date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 14:46:05 -0400
from: "Michael E. Mann" <mannatXYZxyzeo.psu.edu>
subject: [Fwd: Jones et al]
to: Phil Jones <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
Gavin has some good advice here, seems to reinforce the thoughts in your
earlier email and Ben's suggestion as well. Probably best to put the
data up in their most raw format (except for those you can't legally--in
those cases give a pointer to the person involved). This will, as Gavin
notes, blunt the line of attack that has the greatest traction.
If there is some way we can be helpful via RealClimate (e.g. in helping
get the word out that the data have been posted once available, etc),
please let us know. I'm happy for us to use this as a resource in any
way that might be helpful.
Michael E. Mann
Director, Earth System Science Center (ESSC)
Department of Meteorology Phone: (814) 863-4075
503 Walker Building FAX: (814) 865-3663
The Pennsylvania State University email: mannatXYZxyz.edu
University Park, PA 16802-5013
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Subject: Jones et al
From: Gavin Schmidt <gschmidtatXYZxyzs.nasa.gov>
To: "Michael E. Mann" <mannatXYZxyz.edu>
X-Mailer: Ximian Evolution 1.2.2 (1.2.2-5)
Date: 24 Apr 2007 13:33:11 -0400
Mike, This current situation is a little tricky. As we saw with the
whole HS affair, very few things have traction like the idea that data
is being withheld (possibly only suppression of free speech is as
powerful). You don't need to know your PC from your elbow to see that as
an issue and so it easily catches fire among those who would like to see
the whole issue go away but who don't know anything about it.
However, the listing of the sites and sources etc. is completely
peripheral to the real motivations (as you and Kevin correctly note).
Phil is being targeted solely because of the three databases for the
global SAT trends, his is the only one for which the raw data is not
available. All of the issues could be examined using the NOAA or GISS
analyses but what would be the point? The idea is not to find out
anything interesting, but to keep pushing the 'data is being hidden'
meme. If Phil were to release the whole database, they would spend a
week trying to do something, but then get bored and move on to someone
else who is apparently hiding something.
These games that are being played with the FOIA requests and the like
aren't going to stop - just playing those games is enough for these
people, regardless of the response, because the very fact they're doing
it leads people to think the data is hidden.
The current situation where they ask ridiculous and irrelevant questions
and the response is well-meaning but 'lawyerly' just feeds the fire.
They aren't interested in asking questions that can be answered, but in
asking questions that just put Phil on the defensive. The less he can
respond, the happier they will be.
Frankly, I would simply put the whole CRU database (in an
as-impenetrable-as-possible form) up on the web site along with a brief
history of it's provenance (and the role of the NMSs) and be done with
it. If specific NMS contracts forbid posting of their raw data, then he
should remove the ones that he contractually can't post and direct
peoples attentions to the NMS's concerned. Why should Phil be the fall
guy for nutty 'commercial' restrictions imposed by various governments?
Bottom line: This isn't going to stop.
PS. feel free to forward to Phil et al if you like.