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« Paul Dennis responds to the Indy | Main | Politicians drawn in to FoI coverup »

Climate cuttings 34

There's just so much material round at the moment, it's hard to keep up. Here then is another resurrection of the Climate Cuttings series, in which I round up some recent developments.

In a story running in parallel in the Sunday Times and EU Referendum, Raj Pachauri is linked directly to a new set of erroneous statements in the IPCC reports. This time it's African rainfall they've been misleading us about. Since Pachauri is the author of the relevant part of the report and has repeated the claims elsewhere, he will find it harder to absolve himself of responsibility this time. Commenters noted a recent study that found that there has been a massive recent greening of the Sahel, with temperature rises leading to higher rainfall.

CCNet's Benny Peiser and The Observer's Robin McKie go head to head on whether Climategate matters. There's an interesting difference in tone between the two men.

The Observer's editorial says that the worst allegations in the emails are of suppression of information. I would have thought gatekeeping at scientific journals was far more important in the big picture. Either way, the Observer thinks that alarmism should continue regardless (or words to that effect).

Phil Jones has apparently considered suicide and he says he is still receiving death threats.

The Telegraph looks at Pachauri's financial interests and also finds that, as well as being a soft-porn writer, the big man is "a professional medium pace bowler", "a good top-order batsman and a fielder with a sharp catching arm." The IPCC. Is there nothing they can't do?

I've noted before the silly attempts to try to link sceptics to oil money, and the Independent is trying hard to use this kind of argument to destroy its remaining credibility. Apparently attending a seminar funded by Exxon is enough to refute one's arguments entirely. (It's true in Independent land).



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Reader Comments (29)

It's truly getting very difficult to keep up with the stories.

How many gates are there now that the floodgates have been opened?

Feb 7, 2010 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The Independent-on-line has “Think-tanks take oil money and use it to fund climate deniers” as its main story, with a photo of Steve McIntyre next to the headline.
In the Times interview, Phil Jones makes some diffamatory remarks about McIntyre, remarks which are refuted in following comments by Mosher, Holland, and Wilkinson.
The Observer, like the Guardian yesterday,refers to sceptics as “deniers” throughout. McKie’s tone with Peiser is vulgar, aggressive, ignorant, and possibly quite effective. Comments on Guardian and Observer articles and “recommends” continue to show sceptical readers outnumbering believers approx. 4:1.
Any idea that the media were embracing open honest discussion is dispelled by today’s British press. There’s a long way to go yet.

Feb 7, 2010 at 8:51 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

"a professional medium pace bowler",: ho, ho, look at the photo of his bowling action.
"....and a fielder with a sharp catching arm": a catching arm? You what?

Feb 7, 2010 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Exxon gave to WWF, as well. Does that discredit them?

Feb 7, 2010 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Lacton

On a human level I feel quite sorry for Phil Jones. Here's a man, ostensibly at the top of his field, who has suffered from the deadly sin of hubris..."I am not accountable to ordinary people". I don't want Phil to suicide. I'd like him to go back to work, and do it properly and openly. Unfortunately, it looks as though retirement would be more appropriate.

Feb 7, 2010 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff

Hopefully the NDET will be working on tracking down the people that made stupid threats and showing them the error of their ways. That after all is the kind of extremism they were created to prevent.

Feb 7, 2010 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Re The Independent piece about big oil funding the deniers

As stated on the Shell web site

We are urging governments for a stable long-term regulatory framework that includes an international cost of emitting CO2. This would encourage the investments and technological developments needed to raise energy efficiency and lower the CO2 intensity of energy supplies, without distorting international competition.

Policies should include, for example, emissions trading systems for power stations and industrial facilities. They should also promote vehicle efficiency and the use of fuels with lower total CO2 emissions.

And there should be appropriate targets for renewable sources like wind and solar.
These changes need to happen fast – they cannot be delayed by the current economic situation

My take is that big-oil is relishing the warmist view. After all, that is where the money is to be made, especially in carbon trading and alternate energy.

I've seen a lot of pro AGW researchers acknowledging funding from XXX oil company. Perhaps a research project on who and just how much would be interesting?

On a personal note, at one stage I was funded by Royal Dutch Shell to do air quality studies for them. Basically so that they could get EPA approval for their next big project. I was never particularly happy with their company attitude and I was appalled by the attitude of their field engineers. I doubt the corporate culture has changed.

Any funding by big-oil, and particularly by Shell, is bound to be result driven. It is pretty clear that the re-branding from oil company to energy company is not so much a sham as as attempt to get the next income stream. The funding of AGW researchers is quite obviously a step towards changing the political and economic climate so that more money can be made by exploiting change and by exploiting control of diminishing resources.

Feb 7, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterTilde Guillemet

I notice Paul Dennis has commented on the Independent article

He seems to be handling the pressures of being in the spotlight in admirable way.

Feb 7, 2010 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve2

Re Phil Jones - Lest We Forget:

From: Phil Jones
Subject: Fwd: John L. Daly dead
Date: Thu Jan 29 14:17:01 2004

From: Timo H‰meranta
Subject: John L. Daly dead
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 12:04:28 +0200
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook, Build 10.0.4510
Importance: Normal

In an odd way this is cheering news ! One other thing about the CC paper – just found
another email – is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals
to give all the data and codes !! According to legal advice IPR overrides this.


“It is with deep sadness that the Daly Family have to announce the sudden death of John
Daly.Condolences may be sent to John’s email account (

Reported with great sadness

Timo H‰meranta

Timo H‰meranta, LL.M.
Moderator, Climatesceptics
Martinlaaksontie 42 B 9
01620 Vantaa
Finland, Member State of the European Union

Private: timo.hameranta@xxxxx.xx

Home page: [1]

Moderator of the discussion group “Sceptical Climate Science”

“To dwell only on horror scenarios of the future
shows only a lack of imagination”. (Kari Enqvist)

“If the facts change, I’ll change my opinion.
What do you do, Sir” (John Maynard Keynes)


Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0)xxxxxx
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) xxxxxx
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jones@xxx.xx.xx

Excuse me if I cry no tears for Phil's inner demons. He should consider owning up - it would reduce his stress to come clean. Then he should take an early retirement and reflect. The last thing I want to see are "scientists" like Mr Jones continuing to practice their interpretation of sound scientific method. In his current unstable mental state he is not qualified to assume any leadership position.

Feb 7, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheSkyIsFalling

"The IPCC. Is there nothing they can't do?"

- Science.

Feb 7, 2010 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterFeedback

In the Observer an exchange of correspondence between Robin Mckie and Benny Peiser

No prizes in spotting which one of them sounds unhinged from the off :)

Feb 7, 2010 at 11:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve2

Shell sponsored the Independent and Guardian's AGW propaganda leading up to Copenhagen

Climategate: George Monbiot, the Guardian and Big Oil

International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)

The biggest lobbying group at Copenhagen was the International Emissions Trading Association which was created to promote carbon trading more than ten years ago.

Its members include :-

BP, Conoco Philips, Shell, E.ON AG (coal power stations owner, EDF (one of the largest participants in the global coal market), Gazprom (Russian oil and gas), Goldman Sachs, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley..

Their aim

the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and ultimately climate protection;

the establishment of effective market-based trading systems for greenhouse gas emissions by businesses that are demonstrably fair, open, efficient, accountable and consistent across national boundaries; and maintaining societal equity and environmental integrity while establishing these systems.

why ?

Carbon trading could be worth twice that of oil in next decade

The carbon market could become double the size of the vast oil market, according to the new breed of City players who trade greenhouse gas emissions through the EU's emissions trading scheme.

The ETS market may see $3tn (£1.8tn) worth of transactions a year in the next decade or two, according to Andrew Ager, head of emissions trading at Bache Commodities in London, with it even being used as a hedge against falling equities or rising inflation. "It is still a relatively new industry with annual trades of around €300bn every year. But this could grow to around $3tn compared to the $1.5tn market there is for oil," says Ager, who used to be a foreign currencies trader.

The speed of that growth will depend on whether the Copenhagen summit gives a go-ahead for a low-carbon economy, but Ager says whatever happens schemes such as the ETS will expand around the globe.

Feb 7, 2010 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterE Smith

A Freudian slip at The Independent? '... director of UEA's climactic research unit ...'

Feb 7, 2010 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterVinny Burgoo

Yer Grace

Feb 7, 2010 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterE O'Connor

Vinny Burgoo
A Freudian Slip indeed. For Climactic Research Unit, read Climacteric Research Unit. Symptoms of the male menopause include depression, fatigue, a tendency to exaggerate performance, and a strange fascination for graphs which suddenly go vertical.

Feb 7, 2010 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

In that case, Dr Pachauri's literary Viagra may be put to some good use!

Feb 7, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Re: TheSkyIsFalling

The e-mail that you cite, #1075403821, is NOT available at Try searching for the keyword Daly, or look at

—the text has been blanked.

Very curious!!

Feb 7, 2010 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

It's truly getting very difficult to keep up with the stories.
How many gates are there now that the floodgates have been opened?

It appears that there are many, Phillip -- Here's a whole new story centering on emails, cover ups and the "I'm not covered by the FOIA" position. BAA seems to be causing quiet a stir over Heathrow.

Feb 7, 2010 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Re: TheSkyIsFalling

The e-mail that you cite, #1075403821, is NOT available at Try searching for the keyword Daly, or look at

—the text has been blanked.

Very curious!!
February 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

Try here,

Feb 7, 2010 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob


Yes, the message (1075403821) is available elsewhere. The question is—why has it been removed from ? The message used to be there, and it has now been removed. That seems very odd to me.

Feb 7, 2010 at 6:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

I've emailed the owner of East Anglia emails for information. I don't think we should jump to conclusions here.

Feb 7, 2010 at 6:55 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

'Phil Jones has apparently considered suicide and he says he is still receiving death threats.'

Wouldn't this count as assisted suicide?

Feb 7, 2010 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

Here is a post I made on a US bulletin board 2 weeks ago about the Africa claim.

I read the Agoumi paper, all 10 pages of it, discounting the cover, credits and bibliography. In the first 3 real pages which read like a travel guide, there is not much substance on climate change. Only 11 sources listed. Of that, the author is in 2 of them. Seven of them reference reports on a UN sustainability project in the area. One references the 3 nations reports to UN COP 7. Only 1 addresses an analysis of water resources in the area.

That Study looked at only 1 river in Morrocco, and what MIGHT happen given temperature rises and rainfall decreases. Not surprisingly, the water levels went down. However, the report warned about this study:

However, these results should be regarded with great
• our knowledge of the relationship between evapotranspiration
and air temperature in this region
is very limited;
• calibration of the model developed for this watershed
was not satisfactory, given the spatiotemporal
heterogeneity of the research databases;
• the basic scenarios used to estimate future behaviour
in the event of climatic changes are not very
accurate (lack of an accurate general circulation
model for the region); and
• the particularity (humidity) of this watershed
makes it not very representative of all water
resources in the region. An extrapolation could
be done on the results for the northern part, but
not for the southern part of this zone.

So even the report the IPCC quotes, says opur one limited study can not be contrued for the entire area. Which is the 3 countries.

The IPCC wording was so general (in other African countries) that any reader would assume this was prevelant in most, if not all of Africa.

The failings of the report are numerous. The only mention of a 50% decrease in crop yields (over the next 20 years) is accredited to...Another UN report! Oh yeah, and then when they have droughts, crops yields go down 50%, (DUHH)

The report states up front that temperatures show an increase based on data collected in these countries. No weather stations are identified. No trend lines are shown. No historical rainfall charts are shown. Nothing to back up the presumptive claims. Then at the end, the author stresses the need for a better weather network:

It is in the interest of these
countries, as well as to the international community,
to possess a high-performing local network.
Today, this network exists in three underdeveloped
countries, and is not very spread out over the territory.
It requires reinforcement and rehabilitation, both from
a quantitative perspective (number of stations) and
with respect to the techniques and technologies used.

But then there is the coup-de-gras.

With respect to potential future climatic changes, it is
important to note that the assessments of warming
and changes in precipitation made in the initial vulnerability
studies in these countries, which were
incorporated into their initial national communications,
are not very accurate. They are the result of
assessments made using empiric models.

So there you have it. Another IPCC statement that crops will decline 50% in Africa, supported by one report (non peer reviewed) that quotes a previous UN report, cites a very limited analysis on river levels that should not be extrapolated to the entire area (let alone all of Africa) and then admits that the original analysis done for warming and precipitation were not very accurate, and rely upon (not named) empirical models!!

Feb 8, 2010 at 6:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterTW in the USA

Great post TW - thank you for that.

Feb 8, 2010 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheSkyIsFalling

Still no word from the proprietor of ?

I cannot imagine a reasonable explanation. Something fishy seems to be going on.

Feb 9, 2010 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan


Apologies, I had a reply yesterday but neglected to post it. It's a technical issue with accented characters cutting off anything subsequent. His techy guy is going to look at it but is out of the country at present.

Feb 9, 2010 at 5:51 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

That makes sense. You were completely right about not jumping to conclusions. Apologies to both you and especially

Feb 10, 2010 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

This is the reason I like Awesdome pots.

Mar 11, 2010 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterSusie

Wow. rocks.

Mar 11, 2010 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterKris

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