E2 Round-up: UK panel finds climate scientists didn’t cook the books, but erred on data sharing, also, a push for tougher chemical laws

From the report:

We are content that the phrases such as “trick” or “hiding the decline” were colloquial terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a systematic attempt to mislead. Likewise the evidence that we have seen does not suggest that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process. 

But the report also criticizes the CRU – which is part of the University of East Anglia – for an “unacceptable” withholding of raw data requested by climate change skeptics.

Here’s another blurb:

Whilst we are concerned that the disclosed e-mails suggest a blunt refusal to share scientific data and methodologies with others, we can sympathise with Professor Jones, who must have found it frustrating to handle requests for data that he knew—or perceived—were motivated by a desire simply to undermine his work. 

In the context of the sharing of data and methodologies, we consider that Professor Jones’s actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community. It is not standard practice in climate science to publish the raw data and the computer code in academic papers. However, climate science is a matter of great importance and the quality of the science should be irreproachable. We therefore consider that climate scientists should take steps to make available all the data that support their work (including raw data) and full methodological workings (including the computer codes). Had both been available, many of the problems at UEA could have been avoided.

There are several other reviews of the CRU emails underway, so this isn’t the end of the line.

There’s a ton of coverage in the UK and elsewhere. Bloomberg leads with the UK lawmakers attacking the transparency of the CRU, noting “Britain’s global warming scientists damaged their reputation by 'unacceptable' withholding of data in response to freedom of information requests, said a panel of lawmakers who probed the so-called climategate scandal.”

This Associated Press account, however, leads with the report’s findings about allegations of cooking the data. It begins: “A parliamentary panel investigating allegations that scientists at one of the world’s leading climate research centers misrepresented data related to global warming announced Wednesday that it had found no evidence to support that charge.”

There’s also coverage from the BBC, the Telegraph, the Guardian and plenty of other outlets.

Moving on . . .

In the New York Times, David Leonhardt looks at U.S. policy on chemical exposures and concludes “We are not taking toxic risks seriously enough.”

“Several common diseases, like certain cancers and developmental disorders, have been rising in recent decades, and scientists are not sure why. In some cases, evidence suggests chemicals may be the reason,” he writes.

The Baltimore Sun looks at a push by environmental activists for a congressional overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act.