Climategate 2.0: Wigley for secret science

… if he can get away with it!

From the Climategate 2.0 collection, Tom Wigley tells Michael Mann that he is not for transparency in science:

Personally, I see no reason why one should disclose all data and all methodological details — unless required to by the funding authority.

The e-mail exchange between Wigley and Mann is below.

Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 13:43:57 -0500
To: Tom Wigley
From: “Michael E. Mann”
Subject: Re: [Fwd: VL: McIntyre-McKitrick Reply to Mann – Part 1]
Cc:,, Scott Rutherford
, Tim Osborn , Keith Briffa
, Phil Jones

Bcc:, Michael Oppenheimer

Hi Tom,
There is a myth being perpetuated by these people, and your falling into the trap of
letting them set the rules. We cannot allow that. The data has all been available back
through july 2002 here on our public ftp site:
All of the data used by MBH98 have been there, plain and simple.
USA Today is going to be publishing a retraction tomorrow or Friday of the claim made
last week in their op-ed pages (by an industry shill) that we hadn’t made our data
publicly available. That should clear this all up in a hurry!
Meanwhile, we’re going ahead w/ a peer-reviewed submission expanding on our initial
response, and we believe that should settle the issue. I don’t see any problem if others
want to download the data (which have been there all along) and try the analyses
themselves, but I can’t allow myself to be distracted with all of that right now. It
would set me back years in my own research plans, which is part of the motive of this
At 11:01 AM 11/12/2003 -0700, Tom Wigley wrote:
I presume you have seen this. One of their buzz phrases is ‘the basic standards of data
disclosure’. Personally, I see no reason why one should disclose all data and all
methodological details — unless required to by the funding authority. I had a long
exchange with Timo on this issue, which I will forward to you.
These guys are primarily accusing you of either making errors or being incompetent.
(I have not seen this directly, but they may also be implying that you deliberately
distorted your analysis — but it is best not to get into this possibility.)
There are three possible responses. The first is to prove to *them* that your results
are correct. The second is to tell them to go to hell. The third is to use an
arbiter (a statistician) to repeat your analysis.
The first is difficult. You could give them all the data in an easily used form and tell
exactly what you did — and then see if they can repeat it and get your results. This is
tricky because I doubt that one can trust them to do this honestly — indeed, one could
say to them (and the world) that you neither trusted their motives nor their
as a lead in to option three. Competance can be challenged since they have no track
record in the field, nor are they qualified as bona fide statisticians.
The second rests on whether you are bound by disclosure conditions. Using this option
could be justified, but it sure would piss them off. A possible holding action would be
say that a full paper describing the methods used was in preparation, and they just
to wait. (In other words, go to hell for now, and I’ll tell you when to come back out.)
The third option seems the best. The three statisticians who could help are Richard
Smith, Francis Zwiers and Dan Wilks.
The approach I would use here is to say that, since both sides are either directly or
indirectly accusing the other of at least some level of incompetance, and since you
see no reason why your data should be made available at this stage (i.e., you can
with ‘full disclosure’ in principle, but only in a ‘timely manner’ where the data
is the one who decides on the time frame), the only way to reconcile the differences
you and the two Ms is through independent ‘arbitration’. Since, once the data are given,
is purely a statistical issue, then the arbiter must be a bona fide, highly-respected
statistician and one with some experience in climate science — OF YOUR CHOICE.
One of the problems is that options one and three may create dangerous precedents
under the data quality act. Actually, the way I have set up option three creates a
good precedent, especially with you choosing the arbiter. M&M may not agree with this,
but you could add that your choice has to be agreed to by the appropriate panel of the
NAS (who would definitely support the above three names).
Wotcha think? (Share with others if you wish.)
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: VL: McIntyre-McKitrick Reply to Mann – Part 1
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 18:34:48 +0200
From: Timo H‰meranta [2]
To: Tom M. L. Wigley [3]
Dear Tom,
FYI attached.
All the best
Timo H‰meranta, M.LL.
Moderator, Climatesceptics
Martinlaaksontie 42 B 9
01620 Vantaa
Finland, Member State of the European Union
Moderator: [4]
Private: [5]
Home page: [6]
Moderator of the discussion group “Sceptical Climate Science”
“To dwell only on horror scenarios of the future
shows only a lack of imagination”. (Kari Enqvist)
“If the facts change, I’ll change my opinion.
What do you do, Sir” (John Maynard Keynes)
Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
e-mail: Phone: (434) 924-7770 FAX: (434) 982-2137
Professor Michael E. Mann
Department of Environmental Sciences, Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903

One thought on “Climategate 2.0: Wigley for secret science”

  1. There’s always this mysterious feeling among Them, of the scientific process being unable to prevent bad papers from being published, so They have to step in and prevent anybody They don’t like from being able to replicate anything.

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