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« Speechless | Main | Closing the taps »
Monday
Dec192011

New working practices

David Holland's post on email 2526 has deservedly got a lot of attention, enabling sense to be made of many of the statements put forward by people as diverse as Jones, Acton and Russell. 2526 dated from the middle of 2008. A year later, however, there is another email that appears to suggest that Jones had adopted new working practices after his brush with FOI the previous year. Email 0021 involves a discussion between Jones and Manola Brunet, a Spanish climatologist. The important bit is the start of Jones' message.

Hola Manola,

I've saved emails at CRU and then deleted them from the server. Now I'm at home I just have some hard copies. 

Interestingly, the topic of the email thread appears to be nothing more suspicious than efforts to compile a new temperature dataset, so it's not obvious why Jones would be telling Brunet that he had deleted emails from the server - earlier emails are not obviously among the CG2 disclosures (If anyone wants to check more thoroughly and to look in CG1 as well, that would be useful.) Brunet is somewhat indiscreet in her response, so it may be that she is nervous that correspondence with Jones might be disclosable under FOI.

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Reader Comments (39)

What CG2 and CG1 show is that a lot more people knew what was going on at CRU. Jones, et al were keeping everyone informed of their misdeeds.

Dec 19, 2011 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Hola Manola indeed.

Dec 19, 2011 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterstopcpdotcom

Off topic, but I'm surprised the 'sceptic' community appears not have recognised the death of Vaclav Haval who was one of the few International Statesmen who could not have been described as a 'warmist'.

Dec 19, 2011 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterRon

@Ron

Are you by chance confusing Vaclav Havel with Vaclav Klaus the current president who is a CAGW sceptic?

Dec 19, 2011 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Vaclav Klaus issued a presidential condolence message today, here:

http://www.klaus.cz/clanky/3002

Dec 19, 2011 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

The more that light is shed on the UEA gang, the more it is clear they are corrupt in practice and in their work.

Dec 19, 2011 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterlurker

O/T but don't know if anyone noticed John Yates quickly found a new job!

2 Dec: Telegraph: Bahrain hires John Yates, former Met officer, to oversee reform
The former assistant commissioner resigned in July over accusations surrounding his handling of the phone hacking affair and his ties with Neil Wallis, the former senior executive at the News of the World who later worked for the police force...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/bahrain/8931950/Bahrain-hires-John-Yates-former-Met-officer-to-oversee-reform.html

Dec 20, 2011 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

It is intriguing to me that there are a number of gaps in the numerical sequence of emails. For example 0021.txt is not followed by 0022.txt, it jumps to 0027.txt.

Dec 20, 2011 at 12:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

My understanding, based on legal advice given to me personally: Anything that you communicate via a civil/publically owned server, or any data, held on such server, is FOIable, irrespective of whether it is 'work-related' or 'private', end of story.

Dec 20, 2011 at 12:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterSalopian

So PJ moved emails from the server to his PC at CRU. How is this different from just using POP3 instead of IMAP?

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:05 AM | Unregistered Commenternick stokes

O/T again:

last nite i heard bbc's "one planet" which began with multiple voices on Durban. not one sceptic, altho they had Bjorn Lomborg, which ennabled the Beeb to mention the word "sceptical". the only commenters either thought Durban was a great success cos all Countries were now on board?? or thought it was a big failure cos no agreement was reached. following the Durban piece, there was a lengthy piece about Beavers?? before a brief item on Canada leaving Kyoto, which surely should have followed the opening Durban section, and which merely reminded listeners that Canada would still have to fulfill its obligations or face hefty fines. Canada's exit is nicely removed from the summary here and i can't listen online in australia to see if this recording leaves that part out as well:

BBC One Planet: What did Durban achieve? 18 minutes
The ups and downs of the Durban summit, plus empty homes and the great beaver audit. .
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002vsn5

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:09 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat


How is this different from just using POP3 instead of IMAP?

His mail client is Eudora so he must be using POP3 or IMAP. Eudora had no other means to move messages.

Dec 20, 2011 at 2:25 AM | Unregistered Commentercrosspatch

It is intriguing to me that there are a number of gaps in the numerical sequence of emails. For example 0021.txt is not followed by 0022.txt, it jumps to 0027.txt.

I noticed that. There are 5292 numbered files in the mail folder, and the highest number is 5349. One possibility is that, after a numbered list had been compiled on the basis of keyword search results, some mails were then removed after a last, negative selection, possibly to keep one or more names out.

Dec 20, 2011 at 2:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterDutch Boy

"I noticed that. There are 5292 numbered files in the mail folder, and the highest number is 5349. One possibility is that, after a numbered list had been compiled on the basis of keyword search results, some mails were then removed after a last, negative selection, possibly to keep one or more names out."

Possibly.

But don't forget that (mercifully) we've seen nothing of the normal "Can you bring a pint of milk in and don't forget the cat needs worming" type email.

Not to mention kind offers to increase the size of various parts of PJ's anatomy.

Dec 20, 2011 at 6:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

I wonder if the missing numbers give the key for the file containing the other emails?

Dec 20, 2011 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterandy

Is there no crime in acting as described in 0021? (question)

Dec 20, 2011 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

So PJ moved emails from the server to his PC at CRU. How is this different from just using POP3 instead of IMAP?

Nick how can you defend publicly funded research not being available to scruntiny, especially as this research is causing massive public expenditure of billions.

Take your twisted logic back to CA where you can twist on a pinhead to your hearts content.

Dec 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterbreath of fresh air

From the UEA's own site on FOI requests.

"It is a criminal offence to destroy, conceal or amend information, data, emails or any other record that has been requested and you may be liable for prosecution if you do so."

https://www.uea.ac.uk/is/strategies/infregs/Important+guidance+to+new+staff+on+the+Data+Protection+Act,+Freedom+of+Information+Act+and+Environmental+Information+Regulations

"to destroy, conceal or amend" + "I've saved emails at CRU and then deleted them from the server. Now I'm at home I just have some hard copies." = criminal offence

Time to send in Norfolk's finest to investigate.

Dec 20, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I think the missing and apparently random numbers may indicate that FOIA had access to an archive of the email server, not to the user interface to the email system (or more likely, only to a personal email interface).

There is likely no obvious sequence in an email archive - the individual mails will be held in some complex data structure which when dumped serially to an archive will lose any correlations between items.

Dec 20, 2011 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

anyone considered an foi for the hard copies?

Dec 20, 2011 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarcH

Jones moving emails or info off site was not an isolated incident.

In email 2094 Briffa mentions copying all emails to "private storage".

Section 77 is dicussed specifically in email 1175. It is mentioned that they are not concealing to prevent disclosure...."as that has already happened".

Clearly FOI requests did lead to action - email 5267 requests a purge of the FTP server, albeit that trivial info is mentioned.

In email 4226 the man who as far as I know deals with internal appeals approves of an agreed method of dealing with certain requests as " a good solution for closing down the debate".

Email 1249 has PJ telling UEA what colleagues "should say" in respect of requests.

I have read a great deal of the emails in respect of FOI matters and one can see how the UEA strategy developed. PHJ was very hostile and complained about bullying and harassment. The FOI lawyer did in the early years make clear to PJ and others on many occasions what their obligations were, but was eventually on board desiging, discussing and agreeing multiple ways that requests could be denied, even discussing them frequently with the MET and others. The culture very much became one resistant to disclosure and that is a shame. Of course there are exceptions under the legislation, but UEA here can be seen to be seeking them out as much as possible to deny requests rather than starting from the presumption of disclosure. The midset is very much on display.

Dec 20, 2011 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterBroggle

Broggle

Very much so, and I would argue that this leads to information that would have ultimately been subject to FOI request that Jones, CRU, UEA FOI officers, Met Office and other people and organisations recognised would become a problem for them. Deletion became an ultimate solution for Jones, et al.

Dec 20, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

andy said:

I wonder if the missing numbers give the key for the file containing the other emails?

A few weeks ago I tried listing all the missing filenames then putting them into a continuous line of text. It didn't work. Tried it without all the zeros too. All the missing filenames are lower than 200.

Dec 20, 2011 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Surely the missing email files are the ones which have been compressed in the password protected file. FOIA has only filtered out the ones which are in the non-protected files for us using some sort of keyword search.

Dec 20, 2011 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Bloggsworth

Here's another interesting CG2 email that relates to this and which hasn't been commented on yet:


3939. 2009-10-12 12:07:03
______________________________________________________
cc: Keith
date: Mon Oct 12 12:07:03 2009
from: Tom Melvin
subject: Keith Email
to: Mike
Mike,
For Keith's Email :
1. Copied the full C:\Eudora directory to my portable.
2. Deleted the 12000 temporay .gif files from C:\Eudora\Embedded.
3. Copied 3.5 gig of attachments (1 year or older) from C:\Eudora\Attach to C:\OldAttach - this will need to be copied back to his PC
4. He is left with a 1.5 gig C:\Eudora directory on my portable which can be copied back to his PC and readily be moved from PC to portable etc.
5. When using my portable (via yellow cable (in office) or various WiFi networks) Keith logs in to VPN.
Tom
PS. I need to take my portable to a conference w/c 26th Oct.

Dec 20, 2011 at 12:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Steve M

OMG!

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:14 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Which Mike is it?

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:15 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Bah!

Can't tell you anything, McIntyre :)

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBroggle

Or maybe I can? (Probably not).

Have we noticed the emails where PJ, in respect of requests from other academics, actually seeks influence with their departments? In one case in respect of Hull university he complains and gets a fairly grovelling apology. On another occasion he suggests contacting other universities to complain about requests from academics at their institutions but is warned off this and eventually concedes that he "probably won't". On another occasion he contacts his son who teaches at another university to ask if he knows anything about a person at the son's university who has submitted a request. PJ was obsessed with the identity and the "tribe" of the requester even though he had been repeatedly told that the identity and motive of the requester was irrelevant.

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBroggle

[Done - thanks]

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

"But don't forget that (mercifully) we've seen nothing of the normal "Can you bring a pint of milk in and don't forget the cat needs worming" type email."

Dec 20, 2011 at 6:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

0038

date: Tue, 06 Feb 2007 13:10:48 +0100
from: "D.HISTAGEO - Manola Brunet-India" <manola.brunet@urv.xxxxx
subject: Re: did you turn off power ? :-)
to: Phil Jones <p.jones@ueaxxxxxxxx

" Hola Phil,
Be careful and don't eat chicken or turkey meat and keep away of farms in Suffolk ;-)
I was looking on Sun at Climate Audit web site and I got really upset ! How it is possible
that "intelligent" people dedicate their time and energies to audit scientific work and not
to work in a more positive way for making real scientific analysis and contributing to push
science and knowledge ahead. There are really miserable attitudes among these sceptics!
They could use money coming from i.e. Exxon and make reliable contributions ;-) Anyway,
their consciences and not the ours will have to respond before thousand of humans beings
affected by our changing climate!
Here all media have intensively tracked IPCC's meeting and SPM release. It has been the
main news on TVs and newspapers, and all of them highlighted menaces related to a warming
world. Nothing about sceptics! Our left-ring governments are on the side of the standard
IPCC science! In this regard, I am optimistic as this morning had a long chat with the
current sub-director of our Met Office in charge of climatological issues and reached an
initial agreement to work together in putting actual data in the instrumental context. I'll
try to get some kind of official agreement for collaborating on this following your
agreement between the HC and CRU. Any clue/advise on this?

[[[redacted: chitchat]]]"

some of the emails have been redacted in part, as in this case.

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

Wasn't Briffa off sick and at home during this period?

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

...he had been repeatedly told that the identity and motive of the requester was irrelevant
But not irrelevant to him, Broggle.
McIntyre has made the point (initially several years ago) that Jones may have been trying to avoid disclosing either that the work that was being done at CRU did not warrant the grant they were getting or that their whole data-handling and programming was such a shambles (see the Harry read_me file) that he didn't dare let it be known, especially to sceptics and/or the general public, just how big the mess was.
Assuming either of these to be correct he would have been very reluctant to let the data out to people who might conceivably have blown the whistle on the whole business.Presumably he trusted climatologists and probably also most of the rest of the scientific community who would close ranks round him (as they did).
What is equally probable (in my view) is that he was not quite as happy as he would have liked that the data and conclusions were throwing up the results he wanted/expected as far as global warming was concerned. Hence his worry that Hughes might have found something that could be challenged.
In 25 years of data it would have been surprising if there wasn't something in there that could be queried and since Jones comes across as someone a bit lacking in self-confidence he would have been unsure as to how we would have handled the challenge.
Better to avoid it altogether if at all possible.

Dec 20, 2011 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Frederick Bloggsworth,

I expect they are in the encrypted file. What has got my interest is that the 5292 unencrypted emails range from 0001.txt to 5349.txt. There are gaps in the number sequence which I take to mean the person or people who sifted the 200k+ emails found 5349 to their liking, numbered them and only after that deleted the 57 that are missing. It makes me wonder why, and why they then didn't just rename the 5292 as 0001.txt to 5292.txt.

Dec 20, 2011 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Broggle,
Steve and Andrew are almost always a few steps ahead of the rest of us.
Jones's attempts to complain about people who disagree with him or dare to ask him for data were discussed on the Crushing of dissent thread.


Frosty/Gareth: Regarding the chitchat redactions, it seems that the hacker/leaker started going through the emails in numerical order, but gave up after number 160 (check by searching for [[[ ).
Similarly the gaps in the numbering stop after 200, so I expect he deleted some, perhaps because they just contained chat, but realised it would take a long time to get through all 5000.

Dec 20, 2011 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Matthews

Did the "to destroy, conceal or amend " culture at CRU extend much further than first thought?

# 2298

date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 16:08:47 +0100
from: "Parker, David" <REDACTED>
subject: RE: [Fwd: Chinese urban heat island effects]
to: "Phil Jones" <REDACTED>

Phil

Thanks - I've saved this into a safe place!

David

David Parker, Climate Research scientist
Met Office Hadley Centre FitzRoy Road Exeter Devon EX1 3PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)REDACTEDFax: +44 (0)REDACTED
Email: REDACTED
Website: www.metoffice.gov.uk

Dec 20, 2011 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Is Hola Manola the evil twin of Holy Moly? Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Dec 20, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterReed Coray

"Wasn't Briffa off sick and at home during this period?"

I remember he was out for an extensive period of time which did allow his colleagues to further delay certain disclosures...I think...

Too bad the UK does not have RICO laws, originally established in the States to go after the Mob. However, Canada has some similar statutes I believe. Furthermore, Canada, being part of the Commonwealth...and being as Canada has recently demonstrated a bit of backbone... I am wondering if an investigation lead by The Great White North may have the ability to investigate some of these issues more effectively than Scotland Yard or the US Justice Department.

I mean the Head of State in Canada...who spent some time with the likes of Churchill and Eisenhower...cannot be pleased with what is going on...I am just saying stranger things have happened...not that anything would be done publicly...but I have to believe she might like the opportunity to subtly give her son a bit of motherly advice...she does have some influence on his future, lol.

Or maybe not...

Dec 20, 2011 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Ah, here is an interesting piece of fraud, oh, I am sorry, "out of context"...

3288.txt

date: Thu Mar 27 16:46:23 2008
from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: Re: Truncating tem series before filtering
to: Mike Salmon <REDACTED>

Mike,
Good.
I doubt if any of them will notice.
Cheers
Phil
At 16:44 27/03/2008, you wrote:

Hi Phil,
[1]http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/
now has the final year removed if incomplete.
Batten hatches and prepare for Skeptix!
Mike

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0)REDACTED
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0)REDACTED
University of East Anglia
NorwichREDACTED Email REDACTED
NR4 7TJ
UK

Dec 20, 2011 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterIntrepid_Wanders

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