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Media blitz

In the comments, I am asked if there is a coordinated programme of stories in the media on warmist themes. I think the answer may well be yes.

Ben Webster's "Sceptics funded by big oil" story in the Times the other day was very peculiar: with no obvious news value it looked exactly like a PR piece. Then there was the BBC's travesty of an article about the melting (that isn't) on Everest.

Today we have this toe-curlingly awful piece in Nature, in which a series of oceanographers are lined up to say that there was nothing in the Climategate emails.

I wonder if anyone is still taking this kind of thing seriously?

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Reader Comments (76)

It has been predicted for quite some time that the media would have a propaganda blitz after the inquiries were complete. It will totally backfire though - the public are less stupid than the media thinks.

It's good to know that Nature can authoritatively tell us that the Climategate scientists "were just joking around". Since we are repeatedly told that climate change is the most serious threat we face, we need top "climate scientists" to have a sense of humour and to find the time to "joke around" at our expense for a few years. From reading hundreds of the emails it had completely passed me by that both Mann and Jones had a well-developed sense of humour.

Jul 21, 2010 at 8:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The Climtegate emails had nothing to do with science. They had everything to do with human nature and interaction.

Whatever people understand of the science, they certainly understand how people behave.

Scientists can pontificate as much as they want on Climategate. However, it is one area where anyone can understand what is going and make their own mind up. Being a scientist does not give anyone greater authority to speak on the interactions of people.

The more it is in the public domain (positive or negative) the better. It shows that is has some substance.

And the fact that the pieces highlighted by BH are coming out, shows that Climategate still has "legs" after 9 months or so. All without any major MSM support.

Jul 21, 2010 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

The knee jerk reactions of those "on a mission" fool no one.

Least of all - it seems to me - the young who see right through the bigotry.

I for one have faith in a new generation looking at what has gone before and dismissing the spin. The good thing is the harder the warmists try to influence new minds - the actual effect is reciprocal.

Jul 21, 2010 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug

The Warmists are arrogant and elitist, and lack a sense of connection with other people which would enable them to gauge how their activities might look from the other side.

Hence their agit-prop stunts are always embarrassing ham-fisted disasters - they simply lack the self-awareness to know what is, and what is not, acceptable.

Jul 21, 2010 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

I quite agree, BBC Radio 4 Today programme on Monday morning had:-

The Big Oil Funding story.

Tim Yeo on personal carbon taxes and more radical decarbonisation.

IPCC statement requiring governments not to cut back on funding required
to cut greenhouse gasses.

All these within the half-hour between 6.30-7.00am !!!

Jul 21, 2010 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered Commenterjazznick

The Times story was obviously placed there by a PR company (anyone want to bet on Fenton Communications?) - a story of how Exxon gave $1m to a company who knew a company who once employed someone whos best friends cousin had once been critical of AGW science.

I was going to write a comment on Pielke jnr's site asking what to me is a serious question - is environmenal science generally and climate change in particular the only field of natural science that has an inherent bias based on the political (small p) beliefs of those who enter it?

From my perspective as a geologist, political inclinations never came into my decision as to why to study it - simply a fascination with how the world works. I can see similar in hard sciences and biology, but those who go into Env Sci are more commonly incliined towards the advocacy side of things before entering University, and it is unlikely much they hear during their undergrad and postgrad studies will do much to disabuse them of their preconceptions that the environment is in trouble.

Jul 21, 2010 at 9:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan B

IanB " environmental science generally and climate change in particular the only field of natural science that has an inherent bias based on the political (small p) beliefs of those who enter it?"

I'd suggest that some areas in medicine have a similar problem i.e. unless you believe in the dominant theory you are unlikely to enter the field in the first place. Not least because you know you will be unable to raise any other possibilities without vilification and a potentially finished career.

Jul 21, 2010 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Personally I thought the Times article was very much after the style of Bob Ward (Policy and Communications Director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science).

Incidentally, I am one of a very small, select band who actually now pays for the on-line version of the Times (what would we Climate Change Sceptics do without the deep pockets of the likes of Exxon, eh?). So, assuming I'm not breaking any copyright laws, I could copy and paste any relevant stuff here at the Bish's, if requested.

Jul 21, 2010 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

Is there a link to the contents of Ben Webster's Time-article somwhere?

The closest I got was James Delingpole's hatchet job on it, but I would like to judge for myself ...

Jul 21, 2010 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Look at Spencer's blog about a new paper rushed through to combat his 2008 and 2010 papers without giving him a chance to comment on or referee it. The key issue is an implied temperature sensitivity of 50 K from a failure to account for a noisy signal in a partial dataset.

The campaign to bring AGW hysteria back on track appears to be widespread.

Jul 21, 2010 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander Davidson

Jiminy Cricket "The Climtegate emails had nothing to do with science. They had everything to do with human nature and interaction."

I agree with this. The climatologist's attraction to, and preoccupation with, the minutest relationships in green nature is a direct transference of a wilful rejection of relationship in human nature. The refusal to place any value on human relating shows up again and again in 'climate science' - from the absurd claim of 'consensus' (no need to relate) to the complicity in the climategate emails (ways to sabotage relating).

Jul 21, 2010 at 10:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter S

The small scraps of scientific certainty which are associated with the greenhouse effect should always be conflated to cover the mental disease called catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

One thing is sure, this Shull dude's Chicago graduate student wont get far in his career if he keeps up with his skepticism

Jul 21, 2010 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Just a few months ago, Schneider (RIP) and Erllich et al promoted a PR campaign to "get back" at skeptics:

Climate scientists to fight back at skeptics
By Stephen Dinan
Friday, March 5, 2010

Undaunted by a rash of scandals over the science underpinning climate change, top climate researchers are plotting to respond with what one scientist involved said needs to be "an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach" to gut the credibility of skeptics.

In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of "being treated like political pawns" and need to fight back in kind. Their strategy includes forming a nonprofit group to organize researchers and use their donations to challenge critics by running a back-page ad in the New York Times.

"Most of our colleagues don't seem to grasp that we're not in a gentlepersons' debate, we're in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules," Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails.

Some scientists question the tactic and say they should focus instead on perfecting their science, but the researchers who are organizing the effort say the political battle is eroding confidence in their work.

"This was an outpouring of angry frustration on the part of normally very staid scientists who said, 'God, can't we have a civil dialogue here and discuss the truth without spinning everything,'" said Stephen H. Schneider, a Stanford professor and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment who was part of the e-mail discussion but wants the scientists to take a slightly different approach.

Jul 21, 2010 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterGarry


Is there a link to the contents of Ben Webster's Time-article somwhere?

I'm sure if you pay your £2 to the nice Mr Murdoch you can find it at

Jul 21, 2010 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrancisT

Quote, Stephen H. Schneider, "God, can't we have a civil dialogue here and discuss the truth without spinning everything."

Quote, Stephen H. Schneider, "To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest."

Quote, Stephen H. Schneider, "I get scared that we're now in a new Weimar republic where people are prepared to listen to what amounts to Hitlerian lies about climate scientists".

Jul 21, 2010 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Concerning this subject, if you have never read Michael Crichton's lecture at Cal Tech, the latter explains what to expect with details and past examples:

Jul 21, 2010 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrCrinum

AGW is not really about science. It is about redemption, sin, punishment, enlightened knowledge, etc. Its focus is a mythical climate crisis. It is apocalyptic claptrap.
Climate science has been co-opted- willingly by most climate scientists-to support this claptrap.

Jul 21, 2010 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

At present I am off work, poorly.
My wife bought me a copy of Monday's The Times to 'cheer me up'.
(The thought was good)

I'm happy to scan and send the jpegs to The Bish if he will send me his email address.

I did comment here on another thread as follows:-

"Letter to the Times:-
Compare and contrast the following items from your July 19 edition:-

Banner headline, front page “Oil Giant gave £1 million to fund climate sceptics”

Authoratative source – why, it is Bob Ward, PR guy from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change (whose only activity seems to be peddling global warming propaganda). Where the ExxonMobile money went? The Media Research Centre, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Pacific Research Institute and the Heritage Foundation (and “some other 21 sceptic groups”, unspecified).

And page 42, Business News, half way down a piece headed “Carbon Trust steps up its search for business gems”.

“The Trust has has its annual central funding reduced to less than £88 million, from £100 million.”

So, £1 million from a big oil company for a bunch of business oriented think tanks = bad.

£100 million from taxpayers money to one Quango (out of hundreds!) set up specifically to peddle cAGW alarmism = good.

I also note that whilst you correctly state "Lord Monckton was caught on camera during the Copenhagen summit describing students campaigning for emissions cuts as "Hitler Youth" and "Nazis", unaccountably you forgot to mention that, at the time, the students were breaking up a public meeting and trying to grab the microphone. Judge for yourself. The clip is on YouTube.

And this is balanced and responsible journalism? I remember now why I cancelled my subscription to the Times."

Whether they published this I don't know (but can guess.)

It certainly is the case that damage limitation from the warmists is in full swing.

Jul 21, 2010 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

[snip - no]

Re: main topic - the sooner the internet kills off the MSM, the better. The only thing I'd miss about newspapers are lighting the fire. (They stopped using them for fish and chips years ago.) and I gave up watching TV news a long time ago.

Jul 21, 2010 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Williams

Can we please keep the thread on topic.

Jul 21, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Oops! Sorry, I'll go and stand in the corner.

Jul 21, 2010 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Williams

"the nice Mr Murdoch"

There are two of them..?

Jul 21, 2010 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Apologies if this is old news but there was an alarmist link on MSN UK yesterday about it being "or hottest year since 1880". The link just did a search, the first result of which was a Telegraph article about recent NOAA announcements:

This just seems to be a typical alarmist mish mash that gets put out periodically (comments have not been allowed by the look of it). It did not question why 1880 was so hot if AGW only really started 50 years ago. Also it seems to distort the Arctic situation:
"Arctic ice cover – another critical yardstick of global warming – had also retreated more than ever before by July 1, putting it on track to shrink beyond its smallest area to date, in 2007."

Jul 21, 2010 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterCrimson Avenger

Brian Williams: I sympathise with you. I collect old newspapers in the summer to light my woodburner in the winter. I'll go and stand in the corner with you.

Jul 21, 2010 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The real skull-popper was this:

David Shull, professor at Western Washington University, says that although he didn’t read the emails, he is familiar with the situation. “There’s no cover up."

Since when has ignorance become an acceptable basis for judgment? Any intelligent person should be embarrassed to make such a statement.

Jul 21, 2010 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

Meanwhile Lord "Daz" Oxburgh (washes whiter: Honorary President, Carbon Capture & Storage Association) will chair a conference on Carbon Capture and Storage (scroll to the bottom):

"Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum Keynote Seminar

Carbon Capture and Storage


Nick Horler

Chief Executive Officer

Scottish Power

Thursday, 9th September 2010

Central London

Our Website | Book Online | Agenda

Dear xxxxxx

I am writing to invite you to the above seminar. Please note there is a charge for most delegates, although no one is excluded on the basis of ability to pay (see below).


This seminar will explore the continuing challenges facing the wide-scale commercial development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

The agenda is structured to bring out discussions on the key questions that remain over the viability of the technology itself, the progress that has been made on design, the practicalities and cost of roll-out, and the real potential of CCS to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Including a keynote presentation from Scottish Power, planned sessions focus on:

· The potential of CCS in 21st century energy mix;

· The continued technical and practical challenges to CCS;

· Latest on the design and commercial development of CCS;

· Investment, regulation and the European context; and

· The long term strategy for CCS.

The draft agenda is copied below my signature, and a regularly updated version is available to view online here. The seminar is organised on the basis of strict impartiality by the Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum.


We are delighted that Nick Horler, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Power and Dr Jim Watson, Director, Sussex Energy Group, University of Sussex have kindly agreed to deliver keynote addresses at this seminar.

Other confirmed speakers include: Dr Jeff Chapman, Chief Executive, Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA); Dr Tim Fox, Head of Energy and Environment, Institution of Mechanical Engineers; Professor Jon Gibbins, Professor of Power Plant Engineering and Carbon Capture, University of Edinburgh; Ian Phillips, Director, CO2 Deepstore and Chair, CCSA Regulatory Workgroup and William Wilson, Barrister, Energy and Utilities, Burges Salmon.

Lord Oxburgh, Honorary President, Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA) has kindly agreed to chair the first session of this seminar. Further senior participants are being approached"

Jul 21, 2010 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus


I wonder if anyone is still taking this kind of thing seriously?

About 40% believe it is God's word, about 40% believe it is a lie, and the rest are too busy.

However, that last 20% are the swing votes and worth communicating with. Therefore, the Big Lie from those who will gain the most. Big energy companies are not popular so they set themselves up as the "bad guys" and then quietly "align" themselves with those whose goals are counter to their own. Thus you see "It's the big oil companies causing all the ruckus by funding the deniers!" And in fact, they will actually gain greatly if the warmists get their agenda.

This is why I have been harping on that it is not an argument about science but rhetoric.

Fortunately as Rick Bradford points out

The Warmists are arrogant and elitist, and lack a sense of connection with other people which would enable them to gauge how their activities might look from the other side.

Hence their agit-prop stunts are always embarrassing ham-fisted disasters - they simply lack the self-awareness to know what is, and what is not, acceptable.

To return to your question of the thread:

I am asked if there is a coordinated programme of stories in the media on warmist themes. I think the answer may well be yes.

It is a very carefully orchestrated PR campaign, driven by big energy companies, many of which we still mistakenly think as merely "big oil". Those running those companies are no fools. They realize that the oil wells will run dry, forcing us to force ourselves to other sources of energy. In the short term they will capitalize on the Carbon Tax in its various forms. Then, in 20 or so years, who knows. However, they know they will not be pumping as much oil as they do today.

What we really need in to follow the money. PBS in America has long been the Petroleum Broadcasting Service. The same is true of the BBC. Money flows through both private and public channels, the latter courtesy of the politicians elected by large donations from these companies.

And if there is such a money flow -- which I believe is clearly there -- the next question is WHY?

That should be obvious.

Jul 21, 2010 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Hi Bishop, please do remove this if you think it shouldn't be posted, but as several people have commented on the article without reading it, it seems fair to let people read it in full...
(From The Times, 19th july 2010)

Oil giant gave £1 million to fund climate sceptics

Ben Webster, Environment Editor

One of the world's largest oil companies has broken its pledge to stop funding groups that promote scepticism about man-made climate change.
ExxonMobil, parent company of Esso, gave almost £1 million last year to organisations that campaign against controls on greenhouse gas emissions.
Several made outspoken attacks on climate scientists at the University of East Anglia and argued their leaked e-mails showed that the dangers of global warming had been grossly exaggerated.
The scientists were exonerated this month by an independent inquiry but groups funded by Exxon have continued to lambast them. The Media Research Centre, which received $50,000 last year from Exxon, called the inquiry a "whitewash" and condemned "climate alarmists".
Some of Exxon's largest donations were to groups that lobbied against a global deal on emissions being reached at the climate summit last December in Copenhagen.
Exxon could see the value of its oil and gas investments fall sharply if governments adopt aggressive plans to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
The energy giant had indicated it was pulling back from funding sceptics.
In its 2007 Corporate Citizenship Report, it stated: "In 2008 we will discontinue contributions to several public policy groups whose position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner."
Exxon also gave reassurances last year that it had no funding links with the sceptics' biggest annual conference, the International Conference on Climate Change. But a list published by Exxon this month of its "2009 worldwide contributions and investments" revealed that it had given four cosponsors of the New York event a total of $275,000. It also gave $1 million to 20 other sceptic groups.
Bob Ward, policy director at the London School of Economics' Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, who has been monitoring Exxon's links to sceptic groups, said: "Exxon has engaged in a public relations campaign to convince the world that it has stopped funding climate sceptic groups. But this has turned out to be pure greenwash. Exxon has continued to provide financial support for many groups that are engaged in activities to persuade the public and policymakers into wrongly believing that climate change is a hoax.
"The aim of these groups, some of which try to keep their sponsors secret, is blatantly obvious: to delay government regulation that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by restricting the use of oil, gas and coal."
Four of the groups funded by Exxon - the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Media Research Centre, the Pacific Research Institute and the Heritage Foundation - co-sponsored the New York conference attended by prominent British sceptics, including Lord Monckton of Brenchley, the UK Independence Party deputy leader.
Lord Monckton was caught on camera during the Copenhagen summit describing students campaigning for emissions cuts as "Hitler Youth" and "Nazis". Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the sceptic think-tank founded by the former Conservative chancellor Lord Lawson of Blaby, also attended the conference.
Ben Lieberman, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, argued in his Climategate Should Derail Copenhagen Conference paper that the US should not sign a deal on emissions because the science on climate change was unproven. "We wouldn't rush to execute a convicted killer just after learning that his main accusers committed perjury. We shouldn't do the same to the economy in order to combat the increasingly questionable threat of global warming."
K. Lloyd Billingsley, of the Pacific Research Institute, wrote: "Global warming is a hoax inside a fraud wrapped in a myth."
After being contacted by The Times, Exxon announced that it would no longer fund the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, the Media Research Centre or the Pacific Research Institute. Exxon did not comment on whether it would continue to fund the other 21 sceptic groups to which it gave money last year .
It said in a statement: "We fund a wide range of groups. Every year, we do an evaluation and make funding decisions.
If a group's position on climate change becomes distracting or diverts attention away from this important discussion, we evaluate whether we will continue funding." Exxon said it selected groups because of their work "on a variety of issues, for example Heritage Foundation to further discussion on tax and trade issues".
Mr Ward said Exxon should explain why it had taken so long to withdraw support from groups with a long history of promoting climate scepticism. Exxon claimed that it was committed to tackling climate change and pointed to a speech made last year by Rex Tillerson, its chief executive, in which he called for a carbon tax.

Jul 21, 2010 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterGenette

"Today we have this toe-curlingly awful piece in Nature, in which a series of oceanographers are lined up to say that there was nothing in the Climategate emails."

There are multiple sources of the Climategate emails on the internet. It would be very time consuming to sort through and pull together all the relevant emails into a coherent story and context is essential to understanding what was going on.

Not long after Climategate made the news, I found and read the account at: which I thought was very well done.. All the sorting, collating and organizing had been done for the reader. Still, just reading it from beginning to end took some time. My clear impression was that this set of emails, covering several years, was not lighthearted banter among colleagues. They were quite serious.

I wonder what percentage of the public has actually researched and read the emails in question.. Probably less than 10 percent.

Jul 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterR T Barker

That's a nice one sided article. Well done Mr Webster for omitting a few pertinent points!

(I despair)

Jul 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss H

The consistent themes in the main stream media about Climategate and Big Oil funding remind me of the Journolist story here in the US, where Leftist journalists carried on an ongoing conversation on a listserv (Journolist) and colluded to either suppress news stories or create new (unfounde in fact) stories to advance their agenda. Some on the list seemed actively involve in the collusion while others seemed to keep silent in the midst of such unprofessional behavior. Now I think that those people deemed paranoid, those who believe in a media conspiracy, may be the ones who got it correct. All of these whitewashing inquiries and the refreshing of old defamations seems to be the Empire Striking Back -- just as Paul Erlich and his ilk suggested recently they do.

Jul 21, 2010 at 3:21 PM | Unregistered Commentermbabbitt

AGW is a Trojan Horse. Beware the New Age ‘Greeks’! They wish you to believe ’X’; their intent is ’Y’.

Jul 21, 2010 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPascvaks

There is a young chap-py named Brat-by
With comments so erudite and snap-py
He keeps us amused
The alarmists confused
And always he keeps us so hap-py

Feel free to improve the last line.

Jul 21, 2010 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

These pieces are no longer about trying to convince anyone of their views. They aren't looking to persuade new converts. They are merely trying to keep their own kind from jumping ship; trying to reassure the masses (that are asses) that everything is OK.

Jul 21, 2010 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterdfbaskwill

Nancy Kachel, "I think everyone made a whole lot out of nothing,"

Phil Jones, "Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?"

Dave Kachel, "They were making so much of those emails, when the scientists were just joking around"

Phil Jones, "In an odd way this is cheering news ! (the death of John Daly)"

Alexei Pinchuk, "As a scientist, my reputation is the most important thing I have."

Phil Jones, "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

David Shull, "There’s no cover up. These guys have been hounded for years by people attacking them, "

Phil Jones, "The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone."

The thing is the Kachels, Pinchuks and the Shulls of this world daren't look at these emails because it damns their science, their credibility, their integrity, their careers.

Jul 21, 2010 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Of course there is a media blitz. If David Adams wants to grow up and be a real journalist he could document this and win a Pulitzer.... and death threats no doubt. There are trillions (pick your currency) riding on this horse,

Jul 21, 2010 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert E. Phelan

The presentation by Crichton(focusing on how science has been politicized) was awesome, extremely relevant to this thread and I highly recommend it.

I vigorously second the poster who pointed out that normal intelligent people are capable of understanding the horrors of ClimateGate for ourselves. We can read the emails and understand for ourselves that climate "scientists" were/are colluding to prevent competition and that these same "scientists" were more interested in achieving a politically correct desired result than in practicing good science. ClimategGate revealed that climate science has been politicized. The question is what do we do about it. Again, Crichton's presentation had some recommendations on what we need to do to make science more about science and less about politics.

Jul 21, 2010 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Koch


Surely the first line should be: There is an old chap-py named Brat-by

You aren't the RETEPHSLAW I used to work with are you?

Jul 21, 2010 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Here's a gem from a certain Mr Tim Yeo (who he ?)

Jul 21, 2010 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

BTW, I posted a comment on the Nature article and they have amended the story. Some good comments there.

Jul 21, 2010 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Along with the British & American taxpayers Big Oil also funds the CRU. See the acknowledgements section below:

Jul 21, 2010 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterTom Mills

Phillip, no I am not the chap you used to work with. Spent my working life in travel, British Airways for 20 years in NZ, so I have built up a lot of carbon miles! I used the word "young"with great thought, all of 5 seconds, as you are 50ish and I am due to receive the "pension" at 65 in 2 months, so please allow me use of the word young, this time. I really admire the way you and a lot of other contributors explain is terms so simple that we amateurs can understand and appreciate. By the way, I was having a discussion with my wife's nephew lately. He is studying science in University in Dublin and believes in AGW. I was trying to explain how Antartic ice expands towards the sea, icebergs then calve and float away etc and he asked the question if the Antartic is the dryest place on earth, how does new ice form from apparently nothing? Is it like the old fashioned fridge freezers of my youth when ice just built up from nowhere in freezers? Rgds

Jul 21, 2010 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

As with everything connected with alarmism it is a media blitz, but you have to take into account what the thinking is for an alarmist. They believe that there should be no funding for scientists who don't actively support the CAGW theory, so the article in the times makes it look like MobilExxon have been supporting the Taliban.

Jul 21, 2010 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo


I thank you for reprinting the Times article as I would have never paid to read it.

As for the Bishop deleting it, it would be the last thing I would expect of him as he has shown a very wide latitude to opinions presented in a courteous manner as you have done. You don't appear to be a troll at all.

With regard to Mr Webster's op piece, it would be nice if he reported the millions spent on the AGW side as well. It is very, very common for large corporations to contribute to both sides of an issue. In the US, and I assume the UK, to both (or all in the UK) major political parties receive large donations. It's called, "playing both sides against the middle." And in the case of big energy companies, a convenient way to obscurate their true goals. It is all very, very Machiavellian.

Secondly, I failed to see any primary references, such as donor lists as I pointed to in the case of PBS and NPR the other day. Without such backing, his opinions and statements are hearsay.

Do stick around, perhaps we can convert you :)

Jul 21, 2010 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra


I'm a physicist, not a climate scientist (and I'm not far behind you in the age stakes), but my understanding is that there is enough snow falling on the Antarctic ice sheet (about 1 inch per year) to roughly balance the ice loss as ice flows down to the sea.

Jul 21, 2010 at 7:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby


Actually, a bit more. If I can google this, so could IPCC.

Snow fall in Antarctica

Jul 21, 2010 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Thanks Phillip and the Don for that info on snowfall.

Here is one for his grace:

The Bishop is head of our board,
With him we are all in accord
His book, The Illusion
Caused lots of confusion
In the ranks of the n'er do well horde.

Jul 21, 2010 at 8:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

The big oil slur is the most stupid one of all. Exxon are giving $100 million (I believe $10 mil a year since 2007) to the late Dr. Stephen Schneider's school for climate larks.

Jul 21, 2010 at 10:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterFergalF

Exxon (Esso, Standard or whatever) has a long and honourable history of science research funding, student research bursaries, and general social philanthropy. Hell, they even gave me some money as a postgrad, long before climate change was 'invented' I should stress, never wanted anything back!

In the US, corporate largesse has long been part of their cultural heritage, much like the endowments of colleges, schools, libraries, hospitals and so on here, from wealthy benefactors, in times past. The Lamont-Docherty Observatory, for example owes its very existence to an oil fortune.

Environmental alarmists just can't get their heads around climate scepticism derived purely by scientific assessment, interpretation, logic and reason. And so they must invent some ulterior motive, however absurd it seems to everyone else.

Jul 21, 2010 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Brian Williams and Phil Bratby need to vacate the corner now! I am overweight and there is not room for anyone else in there with me. If I wish to stay on this blog I must now live in the corner forever. I have upset the Bish :(

Jul 21, 2010 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

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