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« The comedy of fakers | Main | Naked Churnalism - Josh 151 »
Wednesday
Feb222012

Behind the lines

Just a short note written from the Met Office library, where I'm going to spend an hour before heading back home. The day has gone extremely well, with some really interesting exchanges of views, some of which were quite unexpected.

My talk was probably pitched at a level that was a bit too general and not science-y enough, but as ever with these things it was the Q&A that was the most interesting anyway. Richard Betts had invited Martin Juckes to attend and Juckes was the source of several probing questions. (Long-term readers at Climate Audit may remember him as having a long exchange with McIntyre back in 2007 or thereabouts). This led onto an interesting discussion of uncertainty bands and inverse regression. Peter Stott also wanted to take me to task over some of the things I said, and there was a frank, but not unfriendly exchange there too.

It was great to meet Richard and (briefly) Tamsin. Although unfortunately we had less time for informal chats than I would have liked.

Thanks are certainly due to Vicky Pope and Richard for their hospitality. It was a productive and, I think, a very useful day.

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Reader Comments (95)

I see the BBC implicitly condones criminal activity now...check out Mr Blacks blog.

Feb 22, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterinterested bystander

O/T but just found this in the Labourgraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9098421/Pollution-goes-against-Gods-will-say-church-leaders-in-Ash-Wednesday-message.html

I am a bit baffled by this from the Church, since I would have thought their faith would instruct them to dismiss climate change on two quite specific grounds. Firstly, climatism is clearly a blasphemous competing religion; and second, believing in CAGW surely amounts to disbelief in God's covenant never to inundate the world again - or that He is at least some sort of improbably hairsplitting legally-minded deity who will quibble over whether Mannian twenty-foot sea level rises are technically another Flood or not.

In any case it is hard to see how one reconciles any of this tosh to being a Christian. Perhaps the latter is the belief churchmen will most readily abandon.

Feb 22, 2012 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

J4R, I find myself in the odd position of defending the church against somewhat silly arguments that might apply for the really loony fundamentalists but doesn't really make sense in this context, despite being myself a Dawkinsian atheist.

The is curiously similar to the way I've found myself defending the back-radiation concepts against the Sky-dragon brigade, who are I beleive about as daft as Christian fundamentatlist, despite the fact that I think the IPCC is full of it.

Feb 22, 2012 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta_uk

BH

Thanks for coming, it was great to meet you at long last. It was indeed a very useful day, and enjoyable too - great to talk things through. Do come again sometime!

All the best

Richard

Feb 22, 2012 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Betts

What good news. Glad it went so well.

Feb 22, 2012 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Good. Civilised dialogue between folk holding opposing view. Note for the warmers - it can be done.

Feb 22, 2012 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Very good to hear Bishop, and hopefully one of many more civilised dialogues. From Fife to Exeter is not a trivial journey, and it was good of RB to make it possible.

Feb 22, 2012 at 5:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Bish - Thanks for your willingness to visit with people who hold opposite views on CAGW, and exchange views in a civil manner. Too bad Dr. Gleick refused to accept an invitation from Heartland to do the same - it might have saved him some considerable embarrassment!

Feb 22, 2012 at 5:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

At the very minimum, it is cheering, not least in the immediate aftermath of Gleick's apparent high-brain functions implosion, to know that there are climate scients who are prepared to talk about . . . well, science . . . as opposed to agit-prop strategies, denialist conspiracies and BIG OIL corruption.

Perhaps the Met Office should invite Mann along one day. You never know. He might learn something, not least that it is possible to disagree but remain rational.

Feb 22, 2012 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

For 'scients' pls. read 'scientists'.

Apologies.

Long day.

Feb 22, 2012 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterAgouts

Sometimes I think Douglas Adams' Point of view Gun is much needed in the climate 'debate'.

Feb 22, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterManniac

J4R
I know Cardinal O'Brien reasonably well and I was a bit surprised when he came out with this stuff (not so much Williams!).
Then I reasoned that he is not a scientist; he is a religious leader. He is likely to believe what the scientists tell him. Should I ever meet him again I would be quite happy to take issue with him on the subject but in his very reasonable way he would point out that I am (was) a journalist not a scientist and that given the choice on who to believe on such an important matter — since we have all had it drummed into us for years just how important it is — he is likely to opt for the scientists.
That I might suggest is the problem we are facing. The majority of people, including all sorts of "leaders" — religious, secular, political, business (I see Branson telling us to mend our ways again) — are not scientists and they are likely to believe what the scientists tell them unless and until it can be proved that the scientists have got it wrong.
And that is going to take some very serious science.
Or some exceptionally prolonged cold weather and some journalists coming to their senses.

Feb 22, 2012 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Sounds much more like an exchange of in telliegence than an exchange of ignorance. Well done to all participants.

Feb 22, 2012 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Mike Jackson:

Not wanting to continue the off topic part of this interesting discussion, could I suggest you take a look at the website of Operation Noah (readily googlable) which is actually the originator of the statement that the clerics appended their sigs to. Then follow the links introducing the head honcho, and onwards into NGO and DFID land. Visit on your way their 7 year plan. You'd be hard pressed to find any science, so His Eminence's (reasonable) argument could actually work back at him. If you wish to take this topic, or a more general one based on it to the discussion forum I'd be happy to join you there.

Feb 22, 2012 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

I don't want to derail the thread, but it does seem to me to be highly and wholly relevant to point out that for a man of the church to believe in CAGW must surely be heresy.

I'm not sure it is helpful, as steveta has done, to characterise this as a loony fundamentalist belief that sensible bishops probably don't hold. If we are at the point where these guys are prepared to believe the likes of Gleick over their own holy writ, then what they're saying is that the authority they purport to believe in isn't trustworthy after all. Never mind what God is supposed to have said, the real gospel is what Michael Mann says, it seems.

Well, sorry, but if that's what they think, then they as clergymen have no authority either, so their opinions are worthless because - as a great man said - "ye have no more religion than my horse".

I suppose it is at least intellectually consistent that they rely on authority for their opinions, but if the authority they're now leaning on is climate scientists, then they should complete their intellectual journey and start denying Christ as well. After all, if God's promise of no more inundations is to be understood as worthless, what's the big deal about His supposed son?

Feb 22, 2012 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Did you ask them any direct questions afterwards to asses the penetration of what you said?

Feb 22, 2012 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

stephen richards,

Excellent question. In years of searching, I have not found one of them who allows himself/herself to stray from message in conversation with someone whose standing in the inner circle is not rock solid. As regards penetration, how can it be judged when everyone is always on message?

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Manniac,
yes very good, I'd forgotten about the point of view gun, it would certainly be useful, maybe this explains the politicians apparent inability to see the truth that is sitting in full view in front of them.....the team has got its hands on the gun!!

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSunderlandSteve

From the Met Office's web site: "Dr Vicky Pope. Vicky is Head of Integration and Growth."

Around Climategate 1 she was "Head of Climate Change Advice". Later, "Head of Climate Science Advice".

Dr Vicky Pope: Climate Change 07 "By 2014 we are predicting that we'll be 0.3 degrees warmer than 2004...".


I get the feeling that the Met Office has decided that it would be a wise move to adapt to a future world where CAGW has failed to materialise. Hence the "engaging with skeptics" and shifting of positions.

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

steveta_uk wrote: "I find myself in the odd position of defending the church against somewhat silly arguments that might apply for the really loony fundamentalists but doesn't really make sense in this context, despite being myself a Dawkinsian atheist. The is curiously similar to the way I've found myself defending the back-radiation concepts against the Sky-dragon brigade, who are I beleive about as daft as Christian fundamentatlist, despite the fact that I think the IPCC is full of it."

You've managed to get your prejudices well knitted into this chatty bon mot, miscreant. Meanwhile, in the world of science--as opposed to your unsupported and execrable personal opinions--you wrote on Roy Spencer's site: "The absurd idea that GHE results in INCREASING surface temperatures is simply a misreading of the theory." To which I reply, what's all this worldwide talk then, of 'global warming', by the consensus, for a generation or more--misreading their own theory? As one who KNOWS there is no greenhouse effect of increasing temperatures with increasing carbon dioxide, I call you a third-rate intellect, and no competent scientist, whose like litters the landscapes of both science and public discourse, throwing words like "silly", "loony" and "daft" around as if your judgments were worth anyone's time, much less compelling or even insightful. And your obvious admiration of Richard Dawkins, who is a mental puffball about on the intelligence level of a 13 year old (who hasn't yet mastered formal thinking, but is stuck on the adolescent know-it-all level, and mired like you in barely-restrained emotionalism), is akin to the adoration by James Hansen (and most of his generation) for Carl Sagan, whose promulgation of a "runaway greenhouse effect" for Venus put climate science on the wrong track in the first place. Science needs dispassionate, adult intellects, not bratty, essentially tyrannous and unknowing children like you.

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Dale Huffman

It is interesting to see Cardinal O'Brien take an opposing stance to that of Cardinal Pell of Oz. Maybe they can have a debate someday.

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBruce Cunningham

J4R/Cumbrian Lad
I've no wish to derail this thread either. If I can find the time I may start a discussion but I'd need to think about the best way to get it off the ground.
Meanwhile thanks for the link to Operation Noah. Depressing, or what?

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Today we will see, edging its way down from Scotland, sporadic outbreaks of sense followed by calmer conditions before climate change ushers in heavy bursts of disdain bubbling up over the Atlantic to meet the occluded front gathering over East Anglia. It may feel a little chilly: so wrap up warm.

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:22 PM | Harry Dale Huffman

Unnecessary bile providing no useful contribution to the debate. Please desist. Thanks

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Bish: Out of interest, what was the subject of your talk at the Met Office?

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

It was very good to meet Andrew. Jonty Rougier (statistician and close collaborator of mine) and I tore ourselves away to see Carl Wunsch talk, which was incidentally an excellent continuation on the topics of uncertainties and limitations. I was also disappointed not to get more discussion time (we should have swapped around at lunch!), but I'm sure we'll meet again...some sunny day...

Jonty and I were fairly vocal in defending Andrew and his book, and criticising the dominant paradigm of inverse modelling in palaeoclimate, and I had the feeling the rest of the audience concluded we were saying sensible things and that the HSI was worth a look.

Tamsin

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:14 PM | Theo Goodwin

It isn't just what you say. I was for many years a professional trainer of trainers and public speakers. It became very obvious to me very early in my carreer that people nod and mutter, making all the appropriate polite noises but are really just trying to fool you into believing whatever it is you want to believe. Incredibly stupid people can be very good at this particular technique.

Richard Betts, Vicky Pope et al appear to be very good at this deception, and why wouldn't they be. They have been deceiving themselves and the british public ever since the death of Hubert Lamb. They wouldn't dare to have done it before that. Lamb, during his retirement, expressed his disquiet at the way CRU was being run.

If you are not use to this treatment you may not recognise it. I was trying to assess if the Bish had tested the audience reception. If he hadn't, well, sans faire rien.

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:41 PM | Tamsin Edwards

Well done. Lots of effort all that. Bish should watch his book sales from now to see if there is a jump.

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Martin A "I get the feeling that the Met Office has decided that it would be a wise move to adapt to a future world where CAGW has failed to materialise. Hence the "engaging with skeptics" and shifting of positions."

Isn't the truth that secretly, we don't want to do down the Met Office. Really what we want to be able to do is to go onto the forums of the world and be proud of British science and forecasting.

Is there some kind of phrase "The stronger your critiques at home, the more your admirers abroad" . ... well if there isn't there should be one.

Value the friends who criticize, despise those who let you go to the ball with egg on your face.

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

I'd just check how many fingers you've got, if I were you, Bish.

I'm sorry, but any outfit that is content to be a 'funder / partner' of the ZeroCarbonBritain2030 ultra eco-loons has absolutely zero credibility in my eyes.

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Who is converting whom? That is the question.

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Haseler

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?CriticsAreYourBestFriends

someone nearly said it :)

Feb 22, 2012 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

I do not think Andrew will be too impressed by the the many off topic comments while he is away.

I read the unthreaded letter from iwannabe.. which started by saying that that the paper on the Royal society was an attack on science and continued [very long and boringly] to say very little except to identify the writer as a "warmist troll".

I was astonished to read the comments by Richard Betts encouraging iwannabe... and attacking some very sensible [as always] comments by Hilary Ostrov.

This contrasts with the warm [and I have to assume sincere] comments by RB on this thread.

Andrew - when you have had time to reflect on your visit to Exeter and no doubt provide an excellent commentary perhaps you might comment on the two Richard Betts I see. One seems to want to engage with BH and the other might as well be Michael Mann. [ I exaggerate but only slightly to make a similar point to Stephen Richards]

Feb 22, 2012 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Hewitt

Off topic but, Richard Blacks response posted today is not allowing recommendations stating

We're having some problems rating this comment at the moment. Sorry. We're doing our best to fix it.

I wonder if this is because Mr B is getting a caning in the comments, at least the first 20 or so anyway.

Feb 22, 2012 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveL

you might comment on the two Richard Betts I see. One seems to want to engage with BH and the other might as well be Michael Mann. [ I exaggerate but only slightly to make a similar point to Stephen Richards]
Feb 22, 2012 at 8:04 PM John Hewitt

Yes - it's all a bit Jekyll & Hyde isn't it.

I think Richard takes his "Dr Jekyll" potion when Bish is around - but (mixing metaphors) he reacted to iwannabee's dog-whistle and reverted.

.....and then he beat poor Hilary to death with his walking cane.

Feb 22, 2012 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Sounds like a religious conversion is on the cards for the Bishop.

Feb 22, 2012 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Real Richard Black

I welcome your dialogue with the Met Office and look forward to hearing more about your discussions.
In the meantime, and at risk of being a party pooper, here are some of my opinions about the Met Office.

Just a few years ago, I felt that some of their staff were guilty of political advocacy, pushing the case of catastrophic global warming and the policies that should be adopted by government. I'm pleased to say that they seem to have retreated from this position more recently, though I attribute this more to critism in the media for their BBQ Summer forecasts than a change of heart.

They responded to critism by claiming that they need more computing power, while commissioning the most powerful computer in Britain. This £30 million computer capable of 67 billion calculations per second was only turned on in May, 2009. It's carbon footprint is a massive 1.2 megawatts.

The problem is that the Met Office global forecasts are too warm. For 11 out of 12 years, their forecasts have been about BBQ summers and mild winters because that is what their CO2 driven GCM (model) predicts. If they looked out of the office window or studied their own raw data they would realise that warming stopped around 15 years ago.

Like many Climate Scientists obsessed about CO2 GHG effects, the Met Office probably believes that the raw data is not correctly showing runaway heating and so bigger, better computing power will nail this discrepancy. They have somehow managed to persuade the Science and Technology Committee that more huge investments in computing power will solve the problem.

In my view, this says much about the Met Office and members of the Committee. It says very little about justice for the tax payer. I believe that the Met office would benefit most from a change of their entire management team.

Feb 22, 2012 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Good to hear that the day went well (though the weather today in the South-West, at least in Bristol, was a poor advert for the region - could the Met Office not come up with better?). Indeed, talking face-to-face, the sort of flaming that goes on in blogs is much harder to sustain. I hope you'll tell us more about it when you get back and have time.

I was at the same talk in Bristol as Tamsin (we had a really quick chat afterwards, probably far shorter than yours, Andrew) - it was a Faculty-wide talk and it took place in the chemistry building, so it seemed like a great opportunity, and it was! Prof. Wunsch is a distinguished oceanographer from MIT though he is currently on sabbatical at Oxford so his carbon footprint to come to Bristol was not too big ;-). He gave a great talk, about his vision of oceans and climate change, and to me, he sounded like a sceptic/lukewarmer. As we've discussed here many times, there are lots of types of sceptic, from sky-dragons to people like steveta_uk or me who can see that much of the science of AGW is qualitatively correct, except for the high confidence in high sensitivity, the willingness in some quarters to suppress anything that points at low sensitivity, and the propensity to merge into activism about CO2 emissions. Prof. Wunsch's talk was full of expressions of doubt about the more extreme views on CAGW, and criticism of people who like to come up with scary stories to publish in Nature or the Independent. There's very little distance between the views of scientists like him and those of lukewarmers like me... It's worth noting that Prof. Wunsch was in the famous Great Global Warming Swindle program, which I have not seen. According to Wikipedia, he argued afterwards that he'd been misrepresented. Well, I doubt he'd see eye to eye with Harry Dale Huffman ;-) but in my book he was being a sceptic in his talk today so I can believe he sounded like one in the film... I'm sure he was misrepresented in that (its the way with TV programs), but the point is (and it was one he made also), many scientists get misrepresented in the opposite, alarmist, way, and they don't tend to complain bitterly about that quite so often.

He had a lot of good jokes, I'll just mention two (and I'm not very good at telling jokes, so sorry if they don't sound funny here): first, and this is one that Steve McIntyre would have liked, in the context of bemoaning the lack of systematic data collection programs relating to climate, he said something like: "It is hard to collect data in a completely useless way - possible, but you have to try very hard." That reminded me of Steve McIntyre's Starbucks hypothesis.... He clearly felt that within climate science, more money should be spent on collecting basic data - and maybe less on some of the aspects of modelling.

The second was in response to a question along the lines of "It's all very well being uncertain about whether we are all doomed - but shouldn't we be trying to do something about it just in case?". He made an analogy to the sinking of the Titanic: the people at the helm spotted the iceberg, and put the engines full reverse and tried to turn out of the way. At the inquiry after the sinking, the engineer who'd designed the ship claimed that had it not swerved, and hit the iceberg straight on rather than sideways, it would not have sunk. Sometimes, he said, the right thing to say is "Don't just do something, stand there". Sometimes, I feel that a big problem in the global warming issue is that a lot of scientists are not very well informed about economics and politics, and tend to default to a "We must do something" attitude which tips some of them into activism.

Feb 22, 2012 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Tamsin -

I'm glad you made the effort to see Carl Wunsch talk.

Did you get to listen a bit, too? ;)

Feb 22, 2012 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnteros

My Lord Bishop,
Count your spoons.

Feb 22, 2012 at 9:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

John Hewitt Feb 22, 2012 at 8:04 PM


I do not think Andrew will be too impressed by the the many off topic comments while he is away.

When the cat's away, the mice have fun.

Feb 22, 2012 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

@davel ref Richard Black's article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17126699).

Unfortunately, I have managed to plough through the - so far - 112 comments on his tawdry piece. I now need a ton of brain bleach. The whole piece is a disgrace. One of the worst excesses of his 'terminological inexactitudes' has to be hero worship of his buddy, Al Gore:

"Al Gore was called out (including here on the BBC) on inconveniently extending the truth in his movie, and I hope environmental groups would be too if they did the same; so Heartland and its supporters ought to expect to be called on this as well."

That said, Black thinks that that excuses him as he alludes to Gore being criticised by the BBC, however, he goes on to say that school curriculums should not be set by other than CAGW folk:
"Let me briefly deal with a couple of the points you've been raising in your messages.

Firstly, what's wrong with the Heartland Institute preparing curriculum material for use in schools, you've asked. "Green groups do it all the time," is the allegation.

I don't know how things are in the US; but in the UK, I'm told, that certainly isn't the case. Science teachers I know are very well hooked into the web, where authoritative information on climate change isn't exactly hard to find.

As a parent and a citizen, if teachers use non-standard curriculum material, the main thing I would be worried about is accuracy."

The man should be sacked! He is a disgrace to the BBC and people it serves.

Feb 22, 2012 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterSnotrocket

Snotrocket:

Re Richard Black's article you say, "The whole piece is a disgrace." I suggest that's not entirely true. Here's a post I just contributed to the Gleick thread:

I've been in London today attending Richard Lindzen's excellent talk at Westminster. Back at my computer, I see that the BBC's Richard Black has at last commented on the Gleick revelations. And it's a pretty pathetic response. But one thing struck me. He correctly quotes one of the Heartland documents as saying, re their proposed education modules,"whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy". Black comments that "within science, the question is how much, not whether".

I think Professor Lindzen would agree with Black on that.

Feb 22, 2012 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobin Guenier

Snotrocket:
'The man should be sacked! He is a disgrace to the BBC and people it serves.'

Totally agree with you. But unfortunately the whole BBC Science/Environment ediface is a house of cards that is built on foundations of the likes of Black and Harabin, and they can't remove them without the whole lot falling down, so they will keep on trying to shore it up until somebody 'higher up' pulls the plug - and what's the chance of that happening?

Feb 22, 2012 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterSalopian

Somewhere recently, Richard Betts intimated politely to the effect that the mainstream scientists traditional strategy of distaining and suppressing those with conflicting views and accusing them of scientific illiteracy and compromised virtue was a big mistake, as indeed so it was.

The tacit approval of silence, on all manner of outrageous conclusions from supposedly sober 'scientific' research resulting from 'climate change', (the numberwatch warmlist), and countless media column inches, and knee jerk linkage of each and every extreme natural event, if sufficiently disastrous, to 'climate change', was also a big mistake.

Sadly, the BBC, Guardian, the Australian ABC, the Huffington Post, the NYT and countless others don't see it. Even the Royal Society, University Earth Science Departments and most European politicians have not yet crossed that bridge. It was and still is their big mistake, maybe ultimately perhaps destined to be their legacy of scornful humiliation. A Gleik tragedy indeed.

So it is hugely encouraging that a tiny vanguard has emerged that seeks to return, a day late and a dollar short perhaps, but none-the-less earnestly and apparently sincerely to serious and respectful debate.

For we are, at least hopefully in this diocese, trying to make deductions on climate variability following the evidence to a logical dispassionate conclusion, divorced from ideology and emotion. As are one or two trailblazing mainstream players following in the wake of Judith Curry.

Feb 22, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

@ John Hewitt Feb 22, 2012 at 8:04 PM

@Foxgoose Feb 22, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Thanks! When I saw that particular "response" from RB, I concluded that I must have been having a 'bad reading' day! Either that or he must have taken exception to some of my words elsewhere, because there was certainly nothing I could see in the text he'd quoted that warranted the accusations that followed!

Feb 22, 2012 at 10:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov

A 'Gleick tragedy' indeed! (Pharos, 9:52PM) Is it not the ancient Greeks who quipped that whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad? I just wish they'd not put them in such positions of influence during that meantime in so many media and scientific and government institutions. We poor mortals have enough to be getting on with without these extra burdens. Mind you, at least the weather gods have had the good sense, or good humour, to refute the worst of the lunatic prognostications.

Feb 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

Some people may feel I am being unfair, but I sense the Met Office is trying to sanitise its reputation with certain people, while changing nothing about their outlook, behaviour and politicised agenda.

It is only one year ago that several of us exposed the the reality of the Met Office's wholly meaningless winter forecast to the Cabinet Office. I also uncovered Met Office Board minutes that showed they had not scrapped seasonal forecasts as they had claimed, but rather renamed them and placed them in a different location. Then the digging turned up that the Met Office claim that the public did not want seasonal forecasts was based on a focus group of 16 people, where no record was made of their comments or wishes.

Despite all this coming to light the Met Office have doggedly continued on the same path, pushing their agenda for more public money for supercomputers and striking international business deals that reliant on them maintaining an alarmist position on AGW.

By all means engage with them and enjoy their hospitality, Andrew. But I hope you do not lose sight of the unchanged nature of the the department and its leadership. They are not for turning.

Feb 22, 2012 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterAutonomous Mind

Theo

"Excellent question. In years of searching, I have not found one of them who allows himself/herself to stray from message in conversation with someone whose standing in the inner circle is not rock solid. As regards penetration, how can it be judged when everyone is always on message?"

I think if you'd been there you wouldn't have thought we were on message...Jonty and I were quite critical of the proxy community, or at least their methods. Stuck up for Bish over some rather senior members of the MO.

Jeremy

I was quite chuffed to be "recognised" - one of my colleagues had just joked "now you're famous..." because of the blog. Sorry not to be able to chat longer.

Tamsin (so overexcited from today I nearly fell asleep on my floor...)

Feb 22, 2012 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

My eyes! My eyes! Oh why oh why did I read Blacks rubbish that passes for serious journalism at the bbc!!!! We should be calling him Baghdad Black!

The advocacy is astounding! While the Atlantic warmists was digging in to the leak ABD doing the sh1t that Baghdad Black should have been doing he was, instead charging like a bull to get something out for "The Team". It's utterly disgraceful!

Oh and who does Baghdad Black credit with the take down? Not BH! Oh no we can't have that because BH is merely a blogger and as we all know bloggers aren't real journalists!

Mailman

Mailman

Feb 22, 2012 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

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