Climategate 3.0: Cramer, Hulme conspire against skeptics — and then worry whether it looks like they’re conspiring

“It would certainly work, but I am anxious that it creates something of a conspiracy impression with Kinne, and there is really no need for this just now.”

The e-mail is below.


date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 16:06:56 +0200
from: (Wolfgang Cramer)
subject: Re: climate research
to: Mike Hulme
Dear Mike,
I, too, had raised this issue on the top of some of my “high priority piles”
on this messy desk, and I wanted to get in touch with you about it. I did
have another look at the Gray paper after we last talked about it, and I
went back to see how many other papers of this kind we have seen.
Interestingly, all of them are in the 1998 volume – this really looks like a
change in policy. The problem papers, as you probably are aware, are:
– Michaels et al. (pp. 27-33)
– Idso (pp. 69-82, but it at least is flagged as a “skeptic’s view”)
– Gray (pp. 155-162)
– Balling et al. (pp. 175-181)
An interesting further case is Parkinson & Young (pp. 157-174), but this
looks to me like a much more careful and systematic study of C cycle
model uncertainties, so I would not worry about it.
The bottomline is, yes, I fully agree with your letter and its careful
phrasing. I also agree with the way you mention me in this context. I am
less sure about your item “b)” here. It would certainly work, but I am
anxious that it creates something of a conspiracy impression with Kinne,
and there is really no need for this just now. The way you have drafted the
letter now, I see it as a friendly expression of concern to which he may
respond in an open and easy way, personally to you, if he wants to. One
might really wait for that response first, before taking any further action.
Hope this helps!
Best wishes,
On Dec 10, 13:35, Mike Hulme wrote:
> Subject: climate research
> Wolfgang,
> I have drafted this letter to Otto Kinne, the Director of Inter-Research
> who publish CR. I would like your opinion on this and whether:
> a) I can use your name?
> b) whether I should solicit other REs views and make the letter come
> several of us (I suspect I could get at least 10 names together)?
> c) or whether initially I should open the discussion on my own?
> Thanks,
> Mike
> p.s. as a Review Editor, what is your advice on the letter I sent you by
> Jean-Baptiste? CR does allow ‘comments’ but I am not sure I have
seen many
> published.
> _____________________________________________________
> 10 December 1998
> Professor Otto Kinne
> Inter-Research
> Nordbunte 23
> D-21385 Oldendork/Luhe
> Germany
> Dear Otto,
> I am writing in connection with the review paper by Gray in Volume 10(2)
> Climate Research on ‘The IPCC future projections: are they plausible?’
> This is in response to my own concerns about the paper, to the
> raised by one of my Review Editors, and in response to the enclosed
> I received in my capacity as an Editor for Climate Research from a
> scientist. All three of us (and other Review Editors as well?) share a
> strong concern about the scientific merit of this paper and, by
> association, the adequacy of the review process.
> Σ I have identified at least 10 errors or false interpretations in this
> paper and the overall tone of the paper is clearly to discredit the IPCC
> rather than to present a serious scientific critique.
> Σ The contribution (attached) by Jean-Baptiste is self-explanatory and he
> points to the danger that papers like this weaken the credibility of the
> journal Climate Research. Given our discussion earlier this year about
> raising the profile and penetration of the journal this is unfortunate.
> Σ Wolfgang Cramer (one of my Review Editors) is also very concerned
> allowing ‘opinion pieces’ to be passed-off as objectively reviewed
> scientific papers and he points out that his advice as a referee in the
> past has been ignored in allowing an earlier opinionated article to be
> published in CR.
> My question to you is ‘how does the journal ensure the highest possible
> review standards?’ Is this left entirely to the individual editors? Who
> takes responsibility for controversial articles? If, as I suspect, many
> other Review Editors share my concerns about the Gray article, how
does the
> journal take action to rectify this? At the very least, as a fellow
> editor, I would like to see the three reviews that de Freitas
> for the Gray article and I think that some judgement should be made on
> whether an adequate job of reviewing was completed in this case.
> I would be keen to open a discussion on this with other editors if you feel
> it appropriate.
> Yours sincerely,
> Dr M Hulme
>– End of excerpt from Mike Hulme

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