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Honing his hypocrisy

Last week, Shell's climate change adviser David Hone issued a complaint that I had appeared on the BBC to discuss the Fifth Assessment Report.

[The BBC] explained the issue quite well, but then offered two contrasting views of the science. One was an interview with a leading UK climate scientist who is also a contributing author to the IPCC report, the other was with a blogger who lacks credible credentials and objectivity on the issue.

If only I could aspire to match Mr Hone's credentials (he is a chemical engineer) and objectivity (he is chairman of the International Emissions Trading Association).

Do these people have no sense of how foolish they make themselves look?

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Reader Comments (94)

Well I am surprised he didn't accuse you of misleading people with the facts!


Oct 25, 2013 at 8:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

"....who is also a contributing author to the IPCC report,". That's supposed to be proof of credibility and expertise? What a small world the natural variation deniers live in.

Oct 25, 2013 at 8:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Lohse

Presumably David Hones' views can be disregarded as he appears to be in the pay of "Big Oil"?

Oct 25, 2013 at 8:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Pond

Oh dear, you know what’s funny though if you look at the address of the London offices of IETA, 2 Bravington Walk, Regents Quarter, N1 9AF. There’s a funny coincidence, that happens to be the same address as The Carbon Neutral company, they say they:

We offer a range of products and services including emissions assessment, carbon strategy advice, the purchase of carbon credits to offset carbon emissions, carbon neutral certification, marketing and communications support to engage your stakeholders and a channel partner programme. We are 100% focused on the success of our clients, delivering excellence in solutions and services that enable them to manage their environmental action in a way that generates immediate value to their business.

They happen to work with IETA, on their partner page they say:
IETA The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) is a non-profit business organisation created in June 1999 to establish a functional international framework for trading in greenhouse gas emission reductions.

I guess sharing an address saves on phone calls and postage costs. On their page, the Carbon Neutral Company list the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group (APPCCG) as a partner, a quick google and I found the following report note:
Officers of the APPCCG
Chair: Colin Challen MP
Vice Chairs: Lord Beaumont
Lord Redesdale
Secretary: Dr Des Turner MP
Treasurer: Peter Ainsworth MP
Secretariat: The Carbon Neutral Company

I’ve seen this a lot and posted before where organizations involved in carbon trading and legislation share addresses, I’m tempted to see how many of these organizations I can find that share addresses it can’t be a coincidence.

Oct 25, 2013 at 8:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterJace_F

He would say that, wouldn't he! I rather suspect that Mr Hone, mindful of his wherewithal, is a man who wouldn't change his mind on the threat of imminent dangerous climate change if a new ice age forced him to move office to Singapore (1°17′N). He's simply doing his job.

Oct 25, 2013 at 8:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlleagra

Do these people have no sense of how foolish they make themselves look?

No. Because they have no sense at all.

Oct 25, 2013 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterLynne

This reminds me of a famous english snooker player who was banned for
taking drugs.
He was astonished by the decision because he said:
"I was only taking the drugs to calm my nerves"
1st degree hypocracy

Oct 25, 2013 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

Do people like this realise that they're admitting utter failure?

He quotes from a dead guy who’s work doesn’t contradict sceptic arguments; an old pollution (SOX, NOX and soot) report from an era when we were cooling; a self confessed climate activist scientist and a magazine cover. Wow, am I persuaded or what?

He couldn’t even quote one of the things the Bish said that wasn’t true and counter it.

The visitor comment about fossil fuel sponsored sceptics is just too funny for words given the venue and regurgitating the tobacco ‘doubt’ argument shows just how bankrupt the fund of persuasive facts has become.

Oct 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Jace, that's interesting.
I'm quite surprised to see Lord Redesdale on that list, as having met the bloke last August I know for a fact he's strongly opposed to a number of the wind farm applications in Northumberland.
Might be worth 'cultivating' a little bit.

Oct 25, 2013 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteveW

SteveW the reprt was from 2006 it's possible he's seen the light since then.

Oct 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJace_F

It's one of those irregular verbs, I think:

I have credible credentials
You are spreading disinformation
He is a filthy Big Oil-funded denier,

We have the consensus
You are a negligible minority
They are building a vicious denialist machine

Oct 25, 2013 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

I found Mr. Hone's "A few of my thoughts about climate change:" particularly interesting, and will reproduce them hereunder in their entirety ...



the late Frank Zappa said it all ... "we're only in it for the money"

Oct 25, 2013 at 9:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterducdorleans

and Shell are massive supporters of AGW and all things similar.

Oct 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

''Do these people have no sense of how foolish they make themselves look?''

No: because fools have no sense.

Oct 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

Hone-y baby, as one Chemical Engineer to another (mine is bigger than yours since I have a PhD) stop being infantile.

Oct 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterDEEBEE

Of course they look stupid to we mere mortals. But unfortunately they look very sensible to the likes of Clegg , Miliband, and most other politicians.

Oct 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

Nice comments from Ed Reid (and Lapogus)... sad when facts spoil a good story.

Oct 25, 2013 at 10:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Well, I've added my twopennyworth. Cue the troll.

Oct 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The "complaint" is meant for the troops that are desperate for anything to hold on.

Oct 25, 2013 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

His complaint has some substance - sure if you want to talk climate science then you should ask a climate scientist, but since neither his job as climate change advisor, nor likely even the climate scientists job would actually be required without the scare of runaway global warming, the inherent bias demands an outside opinion. Furthermore, it is obvious even to a layman that climate scientists are lying their heads off: Just some of the many lies they told in the aftermath of the IPCC report that i caught.......

Lie 1. the Arctic warming was touted as somehow exceptional despite it being the same temperature there and likely the same ice extent there as it was in the 1930's....and of course the other Pole is still cooling - contrary to initial predictions/expectations.
Lie 2. Extreme weather was linked to manmade warming despite there being neither data nor theory to support it, the IPCC report contradicting it, and global temp not increasing for 15+ years.
Lie 3. We were told again that wet places will get wetter and dry places will get drier under a warming scenario. They think this becomes true merely by repetition. It is once again not from theory, data or even models; If it were true then global cooling would be beneficial, which is absurd and contradicts historical fact.
Lie 4. The gulf stream, we were told, will shift due to global warming and hence make the UK colder. Not only is this outright unphysical (it would happen only if the planet stopped spinning) it is the opposite forecast to what were telling us at the last IPCC report launch.
Lie 5. They are certain that warming from 1975 to 1995 must be manmade despite not having a clue about why it didn't warm since - entirely contrary to their expectations.
Lie 6. They pretended certainty that the pause in warming is temporary when in reality they cannot say that until they identify why the pause happened rather than presenting alternative, contradictory excuses. It took consensus scientists long enough to stop actually denying the reality of the pause...and yet they have the cheek to call other people climate deniers!
lie 7. Many times we were told about the overwhelming evidence of manmade climate change. In fact all evidence points only to gentle warming but not manmade warming (which was supposed to be dominant by now). The actual state of the scientific literature is that a human signal has not yet been detected and won't be for some time yet.

Oct 25, 2013 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Hone demonstrates gravity:

Oct 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered Commenter52

Hone sounds to me like somebody who really is in the pay of BIG OIL - or is it BIG CHEMICAL?

Oct 25, 2013 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterDougS

FWIW, my advice to Shell:

The IPCC is 95% confident that 50% of warming is man-made. As temperatures are flat, man is either;

contributing 50% of nothing


entirely offsetting global cooling


the truth lies within the 5% of doubt.

As the doubt is entirely focussed on the anthropogenic factor it follows that that is immeasurable, benign or absent.

But it may be they know that and Hone is just PC window dressing.

Oct 25, 2013 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered Commenterssat



I know they are only small things but so many of these clowns can't get basic stuff right that 95% (statistically significant!) of the rest of the population seem to manage no problem. Think Jones with Excel, Viner standing in front of his slides and now upside down Hone. I'm sure there are more.

And yet we're expected to believe these guys are our intellectual betters and just accept what they say as gospel. As Jim Royle might say: "Creme de la creme, my *rse".

Oh and Hone even drops his "think of the children" line in. God that bugs me. Yeah I don't care about my children. Pompous idiot.

Oct 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM | Registered CommenterSimonW


Is Redesdale objecting to wind farms in Northumberland on principle (and, therefore, elsewhere) or simply because it's his backyard?

Oct 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Chappell

Ed Davey and the DECC at work again.

Oct 25, 2013 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered Commenteragouts

Well from that Shell web page it is quite clear that that oil MNC is supporting the IPCC.

How can alarmists keep on claiming that it is the skeptics which are in the pay of "Big Oil"?

Oct 25, 2013 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterAntonyIndia


I am a Chemical Engineer myself and I always liked this quote from Freeman Dyson:

"My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models. "

Core subjects within Chemical Engineering include Fluid Mechanics, Dust (particulates) and Chemistry. So whilst *anyone* can be knowledgeable about climate science, there is no need to diss someone *just* for being a Chemical Engineer ;-)

Oct 25, 2013 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Blofeld

Typical argumentum ad hominem.

Oct 25, 2013 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterScientistForTruth

@52 Thank you.

I'd expect Shell's climate change advisor, David Hone, to be able to use the word "climate" in a sentence correctly; he cannot. He says " I'm talking to you from London - pretty climatically challenged today - very very cold."

If I were his employer, I'd take that to be his resignation speech: the man's an idiot.

Oct 25, 2013 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterSleepalot

"Do these people have no sense of how foolish they make themselves look?"

Well, let's see:

They're up to their eyeballs in the proceeds of history's lowest-hanging swindle; we're wasting our youths and the elasticity of our arteries blogging against them in righteous fury without making a goddamned cent. (Book sales aside, Bish.)

The scientifically-naive masses have no real idea who's right, but I suspect they could form an opinion as to who the fools are without much difficulty.

The smarmy mugs of the carbon-corrupt won't be desmugged by blogs. I hate to say it, but it'll probably take some sort of climate Nuremberg to make things right. :-(

Oct 25, 2013 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrad Keyes

Don't be too hard on them Bish, they're getting a helping hand.


Oct 25, 2013 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

Billy Blofeld/Freeman Dyson:

Its worse than that. 'Carbon dioxide - that's what drives the climate. We are contributing. The science is settled. Pay up..'

So - all those other components of climate don't do diddley squat - which seems just a tad far-fetched to me...

Oct 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

A moment spent on researching Colin Challen ex-MP shows what manner of man he is.

Councillor Challen tabled a parliamentary motion in 2009 "calling for all internal UK flights to be phased out before the end of the year, in order to reduce greenhouse gases."

We know his sort.

Oct 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

David Hone's remarks are doubly amusing. As you say, he's a chemical engineer: strike one. And his complaint is that in this debate of the IPCC report, you (Bishop HIll) lack objectivity, while apparently one of the report's authors is objective. So if we accept either of his two fallacies, it would cut against his own argument.

Oct 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Strom

Well, you obviously don't understand. You are of the Rabble, and you were properly and publicly caned by one of the Sober Authorities, as is his Divine Right. That being done, kindly betake your rowdy heathenism away from the public square, out of the view of the hard-working menfolk, virtuous women, and impressionable youth of our fair land. You utter cad, Sirrah--have you no shame, man?

Oct 25, 2013 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Dale Huffman

Poor Mr David Hone. Surely he is no worse than DECC employees and their Shenanigans. At least he is just doing what his employers expect, whereas DECC employees and minsters are supposed to act in our interest.
So the "infographic" showed the area required for solar power or windfarms to equal Hinkley Point C in output so it had to be removed. What about the variability of solar and wind power and the additional back-up to keep the lights on?

Oct 25, 2013 at 2:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Peter

I assume then that I can mark down Shell the petrochemical heavyweight as being "Pro-Climate".

Hopefully kindred pro-climateer Bill McKibben will visit Shell and explain why he is campaigning on college campuses to destroy them.

Oct 25, 2013 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris y

IMPORTANT 4.30pm Feedback on BBC Radio 4
After last weeks travesty a stitchup job on Prof Bob Carter where skeptics were banned from a discussion about whether BBCNews ban on skeptics should be re-inforced, they have on David Jordan the BBC's head of impartiality on... @BBCR4Feedback

- Last week BBC News aired scientist Steve Thomas scientist multiple times to comment on Hinkley. He trashed nuclear & plugged wind/solar nuclear.
No mention he's heavily connected to Greenpeace.

Oct 25, 2013 at 2:54 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Guess who has already tried to nobble David Jordan ? Clue- "false balance"="effect the value of BigGreenHedgeFunds"

- Bob Ward ‏@ret_ward 12 Sep
Hey @RHarrabin could you ask @BBCNews to publish its list of climate change 'sceptics' who it interviews to balance climate scientists?
- roger harrabin ‏@RHarrabin 14 Sep
@ret_ward @bbcnews No idea what you are talking about Bob. If there's a list I don't know it.-
- Bob Ward ‏@ret_ward 14 Sep
.@RHarrabin @bbcnews OK, so no list, but as David Jordan has admitted, despite your good work, many BBC programmes still apply false balance

Barry & Ben Pile were onto him
- Ben Pile ‏@clim8resistance 14 Sep
So perhaps @ret_ward should explain to @BBCNews when a free press is allowed to report unauthorised views @BarryJWoods @RHarrabin

Oct 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


Your 11.43 posting is an exceedingly shrewd summing-up of the situation: concise and straight to the point and, so far as my feeble wits allow me to judge, logically impeccable.

It would make a brilliant sound-bite. Can it be more widely disseminated?

The video of Hone discoursing so worthily and wisely outside the Houses of Parliament while standing on his head is beyond satire.

Oct 25, 2013 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered Commenteragouts

I have been ignore forever talking about.

ETA is the biggest industry lobby group present at the Copenhagen negotiations, bringing in 486 lobbyists. Their aim is the creation of a global market for greenhouse gas emissions, including the use of highly controversial offsetting projects through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). However, current carbon trading schemes like the ETS have proven not to reduce emissions, but largely generate profits for these companies.

IETA members

BP, Conoco Philips, Shell, E.ON AG (coal power stations owner, EDF (one of the largest participants in the global coal market), Gazprom (Russian oil and gas), Goldman Sachs, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley..

Oct 25, 2013 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

Shell Canada

The debate about climate change is over and we need to take action," says Ertel, Shell Canada's climate change expert.

Oct 25, 2013 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

Do these people have no sense of how foolish they make themselves look?

It doesn't concern them, they just have to make the right noises. Politics is the art of lying successfully.

ps there's a close brackets missing in the penultimate sentence.*

Oct 25, 2013 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterTim Spence

BBC keeps paying out massive legal costs and compensation cos it is CERTAIN about an issue e.g. £185K to Lord McAlpine & there have been a number of other high profile occasions maybe you can remember.
- In the last 10 years they have paid £18.5 million in compensation costs I am not sure how much of that is due to fact reporting errors as that figure includes unfair dismissal etc.
- Money might be a motivation for them trying to avoid bias when of course Truth itself should have the highest value (many greens think truth is truth is worth sacrificing cos they are saving the world)
..But the idea that The Great BBC Green mis-selling scandal might cost them dearly.. might motivate them back towards truth (OK for many BBC depts on Green issues truth has left the building and is halfway up the road to the Old Bailey anyway)

Oct 25, 2013 at 3:47 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

May I paraphrase Mr Hone?

"[The BBC] explained the issue quite well, but then offered two contrasting views of the science. One was an interview with a leading UK climate scientist who I happen to have in my pocket, the other was with a blogger who disagrees with me."

Oct 25, 2013 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterrussep3

"despite your good work, many BBC programmes still apply false balance"
- Jeez - Ret_Ward tweeted that openly to Harrabin openly
since we know their idea of false balance is anything other than "raving dramagreening" looks deeply incriminating

Oct 25, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

is a thoroughly unpleasant Aussie who has published over 300 blogs covering only two topics - Carbon Trading and Carbon Capture and Storage. He had great plans which now lie in the dust due to the demise of Julia and then Kevin.
On Saturday 13th August 2011, David Hone and fellow Shell employee Geoffrey Lean of the Telegraph started a series called "Age of Energy" which used to be available on line but which has now been deleted.
Possibly their biggest 'catch' was Oliver 'Wetwin' Letwin, a year or two senior to Dave at Eton, but nevertheless appointed 'Minister of State for Policy'. "Wetwin' contributed a lengthy screed which "looked to the Green Deal to deliver a low carbon future"-"with the Green Investment Bank, support for electric cars and the roll out of smart meters and a smart grid ....etc".
However Hone's association with 'Wetwin' opened a great many doors, Hone even brags about having chaired Committees within our House of Commons and almost certainly at No 10.
In all this, the one man who HAD to be excluded was an old mate of Dave's, Lord Browne of Madingley formerly SHELL's rival at BP but now with Cuadrilla.
It is highly likely that Hone & "Wetwin' were able to convince Cameron for several years that Shale Gas exploration was not a good idea.
Meanwhile SHELL were busy tying up with the Qataris thus ensuring that we use their gas instead.
We have also just seen Cameron allow Ed Davey give SHELL £1 billion of our money to fool around with CCS at Peterhead gas-fired power station - strange when you think that Dave has just said that "CCS does not work"!
One more link in the SHELL jigsaw - Cameron currently gives Hone's former boss James Smith, previously chairman of SHELL UK, now at the Carbon Trust, £44,000,000 of OUR money every year for the sole purpose of lobbying Parliament for more Offshore wind turbines. OK, so under Miliband this was £127 million, but it was Dave who promised a 'bonfire of the quangos' - as so often, he chickened out on this one.
David Hone has a lot to answer for !

Oct 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

David Hone: 'It’s only in the last few years as the crunch point approaches, that on-line amateurs have decided they have a valid voice in a complex area of science and therefore ought to be listened to.'

This is a more important observation that it might seem at first. It seems desirable to me that 'on-line amateurs', i.e. ordinary citizens not in the state-funded climate establishments, do seek such a voice. The work of the 'online amateur' Steve McIntyre provides perhaps the most notable and distinguished example in support of this. His dogged determination played no small part in the eventual exposure of the MBH hockey-stick plot as a piece of sloppy statistical analysis and sloppy, goal-directed raw data selection. It did indeed serve to 'get rid of the Medieval Warm Period' just in time for an IPCC PR-blitz in which it featured prominently (see Hockey Stick Illusion for details), but this will forever be a case study of shoddy science and slick activism that by itself could justify the encouragement of 'online amateurs'..

The scientific establishment itself, as represented by leading scientific societies, government agencies, and government advisors around the world, has signally failed in protecting society from the over-heated, over-hyped, over-zealous promotions of activists using 'the science says' as one of their banners, and the IPCC as one of their war chariots. Sundry examples of financial, fund-raising, and political opportunists have jumped on the bandwagon big-time, and constitute formidable forces for 'amateurs' to tackle, but tackle them we should.

The 'online' communications revolution is a godsend for us. We can share our bits of expertise. We can raise our questions, share papers, and insights. We can benefit from the guidance of sympathetic subject-matter experts. We can explore policy implications. We can help others penetrate topics they might have once seen as well beyond their comprehension, and their ability to form informed opinions about. We do not need to be expert scientists. We do need to be concerned citizens looking to play a full part in societies increasing influenced by scientific and technological issues. We do need to vigorously evaluate any claim by elites, scientific or otherwise, to know what is best for us.

The track record of those who 'know best' about one eco-scare or another over the past 100 years or more is an awful one: one blunder after another, one failed forecast/threat of disaster after another. A handy listing of such is given here:

Oct 25, 2013 at 5:11 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Just posted the following at his site

I'm also a chemical engineer and now retired after over 30 years in the oil and gas industry. As a chemical engineer you know full well, or should, the energy inefficiency of CCS and the implication of burning through avaiable fossil fuels at twice the rate for the same power output. Hardly considerate of future generations for at best a nebulous benefit. I also notice your dismissive comments regards AW Montford as a "blogger", I'd suggest you re-consider that assessment, your position as chairman of ITEA does not suggest a neutral balanced position, have your read any of his books with an open mind?"

Oct 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Singleton

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