Among the interesting events that I missed last week was the Today programme appearance of climate scientist and head of the NAS, Ralph Cicerone. Cicerone is of course a familiar figure from the Hockey Stick Illusion, with his rewriting of the investigative task allotted to the NAS by congress being a key part in the job of saving the Hockey Stick for the IPCC.
Cicerone was in London ahead of his elevation to the ranks of the fellows of the Royal Society, and a man of his calibre will certainly be very much at home there.
The interview with Today's John Humphrys was notable for its somewhat adversarial tone (see transcript here). Humphrys is very, very green and despite his reputation as a journalistic rottweiler has tended to come over all poodle-like when faced with someone of who shares his apocalyptic views about the future of the planet. His new interest in challenging people like Cicerone is therefore something of a surprise and I have picked up a certain amount of grumbling at his impertinence from green quarters of the internet. Letters of complaint will no doubt be flowing to the BBC in due course.
What has prompted the change? It has been suggested before that there are some journalists within the corporation who object strongly to attempts to dictate their journalistic output. I wonder if it is possible that with the BBC now having largely excluded sceptic arguments from the airwaves, some of the old hands within the corporation are trying to put the arguments over themselves. If so, it's obviously a second-best solution but is commendable journalism nevertheless.
But it does make the BBC look very foolish.