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« Science at the crossroads | Main | Art for warming's sake »
Wednesday
Nov212012

More EPA fallout

The story that Lisa Jackson, the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, was using an alias to try to avoid Freedom of Information requests is growing legs.

Yesterday came the news that even Jackson's natural supporters on the left had called for an investigation into her conduct. Then it was revealed overnight that the secret email account in question - in the name of Richard Windsor - had been directly linked to PCs used by Jackson.

Popcorn required.

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Reader Comments (40)

Again, makes no real difference. If Republicans take over the gov, they will do the same things Obama's EPA is doing now. The US political class have already decided to establish cap n trade in the US, it's just a matter of time. They may start first with a carbon tax with carbon permits fixed at a specific price. Over time, regardless of who's in gov, cap n trade will take hold. It's one of the only ways left for the political class and their banker friends to make money by duping taxpayers. Mark my words, US will have a cap n trade system within 8 years if the taxpayers keep believing what the politicians tell them. It's like a game of ping-pong; the players are the Democrats and the Republicans and the taxpayers are the ball. The bats beings used are things like EPA, IPCC, and political committees.

Nov 21, 2012 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry K

The idea that you give someone a second e-mail account for internal or limited use if perhaps fair enough , but to use a different name for it and one that you never know represent the real owner is very poor business practice and a dead give away that is scam in the first place . Designed not to add communication at all but to allow the real owner to duck responsibility.

Nov 21, 2012 at 10:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Jerry, whether the Republicans would do the same is neither here nor there. The issue here is that Obama's appointment to run the EPA has been going about doing everything possible to support the Democrats intentions to introduce cap and trade through the back door.

Secondly, Obama promised a new age of honesty, openness and transparency when he won in 2008 and has gone exactly the opposite ever since becoming President. Them again, when you only have one media outlet prepared to do their job then is it any surprise that the Democrats would do what ever they pleased without the fear of their actions being reported far Abd wide?

Mailman

Nov 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

@Mailman I don't disagree with you, my friend. I'm just pointing out that all the screaming and shouting is nothing more than a puppet show. Behind the scenes, the political class (regardless of party) and their banker friends have already committed to introducing cap n trade in the US. This is the truth that US taxpayers need to wake up to before they get scammed by the political class. Observe what is happening in Australia for example: before the election, the current prime minister Julia Gillard promised there would be no carbon tax--after the election, guess what? Politicians speak with forked tongues. No means yes, and yes means yes. They will say whatever they need to say in order to gain power and once they have power, they will carry out their agenda which is cap n trade. We need to understand that the political class in every country has already bought into the idea of cap n trade--it's one of the easist ways to make money by duping taxpayers.

Nov 21, 2012 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry K

Cover up in 3, 2, 1.....

Like I said to my dear mum the other day there are two sorts of people, those that turn up at work at 8am and demand to get paid and those that turn up at work at 8am work a full days work and then demand to be paid. Guess which sort Mrs Jackson is?

Nov 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

We are seeing similar "revelation" on this side of the pond as well. The BBC 28 Gate for one. The RAF binning the Alarmist Met Office for weather predictions because - in the words of an RAF Officer "We need long range weather forecasting - not cataclysmic papers for Peer review" is another example.

I may be a tad optimistic - but it does seem to me that it is the very actions of the Alarmists, in expecting to be able to do what they have always done and get away with it, that is driving the steady unravelling of the hype.

Nov 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug UK

Doug, do you have a reference for that RAF thing?

Nov 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterBruce Hoult

@brucehoult. Seconded.

Nov 21, 2012 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames Delingpole

Thirded

Nov 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Registered CommenterGrantB

James,
Liked this from your latest post:

WWF's Nussbaum knows this too. Well, he would being a man with a background in finance and a salary of between £110,000 and £120,000 pa (it pays its people well, does Big Green: the global CEO of WWF gets over $455,000 a year). He's also the non-executive director of a £55 million private equity fund called Low Carbon Accelerator, specialising in clean energy "investment". The page from its site which particularly interested me was the one showing its share price movements in the last six months.

It is details like this that 'settle the debate'. Is there any doubt that that the non-executive director of an equity fund investing in 'clean energy' will support, say for instance, windfarms?

From the WWF's Positive Energy report in October 2011

“This report is inspiring, but also entirely realistic,” says our chief executive, David Nussbaum. “It shows that a clean, renewable energy future really is within our grasp. If we seize this opportunity, it will lay the foundations for a clean industrial revolution in the UK, with all the jobs and export opportunities that brings, as well as being a major step forward in tackling climate change.”

[...]

We’re therefore calling on the government to commit to a target of at least 60% renewables in the UK’s electricity mix by 2030. Stable market conditions are also needed so investors have some certainty about getting a good return on their investment.

Nov 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Registered Commentershub

It is what I would do if I were running the RAF. Or anything else for that matter. My actual domain of power is almost entirely made up of my vegetable patch - and I have instituted a policy whereby no strategic decisions there shall rely on, or indeed even refer to, Met Office output. The recent departure of Napier from the Met Office, and the recent 'let's be reasonable' initiative here of Richard Betts, do hold out the possibility of a high-level review of this policy in due course. However that is not likely to take place for another 5 to 10 years - enough time perhaps to see if CO2 is largely a driver or a passenger in the climate system compared with the ocean oscillations (esp PDO) and solar variation. The last 15 years or so do point to the predominantly a passenger perspective, and a more pronounced cooling in the near term would strengthen that.

Nov 21, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Stable market conditions are also needed so investors have some certainty about getting a good return on their investment.

As soon as you see any mention of 'certainty that investors need' you know a scam is going down. Feed-in-tariffs are an example of 'certainty for investors' ie a scam.

What happened to investors who used their skill and knowledge to make good investments? Defeated by meddling governments?

Nov 21, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

OT slightly, but connected with FOI.

Copy of letter I have just sent (inspired by "ThinkingScientist") to my MP and the Director of the BBC Trust.

I am writing to you about a serious concern regarding the BBC’s reporting of climate change science and associated issues.

From the detail emerging in the aftermath of Mr. Tony Newbery’s F.O.I case (EA/2009/0118) it is absolutely clear that the BBC is in breach of its Charter, which requires it to be impartial.
Furthermore it knowingly and wilfully breached its Charter in this regard and has since tried to hide this fact from the Public and license fee payers, at the Publics’ expense.

In June, 2007, the BBC Trust published a report entitled “From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding impartiality in the 21st Century”. That report, which is fully endorsed by the BBC Trust, contains the following statement (page 40):

“The BBC has held a high‐level seminar with some of the best scientific experts,
and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal
space being given to the opponents of the consensus."

This statement forms the basis for the BBC’s decision to breach its Charter and abandon impartiality on the subject of climate change and instead provide a highly biased and alarmist presentation of the science of climate change, without any attempt at counterbalancing argument, let alone “equal space”.

Since then attempts have been made, via FOI requests, to find out the identities of the so-called “best scientific experts” who attended the “high level seminar” which thereby provided the justification for the BBC to abandon its principle of impartiality in this area. To my best knowledge, the BBC has not abandoned its impartiality in this way, even in wartime.

Tony Newbery, a pensioner, clearly felt the same way and has gone through a long series of FOI requests and processes, culminating, earlier this month, in a tribunal at the Central London Civil Justice Centre (case no. EA/2009/0118). The FOI request was for the identities of the “best scientific experts” who attended the seminar. In order to conceal this information, the BBC fielded a team of 6 lawyers, including barristers, at an estimated cost of £40,000 per day, to prevent the list of names from being published. Whilst they were successful, it was a pyrric victory, as it transpires that this information, that the BBC had tried so hard to conceal, had been in the Public domain for some time.
So who were these “best scientific experts”?
It turns out to be a motley collection of climate alarmists, activists, environmental advocates and those with vested financial interests:

Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
Trevor Evans, US Embassy
Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net
Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
Claire Foster, Church of England
Saleemul Huq, IIED
Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
Matthew Farrow, CBI
Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
Joe Smith, The Open University
Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
Anita Neville, E3G
Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia.

Not one of these could be described as “scientific”, let alone an expert.

The remainder:

Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

are scientists, but were misleadingly described in court by Helen Boaden (of Jimmy Saville infamy), as “scientists with contrasting views”. In fact all are unashamedly alarmist. Pointedly, not one of these scientists deals with attribution science, or the atmospheric physics of global warming.

So where are the real experts? Scientists from the Met Office, or the Hadley Centre, one of the foremost climate research centres in the world? Where are the names of Dr.
Chris Landsea, World expert on hurricanes, or Dr. Nils‐Axel Mörner, World authority on sea level rises? Or Professors Richard Lindzen, or Murry Salby, World experts on atmospheric physics? Why are there no experts from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia?

It now crystal clear why the BBC went to such great lengths and expense to
withhold the names of those attending. They are not the “best scientific experts” but
rather a group overwhelmingly comprised of environmental activists and NGO’s,
with no scientific training, whatsoever, or those with a vested interest, often financial, in keeping climate change alarmism firmly in the Public eye.

In conclusion I put it to the BBC Trust that:
1. The BBC and, by endorsing the report, the BBC Trust, have lied to the public that
they organised and/or attended a seminar at BBC Television Centre involving the
“best scientific experts” on climate change.

2. That its change of policy to no longer be impartial on the subject of climate
change was not based on scientific evidence, or the views of the “best scientific
experts”, but in fact was as a result of listening to the views, advice and lobbying
from inappropriate and biased individuals, groups and organisations including Greenpeace, Tearfund, US Embassy, BP, IIED, IBT, AsRia, E3G etc.

3. That the BBC and the BBC Trust are in breach of the charter and acting
unlawfully. The following quotations are taken from the website
http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-editorial-values-editorial-values/

1.2.1 Trust
Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest. We are committed to achieving the highest standards of due accuracy and impartiality and strive to avoid knowingly and materially misleading our audiences.

1.2.2 Truth and Accuracy
We seek to establish the truth of what has happened and are committed to achieving due accuracy in all our output. Accuracy is not simply a matter of getting facts right; when necessary, we will weigh relevant facts and information to get at the truth. Our output, as appropriate to its subject and nature, will be well sourced, based on sound evidence, thoroughly tested and presented in clear, precise language. We will strive to be honest and open about what we don't know and avoid unfounded speculation.
1.2.3 Impartiality
Impartiality lies at the core of the BBC's commitment to its audiences. We will apply due impartiality to all our subject matter and will reflect a breadth and diversity of opinion across our output as a whole, over an appropriate period, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented. We will be fair and open-minded when examining evidence and weighing material facts.

1.2.4 Editorial Integrity and Independence
The BBC is independent of outside interests and arrangements that could undermine our editorial integrity. Our audiences should be confident that our decisions are not influenced by outside interests, political or commercial pressures, or any personal interests.

Each and every one of these guidelines has been knowingly breached.

This is a scandal that is, in its own way, more disturbing than the one over the Jimmy Savile affair, as it has implications for the whole population. Interestingly the key players in this scandal, George Entwistle, Helen Boaden, Peter Rippon and Steve Mitchell, are also key players in the Savile affair. However whilst the Savile scandal is being looked into by a series of inquiries, this has been ignored.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course on this matter. Please also be advised that I have sent a copy of this letter to the Director of the BBC Trust.

Nov 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Way to go Don!

Nov 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Two things about Don's letter:

1. These self-appointed elites -- the occupying forces in our society -- will likely not even acknowledge this comprehensive and well-crafted letter.

2. It irks them mightily to even have to consider letters such as these -- it is a threat to their own fragile sense of superiority to know that the despised peasantry is still actively engaged and questioning.

It is an act of rebellion against the occupiers which achieves little in clear terms, but a great deal under the surface.

Keep on asking the questions, even though ye be fobbed off with boilerplate answers, because they really hate it.

Nov 21, 2012 at 1:05 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

Politico reports that 'Richard Windsor' is the name of Jackson's dog. No word yet if the dog is, like AWatts' Kenji, a member of Union of Concerned Scientists.

Nov 21, 2012 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris Horner

Is Richard a friend of Charles?

Nov 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

So, it has nothing to do with spanking then?

Nov 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM | Registered Commentershub

According to the L.A. Times: EPA administrator's email account raises concern

Jackson's account had the unusual name Richard Windsor because she was asked to come up with a name that meant something to her. Jackson was born in East Windsor Township, N.J.

Also here's a direct link to that nonpartisan/left wing groups statement and letter:

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington calls for an Investigation of Secret EPA Email Accounts

Nov 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

This -

'CREW executive director Melanie Sloan said in a statement announcing the demand that Jackson’s “practice of using fictitious email accounts to conduct official EPA business, shielding the contents from public view, conflicts directly with her responsibility to follow federal records law.”'(link in main post)

- is perhaps a sign that this motley crew is too motley for their Soros support to continue much longer. Sloan has clearly missed a memo or two about the real purpose of her organistion, which surely does not include attacking the EPA, the vehicle of dreams for so many on the eco-left in the USA.

Nov 21, 2012 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Re. RAF

Who's providing their weather forecasts now, then? I do hope it's Piers Corbyn!

Nov 21, 2012 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"So, it has nothing to do with spanking then?"

Unless the dog was naughty...

"Jackson's account had the unusual name Richard Windsor because she was asked to come up with a name that meant something to her."

I wonder who is making this claim? Has it been verified that this is normal practice for the EPA? If the reasoning is that, due to the load on the "standard" email, in the interests of efficiency a second account is used for internal communications, I would have thought a choice more consistent with efficient operation would be somthing like "lisa.jackson.internalaccount@epa.etcetc". It must be very confusing to work there - especially if your name really were Richard Windsor...
//
Don - good luck with your letter.

Nov 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

See my update at WUWT, there's a dog involved.

http://wp.me/p7y4l-jpc

Nov 21, 2012 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Watts

The EPA, the RAF, and DK's letter. All interesting, but confusing to see them in the same thread. I've been guilty by commenting on the first two here. For the third, I have reproduced what I take now to be an open letter here: http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-bbc-just-another-brick-in-wall-of.html.

Nov 21, 2012 at 2:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

@Don, your letter is fine, as far as it goes. However, you are missing the really big issue, the real purpose of that meeting.

It was not to decide if a balanced view should be taken, it was a meeting with an external pressure group (IBT) to discuss how to insert AGW propaganda into every facet of every type of programming, hence the attendance of heads of every type of broadcasting.

It was a meeting to formulate propaganda to sway public opinion and belief.

The meeting was only described as being with scientific advisors when the BBC was challenged in its impartiality and had to scratch around for an excuse.

It is really important not to let the idea that this was just a poor choice of advisors take hold. It was MUCH more insidious and important than that.

Nov 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterPJP

What PJP said.

Nov 21, 2012 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

@PJP- I realise that- but it is not provable, unless a BBC insider fesses up, so it is not helpful to allege it in such a letter.

Nov 21, 2012 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/11/21/e-mail-privacy-debate-over-senate-communications-bill/

New bill would allow the government to read private email without warrant

Nov 21, 2012 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

Don, well done and good luck. Will you be complaining to OFCOM too? Or perhaps that is for later?

Nov 21, 2012 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterIdiot_Wind

I'm intrigued to know how she managed to communicate to all of her correspondents that she had her second e-mail address.

Bit fishy, isn't it?

Nov 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Don -- did you miss this:

2006
A one day event was held in London on January 26 2006, focusing on climate change and
its impact on development. The brainstorm brought together 28 BBC executives and
independent producers, this time including several from BBC News, and 28 policy
experts. It was chaired by Fergal Keane and looked ahead to the next 10 years, to explore
the challenges facing television in covering this issue. Several delegates attended from
developing countries, including Ethiopia, China and Bangladesh.
On September 14 and 15 2006, another one and a half day event took place at Sidney
Sussex College in Cambridge. The theme was ‘interconnectedness’ and there was also a
particular focus on Latin America. Many of the BBC participants were drama and
comedy producers, directors and writers. One of the aims of the seminars has been to
persuade non factual programme makers to introduce international themes and stories
into their programmes.
As a result of the Kew seminar, the BBC commissioned Howard
Brenton to write a drama on contemporary China. It is now recognised that drama,
comedy and entertainment offer ways of reaching new and wider audiences. One of the
most popular programmes in the BBC’s Africa season was the Richard Curtis drama Girl
in the Café which was produced by Hilary Bevan-Jones who attended our New Hall
seminar.

From here: http://web.archive.org/web/20071108153956/http://www.ibt.org.uk/all_documents/dialogue/Real%20World%20Brainstorm%20Sep%202007%20background.pdf?PHPSESSID=646ac9912b785ecd5f9230ff4d8b8ac6

Nov 21, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Peake

Whenever the left speak about the right doing things, rest assured that is what they are up to. Such is the case with FOI. And when you apply the same standards to them, that they demand of others, they squeal like little pigs.

Nov 21, 2012 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

Nov 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM | Don Keiller

Scientists from the Met Office, or the Hadley Centre, one of the foremost climate research centres in the world

Thanks Don! :-)

Nov 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Doug UK

Please can you give more details of exactly what you mean, and the source? I'm sure my colleagues who risk their lives working directly alongside our armed forces out at the sharp end would be extremely interested to hear if someone like Piers Corbyn is stepping up to serve his country in this way....

Nov 21, 2012 at 7:33 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Betts

Scientists from the Met Office, or the Hadley Centre, one of the foremost climate research centres in the world

Damned with faint praise :)

Nov 21, 2012 at 7:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

When EPA's Jackson actually feels the heat, you will see reports on the racism and sexism to be found in criticisms of her Richard Windsor email account.

Nov 21, 2012 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

@Richard Betts.
Needs must.

Nov 21, 2012 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

There are literally no lengths to which this administration will not go to pursue its leftist agenda, and Lisa Jackson has been at the vanguard with her naming CO2 a pollutant (and regulating it accordingly). I see some traditional allies of the Democrats losing their appetites over such zealotry, and growing frightened over the economic impact of four more years of this regime. Such stories as this would not be appearing if only Republicans were up in arms (they have been since 2009).

Nov 22, 2012 at 5:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterJBirks

@Richard Betts- what are your views on 28gate?
Do you think it is appropriate that the BBC have abandoned impartiality ( a requirement of their Charter) on climate change?
Do you think that the science with respect to climate change is "settled"?
If not do you believe that the BBC should allow debate in those area of climate science where there is onging scientific debate?

Nov 22, 2012 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

Don - don't be too harsh on Richard B. The BBC Trust's statement about the 28Gate "seminar" combined with who was actually absent from the meeting, are a PR nightmare for the Met Office, that is risking to appear foolish, irrelevant and probably the proverbial bottom end of even more jokes.

Either they do their outing as having been made fun of by the BBC having not even been invited to the party, or they would have to explain when, where and how exactly they advised the BBC outside of the "seminar" (if ever), inspiring even more questions and FOI requests.

Nov 22, 2012 at 10:24 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

@omnologos Why not?
The Met Office and its apparatchiks have done nothing, nada, zilch to counter BBC propaganda.

It is one thing that someone from the Met Office occasionally posts at this blog, quite another to make their views known to the general public.

Nov 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

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