Climate Scientists’ E-Mails Raise Concerns of Secrecy and Manipulation

December 2, 2009

Climate Scientists’ E-Mails Raise Concerns of Secrecy and Manipulation

Sensenbrenner: “They read more like scientific fascism than the scientific process.”

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, made the following statement during today’s hearing titled,  “The Administration’s View on the State of Climate Science:”

“Sound science policy depends on sound science.  When the science itself is politicized, it becomes impossible to make objective political decisions.  Scientific policy depends on absolute transparency. 
“As policymakers, we should all be concerned when key climate scientists write in private correspondence that they found a ‘trick’ to ‘hide the decline’ in temperature data documented in climate studies.  
“Less than two weeks ago, some 160 megabits of data containing over 1,000 e-mails—including one from today’s witness, Dr. John Holdren—and 2,000 other documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in the U.K. were posted on the Internet.
“While the emails don’t undermine everything we know about climate change, their contents are shocking, and, in the words of Clive Crook, senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly, a columnist for National Journal and a commentator for the Financial Times, ‘The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering.’
“The temperature records from the Climate Research Unit are 1 of only 3 major datasets, which considerably overlap and which have been used as the bedrock for the assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United States Global Change Research Program.  The dataset in question is the basis for virtually all peer-reviewed literature.
“The documents show systemic suppression of dissenting opinion among scientists in the climate change community, intimidation of journal editors and journals that would deign to publish articles questioning the so-called ‘consensus,’ manipulation of data and models, possible criminal activity to evade legitimate requests for data and underlying computer codes filed under Freedom of Information Acts—both U.S. and United Kingdom, and demonstrate that many climate scientists and proponents of climate legislation have vested interests.
“Those with the most to gain from climate change have tried to dismiss these emails as out of context.  It’s worth reading a few examples:
From Kevin Trenberth: 
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data . . . shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
From Phil Jones:
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.
From Andrew Manning:
I’m in the process of trying to persuade Siemens Corp. . . .to donate me a little cash to do some CO2 measurments here in the UK – looking promising, so the last thing I need is news articles calling into question (again) observed temperature increases – I thought we’d moved the debate beyond this, but seems that these sceptics are real die-hards!!).
From Keith Briffa
I tried hard to balance the needs of the science and the IPCC , which were not always the same.  I worried that you might think I gave the impression of not supporting you well enough while trying to report on the issues and uncertainties. 
From Phil Jones:
I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !

From Michael Mann:
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...
From Phil Jones:
If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn't being political, it is being selfish.
“The e-mails show a pattern of suppression, manipulation and secrecy that was inspired by ideology, condescension and profit. They read more like scientific fascism than the scientific process.  They betray economic and ideological agendas that are deaf to disconfirming evidence.  Hopefully this scandal is the end of declarations that the ‘science is settled’ and a beginning of a transparent scientific debate.
“The seriousness of this issue justifies additional consideration.  The majority did not permit the minority to invite a witness this morning.  We are therefore requesting a minority day of hearings.”
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