At 09:41 AM 2/2/2005, Phil Jones wrote:
I presume congratulations are in order - so congrats etc! Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time ! And don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs [McKitrick, McIntyre] have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? - our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who'll say we must adhere to it ! ...
UPDATE - all the mails and files (and many news stories) linked to from here.
I'm not an AGW sceptic, btw, but an agnostic. That doesn't mean I think that chucking large amounts of CO2 into the air is a wise thing to do without knowing the possible consequences. And I agree that the consequences could be apocalyptic (the fate of Mars, which it is now believed once had huge oceans, is ever before me), so a precautionary approach is wise. I'm sure human activity makes a difference - the crucial question is 'how much difference' - and 'how much difference compared with 'natural' changes' ?
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.
and in the comments :
I apologise. I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.
But if the science is that "settled," why refuse to disclose the data? If global warming so obvious and incontrovertible, why be in such a panic about FOI, why talk openly about re-defining "peer review", why threaten to (or actually) delete data?
I agree. It is exactly for those reasons that Phil Jones should resign. There's a word for his lack of openness and control of the data: unscientific.