Tony at Harmless Sky has discovered that the BBC's much-vaunted review of climate science may have been cancelled. He hints at a reason why, which will be of much interest to those who have followed the Climategate inquiries and their determination to avoid hearing from informed sceptics. It 's only a rumour at the moment, but one hopes that the BBC will confirm or deny...
P Gosselin has a must-read post - a translation of an interview Hans von Storch gave to Handelsblatt. The take-home quote is this one, IMHO
We have to take a critical view of what happened. Nothing ought to be swept under the rug. Some of the inquests – like in Great Britain - failed at this. They blew an opportunity to re-establish trust.
Yup. Read the rest too.
Some Guy has set up a wiki based on the Medieval Warm Period blog of William of Baskerville. The idea is that German speakers can help with the translation of articles. If you speak German, do help if you can.
This is a translation of the interview with Reinhard Bohm that I mentioned a few days back. Many thanks to the reader who provided it. There are a couple of places where the meaning of the German original is unclear.
It is a great pleasure for me to be able to introduce to you one of the most well know Austrian climate scientists, Dr Reinhard Böhm from ZAMT(the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics). Dr Böhm is regarded as a well respected expert in the field of climate research, in particular for climate modelling of the Alpine region. (You can dowload his CV here with a selection of his publications). Dr. Böhm is a much sought-after guest commentator and interviewee for the mainstream media, (among others, Wiener Zeitung, Der Standard).
Via Klimazweibel, a whole new blog devoted to the question of whether there was a Medieval Warm Period or not. The author signs himself "William of Baskerville", but regrettably writes in German. I notice that he uses a hushmail account, which is something of an indictment of the state of climate science.
This interview with Austrian paleoclimatologist, Reinhard Böhm, looks very interesting from the machine translation. If anyone fancies translating it properly, I'm glad to post something up.
There is a really interesting article at the Times Higher Ed Supp, discussing the coalition of big business and big green - the baptists and the bootleggers - who have joined forces to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.
BP has a representative at the top of the Earth Institute. The European Commission funds offices for Friends of the Earth and the WWF. The UK government supports climate-change research. Have the poachers turned gamekeepers? Yes - although it might be more precise to say that the bootleggers have become Baptists. Everywhere, the bootleggers can be seen walking around in black, spouting biblical prophecies of doom - and growing ever richer in the process
Richard North is given space at Comment is Free to vent his spleen at George Monbiot.
An honest commentator would be joining us to ensure that the unsubstantiated claim by the IPCC is removed. But Mr Monbiot has instead resorted to ad hominem abuse which he – or his employers – justify as "fair comment".
Rather, he should be concerned, even if for entirely different reasons, that the response of the IPCC to a proven and egregious error has not been healthy. And an organisation which cannot admit error and deal with it is one that cannot be trusted.
The same might also be said of its supporters who, instead of dealing with the entirely justified criticisms, seek to attack the critics. By their deeds shall we know them and, in respect of his particular deeds in relation to "Amazongate", we have come to know Monbiot quite well.
Do we gather that Dr North's complaint to the PCC has been successful?
New Scientist has published a rather remarkable leader to go alongside its interview of Phil Jones:
For years, ruthless climate sceptics have harassed scientists, drowning them in freedom of information requests and subjecting them to vicious personal attacks. Climategate was merely the public face of this insurgent war. In that hostile climate, some scientists fired off personal emails that occasionally lacked decorum. The CRU accepts this. When will their opponents apologise for their own excesses?
It would be interesting to see whether the leader writer at New Scientist can explain from where they got the idea that CRU had drowned under FoI requests. This was not the finding of the inquiries. The Information Commissioner specifically told the Parliamentary Inquiry that the level of FoI requests was nothing out of the ordinary:
I am also bound to say that I think a figure of around 60 [requests] has been mentioned. That does not strike me as being an absolutely huge number...I do recall one example—I think it involved Birmingham City Council—where an individual made about 200 requests about a particular allotment site in Birmingham and how that was being developed.
I'd like to invite whoever it is that wrote this column to provide some backing for their claim - perhaps someone who is registered at the New Scientist website can pass the invitation on.
The transcripts for the questioning of Science minister David Willetts by the Science and Technology Select Committee are now available here. The extract relating to Climategate is as follows:
Q46 Graham Stringer: What lessons can be learned from the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia from the Climatic Research Unit there? Has that damaged the image of British science?
Mr Willetts: We have now had three inquiries into that episode and on many of the allegations I think the UEA and the research community there have come out essentially cleared of any of the allegations that were made of them but, equally, there are some lessons. Not everything was right, including proper data-keeping. The Government attaches a lot of importance to transparency, making sure that research data are accessible to the wider public as easily and quickly as possible. The latest investigation suggests, as I understand it, that most of their raw data could be accessed, I think the phrase is, within two minutes, but it is very important and people think that it is absolutely clear that that kind of data should be accessible and perhaps a certain defensiveness got hold amongst some scientists at the UEA precisely because of the criticism and attacks they were under from sceptics on the blogosphere. Instead of advancing forward and wanting to engage, it made them think, "What is this mischief maker doing and why the hell should we correspond with that?" I think there is a lesson for all of us in that.
Q47 Graham Stringer: Finally, is the image of British science damaged by this episode?
Mr Willetts: I hope not. Clearly the initial reporting of the original concerns went round the world, but we have now had three investigations covering different aspects of this, and although there are lessons to be learned I think they show that when it comes to the conduct of the science the work that was done at UEA, as I understand it, has passed muster when assessed by independent experts to check whether anything went wrong. My view is that their scientific work stands. There are lessons about how they engage with members of the public and others coming to them asking for data and information about what they are doing.
Pielke Jnr takes aim at an absurd article in PNAS (the journal that famously published the upside-down Mann paper and Anderegg's blacklist paper too).
Princeton' professor Michael Oppenheimer predicts that climate change will cause between 1.4 and 6.7 million Mexicans to move to the US, a finding that Pielke lucidly describes as "guesswork piled on top of "what ifs" built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions".
Even more damningly, one of Pielke's commenters points out that there are only 6.3m agricultural workers in Mexico. For Oppenheimer to predict that they will all move north seems preposterous.