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The Hoskins emails

The Hoskins emails are much fewer in number but there are still some gems:

27 Feb 2010 12:56 Davies emails Rees:" Ron and we settled on a list of 13 possible candidates for SAP membership. The target will be ~6 but we will need to have a larger choice to account for non-availability." The list is largely redacted. There are also some handwritten reversals of redactions which appear to read: "We see [redacted], Kelly, Huppert [redacted] Hand being mainly neutral" with respect to recent climate change (some neutral at the most)." Later on he says: "Out of these 13, we would hope to get 6 with a suitable range of expertises, and a range of 'attitudes' towards recent warming/greenhouse gases - from those who already see it as a problem, but without being right in the middle of the climate science community, to those which will come to it with a questioning objectivity". This rather gives the impression that panel members were to be onside or objective. Which reminds me of this.

28 Feb 2010 12:11 Hoskins emails Rees and Davies saying the proposed list of names for the Oxburgh panel is good.

March 2010: The emails re the list of papers already revealed at CA appear again in this set.

14 April 2010 13:28 Hoskins emails Fiona Fox of the Science Media Centre in the wake of the release of the report. Fox has just told Hoskins about the press conference. Hoskins says: "In the bullet:
There are lots of uncertainties in this area of science and CRU should be commended for highlighting these at every turn - but not everyone who has used thier work has highlighted the range of uncertainty and that is unfortunate - the blame for mis-representation of CRU's work is spread very widely
did he elaborate on the last phrase?"

In the same email from Fox, there is this: "[The report] was 'non-trivial' if we had found CRU guilty as charged the scientists would have probably never worked again"

14 April 2010 13:57 Fox replies: "Hi Brian - well he specifically mentioned a leaflet published in 1999 by WMO which used a graph without any of the caveats that [redacted] used. But to be fair he also cited NGOs and the media as being amongst those who take CRU's work and struggle to include the caveats ... he was specifically asked if governments have mis-used it and he ducked the question"

14 April 2010 15:17 Oxburgh to Hoskins: "Thanks, Brian - I don't have the IPCC stuff to hand but as a good example, take the WMO brochure 'WMO statement on the status of the Global Climate in 1999' - the cover has a temperature scale between present and 1OOOAD. Three curves shown - one attributed to Jones, one to Briffa and one to Mann - no error bands in the illustration and a rather cursory reference in the text inside! We all understood how and why this happened, it's just not fair to blame this on CRU!


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Reader Comments (5)

When the climategate emails first struck I was immediately struck by their power to persuade. By that I mean that the emails could easily explain to the mass of scientists just how the whole science of climate got perverted. This was critical, because as important as Steve's work was, it was 'inside baseball' and only easily accessible to those paying a lot of attention. The climategate emails provided for scientists what these emails will provide for the public and the journalists.

This is corruption exposed to the light of day. And oh, how the bugs are scurrying.

Jun 22, 2010 at 11:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"if we had found CRU guilty as charged the scientists would have probably never worked again"

So, it all comes down to job protection and not saving scientific integrity. What a real mess these political people have made!

Jun 23, 2010 at 5:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

Pete Hayes>

I disagree. What it actually comes down to is that this inquiry actually delivered the correct conclusion because the terms of investigation were very carefully phrased. They did not investigate the truth or otherwise of scientific claims, or, when you watch closely, do they claim to have done. All they did was to investigate whether there is anything approaching closely enough to science to be debated scientifically, or whether there was actual, genuine, criminal fraud.

The confusion arises because the investigation was presented as an answer to critical bloggers, and it's natural that the sensible, mature investigators like McIntyre and Bishop Hill assume it's a response to them - I think it's actually a (needed) response to the nuttier elements in the blogosphere who claim things like that CRU deliberately fabricated every word of every paper with the sole intent to deceive so as to claim more research funding and publicity.

Oxburgh's report makes very little sense unless read purely as a verdict on whether CRU's work was honestly intended to be science (saying nothing about the quality), or whether it was complete fantasy.

Jun 23, 2010 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

Are the Hoskins e-mails available for download. If so, where?

Jun 24, 2010 at 5:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterMescalero


The Hoskins emails were released as part of an FOI application in the form of an Outlook PST file, so sadly they are not in an easily readable format. I have acopy of the file which was given to me via athird party who's permission i would need to seek first before uploading the file to somewhere where you could download it e.g. YouSendIt.

Are you still interested in the file?

Jun 25, 2010 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevinUK

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