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More emails: Phil Jones paid £13.7 million in grants but “not a public servant”

Up to £13.7 million in grants have been paid to Professor Phil Jones, from a number of funding bodies including the European Union, NATO, and the US Department of Energy. But the intellectual and philosophical climate is so weak that Jones doesn’t even consider himself to be paid to serve the citizens of those countries. No wonder he feels that people asking for “his” data are nuisances and pests.

Usually in Science-World, scientists don’t have to deal with pesky FOI’s — because they make their data and methods available for free upon request. It should never come down to legal action for citizens to get what is rightfully theirs.

Phil Jones is Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. He’s one of the key climate scientists behind the IPCC reports (he and James Hansen of GISS in NASA are the two leading alarmist climate scientists).

Emails released in ClimateGate II that show he deletes emails, rationalizes that he is a not really a public servant, and discusses ways to hide from FOI requests, even as he admits the models are all wrong.

Prof Phil Jones

<4443> Jones in 2004:

“Basic problem is that all models are wrong

– not got enough middle and low level clouds.”


Phil Jones is in denial that he serves the public

 date: Mon Aug 24 14:54:00 2009
from: Phil Jones
subject: Re: transparency
to: Harold Ambler

[[[unsent draft?]]]

Dear Harold,
You have come up with a whole list of motives for my actions, all of which are wrong.

I don’t consider myself a public servant, and I doubt many working in the University sector in the UK would either.

University workers in the UK are not what we call civil servants.



Phil Jones tells Mann to hide his data behind the excuse of Intellectual Property Rights

date: Fri Feb  6 16:04:29 2004

from: Phil Jones

subject: Re: Fwd: 2003RG000143R Receipt of revised MS by Reviews of

to: “Michael E. Mann”


I just click. I didn’t need a userid/pw to resubmit on Wednesday.

The CC saga is dragging on!  An email yesterday suggested that you should provide the code, but just for MM to check – and not to expect to run it !! I responded to this (and have just been seconded by Tom K. and Rik Leemans) saying it is ludicrous. I said even if you gave them the code (all the options as well as which proxies to use for which periods etc) and the data, they still wouldn’t be able to get it to work. They would then complain they couldn’t get it to work. Suggested also you likely have some library routines re some of the PCA work.

Then I got to thinking! In their comment to Nature they try in Fig 4 to replicate  what you  did in MBH98. They get an r-value of 0.89. They say this is due to some data series being different and the unavailability of the CRU temperature data you used!

I remember you saying you were going to put that onto your web site, so that can’t be the real reason. So, I reckon they can’t replicate what you did and want your code to sort this out. I briefly implied this back to CC and said asking for the code infringes your IPR. [Intellectual property rights]

When Steve does respond – he’s been away, in Japan, I think – remind him of IPR. It may seem odd to hide behind this, but you’ve given the method details in the original paper  and in others. This should be all they need. I think our Orthogonal Spatial Regression technique would give much closer results than 0.89. When we did some work with Ed comparing Canonical Correlation with OSR, the results were almost identical when  the networks were complete.

When we do reviews we agree not to discuss the papers with others etc. If you give them the code, what guarantee do you have that they will delete it once the review is finished.

Apologies if you’ve waded through all this and already had much the same thoughts.




More thoughts from Phil:


<4778> Jones:

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

<1788> Jones responds to Melissa, at the PR Office of UEA. She says the TV crew are asking for someone with “other views” on extreme weather to interview as well (someone who thinks it might be natural variation). Here the media are trying to present both sides, but Jones won’t have any of it. Jones doesn’t think UEA ought to have debate on this complex topic — there’s a “party line” on the answer.

Date: Mon Aug 23 2004
from: Phil Jones
subject: Re: Tonight with Trevor Macdonald
to: Melissa

There shouldn’t be someone else at UEA with different views – at least not a
climatologist. It would also look odd if the two people interviewed with opposite views were from UEA.
Maybe you should reply and say we can’t find one, saying that most climate experts
would take the same view as Dave. The programme could easily dredge someone up, but they
wouldn’t be an expert on the climate. This is the whole point of the debate recently. The
people the media find to put the contrary view are not climate experts.

<4085> Jones:

GKSS is just one model and it is a model, so there is no need for it to be

<1577> Jones:

[FOI, temperature data]
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.

For more from ClimateGate I, See Andrew Bolt

Please add more into the comment thread.


UPDATE: Harold Ambler writes in comment #25

Harold Ambler

I’m uncertain why Jones’ e-mail to me appears as “[[[unsent draft?]]]” as he did send it and I did receive it.

I bent over backwards in my correspondence with him to get him to see why it looked bad, and was bad, for him to claim to have no responsibility to the public and, specifically, to make data unavailable because he didn’t like the person who was after it (Steve McIntyre).

When he refused to cede even an inch, I grew frustrated and sent the following:

As your funding comes largely from the United States Department of Energy, I thought you might want to familiarize yourself with its policy regarding climate change research:

“Open sharing of all program data among researchers (and with the interested public) is critical to advancing the program’s mission … a copy of underlying data and a clear description of the method(s) of data analysis must be provided to any requester in a timely way … ”

There is not only no mention of exceptions, or “academics-only” privileges, but specific insistence upon sharing with “all requesters.” Your argument that you are “not a public servant” is falsified.

There is no need to discuss motives or anything of the kind.

Jones was, at best, slippery in my correspondence with him.

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