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« Richard Lindzen in the Boston Globe | Main | Jones in Sciencemag »
Friday
Feb192010

Environment correspondents

David Henderson's interview on Newsnight Scotland was rather good, I thought. Henderson came over rather well, and in my opinion he's a better frontman for the GWPF than Nigel Lawson, with none of the political baggage with which the former chancellor is encumbered, while also being possessed of oodles of gravitas.

Henderson's opponent was Rob Edwards, the environment editor of the Glasgow Herald. He was splendid evidence of the futility of newspapers employing specialist environment correspondents. The issues of whether global warming is happening are of course all about physics. What the effects of any warming might be are also scientific questions. What to do about it is an area for economists to deal with. Clearly then, the global warming issue should be divided up between science correspondents and economics correspondents.

Unfortunately this is never the case. Almost without exception, global warming stories are handed over to environment correspondents distinguished only by their almost complete ignorance of both science and economics. The main criterion applied by media outlets when appointing journalists to these posts is that applicants be good environmentalists. As a result, dealings between the media and the likes of the CRU have been at best a supine acceptance of whatever story has emerged from the universities' press offices and at worst active cheerleading.

Edwards was a case in point. He acknowledged that he wasn't a scientist and said that bad things had happened at CRU, even suggesting that heads should roll. But his objective for the interview seemed to be to maintain the momentum of the global warming movement:

The bulk of the science hasn't changed...we all make mistakes...it's an incredibly complex thing...this delays the process of coming to a global consensus...

This really isn't the reaction of someone who is trying to take a long hard look at what Climategate means for the overall AGW hypothesis. An argument that the bulk of scientists believe in the "consensus" looks feeble in the light of the revelations that there have been successful attempts to close journals to sceptics.

And lest we we in any doubt as to his credentials as a green activist, here's some of his closing comments:

Last year I was lucky enough to go to Mali in Africa.. and we met lots of people there...government officials, tribal leaders, farmers etc and they all had one message which was in essence, "your pollution is killing us".

Well I'm sure they did - with a bevy of activist environment correspondents from the western media telling them that this is the case and plenty of development cash up for grabs, it would take the forbearance of a saint not to turn a blind eye to the fact that there has been a substantial greening of the Sahel in recent years. I wonder if Rob Edwards noticed that while he was there?

 

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Reader Comments (44)

Is there any possibility of someone getting this onto Youtube? Unfortunately, us in the "colonies" are denied access to iPlayer. Thanks to Bishop for the synopsys though.

[BH adds: I've heard that if you can find a UK-based proxy server it's possible to see iPlayer]

Feb 19, 2010 at 8:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndy Scrase

Surely you are not suggesting someone like Edwards should OBSERVE !! That would be too scientific.

Feb 19, 2010 at 8:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterAileni Noyle

Your Bishness - hope you don't consider this to be OT, and ban it to the Siberian wastes of, sob, "Unthreaded".

Anyway, it can be very frustrating not having access to iPlayer, or any of the other UK TV "players" if you live outside of the UK.

But see this article about receiving UK TV aboard (including by satellite):

http://costablancaexpats.net/kbase2/kb/index.php?View=entry&CategoryID=4&EntryID=1

If you scroll down to "(6) TV over the Internet" you will see it links to 2 sites:

http://www.intl-alliance.com/
https://www.my-private-network.co.uk/

I understand just using a free proxy server won't work, by the way.

In the meantime, I agree with Andy Scrase - any chance of uploading the David Henderson interview to YouTube?

Feb 19, 2010 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

Brilliant writing your grace and what you say about environment corrs is SO TRUE!

Feb 19, 2010 at 9:29 AM | Unregistered Commentercool dude

This was a wasted opportunity. It was good that Hendersen focussed on the review process, however, he let Edwards get away with an emotional diatribe. Hendersen could simply have pointed out that deserts are shrinking and that in 2009 for the first time 1 billion people in the world went hungry because of the use of corn in the USA being converted to biofuel.

Feb 19, 2010 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Interesting that they put the greening down to increased temperatures, when there has been no material increase in tropical or subtropical temperatures over the period. It's hard for "environmentalists" to accept the possibility that it could be a direct effect of increasing CO2
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090209205202.htm

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Accurate analysis of environment correspondents BH. But I agree with Confused about wasted opportunities.

As with every UK MSTV debate I've seen, it's the rational and reserved person on the AGW-sceptic side of the debate, versus an emotional professional green on the other. To my ears at least, the emotional retoric always seems to trump the rational.

For example, counter

"I'm not a scientist, but...", "well that's right, you are not. But I am, and..."

and

"you're just picking holes in their theory without doing any actual work, aren't you?" with "Well it is full of holes. Here follows a large body of mounting evidence from empirical observation, not computer models, to refute your hypothesis..."

And then: "Here follows a mounting and large body of work based on well understood and tested theoretical physics to refute your hypothesis, followed by mounting evidence from independent mathematical and statistical analysis of your models showing the enormous and fundamental flaws inherent, totally refuting their usefulness."

Why do we never see a debate like that, but instead one that closes on the "poor people in Mali will suffer and it's all your fault" ?

Like Confused, I despair that the talking heads roped into these debates every time are simply not up to the job from our POV, GWPF included.

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

To the average viewer we should recognise that Rob Edwards would come over as perfectly reasonable and David Henderson as somewhat "stuffy".

The warmist argument that these E-mails and IPCC mistake (emphasis on the singular) are unfortunate but doesn't change the "great body" of science which still points towards global warming needs to be countered in some way

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeil

Yes Neil has got it spot on. Every time the old chestnut is wheeled out "but none of this changes the overwhelming science/evidence/consensus" and never is this countered strongly by the other side.

We need a better spokesperson. Someone who knows his facts, but can also really debate and engage the audience.

Any nominations?

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Drew:

Like Confused, I despair that the talking heads roped into these debates every time are simply not up to the job from our POV, GWPF included.

On the other hand, Professor Philip Stott is most certainly up to the job. Haven't seen him on TV much, but he's on the radio quite a bit.

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

Yes Stott is a good nomination. He has done quite a few debates with other academics, and comes across well. Many are available on youtube.

Monckton has gone down rather well in Australia, is very strong in debate and can engage the audience, and very usefully has a broad understanding of the wider issues, both scientific and policy.

BTW, and OT: I have posted up a link to the video of Richard Lindzen's recent talk to Fermilab on the Peculiar Issue of Gobal Warming in the unthreaded section. I think it's worth watching.

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

I thought Henderson let the wafty green get away with too much.

The Beeboid was clearly on message with AGW and you needed a bulldog there, like Moran in the US.

Trouble is, the Beeb would never let Monckton appear. They seem to hold him in as much contempt as the BNP, probably because he is so good at arguing his case and making the greenie arguing with him look like an idiot.

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Williams

And what about Roger Pielke Jnr? He was highly effective at demolishing Professor Chris Field of the IPCC on the BBC's "Newsnight" the other week.

OK, it's true that he's, er, um, a colonial, but "Newsnight" for one regularly has live links to the US, so that needn't be a problem.

Not so sure about Monckton, though. He's certainly articulate, but appears to be something of a figure of fun in some quarters. And besides, some of us Europeans are not at all keen that he has recently joined UKIP (a small Get-the-UK-Out-of-the-EU-NOW political party, if you're not familiar with UK politics).

Feb 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

Sorry, one last post then I'll shut up. What about our gracious host?

He certainly sounded very articulate in the 20 minute interview which he linked to recently. I understand he's published some book or other - and seems to know what he's talking about.

Unlike Dr Pachauri's, his book may not contain any scenes referring to caressing heaving, pert, bosoms, but it still sounds as if it might be worth reading anyway. (Bish - nb: I'm very partial to Lidl's Chocolate Chip biscuits).

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

Paul, you raise another good case in point. Personally I didn't feel Pielke Jr was that effective in that particular debate. To the average viewer my guess is that he appeared to be dominated by Field.

Yes, he was the reasonable, rational but far too timid combatant. He was in the studio itself, and had the chance to really assert his case.

And yet my impression was that Field, via satellite link, was given far more time to rant and rave and make his point endlessly that "none of this changes the overwhelming / settled science...". Pielke IIRC didn't refute this claim (although clearly this was not his intention for having the debate as it related to issues about his own interactions with IPCC).

I confess that I don't really understand why Monckton is considered a figure of fun. But I can see why the AGW faithful would want to cast him as one, in order to drown out what he's saying.

But that doesn't make him any less of a forceful and knowledgeable debater, one ready to counter these endless claims to overwhelming evidence on the spot. Such claims must be met every time with counter evidence. Every time a debater lets that one go, the average viewer can surely only conclude that the claim must be true then.

I guess joining UKIP would currently be the only consistent thing for him to do given that all MSParties are singing from the same hymn sheet as regards AGW driven policy.

At risk of veering further OT, let us not forget that the EU is one of (perhaps the) largest global funders of AGW propaganda and "research", doling out EU taxpayers money across the globe. You can take a look at some of the money being spent by the EU over at Dr North's investigative blog eu referendum. But none of us EU citizens get any say in this whatsoever. We can't vote these people who decide out.

Having recently returned to europe from living in countries as reputedly totalitarian as China and Vietnam, I find myself quite shocked at how this total lack of democracy and accountability has come about.

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Paul Boyce

I agree, Professor Philip Stott looks good on paper (Wiki).

BUT is he pretty ?

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Not pretty enough, perhaps! But then, on the other side, who is?

The big question then becomes: Is our host pretty?

[BH adds: Ugly as sin I regret. And so does my wife... ;-) ]

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Oh, I'm quite familiar with UK politics Paul old bean.

Not sure that UKIP is relevant regarding Monckton. Richard North runs a website called EUReferendum which is violently anti-EU but he has, arguably, done more to dig up problems with the IPCC AR4 and Pachauri's dodgy dealings than most.

Often referenced by the Bishop. Suggest you go there and have a look:
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/ - click on "Manifesto"

Actually he did a good interview with Horrobin on BBC R5 recently. I think you can catch it here
http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2010/02/13/partial-transcript-of-richard-north-vs-roger-harrabin-bbc-radio-5-live-exchange/

Maybe he should have been on Newsnight.

Don't forget that being a member of the EU ties us into their wacky carbon trading scheme, which has, in addition to the ability to lining the pockets of the great and good (I understand Blair wants a piece of the pie now), means that there is ample scope for mafia gangs to defraud VAT as well!

When you say "us Europeans" is it a statement of belief, family, or politics? No one was given an opportunity to vote on joining, and whenever there is a country like Ireland whose constitution triggers a referendum on strengthening federalism and they vote No, they keep asking the question until it's economically sensible for them to give in.

Finally, I have to ask, are you familiar with all the policies on the UKIP website? They (and the BNP) are the only parties right now who do not subscribe to AGW. You can't get a fag paper between Brown and Blair, Clegg is even worse, so who does a non leftie vote for nowadays? They have many other contrary policies to the other two, O/T for this blog, which is why I will probably vote for them too.

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Williams

The realist needs to be pretty, because the media like them that way.

That joker from Plymouth Uni is a case in point. Even had his kids on his 'Climate wars'...wont somebody think of the children ?

Use the emotional argument back at 'em, with pictures of starving children caused by the biofuel lobby. The media would then fire up against the AGW. Its the old a picture is worth a thousand ... stategy that the greenies, (sorry I would class myself a green) have used to great effect

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

One of the great problems with warmists is that they are more than happy to just tell big, fat whopping porkies without batting an eyelid, and trot them out repeatedly. That is a hard one to deal with if you're the sort of person used to always sticking to the truth. It's why the bad guys always do well in interviews, there's an infinite well of outright lies to draw from to get themselves out of any sticky situation. Sorry if this seems a bit harsh, but it's true!

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered Commentercool dude

Confused has hit the nail on the head.

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Cool dude likewise.

That's why we need someone who knows all the tricks of debating, as well as the facts.

So far, apart from Monckton, who often brings up the biofuel scam and its effects on food prices and how that directly significantly impacts the poor, who do we have who can counter the lies and emotion compellingly?

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

I thought a perfectly fair piece. These shows are always time-constrained, and the presenter gave both fair freedom, and the viewer can listen and think. They're not about reaching a conclusion.

Edwards was good, given where he is coming from. He is right that climategate 'doesn't change the science', of course it doesn't, and he was more reasonable than most in acknowledging faults and the swings in public opinion.

That he believes the punters in Mali have recourse to my 4x4 is unfortunate, but no different to any Western environmentalist.

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterHotRod

HotRod, climategate doesn't change the science. What it does is throw a glaring spotlight on the uncertainties and shoddy methodology of what was being sold up until then as fact.

But I think a wider point is being missed. More importantly in these debates, none of the mounting and new work being done by non-signed up scientists (from what we might call the hard sciences: physicists, mathematicians and so on) is being brought to light. There is an increasing body of empirical and theoretical peer-reviewed work that refutes AGW.

So, what we need in these debates is a great looking, skilful combatant, well versed in the latest science, preferably with cute kids and backed up by some great scary graphics inspired by the professional and well-funded green NGO's own doom laden marketing depts.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Sorry Bish, I can't agree with you that David Henderson was "rather good". He'd have been excellent if he'd been talking to a "Senior Common Room" but compared to Rob Edwards he failed completely to (a) get his point across and (b) to counter the emotional/irrational and downright wrong content of his adversary's statements.

The GWPF needs as a spokesman a scientist, or someone with a better scientific background than the "environment correspondents" (not that that'd be very difficult!), who's able to come across as a lot less "dry" and is willing to get into a (polite) slanging-match should it become necessary. Think about it, Al Gore got where he is by being a showman not a scientist - which he demonstrably and painfully isn't - yet many of the "green lobby" take his word as gospel.

I was somewhat amused by Edwards's claim that the "error" in the IPCC glaciers claim was "just one" in a huge report and that "everyone makes mistakes"... He should have, but didn't, "had his nose rubbed firmly in it" for this on the basis that it was a truly egregious mistake, it had obviously, despite the claims that the IPCC reports are the "gold standard", never been checked and that every "mistake" so far identified in the supposedly totally peer-reviewed report has been in the direction of alarmism. I'd be quite willing to bet that there are no "minor mistakes" in the entire report that indicate anything contra the concensus.

My own feelings towards the "but most of the science is still OK" argument would be that "we simply don't know any longer"... It seems to me that after the revelations of mass data manipulation, cherry-picking and IT ineptitude, until a complete recalculation of temperatures is done from original raw data, using published and auditable methods and code, we can't say whether the planet is warming, cooling, or just being its normal, somewhat variable, self. And that, IMHO, is a point that needs making every time.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterPogo

I don't know how much Henderson appears on TV. I suspect not much. He appeared quite hesitant, too polite, and seemed to be thinking up his next statement rather than listening for opportunities to rubbish the other guy (who _was_ rubbish, wasn't he?)

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Williams

Apologies again. I _know_ I only clicked once that time. Maybe it's Firefox? Trying this apology from IE. If it doubles up again, I won't post again.

[BH adds: Dunno why it keeps doubling up. It's not a big deal to remove the repeat though]

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Williams

I agree, David Henderson came over very well. I do hope he manages to get a comprehensive audit of the whole climate change field started. I'm amazed he managed to ignore the "your pollution is killing us" plea from the other bloke. What a buffoon. I couldn't ignore it, I was drinking coffee at the time and have covered my monitor with the stuff.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeedster

Well, frequently the debate is all packaging. Haven't you guys in the "old country" got any Anne Coulter, Michelle Malkin types? You know, smart, aggressive, tough good looking females willing to go head-to-head with any man? We have fun every now and then when our tigresses rip an AGW proponent to shreds on the TV. If nothing else the entertainment value is great. :-)

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJLKrueger

Dunno if yous lot have noticed this. I am having a hard time thinking I can agree with someone in the Guardian

"A surreal argument for biofuels

A leaked paper has set out the idea that palm oil plantations can be considered 'forests' – and the EU seems to be buying it"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/18/palm-oil-biofuels-eu-plan

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

I'm interested in some of the comments here regarding the kind of spokesperson the sceptic community needs. It strikes me that you need horses for courses. The Newsnight audience is ABC1 and is likely to see through bluster and slick media-friendliness.

Feb 19, 2010 at 12:59 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

BH - point taken. But this same issue applies right across the MSM.

My argument is that the "science is overwhelming/settled and this changes nothing..." must be countered strongly with nothing less than science each and every time.

Too many of the talking heads forget to do this, or don't have sufficient and up to date knowledge on the science, or are too focused on climategate, or are just not very good at tv and/or debate.

Feb 19, 2010 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Gnrrrf! It's such a fine line. What the sceptics need, to counter the political advocacy of politics packaged as science, is a non-advocacy-oriented scientist who is disinterested in the political implications of fervent and alarmist environmentalism and are focused on the integrity of sciences as dispassionate fact-finding journeys. I thought Henderson did a pretty good job of delivering on that, but I think he could have been more direct. I suspect that he's very mindful of the guilt-by-association with the political arm of the GWPF.

The "problem" for pro-scepticism, with individuals like Lawson, Monckton et al, is that they are highly political figures. By extrapolation (assisted by muppets like Hansen), they're just extreme right-wing Big Oil bobble-heads. Regardless of whether it's true or not (if we have a case against Boulton in the MRE, they have an equal argument against Monckton in the wider debate), if you want your facts to land as hard as they deserve, they're best coming from someone that you're NOT politically creeped-out by. Positive perception is our foot in the door. Without that foot, we're just left knocking.

We need these core political sound-bites from pro-AGW talking heads to be countered by succinct and rational, apolitical, science-oriented sound-bites. Science Trumps Politics. We need that to be the message, and we need to find a way to communicate it.

Feb 19, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonH

Sorry.. just to follow up, to summarise.. we need to present the antithesis of "the other side", and in order to do that properly we HAVE to move the political aspects of the argument to the side of "the enemy" too. We need to ALWAYS be able to respond with words to the effect of "You're pushing your politics, and I'm defending sciences against you!"

Feb 19, 2010 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonH

@SimonH: I agree. Trouble is, there are precious few scientists, thanks to the political corruption of the scientific process. See the latest North blog http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/02/money-talking.html

Feb 19, 2010 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Williams

The Bishop would like to know what sort of spokesperson the sceptic community needs.

IMO:

As with all public discussions the main aim should be to persuade the onlookers - which probably means the undecideds - not your opponent, which is probably impossible anyway. In achieving this aim it's not only important what you say, but how you say it. And, very regrettably perhaps, it's also important what you look like and how you come across.

Clearly, you don't want to look like some wild-haired, dishevelled loony who has just got out of bed, or the sort of person you'd edge away from nervously in the pub. Or be the pub bore, for that matter.

Politicians know this, of course, as presumably they've all been schooled in how to behave in front of the cameras. They say their piece, then shut up and let their opponent talk uninterrupted. When they are talking and the interviewer interrupts them they stop immediately, listen carefully to the question, and switch to replying to the question (or not, if you're Michael Howard and the interviewer is Jeremy Paxman asking you the same question famously 14 times in a row in one interview. And look what that did for Michael Howard's reputation)

You should, of course, be knowledgeable and articulate. Persausive. You should remain calm, polite, firm. Don't try and out-talk your opponent. Don't talk too quickly, or gabble on, or mumble. Or dribble. If you're Margaret Thatcher you should lower the pitch of your voice.

You shouldn't be associated with any political party, or known to have any strong political views.

All basic stuff. All things they teach you, presumably, on day 1 at Spin School.

But remember the terrible, terrible lesson of the Master Of Spin, one Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Once your credibility is gone you're done for. People start disbelieving everything you say, no matter what you say - even if it's true. You are well and truly, er, up the creek without a paddle.

So what sort of spokesperson the sceptic community need? Someone LIKE Tony Blair (but not Tony Blair), then, but with credibility.

Feb 19, 2010 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

Why, as our friends down under have done, can we not sponsor Lord Monckton on a UK presentation/debate tour?
Surely the media would have to take notice if a series of events were organised.
Now is the time to hit hard at all the disinformation and there is nobody better equipped to do that than Lord Monckton.
Under the auspices of the GWPF, it could be cast as an opportunity to open the debate, surely something we have long been calling for.
I'd even be willing to fork up a bob or two myself - and I would welcome the chance to see the good Viscount in the flesh.

Feb 19, 2010 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered Commenteribjc

If you want to get the message across and have someone who will argue with facts, then send on Piers Corbyn. Tends to get rather aggressive though and he reminds me of a terrier, bites and won't let go. Think he has upset too many at the BBC.

Feb 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Sorry if this sounds idealistic and naive which is definitely not my normal mode. However, all these posts sound like the sceptic camp descending to the same level that has disgusted us with the AGW crowd. Isn't the one thing that sceptics have in common that we want good hard science and informed policymaking, not political grandstanding and playing this out in media soundbites?

I say take the high road. Those sceptics who might be approached should only accept media opportunities that actually allow for an intelligent exchange of ideas, which excludes most tv interviews. Don't debate crackpots, shills, or politicians who'll drag you down into the mud with them. Who debates should be determined by area of expertise for the given topic. Forget pretty, but articulate, intelligent, and well-informed absolutely.

Feb 19, 2010 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMinB

This is a bit O/T Bishop, but hopefully relevent.

I often wonder if I'm the only one who's had his politics turned upside down by the exposure of this AGW scam?

As a Scotsman who lived in NZ for 10 years, I used to pride myself on my green-leaning politics - social justice, saving the planet, the whole caboodle. However, over the last few months, my AGW research has felt like pulling on a loose piece of thread; a thread (climategate et al) that quickly became string (obvious media bias and complicity), then rope (centralisation of unaccountable tax-raising political power).

I am left standing, somewhat astounded and angry, with a piece of rope in my hand that stinks. I've had my eyes opened to what the EU really is too.

I called the electoral commission last week to find out what it would take to get a 'none of the above' box on the general election papers. I was advised that such a change to electoral options would require an act of parliament. No chance there then.

For the first time in my adult life, as a result of the massive fraud that is AGW, I may not vote this year, as I have no party to vote for that represents the strength of my feelings on this issue (all four main parties in Scotland are AGW devotees and UKIP are less than a rounding error here).

As a lifelong follower of current affairs, I've never really understood the apathy that large segments of the population have regarding engaging with the political process. Until now.

What's a Scots sceptic to do?

Feb 19, 2010 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMorpheus68

Bishop, just as the alarmists always repeat the same message, "the science is settled" or the science remains the same" "all the scientists agree" then skeptics must continually repeat that the science is not settled, that Climate gate invalidates much of what was "settled" so that the Media and Politicians will get it into their heads, and the public understands this is a false message.

Also examples need repeating, that illustrate that the public has been mislead, such as "no warming since 95", the dire problems with the temperature reconstructions, Antarctica cooler and with a greater ice extent, etc etc. Also the greening of the Sahara would be a good example to continuously repeat. This is the only way to counter the alarmist view.

Alarmists never answer the questions asked they just repeat the message. The skeptical community needs to do this with the truth to get the message across. I got the felling that the news night interviewer was trying to infer that the skeptics were just cherry picking mistakes.

By the way, just about finished your book. Even though I have been following this scam for the last 3 years I'm very impressed with the detail of your book.

Feb 19, 2010 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeterMG

I take a stab at the "it's only a couple typos in the IPCC report, so the bulk of the science remains sound " argument here, in a blog post titled "The Climate Bible and the Home Inspector."

http://nofrakkingconsensus.blogspot.com/2010/02/climate-bible-and-home-inspector.html

It encourages (I hope) people to ask themselves: if you commissioned an inspection of a house you were considering purchasing, how many mistakes would it take before your confidence in the overall report was undermined?

Equally important, how would you expect to be treated when you brought these mistakes to the attention of the writer? The problem isn't simply that there are errors in the IPCC report, but that people who try to raise such issues are insulted & called names.

This lack of professionalism, it seems to me, is a powerful thing to point out to the public.

Cheers!

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDonna Laframboise

Perhaps it would be good to pick one or two specific themes that can be repeated ad nauseum even by a caveman.

My favorite would be the total lack of evidence that the current perceived warming is outside the natural range of variation. Lack of knowledge regarding the natural climate drivers is not evidence. Or perhaps, "Ignorance is not evidence."

Once a theme is selected and polished, then express it emotionally over and over and over and over......

Might work better in the US than UK.

Feb 19, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterGilbert

The problem is there are not "errors" in IPCC reports, but deliberate deceptions. So much has been written out this by victims of the IPCC process long before some of the smoking guns were so brilliantly exposed.

Feb 20, 2010 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered Commentercool dude

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