Updated on Jul 1, 2011 by Bishop Hill
The AGW upholder community is all a-quiver with the news that Willie Soon received a lot of money from the oil industry. Even Monbiot himself is on the case, with a stream of tweets on the subject:
Secret funding of climate change deniers exposed again: bit.ly/m6Yjlp. Key issue here is that interests never declared.
UEA have relented and provided copies of the invoices I asked to see.
This has thrown some light on the issue I hoped to address, namely the status of the Russell panel. There are a couple of invoices in there that are addressed directly to the Climate Change Emails Review. This would appear to suggest that the panel was a "wholly-owned subsidiary". This would suggest to me that Muir Russell's emails are subject to FOI.
...the dangers from future climate change are ratcheting up year after year. The world’s media have become increasingly full of images of collapsing ice shelves, stranded polar bears, raging hurricanes, lands stricken by drought, fires sweeping across southern Australia and deserts spreading. The ice caps are melting in both the Arctic and Antarctic. But all this is only an overture to trouble on a much grander scale. The runaway transformation of the Earth’s climate may become the worst crisis of human history.
Now that's funny, because I read just this morning that Antarctic Sea ice is at an all-time high. Melting means something different when you are a multimillionaire it seems.
Via Richard Klein's Twitter feed comes this interview with Raymond Bradley in which he discusses his new book. Fascinating stuff, particularly this bit:
In 1998, a post-doc, Mike Mann, Malcolm Hughes and I published an article in Nature on climate in the last 600 years (Mann et al. 1998). Then, in 1999, we published another article in Geophysical Research Letters on temperature over the last 1000 years (Mann et al. 1999). The title was “Northern hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: inferences, uncertainties, and limitations.” We were emphasising the uncertain nature of the problem. But nevertheless, when it got picked up by the summary for policymakers of the third Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, important caveats were left out.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has issued a somewhat overwrought statement, parts of which look like a despairing plea for the Mann emails to be kept under wraps:
The sharing of research data is vastly different from unreasonable, excessive Freedom of Information Act requests for personal information and voluminous data that are then used to harass and intimidate scientists. The latter serve only as a distraction and make no constructive contribution to the public discourse.
This month's tip drive is now upon us. Last month's innovation of the "Subscribe" button garnered four readers who will make regular payments to keep the BH blog on the road. Thanks to them and to those who have hit the donate button too. If you haven't donated before, maybe now is the time...
Doug Keenan is interviewed in The Register about the recent decision of the Information Commissioner. I liked Orlowski's comment:
Reader comments on the story have produced some fascinating responses: lifelong anti-copyright zealots can be found explaining the benefits of copyright, and veteran "open data" crusaders advocating data be kept under wraps. Climate debates can do strange things, with cherished principles being jettisoned - the means apparently justifying the ends.
This article, by N.G. McCrum (a pseudonym, I'm guessing) was originally published in the Oxford Magazine, a publication distributed to university staff. I am reproducing it here with the permission of the publisher. It is the sequel to an earlier article.
A second letter to a Climate Correspondent: the Rise and Fall of the Hockey Stick
My dear Fiona,
I have just read your first essay as climate correspondent in today’s London Sentinel and my pride in your achievement on reaching this pinnacle is immense but tempered with a nagging worry. My dear, your background knowledge is appalling! As your aunt and a retired press officer in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, I am e-mailing you quickly to give you warning that your ignorance has led you into a terrible blunder.
One of the apocalypsers we follow on a regular basis here at BH is Sir David King, the former government chief scientist. He's in the news again today, pressuring David Cameron into action on climate:
David Cameron must end his silence on climate change and "step up to the plate" to provide international leadership, the former government chief scientific adviser Prof Sir David King says on Wednesday.
Writing in the Guardian, King also reveals that after his declaration that global warming was a greater threat than global terrorism in 2004, then US president, George Bush, asked Tony Blair, then prime minster, for to have him gagged.
Gregory Barker, the climate change minister has given an interview to the Guardian in which he discusses problems with the climate change debate. He also touches on Climategate:
Barker said: "Over the last two years the climate agenda has been on the back foot. The IPCC scandal last year, the email leaks from the University of East Anglia – all were grist to the mill of the climate sceptics.
Martin Robbins really is a very interesting blogger. I'm sure we disagree on lots of things and he's very rude about sceptics as well, but to see his thought process set out is absolutely fascinating.
His latest post is about the shortlist for the annual awards of the Association of British Science Writers and it is a case in point. He is complaining about the fact that most of the people on the shortlist are either with New Scientist or the BBC and the fact that science writers don't get the time to do proper investigative journalism these days. He moves from there to the closeness of science writers to scientists, a situation he compares to the problems with the Westminster political village:
John Cook, of Skeptical Science fame, has an article in The Age, in which he is very rude about Bob Carter:
A Yiddish proverb states ''a half truth is a whole lie''. By withholding vital information, it's possible to lead you towards the opposite conclusion to the one you would get from considering the full picture. In Bob Carter's opinion piece on this page yesterday, this technique of cherry-picking half-truths is on full display, with frequent examples of statements that distort climate science.
Here are a few bits and pieces that you may not have seen from the last few days.
Two years on, BH reader Jonathan Jones has managed to extract the CRUTEM data from UEA, with the Information Commissioner coming down almost completely against UEA's stonewalling. Huge kudos is due. Lucia is much amused by the commissioner's wording.
The Department of Energy & Climate Change has issued the latest lists of meetings attended by ministers. It appears that Huhne and his buddies are still vigorously resisting any possibility of speaking to anyone who might question anything they do - only energy companies and environmentalists are welcome. Trespassers will be prosecuted.
I was intrigued by a meeting attended by Huhne's deputy Greg Barker. Barker met with energy retailers to discuss, among other things, "information on consumers' bills". Is this where the government says "you will not break out the cost of green taxes on bills under any circumstances"?
I've written to ask.