Would you trust this man with an adjusted data set?
. . . whenever the UEA’s Phil Jones has appeared on television or been interviewed, he has always come over like a particularly gloomy bloodhound who has just been denied his Bonio. Obviously one can understand this. a) it can’t be fun when your once lavishly funded, globally respected science department is suddenly associated with FOI-breaching, data-losing, evidence-tweaking, scientific-method-abusing junk and b) it of course elides perfectly with the narrative so assiduously and cynically promoted by the science establishment since Climategate: that these poor scientists are men more sinned against then sinning; just honest men trying to do their job while fighting off vexatious FOI requests by nasty strangers like Steve McIntyre and being sent death threats and driven almost to suicide by horrid bloggers and know-nothing non-scientists who will never understand the mysterious ways of the white-coated illuminati with their magically transforming data adjustments and magnificently accurate computer models….
Well fine. Except the Phil Jones who emerges from the Climategate and Climategate 2.0 emails doesn’t sound at all like a man deserving of our pity, let alone our sympathy. In fact he emerges as bullying, irascible, intolerant, incompetent and slippery as an extra-lubricated bag of jellied eel marinaded in KY. The excellent Maurizio Morabito has unearthed a good example of this on his blog, which not only catches Jones up to his usual trick of trying to dodge FOI requests, but scorning a hapless older colleague for having the temerity to teach climate science using actual, proper facts rather than the approved IPCC quasi-religious drivel.
date: Fri Sep 25 10:53:32 2009
from: Phil Jones
subject: Re: [Fwd: CCNet: The Sun Could Be Heading Into A Period of
to: santer1, Tom Wigley
[…] I have stopped sending data out to anybody after the stupid comment on Climate Audit by Peter Webster. We’ve had over 60 FOI requests for data. They are varied – many can be answered by telling people to read the literature. We’re refusing those for the data. We’re going to send an email to all NMSs thru MOHC and then release those where countries are happy for us to do so.
It is just a pain having to respond to them – someone else at UEA does this though.
I did send one of the requests to Myles as it was from one of his fellow profs in Physics at Oxford! Myles knows him well and he has never talked about climate with Myles – or expressed any views. Myles can’t understand why he’s getting his climate education from Climate Audit and not from colleagues in his own dept!
This annoys me too. I’d read up and talk to people if I were to ever attempt moving to another field! It is just common sense. Neil Adger has taken over the running of First Year course here in ENV. He asked Alan Kendall for the ppt for 2 lectures he gives. He sent them and 40 slides are taken from Climate Audit! A student asked Neil why Alan was saying things opposite to what Neil and Tim Osborn were saying!!!
Alan is retiring at the end of this year….thankfully.
Meanwhile, the Bishop has chanced upon another gem, in which the Grantham Institute’s PR man and palaeopiezometrist Bob Ward forelock-tuggingly requests a steer from Dr Jones only to discover that Jones can’t really help, a) because he obviously can’t be arsed, being too busy eating Christmas pudding and b) because he’s apparently incapable of performing what ought to be – for a man in his position – some fairly routine data analysis.
Here’s Jones flaunting his ignorance:
I keep on seeing people saying this same stupid thing. I’m not adept enough (totally inept) with excel to do this now as no-one who knows how to is here.
What you have to do is to take the numbers in column C (the years) and then those in D (the anomalies for each year), plot them and then work out the linear trend. The slope is upwards. I had someone do this in early 2006, and the trend was upwards then. It will be now. Trend won’t be statistically significant, but the trend is up.
And here’s Cumbrian Lad’s comment below:
The fact that a scientist who is in charge of a major global data set claims not to be able to plot two columns in a spreadsheet is dumbfounding. Not only that, but he feels sure that relatively few people around him could either.
The line “I had someone do this in early 2006…, ” suggests that it is the sort of menial task he’d leave to a non technical assistant. Now, I’ve some time for delegation of appropriate tasks, and keeping the best brains thinking, not engaged in mundane tasks, but data analysis is part of the science surely.
The last time I had a dig at Phil Jones for being “disgraced, FOI-breaching, email-deleting, scientific-method abusing”, his University’s response was to try to use the Press Complaints Commission to bully me into silence. The UEA’s complaint was rejected. Given the latest batch of emails, I think the PCC made the right decision don’t you?
And just to remind ourselves of Jones’s approach to FOI, here is his email in Txt 1577 dated July 28 2009:
CRU is considered by the climate community as a data centre, but we don’t
have any resources to undertake this work. Any work we have done in the past
is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden. I’ve
discussed this with the main funder (US Dept of Energy) in the past and they are
happy about not releasing the original station data.
I’m sure US readers will be delighted that their Dept of Energy endorses the withholding of publicly funded scientific data from researchers.
And here he is again in May 2009 (txt 2440) advising on how best to evade FOI:
I’ve been told that IPCC is
above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5
would be to delete all emails at the end of the process.
I agree with George Monbiot, whose immediate response to Climategate was that Phil Jones should go. On the evidence of these emails, he is unfit to run a bath, let alone one of the world’s most important temperature data sets.