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Geoscientist magazine on HSI

The reviews are coming thick and fast - here's the latest one, from Geoscientist, the magazine of the Geological Society.

Andrew Montford tells this detective story in exhilarating style. He has assembled an impressive case that the consensus view on recent climate history started as poor science and was corrupted when climate scientists became embroiled in IPCC politics. His portrayal of the palaeoclimatology community is devastating; they are revealed as amateurish, secretive, evasive and belligerent. But the most serious charge is that they have simply failed to demonstrate any scientific integrity in confronting McIntyre. The University of East Anglia emails, which appeared just as Montford was completing his book, suggest that the Hockey Team were more interested in knobbling McIntyre than in addressing his arguments.

Read the whole thing.

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Reader Comments (31)

Amazing. Suddenly seems to have taken off. Brilliant! Hope that means sales too.

Jul 27, 2010 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Agree with josh - a slow burn to start - but now serious and AGW/dogma questioning reviews seem to be the norm.

Excellent news - lets hope that the MSM actually start to question the old status quo.

Jul 27, 2010 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug

Well done sir, I like the finishing sentence, or is it a conclusion?

"However, if The Hockey Stick Illusion provokes a truly independent review of the evidence it will have served its purpose."

May your shadow never grow shorter!

Jul 27, 2010 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Great review. Slam Dunk to His Grace and Steve.

Jul 27, 2010 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Good insights into the book - the reviewer does appreciate it, and 'get it'. Very cheering. There were many good points extracted, but I thought this is particularly worthy of a good few nods by anyone reading it:

'The wider scientific community does not escape criticism. No serious effort was made to subject the Hockey Stick to independent scrutiny, despite its profound implications for the future of the planet and its inhabitants. In response to external challenge the scientific establishment’s reflex action was to side with the paleoclimatologists without bothering to check the evidence. This approach, no better than that of any other vested interest group, should dismay everyone of genuine scientific spirit.'

Jul 27, 2010 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

[k]nobbling McIntyre? Do these people have no mercy?

Jul 27, 2010 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Anthony

Congratulations Bish, that is quite a write up, and in a significant place too.

Jul 27, 2010 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

bish -
that is such a great review. no frills.

btw here's some interesting criticism of michael oppenheimer's mexican immigrants "study" by Diana Liverman at the Uni of Arizona:

Arizona Daily Star: Climate change predicted to cause Mexican influx
"Our intention was to show that this problem is a substantial one," said one of the study's authors, Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor of geosciences and international affairs. "Our goal was not to project specific outcomes 80 years from now but to show the magnitude of problems that policymakers ought to pay more attention to. I don't want to say that this will be the single biggest factor driving immigration, but it could become among the largest factors."...
Diana Liverman, a University of Arizona climate researcher, criticized the new study for basing its forecasts in part on research that she worked on in the early 1990s that looked at crop yields in only two central Mexico sites.
In reply, Oppenheimer said the Princeton study found similar results in a second crop-yield study, and the crop reductions predicted for Mexico are typical of what has been predicted for other countries in that latitude.
Liverman said that while she believes climate change could cause widespread migration, she has seen no study documenting it. Having studied the problems of Mexican farmers for two decades, she said she has found that a bad economy, the government's withdrawal of agricultural subsidies and the North American Free Trade Agreement have caused problems far greater than climate change.
While disagreeing with the study's specific forecasts, several outside researchers said climate migration should be considered over the coming years.
"The study should be seen for what it is, which is an original and rigorous modeling of the relationship between climate change, agricultural yields and migration," said Ian Goldin, director of the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford, in Britain...

and here's BBC with unnamed "experts", CAGW talking points, and politicking:

BBC: Climate change 'will increase Mexico-US migration'
Many climate experts say human activity is contributing to an increasingly warm planet...
Mr Oppenheimer, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said the findings drew attention to "the need to grapple with greenhouse gases".
Experts say these findings are also relevant to other regions around the world, from Africa to Australia - where Mr Oppenheimer's team predicts migration will become a "significant issue".
The study on Mexican migration comes after last month was declared by scientists to be the hottest June on record...
Meanwhile, a new immigration law is set to take effect on 29 July in the US state of Arizona, which will make it a crime to be in the state without immigration papers.

thanx to steve mc for the BP/Oppenheimer stuff. when i read the CA thread originally, the Oppenheimer mentions didn't sink in!

Jul 27, 2010 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

This is hugely important. The Geological Society, along with its formal journal publication, is generally regarded as the founding, most respected and venerable of all the Earth Science institutions. They have long maintained, to their credit, a dignified reticence from a committed public profile on climate change. Indeed, their call for submissions from Fellows on a position statement on climate change, noted on a previous Bishop thread, still remains pending.

Past presidents include many historical pioneers of geology, names like Sedgwick, Murchison and Lyell, but more recently also one which most here will recognise- Ronald Oxburgh (Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool).

Jul 27, 2010 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

re Oppenheimer "study", just realised the late Stephen Schneider was the Editor!

PNAS: Linkages among climate change, crop yields and Mexico–US cross-border migration
Authors: Shuaizhang Feng, Alan B. Krueger and Michael Oppenheimer
*****Edited* by Stephen H. Schneider, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and approved June 24, 2010 (received for review March 3, 2010) ...
The authors declare no conflict of interest....
↵*This Direct Submission article had a prearranged editor...

Jul 27, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat


I cant find words to express how happy I am for you. I think you will be up there with Steve and Ross when this all gets sorted.
Steve and Ross did the science but it seems that YOU are the one who is getting people to sit up and take notice, great respect mate :)

Jul 27, 2010 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

People have talked about needing an icon. We dont need an icon anymore, our icon is the front cover of The Hockey Stick Illusion :)

Jul 27, 2010 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

I think this review was an "inside job." Here is a post the reviewer made elsewhere.
Anyone who is a member of the Geo Soc can write a review. It is not an endorsement.
And, anyone can join!
Joe Brannan
Posted Mar 6, 2010 at 6:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

Tried to e-mail the following to Steve M but quoted e-mail does not work. Did not know how otherwise to get in touch.


I am a climate sceptic sympathizer who admires your tenacity in unearthing inconsistencies in the AGW argument. However I am profoundly dismayed that none of the arguments ever gets a fair hearing in the mainstream press. I am British and used to pride myself on the quality of newspapers such as the Independent and Guardian. But these same newspapers simply parrot the AGW line with none of the curiosity one would hope for in investigative journalism.

To me it seems that no matter how good your blog is, you will not win the argument without mainstream journalist support. The question then becomes how you can persuade one or two scientifically literate writers to critically look at some of the evidence.

Is there no journalist out there who you are aware of who can start this off? I am sure that once the first reputable journalist queries any aspect of the AGW case, the dam will burst. But who will cast that first stone?

Joe Brannan

Oh, and here you can find the corporate sponsors of the Geo Soc:

[BH adds: Interesting to see the similarities between GeoSoc's sponsors and CRU's! I wrote to GeoSoc to see if they wanted a review copy some time ago. They did and we arranged to send a copy over. I'm assuming therefore that this is a genuine review].

Jul 27, 2010 at 11:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike


Chris Brooker beats the drum every week in the Telegraph. Unfortunately idiots like Lean and Louise Grey plus various articles by " A Telegraph Reporter" beat more and bigger drums"

Jul 28, 2010 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Sorry Booker ^.^

Jul 28, 2010 at 12:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

bish -
u wondered recently if there was any collaboration on CAGW by media. thought this was quite revealing:

Sept 2009: UNESCO: International Conference: Broadcast media & Climate Change - A Public Service Remit
THEME ONE: Climate Change and the Role of the Public
Service Broadcaster
The role of broadcast media in educating audiences and setting the agenda in order to raise public awareness on climate change, stimulate the public debate and shape national policies.
- Alex Kirby, Former BBC Environment Correspondent...
Screening of the BBC production “Climate Wars”. Presented by Ian
Stewart, Lecturer, University of Plymouth....
SESSION SIX: Making Climate Knowledge Accessible:
Networks and Available Resources
Moderator: James Deane, Head of Policy, BBC World Service Trust...

lots on the speakers here plus note BBC is among the sponsors logos at the very end of the document:

UNESCO: Broadcast Media & Climate Change: A Public Service Remit

found these documents when looking up Diran Onifade, Science Correspondent,
Nigerian Television Authority & President of the African Federation of Science Journalists. Onifade participated in the above UNESCO Conference:

27 July: Kenya Broadcasting Corp: Science journalists in Africa urged to scale up reporting
Chairman of the African Federation of Science Journalists AFSJ) Diran Onifade urged journalists to exercise caution when reporting scientific facts, to maintain the integrity of research and to avoid confusing members of the public.
" We cannot balance opinion of a scientist with a skeptic," he told journalists...

[BH adds: Thanks for this Pat. I'm working on something related.]

Jul 28, 2010 at 12:15 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

Not everyone can join, at least as a Fellow-
'Fellows will have a degree or equivalent qualification in geology (or a related subject), or have not less than 6 years' relevant experience in geology or a related subject.'

I believe referees are also required.

And you would expect Corporate Membership (Affiliates) to appeal to companies employing geologists, for access to library etc. such as those you link.

Jul 28, 2010 at 12:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterPharos


That really sucks!
That guy Ian Stewart should go to prison for presenting Climate Wars, he makes Mann look like a saint.
The establishment really is walking all over us.

Jul 28, 2010 at 1:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Pat -
Thanks for the link to the UNESCO media conference.

Among the welcoming remarks in the programme is this:

Climate change is the defining challenge of our times. Its impact threatens the very existence of life on earth, and every aspect of social and economic development faces upheaval, affecting the lives of countless millions worldwide.
-- Hamadoun Touré, International Telecommunication Union

"The very existence of life on earth" ! I wonder if any of the attendees, who presumably are reporters and news directors, questioned the hyperbole to which they were exposed.

Jul 28, 2010 at 2:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

The establishment really is walking all over us.
July 28, 2010 | Dung

The time they did that to Winston Churchill was also the time he perfected his art of rhetoric. Never losing hope while battling depression himself, and never losing sight of ordinary people's experiences, hopes and fears, he translated the truth into a sacred drama, defending civilization itself against bullies who appeared to have all the tactical advantages. And it was a drama in which all could partake at all levels, from active fighting to the "War Effort" at home to the "Silent Minute" which was later described as the one weapon the Germans could not match.

Churchill recognized the core evil behind Hitler. To recognize such a core issue today is much harder because the manifestations are bland, plausible to many, and ironclad in the armour of scientific language and money. The issues reach further than just Climate Science. Behind the hydra of Climate Science appears to lie a bigger, more obscure hydra that keeps the faux climate science alive when by rights it should have died several years ago.

It's clear to me that naming these hydras needs true science and true scientific method. But at the same time I am using my intuition, stretching my capacity to listen and discern to its limits. I don't know "the answer" except that I must follow my integrity wherever it leads - and that this path of action will protect me enough and will eventually win, but it will be quite a long journey, and will not be without sacrifices.

Jul 28, 2010 at 2:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

The momentum is building. Great review.

Jul 28, 2010 at 3:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

BH wrote:

"I wrote to GeoSoc to see if they wanted a review copy some time ago. They did and we arranged to send a copy over. I'm assuming therefore that this is a genuine review"

It certainly seemed quite genuine to me (and summed up many of my sentiments after finishing my own read a few weeks ago!)

One thing I'm curious about though is whether or not the cover on the copy you sent to GeoSoc would have differed from that which appears on my copy (which matches the image you have above)?

While I hadn't noticed it on first reading the review - on revisiting to "close the window", so to speak - the image of the cover they've used shows the subtitle as "Global Warming and the Corruption of Science" (although the caption below the image carries the correct subtitle) - and the hockey stick appears somewhat truncated!

No, I'm not accusing anyone of "photo-shopping" because I'm sure there must be a perfectly logical explanation for the (you should pardon the expression) "divergence"?! But given the depths to which the RC acolyte gang appear to have sunk of late, I shudder to think what they might attempt to make of this cosmetic discrepancy. So best to head it off at the pass!

But while I'm here ... thank you so much for writing such a wonderful book (and for maintaining such an informative blog!) I learned so much in spite of my aversion to the statistical arts. And it was a truly magnificent read, to boot :-)

Jul 28, 2010 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

That's odd. Global warming and the corruption of science was the original title, which we changed when climategate came along. The book first went up on Amazon with the original title, so it's possible that they picked up one of these.

Jul 28, 2010 at 8:47 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The Book Depository website from the BIshop's link shows the original cover with "Global Warming" in the subtitle.

Jul 28, 2010 at 9:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger


I've told the publisher.

Jul 28, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Uh oh. William Connolley has excommunicated Judith Curry for saying nice things about The Bishop on RC...

(No I don't read Mr Connolley's blog, the ht is to Tom Nelson)

Jul 28, 2010 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Well, what do you expect of us geologists

Oil company shills, the lot of us ;-)

On a more serious note BH, how do you respond to the criticisms being raised on surRealClimate after Judith Curry's comments and the suggestions of errors in the book?

Jul 28, 2010 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan B

The Geol Soc is not 'in the pay of big oil'. Income from corporate affiliation represents less than 3% of total income, while primary funding is from publishing, conferences and fellowship dues. Ref p 23 of

The review would not have been published in the magazine without editorial acceptance. The magazine has a laudable record of gentlemanly, if spirited comment and debate between members holding disparate views, not only on climate, which is of course it should be.

Jul 28, 2010 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

I just looked at the Stoat (a vicious animal under most circumstances) and clearly it triggered another piling on. I do think Judith probably should have been more careful when she jumped into the RC pool. What we got was a kind of replay of Stalin does Trotsky. What was truly surprising was that there were no gentlemen or ladies amongst the assembled regulars at RC.
Interestingly, given Steve McIntyre's most recent post - Tamino really was the one who made the gross errors in misrepresenting the key issues around Mann 2003 and 2008 and he had the book in front of him. But then the library may have asked for their copy back! (Gentle humour)

Jul 28, 2010 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

Congrats on yet another positive review.

Did anyone else read the book review adjacent to yours, on the book entitled Vanishing Ocean. The reviewer provides one of the greatest Alarming Warmist quotes of all time:

"As Pangaea cracked up around it (to form the continents we know today) Tethys survived long enough to witness much of Earth history – including the sudden catastrophic global warming 55 million years ago that is perhaps our closest analogue for what is happening today, albeit this time with our species’ enthusiastic encouragement."

Jul 28, 2010 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDougO

Some of the earlier book reviews are worth looking at- they seem to me to take a much more balanced approach to the state of climate knowledge than many other such commentators do.

Jul 28, 2010 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

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