of data."

I wonder if Phil even read the FOI requests? They were seeking details regarding the confidentiality agreements that CRU claimed prevented them from releasing the data requested earlier. They weren't seeking data per se.

Feb 19, 2010 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered Commentermondo

Thia, by Jones: "They are intent on repeating the analyses of others. They are of course entitled to do whatever they want to, it's a free world, but they just don't seem intent on wanting to do their own work. They just seem intent on wanting to repeat what others have done. They're trying to slow us down, and waste time."

Replication is a good part of what the scientific method is all about. Using the original researcher's own methods--and his data if desired, is a perfectly legitimate variety of science. This form of science seems clearly to me to have been impeded by Jones and his colleagues. If you're a good scientist, and anxious to protect your reputation to boot, you don't want to even appear to have impeded replicative research.

Feb 19, 2010 at 1:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterDABbio

Frank O'Dwyer?

Phil? that you Phil?

Feb 19, 2010 at 1:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris S

P.J.: Probably around 2000. But I'm just scientist. But I'm not a savvy politician or anything like that. I've got no agenda here, telling government what to do. I'm just a scientist.

He does protest too much, me thinks!

Feb 19, 2010 at 2:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

Did anyone else notice where the question stopped in reference to Warwick Hughes? Science has Phil Jones saying: "even if WMO [World Meteorological Organization] agrees, I will still not pass on the data? We have 25 or so years invested in the work." and stops there.

The follow-on, 'Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?' is entirely absent. That rather changes the attitudinal context of Jones' reply to Warwick, and evidences Science mag's softball approach.

There's also another critically central issue none of the involved scientists seem to get, nor Science or Nature. That is, with the advent of the IPCC and their participation in it, and with the political advisory (not to say advocacy) role vigorously pursued by the IPCC and their participation in that, the work of these scientists passed from the remove of academic science into recommending society-wide economic and industrial engineering, which is a thoroughly public sphere.

As an engineering project affecting society at large, a transition these scientists voluntarily promulgated through their participation in the IPCC (at the least), their work could no longer be exempt from an engineering-quality validation effort.

The whole debate has been caused by the attempt of the IPCC-related scientists to have their academic cake, and to eat it too. They wanted to promote their results for an engineering solution to climate warming and at the same time to exempt their work from an engineering validation and verification.

This violation of, and stubborn resistance to, the proper protocol to ensure public safety is virtually universal across all the participatory IPCC scientists; most especially among those most central to the claims of AGW. Phil Jones looms large in this resistance, exceeded in stature perhaps only by Michael Mann.

These scientists gave up any right to private data as soon as they recommended their data to public ends. They should have known that. Their relentless stonewalling of requests for their data, to be used for validation and verification, is as fundamental a violation of their responsibility to the public as is possible to conceive, apart from outright fabrication.

This is the central issue of the debate over data access, and the primary rationale for the FOI requests that followed the persistent refusal of the scientists to yield their data. This point should be widely aired and driven home in the debate over the ethics of the FOI requests.

It's fair to note that politicians have shared the blame in their complete failure of duty to ensure the engineering accuracy of the policy science. They have played partisan games to suit their own purposes, have squandered money, and anticipate squandering orders of magnitude more. All without ever using the instruments of government to validate the fundamentals.

In this regard, of course, the extreme negligence of the scientific societies regarding their duty of critical advice, in particular the leaderships of the US NAS, the APS, the AMS, the WMO, and the UK RS, as well as the editorial staff of Science and Nature, would be too incredible to believe if it had not occurred within sight of us all. It's very clear that most of the scientists leading these organizations derived their views, and published their official positions, based on virtually blind trust in the IPCC rather than based on any detailed analysis of the science itself.

It's also fair to note that science journalists failed in their duty to look deeply into the controversy, relying instead on their personal politics to adjudicate a scientific dispute.

The failures have been widespread, chronic, and extreme. None of the chief players deserve to retain their present stature; scientists, politicians, or science reporters.

Feb 19, 2010 at 3:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterPat Frank

Pat Frank,

Don't forget journal editors in your list of rogues. It is clear that once prestigious jounrnals like Nature have choosen to become nothing more than a front for greenpeace all because they believe they are 'saving the world'.

Feb 19, 2010 at 4:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaven

F O'D,
Are you really a true believer?
Do you really think that the work Jones has been doing could stymie a climate catastrophe, and that if he misses X% of his work, then disaster is unavoidable?
That sort of bilge is great B movie fodder, but do you really think that a guy who cannot even manage gathering temperature records together without turning them into fiction, or responding lawfully to an FOI request could save the world, even if it was possible to do so?
And finally, do you really think that we are facing a climate catastrophe that, in the average life time of those of us plunking around the blogosphere, would be dramatically and sadly noticeable?
Thank you for an amazing insight.
Cheers, etc.

Feb 19, 2010 at 5:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Yer Grace

Please give some of your very best biscuits to Pat Frank.

Feb 19, 2010 at 5:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterE O'Connor

I think it's fair to say that people are going to take issue with some of the things he has to say.

I think it is fair to say that. I just read half of his reply to the second question. Thats as far as I got.

Q: Let's pretend for a second that we threw out the CRU dataset. What other data are available that corroborate your findings about temperature rise?

Jones ..there's also a lot of other evidence showing that the world's warming, by just looking outside and seeing ... overall, the reduction of snow areas in the northern hemisphere

Yes we take issue with that Mr Jones. You obviously havent "looked outside". Your facts are as accurate as the decline that you hide and then jave the temerity to justify and call yourself a scientist!

Last week’s Northern Hemisphere winter snow extent was the second highest on a record, stretching back to 2,227 weeks, the entire record that we have.

The Northern Hemisphere winter snow extent has been increasing at a rate of over 100,000 km2 per year.

Feb 19, 2010 at 5:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

Agreed, Raven, though I included them in paragraph 11, " well as the editorial staff of Science and Nature..."

Left out, of course, was the participatory violence of the environmental NGOs. In the AGW affair, they have tasted mortal sin.

Feb 19, 2010 at 6:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterPat Frank

'....The main point is that I did a second paper in 2008 and I got the same station data from the Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA). For the same two sets of 42 stations...' -PJ

Not 49 stations?

Feb 19, 2010 at 7:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

'...we use about 5000 stations..........In terms of examples of data for a particular month at 1500 stations, I should let you know there is a handful of 10 or so stations where the number is incorrect...'- PJ
How many stations are used each month?

Feb 19, 2010 at 7:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

The Met Office released code is in Perl, and has been programmed in haste by someone not fluent in Perl.

It is much more likely that the actual "production" code is in Fortran or one of its derived dialects, since most climatic software still uses Fortran. So the released code is indeed a different project, it is a show case designed solely for release and prying eyes. The real production software is better hidden in order not to show that a decline ( of software quality standards) is not even possible, let alone hiding it.

[Bh adds: The Met Office code is not the same as the CRU code]

Feb 19, 2010 at 8:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry

We covered this to some degree in another thread on the reputation of the UEA, but Phil Jones protestations really are quite grating.

The SAS and IRA used to have a phrase "big boys rules".

Whether Phil Jones chooses to acknowledge, but he was playing with the big boys on the senior's playground.

For him to claim that he was just a little primary school oik playing Top Trumps and playing with his Clackers is quite frankly pathetic.

"Big boys rules" Mr Jones. How he ever thought he was in Mann's league I will never know. At least Mann understands "big boys rules".

This is a concerted media campaign (probably directed by people very close to the inquiry) to ensure that the inquiry results cause the least ripple as possible. It is so obvious.

Feb 19, 2010 at 8:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

This is turning into a witchhunt. Richard Drake has accused Prof Jones of being a criminal, it's unproven that he has done anything wrong. The criminals in this whole affair are those who hacked/leaked emails (it would be interesting to see what interpretations could be put onto some of the emails on this blog site, especially if they were read out of context!!!)

Feb 19, 2010 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterPoirot


No one in this thread has accused anyone of criminality.

Witchunt? I do not think so. As I said above 'big boys rules'.

The inquiry is self-appointed with a self generated terms of reference, containing people with vested interests in maintaining at least the status quo. If that is the choice of the political masters, fine. But be prepared for resulting backlash.

Welcome to the world of politics. It is a bu**ger isn't it?

And the fact is even if the inquiry is a whitewash, more and more information will enter the public domain because of it. And you can be sure that if the inquiry does not do its job, many people on the internet will check everything.

This is a possible trillion dollar industry, not whether some local Councillor took a kick-back on the building of the local by-pass.

My advice in the future is to think very carefully before taking the AGW shilling. Not everything is as it seems in the recruitment poster.

Feb 19, 2010 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket


Although Jones has not been tried, I think it is not unreasonable for Richard to take the Information Commissioner's word that the FoI Act was breached.

The argument that the emails are taken out of context is not one that is ever made along with an explanation of what difference the context makes. This is because, as several people have observed, it's worse in context.

Feb 19, 2010 at 9:48 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Richard Drake did refer to Prof. Jones as a criminal in one of his comments which I find unacceptable

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterPoirot

One wonders what P.J. has been doing since he stood down.
see this:

Q: [Snip] Do you feel that you have released enough information so that someone could repeat that exercise?

P.J.: Yes, I feel we have. [Snip] ... and people can download the station data--it's essentially the same data [although] it may not be exactly the same. They could go and take that data, make their own choices about what stations to use. ... They could reproduce their own gridded temperature data. A lot of the people at the moment criticize what we do but [are not doing] anything constructive and new.

Still bashing the sceptics, isn't he.
If he'd visited some blogs in the meantime (he's got sufficient time to do this now, doesn't he!), he'd have seen the amazing work, both constructive and new, by e.g. Chiefio, Willis Eschenbach, etc - why is it that P.J. seems to be constitutionally incapable of even looking here, or at WUWT?
Scared, is he, of what he might learn? Not a sign of an open mind - the prerequisite of a proper scientist.
Looks as if P.J. would rather keep on bashing everybody outside The Team.

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

"we received 60 Freedom of Information requests in a few days"

He wouldn't have received nearly so many if he'd answered the first one!

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P


"The criminals in this whole affair are those who hacked/leaked emails"

Which only happened because PJ refused to answer the FOI requests, itself a criminal offence. By most standards, the massaging and selectivity of the data was crime enough, although no doubt you would prefer that none of it had come to light...

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P


Criminal: One who commits a crime
Crime: the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority may ultimately prescribe a conviction
Ind. Clim. Chg. Email Review:
"The Information Commissioner’s Office has commented that the University of East Anglia broke the law by refusing to release data requested under the Freedom of Information Act."

So, if you commit a crime and sneak past the statute of limitations, does that mean you are not a criminal? I don't think the definition says that you _need_ to be punished to be one.

Oh and let's not forget this:

FOI:"Anyone who destroys a record after you have asked for it, in order to prevent its disclosure, would commit a criminal offence. "
Climategate: "And don’t leave stuff lying around on anonymous FTP sites—you never know who is trawling them. McIntyre and McKitrick have been after the Climatic Research Unit … data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the United Kingdom, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send it to anyone. "

Oops sorry, didn't delete, just lost it....

Still, it's the thought that counts, not the deed, as my mum used to say...

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Williams

The Information Commissioner's Office made that comment to the media. It is my understanding that they have not actually informed the UEA of any wrong doing.
One of the reasons the FOI problem as arisen is because McIntyre has specifically asked readers of his site to send in FOI requests in a deliberate attempt to disrupt the work at CRU

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterPoirot

So many interviews from a person not known for divulging anything.

I suspect that Jones has been given a nod-and-a-wink that he is in the clear from all allegations and what he needs to do now is some PR.

Where next will Jones turn up - possibly Hello magazine?

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

You lot are so unfair to my Phil. 'e meant no 'arm. It was just a bit of rough and tumble that got out of control. Leave orf. 'e's a good boy, my Phil. A loveable rogue.

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterProf Jones's Mum

After reading this interview, I would be led to believe that nothing of any consequence really happened. The critics got their interpretations of reality wrong.

This is coordinated spin.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

One of the reasons the FOI problem as arisen is because McIntyre has specifically asked readers of his site to send in FOI requests in a deliberate attempt to disrupt the work at CRU

I am afraid not, there was no intention to disrupt the work at CRU, merely an attempt to get CRU to answer the question. Dr (I'm determined not to give you the data) Jones had concocted a new excuse for not revealing the information asked for in the original FOIA request viz: I can't give you the data because of all the confidentiality agreements. McIntyre, not surprisingly, didn't believe, this since the relevant data had already been sent to another research scientist. Consequently he asked to see the agreements.

This put CRU into a difficult situation because these agreements were mainly non existent, the response then was the old favourite of "too much effort would be needed to supply all the agreements". It was after this that CA readers sent multiple requests each asking for only a few of the agreements.

So this meme that the poor scientists were inundated with FOIA requests (each one requiring 18hrs work to complete!) was garbage. The CRU team refused point blank to comply with the first FOIA and tehn found that there excuse for non compliance exploded on them. Serve them right say I.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

"They just seem intent on wanting to repeat what others have done. They're trying to slow us down, and waste time."

This comment is astounding to me! Repeatability is a critical part of the scientific method, and without it your results are no better than hearsay. To demand repeatability is not a "waste of time" .. it is, quite rightly, holding scientists to account.

Illusionists hold back their secrets so people cannot reproduce their results; scientists do not!

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterNorseRaider

AD, I believe McIntyre was informed on numerous occasions as to where he could find some of the data he wanted, or good reasons as to why some of it couldn't be released.
I disagree with you, there was a deliberate campaign on the part of some extremists to disrupt the work of CRU.

Feb 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterPoirot


It's interesting to compare your theory to some of the history of the hockey stick. McIntyre was lucky enough to get some of the underlying data direct from the man (Mann) himself. Checking the data to the archives revealed some major issues, some of which had a major effect on the shape of the final results of the paper. Directing interested parties to the archives is not sufficient. It has to be the data as used.

Feb 19, 2010 at 1:30 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


There is scope within the FoI legislation for charges to be made in such circumstances. UEA didn't take advantage of it, presumably because they would have been laughed out of court if they had tried. Each of the 50 or so requests had an identical response directing the requester to a webpage where the four relevant agreements were to be found. This would have taken David Palmer, the FoI officer at UEA no longer than an hour to two to do. It can't have taken Jones very long to find four agreements either.

Feb 19, 2010 at 1:33 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I see you are interested in statistical research. I have put one of the most comprehensive link lists for hundreds of thousands of statistical sources and indicators on my blog: Statistics Reference List ( And what I find most fascinating is how data can be visualised nowadays with the graphical computing power of modern PCs, as in manyof the dozens of examples in these Data Visualisation References ( If you miss anything that I might be able to find for you or you yourself want to share a resource, please leave a comment.

Feb 19, 2010 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterCrisisMaven

Bishop Hill, McIntyre is guilty of harrassing Prof. Jones. He deliberately encouraged his readers to send FOI requests, hopefully the M R enquiry is aware of this. I believe that there were many more than the 50 requests you suggest. He received that amount in one weekend alone.

Feb 19, 2010 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterPoirot


The FoI requests are handled by the FoI officer at UEA, not by Jones himself. Jones' involvement would have been restricted to finding the agreements requested. There were only four of these IIRC.

Feb 19, 2010 at 6:41 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I've only just returned to this thread so imagine my delight to find that none other than Inspector Poirot has been applying his inscrutable grey cells in my direction. Sadly, though, the legendary Belgian detective's powers must be failing, in that I never said what he accused me of. Here's one of his many bites at the cherry:

Richard Drake did refer to Prof. Jones as a criminal in one of his comments which I find unacceptable.

What I actually said was:
Call the violins off Frank. He's not working because he's suspected of criminal and totally unethical behaviour. Please get a grip and take it seriously.

Suspected of is the key term there, as I think Agatha Christie's original eagle-eyed hero may have spotted. Though I appreciated the good Bishop and others making the point that the ICO has said the man breached FOI, I wasn't even taking a final view on that. I was saying that the charges are extremely serious, especially given the global political implications, as Pat Frank laid out so powerfully for all of us later. But that's a witchhunt folks. Poor, poor climate scientists. We mustn't do anything to hurt their fragile feelings, to waste their uber-valuable time, to doubt for one moment their unreproducible findings. We must if necessary enslave ourselves and do drastic damage to the world's poorest rather than do any of those dreadful, dreadful things. Poor, poor climate scientists.

That's the world the warmist propaganda teams want us to live in - and haven't they been active the last week? A slight misquote to poison the well, to destroy someone's reputation, and away another baseless rumour goes. I'm a bit part player in that compared to the great Steve McIntyre. Look at the crazy attempts to characterise his polite and highly pertinent requests over so many years as 'deliberate harassment'. But the smearers are losing the game. Even the five Jones interviews, cleverly though they've been put together, do not to me do much or say much. I don't even agree with the person who said they indicate the certainty of a whitewash in the Muir Russell Inquiry. I'm sure that is what is hoped for in some quarters. But I wonder if they'll be able to get away with that now. And I think a boycott - a very public one - from many who would normally have submitted is the best way to prevent it. But I'll support whomever. The truth is mighty and will prevail.

Feb 19, 2010 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Jones places emphasis on the temperature rise from the 19th century to the present. He surprisingly does not note that our CO2 emissions did not rise significantly till about the mid-20th century. This means that half at least of the 0.7 deg C temperature rise since the 19th century must be natural because it had already occurred by 1940. When our CO2 levels did start to markedly rise circa 1950, global temperatures fell somewhat. The subsequent warming from 1977-1998 may have something to do with our emissions, but if so it is somewhat surprising that this rise has stopped for a decade or more since then as Jones acknowledges. (The recent global warming for January may just be due to the current El Nino.) No mention is made of the possible involvement in warming of natural cycles like the solar cycle which may underlie the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age and the recent post-1850 rewarming, or the PDO with its 60-year periodicity paralleling 20th century temperature trends to a notable degree. Clearly there is a good deal of natural variation in the global climate system, and disentangling it from any human contribution seems much more difficult than Jones implies.

Feb 19, 2010 at 9:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterdavid elder, australia

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