January 29, 2004: email 1075403821
Phil Jones forwards to Mike Mann an email advising the sudden death of skeptic John Daly:
In an odd way this is cheering news! One other thing about the Climatic Change paper — just found another email — is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals to provide all the data and computer programs!! According to legal advice, Intellectual Property Rights overrides this.
Ignore Jones’s insensitive comments regarding an opponent’s death, if you can. What is remarkable here is that Jones apparently finds completely bizarre and foreign the idea that the data and methods used to arrive at a scientific conclusion should be made available for independent scrutiny! This is astounding: these requirements are fundamental to the entire scientific method, through its demands of reproducibility: any scientist, anywhere in the world, must in principle be able to reproduce and verify a scientific result, before it is even considered to be a result at all.
Of course, in the context of the climate debate, Jones’s arrogance is far more damning: these results, central to their call on world leaders to enact treaties and legislation that would have truly astounding ramifications for the planet, should have been audited, scrutinized, validated, and verified with greater thoroughness than possibly any other results of modern science. To have Jones and Mann argue that the data and programs central to these recommendations are “private property”—protected by patent and copyright laws—is not just obnoxious: it is criminal.