Climate Pentagon Papers

An interesting development you have probably seen at other climate sites already (I am pretty conservative about posting this stuff), apparently someone may have hacked the servers at the Hadley Center Climate Research Unit (CRU) in the UK and copied a bunch of data and emails and dropped it into the public realm (via links in a number of site’s comment sections).  I downloaded the file but have not checked it out.  It is unclear if this is real or a skeptic spoof or even an alarmist-set trap, though initial reactions from the Hadley Center CRU seem to point to it being real.  The ethics of the folks who grabbed this material are also seriously in question, though if it turns out to be real I have no problem using the material as it is public / government material that should have been in the public domain anyway (which is why I use the Pentagon Papers analogy).

Andrew Bolt has some background and excerpts from the material.  The very first email he has from Phil Jones seems to confirm my suspicions about splicing thermometer data onto proxy series I expressed here.   (Update:  much more from Steve McIntyre here).

A lot of the stuff in Bolt’s post is really stuff we in the skeptic community already know.  RealClimate ruthlessly purges comments of any dissenting or critical voices?  Who’d have thunk it.

20 thoughts on “Climate Pentagon Papers”

  1. I agree that it’s all stuff we already knew. Science publications and assessments have been corrupted? Check. Alarmists stonewall FOIA requests? Check. They are ideological, even religious zealots? Check. They manipulate data? Check. Even the ones who aren’t corrupt enough to rig the science won’t blow the whistle on those who do? Check.

  2. Yes stan, we all know this stuff but it is quite difficult to convince the warmists without being labelled a denier or tinfoil hatter. If this stuff really is genuine, then the truth is coming right from the horse’s mouth and as such will be a lot harder to dismiss.

    In the UK, commercial radio is still bombarding us with ads about reducing our carbon footprint and there are TV ads depicting a world-wrecking carbon monster. These ads are paid for with taxpayer’s money. The AGW bubble can’t burst soon enough for me. I’m also waiting to see what, if anything the MSM have to say.

  3. Phil Jones said that it appears that the files and emails are legitimate.

    Climate Audit isn’t down, it’s just under a huge load. Keeping try eventually you’ll get in, they just added this post referring directly to Phil Jones’s email talking about “Mike’s trick”

  4. A commenter at CA posted this:

    Mike Mann talks about how to destroy the reputation of “Climatic Research” a journal:

    “It is pretty clear that thee skeptics here have staged a bit of a coup, even in the presence of a number of reasonable folks on the editorial board (Whetton, Goodess, …). My guess is that Von Storch is actually with them (frankly, he’s an odd individual, and I’m not sure he isn’t himself somewhat of a skeptic himself), and without Von Storch on their side, they would have a very forceful personality promoting their new vision. There have been several papers by Pat Michaels, as well as the Soon & Baliunas paper, that couldn’t get published in a reputable journal.

    This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the “peer-reviewed literature”. Obviously, they found a solution to that–take over a journal!

    So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…

    What do others think?


  5. I would suggest that if it hasn’t been done already, someone should contact Andrew Breitbart about this. Who knows what his ad-hoc investigators can dig out, given this as a starting point.

  6. John Moore,
    I just left a tip for Breitbart over at BigGovernment with the link I just gave and the link that Coyote gives in this post. I hope they are all over it!

  7. what’s interesting here is the total lack of denials. i have not yet seen any of the purported e-mail author dispute legitimacy. has anyone seen anything like that? with this kind of publicity, one would think that if one of these scientists were being set up, they’d be vocally saying so.

    mann’s response is hilarious:

    Professor Michael Mann, director of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Centre and a regular contributor to the popular climate science blog Real Climate, features in many of the email exchanges. He said: “I’m not going to comment on the content of illegally obtained emails. However, I will say this: both their theft and, I believe, any reproduction of the emails that were obtained on public websites, etc, constitutes serious criminal activity. I’m hoping the perpetrators and their facilitators will be tracked down and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows.

    nice try, but i don’t think that this debate will be that easy to shift away from the content of the emails.

  8. This is already bring debunked as unimpotant by the alarmists, but it has hit the mainstream media and the next few days could be very interesting as these mails are further analyzed. Also, is this just a taster from the hackers and is there more to come?

    All we need now is a cold winter – a good snowstorm over Copenhagen would be poetic indeed!

  9. The AGW alarmocracy is trying to figure a way to continue their decades long version of ‘don’t beleive your lying eyes’, but they seem to be having a bit of trouble on this.
    Those pesky facts, like obvious fraud, deceipt, defamation, law breaking, cherry picking, press manipulation, etc etc etc., keep getting in the way.

  10. Stan
    A comment posting on

    It would seem Dr Clare Goodess, Hadley CRU, was part of the plan to discredit the Climate Research journal.

    Stormy Times for Climate Research
    (from SGR Newsletter 28, November 2003)
    Clare Goodess explains the circumstances behind the resignation of half of the editorial board of the journal Climate Research
    How can the publication of one poor paper in a scientific journal have caused the resignation of half the members of its editorial board (including the newly-appointed editor-in-chief) and have these resignations had any effect? As one of the editors who resigned from Climate Research at the end of July 2003, these are some of the questions that I am left pondering.

    The article in question (Soon and Baliunas, 2003) was published at the end of January 2003. It is in fact a literature review of over 240 previously published studies of climate proxy records (such as tree rings, glaciers and ocean sediments) covering the last 1000 years. It contains some startling and controversial conclusions, notably: “Across the world, many records reveal that the 20th century is probably not the warmest or a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium’ and ‘Overall, the 20th century does not contain the warmest anomaly of the past millennium in most of the proxy records which have been sampled world-wide.”

    With conclusions like these, it is not surprising that this paper (and a remarkably similar version published in Energy and Environment (Soon et al., 2003) attracted the attention of the White House administration. At least one press release from the authors deliberately fuelled this politisation of the paper and its conclusions. Internal documents from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), now in the public domain, show that the Bush administration attempted to get this paper cited in an agency report on the state of the environment. EPA staff members blocked this by deleting all mention of climate change from the report. This did not stop the anti-Kyoto lobby, however, and the Republican Senator James Inofhe from Oklahoma called a hearing of the Senate environment committee in late July to debate the paper.

    In the meantime, Hans von Storch (another Climate Research editor) and myself had been receiving numerous unsolicited complaints and critiques of the paper from many leading members of the international palaeo and historical climatology community. At the beginning of May 2003, these had reached such a level that we raised the concerns with the editor who had processed the Soon and Baliunas paper (Chris de Freitas) and the publisher (Otto Kinne of Inter-Research). In response, de Freitas accused us of ‘a mix of a witch-hunt and the Spanish Inquisition’. The publisher eventually asked to see the documentation associated with the review of the paper – which had apparently gone to four reviewers none of whom had recommended rejection. Otto Kinne concluded that the review process had been properly conducted.

    This left many of us somewhat confused and still very concerned about what had happened. The review process had apparently been correct, but a fundamentally flawed paper had been published. These flaws are described in an extended rebuttal to both Soon and Baliunas (2003) and Soon et al. (2003) published by Mike Mann and 11 other eminent climate scientists in July (Mann et al., 2003). Hans von Storch and I were also aware of three earlier Climate Research papers about which people had raised concerns over the review process. In all these cases, de Freitas had had editorial responsibility.

    My main objective in raising the concerns of myself and many others over the most recent paper was to try to protect the reputation of the journal by focusing on the scientific rather than the political issues. Though I was well aware of the deliberate political use being made of the paper by Soon and Baliunas (well-known ‘climate sceptics’) and others. Chris de Freitas has also published what can be regarded as ‘climate sceptic’ views.

    Eventually, however, Inter-Research recognised that something needed to be done and appointed Hans von Storch as editor-in-chief with effect from 1 August 2003. This would have marked a change from the existing system, where each of the 10 editors works independently. Authors can submit a manuscript to which ever of these editors they like. Hans drafted an editorial to appear in the next edition of Climate Research and circulated it to all the other editors for comment. However, Otto Kinne then decided that Hans could not publish the editorial without the agreement of all of the editors. Since at least one of the editors thought there was nothing wrong with the Soon and Baliunas paper, such an agreement was clearly never going to be obtained. In view of this, and the intervention of the publisher in editorial matters, Hans understandably felt that he could not take up the Editor-in-Chief position and resigned four days before he was due to start his new position. I also resigned as soon as I heard what had happened. This turned out to be the day of Inofhe’s US senate committee hearing and the news of the two resignations was announced at the hearing . Since then, another three editors have resigned.

    So Climate Research (CR) has lost half of its editors and the five remaining include Chris de Freitas. The latest twist in this story is an editorial by Otto Kinne in August’s edition of the journal (Kinne, 2003) which cites the two conclusions of Soon and Baliunas quoted earlier in this article and then states that “While these statements may be true, the critics point out that they cannot be concluded convincingly from the evidence provided in the paper. CR should have requested appropriate revisions of the manuscript prior to publication.’.

    I will be watching Climate Research with interest over the coming months to see whether there are any changes in editorial practice and/or in the editorial appointments. Otto Kinne has published fairly extensively on the nature and quality of the science review process – though from a rather theoretical perspective. My experience over the last few months has been that practice does not always meet theory.

    The last few months have also taught me quite a lot at first hand about the highly sensitive and political nature of the climate-change debate in the US. Though I have been quite impressed with some of the media coverage of the whole affair. I had fairly lengthy interviews with reporters from the Wall Street Journal and The Chronicle of Higher Education amongst others. The latter article in particular gives a very balanced and well-researched account of events.

    Some journalists are digging even deeper – into the sources of Soon and Baliunas’s funding. Their Climate Research paper includes acknowledgements to NOAA, NASA and the US Air Force, as well as to the American Petroleum Institute. Yet NOAA flatly deny having ever funded the authors for such work, while the other two bodies admit to funding them, but for work on solar variability – not proxy climate records, the topic that has caused such a storm.
    Clare Goodess is a Senior Research Associate in the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, where she has worked since 1982.


    Kinne, O., 2003: Climate Research: an article unleashed worldwide storms. Climate Research, 24, 197-198.
    Mann, M.E., Ammann, C.M., Bradley, R.S., Briffa, K.R., Crowley, T.J., Jones, P.D., Oppenheimer, M., Osborn, T.J., Overpeck, J.T., Rutherford, S., Trenberth, K.E. and Wigley, T.M.L., 2003: On past temperatures and anomalous late-20th century warmth. EOS, 84, 256.
    Soon, W. and Baliunas, S., 2003: Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years. Climate Research, 23, 89-110.
    Soon, W., Baliunas, S., Idso, C., Idso, S. and Legates, D.R. 2003. Reconstructing climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years: A reappraisal. Energy and Environment, 14, 233-296.

  11. Fred B,
    Are you posting this to show that even in 2003 the AGW movement was so powerful and corrupt that witch hunts against skeptics, and the complete destruction of the careers of those who dared to disagree with them?

  12. thats a pretty good synopsis Hunter.

    One time I had a guy over at American Thinker waving Rutherford around as an “independant” auditor/referee for the AR4 paleo reconstructions.

    You should have seen the egg explosion all over his face when I pulled the Rutherford recon out of the spagetti, and waved the wet noodle at him.

    Well, actually I didn’t get to see his face, but I imagine it dripping with egg. It finally got him to piss off. That’s for certain.

  13. Whale Steam engines.
    175 MPG is the standard .
    Steam power 4 cylinder water rockets drive a slide vane rotor.
    YET the gov wount let you see it because they dont want to end the oil age and end the electric monopoly too. The morons in charge are greedy liers.

  14. Are you people crazy? You want to disregard thirty years of research because of some ambiguous emails? That’s not how science works.

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