The local media is starting to engage on the Climate Gate scandal. Nearly three weeks ago, I pointed out that the UA’s Malcolm Hughes was one of a handful of recipients of the now infamous “Hide the Decline” memo.
Kudos to the Star's Tony Davis who followed up my post by talking directly to Hughes
After the hacked e-mail became public last month, Arizona-based "Espresso Pundit" blogger Greg Patterson lit into Hughes, writing, "One of the researchers who participated in this email exchange in which they discuss using a 'trick' to 'hide the decline' was Malcom (sic) Hughes."
So what was Hughes’ response? He threw email author Phil Jones under the bus.
One problem with such criticism, according to Hughes, is that this "hide the decline" tactic was not used by Hughes and his partners in the controversial hockey-stick studies. It was used in separate research by Hughes' partner Mann and Keith Briffa, of the East Anglia university.
Read Hughes’ response carefully. Does he try to pawn off the story that “hide the decline” is somehow “scientist” talk and it’s OK? Nope. Does he claim that the “trick” is an unfortunate choice of words, but actually represents an acceptable statistical adjustment. Nope. Does he defend the author in any way? Not at all.
In fact, Hughes immediately distances himself from Jones, Mann, Briffa and the rest of those who participated in the email exchange.
Hughes says that it was Michael Mann and Keith Briffa who used the "tactic" to hide the decline. Hughes' is quick to point out that his research didn’t rely on "the tactic".
However, I wasn’t accusing Hughes of using "the trick". I was pointing out that he knew about it. He knew that data was being manipulated. Sure, Hughes points out now that HE didn’t use the tactic. But what did he do when he found out that his partners were using it? Did he report them? Chastise them? Distance himself from them? No, No and No. In fact, he continued to work with them, continued to resist requests to release his data, continued to support Mann et al—despite his knowledge that their underlying data looked manipulated. He also continued to maintain that there is a "consensus" and that the issue is "settled"--and now that Jones has stepped down and Mann is under investigation, Hughes throws them under the bus.
Let me put the issue in context. Say you are an executive in the Finance Department of a large multinational firm and you are one of five people copied on an email in which other high ranking officials disclose that they are using a "trick" to "hide the decline" in Net Revenue. Years later, after the company goes under, the stock collapses and the emails become public, you point out that YOU never used the trick in your own financial reporting. Do you think that would fly?
It’s looking more and more like Hughes has been part of an extensive fraud. Did he commit fraud? He certainly doesn’t seem to think so. But it looks to me like he’s an accomplice.