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The Liberal Conspiracy blog has a post up discussing my Newsnight appearance.

The author is somewhat rude about me and refuses to link to this site. Apart from that there's not a lot to say about it. A bit airy-fairy really.

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Reader Comments (34)

What is the Liberal Conspiracy blog and who is Hengist McStone? His article reveals that he certainly seems a bit of ignorant of climate science.

"‘Hengist McStone’ runs a blog monitoring the BBC’s ignorant reporting of climate matters. If you spot anything, get in touch". He must have a full-time job monitoring the BBC's ignorant reporting of climate matters. As he is patently ignorant of climate matters himself, how would he know which of the BBC's reports are also ignorant?

Sep 11, 2010 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Example of HMcS logic in a reply comment to Vladimir:

"It amuses me that skeptics are so keen to lambast climate models. The case for making computer predictions of future climate is founded on concerns we have today. If the models are inaccurate (and it would be miraculous if they weren’t) that would generally suggest a wider range of weather events and a more unstable climate. It seems to me that the destination point of critics of computer models would be to be less skeptical of AGW."

I think it must be a satirical blog he is running.

Sep 11, 2010 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet


I think his logic suggests that it is not the climate that is unstable.

Sep 11, 2010 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Hengist McStone popped up on WUWT in June:

He was not really welcome and he became an object of ridicule.

Sep 11, 2010 at 10:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrownedoff

Dunno if this helps, but all I could find were some refs to a post under that name relating to Stonehenge

A post on WUWT

and, if you follow a link to youtube,

there is a comment from a youtube user called backwardthinker (sounds about right ...), who signs himself Hengist McStone and has posted the following profile

at least we know what he looks like now !

Sep 11, 2010 at 10:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark M

As usual your Grace is being judicious: they didn't just not link to you: they linked to sourcewatch.

Sep 11, 2010 at 10:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Pedant-General

Quite entertaining, frankly. It reminds me of some preachers of guilt in the old (and not so old) times and a fine example of Alzheimer's logic

Sep 11, 2010 at 10:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

Yer Grace! Of course he didn't link back to you.

... An odd choice for the question at hand because Montford’s credentials are that he cannot agree on what the climate has been over the last millenium...

If anyone actually followed the link they might realize that it is McStone who is the light weight and refusing to state as fact what you aren't really sure of (and of which most of the experts are unsure of as well) is not a cause to be dismissive. Nonetheless, he seems to have taken a bashing on his own blog without the link-back.

Sep 11, 2010 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert E. Phelan

Troubled souls of that persuation dislike everything. I would be more concerned if you received praise.

Sep 11, 2010 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

O dear, if you think some people are misjudging now just wait until your review of the reviews comes out! Immediately on publication expect to be morphed into a full blown Antichrist!

The Newsnight bit was 3 weeks ago; Tuesday is 3 days to go. QED!

From The BBC Climate Files:-

“Does the BBC's discordant climate output mask a conspiracy of ignorance? asks Hengist McStone.”

“a conspiracy of ignorance”. You will have to leave that with me for awhile, quite a while, well, for at least 3 days.

Sep 11, 2010 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Rude? You should tell them, stop it, stop it.

Sep 12, 2010 at 12:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Steiner

Slightly off topic . The Liberals have also labelled the talk of global governance etc as a conspiracy as well. But they will no longer be able to do that given what the UN has been up to in its latest "planning" session

NB: A link to the briefing papers on which the thread is based is given part way through the thread.

Sep 12, 2010 at 2:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

I've noticed he posts on CIF as hombreverde. I'd always thought it was Paul Daniels from his avatar. Now I realise he's much more of an illusionist.

Sep 12, 2010 at 3:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris S

Sorry if this is the wrong thread, my dear Bishop, but I just thought I'd put my ha'pennies worth on your most current post.

Re: the Guardian article.
1) I've noticed 'quite a-dry-bob' hasn't replied to any of his critics since he made his spectacular fast draw to you (( a 'dry-bob' was Byron's joke, in his unpublished intro to Don Juan, about Bob Southey - you should read it - it's quite apropos.)

2) I noticed people are still using Tamino's nonsense.

3) No one seems to have noticed - or very few - that this is not about anthropogenic climate change but rather it is narrowly focused on Palaeoclimatology as it has been affected by 'tribalism' and 'politics'.

I am waiting for my library to bring me your book. Then I can argue over the details. If it is anything like your 'Caspar' paper then I am very excited

Btw, don't you think 'JoAbbess' is a charm - not to be rude, but her passion is interesting - and 'useful', as Lenin would have put it - but she does disclose her 'amateur' side in this debate. Her politics I cannot admire because I believe that anyone in this 21 century who does not know the danger of utopian rhetoric is either ignorant, a fool or malicious!


Sep 12, 2010 at 5:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterLewis

I forgot to say what amused me most, in the Guardian thread, was one of 'JoAbbess' 's reply to one fellow that his criticism was 'Patriarchal patronising'. O get with the 21 century woman or get thee to a nunnery!

So '70s, so passe!

Sep 12, 2010 at 5:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterLewis

Jo Abbess to her GREAT credit allows all comments on her blog. So criticise the Guardian, Realclimate, they are much bigger players in the 'game'

Sep 12, 2010 at 9:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

This debate is coming to a head. AR4 contains a major assumption, 'cloud albedo effect' [44% of 'Total net anthropogenic' in Figure 2.4], for which there is no theoretical or experimental justification for thick clouds. This was known before publication. So, AR4's predicted AGW needs to be reduced considerably more because the models need to be revisited. NASA puts out a totally false scientific explanation of the cause of the assumed effect.

The real physics is easy to derive. There are two processes, diffuse scattering in the cloud interior and intense back-scattering at the upper cloud boundary, greater for larger droplets. For thick clouds, the latter dominates so the real 'cloud albedo effect' acts in the reverse way to that originally assumed. It's why when clouds are about to rain, they become darker.

I suspect that when this was realised, about 2004, there were two choices; retreat to a sustainable position or bluff it out by creating a plausible but entirely false explanation. If true, this is one of the biggest bait and switch scams since Patton's imaginary East Anglia Army.

Sep 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander

Ghost Minces Net

Sep 12, 2010 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

I think there is far more convincing evidence that oil is not a fossil fuel, than there is of AGW. Where is that debate.

The mistake that you made Andrew, was to tell the truth. This is both inconvenient and very difficult to recognize these days. These people want everyone to live in their black and white world.

Sep 12, 2010 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Oh, great read.
"Stop it, stop it!"
"Get thee to a nunnery"
"Patton's imaginary East Anglia army"


Sep 12, 2010 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterLucy Skywalker

Lucy, it is going to be a fun week with the GWPF report coming out so watch the BishopHill space..

Sep 12, 2010 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

So much attention is being paid to Andrew and the HSI that I am beginning to think this is becoming a celebrity blog.

Sep 12, 2010 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrCrinum

I've had a suden conversion to CataGlobWarm.

The Supreme Master Ching Hai, a.k.a. God's Direct Contact (Google her), says we have until 2012 to Save The Planet from CAGW (by all going vegan if you want to know).

Well, that's good enough for me.

Sep 12, 2010 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterO'Geary

O Geary

The SuMa Ching Hai had the late Stephen Schneider in her thrall. :). Her commissioned contributions are in the Garnaut Review. Glad to know people are watching.

Sep 12, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub Niggurath

You anticipated my irony! Wow!

Don't be a dunce 'Be a smarty, join the Nazi party'!

Sep 12, 2010 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis

But what is surprising, is the lack of civility and good humour. By the way, I remember your old blog, in fact I remember everything (I was the first, that I know of, to spot climate audit) so everyone should be careful before they speak(?bllcks)!

Sep 12, 2010 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis

Dear @pesadia.

Dont waste too much of your time on a study of abiogenesis of hydrocarbons. Although the Fischer Tropsche process showed that hydrocarbons can be generated using coal, carbon monoxide and hydrogen and this lead to useful supplies to the German war effort. And of course SASOL made great use of CTL technology during the apartheid embargoes (and still do). And of course:The theory is plausible in so much that Carbon, Hydrogen and heat are present at depth and, in theory could recombine to form hydrocarbons, consider this:

1. The Earth (Mk II) has been around in much of its present state for 3.8 billion years with an active core of Nickel-Iron, an aesthenosphere of Silica Magnesium and radioactive decay generating heat. Along with the essential ingredients: Carbon , Hydrogen and heat. So, if this production line of ingredients and heat has been present for so long, why are we not knee deep in oil?

2. Oil Geologists look for three precursor conditions: Cap rock, Reservoir and Source rock. To date, we have required all three to be present in a basin in order to locate useful amounts of oil and gas.

3. The source rock is a subsea strata where organic matter is cooked in the absence of oxygen. The source rocks are generally associated with massive algal blooms in previous periods of global warming.(ironic isn't it...)

4. Carbon Isotope ratios suggest an organic origin

5. On a few of occassions, Oil has been found in proximity to granite. But actually, the granite is a fossil landscape (weathered, fissured or gravel out wash) overlain by a later source and cap due to marine incursion. So the granite was not the source, but the reservoir. (See Vietnam , Gulf of Suez etc).

6. An oil field in the GoM appeared to self replenish. This was held up as proof of Abiogenesis. Later , deeper drilling found another reservoir and when exploited, the shallower reservoir failed to replenish. The deeper reservoir was a acting under pressure as a source to the shallow reservoir and seepage by faults was the likely mechanism for this pseudo-replenishment.

7. Gold posited that oil should / could be found at fossil bollide impact sites. Drilling at the Silian Ring Complex - a fossil meteor impact site and later overlain was chosen. No oil or gas was detected. - Except for some diesel that was accidentally spilled into a mud pit tank by a roughneck.

Put not your faith in Abiogenesis. It is as batty as a belief that a minor trace gas increase can alter an entire global climate system.

Sep 12, 2010 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDropstone


Thanks for the obviously informed comment on my blog about oil. Are you familiar with J F Kenney and his writings about this subject. I am not a scientist, nor have I had a technical education but I do find his theory very compelling.
Also, according to information on oil deposits, my understanding is that we have consistantly found more than we are currently using since around 1950.
If this is true, then we might be knee deep in oil, depending on the length of our legs.
Thanks again for your very informative responce.



Sep 12, 2010 at 9:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Dear @pesadia.

There is something else which I forgot to point out and it is quite important. Liquid Hydrocarbons exist in quite a narrow depth-temperature regime within the earth. Too hot and the hydrocarbons 'cook' , or more properly fractionate, becoming condensate and gas condensate: they break down at depths that are hot enough. The depths and temperatures at which abiogenesis is supposed to occur would create gas condensates and not crude oil.

Successful oil exploration peaked in the 1940s - 1960s. The major finds being in the golden triangle of KSA, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran. Other significant basins include Russia, North Sea, North Slope and GoM.

Since then, finds have tended to be smaller and farther between. That is not to say that West Greenland, Falklands and the circumpolar region may not offer exciting new opportunities. Time will tell. But the big easy fields were the first to be discovered and are now showing worrying signs of getting quite old.

Anyway, thanks for your reply. But as this site is about climate, we should really end it here :-).

The oil drum (google TOD) is a pretty good site regarding this issue, though it became completely pro AGW and they kicked me off over a year ago. Hey ho.

Sep 12, 2010 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDropstone

I agree, this is not the place.

Thanks again


Sep 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia


Apologies, I think you are being a bit sensitive, the tone of the piece was more a dig at the BBC than you. Your Newsnight performance was fine. There is nothing substantive in Hengists piece and its general construction is quite poor. Some observations

Don't remember Hansen being on Newsnight so,

"are the floods in Pakistan due to climate change? James Hansen fairly observes essentially changing the climate is like loading a dice"

is a bit random. The NASA chap obviously didn't give the correct response from Hengist's point of view, so he inserted a quote from another NASA chap, just to balance it out.

There then followed the usual, 'in the absence of evidence - lets work out the truth by counting Phds'.

Bishop Nil

Nevertheless, you both came to the same conclusion vis a vis floods and climate change, another disappointment for Hengist.

He blames the BBC for it all though "they are skilled propagandists" pushing the 'sceptical agenda' no doubt. This will come as a surprise to Harrabin and Boaden (Director of BBC news) who been pursuing the Warmist cause for years as a matter of stated policy.

I have to confess a soft spot for Kirsty Wark, and take exception to any criticism levelled at her personally. The man is a disgrace.

Being a bit more constructive for a moment. In your Grace's new role as "the acceptable face of scepticism", at least as far as BBC is concerned, it may be worth coming up with a few pat answers to the more common questions in advance. The "I don't really know " answer, although honest, doesn't play particularly well ( Steve Mc uses this response quite often). Something along the lines of "tremendous uncertainty that there is actually any problem at all..current state of the science etc" may actually be as truthful and a little more re assuring.

Apologies if I've over stepped the mark on the last bit, it is intended to be constructive ;).

Sep 13, 2010 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterGSW


Thanks for the thoughts.

Hengist's ideas are left looking rather empty when you realise I wasn't their first choice.

Sep 13, 2010 at 2:11 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


Appreciate the response. I wouldn't get hung up on the 'not the first choice' thing, you put up a more convincing performance than Dr Asrar, who in the absence of something to say, waffled interminably.

Good luck with future appearances!

Sep 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

GrantB -
I prefer "scheme not sting."

Sep 13, 2010 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

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