ClimateGate – FOIA Law Broken Rules British Commissioner – Global Warming Data Questioned

FROM TIMES ON LINE

January 28, 2010

Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data

The university at the centre of the climate change row over stolen e-mails broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny.

The University of East Anglia breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to comply with requests for data concerning claims by its scientists that man-made emissions were causing global warming.

The Information Commissioner’s Office decided that UEA failed in its duties under the Act but said that it could not prosecute those involved because the complaint was made too late, The Times has learnt. The ICO is now seeking to change the law to allow prosecutions if a complaint is made more than six months after a breach.

The stolen e-mails , revealed on the eve of the Copenhagen summit, showed how the university’s Climatic Research Unit attempted to thwart requests for scientific data and other information, and suggest that senior figures at the university were involved in decisions to refuse the requests. It is not known who stole the e-mails.

Professor Phil Jones, the unit’s director, stood down while an inquiry took place. The ICO’s decision could make it difficult for him to resume his post.

Details of the breach emerged the day after John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Adviser, warned that there was an urgent need for more honesty about the uncertainty of some predictions. His intervention followed admissions from scientists that the rate of glacial melt in the Himalayas had been grossly exaggerated.

In one e-mail, Professor Jones asked a colleague to delete e-mails relating to the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

He also told a colleague that he had persuaded the university authorities to ignore information requests under the act from people linked to a website run by climate sceptics.

A spokesman for the ICO said: “The legislation prevents us from taking any action but from looking at the emails it’s clear to us a breach has occurred.” Breaches of the act are punishable by an unlimited fine.

The complaint to the ICO was made by David Holland, a retired engineer from Northampton. He had been seeking information to support his theory that the unit broke the IPCC’s rules to discredit sceptic scientists.

In a statement, Graham Smith, Deputy Commissioner at the ICO, said: “The e-mails which are now public reveal that Mr Holland’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act were not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation. Section 77 of the Act makes it an offence for public authorities to act so as to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information.”

He added: “The ICO is gathering evidence from this and other time-barred cases to support the case for a change in the law. We will be advising the university about the importance of effective records management and their legal obligations in respect of future requests for information.”

Mr Holland said: “There is an apparent Catch-22 here. The prosecution has to be initiated within six months but you have to exhaust the university’s complaints procedure before the commission will look at your complaint. That process can take longer than six months.”

The university said: “The way freedom of information requests have been handled is one of the main areas being explored by Sir Muir Russell’s independent review. The findings will be made public and we will act as appropriate on its recommendations.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7004936.ece

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ClimateGate Continues: AfricaGate – IPCC’s Claims Of Reduced Crop Yields Falsified

From: Times of London

Africagate: Top British scientist says UN panel is losing credibility

A LEADING British government scientist has warned the United Nations’ climate panel to tackle its blunders or lose all credibility.

Robert Watson, chief scientist at Defra, the environment ministry, who chaired the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1997 to 2002, was speaking after more potential inaccuracies emerged in the IPCC’s 2007 benchmark report on global warming.

The most important is a claim that global warming could cut rain-fed north African crop production by up to 50% by 2020, a remarkably short time for such a dramatic change. The claim has been quoted in speeches by Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, and by Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general.

This weekend Professor Chris Field, the new lead author of the IPCC’s climate impacts team, told The Sunday Times that he could find nothing in the report to support the claim. The revelation follows the IPCC’s retraction of a claim that the Himalayan glaciers might all melt by 2035, dubbed ‘Glaciergate’ by commentators.

The African claims could be even more embarrassing for the IPCC because they appear not only in its report on climate change impacts but, unlike the glaciers claim, are also repeated in its Synthesis Report.

This report is the IPCC’s most politically sensitive publication, distilling its most important science into a form accessible to politicians and policy makers. Its lead authors include Pachauri himself.

In it he wrote: “By 2020, in some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%. Agricultural production, including access to food, in many African countries is projected to be severely compromised.” The same claims have since been cited in speeches to world leaders by Pachauri and Ban.

Speaking at the 2008 global climate talks in Poznan, Poland, Pachauri said: “In some countries of Africa, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by 50% by 2020.” In a speech last July, Ban said: “Yields from rain-fed agriculture could fall by half in some African countries over the next 10 years.”

Speaking this weekend, Field said: “I was not an author on the Synthesis Report but on reading it I cannot find support for the statement about African crop yield declines.”

Watson said such claims should be based on hard evidence. “Any such projection should be based on peer-reviewed literature from computer modelling of how agricultural yields would respond to climate change. I can see no such data supporting the IPCC report,” he said.

The claims in the Synthesis Report go back to the IPCC’s report on the global impacts of climate change. It warns that all Africa faces a long-term threat from farmland turning to desert and then says of north Africa, “additional risks that could be exacerbated by climate change include greater erosion, deficiencies in yields from rain-fed agriculture of up to 50% during the 2000-20 period, and reductions in crop growth period (Agoumi, 2003)”.

“Agoumi” refers to a 2003 policy paper written for the International Institute for Sustainable Development, a Canadian think tank. The paper was not peer-reviewed.

Its author was Professor Ali Agoumi, a Moroccan climate expert who looked at the potential impacts of climate change on Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. His report refers to the risk of “deficient yields from rain-based agriculture of up to 50% during the 2000–20 period”.

These claims refer to other reports prepared by civil servants in each of the three countries as submissions to the UN. These do not appear to have been peer-reviewed either.

The IPCC is also facing criticism over its reports on how sea level rise might affect Holland. Dutch ministers have demanded that it correct a claim that more than half of the Netherlands lies below sea level when, in reality, it is about a quarter.

The errors seem likely to bring about change at the IPCC. Field said: “The IPCC needs to investigate a more sophisticated approach for dealing with emerging errors.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017907.ece

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews – Makes Racist Comments – Obama – State Of The Union Address

Well I’ve waited for several days for Chris Matthews to issue another apology, another apology in a long line of apologies …. the guy makes a habit out of being rude and offensive ….. but so far nothing ……..

In case you haven’t heard what happened and given the ratings at CNBC and the ratings for Matthews’ program, I’m guessing most of you have not heard, the following is a summary of what transpired ….

From: Newsvine – Chris Matthews on Obama: ‘I forgot he was black’

NEW YORK — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews says President Barack Obama has done so much to heal racial divisions that he “forgot he was black” while watching his State of the Union address.

Those four words — “forgot he was black” — so instantly set the Twitter world afire that Matthews came back less than 90 minutes later Wednesday night to explain what he meant.

The MSNBC commentator said it was noteworthy to him that a black president was addressing a room of mostly white people and how it didn’t seem to be an issue. He said he saw it in the context of growing up at a time racial divisions were ever-present.

Says Matthews: “I went in the room tonight, you could feel it wasn’t there tonight and that takes leadership on his part, to get us beyond those divisions.”

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2010/01/28/3822185-chris-matthews-on-obama-i-forgot-he-was-black

Matthews is utterly clueless and the liberal media are wrong to give him a pass on these comments. Maybe you can blame this ultra-liberals racism on the generation he was born in – but I think not …. whatever – Matthews comments are inexcusable, excusable in that he should suffer the consequences for his comments …. certainly he can be forgiven – however, he should also suffer some consequences (read punishment) as this was not an isolated event  ….  Mathews needs to undertsand their are consequences for ones  actions ……. An explanation is not what was needed and an apology alone, at this point in time, is not enough ….

MSNBC needs to suspend Matthews for a month or two.

This is not Mathew’s first “faux pas”  …..

Matthews apologizes for `enemy camp’ remark

NEW YORK — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews apologized on Wednesday for saying that President Barack Obama had traveled to an “enemy camp” at West Point to address the nation on the war in Afghanistan.

The pundit had made the remark Tuesday during on-air analysis of Obama’s speech, noting that he saw skepticism and little enthusiasm in the faces of cadets and officers at the U.S. military academy, a place where former President Bush made a hawkish speech in 2002 before the Iraq War started.

“I didn’t see a lot of warmth in the crowd out there,” he said. “He went to maybe the enemy camp … to make his case.”

Matthews said on his show Wednesday that he had gotten “some very tough calls” from former cadets and parents of cadets, who told him the audience of military officers and officers-in-training are trained not to show the kind of emotion that he thought was lacking. He said he had no reason to assume that those in Obama’s audience were more hawkish on the war than the president.

“I’ve heard too many politicians say, `Oh, that was taken out of context,’ to explain something they wish they hadn’t sent,” he said. “Let me just say to the cadets and their parents, former cadets and everyone who cares about this country and those who defend it, I used the wrong words and, worse than that, I said something that is just not right and for that I deeply apologize.”

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/12/02/3579788-matthews-apologizes-for-enemy-camp-remark

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews explains ‘Oh God’ remark

NEW YORK — MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said he was surprised by the “peculiar stagecraft” of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s response to President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress, leading him to quietly say “Oh God” as Jindal approached a microphone.

The remark inspired a brief Internet guessing game about who had said it and questions about whether someone at MSNBC was mocking the Republican governor.

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2009/02/25/2476335-msnbcs-chris-matthews-explains-oh-god-remark

Matthews: I Wronged Clinton With Remark

NEW YORK — With protests rumbling, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said Thursday that he was wrong to say last week that the reason Hillary Clinton is a senator and a candidate for president “is that her husband messed around.”

Matthews discussed those remarks at the opening of his show “Hardball” Thursday, the same day feminist leader Gloria Steinem and the heads of four prominent women’s groups complained in a letter to his boss that Matthews had shown a pattern of sexism.

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2008/01/17/1235888-matthews-i-wronged-clinton-with-remark

Had a conservative commentator made even one of these remarks there would have been a firestorm of protest calling for their dismissal.

Conservative or liberal, it doesn’t matter, any commentator with this track record should be disciplined.

It is well past time for MSNBC to give Matthews a “time out”, he should be sent to a corner and told to think about his actions …….. ultimately, it may simply be time for Mathews to retire ……. his tirades, rooted in a long forgotten 60’s liberaism, are out of touch and out of date ……

Matthews is a victim of his era …. not its champion.

Racist, offensive and irrelevant – an embarrassing combination.

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