Head Climategate researcher steps down -- temporarily

Hell freezes over.

Professor Phil Jones has today announced that he will stand aside as Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent Review resulting from allegations following the hacking and publication of emails from the Unit.

Professor Jones said: “What is most important is that CRU continues its world leading research with as little interruption and diversion as possible. After a good deal of consideration I have decided that the best way to achieve this is by stepping aside from the Director’s role during the course of the independent review and am grateful to the University for agreeing to this. The Review process will have my full support.”

At least he’s consistent: If there’s one thing the Climategate e-mails show, it’s the lengths to which Jones et al. were willing to go to spare climate-change orthodoxy from unhelpful “diversions.” Mind you, this is the guy whom even global-warming true believer George Monbiot thinks should hit the bricks, although of course he won’t. As Ace says, writing about Penn State’s investigation of another Climategate malfeasor, we’re headed for a Rathergate-style whitewash on all fronts here. There’s simply too much riding on the integrity of the process to start casting out its high priests. “Fake but accurate” is a fait accompli; the only question is how long it’ll take to render that verdict. Exit question: Does this mean Jones doesn’t get to go to Copenhagen? I was really looking forward to photos of him with world leaders various and sundry.