It reads as if it were offered yesterday in response to "news" that UEA had somehow destroyed its original data:
“Can this be serious? It is now impossible to create a new temperature index from scratch. [The unit] is basically saying, Trust us’.”
In fact, the quote was from a blog-post written months ago in response to CRU conceding that it had used data for some climate stations that it did not physically possess. This is very old news, in fact, dressed up to add hysteria to the latest story. Pielke explains all here. And stands his ground:
I suggest instead being open and simply saying that in the 1980s and even 1990s no one could have known that maintaining this data in its original form would have been necessary. Since it was not done, then efforts should be made to collect it and make it available (which I see CRU is doing). Ultimately, that will probably mean an open-source global temperature record will be created. If you believe -- and I see no reason to suspect otherwise -- that such an open-source analysis will confirm the work of Jones et al., then you should be welcoming it with open arms.
Yes they should. And if this sorry tale helps bring all the original data to light in one open-source place - so anyone can pore over it with as much attention to detail as they wish - it will have a happier ending.