Talk:Climatic Research Unit email controversy/Archive 23

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So this talk page has quite a few banners over it, and some of them seem to be out of date, although I am unsure. Specifically (and feel free to discuss separately):

  • the rewrite banner and outline seem to be stalled / dead
  • the move request seems to be finished / archived / dead
  • the POV issues seem to have settled down somewhat on the main article and (personally) I think the banner of shame can be removed.
  • the faq can probably use updating but I have not gone through item by item.

Ignignot (talk) 19:56, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree that 1, 2 and 3 can go now, AFAIK. The FAQ is probably OK and should stay, just in case it's useful in the future. --Nigelj (talk) 20:04, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
The issues I brought up previously have not been resolved, nor even addressed. The POV tag should remain until neutrality is achieved. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:09, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Most editors seem to agree that the POV issues you seem concerned about are nonexistent. If a consensus is reached among regular editors that this article is neutral, the POV tag should be removed from the article. -- Scjessey (talk) 20:16, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Careful... Regular editors only? In any case, I don't think the article is NPOV in its current state. --Heyitspeter (talk) 09:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
This isn't a question of ownership. It's a simple fact that "regular editors" are always going to have more say than the usual "drop-in" IPs, SPAs and socks. -- Scjessey (talk) 11:55, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
To-do list (bee in bonnet). Let's all agree the to-do list! Itsmejudith (talk) 20:17, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I believe we have already addressed the neutrality concerns. This article should not be held hostage by one or two dissenters. -- Scjessey (talk) 20:29, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

If the Boston Red Sox baseball team wrote an article about the 2004 World Series, and the Saint Louis Cardinals baseball team (against whom the Red Sox played) protested that the article wasn't neutral, then the article isn't neutral. ChrisO, Scjessey, Guettarda, KDP, NigelJ, and the "Iron Fist" believe the article is neutral. In order to declare the article neutral, however, a couple of middle-of-the-road skeptics would need to agree, also. If you can't get even ONE skeptic to assent that this article is neutral, then it's not. Sphilbrick has been a voice of reason, from time to time. Perhaps the AGW supporters know of a few others? Nightmote (talk) 14:55, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I consider myself to be more aligned with Pielke jr's views than most of the people listed (and I have sometimes disagreed with things they have said, and agreed with things you have said). I think the POV-ness has been brought down enough to lose the tag - I'm not saying there is no disagreement but that the disagreement is no more than found in say, the hockey stick controversy article, or the global warming article. Ignignot (talk) 15:39, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
A consensus is what is needed. We don't need to make special cases for certain groups. I'm a firm believer in the usefulness of the POV tag, because I think it pushes editors into trying to resolve conflicts. But when it is used when there isn't any non-neutral stuff in an article, it becomes a badge of shame applied by agenda-driven editors who don't agree with what most of the universe thinks. It is rare for a POV tag to remain on an article for more than a few days, so unless editors can come up with legitimate neutrality concerns (and I am aware of none) it should be removed. -- Scjessey (talk) 17:00, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
"ChrisO, Scjessey, Guettarda, KDP, NigelJ, and the "Iron Fist"..." What happened to the whole "focus on content, not contributors" idea? Guettarda (talk) 17:05, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I believe that I understand your position. I disagree with it. In the spirit of compromise and consensus, in recognition of the changes that have been made since the banner was applied, and in acknowledgement of my own bias, if a reasonable skeptic or two can be persuaded to honestly assess the article as neutrally-biased I will withdraw any protest. It would be unreasonable of me to seek universal approval, but if it's truly neutral, surely *someone* on the skeptic side of the house will be willing to say so? If, as Scjessey asserts, this article is being "held hostage" by "one or two dissenters", then other skeptics will come forward and the banner will be removed very quickly without the need to enter into yet another revert war or seek yet another block on the article. Nightmote (talk) 17:13, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The "skeptical" position is very much a minority position (in fact, almost to the point of being a fringe position), so why should we seek the approval of this particular group? A simple consensus (which roughly equates to a decent majority, I suppose) should be more than sufficient. -- Scjessey (talk) 17:18, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's helpful to frame this as a skeptic vs. non-skeptic thing. I'm not a skeptic, and I think this article has huge NPOV issues.
The CRU hacking incident has created a controversy that occupies the main stream presses, and it just is the case that it directly concerns skeptic groups, whether these groups are fringe or not. So even following WP:Fringe to the letter, treating of the so-called "minority position" is warranted (though it's hardly the minority).--Heyitspeter (talk) 09:51, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but you are completely wrong about this. It is a fringe position, and throwing up US-centric polls that don't fairly reflect world opinion isn't going to change that for a second. Pretending this isn't a two-sided debate isn't helpful either. I've learned that more can be achieved by accepting this fact, as evidenced by my recent efforts to get "Climategate" into the first para of the lede. -- Scjessey (talk) 11:53, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm saying both that skepticism about AGW is not a fringe position and that even if it were a fringe position WP:Fringe wouldn't suggest or require categorically denying input by those who hold it. --Heyitspeter (talk) 23:30, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
p.s., here's your UK-centric poll: [1]--Heyitspeter (talk) 23:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
And p.p.s., though now I just feel clumsy, the "sides" of most of these confrontations/debates on this and similar articles clearly are not divisible into "skeptic" and "non-skeptic" camps. There are people making POV edits at the expense of accuracy, and both skeptics and non-skeptics alike fall into that category. There are also people attempting to minimize these biased edits and salvage these articles, also including members of both "skeptic" and "non-skeptic" camps. There are also people that don't fit into either of these very specific and circumscribed (in modern jargon) categories.--Heyitspeter (talk) 23:48, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
@Guettarda - The editors I identified have been fairly consistent regarding their opinions on this article, where the emphasis should be, and which descriptors are "neutral". I have no opinion regarding your other contributions or positions, but I believe that it would be fair to characterize you as a believer in AGW, and someone who feels that the focus of this article must be on the theft as opposed to the subsequent consequences. Nightmote (talk) 17:19, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Your beliefs about other editors are irrelevant to this talk page, and characterizing other editors is equally offtopic. Please desist. Thanks, dave souza, talk 17:26, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
@Nightmote. As I've said elsewhere, the believer-nonbeliever dichotomy should be (and I think is) irrelevant with respect to editors on this talkpage. Stick to discussing the edits themselves. --Heyitspeter (talk) 09:55, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Good idea to remove the "neutrality" tag from the article, in the absence of any substantive discussions that comply with WP:TALK about the neutrality of the article as a whole. . . dave souza, talk 17:26, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
(EC) @Scjessey - as I pointed out earlier, consensus among those who already agree is fairly easy to achieve. I'm not asking anybody to convince *me* or GoRight that the article is neutral. The bar is set much lower than that. Simply find a genuine skeptic or two who will agree with you that the article is neutrally-biased. That's hardly unreasonable, given the level of disgagreement that has been exhibited in this space. Nightmote (talk) 17:27, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
It appears your condition has already been passed - User:Ignignot. Hipocrite (talk) 17:31, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I disagree. Discussions re neutrality are ongoing and no consensus has been reached. I think we need a RfC to get some neutral eyes on this. JPatterson (talk) 18:14, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

I'd say I am more skeptical, I don't know if I am in the skeptic camp. Maybe I'm skeptical about my own skepticism? In any case the change changing from the dispute banner to the review npov banner is a good step, I think. Ignignot (talk) 17:46, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
@Dave, this is a discussion of NPOV. Having and expressing a point of view is the discussion at hand. I'm reasonably confident that Guettarda understands my point, though disagreement is not out of the question. Nightmote (talk) 17:34, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
@Hipocrite - Ignignot is neutral, and I respect that. Good point. Upon due consideration, and despite the absence of a second skeptic (I did say one or two) I withdraw my objection. Nightmote (talk) 17:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank you. I'm glad that finding a middle ground worked, yet again - using pov-check as opposed to npov seems to work untill such time as we get a real opinion about existing concerns. What would probably be helpful would be a tick-list of issues that people who believe the article is not neutral currently have - and please try to be reasonable in listing issues that would likley be able to get some sort of consensus. Hipocrite (talk) 18:15, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

I agree and I like the compromise of changing NPOV dispute to NPOV discuss. I would suggest that if we do try to tick off NPOV concerns, that they are put into a new section on the talk page. As a side note, I removed the link to the rewrite because it appears defunct / stalled. If this is in error feel free to re-add. Ignignot (talk) 18:50, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec)OK. In good faith, then. Some people believe that the content of the emails demonstrates unprofessional behaviour on the part of the scientists. Some do not. Some people believe that the content of the emails disproves the AGW hypothesis. Some do not. These groups are not identical; and to identify those who feel the scientists behaved badly as AGW skeptics is biased. The statement " ... Individuals who oppose action on global warming called the incident "Climategate" ... " is to suggest that if one supports action on AGW, one must therefore reject the possibility that wrongdoing took place. The language is slippery, here, and subtle, but I feel reasonably confident that what I'm saying is correct. There is the theft (CRU Hacking Incident), there is the resultant scandal (Climategate), and there is the impact of the scandal on the AGW hypothesis (scientific consensus). Because we are arguing about three different events and three different levels of significance, we are finding consensus very difficult to achieve. I'm not prepared to suggest an alternate format, but it might help to re-structure the article to reflect the three phases or aspects. Nightmote (talk) 19:05, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The trouble is that the basic hypothesis above, that Global Warming is like a baseball match, is wrong. This isn't a 50/50, equal-chance issue. The position that, "Here we have a graph. It went up. Now, what's it going to do next? Up or down? Fifty-fifty, place your bets" is fundamentally flawed. As is the view that what we need here is a view that's neutrally sceptical: "Some scientists say up, some right-wing commentators say down, we need editors who don't know which to believe, to give both camps equal weight". You don't get that false 'balance' on creationism vs evolution, or on any other scientific topic versus those who don't understand, or 'believe in' (or want to believe in), that science. So, of the three 'aspects', only the first one is notable for serious coverage: We note that there was a 'scandal' among the uninformed, and that everyone who understands the issues says that there is no impact on the overall science, and that's it. As to whether "the emails demonstrate unprofessional behaviour on the part of the scientists", we are bound by WP:BLP to remain dumb on this until we have the results of reliable and official inquiries that either apportion blame or not. Those are the reasons why the article is as balanced as it can be as it is. --Nigelj (talk) 19:28, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I think you and Nightmote are talking about different things here. He specifically said that it wasn't an issue where there were just two sides defined - instead he was pointing out that there are many issues that get tied up under the umbrella of global warming, and that trying to put people into one of those two groups always results in difficulty in achieving consensus. I agree completely with that. It isn't comparable to the creation vs evolution argument, specifically because there are so many shades of grey.
Currently the overall structure of the article is something like: 1) hack timeline, 2) description of the content 3) reactions to the content. I think the suggestion that there be a section on how the reactions (particularly the investigations) change how climatology science is viewed, how the peer review is run, and how the IPCC is structured is something to keep in mind. However, it is just too early for there to be much to put into such a section. When the academic and criminal investigations reach some conclusions there will be more content on that topic, but at the moment it would be almost entirely speculation.
In the reactions section we certainly can mention that some people believe that the emails raise questions as to the way the involved researchers apply the scientific process. For example (although not exactly RS) Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, certainly not a skeptic or a "right-wing commentator" criticized the researchers specifically because the research was so important, and that "cutting corners" is a terrible thing to do for something that impacts everyone. The reaction and its results, particularly from the investigations, could eventually be the majority of content in the article, depending on how much happens in Parliament and the other venues of inquiry. Ignignot (talk) 21:01, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
"we are bound by WP:BLP to remain dumb on this until we have the results of reliable and official inquiries that either apportion blame or not" This is blatantly false and has absolutely no basis in any Wikipedia policy or guidline. As has been pointed out repeatedly, it is not a WP:BLP violation if we follow reliable sources. The rare exceptions (such as outing someone's sexual orientation) do not apply to this situation. Please stop spreading obviously false information. If there are any newbies here, they're not going to realize that this argument is complete bullsh*t. BTW, if you disagree, please bring up this "Wikipedia must be dumb until official investigations are complete" argument to the WP:BLP policy page where it will be soundly rejected. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:58, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Scjessey says "The skeptical position is very much a minority position (in fact, almost to the point of being a fringe position), so why should we seek the approval of this particular group?"
The skeptical position is in fact the default position of the scientific method, upheld by a substantial number of old-fashioned scientists, hardly a minority. That the reliability of the data has become suspect surely deserves mention. And even if the data were valid, the case for anthropogenesis is disputed by many notable climatologists. NPOV in this article remains at least in dispute, if not presumptively absent.Oiler99 (talk) 09:32, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
The "skeptical" position is misleading code for uninformed criticism, the scientific method requires peer reviewed publication – so we need good sources, not just the fringe rantings of bloggers. Amusingly, intelligent design proponentsists also claim to be supported by a substantial number of "skeptical" scientists. A much misused word. WP:NPOV requires due weight to the majority view, and requires the minority view to be shown in the context of the majority view. This article must present that balance. . . dave souza, talk 10:15, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Let's not lose sight of what the article is about. It's not about global warming. It's about a political controversy and the potential misconduct of 3 or 4 scientists. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:09, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
No it isn't. It's about the theft of private emails from a research center by means of hacking, the illegal dissemination of that material, and then the controversy hyped by skeptics and deniers. This misrepresentation of yours has really got to stop. -- Scjessey (talk) 19:14, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
To quote the boys from Monty Python, this sketch is getting 'too silly'. Scjessey is quite correct that this is NOT about Climategate. I have no complaint about someone describing the (alleged) hacking at East Anglia. I have a very strong complaint that a redirect to this article is being used to drop Climategate down the Memory_hole. I also agree with A Quest For Knowledge that Climategate itself is about something quite different. I part company with him/her in that I think that this widening scandal has grown enormous. It encompasses much of the scientific establishment and the traditional Fourth_estate beyond just the world of the 'hockey team' and their young discipline(s). Indeed, the scandal now includes Wikipedia itself. Wikipedia *will* self-correct eventually, but it is looking increasingly grim. WRT to the bullet points at the top: Re: "I think a move request is well within order." -- The fact that so many who would support a move have been chased away, banned, etc does not mean that those points of view no longer exist. Re: "* the POV issues seem to have settled down somewhat on the main article and (personally) I think the banner of shame can be removed." -- You just have to be kidding. No article bearing the current name could ever be considered NPOV. Certainly the article itself is egregiously POV to the point of just being silly. Re: "* the faq can probably use updating but I have not gone through item by item." Last I went through the FAQ it seemed to be a nest of weak apologia for the obvious criticisms one might raise and (very thinly) veiled threats against anyone who would have the temerity to attempt to put this article right. As I said before, this *is* an article about a breach of certain servers. That's fine. However, it is masquerading (via a redirect) as a discussion about the very much broader and very much different topic of 'Climategate'. I have spent a long time looking at this and related stuff on WP and elsewhere and there is no question in my mind that this entire thing is grotesquely aberrant. I fully expect it to become a sorry footnote in the history of WP. Meantime, though, as long as it remains in this state (and actually the entire 'climate' universe and constant references to 'Stance on Global Warming') it continues to erode the reputation of an enormous body of work at Wikipedia. It is a shame, and anyone with a modicum of decency who has spent a long time sparring here will recuse themselves and refer this up the chain for correction. It is unfair to continue this charade and taint the work of huge numbers of innocent contributing editors. A few hundred articles mangled by a small cadre of editors with an Axe to grind is calling into question the quality of literally millions of articles written by hundreds of thousands of editors. If nothing else, it should offend your sense of fairness. Yuck! DeepNorth (talk) 20:27, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Bravo!! The best solution, I suggest, is to break the discussion into two parts: the theft or liberation of the FOIA documents; and the conduct and attitudes and intentions revealed by the mother lode. To this latter can be appended the NOAA data scandal recently revealed, and perhaps even the (minor) glacier scandal. This discussion calls the mind the operations of the Holy Office in the defense of matters of faith. Show them the instruments...Oiler99 (talk) 22:25, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Deleted Context in E-mails

As quoted here the e-mails are lacking context which is present in the original leaked versions. One particularly grievous example is the "Trenberth e-mail of 12 Oct 2009". The last line as quoted is "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." This an often-quoted version, and seen by some as the "smoking gun" of the hack since it implies an attempt to make the climate data fit the model.

In the original (as archived here), that was not the end of even that paragraph, much less the article. The paragraph it is cut from goes: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate." The rest of the message and the article it is marked as referring to go on to expand on this idea.

This is a clear case of cherry picking, the edit completely changes the meaning of the message. While the author's response to the reaction is included, using a deliberately edited version is still a violation of Wikipedia's neutrality.

  • The part immediately before, "How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!", is in fact from a separate message and has been edited in with the line from 10-12 as though they were part of a single message.

The First part of the quote is from a different 10-14-09 message, part of the same exchange as the "how come you do not agree" section. As with the 'travesty' line, this is the first line of a long message and has a completely different meaning in context.

The section needs to be re-written to clearly show that this is not the complete text of a single message, but also to restore the context to the respective elements.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Agreed. Not only is the context obfuscated, but the content comes from different emails. This will need to be addressed. -- Scjessey (talk) 23:50, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree as well. Ignignot (talk) 15:56, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

The problem is that we're stuck with quoting only what has been published in a secondary source. This allows all sorts of mischief on both sides. Since the CRU has vouched for the validity of the data, is there a problem with quoting any email discussed in a RS in enough detail as to provide the proper context, even if that complete context was not provided in the referenced source? JPatterson (talk) 20:05, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

JPatterson is right. We're in between a rock and a hard place here. While you may believe that there has been cherry picking, we are bound by WP:BLP to only quote reliable sources. We can only give exactly as much context as the sources have, if you believe this is cherry picking your issue is with those sources and not with this article. Oren0 (talk) 07:10, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
This may be one of the rare instances where a strong case can be made that WP:Ignore all rules. applies. In thinking this through, the standard I would propose is that the e-mail in question has to have been discussed in a RS, but once that threshold is met, we provide as much context as necessary to frame the issue fairly. JPatterson (talk) 19:00, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
From my reading, Trenberth himself chooses to quote that part alone, and respond to it without bringing in other quotes. If we cover his response adequately, there should be no need to invent a defence for him. . . dave souza, talk 19:45, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Article move

Does this have any sort of consensus? Hipocrite (talk) 18:28, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I`m for it :) --mark nutley (talk) 18:31, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you believe it has any sort of consensus? IE - is it an appropriate thing to do? Hipocrite (talk) 18:37, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Clearly the title you have reverted to is improper and misleading. The notability of the event is only in a small part related to the hacking. Most of the coverage has been a discussion about the contents of the e-mail and the ensuing controversy. ChildofMidnight (talk) 18:52, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
As discussed previously, it all arises from the hacking incident. Your proposal doesn't cover all of the hacked material, and misleadingly suggests that they were internal emails. Inappropriate. . . dave souza, talk 18:59, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you think we should rename watergate to "break in at a hotel"? ChildofMidnight (talk) 19:20, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

(ec) I've renamed the article to reflect that it's not just about the hacking incident. There was an effort to split off the controversy over the e-mails, but as that hasn't been done this title better reflects the broader scope of the article and its contents which covers not only the hacking but the controversy over the e-mails. This seems the best approach to have neautral wording and an appropriate title that encompasses all apsects of the events and their ramifications. ChildofMidnight (talk) 18:30, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Of all the names the article could have this one must be the worst. And it gives no respect at all for the patient and collaborative efforts Scjessey has put in to suggest all sorts of names for discussion. It won't do and can't stay. Was there not controversy over more than emails? Over computer code, for example? Itsmejudith (talk) 18:39, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Just so. It's a disruptive move without any consultation, and for a start fails to cover the data and programs that were also hacked and illicitly distributed. . . . dave souza, talk 18:41, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I've undone the move. I'll just chalk this one up to a failed attempt to BRD, but let me note that moving a page should not be boldly attempted when we've discussed it to death a billion times. Hipocrite (talk) 18:44, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Please don't return the article to a misleading and innaccurate title. The subject and the contents are not just about the hacking, but about the controversy over the e-mails themselves. That's what most of the coverage in reliable sources discusses, well beyond the hacking incident. So a return to the former title would be very misleading and innacurate. If there is a better title let's use that one, but this one is a clear improvement over the improperly narrow title that was being used previously.
An article's title must reflect the article contents. An effort was made to split off the controversy over the e-mails, but that was reverted. The present title is misleading as it addresses only the hacking, a small part of the coverage, and ignores the much bigger issue about what was in the e-mails and the ensuing controversy. I'm okay with having separate article on the hacking and the e-mails if that's the way to go, but we can't have a distorted article that is titled and stilted to address only the hacking, as if the e-mails themselves aren't the center of the controversy and what makes the subject so notable. ChildofMidnight (talk) 18:45, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Although I dislike the current title, consensus has not been reached and this move should be reverted. Moves like this threaten the progress we're started towards a more collaborative editing environment. JPatterson (talk) 18:48, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm not going to comment as to how appropriate the current title is, but this article is under probation and we should be reaching a consensus before doing anything so dramatic. Ignignot (talk) 18:54, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I'll add my support to those arguing that this was an improper and unsupported move. Verbal chat 18:57, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Completely improper move, with inappropriate wording and inaccurate to boot. Knock it off, CoM. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:07, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
The present title is inappropriate, inaccurate and misleading, as has been noted repeatedly by numerous editors. So reverting to this title was improper and disruptive. It restores a contentious article name that is not supported by the sources or a consensus of editors. If there's a better solution than the neutrally worded title the I moved the article to, then please present it instead of disrupting discussion to engage in attacks on good faith contributors working to fix and improve our article content. Thank you. ChildofMidnight (talk) 19:20, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
CoM, the article title has been the subject of a huge amount of controversy. It's unwise - no, strike that - it's completely stupid for you to jump in and start changing the article title, one of the key flashpoints on this talk page, without any prior discussion whatsoever. Persuade editors that your preferred title is better. Do not attempt to impose it. -- ChrisO (talk) 19:34, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Leaving aside your personal attacks for the moment, I agree that the present title that it's been reverted to is contentious and a flashpoint. It reflects only one side of the dispute and does not cover the most notable aspects of the controversy. It's completely unacceptable and reverting to it despite all the opposition is disruptive. There were some quibbles made about the new title not including note of the data that was also released. We should focus on addressing those concerns instead of making knee-jerk reversion to a version of the article that is not neutral or accurate, and that doesn't meet our standards such as WP:MOS that indicate the most notable aspects of a subject should be presented in the lead instead of being buried further down in the article. Please focus on the article contents and our editing guidelines instead of engaging in ad hominem attacks. ChildofMidnight (talk) 19:49, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Let me ask you a very simple question: you agree that the title is contentious and a flashpoint. Why then did you attempt a unilateral renaming and major changes to the lead without bothering to discuss them first? -- ChrisO (talk) 19:59, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
When there is a problem I try to fix it and to resolve the dispute instead of perpetuating it. By reverting without explanation and continuing to preserve a contentious, disputed and misleading article title and a poorly organized lead that ignores the most notable aspects of the controversy, you have exacerbated the problem. Your focus on other editors rather than the article contents, relevant guidelines, and sources, is also disruptive. If there is reasoning behind your content changes then please explain what it is. I have explained the changes I made and other editors have explained why this title is unacceptable. Using the article to focus mostly on the hacking is improper and neglects the most notable aspects of the controversy. This violates wp:npov wp:mos and wp:weight. ChildofMidnight (talk) 20:15, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
CoM, your actions give the unfortunate impression that you're acting disruptively to push through a scientific fringe viewpoint and give undue weight to minority scientific positions. Please discuss proposals before making such changes to well discussed aspects of the article. . . dave souza, talk 20:42, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
The impression is the reality, unfortunately. Unilateral renames of this article should be met with an instant article ban IMO, as this has been a source of much contention over the last few months here. Tarc (talk) 21:04, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I do feel this, and the comments above, warrant an enforcement action. Verbal chat 21:22, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Then file one. Merely talking about filing one won't achieve anything. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:25, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I wont file one if others reasonably think it is unwarranted. It's too late here anyway for that kind of work :) Verbal chat 21:55, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I just move-protected the page, so any future moves will have to go through the WP:Requested moves process. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 21:45, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Very good idea. Verbal chat 21:55, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I think an enforcement action should be filed - we're all experienced editors here. There is no reason to make personal attacks on each other, regardless of the status of this article, and this one is under probation for pete's sake. This is some of the worst behavior that I have seen from people who actually make many valuable contributions. It actually makes me feel ill. Ignignot (talk) 22:07, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
If you are feeling physically ill while reading Wikipedia please consider seeking medical assistance, it may not be that Wikipedia is the cause but something in your environment. Weakopedia (talk) 23:59, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't like the current name either, but given the probation and the previous discussions this move was obviously boneheaded. Did you really think it wouldn't be immediately reverted? Why not propose a new name and start a move discussion? Oren0 (talk) 07:07, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Problematic Trenberth edit

Instead of simply deleting content, good manners would suggest we discuss the issue here first, even if the article were not under probation. The material in question is easy sourced, e.g. here and here. Please revert this change and add the references. Thanks. JPatterson (talk) 18:43, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi. I'm trying to use your sources to find Trebberth writing all three of those quotes in one email. Could you provide that? Hipocrite (talk) 18:51, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
While it might have been more collegiate to have started with a [citation needed] tag, the sources suggested have problems. The first one seems well balanced, but doesn't seem to mention this particular point in the article. Comments won't do. The second one is based on spin by a research associate at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and contributor to, unsuitable for describing the science. . . dave souza, talk 18:55, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
All that is required here is that the quoted content be published in a reliable source. Both of these sources qualify as [WP:RS] JPatterson (talk) 19:08, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Hi. I'm trying to use your sources to find Trebberth writing all three of those quotes in one email. Could you provide that? Hipocrite (talk) 19:13, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
All three are in the same e-mail thread, the entirety of which was posted on both RC and CA. However, I agree that the top quote "Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes? Where did the heat go?", has not been published in a reliable source. If consensus is that we can't use RC or CA then that portion of the quote should be removed. The rest should be restored. JPatterson (talk) 19:21, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Are you asking me to restore the false and possibly defamatory statement that these statements by Trenberth are all from a "Trenberth e-mail of 12 Oct 2009?" I'm sorry, I can't do that, since I don't attempt to falsify the encyclopedia. However, if you'd like to propose a replacement to the removed text that is neither false nor defamatory, I'd be happy to edit that in. Hipocrite (talk) 19:39, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
The context you removed was in support of Trenbreth's explanation that he was discussing energy balance and not AWG. If you asked him, I'm sure he would prefer the original. My position is we should provide as much context as possible in fairness to the scientists and our readers. Towards that end, I would like to attempt a re-write based on this analysis from Yale, which examines the entire thread. Before I do though, I would like consensus that
1) We should provide more context than is currently provided
2) The Yale analysis is an acceptable source.
I of course will seek consensus here on the wording. JPatterson (talk) 18:39, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
The sentence remaining is better than the Frankenstein creation of pieces from 3 messages it was, but still misleading. The information given later in the section as his explanation is also given in full in the original e-mail, but as it reads now it looks like an excuse after the fact. The two pieces removed were from messages later in the conversation (linked above) and could possibly be used to clarify further. The published versions are so hacked up by the denialists that Trenberth could probably win a libel lawsuit over them; this restriction to using only that material will make representing any of these e-mails fairly an exercise in futility. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:44, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Other expert commentary section

Just to make an observation here, but isn't it a bit of an undue weight problem to devote an entire subsection in this article to one man's opinion? This rather lengthy paragraph may need to be cut down and merged elsewhere in the article, unless more material can bolster and balance the section. »S0CO(talk|contribs) 04:57, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

The statement is incorrect anyway. Creationists do this for biology all the time, and they have even gotten their views taught in American public schools a few times in just the last decade (before having them legally forced out each time). The tactics are largely identical. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:21, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
These are valid views by an expert historian, it might be possible to reconsider other section headings to merge the information elsewhere but they provide a significant expert outside view rather than the views of participants in the debate. It would be useful to find more such expert commentary for the section. Anon's view is unsupported by evidence, and to the best of my knowledge creationists haven't gone so far in trying to damage professional reputations. . . dave souza, talk 05:39, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Concern about redirects

I am concerned about the increasing number of redirects to this article, particularly those that seem pointy in nature, such as:

As far as I can tell, none of these are related to the CRU hack in any significant way. Besides these, there seems to be others that I would regard as implausible (such as "HARRY READ ME.txt"). What does everyone else think? -- Scjessey (talk) 17:22, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I hadn't heard of these names, but going by this blog entry (I'm not claiming RS, calm down) they aren't relevant to this article. I don't think WP:pointy applies, but I agree they should definitely not redirect here. How does one keep an eye out for these? --Heyitspeter (talk) 18:13, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
You can monitor such things here. -- Scjessey (talk) 18:20, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Cool! Thanks.--Heyitspeter (talk) 18:25, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Death threats redux

I would like to propose two changes to the article. Firstly, I would like to change the following sentence of the lede:

"Law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter as a crime, and are also investigating death threats that were subsequently made against climate scientists named in the e-mails."

I would like to replace this with:

"Law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter as a crime, and also subsequent threats made against climate scientists named in the e-mails."

It shortens what I believe to be an awkward-sounding sentence, but also removes the "death" qualifier. Not all of the threats made against the climate scientists were death threats. With that in mind, my second proposed edit is to change the section header "Death threats" to just "Threats". -- Scjessey (talk) 22:14, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

Can I take it from the silence that nobody objects? -- Scjessey (talk) 15:03, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
While I've some sympathy with your proposals in principle, the proposed short sentence seems grammatically odd, and doesn't say what anyone's doing about the "subsequent threats". As a first stab at it, "Law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter as a crime, with reference to the unauthorised release itself and to various threats that were subsequently made against climate scientists named in the e-mails." . . dave souza, talk 15:29, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
That seems a bit wordy. Here's an alternative:
"Law enforcement agencies are investigating the unauthorized release as a crime, as well as subsequent threats made against climate scientists named in the e-mails."
How does that sound? -- Scjessey (talk) 15:37, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Oppose. How about "Law enforcement agencies are investigating."? It's short, simple, to the point, and without the WP:NPOV violation. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:56, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm confused. What NPOV violation? -- Scjessey (talk) 02:46, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Are you serious? Most WP:RS hardly mention the death threats. Featuring them so prominently in the lede is giving undo weight to them. This has been brought up numerous times before and is one of the reasons why there's a NPOV tag on the article. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:50, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I don't know why someone is trying again to push this into the article as thought it has high importance or relevance. Seems like a desperate attempt to generate sympathy to me. JettaMann (talk) 19:17, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
In case you hadn't noticed, I actually removed the "death threats" aspect from the text. I'm not trying to push anything. -- Scjessey (talk) 21:01, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
It's curious that some people (not you, Scjessey) apparently don't want to say what the police are investigating... -- ChrisO (talk) 21:39, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Please assume good faith. It's pretty obvious that what they're investigating. For example, "Last Tuesday, armed gunmen broken into a bank and stole 8 million dollars. Police are investigating." Is it really necessary to say that they're investigating the bank robbery? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:53, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

<ri> Probably better with "Law enforcement agencies are investigating the unauthorised release as a crime. After the release some critics issued threats against climate scientists named in the e-mails, and these threats are also being investigated as crimes." Looks a bit clearer to me. . . dave souza, talk 11:00, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

"The police are investigating the unauthorised release as a crime; they are also investigating threats that were subsequently made against climate scientists named in the e-mails." Suggestion made for grammar and style. Although it isn't a big deal for me, I'd prefer "police" to "law enforcement agencies", which sounds American to my ears. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:44, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
You make a good point about "law enforcement" sounding American. I'm not a fan of "they are also" constructs, and I'm not all that excited about having the word "investigating" twice in the same sentence. An alternative:
"The police are conducting a criminal investigation into the unauthorised release and threats subsequently made against climate scientists named in the e-mails."
Is that in improvement? -- Scjessey (talk) 12:32, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Sounds fine to me. BTW I think "law enforcement" triggered memories of U.N.C.L.E.. But perhaps they ought to be on the case too. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:30, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I'll make the changes then. What's the worst that can happen? -- Scjessey (talk) 14:31, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm concerned that the meaning is not so clear now. Can we say "personal threats", to distinguish the meaning from possible misunderstandings, like threats of disciplinary action, threats of losing their jobs etc. Also (and this is a normal question - I think I missed it) where is the discussion where we agreed that this was not in fact a theft, but an "unauthorised release"? That phrase makes the new sentence harder to parse too. --Nigelj (talk) 15:50, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
We didn't agree it was an unauthorised release rather than a theft. We've never agreed anything, have we? But it is neutral and correct. "Theft" of data is inexact. It isn't defined in English law AFAIK. What we do know absolutely certainly at this point is that there was a release of data/files/computer stuff and that UEA didn't authorise it. So my view is that "unauthorised release" is good enough. Itsmejudith (talk) 16:48, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
As far as i know "data theft" is defined in British law, and at least the e-mails are covered under the Data Protection Act. And as for "release" - please see several discussions where this wording was discarded. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 20:08, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
It's a standard term (see [2]), and the sources are clear that the data in question was stolen, so I don't know why "release" is being used. If money is stolen from a bank it's not an "unauthorised release" of cash, is it? -- ChrisO (talk) 20:40, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Edit warring over the language is stupid, people. All I did was propose that we cut out the "death" aspect of it (because not all the threats were death threats), and then after some discussion we came to what seemed a reasonable solution. And then you all had to edit war over it, because that's apparently the way things work around here. If people are unhappy with "unauthorized release" then discuss it here like adults instead of edit warring. -- Scjessey (talk) 21:08, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Compromise proposal

Right now, it says:

"The police are conducting a criminal investigation into the data release as well as into personal threats made against some of the climate scientists mentioned in the documents."

How about as a compromise, we change it to the following:

"The police are conducting a criminal investigation into the matter, as well as into personal threats made against some of the scientists mentioned in the documents."

Will that make everyone happy? -- Scjessey (talk) 21:11, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

Try "The police are conducting a criminal investigation of the server breach and subsequent personal threats made against some of the climate scientists mentioned in the documents." That reflects what they've said; we mustn't insinuate that they are investigating the scientists, who are the victims here. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:35, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
That seems okay to me, although I think the "climate" qualifier before "scientists" is redundant. -- Scjessey (talk) 23:54, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Good point. I've removed that word. I've also changed "documents" to "emails" - I believe the documents have been pretty much innocuous (at least I've not seen any significant coverage of them) but the threatened individuals, whom I understand are Mann and Jones, are in the limelight because of the emails. -- ChrisO (talk) 18:06, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Excellent (in best Montgomery Burns voice). -- Scjessey (talk) 19:10, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
Nope. Still doesn't address the undue weight issue. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:56, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
What undue weight issue? -- Scjessey (talk) 22:18, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The one I've been talking about for the past 2-3 months. Per WP:WEIGHT, "Undue weight applies to more than just viewpoints. An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to its significance to the subject." Most reliable sources don't even mention the death threats when discussing this topic. Giving them such high prominence by mentioning them in the lede is giving undue weight to a minor aspect of the overall topic. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:32, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
So you are saying that the death threats against the scientists aren't important in comparison to the data theft, right? You are saying these ☠ death threats ☠ are a "minor aspect", correct? Would it come as a great surprise if I told you that I'm going to have to disagree with you on that point? Try to understand the problem here. There are literally thousands of science-denying idiots furiously writing opinion pieces and blog posts that misrepresent comments made in a few private emails, doing their level best to make the biggest fuss they possibly can. Their number include "journalists" and energy-backed politicians, working hand-in-hand with a lazy media that has eschewed investigative journalism in favor of being spoon fed bite-sized chunks of convenient talking points. Meanwhile, a tiny handful of real journalists have reported that threats have been made against the lives of scientists, but their voices are drowned out by the science-denying echo chamber. So I think you have it all backward. The science-deniers represent the minority viewpoint (or "fringe"), but the reporting about the death threats is represented by a majority viewpoint, expressing indisputable truth. These threats are both real and significant, and they are covered by reliable sources. As such, they should definitely feature prominently. -- Scjessey (talk) 00:07, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
"There are literally thousands of science-denying idiots furiously writing opinion pieces and blog posts" Huh? When have you ever seen me cite an opinion piece or blog post in relation to this article? I'm afraid that you might be confusing me with someone else. I'm talking about news articles (not opinion pieces) from the high end of journalism market such as The Guardian[3], The Washington Post[4], The New York Times[5], The Times[6], Reuters[7], The Associated Press[8], Time Magazine[9], etc. most of which don't even cover this aspect it's so minor. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:31, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
You have completely missed my point. I'm saying that the death threats have received meaningful coverage in reliable sources and the facts are not disputed. Also, the death threats mostly occurred after the main news cycle that covered the CRU incident, so they never received the attention they deserved; nevertheless, enough coverage exists to justify this notable information appearing in the lede. -- Scjessey (talk) 02:37, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
No, I get your point, but it's completely wrong. The death threats have NOT received meaningful coverage in reliable sources in proportion to other aspects of this topic (see the articles I pointed to in my last post which don't even mention the death threats). Further, not only were they not widely covered by reliable sources at the beginning of the controversy, they're hardly mentioned ever since. This is a classic case of WP:UNDUE weight. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 11:21, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
The issue that there are police investigations into the computer crime and into the various threats is significant, brief coverage in the lead as proposed is appropriate. . . dave souza, talk 14:35, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
If the death threats are so significant, how do you account for the dearth of coverage in reliable sources? I've asked this question before and to the best of my knowledge, no one's been able to answer this. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:09, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I already answered that question above. The death threats came after the initial media circus surrounding the incident. Furthermore, the death threats have not benefited from the science-deniers' echo chamber. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:29, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
"The death threats came after the initial media circus surrounding the incident." But that's not true. They were reported early on and rarely mentioned again. If you disagree, show me some articles with dates that prove otherwise.
"Furthermore, the death threats have not benefited from the science-deniers' echo chamber." So what? We're not supposed to introduce bias to counter bias of reliable sources. If reliable sources don't think it's that important, then neither do we. To do otherwise is a violation of WP:NPOV.
If you can provide an answer as to why the death threats are important enough to mention in the lede despite the dearth of coverage by reliable sources that doesn't violate WP:OR, WP:V and WP:NPOV, I'd love to hear it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:50, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget that this is now an account of a one-off historical incident. It happened about 2 months ago and the death threats happened soon after and were clearly related. This is all in the past now, and the facts of the coverage at the time is not in dispute. The only ongoing thing has been what's been called here the 'echo chamber', but that is not the incident and is increasingly irrelevant as time goes on. Just because the climate-denial echo chamber has not picked up the threats, does not make them any less significant: of course threats against personal safety are more important than threats to alter the peer-review process, or threats to delete an email, or to truncate a graph. The fact that the denial echo-chamber has not gone on and on about them does not alter the historical fact of their existence or significance at the time. Of course when the official investigations are in, or if any arrests are made, this article will come to life again, but until then we are just tidying an article on an historical event. --Nigelj (talk) 19:14, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I have no idea what you mean by "echo chamber". I'm referring to third-party, reliable sources with a reputation for accuracy and fact-checking. If by "echo chamber", you mean blogs or opinion pieces, then I ask that you address what I am saying and not some magical Straw man. As for "threats against personal safety are more important than threats to alter the peer-review process", what reliable sources actually say such a thing? Honestly, that sounds like pure WP:OR. Original research is strictly forbidden in Wikipedia articles. In any case, WP:NPOV requires that we assign weight roughly in proportion to their prominence in reliable sources. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:19, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Of course you know what is meant by echo chamber, unless you couldn't be bothered to read my reply above that included the link to it. Reliable sources note the death threats (I linked to one in a section below, for example), and that is all that is needed. Surely you don't think a data theft is more important than a death threat? I'd much rather have my computer files stolen than get stabbed to death, personally. -- Scjessey (talk) 20:28, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
No, I don't. Echo chamber is not part of any Wikipedia policy or guideline that I am aware of. The issue of whether reliable sources mention the death threats is not in dispute, so I don't know why you mention it. Focusing on straw men only distracts from the central issue here. Again, the dispute is whether reliable sources have given so much attention to them that they are important enough to be mentioned in the lede. So far, the answer is a resounding no. "Surely you don't think a data theft is more important than a death threat" What I think is irrelevant. Again, it's not our place as Wikipedia editors to say that reliable sources are wrong. That's called WP:OR; Wikipedia is not the place to right great wrongs. "I'd much rather have my computer files stolen than get stabbed to death, personally". Again, your personal preference is WP:OR and completely irrelevant in this context. Do you have an argument that is supported by WP:RS and doesn't involve violating WP:OR, WP:V and WP:NPOV? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:59, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Stop referring to everything I say as WP:OR. It isn't. Original research applies to articles, not comments on talk pages. There are plenty of sources that note the issue of the death threats, and also about how they are being investigated. The brief mention that the matter is afforded in this article in no way violates WP:WEIGHT, so quit saying it does. Repeatedly banging on about this, despite an overwhelming consensus for inclusion, is tendentious. -- Scjessey (talk) 21:06, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You're justifying article content based on original research. Stop doing it and I'll stop pointing it out. "The brief mention that the matter is afforded in this article" Again, that's not the issue. We're supposed to give weight in proportion to prominence in reliable sources. Most reliable sources don't even mention this aspect of the topic as I've already demonstrated several posts previously. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:41, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Again, that's a false argument you are using. If you actually read WP:WEIGHT, the concern is more about giving minority viewpoints (like climate change denial, for example) too much prominence. Reliable sources are more likely to give coverage to things that are controversial, but that is not the same as "prominence". The death threats are no disputed, and so they aren't controversial; nevertheless, reliable sources that have reported these facts give prominence to these threats, even if the number of reliable sources reporting about them are fewer. The fact remains that enough sources exist to justify the brief mention these threats get in the article. And since most people agree with me, I'd say that is pretty much the end of it. -- Scjessey (talk) 21:53, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, if you read WP:WEIGHT, it says "Undue weight applies to more than just viewpoints." It also applies to article content. In determining weight, we're supposed to base it on its prominence among reliable sources. Since comparatively fewer reliable sources cover this aspect (most don't mention it at all), it's a violation of WP:UNDUE to mention them in the lede.
Please stop repeating the tired straw man that this is about whether it gets mentioned in the article. No one's saying that and that's certainly nothing that I've ever said. So if that's what you think this is about, then I suggest you go back and re-read my posts a little more carefully. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:09, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Whatever. At this point you are really just talking to yourself, because there is a solid consensus for inclusion. Sorry, but there it is. Call it a case of WP:IAR if it makes you happy. -- Scjessey (talk) 22:11, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but that's not how consensus works. Invoking WP:IAR is a poor substitute for a valid argument. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:23, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
Actually, Quest is not "just talking to himself" and there is not a solid consensus for inclusion. Look at it this way: Both the Penn State investigation and the "death threat" investigation are investigations. Neither are concluded. Both have similar arguments for / against inclusion in the article. And yet both Dave Souza and Scjessey are arguing both cases, conveniently choosing which side best suits thier POV. (apparently AGW POV is more important to them then any of the cited wikipedia rules.) It's amusing when you think about it. Sirwells (talk) 22:53, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, he's clearly not talking to me because I gave a full explanation above, which he somehow didn't hear. Here it is again without the metaphor that he didn't understand: Don't forget that this is now an account of a one-off historical incident. It happened about 2 months ago and the death threats happened soon after and were clearly related. This is all in the past now, and the facts of the coverage at the time is not in dispute. The only ongoing thing has been some further media discussion of allegations based on the e-mail content, but that is not the incident and is increasingly irrelevant as time goes on. Just because this coverage has not repeated much discussion of the threats, does not make them any less significant: of course threats against personal safety are more important than threats to alter the peer-review process, or threats to delete an email, or to truncate a graph. The fact that the media debate has not gone on and on about them does not alter the historical fact of their existence or significance at the time. Of course when the official investigations are in, or if any arrests are made, this article will come to life again, but until then we are just tidying an article on an historical event. --Nigelj (talk) 23:29, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

"Just because this coverage has not repeated much discussion of the threats, does not make them any less significant". Actually, it does. Per WP:UNDUE, weight should be attributed based on its prominence in reliable sources. By your own admission, reliable sources haven't paid much attention to the death threats. It is a violation of WP:NPOV to add weight that does not exist in reliable sources. As you point out, this is a one-off historical event. Perhaps one day, reliable sources will add such weight. But that hasn't happened yet. Until such time, mentioning the death threats in the lede is a violation of undue weight. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:40, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but this is just complete nonsense. The matter of the death threats was covered by reliable sources appropriately when the issue came to light. But after that, there was nothing more to say so coverage ended. This is in stark contrast to the hacking incident, which has ongoing coverage. That is why you cannot compare one with the other. At the time the story of the death threats came to light, coverage of the death threats was featured prominently in reliable sources. -- Scjessey (talk) 02:57, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
It was hardly mentioned then, and it's rarely mentioned now. WP:UNDUE clearly applies. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:43, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
For what it's worth, i see a clear and convincing argument made by Quest, evasion and casuistry by those responding.—eric 01:04, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Imagine this scenario fifty years hence. Suppose it turns out that Inhofe, Exxon and Fox News were able to use "Climategate" to sway public opinion and thwart all attempts at mitigating CO2 emissions. It also turns out that Mann et. al. were exactly right, the earth has now warmed precipitously and faces catastrophe. A historian in that day, trying to figure out how the hell this could have happened would surely be left scratching their head if our article were their only resource. S/he would be left to wonder how a "third rate burglary" (sorry, couldn't resist) could have derailed the march to global consensus that seemed to have been moving right along until then. Our article, with it's focus on downplaying the content and up-playing the immorality of the hack angle, can't explain the social and political impact that, right or wrong, this incident has already had (hint: I haven't seen any calls for Congress to investigate cyber-security due to this incident), much less the future impact, because it doesn't reflect reality as it exists.
In this thoughtful retrospective, Dr. Hopper strikes the proper tone. He writes, "The various [e-mail] revelations should be treated rationally and cautiously and not simply used as a blunt weapon to discredit opponents." Amen. He also writes, "Climate change science and appropriate policy responses remain crucial issues, and ultimate decisions should be made on the basis of a calm assessment of the facts rather than simply siding with whoever has captured the headlines." Couldn't agree more with this statement as well. But here he is speaking of science and policy, not the history of an incident that impacts both. For our purposes, headlines and gasp, even blogs matter, because that's where Climategate will(has) play(ed) out. If we can't or won't take note of it, we do our future readers (and WP) a real disservice. JPatterson (talk) 01:42, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
That's just gazing into a crystal ball and it doesn't help us here. -- Scjessey (talk) 02:57, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
OK, it's been been a while since someone last weighed in on this WP:UNDUE weight issue. Are there any valid objections to fixing this that don't involve violating WP:OR, WP:V or WP:NPOV and doesn't invoke WP:IAR? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:07, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
No objections here.....Sirwells (talk) 23:13, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

In a section below, I objected to the inclusion of reference to the personal threats in the lede. Scjessey asked that I contribute my objection to this section, rather than the one below. I’ve reread the last three sections discussing this issue, and it is clear to me that the inclusion is not the result of consensus but included over the objections of several. I’ll add myself to the list of those objecting. The coverage of the threats is minor, the coverage hasn’t demonstrated that the threats were anything more than the usual idiots blustering anonymously, and the lack of any arrests or further coverage adds to the likelihood that it wasn’t any more than blustering. Should actual trials occur, I’ll be happy to revisit my conclusion. Until then, it is arguable whether it deserves any mention in the article, and certainly does not rise to the level of importance to be included in the lede. The lede should summarize the most important aspects of the incident, not coatrack everything written on the subject. SPhilbrickT 16:51, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Do you have any reliable source that says that the threats were made by "the usual idiots"? Who are these idiots that they can make such threats and it doesn't count? This is an article on what is now an historical incident. The threats were made at the time and were taken seriously at the time. The passage of time does not change history. People who want to rewrite history do that, and that surely does not include any of us. --Nigelj (talk) 17:06, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Despite the promising start, I believe this discussion has degenerated into something that is unlikely to yield anything useful. I propose that we put this on the back burner while we address the "'Climategate' in the first para" issue, and then come back to this in a new section that jettisons all the animosity and trench-building above. -- Scjessey (talk) 17:36, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
The problem with your compromise proposal is that it doesn't address *where* this information belongs. It is giving it undue weight by putting it in the intro. It just doesn't belong there. If, for some reason, you want to mention this later in the article in an appropriate section, fine, and try to be specific (if you can) about what exactly said threats were. Does anybody even know what these supposed "threats" were? It just isn't crucial to the summary. JettaMann (talk) 23:20, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Reactions to the incident: Climatologists

I suggest Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who explains what the CRU documents reveal: “They are unambiguously dealing with things that are unethical and in many cases illegal. … We have scientists manipulating raw temperature data. The willingness to destroy data rather than release it. The avoidance of Freedom of Information requests.” "The Great Climategate Debate", 10.Dec.2009, time index 17:25 [10] Alternatively, Mohib Ebrahim, who has compiled a 30-year pictorial history of the development of this problem [11] has said: "Science has come full-circle, taking a page from the medieval Church by using fear and persecution to silence sceptics. The oppressed have become the oppressors. Given that most professional scientific bodies and peer-reviewed journals have been active accomplices in this scandal, one wonders how many other so called scientific consensuses have been similarly engineered and waiting for their own ClimateGates before truth is known."Oiler99 (talk) 03:42, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, whilst I agree with you I can't see how that helps contribute to the article. (talk) 23:20, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The article is quite unbalanced. Of the 15 individuals and 2 entities (UEA, MET) referenced, only one, Michaels, is unambiguously stating that the revealed conduct was reprehensible. No one states the common view that the data are now suspect. Most of those quoted are related to the Hockey Team or the IPCC. Large numbers of perfectly honest scientists are of the opinion that the conduct revealed is much more important than the mode of revelation (cf. Pentagon Papers). Linzen is particularly notable, and should certainly be represented. Perhaps the title of the article produces an unfortunate limiting bias, and there should be a separate article for CLIMATEGATE SCANDAL.Oiler99 (talk) 08:46, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Your view seems rather unbalanced, and the claims cited above have been refuted since that debate. Even the Telegraph now presents the view that the hacking incident was over-hyped,[12] and the idea of it being a "scandal" has been questioned. There are genuine concerns about making data and methods more freely available, but no evidence that the gossip in the emails went beyond gossip – indeed categoric statements that the data is as freely available as contracts allow, that no emails were destroyed and that the papers the scientists criticised as unsuitable still appeared in the IPCC report. A more recent and well considered statement by Linzen would be interesting, but overblown statements in an early debate are unsuitable. Perhaps the real scandal wil turn out to be the misuse and exaggeration by denialists. . . dave souza, talk 10:31, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
"The Himalayan howler is ... much more serious than the overhyped "Climategate" row".[13] What a good job we kept our heads when all about us were losing theirs. Even the most right-wing commentary sources are backing down on this incident already, ahead of the UEA and Parliamentary inquiries. They're still trying to make something out of 'Glaciergate' though. Stupidly, it will turn out, as it's not as if the main thrust of the AR4 argument was based on that 2035 date! It was only window-dressing at the most. Wikipedia will turn out all the stronger for having maintained sensible coverage of these issues while the mad media wolves howled. Not that they will ever credit us for that, having attacked us with red tooth and claw at the time. --Nigelj (talk) 10:51, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia unfortunately is progressively covering itself with shame as a result of its deliberate obfuscation of this matter. Rather than turning out stronger, it's becoming an object of disdain, much to the delight of those, of every political persuasion, who predicted that it could never be a reliable source of information. Those who thought it was serving as a shining example of the value of socialism in action are now despondent. And as a practical matter, it would seem prudent to cover your bets. But no, that's not the way the Holy Office works. Oiler99 (talk) 22:42, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Is there any point to this screed? Please don't use article talk as your soap box. -- Scjessey (talk) 22:58, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Well after reading and making some suggestions on this and some other pages I have found that it helps my focus to think I'm talking with multiple clones of the Comic Book Guy. [14] But seriously, you have a point. There appears to be place for a lot of introspection for both users and editors. In the case of this article I glanced at versions of this page in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, German, Dutch to get some perspective. The German one appears to have a similar discussion going on. The Danish one is short and to the point. The Dutch version appears focused and to the point. (talk) 23:05, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, 91, the Italian treatment is excessively brief. But if an example of NPOV is needed, as it seems to be, the French account is not a bad model: admirably even-handed with a minimal AGW bias that most skeptics would not, I believe, object to: L'incident des emails du Climatic Research Unit, plus souvent appelé Climategate, est une affaire résultant de la divulgation, dans la seconde moitié du mois de novembre 2009, d'un ensemble de courriels et de fichiers, entre 1996 et le 12 novembre 2009, attribués à des responsables du Climate Research Unit (en) de l'université d’East Anglia et à leurs correspondants[1]. Ce centre de recherche est l'un des plus influents de ceux étudiant les changements climatiques naturels et anthropiques et nombre des correspondants concernés font partie de l'encadrement du Groupe d'experts intergouvernemental sur l'évolution du climat (Giec)[2]. La divulgation des fichiers a eu lieu deux semaines avant le début du sommet de Copenhague[3],[4].
Le Climategate est décrit par les uns comme un des plus grands scandales scientifiques de notre temps[2],[5] et par les autres comme un événement de peu d'importance[6],[7]. Pour les premiers, les courriels et fichiers du Climategate suggèreraient que les scientifiques du climat les plus influents dans le monde de la climatologie et du Giec[8] auraient été coupables de graves dérives déontologiques[9], agissant de concert[10],[11] pour afficher un consensus de façade, manipuler les données ou leur présentation et ainsi exagérer le réchauffement climatique ou son interprétation, faire de la rétention d'information[12], interférer dans le processus d'évaluation par leurs pairs afin d'empêcher la publication d'articles divergents et détruire des courriels et des données brutes pour empêcher les audits indépendants. Les scientifiques directement mis en cause répondent que ces éléments, cités hors contexte, seraient en réalité bénins. La communauté des climatologues est partagée quant à la portée morale et technique des éléments révélés par le Climategate à l'encontre des scientifiques directement concernés. De nombreux scientifiques[13] réaffirment leur soutien à la thèse du réchauffement climatique anthropique[14],[15].
The entire article is well worth taking to heart, as it devotes most of its space to the allegations of scientific misconduct, and the denials of same [15] Oiler99 (talk) 08:55, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes Oiler, you are absolutely correct about your analysis of the reactions section. Several times it has been brought up that the reactions only seem to be coming from pro-AGW theory scientists, whereas the *much more interesting and relevant* reactions from the AGW skeptical scientists are absolutely verboten in this article. This of course makes no sense. If this article is to even appear remotely balanced we must include reactions from scientists such as Richard Lindzen. The quote you supplied looks like a great candidate to include. JettaMann (talk) 17:00, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

UK Parliament Investigation

The WSJ reports that, "U.K. authorities said the British university at the center of a controversy over hacked emails on climate-change research broke the law by failing to comply with requests for raw data, but that too much time has elapsed for the institution to be prosecuted." This is under WSJ - Europe news for Jan 28, 2010 (not a blog article but actual news article

I recommend we have a section to this article that denotes the legal fallout from this controversy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:11, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

It looks like the Parliament has taken an interest in this matter [16] "THE DISCLOSURE OF CLIMATE DATA FROM THE CLIMATIC RESEARCH UNIT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA

The Science and Technology Committee today announces an inquiry into the unauthorised publication of data, emails and documents relating to the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The Committee has agreed to examine and invite written submissions on three questions:

— What are the implications of the disclosures for the integrity of scientific research?

— Are the terms of reference and scope of the Independent Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA adequate (see below)?

— How independent are the other two international data sets?

The Committee intends to hold an oral evidence session in March 2010. " Ignignot (talk) 17:13, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Very useful, looks like it should get a mention in the #Elected representatives and governments section. . . dave souza, talk 17:44, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The most interesting part of this statement is that they don't call this a theft, but instead use the more neutral "unauthorised publication of data, emails and documents ". I suggest that we do the same. Q Science (talk) 20:12, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
That certainly would be interesting if it were not a half-truth. Later in the same document, they refer to "hacked e-mail exchanges". -- Scjessey (talk) 20:21, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Also, we do not use the word theft in the article at the moment except when quoting and paraphrasing, due to incredibly uninteresting UK theft laws. The committee is focused on the ethical questions raised by the content of the email. That they are not investigating any criminal activity associated with obtaining the documents does not indicate that the UK government thinks no criminal activity occurred - on the contrary, they are letting the police and the NDEP do the investigation. Over the weekend there will almost certainly be secondary sources we can reference which will include mention of the Parliament's actions, and will perhaps have some interesting analysis. Ignignot (talk) 20:41, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
You cannot use the word "theft" for the simple reason that there is no evidence of theft. They lost the decline - why didn't they just loose some datadisk and when no IT staff owned up to leaving the disk on the train, etc. (talk) 23:05, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Wrong. They have said explicitly that the server was hacked. I understand that the official enquiry, which is due to report next month, will confirm that and provide some more details about the circumstances (see below). -- ChrisO (talk) 00:17, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Chris,as has been pointed out to you many times, "hacked" does not necessarily imply "theft".SPhilbrickT 17:00, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Since the UEA has said unequivocally that the material in question was stolen, your semantic objection is moot. -- ChrisO (talk) 17:43, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, Chris, you’ve got that exactly backwards. Q Science was making the interesting point that the Parliament wording carefully avoided the use of the word “theft” and you made the semantic argument that theft was implied, because they used the word “hacked”. Your semantic argument fails. We shall learn, hopefully soon, whether there was an actual theft, but at this point we do not know. The UEA claim is not definitive. I’m not claiming the Parliament wording is definitive in terms of rejecting the claim, but neither is it definitive in supporting the claim, as you implied. It won’t surprise me if there was a criminal act, but my lack of surprise is not the hurdle for inclusion.SPhilbrickT 15:49, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Parliament, inevitably, means politics, which means politicking. We should not be writing our coverage around what they say William M. Connolley (talk) 19:58, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Apparently (see #Mass reversion), in law, there is no such thing as data theft, it is an 'imprecise' term. What we have are breaches of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, the Data Protection Act 1998 (section 55), and Oxford v Moss, we are told. Our on-wiki 'legal advisor' (User:Rodhullandemu) may not be correct, but that's the best we have at the moment. These are still crimes, but not 'theft'. There is no doubt about the 'hacking', though. That is well-sourced and makes sense however the data got out, unless we take the view that the management of CRU/UEA explicitly asked a member of staff to publish it as part of their normal work. --Nigelj (talk) 20:51, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Re WMC: I was suggesting that the reactions section be expanded to include Parliament's statement on the subject. I haven't found any secondary sources on this yet though, although I thought it would be reported somewhere. I haven't been looking very hard though. Is anyone up to the task? Ignignot (talk) 15:54, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Public reaction

I'd like to expand the first sentence of this section from "The incident took place during a time when public certainty in the United States about the cause of global warming was declining." to "The incident took place during a time when public certainty in the United States about the cause of global warming was declining, even as the scientific consensus for a human contribution to global warming was growing stronger". If there is no objection, could someone make this change? I assume someone here can suggest an appropriate source for the additional clause. I also thought it would be kind of cool to include a small graph showing the poll results with our timeline superimposed. If I create such a graph, is that considered OR? Thanks. JPatterson (talk) 23:31, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

I think the sentence is OK, if it can be sourced. Don't know about a graph, though, not sure how that meshes with WP:SYN and WP:OR ATren (talk) 14:41, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
I think the entire section is worthless, quite frankly. I would be in favor of completely eradicating it. At best, it is only tangentially-related to the incident. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:05, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
For JPatterson. Here is a reliable source with a table to link to.[17] (talk) 11:01, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry! Only states "deal with global warming" (talk) 11:02, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
My first reaction is close to Scjessey’s. I would prefer to find a way to improve it, rather than remove it, and I believe that’s JPatterson’s goal, but I see the proposed change as a step in the wrong direction. On the surface, it looks like it contrasts two different groups showing a markedly different outlook on the same question. However, the positions are not as opposite as they appear. The scientists statement is unexceptional – does man contribute in any way to global warming? The answer (from both the scientist and me) is a resounding, “of course”. (I question that the trend in that answer is statistically significant, as that conclusion has been true for some time).
When it comes to the question asked of the general public, one has to be careful to interpret it. Dropping “confidence in global warming theory” can simply mean that some of the details which were presented as settled now don’t seem quite as settled as before. This doesn’t mean they are rejecting the notion that man contributes, they may just be rejecting that we know exactly how much or how everything works.
However, even if we were to clean this wording up, it would be relevant, if anywhere in an article about global warming, which is not this article. A poll about whether the CRU incident affected one’s thinking is potentially relevant, and I think that’s why it is here, but without an explicit question, one can only infer it based upon the timing of the poll, and to state it explicitly would be OR. So we are left with a statement that, as Scjessey notes, is only “tangentially related to the incident”.SPhilbrickT 12:44, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I see your point but note that there's a fair amount of OR in your remarks. We seem to keep stumbling over the same log, namely the WP standard for inclusion is verifiability, not Truth. I believe that, rightly or wrongly, most climatologists believe not just in AGW but that AGW is a significant threat to the planet and that, at least prior to the latest series of scandals (for lack of a better word) the trend towards consensus in the scientific community was moving in the opposite direction to that of the US public. Assuming there is a RS that agrees with that assessment (I have not yet looked for one), its inclusion would provide some context for understanding the social and political impact of the revelations (again I tend to think of the reader twenty years hence), a subject which interests me. YMMV. JPatterson (talk) 15:19, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Information Commissioner’s Office

Apparently as a part of the investigation the ICO has found that FOIA requests were not handled properly. It has not yet hit a reliable secondary source, or even the ICO website, but eventually someone will mention it. Something to keep an eye on (not add until RS'd) Ignignot (talk) 20:19, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

As presented, this appeared to me to be a clear breach of WP:CRYSTAL and WP:TALK on a sensitive subject, so having commented I archived it. As requested, I've restored your comment. . . dave souza, talk 06:30, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Here is sourcing for the ICO finding. We now know that the FOIA requests were mis-handled, which is a material element to this issue. This should be mentioned in the article. Ronnotel (talk) 13:54, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
It's already in the article, but thanks anyway. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:57, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
You're right - I missed it. It's not in a very logical place I think - I was looking under the section on government reaction. Ronnotel (talk) 14:01, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
As discussed below, Heyitspeter added a mention under Emails, while I added a more detailed account to the Jones e-mail of May 2008 section which relates to the period and the emails the ICO discuss. No objection if others think these would be better merged and moved to the government reaction section. . . dave souza, talk 14:37, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for restoring it - I can see how it would appear that way at first glance. I've since located it online [18]
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... 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.
This should probably be worked into the section on reactions, specifically the results of investigation. There is plenty more in the article though. Is there any view as to the reliability of the Sunday Times? It looks like a reputable paper and RS.
(PS) (e/c) (e/c) - ah. Didn't see it in there. Ignignot (talk) 14:06, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
The Sunday Times is definitely a reliable source when it is doing straight reporting, but obviously its generally conservative bias (News Corp ownership) must be considered when it comes to their editorial content. Like many newspapers struggling to handle New Media pressure, its "straight reporting" suffers from more and more editorial comment as it tries to compete for increasingly bored readers. In this instance, the reporting on the ICO findings is accurate, but the reporters haven't been able to resist using headline-grabbing buzzwords like "scandal", "stolen", etc. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, agree. Some of their reporting on this issue has been questionable, this one looks generally OK but I thought The Guardian's report was more informative, and likely to be seen as fairer. A quibble, as a weekday report this one is from The Times rather than its Sunday sister paper. . . dave souza, talk 14:37, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I've added the OIC's statement to the Timeline section, which seemed appropriate, given that's where their involvement is discussed. I sourced the update from several news outlets, which will hopefully forestall any disagreement over which are RS and which are not. I also stayed as close as possible to the OIC's wording, for the sake of accuracy. --DGaw (talk) 15:36, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

AQFK has now added it to the lede [19]. I don't see any kind of consensus for such a controversial change: I would have expected to see some discussion on talk first (if you want to know how unbiased AQKN is, the criminals are going to get off on a legal technicality. gives a hint) William M. Connolley (talk) 19:07, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

No one is really unbiased. The trick is to keep one's biases out of one's editing--which is certainly no easy trick.
As for adding the OIC report to the lede, I wouldn't have done that--there are still multiple investigations going on, and there's no need to cram every development into the lede--but not really in anticipation of controversy. Is it the language/framing of his/her addition you feel to be controversial? --DGaw (talk) 19:19, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec)It may not be ready for the lede yet, but it certainly pertains the section that deals with Dr. Jones suspension as director. In particular, it updates the last sentence of the "University of East Anglia response" section. Ronnotel (talk) 19:20, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
As a non-partisan in the war between the two AGW factions, I decided to be bold and make the change. It's reliably sourced (3 sources at last count). That the allegations have been confirmed belongs in the lede. It's certainly a hell of alot more important that the stupid death threat allegations which has managed to stay in the lede despite 3 months worth of complaints by many people. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
It is certainly significant, but perhaps we should discuss it some more first. Ignignot (talk) 19:21, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
If every editor here actually followed Wikipedia's WP:NPOV policy I would agree with you. However, the past 3 months have shown that discussion with both of the two warring factions is, for the most part, completely pointless. Sometimes it's better to be bold. For 3 months, I've laid out a thoughtful explanation why including the death threats in the lede are in violation of WP:UNDUE, but I've been completely ignored. Williams's accusation of me being biased is laughable considering this isn't a topic I find particularly interesting. As I've said before, I'm only here because I find it annoying when people abuse Wikipedia to promote an agenda. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:08, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

See also reporting by the BBC [20] including a statement by the VC of UEA. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 19:26, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

AQFK's assertions of impartiality indeed appear "laughable" in tthe face of the criminals are going to get off on a legal technicality. I think it is plain what side you are on. Furthermore, claiming not to be very interested doesn't seem very believeable either, in the face of For 3 months, I've laid out a thoughtful explanation... Could we try to stick to reality, please William M. Connolley (talk) 21:53, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I quite agree. AQFK's approach to this issue appears to be "fair and balanced" only in the Fox News sense. -- ChrisO (talk) 21:56, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
"I think it is plain what side you are on." It's called WP:NPOV, William. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:02, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
"claiming not to be very interested doesn't seem very believeable either, in the face of For 3 months, I've laid out a thoughtful explanation" Like I said, I get annoyed by people who abuse Wikipedia to promote an agenda. Nothing more, nothing less. I also spent most of last year fighting for WP:NPOV in the 9/11 conspiracy theories topic space. At least that topic was something I was somewhat interested in. (I've met 9/11 troofers and they're among the most annoying people in the world.) But thanks for questioning my motives! A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:43, 28 January 2010 (UTC)


From the introduction: " ... Individuals who oppose action on global warming called the incident "Climategate" ... " I find this statement to be suggestive and misleading. One could easily feel very strongly that AGW is real and ought to be addressed, and still believe that the CRU scientists behaved in an unprofessional (or even scandalous) manner, reducing the credibility of the community as a whole. I recognize that this has been a contentious matter, but the wording is simply inaccurate. Nightmote (talk) 18:20, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Totally agree that needs changing, the whole of the reporting called it climategate, the press the tv all forms of media and the public now all refer to the climategate incident, so it is not and in fact never was only the opposers, it was the media that coined the phrase but it is now ingrained in the public. Off2riorob (talk) 21:54, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Not willing to get back on *that* angry tiger. I'm just saying that the term "Climategate" is not an exclusively anti-AGW term and I would like to see the attribution changed, sooner rather than later. Nightmote (talk) 23:06, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I currently look for controversial climate related news simply by typing in "climategate" or "glaciergate" in Google news. A month ago this was not the case as there would be mostly non-MSM blogs in the hits. I suggest climategate has become synonymous with climate controversy in the mind of the general public. This has not happened over night but has been a gradual still ongoing process. The naming issue with the bloggers appears to be of undue weight and mainly of historical significance, a factoid. Of the two terms glaciergate gives slightly more MSM-hits. How can this be determined a non-biased way in accordance with WP standards? (talk) 23:26, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Isn't glaciergate a reference to the IPCC mistake regarding the Himalayan glaciers?[21] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

E-mail row unit 'broke data law'

E-mail row unit 'broke data law' A university unit involved in a row over stolen e-mails on climate research breached rules by withholding data, the Information Commissioner's Office says. Off2riorob (talk) 03:48, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Remember you can just add this content to the article yourself. Posting RS links here first introduces a middleman unnecessarily, as far as I can tell. I've just added it myself, though, so don't worry about it. --Heyitspeter (talk) 07:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I didn't know about that middle man thing but thanks, I have added things to climate change articles a couple of times and just got reverted, so I don't bother now, I just posted it to the talkpage as it was breaking news and that it could well be worthwhile content.Off2riorob (talk) 07:23, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
<edit conflict> Thanks, good to have reliable sources appearing on this. I've added some detail based on the Guardian's story which was pretty informative. The ICO have yet to make the press release available on their website, don't think a FOI request will be needed to get it from them. Added: don't know if Heyitspeter's addition is superfluous, others can review. Talking first is often a good idea, well done. . . dave souza, talk 07:26, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Again, please, where is it written that the Dailymail is not a RS? Why was my earlier question in that regard removed? Tom Perkins 07:53, 30 January 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
Cool, thank you. Off2riorob (talk) 07:32, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I think in the light of the article probation, discussing significant changes here in advance' is definitely a good idea. --Nigelj (talk) 10:08, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Be bold. Make appropriate edits; improvements to an article do not require anyone's prior approval. On the other hand, be smart: make sure edits are well-sourced, word them neutrally, and if you expect others might object (a safe bet in a controversial subject area), post your rationale for the edit to the talk page at the same time, and invite others to adjust your addition of offer alternatives rather than simply reverting your change. It makes it easier to identify and address who is editing constructively if there is conflict. --DGaw (talk) 14:39, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
If I anticipate an addition is likely going to be controversial or contentious, I always propose the addition on the talk page first. Hair-trigger reversions are common here, and boldness is usually interpreted as being inflammatory. Sad, but true. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:12, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
True enough, sadly. --DGaw (talk) 18:44, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
It's a matter of adding one RS-backed sentence. If editors have to worry about that something's going wrong. --Heyitspeter (talk) 10:28, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
This is a very important finding (WP:WEIGHT) in my view. It should have more weight than CRU's response for instance. I am not sure that the current reading gives it this weight as finding it in the current revision is difficult (I searched for breached). It also affects the timeline, and the response section. How do we do that without making this thing more verbose than it already is?Atandb (talk) 14:42, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
It's probably important. So little reporting has been done on this that we are having to look into the crystal ball a wee bit and indulge in a little recentism. After a few days, the level of coverage will become clearer and it will be much easier to determine the appropriate level of weight. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:09, 28 January 2010 (UTC) the criminals are going to get off on a legal technicality. According to this source[22], the ICO wants the law changed so that complaints made more than six months after a breach of the act can still result in prosecutions. Should this be added to the article? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Someone already included this in the timeline.Atandb (talk) 19:14, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
"Criminals", eh? Careful now - weren't you claiming to be a neutral party in this issue? -- ChrisO (talk) 20:38, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'm currently finding one of the warring factions to be more annoying than the other. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
"Annoyance" does not give one license for an astonishingly egregious violation of Wikipedia's policy on the treatment of living persons. You've been around long enough to know better. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 07:42, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
If there's actually some substance to your accusation, then bring it before the WP:BLPN. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:51, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Considering BLP, how will "wrongdoing" be handled?

As I understand it, the Freedom of Information Act was "breached". So wrongdoing is no longer "alleged" (per the lede), it has been (in this instance) identified. That having been said, certainly there was no court conviction (statute of limitations) and I'm not sure whether any names were named. How can this be handled neutrally yet decisively without violating an individual's right to freedom from presumed guilt? Nobody has been "convicted" of anything, and quite possibly nobody ever will be. As the story develops, there will be other findings. Some will deal with the CRU as a monolithic institution, some with day-to-day procedures, and some with individual staff members. How will this article address non-judicial findings? Nightmote (talk) 18:05, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

I think a case by case basis is appropriate. In this instance, the ICO simply said that they had found the FOIA to have been breached, so we can say that they said that. If they later put together a case demonstrating how they want to change FOIA requests to avoid the situation in the future, we can attribute that as well. Ignignot (talk) 18:15, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
It's a bit rich trying to say that it must be handled neutrally and you can't violate an individual's right about one person, when you in this article are straight outright saying another has broken the law even though they may have the law on their side. Compare: a) The condemnating treatment of the leaker in this article. to the "oh my god can't say anything nasty about the nice scientists how were economical with the decline." (talk) 18:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Not rich at all. The FOIA was breached, but the statute of limitations was exeeded so no prosecution will take place. Nobody was convicted of anything in a court of law, there was no discovery process, no prosecution, no defense. That distinction is important, and the article should be careful to note it explicitly in this instance and in future occurrences. Nightmote (talk) 18:26, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Yet again you completely fail to see the point. The climategate gang broke the law, so the leaker of the emails did not break the law because they are protected under whistleblower legislation. However the article will continue to say the complete opposite of the truth! (talk) 18:30, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately that is original research. We won't know that no crime was committed until the police say so. Ignignot (talk) 18:35, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
That is utter utter utter hypocrisy. As onus is to prove crime particularly when we are talking about the individual who released the data. But you somehow have turned that round and say wikipedia has to say this individual has committed a crime until we have concrete proof they didn't. (talk) 19:21, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
(insert) Although I see your point, I find it to be flawed. The CRU professors may have committed crimes, but because of a procedural point (statute of limitations) they will never be charged and will never have a legal public forum where they can defend their actions. Thus the burden of proving that a crime was committed by these individuals will never be taken up. The individual who removed the files was by definition in violation of the law; it remains to be seen whether that individual was a "whistleblower" or not, but that definition has been met. I'm sympathetic to your position, I assure you, but it would be presumptuous to identify that person as a "whistleblower" until more is known. In this instance some pigs are, in fact, more equal than others. Nightmote (talk) 23:18, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
We can add a sentence to the lede that says something to the effect that the allegations of violating the FOIA have been confirmed by the The Information Commissioner's office. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:22, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

KISS - Keep it simple Shirley. The simplest explanation is always the best one to assume. Even if you were in the organisation it would be pretty difficult to hack into all the various email storage locations. Anyone outside would need to have some kind of knowledge of the systems inside even to know where the doorway was to try and access the system without ever considering guessing the keep - a username AND a password. The effort would be huge and require considerable brute force which should have been obvious and would have e.g. alerted people to the IP address and quickly located the hacker. The fact there is no such evidence clearly points to an inside job. The most likely scenarios are these:

  • That the information was an FOI request which someone involved with the FOI felt should be released (almost no technical skills required)
  • That this information was left on a laptop or other device which was lost, stolen, left at home and without the employees knowledge someone they knew took it off.
  • The information was prepared for an FOI, but someone in the IT department or some other high level user with access released it.
  • That someone in the IT department obtained usernames, passwords and details of where to look for the FOI information gave this to someone outside
  • That someone inside in IT, gathered together loads of emails, sent this to someone outside who then made it look like an FOI request and then released
  • Last and very least that someone with no inside knowledge gained access and then trawled all the various data stores, gathered together the various information deleted all those that wouldn't have been part of an FOI, and then released it.Isonomia (talk) 11:08, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Does anyone else think that the hacker might have been an insider?

For those that don't know me, up until now, I’ve agreed with the position that Robert Graham’s quote about the hacker being an insider should be excluded from the article. However, I read the entire article from top to bottom and given all the other people who are quoted in the article, Graham’s opinion is about as notable as anyone else’s on the topic. You have to read the article from top to bottom to understand what I mean. At this point, I’m starting to think that given the context of the entire article as a whole, a sentence or two from Graham would not violate WP:UNDUE.

For those that don’t know the background regarding this issue, we have at least three reliable sources: ComputerWorld[23], Reuters[24] and PC World[25] which which quote an established expert, Robert Graham, speaking within his area of expertise (network security) that it was probably an insider. Robert Graham is a notable expert who's opinion has been cited by numerous reliable sources for his expertise on network security including BBC News[26], CNET[27], MSNBC[28], eWeek[29], InfoWorld[30], USA Today[31] and many others. Robert Graham is a published author whose work in the relevant field (network security) has previously been published by reliable third-party publications.[32] Elsevier is a respected publishing house. According to our article on Elsevier, they publish many peer-reviewed, academic journals including The Lancet and Cell.

Given the above information, does anyone seriously doubt adding it to the article? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 05:46, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't see it as having any value, it's only speculation and without clear detail I don't see it has value, the BBC refereed to it as a theft today and that they were stolen and not hacked. Off2riorob (talk) 07:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
It's pure speculation and Robert Graham has no "inside knowledge" of this incident whatsoever. No. -- ChrisO (talk) 07:36, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Obviously leaked or left on an open server, no hacker could have gotten all that stuff. But as chris says, this is speculation and i don`t think it is productive to speculate or to have this section here which will no doubt lead to arguing, best to just collapse it. mark nutley (talk) 07:47, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Obviously leaked by an insider or hacked by an insider, but I'm not yet aware of any convincing sources which are not just speculation (I am keeping an eye out). Graham's stuff might perhaps belong in the article on hacking or similar? Jonathan A Jones (talk) 08:02, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I assume that Norwich Evening News [33] is a reliable source? "Police including a team from Scotland yard were called in to investigate amid speculation that the leaks were part of a smear campaign by climate change sceptics to discredit the UEA in the run up the Copenhagen summit last year. Other theories were that the leaks were the work of a disgruntled insider angry at the way the university was handling FOI requests." This may not be enough to add to the article per WP:UNDUE yet, but if enough sources report this as an alternate theory so should we. Oren0 (talk) 08:08, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
This is very much my position. I think the number and quality of mentions of alternative theories is getting close to being enough to justify inclusion, but it's not quite there yet. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 10:03, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
There's no "obviously" about it. The anti-science bloggers who are promoting this "theory" so energetically are doing so on the basis of pure unsourced speculation. My understanding is that the server was breached at least twice and a very large quantity of data was taken - far more than was ultimately released by the hacker. The "" file never existed on the server in the first place. There is no need for us to include speculation when the facts are due to come out in a few weeks' time anyway, when Sir Muir Russell reports. I might add that the bloggers promoting this theory persistently ignore the initial hack of the RealClimate server and the attempt to use Climate Audit as the conduit to promote the files with no pretence that it had anything to do with FOI. It seems fairly apparent that the hack was carried out by a Climate Audit reader who wanted to "assist" Mcintyre with his campaign against the CRU. -- ChrisO (talk) 08:34, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
That's your opinion, just as my bits above are my opinion. Both are essentially speculation. The point I am making is that there are editors out there who firmly believe it was an inside job who nevertheless remain very cautious about including this in the article. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 10:03, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

KISS - Keep it simple Shirley. The simplest explanation is always the best one to assume. Even if you were in the organisation it would be pretty difficult to hack into all the various email storage locations. Anyone outside would need to have some kind of knowledge of the systems inside even to know where the doorway was to try and access the system without ever considering guessing the key - a username AND a password. The effort would be huge and require considerable brute force which should have been obvious and would have e.g. alerted people to the IP address and quickly located the hacker. The fact there is no such evidence clearly points to an inside job. The most likely scenarios are these:

  • That the information was an FOI request which someone involved with the FOI felt should be released (almost no technical skills required)
  • That this information was left on a laptop or other device which was lost, stolen, left at home and without the employees knowledge someone they knew took it off.
  • The information was prepared for an FOI, but someone in the IT department or some other high level user with access released it.
  • That someone in the IT department obtained usernames, passwords and details of where to look for the FOI information gave this to someone outside
  • That someone inside in IT, gathered together loads of emails, sent this to someone outside who then made it look like an FOI request and then released
  • Last and very least that someone with no inside knowledge gained access and then trawled all the various data stores, gathered together the various information deleted all those that wouldn't have been part of an FOI, and then released it.
Personally I'd say all right for a very brief mention from the Reuters report where he says it was either an insider or someone who had followed the climate change debates. But, please, no more second-guessing the police, or it becomes talk page trolling. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:32, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Thats not KISS, you are inventing a scenario that requires your conclusion. Simpler solution: The mails (maildirs or unix mailboxen) and documents where all on the same server, in a directory. They all belong to the user Phil Jones (and research-team), and could have been snatched with a tar pipe to sendmail or ssh. Doesn't need access to more than one machine, and doesn't even need administrative access. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:43, 29 January 2010 (UTC) [lesson: never read stuff when you are tired, and caffeine deprived --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:46, 29 January 2010 (UTC)]

@ChrisO Please stop suggesting that people who have questions regarding the validity of the AGW hypothesis are in some way "anti-science". It is inflammatory and (at least in my case) completely untrue. Similarly, there are those who have repeatedly linked the "Climategate" term with AGW skeptics - there's plenty of overlap, but there are plenty who don't fit that mold, either. Use your language more carefully to help build consensus, instead of trying to dismiss those who disagree with you as outside looking in. In this instance I agree that the term "hacker" "whistleblower" is pure speculation, but there was no need to toss in the extra nastiness. Nightmote (talk) 13:47, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Now UEA says: "the issues surrounding what has become known as ‘Climategate’"

Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of UEA, said in a statement:

“Sir Muir Russell is currently conducting an Independent Review of the issues surrounding what has become known as ‘Climategate’ and we very deliberately made our handling of FOI requests part of the terms of reference. I look forward to receiving his report and as I have said before it will be published and I will act accordingly if he finds there is indeed substance in these allegations.”


  1. No mention of "hacker"
  2. Clear and unambigous description that climategate relates to the contents of the emails.

Everyone in the world is calling this incidence "climategate" except the POV pushers in wikipedia. (talk) 14:02, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Factually inaccurate, Mr Anonymous IP hopper from Milton Keynes. The article refers to the controversy as "Climategate" in the very first paragraph, and further describes how it acquired that name in a later section. Please read the article before posting your misrepresentations in the future. -- Scjessey (talk) 14:30, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Everybody except some wikipedians calls it climategate. See for yet another example. Ann arbor street (talk) 18:15, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Here is another example:
"Scientist at the heart of the 'Climategate' email scandal broke the law when they refused to give raw data to the public, the privacy watchdog has ruled...."
So at this point Climategate has grown beyond the original email incident and more generally describes profound scientific misconduct by "climatologists." It is quite obvious that this article and others on "global warming" are serious violations of WIkipedia's POV rules and being controlled by a small cabal with overt conflict of interest. Something very similar occurs on 9/11 related topics at Wikipedia. Clearly, Wikipedia is a tool of propaganda . (talk) 18:24, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Both of these examples put quotes around "Climategate" to indicate it is not their language. But I can see from your reference to 9/11, "cabal" and "propaganda" that I'm wasting my time talking to you. Wanna see my birth certificate? -- Scjessey (talk) 18:33, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)*2 Re "profound scientific misconduct" Where? By the way, WP:TINC, and invoking 9/11 doesn't help the credibility of your arguments. Verbal chat 18:37, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
So you think the murder of some 3000 Americans and the US Constitution are both jokes? Is that your point? (talk) 18:36, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
This conversation seems to be over... Verbal chat 18:39, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Why don't you explain to us how the EPA's lies about post-9/11 air quality being safe, exposure to which is now killing thousands of 9/11 first-responders, were not really lies? (talk) 18:41, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
What does any of this have to do with the article? -- Scjessey (talk) 18:43, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

'Code and documentation' section

The 'Code and documentation' section is still pants, and it needs fixing. After endless discussion above, and some (slo-mo, 1RR) edit warring, there are currently four concrete options under consideration at #Proposals above. Please either show your support for one of those, or if you really think it will help, propose a fifth. It must get agreed one way or another. (Of course, this is only a straw poll and we are not a WP:DEMOCRACY) --Nigelj (talk) 19:20, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, folks. Keep 'em coming - vote early and vote often! Things are changing up there and a consensus may be forming. --Nigelj (talk) 21:07, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Law was broken

Scientist at the heart of the 'Climategate' email scandal broke the law when they refused to give raw data to the public, the privacy watchdog has ruled. Can someone please incorporate this into the article? Thanks. Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 19:42, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Inaccurate, not a reliable source, and the issue is already covered in the article. Thanks for raising this, always worth checking. . dave souza, talk 19:52, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
How long a time will pass without a retraction or a call for a retraction before objections to this fact being included are dropped? Where is the dailymail listed as an unreliable source? Tom Perkins 19:37, 29 January 2010 (EST)

I just read 2 more news articles stating the the CRU climate scietist not only violated the spirit of free exchange of ideas but prevented their data from being released.

"The office of Britain's Information Commissioner announced that the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia -- the subject of the "Climategate" story about the leaked emails -- did in fact break Britain's Freedom of Information laws.

In a related story (BBC), the UK government's chief scientist, John Beddington, says the evidence for global warming remains sound, but calls for more openness in handling the data." remove the xxx's to get link. wiki is blocking it.

This wiki article is clearly a major source of disinformation when it won't include this important conclusion from the UK information commission. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:38, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

See also: (talk) 22:46, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

It's in the article, don't you know to check? Also, contrary to the spirit of freedom of information, the office of Britain's Information Commissioner has so far failed to make the text of the press release available on its website. Odd. . . dave souza, talk 22:53, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
BTW, the "related story" wasn't covered, so I've added it. Always glad to oblige. . . dave souza, talk 23:41, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

It was not covered the LAW was broken category, it is vaguely referred to in" Jones email of 2008" Dave Souza persistence on this issue and the fact that it is not included in the LAW is BROKEN category is yet another flagrant misinformation campaign by wiki editor corruption of knowledge... just like at the Hadley CRU. Birds of a feather flock together. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:46, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

John Christy's Climategate thoughts

Interesting new interview of John Christy at IEEE Spectrum [34] here: " What's disturbing in the [CRU e-]mail is the resistance to share fundamental data with the outside community. That raised a lot of suspicions and red flags, and now we see that those suspicions were well justified." --Pete Tillman (talk) 19:24, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like a good bit of information to add to the reactions section. We have a paucity of reactions from skeptics at the moment which needs to be rectified. I say add it. JettaMann (talk) 23:16, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to weigh in here. I believe the quote from John Christy should absolutely be used. As it says at the top of the page, this article has serious problems with NPOV. It needs more comments from those who align with mainstream opinion on climate-gate. No doubt the "RC and friends" crowd (which currently holds the majority of editors) will block it, arguing that Christy represents "fringe" viewpoints, is not "notable", etc. And they may have a point if the quote was related to the science, since, with the science, they do have "peer reviewed" articles on thier side. (which I suspect is a result, at least in part, to the type of behavior revealed by the leaked emails.) However, climate-gate is not a forum for peer-reviewed articles, it's about a scandal. And I believe the mainstream view is that several of the email authors are guilty of at least some misconduct / unethical behavior, regardless of whether they believe in the science. Right now, the article is very misleading because it gives the false impression that experts think nothing is wrong with the emailers behavior. What's worse is that half the quotes are from the authors of the emails themselves, yet they are not presented that way.Sirwells (talk) 01:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
In the interest of neutrality Christy's quote should be balanced by the fact that CRU never had ownership of the original data to begin with, and that the data sets were available to other researchers from their original sources. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:41, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Good points, to be dealt with carefully. Christy is accurately described in the article as holding a minority view, disputing the expert consensus, which should be shown as such in accordance with WP:NPOV. . . . dave souza, talk 19:33, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Second paragraph

Now that the first paragraph has been re-worked (thanks again SCjessey et. al.) How about we tackle the second.

Extracts from the e-mails have been publicised and allegations have been made that they indicate misconduct by leading climate scientists such as withholding scientific information, interfering with the peer-review process of scientific papers, deleting information to prevent disclosure under the United Kingdom's Freedom of Information Act, and selecting data to support the case for global warming. The University of East Anglia and climate scientists have described these interpretations as incorrect and misleading, with the extracts being taken out of context in what has been described as a smear campaign. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change head Rajendra Pachauri are among those who have suggested that the incident was intended to undermine the then imminent December 2009 Copenhagen global climate summit. Though the vast majority of climate data have always been freely available, the incident has prompted general discussion about increasing the openness of scientific data. Scientists, scientific organisations, and government officials have stated that the incident does not affect the overall scientific case for climate change. Allegations that UEA violated the Freedom of Information Act were confirmed by the Information Commissioner's Office but the people involved cannot be prosecuted because the complaint was made too late.

My problem with it is its length, composition and flow. I do not see any POV issues here. YMMV. Here's a target to shoot at.

Published excerpts from the e-mails gave rise to allegations that some leading climate scientists withheld scientific information, impeded the publication of opposition papers in the scientific journals, deleted information to prevent disclosure under the United Kingdom's Freedom of Information Act (an allegation later confirmed by the Information Commissioner's Office), and selected data to bolster their theories. The University of East Anglia and many climate scientists strongly denied these allegations as incorrect and misleading and said that the e-mails in their proper context show nothing untoward. The timing of the publication caused some officials to brand the unauthorized publication as a smear campaign designed to derail consensus at the December 2009 Copenhagen global climate summit, then just weeks away. While most climate experts who expressed a view opined that nothing in the released documents undermined the science behind the prevailing theory of global warming, some scientists and opinion journalist expressed concerns about the scientific process and transparency practiced at the CRU and other climate centers.

The University of East Anglia said the data was taken illegally and the police conducted a criminal investigation of the server breach as well as subsequent personal threats made against some of the scientists mentioned in the e-mails.

JPatterson (talk) 22:56, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

The added bit about the FOI opinion was incorrect, so I've changed it to "The Information Commissioner's Office stated the opinion that in one instance the UEA had not dealt properly with requests under the Freedom of Information Act, but as sanctions have to be imposed within six months of the offence it was too late to impose sanctions."
In the proposed paragraph, "(an allegation later confirmed by the Information Commissioner's Office)" is wrong as all they've said is that in that one case the emails showed that FOI request wasn't dealt with properly, and as far as I've seen did not state that any information was deleted. No immediate idea of how to fix it, and gotta go now. . . dave souza, talk 23:25, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
What's your source for it only being one case? The three sources cited by the article says "requests". A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:36, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
"Smith's statement refers to an FOI request from a retired engineer and climate sceptic in Northampton called David Holland. The CRU had been bombarded with similar requests for data, and the hacked emails between scientists suggest they were extremely frustrated with having to deal with them." The Guardian. When the ICO release their press release we'll be able to check that out. . . dave souza, talk 23:45, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that necessarily means there was only one request. Smith also states "The emails 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." Do you have a reliable source that explicitly states there was one and only one violation? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:23, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
BBC News[35] reports that "the requests were made by a climate change sceptic in the 2007-2008 period". I doubt a single request happened over a two year time frame. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:31, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
The UPI is reporting as "The University of East Anglia violated Britain's Freedom of Information Act by refusing to fulfill requests for data supporting claims by university scientists that human-made emissions were causing global warming, Britain's Information Commissioner's Office said." JPatterson (talk) 03:30, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
The sources specifically refer to one case, that of Mr Holland who appears to have made two or more requests. From memory, he requested data and programs, then requested emails over a period to see if they supported his idea that there had been deliberate fiddling of the IPPC reports. Sure I've seen that somewhere. That is quite distinct from the ICO stating an opinion that all the other accusations were true, and we have to be careful to avoid exaggerating the official ICO opinion. The text of their press release would help, but regrettably they still haven't made it available at their website though they've put up a few from the 28th, the latest being "28 Jan 10 - ICO to help keep Vale of Glamorgan children safe online". . . dave souza, talk 07:30, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I changed the wording from "With reference to a FOI request made by David Holland" to "With reference to FOI requests made by David Holland" since as agreed here, he made multiple requests. And the very quote in the next sentence of that paragraph says "reveal that Mr Holland's requests"...
Incidentally, while I understand why the ICO finding is significant, is it really necessary to mention it in the "Timeline" section, in the "E-mails" section and in the "Jones e-mail of May 2008" section? In other words, 3 times not counting it also being mentioned in the summary/intro (which obviously will repeat what is in the article)
Nil Einne (talk) 21:21, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the change to plural, a very useful correction. The situation arose because three editors more or less simultaneously thought of adding it, in three different places. As I've suggested previously, the latter two could appropriately be merged – a brief mention in the timeline seems appropriate. Any other views on the best location for this? . . dave souza, talk 10:41, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Reliable source interlude

Questions about the BBC's suitability as a reliable source have been raised, but this video should put everyone's mind at ease. -- Scjessey (talk) 20:58, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Ha ha great piece :-) Nsaa (talk) 00:06, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

A "Who's Who" of the "Reactions to the Incident Section"

I'd like to present a little "who's who" of the "Reactions to the Incident Section". The follow individuals are quoted, with virtually no indication that they may have a direct interest in covering up any wrong-doing with the behavior of those who wrote the emails:

Michael Mann – climate-gate email author currently under investigation by Penn State, obvious conflict of interest issues when quoted in connection with the climate-gate emails.

Phil Jones – another climate-gate email author who stepped down as head of CRU while climate gate is being investigated, again, obvious conflict of interest issues when quoted in connection with the climate-gate emails.

Eric Steig – Real Climate contributor and climate-gate email author.

Richard Somerville – Yet another climate-gate email author.

Kevin Trenberth – Yet another climate-gate email, some of which contain conspiratorial-type discussions with Michael Mann.

Tom Wigley – And yet another climate-gate email author at the center of the controversy.

John Hirst – A weatherman (not a climatologist), blasted for receiving a bonus after predicting mild winters in UK. Famous for incorrectly predicting years of “hottest weather on record” which have not come true. Works with CRU scientists.

Julia Slingo – Associate of John Hirst.

Patrick Michaels – No complaints there

James Hansen – Another climate-gate email author, now under attack for creating misleading temperature records.

Hons von Storch – Finally, here’s one with a non-biased view. Had no part in the climate-gate emails.

Gavin Schmidt – Climate-gate author, Real Climate contributor

There's more, but you get the idea....

My point for this is I think this is one of the main problems with NPOV of the article and I think it needs to be fixed. Can anyone explain to me how the above situation presents a non-biased view? Sirwells (talk) 02:49, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

BRAVO! Well-caught! Any quotes from involved persons must be so identified, obviously, because of the inherant COI issues. "So-and-so, mentioned by name in the emails ...." or "So-and-so, author of several of the emails ..." Goes straight to motivation. I say, beautiful bit of work there. Nightmote (talk) 05:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
You failed to note that both Michaels and von Storch were mentioned several times in the emails. Given that they both were mentioned in not altogether flattering ways, it stretches credulity that their reactions could be considered "non biased." Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 06:28, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Not to mention that von Storch actually is an "email author"... 1155346370.txt --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 09:10, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
What is the point of this thread? Of course we quote those directly involved with the e-mails, since their reactions are extremely relevant. Is Sirwells saying we shouldn't? -- ChrisO (talk) 08:54, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Sirwells can speak for himself. Nightmote's basic question is reasonable: would it be sensible to try to indicate such potential conflicts in this section? It may prove difficult, as suggested above, but the question should not simply be dismissed. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 09:59, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't see how it's a conflict of interest to have sent an email to someone who works at the CRU. Perhaps someone could explain that to me? Hipocrite (talk) 11:57, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
The only people with conflicts of interest are Mann and Jones, since their conduct is under investigation. That is already clear in the article. Ignignot (talk) 13:51, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

@hipocrite and @ignignot - The relationships ought to be clearly stated; it goes both to motive and expertise. To make a ridiculous example, "John Smith said that Robert Jones was a man of stirling reputation and unparalleled knowledge" is not the same as saying, "John Smith, who shares a desk with Robert Jones at XYZ Corp., said ... " One can draw one's own conclusions about the significance (if any) of the relationship, but the relationship can reasonably be considered a salient fact and a possible Conflict of Interest. Nightmote (talk) 15:44, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Oh sure, if it was there. However, the only evidence presented above is that the people have, in the past, emailed someone who worked for the CRU and that email was stolen and published. That's not a COI. Hipocrite (talk) 16:01, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I think what this thread is arguing is that we should have more comment from people who have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. People who don't know what the emails were actually about, who don't have any connection with climate change science, and who never had any contact with a real climate change scientist. --Nigelj (talk) 16:13, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) For the sake of discussion, let's say that no COI exists. Wouldn't the fact that the commentator is involved in the data breach, even peripherally, be worthy of mention? Not as a seperate section, but as a parenthetical descriptor? "Doctor So-and-So (who originated 11 of the emails) said ... " "Professor Such-and-Such (an employee at CRU) noted that ... " Perhaps I'm being dense, but their relationship to the event seems salient to me. Not damning in any way, you understand, just part of the larger picture. Helping to define the commentator's relationship to the community, as it were. Nightmote (talk) 16:15, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
That would be undue weight, since the relevance is not established, and would run into original research and verifiability problems (what would be your source?). It would introduce a POV element of innuendo, which comes through very clearly in Sirwells' comments ("blasted for receiving a bonus", "conspiratorial-type discussions" and other nonsense). Sirwells appears to be angling for a "guilt by association" approach, which would be completely inappropriate and a blatant violation of NPOV. -- ChrisO (talk) 16:18, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Chris, there would be no need to add any judgemental terms to a parenthetical descriptor. If someone works at CRU, wrote an email, or received an email, that relationship is pertinent. No need to draw any conclusions on the nature of that relationship (i.e. "former employee" not "disgruntled employee"). Nightmote (talk) 16:27, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Certainly you'll have reliable sources (IE - not the emails themselves) for anything you want to put in the article, right? Hipocrite (talk) 16:29, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Honestly, I have no intention of adding a thing. My position is strictly theoretical, and is as follows: I admired the footwork of Sirwells, and believe that a valid point was raised. If a reliable source identifies a commentator as having an existential relationship to the event, that relationship is a pertinent piece of information, should be included, and in no event should a reliably-sourced pertinent truth be reverted unless a valid BLP concern exists. Nightmote (talk) 16:40, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
We're all good then - nothing about supposed conflicts of interest gets mentioned unless a reliable source thinks it's notable. Good to go. I'd further note that Sirwells did miss the fact that Hons von Storch is a climate-gate email author. Hipocrite (talk) 16:42, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure we're in accord, yet. My position is that a list of people is uncalled for, but that a brief reliably-sourced parenthetical description of relationship would be appropriate. Any conclusions regarding Conflict of Interest would be inappropriate unless reliably sourced. OK? Nightmote (talk) 16:49, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm loathe to say that's ok. Including people's current employer and job is certainly ok, but if we're going to be digging around to figure out some old relation, that's not ok, unless done by a reliable source in relation to this event. For instance, if one of the people above attended someone's 30th birthday party, it would not be appropriate to find an entry in the social register for that party and use that as a source to include (attended John Smith's 30th birthday party) as opposed to (Climatologist at Harvard University). Hipocrite (talk) 16:57, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Almost there. Direct social relationships pertinent? So 30th birthday party-out, friends since 2nd grade-in? Nightmote (talk) 17:04, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Only if mentioned in direct relationship to this - again, finding a social register item on their lifelong frendship does not make it notable for this article. Hipocrite (talk) 17:12, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, then, from my point of view. Nightmote (talk) 17:44, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Proposed solution

I suggest we create a subsection titled "E-mail Authors." That or intersperse them in the actual e-mail sections.--Heyitspeter (talk) 06:05, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

No, we should not engage in prohibited research. Listing all of the email authors also adds nothing to the article. Hipocrite (talk) 13:43, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
That's not what I'm suggesting. I'm proposing another subsection of the "Reactions" section for 'Email authors' to demarcate them from other climatologists. --Heyitspeter (talk) 00:27, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

But it seems they should be removed entirely. According to WP:BLP "Criticism and praise of the subject should be represented if it is relevant to the subject's notability and can be sourced to reliable secondary sources, and so long as the material is written in a manner that does not overwhelm the article or appear to take sides; it needs to be presented responsibly, conservatively, and in a neutral, encyclopedic tone." (my emphasis)--Heyitspeter (talk) 00:27, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Edit warring over bold-face?

We're edit warring over whether a word should be in bold-face?[36][37] Really, guys? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:17, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

WP:MOS implies that if emphasis is needed it should be in italics rather than bold, though it's not entirely clear. But yeah, it does seem to be a small thing to edit war. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:26, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Not an edit war, since there is only a single reversion. A clear consensus for the current first paragraph was established in a previous section. The question of using a bold typeface has yet to be discussed. We have conflicting issues:
  • There is a guideline (not a policy) that states:
    "Normally, we try to make sure that all "inbound redirects" other than mis-spellings or other obvious close variants of the article title are mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs of the article or section to which the redirect goes. It will often be appropriate to bold the redirected term." This seems to indicate a bold typeface is preferable.
  • "Climategate" is not actually an alternative name for the hacking incident that is the subject of this article. Rather it is an alternative name for the controversy that followed the incident. This seems to indicate a bold typeface would be inappropriate.
We need to discuss how to reconcile these and reach a consensus before any more attempts to apply a bold typeface to the term occur. That is reasonable and consistent with Wikipedia best practices for resolving disputes amicably. -- Scjessey (talk) 01:32, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
There's been a bolding of this paragraph since I started editing on this article around 25. November. Every (even the most pro AGW ones, see Talk:Climatic_Research_Unit_hacking_incident/Archive_22#Non_skeptic_sources_using_climategate) media outlet uses this as the name for this incident. There's been a lot of work done by you (this is the third or fourth time you have tried to remove the the term, or the bolding. For how long shall you go on with this partisan editing? Nsaa (talk) 14:50, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
There was broad agreement for the first paragraph is it stands; however, there was also a commitment to undertake a discussion about the bold-face issue. As outlined above, it is not clear whether or not the use of a bold typeface is appropriate. In case you hadn't noticed, the person who proposed moving your beloved "Climategate" moniker into the first paragraph was me - hardly "partisan editing", is it? Perhaps if you would participate in the discussions and help develop a consensus instead of just making antagonistic, agenda-driven edits to article space you would find it easier to get your point across. Also, please refrain from creating bullshit redirects - another example of your clear agenda. -- Scjessey (talk) 15:03, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Scjessey, it has been your contention from as long as I can remember to remove or minimize the word of Climategate. And now you are claiming that this article and climategate are not the same thing? If I remember correctly, the article was originally Climategate, changed to this and now is in baby steps trying to minimize the origin of the story. To me this is very disingenious. But if I understand you correctly, it is now ok to start an article called Climategate. Arzel (talk) 16:38, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
You continue to misinterpret everything, and now you have compounded the issue further with an agenda-driven reversion. How can you possibly accuse me of attempting to "remove" or "minimize" the word "Climategate" given the great lengths I went to in order to get it promoted to the first paragraph of the article? You should refactor your comment and self-revert your article edit to avoid further embarrassment. -- Scjessey (talk) 18:14, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
@Scjessey on your comment "creating bullshit redirects" please discuss it on the relevant page Wikipedia:Redirects_for_discussion/Log/2010_January_30 where I agree with you on that this was not a god redirect, but not delete it as you wish. Nsaa (talk) 19:09, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Comment on content, not on the contributor Prodego talk 18:16, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

It's a little unclear at this point but this article seems to be about the hacking incident, and to some extent about the emails itself, but is not really about the public scandal/controversy popularly known as "climategate". Under the circumstances we would not normally bold "climategate" because it is not truly an alternate title for this article, it is a title of a slightly different thing. A like within the article seems a little nonstandard. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:34, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. There should be a separate article titled "Climategate controversy". Parts of this article could be transferred there. This has been suggested before and I suggest it again since the controversy is very much alive and well and changing as time goes by. (talk) 20:45, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Agree with wikidemon, removed link and put climate gate in italics, everyone ok with this now? mark nutley (talk) 20:49, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
That seems logical to me. I think I put the link in because Jpat suggested it. "Hell no" on the "Climategate controvery" idea though - obviously that would be a POV fork. -- Scjessey (talk) 20:52, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
There's no need for a separate Climategate controversy article since that's what this article is about. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:31, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
If editors will not allow an article of Climategate, then I do not see why it cannot be bolded in this article. The original title of this article was Climategate. It was then changed to the current title, and now some editors are claiming that this article is not about Climategate so Climategate cannot be bolded? Yet at the same time a seperate Climategate article cannot be created because it creates a POV fork? I fail to see how anyone can justify that logic. The continued attempt to 1984 this story is disturbing to say the least. Arzel (talk) 00:49, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
It is utterly irrelevant what the original title of the article was. Besides, it was only called "Climategate" for a single day before it was changed (per WP:WTA#Controversy and scandal). I think the current arrangement is perfectly acceptable per Wikidemon's sensible rationale. -- Scjessey (talk) 00:54, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Arzel makes some good points. --SPhilbrickT 12:55, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry, where was the removal of the in-text link agreed on? I gave an inch on removing the "dubbed by AGW skeptics" in exchange for that link. It's not appropriate to now take a mile and remove the link without restoring "dubbed by AGW skeptics." Hipocrite (talk) 15:04, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

WP:OR violation in Code and Documentation section

The section currently reads:

On BBC Newsnight, software engineer John Graham-Cumming said that the code lacked clear documentation and an audit history, and possibly included a bug and poor error handling.[1]

This is in violation of WP:OR, as the RS does not say that the code "possibly included a bug and poor error handling," it says that the code "included a bug and poor error handling." I don't expect that there will be any argument here, as they would fly in the face of WP policy, but it's on semi-lock right now so I feel I should mention it before editing directly.--Heyitspeter (talk) 00:20, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I re-examined the source and you are correct. It does not contain the word "possibly". The word "possibly" is WP:OR and should be removed from the article. Good catch! A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:41, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
As I previously stated, this entire section should be deleted because it was based on an error by Newsnight. -- Scjessey (talk) 00:44, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Except the BBC News is sticking by their story. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:29, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Nevertheless, the error remains and this has been confirmed by another reliable source. The two sources cancel one another out, which means the section should be removed so that Wikipedia isn't needlessly reporting the BBC fail. If in doubt, leave it out. -- Scjessey (talk) 01:52, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Haha. The entire article would be canceled out if this were true. It's a controversy. RSs are reporting conflicting information throughout.--Heyitspeter (talk) 06:02, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
As far as I know, when reliable sources disagree, you document the dispute. Consider, for example, the debate among historians regarding the functionalism/intentionalism of the Holocaust. Or the debate among scientists whether the ALH84001 meteorite contains evidence of ancient life on Mars. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:02, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Those are examples of significant, widely-known disagreements. This is a trivial matter known by very few that has received virtually no coverage in reliable sources. -- Scjessey (talk) 13:38, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I have taken a stab at rewriting that sentence, which includes the removal of the word "possibly." Hipocrite (talk) 13:54, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Refocusing the discussion

I'm not asking whether the entire section should be left out (though on that, review WP:V. It's a policy, not a behavioral guideline). I'm asking, given that the above sentence is there, whether there would be any serious objections with me altering it to bring it in line with WP:OR. Specifically, removing the word "possibly." So far it sounds OK with people.--Heyitspeter (talk) 05:56, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Support --SPhilbrickT 13:00, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Another (only semi-related) edit

It's not clear to me why these two sentences were removed, and I'd like to re-add them:

When he challenged Newsnight on this, they responded that "Our expert's opinion is that this is climate change code" and declined to retract the story. He commented that on the same basis the quality of code he put together for students could be used to discredit other research code.[2]

This is informative, relevant and backed by the same source. Shall we readd? --Heyitspeter (talk) 00:20, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I believe Hipocrite removed this[38] saying that "I will revert this edit on request by anyone who also gives reasoning for their request on the talk page.". A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:33, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes. I want to add this particular section back. I'm not asking for a full revert here.--Heyitspeter (talk) 05:50, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone know what "climate change code" is supposed to mean? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:06, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
WP:RS not opinion please WMC. @ Boris I would assume they are refering to the climate data found in the --mark nutley (talk) 09:10, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Marknutley, your assumption is not a rs. As a complete non expert I'd have thought it referred to programs or macros, hence the references to Fortran, but looking up a dictionary it appears that "S: (n) code, computer code ((computer science) the symbolic arrangement of data or instructions in a computer program or the set of such instructions)"] is the relevant meaning, which indicates that it could be any of the stolen documents, including the emails. A good source giving clarification would be useful, but without explanation it appears that the BBC's expert was being very uncommunicative. . . dave souza, talk 10:59, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Dave, i am well aware that my assumption is not an rs :) However think about it, you can`t run an e-email through a program to see what the results will be so it was not a ne-mail they were talking about :). You can run temperature data processing software which is what i believe hippocrite has put in the article, but you would need the data to run the program. So by simple reasoning then it must have been climate data he ran through the software, so he ran the code through the program, found errors in the code (not surprising after looking at harry`s readme) and gave his expert opinion on it. --mark nutley (talk) 11:25, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Accepting that you're speculating, do you mean climate data, climate data processing code, or climate projection simulation code, to name but three? . . dave souza, talk 11:40, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Here is a one of those horrible car analogies: If a car mechanic sees a car missing key components such a spark plug the mechanic does not need to try to drive the car to say it's not going to work. In the same way anyone familiar with computer code can spot errors that cause loss of data without running any actual data. (talk) 11:47, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
But of course it depends what the code was to be used for, and whether it was a finished product or an early effort to find the bugs, including feeding in test data which was deliberately not real climate data. This expert view seemed quite informative to me. Obviously we can't expect a scientist using code to achieve the level of bug-free perfection that full time professionals were producing at that time, like Windows Vista for example. So, we still need a source if we describe it in any detail. . . dave souza, talk 11:54, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
"Obviously we can't expect a scientist using code to achieve the level of bug-free perfection that full time professionals were producing at that time, like Windows Vista for example." - Oh the irony of that sentence! -- Scjessey (talk) 13:44, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Which brings us back to the original question. Heyitspeter's proposal to re-add the two sentences about Myles Allen's statement seems reasonable to me, it does indicate that "climate change code" is pretty meaningless – could the wording be improved to make that plainer? . . dave souza, talk 12:02, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I believe those sentence should stay out. That newsnight is standing behind its story isn't intersting, and there's no reason to include every rhetorical device used to refute the relevence of the code. However, if we were to reinsert newsnight standing behind the story, I would support making it clear that the attack wasn't on the fact that the code existed, or was about climate change, but rather that it wasn't used for anything of relevence (which is made clear in the article as it stands). Hipocrite (talk) 13:54, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

What is a bug?

The article currently says, "and included a bug in its error handling that might ignore some input data". The reason I had put 'possibly' in there is that, in the light of the information overlooked by/ignored by/unavailable to Newsnight but made clear by the later analysis in the Guardian, nobody knows the purpose of the code. You can't define a 'bug' in the logic, until you know what the logic was meant to achieve. If that piece of code was meant to see what the graph would look like with certain data removed, then that was not a bug. Equally so if the purpose was to help teach students about the effects of removing some data from a further analysis. What I say here is speculation, but in the light of the, now clear, lack of knowledge of that analyst, I hope it shows that we cannot say that what he found was clearly 'a bug' - i.e. a logic error. The best we can say is that he thought it was a bug at the time, based on his assumptions, which have since been found to be wrong. The shortest way of saying all that, I felt was to put 'possibly' in. If it is felt that that is not clear from that one word, the answer is not to take it out and make the statement of finding a bug definite, but to explain the true situation, of false assumptions, more fully. --Nigelj (talk) 15:12, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Nigel, we (WP) are not saying there is was a bug in the code. We (WP) are saying that the BBC says there was a bug in the code, a true and verifiable statement. Big difference. Your suggestion above if followed violates [WP:SYN]. We can not talk two competing sources and try to synthesize a new point which neither make. JPatterson (talk) 15:30, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
We can, however, say he says he found a bug, and that other people say that he was looking at code that "had nothing at all to do with the HadCRUT temperature record used for climate reconstructions." Hipocrite (talk) 15:24, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
We can? Does the guy in the guardian actually know what code newsnight was looking at? or is he just saying all the code in the was not climate data? mark nutley (talk) 15:43, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
We can. A reliable source said so. Hipocrite (talk) 17:05, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
@MN, Neither. He is said that all programs dealing with the HadCRUT temperature record are maintained elsewhere. We don't know if that is true or not but we do know that a reliable source says so. While not germane to the issues raised by the BBC (poor documentation, audit controls etc.), it is a verifiable point that goes to end effects, and so should be included. I think the current version is good. It is factual and neutral from both angles. Do you agree? JPatterson (talk) 17:24, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, re-reading the current version there are two minor problems. We say "software engineer John Graham-Cumming said that the code lacked ...". I think this should be changed to "...the code he examined lacked ...". Later we say "included a bug in its error handling that might ignore some input data" which isn't quite right. I think "...would ignore some input data under certain circumstances" is a more accurate paraphrase in that "might" could be taken as an equivocation as to whether input data would be ignored. Graham-Cumming expressed no such doubt. JPatterson (talk) 17:40, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Dave, can you self revert?

Dave, I believe that you might have accidentally violated 1RR with the following two edits. You reverted one of my edits here[39] and one of Heyitspeter's edits here.[40] Can you please self-revert one of them? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:28, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Eh, I did revert Heyitspeter, but I didn't revert you, I added a new and minor clarification to your edit. Your change, my further change. Not the same as it was before. As discussed at #Second_paragraph, the opinion was "With reference to FOI requests made by David Holland". I've left out "opinion" which is a useful refinement, but the wording didn't seem crucial. Do plesae discuss on the article talk page, with references, if you want to dispute that. Thanks for the helpful hint, dave souza, talk 01:09, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
NOTE: I copied and pasted the above discussion from Dave souza's talk page. He asked that I discuss this on the article talk page. So here I am.
Granted, I am not as well versed in these matters as other editors, but you reverted my removal of the word "one" in your first edit[41] and Heyitspeter's entire edit here.[42]. This seems to violate the 1RR restriction. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:28, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I accepted your removal of "the opinion that in one instance" before "the UEA had not dealt properly with requests", thus leaving the initial empasis on the plural "requests" which I understood to be your preference, then after that multiple added "made by one individual" as discussed at #Second paragraph above. Two very good sources explicitly state that the announcement was about complaints brougnt by David Holland, any other sources can be considered. As for "one", Heyitspeter changed it to "an" and I'm happy with that. . . dave souza, talk 07:42, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Problems with "Naming of the incident" section

Collapsed to tidy the page - no agenda, expand again at will Nightmote (talk) 20:49, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

This section opens with a quote from "Fact Check", which seems to have nothing to do with the history of the name.

Here's the FC quote in full:


Skeptics claim this trove of e-mails shows the scientists at the U.K. research center were engaging in evidence-tampering, and they are portraying the affair as a major scandal: "Climategate." Source

Note that the title of Fact Check's article is “Climategate” -- our quote (by my reading) simply reiterates the article name. So this quote appears inappropriate for this section's lede.

The entire section appears overweight and, to my eye, appears to exist mainly to provide a justification for removing Climategate from the article lede. Am I missing something? --Pete Tillman (talk) 04:54, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

It's a source that has been seen as neutral by editors of different sympathies in the debate, and its analysis of the debate clearly indicates that the term is used in "portraying the affair as a major scandal" rather than a tempest in a teapot, as others would have it. The section describes naming of the incident, and the WP:LEAD summarises the content of the article so, if anything, the section provides justification for the inclusion of "climategate" in the lead. The views of any other similarly neutral observers on this topic will also be welcome provided of course that they're attributable, so do please find sources we can add. . . dave souza, talk 17:25, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
I note the present wording, "Individuals who oppose action on global warming called the incident Climategate, which became a commonly used term for the incident." Um, seriously? "Individuals who oppose action on global warming" named the incident "Climategate"? Um, it just got called that by the media, and those who don't like the name probably just need to get over it. This is original research, and bias, and just plain wrong. Alex Harvey (talk) 04:18, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
It does seem to be a rather blatant example of poisoning the well. »S0CO(talk|contribs) 04:27, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
It's pretty well established that the term was coined by anti-science activists in the blogosphere. The media latched onto it because it's catchy and because they're lazy - they didn't coin it. -- ChrisO (talk) 08:33, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
This very article suggests that it isn't well-established. --Heyitspeter (talk) 23:04, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
It's pretty well established? You say that, giving not a single piece of evidence, just like the article. What evidence can there be; RealClimate didn't use the term, ergo...? Evidence, please. This is sheer fantasy. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:13, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

I wonder how the newly minted "glaciergate" can be compared with "climategate" in relation to the naming issue? I would suggest that an editor create such an article. Ref.[43] P.S. I sincerely hope I haven't screwed anything up as this is my first edit on wikipedia. (talk) 14:39, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Yet another pov name for an issue, one that's covered at Criticism of the IPCC AR4. . dave souza, talk 18:49, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Fact Check citation inappropriate for subsection: proposed removal

This discussion got kind of de-railed. I take your point to be that the Fact Check article doesn't appear to be asserting that skeptics named the incident "Climategate" in that quote, and that it should be taken out of that section. Is that fair? If so I'd agree.--Heyitspeter (talk) 20:17, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't say whether or not skeptics introduced the term, it does express the view that they're using the name and why. A neutral finding. . . dave souza, talk 20:41, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
No, it doesn't say that skeptics use the term. Re-read? It's weirdly phrased.--Heyitspeter (talk) 18:33, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
It's clear enough–"Skeptics claim this trove of e-mails shows the scientists at the U.K. research center were engaging in evidence-tampering, and they are portraying the affair as a major scandal: "Climategate.".... We find such claims to be far wide of the mark." Clearly that's what they're portraying it as, and the name they're using. Pretty obvious. . . dave souza, talk 18:47, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Of course they're using the name - that isn't informative. Even MIT is using the name. As this section is about the "naming of the incident," and not "the way the incident is being referred to," we should remove that sentence. Agreed on this count? I'm willing to cede on your interpretation if/given that the removal stands on these (separate) grounds.--Heyitspeter (talk) 01:47, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm willing to accept your concession, but consider this independent source on the naming and framing of the "controversy" a useful clarification which belongs at the start of the naming section. The fact that MIT World™ used the term in announcing a debate doesn't mean that MIT have officially adopted the term, and is synthesis – if you can find a third party analysis stating that the term has entered the mainstream, that would be useful. However, picking examples, expecially where reporters distance themselves from the term by using inverted commas for "climategate", is original research and not the way to go. Hope that helps, dave souza, talk 10:29, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I've not picked any such examples...
Be that as it may, and backed by a rather ingenious double deployment of "modus tollens+the two preceding comments" and modus ponens, here I go:
It simply isn't true that
Skeptics claim this trove of e-mails shows the scientists at the U.K. research center were engaging in evidence-tampering, and they are portraying the affair as a major scandal: 'Climategate.'
Skeptics are using or have named the affair 'Climategate'.
To argue the contrary one must break WP:OR. The sentence is uninformative and irrelevant to the section. It should go. QED.--Heyitspeter (talk) 21:58, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
As stated before, it's plain English, and you've offered no alternative interpretation. Restoring, sorry didn't keep coming back on your keeping coming back on this. Thanks, dave souza, talk 00:12, 1 February 2010 (UTC) - UK Authorities wanted to prosecute those at CRU, but loopholes in law wouldn't allow it. The 'email hacking' incident has uncovered highly suspect behavior, regarding evasion of FOI requests, prompting a desire to change relevant laws. "The leaked emails are widely believed to be the work of an insider in response to the delaying tactics." I and many people have commented on this issue, THAT THE HACKING INCIDENT WAS NOT VERIFIED AND THAT THE MEDIA REPORTS SUGGESTING SUCH WERE UNFOUNDED. (talk) 17:40, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

The Name of the Game

On Nov 27, 2009, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial[44] summarizing what they called the "leaked email and document scandal" using quotes from the FOIA trove. So it has been thought of as a scientific scandal rather than an information theft for quite a while, even before the coining of "Climategate". That moniker therefore does not introduce anything pejorative not previously identified. Their summary includes text that might be considered for inclusion in this article, or a related one devoted more to the revealed behavior than to the method of revelation -
The furor over these documents is not about tone, colloquialisms or whether climatologists are nice people. The real issue is what the messages say about the way the much-ballyhooed scientific consensus on global warming was arrived at, and how a single view of warming and its causes is being enforced. The impression left by the correspondence among Messrs. Mann and Jones and others is that the climate-tracking game has been rigged from the start.
According to this privileged group, only those whose work has been published in select scientific journals, after having gone through the "peer-review" process, can be relied on to critique the science. And sure enough, any challenges from critics outside this clique are dismissed and disparaged.
This September, Mr. Mann told a New York Times reporter in one of the leaked emails that: "Those such as [Stephen] McIntyre who operate almost entirely outside of this system are not to be trusted." Mr. McIntyre is a retired Canadian businessman who checks the findings of climate scientists and often publishes the mistakes he finds on his Web site, He holds the rare distinction of having forced Mr. Mann to publish a correction to one of his more famous papers.Oiler99 (talk) 06:39, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

More Literature

Collapsed to tidy the page - no agenda, expand again at will Nightmote (talk) 20:50, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

  • The Hockey Stick Illusion - Climategate and the Corruption of Science, Andrew W. Montford[45]

Publisher: Stacey International[46] (2010)

This book is NOT self-published. Please add this to the article. (talk) 18:19, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Add what to the article? You have not suggested any content that would use this book as a source. --NeilN talk to me 19:58, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Two books have covered Climategate. One was suggested in the subsection below (hidden) and found unsuitable so I suggested this one instead. Why not add a passage such as "The resultant controversy has so far inspired two books covering the controversy." Or "a book", take you pick. I find this a fairly reasonable request. (talk) 20:06, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

The book isn't notable enough to garner a section in this article. No reliable secondary sources adress the book in nearly enough detail to make it, in and of itself, even a footnote. Hipocrite (talk) 20:08, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I couldn't find any reviews of it in the mainstream press or scholarly journals. --NeilN talk to me 20:11, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

I find it notable in the extreme that two books have been published regarding a hacking incident at a University in little less than two months after the fact. (talk) 20:13, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

It's not what you find notable; our inclusion standards look at what third party sources find notable (through book reviews, cites, etc.). --NeilN talk to me 20:20, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

It's on the Dutch version of this page. I would like to take this to a vote: "raise your hands" if you find it notable that two books have been published in record time regarding a controversy regarding a hacking incident at a University. As simple yes on no will do. (talk) 20:26, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

We don't vote here. Hipocrite (talk) 20:27, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Look at it this way. If we were talking for instance about a persons biography we would note "... and has published two books." That is common sense notable. There is no need to explain the contents in detail. Writing a book is a major endeavor that should be recognized. (talk) 20:32, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
If we were writing about an author, there would be a source demonstrating the notability of that person. We do not mention that there are thousands of books on David_(Michelangelo). It's just not a notable feature of this controversy that a bunch of blogers wrote vanity press books. Hipocrite (talk) 20:36, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't agree. The merits of who wrote the book can have no bearing on the notability of the action of writing a book in this context. If the hacking incident were not notable there would be no page to write about and no point to our discussion. As there is a page there is a point. (talk) 20:43, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
You're right. Who wrote a book is unimportant in most cases. But in order to have the book mentioned in this article, it itself should be notable. --NeilN talk to me 20:49, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
A blogger who thinks McIntyre is wonderful writes a book, and tacks a topical few words at the end – "Note that it was largely written before the emails from CRU became public, though there is a final chapter dealing quickly with them." Clearly reflecting fringe views, not a source for the science. . . dave souza, talk 20:52, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I am not talking about science. The science is not a concern. The controversy has resulted in two books, a major endeavor. The quality of content is irrelevant. (talk) 20:57, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
We don't care if it took ten years to write a book. If it's not notable, it doesn't belong here. --NeilN talk to me 21:03, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
This article isn't really about a scientific topic though. If a layman writes a book about this specific incident and gets widespread coverage then it could potentially be mentioned here. That hasn't happened so far though. --NeilN talk to me 21:01, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Here are the rankings. But I would like to point out they are the #1 and #2 ranking books on Climategate. ;-) What ranking is needed to qualify? Sales Rank: #1,268 in Books[47] Sales Rank: #1,373 in Books[48] (talk) 21:13, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Amazon rank, Amazon rank... nope, not in Wikipedia:Notability (books) --NeilN talk to me 21:19, 25 January 2010 (UTC), do you have anything to do with the book's publishers or authors? Because this looks very much like an attempt to promote a non-notable book. -- ChrisO (talk) 09:26, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely no connection. I haven't even read the books! The book could be complete crap or excellent for all I know. (P.S. could be a new IP yet again...) (talk) 09:39, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
My primary motivation was irritation with Scjessey on his "fair" review on as he had not even read the book. Bad form. (talk) 09:45, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
In your opinion. I would classify it as the mostest awesomest review in the history of the world, EVAR! -- Scjessey (talk) 14:14, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
I would call it a factual assessment of your review. You should not judge a book by it's cover. This review should be held against you to show prejudice. My motive, irritation, gave me the energy persevere with a fact based and logical response. I managed to separate feelings and prejudice when suggesting this entry. My suggestions was debated in a constructive manner and I hope this gave something of value to the debate. Goodbye for now as I need to take break for paid work. (Oh. Amazon rankings were mentioned in Wikipedia:Notability (books), a gray area I think.) (talk) 17:28, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Bestsellers in Environmental Science on #1 James Hansen, #2 Rachel Carson, #5 Al Gore and at #8 the book in question. Also at #10 Michael E. Mann.[49] I may be worth nothing that according to Wikipedia:Notability (books) "There is no present agreement on how high a book must fall on Amazon's sales rank listing (in the "product details" section for a book's listing) in order to provide evidence of its notability or non-notability." (talk) 23:29, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
I found an inconsistency in [50] subsection "Conservative nature of IPCC reports". "In his December 2006 book, Hell and High Water: Global Warming, and in an interview on Fox News on January 31, 2007, energy expert Joseph Romm noted that the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report is already out of date and omits recent observations and factors contributing to global warming, such as the release of greenhouse gases from thawing tundra." Why is a Fox News interview and a Book published by a News Corp subsidiary OK as a source in this case and why can't the climategate article even passingly mention that two books have been published about the climategate controversy? Should the IPCC article be edit or should this one be amended? (talk) 14:45, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

LOL, welcome to stalinpedia. Of corse the book belongs in the article. (talk) 16:37, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Your ignorance of verifiability policy is understandable, your nonsense about "stalinpedia" and "answer to left-wing extrememist statements" fails civility policy. Please put your comments in a civil way. . . dave souza, talk 16:50, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I award Dave Souza two Stalinpedia BarnStar's , you see Dave if you are going to act like a control freak on these global warming topics and enforce the pro-AGW perspective no one will take wiki seriously ( oh that's already happening). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:55, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference newsnight-code was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
    • ^ Cite error: The named reference Myles_Allen.2C_guardian was invoked but never defined (see the help page).