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« Fantasy inquiry team | Main | Everybody needs good neighbours »
Friday
Feb122010

More Boulton

Thanks to everyone who has been adding information about Geoffrey Boulton in the comments to the previous piece. Professor Boulton:

  • spent 18 years at the school of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia
  • works in an office almost next door to a member of the Hockey Team
  • says the argument over climate change is over
  • tours the country lecturing on the dangers of climate change
  • believes the Himalayan glaciers will be gone by 2050
  • signed up to a statement supporting the consensus in the wake of Climategate, which spoke of scientists adhering to the highest standards of integrity
  • could fairly be described as a global warming doommonger
  • is quite happy to discuss "denial" in the context of the climate debate.*

The idea that this man has no preconception of global warming science and has no connections with the CRU is clearly risible.

*This last bit is from that premium Scotman site. The full quote is: "Computer models of the natural climate have been very successful in simulating the changes of the recent past, until after 1970, when they suggest that there should have been cooling, not warming. Add human-produced greenhouse gases to the models, however, and the match between the model and reality is excellent. It shows that, since 1970, the human-induced component has begun to dominate over natural trends. Denial is equivalent to saying: "I don't know anything about science, so given the choice of trusting 99.9 per cent or 0.1 per cent of the experts, I'll go with the 0.1 per cent." 

 

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Reader Comments (30)

With the sterling investigative work done by the Bishop and all contributors, I humbly suggest that Andrew submits the final summary of evidence to Sir Muir, copy to C4 and Newsnight.

[Snip]

Freeman Dyson would be my own first replacement candidate of choice.

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Good idea, Drew.

Did Sir Muir set out to stack the panel, or is he just incompetent?

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Page

If Sir Muir Russell can't master the use of Google, perhaps he's not best qualified to investigate an email scandal?

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMisty

"Did Sir Muir set out to stack the panel, or is he just incompetent?'

When given a choice between deciding on conspiracy or incompetency . . . I usually go with the split decision and figure the person is just stupid.

Sir Muir seems to fit that bill.

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred from Canuckistan

Looks like you are doing the job the journalists are supposed to do...

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

The most significant of these must surely be the signing of the Met Office statement on the 10th of December in support of the

"many thousands of scientists across the world who adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity"

This was prompted by the release of the climategate emails. He must have been aware of them/read them by then, so hasn't he already mad up his mind on the outcome of the investigation?

Can this really stand?

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

Fred, too unkind.

If you are parachuted in to a foreign land you may find you dont speak the local language. You might sound a bit incomprehensible but it does not make you dim.

I would always give people the benefit of the doubt, innocent till proven guilty etc etc.

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Bishop

Point1

As I observed on the other thread this tribunal needs to be a lot more transparent than it appears it will be-that is to say it needs to be held in the public gaze.

Point 2 The panel has an absurd composition-if there are known and well versed climate warmists they can hardly be called neutral and need to be balanced by someone of a sceptical persuasion. Either the chairman is naive or just plain daft to believe this panel can represent both sides of the debate-it is hardly objective in any sense of the word is it?

tonyb

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

Tony

I wrote to Sir Muir last night along these exact lines. Either Boulton needs to go or he needs to be balanced.

He didn't reply to my last email and there's no response to this one yet either.

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:44 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

If the intention had ever been to have an independent and impartial investigation, then they never would have even considered appointing a former employee of the UEA. It's just ridiculous.

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTurning Tide

Bishop, I trust that you remembered to copy in your new admirers at the bbc, C4 etc. Andrew Neil might also be worthy of another cc, but I'm sure you knew that already.

Feb 12, 2010 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

On the face of it, Boulton looks less suitable than Dr Campbell was.

Feb 12, 2010 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Nigel Lawson's Statement On The CRU Inquiry

http://tinyurl.com/y89vccg

Feb 12, 2010 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterbrent

I'm sure that Andrew Neil would love to get a scalp.

Another obvious person to tell - Dominic Lawson - d.lawson@independent.co.uk

Feb 12, 2010 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAWatcher

I've dropped a line to C4 and Newsnight. No takers yet.

Feb 12, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

I can't decide whether this reminds me of a Sir Humphrey or Francis Urquardt episode?

Feb 12, 2010 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

All members of the inquiry panel should be given a copy of
the CRUtape letters. This would enable them to understand the context of
the e-mails and form their own questions from what they read.


That won't happen tho' will it ?...silly me !

Feb 12, 2010 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

We have experience of Muir Russell here in Dumfries, Scotland. As Chancellor of Glasgow University he was wanting to close at that time the just opened Dumfries campus of GU because of an annual deficit of £800,000 (that's thousands not millions). Dumfries and south Scotland has no other higher education establishment and he persisted in the face of massive local opposition. The incoming SNP government put up the money and the campus was saved. Russell presented a persona which was thoroughly cold hearted.

Feb 12, 2010 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterWilson Flood

I don't see how Boulton can be neutral since he

1. Boulton has *ALREADY* stood-up for the integrity of climate science after climategate.

2. Has expressed concern the effect of climategate would be to derail a deal at Copenhagen.

(and yes, 3. Believes the science is strongly indicative of AGW)

The Scotsman reported on 11 Dec 2009

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/news/Copenhagen-Summit-Scientists-unite-to.5903406.jp

Here are 5 interesting paragraphs -- (Haszeldine is a colleague of Boulton's at Edinburgh although this is not stated in the article).

In short, both Boulton and Haszeldine are virtually on record as saying there is no problem - although unfortunately there are no direct quotes of them in the article.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some of the scientists who signed the Met Office petition told The Scotsman they were wary of adding "flames to the fire", but thought it was right to stand up for the integrity of climate research.

Prof Boulton said he was worried the scandal might have damaged progress on thrashing out a deal to tackle global warming at the summit in Copenhagen.

He reiterated that the science shows a very strong likelihood greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change. "Of course we are not certain; one can be certain about nothing. However, if there was even a 50 per cent chance of a man-eating lion being outside the door, you wouldn't go out."

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, an expert in carbon capture and storage at the University of Edinburgh, also signed. He said:

"This is an attempt by a large group of science experts who have very good professional and personal ability to say that they believe in the work that has been done and they don't believe it has been deliberately falsified."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Feb 12, 2010 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAWatcher

"Did Sir Muir set out to stack the panel, or is he just incompetent?"

Minor technical point: it's Sir Russell . . .

No, Russell Muir is not incompetent: he has had a long career at senior level in the civil service and university administration. He has a good degree in physics. In any case, at his level and on his money, you have to take responsibility for what you do.

The "Review" committee is stacked with vested interests. By sacking Campbell, Muir hopes to divert attention from that and is, so far, succeeding. At the risk of going over old ground, some points:

In announcing the “Review” the UEA quoted Muir as saying:

“Given the nature of the allegations it is right that someone who has no links to either the University or the Climate Science community looks at the evidence”.

He has failed to live up to that promise. It is stacked with people with links to both the university and the “community”.

1. Sir Russell Muir himself. He advises ScottishPower, a company that profits from the climate change agenda. (Take a look at its web site). It funded distribution of Al Gore’s film to schools. It is a vested interest;

2. Dr Philip Campbell. Case closed

3. David Eyton, head of research and technology at BP. It too is a vested interest. See e.g.

“BP . . . is instead concentrating the bulk of its $8bn (£5bn) renewables spending programme on the US, where government incentives for clean energy projects can provide a convenient tax shelter for oil and gas revenues.”.

3. Geoffrey Boulton. AGW zealot - as others are demonstrating. Case not closed. Yet.

4. Professor Jim Norton. He is External Board Member, UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology; Council Member, Parliamentary IT Committee; Commissioner, IPPR Commission on National Security in the 21st Century; Board Member and Trustee, Foundation for Information Policy Research. He is not directly involved in the ‘Climate Science community’ but a quick Google shows that he writes on the issue.

There are scores of people who could have been trusted to conduct a fair and competent review who not only have no links to the “Climate Science community” but can be seen to have no links to it.

Every one of the people Muir chose has such links. Not one of them is fit to serve on his “Team” and, if any of them had any integrity, they would not have agreed to.

The ethical issues are not complex though establishing the truth might be. Why could it not have included the likes of a professor of science history, an expert in medical ethics, a practicing judge, someone from an unrelated scientific field, an expert in statistics, a leading overseas academic, anyone other than this shoddy mob.

What do we get? A group of eco-zealots paid by companies with vested interests. Can you see any one of them giving Jones the necessary grilling? Can you see any one of them saying, “Where's the statement from that McIntyre fellow? What do you mean we didn’t ask him?”

It stinks. The fact that Muir even calls his colleagues “The Team” suggests that they are cocking a snoop not just at the “sceptic” community but at the scientific ethic. I accept that “The Team” is a common phrase nowadays but I cannot believe that they are all so ignorant as not to know its implications in the circumstances.

I am sorry to bang on about it but the cynicism of this farce is shocking and deeply depressing.

Feb 12, 2010 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave B

Send the evidence to the press - there's still time to make the weekend papers.

Feb 12, 2010 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

Bishop

Thanks for replying. I think we are agreed that the composition of 'The Team' (their unfortunate term) is of vital importance in order to ensure the results have some credibility, but at the moment they are repeatedly shooting themselves in the foot .

Surely they can not believe that a panel that includes some well known warmists, meeting IN SECRET!! discussing material that CRU will have had the opportunity to put together in a persuasive and professional manner-can possibly put peoples concerns to rest? It is incredibly naive.

If you have not already done so perhaps you can put together a composite of peoples comments here to let him know that his committee at present has no credibility in the wider realm and that if wants to achieve this state he;

1) Needs to hold this under public scrutiny
2) Accept that he has an unbalanced team and change them accordingly.

Personally I am perfectly happy for someone with Boultons expertise to remain IF he is counter balanced by a sceptic of equal standing.

Thanks for your efforts, but if this is not to descend into a farce the Chairman needs to sort things out promptly.

Tonyb

Feb 12, 2010 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

The makeup of Sir Russel Muir's 'team' conveys an important message-- for reasons that are obvious to them, scrutiny by a truly independent panel can not be allowed to happen..

Feb 12, 2010 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrant

"Denial is equivalent to saying "I don't know anything about science, so given the choice of trusting 99.9 per cent or 0.1 per cent of the experts, I'll go with the 0.1 per cent.""

The problem with this argument is that truth is not decided by majority vote. The Earth's crust did not suddenly start moving about when the majority of scientists started to believe in plate tectonics.

The 99.9% figure seems a bit questionable as well, is it possibly an illusion created by the stifling of dissent? A sound scientific theory is supposed to be able to withstand everything that those that disagree with it can throw at it. It is also strengthened by being able to predict things that subsequently come to pass. Time will be the judge in that case.

Feb 12, 2010 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

Just to keep the detail straight, Muir is his first name, and Russell the surname, so Sir Muir, or Sir Muir Russell are correct.

Feb 12, 2010 at 6:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Geoffrey Boulton signed the petition on 25th November which was specifically circulated in support of CRU and states:

The evidence and the science are deep and extensive. They come from decades of painstaking and meticulous research, by many thousands of scientists across the world who adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity. That research has been subject to peer review and publication, providing traceability of the evidence and support for the scientific method.

How on earth can he be thought to have an open mind on the credibility of CRU?

Feb 13, 2010 at 12:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterPatrick Hadley

Did Sir Muir set out to stack the panel, or is he just incompetent? - John Page

The terms need not be mutually exclusive. :)

Feb 13, 2010 at 1:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterTony Hansen

Send a message about Professor Boulton to The Independent Climate Change Email Review at:
correspondence@cce-review.org

Feb 13, 2010 at 2:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterGordon of Goodwood

The pressure mounts:

http://news.scotsman.com/news/Senior-Scots-scientist-in-climate.6069702.jp#4932947

Feb 13, 2010 at 7:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterCameron Rose

Without a doubt Boulton must go! If the man had any honour he would have recused himself. He obviously hasn't so should be sacked.

He wont jump, he needs to be pushed.

Feb 13, 2010 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard

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