Fred Pearce has new book out on Climategate and will be speaking about it at the Royal Institution on Monday. Readers will remember Pearce as the author of a detailed series of postings on the Climategate emails in the Guardian at the start of the year. The book sounds pretty interesting...
To coincide with the launch of his new book, The Climate Files, the veteran environment journalist Fred Pearce discusses how the emails raise deeply disturbing questions about the way climate science is conducted, about researchers' preparedness to block access to climate data and downplay flaws in their research."
Blimey. That will set the cat among the pigeons.
Or will it? Looking at the Guardian's page on the book, it appears that Monbiot likes it..
"Fred Pearce has used his brilliant investigative skills to get to the heart of this issue. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what the hacked University of East Anglia emails mean - and what they don't" George Monbiot
Mind you, given where Monbiot left off on the story of Climategate, it could be that this is just a reflection of his current understanding of the meaning of the affair - ie that it doesn't disprove AGW but that there are some pretty serious problems with the conduct of individual climatologists.
The other thing to bear in mind is that Pearce's talk may well be set against the background of the Russell panel's findings having just been made public. How is it going to look if there is a whitewash and then Pearce jumps up and says there's a problem?
Fred P is interviewed in Eart, a green magazine (see here). I think this probably gives a flavour of what he will say in his book:
SB: The University of East Anglia e-mail leaks have undermined environmental efforts by corroding public belief in the issue. What was your personal reaction to Climategate and to the response of editors, such as those in the BBC, who choose to represent climate-change sceptics more equally in their coverage?
FP: The BBC are odd, because what’s really happened is not that climate change science has been exposed as wrong; there’s no big conspiracy. What did shock me personally was some of the methods used by some of the scientists to silence their opponents, such as trying to stop people getting into the Scientific Journal. They were using reprehensible tactics, but that doesn’t change the basic climate science that the world is warming, and it’s warming because of what we’re doing. I think that sceptics should always have their say, but not 50%, because that’s not where the science is. You’ve got to have a proper scientific debate and not try and shut it down, but that doesn’t mean that the BBC should give 50% amount of time to climate sceptics. They’ve confused the ethics of doing science with judgement about the balance of the science.