In 30 minutes of tense cross-examination by the House of Commons science and technology committee, he denied that the thousand-plus emails from his unit published on the web three months ago showed he and his colleagues doing anything beyond “standard practice”.
‘Refusals to comply’: Not everyone agreed that Jones had been as free with data and methodology as he should have been. Nigel Lawson, a chancellor of the exchequer [treasury] in Margaret Thatcher’s government and author of a book that is skeptical of human-made climate change, had earlier told the committee: “Scientists with integrity wish to reveal their data and all their methods. They don’t need freedom of information requests to force it out of them.”
And written evidence submitted to the committee by the Institute of Physics in London claimed the hacked emails had revealed “prima facie evidence of determined and coordinated refusals to comply with honorable scientific traditions” through “manipulation of the publication and peer-review system” and “intolerance to challenge”.
Jones’s research involves a major global analysis of temperature records over the past 160 years that are crucial to detecting a human influence on climate. Questioning concentrated on whether he and his colleagues have shared data and scientific methods sufficiently for their critics to replicate or contest his findings.
Jones conceded that he did not usually publish raw data from weather stations, which was often covered by confidentiality agreements, nor the computer codes he used to analyze the data. “It hasn’t been standard practice to do that. Maybe it should, but it’s not,” he said.
‘They never asked’: Asked whether other climate scientists reviewing his papers ever required such data, he said, “They’ve never asked.” In response to a specific question about why he had failed to grant freelance researcher Warwick Hughes access to data, he said simply, “We had a lot of work and resources tied up in it.”
Jones also denied trying to keep papers by his critics out of journals. “I’ve written some awful emails,” he said, but later added, “I don’t think there is anything that supports the view I’ve been trying to pervert the peer-review process.”
He insisted that he and his colleagues at the Climatic Research Unit had responded properly to all freedom of information requests, despite a surge in demand from frustrated critics last year.
Let’s not forget Al Gore, James Hansen (who made up the name “global warming”) and Michael Mann, Hansen's right-hand man. The science community is anxious to hear the U.S. Senate hearings on the three major U.S. scam-artists behind the global warming greed and lies.
The House of Commons committee is expected to produce a short report on the emails affair before the general election that is likely to be held in early May. Its inquiry is one of five separate investigations into the hacked Climatic Research Unit emails.