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My response to Bob Ward

My response to Bob Ward is now up at the Guardian site.

Read it here.

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Reader Comments (41)

Dear Andrew,

So you have responded to my critique of your book with an ‘ad hominem’ attack on me – how very hilarious and predictable. You obviously cannot rebut or justify the inaccuracies that I have drawn attention to, so you resort to desperate tactics instead.

What a shame - you could have explained how the errors occurred, or apologised for them. Or you could even have come clean about the other errors in your book. For instance, I pointed out that you falsely claimed that a paper by Shaopeng Huang and colleagues “never appeared in print”. What I did not have space to mention was that the alleged source of this inaccurate claim, a paper by David Deming, actually acknowledged that the paper by Huang and co-authors was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. But you decided not to quote the relevant part of Professor Deming’s paper which contained this information, hence giving a misleading impression of his views.

You attempt to portray these multiple errors as “peripheral to the Hockey Stick story”. Yet your book’s erroneous account of the fate of the Huang et al paper invites readers to “compare it to later events in this story” and makes explicit reference to it elsewhere in his tale.

In the concluding paragraph of his book, you warn readers of “the powerful, relentless forces of corrupted science”, but the fundamental problem with your account is that it displays clear evidence throughout of confirmation bias – however, I am happy to accept that this was completely unintentional rather than deliberate. It remains to be seen whether your report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation also suffers from the same fundamental flaw.

Sep 10, 2010 at 4:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob Ward


How fortunate. Andrew runs an honest blog. Ie you are allowed to post comments here...

When the Guardian allowed you your forum at The Guardian with your 'spin' on the Hockey Stick Illusion'

Comments were not ALLOWED at CiF, for many people by your Guardian friends.

I merely tried to post a link there, to Andrew's version of events..
Yet the Guardian will NOT allow any of my comments to appear..

I wonder how the MP's will treat advocates of CAGW soon..
These comments from GrahamStringer (MP), do not bode well.

"Everybody on the [House of Commons Science and Technology] Committee last time asked that there be no gaps between our report, and the Muir Russell report and the Oxburgh Report - but there are huge gaps. The Muir Russell people and the Oxburgh people didn't talk to each other, so there were bound to be gaps. We are left with the science left unlooked at. --Graham Stringer MP, The Register, 10 September 2010

Graham Stringer says the practices exposed at CRU undermine the scientific value of paleoclimatology, in which CRU is a world leader. "When I asked Oxburgh if [Keith] Briffa [CRU academic] could reproduce his own results, he said in lots of cases he couldn't. "That just isn't science. It's literature. If somebody can't reproduce their own results, and nobody else can, then what is that work doing in the scientific journals?" Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 September 2010

Bob, there is even your recent embarrasing attempt to spin, Andrew's appearance on Newsnight, where other commentors caught you out, and the BBC REMOVED your comments....

Why is that....

See the other comments there to find out.

Newsnight Comment:
24. At 7:39pm on 23 Aug 2010, Bob Ward wrote:
This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

Newsnight Comment:
26. At 9:16pm on 23 Aug 2010, Alex Cull wrote:
As Bob Ward has just mentioned, Andrew Montford will be providing a welcome sceptical viewpoint re the role of climate change (if any) in tonight's programme.

I've just been to his blog, by the way, and "bragging" is hardly a fair description of what he wrote:

"I've been invited to appear on Newsnight tonight to talk about the Pakistani floods and climate change. Should be interesting."

Andrew Montford is a man who lets the facts speak for themselves, Mr Ward, as I'm sure you may now be aware."


I asked the BBC to keep your comments up, to show what you are made of....
They eventually, allowed a link to where it was reproduced.

Newsnight Comment
64. At 7:33pm on 31 Aug 2010, Barry Woods wrote:
As some of these comments do not make a great deal of sense, following the removal of Bob Ward's (Grantham Institute)at 24.

Perhaps a link to where it is reproduced will be allowed....

"I see that Andrew Montford is bragging on his Bishop Hill blog that he is an interviewee on this evening’s programme about the link between the floods in Pakistan. His only contribution to the climate change debate so far has been a controversial book about palaeoclimatology, so it is not clear what his expertise on climate change and extreme weather is meant to be."

Bishop Hill is the blog of A J MONTFORD, the author of 'The Hockey Stick Illusion' and the book that is being referred to.. The iconic graph used in the IPCC reports, and the film 'The Inconvenient Truth'

He writes about his appearance on Newsnight here...


You can fool the public 'some of the time'? eh Bob

Sep 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I think the Bishop's Guardian piece makes his point factually and without the histrionics that infected Mr Ward's original. I think the response that Mr Ward makes both here and in the Guardian comments reinforces the view, well expressed in Andrews reply, that as paid PR man, Mr Ward just can't stand to see people who disagree with the point of view he is paid to promote achieving exposure in the main stream media, and writing successful books.

The term 'sour grapes' seems almost too gentle. His response above lacks grace, generosity of spirit and composure as well as common sense. Remember the first rule of holes Mr Ward.

Sep 10, 2010 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Mightn't it be better to leave Bob's day job alone? How he earns the wherewithal to pay the rent likely has some impact on his thinking, but I, for one, would like to see an end to "In the pay of big oil" and so forth regardless of how authentic the appellation might in some cases be.
I concede that this may be a bit too squeamish in this instance.

Sep 10, 2010 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson


An excellent response to Bob Ward. Bob Ward and his supporters are still trying to divert the debate away from the truth that is in HSI. There is no refuting of the central argument of HSI. There is no attempt to debate with Judith Curry. They have no response other than nit-picking around the edges and attacking you personally. In other words they have nothing.

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

47 minutes after the article appeared, joabbess was on to it like a ferret up a cassock. Did she get prior (sorry) warning?

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

I used to love science lessons at school. We did experiments, measured things, weighed things, took readings.

It looks different nowadays. PR men arguing with bloggers about book reviews to decide what is true and what is false.

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

BarryWoods and others
Could we have a show of hands on how many of us are banned from commenting at the Guardian? Barry and me ... any others?

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Ward and his accolytes at the Grauniad are clearly very worried about your report for the GWPF. After Oxburgh's showing in front of the HoC S&T committee, and the evidence that you and Steve McIntyre have so meticulously researched, I am not surprised.

Let's hope the report gets good media coverage.

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

It must bevery depressing to earn one's living by defending the indefensible.
I am on the last chapter of HSI for the second time and as yet, i have not read anything which has contradicted or seriously questioned the facts and sequence of events therein. I therefore assume that critical comments are made, not on the contents but rather on the title.

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

The mere fact that the Grauniad have had to allow a response from the Bishop speaks volumes about the content of Bob Ward's original attack. Ward's smear article should never have got past the editors.

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

I worked my way through five different ID's at CIF earlier this year.

The pattern was always the same. Two or three sceptical comments got through unhindered - then they were increasingly deleted with the posting record still visible, but finally posts just disappeared into permanent "awaiting moderation".

All my posts were polite and reasoned - just strongly sceptical of the religion.

I noticed other sceptical commentators also disappeared quite quickly - although long serving (and frequently unpleasant) "true believers" like ONTHEFENCE were allowed to soldier on forever.

Ran out of email addresses & gave up in the end.

CIF = Comment is Futile (unless you're in the AGW fold).

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

So Bob Ward wrote a very long comment and still managed to get first post up?

He is a fast typer is our Bob... hidden skills.

Though all he did is rewrite his original article. Just this time SHOUTING EVEN more.

For a PR guy his PR skills are a little lacking.

In fact you would have thought in between then and now he could have come up with something original and new (a scoop). He knew this was going to happen. All he did was come up with the same. A sure sign of someone losing the argument...

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian Cohen

If there is one thing I do not have time for in the day, it's reading Guardian comments.

It's a little like going to Disneyland to look for a real mouse.

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJEM

I think the Guardian piece could have been better but heyho you write better than I do so what do I know?

Bob Ward is clearly an imbecile. It always amazes me that such people cannot even report the facts correctly in a book review, and when challenged about this continue to print patent rubbish, yet think they should be listened to about the global climate and what controls it.

[BH adds: I'll post some more on the response and its path to publication in a couple of days]

Sep 10, 2010 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Dear Bob Ward,

What do you make of the recent paper by McShane and Wyner which states:

"We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature. Furthermore, various model specifications that perform similarly at predicting temperature produce extremely different historical backcasts. Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago."?


Sep 10, 2010 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

the question Bob Ward has not answered, and indeed is evasive about, is the one about whether his personal attacks on Montford and the GWPF, and indeed anyone he disagrees with, is part of his official job at the Grantham Institute and is done with the blessing of his superiors?

Or does he do this off his own bat, and if so, why does he use Grantham's credentials and affiliation and not say they are his personal opinion and not those of the Grantham Institute.

because he does not say that we are forced to conclude that his behaviour is sanctioned by the head of the Grantham Institute, Lord Stern.

and does it have anything to do with the fact that the GWPF is writing a critique of the Stern report?

A clear response from Bob Ward, on this website, would be good, but dont hold your breath.

Sep 10, 2010 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterReward

@ Bishop.

Well written, with the correct level of anger. As the Americans would say, "a grand slam home run" and in the Guardian, no less. Quite excellent.

@Bob Ward

Stick around; perhaps you will learn something. For one thing, I have a dog who has a better grasp of rhetoric than you appear to have. He howls so much more convincingly than you did above.

Sep 10, 2010 at 6:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRomeo

I have had a comment allowed through at the Grauniad.

BTW, where is Don Pablo these days? Is he on holiday? I miss his delightfully ascerbic comments.

Sep 10, 2010 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Bob hasn't a clue. He has been told to guard carbon trading with his life. If anyone questions his master Jeremy Gratham, Bob squeals like pack of neutered and flightless geese.


Jeremy Grantham wrote this in his recent newsletter

"Global warming will be the most important investment issue for the foreseeable future. But how to make money around this issue in the next few years is not yet clear to me. "


Sep 10, 2010 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterE Smith


"It's a little like going to Disneyland to look for a real mouse."

that is a gem of a image!

Sep 10, 2010 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

pesadia: "It must be very depressing to earn one's living by defending the indefensible."

I'm sure Bob doesn't lose a moment's sleep over it.

Sep 10, 2010 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

I see Jo Abbess (Campaign Against Climate Change - activist) has made an early appearance at the Guardian. I have just made a post at the Guardian, I wonder how long it will take to appear.

Jo must have had a heads up... ie her activists group has a daily email sceptics alert.
But this times as it is the GUARDIAN, I doubt if they had to wait for the article to appear.

George Monbiot (Guardian) is honourary president of this group.
Also includes Caroline Lucas - first UK Green MP, other MP's and 2 MEP's..

They also target newspaper article comments sections for CAGW activists to do there work.
A particular favourite, is the Telegraph, Christopher Booker articles, and the Daily Mail, if anything sceptical appears.

See Here

Sceptic Alerts:

Sep 10, 2010 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Josh, on the topic of Disney.

Bob Ward reminds me a little of Tinkerbell aparently her dialogue consists of the sounds of a tinkling bell, which is understandable only to those familiar with the language of the fairies.

Sep 10, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

Oh Joy.

I have 2 comments submitted for moderation at the Guardian.
Other comments are appearing after my timestamp..

My first comment was a shorter version, of the one at the top of the thread here..

Come on James Randerson, sort out your moderators, please...

Sep 10, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I haven't been censored by the Guardian much to date, but as Foxgoose says, the regular crowd of (clearly professional, since they've nothing else to do) warmists get away with some very poor behaviour indeed. Even so, I'm fascinated that even on this forum that the sceptic comments often get much better ratings than these Useful Idiots and their sockpuppets.

Sep 10, 2010 at 7:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSayNoToFearmongers

Bob Ward is Bob Ward; he has his vested interests and will promote his views.

But the Guardian?

“I still can't quite understand what possessed Randerson and the Guardian to publish what was patently a hit piece. Does the Guardian really want to look like a private press for the Grantham Research Institute? You might just as well be replaced with an RSS feed. The Guardian's only claim to be of more use than Bloglines or Netvibes is that it imposes some kind of quality control. Where was that two weeks ago?”

Having to print that on their blog, Ouch! Respect Bish, respect!

Sep 10, 2010 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Don’t knock Tinkerbell. Don’t you know every time someone says they don’t believe in fairies, a fairy dies? (An early version of the theory that every time you fly Ryanair, a Bangla Deshi drowns). Incidentally, have you noticed how many Guardian commenters name themselves after children’s fantasy characters? Bombadil, Snuffkin, Baggins ... they have the sense of humour of Eeyore and the vinditiveness of Gollum.

Sep 10, 2010 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Compliments to all here and of course, Your Grace.

I too have been 'dissappeared' on CiF. Polite and reasoned discussion, backed up by clear references to science and opposing real-world data appear to be way too much for the moderators to stomach. This should not really surprise anyone. Mann Made Global Warming is a belief system and unsupported by real world data. But anyway, it doesn't matter as it is way past adherence to the scientific method now.

It is all about money and protecting inestments in the futures markets. Ward is merely a carbon trading shill.

What is interesting is the near hysterical reaction to HSI. It has obviously hit a nerve, I have yet to see a review that dissects or challenges the factual content of HSI.

It is quite clear that over the last two or three years and climaxing in the release of the CRU emails, that the monopolising of the message and the strategic initiative enjoyed by AGW proponents has been lost. Lost in the public arena, lost in the blogosphere and now loosing in the academic sphere - as more scientists gain the courage to speak out.

It may take a little more time for politicos and MSM to catch up with this new zeitgeist, but they will and then they will quietly drop it.

Follow the money: The Chicago Climate Exchange is reducing head count. Cancun is taking a significant reduction in bookings compared with Copenhagen. The steam is going out of the offensive.

It is not over yet, they will fight back, more nastily than ever. But it does have the look and feel of a rear-guard action.

Sep 10, 2010 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterDropstone

Barry Woods

It may be Bob Ward that gave Jo Abbess the heads up. He has form:

Sep 10, 2010 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought


My comment was addressed to Geoff Chambers. (It was seeing Barry Woods commenting on Jo's bee posting that confused me.)

Sep 10, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

I guess we will never know...

But for George Monbiot, and the Guardian to be associated to 2 sceptics/deniars hall of shame.
Is just rather sad for the newspaper and journalism.
(hey Lomborg is still in it, maybe some had better tell them) (george M, is el presidente)

Monbiot's royal flush: Top 10 climate change deniers
My shortlist of people who have done most for the denialist cause - in playing card form

Note, some say that is just George blog...... The web adress STARTS,


Sep 10, 2010 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I don't believe a word anyone says when they are funded by Big Carbon.

Sep 10, 2010 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Just a little curio.

The Grauniad puts a hotlink in at the top of your response to help people find Bob Ward's article.

Just to be fair, they have put a hot link to your response at the same place at the top of Bob Ward's article.

Unfortunately, said link to your response does actually work. Anyone who reads Ward and would like to see your response will be sadly disappointed.

Oh, what an unfortunate and innocent error that must have been....

Sep 10, 2010 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko


The link to your response does NOT work.


Sep 10, 2010 at 10:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Just read your reply. Thank you, it is a masterpiece of sobriety, and a deep medicine for the lunacy that has oppressed Climate Science, that I trust will travel far. Looks like the exorcism is beginning to work, if Bob Ward's responses played faster than squash are anything to go by (I've only just seen that a whole story has erupted, fast).

Sep 10, 2010 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

What betting Judith Curry getting moderated out, should she stoop to conquer on the Guardian? Doubt they would even know who she is.

Sep 11, 2010 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Huang: key point is that the paper was sent by Nature to two peer reviewers, one of whom (Deming) said that it would be "one of the most important papers they published that year". Yet still they contrived to find an excuse not to publish it, despite such a glowing review. Whether or not the paper was later published elsewhere (in original or modified form) is a side-tracking attempt; Deming was revealing that if Nature don't want to publish something, they'll find a way - e.g. calling in an anonymous third reviewer late in the day who mysteriously happens to be more "on message"...

Not sure if the response should have been less about Ward and more about the hockey stick. Ward sees fit to pick up on Huang on page 29 and something else on page 400-and-something, whilst not having anything substantial to say about the Steve McIntyre story - emphasise this for the benefit of the uninitiated! Each paragraph chasing down Bob Ward is a missed opportunity to explain how Mann broke off communication with McIntyre after just one or two e-mails, so forcing McIntyre to play detective in order to unravel what Mann had done. Which, after all, is what HSI is all about.

It's late at night here and I don't mean to be too critical, Bish. Keep up the good work!

Sep 11, 2010 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterSzerb fan

I am offended beyond my capacity to react moderately!
I have posted five times on the Grauniad (above mentioned discussion) and all my posts went through with np!
I politely slammed Joabbess 3 times and did the same for Bob Ward twice.
I blame the Bishop for forcing me to be polite ^.^
I demand to be banned so that I can feel part of the denier community hehe

Sep 11, 2010 at 1:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

OK I am happy now :)
My last three posts were all erased hehe
All I did was quote what Joabbess said on our blog, tsk tsk silly me.

Sep 11, 2010 at 1:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Bob, silly question perhaps, what do you understand by PR?
I thought it stood for Public Relations but you've confused me with your recent utterances.
Personal Rants, political ravings, professional refuseniks? Jeesh, you do make this Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Thermogeddon stuff hard to comprehend for us thick peasants!
Blessed Gore, PBUH, made it straightforward. We're all like a Pheasant bereft of feathers, totally plucked.
Now you've entered the affray, adding a level of objectivity to the debate not dissimilar to that which Doc G would have supported the motion, FOI in the UK, why we don't need it!
The science is settled Bob. Isn't it? So why do teat-suckers on the sow of state funding privately question the consensus while publically prostrating to prestige?
Why, is it when you're so certain of your tenets of truth, do you come over as a blustering and hectoring bully?
You clearly have issues, please don't extrapolate them to the rest of the world. There's more than few billion folks who'd be happy to exchange their malaria, malnutrition and
misery for your misanthropic pi**!

Sep 11, 2010 at 1:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyfomr

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