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Thursday
Feb252010

Acton analysis

I've now had a chance to cast an eye over Sir Edward Acton's contribution to the Parliamentary Select Committee's inquiry into CRU. Like many commenters, I'm not impressed.

It's every man for himself

The contribution is billed as as being submitted by Sir Edward, "with additional comment provided, where indicated, by the University's Climatic Research Unit". It's interesting to note, therefore, that the controversial sections are attributed to the CRU rather than to Sir Edward, so there's a strong hint that the UEA boss is not confident enough of what Jones et al are saying to want to put his name against it. Joint and several liability is a dangerous thing when giving evidence to one's political masters, it seems.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb252010

McIntyre and Harrison

One of my favourite political bloggers, "Tom Paine", says some nice things about the Hockey Stick Illusion in an interesting essay charting the parallels between Steve McIntyre's experiences at the hands of the scientific establishment and those of John Harrison, the man who solved the problem of longitude.

 

Thursday
Feb252010

Acton's submission to the parliamentary inquiry

Sir Edward Acton's submission to the parliamentary inquiry is available here. I'll post a reaction once I've read it.

Thursday
Feb252010

Josh 5

Willis Eschenbach is unimpressed with Judith Curry's attempts to form a middle ground between sceptics and alarmists.

 

Thursday
Feb252010

JG-C confirms the errors in HADCRUT

John Graham-Cumming reports that the Met Office has confirmed the errors found by him and his readers. The effect of the correction will be a slight narrowing of the error bars. Well done to JG-C.

 

Wednesday
Feb242010

Josh 4

Wednesday
Feb242010

Prospect of change

Prospect magazine, the house journal of the bien-pensant centre-left is the latest media outlet to throw in the towel and start discussing the other side of the climate debate. In its current issue it publishes a broadly sceptic take on the quality of the temperature records and notes some of the Climategate revelations.

Well worth a look.

 

Wednesday
Feb242010

Leo Hickman on anonymity

The Guardian's Leo Hickman has added his thoughts to my earlier piece commenting on his call for climate bloggers to lose their anonymity. This, he believes, will create trust in what they are saying. Many readers have responded with thoughtful contributions, and in particular I'd echo Lucia's point about the nature of the problem being one of the public not trusting the scientists rather than the other way round, as Leo seems to think. Turning Tide also points out that anonymity of commenters does encourage readers to assess comments on the arguments made rather than any spurious authority of the writer.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb242010

Can a leopard change its spots?

Fox News reports that the IPCC is on the brink of making major changes to the way it does business.

In the wake of its swift and devastating fall from grace, the panel says it will announce "within the next few days" that it plans to make significant though as yet unexplained changes in how it does business. 

Brenda Abrar-Milani, an external relations officer at the IPCC's office in Geneva, Switzerland, said changes have been slow in coming because "we have to inform the governments (all 194 member States) of any planned steps, and they are the ones who eventually take decisions on any revision of procedures."

"We put everything on the table and looked at it," she said, explaining that the panel's reforms would be extensive. She refused to detail any of the changes, but she did confirm that are in response to recent scandals involving the panel.

The article quotes Steve McIntyre, whose reaction seems to have been the same as mine:

Steve McIntyre, who also worked at the IPPC and whose blog, Climate Audit, has been one of the most vocal critics of the panel, says that while cries for reform have become loud, "very little thought has yet been put into what changes have to be made."

"I don't think they plan to change very much," he said. "They just don't know how to reform it."

 

Wednesday
Feb242010

Curry and Hickman in the Guardian

It looks as though Judith Curry is going to have a piece up at the Guardian in which she continues in her struggle to bridge the chasm between the sceptics and the mainstream. It's not available yet, but reader Fran Codwire, in the comments, has caught a glimpse of Graun regular Leo Hickman's response, which looks as though it will appear before Curry's original.

Hickman's contribution seems like something of a rant to me, holding McIntyre and Watts responsible for the contributions of their commenters and apparently demanding that anonymous commenters be unmasked. This is the only rational explanation I can reach when he says "I think until those that frequent these sites come out from behind the cloak of anonymity that most of them choose to hide behind very few people, particularly climate scientists, will be willing to trust the motives of this army of DIY auditors."

I mean, how will retribution be handed out if nobody knows who these people are?

 

Wednesday
Feb242010

Cartoons by Josh

Resident cartoonist, Josh, has started a dedicated website for his climate related work. See it here.

This seems like an admirable opportunity for me to purloin some more of his output

 

Wednesday
Feb242010

Timmy in the Express

Tim Worstall has a piece on the economics of climate change in the Daily Express, which is excellent and not just because he manages to squeeze in a reference to the Hockey Stick Illusion in passing.

Tuesday
Feb232010

A review of the Wellington debate

These are the impressions of the global warming debate held at Wellington College of commenter Atomic Hairdryer.

The Wellington Squared debate, a sceptic's view (link)


Motion to be debated was

"The prophets of global warming are guilty of scaremongering"


The venue was interesting. An imposing college built as a monument to Wellington for his services in that old British tradition of warring with the French. The debate itself was held in the chapel, which may have been appropriate given global warming as a religion and prophets but was a somewhat awkward arrangement. The pews were at 90 degrees to the altar where the debaters and screen was placed so not as comfortable as the RI.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb232010

Inhofe demands investigation of Mann

James Inhofe, uber-sceptic senator from Oklahoma, has called for an investigation of Michael Mann.

Just prior to a hearing at 10:00 a.m. EST, Senator Inhofe released a minority staff report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, of which he is ranking member. Senator Inhofe is asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether there has been research misconduct or criminal actions by the scientists involved, including Dr. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University and Dr. James Hansen of Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Science.

If this happens it could be quite interesting. Inhofe is pointing at major issues that are not really being touched elsewhere, such as the pressurising of scientific journals. It would be interesting to see if the Senate could get people like Famiglietti and Saiers to explain exactly what went on at Geophysical Research Letters when McIntyre and McKitrick's 2005 paper was submitted.

 

Tuesday
Feb232010

Rip it up and start again

Fox News seems to have something of an exclusive, with a story that the Met Office is proposing creation of a new verifiable set of global temperature data. Something of an admission in there, wouldn't you say.

At a meeting on Monday of about 150 climate scientists, representatives of Britain's weather office quietly proposed that the world's climatologists start all over again to produce a new trove of global temperature data that is open to public scrutiny and "rigorous" peer review.

I am almost certainly an incorrigible cynic, because I just can't get out of my head the idea that this will mean that the existing CRU data and code will remain off limits, while scientists spend a decade or more creating this new temperature set.