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Wednesday
Apr072010

David Henderson in the FT

David Henderson has a letter in the Financial Times:

In an area of policy where so much is at stake, and so much remains uncertain and unsettled, policies should be evolutionary and adaptive, rather than presumptive as they are now; and their evolution should be linked to a process of inquiry and review that is more thorough, balanced, open and objective than has so far been the case.

Wednesday
Apr072010

Keith Hunter on climategate

The Royal Society of New Zealand has issued an interesting statement on the shambles that is climate science. Prof Keith Hunter's position is nuanced and seems a long way from the political utterances of the Royal Society. Hunter's is not a sceptic position, but there is at least some common ground.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr072010

WaPo on climate models

The Washington Post has an interesting article on climate models which features Gavin Schmidt making a robust defence of their usefulness:

Put in the conditions on Earth more than 20,000 years ago: they produce an Ice Age, NASA's Schmidt said. Put in the conditions from 1991, when a volcanic eruption filled the earth's atmosphere with a sun-shade of dust. The models produce cooling temperatures and shifts in wind patterns, Schmidt said, just like the real world did.

If the models are as flawed as critics say, Schmidt said, "You have to ask yourself, 'How come they work?' "

Now last time I heard, the models could get into an ice age but couldn't get out again, so I'm not sure whether Gavin is being entirely straight with us here. Perhaps the models have moved on though, although one could still wonder if they could move so quickly from not being able to get out of an ice age to being useful.

Tuesday
Apr062010

Mann and the IG

Fox News is reporting some interesting details of the second investigation into Michael Mann.

It was those e-mails, stolen from British university East Anglia's climate study group, that sparked Penn State's probe into Mann's work. On Feb. 3, he was exonerated on three of four charges, and the investigation of the fourth charge will be concluded by June 3. 

But the final say will be in the hands of a skeptical inspector general at the National Science Foundation, the primary funder of the research into global warming. According to published documents obtained by FoxNews.com, the IG must determine whether Penn State's investigation was adequate.

I'm not sure why they refer to him as a skeptical inspector general though.

Tuesday
Apr062010

Wiki on the Hockey Stick Illusion

There is now a Wikipedia article on the Hockey Stick Illusion.

Tuesday
Apr062010

Henninger in the WSJ

Daniel Henninger has an interesting op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, looking at post-modern science, the precautionary principle and how scientists are going to get themselves out of the pickle they are in.

 

Monday
Apr052010

What is the consensus based upon?

The FT changes tune slightly and admits there might be a tiny problem with climatology. The walls are not exactly tumbling down yet, but it may be that the Pink'un is struggling to hold the line.

Interestingly, they tell us that the IPCC needs to "give weight to all the evidence, not just the consensus". This appears to be an admission that the "consensus" is (a) not a consensus and (b) is based on a partial selection of the available evidence.

I agree with them.

I think, however, that the FT should expect a campaign of criticism.

 

Monday
Apr052010

French academy shames British one

Much excitement in France over the announcement that there is to be a national debate on climate change under the auspices of the French National Academy.

The move appears to have been prompted by the success of L'Imposture Climatique, a book by the sceptic scientist Claude Allegre, who has sold no less than 100,000 copies so far (a number which makes me extremely jealous).

The striking thing about the story though is what it reveals about the attitude of the French Academy of Sciences:

Noting that the Academy does not take sides on the issue, and that the Academy’s website already reports the views of scientists on both sides of the debate, [Academy president, Jean] Salençon aims to defend the scientific method and the principles of scientific inquiry, not any one scientific position. When asked if sanctions might be in the cards for Allegre, a member of the Academy, or any other climate sceptics, he replied: "Under no circumstances! There is no question of ethical sanctions. Even less of an expulsion. The nomination for the Academy of Sciences is perpetual. It cannot be reversed, not even through a resignation.”

Defending the principles of scientific inquiry eh? Not an approach that would win much favour with the grubby lobbyists of the Royal Society, with their guide to Facts and Fictions About Climate Change.

 

Sunday
Apr042010

Rational Optimist

Matt Ridley has a new website up, promoting his new book, the Rational Optimist. There is also a blog, which should be interesting. Welcome to the blogosphere, Matt!

Sunday
Apr042010

Quote of the day

Greenpeace announces its new approach towards climate sceptics:

We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

And we be many, but you be few.



Saturday
Apr032010

US availability

A couple of people have asked about US availability for the Hockey Stick Illusion. We are currently discussing a possible deal with a US publisher. While these talks are ongoing we are not going to ship any further copies to Amazon in the States.

I am not confident that we will do a deal, because the publisher concerned is talking about very long lead times to get the book to print - as much as a year. I hope we can persuade them that this is not a good idea. If not, we will start to ship to Amazon.com again and will also start work on ebook editions.

Once again, if anyone knows a tame North American publisher, I'd love to be put in touch.

Update: Try here if you are outside the UK.

Friday
Apr022010

Dundee Courier

For local readers, there is a full-page feature about yours truly and The Hockey Stick Illusion in today's Dundee Courier. It's not online at the moment.

Thursday
Apr012010

Der Spiegel

Blimey. Peter Webster's comments in the Der Spiegel article are quite something, aren't they?

While amateur climatologist McIntyre spent years begging in vain for the raw data, Webster eventually managed to convince Jones to send them to him. He is the only scientist to date who has been given access to the data. "To be honest, I'm shocked by the sloppy documentation," Webster told SPIEGEL.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr012010

Russell review submissions

Sir Muir and his band of merry men have published some of the submissions they have received. Included among them is a letter I wrote to Sir Muir after the resignation of Philip Campbell, suggesting a way by which his panel could appoint a mutually acceptable replacement. I didn't received a reply to this, or to a subsequent email. It's rather odd to see it now listed as a submission to the panel.

 

Thursday
Apr012010

New Nature climate change journal

Nature is launching a new cross-disciplinary climate change journal.

Nature Climate Change will publish original research across the physical and social sciences on a monthly basis and will strive to forge and synthesize interdisciplinary research. As such, it will be the first Nature branded journal to publish peer-review content from the social sciences community.

I've left a comment asking if they are going to require authors to submit data and code with their manuscripts.