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« Useless fact | Main | Me and Bob »
Thursday
Aug192010

Glaring inaccuracies and misrepresentations

...but not mine.

Firstly, one should always accentuate the positive first, so I am going to praise Bob Ward for eschewing the words "denier" and "denialist". This is a good thing and will help elevate the tone of the debate. I assume this was his idea rather than something that was forced upon him by the Guardian.

In terms of his criticisms, such as they are, let's first take the long view. His gripes relate to the Soon & Baliunas and Huang papers and to the divergence problem. So let's be clear from the start that Bob has picked mainly on peripheral areas. S&B and Huang are more in the realms of scene-setting in my book rather than a direct part of the story. None of the three areas he has addressed concern Michael Mann and his papers.

I assume therefore that Bob agrees that I have the story of MBH98 and its successor papers just about right. This kind of resolution of major differences is good news.

OK, on to the specifics.

[Montford] claims that "senior climatologists have sought to undermine the peer review process and bully journals into suppressing dissenting views".

Bob then goes on say that I try "to justify this assertion in [the] first chapter" by highlighting the difficulties sceptics had in getting published. He then goes on to discuss Soon & Baliunas on the one hand and Huang on the other.

I do indeed cover these two papers in Chapter 1. Which is slightly odd because the quotation on which Bob hangs his critique is from Chapter 17, right at the end of the book. So as far as he is concerned, my justification is coming 400 pages before the assertion. Hmm...let's just take a look at that Chapter 17 quote and pan out a little.

For the purposes of this book there are two clear conclusions to be drawn from the emails. Firstly that senior climatologists have sought to undermine the peer review process and bully journals into suppressing dissenting views.

Ah ha! So I was talking about the emails. Why didn't Bob mention that do you suppose? That slightly odd formulation about justifying my assertion in the first chapter was something of a giveaway, wasn’t it? Chapter 1 was scene-setting about the years up to 1998 and was not related to the emails at all.

Let's recap: Bob has pointed to my assertion about bullying of journals and said I justify this by pointing to the difficulties sceptics had getting into print, something he says I support by citing the Huang affair. In fact, as we have seen, the evidence to support the assertion is actually the emails, which I discuss below.

But we need to be very clear: what Bob says was my evidence for bullying of journals is in fact not presented as such in the book. The Huang affair is presented only as evidence that sceptics found it hard to get published. There is no evidence that Nature were bullied over the paper, let alone that the Hockey Team were involved. What is more, I can't recall any discussion of Huang in the emails, I certainly don't discuss his paper in my chapter on the subject, and I do not list Nature as one of the papers I think may have been subjected to intimidation.

That said, Huang's treatment was certainly very odd given that one of the reviewers had told Nature that it was one of the most important papers that they would see that year. So when Bob takes me to task for not mentioning Huang's subsequent publication in another journal, my response is "so what?". Any link between Huang's rejection and bullying of journals is in Bob's imagination.

On the Soon & Baliunas paper, Bob does exactly the same thing. He points to my discussion of the affair, 400 pages earlier in Chapter 1, despite the fact that I have made it clear that my supporting evidence is in the emails described in Chapter 17.

In Chapter 1, I describe the furore over the publication of the paper and von Storch's resignation. There is no suggestion of bullying of the journal at this point but, just as he did over Huang, Bob takes me to task for omission of information that turns out to be entirely irrelevant to the question at issue. On this occasion my alleged transgression is not mentioning Hans von Storch's reason for resigning the editorship of the journal in question, namely that he felt the publication of Soon & Baliunas was a mistake.  (Actually, if you read HvS's explanation carefully, the reason he gave for stepping down was that he wasn't allowed to publish an editorial saying he didn't think the paper should have been published, but that's by the by.) 

But here's the rub: I don't present von Storch's resignation as evidence of bullying: the questions of what von Storch thought about the paper and why he resigned are entirely independent of the question of whether inappropriate approaches were made to the journal by senior climatologists. In other words, it is entirely possible that the journal was threatened and HvS didn't like the paper. I simply don't consider possible links between the the resignation and any possible bullying.

[Update: The other point that is worth mentioning is that Bob Ward is not telling the truth (again!) when he says I don't mention von Storch's reasons for resigning. On page 186, when Von Storch is first mentioned, I say this:

Von Storch is one of the big names in climatology and had been one of the editors who had resigned from the board of Climate Research over its publication of the Soon and Baliunas paper, but he was not a member of the Hockey Team either.

This really is an extraordinary performance by Ward.]

As I have mentioned, I set out a great deal of evidence to support my assertion, none of which is mentioned by Bob. For example, this email from Jones:

I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid
themselves of this troublesome editor.

...or this one from Mann:

I think we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.

Then, of course, there is all the other evidence of bullying of journals, such as the GRL affair, where we see this email from Tom Wigley...

If you think that [GRL editor] Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted.

...and the later one from Mann, suggesting all has gone to plan:

The GRL leak may have been plugged up now [with] new editorial leadership there, but these guys always have Climate Research and Energy and Environment, and will go there if necessary.

I could go on and talk about Weather magazine and the International Journal of Climatology too. Suffice it to say that there is ample evidence to support my assertion, it's just that Bob seeks to misrepresent what that evidence is.

To reiterate though, Bob has put an assertion from one end of the book next to a narrative section from the other end, and then claimed that I have left out something that is entirely irrelevant to the question at issue.

When we move on to the treatment of the divergence problem. Bob quotes my assertion as follows:

...the IPCC reports represent the outcome of a process in which a relatively small group of scientists produce a biased review of a literature they themselves have colluded to distort through gatekeeping and intimidation.

To put it in context, this is the second of the conclusions I suggest we can draw from the emails in Chapter 17. Bob then refers to a quote I take from an email of IPCC review editor, John Mitchell, in which he suggests that the divergence problem should be explained in the IPCC report. However, I actually go on to explain in the next sentence that my assertion is based on the whole of the evidence represented by the emails.

The emails establish a pattern of behaviour that is completely at odds with what the public has been told regarding the integrity of climate science and the rigour of the IPCC report-writing process.

So again, Bob cuts an allegation from here, pastes it next to some evidence from there and leaves the reader with a different impression than the one they might have got from the book. The Mitchell email and my reading of it are worth discussing though. Bob has this to say about it.

Montford concludes from Mitchell's email that the "information that proxy records do not now show any warming has been suppressed". This is quite simply false.

He then goes on to quote extensively the IPCC's discussion on the divergence problem. What I had in mind when I wrote this sentence was that the information about the divergence was not shown in the IPCC's diagram, but from this sentence you could obviously get a different impression, so to that extent I think I can be justly criticised.

So did I mislead? Is this one of the "glaring inaccuracies and misrepresentations" that Bob was talking about. Well, Bob really, really wants you to think so, and he elides neatly from the IPCC quotation to his grand conclusion:

Given such glaring inaccuracies and misrepresentations in his book, it would perhaps be wise to treat with some scepticism Montford's assessment of the validity of the inquiries into the hacked email messages.

But once again, there's a problem. The IPCC's treatment of the divergence problem is discussed in full earlier in the book.

There were some other significant changes [in the final report too]. Briffa had clearly felt he could not credibly pass over the divergence problem and the bristlecones without mentioning them at all, and a lengthy paragraph had been added...

...the divergence problem was addressed in rather clearer terms than were the bristlecones, although Briffa had claimed, without a supporting citation, that the problem was limited to ‘some northern, high latitude regions’. This was a surprising position for him to take because it appeared to contradict his statement in 1998 that the divergence problem was an issue which affected the whole of the northern hemisphere. However, he had at least done something about his infamous truncation of the problem. Noting the excision of the data, he said that it had been done while ‘implicitly assuming that the “divergence” was a uniquely recent phenomenon’. He went on, however, to note that certain ‘others’ (Hockey Team members don’t like to mention McIntyre by name) had argued for a breakdown in the relationship between tree rings and temperature. If these ‘others’ were correct, he went on, ‘this would imply a similar limit on the potential to reconstruct possible warm periods in earlier times’. In other words the IPCC’s claim that modern temperatures were unprecedented might be resting on a scientific method that was incapable of detecting warmings in the climate.

So the idea that I have omitted the fact that the IPCC discussed the divergence problem in the Fourth Assessment Report is impossible to maintain.

Oh, and another thing: look at the title of Bob's article

Climate sceptics mislead the public over hacked emails inquiry

The problem with this title is that the only sceptics mentioned in the article below it are me and Nigel Lawson. Which one of us is supposed to have misled the public over the hacked emails inquiry? As far as I am aware, Lawson hasn't actually said anything on the subject and given that I have said a great deal on my blog and also that the rest of the article is about me, it seems clear that it is me that is supposed to have "misled the public". The problem is that Bob has made this very serious allegation without actually presenting any evidence to support it at all. He speaks about my book at great length but unfortunately it predates the announcement of the inquiries so is of no possible relevance.

Oh dear.

And then there's the subtitle:

Andrew Montford who is conducting an investigation into the UEA inquiry has a history of omitting evidence to suit his arguments.

Anyone reading the word "history" here would come away with the impression that I "omitted evidence" on a regular basis. Yet, as we have seen, Bob has only presented evidence regarding my book, and evidence moreover that is so full of holes as to make him look rather foolish. In no way has he even started to make the case for a "history".

Oh double dear.

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Reader Comments (48)

Sue him.

Gross defamation. Ask for damages in the amount that taxes are likely to rise.

Aug 19, 2010 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterslowjoe

pop the comment into CiF

They would be foolish, not to allow it...

Maybe break it down into chunks...

Or you could ask, for a right to reply article, publicaly
(ie a climate change institute given PR space in the Guardian to push their own agenda and make all sort of accusations, spin, (smear and innuendo?)

Doesn't hurt to ask. ;)

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Well said, Bish.

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan Knaik

Bob’s article was a PR spin piece designed to head off trouble which any review of the CRU investigations may throw up and god know there seems to be some serious issue with them. It’s a great shame that those who should be raising them, journalists, have mostly totally failed to do so. I would hope that no matter what your views on AGW you would want the best quality review of this issue that could be done.

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Careful, Bish.

The Gruaniad is trying to provoke you - it's a re-run of what they did to Richard North of EUReferendum.

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

If a paid PR hack is given that degree of access for publishing his material in the Guardian as 'comment piece' then I think that you have a very strong case, both as a bona fide 'commentator' on the matters, and as the target of the paid for PR piece to request a right of reply, and it would be a travesty (yes, a travesty I tell you!) if they refused. It would be difficult for them to refuse without making it clear that they are partisan in the extreme, and not interested in facts, discussion, argument, and all the usual warm and fuzzies they claim.

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Ward is devious and desperate. The end is nigh.

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The latest Ward posting has performed two useful services:

1: Given the sceptics a particularly excellent platform with which to further expose the numerous examples of climate skullduggery, hypocrisy and conflicts of interest
2: Done the warmist cause more harm than good by mounting one of the most shrill, ludicrous and indefensible pre-emptive attacks on a high-level sceptic yet.

I've been having fun over there myself. It appears more desperate for the alarmists by the minute. There have been several excellent purely factual posts which have been greeted by the warmists with only the sound of crickets and tumbleweed.

If Ward's effort was at all nuanced or intelligent then the Bishop might be understandably riled. As it is, it's an utterly ham-fisted and transparent hatchet job which only a commited warmist could take seriously. The kind of dismal own-goal which inspires sympathy more than rage.

I look forward to Bob's next effort!

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterfrank verismo

I agree with Slowjoe, a libel lawyer should perhaps be consulted: "a history of omitting evidence" is pretty close to the limit.

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterLuca Turin

I agree with some of the comments above. Request an opportunity to reply. I am sure that you will have the support of the majority of the readers of the piece, and I urge the readers of this blog to post a comment on CIF saying so. I will as soon as I have finished this, although I doubt that it will be posted as I have been proscribed from CIF for about a year - not for offensive comments I may add, but because I criticised one of the mods.

Keep up the good work Andrew

Dave L

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave L

Well, Bish, I can't help but think you write what you write out of a love of truth and decency, whereas chum Bob writes out of a love of money and association with 'power' and 'influence'. It remains to be seen how this fragment of the big, world-stage, battle of these motivations works out, but I wish you all the best in it.

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Ward made an appearance in the comments to one of Roger Pielke Jr.'s posts. His straw man tactics are interesting.

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/08/it-has-been-foretold.html

Roger says: "I reject your characterization of my views". Among other things.

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDagfinn

Yup!

I posted:

Is CIF going to allow Andrew Mountford the right to reply?

and received:

Your comment has been submitted for moderation.

(Which usually means that it is posted after the comments ability has closed and the thread is dead) Still, if enough ask for an opportunity for BH to reply, maybe they will.

Dave L

Aug 19, 2010 at 10:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave L

@ Frank Verisimo

Thanks for responding to my post in the Grauniad. At least some of it was saved before it was removed. I recall saying something about Guardianistas, Moonbat, Amazongate and Humble pie.....quickly disappeared for some reason 8-))

Aug 19, 2010 at 11:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermactheknife

A classic example of proving the wrong conclusion!!

Aug 19, 2010 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave38

I'm coming to the conclusion that one of the reasons the skeptic side of the debate gains so much traction , despite the relatively low numbers of people "out in the battle field" and almost no support in the MSM ( and low funding ) is that there are few EXTREMELY GOOD communicators in the skeptic camp -- Andrew , Christopher Monckton , Joanne Nova , Anthony Watts. The other side lacks these highly skilled communicators. ( Obviously in saying this I'm putting aside the problems with the science for the moment)

Aug 19, 2010 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

slowjoe has a valid point, and my adrenaline response is to sue the b.. person.

But that can be both extremely expensive [both to prosecute and esp. if you lose] but also extremely rewarding [if you win].

And whereas my feeling in the McIntosh case was to ignore the little tick, the Graniud does have considerable weight, for some reason.

So I agree with previous commentators that a right of reply or article should be requested [if not demanded] to slap him down.

Aug 19, 2010 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennis

At 11.13, I commented: "Actually, given the damning nature of some of Ward's comments, e.g., that Montford has a "history of omitting evidence", I think it might be a good idea for the Guardian to invite Andrew Montford to publish his response here."

Hopefully it will still be there by the morning...

Aug 19, 2010 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Can someone give me a link to the CiF discussion? Searching for Montford gives me 0 results.

TIA

Aug 19, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennis

Now that I think of it, were Mr Ward's accusations that Montford ignores evidence correct, surely that could only make him a most suitable candidate to assess the inquiries.

Just sayin (TM)

Aug 19, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered Commenterslowjoe

I agree with those who think you should ask for the right of reply. Get it on the record in your usual clear style, and it will be plain for all to see how desperate his article is.

Aug 20, 2010 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris S

Well done Bishop.

BW tries to do the pea-and-thimble-trick and er.. get you wrongfooted, but as a long-time reader of Climate Audit you of course know these games and have seen them at work, and then BW is not as good at it as is the Team itself.

I have to say that this one had me rolling on the floor:

"I assume this [not using the word denier] was his idea rather than something that was forced upon him by the Guardian."

That's brilliant, of course you "have not said" that it was forced upon him - but then you have "not not said" that it was forced upon him either...

And the final result is, of course.... guess what...

It's almost as I would suspect you have a degree in rhetorics...

Cheers,

Aug 20, 2010 at 12:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterFeedback

Jack Hughes
Careful, Bish.

The Gruaniad is trying to provoke you - it's a re-run of what they did to Richard North of EUReferendum.

Given that the Guardian gave Richard North right of reply over the Monbiot issue, it seems reasonable that they do the same for you. The parallels are striking.

Aug 20, 2010 at 12:55 AM | Unregistered Commenterandyscrase

@mactheknife:

Thanks for responding to my post in the Grauniad.

The pleasure was mine. Do post in the trenches more often!

Aug 20, 2010 at 1:09 AM | Unregistered Commenterfrank verismo

@Ross:

I'm coming to the conclusion that one of the reasons the skeptic side of the debate gains so much traction , despite the relatively low numbers of people "out in the battle field" and almost no support in the MSM ( and low funding ) is that there are few EXTREMELY GOOD communicators in the skeptic camp

The subject is worthy of a thesis. But briefly:

It's not simply that the sceptic side has strong communicators. It's also due to an inherent (and permanent) weakness on the side of AGWs adherents: they know the economic & political dimension of the debate is indefensible, box-office poison.

Thus sceptics are free to talk about any aspect of the issue we please, while the warmists are forced to stick exclusively to 'the science'. Given this advantage, it's no real surprise that any neutral member of the public looking for answers will gravitate towards the people who can answer all and any of their questions. Conversely, the warmists are left with little option but to bully and propagandise the public with dubious science - a position with ever-decreasing returns.

Truth always triumphs as its hands are never tied.

Aug 20, 2010 at 1:24 AM | Unregistered Commenterfrank verismo

Sorry for the third post in this thread, most unlike me.

I think that Ward and the Guardian have posted this article with an eye to Wikipedia, as well as the forthcoming GWPF review.

Your book and personal article are ground-zero at the moment in a war that's almost tearing the place apart. Currently, there are no negative pieces in what would be described at "Reliable Sources". I'll bet that's why the article came out.

If that's the case, you need to press for a full retraction and a public apology sufficiently frank to ensure the article can no longer be used by Wikipedia. Anything else will mean that "inaccuracies and misrepresentations" and "history of omitting evidence to suit his arguments" will go down on your epitaph.

Aug 20, 2010 at 1:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterslowjoe

Frank -- I'm not sure I agree with you re the warmists only having the science to argue with. I do not see why they cannot discuss the politics and economics and if fact they do. They churn out the Stern Report , for example. There was much discussion on politics of the issue around the Copenhagen talk fest. But they don't seem to have the ability of communicating well without taking an arrogant usually poorly thoughtout approach like this from Bob Ward.
While Monckton can get a little carried away at times with his comments all the others mentioned above ( and few that I have not ) are able to make their points very clearly , interpreting the science into simple terms and most importantly getting to the core of the issue without resorting to "put downs " , name calling and vitriol.
May the good work of these great communicators continue.

Aug 20, 2010 at 2:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Ross:

Then allow me to give you some examples from my several years of debating these people. These are some the inconvenient facts they won't touch with their mate's bargepole:

Carbon Disclosure Project:
$64 trillion of major corporations funds under management (HSBC, Morgan Chase, Lloyds, Unilever, Pepsi etc). Director is Robert Napier. Napier also 'happens' to be chairman of the Met Office.
http://www.englishpartnerships.co.uk/robertnapier.htm

Lest we think this is an anomaly, let's look at the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change:
"The IIGCC is a forum for collaboration on climate change for European investors". Chairman: Peter Dunscombe. Dunscombe also 'happens' to be the head of the BBCs Pension Fund.
http://www.terrapinn.com/2007/ci/speakerList.stm

Can you see why the warmists tend to shy away from this aspect of climate change? I've only ever had two reactions from them when presenting this information: 1) anger or 2) silence.

All of which helps explain the next point: conflict of interest. Why is it seemingly impossible to get an even vaguely independent inquiry into the Climategate issue? One brave warmist on the Grauniad thread at least had the gumption to momentarily suggest Lord Oxburgh's ties to CC were 'tenuous'. They were swiftly disavowed of such a notion, as Oxburgh's conflicts of interest were laid bare for all to see. Among them:

Blue NG, renewable power company: paid chairmanship
Falck Renewables: paid directorship
Climate Change Capital: advisor
The Low Carbon Initiative: advisor
Evo-Electric: advisor
Deutsche Bank: "environmental advisor"
Global Legislators for a Balanced Environment: director

The warmist, having previously made several posts, was not heard from again. This is what they simply cannot argue against. This is what I was talking about. In the interest of brevity I'll leave it there for now.

Aug 20, 2010 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterfrank verismo

andy
North won the right of reply because he went at them with his lawyer in tow.

Bish, these guys just make up their stuff. Let them do it - their time's up.

Aug 20, 2010 at 2:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Frank,

I think you've missed a nuance here.

The reason Warmists (I'm generalizing) are such bad communicators is that their stance is principally an emotional one; they have such a deep psychological need for their Evil Mankind theory to be correct, that their rationality (and hence their typical response) is completely subsumed by knee-jerk emotionality.

This is why intelligent and educated people (which many Warmists are) can behave in such a bizarre and irrational way. The emotion has completely taken them over; to 'lose' would be a devastating psychological blow.

This is why, also, the rhetoric from the Warmist side can be so vitriolic and personally abusive; why they refuse to logically debate any parts of their pet theory, and why there is no such creature as a Warmist with a sense of humour.

Aug 20, 2010 at 2:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Frank -- I take your point and on thinking about it more perhaps it is because there are , at least , two groups in the warmist camp. The scientists & green activists and the moneymen & politicians. The first group ( which Rick refers to) are so tied to the "theory" because of emotion or research funding they are blind to the fact that the other group have hijacked their cause for possible financial gain. But I still believe that, even though I think there is a long way to go with this issue , poor communication on their part will be seen as a major part of their downfall. ( well I hope there is a downfall). Another part will be that the various economies will simply not be able to afford their expensive ideas.

Aug 20, 2010 at 3:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Yer Grace:

I think I'm in agreement with slowjoe... I smell the sulfurous whiff of conspiracy. McIntosh in the Scottish Review and now Ward. Wanna bet that by the end of this weekend or next at latest there won't be another negative "review"? The question is whether you trust the reading public or not. McIntosh and Ward obviously do not. You can play "whack-a-mole" with these and future "reviews" or you can take the position "... I've had my say, and now, do as yee will and be damned..."

Aug 20, 2010 at 3:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobert E. Phelan

Rick:

Nothing in my experience disagrees with your post. One of the biggest obstacles to new ways of thinking for an intelligent person is the auto-enforcing (and emotional) conviction in that intelligence, i.e. "I'm too smart to be wrong".

This usually ends in much gnashing of teeth - usually directed at the person who has done the (dis)service of helping to correct their bad thinking.

The point of my earlier post, however, was to point out how much more latitude we sceptics have in the argument. Unlike the warmists, we can go into any part of the issue we choose - a fact I enjoy exploiting as often as possible.

Aug 20, 2010 at 3:59 AM | Unregistered Commenterfrank verismo

Bob Ward's article has precisely one target, an otherwise brilliant money manager called Jeremy Grantham who has been duped over the years by various alarmists into donating millions of pounds which pay, among other things, Ward's salary. Ward appears to be betting that Grantham does not have either the time or the inclination to read the other side of the story.

Aug 20, 2010 at 4:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT2

Ross:

You're correct about the distinction between the science/activist side versus the money/politics side, although there is a great deal of crossover at the top. As an example, the doyen of warmism, RealClimate.org is (according to a whois.net search) registered to Environmental Media Services of Washington, D.C.. EMS was founded and owned by Arlie Schardt, who just happens to be Al Gore's press officer.

The Grauniad warmistas did not enjoy me pointing this out and angrily referred me to an announcement concerning Schardt's 'retirement', telling me that RealClimate is now handled by Science Communication Network. I thanked them for the information and promptly checked SCN's registration details. They were registered to EMS. They REALLY didn't like me pointing that out.

We sceptics are fully cognizant of the relationships between the 'science' and the money. And being free to talk about it (and do the dirty detective work) is our biggest strength. The fact that the warmists are not free to do so is a massive achilles heel for them. And, deep down, they know it - hence the anger.

Aug 20, 2010 at 4:21 AM | Unregistered Commenterfrank verismo

With 207 comments at 6am, Ward’s article is by far the most commented article at Guardian Environment, though the three articles about sex and bicycles are way ahead in terms of “most read”.
It seems one of the biggest problems Guardian-reading Greens have with warmer weather is other Guardian readers looking up their skirts while they’re cycling. What a load of big girl’s blouses! You don’t find women complaining like that.

Aug 20, 2010 at 6:00 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

It is certainly central to the Warmist mentality to see themselves as the heroic 'little guy' standing up to the evil capitalist machine. Two absurd and persistent delusions stem from this: 1) That 'big oil' funding of skeptics is much larger than government support for AGW-friendly research and that all skeptics must be recipients of that largesse, and 2) that the mainstream media is hugely biased towards the skeptic cause. These are the classic psychological traits of denial and projection.

The hyper-emotional nature of Warmists was on show a couple of days ago in a Grauniad thread about the new biodiversity scare. I commented that there were so many scares around that we hardly had time to worry about all of them, and ended with (a mangled version of) the Shakespeare quote 'Cowards die many times before their deaths.'

This stirred them up no end -- they all immediately jumped to the conclusion that I was attacking their personal environmental heroism, and they let me have it from all angles, including the truly bizarre charge that I was calling Churchill a coward for opposing the Nazis.

It was illuminating -- with so much emotion invested, Warmists do not behave, or argue, along rational lines much of the time, a conclusion which needs to be borne in mind when engaging with them in episodes like the Ward article or the McIntosh review.

Aug 20, 2010 at 6:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

The 'debate' in the comments section of the Ward article is certainly entertaining. I've been missing that sort of banter since Monbiot gave up on global warming (though I expect that to be temporary).

Its great to see the warmists sqirm with indignation. In line with some comments above, the behaviour of some is so much like religious fanaticism - like those who would use 'scientifc' arguments to prove evolution is wrong.

[I may not have all readers with me here, but] It also reminds me of Tony Blair's increasing desparation as 'evidence' for WMD faded and faded.

Aug 20, 2010 at 8:09 AM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

Perhaps Bish if you feel you need to respond to Ward my I suggest you write an article in another paper altogether. The Amazon/North discussion must have boosted interest in the paper could this be the same game? If possible take the discussion somewhere of your choice!

Aug 20, 2010 at 8:15 AM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

@ oakwood. 'since Monbiot gave up on global warming (though I expect that to be temporary)'.
I think Mobiot has given up on global WARMISTS, rather than 'warming'. It was obvious at his 'debate' that the resentment he feels towards Trevor Davies and the CRU at East Anglia transcends any feeling he has towards North,Delingpole, Monckton or Ridley.
Until the 'augean stables' at that 'university' are cleansed I think George will stick to 'bio-diversity loss'. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Having to use Ward rather than Monbiot to do their 'ad homs' is a sign of desperation.

Aug 20, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Guess what, I'm automatically held for moderation at the Guardian (CiF)

All I have done is suggested that The guardian allow Andrew a response to Bob's spin, and linked it to the response here.

Also suggesting, that Bob is distracting away from the statistical paper that totally discredits the methods used by Mann (IPCC lead author), whilst EVEN using his cherry picked proxies for temperature.

I wonder if my comment will appear at CiF, anybody else had any problems?

Aug 20, 2010 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

At Cif: 9:50 am, today, let's see how long it takes to appear/disappear?
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Aug 20, 2010 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

@ZT2

Bob Ward's article has precisely one target, an otherwise brilliant money manager called Jeremy Grantham who has been duped over the years by various alarmists into donating millions of pounds

I doubt he's been duped. Grantham's been very successful in spotting and exploiting economic bubbles in the past. The £25m or so funnelled into this think tank is simply priming the pump ahead of anticipated profits. It's already yielded useful PR material in the form of the Stern Review which was dutifully spun by Ward and recommends giving Grantham et al lots of our money. It's rent-seeking at it's finest.

The wiki faithful have already butchered Ward's pre-emptive strike and have a para prepared by the wonderfully unbiased ChrisO ready to include. It's rather deceptive given it states this is a 'Guardian review' of the HSI and closes with this classic bit of Ward spin

it would perhaps be wise to treat with some scepticism Montford's assessment of the validity of the inquiries into the hacked email messages

which doesn't seem relevant to the book, but is Ward's attempt to prejudice opinion ahead of the GWPF report. It's his usual rubber hatchet job. He also makes an odd comment about the "amazing timing, was officially launched by Lord Lawson of Blaby just three days after the emails first appeared". Not sure if he's trying to insinuate anything there, or if Lord Lawson, the GWPF and the Bishop would want to consider a joint legal response.

Aug 20, 2010 at 10:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Ward’s comment on the “amazing timing” with which The Global Warming Policy Foundation was officially launched “just three days after the emails first appeared on the web” is typical Guardian nudgenudge-winkwinkspeak. We are presumably supposed to infer that Lord Lawson was behind the email hacking.
This is the third time that the Guardian has sailed close to the legal wind, following Monbiot’s brushes with North and Monckton. Add Randersen’s peculiar statement that global warming is Guardian editorial policy (confusing scientific certainty with moral rectitude), and the silence of those journalists like Goldacre and Adam who actually understand the science, and you have all the signs of a once great newspaper in a state of mental breakdown. The climate scientists have taken over the asylum.

Aug 20, 2010 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

And the gatemen go marching on.
We now have...
Pre-emptive Sleight of Integrity Gate
following on from...
Sleight of Hand Gate

Aug 20, 2010 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

@toad

Surely even Monbiot can't feel resentment for Davies. Pity perhaps - that one so obviously inadequate should have been given a job he is so singularly ill-equipped to do.

His performance (or lack of it) at the Climategate debate was so memorably appalling that it will stay with me for a long time. And it reinforced my view that most climatologists have gravitated to that field because they found real science too hard for them.

Aug 21, 2010 at 7:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

'the only sceptics mentioned in the article below it are me and Nigel Lawson. Which one of us is supposed to have misled the public over the hacked emails inquiry? As far as I am aware, Lawson hasn't actually said anything on the subject and given that I have said a great deal on my blog and also that the rest of the article is about me,'

Err... Sorry mate but Lord Lawson was one of the sceptics who gave evidence to the Commons committee.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-archive/science-technology/s-t-cru-inquiry/

So it would turn out that he has spoken on the subject, and it isn't all about you. I'd expect someone who's written so much on the subject to at least have an idea of who gave evidence at the inquires whose findings you want to dismiss.

Aug 25, 2010 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered Commentercider

You obviously don't know how scientific publication works. Nature and Science are extremely difficult to publish in... one review can love a paper, maybe more than one, but if another doesn't love it, well, that can easily spike it. Furthermore the editors play a huge role in deciding if a paper is "exciting" enough to get published (and yes, they often like controversy, IF it's well supported science).
Oh, I almost forgot. Record Monsoons in Asia, massive fires in Russia, record breaking heat everywhere. In 20 years you and the contrarians (ooooh, I didn't use "Denialist"), will be considered like Lysenko.

Aug 29, 2010 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientist

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