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« Countdown to alarm - Josh 317 | Main | Quote of the day, chutzpah edition »

By the numbers open thread

This is an open thread for anyone who wants to discuss Climate Change by the Numbers. I'll set some thoughts down in the morning.

Readers may also be interested in the post-match thoughts of one of the presenters, Norman Fenton.

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Reader Comments (53)

It was worse than we could possibly have imagined.

Did you know that CO2, the miracle gas, warms the atmosphere? And CO2 is like a blanket. And there I was thinking it was the sun what did it.

I suppose there will be people who will be taken in by this awful propaganda, full of all the same tired old cliches.

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:26 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

It's models all the way down.

Too many non-sequiturs for me.

Kind of "NASA put a man on the moon therefore we can believe these climate scientists". Rinse and repeat with Spurs and then with Formula One racing team.

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Hmmm, so climate scientists use some whizzy mathematics that work in other (much simpler) fields, ... therefore ... we must trust what they say, or rather what the IPCC say they say. A very slick piece of propaganda with some subtle cherry picks, such as the cold start date of 1880, and 1950 for the model-data fit. How do the models do at predicting from 1880?

The only way to get 99% confidence that it was CO2 that did it would be to have CO2 wiggled up and down several times, with temperature wiggling in response.

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

0.85C was ok, nothing truly contentious generally
95% highly reliant on the models being correct, where was the emphasis on uncertainties.
1 trillion utter rubbish!

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Unsurprisingly it was unremitting propaganda accompanied by the predictable footage of smokestacks to imitate CO2 and plenty of flooding, storms, droughts etc. There was no attempt at balance. Maths was used to try and build trust in climate models. The failure of models to predict the present pause was not mentioned, in fact the pause was attempted to be denied.

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerek

I was very good. I watched it for 40 minutes. Sometimes through gritted teeth. Then the old chimera reappeared. The tropical hotspot. Oh dear. That was it. Time to let my daughter watch Comic Relief Darts.

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAmoorhouse

"0.85C was ok, nothing truly contentious generally."

May be, but no critical analysis:
What was the spatial coverage in 1880?
How well did we know GLOBAL temperatures back then, and what was the measurement errors?
No discussion of UHI and station drop outs in the post 1950s data set.
No mention of the discrepancies between satellites and land based temperature data sets post 1979.

Did anyone notice that at 09:48 it was suggested that the trosphere hotspot had been measured, which was claimed to be the fingerprint of CO2 warming and inconsistent with solar forced warming.

In summary, the programme simply towed the party line with no critical thinking or analysis.

Where is the evidence that the troposphere hotspot has been detected and measured?

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

Didn't watch it.

I have some respect for the limited amount of Tamsin Edwards that I have heard/read, but I am simply done with the BBC as far as this topic is concerned. No trust. They are irretrievable. It is a waste of time beyond the election, and beyond the Paris fiasco later this year.

They need some deeper financial cuts and instructions to stick to their charter. The greenery, including but not limited to, Shukman, Harrabin, and McGrath is just politics and needs to go. Scientists as science correspondents needn’t cost more than environmentalists and would better fit the job description.

Mar 2, 2015 at 10:56 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Oh dear, started off OK, ( I didn't start swearing at the TV for about the first 20 minutes) but then it got steadily worse!
All those pictures of smoking chimneys chucking out water vapour and apparently poisoning the atmosphere. Got a bit lost with the football teams and the Formula 1 bit, but then it got back to the expected 'precautionary principle' to save us from all this extreme weather we're not having.
The worrying thing is 'Himself' watched it with me and he believed it all!

Mar 2, 2015 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered Commentermeltemian

They put more effort into the soundtrack than the science.

From a look at the trailer for Wednesday's broadcast, they use a lot of the same footage and soundtrack.

What a sad exposure of the state of UK academia.

Still, it is hard to be concerned about that when you have your snout so deeply buried into the trough. N'est-ce pas, Edwards?

Mar 2, 2015 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterjolly farmer

It explained that as computers get better the squares that the models calculate get smaller.
So has the uncertainty in the predictions decreased over the last 30 years?


It is not a computer science problem.
But the programme didn't mention that.


Mar 2, 2015 at 11:21 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

The first presenter really said nothing at all except that the planet has warmed up and that 3 different sets of reconstructions using the same crap data managed to get the same result; why magic - if you just ignore that they were well aware of the need to match up their recons to present a coherent storyline. And Kriging can magically produce Arctic data where there is none can it? Well no it can't unless you have some data near the pole as well as the edges of the Arctic, otherwise it's mere unbounded extrapolation. The pause was presented as if scientists had expected it when in fact they all know it was far from expected why it is the hot topic in climate science today and is why the models are inadequate for policy. Then she ran a straight line through a aggregate of nonlinear events as if it meant anything at all. So she even failed her own subject!

I didn't watch the 3rd presenter because Fenton made me switch off just at the point when he presented the model result for natural variation alone; that tired old circular argument that was abjectly disproven with the pause that wasn't supposed to happen if man was dominating the climate system. Of course if you assume natural variation does nothing then every model will reproduce that same nothing but it is just a circular argument wrapped in a mathematical cloak. Also he mentions 60 years of cooling stratosphere when in fact the cooling has been in pause too since 1995. As for his football model; OMG! Why yes you know footballers wages so you can quantify it but you cannot do the same with natural variation - and btw fossil fuels cause cooling and warming of unknown extents so sadly there are just too many unknowns to attribute anything! Plus I will absolutely guarantee that his football hindcasting is spot on but his forecasting is crap and that is why hindcasting is no real test: It's like going into an exam with the results in your hand. It was all academic in the worst sense; of no value! Makes me despair for our education system.

Mar 2, 2015 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

I missed the first 20 minutes, due to the predictable unreliability of others.

With all this wonderful maths, graphics, and computers, one teensy weensy question remains.

Why are all models wrong?

A few other simple questions, was 1880 during, or after the Little Ice Age?

Why were the 1840's sufficiently warm, to melt enough arctic ice to convince Franklin to look for the North West Passage?

What made anybody think (correctly) that there was a North West Passage?

What occurred to end the Medieval Warm Period? Little Ice Age?

Why are the fertile arable lands of ancient Carthage now desert?

Using the precautionary principle, would we not be better off by destroying all climate models, as they have never produced anything beneficial for any body outside of climate science?

Mar 2, 2015 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

I thought the Formula 1 example was excellent. After a track incident, a team brought in a driver to the pits, changed tyres in the confusion, and went on to win, based on computer analysis of real events and historic actions, ie their models said do it.

By comparison, climate models say the world should do something, based on data, that has been created, to prove a theory, when the available computer output can not predict anything.

All this at a time, when public opinion is deemed more important, than science, because to date, science can not deliver what climate scientists have promised.

Mar 2, 2015 at 11:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

If the BBC are, as they claim, unbiased and 'balanced', I'll wait for the program that is being made to counter these 'facts' and make my decision based on the results.

Mar 2, 2015 at 11:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

I didn't watch it: I take H & S very seriously. (If you are asking, mine!)

Did they mention 28-Gate, and has it been rescinded?

If not, what is the point of this latest attempt of the BBC to 'inform'?

28-Gate Hits the MSM

In addition:
"EU law states that organisations that received EU funding must display an EU logo

Given that the BBC has received £22 million from the EU, UKIP asks where is the BBC’s EU logo displayed on the programmes that it makes?"

Given that the EU has a 'climate change' agenda, there needs to be a declaration of interest. Did the EU have any input or connection to this programme?

Mar 2, 2015 at 11:55 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

I so don't like academics dressing up blindingly obvious facts with hi-falutin' equations to sound clever.

So the Premiership teams with the highest wage bill will finish nearer the top - who knew? And he is 95% sure (using mathematics, doncha know) that increasing the wage bill by 10% will increase a team's points total by at least ...wait for it...1 point.

So employing significantly better players over a whole season will have the effect of a least say one more goal scored (to turn a loss into a draw). No Sh*t Sherlock. I doff my cap Sir, what brilliant insight. Large difference in proven most important input, tiny difference in output.

From there he leaps to say that's how they are 95% sure that over half the warming is man made due to CO2 emissions. Err, did I miss several steps there. Difference in one small part of a chaotic system, large change in temperature.

"It's as clear as taking the wage bill out of my football predictions". No it flipping isn't. You can observe the link between wages and football performance every year and it can be used to successfully predict into the future. How has that worked out for CO2?

The next bloke started well: "If you want to know who is good at predicting the future, look at people who are putting their money where their mouth is." Spot on. So why didn't they have Piers Corbyn on then, who allegedly took the Met Office forecasters to the cleaners and won a packet off William Hills. Just as Norman Fenton was striving to do with his football bets. To my knowledge all of the publicised Climate bets have been won by the sceptics. Using his logic he's backing the wrong side.

Overall too many questions left unasked as usual. These presenters should know better.

(I did read one of Fenton's football papers (how do you get paid to do this?) and it ain't that bad but overly confident about the conclusions. A bit like weather forecasting he did OK in a benign environment where one season was much like the last but I'm sure would fail when circumstances change. Did he predict ManU would plummet and Liverpool would almost win the Premiership last year? I don't think so.)

Mar 2, 2015 at 11:55 PM | Registered CommenterSimonW

"So the Premiership teams with the highest wage bill will finish nearer the top - who knew? And he is 95% sure (using mathematics, doncha know) that increasing the wage bill by 10% will increase a team's points total by at least ...wait for it...1 point"

This is a classic example of where correlation does not amount to causation.

A newly promoted team to the premiership, could not, on promotion, simply decide to pay each of their footballers 100 times more than they were paid the season befiore and expect, without changing any players, to win the premiership since they now had a higher wage bill than the likes of Chelsea, Man U, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal etc.

It is not the wage bill but the players that drive performance. Of course, the good players likely attract high salaries.

Mar 3, 2015 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterrichard verney

The Football Club that pays the highest wages wins.

That is what climate scientists keep arguing, but apart from winning the highest wages, their performance is still bettered by a chimpanzee with a dice (and a lucky bit of seaweed in case he loses the dice)

Chimpanzees will work for bananas, therefore, by not paying climate scientists, but feeding them bananas, the chance that money is a factor in their predictions can be ruled out.

Do this for another 30 years, and it maybe that some scientists don't have a stomach for climate predictions. Or bananas.

Mar 3, 2015 at 12:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Mar 3, 2015 at 12:33 AM | Golf Charlie

Perhaps the wage thing was pointing to getting better higher paid climate modellers in would improve the models..

Mar 3, 2015 at 1:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

I haven't had time to watch it yet but what I want to know is, did they make that nice popping noise when they pulled the 95% figure out of their butt?

Mar 3, 2015 at 1:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Rob Burton, or that paying climate modellers more, would help pay for improved performance from the "models" they brought in to the office. Some models won't perform, for love or money, but that may be due to cold office conditions.

Mar 3, 2015 at 2:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Wow, what an appalling programme. As most note, it started out okay-ish with the 0.85 deg C, but after 75 minutes you are left wondering if you can sue the BBC to get those minutes of your life back.

Just endless lines of inappropriate analogy, with the end of it some guy trying to sell the idea that the two degree limit is somehow backed up by the maths of extreme events (utter nonsense). Oh and the 95% figure and 66% figure are simply the IPCC expert subjective assessment - i.e. numbers pulled out of thin air by a committee of biased people. But talk enough about statistics and formula one cars and perhaps nobody will notice.

(On the formula one example: how many models predicted the six car pile up would happen in the first place, and what would the value of predictions made *before* the six car pile up be? Hint: worthless - predictions in complex systems have a limited time horizon before they are destroyed by unpredictable events and divergence from initial conditions)

Mar 3, 2015 at 2:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

Coventry FC seems to be a good model for climate science reliability

Mar 3, 2015 at 2:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Sounds like the climate change equivalent of Ancient Aliens to me.

Mar 3, 2015 at 4:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveJR

You said it was good and hyped it up. Do you still think that?

Mar 3, 2015 at 5:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeeWhiz

Did anyone here really expect anything different? /rhetorical

Granted, I have not seen the program, but judging by the comments, I'm going to make an educated guess (climate statistics: 97% certain) I did not miss much, and was correct in my initial skepticism.


Mar 3, 2015 at 5:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark T

Didn't watch, but, if I heard correctly, the continuity announcer on BBC2 advertised the programme with the line "Can maths save the planet. Now on BBC4..."

Mar 3, 2015 at 6:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterHoblinMango

GeeWhiz: I recall Tamsin said that she had vetted the programme, or something similar. I would, as a scientist, be exremely embarassed to have my name associated with a programme containing so much unscientific drivel.

It appears that Aarhenius was 100% correct all along, and all those rhousands of climate scientists have been wasting their time and all those tens of billions of pounds spent on climate research have been wasted, since the science was settled over 100 years ago.

Mar 3, 2015 at 6:45 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Well there's 60 minutes of my life I won't get back.

What a load of crap. As said earlier. Non-sequitur from lights to the flag.

And that ridiculous fashion of science by analogy. Surely any true scientist would be embarrassed by this.

Mar 3, 2015 at 7:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Al beeb playing silly boogers, well lets see here, it takes two to tango and foxtrot oscar: to 95% of statisticians.

What do we know, what did we learn..............

Some stuff about Arrhenius and CO2 behind cooling and glaciation in the Alps or something, then slipped in, "ah but Arrhenius was wrong" but that's OK because he was right about CO2 and warming or maybe not........ but man made warming and fossil fuels is right behind the .85±ºC curve and......It didn't matter anyway Spurs stats would prove that F1 cars could predict the future of the climate and all sorts of heat spots [thought we'd done that one] in the lower troposphere..... atmosphere because the space programme wanted accurate geo-positional stats relating to gold deposits and the maths proved that you could predict what shape a hole is - in a perspex screen =through playing solitaire up in a Lancashire cotton mill or........................ summat.

However, there was NO mention of IPCC and their constant rejigging of lowering the guesswork estimates for wild stabs in the dark relating to future world T stats. NOPE- we were back to the same old, same old stat = 2ºC warming - a figure plucked out of the air by some airy fairy German called Hans Joachim Schellnhuber - and with the key figure of 95% certainty........ down from 99%.......... of 97% of some 34 odd IPCC climatologists.

Conclusion: a triple FFF.

Mar 3, 2015 at 7:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

A few other sleights of hand that people should be aware of:

1. The insidious use of MEAN temperature as a measure of climate. The mean temperature of a desert might be a balmy 25C, which tells us nothing about the 50C days and 0C nights. A rise in MEAN temperature could easily be coming mainly from warmer winters, a fact that no climate propagandist would ever mention.

2. The success of climate models in dealing with SHORT TERM perturbations such as volcanic eruptions tells us very little about their ability to model LONG TERM climate trends.

Mar 3, 2015 at 7:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

> Readers may also be interested in the post-match thoughts of one of the presenters, Norman Fenton.

Hmm, he won't last long, he wants to base his approach on "expert knowledge and DATA".

Mar 3, 2015 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterRogerT

Mar 3, 2015 at 12:33 AM | Golf Charlie

Perhaps the wage thing was pointing to getting better higher paid climate modellers in would improve the models..

Rob Burton

No, It was just their liberalism injustice having a swipe of something else that makes them jealous.

Mar 3, 2015 at 8:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

As Spence says, there were a lot of false analogies - a favourite tactic. For example in the first section, which people seem most happy with, there was stuff about the Apollo moon landing, as if the calculations and accuracy there were similar to climate, which they certainly are not.

Mar 3, 2015 at 9:12 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Yes, the programme fully lived up to expectations. BBC bias ahead of Paris.

Mar 3, 2015 at 9:16 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I read Norman Fenton, and was/am bemused by it. Some ramblings about football teams that pay the highest wages doing better than those who don't, I think SimonW dealt with that admirably above. Then, to me at least, an incoherent explanation as to how the iPCC decided it was 95% certain that CO2 caused most of the warming in the latter half of the half century. They apparently managed this be looking at the model outputs,models which have been designed/built on the assumption that CO2 is a major driver of warming, and lo and behold! The difference in temperatures between the models with and without CO2 in them proved that CO2 is the driver. Funny that.

All the time he was telling us we could see over his shoulder, an elephant the size of a pyramid, ignored and, for the time being at least (until further temperature homogenisation of the 20th century records by diligent honest scientists removes it), half of the rise between 1880 and 1998 taking place between 1910 and 1940. Ignored and orphaned by the climate science community because there is no possible explanation for this rise that includes CO2 forcing. Meanwhile Dr Fenton waffled on about bayesian v. classic statistics (with a mention of PCA and the hockeystick controversy, although I can't see the relationship between searching for a signal in the noise of paleoclimatological records and doing an experiment - if it can be called that - by measuring the output of models with and without CO2 forcing, maybe someone will help me with that) while ignoring the very real physical evidence that temperatures had risen by as much in the past as they did in the late 20th century without the intervention of CO2 forcing sufficient to make the rise happen, without once questioning the attribution of the rises in the late 20th century to CO2 given this glaring anomaly.

He did to be fair give his fee to charity, a pretty decent thing to do in my book.

Mar 3, 2015 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Well I didn't expect very much from the BBC, but God that was bad. The second and third sections were just pure propaganda dressed up as maths, or was it science, not really sure by the end.

I certainly wouldn't waste any of my life trying to point out the obvious sleights of hand, but if this is what Tamsin Edwards thinks is a good programme then my limited faith in her integrity has gone never to return. How anyone would want to be associated with that juvenile drivel is beyond me.

Mar 3, 2015 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn B

As I said on unthreaded, apart from the whole thing looking like a Blue Peter plug for pretty coloured fluorescent tubes, two of the biggest foot-in-mouth moments was when Hannah Fry seemed to admit that temperature drove up CO2, while later on, she claimed it was the other way round. Then, when mentioning the pause, she tried to claim that pauses only happen in a warming world: that there were no pauses when temps were falling.

Ha! I bet the BBC's biggest Green blob (in his own mind, at least), Tom Heap was weeping at the programme - because he wasn't on it, not because of its lamentable science and presentation.

Mar 3, 2015 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Another point that might well have swayed it for the average viewer - though I guess most would have given up and watched the darts - was when (was it Fenton?) showed the graphs of warming with A-CO2 and then claimed that it must be down to CO2 because, when they ran the graphs based on 'just' natural variation the temps came down to what he considered to be normal (oh what it must be like to be able to say what's normal in the world!!). What he failed to show was whether all the effects of CO2 had been removed or just the anthropogenic part, or whether, all that was done was to dial down the 'harry_read_me' 'fudge-factors' in some crappy climate models.

Mar 3, 2015 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

(First time poster - be kind!)

I was intrigued be the comment at around 48-ish minutes...

"And since the 1970s, the human fingerprint has become more obvious. From the loss of sea ice in the Arctic, increasing frequency of heatwaves, to the warming and acidification of the oceans.

The models predict all of these patterns, only as a result of increasing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide."

Really? "... only as a result of increasing greenhouse gasses..." Really?

So natural warming wouldn't melt Arctic sea ice, cause heatwaves, or warm the ocean?

It does beg the question:- If the planet were warming naturally, how would the ocean, etc., know not to get warmer?

Mar 3, 2015 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterChuda

I see that Fenton has donated his fee to an Israeli charity which should piss off the BBC and its devoted choir.
So at least something worthwhile came out of the programme!

Mar 3, 2015 at 10:58 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

"I thought the Formula 1 example was excellent. After a track incident, a team brought in a driver to the pits, changed tyres in the confusion, and went on to win, based on computer analysis of real events and historic actions, ie their models said do it."

Except the F1 software compares the _Pros_ and cons of the timing of a tyre change/fuel stop and suggests the best option.

Climate models don't examine any of the beenfits of warming.

I didn't see it so might have the wrong end of the stick,

Mar 3, 2015 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterNial

"I thought the Formula 1 example was excellent. After a track incident, a team brought in a driver to the pits, changed tyres in the confusion, and went on to win, based on computer analysis of real events and historic actions, ie their models said do it."

That is an analogy. It has zero scientific application to the modelling the global climate system. Zero.

Mar 3, 2015 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Nial, the point of raising F1 in the programme, was to demonstrate how wonderful models can be as predictive tools.

They just forgot to explain that in climatology, nothing predictive has yet been produced.

Mar 3, 2015 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

Before the programme was released I did not question the integrity of Tamsin Edwards.
I did question her judgement.

Nothing has changed.

Mar 3, 2015 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMCourtney

Good questions Chuda. To which their only answers is 'models'. Models, models, models. I still haven't been able to watch the programme but it's like every other AGW, long on black boxes and short on demonstrable fact.

Mar 3, 2015 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Disclaimer: due to work commitments I won't see the program until Saturday at the earliest. My focus is the Norman Fenton article linked above.

Reading between the lines of the Fenton link I think it is no wonder he went of on an analogy in a field he was expert. Sounds like trying to pin down the 95% was like nailing jelly to the wall. He avoids quite nicely saying whether he thinks the number is supportable or not.

And am I missing something?

This combination of data and expert judgement has enabled us to get more accurate predictions then any other published system and has even enabled us to 'beat the bookies' consistently (based on a simple betting strategy) despite the bookies' built-in profit margin.


I'd have been retired to an island in the sun by now.

Mar 4, 2015 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterclovis marcus

This programme is nothing more than a confidence trick.

Two of the presenters, Spiegelhalter and Fenton, are academic heavy weights, brought on board to give the programme respectability, yet two of the three of the academic consultants listed on the credits at the end (who presumably decide on the content and helped write the scripts) are clearly climate-political operators: Dr Doug MacNeall and Dr Tamsin Edwards.

Have a look at Fenton’s and Spiegelhalter’s google scholar profiles (a useful way of seeing who publishes and who gets the highest citation counts):

They are clearly real scientists.

These profiles heavily contrast with the academic light weights the BBC has used as consultants:

Doug MacNeall, now with the UK Met Office, was awarded his PhD as recently as 2008, he has no google scholar profile but on his blog he has listed 10 papers, the majority of which are magazine type articles without much heavy science or mathematics or statistics. All of these were published in the last three years! (so not many citations then).

Tamsin Edwards: Her google scholar profile is here: and is, well, what you would maybe expect from a recent postdoc. The vast majority of the papers have long lists of joint authors, also common in medical publications. How much hard graft did she do on these? Her blog is here: Oh and she doesn’t have a full time academic post, from what I can tell she is funded on a grant as a research assistant.

Doug and Tamsin don’t appear to work together on climate science but do seem to have lots of time to tweet, write blogs and communicate. One of their recent joint papers is this one:, which describes a PR strategy to engage with the sceptic community (see the lessons learnt section at the end).

So, it looks like the BBC have given carte blanche to a couple of wet behind the ears academics with no track record, helped them to communicate their agenda and chosen to front it up with some real heavyweights, who themselves do not have a track record in climate research either (which might be fine if we are looking for independent scrutiny but that isn’t what we got).

I have left one other academic consultant to the programme, Prof. Leonard Smith to last. Unlike MacNeall and Edwards he is indeed a heavyweight in academic terms, but I am intrigued as to whether Prof. Smith supports the view of the program, especially given that he has published papers like this one:

This paper contains results that appear to directly contradict much of the BBC programme (i.e. it reads like it is, well, sceptical). So, he either wasn’t doing his job, was ignored or was merely there as window dressing too.
Maybe someone should contact the BBC to find out what role academic consultants like MacNeall, Edwards and Smith played in this programme and why they didn’t find more serious and senior sources of expertise and why, in Smith’s case, they ignored his research work.

(I strongly suspect the BBC will ignore rumblings unless there is actually a direct complaint).


Mar 4, 2015 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJockTheDog

" (I strongly suspect the BBC will ignore rumblings unless there is actually a
direct complaint)."

Why can't the BBC just get some decent scientists involved and make decent science programmes, surely it is in their remit. As you clearly point out they keep getting the content seemingly provided by politically minded people rather than scientists painstakingly just doing research looking for 'the truth'

Mar 6, 2015 at 2:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

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