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"?
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.
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.
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.
...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.”
[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.]
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.
The Times covers John Graham-Cumming's discoveries of a series of errors in the Met Office's code for its HADCRUT temperature index. The article also quotes none other than Bob Ward speaking up in favour of data availability.
Glenn Reynolds makes some interesting comparisons between the slow burn story of Climategate and the Bellesiles scandal, an earlier tale of academic misconduct and political mudslinging.
Roger Harrabin, writing in the comments to this thread, has clarified the arrangements for his interview with Phil Jones. You may remember that there was a rumour that although the interview appeared to have been undertaken in writing, there was in fact a recording as well but that this had been squashed by the BBC bigwigs because Jones didn't come over well.
Roger H's comment is as follows:
Professor Jones agreed the interview with me on the strict condition that it was not broadcast. I pressed to do TV and radio but was refused. The university say he is not well enough to do a broadcast interview. The BBC kept the deal. For the BBC news website interview I sought questions from several prominent climate sceptics.
Make of it what you will.
A couple of interesting climategate postings over at Nature's website - some more statements from Phil Jones, the most startling of which is this:
I don't think we should be taking much notice of what's on blogs because they seem to be hijacking the peer-review process.
Golly. I can't imagine for a minute which journals have had their peer review process hijacked by us motley band of sceptics.
Then there's this piece by Daniel Cressey, who does a reasonable job of rounding up the developments on the Russell Review and the latest errors from the IPCC. He then blows it unfortunately by suggesting that readers head over to RealClimate to get a good dose of truth, which looks slightly foolish given that these are the guys who are being investigated.
Unless Daniel Cressey, like his boss Philip Campbell, knows something about the outcome of the review already.
Well, well, well. You really can't pull the wool over Steve McIntyre's eyes can you? It turns out that the issues paper for the CRU emails review was written, not by Sir Muir Russell, but by Professor Geoffrey Boulton, the secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the body that is supplying the secretariat to the review, the man who works along the hall from Hockey Team staffers, the man who promotes global warming, the man who stands in breach of the panel's own rules but refuses to stand down.
No wonder he's staying put - he's running the show.
In the comments to the CA piece, Mr Pete notes that the PDF was generated from a Word file and that the Word file's author was Boulton too.
Sir Muir Russell and his team have rejected the concerns of those of those sceptics who have questioned his suitability as a panel member.
Sir Muir Russell said:
"This Review must determine if there is evidence of poor scientific practice, as well as investigate allegations around the manipulation and suppression of data.
"As others have pointed out, it would be impossible to find somebody with the qualifications and experience we need who has not formed an opinion on climate change.
"I am completely confident that each member of the Review team has the integrity, the expertise, and the experience to complete our work impartially."
Unfortunately it is not Sir Muir who needs to be confident of the integrity of the review team, it is the public who will be the consumers of his findings. Sir Muir said at the start of his review that he considered it important to carry the confidence of sceptics. It seems clear now that this is not an issue that is occupying his mind any longer.
There are a few little stories floating around at the moment which I'll post here.
Cool Dude in the comments reports a rumour that Roger Harrabin recorded an interview with Phil Jones but decided not to run with it since Jones came over so badly.
Sources have told me there was a recorded interview and it was decided at high level not to use it because Jones didn't come across very well.
I hope someone from the BBC will comment here because if true this will smack strongly of the BBC playing at a PR service to the environmental movement rather than news reporting on behalf of the licence fee payer. The BBC Trust is soon going to begin a review of the corporation's perceived lack of neutrality on the climate change issue, so a suppression of Jones' interview after the announcement of this review would look very bad and moreover positively reckless.
Perhaps Roger Harrabin could head off this kind of criticism by posting the raw footage on the BBC website.