Monday, November 23, 2009

Freedom of Information Act and the Hadley CRU

Reading through the various theories and comments over at Watts Up With That, perhaps the best question to ask is who does this information really belong to. To wit, commentor GL Alston had the following to say:

This isn’t their data; it’s my data. And yours. I paid for it, as did you. It belongs to us, and we may do with it as we please. It’s not up to Pierrehumbert to dole it out to those possessing the magic key or otherwise demonstrating worthiness to his satisfaction.

Of all of the things in this case, this one is the part that’s ultimately the most damaging, this assumption that the public pays for these people to run a fiefdom as they jolly well please.

The emails and the code commentary are interesting but don’t seem to demonstrate a concerted conspiracy. Sure there’s turf wars with others and blockades to control the mechanism of peer review. This is all part of how the big boys do it everywhere, not just here. The contents of the data release will not likely yield a smoking gun so much as provide some of the data that was supposed to have been released years back via FOIA.

In sum, the travesty playing out is that this is the data that will affect the lives of billions if certain political aims are achieved. Certainly something of this level of importance ought to have been gone through with a fine tooth comb and universally agreed upon accordingly.

And they have been withholding the data as if it’s part of their personal playground.

G.L. Alston

Very well said.

Of course, he is speaking to the significance the data holds in terms of governmental policies which have already been enacted and which are now being considered. That millions of people have been mislead as to the openess of the science reported and have been frightened unnecessarily shows a criminal breech of duty on the part of these investigators, and should result in disciplinary actions and consideration of the dismissal of Dr. Jones from the Climate Research Unit.

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