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Thursday
Feb182010

Jones in Sciencemag

There is an extended interview with Phil Jones in Sciencemag. I think it's fair to say that people are going to take issue with some of the things he has to say.

Thursday
Feb182010

David Henderson on Newsnight

Viewers in Scotland should be able to catch David Henderson talking about climate policy in the wake of Climategate on Newsnight tonight. I gather it's only going to be shown on the Scottish edition of the programme, so those of you south of the border will miss out unless it turns up on YouTube.

Thursday
Feb182010

Use the unthreaded link

Please could readers who want to make general and off topic comments use the unthreaded posting. I've added a link at the top of the navigation bar so you can always find it.

I'd also appreciate it if commenters would maintain a calm tone and refrain from making rash remarks.

 

Thursday
Feb182010

Hiding the decline

Thursday
Feb182010

de Boer steps down

The BBC is reporting that top climate official, Yvo de Boer, is stepping down. Perhaps indicative of some behind-the-scenes manoevring?

Thursday
Feb182010

Climategate fallout

There an interesting article at the Times Higher Educational Supplement which suggests that UEA researchers outside CRU, or even the School of Environmental Sciences, may be experiencing blowback from the Climategate scandal.

Last week, a research paper by Thomas Nann, a professor in UEA's School of Chemistry, was covered by the popular science magazine New Scientist.

The story was based on a paper co-authored by Professor Nann, "Water splitting by visible light: A nanophotocathode for hydrogen production", which outlines a new technique for converting photoelectrons to hydrogen with a 60 per cent efficiency rate.

But comments posted online suggest that although the research has nothing to do with the work of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), which is at the centre of the Climategate controversy, it is being questioned because it emanates from UEA.

"I am suspicious about the 60 per cent figure (because) it comes from UEA, which ... has suffered from the recent CRU scandal," one reader writes.

Another says: "For me, at least, whenever anyone mentions research from UEA, the Climategate scandal and bad scientific practices will come to mind ... I feel bad for the students now that the institution is somewhat of a national joke."

You can only feel sympathy for researchers who are suffering guilt by association in this way. Let's hope for their sakes that the CCE review doesn't turn into the whitewash we all expect it to.

 

Wednesday
Feb172010

...a British geologist with the IPCC...

This is interesting: an old article (2008) from the Gulf News in which Geoffrey Boulton is described as "a British geologist with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change".

 

 

Wednesday
Feb172010

Sir Muir on independence

I can't remember seeing this before, but even if it has been mentioned, it's worth reminding ourselves of what has been said. This is what Sir Muir said shortly after his appointment as head of the CCE Review:

"Given the nature of the allegations, it is right someone who has no links to either the university or the climate science community looks at the evidence and makes recommendations based on what they find."

It's possible he has changed his mind.

 

Wednesday
Feb172010

Mosher in PJs

Steve Mosher, the man who broke the CRU emails story and author of Climategate: The CRUtape Letters, is interviewed on PJTV. Some interesting thoughts on what it means and why the US press has largely ignored it.

Wednesday
Feb172010

That Boulton IPCC connection

An eagle-eyed commenter has noticed that the CCE Review webpage now carries a new FAQ item addressing the concerns raised at Climate Audit, and echoed here, that Geoffrey Boulton appears to have been involved in the IPCC process.

What they say is this:

Some of the blogs are saying that Professor Geoffrey Boulton is connected to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – is this true?
No, it is not true. Professor Boulton has had no formal contact with the IPCC. He has not been a member of the Panel or made any submissions to it.

First up, it's good that the review panel are responding to concerns raised out here on the blogs. Having sent Sir Muir two emails since the review was announced back in December and having not yet received a reply or even an acknowledgement to either, it's nice to know that there is a way to get a hearing.

However, the statement today still leaves something of a mystery. If Prof Boulton has never been a member of the IPCC or made any submissions to it, why does his old CV say that his contributions to science and research policy include work "As contributor to G8 Preparatory Groups and Intergovernmental Panels on climate change"?

 

Wednesday
Feb172010

Intelligence squared debate on scaremongering

This looks interesting: a debate on global warming scaremongering at Wellington College (a very posh school, if you are an overseas reader), which will take place on Sunday.

They told us the polar bears were going to drown; they told us the Himalayan glaciers were going to melt by the year 2035. Now we learn both claims are untrue. They assured us they were engaged in unbiased science. And then we read their emails and found that they'd deliberately suppressed inconvenient facts. What are we to make of these disclosures? Are they just minor scratches on the solid structure of climate change theory, or are they emblematic of something far more troubling? Can we still trust the climate change experts or have they been guilty of exaggerating the threat in order to draw attention to their cause?

The speakers are David Davis MP and Prof Philip Stott versus Mark Lynas and David Aaronovitch.

 

Wednesday
Feb172010

To submit or not to submit

Doug Keenan in the comments wonders if sceptics should make submissions to the Russell Review, now it seems clear that its representations on the independence of the panellists are hollow.

Please feel free to discuss here.

 

Wednesday
Feb172010

Geoffrey Boulton and the IPCC

The news of the day is the discovery by Climate Audit readers that until quite recently Geoffrey Boulton's CV included in the information that he was involved in the IPCC process. This detail, together with the fact that he had worked at UEA for twenty years, was omitted from the version of his CV that was presented to the press when the Russell Review panel was announced.

While the omission of his time at UEA was explained to the press corps, the fact of his involvement with the IPCC was not, an oversight that is problematic in view of the panel's statements that none of the panellists had IPCC links.

Read the whole thing.

 

Tuesday
Feb162010

No, he did say it....

...or something very like it.

I'm referring to the recent kerfuffle over whether Sir John Houghton did actually say the controversial words that have been ascribed to him for many years. These words:

Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen.

A few days ago, after years of this quotation doing the rounds of sceptic blogs, Sir John suddenly denied that these words had ever passed his lips, pointing out that they didn't actually appear in his book, to which early citations had pointed as the original source. Cue much gnashing of teeth and wailing about "deniers".

There has now been another development in this story, reported by Benny Peiser, who took a certain amount of stick for repeating the quotation over the years, including a demand from Sir John that he issue an apology. In a posting on the GWPF website today, Benny relates how Professor John Adams has unearthed from his archives an clipping from the Daily Telegraph, dating right back to 1995. In it, Sir John is quoted as follows:

“If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.”

Oh dear.

The story was originally broken on Professor Adams' blog here. More here.

[Update: Benny asks me to make absolutely clear that he is passing the story on and the credit is due to Professors Adams and Stott]

[PS: If you ever get the chance to read Professor Adams' Risk, it's well worth it. It's one of those books that makes you smile with its deliciously counter-intuitive thinking.]

 

Tuesday
Feb162010

Keenan responds to Jones

Doug Keenan has taken issue with the way Nature has described his complaint against Phil Jones co-author Wei-Chyung Wang. In particular they seem to have missed the point that the evidence Wang cited didn't actually exist.

His comments are here.