Climategate and RC.

It must be fun over at the RC compound following the release of the CRU e:mails and related data, code and reports. There is ample commentary of all kinds relating to these disclosures, and we don’t intend to discuss them here, other than to explore a little what it all might mean for RC.

As we have already discussed in an earlier post, e:mails from Michael Mann clearly describe RC and its role. Tim Ball expands on RC giving a little more ‘context’ that might be useful for our readers. His article is titled “Climategate; The Supporting Cast – Thought Police Anyone?” and can be viewed in full at

An extract follows:

Too Big To Believe

George Monbiot of the Guardian (UK) was among the first mainstream media to express concern. “I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them.” He was reacting to corruption on an unprecedented scale in exposed files from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.

Typically, he was only concerned about being fooled. To his further shame he is now in denial of the extent of the deception. True, the scale and extent appears unbelievable because it uses the deception of the Big Lie – too big to believe. However, I know it’s believable because I watched it develop and grow. Particularly since 1985 when the conference in Villach Austria conjoined the CRU with the fledgling Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Tom Wigley and Phil Jones attended but were already developing the phony climate science Maurice Strong needed to pursue his goal of destroying western economies. For example, in a 1983 article Wigley was convincing climate science of a falsely low pre-industrial level of CO2. Early attempts to challenge what they were doing followed normal academic processes and little interference occurred. For example, a book review I wrote based on the bad science became a Review Editorial In Climatic Change (Volume 35, Number 4 / April, 1997.)

Computer Models and Computer Modelers

The big change came when computer modelers took over climate science. I knew modeling global climate was impossible; apart from the inadequate surface and upper atmosphere database computer capacity was and is still inadequate. At conference after conference I watched modelers bully everybody. Models are the most corrupt part of the CRU and IPCC fiasco, an exposure yet to emerge. They produced the ridiculous ‘predictions’ of disaster used to promote control through fear.

We’ve learned of data manipulation, publication and peer review control, and personal attacks on those who asked questions. Yet to emerge is how they manipulated the computer models to reach a result that was not a simulation of nature but proof that human CO2 was causing global warming and climate change. As the IPCC and its model projections grew in power to dominate global energy policy it drew increasing attention. This grew threatening and triggered the need for a Palace Guard to defend the CRU and the IPCC.

The Goon Squad

A group of scientists established themselves as the goon squad for the gangster bosses at the CRU. Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt led and quickly earned reputations for nasty and vindictive responses. On December 10, 2004 Schmidt gave the CRU gang a Christmas present: “Colleagues, No doubt some of you share our frustration with the current state of media reporting on the climate change issue. Far too often we see agenda-driven “commentary” on the Internet and in the opinion columns of newspapers crowding out careful analysis. Many of us work hard on educating the public and journalists through lectures, interviews and letters to the editor, but this is often a thankless task. In order to be a little bit more pro-active, a group of us (see below) have recently got together to build a new ‘climate blog’ website: which will be launched over the next few days:” The group was, Mike Mann – Eric Steig – William Connolley – Stefan Rahmstorf – Ray Bradley – Amy Clement – Rasmus Benestad – William Connolley (sic) – Caspar Ammann.

They’re familiar names to people who got in their way. Now the world should know. Evasiveness pervading the behavior recorded in the CRU emails was present at RealClimate (RC) and beyond. Note that William Connolley is listed twice – a Freudian slip because he was the nastiest and did double duty, but more on him shortly. (Source)

Schmidt elaborates, “The idea is that we working climate scientists should have a place where we can mount a rapid response to supposedly ‘bombshell’ papers that are doing the rounds and give more context to climate related stories or events.” The phrase “working climate scientists” was used frequently and typifies their arrogance. Unless you are one you have no credibility or right to an opinion. It’s similar to their peer review charge and establishes them as the elite.

Modus Operandi Involved Mainstream Media

Activities of these “working climate scientists” were not to answer questions about their work but to divert, distract, ignore and marginalize with lies about people and ideas. Here is a February 9, 2006 email from Michael Mann that gives a flavor of the almost paranoid behavior.

“I see that Science (the journal) has already gone online w/ the new issue, so we put up the RC post. By now, you’ve probably read that nasty McIntyre thing. Apparently, he violated the embargo on his website (I don’t go there personally, but so I’m informed).

Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics don’t get to use the RC comments as a megaphone…”

Mann spread his lies about McIntyre by using Andrew Revkin of the New York Times. As recently as September 29, 2009 he wrote, “those such as McIntyre who operate almost entirely outside of this system are not to be trusted.”

Jones did it when he defended his refusal to answer FOI’s to the administration at the University of East Anglia. The emails from Revkin are disturbing and reveal unhealthy involvement and lack of journalistic integrity. No wonder he blocked use of the Climategate material in the newspaper when it appeared. It was not journalistic integrity it covered his involvement.

Schmidt notes, “This is a strictly volunteer/spare time/personal capacity project and obviously nothing we say there reflects any kind of ‘official’ position.” What hypocrisy. This is the game James Hansen and others play. He is Director of the NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) when it suits and a private citizen when it suits. It’s a duplicity that underlines the politics of their activities.

Tim goes on to discuss the activities of William Connolley at Wikipedia climate pages – fascinating stuff, but not so relevant to us here.

Gavin Schmidt has been busy. For some reason, they seem to be allowing many more posts than they normally would, particularly from those of a sceptical persuasion. The choir is pitching in to help show how wrong and mistaken the sceptical comments are, and Gavin is commenting on very many of the posts.

The tone is typical RC. They and their associates can do no wrong, whereas the sceptics are in the pay of big oil. Anyone who questions the science, or now the e:mails, obviously has an agenda. My view is that they are doing themselves even more harm than they have done before.

The only non-sceptical scientists (and journalists) that will come out of this with any honour will be those who have come out publicly to express their concern for the events/culture/actions revealed by the e:mails. Judith Curry, Eduardo Zorita, Mike Hulme, and George Monbiot are examples. Those who continue to defend the indefensible will I think find that they will bear the consequences.

The internet is a remarkable beast, and it is now so easy to get the real story, even if the MSM is still captive to the “settled science” of the IPCC and “the team”.

A consequence of the new approach at RC re censorship is that we are seeing a lot less complaints about posts being censored at RC. It is also notable that while they are clearly editing posts in a clear effort to “manage” the message, they are now at least indicating where the have edited the text.

Anyhow, we live in interesting times………..

UPDATEIt would appear that RC has already decided that an open moderation policy might not best serve its needs. Numerous comments suggest that the moderation policy has toughened up again (already) with numerous posts being deleted without notice.


8 Responses to “Climategate and RC.”

  1. rcrejects Says:

    Roger Pielke Jr has a very interesting comment regarding RC at his blog in today’s thread “Should Scientists Participate in Political Debates?”.

    What Gavin and Jim both fail to understand, apparently, is what I call “stealth issue advocacy, ” defined on p. 7 of THB [Roger Pielke Jr’s book “The Honest Broker – mod] as follows:

    “So when a scientist claims to focus ‘only on the science’ in many cases the scientist risks serving instead as a Stealth Issue Advocate. For some scientists stealth issue advocacy is politically desirable because it allows for a simultaneous claim of being above the fray, invoking the historical authority of science, while working to restrict the scope of choice.”

    I have long pointed to Real Climate as a canonical example of stealth issue advocacy. They claim on their site to be disinterested: ‘The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.’

    The reality is that they are far from disinterested. The fact that they have a political agenda is not problematic in the slightest. The problem is that they are seeking to hide their politics behind science. This has the net effect of pathologically politicizing the science because most of the issues that they raise, which they say are scientific in nature, are really about politics. It is not a big leap for observers to conclude that these guys are really about politics rather than science, regardless of the reality. People are not dumb and can see through this sort of misdirection with relative ease.

    Perhaps the most significant and lasting consequence of the CRU email hack/leak/whatever will be to strip away any possibility of a facade of disinterestedness among these activist scientists. In the long run that is probably a very good thing. In the near term it probably means an even more politicized climate debate.

    Roger Pielke Jr, like his father RP Sr, is a serious and competent participant in the debate, and deserving of the highest respect.

  2. rcrejects Says:

    Lucia at The Blackboard has two excellent posts relating to how RC respond to questions, or more accurately avoids responding to questions. The threads are: “A. Call people who will answer your questions” and “Politicians reframe. RC Reframes”.

    Lucia says “Many of us have noticed the habit of Real Climate authors to not answer questions they are actually asked.” She goes on to demonstrate the typical RC strategies of quote mining (selectively quoting out of context to convey a misleading impression of what is really being said) and answering different questions to the questions asked, then asserting that they have answered the original questions.

    Many comments.

  3. rcrejects Says:

    A comment at TAV, ‘Holy Schmidt’ thread relating to censorship and ‘management of the message’.

    Post 1. Bernie said: December 10, 2009 at 2:19 am

    It is astounding to visit RealClimate and read some of the comments on Gavin’s performance. The only surprise was that there were so few.

    I have to hand it to Gavin though he does seem to have boundless energy. He is now moderating. I posted the following in response to what I thought was an unwarranted slam of SMc

    “9 December 2009 at 11:26 PM:

    ATHiker says: 9 December 2009 at 3:51 PM: Quote: Steve McIntyre lied on CNN about CRU withholding the tree ring decline from the IPPC. Third assessment mentions it Page 131 Chapter 2. Unquote.

    You (and by default the moderator) have to be kidding that the tree ring divergence problem is addressed in TAR3. The page you cite says this: “There is evidence, for example, that high latitude tree-ring density variations have changed in their response to temperature in recent decades, associated with possible nonclimatic factors (Briffa et al., 1998a).” P131 That hardly says the tree data suggests the temperature goes down when the local temperatures actually goes up.

    McIntyre did not misrepresent what Mann had done. Mann’s trick is to both statistically smooth curves by replacing the tree ring measures with the actual temperature record from 1960 and by visually creating an overlapping set of curves. In one of the emails from UEA CRU, Keith Briffa the first author of the cited reference above calls Mann to task on his overall approach particularly the suppression of the MWP.”

    Gavin edited out the entire second paragraph and added the following comment about the first paragraph (#150): [Response: Yes, it says exactly that. – gavin]

    I guess if you know there is a divergence problem then one could infer that this is what is meant by “high latitude tree-ring density variations have changed in their response to temperature”. But, if so, the authors of this section of Chapter 2 of TAR3 come from the Alice in Wonderland school of science writing.

  4. rcrejects Says:

    An interesting comment at Lucia’s Blackboard relating to how to assess the stance of various blogs. On the money, in our view. “Steve McIntyre to appear on CNN” thread.

    windansea (Comment#27464): December 10th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Greenaway. Here is a simple way you can find out who to trust, who is open to honest discussion.

    Go to three AGW warmist blogs, Real Climat e, Climate Progress, and Open Mind and try posting sceptical arguments, links to Climate Audit, Rank Exploits, The Air Vent etc

    Then do the same and post alarmist viewpoints and links at the sceptic blogs.

    See what happens, see if your comments are posted, see how you get treated.

    You’re already doing it here, none of your posts are getting deleted, people engaged you, you got called a troll as you started yapping about McIntyre and big oil with no proof.

  5. rcrejects Says:

    Posted in WUWT “A Telling Omission by RC” thread:

    Squidly: 20 December 2009 (12:27:59):

    Soon after ClimateGate appeared, when RC opened up their commenting to just about everyone (for a very short time). I was finally able to post a few comments over there and began asking a few questions. Someone had made mention about the Fenton Communications link to RC, and another mentioned the George Soros connection. Gavin Schmidt submitted a directly pointed comment completely denouncing any ties to George Soros. I then tried to take advantage of their new, but short-lived, “open door policy”. I compiled a rather lengthy and very comprehensive comment illustrating all of the ties of RC to Fenton, others, and finally Soros. Funny, their “open door policy” sure slammed closed on me quite suddenly. My comment was not allowed, and I was thenceforth summarily dismissed and ignored. No further comments from me were considered.

    I found it quite telling.

  6. rcrejects Says:

    There are many posts in the “A Telling Omission By RC” thread at WUWT today relating experience of posters with RC. We may not catch all of the pertinent comments, and encourage those interested to go over to WUWT and to have a look for themselves.

    Here is another post from that thread:

    Steve Oregon: 20 December 2009 (12:31:10):

    “and RC is the centerpiece for showcasing the Team consensus of that corruption.”

    Most everyone who visits here knows of RC’s role in the Team’s advocacy of AGW and their participation in the greater fraud displayed by CRU-Leak.

    What’s happening now is as bad as any malfeasance to date.

    RC, soon after the CRU-leak, became the source and distribution point for the misrepresentation of the scandal and it’s meaning.

    Along with flat out misrepresentation by RC contributors and hosts is a primary method of delivering it. Call it value added disinformation. Long used by RC and particularly useful in misrepresenting the fallout over CRU-Leak.

    I have followed, read and engaged RC for a long time. Long after most would get disgusted and stop bothering.

    This value added disinformation, fraud, is a process where RC moderators, Gavin and Eric not only make sure they deliver the disinformation but they shape and censor the discussion to create a false appearance and impression of heavily lopsided substance.

    They rig conversations to appear open and frank.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The premiere example is the skeptic’s post which asks a reasonable question. One or more of the RC thugs such as Ray Ladbury would respond with a critique of the motivation behind the question while including a refutation of a supposed premise. In follow up the skeptic gets specific, provides a basis and asks again. The RC thug or thugs then pile on more mistreatment, dispute the premise they earlier created, and avoid the growing substance from the skeptic. This is where the value added moderator’s role (Gavin or Eric) comes in.

    Gavin or Eric will allow the discussion to grow to this point only.

    When the skeptic attempts to rebut the RC thugs, his more substantive post is blocked by Gavin or Eric.

    The entire discussion is then truncated by the thugs declaring that the skeptic left in defeat with nothing more to add.

    Gavin, having severed the skeptic’s participation, lets this stand.

    The exchange becomes a contrived demonstration for readers to be impressed with how little the skeptics have and how overwhelming the Team’s science is.

    The reason virtually all of the more damning substance is no where to be found on RC is it is prohibited. It’s been blocked, censored and distorted in cold blooded propagandizing by the Team.

    Again, this deceit has long been used by RC. It is particularly useful in misrepresenting the fallout over CRU-Leak and for providing the rank and file (and journalists) with fodder for dimissing the scandal.

    The most caustic RC contributor, Ray Ladbury works for NASA-GISS.

  7. rcrejects Says:

    Also at WUWT, same thread.

    Smokey: 20 December 2009: (12:38:39):

    It’s interesting that realclimate, being run on taxpayer time by a taxpayer funded organization, engages in routine censorship of views simply because they disagree with those views.

  8. rcrejects Says:

    Also at WUWT, same thread.

    Anand Rajan KD 20 December 2009: (17:21:42):

    I posted on RealClimate when Gavin was expounding on the precautionary principle. I said that there can be occasions when you may have what you deem as knowledge but it is best not to act. I gave the Bush administration’s rationale for WMDs in Iraq justifying a ‘preemptive strike’, its juvenile and puerile justification of torture yielding life-saving intelligence, as examples. My post was deleted.

    Ironically, warmist comments using similar examples to derive the very opposite conclusions were allowed.

    To the constant stream of self-unaware commenters who kept thanking Gavin for such hard work and tireless effort on his part disseminating climate truisms and fending off the hordes, I posted that they pause a moment to thank the person who leaked the emails and data thereby giving Gavin et al the very opportunity to expend his energies. Post deleted. Not once but twice.

    To requests of data from Scafetta and West, I posted that asking data from other scientists when your own clique has stonewalled and refused data to polite requests over years smacks of outright hypocrisy. Have they ever asked data from skeptics before? Post deleted.

    Ray Ladbury (Bradley?) and Gavin Schmidt will shout down, and indulge in casual smearing of anyone who accidentally wanders into RealClimate. They are past masters at this game – they play the same game with their scientific peers, with their journalist friends and common laymen.

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