Where Was the CRU’s Outrage

The issue of non-publication agreements has come up before as an excuse for EAU-CRU not to release FOIA’d data.

The U-turn by the university follows a week of controversy after the emergence of hundreds of leaked emails, “stolen” by hackers and published online, triggered claims that the academics had massaged statistics.

In a statement welcomed by climate change sceptics, the university said it would make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements.

This excuse had a certain credibility problem even before the email release, as it was something like the fifth or sixth excuse, used only when the others failed.  Now we see from the emails it was more of a “strategy” for avoiding scrutiny rather than a real concern.

These aren’t corporations arguing over iPod code.  These are universities and public institutions.  Where was the outrage from East Anglia?  Where was the guy saying “What do you mean non-publication agreement – this is scientific information gathered at public expense affecting enormous public policy decisions — of course its going to be freaking published.”  Instead, EAU’s response to the request for non-publication seems to be “good, that gives us another excuse not to release anything so that skeptic’s can pick us apart.”

  • ADiff

    And all along there I was laboring under the misconception the whole point of the scientific method was for theories to actually be “picked apart”, in interest of moving toward a more accurate understanding. These folks clearly view science as defense of the Faith against “deniers” of the Divine…er, I mean of Global Warming. Sorry! When it comes to the “Climate Change” crowd, ‘truth’ means what supports their ‘position’, true or not. Lysenko would have been right at home at the CRU!

  • Eric Anderson

    In the business world, a decent amount of time and energy is spent negotiating confidentiality clauses and, if you are the recipient of the confidential information in question, negotiating the confidentiality restrictions to be as minimal as possible so that you are not later hamstrung in what you can do with the information. Here, however, the emails suggest that they almost welcomed the restrictions. But even if that is not the case, I understand CRU already gave the lie to their confidentiality excuse in that they have released some of “confidential” data to scientists who have the appropriate viewpoints.