The Climate Change Science Obstructers, or “the obstructers”, who style themselves as “sceptics” (or “skeptics” if you are in other climes than the UK of GB and NI), love throwing any muck they can find, hoping that any little drab will stick.
Unfortunately, this does sometimes result in the breaching of semantic spaces, and false meanings can occur. Sadly, this seems to happen most often in the minds of journalists, who then write up the mistakes and publish them abroad widely.
Here is an example from a usually faithful reporter :-
“‘Climategate’ professor admits to withholding information : The professor at the centre of the ‘climategate’ row, has admitted sending ‘some pretty awful’ emails refusing to send information on to other scientists. : By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent : Published: 02 Mar 2010”
Dear Louise, I’ll have to interject right here : Phil Jones did not admit he refused to send data to other scientists.
Phil Jones explained that is is not “standard procedure” to include all the data in every research paper when it is published. That’s not the same as saying he “refused” to.
If all the data used in his research papers were included in the publications, it would take up reams and reams of paper. So this is not done.
This is exactly what happens in every branch, office, team and laboratory in normal everyday Science in all the World. You collect your data. You perform your analysis. You draw your charts and tables. You describe your research and you print a condensed write-up. Other scientists accept the results of your work and then try to find ways to falsify or corroborate it with their own research.
Occasionally, scientists ask other scientists for their data, and unless there are any confidentiality agreements, data is shared. Between scientists. That is normal professional behaviour.
What Climate Change Scientists are loathe to do is share data with non-scientists, that is, the Climate Change Science Obstructers (or “the obstructers”). This is what you see evidence of in the stolen e-mails :-
“…Prof Phil Jones, head of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, is accused of withholding raw data behind his research on global warming. In emails stolen from the university he asks one climate change sceptic: “Why should I give information to you when all you want to do is find something wrong with it?”…”
Here again, Louise Gray repeats her error :-
“In a grilling by MPs, Prof Jones admitted he had withheld data and sent some “pretty awful” emails. But he insisted it was “standard practice” to refuse certain information to other scientists.”
It is incorrect to say that Professor Jones “refused” certain information to other scientists. He “refused” certain information to the obstructers. In the normal course of events he would not have shared all the data for his work with other scientists unless they asked for it. It is not “standard practice” to fill science journals with reams of raw data.
“Prof Jones is at the centre of the so-called ‘climategate’ scandal after thousands of emails he sent were stolen from the university.”
The only reason Phil Jones is a the centre of the scandal is because he has been made Target Number 1 by the obstructers. He’s an ordinary, decent guy, doing a good and faithful job assembling data and doing analysis, and then along comes the Steamroller of Hateful Denial, possibly headed up by such people as Steve McIntyre, and takes out Phil Jones.
He is not guilty of misconduct. He is a victim of the merciless march of unreason.
If Phil Jones has refused anything, it’s that he has not caved in, rolled over and played dead, when scores of scientists in his position have run away screaming or sat sobbing with their heads in their hands.
These Climate Obstructers are a nasty bunch. And wrong. Their twisted version of events has seeped into the roots of Media and all manner of previously sane people have started to believe their lies.
Louise, darling, get it right in future !