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« Josh 40 | Main | The press conference »

GWPF report press

I'll post up links to any news coverage of the GWPF report here.

James Delingpole:

Climategate whitewashers squirm like maggots on Bishop Hill's pin

Here's Fred Pearce in the Guardian:

Andrew Montford's report for Lord Lawson's sceptic thinktank raises some valid criticisms but will most likely be ignored for its brazen hypocrisy

Roger Harrabin

[Montford's] report complains that the enquiries commissioned by UEA did not offer sceptics the chance to give oral evidence. He points to many instances where he says the enquiries failed properly to investigate serious allegations against academics at UEA.

Louise Gray in the Telegraph

[A] report for GWPF by Andrew Montford, a well known blogger, said the inquiries failed to ask the opinions of sceptics. He also said they were rushed and failed to ask a series of questions about why requests for information were refused or probe allegations of fraud in scientific papers.

Fiona Harvey in the FT

[I]n the latest salvo, the Global Warming Policy Foundation – a think-tank started by the UK’s former finance minister Lord Lawson – published its critical assessment of four of these inquiries on Tuesday.

“None of the panels mounted an inquiry that was comprehensive,” the GWPF concluded. None “managed to be objective” or “performed their work in a way that is likely to restore confidence in the work” of the UEA scientists who wrote the e-mails.

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Reader Comments (115)

Is Fred Pearce living on the same (warming) planet as the rest of us. Typical Guardian poor journalism.

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterReward

Randerson's piece is at

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterslowjoe

Bish, was Roger Harrabin or anybody from the BBC?

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Guess the missing word - could it be "there"? Just after BBC.

Brain fade

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

Off topic,
a new review of the HSI. Not by any useless fluffball like Ward or such but this time an editorial by Fred Singer.

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered Commenter"Dr." Karl

Louise Gray quoting Bob Ward and not much else

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

I sent a copy of the report to the BBC...

Just spotted Ross M, has an even more comprehensive one out (ie more detail)
Given he was an ACTUAL critic and subject of the emails, no doubt his will be called partisan, but equally, hard yo ignore..

I'll dend it to Graham Stringer (very easy to find an MP' email address, just google their name and contact details.

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Louise Gray in the Telegraph tells us that you were "paid £3,000 for carrying out the review", not quite up with Oxburgh's £40,000 for 45hrs in Norwich then.

Sep 14, 2010 at 7:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrankSW

... and a deflect from Roger Harrabin, who pretty successfully conveys the impression that his piece is about something else:

Mix enough bits into the stew, and it doesn't taste like anything specific.

Sep 14, 2010 at 7:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterjim

Just going through the report. Would somebody on that side of the pond help me with this one: "The
reports have been more Widgery than Saville." (p. 4, in Lord Turnbull's foreword). I get the general sense, and Saville conjures up elegance and taking the time to do it right, but what's the "Widgery" part, and is this a common saying that I have somehow missed out on all this while?

Sep 14, 2010 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterchopbox


Sep 14, 2010 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

chopbox, this should provide the context...

Sep 14, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete

Apologies - Posted too quick.

Widgery and Saville investigated Bloody Sunday shootings in NI.

Widgery (1970s, establishment) said it was the IRA and the victims fault.

Saville (just this year) said there was (little or) no evidence that the soldiers were shot at before they started killing civilians.

Sep 14, 2010 at 7:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

Jim - agreed, Harrabin's coverage is pathetic.

And I wonder if Andrew Miller can back this up with any specific details or facts and figures:

"The vast majority of scientists round the world accept that climate change is a critically important issue and it is almost always non-scientists who want to argue about that”
End Quote
Andrew Miller MP

The Show must go on......

Sep 14, 2010 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Dear Bish
Para 46 is a bit weak, the first sentence.

Sep 14, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub Niggurath

To give more context, Widgery is considered by Northen Irish catholics to have been a total cover-up.

Widgery is credited in some with turning the nationalist population in Northern Ireland from focusing on a Civil Rights movement to focusing on an armed struggle.

Sep 14, 2010 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterslowjoe


"and Saville conjures up elegance and taking the time to do it right"

Unfortunately for us in the UK it also conjures up 'fixing it'.

Now then, now then . . . . .

Sep 14, 2010 at 8:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterfrank verismo

Andrew Miller, chairman of the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee, who was not involved in the GWPF report, agreed that the IAC's recommendations on changing leadership of the IPCC should be taken very seriously.

But he rejected a separate demand from Lord Turnbull for a parliamentary review of climate science. "Lord Lawson (founder of the GWPF) appears to be trying to re-write the basics of climate science, but neither science committee in the Commons or Lords would waste its resources on such a futile task," he said.


Sep 14, 2010 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermartyn

Reward - I thought Fred Pearce was pretty tough. He is critical of Montford’s bias but the meat of his comments are quite a bit stronger.

He concludes "I have no problem with Montford. His Bishop Hill website is not to everyone's taste, but he has landed some good blows here."

Sep 14, 2010 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Hampshire

El Reg has an interview with Lord Turnbull here-

"Lord Andrew Turnbull, former cabinet secretary and head of the Home Civil Service between 2002 and 2005, says the University of East Anglia's internal enquiries into the Climategate affair were hasty and superficial, and called for Parliament to sponsor two wide-ranging investigations.

One study should examine the "ethos and governance" of climate science. The other should conduct "a fundamental review of the science itself""

So do it again chaps, but properly this time.

Sep 14, 2010 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Quote, Fred Pearce, "None of the inquiries have cleared the air."

So the smell of Climategate will contnue to linger.

Sep 14, 2010 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

"None of the inquiries have cleared the air."

That should be 'has', although I wouldn't expect the Grauniad to know the difference.

Sep 14, 2010 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Fred's comment "Andrew Montford's report for Lord Lawson's sceptic thinktank raises some valid criticisms but will most likely be ignored for its brazen hypocrisy" made me laugh. Since the Bish got £3000 and Sir Muir Russell got £40000, does that mean the report would have been more credible if the Bish hard charged more?

Sep 14, 2010 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

In bone dry academic language, Mr. Montford clinically, relentlessly and without emotion eviscerates the body of lies perpetrated throughout this farrago of supposed inquiry. Reading carefully through this report, one is again and again stopped short by the duplicity and obfuscation used to hide the truth and one can only come to one logical conclusion.

The truth was never the goal. The maintenance of a convenient lie, the consensus of our betters, was the only goal that was aimed for.

My congratulations on a tough job, very well done.

Sep 14, 2010 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaulH

I thought Fred Pierce's piece was pretty reasonable - much more reasonable than we'd normally expect from the Gruniad. Apart from the single sentence which you highlight in your post, which gives a false picture of the whole.

Sep 14, 2010 at 9:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid C

I'm a bit mystified by Lord Turnbull's repeated references to the United Arab Emirates. I had no idea that the country had been so active in climate research. Or perhaps he was Ambassador there in the distant past and retains an affection for the acronym.

Sep 14, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

Given Bishop Hill recent encounter with the Guardian and Bob Ward...

Fred Comments:

"I have no problem with Montford. His Bishop Hill website is not to everyone's taste, but he has landed some good blows here."

Are actually pretty astounding..... and actually VERY positive.

His1st paragraph, is just to stop the guardianista's from having a fit,
they probably don't make it through to the end of any article...

Fred does work for the Guardian afterall, and has to pay his bills like the rest of us...

Sep 14, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Hi Jane, I read on Climate Audit the following statement by PaulM:

This gives an excuse to quote a line from Jack Hughes at Bishop Hill:

Don’t confuse the UAE and the UEA.

One is a dysfunctional autocratic place where backward-looking religious views dominate. The other is a country in the middle east.

Sep 14, 2010 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterharold

What is this issue with partisanship? Is any man impartial? The whole basis of argument starts with accepting that people have different views, from then on it's down to evidence. The issue here is that Andrew and Ross have laid out a stong factual case which needs to be answered. If Roger Harrabin and his ilk want to hide behind aspersions and misdirections then it is they that have to answer charges of partiality and hypocrisy. They now need to answer the facts, not the aspersions. Prima facie, Oxburgh and Russell are dead meat, and the HOCSC needs to seriously consider its position.

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Bish the success of your book is not only based on the message, it is also based on the messanger and you have shown it again in your report.
Many eminent people could have tried to summarise the mass of points you covered in your report and the reader would be none the wiser. You have a truly unusual skill in being able to cover every point in detail, simplify it so that all can understand, lay it all out in a clear logical fashion and if that was not enough, you bloody well made it interesting as well.

many many congratulations ^.^

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung


You only get 95% for spelling

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

i didnt notic eny speling mistaks

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:08 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Thankfully, "blogging" and "tweeting" are not considered "press", but anyway, here's my complete microblogging of the press conference today.

It was good to meet the Bishop and it was good to hear him more upbeat than I am on this topic, even if he's read it all.

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

End of an interesting day and so far Bish whilst I have witnessed a lot of firefighting I ain't heard anybody yelling "pants on fire".

Tell it as it is

Sep 15, 2010 at 12:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

I thought the number of spelling mistakes were proportionally about comparable with the Muir Russell report. Not bad going, all considered.

With regard to the issue/non-issue of partisanship, if a climate scientist like Mann or Solomon were to suggest that the results of a study should automatically not be trusted because of the author's funding source rather than because of errors contained within, then for the sake of bloody-mindedness I would probably agree with them and then immediately dismiss all of their work, because they are clearly partisan.

Much is being made of Andrew's partisan position supposedly being hypocritical because of the fuss that sceptics made of the conflicts of interest with the enquiry panels. In truth, however, while concerns were rightly raised about the biases of panel members at the time the panel announcements were made, those concerns were not really substantively raised again once the respective reports were published.

Instead, there was far more of substance to criticise about their findings, and it is the findings that sceptics took issue with. Questionable conclusions were highlighted and were, in part, explained by bias but the bias of the panels became secondary, by way of explanation of otherwise inexplicable findings.

If a critic of Andrew's GWPF report were to find a substantive error in the report - a misreporting of circumstance or of fact - and then were to blame that error on purposeful misrepresentation because of partisanship, there might be a case to answer (even if merely to refute), but so far nobody has actually challenged the substance of the GWPF report for any factual errors therein. Neither do I anticipate that this will happen.

Sep 15, 2010 at 12:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimonH

I have only one relevant complaint about your review. Having preloaded my iPhone with the PDF, I then attempted to read it while seated before a three piece KFC, with the 40p to go large, in Kirkcaldy.
I barely managed two pieces of poultry before the rest of the meal had congealed into cold inedibility.
Lesson learned. The Good Bishops scribblings are finger lickingly better than even the Colonels!

Sep 15, 2010 at 12:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

Thought the tone of report was excellent, very dry. A straight forward, referenced, statement of fact, as opposed to the Inquiries themselves which were lazy in providing the analysis of the evidence on which their FINDINGS were based. Well done!

In reading it though, there was one point I was a little uncomfortable with, as I think it may have been overstated;

Points 24-26 Phil Willis's 'denier' comments.

“There are a signifi cant number of climate deniers, who are basically using the
UEA emails to support the case this is poor science. We do not believe this is
healthy and therefore we want to call in the UEA so that the public can see
what they are saying.”

24,25 Ok he did use the word denier, and later apologised for it.

Its point 26 I'm unsure of - does this relate to the same quotation above? there is no other reference so I assume so.

"26. Willis’s neutrality was also brought into question by his suggestion that it was
somehow improper for critics to question the quality of the science at UEA. It is a
fundamental principle of the scientifi c method that all fi ndings should be challenged
and questioned in order to ensure their robustness. Willis’s comments therefore seem
to pay no regard to that principle."

I'm sure Willis is well aware of the scientific principle and understands the requirement for 'critical' review. I read this more as; there is a question mark over the science (rightly or wrongly) which is 'unhealthy' and it is in everyone's interest especially UEA to resolve this.

That is not the same as saying it is 'improper' for the 'deniers' to question the science.

Its a small point in the grand scheme of things, but it grated when I read it. Like I said I think it is over stated.

Otherwise, A triumph!

Sep 15, 2010 at 1:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

Also,spotted a typo in point 81. 'towards towards'.

Sep 15, 2010 at 1:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

I think it would be worthwhile having a thread to discuss the following:


I dont mind being called a denier because I sure as hell do deny that I am warming the planet. I dont mind being called a sceptic because I sure am sceptical about the claims that I AM warming the planet.
The opposition sure as hell are alarming public and governments alike and they sure think we are warming the planet.

So why do we all object to these names?

"Dung you are a bloody denier!" "Sure am, whats next?"

There are more than two sides to this argument and of all people Louise Gray highlighted another one today.
When I have wasted my time writing and emailing to Ed Milliband, Chris Huhne, David Cameron et al I keep trying to point out that the planet IS going to get a lot hotter or a lot colder. The one thing it is NOT going to do is stay in this interglacial for much longer.

Regardless of who is right in the argument between deniers and alarmists our climate is going to change and no scientist really has a clue as to which direction climate will take.

If the earth returns to its "normal" climate which is about 10 degrees C warmer than today then here in the UK we may just not need to go to Southern France for holidays and sweat a bit more.
If we return to ice age then we are in big trouble.

All the money we are spending on trying to halt climate change should be spent on planning how to cope with climate change.
Do wind farms work at minus 20?
Do Solar panels work under ten feet of ice?
I think this is the third side of the argument that is ignored.

Sep 15, 2010 at 2:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Here is the FT coverage :

I still cannot get over Lord Turnbull's remark that the enquiries " were more Widgery than Saville".

OUCH! That is really going for the jugular.

What it all needs is just one very senior official in the Treasury or maybe the Cabinet Office to become the "anti-champion" of AGW and all the misguided policies that the UK has been adopting with such severe potential damage to the UK economy and employment. To point out the obvious - that The Emperor has No Clothes.

Sep 15, 2010 at 2:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Anderson

Here is the FT coverage :

I still cannot get over Lord Turnbull's remark that the enquiries " were more Widgery than Saville".

OUCH! That is really going for the jugular.

What it all needs is just one very senior official in the Treasury or maybe the Cabinet Office to become the "anti-champion" of AGW and all the misguided policies that the UK has been adopting with such severe potential damage to the UK economy and employment. To point out the obvious - that The Emperor has No Clothes.

Sep 15, 2010 at 3:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Anderson


i didnt notic eny speling mistaks

Next time let ZDB proof read it. :) He's an anal retentive when it comes to spelling and grammar, although pedantically so.

A bit of advice -- Virtually nobody can proof read their own work. But if you are short on time and money, there is a neat trick that works, and that is use something like TextAloud to have your computer read it to you. You will be amazed what you will hear that you missed seeing.

While there will be those who fault your work for spelling and such, you still did an excellent job of exposing the truth. That is what really matters. Slowly the momentum is building.

Sep 15, 2010 at 3:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

"17. On 11 February 2009, a further UEA..." should read "2010"

Sep 15, 2010 at 5:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Just read Harrabins piece. The title is "Call to replace UN Climate chiefs". Harrabin's take on what happened yesterday is obviously that this is yet another call for Pachauri to go.

He is still very protective of the science and scientists though, isn't he? The Bishops report on the Inquiries is relagated to the end. I imagine the hope is that the reader can be distracted by the Pachauri bluster and not actually make it all the way thru to the real 'meat'.

I say 'meat', but this was it in its entirety;

"He concludes that the enquiries into Climategate were inadequate and will be unlikely to restore public confidence in the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at UEA.

His report complains that the enquiries commissioned by UEA did not offer sceptics the chance to give oral evidence. He points to many instances where he says the enquiries failed properly to investigate serious allegations against academics at UEA."

It would be impossible to have a more cursory report of the proceedings than that. More space was given either side of this block quote to Andrew Millers - Scientists still believe in global warming and UEA's - Rather hollow sounding "the Inquiries found nothing wrong "and even the EPA says everything is all right. Sort of valueless non news.

Does anyone know if the BBC 'bias in reporting' Inquiry is still going on? I'd have a word with Harrabin if I were them. If you can't stop your personal bias effecting your objectivity, you shouldn't be doing the job - over to you BBC.

In Randersons guardian piece there is another reference to UAE as University of East Anglia (UEA), the post the other day about the confusion made me laugh.

If I was the Arab Emirates, I'd be getting pretty annoyed about the bad press they have been getting recently, A press release stating that they have no connection with the university may well be in the offing.

Sep 15, 2010 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

It is noteworthy that the reporters conveniently step over the pointed criticisms of their tardiness to report on the email leak story until it became embarassingly futile to ignore it. Even then the pitch was primarily to treat it as a sceptic plot to derail Copenhagen.

Sep 15, 2010 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Following on, a rather unscientific, but instructive analysis of the journalism, by headline(?);

Telegraph (Dellingpole):-
"Climategate whitewashers squirm like maggots on Bishop Hill's pin"

Telegraph (Gray)
"Doubt remains over 'climategate'"

Guardian (Pearce):-
"Montford lands some solid blows in review of 'climategate' inquiries"

FT (Harvey):-
‘Climategate’ inquiries ‘flawed’, sceptics say

BBC (Harrabin):-
"Call to replace UN climate chiefs" (me, wha?)

I'll add to the list as they come in, Harrabin's take seems out of 'kilter', he must be stressed. For the BBC, the climate chief in question was Pachauri. As far as I am aware, Pachauri did not participate on any of the Inquiries. Pachauri was not mentioned in the GWPF report "The Climategate Inquiries", why should he be?

I'm still amazed that Harabins 'take' was "more pressure on Pachauri". No doubt he sat thru and read the same material as the other journos, but chose to deflect the story away from the Inquiries, the science, and the scientists (the sacred gound to Harrabin, "protect at all costs"). Very odd in my view.

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

Sep 15, 2010 at 9:31 AM | Pharos

Err, leak? The e-mails were hacked. Hence, y'know, police investigation and all that.

The reason it was treated as a sceptic plan to derail Copenhagen, is that it couldn't be any clearer that that's what it was. Circumstantial evidence I know, but you don't time something like that by accident.

I love this idea that deniers cling to about the e-mails being leaked. It appeals to the conspiracy theory that all scientists really are corrupt, and that someone inside CRU had had enough and decided to whistleblow.

It clearly does't stack up though. Who is this whistleblower? Fame and fortune would follow revalation. If nothing else, they'd be raking in the Lawson Loot by blowing a whistle from dawn til dusk at the GWPF. Don't seem to have been any sudden reorganisations at CRU either other than PJs role reshaping and getting a bit more savvy about the world's eyes upon them.

What is it that would set this whistleblower off? "I was going back through my bossess personal e-mails over the last 15 years when lo and behold..." It just doesn't scan. If they had evidence of actual data being manipulated, then that would make sense. But it wasn't data, it was e-mails.

I know this is pretty much the home of climategate furore and all that, but to keep insisting it was a leak just isn't living in the real world.

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed


Err, who cares.

What mattered surely was whether they were genuine and what they actually said. Leak or Hack, makes no difference to whats being discussed here. ;)

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

Sorry, that should have been directed at ZedsDeadBed, not Pharos. Apologies Pharos.

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterGSW

I'd give some slack to Harrabin. When behaviour (and writing) is as peculiar as his, there's always something else going on in the background. Wouldn't be surprised if he took a long holiday shortly.

As per the identity of the leaker, if it's not Briffa I'll eat my hat (*). Yesterday much has been made of the point about him taking home some of the e-mail messages that were going to be deleted rather than FOI'ed. Methinks his name is popping out way too often.

(*) after buying a chocolate one

Sep 15, 2010 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

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