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« The climatologist's privilege | Main | Solar heat illustrated - Josh 322 »

Deben's new witchhunt

Readers may be aware that Bjorn Lomborg has been lucky enough to win a significant tranche of funding for his think tank from the Australian government, a story that was widely reported at the end of last week.

The result, I suppose, was inevitable and it seems that a new witchhunt has been launched by the illiberal left. At the forefront is our very own Lord Deben:

This displays many of the hallmarks of the great Lord Deb. It is well known that Lomborg accepts all of mainstream climate science as gospel - his work is focused on climate policy and more specifically considers how spending on climate issues should rank compared to spending on other matters. Deben is therefore fairly nakedly fabricating a false allegation that the Dane thinks otherwise. The other way that this tweet epitomises Deben's malign influence on the climate debate is the immediate attempt to destroy Lomborg's livelihood. Deben has no arguments to put forward, no case to make. He simply wants dissent silenced.

You can't imagine ever voting for a party that had Deben in it, can you?

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Reader Comments (33)

Deben says:

Surely no responsible academic institution would connive at this blatant bias against science?
Deben would be overqualified for a job in the cinema - as a projectionist.

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

As for Deben , a chancer and and BS artist , I no more expect honest from him than I would expect humility form Mann or pigs to overcome their aerodynamic and power to weight ratio problems as they take to the air .

While the Guardian now has not one put two attack articles on this funding , they are clear out to get the 'heretic'
Lomborg most be grateful that the physical burning of heretics is not part of this religion, give this would release 'evil CO2 '

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterknr

Rhetoric, false accussation, and hypocracy in one tweet! All that expensive coaching has not gone to waste.

Shame about the absence of scientific understanding though. Not much useful training available from Grantham Inc.

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

His Grace says@ "You can't imagine ever voting for a party that had Deben in it, can you?"

I urge my fellow climateers to vote for the party which has pledged to axe DECC, end wind and solar subsidy, and has a sensible chap called Roger Helmer MEP as its energy spokesman.

I hope to be elected in my local constituency of PUDsey, and if I anm, I look forward to taking our concerns about the disreputable climate science and energy policy which has brought us to the brink of economic disaster.

Vote UKIP!

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRog Tallbloke

For all the ideological Left wing nuttery that drives the climate hysteria and is concentrated in the Green, Lib Dem and Labour Parties, we are shown how the sleazy rent seekers and profiteers make their play through the Conservatives.

So who exactly do you vote for?

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

"Surely no responsible academic institution would connive at this blatant bias against science?"

Blatant bias against science. What poor English? How would he know what science was? I suppose we cannot expect anything else from someone like him. He clearly sees his gravy train in danger when his self-interest and ignorance is found out by those exposing the drivel he regurgitates.

Unfortunately he is so low on my scale of honesty and integrity, the depth of his scumminess can no longer surprise.

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Waddya expect from Deben; classical vCJD symptoms.

But he had them from age 20......:0)

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

blatant bias against science
Bit rich that, from a man with a History degree.

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:48 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Wish I lived in Pudsey, Rog... [grin]

Apr 22, 2015 at 9:57 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Lomborg should take Deben to court for libel. As you say, his thesis is that adaptation is a far better option than wasting money on the mitigation of an agitated and chaotic system called climate. Seems sensible to me.

Apr 22, 2015 at 10:00 AM | Unregistered Commentertrefjon

Surely no responsible academic institution would connive at this blatant bias against science.

How much does Grantham pay the London Skool of Economics, so that Deben, Ward and co, have a private London coffee house, from which to launch anti-science character assassinations?

Clearly the LSE will take anyone in, if the money is right.

It is only right that we nicotine stain the LSE, Grantham and Ghadaffy, with the same oil tarred brush, and give credit where it is due. Even if LSE only takes cash up front, from the politically unstable.

Apr 22, 2015 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

No doubt Deben is quite happy with this outfit at Melbourne University:

Malte Meinshausen, A/Prof., School of Earth Sciences at University of Melbourne

"Malte Meinshausen receives funding from the Australian Research Council, advises the German Ministry of Environment and other national and international bodies on climate policy and science. He was formerly a founding Director of Climate Analytics, but is now only affiliated with The University of Melbourne and the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research. He is Director of the Australian-German College of Climate & Energy Transitions."

The Australian-German College of Climate & Energy Transitions is a new "Institute" set up about a year ago at Melbourne University, in conjunction with Potsdam, where Meinshausen spent considerable time and is still affiliated, together with a couple of other related Universities in Germany.

There is more detail on Meinshausen here,, he is the Director of this new college. You will see from the link that also in this new outfit are Ross Garnaut, David Karoly and "a cast of thousands". Potsdam representatives are Stefan Rahmstorf, Otto Edenhofer, (not about science, it's about re-distribution of wealth) and Anders Levermann who keeps coming coming up with scary sea level scenarios with Rahmstorf. There is clearly a considerable open budget for this from the ARC, funded by the Australian taxpayer.

Meinshausen is a colleague of Rahmstorf at Potsdam and is also a member of the Editorial Advisory Panel in Social Science and Policy for Nature Climate Change, where Rahmstorf recently published the heavily savaged paper with Mann about the "slowing of the Gulf Stream".

Meinshausen's full bio and publishing history is here:

He did his PhD at ETH Zurich and his c.v. carries the comment, "Since 2000 Freelance consultancy for Environmental NGOs (Greenpeace International, WWF Switzerland, SGU) on climate policy issues"

He has a considerably more detailed history with Greenpeace than his brief comment reveals:

29 October 2002

Sinks in the CDM: Issue #5 ENB on the side – UNFCCC COP-8


Presented by the Climate Action Network (CAN) Malte Meinshausen, Greenpeace, highlighted the Protocol's requirement that all CDM projects result in "real, measurable and long-term benefits". The contact e-mail for him was a Greenpeace one.

He followed this theme again in 2003 for Greenpeace, Sinks in the CDM: After the climate, will biodiversity go down the drain?! Greenpeace International, June 2003, Bonn, Germany. SBSTA-18 Malte Meinshausen, Greenpeace International

His Greenpeace colours were shown again at this event: 18th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies - Bonn, June 4 - 13, 2003 (Link still live)
FOSSIL OF THE DAY AWARD presented by Malte Meinshausen (Greenpeace International)

NGOs held a Fossil of the Day Awards Ceremony during which Saudi Arabia was awarded 3rd Place, the US received the 2nd Place award, and Canada was given the 1st Place award, for its "various interventions against any environmental and social safeguards."

He did an MSc in Environmental Science at Oxford Environmental Change Institute. This is where alarmist Myles Allen works and he was subsequently, in 2009, a lead author with Allen and others on "Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2C" and was a co-author, this time with Allen as lead author, on "Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne."

This is the source of the "Leave it in the Ground" mantra and the "Stranded Assets" theme. Same material, same conclusions etc, but different lead authors means yet another "peer reviewed paper", cited separately and thus adding to "The Consensus". (This is quite a common strategy and was the subject of a climategate e-mail). Meinshausen is clearly well favoured by Nature, but I don't know when he joined their Climate Change advisory panel.

As late as December 2008, his "alumni" commentary was on the Oxford ECI website. It is still there, but now archived and undated:

"After leaving the ECI, I first finished my Environmental Sciences Diploma course that I had started at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. I stayed in Zurich thereafter in order to conduct a PhD in international climate policy. I now work on the issue of climate policy at the UN Climate Change Conferences for Greenpeace International. In fact, I first got in touch with the Greenpeace folk thanks to my MSc thesis here at the ECI."

Apr 22, 2015 at 10:18 AM | Registered Commenterdennisa

The activist article linked to in the tweet above is hilarious. In it there is lots of hand-wringing about how science budgets are being cut, and yet this (i.e., science) is being lavishly funded. Of course, their beef is not that science is or isn't being funded, it is science they might not agree with on ideological grounds being funded that is the biggest problem...

In the activist mantra, funding by corporations is evil, but funding by governments is good and wholesome, and they are clearly worried that they will not be able to smear Lomborg as fossil-fuel funded industry shill (a la Soon) if he is getting some crumbs from the government.

Apr 22, 2015 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

Let's wait until ATTP shows up to explain/justify the tweet. He's in the loop.

Apr 22, 2015 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

"You can't imagine ever voting for a party that had Deben in it, can you?"

Sadly no, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.

Apr 22, 2015 at 10:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

Debden, Yuk! An awful individual. Another example that proves enablement has nothing to do with honesty, or good character.

Apr 22, 2015 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

It might be interesting to hear Lomborg's comments on this kind of criticism....

Apr 22, 2015 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

There is a Norwegian word for Deben-Gummer, as coined by Thorbjørn Berntsen. And that word is drittsekk.

Apr 22, 2015 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Do Deben's grandchildren get a choice about being force fed a politically processed green diet? Is it served with relish, as well as thanksgiving for the nicely stuffed pockets?

Apr 22, 2015 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

"Or pigs to overcome their aerodynamic and power to weight ratio problems as they take to the air
Apr 22, 2015 at 9:28 AM | Unregistered Commenter knr"

That made 'Oi Larf! But note that Bumble Bees were once supposed to be aerodynamically incapable of flight...

Apr 22, 2015 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Ward

Would flying pigs allow for bacon imports with a lower carbon footprint? Politicians do not need training to home in on troughs of money, surely squadrons of airborne porkers would follow such natural leaders?

Apr 22, 2015 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

I concur - vote UKIP.

Apr 22, 2015 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

I quite like Bjorn Lomborg, I think he does talk some sense on things related to the warming climate nonsense bollocks.

Thing is, I've always bracketed Mr. Lomborg and placing him firmly in the warmist camp, if the ecoloons treat one of their own so badly - there is no hope for the lot of them. Mind you left wing, control freaks and same with green-Fascism any and all left wing extremism, megalomania - is a form of psychotic illness. Perhaps, a golden opportunity if Mr. Lomborg could assign some funding via the department, to a group devoted to studying Lewandovsky's mental aberrations.

Apr 22, 2015 at 2:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.


"Deben would be overqualified for a job in the cinema"

Don't you mean underqualified? For a job as an usherette...

Apr 22, 2015 at 5:12 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

John S-G would rightly protest if I called him a thoroughly unpleasant, over-ambitious and greasy little man.

So instead I'll simply call him oleaginous, because he's unlikely to understand that yet it's him to a 'T'.

Apr 22, 2015 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerryM

What a savage indictment of this once great country of ours that a person with as little integrity as Deben is the chair of the ludicrously named Climate Change Committee.

Apr 22, 2015 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterH2O: the miracle molecule

H2O, but give him credit, the climate has not changed under his expert guidance.

And he has really enjoyed the bunger bunger culture.

Apr 22, 2015 at 6:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

For many of us living in Suffolk it is an embarrassment to have to admit that Gummer is a fellow resident of our fine county.
His latest unfounded comments merely reinforce this view.

Apr 22, 2015 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Jones

Steve Jones, could you suggest that JS-G visit Pin Mill at Woodbridge, and give advice on appropriate sea defences. According to experts like Hansen, it should still be visible when the tide goes out. But only just.

Apr 22, 2015 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

jamesp "Don't you mean underqualified? For a job as an usherette..."

Well thought out insults have been a bit of an art form in the Australian parliament. Not 100% sure of the details, but the following exchange is from the late '60s (I read it in an obituary for Fred Daly who died in '95),

Daly: The honourable member for xxx has the brains of a monkey.
Everybody: Outrageous, withdraw, withdraw...
Speaker: The member for yyy will withdraw that remark.
Daly: Very well Mr Speaker, I withdraw the remark. The honourable member for xxx has not the brains of a monkey.

Tricky to work that in with an overqualified "projectionist" or "usherette" I think, but it'd work quite well with "fool".

Apr 22, 2015 at 11:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Swan

I preferred Lord Deben when he was John Gummer. At least the voters in his constituency would then have the chance to vote him out of power. Now we are stuck with him.

Apr 23, 2015 at 8:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Robert Swan
Variation: "I did say the honourable member was an idiot and I'm sorry for it."
One of those "by the time the penny has dropped it's too late" remarks!

Apr 23, 2015 at 8:54 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Robert Swan

An old colleague of mine had been in the Navy, and had to check his captain's reports on fellow officers, one of which contained the damning phrase "I have seen this man drunk". He protested that this would blight the man's career, so the captain changed it to "I have seen this man sober"...

Apr 23, 2015 at 9:52 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

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