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A new history of Climategate

There is what purports to be a new history of Climategate at the US website, Mother Jones. It's not too bad, considering the source, but there are some problems.

For example, the standard line about the NAS panel's review of paleoclimate is repeated. I find it hard to believe that anyone with any self respect can continue to pretend that the other paleo studies are not undermined by their use of bristlecones (plus Yamal et al). This is such a simple issue that it does rather shred a journalist's credibility if they feign ignorance of it. The author Kate Sheppard blagged a copy of HSI from the publisher, so she knows it's a problem. I wonder why she didn't mention it?

There are a few other things too. Like this:

So how much of a nuisance was McIntyre? Consider his attempts to procure the crucial global temperature data sets that are jointly held by the CRU and the UK's Met Office Hadley Centre [75]. McIntyre dogged the CRU for access to them for years, a campaign that escalated over the course of 2009. The CRU repeatedly turned down these requests, arguing that granting them would violate agreements over data its partners had collected.

I think I am right in saying that McIntyre asked for the CRUTEM data once, or possibly twice, so I don't this could reasonably be described as "dogged".

And then there's this:

It later became clear that CRU was not the only target [111]. In the fall of 2009, unknown parties posing as network technicians attempted to break into the office of a climate scientist at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. There were also attempts to gain access to servers at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis.

That Ms Sheppard would still be pushing this story is hilarious, as it has already been shown to be, erm, bunk.

And lastly this:

The CRU, on the other hand, maintains that [Climategate] was the work of someone outside of the university—a "very professional job," says Trevor Davies [109], pro-vice chancellor for research at East Anglia and the former head of the CRU.

Interestingly, if you read the minutes of the Russell team's meetings with UEA bigwigs, they are not nearly so sure about whodunnit.

So, a few problems, but the article is actually more interesting for the timing. Why is this coming out now?


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Reader Comments (12)

The original Kate Sheppard was a Womans' Suffrage pioneer in New Zealand. Her role in the womens' organisations she helped bring into being and their high-profile and effective campaigning acheived the vote for women for the first time in history in 1893. In the 1893 NZ general election, 61% of women over the voting age of 21 cast their votes.
Kate Sheppard the current 'environmental' writer would make the original KS, a convinced and forthright Methodist, cringe with such a loose treatment of facts as in the article in the Mother Hubbard thingy.

Apr 21, 2011 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

How to look like a Climate Scientist

Apr 21, 2011 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

It was pointed out by a prominent 'white hat' hacker that bad hackers usually have serious agendas -- usually money, but sometimes industrial or political espionage -- before they commit the serious resources required to the business of hacking safely into a remote system.

No serious hacker, he concluded, would have bothered with the paltry results gleaned from the CRU servers; hence it was almost certainly an inside job.

But that conclusion does not suit the Alarmist narrative at all, so expect the 'hacking' line to be repeated until the actual hero owns up....

Apr 21, 2011 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Quite correct Rick Bradford . And as for the "less" serious hacker, they do it for fame and "brownie points". We have heard nothing from the Script Kiddy community.

And by the way, has anyone bothered to check in the the Whatever Constables who were diligently hunting down the evil hacker. It's been so long I have forgotten their name -- which is what I suspect their plan is.

Apr 21, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

@ Don Pablo de la Sierra

You mean our glorious secret police.

ACPO Climategate Coverup Unit

Apr 21, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

Perhaps she thinks the term ‘pro vice-chancellor’ means that he’s a professional...

Apr 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

James P

Perhaps she thinks the term ‘pro vice-chancellor’ means that he’s a professional...

I thought you knew -- becoming a pro-vice chancellor for research at East Anglia requires a Ph. D. in computer science and ten years experience in internet protocols, not to mention at least 45 peer reviewed scholarly articles on internet security -- or so she will have us believe. Obviously, given his former job as "head of the CRU", Trevor Davies is well qualified to make that judgement. No vested interest or conflict of interest there for sure.

Obviously. I mean it is so clear. He is obviously a professional. Perhaps of something other than internet security, but give his rise to his current position, he clearly knows what doorknobs to polish -- and other activities I shall not mention.

Apr 21, 2011 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

It's all slant. It reminds me of the old days when blockbusters where remade by cheap Italian studios with all the names changed slightly. Except in this case along with the cheapness of the interpretaion we get such a slant to one side to make the glasses slide off the table on the Titanic.

I mean, goodness! Didn't you know Steve McIntyre was getting cheap splashy headlines based on the hard working Michael Mann's work in 2004?

There is no overt advertising for the "Hockey Stick Illusion" here but a subliminal one. The "slanter" author Kate Sheppard clearly used HSI as a base source without considering that anyone later reading the source material may realise all of the slantation that went on with her.

Lazy churnalist are the gift that keeps giving if you consider the long game.

I'll go along with the Bish's understatement "It's not too bad" ;) It's a hoot if you know the HSI...

Apr 21, 2011 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement


"Why is this coming out now?"

You have to watch the embedded video: the article & video are a pair. Briffa's opinion is a new slant on 'hide the decline'. Overall, possibly an attack on the HSI?

Apr 21, 2011 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

NO evidence of an outside break-in. Zero.

I still like the "pissed off, over-worked computer slave" theory. It's the romantic in me.

Apr 21, 2011 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermojo

The oil combustion products that end up in the atmosphere can, in a way, be linked to the finance and investment industry. To explore this connection, take time to read of William Knox D'Arcy, an investor who was central to the formation of British Petroleum.

My employeer company operated the referenced Mt Morgan gold mine for a number of years. It was interesting to relax in the Directors' Quarters to read past Annual Reports of the early Mt Morgan Gold Mining Company, which at times was the world's biggest single gold mine.

It is interesting to study original source data. I wish we had more from the climate people.

Apr 22, 2011 at 4:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

There were also attempts to gain access to servers at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis.

Wow, such a terrible pressure!

I get over a thousand attacks a day to my servers, which is quite normal for any site.

Apr 22, 2011 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

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