Releasing the Cook et al Data

Hello everybody. As you probably know, a couple months ago I came into possession of data for an incredibly popular paper by John Cook and others from Skeptical Science. The authors of the paper did not intend for people to see this data. When Cook realized I had it, he had his university (the University of Queensland) threaten to sue me in order to intimidate me into not releasing it. This threat was so absurd I was told I’d be sued if I showed anyone the letter it was in.

You may have read my post referring to all this last week. If you did, you know I recently discovered the University of Queensland and John Cook used references to six unimportant entries in the data files I found to imply all of the data I found needed to be kept confidential.

Having discovered Cook’s trick, I realized there is nothing holding me back from releasing the data. I wrote a post explaining Cook’s trick, and I intended to announce the impending release of the data shortly after. Instead, I got distracted by discussing problems with the Berkeley Earth temperature index (BEST). Still, better late than never. As such, I have an annoucement to make:

Given John Cook and the University of Queensland made no attempt to resolve any points of disagreement, and

Given John Cook and the University of Queensland have broken off all communication, thus preventing any further attempts to resolve points of disagreement, and

Given John Cook and the University of Queensland have refused to accede to simple requests for information which could help resolve points of disagreement, and

Given John Cook and the University of Queensland have libelously accused me of criminal activities while refusing to allow any response, and

Given John Cook has freely disseminated material stolen from the Heartland Institute, and

Given John Cook and associates have knowingly made false claims which exaggerate the significance of their work, claims directly contradicted by material I gained access to, and

Given the University of Queensland, while representing John Cook, made baseless legal threats to attempt to intimidate me into not releasing any material, and

Given there is no standing request for me to withhold any material, and

Given this material has direct significance in examining the quality of work of a major scientific paper, and

Given I obtained this material in a lawful manner well in line with common investigative approaches,

I am forced to conclude the only appropriate course of action at this point is to release all material I have which relates to Cook et al’s attempt to measure the “consensus” on global warming. I will do so this Saturday.



  1. Cook should not have any problems with de-identified volunteer ratings being released. The scientist self-rating data need not be released, and, is of little value.

  2. Shub Niggurath, I’m not going to anonymize or withhold if John Cook, his co-authors, fellow raters and university have no interest in requesting I do so.

    Also, anonymizing the raters’ ratings wouldn’t accomplish much. All the important raters could be identified despite it.

  3. I take it Herr, sorry, Mr Cook has remained silent ? He’s probably busy getting ready to go to visit his BFF Lew.

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