Wed. update: RealClimate contextualized the excerpts, in post & in comments. Also, I submitted a comment (3 times; though as of Sat., it hadn't appeared. I also emailed.) at local emeritus denier Russ Steele's blog asking him to provide 3-5 excerpts he considered egregious, offering to look into them.
Excerpts & findings have been appended to this post.
Here's the UEA statement:
"If genuine, ... these emails have the appearance of having been held back after the theft of data and emails in 2009 to be released at a time designed to cause maximum disruption to the imminent international climate talks.
This appears to be a carefully-timed attempt to reignite controversy over the science behind climate change when that science has been vindicated by three separate independent inquiries and number of studies – including, most recently, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group.
As in 2009, extracts from emails have been taken completely out of context. Following the previous release of emails scientists highlighted by the controversy have been vindicated by independent review, and claims that their science cannot or should not be trusted are entirely unsupported. They, the University and the wider research community have stood by the science throughout, and continue to do so."
The 3 email excerpts I checked, from top of Mr. Steele's reprinted list:
(I've left a comment there, linking back to this post)
- A claim is that an email from Phil Jones says that the media, especially BBC, has an alarmist bias. But from looking at the email, he doesn't say BBC has an alarmist bias, he just says that it rarely includes a counter-quote for "balance" anymore, any more than it does for flat-earth troglodytes - plus Jones's email goes on to say: "There is, however, still a vociferous and small majority [minority - ed.] of climate change skeptics (also called deniers, but these almost entirely exclude any climate-trained climate scientists) who engage the public/govt/media through web sites. M...ost of these skeptics/deniers do not write regular scientific papers in peer-review journals. ..."
A terminology hint for the reasonable: When the science indicates a need for alarm, people who care about their children and grandchildren (and, if young to middle-aged, their own quality of life) call it "alarming", not "alarmist".
- From: Tom Wigley on Sat, 25 Jun 2005 -"... If I were on the greenhouse deniers’ side, I would be inclined to focus on the wide range of paleo results [prior to 1850] and the differences between them as an argument for dismissing them all. ..." This is the excerpt I asked for input on, though Wigley's overall views are clear from the rest of the email: "On the science side, the key point is that the M&M [global warming doubters] criticisms [of the 'hockey stick' finding] are unfounded."
I asked over at Tamino's, and got a response, and then asked Wigley himself - read the (first) comment below for his assessment.
- Claim - [Phil] Jones says 2-degree C limit ‘plucked out of thin air’
This is an obvious misinterpretation. Jones meant we don't know exactly what exact temp. rise we can handle without getting dangerous effects; and he said right afterward that he thought the chosen limit of a 2degrees C (almost 4 F) rise is too high.
(His correspondent, Kremer, concurred - saying that there were practical, not scientific, reasons to peg the limit so high. Kremer responded to Jones saying, "A colleague of yours...wrote an interesting article on the “tipping points” which gives an indication that the 2 deg. C is rather at the upper end if we want to avoid dangerous climate change (especially as far as Arctic Sea Ice is concerned) but already that will be hard to get…and to set a goal below 450 ppm equivalent seems to me too unrealistic to put forward.")
Anyone who has a child - and anyone who has a future - has a stake in the future.