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Beddington's meeting with Pachauri

H/T to David Holland for this little snippet. In February 2010, Ed Miliband - then the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, now leader of the opposition - wrote to Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC on the subject of Climategate. The letter is not desperately interesting, being mainly suggestions for what Pachauri might do about the shambles of the IPCC, but I was interested that its writing was prompted by a meeting between John Beddington and the IPCC chairman.

The meeting doesn't seem suspicious to me - for the head of the IPCC to meet the chief scientific officer of one of his major funders is surely quite natural in the wake of a scandal. What is interesting is that I had asked to see all Beddington's Climategate related correspondence and papers, and there is no hint of such a meeting in what was disclosed. I find it hard to believe that UEA was not discussed at this meeting.

More FOI required.



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Reader Comments (16)

Not surprising the letter is not desperately interesting looks to me like Edd and co. were just covering their backsides as the IAC Committee was announced just a couple of weeks later. I wonder how many other Governments did the same.
2.1. Review the IPCC procedures for preparing assessment reports including, but not restricted to:
i. Data quality assurance and data quality control;
ii. Guidelines for the types of literature appropriate for inclusion in IPCC assessments, with special attention to the use of non peer-reviewed literature;
iii. Procedures for expert and governmental review of IPCC materials;
iv. Handling of the full range of scientific views; and
v. Procedures for correcting errors identified after approval, adoption and acceptance of a report.

Apr 13, 2011 at 8:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

Bloody awful handwriting Mlliband seems to have.....not a sign of a clear and tidy mind :-(

Apr 13, 2011 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder


All hail East Anglia. Apparently we are all fighting an irresistible force of world change that has rippled from East Anglia for the last 500 years. Resistance is futile... and you thought it was just a third rate University punching above its weight? You have been warned!!!

Telegraph: From the English to American Civil Wars: How East Anglians came to control the world

Apr 13, 2011 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Did Siliband get a response from Patchy?

Apr 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

'This evidence first became clear around the mid 1990s.

At this point official “climate science” stopped being a science. You see, in science empirical evidence always trumps theory, no matter how much you are in love with the theory. If theory and evidence disagree, real scientists scrap the theory. But official climate science ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence, and other subsequent evidence that backs it up, and instead clung to their carbon dioxide theory — that just happens to keep them in well-paying jobs with lavish research grants, and gives great political power to their government masters.

There are now several independent pieces of evidence showing that the earth responds to the warming due to extra carbon dioxide by dampening the warming. Every long-lived natural system behaves this way, counteracting any disturbance, otherwise the system would be unstable. The climate system is no exception, and now we can prove it.

But the alarmists say the exact opposite, that the climate system amplifies any warming due to extra carbon dioxide, and is potentially unstable. Surprise surprise, their predictions of planetary temperature made in 1988 to the US Congress, and again in 1990, 1995, and 2001, have all proved much higher than reality.

They keep lowering the temperature increases they expect, from 0.30C per decade in 1990, to 0.20C per decade in 2001, and now 0.15C per decade – yet they have the gall to tell us “it’s worse than expected”. These people are not scientists. They over-estimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide, selectively deny evidence, and now they cheat and lie to conceal the truth.'

Apr 13, 2011 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered Commenteralistair

Ed Milliband is a "Deficit Denier"

Apr 13, 2011 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I've come across a wonderful quote, so relevant to this whole subject, which might come in handy when it goes quiet in the Snug:
'Scientists have odious manners, except when you prop up their theory; then you can borrow money from them.'
Mark Twain: 1835-1910.

Apr 13, 2011 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Nice of Ed to confirm that the "consensus", so recently denied by Gavin, was created by the IPCC, and largely depends on rubbish reporting of rubbish science.

Apr 13, 2011 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

The letter is not desperately interesting...

Yer Grace, the content of the letter is totally fatuous. What is interesting is the letterhead with its little "Act on CO2" logo. Kinda shows just where the priorities of the Dept. of Energy & Climate Change lay.

Apr 13, 2011 at 5:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert E. Phelan

Ah yes, Ed Miliband, our Secretary of State for Climate Change who went round the country (along with Frannie Armstrong of 10:10 infamy) warning us all about runaway Climate Change and the dangers of 'negative' feedback, and yes he did say 'negative feedback' (when anyone with even the slightest knowledge of the 'science' of CAGW knows that the concern is re. positive feedbacks) and he'd been Climate Change minister for some 8 months at the time - responsible for pushing through the 'Climate Change Act' 2008.

Apr 13, 2011 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

The letter is not desperately interesting...

Actually, as a bureaucrat that gets to draft such letters (admittedly in NZ), I think this one is fascinating -- and given it is written in bureaucratise with a British understatement, perhaps it would help to do a bit of translating.

If the Beddington had been happy with his meeting with Pachauri, there would have been no letter. The fact there is one means he was not. The fact that it was a PM's letter instead of a Beddington letter, says not only was he not satisfied but he was profoundly worried, -- in fact worried enough to raise the issue with the big boss and get him to do something about it. You don't bother the PM of any country with trivia.

That is why the letter is not just a "hello, nice cup of tea we had" but rather the bit about the four tasks make it a letter that says "these are your riding orders in case you missed them when I jumped on you from 10,000 feet and I am putting them in writing so you cannot claim to have missed the point as I was shafting my sword into your thick skull ...."

The letter could have stopped there ... and most would have .. so the fact it goes on shows just how worried they really are about Pachauri himself and his own performance. The the British government is happy to assist you in this process really means "we don't trust you to do it alone -- so our "help" is being provided whether you like it or not.". I will admit it doesn't go the final mile and say "X will be provided to 'assist' you and you better follow his orders" ... so they have still a tiny hope that Pachauri will either pull it together or be got out of the scene.

However, they do turn the screws up on him.. the "I will be grateful if you will respond to this letter by providing more detail on the measures.. sentence is not a "hey mate, nice to catch up so keep me on your Christmas card list" but rather it is "you have almost lost our confidence and so here is your one last chance to keep it. If we don't like what we see -- and you better provide it promptly mate -- then we will be moving on this matter." To make that abundantly clear the final sentence is not a "hey say gidday to the mates" it is "we want your mates to be keeping a good eye on you so you jolly well make sure everyone knows - and do it by passing this letter on so they get the full picture and know just how deep the ditch they are in is..."

That letter is a real eye opener -- and I imagine caused real panic in the inner circle of IPCC.

Apr 14, 2011 at 2:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Margaret -
Thanks for the translation, from one not schooled in bureaucratese.

Apr 14, 2011 at 3:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Cheers Margaret

My interpretation for what its worth is that the wheels were already in motion to bring in the IAC not that they ended up doing a great deal but enough people in the corridors of power had already rocked the boat and asked more than a few embarrassing questions as a result of all manner of bad press.
The Beddington and Pachauri meeting I see as a meeting preparing the IPCC of things to come with the UK Gov behind the scenes up to its neck in supporting the IPCC but in true bureaucratic manner hedging its bets had to produce something to possibly argue the case in the future that they were a concerned major funder

Apr 14, 2011 at 7:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn

'However, mistakes such as the IPCC statement on Himalayan glaciers are inevitably damaging.'

That's the sword shafting through the skull. I suspect he's the walking dead. I think the feeling was that dumping him then would merely underline ClimateGate and be counterproductive, and it would be better to wait 'til the whole thing settled down. And since it hasn't, here he rests.

Well, why else is he still here?

Apr 14, 2011 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim


Forgive my ignorance, but what is a PM's letter? Is it perhaps that Mr Miliband had aspirations of Gordon Brown's job at the time? Or maye it's a letter written in the afternoon?

Apr 14, 2011 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Brown

Sorry Peter you are right. Being in NZ I thought is was from the British PM -- but I see it is from the Minister instead.

The point still stands though -- you don't bother your Minister with signing a letter like this unless you are worried enough to raise your worries with him -- and as they are always busy folk, your worries have to be big to cross the threshold that they need to know and even bigger to cross the threshold of they need to know and do something personally about it.

Apr 15, 2011 at 6:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

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