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The slow road to… getting things right

I watched part of the UK Parliamentary Committee Panel investigations with Phil Jones, and my main thought was ferrgoodnesssake! The nation of the Magna Carta, Newton, and the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution: Can’t the UK empire just fly Steven McIntyre in, and sit these two men down in the same room at the same time? You know, ask questions of one then the other, drilling down with no tea-and-cakes breaks, till they sort out each item on a prearranged list?

Billions of lives depend on figuring out whether CO2 matters, and trillions of dollars rest on the scientific output of East Anglia CRU.  If it’s so important, why don’t the UK Government get serious? Or for that matter, why doesn’t the IPCC volunteer to arrange this, all televised and restore its credibility; show they are take “unscientific behaviour” seriously?) Note that I’m not suggesting that the panel members aren’t serious, only that they have a long learning curve in this incredibly detailed saga, and McIntyre could save everyone some time.

Steven McIntyre has written an excellent submission (worth reading). That will have to do…

I did like that the dialogue was so civilized (that’s such a rare thing), but it seemed like the slow road to real answers. I guess this is a big new (albeit supranormal “parliamentary”) step on the road where science “gets it right in the long run”.

In Short:

Prof Jones admitted he had withheld data and sent some “pretty awful” emails, and he insisted it was “standard practice” to refuse certain information to other scientists. He also explained that none of the climate scientists reviewing his papers had ever asked for the data. There you have it: what we always knew, that peer review boils down to two anonymous, unpaid “peers” who have barely any vested interest in finding flaws.

Awkwardly for Jones, Steven Mosher points out on WattsUP that, Professor Jones was quite happy to share data with Steven McIntyre in 2002, before he realized that McIntyre was a step ahead and moving on a different path. After that, suddenly there were “confidentiality agreements” to worry about, (though those agreements apparently only applied selectively, since he sent that confidential information to Webster and Rutherford).

The net effect of Phil Jones “Standard Practice” for data requests was:

1. Violate the confidentiality if they are Pro-AGW.

2. Violate the tenets of science if they are Skeptic (hide that information).

The UK Parliamentary site is here, with words from Lord Lawson in the first hour, then Phil Jones starts after 60 minutes. Thanks to Simon at Australian Climate Madness for the youtube version of the Phil Jones’ testimony. Smart move.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

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