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Phil Jones in the Mirror

Last summer, I was at a debate at the Edinburgh book festival in which one of the participants, an environmentalist, lectured everyone about the perils of global warming and then in almost the same breath started telling us about his latest trip to China.

I sometimes wonder whether accusations of hypocrisy have any effect on many such people; among them the tendency to take long-haul flights seems remarkably widespread.

In this vein, I see that the media look as if they are wising up to this behaviour, with Phil Jones is the subject of a knockabout article in the Mirror:

A controversial ­scientist flew 20,000 miles to Tahiti and back… to preach about global warming.

Prof Phil Jones’ trip to the ­Pacific is among more than a QUARTER OF A MILLION miles of air travel he has racked up in the past five years.

The boffin’s fuel-burning flights mean his carbon footprint is so big it would take 95 acres of trees a year to absorb it all, ­Government figures show.

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Reader Comments (73)

Well, isn't it the old old story with all of these clowns...don't do as I as I say.

Feb 5, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Walsh

Site visit to measure rising sea levels.

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Schneider

As I've stated several times before on this blog (and several others), I'll believe in AGW, and its dilatarious effects, when all the AGW protagonists reduce their "carbon footprints" to zero (Marcus Brigstocke please note)
In the meantime I will treat all these hypocrites with the contempt they deserve.

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterCrowcatcher

Falling sea levels

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

"Celebrity “carbon coach” Dave Hampton, who helps the rich and famous reduce their eco-footprints,"

The end to this nonsense must be in sight.

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

When a left-leaning red top tabloid publishes a story like this, it shows the global warming cabal’s power to intimidate is waning. The saviours of the world are increasingly seen as having feet of clay.

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterFZM

It's the same flying the whole world over ain't it just a bleedin shame it's the greens wot gets the pleasure and Jo muggins what gets the bill?

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Whereas advocates positioned as skeptics cant be hypocritical because their belief is that pumping CO2 into the atmosphere isn't a problem.

How to neatly sideline the truth in one easy step.

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Bish...typo 'wishing up' ?

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

my bad sorry ...must get new specs!

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:45 AM | Unregistered Commenterconfused

Hengist, yep, I travel business or first class too, because I'm completely sanguine. How many miles do you do? I'll have yours, please.

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterNeil McEvoy

I see hengist has been taking lessons from zebedee.

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Actually IIRC Jones's work is mostly paleoclimate related. Has he done much calling for mitigation himself, I don't know, anyone ?

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

I'd like to donate the more than 95 acres of trees I planted in the 80's to Professor Phil Jones to help mitigate his carbon footprint but, unfortunately, they have cut them all down to build a bloody wind farm.

Feb 5, 2012 at 9:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

As I am in the business of saving the world how dare you, and how meaningless, silly and ignorant of you, to call me a hypocrite?

Feb 5, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

Hengist - What are you on? I'll have a bottle.

I wondered how long it would take for the AGW "cause" to suggest taxing shipping for CO2. Well its has been raised since the New Year. If they ever get around to that the disaster will make the bio-energy fiasco (increased CO2, increased destruction of rain forest, rising price/shortage of food stock, people dying due to shortage/cost of food etc.etc.) look like Noddy's Half-Hour.

Friends of the Earth - November 2004

The Government should introduce a Biofuels Obligation, to stimulate a UK
biofuels industry – as a lower carbon alternative to conventional transport fuels. The
obligation would require that a proportion of all road transport fuels in the UK should
be sourced from accredited renewable sources. Fuel suppliers would either supply
the target percentage of biofuel, or choose to pay a penalty. The revenues raised
would be proportionately distributed to those who supplied complying fuels,
encouraging growth in supply up to the Obligation target. The cost to the consumer
is negligible, and it would benefit the economy and environment

Friends of the Earth - January 2012

The fuels, gasoline substitutes derived from plants, probably won’t cut greenhouse gases because forests are chopped down to make way for biofuel plantations, Friends of the Earth and ActionAid said today in an e-mailed statement. The European Commission said that while biofuels cost more than fossil fuels, it’s “reasonable” for motorists to pay extra.

These people have no shame, and what is worse they were warned it was stupidity.

Feb 5, 2012 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Maybe someone at the Mirror looked out the window.

Glad to see Heathrows investment in snow clearing preps last year paid off in spades last night.

I hope Dr David Viner of ""Children just aren't going to know what snow is," fame, is called in to UEA with a big shovel!

Feb 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

@Retired Dave
At this time of the morning its just coffee I'm on I'm afraid.

None of those initiatives you've mentioned are being espoused by Phil Jones are they ? The Bishop's charge of hypocrisy by Jones would rely on Jones having made public calls for carbon emissions reductions , has Jones personally done so ?

Feb 5, 2012 at 10:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Feb 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

"Prof Phil Jones’ trip to the ­Pacific is among more than a QUARTER OF A MILLION miles of air travel he has racked up in the past five years."

Numbers will mean nothing to the eminent professor since he can't even work out his own age!

Feb 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterCinbadtheSailor

I don't have a car. I walk, take the train or bus, to work. I must be hypocritical to be criticizing Jones who flies to Tahiti to have umbrella drinks with Mann and plots graphs, which help activists in depriving poor people in third world countries their carbon-based fuels.

Feb 5, 2012 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

@Hengist: Reeeeaaaaching...

Feb 5, 2012 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered Commenterpax

Re: Hengist

From Climategate 2.0 email 2194.txt

2. The media are constantly picking up geo-engineering solutions to the climate change issue. This gives the public and some politicians a belief that there is a fix around the corner. There isn't. The only way to slow the increase in temperature is to reduce emissions.


Feb 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Feb 5, 2012 at 11:18 AM | TerryS

Nice!. Hengist?

Feb 5, 2012 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJimmy Haigh

Celebrity “carbon coach” Dave Hampton, who helps the rich and famous reduce their eco-footprints

One hardly knows whether to laugh or cry at the state our formerly quite valuable culture has got itself into.

Feb 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford


Even if Phil HADN'T advocated publicly the initiatives outlined surely he would still have a case to answer with respect to the charge of hypocrisy where ones 'footprint' is concerned?

Feb 5, 2012 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones



Perhaps the likes of Harrison Ford might be advised to use the most 'economical' of his half-dozen aeroplanes when flying up the Californian coast to his favourite burger bar for lunch. (Apologies, don't have a reference for this but I know it to be true).

Feb 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

Re: Hengist
One other thing. I have no doubt that you will think this was a private email and not a public declaration and therefore doesn't count as hypocrisy. You should note that this email was sent to a journalist and his article was published in Science 11 January 2008 Vol. 319 no. 5860 p. 144. This is pay walled so I have no idea if Phil Jones' quote made it into the final version but the very fact he gave it to a journalist for publication is enough.

-- Climategate - the gift that keeps on giving :)

Feb 5, 2012 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS


You are familiar with the IPCC, AR4, the Nobel Prize and all of that, aren't you? Phil was involved and hoped to hang a copy of the prize in his office.

What greater statement of carbon footprint fear mongering would you seek?

Feb 5, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterDGH

That's a privately expressed scientific opinion not a publicly advocated policy solution.

Bishop Hill regulars normally argue there's a number of necessary steps between one and the other. But in this context it suits you to conflate Jones's scientific opinion ("The only way to slow the increase in temperature is to reduce emissions") with supposed policy advocacy . I suppose tomorrow you'll go back to questioning the link between the rise in global temperatures and carbon emissions. Such is the topsy-turvy world of advocates positioned as skeptics.

Feb 5, 2012 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

-- Climategate - the gift that keeps on giving :)

I had that in my first draft, we can agree on something :-)

Feb 5, 2012 at 12:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Re: Hengist

That's a privately expressed scientific opinion not a publicly advocated policy solution.

Am I correct in thinking that we cross posted since I dealt with this in my post at 11:55?

Feb 5, 2012 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Terry , yes we have cross posted

He only gives his opinion nothing more . It's easy (and imho reasonable) to extrapolate that opinion to make the case for mitigation, but such a case requires value judgements not being expressed by Jones . A running theme of this blog is that science should be open and subject to scrutiny. Here we have a case of a scientist giving his opinion to a journalist . What's not to like ?

Feb 5, 2012 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Yes, it's another of those Left/Green irregular verbs:

I am giving my opinion to a journalist;

You are pushing a personal agenda;

He is publicly advocating policy;

All accompanied by the sound of Hengist frantically back-pedalling a stationary bicycle....

Feb 5, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Im reminded of the phrase "You can't have your cake and eat it."

To some small extent Jones could fairly catch criticism for taking the flights. But that requires the unquestioning assumption that Jones opinion (expressed in email 2194 ) "The only way to slow the increase in temperature is to reduce emissions" should translate to public policy binding us all . I'm quite sure the backpedalling wouldnt be done by me if we want to discuss that.

Jones isn't pretending to have all the answers. His opinion is symptomatic of a dilemma for mankind, dismissing Jones doesnt solve the dilemma.

Feb 5, 2012 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterHengist McStone

Re: Hengist
From my earlier post (my bold):

This gives the public and some politicians a belief that there is a fix around the corner. There isn't. The only way to slow the increase in temperature is to reduce emissions.

He is stating publicly (it is to a journalist for an article the journalist is writing) that politicians are wrong and there is a need to reduce emissions. You may wish to disassociate the two sentences but the clear meaning of this is that politicians thinking geo-engineering (the 'fix') will solve the problem are wrong and that they (the politicians) need to reduce CO2.

The only way the politicians can reduce CO2 is via policy.

Feb 5, 2012 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

“But there is no substitute for occasional face-to-face meetings and informal networking which often proves extremely fruitful for collaborative research.”

And Tahiti is so centrally located for such 'informal networking.' Nothing like 'collaborative research' under the palm trees.

Feb 5, 2012 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

Jones truly belongs in the Mirror, which proudly states:

Our team of genuine and hugely gifted live psychics are waiting to connect with you so that they can look into your future. Our psychics read using a variety of means including their own psychic senses, clairvoyance, tarot cards and sometimes Runes

See you in Tahiti! Or Rio! Sydney! Or was it Gstaad?

Feb 5, 2012 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Every journey starts with the first step.
If Jones believes as a result of his work as a climate "scientist" that the only way to combat global warming is to cut emissions "now" then he has at least a moral obligation to set us all an example by reducing his carbon footprint and if he chooses not to start by cutting out flights to far off places in order to tell people that they ought to cut out flights to far off places (or words to that effect) then he is fair game.

Feb 5, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

"a dilemma for mankind"

Only if you believe that CO2 is wrecking the planet. Jones does - we don't.

Feb 5, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

So Phil Jones is a hypocrite. Why am I not shocked?
I have yet to meet a single greenie, who wasn’t certifiable, who isn’t.

Feb 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I used to teach navigation to future airline pilots, so I can give a sense of perspective to this. 250,000 miles in 5 years is equivalent to going all the way round the world twice a year.

Feb 5, 2012 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoubting Rich

Even a simple search on "travel" at the EcoWho Climategate email database shows dozens and dozens of discussions about the constant, expensive, and posh international travel by the immensely hypocritical climate scientists and advocates.

Trips and conferences in Beijing, Havana, Zurich, the USA, Sweden, Zimbabwe, Mexico, and other lux destinations.

Not quite as egregious as the celebrity warmists who fly on private jets, but certainly the air of entitlement is evident in the email discussions.

Feb 5, 2012 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterGarry

As for Hengist: are you serious? The man is deeply involved with this issue.

To not state publicly that there is no danger in current CO2 emissions when in the position he is, and has made scientific claims as quoted above, is to accept the conclusions others have drawn. These conclusions are backed by Jones's pseudo-science. They gain him funding for more pseudo-science. He has broken the law to support this pseudo-science. He is in a position where just to remain silent is to agree with those enviro-fascists who have used his work. If he thinks they have abused it then he must say so, it is part of his responsibility when he claims to be a scientist.

So where has Jones publicly stated that every person flying twice round the world every year would not cause dangerous climate change? Where has he said that there is no need to reduce emissions?

Feb 5, 2012 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoubting Rich


One last thing, before I start cooking the Sunday Roast.

Hypocrisy is not the narrow definition you give it.

If I tell people they need to drink less, because to much alcohol is bad for you, and then go and get drunk I am a hypocrite. It does not matter if whether I have called for alcohol controls or lobbied my MP, it only matters that I have said one thing and done another.

Similarly, Phil Jones, in his email to the journalist, claims the solution is to emit less CO2 and then goes on to emit 95 acres of trees worth per year. This is clearly hypocritical and Phil needs to attend CA (CO2 Anonymous) as soon as possible.

Feb 5, 2012 at 2:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

Jan 31-Feb1 would be very convenient for me - one transatlantic flight, I would feel good about my carbon bootprint and I would save the planet!

Feb 5, 2012 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

[Raise the tone please]

Feb 5, 2012 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterPerry

Or shoud it be assonance?

Feb 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterPerry

Oh "L".

Feb 5, 2012 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPerry

The shame of Tom Friedman of the New York times who lives in a 12,000 square foot palace and advocates drastic carbon controls should not be forgotten in this discussion.

Feb 5, 2012 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterJD Ohio

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