Q: How damaging to your argument was the disclosure of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University?
A: To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s sound and fury signifying nothing. I haven’t read all the e-mails, but the most recent one is more than 10 years old. These private exchanges between these scientists do not in any way cause any question about the scientific consensus.
And in case you think that was a mere slip of the tongue:
Q: There is a sense in these e-mails, though, that data was hidden and hoarded, which is the opposite of the case you make [in your book] about having an open and fair debate.
A: I think it’s been taken wildly out of context. The discussion you’re referring to was about two papers that two of these scientists felt shouldn’t be accepted as part of the IPCC report. Both of them, in fact, were included, referenced, and discussed. So an e-mail exchange more than 10 years ago including somebody’s opinion that a particular study isn’t any good is one thing, but the fact that the study ended up being included and discussed anyway is a more powerful comment on what the result of the scientific process really is.
In fact, thrice denied:
These people are examining what they can or should do to deal with the P.R. dimensions of this, but where the scientific consensus is concerned, it’s completely unchanged. What we’re seeing is a set of changes worldwide that just make this discussion over 10-year-old e-mails kind of silly.
In fact, as Watts Up With That shows, one Climategate email was from just two months ago. The most recent was sent on November 12 - just a month ago. The emails which have Tom Wigley seeming (to me) to choke on the deceit are all from this year. Phil Jones’ infamous email urging other Climategate scientists to delete emails is from last year.
How closely did Gore read these emails? Did he actually read any at all? Was he lying or just terribly mistaken? What else has he got wrong?
(Thanks to readers Sinclair and Peter.)
Actually the e-mail archives are named by Unix timestamp, ranging from Thu, 07 Mar 1996 14:41:07 GMT through to Thu, 12 Nov 2009 19:17:44 GMT. This is a strong indicator they are extracted from an enterprise archive, probably by the FOIA Compliance Officer and not hacked from individual’s workstations.