Pressure Growing for Public Inquiry Into CRU Data Affair

  • Date: 24/11/09
Lord Lawson yesterday called for an independent inquiry into claims that leading British climate change scientists manipulated data to strengthen the case for made-made global warming.

The former Chancellor said the content of hundreds of leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit was a ‘scandal’ – and warned that the credibility and integrity of UK science was at stake.

His comments came after it was revealed that 1,000 private emails written by researchers at the world-renowned unit over the last 13 years were stolen and posted on a Russian website.

While most are impossible to interpret out of context, climate change sceptics have seized on some that appear to show scientists manipulating raw data about historical temperatures.

In one alleged email, scientists discussed how climate data should be best spun and presented to selected journalists.

The emails also appear to discuss ways of dodging Freedom of Information requests from a climate change sceptic seeking raw data.

Lord Lawson called for the university and Natural Environment Research Council, which funds the unit, to launch an open, independent inquiry. [….]

Daily Mail, 24 November 2009

George Monbiot Calls for Heads to Roll, Re-Analysis of CRU Climate Data
The Guardian, 24 November 2009

It’s no use pretending this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.

Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad. There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request.

Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed. [….]

Compromised Climate Scientists should be excluded from IPCC,  Leading Climate Scientist says

Professor Hans von Storch:  […] There are a number of problematic statements, which will be discussed in the media and the blogosphere. I found the style of communication revealing, speaking about other people and their ideas, joining forces to “kill” papers, exchanges of “improving” presentations without explaining.

Also mails from/to Eduardo Zorita and myself are included; also we have been subject of frequent mentioning, usually not in a flattering manner. Interesting exchanges, and evidences, are contained about efforts to destroy “Climate Research”; that we in the heydays of the hockeystick debate shared our ECHO-G data with our adversaries; and that Mike Mann was successful to exclude me from a review-type meeting on historical reconstructions in Wengen (demonstrating again his problematic but powerful role of acting as a gatekeeper.) I would assume that more interesting issues will be found in the files, and that a useful debate about the degree of politicization of climate science will emerge. A conclusion could be that the principle, according to which data must be made public, so that also adversaries may check the analysis, must be really enforced. Another conclusion could be that scientists like Mike Mann, Phil Jones and others should no longer participate in the peer-review process or in assessment activities like IPCC. […]

U.S. Lawmakers Probe Climate E-mails

The Wall Street Journal, 24 November 2009

Congressional Republicans have started investigating climate scientists whose hacked emails suggest they tried to squelch dissenting views about global warming.

An aide to Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said investigators are studying the documents, which unknown hackers stole last week from the computer of a prominent British climate-research center.

Investigators are focusing on the correspondence of White House Science Adviser John Holdren, he said. Dr. Holdren, a point man for the Obama administration on climate change, sent one of the hacked emails. In the 2003 email, Dr. Holdren, then at the Woods Hole Research Center in Woods Hole, Mass., defended research by Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, a scientist who believes global warming is man-made and who also sent some of the hacked emails.

On Monday, Dr. Holden said: “I’m happy to stand by my contribution to this exchange. I think anybody who reads what I wrote in its entirety will find it a serious and balanced treatment of the question of ‘burden of proof’ in situations where science germane to public policy is in dispute.”

The aide said investigators are also probing the contributions of dozens of climate scientists to reports published by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Environmental Protection Agency, in its recent move to boost regulation of greenhouse gases, based its conclusions on IPCC reports.

The IPCC has said the climate is heating up and humans are almost certainly to blame. Those who disagree that the globe is warming, or on the cause or extent of any warming, complain that their views have been excluded.

The documents, hacked from the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University in the U.K., show that some climate researchers declined to share their data with fellow scientists, and sought to keep researchers with dissenting views from publishing in leading scientific journals. […]

Pressure Growing for Public Inquiry into CRU Affair
The Guardian, 23 November 2009

Prominent voices on both sides of the climate change debate today called for an independent inquiry into claims of collusion between climate scientists after it emerged last week that hundreds of their emails and documents had been leaked that allegedly manipulated data and destroyed evidence for Freedom of Information Act requests.

Writing in the Times, Lord Lawson, the former Conservative chancellor and long-time climate change sceptic, said: “The integrity of the scientific evidence on which not merely the British government, but other countries, too, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, claim to base far-reaching and hugely expensive policy decisions, has been called into question. And the reputation of British science has been seriously tarnished. A high-level independent inquiry must be set up without delay.”

Bob Ward, director of policy and communications at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, said: “Once appropriate action has been taken over the hacking, there has to be some process to assess the substance of the email messages as well. The selective disclosure and dissemination of the messages has created the impression of impropriety, and the only way of clearing the air now would be through a rigorous investigation. I have sympathy for the climate researchers at the University of East Anglia and other institutions who have been the target of an aggressive campaign by so-called ‘sceptics’ over a number of years. But I fear that only a thorough investigation could now clear their names.” […]



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