Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another look at what was not found at Hadley CRU

After the dispersal of the mushroom cloud over Hadley CRU following their file records being dumped onto the internet, our friends over at Real Climate responded with the rather vacuous argument that though some boorish behavior on the part of the scientists in question was exposed, not at all uncommon for the highly educated professorial types, what was more important was what the e-mail exchanges had not revealed, namely:

"More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though."

This rather empty straw man exercise was dispensed with here. But on further reflection it is clear that something missing from the record files is significant, namely the absence of any mention of the raw data sets that had been repeatedly petitioned through various Freedom of Information requests. These data sets were the bedrock upon which the AGW argument was built, and now we are told that they have been lost. Yes, apparently in the move from one building to another, the raw data somehow got lost in the shuffle. It happens. Can't be helped. Let's be mature about this. No sense crying over spilled milk. Nothing to do about it now.

The data upon which all this scientific research rests became lost? This is the same data that had repeatedly been requested by Steve McIntyre, and others, for which he had received refusal after refusal from Dr. Jones. Now all lost, apparently.

Chris Horner explores this problem further over at Watts Up With That?

"First, it does seem odd that Jones would so firmly and crisply articulate his many, very specific excuses for so many years about why he could not provide something that in fact they had, as he now tells it, lost."

One would think Dr. Jones could have saved himself all the work of those detailed explanations as to why the data could not be released, and simply said: "The data cannot be released for your review because I lost it when we moved." But he did not.

What's more, he never mentions their absence in any of his e-mail correspondence with his CRU colleagues. Many mentions of arguments detailing reasons why the documents could not be released. Many mentions that e-mails should be deleted. Many mentions of issues with FOI requests. Many mentions that those requesting the information were jerks. No mention that the information no longer existed. It no longer exists now.

Odd indeed.


  1. I came across this from a response to another Steynpost, this time over at MacClean's Mag.

    The so-called ‘climategate’ is climate change denial’s last gasp. Hackers stole ten years worth of emails, and they were scoured for anything that might appear damning, finding only two that have been endlessly paraphrased since. The term ‘trick’ is commonly used in science journals as an accepted clever methodology rather than an intent to deceive, and the study mentioned in the email that includes the word ‘trick’ plays no part in official IPCC findings. The ‘can’t explain the decline’ email refers to a study of tree ring formation, and rather than being a secret, the scientist who wrote the email also wrote a public article about his inability to explain his findings.

    (all emphasis is mine)

  2. Ya beat me to the punch again, Nick.

    I need to manage my time better. Though today, like this forwarded to you, was collection time on a number of things.