More from Sir Muir and his team
Apr 17, 2010
Bishop Hill in Climate: Russell

David Holland writes with the latest update on the bizarre attempts by the Russell inquiry to withhold publication of his evidence.

The Russell ICCER emailed me again yesterday. Unfortunately I left early this morning and was not able to report this until now.

Dear Mr Holland,

Thank you for your reply.

The CCER website indicates that the Review reserves the right to withhold publication of submissions if they are potentially defamatory. We have been advised that there would be a significant risk of legal action if your submission is published in whole or in part on the Review website.

As you can appreciate, the Review has received an extensive range of submissions. In terms of transparency and openness the aim is to publish all material as quickly as possible. The Review is unable to verify the factual accuracy of submissions and correspondence prior to their publication.

Further to the suggestion I made in my previous email, I note on the Bishop Hill Blog that you would be content to send a copy of your submission to interested parties using an email address you have established for the purpose, subject to your terms of confidentiality and distribution. I therefore write seeking your permission to reproduce the email address you have set up for this purpose on the Review website.

I believe that just posting my contact details without any explanation would not be open and transparent as we were promised. It is important that the nature of the evidence I gave should be published by the review even if they are not to investigate it. The global public will then be able to see whether this enquiry is thorough and balanced. Accordingly this is my reply.

Thank you for your email.

I was in the course of preparing a letter for you to publish in lieu of my original submission, which mentions no individuals but does identify the nature of my original submission and includes a contact email address. I will also submit as evidence of my attempt to provide a right of reply, correspondence in which I asked the main individuals in this matter to explain the facts that I have reported to the ICCER. I will try to get it to you asap but would like some answers from you first.

Please can you tell me how many other submissions you have declined to publish on the same basis that you say prevents your publication of mine. You say you are unable to verify the factual accuracy of my submission. Have you checked out all the references I gave you? Can you tell me how many of the individuals, who I have named in my original submission, you have contacted and how many have disputed what I have said? Can you give me the numbers of just two or three paragraphs which you say are potentially defamatory or are disputed? Did you let the Royal Society have access to my submission?

I have just downloaded the submissions that you have published and searched on the term "Ammann". Other than mine, it appears in just 7 of the 46 submissions and, in all but two, only in references to published papers. In the other two by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, who were directly involved in the matters I reported, perhaps wisely, they only touched upon the matter leaving it to me to deal with the detail. Michael Mann, who usually has plenty to say on these matters, makes no comment at all on Wahl and Amman 2007, despite the fact that the substance of my complaint is well known to him, as the emails show.

As it stands, therefore, you have published no evidence that relates to one of the most damaging emails:

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don't have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

Without a proper published evidence based investigation of this email your review will rightly be dismissed as a whitewash. As you have mentioned, I have, on a confidential basis, invited a number of people to review what I have submitted to you and indicate any parts that are not entirely correct and justified from the published documents. I am still waiting for anyone to point to an error of any sort.

One reply, from a well respected published climate scientist, I will share with you. It is:

"Hi David, this is the most powerful thing I've seen on Climategate. You've struck at the heart of the matter, the IPCC. The other investigations are dancing around this point, focusing on whether CRU science is sloppy or not, etc. You need to get this out there. Your points extend far beyond the two East Anglia enquiries, but the CRU/UEA folks are obviously involved here."

I look forward to hearing from you.

As a reminder, if any BH reader wishes to see, in confidence, the submission, which the ICCER is frightened to publish and undertakes not to distribute or publish it, please email me at

I believe I have replied to all so far but if any of you have emailed and not had a reply, within 12 hours, please send again.

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