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« GWPF report press | Main | Quickfire Bob »

The press conference

Whew! That was quite a tough couple of days, but I think it went pretty well in the end. The turnout for the press conference was reasonable, although it was a worry at about two minutes to 11 when there were fewer than ten people in the room, and four of those were on the top table. In the end though we had the Times, Guardian, FT, Express and a few others. 

The presentations were fine - perhaps I might have made it a little shorter if I had my time over again - but of course the meat was in the questioning. I was a bit waffly on one of them, but chatted to the journalist in question after the event and made things a bit clearer. James Randerson's questions were interesting - were you paid for the report and how much - that kind of thing. This was pretty feeble stuff after the other journalists' questions. The other question he put, where I made a slight error in my reply, was when he asked why, since I was criticising Oxburgh for being partisan, the public should trust my report, given that I am also a partisan. My reply was that it wasn't enough to point to the partisanship, but to point out the subsequent errors or omissions, and I invited the press to check the citations in the report out for themselves. But I also began my reply with "Yes I am a partisan" or words to that effect. This is frankly, undeniable, but I saw James leap for his pen at that point, so I guess he will try to make something of it. 

The moment of excitement was at the end, where Graham Stringer piped up from the back of the room. I hadn't noticed he was there before then, but his comments did bring a certain focus to events. After the trivia of James R's questions, hearing from a member of the Science and Technology Committee that what was going on at CRU was literature and not science made the question of how much I was paid for the report seem somehow deeply irrelevant. 

So, I'm reasonably content with how thing went. It just remains to be seen what everyone makes of it.

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Reader Comments (44)

Well done. Is there a video ? I spotted a couple of small typos - Sais instead of Says at one point. I'll need to get some time for a detailed read.

Good luck.

Sep 14, 2010 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

What - no response from Bob Ward yet?

Sep 14, 2010 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS


There are quite a few typos in the report and other mistakes, for example in 8) it mentions information in newspapers in November and December 2010. Unless you are clairvoyant.... Its a great report but people will point to silly mistakes like these and infer there are bigger ones in the meat of the story. Great job well done but it needs tweaking.


Sep 14, 2010 at 5:54 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

PS - Ignore me, I think its a quote...

Sep 14, 2010 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

Ignore my ignoring, actually it isn't. :))

Sep 14, 2010 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris

Congrats, Bish!

James Delingpole has started a blog already -

Must have been a good feeling to have MP Stringer support you from the back.

I've just downloaded your report and am starting to read it.
I do like Lord Turnbull's accolade (wow, what an impressive establishment figure to write the preface!) , when he ends with this:
"Andrew Montford’s report is such an example and the authorities
would do well to accord it the respect it deserves."

Well done, and thanks!

Sep 14, 2010 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans


“Its a great report but people will point to silly mistakes like these and infer there are bigger ones in the meat of the story.”

Sounds a bit like the IPCC report then...

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterPedro

Your Grace,

While it is fascinating and gratifying to have it confirmed that Graham Stringer is able to speak, I think many of us would enjoy being told what it was that he said. Particularly those of us not present at the Press Conference and able to gain such knowledge first hand :)

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

@ Chuckles:

The Bish did report it, in inderect speech, in the last paragraph:

'...hearing from a member of the Science and Technology Committee that what was going on at CRU was literature and not science ...'

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

Did the Guardian spend much time or many column inches reporting what Russell, Oxburgh, et al were paid? I guess, that some forms of payment are more equal than others.

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

But I also began my reply with "Yes I am a partisan" or words to that effect.

Personally, I think this was a good answer. You don't find many examples of that kind of honesty very often. Certainly not from "the team". Let's face it, everyone is partisan and everyone has a payer. It's the documented evidence that matters.

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered Commenter"Dr." Karl

Can I second the request for more information on Graham Stringer's comments?

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Pedro said in reply to me

“Its a great report but people will point to silly mistakes like these and infer there are bigger ones in the meat of the story.”

Sounds a bit like the IPCC report then..."

Unfortunately they are the 'official voice of authority-we' aren't, so different rules apply.


Sep 14, 2010 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered Commentertonyb

This is probably out of order (I don't know, but Chatham House rules probably apply or something) but putting the Press Conference on youtube would be great.

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterslowjoe

Good that Graham Stringer was there, wonder if he'll be inviting (or summoning?) you back to London soon? :)

Sep 14, 2010 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Well, having read the report, I must say you certainly didn't pull any punches!
Your findings on the HoCSTC, and its chairman now Lord Willis was extremely gratifying.

The ending, with the brief look at the Penn whitewash of Mann looked more like an afterthought.
After the fireworks on the three CRU whitewashes it was just a bit disappointing.

But in general - excellent work, and it will be especially valuable for all those who haven't followed the exasperation and new informations here and at the blogs of the other usual suspects since last year.


Sep 14, 2010 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

It doesn't matter that you were partisan, because you reported objectively. It does matter that Oxburgh and Russell were, because they didn't.

Proof of the pudding and all that...

Sep 14, 2010 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Viv Evans wrote:

The ending, with the brief look at the Penn whitewash of Mann looked more like an afterthought.

Penn is not where Dr. Mann is employed or the ones that did an investigation of him. Pennsylvania State University, or for short Penn State or PSU, is where Dr. Mann works. The University of Pennsylvania, or short Penn or U of Penn, is where Dr. Wyner of Mcshane and Wyner fame is employed.

Sep 14, 2010 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterboballab

And Penn is the College started by Benjamin Franklin, long-time resident of Jolly Ole, and a strong proponent of, and seeker of the Truth. He would not tolerate "a man such as Mann", even for a minute. PSU, shame on you.

Sep 14, 2010 at 8:32 PM | Unregistered Commenterdfbaskwill

Can I also endorse the request for a transcript of Striger comments

Sep 14, 2010 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterNeil Hampshire

Well done Bish. Excellent report (apart from the several tpyos - I did tell you). You'll be getting expert at interviews/press conferences. Practice makes perfect. It doesn't matter if you make a few mistakes as long as your honesty and integrity come out, which I'm sure they did.

Sep 14, 2010 at 8:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I doubt James is an unpaid voluntary editor, or himself impartial. I echo Philip Bratby's congratulations, although GWPF were negligent in failing to proof the galleys for trivial typo's in such a high profile publication, one certain to receive intense critical scrutiny.

Sep 14, 2010 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

Sorry, maybe I'm having a senior moment but I can't find a link to the Bish's report.......

Sep 14, 2010 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennis

Just when I thought that you couldn't possibly go higher in my estimation Bishop; you did.

Sep 15, 2010 at 12:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

If you're still looking, try

Sep 15, 2010 at 1:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

I think there are plausible reasons to admit being partisan.

Simply, many leading Warmist scientists have not behaved in a truthful manner -- that is the minimum deduction we can all make from the Climategate letters. Why would we then trust their integrity when it comes to related scientific matters? Can we not be partisans on the side of truth?

Sep 15, 2010 at 1:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

It will be interesting to see if anyone in the media reports Stringer's comments!

Also, if Stringer is as critical of the Hockey Team's work as he appears to be, will he: a) have the courage and initiative to rake Muir Russell over the coals and b) be allowed to pursue an aggressive line by the rest of his committee if he tries to do so.

Sep 15, 2010 at 2:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

The admission of partisanship means merely that one has formed an opinion, not that the conclusions that one might come to are necessarily false (or true, for that matter). It is true that the Bishop did not undertake to analyze the inquiry process from a tabula rasa, and the reader may take from that fact what he will. The Bishop was well aware, as were we all, of the shortcomings of the inquiries and of their prejudices; and some of the background information was exposed via his own FOI (or was it EIR?) enquiries.

We all discount, to a greater or lesser degree, what we read based on our understanding of the author; or perhaps filter is the better word. It is a necessary intellectual shortcut; we know that not everything we read is true, and so we use what we know of the author to weight his claims. Those inclined to believe that an objective case cannot be made against the inquiries, will naturally discount the arguments made as "partisan."

However, those reading with an open mind will examine the evidence presented. I think most will accept that the Bishop has well illustrated the primary weakness: the anemic pursuit of relevant points of inquiry. An inquiry prosecuted with such lack of vigour and objectivity can hardly claim to close the door on the issues it is charged with investigating.

Sep 15, 2010 at 5:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

some people keep refering to BW (getting me all confused - also BW)

does that make me the 'anti-Bob' ?

Sep 15, 2010 at 7:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Bish: "James Randerson's questions were interesting - were you paid for the report and how much"

Does anyone remember Student Grant, from Viz Comic?

Sep 15, 2010 at 8:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

Many thanks HaroldW.

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

It's "typos" or "typoz", not " typo's ".
:) ;p

Sep 15, 2010 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian H

Harold W;
Not only do slovenly investigators not "close the door", they enter into the room and join the occupants.

Sep 15, 2010 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian H

If I was the GWPF I would have called it a 'response' to the reports rather than a 'report' on them in order to head off the question of impartiality. Not that it's the end of the world, given that the document was clearly labelled as coming from the GWPF. (And of course one could spend hours pointing out double standards in the media's reception of questionably neutral 'reports' or 'research'.) The problem with Oxburgh's partisanship isn't just that it gives readers an extra reason to check the footnotes carefully; conducting a partisan inquiry under the guise of an impartial one demonstrates bad faith. If the author is willing to mislead the public on that point, it's hard to be confident that they won't also take liberties when it comes to the substance of the report.

Sep 16, 2010 at 2:01 AM | Unregistered Commenteranonym

It all looks like a somewhat drawn-out explosion of the solidarity of the old boy's network. Maybe because the newest old boys, the CRU-Cru, are such klutzes.

Sep 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrian H

I'd send a copy of the report to every MP, Lord and MEP to ensure they can not claim ignorance of the facts at some future point.

Sep 16, 2010 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered Commentermactheknife

I think Graham Stringer's comment and the fact that he was there at all is interesting.

Apart from being the chairman, Stringer is the only vaguely scientifically literate person on the parliamentary commission so it is excellent news that he appears to be taking on at least a degree of scepticism.

Sep 16, 2010 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiggerjock

It will be interesting to see if anyone in the media reports Stringer's comments!

I have asked the BBC this...

It was also copied onto Richard Balck's Earthwatch blog.
But it has been REMOVED for Consideration

Now removed for breaking house rules.. (not on topic)

I did mention I would like to post the comment on topic, but Roger Harrabin's articles do not allow comments...

Sep 16, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Just rewriiten it to be on topic. C'mon bbc...


------- re-writen comment----------
Again the reason we are discuusing nuclear at all, is due to the belief in AGW and the supposed damage due to CO2. This is because a political consensus, that say the science is settled..

Ie In a Roger Harrabin recent article, where the climategate inquiries were discussed. He quotes Miller.

"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”

Andrew Miller MP
Chair, HoC Science & Technology Committee

Yet in the Guardain, we have this.
Guardian: Montford lands some solid blows in review of 'climategate' inquiries

If you are going to quote Miller, in support of a consensus position that demands nuclear energy as a solution, with the associated nuclear waste risks, based on a need derived from man made global warming theory (AGW)

Why not quote Graham Stringer another MP on the SAME panel as Miller, who says this of the science:

"That just is NOT science, BUT literature"

On Briffa (Climate Resaerch Unit, UEA, being unable to reproduce his own results)

A damming as possible quote on the state of CRU/IPCC 'science.

I would think given Briffa's role at the IPCC and the heavy involvement of CRU staff in the IPCC, and that Graham Stringer's (MP) views would be very relevant and of interest to the general public and show balance on this issue.

Graham Stringer:
"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

Thus the BBC quotes an MP supporting the consensus that demands more nuclear to solve the 'percieved' problem of CO2. Yet another MP on the same committe has large doubts about the science of key scientists at the heart of the IPCC/CRU

Suggesting the questions.

Do we need nuclear at all?, as this consensus of AGW is on shaky ground....

Do we need to take the risks on nuclear waste?, if the very reason we are doing it are called into question..

(Re-written to stay on topic, as a number of my posts were removed for being off topic)

It would HELP if the BBC allowed people to comment on other articles...
Why do Roger Harrabin's articles have no options for comments, there clearly is a public interest in this subject.

Sep 16, 2010 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

The ' I am partizan' quote is very effective on the Guardian blogs I visited. It contrasts with the claim by the inquiries to be independent. Evidence showed they were not.

Sep 16, 2010 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Clague

Oh joy...

The BBC have removed my comment for further consideration again...
I wonder what the excuse will be this time..

I thought it was very on topic..

Ie discussing nuclear because of AGW, I was pointing out why have the risks of nuclear if the reason, AGW is on shaky ground and at least one mp wasn't convinced by the CRU 'science'.
C'mon BBC, the mods are usually better than that.

On a lighter note, the Guardain allowed me to post!!!

Maybe these media guys are not trying hard enough....?

A gem of a quote..
Futerra - Branding_Biodiversity

"Our audiences are
emotional rather
than rational."

The co founder - Futerra - Ed Gillspie writes for the Guardain on occasion...

Sep 16, 2010 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Have the courage of your convictions; if AGW is false, then (as I suggest frequently) CO2 and warming are good, and should be promoted. CO2 output, even though it's more or less insignificant in helping warming, should be subsidized to help maximize global agricultural productivity.

I.e., carbon credits should have a negative value! :)

Sep 16, 2010 at 6:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrian H

Is there a register of who holds carbon credits? I'm guessing that there must be and that it could make interesting reading.

Sep 16, 2010 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Nit-picking here:

"maintains a blog at"

This domain doesn't map to your blog, Bish, you need to map this along with the www - prefixed domain.

Can I help?

Sep 16, 2010 at 11:08 PM | Unregistered Commenterandyscrase

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