Talk:Climatic Research Unit email controversy/Archive 32

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Select Committee press conference

The Grauniad briefly had Climate researchers 'secrecy' criticised – but MPs say science remains intact online, but it's been showing a 404 not found. Quotes from it were still showing up on google, and matched quotes shown in this blog. The Irish Times version has some of the quotes, and is attributed to Reuters. As chairman, Phil Willis has had quite a bit to say, look forward to getting better sources on this. . . dave souza, talk 19:40, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

AP says the scientists were almost entirely vindicated (FOIA being a major exception), although the committee report delved less deeply than some other inquiries (apparently they thought they needed to get the report out quickly because they expect elections in a month or so). [1] I guess the report is about to be released and the coverage we have as of now is from the pre-release press briefing. -- JohnWBarber (talk) 01:17, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Report was released, embargoed until 00.01 today. Among widespread coverage, The Times, Grauniad and NYT: the latter interestingly has as its penultimate paragraph "The publication of the e-mail messages ahead of an international conference in Copenhagen on climate change set off an online furor, in which skeptics of human-made climate change referred to the controversy as “Climategate.”" . . . dave souza, talk 04:43, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

A series of changes, some modifications

In this series of edits, HiP introduced some useful changes and a number of misconceptions. I've now made some corrections and clarifications, revising the lead to make it clear that politicians rather than government organisations have made accusations of improper conduct,[2] removing the Mooney newspaper editorial that had already been discussed and removed as unsuitable and unreliable,[3] and removing individual in text attribution to one source of a widely understood majority view, as well as clarifying who.[4] Gotta be offline for a bit, discussion and improvements welcome. . dave souza, talk 10:16, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for opening a dialogue. In succession:
(1) See the "Content of the documents" section for citations for the sentence concerning allegations that you removed/altered.
(2) Note that the "Mooney" article is attributed to The Washington Times and provide me with a link to the talkpage discussion at which the editorial was branded unreliable.
(3) Please provide us with any reason to believe that Fred Pearce's view is 'majority'.
(4) Please self-revert as per 1RR and, if you can, return from your very conveniently placed wikibreak.
That covers everything.--Heyitspeter (talk) 10:33, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
On DS's talk page you identified 2 edits as reverts, and it isn't clear why you think they are. However, nor is it clear which parts you want reverted - I assume that you don't want us to erroneously re-introduce "lawmakers", so what do you want un-reverted? William M. Connolley (talk) 11:10, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Although I tend to agree with Heyitspeter, I reverted one change in the lede as unsourced, and possibly BLP. (Not all who criticised the E-mails were critics of global warming, and ICO is a government organisation.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:23, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi, Arthur, you reverted my change in the lede to HiP's version – my version, "Upon the e-mails' dissemination, politicians and bloggers who dispute the extent or existence of human caused global warming contended that they indicated misconduct on the part of climate scientists. The issues raised were widely discussed in news media." is well sourced by the citations already in the detailed section, starting with Climate sceptics claim leaked emails are evidence of collusion among scientists | Environment | The Guardian. Had a quick look through the other sources and found nothing to support "government organisations" – the ICO criticised the conduct of the UEA rather than the scientists, did any other government organisation make any criticism? Let's review rewording as the claims were primarily made by "skeptics" and others raised concerns rather than "contending" that the emails "indicated misconduct". . . dave souza, talk 17:59, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
ICO seemed to indicate that the E-mails indicated misconduct by the university or by the individuals; they later clarified it was by the university. But I see your point. Perhaps an expansion: "sceptics" contended the emails indicated misconduct, while others raised concerns. On the other hand, other (Real)Climate scientists have stated that even talking about deleting data rather than releasing it is a matter for serious concern. The summary needs to avoid undue weight, as well as being verifiable. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:25, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Agree that there were widespread serious concerns, perhaps we can work out something on the lines you suggest. . . dave souza, talk 18:29, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Hi again to Heyitspeter, thanks for now engaging in dialogue after you introduced a whole series of edits without any discussion or agreement.
(1) See the "Content of the documents" section for citations for the sentence as amended by me, and as discussed immediately above in relation to Arthur Rubin's revert.
(2) Different editorials in The Washington Times have been discussed and not used as unreliable, which brings us to the issue of why you think the uninformed speculation in EDITORIAL: The global-cooling cover-up - Washington Times of November 27 is a suitable source, and what's significant about "The Washington Times stated that the coding information released shows that the data "appear to have been constructed to show an increase in temperatures." when we have expert opinion, the word of the UEA and a statement to the Parliamentary Select Committee that the code in question had nothing to do with the the production of the global and hemispheric temperature series. That paragraph as now is hopelessly one sided and inaccurate, and will have to be improved.
(3) the "trick" to "hide the decline" has been explained as a colloquialism for a “neat” method of handling data and "discarding data known to be erroneous" by numerous reliable sources, not just Fred Pearce, most recently by the Parliamentary Select Committee.
(4) Your assertion of breach of 1RR is spurious, as I was dealing individually and constructively with a series of edits by you and did not remove any more than once. Would you have been happier if I'd simply reverted all your edits at one stroke?
Trust that helps, . . dave souza, talk 18:29, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Ignoring Heyitspeter for the moment; HaeB has a point that there is little support for government agencies, but there is little support for the enumeration of types of people at all, as it implies no one not in those categories objected. I think all we can say in the lede is "people and organisations"; any more detail would require us to source both that those particular types of people did make accusations of misconduct, and no other groups of people. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:37, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Cite errors

Posting stray ref from Time here, just in case it's needed: <ref name="Time 2 Dec">{{cite web|url=http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1929071_1929070_1945175,00.html|title=As Climate Summit Nears, Skeptics Gain Traction|last=Walsh|first=Bryan|work=[[Time Magazine]]|date=2 December 2009}}</ref>
I also took out a citation error to a Washington Times editorial here. ... Kenosis (talk) 15:48, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Time to remove this entire paragraph from the "Parliament" subsection

Now that the Parliament committee's report is out, this entire paragraph is WP:UNDUE unless there's something particularly cogent and appropriate in it that can be said in a much shorter way. We should be concentrating on the committee's conclusions, not specific submissions. Let's delete the whole thing and allow room for the panel's conclusions:

The committee invited written submissions from interested parties on the three issues that it will examine, by Wednesday 10 February. It has published 55 such submissions received by that date. Submissions have been received from the University of East Anglia, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Met Office, several other bodies, prominent scientists, some global warming 'sceptics', some MEPs and other interested parties. Each submission includes evidence and viewpoints from the body or individual concerned as well as a declaration of their interests.[1] The report submitted by the Institute of Physics expresses concern about the CRU's scientific integrity.[2] According to this report, the emails reveal evidence of "determined and coordinated refusals" to comply with scientific traditions through "manipulation of the publication and peer-review system" and "intolerance to challenge".[3] This report was used by climate sceptics to bolster claims that the problem of global warming is exaggerated. This forced the Institute of Physics to confirm that its position was that "the basic science is well enough understood to be sure that our climate is changing, and that we need to take action now to mitigate that change."[4] Many experts considered that the correction was still inadequate, with climatologist Andy Russell describing the allegation of data suppression as "incorrect and irresponsible". The institute said that the statement had been prepared by their energy subcommittee, but would not reveal who had produced it. It did say that the subcommittee included an IOP official named Peter Gill, whose company provides services to the energy industry and who has written that for many people, the subject of anthropogenic global warming "has become a religion, so facts and analysis have become largely irrelevant".[5] The institute said that Gill was not the main source of information and that other members of the sub-committee were also critical of CRU. Evan Harris, a Liberal Democrat member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, said "Members of the Institute of Physics ... may be concerned that the IOP is not as transparent as those it wishes to criticise." However the institute told the Guardian that the submission was "approved by three members of its science board" and supplied comments from an anonymous board member stating "The institute should feel relaxed about the process by which it generated what is, anyway, a statement of the obvious... the points [the submission] makes are ones which we continue to support, that science should be practiced openly and in an unbiased way."[6]

-- JohnWBarber (talk) 16:54, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

I contributed the first part, up to "...a declaration of their interests", originally to be a replacement for the detailed analysis of individual submissions. My argument at the time was that there were 55 submissions and a committee to analyse them, so cherry-picking a few and doing our own in-house analysis of them was not useful. That argument, as you say, is even more cogent now. I would be happy if it all went in favour of a summary of the committee's conclusions, or perhaps keep just that first bit (or a shortened version of it), to give an idea of the scope and terms of the evidence, before going into the committee's own findings. --Nigelj (talk) 17:46, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
The IoP statement itself became a focus of the controversy and deserves mentioning. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:27, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
After I posted at 16:54 above, I had the same idea as Nigelj that perhaps the first part or a shorter version of it could still remain. I haven't had time recently to look into this, so I can't really add anything right now, but this discussion has sat around with only the three of us commenting on it and nothing in the past 23 hours or so, so I'm going to go ahead and delete most of the paragraph. I'm sure that section will get additions from the committee's report and reactions to it. -- JohnWBarber (talk) 17:39, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Still, that's not a reason to cite 'consensus' in the removal. More of a WP:BOLD. :) Heyitspeter (talk) 18:38, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't see how it is WP:UNDUE. Can you give a good reason to think so? If (e.g.) AQFK's concerns are not addressed I'll probably add back. --Heyitspeter (talk) 18:33, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Agree that it should be covered, IoPgate is significant in terms of the "controversy". If we end up with too much detail such aspects could be split into a sub-article with a brief WP:SUMMARY in this overview article. . . dave souza, talk 18:42, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
I certainly won't feel offended if someone wants to revert -- but then the section will be quite long even without much information on the report's conclusions. I haven't seen a lot of coverage of the IoP statement (have I missed it in the U.S. media? Did this get a lot of coverage in the U.K.?) and it appears to me to be peripheral to the subject. The article is 48K long already. There isn't much more in it less important than this, and we have the results of a number of investigations coming in over the next few months. If not this, where would you cut? -- JohnWBarber (talk) 21:15, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Point well taken. I wonder if we should instead include the removed text in the subarticle? Thoughts?--Heyitspeter (talk) 22:12, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
If this is worth it's own article, it's certainly worth a couple sentences summarizing that article and a link from this article to that one. -- JohnWBarber (talk) 00:18, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Ah no I didn't mean a whole new article just for that, but rather that we might include it here: Climatic Research Unit documents. I tried inserting some of the text there (at the 'emails' section). Check it out and lemme know what you think.--Heyitspeter (talk) 00:32, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

UEA response

We should update to include http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2010/March/homepagenews/s%26treport William M. Connolley (talk) 18:32, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Why? If this is this press release is worth including, surely third-party reliable sources will have covered it, and then we cite those. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:38, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Um, because we have a section called "UEA response", which already includes some UEA responses? William M. Connolley (talk) 19:37, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
This seems sufficiently obvious that I've added a brief quote from them. Unsurprisingly, they are pleased; I don't think I've quoted them out of context William M. Connolley (talk) 19:40, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
WMC: Caution should be exercised when using primary sources. If this is really worth reporting, an independent reliable source should have done so. Given the many WP:NPOV and WP:UNDUE issues that have plagued this article for the past 4 months, I don't think it's wise to insert potentially contentious material that (apparently) can only be cited to a primary source. Therefore, I'm removing it from the article. If you can address my WP:NPOV and WP:UNDUE concerns, please do so and maybe we can rework it back into the article. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:44, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with your WP:UNDUE and third party arguments, but there should be a link directly to their response, and WMC's edits are reasonable and do not hurt the article. Q Science (talk) 21:06, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
To take your two points in turn: I don't think you have raised any UNDUE concerns at all (let alone any valid ones). You've said that there have been UNDUE concerns in the past, which is true, but says nothing about these particular edits. UNDUE begins 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. - I really can't see how that applies at all. How can it possibly be UNDUE to report the response of the UEA, to an important report, in a section about UEA's response? Q: you agree with AQFK's "UNDUE", can you perhaps explain more clearly why it applies?
As to NPOV: again, this doesn't seem to apply. We are clearly quoting UEA's response; there is no attempt to pretend that this is ultimate truth - it is what they are saying.
William M. Connolley (talk) 21:33, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
The part you selected is a press release quoting a report. To me, that adds nothing. Just quote the report and be done with it. Perhaps UNDUE is the wrong term. On the other hand, I totally support having a link to the response. Perhaps something more editorial like "CRU is pleased with the results of this report"?
As for NPOV: to say “the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact”, and related comments, needs qualification. Specifically, it should also be mentioned that this was added to the report by a three to one vote and does not represent a unanimous conclusion. Q Science (talk) 23:26, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
One of the problems that I have with including this is that without third-party reliable sources, there's no way for us to gauge how much weight this content should have. It forces us into a position where we as Wikipedia editors must decide its prominence. Further, it forces us to decide which parts of the press release are worth including. We, as Wikipedia editors, don't have the right to make these types of decisions.
Further, it opens the door to including other primary sourced responses. Does ClimateAudit's response get included in the article? How do we decide its weight?
I'm not completely against using primary sources. If you check out my article on Bernard Foing, you'll see that I cite primary sources quite extensively. But that's not a controversial article, the material is not contentious and there's never been a content dispute there.
Look, this should be easy enough to resolve. Find some third-party reliable sources which cover the UEA press release. We can then decide: a) Is it worth mentioning?, b) How much weight it should get? and c) Which parts of the UAE statement should be mentioned? A Quest For Knowledge (talk)
Does ClimateAudit's response get included in the article? - this seems to be entirely spurious. Is CA a major actor in this affair? No. Does CA have a section in the article devoted to its response? No. So it is unsurprising that we don't have CA's response (and anyway, its but a blog, so isn't a RS). Further, it forces us to decide which parts of the press release are worth including - this too looks spurious. We always pick which bits of a given source we use, we don't quote them in their entirety William M. Connolley (talk) 22:33, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
A sentence or two on the University's response to the first investigation report, using their press release as the source, should be fine. Cla68 (talk) 22:39, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I agree with this, provided that we don't imply that any of their statements are accurate. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 22:41, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Easy to do, "In response to the investigation report, East Anglia stated that [summarize/synthesize their response or cherry pick a quote]." Cla68 (talk) 22:53, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

WMC: Yes, actually ClimateAudit is a important player in the scandal. I noticed that you failed to address any of my concerns. Without any third-party reliable sources, I would argue that it's weight is zero. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:19, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

No, CA isn't. See? Goes nowhere. As to your concerns: I have demolished your UNDUE and NPOV concerns. Your Specifically, it should also be mentioned that this was added to the report by a three to one vote and does not represent a unanimous conclusion. is nothing but your own opinion. Why should we say this? Because you happen to want it? William M. Connolley (talk) 12:51, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, Fred Pearce has some interesting things to say. [5] My point is that to bluntly say 'vindicated' is maybe too simplistic. Maybe it would be best to wait a couple of days for other commentary to surface?130.232.214.10 (talk) 13:04, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
"Vindicated" is not only simplistic, but not supported by the sources. "Cleared" (from the title) means cleared of violations of law; "vindicated" implies cleared of wrongdoing, which is clearly not in the article or the committee report. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:46, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Please ignore that last; it was in the article, although not supported by the committee report. It's still WP:PEACOCK, but I suppose we have to go with the source. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:43, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) Since I received a note on my talk page about this, I am including a note here as well. I do not see how the word "vindicated" is "peacock". Furthermore, I took great pains to add a citation directly to that word, thereby replacing the "peacock" tag. The source cited specifically says they were vindicated. That's verifiable and as we know the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is Verifiability, not truth. <>Multi‑Xfer<> (talk) 16:42, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

It's still a WP:PEACOCK word, although apparently in the source. I suppose we have to go with it, but if another source referring to the committee report comes up, we should use more appropriate wording. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:07, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

"I have demolished your UNDUE and NPOV concerns".

^^^^^^^^^^^

You misspelled "dodged". A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:31, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

More dodgy stuff

This [6] looks like an attempt to minimise the investigation. I think it should be reverted.

This [7] is clearly unacceptable on BLP grounds - the source doesn't say this, and neither does the report. Please don't add inaccurate paraphrases William M. Connolley (talk) 12:49, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

The first edit doesn't minimise the investigation, the report says several times that there is an Independant Climate Change Email Review that should look more closely at specific points and whose results have yet to be published, and the AP piece says 'The first of several British investigations into the e-mails' so the phrase is sourced. Also CBS says 'As this is only the first of three planned investigations, the debate over the integrity of the science underpinning the argument for the existence of global warming is likely to go on.'
The second is being fought over... but the source only says that the scientists would have been better doing things other than worrying about how to stonewall critics. It doesn't say they would have been better doing other things than stonewalling critics - there is a difference, although the report does say that 'we found prima facie evidence to suggest that the UEA found ways to support the culture at CRU of resisting disclosure of information to climate change sceptics' so it may be an innacurate paraphrase of the AP piece but it seems BLP acceptable. Adding the whole phrase is a better representation. Weakopedia (talk) 14:17, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Inquiry: Climate data not manipulated

I'm surprised that "Team Science" hasn't jumped all over this one.[8] Anyway, I added a paragraph with the committee's conclusions. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:44, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

BTW, if anyone's curious as to how not to write this content, I've provided two examples on my user talk page. Just to be clear: These are examples not to follow.[9] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 04:12, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Aren't you part of the team? Your para looks a reasonable start, one point from looking over the available sources is that the university was criticised for handling of FOIA requests rather than the scientists. We should probably expand that point a little, as the uni's failure to assist the scientists was specifically discussed. . dave souza, talk 04:33, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if the article could not be better served with a shift of wording in regards to this paragraph, more specifically the opening sentence. "The investigation by House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee largely vindicated the scientists involved." Might better inform the reader by putting it thusly: "One of three investigations called for in the wake of this incident, as conducted by the House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee, is concluded." My reasoning for the first proposed change is to let the reader know the amount of other investigations that are alluded to deeper in the paragraph, to better inform. As to the second proposed change, I feel that the largeness of the vindication that the scientists feel could be considered subjective, and I'm not sure if that qualifier for the findings is necessary for the reader to understand what the conclusions of the investigation mean. While I invite thoughts regarding this proposal, I also would like to offer another source for this, even though I'm sure there will be many if there aren't already. [10] 72.192.46.9 (talk) 07:34, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
That sounds good to me, and is supported by WP:WordsToAvoid. Go for it.--Heyitspeter (talk) 09:21, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I thank you for the invitation to boldness, but as an IP editor I cannot do so due to the protection on the article. 72.192.46.9 (talk) 12:37, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
More detailed discussion needed, for example we should note that they recommend Jones resumes his job. . . dave souza, talk 10:16, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
An interesting consideration, but specificity would be a concern for me. May I also propose a new final sentence to this paragraph, then. "The committee's report was not unanimous; Labour MP Graham Stringer voted against several of its recommendations including an amendment by Evan Harris declaring that Dr Jones' scientific reputation remained intact." be completed with "Conversely, committee chairman Phil Willis was quoted stating there was no reason that Phil Jones should not return to his post.[11]" 72.192.46.9 (talk) 12:37, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I've just added a note about Graham Stringer's dissent, but it might help if I explain a bit more. In my experience, and I can say immodestly but accurately that I have a lot, it is rare for a House of Commons Select Committee to have votes on contentious paragraphs in a report, and even rarer for a member to oppose the formal vote to 'make the report to the House' of the Committee's findings. Stringer not only divided on several paragraphs and amendments, he also opposed making the report completely. This may not be a surprise after his approach at the evidence sessions, but it is worth noting his dissent given the committee report is dealt with in detail. Sam Blacketer (talk) 11:03, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

IPs

Should we open up the page to IPs? It's been locked down for quite a while. Perhaps we should open it up again? If problems arise, we can always just close it down again. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:06, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

The semi-protection expires in a few hours anyway. Let us hope for the best :) - 2/0 (cont.) 03:27, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Government organisations

Currently the lede uses the phrase "government organisations such as the Information Commissioner's Office". That implies the existence of other government organisations that have been critical, but I see nothing in the rest of the article that refers to them. To be honest, I'm not completely sure that the ICO counts as a 'government organisation', as it is supposed to be fully independent, but I'll not argue about that. Mikenorton (talk) 14:03, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

That section of the lede is a disaster. There were several different allegations made by a wide variety of people, including fellow scientists[12] and environmentalists.[13] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:17, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
The first link seems to list "skeptics" including Lawson and Peiser, as well as the notorious IoP statement by non-climatologists with a skeptical connection. The second is Monbiot going over the top, a better source needed. There's a real issue of reluctance to give out information which is better covered in other sources such as the Guardian's special report or the coverage of the Select Committee, will look for that. Clearly the attacks were started by skeptics and deniers, there were subsequently numerous scientists and others expressing concern about making data and working methods including code more available, which has already been done to a significant extent. We should not mix the two together. . . dave souza, talk 15:48, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
(ec) See my comment of 01:37 UTC above. The attempt to characterise the critics in the lede leads to (one or more of) absurdities, grammatically incorrect statements (newspapers, ICO, and bloggers), and/or false implications (that all critics fall into one of the named categories). I think we just need to reset it to "people and organisations" (still using references for each of the types of criticism, carefully adding ICO's criticism at the UEA web site), remove the sentence entirely, or split it in to separate paragraphs giving lists of individuals and organisations for each type of criticism. The last seems to violate WP:LEDE, but might be necessary per WP:UNDUE.
ICO is an non-departmental public body, it's a government organisation not part of a "department". The commissioner is appointed by the Crown. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:30, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Seconded. That sounds like a good solution.--Heyitspeter (talk) 18:34, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

The lead statement duplicates an inaccurate paraphrase of sources in the Content of the documents section – the first two being the Guardian and NYT which are explicit that the accusations are made by "climate skeptics", as does the BBC's "Chair for climate e-mail review" article. The Daily Telegraph article is showing a 404 for me, but it quotes Lawson, a Tory politician and climate skeptic with no scientific expertise. So, we should make that clear. The ICO issue is tagged on to this, where newspapers asserted inaccurately that the ICO had "decided" that the UEA "broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny", when it's now clear that they said they had a case without being in a position to make a decision, and the request was for emails, not "raw data". Out of date and misleading info, if we're giving a blow by blow account it can be followed by a clarification, but unsuitable for the lead. Will think it over. . dave souza, talk 15:40, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

You are clearly supporting the UEA "line" about the ICO letters, although it would have some weight if one did not know the meaning of the term "prima facie". ICO's statement (translated into English) was that there was strong (in fact, the strongest imaginable) evidence that UEA had broken the law, but that ICO could not investigate, because the statute of limitations had expired. The newspapers may have misreported this, just as they clearly misreported the committee report by using the word "vindicated". — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:00, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm simply reporting the situation as shown by detailed information that came out after the newspapers initially made unsupported claims that the ICO had made a decision and that it referred to "raw data". The newspaper which obtained the story was the Sunday Times, authors Webster and Leake. Webster's recent article says that "The MPs criticised the Information Commissioner’s Office for suggesting that the university had breached the Freedom of Information Act. The report said the question of whether there had been a breach needed to be resolved, with a full investigation by Sir Muir or the Information Commissioner." You're quite right to be cautious about press reporting, so we should refer to the committee report Section 3 which discusses the issue in detail, with paragraphs 84–93 commenting on the ICO statement and "The ICO's most recent letter, dated 3 March, in UEA's view, "makes plain that there is no assumption by the ICO, prior to investigation, that UEA has breached the Act; and that no investigation has yet been completed." The committee conclusions are:
"We regret that the ICO made a statement to the press that went beyond that which it could substantiate and that it took over a month for the ICO properly to put the record straight. We recommend that the ICO develop procedures to ensure that its public comments are checked and that mechanisms exist to swiftly correct any mis-statements or misinterpretations of such statements. 92 The disclosed e-mails appear to show a culture of non-disclosure at CRU and instances where information (disclosable or otherwise) may have been deleted, to avoid disclosure. The Deputy Information Commissioner's letter of 29 January gives a clear indication that a breach of the FOIA may have occurred but that a prosecution was time-barred.[130] As, however, UEA pointed out, no investigation has been carried out.
93. It seems to us that both sides have a point. There is prima facie evidence that CRU has breached the Freedom of Information Act 2000. It would, however, be premature, without a thorough investigation affording each party the opportunity to make representations, to conclude that UEA was in breach of the Act.
In our view, it is unsatisfactory to leave the matter unresolved simply because of the operation of the six-month time limit on the initiation of prosecutions. Much of the reputation of CRU hangs on the issue. We conclude that the matter needs to be resolved conclusively—either by the Independent Climate Change Email Review or by the Information Commissioner.
Other sources also discuss this rebuttal of the ICO's initial statement. . . dave souza, talk 18:03, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
There is obfuscation and probably dissembling on the part of all parties, including newspapers. The Deputy Commissioner of ICO seems to have overstepped his authority, at least according to the Committee.
The question of whether ICO may investigate potential FOIA violations which are time-barred is not resolved by the Committee report, so they are suggesting an investigation without a potential investigator. None of the active investigations have the questions of whether the FOIA requests were properly handled or whether there was a potential violation of the FOIA (which are not the same question) in their charter. The Independent Commission was charter to determined if there was a breach of scientific standards, not of legal (or necessarily) ethical standards. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 18:22, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
They've specifically said the ICO or Muir Russell has to investigate and report on potential section 77 breach, the investigation will not result in a prosecution (max fine £5k) but they recommend that an exemption to the 6 month limit apply to future cases. The ICO is to carry out a section 50 investigation and decision anyway. . dave souza, talk 18:32, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

The MSNBC article that I cited the other day says " largely vindicated". AQFK (talk) 17:41, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

We can be more specific. As Channel 4 notes,
"Mr Willis said the committee's short inquiry - one of three reviews launched in the wake of the emails emerging - had found no evidence that Prof Jones hid or manipulated data to back up his own science..... The report found Prof Jones had no case to answer over allegations of dishonesty and his scientific reputation was intact - although one of the committee's MPs, Graham Stringer, said the inquiry could have been more thorough on the issue.
The committee also said it sympathised with Prof Jones over his frustration at requests from sceptics asking for information "purely to undermine his research".
But Mr Willis said: "In reality, that's no excuse. If people want that information for whatever motive, provided it is a scientific motive, it's important in terms of confidence to make that available."
The report also said that Prof Jones' actions in not releasing data and his methods for drawing conclusions were in line with those of other climate scientists - but that those practices needed to change."
That covers both pro and con sides. John Timmer in Ars Technica is one source drawing attention to the committee's statement,
"Even if the data that CRU used were not publicly available—which they mostly are—or the methods not published—which they have been—its published results would still be credible," the report indicates. "The results from CRU agree with those drawn from other international data sets; in other words, the analyses have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified."
So, the science is supported, Jones and the CRU were cleared of accusations of scientific malpractice, but the standards of disclosure should improve and have already been improved. . dave souza, talk 18:32, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

I third Arthur's suggestion although I prefer "various people and organisations" since we're dealing with a very diverse group of people including fellow scientists[14] and pro-AGW environmentalists.[15] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:22, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

I've checked through the sources and reflected accurately what they've said in the detailed section, and included a slightly trimmed version of that in the lead without repeating all the citations (as had been done in recent changes). Monbiot and others raised concerns about withholding info, which is covered. The NYT article you cite as "fellow scientists" refers to an IoP statement which seems to have been written by a hardline "climate skeptic" who portrays AGW as a religion, but the statements from IoP in the NYT refer to withholding info so that's covered. . . dave souza, talk 19:23, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I'll take a closer look at your changes a little later, but it's more than just the IoP. Off the top of my head, there's Judy Curry[16] and John Christy[17]. Even Michael Mann criticized Phil Jones for telling him to delete his e-mails.[18]
BTW, I think the article is starting to suffer a little from recentism. This is not the first 'official' investigation into the Climategate scandal. Penn State conducted a review of Michael Man which everyone's seems to have forgotten about. I'm not sure why the HoC investigation is deserving of more weight than Penn State's. Also, while not 'official', there's the Associated Press's investigation, which IIRC was pretty thorough and was conducted by scientists.
One minor thing. I'd change "newspapers" to "news media". I mean, who reads paper anymore? :) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:47, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
See Newspaper for a definition of the term. Newspapers are not (necessarily) print media. I've restored the earlier wording.--Heyitspeter (talk) 21:10, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Good point about "news media", I've made the change.
The scientists you name appear to be outliers, and shouldn't be given undue weight, but their main concern about data distribution is covered reasonably well by "Academics, climate change researchers and independent reports said that nothing in the emails proved wrongdoing, and dismissed the allegations, but expressed concern that scientists appeared to have avoided sharing scientific data with sceptical critics."
Judy Curry's comments about "tribalism" are probably worth exploring a bit in the detailed section, the Guardian series covered that a bit, but it's an extension of the freedom of info issue in many ways. She doesn't seem to make much mention of anything else in her Nov 22, 2009, Climate Audit piece, though I do like some of her remarks like "While the blogosphere has identified many emails that allegedly indicate malfeasance, clarifications especially from Gavin Schmidt have been very helpful in providing explanations and the appropriate context for these emails."
I've cited the AP investigation and summarised it briefly in the above sentence. The Mann review was significant but the main focus has been on CRU and on Phil Jones, and the Select Committee gives a useful third party assessment of the various issues, albeit an interim view until the more detailed inquiries report. What they've said seems to back up the picture that was already emerging.
So, while we can probably find a couple of individual climate scientists who've gone beyond the distribution of info issue, we have to give due weight to the majority view as expressed in Science and Nature as well as by a considerable number of climate researchers. . . dave souza, talk 20:59, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Reversion of edits

By the way, HeyitsPeter's reversion of my edits reintroduces inaccurate misreadings of sources and is wholly unjustified. More on that later. . dave souza, talk 21:09, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

There's no need to say so, Dave Souza. It's trivially true that you believe your edits are correct. Can you give specifics? I saw a lot of WP:SYNTH, the removal of sources in tension with WP:UNDUE, and the removal of the word "newspaper" in favor of "news media", which I've addressed in this section.--Heyitspeter (talk) 21:13, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Having checked the timing, I've reverted you unjustifiable mass reversion which removed considerable new info and undid my careful checking of existing sources. News media is a good change suggested by AQFK above, which covers TV as well as print media. There's no synth now, it carefully reflects sources which the previous version didn't. There's no need to repeat the inline citations in the lead as they're all covered in the detailed section, as you'd see if you read this talk page and checked carefully. Do please discuss any proposed changes, and of course no reverts for 24 hours. . dave souza, talk 21:17, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Dave's edits look good to me. If there's SYNTH, please specify what you consider it to be. And could you please explain what you mean by "a lot of well-sourced information whose inclusion is necessary as per WP:UNDUE". Thanks HiP. Guettarda (talk) 21:31, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
For starters, undoing this edit re-inserts errors into the lead. Blindly reverting in a way that re-introduces errors is seriously problematic. When you revert an edit, you're responsible for the version to which you revert. Guettarda (talk) 21:40, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
This edit, which you undid, corrects a grammatical error. Guettarda (talk) 21:41, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
No sources handy, but does anyone still claim that emails and data were deleted to avoid the FOI request? By undoing this edit, I believe that you added another error to the article. Guettarda (talk) 21:44, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Huh? The FOI violations are one major allegation that appears to be valid. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:51, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Re-read the source. The quotes refer to data sharing in general. Saying that they're about the FOIA is a misrepresentation. Guettarda (talk) 21:54, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
The Information Commissioner's Office has already said that they violated FOIA but can't prosecute because of a legal technicality. Why are we going over this again? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:58, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
That's a reference to the sources in the article. As for the ICO, it made an informal statement to a journalist without having done the investigation to back it up, and was misrepresented by the press. See earlier comments and the full discussion of this in the Select Committee report and relevant secondary sources. No proof that they deleted anything, let alone data. . . dave souza, talk 22:22, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
The juxtaposition, almost certainly done in good faith, created the misleading impression that the quote was in reference to the FOI request. Dave's edit removed the misleading juxtaposition (and also improved the writing in general). By undoing it, Heyitspeter re-introduced the error. Reverts are fine, but you're responsible for the content that's changed in the revert. Heyitspeter should not have blindly reverted, for in so doing, he inserted errors into the article. Which is what we're discussing here. Guettarda (talk) 22:28, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I reverted Dave's revert of HIP's revert, for the simple reason that when HIP reverted Dave's bold editing, it follows that there should be discussion, not another revert by the author of the BOLD edit. It is BRD, not BRRD. Moogwrench (talk) 22:35, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Does that mean you're intentionally inserting incorrect information? If you revert, you're responsible for your edits. Guettarda (talk) 22:51, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Say what? "The Information Commissioner's Office has already said that they violated FOIA" <- that is incorrect. What the ICO said is that there is "prima facie evidence" for a violation - not that there was a violation. Prima facie is not proof - its what can start a case (a reasonable suspicion to investigate further). But since the deadline had passed, there was no reason to investigate. This is a very important distinction. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:42, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
No, it's not a important distinction. Unless you can cite a reliable source that specifically says that it's a very important distinction, you're engaging in OR. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:47, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
What? Are you doubting what prima facie means? Is it WP:OR to actually look up what words mean? Sorry - but now you really are confusing me. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:43, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
You claimed it was an important distinction. Unless you have a reliable source which makes this point in regards to the Climategate scandal, it's a violation of OR. Honestly, I'm not interested in going around in circles on this one. Either you have a reliable source or you don't. And apparently, you don't. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:08, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Again i'm confused. You are the one who is treating prima facie as if it was res ipsa loquitur, there is an extremely important distinction between the two - and it is not hard to find references for that. Your statement (paraphrase) "that the ICO has said that they have violated FOI" is incorrect, i was pointing this out to you, since it seems that you weren't aware of the distinction. I surely hope that this isn't something that is relevant to the article, ie. that we actually do state prima facie as if it was final? --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 00:18, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't care about the distinction. All I care about is - as faithfully as possible - reporting what reliable sources say about this topic without introducing any editorial bias on my part. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:23, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, then i suggest that you stop introducing editorial bias by coming up with faulty claims. How about correcting (by striking out or adding) to the comment above? Prima Facie is never enough to determine a case. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 00:28, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe that I have. Perhaps we should try to address this problem from another angle. What specific change are you recommending that we make in the article? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:06, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Doh! I give up. The correct response from you should have been: "Ah, yes. Went abit overboard with that statement." As editors we have a responsibility to understand the references, and to present them (both here and in the article) as unbiased as possible. Fortunately in the article it is written correctly, albeit extremely confusing (paraphrased): "The UEA says the ICO stated that on the face of it it looked like a FOI violation, the ICO responds, it could hardly on the face of it look more like a FOI violation than it did." (keyword: look like). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 02:19, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree there is a distinction and it is important and it is unfortunate that AQFK either doesn't understand this distinction or doesn't care about it. However since the comment doesn't really concern a LP (neither the ICO or AQFK singled out any particularly individuals at the UoEA) so isn't a serious BLP concern and since this isn't a RFC/U I feel there's ultimately there's little point getting into a detailed discussion about this, instead I agree with AQFK we should concentrate on what change, if any, is recommended for the article as a result of this Nil Einne (talk) 12:01, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

I've implemented Arthur Rubin's suggestion of "people and organisations" with the addition of the word "various". To the best of me knowledge, no one else has made this edit so it's not a revert. However, if this used to be in the article and I missed it or forgot, let me know and I'll be happy to self-revert. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:45, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

But it makes things even vaguer. That's not good writing. Guettarda (talk) 22:52, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
The situation is complicated. There were several different allegations made by a wide variety of people, including fellow scientists[19][20][21] and pro-AGW environmentalists.[22] Even Michael Mann criticized Phil Jones for telling him to delete his e-mails.[23] If you think of an easy to way to explain which person or group of people made which allegation, I'm all ears. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:07, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Seriously people: as much as blind reverts may be, reverting a simple correction of a grammatical error is utterly unacceptable. Guettarda (talk) 22:57, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

What's the grammatical error? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:02, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Are you disputing the error, or are you arguing without bothering to read what I said? Guettarda (talk) 23:06, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't want to play games. If you won't answer my question, then show me the diff where you explained the error. Or stop going on about it. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:09, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Or just fix the darn error, right? Moogwrench (talk) 23:11, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Trouble is, people have been taught not to "waste" their 1RR on fixing grammatical or factual errors. Sigh. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:09, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Moogwrench, you reintroduced the problematic text. You chose to reinsert errors into the article. You made the mess. Fixing it should be your responsibility. Guettarda (talk) 04:43, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, per your request I restored the last good version without the errors. Per your comment here, I trust that this edit of mine should not be counted as a revert. Guettarda (talk) 04:48, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Play what games AQFK? I provided a link. In this very section. So honestly, I found your comment difficult to comprehend. Should I assume that you didn't bother to read the comment you replied to? I would never start by assuming that you're acting in bad faith. So I asked you to clarify. And then I had to run. Good Friday service and all that. I realise that between asking you to read my comments in this section or changing the liturgical calendar of the church, we should go with the former. Guettarda (talk) 04:43, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Yet again, please explain what the grammatical error is or provide the diff where you've done so. Either request should be easy to fulfill. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 06:01, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I provided diffs. I provided them long before you asked. The fact that you insist on pretending they don't exist provides confirmation (if any more is needed) of your game. Guettarda (talk) 19:12, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Regardless of what is in the body of the article, the lede contained undue juxtaposition in all recent forms. I've removed "climate sceptics" from the first sentence; suggest removing the details from the second, and edited out a serious error in the ICO sentence, although details of the ICO statement and statements about it suggest that both clauses are incorrect, although sourced to some of the materials. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:08, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Guettarda is referring to [24] which he linked to above in a comment dated 21:41, 2 April 2010. Edit: I stick by most of my comments here however Guettarda's example doesn't appear to be relevant, see my following comment.' For the record I agree that
1) This should not have been reverted
2) Given the large number of edits, some of which were evidentally disputed and the fact these were interpersed with the good edits, it's not exactly easy to revert the bad but keep the good, so it's understandable that a mass revert was used even the problems highlighted show why it should be done with care
3) This should also remind us to take care when making substanial changes that are likely to be disputed
4) It was acceptable to fix this again, even if you are technically violating 1RR since it's almost definitely not intentional to revert it (note I'm solely referring to the grammatical error here)
5) While it's acceptable to bring up the issue, it might be better to take it directly to the person who made the reversion, in any case there's no point getting into long arguments over it
6) People should generally read what their replying to but while this was linked to earlier in this section, it was very early on and given the length it's perhaps somewhat understandable if AQFK didn't see it, so the best course of action is simple to link to the error again.
Note that I have purposely avoided saying whether AQFK/Guettarda or Dave/Heyitspeter are somehow more right or wrong in the respective disputes
Nil Einne (talk) 11:57, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Okay I'm with AQFK entirely here now. What grammatical error? I still agree that [25] was an error and the change should not have been reverted, but it wasn't reverted or at least not really. Heyitspeter did revert all of DS edits which may have included some grammatical errors however the one that Guettarda linked to was introduced by DS himself so it was not effectively reintroduced by HIP nor by Moogwrench. When Guettarda made this change he was reintroducing the apparently disputed edits and perhaps some undisputed ones but was not correcting the DS error since it never existed.
From a skim thorough this discussion, I can't see any other link to a grammatical error by Guettarda. I've also skimmed thorough the reversions (only the actual parts that have been changed) that Guettarda is complaing about and I didn't notice any grammatical errors. However while a native English speaker I don't have a perfect understanding of grammar. So I may have missed something in both cases. But if Guettara is solely referring to the above error, then while it's somewhat understandable you may not notice that the grammatical error was introduced by the person who's edits were reverted it is a reminder to look carefully before you dispute someone's edits and this whole kuffle about reverting grammatical errors has been about nothing. (No comments on the factual errors etc obviously.)
Nil Einne (talk) 12:32, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Honestly, I thought the link would have been self-evident to anyone fluent in English:
the "standard practice" of climate scientist generally of not routinely releasing all its raw data.
  • Climate scientist is singular. You can't generalise individuals.
  • "The standard practice of climate scientist" is not idiomatic in English (except, perhaps, in Indian English). It needs an article, or it needs to be plural ("climate scientists")
  • The climate scientist is a person. You don't use "its" to refer to people. "His", "her" or "his or her" would all be grammatically correct. Alternately, if "climate scientists" was used, it would be "their".
  • "The standard practice...of not routinely releasing all its data" would work in informal usage, but in formal writing you'd use "all of its data"
  • "generally of not routinely releasing" isn't ungrammatical, but it's awful writing.
  • Alternately, you could employ Dave's correction.
Guettarda (talk) 19:08, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry but did you read what I said at all? As I pointed out, this error was introduced by Dave in the first place. I made it clear I'm not disputing that Dave's original wording was grammatically incorrect, but it's irrelevant since no one re-introduced his error because they reverted all his edits, inclusion his correction of the error of course and his introduction of the error in the first place. I included the edit histories in case there was any dispute. It is inherently impossible to reintroduce an error which was never there and as I explained and is logical, from the POV of the reversions if the error was introduced by the person who's edits are being reverted and then quickly corrected by that same person in the very next edit, then that error never existed.
As I said, it's perhaps understandable if you didn't notice that this error was reintroduced by DS in the first place although I don't know why you didn't understand my post where I felt I resonably clearly explained that the error you linked to was introduced by DS in the first place and therefore was never reintroduced, however it doesn't really matter provided you now accept that this error was never reintroduced since it was introduced by DS in the first place. (Well we can discuss DS's grammatical failings in his first edit if you really want but frankly I'm not sure why an error introduced by DS and then quickly correct is particularly relevant.)
Now that we've hopefully finally established that there was no error, as this error was introduced by Dave in the first place, is there any other grammatical error that was reintroduced? As I've mentioned, I look thru the actual disputed edits and I didn't see any but of course it's possible I missed something. But as I've already explained multiple times including multiple times in my original post, any error which was not reintroduced by anyone because that error was introduced by DS in the first place and people reverted all the edits is irrelevant. If the only grammatical error we are discussing here is indeed that error which was introduced by DS in the first place and therefore was not in need of correction as it was never in the article, then I guess there's nothing more to discuss.
And sorry for the continous repetition, but since I feel I explained this fairly well in my original post but you didn't seem to get it I felt that unfortunately repetition is the only way to get the key point which is that, and one more time for good measure the error you are discussing was introduced by Dave in the first place and was never reintroduced by anyone else since they reverted all of DS's edits.
Nil Einne (talk) 11:10, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'll accept that point, my typing error which I duly corrected. However, in that same edit I corrected misattribution of a statement. HiP's revert reintroduced various errors which I'd corrected and, contrary to his edit summary, reintroduced misreadings of the sources which allegedly supported the statements. Grammatically, it presented one government organisation as "organisations such as" when no source has been shown for other organisations, and implied that the ICO had made allegations which it had not. It also deleted valid sources and summaries of important conclusions which should be shown to meet BLP standards. Hope that clarifies things. . . dave souza, talk 11:33, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't really want to get into the other edits/problems (although others are welcome to) but I'd concede that "organisations such as" was wrong since I'm not aware of any other goverment organisations and there doesn't seem to be sources supporting that. However I don't think it's really a grammatical issue (although I don't think you were trying to say it was) more of a content dispute (someone used it since they believed/felt there were others) since the such as etc part clearly intends that, if it was only one organisation we'd say 'A government organisation...' or something similar. :As I've hinted at above, I haven't really looked into detail of the disputed edits other then to look for grammatical errors since the claim was made but as I also mentioned I don't think it's that uncommon that people revert all the edits if they feel there are substanial problems with them and trying to revert only part of them isn't easy when they're interspersed. The fact that we've spent so long discussing a grammatical error that was never (effectively) reverted perhaps illustrates that.
This doesn't mean I'm saying it's a good idea but it is understandable and a good solution whatever ends up happening is to discuss the edits and come to an agreement about which you feel are fine (if it's a clear cut grammatical error then perhaps just make the edit again), which edits you feel are harmful and then try to come up with a resonable compromise rather then getting into a long disputes about the reversions and who was right or wrong where ultimately one party is going to say you shouldn't have reverted all those edits since some of them were clearly fine or necessary and the other is going to say you should have discussed contentious changes first and not made contentious changes intertwined with the clear cut ones; in the end getting nowhere. (From personal experience I know how easy it to get into such mutual recriminations that lead no where productive.)
This was basically what I was trying to say earlier before I got sidetracked upon finding the grammatical error hadn't been reverted so just wanted to bring it up again in case it got missed.
Nil Einne (talk) 12:18, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I fully agree and there was prior discussion of the principle of the changes, as well as discussion following the changes which was derailed when HiP made a blanket revert without any discussion, putting back the problems that were under discussion at a time when I had to go and do other things in real life. This taking "sides" is very unfortunate, we can surely agree to accurately summarise sources, and find additional reliable sources if we feel that some aspect isn't covered well enough. Hope things will improve now, dave souza, talk 13:17, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Recent edit to lede

The most recent edit to the lede has left it saying the following "people gained wide publicity in blogs and news media for pointing out that the e-mails showed climate scientists colluded in manipulating data, withheld scientific information, and tried to prevent dissenting scientific papers from being published". I've used my revert for the day or I would have reverted Macai's last edit that introduced this phrasing. That is saying that those allegations are established facts, which they clearly are not, apart possibly from 'withholding scientific information', although even that's not proven. Mikenorton (talk) 16:29, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

I can provide mainstream sources flatly stating that the emails show collusion to these acts. Hang on a tick while I get them and add them in. Macai (talk) 16:33, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. I have used my revert to correct this. These are only allegations at this point, and the allegations are being investigated. StuartH (talk) 16:37, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
And it's now an edit war. I'm not going to break 1RR, but this is very, very bad form. StuartH (talk) 16:48, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
So far, I don't think anyone's even violated 1RR. I don't consider this edit warring, just editing. Macai (talk) 17:18, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
It depends on how often it happens, I guess. You promised reliable mainstream sources above - why don't you list them so we can have a discussion? When I reverted it, none of the sources were useful for establishing any of the claims as fact. Delingpole's article was an editorial (redacted remark --TS 21:58, 3 April 2010 (UTC) ), the WSJ article is speculative on all but the basic facts and the opinion of some commentators, and the WP claims the event "raises questions", but again does not support any factual claims of wrongdoing on behalf of the scientists. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:05, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree entirely. It's clear that they are in no way established facts; indeed, since the reports published by Penn State and the House of Commons refute most of the allegations, it would be grossly misleading to give the impression that they are established facts. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:06, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Something like this?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Heyitspeter (talkcontribs) 19:05, 4 April 2010
The emails prompted widespread publicity and allegations that they showed climate scientists manipulated data,[7][8][9] withheld scientific information,[10][9][11] and tried to prevent dissenting scientific papers from being published.[8][10]
  1. ^ "Science and Technology - Memoranda". House of Commons. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  2. ^ 'Climategate' Scientist Admits 'Awful E-Mails,' but Peers Say IPCC Conclusions Remain Sound - NYTimes.com
  3. ^ Climategate scientist questioned in Parliament - environment - 02 March 2010 - New Scientist
  4. ^ Institute of Physics forced to clarify submission to climate emails inquiry | Environment | guardian.co.uk
  5. ^ Times Online - Energy consultant 'influenced climate evidence'
  6. ^ Climate emails inquiry: Energy consultant linked to physics body's submission | Environment | The Guardian
  7. ^ "Data-leak lessons learned from the 'Climategate' hack". Computer World. 
  8. ^ a b Fahrenthold, David A.; Eilperin, Juliet (05 December 2010), In e-mails, science of warming is hot debate, Washington Post, retrieved 03 April 2010  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  9. ^ a b Delingpole, James (20 November 2009), Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?, UK Telegraph, retrieved 03 April 2010  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  10. ^ a b Johnson, Keith (23 November 2009), Climate Emails Stoke Debate, Wall Street Journal, retrieved 03 April 2010  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference Randerson_2010-01-27_Guardian was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Above proposals added added by Heyitspeter (talk • contribs) 19:05, 4 April 2010, missing sig added by dave souza, talk 20:12, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
  • There are problems with these proposals. Firstly, sources. You've given a malformed link to what should be Data-leak lessons learned from the 'Climategate' hack and your use of that early speculative article appears a stretch, something to discuss in the body of the article if appropriate and not a good source for the lead.
    The Washington post article doesn't seem to show any allegation about manipulating data or withholding information, but does say "For a few, however, the stolen files were confirmation that the climate establishment was trying to keep them out of the debate. These include the familiar kind of climate skeptics, those who think that the climate isn't changing or that it isn't a crisis. But they also include a handful of researchers who think climate change is happening, but -- for various reasons -- are skeptical that mainstream science fully understands the phenomenon." Note how that's confirmation that only a tiny minority took that view, your proposal gives them undue weight but it is a useful source to show how few supported claims regarding non-publication of fringe papers.
    Delingpole's blog is a blog, and unsuitable, particularly because of the BLP implications.
    The WSJ, again an early report, doesn't seem to say anything about withholding info, but does show the fringe claims about "dissenting" papers being "suppressed". That needs context as the papers were either not suppressed, or were rejected because of lack of quality. Later sources give better coverage to that issue. The Guardian isn't linked here, but as I recall is specific that the allegations were by climate change sceptics, an important point which you've failed to include. Not an improvement. You seem to have made many of these changes in the article, I'll review that carefully but given the above issues a revert may be the only sensible option. dave souza, talk 20:53, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Vindication is not yet properly reflected in the lede

The lede of this article still, as of the most recent edit, gives undue weight to facially ridiculous claims that have now been blown out of the water by a Commons Select Committee that has said, of charges of dishonesty, that there is "no case to answer".

The lede should be changed now to focus on the manifest falsehood of the allegations, rather than the false allegations themselves.

This is the most significant aspect of the case: that after months of corrosive falsehoods being given free countenance by the press, the House of Commons Select Committee looked at the damaging submissions of the most interested parties and rejected them.

Moreover, claims by the ICO have been repeated in the lede but the fact that the Commons Select Committee's press release specifically singled out the ICO for criticism for its unsupported accusations is not reported in the lede:

We regret that the ICO made a statement to the press that went beyond that which it could substantiate and that it took over a month for the ICO properly to put the record straight. We recommend that the ICO develop procedures to ensure that its public comments are checked and that mechanisms exist to swiftly correct any mis-statements or misinterpretations of such statements. (Paragraph 91) [26]

This is also an error that must be corrected. This is an encyclopedia so getting the facts wrong is not an option. There are serious BLP issues. The reputations of scientists have been wrongly harmed by our own indolence and indulgence of the ignorant, the stupid and the malicious. That kind of feckless editing must stop or it will be stopped. --TS 22:52, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

I think it's pretty good as it is. It explains the accusations and issues and presents the outcome so far. I found only one flaw. Phil Jones is still not back at work(?) so the sentence should read "... has stood aside for the duration of the reviews." or something similar. Has there been any news of Phil Jones plans for the future? He is not a young man so he might decide to retire. The stress must be awful.130.232.214.10 (talk) 23:11, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
To be fair, Tony, we can't yet say that the UEA/CRU have been completely vindicated, since two of the three reviews are still outstanding - all we can say at this stage is that the Commons select committee has largely exonerated them. I expect that all three reviews will come to similar conclusions, so we can be more definitive then, but right now it's too early for a definitive verdict. I am sympathetic to your concerns about the treatment of the ICO's comments in the lede, though - we should certainly note the caveats associated with it (no formal investigation, criticised by the select committee, etc). Please feel free to add an appropriate form of words. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:20, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
This edit removed the clear statement supported, by the sources cited in the relevant section, that the allegations were initiated and spread by self-described "climate skeptics", this removed mention of the clear statements made by numerous commentators and independent investigations at the time that the accusations were generally baseless, and this removed a brief mention of the point stated by the university and confirmed by the Select Committee, that the ICO's (informal) statement to the press was premature, lacked supporting investigation, and was widely misinterpreted by the media. The cumulative effect of these changes is to misrepresent the sources and to slant that part of the lead to show only the accusations, omitting the aspect of the controversy of views supporting the scientist and thus blatantly failing to meet WP:NPOV standards, particularly WP:WEIGHT. Given the sanctions on these articles I'm reluctant to simply reintroduce these important statements, though that could be justified as WP:BLP concerns as not being counted as a revert. Will think it over, if others care to revise the lead to cover these points that would be very welcome. . dave souza, talk 03:12, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
(r to CrisO)But the opening is still unbalanced in my opinion, it states that there are allegations of wrongdoing and that investigations are in progress, but there used to be a sentence summarizing the University's denial of the allegations. Also, haven't there been a great number of people who have stated that most/all of the allegations are baseless. In my opinion their statements should be give at least equal weight to the allegations. Something along the lines of: UEA has denied any wrongdoing/called the allegation baseless. Scientists/researchers/commentators have generally supported UEA, etc.—eric 06:02, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with your assessment, WP:WEIGHT requires us to give due weight to the mainstream view when showing the minority attacks which, as the sources show, primarily came from climate change sceptics. Your suggestion of commentators etc. calling "some or all" of the accusations baseless is good, I've incorporated it, taking care to cite sources which should not be necessary in the lead, but may halp with discussions. . dave souza, talk 10:51, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
You are incorrect in your assessment of the situation with the ICO. The committee criticizes Smith's original statement: "...requests under the Freedom of Information Act were not dealt with as the should have been under the legislation..." as beyond that which the ICO could substantiate. That there was prima facie evidence of some kind of FOI violation is not challenged by the committee and is in fact repeated in some measure in their report: "There is prima facie evidence that CRU has breached the Freedom of Information Act 2000."
That said, the sentence in question should not appear in the lede. I suspect some readers will misinterpret "prima facie evidence", and a fair summary of Smith's statements and the committee's response requires much more space than that available in the opening. Besides which, it follows a sentence about sharing "scientific data", implying the ICO statement was about some "raw data" rather than some particular emails, a mistake made by a number of journalists. The whole thing is so trivial and confusing i would probably remove the whole article section—there's is no way it should be as is in the lede.—eric 04:58, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
It is a bit of a complex and relatively minor issue, but it's also been used as an important propaganda claim. There's also the point made by the ICO and noted in the committee report that press reports were inaccurate. It's something to cover, but is covered in the lead by the more general mention of refusing to give info to critics. If it is mentioned specifically in the lead, we must summarise the state of understanding of the ICO statement, and not just show it as an uncontested accusation. . . dave souza, talk 10:51, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
This revision appears to me to be consistent with WP:NPOV, WP:V and WP:NOR, as well as WP:LEAD. It's the first time since this article was moved that I felt able to say this. Personally I would advocate adding a general quantifier like "numerous" to the words "allegations from climate change skeptics" with a few more citations in support of the word "numerous"-- or some other reasonable way of making clear that especially in the early stages of the controversy there were many blogs, opinion pieces and editorials which put forward views highly critical of the CRU and of climate science generally. ... Kenosis (talk) 12:22, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Good idea about "numerous" or the like, that part of the lead is currently cited to the same references that were used previously. A more detached source would be Part two: How the 'climategate' scandal is bogus and based on climate sceptics' lies | Environment | guardian.co.uk which opens with "Almost all the media and political discussion about the hacked climate emails has been based on soundbites publicised by professional sceptics and their blogs. In many cases, these have been taken out of ­context and twisted to mean something they were never intended to." and seems to cover the point reasonably well. The article is already cited, ref name="Guardian 9 Feb part2">, perhaps you could think of a form of words and edit accordingly? Thanks, dave souza, talk 13:11, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Move on you lot

This page has had almost 16,000 edits. It is one of the most highly edited article talk pages. See Wikipedia:Database_reports/Pages_with_the_most_revisions. Come on you lot. It is time to move on. There is plenty of work to do elsewhere, including the climate change articles. Your editing time is wasted here. There are many other more important articles and that need editing and maintenance that needs doing. Also, stop wasting WP server resources on this bickering... -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 11:33, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

plenty of work to do elsewhere, including the climate change articles - you mean like Talk:Global warming and Global warming? Okay I know that's a more core article and has existed for a lot longer. Anyway don't worry too much, [27] shows people here are also editing 2009–10 Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team, Talk:Woman and Aiphanes so we know they're contributing to at least two (sic :-P) other useful articles. BTW, considering the stats, you may want to consider a simple message to the editors of List of World Wrestling Entertainment employees. (Also who knew SandyGeorgia was so popular?) P.S. Wikipedia:Don't worry about performance Nil Einne (talk) 11:58, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
We're only at 151?! Clearly, we're not arguing enough. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:00, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
This is exactly the kind of characterization that can be upsetting to editors who are working to make a better article. I think the amount of arguing we're doing is not outside of wikipedia guidelines and should not be considered insufficient! I would also argue that we are not actually arguing at all, instead I would argue that we are discussing, and I would like further discussion of this to be quelled unless a strong counter-argument can be brought to bear.
Let it be said, the above was written in the name of humor to decrease tension and further a lighter atmosphere that might be welcoming to future edits. It is not intended to paint any editors or edits in an unkind light. 72.192.46.9 (talk) 17:10, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

BLP vio

The recent reversion here goes against talk page discussion in the #Vindication is not yet properly reflected in the lede section above, and violates BLP by misrepresenting the information shown in sources and reintroducing a biased and one-sided picture of views about accusations made against living people. I've asked the editor to undo this reversion to an earlier lead paragraph as a matter of urgency. Will review shortly. . . dave souza, talk 18:07, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Update – thanks for undoing that ill advised edit, Hans.[28] In my view this is covered by WP:BLP and so should not be counted in terms of 1RR. . . dave souza, talk 18:11, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
What specifically is the WP:BLP violation? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:16, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Let me first say why leads in contentious articles traditionally do have citations: Because there is often a lot of POV pushing going on, with editors on both sides having a tendency to overstate their case when they feel they can get away with it because there is no need to attach a source that is obviously not reliable or one that clearly says less than what they use it of.
Now here is the BLP violation: "Claims that data requested under the Freedom of Information Act had been wrongly withheld were given credence by the Information Commissioner's Office." It is my understanding that a researcher, in what was supposed to be a private email to a friend, expressed his anger about a "sceptical" colleague by stating an intent to delete the information requested. The commission called this "prima facie evidence" of a breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and that's precisely what it is. This does not mean that they believe ("give credence to") that any such breach occurred. The researcher might just as well have written that he wanted to kill the "sceptic", which would have been "prima facie evidence" that he did that, obviously contradicted by the fact that the other guy is still alive. If anger and hyperbole were crimes, the Wikimedia Foundation would be very busy answering requests for the IP addresses of most editors involved in this talk page.
That the term "prima facie evidence" should be avoided because it could be misunderstood by readers was already mentioned above. The solution is not for us as editors to do the misunderstanding and replace the term by something stronger, so that even readers with a legal background are misled by the article. Hans Adler 18:35, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Fully agree (as always) that the lead needs citations. Here's a link to the relevant policy: WP:LEADCITE.--Heyitspeter (talk) 18:41, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
  • In response to the question as to what specifically is the WP:BLP violation, the policy requires strict adherence to our three core content policies, and makes specific requirements to make sure we get the article right. "Articles should document in a non-partisan manner what reliable secondary sources have published about the subject," but AQFK's edit removed information defending the living persons, and having removed inline citations, misrepresented the cited sources to show only negative material in a partisan manner. That was not the only problem, as for example Hans shows above. Not acceptable. . . dave souza, talk 19:54, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
    AQFK also removed the false and unsupported statement that only climate sceptics were making the accusations. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:37, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Wrong, the previous version made no such statement. It accurately reflected the cited sources, if you feel others were making accusations please provide citations to reliable sources supporting your contention. . . dave souza, talk 07:13, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Supplied already in another section of this article by AQFD or Heyitspeter. I don't think I should need to repeat other editors' comments. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 07:19, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
The sources given were checked and carefully reflected in a recent version of the article. You should not repeat other editors' mistakes. . . dave souza, talk 08:34, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Here we go again (deja vu all over again)

Sadly, a series of edits appears to whitewash the scandal yet again - including the removal of the word 'scandal'. I've re-added the {NPOV} template. Do not remove this until the dispute has been settled. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:16, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Are you going to tell us which series of edits? Or where exactly you would like to include a well-sourced usage of the word 'scandal'? I see you have the tag back, but please do share what it is we are meant to discuss with you. --Nigelj (talk) 18:32, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid that I'm heading out for Easter family festivities. However, there's the undue weight given to the brief investigation conducted by the HoC. There's the removal of 'scandal' from the article. But I'll write more later. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:43, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
A bizarre comment. The Select Committee took evidence from those making the accusations as well as from those defending the scientists, and an all-party group reached careful and well documented conclusions based on the available evidence. Not the final and definitive investigation, as we note, but vastly better as a source than the rushed, often biased and inaccurate, news stories we've largely been using so far. As to the "scandal", there are evidently different opinions as to what the scandal comprises. Disgraceful misrepresentation of science by profit-driven news media comes to mind. We need to be very careful in using such news sources when presenting any accusations about living persons. . dave souza, talk 20:00, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid that if the requirements to remove the {NPOV} tag are to excise the outcomes of official investigations and to reintroduce POV terms such as "scandal" against WP:AVOID, it's going to stay indefinitely. As the findings of other reviews become available (most notably the Muir Russell one), they can be included as well, but until then the HOC review is one of the best sources we have right now. StuartH (talk) 03:24, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Accusations – NPOV and BLP principles

In this comment Jimbo has given thoughtful comments on the principles of dealing with accusations such as fraud made against the scientists. The main points may be summarised as:
1. BLP issues matter, and repeating serious allegations should be done carefully.
2. We should say who is making the allegations.
3. We should say who says the allegations are groundless.
Finally, about such an allegation, "we should give full and accurate information, not just about fringe accusations, but about how mainstream commentators and important authorities responded to it."
There's room for improvement in dealing with these points, and of course we can and should discuss the precise implications and propose detailed improvements. At present, HeyitsPeter has made another series of edits which worsen rather than improve these aspects.[29] I'm reluctant to make any reverts, but it's getting rather late here, and given the inclusion of a blog as a source and other issues, a blanket revert may be the best way to avoid doing unnecessary harm and to meet BLP principles. With a fresh start, we can find ways to improve the standards in the article. . . dave souza, talk 22:07, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Since some improvements were made by Kenosis, I've continued with changes to make a start on meeting these policy requirements. More to do later. . dave souza, talk 23:00, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
(ec)(Note that you have violated 1RR again.)Reporting "accusations of x" is not the same as reporting "x." BLP does not dictate removing mention of allegations in an article about a controversy. As to your statement, "I'm reluctant to make any reverts, but it's getting rather late here," remember that you are not the only editor to this article. If your views are shared others can express them as well and can act on them.
As to whether we should say who, individually, is making the allegations, your earlier solution, viz., attributing the allegations to "climate change sceptics," was misleading and did very little to specify "who." Note that many of the sources are themselves vague about where these accusations are coming from, and that the accusations are widespread, as the quote you bring here indicates.--Heyitspeter (talk) 23:02, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Removal of BLP violations does not violate 1RR, behave yourself. . dave souza, talk 23:05, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Making unrealistic interpretations of WP:BLP to duck a 1RR restriction violates WP:Wikilawyering.--Heyitspeter (talk) 23:12, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
HiP, you're Wikilawyering against the clear requirements of NPOV and BLP policy, see the advice at the top of this section. You seem to be engaging in disruptive editing which is also against the article sanctions, and will have to be reported if you continue. . dave souza, talk 23:17, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Dave, assume good faith. I believe your recent edits to this and the subarticle are more disruptive than any of the edits I've seen in the past by other editors. I also assume that you believe said edits are ameliorative and am therefore discussing them with you here. I ask that you do the same. Currently you are not.--Heyitspeter (talk) 23:22, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

I am puzzled by this edition of the disputed sentence:

The emails prompted widespread publicity and allegations by climate change skeptics[1][2] that they showed evidence that climate scientists manipulated data, withheld scientific information,[3][4] and tried to prevent dissenting scientific papers from being published.[3][5] A few other commentators such as Roger A. Pielke said that the evidence supported claims that dissenting scientific papers had been suppressed.[5]

The phrase that allegations were made by "climate change sceptics" is cited with sources that are later not used to cite the actual allegations, some of which decidedly are not allegations from climate change sceptics. The following edition seems more prudent:

The emails prompted widespread publicity and allegations that they showed climate scientists manipulated data,[6][5] withheld scientific information,[3][7][4] and tried to prevent dissenting scientific papers from being published.[5][3]

Notice I've removed the Delingpole editorial as per WP:RS concerns.--Heyitspeter (talk) 23:36, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Note that, e.g., the citation from the Wall Street Journal simply reports that the emails show scientists "withheld scientific information" and "tried to prevent dissenting scientific papers from being published." And the Washington Post citation states that the accusations come from many sources, as Dave Souza points out above: "For a few, however, the stolen files were confirmation that the climate establishment was trying to keep them out of the debate. These include the familiar kind of climate skeptics, those who think that the climate isn't changing or that it isn't a crisis. But they also include a handful of researchers who think climate change is happening, but -- for various reasons -- are skeptical that mainstream science fully understands the phenomenon." Thus it would be a false representation of the sources to say that "climate change sceptics" are making these assertions. Better to speak broadly than violate WP:OR and WP:SYNTH.--Heyitspeter (talk) 23:51, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
While the WP:BLP dispute remains outstanding, I've removed all contentious BLP material from the lede per WP:BLP. Before restoring any contentious BLP material, let's attempt to reach consensus on this talk page. If we cannot reach consensus, then we should raise the dispute to the WP:BLPN. If we still cannot resolve the issue, then we should raise the issue to ArbCom. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:40, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
AQfK, as to this edit, using WP:BLP as a reason to run amok over NPOV and to remove reliably sourced material provided and edited by multiple other editors simply won't wash, at least not in the end. Specifically I'm referring to your removal of all material in the lead that had to do with independent conclusions of the first investigative body which largely vindicated Jones and the CRU of the more egregious accusations, while leaving in the lead all of the statements of the initial accusations. All under WP:BLP? I trust someone will replace this material shortly enough. I'm out of here for now. ... Kenosis (talk) 02:10, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Done. I struggle to see what WP:BLP has to do with accurately reporting on the outcome of an official parliamentary investigation. It's important that WP:BLP be followed, but given its importance, it's equally important not to abuse it. StuartH (talk) 03:02, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Seems to me that it's reasonable in the lead to simply say "climate change skeptics and other commentators" alleged intentional suppression of conflicting scientific views, providing RSs for both. The "and other commentators" is supported by the Washington Post piece, though Pielke isn't mentioned in this piece. Don't want to revert outright at the moment, but maybe Dave souza will have another go tomorrow at trying to get that first paragraph of the lead straightened out in a potentially more stable way, either with a couple specific examples of "other commentators" with specific RSs or with a more general statement that notes both CC skeptics and "other commentators" without necessarily having a separate sentence just for "other commentators". IIRC, a number of commentators including Pielke who might not necessarily be described as CC skeptics had accused Jones and/or the CRU of this in the early stages of the controversy, but I don't know offhand how many meet the minimum standard for WP:RSs. I'm not positive WP:BLP requires us to name specific accusers, so long as one or more reliable secondary sources such as the Washington Post and/or other mainstream media are provided in support of the statement that this accusation was made by "other commentators" (i.e., who might not necessarily belong in a class of persons called "climate change skeptics". As to Delingpole, in addition to being an outspoken commentator, he's definitely a climate change skeptic, at least as to anthropogenic global warming, and makes no bones whatsoever about it. ... Kenosis (talk) 01:49, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
  • AQFK, contrary to your statement, you'd not "removed all contentious BLP material from the lede per WP:BLP", you removed all the material showing those who said the allegations are groundless, and thus contravened the explicit requirement stated above that "we should give full and accurate information, not just about fringe accusations, but about how mainstream commentators and important authorities responded to it." The information about the Select Committee's findings has already been restored, which is a big improvement, but that still leaves a list of accusations with no counter from those shown by sources to say that they are in whole or part groundless. I've therefore removed that contentious BLP material, and Before restoring it, let's attempt to reach consensus on this talk page. . . dave souza, talk 08:42, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree that using WP:BLP as a reason to run amok over NPOV and to remove reliably sourced material provided and edited by multiple other editors is wrong. Unfortunately, the edit that started us down this path is here.[30] Per WP:BLP, we must get the article right. This includes contentious material whether the material is negative or positive. I'm very disappointed the editors have restored contentious BLP material without first even attempting to reach consensus on the talk page. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 08:58, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Would you stop edit warring and breaking 1RR, please? StuartH (talk) 09:34, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Actually, A Quest For Knowledge, it's 3RR at this stage, 00:36, 5 April, 08:47 5 April, and 09:01 5 April. Please consider this an informal notice. Enough already. ... Kenosis (talk) 11:15, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
He's actually up to four now, and he has been blocked. Perhaps someone who hasn't already used their 1RR could stop the insanity. StuartH (talk) 11:39, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

No case to answer

"No case to answer" means just that. Insofar as the Select Committee is one of the few competent bodies to make a finding on the charges of dishonesty, and especially since those false and damaging charges are given much attention in the lede, I would say that Committee's finding on the falsehood of the charges must be made more clear. In particular the false charges should be mentioned predominantly in the context of their widespread dismissal, firstly by nearly all informed commentators, and then by the Committee. The mischief-making of bloggers, the laziness of journalists, and the opportunism of fringe figures mean that the false allegations still occupy too much weight in the lede. We must remember to give weight to reliable sources, nearly all of which have rejected the charges of dishonesty from the beginning. Tasty monster (=TS ) 00:25, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

To clarify, I do think the editors of this article have a lot to be proud of. The lede just needs to be tweaked, though, so that the reader is clearly informed on the absurd ropiness of the charges of dishonesty. Tasty monster (=TS ) 00:32, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
The committee may have been a competent body to "make a finding on the charges of dishonesty", but they refused to investigate, as per the minority report. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:35, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Arthur, the lead section that you and others have cobbled together from multiple sources is not appropriate as it places more weight on allegations made by a minority of denialists and pundits than on the majority opinion represented in the very same sources. For one of many examples of this hack job, look at the blatant misuse of the Revkin and Fahrenthold and Eilperin sources in the lead. Both of these articles explicitly state that "The e-mails don't...provide proof that human-caused climate change is a lie or a swindle"[31] and "the evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument"[32] yet this majority opinion is ignored in favor of representing minority allegations in the first paragraph. This is not how we write articles. Viriditas (talk) 01:08, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
The allegations contained in the first paragraph do appear to be the main allegations talked about in most of the media. The second paragraph appears to be too long, however, as it gives a lot weight to the conclusions of one of the investigations. Cla68 (talk) 01:47, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Per Wikipedia policy, we don't modify sourced content to reflect our own opinions. "Hasn't been proven" is beside the point, it's what reliable sources say. Guettarda (talk) 02:04, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

It would of course, at this stage, be inappropriate to give more weight to expressly designated minority opinion or, as Cla68 seems to suggest, the chattering of the ignorant.

What needs most weight is the opinion of reliable sources, and the Select Committee's clear conclusion, which echoes that of nearly every competent commentator for some months, including the Penn State investigation into allegations of dishonesty against Mann, is the most definitive source we have at present.

This is most important given the damaging nature of the false allegations against identifiable, living scientists. We do not have the option of erring even slightly in favor of these false charges of dishonesty. Tasty monster (=TS ) 07:00, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

TM/TS and Viriditas, these are very good points – the essential first paragraph is unbalanced, giving unfounded accusations without showing even the initial rebuttals and independent conclusions that many were false or unsupported by the emails. Again, here's a proposed improvement to the first paragraph, which I've seen no objections to:
The emails prompted widespread publicity and allegations were made by climate change skeptics[33][34] which raised questions from some others as to whether the emails showed evidence that climate scientists manipulated data,[35] withheld scientific information,[36] tried to prevent dissenting scientific papers from being published,[37] and discussed deleting e-mails to evade Freedom of Information requests.[38] The university and CRU scientists issued rebuttals,[39] and a number of academics, climate change researchers and independent reports stated that most or all of the allegations were baseless,[40][41] though there was concern that scientists appeared to have avoided sharing scientific data with critics.[42]
That meets the initial problem of simply repeating damaging and unfounded allegations with no rebuttal until the end of the next paragraph, a failure of WP:LAYOUT. It bends over backwards to allew for the minority view that somehow the peer review system is "unfairly" stacked against fringe papers, which as it happens all seem to be remarkably bad, as in the Soon and Balunias (sp?) case discussed in the emails. It highlights the genuine discussion about opening info up more to critics, though the main effect of this will be to prevent scientists from communicating informally among themselves, and increase costs. Should we go further in covering "The e-mails don't...provide proof that human-caused climate change is a lie or a swindle"? Anyway, this amendement would be an immediate improvement which can be refined further in normal discussion to agree on further changes. . . dave souza, talk 07:50, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Implemented as is, please discuss any proposed revisions here before altering this part of the article. I'm sure that this can be improved further, but at least it's a first step away from the hopelessly unbalanced presentation it replaces. . . dave souza, talk 10:17, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Offhand I support presenting the basic story of the hacking, dissemination and allegations in the first paragraph, with the results of official inquiries in the second paragraph, as they become available. To date we have one complete inquiry to work with, the important results of which are concisely stated in the second paragraph. I can also agree that a very brief statement about early rebuttals and early assessments of fact-check organizations and other uninvolved commentators is appropriate for the end of the first paragraph, though IMO it should be extremely brief if presented this way. I do not support the phrase "though there was concern that scientists appeared to have avoided sharing scientific data with critics.", presently placed at the end of the first paragraph. These were part of the allegations already stated in the prior sentence. And that phrase is presently written in the passive voice, begging the question "who said this?". It's already been said in the first paragraph who said this, which is "climate change skeptics and others". ... Kenosis (talk) 11:38, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Good point, that phrase was giving undue weight to a debatable point, so I've removed it as a partial self-revert. I've no objection to shortening the description further to avoid setting out allegations without full response or refutation, but will leave it for now. Thanks, dave souza, talk 12:06, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Lede contains info not in article body

The quote that begins "Prof Jones has in many ways been scapegoated as a result of what really..." is in the lede but not the article body. Either it should be removed from the lede or added to the article body. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:03, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

If the guideline WP:LEAD is a serious issue here, it should be added to the body text. But core content policies and WP:BLP take precedence over WP:LEAD. Perhaps more important is the sequence of how the allegations by CC skeptics circulated through the blogosphere then received wide attention in the media, which should be developed in the body text. Citations for both these issues are already in the lead, which should help give editors a bit of a head start on this. ... Kenosis (talk) 13:43, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
No, I don't think that it's a serious issue. I'm pretty anal and tend to notice things like that. :) It is something we should fix at some point. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:56, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Not at all, part of normal development of an article. I've tried to cover the relevant points in more detail in the appropriate section. Kenosis, the UEA link is working ok for me, and a blog isn't really a suitable source – if you're still having difficulty getting the UEA page, we could use the inline refs. to CRU update 1 and CRU update 2 which give the main rebuttals, dave souza, talk 14:16, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Michael Hulme, 6 April 2010

{{editsemiprotected}}

The following sentence in the section "Contents of the documents" is incorrect.

"Jones, Briffa, Osborn and Hulme had written high-profile scientific papers on climate change that had been cited in reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; they had aroused the ire of climate change sceptics for declining to release data or computer code, citing commercial agreements with suppliers."

It implies that all 4 named people - Jones, Briffa, Osborn and Hulme - had decline to release data or code. I cannot speak for the other three, but since I am Mike Hulme (I can provide proof if this is needed) I know for a fact that I was never asked for any data or code and therefore I could not possibly have declined to release them nor could I have cited commercial agreements. Or put differently, whoever wrote this statement cannot have based it on evidence that Hulme was ever the subject of an FOI request for data or code, because I never was!

I suggest the following change; at the start of the second clause change 'they had aroused ... ' to 'Jones, Briffa and Osborn had aroused ..'

Michael Hulme (talk) 19:29, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for raising the concern. I have removed the following content completely for the time being:
they had aroused the ire of climate change sceptics for declining to release data or computer code, citing commercial agreements with suppliers.
The suggested edit of "Jones, Briffa and Osborn" still requires sourcing, and may require rephrasing as well. I expect the sentence should find its way back into the article largely intact, but without sourcing and being rejected by of one of the subjects it does appear to be a possible WP:BLP issue. StuartH (talk) 20:03, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
The cited source (which is here) says: "Jones, Briffa, Osborn and Hulme had been the focus of sceptics' ire because their high-profile scientific papers had been used to back the IPCC's reports on global warming. At the same time they had declined to release either the data (citing commercial agreements with suppliers) or the computer code they had used to analyse that data and draw their conclusions, to the frustration of many outside academia who wanted to repeat – or discredit – the work." Mike, I guess that's wrong then, from your comments. -- ChrisO (talk) 20:09, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Good call to delete the phrase, "aroused ire" is not appropriate language and the whole thing looks dubious. . dave souza, talk 20:14, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure that we should be citing blogs for contentious material about living people. Unless Charles Arthur's blog falls under the full editorial control of The Guardian, I don't think we're supposed to be citing it for claims about third-parties. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:15, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
In any case, I think Stuart's edit seems to have resolved the issue. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:17, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Good point about it being a blog, a better source is needed – didn't the Guardian run a proper news story on this? The removed statement isn't supported by the blog wording, "Jones, Briffa, Osborn and Hulme had been the focus of sceptics' ire because their high-profile scientific papers had been used to back the IPCC's reports on global warming", not because they'd allegedly refused to release info. The whole business about critics wanting to get the code to repeat – or audit – the work, as against the scientific procedure of scientists producing their own code to ensure independence, is covered in other better sources. . dave souza, talk 20:22, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Have changed the source and info to this published story which gives a shorter version of the point about the newspaper's analysis. . . dave souza, talk 20:51, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Charles Arthur, for those who don't know him, is the technology editor of The Guardian [43]. He's a very good source for technology issues but I'd agree that he's not an optimal source on science issues. As regards the "blog" aspect, The Guardian has a rather confusing approach - it has a more free-wheeling blog site called "Comment Is Free", to which numerous guest writers contribute. Within subsections of its main website it presents content written by its own journalists under the editorial control of the website editor, Janine Gibson. It calls this material "blogs" but it's really more a kind of extension of the print newspaper's content - Dave's link goes to the print version. We are able to use this sort of material under WP:RS#Self-published sources (online and paper): "Some newspapers host interactive columns that they call blogs, and these may be acceptable as sources so long as the writers are professional journalists or are professionals in the field on which they write and the blog is subject to the newspaper's full editorial control." In this case, I have to say it does look like Arthur got his facts wrong (or at least that his wording was misleading). -- ChrisO (talk) 20:56, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
ChrisO: Where exactly does it say that this blog falls under the full editorial control of the Guardian? I've read that phrase in WP:V about a zillion times but I've never encountered an example. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:02, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Why don't you contact Janine Gibson and ask her yourself? [44] -- ChrisO (talk) 21:08, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Hacked vs. allegedly leaked or hacked

I assume this discussion has surfaced a lot of times already, but now one of the leading newspapers in the world says explicit "allegedly leaked or hacked from the CRU and posted online" (my bolding) as reported in the article British lawmakers issue mixed report on 'Climategate' in The Washington Post. Proposal to change three sentence in the current document (it should be uncontroversial).

Change from

allegations that the hacked e-mails showed climate scientists colluded

to

allegations that the allegedly leaked or hacked e-mails showed climate scientists colluded

and from

server of the RealClimate website was hacked and

to

server of the RealClimate website was allegedly leaked or hacked[1 1]

[…]

References
  1. ^ Adam, Karla (2010-03-31). "British lawmakers issue mixed report on 'Climategate'". washingtonpost.com. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2010-04-03. more than 1,000 e-mails and 3,000 documents were allegedly leaked or hacked from the CRU and posted online. 

and from

allegations that the hacked e-mails showed climate scientists

to

allegations that the allegedly leaked or hacked e-mails showed climate scientists

Is there any very well sourced objections to these change proposals? Nsaa (talk) 12:22, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

I would support this edit, since there are plenty of reliable sources that flatly state that the CRU scientists colluded, or something to that effect, and yet that is just an "allegation". However, the hacking is not just an allegation. It is a double standard to say one thing is merely an allegation and another is an objective fact, so I'm all for this. Well, that, or rewording things to read like this:
the hacked e-mails showed climate scientists colluded
Instead of:
allegations that the hacked e-mails showed climate scientists colluded
These hearings that people keep suggesting we "wait until the end of" are not the end all and be all of the decisions of whether or not this is a scandal, or whether or not the scientists in question really did collude to do some bad things. Case in point, Bill Clinton wasn't removed from office, but we still call it the Lewinsky scandal. Macai (talk) 14:55, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Considering that Bill Clinton was held in contempt of court and fined for false testimony, there were no doubts there about a scandal. Not a very good analogy in my view. Mikenorton (talk) 15:11, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
The Lewinsky scandal wasn't about that. It was about how he got some head from an intern. It was a sex scandal, not a legal one. But if you want another example of someone who was not found guilty of anything and it's still called a "scandal", see Mark Foley scandal, which only got moved because of a debate on this page. Also, on Mark Foley, you'll notice they state that he sent sexually explicit messages on an IM program. Case in point, you don't need to have a conviction to describe events. The messages showed collusion. Period. Macai (talk) 15:26, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Look, if reliable sources call it a scandal, then it's a scandal. If reliable sources don't call it a scandal, then it's not a scandal. It's really not that much more complicated than that. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:36, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
That's the page I'm on, AQFK. But I'm expanding this principle a bit more: if reliable sources say the emails demonstrate collusion, then the emails demonstrate collusion. Otherwise, the emails do not. Macai (talk) 15:39, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, this discussion has surfaced before, and the consensus so far has been "hacked". To even consider "allegedly hacked or leaked" for the RealClimate example in particular shows a complete lack of understanding of the issue. StuartH (talk) 15:18, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Says who? Get a well sourced statement supporting this word play. Nsaa (talk) 15:22, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Says StuartH. Macai (talk) 15:27, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Which issue in particular? Most of the sources currently used in the article describe it as a "hacking". Are you seriously suggesting that the RealClimate website was leaked, despite the fact that the administrators of the website themselves confirmed the hack and that data was uploaded to, not released from, the website? Such a change conveys a lack of understanding of the issue. StuartH (talk) 15:45, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting anything in this regard. I'm suggesting rephrase and widening of the possibilities as described by Washington Times (and a host of other news outlet like As CBSNews.com reported last week, the leaked files show that prominent scientists were so wedded to theories of man-made global warming that they ridiculed dissenters who asked for copies of their data, "the scandalized source of the leaked Climate-gate e-mails"). We are forming the reality by suppressing other explanations currently backed by secondary sources. Nsaa (talk) 15:56, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
Your suggested edit to the RealClimate section was "server of the RealClimate website was allegedly leaked or hacked". Such an edit is factually incorrect and unsupported by any reliable sources. Also, the e-mails themselves were both hacked and leaked, and both words are used in the article itself. Pointing to someone calling it a "leak" doesn't suggest that they weren't hacked. Changing wording to "allegations that the allegedly leaked or hacked e-mails showed climate scientists..." just makes the article needlessly clumsy. StuartH (talk) 16:21, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I've just quoted a well respected secondary source. It's not up for us to decide if they're wrong or right. Please support your claim by a reliable source saying clearly it was only a hack (and NOT a leak). Nsaa (talk) 16:41, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
The first few references in the article are a good place to start.Hackers steal electronic data from top climate research center, Hundreds of emails and documents exchanged between world's leading climate scientists stolen by hackers and leaked online, the focus on Jones and the CRU in the row about the hacked emails.StuartH (talk) 17:01, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
For the first. This is as it was reported right after the data was leaked on the net, and it do not directly contradict that it could be a leak from the inside. Now it's clearly not sure how these documents got released. Allegedly is needed because it could be neither leaked (implicitly saying from one of the involving parties, and why it's so hard for you guys to accept the inclusion) or hacked. It could even be accessed by students or other uninvolved parties that had access to the relevant databases (legally or illegally). Daily Mail said something like this in this article [45] "East Anglia University has gone out of its way to promote itself to students from the former Soviet Union. Its website says that 33 Russian students currently study there. It is not known if they have fallen under suspicion as part of the police investigation.".
We should not say anything definite as we do now. We have a host of secondary sources saying it could be a leak (and not necessary a hack). See
Blogs (I'm NOT proposing using this source in the text, just to get some more background on possible leakers)
As you see I've even given you an more recent article from the Guardian that says leaked (dated 1 February 2010, not 21 Nov. 2009 as yours), so here we have an development. It is extremely grave that we suppress other explanations that is out there. Off course this is a big blow for some of the pundits on this article who think it's mainly a criminal act by some hackers ... But we do not chose only one story. We describe every possible reason by making reference to solid secondary sources per WP:VERIFY, WP:NPOV, WP:UNDUE and a host of other policies that we current break by just telling on part of the story. Iff you can dismiss Washington Post (it's not the more right leaning Washington Times) and this article as groundless and get it through on WP:RS/N, it's maybe acceptable not to include it as its worded now, but the avalanches of reliable secondary sources (you can try to look up WP:SECONDARY) that uses the term leaked is overwhelming. I don't think you will get anyway down that line, but I must pinpoint you in the direction we can go to resolve it. By not including this we clearly break one of our five pillars that says "We strive for articles that advocate no single point of view", see WP:FIVE. Nsaa (talk) 14:46, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Again, most of these sources use "leaked" in a context not dissimilar to this article, and not inconsistent with the hacking of the documents. The documents were hacked and leaked. The only reason I chose the first few references to look at initially was convenience -- I had no particular inclination to go through the sixty or so references, having already done so to demonstrate that "Climategate" was not used by most of them. I also think that we should be careful not to assume that a source is reliable without question, the articles are to reflect the consensus of the sources and claims must be supported and verifiable. The Washington Post article is a clear outlier on this, and doesn't actually elaborate to the point of making verifiable claims about who is alleging it (yes, sites like "Climate Change Fraud" are, but they certainly cannot be included). The Examiner article is entirely speculative and based largely on the assertion that a hacker would have bragged about it (which is nonsensical - we know that RealClimate was hacked as well, unless you're still seriously entertaining the notion that it was "leaked" by uploading files to it). This issue has come up often enough to have an entry in the FAQ at the top of the discussion page, and there is still nothing to support the rather bizarre implication that this was the work of a whistleblower. One the other hand, the Muir Russell review [49], the House of Commons review [50], the UEA themselves, RealClimate (another target of the hackers) and many news sources (see existing references, or here for a random one - [51]) support "hacking". We're going to need better sources if we are to include claims which contradict most existing sources right now. StuartH (talk) 07:35, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
If you want to dismiss Washington Post and/or the article, please do that on the appropriate board as I've allready suggested to you above. I'm not contesting that most sources uses hacked, I only say that we have a sources saying leaked (as part of a hack or not). We should describe whats reported, not do our own analysis (as you do above rather bizarre implication that this was the work of a whistleblower) and it's reported that it could be a leak or a hack or both (leak, hack->leak, hack). It's not up to us ridicule one of the leading newspapers in the world. That is bizzare. You mention the Muir Russell review and the House of Commons review and this is hardly relevant to this subject. They didn't go into the details if it was leaked or hacked (or did they do their own investigation into this? That's new for me. Please quote an exact quote on that). So if we should not break WP:NPOV by taking part and describe it as the University want it (I wonder why we have been their press release office on this matter, even in the FAQ ...). so. I'm not questioning that it may be a hack. It should of course be one and the commonly most referenced description of it. Why do you think Associated Press does not describe it as an hacking incident here? We should be very careful not to jump the conclusion as we have done here. We have extremely reliable sources saying leak or hack and if we suppress this possibility we judge, and has gone way beyond describing the scandal. Nsaa (talk) 09:37, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Reverting comments on a talk page, Stu? Tsk, tsk. There was a point to it -- that you weren't giving an argument for your assertions, just ... asserting them. I'd appreciate it if you refrained from blatant vandalism in the future. Thanks a lot. Macai (talk) 16:01, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd appreciate it if you exercised more caution with accusations of vandalism. Your snide personal remark contributed nothing to the discussion or article. If you have a request for clarification of my remarks, please make it more politely. StuartH (talk) 16:21, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
It's bad to remove others comments like you did. This is typically a straw mans argument. Please don't. Nsaa (talk) 16:37, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
I have restored the comment, but I maintain my objections as stated above. It was a pointless personal remark that doesn't belong on a talk page. StuartH (talk) 16:45, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

You don't need a weatherman

Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker has a comment article up on Weathermen, and other climate change skeptics : The New Yorker – a neat and concise description including how "Climategate really is a hyped-up media phenomenon" and "In the e-mails, C.R.U. researchers often express irritation with their critics—the death of one detractor is described as “cheering news”—and discuss ways to dodge a slew of what they consider to be nuisance Freedom of Information requests. The e-mails were widely portrayed in the press and in the blogosphere as evidence of a conspiracy to misrepresent the data. But, as a parliamentary committee appointed to investigate the matter concluded last week, this charge is so off base that it is difficult even to respond to: 'Insofar as the committee was able to consider accusations of dishonesty against CRU, the committee considers that there is no case to answer'." The way that weathermen have influenced public perception is discussed more fully in On Global Warming, Scientists and TV Weathercasters Are at Odds - NYTimes.com and in more detail in the Columbia Journalism Review which discusses the political background. Worth thinking about when considering the reliability of many media sources, while it does refer directly to this controversy it's possibly rather at a tangent from the focus of this article to be featured in any detail. . dave souza, talk 10:20, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

This whole thing sounds like "people are stupid listen to the scientists". The issue that has kept me interested in climate science in the media is the how it affects the perception of science in general. A complementary note would be the following article in the Wall Street Journal (Climategate: Science Is Dying) [52]. We have two issues that I feel are important to keep in mind. One is the fair treatment of individuals. The other is the perception of climate science and science in general. I would underline that I don't take a stand if the science is right or wrong but what the perception is. I don't feel that it is important to highlight in this article that 'the science is robust'. We are not competent to make that determination.130.232.214.10 (talk) 11:46, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
We report that competent experts and independent authorities have said that the science is robust, public misperceptions in parts of the media with business interests associated with climate change denial aren't all that interesting. Better off listening to Subterranean Homesick Blues. . . dave souza, talk 12:09, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
My take is that it could very well be the other way around. The big business interests are primarily in favor of global warming theory due to the promise of carbon trading profits and the support it lends to expansion of nuclear power.130.232.214.10 (talk) 12:39, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
From what I've seen, ExxonMobil and some other big business interests don't share your views on how they should use their money. From BusinessNet.com, a different view at If Global Warming Kills Us, Blame the Weatherman | BNET Energy Blog | BNET which has some useful links to reliable sources. . . dave souza, talk 17:33, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah it's interesting how Exxon is the company that always gets mentioned in these discussions. I remember seeing WikiProjectBanners and BP having the opposite view. There will always be dissenting voices. Is there any non-partisan information on who is promoting what? I figure most environmental NGO's would focus on the 'bad guys' while leaving the rest alone while at the same time loosing focus on why the 'good guys' take a certain position. Business interest groups will of course promote their own agenda. I'm saying I can't be sure who is for what and why anymore. I'll try to have a look at WikiProjectBanners and see if/how they can make money on carbon credits.85.77.228.127 (talk) 19:35, 6 April 2010 (UTC) (aka IP 130.232 above)
To be blunt, the claim that (big?) businesses favour global warming because of alleged profits is a bizzare one, that doesn't seem to have much evidence that I'm aware of. Okay I don't know how things are in Finland, but in most countries businesses are known for their campaigning against any trading scheme, e.g. here in NZ [53] and this is despite the fact our New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme is said to be rather friendly to big businesses in particular at the expense of the taxpayer or resident. As far as I'm aware, things have been similar in the EU re: business opposition e.g. [54]. Of course there are some businesses who support such schemes. Nil Einne (talk) 08:46, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually big business in Finland does indeed support carbon trading as we have a lot of biofuels potential and we are also building more nuclear power. It's factored in but I just can't figure out how important it is for some business models if it fails. Bizzare twist abound, here is one related to the US. [55]. Also look at the "Dead tree" edition link on that page. Big business is just very good at making money in any situation. (aka IP 132.232)91.153.115.15 (talk) 09:02, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

I find it hard to believe that Meteorologists are less objective or competent than the scientists. For one thing, the meteorologists have nothing to gain by taking one side or the other. They simply report the information and per their education have a great deal of understanding of weather in general. The scientists, on the other hand, have a great deal of stake in their research, and from my experience tend to become over-involved in the defense of their own research even when it is clear they are wrong. The New Yorker article is nothing more than propoganda to promote a specific point of view. I think I will take the word of a meteorologist that is simply reporting over the word of an over-confident scientist that is trying to prove an extrememly complicated relationship in the search for research money. Especially when that money is coming from world orginizations or people that are more interested in "leveling the playing field" between the US and the rest of the world. Arzel (talk) 21:37, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

I think you need to distinguish between meteorologists (like at the Met Office and NOAA) and weathermen, who for most of the world are minor TV and radio personalities - D-list celebrities - who don't need to know the first thing about the words they read from an autocue. They are, however, well known 'faces' in many homes and so are sometimes tempted to procrastinate [pontificate] on whatever suits them. --Nigelj (talk) 21:51, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I suggest a viewing of that valuable documentary film, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and an examination of the role of the weatherman therein. -- ChrisO (talk) 22:17, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure many people find it hard to believe that their local GP who they know and trust is less competent than some physician in a leading position at a teaching hospital who specialises in a subject the GP has had no training in. Fortunately, most GPs respect the work of specialists. Unfortunately, weathercasters don't even have to have four-year degrees, and those degrees in the US commonly provide no grounding at all in climate studies. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, which appears reasonably academic. This study indicates that the weathermen do indeed talk about climate change, and a large percentage go against the clear consensus of specialists who actually know how climate science works. Feel free to trust unqualified non-specialists as much as you want, but in Wikipedia terms they're unsuitable as a source on the science of the subject. . . dave souza, talk 22:22, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
You should not assume so much. Knowledge and Education are two entirely different things, and after over a decade of working in research at a large hospital I would trust the word of a GP that has been practicing for 30 years over that of some hot shot specialist just out of residency. The same applies in all fields of research, and when people like you disparge others because of a lower education you should not be suprised when they don't believe you at all. Metorologist deal in the real world with real world observations. Climate scientists deal in theory, and theory does not usually match up with reality. These climate scientists seem to be trying to prove their theory correct, rather than trying to prove their theory incorrect (the true scientific method), therefore I find it very difficult to believe that they are doing it for anything other than their own personal gain. Most metorologist probably go against the view of AGW because they know from observations that it is bunk. Arzel (talk) 00:44, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Are we talking about genuine meterologists as in those people who actually have a degree in meteorology with perhaps even some postgraduate work or weather presenters, as in those people who present the weather on TV and the radio who are sometimes (usually?) called meteorologists in the US but aren't always actually trained in meteorology who may gain some experience with weather forecasting on the job or via limited training but who's primarily roles is to present the forecast on TV? Nil Einne (talk) 01:03, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I was impressed by the Kolbert article as well, in the sense that it seemed like a cogent summary of the issues. I posted on this on Jimbo Wales' page, to the effect that Wikipedia needs to not get swept along in media hysteria. ScottyBerg (talk) 00:22, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Way forward

Contentious BLP material has now been removed from the lead, awaiting consensus. As discussed at #Vindication is not yet properly reflected in the lede above, we had some degree of agreement about this version. Following discussions and various edits, this version attempted to meet the requirement of accurately showing various shades of views about the implications of the emails:

The emails prompted widespread publicity and allegations by climate change skeptics[2 1][2 2] that they showed evidence that climate scientists manipulated data, withheld scientific information,[2 3][2 4] and tried to prevent dissenting scientific papers from being published.[2 3][2 5] A few other commentators such as Roger A. Pielke said that the evidence supported claims that dissenting scientific papers had been suppressed.[2 5] The university and CRU scientists issued rebuttals, and a number of academics, climate change researchers and independent reports stated that most or all of the allegations were baseless, though some expressed concern that scientists appeared to have avoided sharing scientific data with critics.[2 6][2 7][2 8]

References
  1. ^ Hickman, Leo (2009-11-20). "Climate sceptics claim leaked emails are evidence of collusion among scientists". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  2. ^ Revkin, Andrew C. (20 November 2009). "Hacked E-Mail Is New Fodder for Climate Dispute". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b Johnson, Keith (23 November 2009), Climate Emails Stoke Debate, Wall Street Journal, retrieved 03 April 2010  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ Randerson, James (2010-01-27). "University in hacked climate change emails row broke FOI rules". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  5. ^ a b Fahrenthold, David A.; Eilperin, Juliet (05 December 2010), In e-mails, science of warming is hot debate, Washington Post, retrieved 03 April 2010  Check date values in: |date=, |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ Moore, Matthew (2009-11-24). "Climate change scientists face calls for public inquiry over data manipulation claims". London: The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2010-01-08. Retrieved 2010-01-08. said Lord Lawson, Margaret Thatcher's former chancellor who has reinvented himself as a critic of climate change science. "They were talking about destroying various files in order to prevent data being revealed under the Freedom of Information Act and they were trying to prevent other dissenting scientists from having their articles published in learned journals. "It may be that there's an innocent explanation for all this... but there needs to be a fundamental independent inquiry to get at the truth." 
  7. ^ "“Climategate”". FactCheck.org. 2009-12-10, corrected 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2010-01-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Climategate: Science Not Faked, But Not Pretty". Associated Press. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2009-12-29. 

If editors can please provide reliable secondary sources showing any other views, we should be able to modify that wording to give due weight to the various views that have been expressed, to meet the NPOV and BLP requirements discussed above. Proposals welcome, . dave souza, talk 08:52, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Ref 2 also mentions Dr. Michaels who is not exactly a GW skeptic, just questioning the details of the science. If we're going to mention climate skeptics, we need to mention the non-skeptics mentioned in those articles, even if we aren't carefully selecting the references to support the AGW point of view.
Ref 6 (in the old copy of the article, Ref 8 here) (and the quote) also notes evidence for deleting E-mails, which should be mentioned in the text.
Ref 7 (in the old copy of the article, Reg 9 here) (factcheck.org) needs verification of credibility. It seems a partizan organization, and the "article" reads like an editorial.
Except for that, and possible selection bias in removing other references which support other points of view, the paragraph seems reasonable for the lede. (It being factually wrong is not a reason to adjust it.) — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:06, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Good catch. I've suggested in the section above that "climate change skeptics and other commentators" or similar language would effectively communicate the basics in the lead, cited to RSs for both. ... Kenosis (talk) 11:27, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it is reasonable to refer to Michaels as a GW skeptic, as discussed on his own wiki article. Regarding the evidence for deleting evidence in ref. 6 (to clarify, are you referring to Matthew Moore's 24 Nov 2009 article), I don't see it. It says "seem to show that academics on both sides of the Atlantic discussed deleting sensitive emails", i.e. that it only "seems" that there was a "discussion" of deleting e-mails. Still worthy of inclusion, but it needs to be accurate. I agree that a different source to factcheck.org may be warranted. (Having read more about factcheck.org and the article itself, I may have been a little unfair. It seems like a reliable source, but it might not be necessary to have three citations for the given claim. StuartH (talk) 15:27, 5 April 2010 (UTC))
Since there was a simultaneous edit-war over the inclusion of the parliamentary review findings, perhaps it is also appropriate to discuss exactly what is wrong with that section and how it can be approved, without confusing WP:IDONTLIKEIT and WP:BLP. StuartH (talk) 11:34, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
W.r.t. I think it is reasonable to refer to Michaels as a GW skeptic... : Sure, I suppose. Pielke is a tougher call. So are a few others that made accusations in the early stages of the controversy. As I said in the section above, don't know offhand how many don't clearly fall in the class of persons reasonably called "climate change skeptics" but it seems to me "and other commentators" ought cover it. Just my perspective on this. ... Kenosis (talk) 11:43, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
CEI is non-partisan, as well, and the FactCheck article was partisan, even if the organization is nominally non-partisan, so it's inappropriate for the lede. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:54, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd have thought FactCheck.org fits the definition of a WP:RS and WP:SOURCES to a tee. Do we need to prove again on Talk by citing to other RSs that it has a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy"? Anyway, no biggie, though it did provide reliable secondary-source support for the word "skeptics". Was part of the issue that they didn't explicitly say "climate change skeptics"? ... Kenosis (talk) 15:00, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
It's more that it's disputed, and in the lede, it was one of 3 RS's, so it doesn't seem necessary. All I can say is that that particular FactCheck page reads like a rant, rather than an article, so more detailed fact-checking seems needed. If they do fact-check and often make it read like a rant, that might be different. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:03, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Please disregard previous. I've restored FactCheck without tags. My bad. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 15:12, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
OK, thanks. ... Kenosis (talk) 15:19, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm not seeing any big problems or issues here, it looks as though with minor adjustments we can have consensus on a version we can live with, and review in future for further improvement. Regarding Ref 6 (in the old copy of the article, Ref 8 here), it starts with the emails "also seem to show that academics on both sides of the Atlantic discussed deleting sensitive emails to evade Freedom of Information requests from climate change sceptics." so guess we can work in a mention. Amusingly, it has Lawson mentioned before producing that dreadful misrepresentation of a soundbite, "referred to a "trick" he applied to raw data to "hide the decline" in global temperatures"! It also of course says that "academics and climate change researchers have dismissed the allegations, saying that nothing in the emails proves wrongdoing" mentioning Dave Britton, a spokesman for the Met Office, and Kevin Trenberth of US National Centre for Atmospheric Research saying that "the correspondence had been selectively leaked and misinterpreted". If desired, we could mention these names in the body of the article. So, how about a revised version, with simple links to make it easier to find refs. which I've changed around a bit:
The emails prompted widespread publicity and allegations were made by climate change skeptics[56][57] which raised questions from some others as to whether the emails showed evidence that climate scientists manipulated data,[58] withheld scientific information,[59] tried to prevent dissenting scientific papers from being published,[60] and discussed deleting e-mails to evade Freedom of Information requests.[61] The university and CRU scientists issued rebuttals,[62] and a number of academics, climate change researchers and independent reports stated that most or all of the allegations were baseless,[63][64] though there was concern that scientists appeared to have avoided sharing scientific data with critics.[65]

Any problems or proposed changes? If not, we can modify the page shortly. . dave souza, talk 21:54, 5 April 2010 (UTC)


  • 'The emails prompted widespread publicity and allegations by climate change skeptics...'
This statement blatantly misrepresents the subject. As seperate statements (via distributivity), it reads as:
  • 'The emails prompted widespread publicity by climate change skeptics...'
and
  • 'The emails prompted allegations by climate change skeptics...'
The former is grossly inaccurate and as for the latter, while some of the more vocal allegations may have been made by those who have previously expressed doubt about the quality of science behind AGW, declaring they came exclusively from that mythical group of 'climate change skeptics' is impossible to verify. The content of the emails and data was suspicious to any objective viewer...to blanketly declare an intangible collective as being solely responsible for all the publicity and allegations would be bad form.
--K10wnsta (talk) 00:49, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Good point. That was the initial proposal, but it's since been changed to "The emails prompted allegations by climate change skeptics[1][2] and in turn widespread publicity in the media, raising questions whether the emails showed evidence that climate scientists [did x, y, and/or z]" . As to the issue of "climate change skeptics" making the initial allegations, we've two reliable sources for this in the article, plus a third that was in the article but has since been removed on the grounds that two is enough. If you've any RSs for the contra, please put them forward here. .... Kenosis (talk) 02:50, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

Technical Issue with FOIA File Deletion

Sorry if this is the wrong place or time; please move this thread to my talk page if necessary. I downloaded the FOIA files for a look. When I went to delete them by putting them in my trash, two files, sfwxlist and one other (forgot the name) wouldn't delete. No file extensions, zero file size. My fix was to run a dos prompt, go to that directory, and do a DEL *.* That was the only way that I was able to delete those files. I'm posting this here in case anybody else runs into the same problem. A google search showed me that I wasn't the only one. TreacherousWays (talk) 14:35, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

It seems that the two filenames each end with dot (.), which is valid in Linux but just brings out bugs in Windows OSs. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320081 'Cause 6'. No big deal, nothing to see here, just move along, folks. --Nigelj (talk) 22:05, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
That's rather alarming. When a file displays a size of 0 and can't be manipulated (ie. moved or deleted), it usually means it has a hook in the kernel and is being actively modified by an application or service. I'd double check the veracity of the source you got the package from. The interest it's generated among general* computer users and the rather advanced nature of some of its contents are a dream come true for folks with malicious intent.
--K10wnsta (talk) 23:41, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
*read: less-than-adept
It's not really alarming given that the reasons have already been explained and it can be manipulated just not with certain utilities. And this sort of stuff is hardly uncommon, a few weeks ago I had a similar problem with a file called prn (or something) I copied from a FreeBSD system. Also most of all of the content are simple text files, there are no executables or anything else that would cause problems (there is some source code but if you know how to try and compile you should know how to check if it's safe, I'm not aware any of it's a compilable state anyway). Of course someone could maliciously add an executable or script or whatever, but that's no different from someone doing the same with alleged nude pictures of some random celebrity or phone calls from a married man having an affair or whatever Nil Einne (talk) 12:51, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Recent edits

I am going to revert the following edits by Peterlewis, for the reasons given (changed bolded)

  • A number of academics, climate change researchers, and independent reports found that most or all of the allegations were baseless changed to A number of academics, climate change researchers, and independent reports found that some of the allegations were justified.
    • Major change in the meaning of the sentence - shifts from majority finding (baseless) to minority possibility. Gives undue weight to speculation.
  • Three independent reviews of the incident and materials were initiated in the UK changed to Three independent reviews of the incident and materials have been in the UK
    • Ungrammatical - deletion of the word "initiated" leaves the sentence hanging - "have been" what?
  • Addition of The whistleblower has so far not been identified.
    • Unsourced, and problematic since the "whistle blower" idea is unsupported speculation. Guettarda (talk) 06:25, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
I followed the refs for the first statement, and found that they did not support the statement at all, but rather the reverse. Second revert is fine, but who leaked the emails if not a whistleblower? Presumably the police are on his trail, but readers ought to be told something rather than left in the dark. Peterlewis (talk) 09:12, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
What's the source for the whistleblower allegation? Cla68 (talk) 11:00, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
I followed the refs for the first statement, and found that they did not support the statement at all, but rather the reverse - Most were not/some were is, in essence, the same statement, but the switch in phrasing shifts the meaning from the majority finding to the minority finding. Emphasising the minority view while minimising the majority view puts undue weight on the minority view. [W]ho leaked the emails if not a whistleblower? Reliable sources, for the most part, call it a hack. "Whistleblower" is blog speculation. Guettarda (talk) 22:29, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
The meaning of the term whistleblower is very clear. The term fits. Removing is is a whitewash. FellGleaming (talk) 14:28, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
It could just as well be someone who wants to hurt Phil Jones, the CRU or/and the public perception of climate science. By saying it is done by a whistleblower the article would be stating that there has in fact been wrongdoings, which has so far not been supported.83.86.0.74 (talk) 18:55, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

New report to be released

As reported by the BBC a new report will be released shortly. [66] I would at this early stage request that most if not all edits be discussed here first to support our collective mental health.130.232.214.10 (talk) 07:35, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. The report is now out [67]. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 10:40, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Such fun. So now lets all cherry-pick our favourite bit to go into the summary. How about We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal. which is the entirety of the first conclusion William M. Connolley (talk) 11:54, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Some more news coverage about the second inquiry: Guardian, Channel 4, BBC, Daily Mail, NASDAQ. Expect to see more by the end of the day and over the next few days. Something tells me though it won't be quite so widely reported as the original incident so be on the look-out for good sources about it. --Xyiyizi 12:12, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Also at the Telegraph which leads on Climate change scientists at the centre of an ongoing row over man-made global warming have been criticised for being "naive" and "disorganised" before finally noting that there was no evidence of "deliberate scientific malpractice", meaning the conclusion that mankind is causing global warming is probably correct. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 14:01, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

In essence, this is another exoneration from charges of deliberate malfeasance which were never given much credence anyway. There seems to be some very sensible criticism of the research culture, though. I think this will make the university a lot happier than its critics so I would watch out for responses commensurate with a severe blow to the conspiracy theorists. Tasty monster (=TS ) 13:01, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

The report, moreover, makes no claim as to correctness of any conclusions from the CRU, only that there was no apparent deliberate wrongdoing. We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians. Indeed there would be mutual benefit if there were closer collaboration and interaction between CRU and a much wider scientific group outside the relatively small international circle of temperature specialists. does appear to be the relevant bit. Collect (talk) 13:06, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
This finding has zero relevancy to allegations of deliberate scientific misconduct. The passage reproduced above can only be deemed noteworthy to people who now wish to forget what this controversy was originally all about―stepping off a pending train wreck at the nearest possible station―so that they can return to their old day job of sowing seeds of doubt. Wikispan (talk) 14:03, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Funny how statisticians always say that "it's very surprising that no one has collaborated closely with a statistician in this work". Yeah, it may be true. But it always looks awfully self-serving. Guettarda (talk) 15:34, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

It's in the nature of science that it depends not on single works or even on single institutions. The correctness of any scientific work can only be determined through the passage of time and the independent replication of significant advances in understanding. That's the way science works. The most we can ask is that scientists do their work with honesty and integrity, and the panel's conclusions on that score are vindications that will be most welcome to the university. Tasty monster (=TS ) 13:25, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Not quite so cheery for the IPCC however: CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue. I seem to recall that Keith Briffa was a lead author on AR4 WG1 Chapter 6. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 13:53, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

The discrepancy is of more interest and more relevance to paleoclimatologists than to the IPCC. I don't see why this should embarrass them at all, though it is possible that many prominent scientists will spot some relevant link which I have not. Then we can report on it, whatever it may be. Tasty monster (=TS ) 14:07, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Based on the BBC News report[68], I suggest the following:
According to an independent panel chaired by Lord Oxburgh, there was no scientific malpractice at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit but the panel said it might be helpful if researchers worked more closely with professional statisticians. "We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians," the panel remarked in its conclusions. Lord Oxburgh said "We found absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever. That doesn't mean that we agreed with all of their conclusions, but scientists people were doing their jobs honestly."
A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:20, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Much to much weight on the statistics issue, which is much more differentiated in the report ("[...] in the CRU papers that we examined we did not come across any inappropriate usage [of statistical tools] ... although the methods they used may not have been the best for the purpose. It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results" and "As far as we can judge the methods which CRU has employed are fair and satisfactory". --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:40, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Nope, far too negative. And why no room for some of these criticisms show a rather selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU. They seem also to reflect a lack of awareness of the ongoing and dynamic nature of chronologies William M. Connolley (talk) 14:42, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I think that it is wrong to say that the panel did not agreed with all of their conclusions, without noting that the the report says, "The Panel was not concerned with the question of whether the conclusions of the published research were correct". (The panel would be concerned about the methodology followed rather than conclusions reached.) Also, while the finding about the use of statisticians should be mentioned, it should not be seen as a qualification of the report's findings. The Four Deuces (talk) 14:47, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

I based my suggestion's bias on the bias found in the BBC News report. Please cross-reference my summary with this news report and note any descrepencies. Stephen, I did not read the report itself as that would open the door for me to inadvertantly introduce my own bias in deciding which parts of the report to emphasize/de-emphasize. Instead, we should let third-party reliable sources decide what's important and what's not. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:48, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Interesting side article in the Telegraph 'Hockey stick' graph was exaggerated reporting on comments by David Hand. If we're going to report Lord Oxburgh's off-report comments we should probably also include these. Regards, Jonathan A Jones (talk) 14:56, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

It probably isn't too early to include the vindication of the researchers' methods in the article. The coverage of the statistics must be handled with care, because despite their recommendations the Panel actually commended the Unit's handling of the statistics, and a too-sketchy description might miss that.


For such detail, however, it might be best to hold off and see how this is reported in the news sections of Nature and Science and the like. Those would, I expect, be the obvious "goto" sources for this subject. Tasty monster (=TS ) 15:00, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

On Hand's Hockey Stick comments, it's clear that he's saying nothing new about that but is merely setting the scene for his statement that he found no evidence of the Unit employing the kind of problematic methods that were found with the original MBH reconstruction.Tasty monster (=TS ) 15:05, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

I see no reason not to use the report as a reliable secondary source for the article. After all it is an informed opinion about the actions of the scientists. (It is also brief.) If we prefer to use a summary from a reliable source, I would agree a scientiic publication would be a preferable source. The Four Deuces (talk) 15:19, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

It's important to take the comment about statistics with a grain of salt. Statisticians always say this. Right or wrong. Everyone always says "you should give more respect to my field of expertise". Guettarda (talk) 15:38, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

And note, it's very different to saying "the statistics weren't done right". Guettarda (talk) 15:39, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
That one field of science isn't collaborating as closely with another field of science as might prove useful is hardly significant and most assuredly unremarkable. Consider how much more effective government would be if progressives and conservatives collaborated more closely, for example. Thus far, the CRU has been completely exonerated by all investigations. Only the ICO had something negative to say, and their comments were completely beyond their remit and highly inappropriate. I would conclude that there is no need for this article to talk about the "wish" for closer collaboration between the sciences on the basis that it isn't very significant and lacks any weight. -- Scjessey (talk) 17:12, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
How much weight is appropriate should reflect the weight that is given in current reliable sources, not on our opinions. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 17:16, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
(after ec) - Agreed. The preponderance of reliable sources are giving this particular issue little or no attention. Incidentally, Ars Technica has a good summary of the reports thus far, and it does briefly mention the collaboration-with-statisticians stuff. -- Scjessey (talk) 17:30, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
UK sources are giving lots of attention to poor statistical methods, and a fair bit to collaboration. May be different outside the UK of course. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 17:36, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Well I have been reading material from all over the place, but mostly from the UK and US press (as an Englishman living in the US). I am not sure how you can argue that it is getting "lots of attention", when it scarcely warrants a sentence or two within reports of half-a-dozen paragraphs or more. -- Scjessey (talk) 17:46, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
The BBC has it in sentences 4 and 5. The Telegraph has a statistical discussion in the second sentence. I guess it's the prominence I am thinking of, not the extent. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 17:51, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
They could have used better statistical methods, in some instances, according to the panel. That is not the same as saying statistical procedure was "poor". Indeed, neither the official report, BBC Online nor The Telegraph mention the word "poor" anywhere in their report. Therefore we must be careful not to twist this finding into a proactive statement of its opposite. Wikispan (talk) 18:19, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually the Telegraph says that they should have used better methods, which is significantly stronger than could. But I take you general point. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 18:28, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
If the Telegraph represented the report as saying that CRU should have used better statistical methods, they misreported. A simple error. We should always be on the lookout for such errors in secondary sources. --TS 00:56, 15 April 2010 (UTC)


The most reliable sources we have on the report are the report itself and the individual comments of the panel members, followed perhaps by the specialist press. The general press has been so lamentably unreliable throughout this affair that I wouldn't give their efforts much weight at this stage. Tasty monster (=TS ) 17:29, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Clown circus rolls on

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Like all of us, CEI and Heritage Foundation take an interest in climate science and its implications, but this section does not seem to contain any actionable proposals bearing on content of our article.


From Mother Jones [69]:

The Heritage Foundation and Competitive Enterprise Institute are planning an event on it later this week titled, "The Climategate Scandals: What Has Been Revealed And What Does It Mean?"

This may prompt some press coverage - worth keeping an eye on. Doubtless it's a pushback against the recent report findings. -- ChrisO (talk) 23:15, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Chris, are you sure that your personal feelings on this topic aren't too strong to allow you to cover it in an NPOV manner (Clown circus?)? Do you have any actual content issues you would like discuss? Cla68 (talk) 23:25, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Cla68, perhaps you could set me right. I'm really confused about the purpose and relevance of those two partisan groups and why they have anything to do with this topic. Those groups claim to promote free enterprise, limited government, and individual freedom, but I can't see a single successful thing either of them have ever accomplished in regard to those three things, yet they continue to be funded to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. What does this topic have to do with the stated purpose of those two groups and why are they even involving themselves here? What am I missing? Viriditas (talk) 23:27, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
What do we care? We just report what the sources are saying. If we have an emotional investment in what's going on with this topic and it's effecting our editing and attempts at collaboration, then the wiki isn't working. As far as I can tell, there are no current content issues involving this group's upcoming shindig. If any develop, we should feel free to discuss it then. If you want to discuss our personal opinions on the Heritage Foundation we can take it up on our user talk pages. Cla68 (talk) 23:33, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I have no personal opinions; I don't even know who these groups are. Again, I'm asking, what do groups aligned with the stated purpose of free enterprise, limited government, and individual freedom, have to do with a topic about climate science? Please answer the question. Viriditas (talk) 23:37, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Just off the top of my head I would assume that their interest is in the realm of public policy, as in how CO2 reduction efforts, like carbon trading and subsidies for renewable energy solutions, such as windfarms, might effect the price of electricity for consumers, among other things. In his book, Booker claims that UK government subsidies and taxes for building and maintaining wind farms has increased the cost of electricity in the UK. I imagine that political advocacy groups like the Heartland Institute would be interested in this area of the AGW debate. How does Climategate relate? Because the CRU is one of the main research units involved in research that the IPCC uses for its reports. Again, I don't see any current content issues related to this. Cla68 (talk) 23:54, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Is Booker an economist? (I don't know his background.) Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:27, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

(undent) "what do groups aligned with the stated purpose of free enterprise, limited government, and individual freedom, have to do with a topic about climate science?" Their interest lies in the fact that legislation being floated in response to climate science is considered to be a significant expansion of governmental power, and damaging to free enterprise. Fell Gleaming(talk) 01:37, 15 April 2010 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The lead is getting too fat

I think the balance in the lead section is more or less okay, but it's getting a little fat. The coverage should really be trimmed back to the main points in the lead, the main body is the place for any kind of detail. Tasty monster (=TS ) 23:31, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

See what you think of it now (diff). Does that work better? -- ChrisO (talk) 23:48, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

That's a small step in the right direction, but a lot more blather needs to be farmed off to the main body. For instance Oxburgh provided a lovely soundbite that summarises his report's findings: "the fact is we found them absolutely squeaky clean." That's the level of brevity we ought to aim for in the lead section. The details will still be in the article. Tasty monster (=TS ) 00:06, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, the lead is already pretty small - three paragraphs for a substantial (61 Kb) article. I don't think it can really be reduced much further without losing sight of the need for the lead to summarise the article properly. The length is about that recommended by WP:LEAD#Length. -- ChrisO (talk) 00:11, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
It's not so bad, I suppose. --TS 00:49, 15 April 2010 (UTC)