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« Pat Swords writes | Main | The trip »
Tuesday
Jan152013

The hearing

I'm just going to write a couple of lines just to report how it went. Further thoughts will follow tomorrow.

It was very much David versus Goliath, just as it was for the Newbery case, with Holland up against teams of professional lawyers. Unlike Newbery's case, the panel today were exemplary in their handling of the case and in the consideration they gave Holland as litigant in person. In terms of getting a successful outcome, I would say the chances are slim, as I don't think there is enough hard evidence to support the position that UEA were running the show, which is what would be required for the information sought to be disclosable. Unless, that is, the court thinks that the failures of the Russell inquiry can be explained in no other way.

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Reader Comments (65)

Word could have got around the Tribunal Service that a certain litigant in person is preparing a submission to the Office for Judicial Complaints as a result of his experiences.

Jan 15, 2013 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterTonyN

Meh...its not likely the case will go against "The Establishment" is it??? Unless of course the other side had a particularly bad day in the office?

Mailman

Jan 15, 2013 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

OK, let also me set some expectations on reporting, like Andrew. I've overcome my fear of being consigned to the Tower for doing so. (The warning must have been for the duration of today's session, as I said to Maurizio, who popped by for lunch and the start of the afternoon stint.)

I had to switch contexts and visit a software outfit in the Old Street area after the hearing and am now on the way home, having stopped to have a beer, steak and collect thoughts. I'll say more later this evening. David Holland said he was returning home to sleep - the sleep of the just in this case I would say. Andrew's flying from Stansted to Scotland. David Henderson doesn't normally comment on BH - using his real name at least. So it's probable you're limited to me tonight, then the more comprehensive Andrew and David tomorrow. And it will only be half-digested Drake this evening. There was much to take in.

In answer to Paul Matthews' question in the previous thread a great deal of time was spent on how and why David's submission was mutilated (David's term, based on patent law he said) and unpublished, yet Briffa had a version to respond to. I'm not expert on the details but one of the many comments from the lady judge presiding hit home. She commented pointedly to Russell that he seemed very clued up on the law in certain areas and clueless in others (not quite her wording!) Thus there was the expert advice not to publish David's submission lest they fall foul of defamation. (But who would have been sued, she also asked. Was there a legal entity to target apart from UEA? The 'Muir Russell Group' wasn't one, she seemed to imply. Sir Muir himself opined that it might have been him as an individual but didn't sound convincing to me.) But, the good lady said, in the important area of what would happen to information gathered and generated by the inquiry they had, clearly, never even asked themselves the basic questions of who should ultimately own it and be custodian for it. Had they asked for legal advice in this area? Er, no, er ... The difference with the alacrity with which expert advice was sought to give a reason not to publish David's submission was stark.

I need to set off on the final leg of my journey home and study my notes but will give further impressions later. Questions to focus them very welcome.

Jan 15, 2013 at 7:45 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

such exercises have little or no importance ... it's very brave, in this case of David Holland, but it is futile ...

the dice in this game are so loaded that even (James Bond)squared wouldn't make any difference ...

in the end, politicians do the deciding ... not the courts, not the "scientists", not Big Green ... (of course, politicians love the "scientists" and Big Green, because their message - save the World for our children only if you give them enough power and all the money - is a godssend ...)

but, for the time being, the politicians still need the voters ... and the voters are not amused when the message is "snow is a thing of the past", and they get to their work more difficultly because of snow ... the voters are not amused when the message is "hot and dry summers", and their BBQ had drowned ...

it is all about "the hearts and minds" ...

politicians are 180°-artists when the sh*t will hit the fan ...

the courts just follow the flow ...

Jan 15, 2013 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterducdorleans

Thanks for your efforts.

I look forward to reading your further report(s).

Jan 15, 2013 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoe Public

Richard, thanks for colouring in some of the squares!

Jan 15, 2013 at 8:07 PM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

This is an Herculean effort on David"'s part and a not too shabby contribution by BH and the team. I can only express my admiration for such bravery and perseverance.

Jan 15, 2013 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

"such exercises have little or no importance ... "

I think that what David Holland (and all the others) is doing is vital - like water eroding a stone drip by drip. And then, one day, the politicians and the mass media, doubleplusgood duckspeakers all, will be reminding us that Eastasia has always been Oceania's enemy and that Global Warming (TM) is a scam that they never believed in.

So please keep up the good work :-)

Jan 15, 2013 at 8:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Whatever the outcome the bad guys are not to happy, they no now they are being challenged and that they are vulnerable. Truth always has a role to play out.

Jan 15, 2013 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter whale

SMc at CA asked the question on

"..whether the UEA’s powers entitle it to make “public appointments”. ..."

Was this issue addressed directly?

Jan 15, 2013 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterEd Forbes

There are many victories in this quest, regardless of outcome in this individual case. Above, Gareth speaks of water eroding a stone drip by drip, which reminded me of the following quotation:

Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can't go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.
― Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Jan 15, 2013 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Is there any development in Pat Sword's marathon ?

I think his Irish High Court hearing may also have been today

Jan 15, 2013 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterianl8888

Richard Drake writes: "[the lady judge] commented pointedly to Russell that he seemed very clued up on the law in certain areas and clueless in others (not quite her wording!)"

It's amazing how knowledgeable these people can be one moment and how obtuse the next. And that applies to virtually everyone involved at UEA and in the inquiry itself.

Jan 15, 2013 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

I only saw a few minutes but was amazed how much of a cliché it all looked. For example I had no trouble to see who the Knight of the Land was, as he looked the part. Also long-nosed Aston looked like a University Chancellor (plus the nose, that is). A female, diminutive presiding judge with two tall male colleagues at her sides, and some young lawyers of various rotundity completed the episode from some very-PC BBC drama.

One thing I did not understand was why Acton was there with two minders. Shadows of Don Vito Corleone anybody?

ps the Knight said he agreed the course of action with UEA, and that he had to do so. IMNSHO that's enough to demonstrate UEA was in charge, thank you very much.

pps I forgot! The three judges were white, although the president might have been not of anglo-saxon descent.

ppps And the relatively young PA for the Knight!!

Jan 15, 2013 at 10:57 PM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Carbon dioxide is no blanket. The "blanket" is produced by non-radiative diffusion processes primarily involving nitrogen and oxygen at the surface-atmosphere boundary. If the only consideration were the effect of water vapour and carbon dioxide you'd be sleeping under a handkerchief.

Discover "The 21st Century New Paradigm in Climate Change Science" (on the Principia Scientific International website) and discover what real physics has now proved, completely negating any significant relevance of the old 20th Century radiative greenhouse concept.

No back radiation caused the Earth's surface to be 288K (or the Venus surface to be over 730K) all on its own, somehow multiplying the Sun's energy. What did cause it was the temperature distribution brought about by diffusion of kinetic energy in a gravitational field, and this process continues to maintain surface temperatures as atmospheres absorb direct incident Solar radiation, the only possible radiation that can keep them at the observed temperatures. For more detail read “Planetary Surface Temperatures. A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms” published by PSI in November 2012, as well as this week's article mentioned above.

Links: click my name above.

Jan 15, 2013 at 11:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Cotton

Thanks for those word pictures Maurizio. And sorry that I'm starting late in giving further impressions.

I'm not a FOIA and EIR buff, compared to Andrew, David Holland (DH) or others. I came to this on a whim, if you want to call it that, or because theduke encouraged me to, or because I had a hunch this might be more worthwhile than other such outings. Or perhaps all three. With the proviso that I came to it almost blind, here's my view, which I'll break up into separate posts

DH wins his case if the tribunal decides that either

i) the Muir Russell Group (MRG) acted as an agency for UEA
ii) MRG held the remaining unpublished information on behalf of UEA
iii) most interestingly, if the arrangements, although they seemed to produce an independent entity from UEA, were a tissue of deception and conspiracy

The young lady lawyer representing UEA (UEA-L) claimed that DH was propounding far-fetched conspiracy theories but I didn't hear DH do this. He should in my view have said explicitly that he wasn't doing this or gone for broke and done it! But DH was delightful in his tenacity, in his courtesy and helpfulness to all and in his obvious integrity.

The young laywer representing the ICO (ICO-L) didn't take this anti-conspiracist line at all and made a point of showing where DH was arguing correctly. In the end, though, the legal situation meant he had to agree with UEA-L's conclusion, he concluded.

As the Bish said afterwards the judges are meant to help out an amateur like DH and help him they did, especially the presiding lady judge (PRES). They did more than this, I felt, they showed DH, who was flanked throughout by his lovely wife (who I met at lunch for the first time), true respect, as someone they could see had his heart in the right place.

I agree with the Bish that it's unlikely DH will win - verdict may take six weeks - but I certainly feel that both Edward Acton (EA) and Muir Russell (MR) may come in for criticism, based on what we heard today.

Jan 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The MRG - the official name ICCER is pronounced 'icer' and FOIA is for these people 'foya' - may just about have been an unincorporated association, which can therefore register with the Scottish ICO. But it wasn't clear that the MRG was a legal entity at all. That was the view of the PRES (and UEA-L seemed to accept it) as I understood it. Important to quite a lot else, such as who would anyone suing for defamation be aiming at.

Jan 16, 2013 at 12:15 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

EA only learned a few minutes before the hearing began today that MRG had purchased a laptop computer, paid for by UEA. This is the major asset remaining. To whom it belongs may give a clue as to whom unpublished info, which DH believes should be FOIA-able, belongs. The unpublished info was called by MR and UEA-L throughout Private Deliberations (I'll use PD but the name may well be begging some questions).

Jan 16, 2013 at 12:21 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

I arrived around 10:30, missing the initial statements from DH, UEA-L and ICO-L (if the latter did one) but I did hear the rest, barring loo breaks. I was very struck when the PRES interrupted the interview of EA, early on, to ask about MR having reduced his terms of reference, unilaterally, deciding not to ask Jones and Briffa the key questions on deletion of emails. Surely, she asked, such a change would and should have had to be cleared with EA? MR surely only had the right to extend the ToR? Acton blathered and said a lukewarm maybe. But from then on I decided PRES (and the other judges, when we heard them) understood more than I expected of the background and that some of what they understood had left them unimpressed.

EA said UEA has lost the piece(s) of paper that Jones and Briffa signed for him to say that ... whatever they are said to have claimed about the deletions, which was submitted as part of the SciTec hearing of 27th October 2010. Eyebrows raised on all fronts, not least the three presiding. Why shouldn't they be asked to sign the relevant statements again? (My question, not asked by DH or anyone else of EA.)

It's believed Luther Pendragon registered the ICCER domain name for MRG but I was left unclear on whether there was solid evidence for this from 2009 or early 2010. Not a massive win for DH in this area I think. He said he'd submitted to a UEA website but EA retorted it wasn't at the time.

EA initially wanted to do an inquiry internal to UEA and DH said he felt there were enough respected people there to make this viable. But EA surprised more than me today by emphasizing the way the MRG was structured was strongly influenced by the idea that UEA whistleblower(s) might want to share with the inquiry, including the person(s) responsible for the Climategate leak, as some thought. For this reason the MRG had to be separate and UEA could not have automatic access to submissions, deliberations or any other information. A strong theme in UEA-L's summing up. The whistleblower meme returns! But there was no suggestion that any such person actually trusted the MRG in this way, though DH didn't explicitly ask this. There was, however, one confidential submission.

Jan 16, 2013 at 12:41 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

EA never considered a retired judge to lead the inquiry. Oh well. He had no idea about Boulton being chosen by MR until the public announcement on 11th February 2010, although all selections had been made by 18th December. This surprised quite a few I think. He said that the view of Trevor Davies and others at UEA was that there was some bad blood between Boulton and UEA and it wasn't likely to be a very happy choice for UEA but they had to wear it. The PRES asked later if he'd not wanted to say something to MR about this. He insisted that he trusted MR - though elsewhere he said he'd never met him before and had barely heard of him. Yet it only took between 30th November and 3rd December to approach MR and seal the deal. From then it was reputationally vital to keep the whole MRG at arm's length.

Jan 16, 2013 at 12:51 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The PRES asked EA about the PD. Was there any discussion about this info before the review began? No. (MR said the same, even more haplessly.) How could it have undermined the review for the information all to be passed back to UEA afterwards, modulo data protection and confidentialities? EA said he wasn't sure what he would advise another Uni on this.

He did take advice on MRG's terms of reference, he answered the PRES. Again the information handling over ten years or more didn't occur to his advisers or himself, a historian. The PRES seemed to find this surprising.

Jan 16, 2013 at 12:58 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard Drake,

Thanks for attending and for providing some intriguing information. I find it quite curious that Acton can say he had hardly heard of MR before Nov. 30 yet the approach and agreement was wrapped up by Dec. 3??

This is separate from David Holland's appeal, but who at UEA or elsewhere was orchestrating the selection of MR? It is most difficult to believe that Acton jumped to get MR without any prior knowledge of the guy unless someone else vouched for MR in the strongest possible terms.

Jan 16, 2013 at 1:12 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

ὀψε θɛῷν ἀλέουσίμύλοί, ἀλέουσί δε λɛρṯά

Jan 16, 2013 at 1:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Onto the afternoon and the questioning of MR. As I've said already, I thought DH did particularly well in this most important section of proceedings. I'll let Andrew and David himself go into detail as they wish but DH's treatment of Jones's "Mike, please delete" email was the highlight for me. Particularly David Shukman on the BBC interviewing MRG member Jim Norton and Norton saying "This email is a major concern for us" (or words to that effect - it's still on the web, DH says). So why the change of direction?

Jan 16, 2013 at 1:26 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Skiphil (1:12 AM): certainly EA explicitly said that he had taken advice and Muir Russell had been recommended to him. But I agree it's terribly fast, given the totally hands-off approach EA says he employed from that moment onwards.

Jan 16, 2013 at 1:29 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

When the tribunal judges questioned MR they returned to the interesting point of when EA had learned about Boulton being part of MRG. EA claimed this was only on production of the draft version of the MRG report (later than 11th February, surely, as I wrote earlier - this needs to be clarified.) But MR expressed surprise at this, because Boulton's role had been made known at the press conference (no date noted by me today but it was probably given). But then, MR mused, EA had been out and about with TV interviewers some of that time so maybe he missed Boulton's involvement. He agreed with the PRES that it wasn't a small point to miss.

Jan 16, 2013 at 1:46 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

OK, nothing like a full reflection of my notes but it'll have to suffice until the Bish and DH say anything they want to about it all. They began way ahead of me today so I'm sure they'll have picked up much else of importance. I'll then fill in with anything else I think may be worth BH (and CA) folk considering.

Jan 16, 2013 at 1:55 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Excellent, Richard. Very informative. The impression I get is that MR and EA etc were back on their heels on several occasions. Of course, if someone like Phil Jones were reporting on the hearing the impression given might be more favorable to the UEA side. The fact that the two sides in this dispute can agree on very little is proof in itself that the inquiry was a failure.

The inquiry was never credible in my view. Your report only re-inforces that view. The money was badly spent by UEA. A thorough, comprehensive, impartial review could have put many more of the issues to rest. That, unfortunately, didn't happen.

Thanks, again.

Jan 16, 2013 at 1:59 AM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Boulton/UEA had been top topic on climateaudit after Feb 12 for a couple of days in several postings, extremely hard to believe that Acton missed that.

http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/page/4/
http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/page/3/
http://climateaudit.org/2010/02/page/2/

Jan 16, 2013 at 2:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

consider that the 'bad blood' statement by Acton may be pure disinformation, to divert attention from the FACT that Boulton was far from disinterested, impartial, or uncommitted with regard to UEA, Climategate, and some of the Hockey Team such as Boulton's Edinburghncolleagues Hegerl and Crowley.

Did Boulton only come onto the inquiry as a replacement, or was he already involved behind the scenes? Seems very 'curious' how he seems to have played such a central role....

Jan 16, 2013 at 3:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

Agree with Skiphil. The whole Boulton thing stinks and always has. It discredited the investigation from the beginning. UEA needs to be investigated for defrauding the taxpayers, i.e. the people who paid for the inquiry.

They fired Penn State administrators for incompetently investigating the Sandusky scandal. I don't see how this is much different.

Jan 16, 2013 at 4:31 AM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

ὀψε θɛῷν ἀλέουσίμύλοί, ἀλέουσί δε λɛρṯά

Latin: Est mola tarda dei, verum molit illa minutim
English: The mills of the gods are late to grind, but they grind small.

Common rendition: The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Justice

How hard would it have been to provide a translation?

Jan 16, 2013 at 5:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterMichael Larkin

hmmm.... some interesting text quoted in a Climate Audit thread from July 2011....

according to one of the Boulton invoice forms Boulton was very active already in Dec. 2009 and may in fact have been shaping the inquiry:


CA thread 'More Mendacity from East Anglia Revealed'


[Steve Mc]: It will not come as any surprise to anyone that Boulton, the most conflicted member of the panel, was brought on board first. His December 2009 log itemizes “Advising Sir M-R on remit, science and personnel for review team, contacting potential members, arranging video conference.”[emphasis added]


It's only a brief statement but is sure sounds like he was serving as some kind of inquiry director for Muir Russell. "Contacting potential members" implies that Boulton was on board before some or all other members (besides Muir Russell himself). "Advising Sir M-R on remit, science and personnel for review team...." [doesn't this sound like Boulton was playing a central role in shaping the inquiry before other panel members had even been selected or contacted??]

[in that CA thread the links to the invoices for Muir Russell panel members seem to be dead ]

Jan 16, 2013 at 5:43 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

re: alleged 'bad blood' between Boulton and UEA

the lady* doth protest too much methinks


*(Acton)

Jan 16, 2013 at 5:54 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

Since Richard is doing so well here, let me just add some other thoughts to the bottom of the comments thread.

The laptop issue is an interesting one. In the run-up to the hearing, Russell had informed everyone that he had deleted most of the emails DH had requested. During the hearing he explained that he did this because he had asked his legal advisers if DH was appealing the rejection of his request. The lawyers apparently said, incorrectly, that he was not doing so. (DH wondered why Russell didn't just ask him direct, since they were in contact).

Then, apparently the night before the hearing, Russell learned that the inquiry laptop was still in existence and was in the possession of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (who provided the inquiry secretariat). Amazing coincidence.

Jan 16, 2013 at 8:17 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

DH had intended to ask the judge to have evidence taken on oath (which is not normally done for FOI Tribunals). However, in the event the panel requested this themselves since there were "issues of credibility involved". They also asked Russell to wait outside while Acton gave his evidence.

Jan 16, 2013 at 8:19 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

"They also asked Russell to wait outside while Acton gave his evidence."

That alone convinces me the panel is treating it seriously.

Jan 16, 2013 at 8:33 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

BH:

"DH wondered why Russell didn't just ask him direct...."

Did he ask that question of Russell, or just mention it to you?

[He asked Russell why. The answer was waffly as I recall. BH]

Jan 16, 2013 at 8:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

Slightly off-topic, but I have just found that the alarmists have all bases covered; at
http://climateviewer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/06_fleming_pathological-geo-eng-history2.pdf, James Rodger Fleming tells as:
“In October 2003 U.S. Pentagon released a controversial report, ‘An abrupt climate change scenario and its implications for United States national security,’ that explored how global warming could lead to rapid and catastrophic global cooling.”

So, if the world plummets into another ice age by 2020, it is still the fault of AGW!

Jan 16, 2013 at 8:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Martin A: ""They also asked Russell to wait outside while Acton gave his evidence."

That alone convinces me the panel is treating it seriously."

Any enquiry or tribunal is likely to observe the proprieties in how it conducts itself. To do otherwise would be openly corrupt. It is when they come to a decision or findings that extraneous considerations of "public policy" etc intrude. I watched days of evidence to the Hutton enquiry over Iraq and then listened with my jaw dropping as Lord Hutton pronounced his findings with complete disregard to what had been said.

Jan 16, 2013 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Fowle

Whilst completely agreeing with Martin A that the panel were indeed taking the matter seriously, it should be noted that it’s standard procedure in a court environment for witnesses to wait outside, either until called or just whilst other witnesses are being cross-examined. As should be obvious, this is to reduce the risk of collusion, though of course it doesn’t eliminate that risk entirely. What, to me, was more indicative of how serious the panel were taking the proceedings was the request that witnesses give their evidence on oath. I don’t know what sanctions are open to such a panel should someone be found to be telling porkies whilst under oath, but I can’t imagine they would be trivial.

Jan 16, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Registered CommenterLaurie Childs

"teams of professional lawyers"

They sound expensive... :-)

Jan 16, 2013 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

So...who were the two men Acton had to sit rather cramply in-between of?

Jan 16, 2013 at 10:18 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Jan 16, 2013 at 9:17 AM | Laurie Childs

What, to me, was more indicative of how serious the panel were taking the proceedings was the request that witnesses give their evidence on oath.

I found this quite interesting, as well. It suggests to me that perhaps the panel have done their homework and are aware of Acton and Muir Russell's respective "performances" during various and sundry hearings past.

This may be the panel's way of indicating that they can longer get away with pushing porkies - and that if they fail to be truthful in their responses (thereby deliberately misleading the tribunal) the door is now wide open for them to be charged with perjury.

This is surely potentially far more serious and damaging to UEA and MR (whose reputation is far from pristine to begin with). It would certainly over-ride any "victory" they might achieve via any limiting application* of the technicalities of the ICO's rules 'n regulations.

* "limiting application as opposed to the apparently "creative" application of same which resulted in the travesty of a decision in Newbery vs BBC.

It will also be interesting to see what the panel makes of Muir Russell's claim that he deleted the emails after his lawyers allegedly advised him that DH would not be appealing. I wonder what the context of his actual question to the lawyers was! Surely the lawyers would not have told him that it was OK to delete the emails.

And now the laptop (which presumably contained the emails?) has resurfaced? Maybe the "deleted" emails weren't deleted after all!

It's all quite bizarre. And the "blame it on the lawyers" tactic is somewhat reminiscent of - what turned out to be - the less than truthful testimony of one of the Murdoch's, is it not?!

Jan 16, 2013 at 10:25 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

I hope I do not break any law by revealing that after yesterday's hearings we can finally answer to the idiotic "scientists have been exonerated" with a "no, criminally they haven't been".

Based also on past declarations by one of the persons interviewed, it is not unreasonable to state that Jones and colleagues have been identified by better people than me as potential criminals, with the risk high enough to warrant a completely self-imposed change in the MRG's remit.

Unfortunately, that risk remains high and their reputations not the better for it.

Jan 16, 2013 at 10:42 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Martin:

That alone convinces me the panel is treating it seriously.

Your instincts are I think right. EA and MR both looked uncomfortable beforehand (and during) to me and the combination of DH and the judges' questions convinced me it was a serious, though imperfect, effort to get at the truth.

Hilary:

It suggests to me that perhaps the panel have done their homework and are aware of Acton and Muir Russell's respective "performances" during various and sundry hearings past.

I doubt they know all Steve McIntyre does but there is no question in my mind that they had done some relevant homework and arrived far from wholly impressed. There was an issue of credibility of the two witnesses, for the panel, and thus EA and MR were made to swear on the bible (something the bible argues against - "let your yes be yes" - but on such paradoxes western civilization is built!)

Maurizio:

I hope I do not break any law by revealing that after yesterday's hearings we can finally answer to the idiotic "scientists have been exonerated" with a "no, criminally they haven't been".

Not until the tribunal's findings are published, I fear, MM. Given my lack of background in the field I'm unprepared to predict what they will come up with in writing. It may look like another whitewash to us, or there may be trenchant criticism of EA and MR, or (just maybe) they'll find that the whole thing was a sham and DH was right to argue that, just as UEA is subject to FOIA/EIR, so is the MRG - a term that was actually used at the hearing, by the way.

DH has indicated by email that he won't comment publicly and I've said I will fill in anything further I can from my notes later today. But it may again be quite late, later today :)

Jan 16, 2013 at 11:36 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Sounds like he was more concerned over the PR than running a proper enquiry.

Jan 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterShevva

Skiphil notes "from the Boulton invoice forms Boulton was very active already in Dec. 2009 and may in fact have been shaping the inquiry"
It's not important now, but I continue to think about the Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisory Board as listed in the bank's annual report 2009 not long before Climategate One. If you are not familiar with the names and later actions of the people, there is enough to be found by a Web search. I would think it possible, from too many hours of reading CG1&2, that Boulton might have been directed in turn by one of these people from the DB group. But then, I might be completely wrong and apologise if I am. Some are not likely candidates and DB is mentioned to show that this group existed and presumably they met with each other.
Members of the Climate Change Advisory Board
- Lord Browne, Managing Director and Managing Partner (Europe), Riverstone Holdings LLC and former CEO of BP
- John Coomber Member of the Board of Directors, Swiss Re, CEO, Pension Corporation and Chairman, The Climate Group
- Fabio Feldmann, CEO, Fabio Feldmann Consultores and former Executive Secretary, Brazilian Forum on Climate Change
- Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute
- Lord Oxburgh, Member of the Advisory Board, Climate Change Capital and Former Chairman of Shell
- Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, CBE, Founding Director of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
- Professor Robert Socolow, Co-Director, The Carbon Mitigation Initiative and Professor, Princeton University
- Professor Klaus Topfer, Former Minister for Environment, Germany
- Professor Hongren Zhang, Former President, International Union of Geological Science and former Vice Minister of Geology and Mineral Resources, China

Jan 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

Apropos nothing much at all, in about 1981, I took Boulton's Quaternary Geology unit when I was at UEA/ENV. He was an excellent lecturer, well organised, fully up to date and clearly master of a fascinating subject area.

He was the Full Monty where it came to being a university lecturer (Reader). Cords, tweed jacket with leather elbow patches, and a cravat. He also had a rather plummy Oxbridge accent. I grew up in the Midlands, and I can recognise a Black Country boy when I hear one. I can also recognise fakes, and I don't warm to them.

Jan 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM | Registered CommenterHector Pascal

I watched days of evidence to the Hutton enquiry over Iraq and then listened with my jaw dropping as Lord Hutton pronounced his findings with complete disregard to what had been said.
Jan 16, 2013 at 9:08 AM Mike Fowle

Gosh, I'd almost forgotten that. The first hint of the outcome was the deference shown to Blair by the enquiry as he gave evidence.

Whitewash at the highest level.

Jan 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

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