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« Ian Katz in the Graun | Main | House Republicans attack Penn State »
Tuesday
Feb092010

Michael Meacher on the Hockey Stick

The left wing Labour MP Michael Meacher has posted an article about problems with the Freedom of Information Act and makes a passing allusion to the Hockey Stick affair.

It is dreadful that the FOI requests made to the scientists at the UEA climactic research unit were so disgracefully blocked (albeit that some of the climate change sceptics demanding the information may have been obsessive and partisan themselves). Some of the data, for example concerning the location of 42 rural Chinese weather stations or the width of annual growth rings of trees in frozen Siberian bogs, might be arcane and of minute relevance to fundamental climate change questions, but it should still have been made readily available. The evidence about the 'hockey stick' is much more serious and should certainly have been provided in full. Scientific data should be a free resource to all who seek it. But that of course applies much more widely than just to contentions about climate change.

Amen to that. I wonder if he has read my book?

 

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  • Response
    Are you bored with Climategate? And bored with me writing about it, again and again? Yesterday, fellow Samizdatista Michael Jennings told me he is. I understand the feeling, and would be interested to hear if any of our commentariat shares it, but as for me, I can't leave this thing alone. ...

Reader Comments (10)

These people still don't really get it.

The Freedom of Information Act makes no mention of who is asking for the information or what they plan to do with it. That's how freedom works.

With these people there is always an extra clause in the sentence: `'freedom so that ......"

"Freedom to bake apple pies".

Why not just "Freedom. Period".

Feb 9, 2010 at 8:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

He really doesn't get it , does he.

Some of the data, for example concerning the location of 42 rural Chinese weather stations or the width of annual growth rings of trees in frozen Siberian bogs, might be arcane and of minute relevance to fundamental climate change questions,

Feb 9, 2010 at 9:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterDennis

You shouldn't go into "enemy of my enemy is my friend" territory. Meacher is a tinfoil-hat wearing conspiracy-believing nutjob. He's only ever right by accident.

Feb 9, 2010 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterWilliam

Some of the data, for example concerning the location of 42 rural Chinese weather stations or the width of annual growth rings of trees in frozen Siberian bogs, might be arcane and of minute relevance to fundamental climate change questions

Minute questions such as those relating to the current instrumental temperature assessment and the accurate (and honest) reconstruction of past temperatures.

Temperatures - well overrated in the assessment of warming if you ask me.

Feb 9, 2010 at 10:17 AM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

"Meacher is a tinfoil-hat wearing conspiracy-believing nutjob."

Too true - he wrote an approving introduction to one of those books "proving" that 9/11 was an inside job ("The New Pearl Harbor"). Someone gave me a copy but, good little Greenie that I am, I recycled it. Out of loyalty to the giver, I read the wretched thing - it's tosh.

"He's only ever right by accident." True - but he's also only ever "left" by accident as well.

When there was a genuine conspiracy (Blair on Iraq's WMD), Meacher believed the reports about chemical weapons when anyone who knew anything about the region knew they had been destroyed by the UN years before and when Hans Blix was telling the world just that.

Meacher's unease is perhaps useful as an index of a mood in political circles, not of potential support. (There's a strong desire in government if not to do away with the FoI rules then at least to emasculate them. In Scotland, the process appears to be already underway.)

At the moment, the spin machine is in overdrive trying to contain the Climategate story - hence the wheeling out of Phil "I'm-about-to-top-myself" Jones to divert attention from the fact that the data we all want is still secret and likely to stay that way.

Comparing himself to David Kelly is not only shameful but insolent with it. Kelly's problem was that he felt he had to tell the truth come what may, Jones's that he felt he had to hide the truth whatever happened. Most of us can spot the difference. (I thought Kelly handled himself rather badly but, under the circs, would I have done better? Last time I looked, it wasn't a capital crime.)

Jones's recent press interviews were contemptible and so obviously scripted -

"Yes, I quite understand your desire to keep quiet, Dr Jones. Of course we won't think the worse for your not being able to help us with a problem largely of your making. But, if you want to change your mind, you'll find me in accounts where we are doing the annual pension review . . . "

That's one conspiracy I didn't see Meacher denounce. Nor have I seen him call for a proper CRU probe. Don't tell me that, after all his years in government, he doesn't know a cover-up when he sees one. He's a two-faced creep.

Feb 9, 2010 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave B

Lets not forget Meacher introduced an early day motion on climate change to parliament in May 2005, which calls upon the government to commit to yearly CO2 emission reductions of 3%.

Did he change his mind?

Meacher on his new book: "The evidence shows that religion and science, so far from being incompatible, are in fact mutually complementary, though based on very different paradigms of experience. The book reveals how the latest scientific findings about a designed and purposeful organisation of the universe and of life forms within itpoint to an ultimate reality, not of the human race as the summit of evolution, but of an overarching cosmic plan of which we may be a key part."

Wolf in sheeps clothing IMO (did he model the coat of arms for the Fabians, of which he is a member?)

Feb 9, 2010 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter

The vicar of Bray?

Feb 9, 2010 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

@ Dave B

Amen.

And also well spoken Sir on every point.

Feb 9, 2010 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterTilde Guillemet

"Scientific data should be a free resource to all who seek it." I'm not disagreeing but when did this become the case? I also wonder, leaving aside the question of funding, why it should be so?

Feb 9, 2010 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterRich

Glad to see the comments on the "arcane and of minute relevance" parts... It seems that every little crack that in the AGW/Hockeystick debate is minute and doesn't add up to much. I guess when the foundation finally gets deconstructed by a million tiny cracks, the debris laying around on the ground will mean something and this whole thing will be less arcane.

Feb 10, 2010 at 2:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

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