In September 2006, the Royal Society was apparently concerned about ExxonMobil's involvement in funding political lobby groups. This is what they said at that time.
The Society welcomes open debate, underpinned by sound science, on the subject of climate change.
This is an admirable position for the Royal Society to take. A national academy should demand open debate on scientific issues and must require the science that informs that debate to be sound.
This is important, because we have seen in the CRU emails that prominent climate scientists, among them one of the Society's own advisers, have attempted to prevent free debate on the subject of climate change. On an issue of such importance it is inconceivable that the Royal Society would not take an unequivocal stand.
In that same statement, the society also said this:
In September 2006, the Royal Society wrote to ExxonMobil to express concern that some of its corporate publications were presenting a misleading view of the scientific evidence about climate change and were over-emphasising uncertainties about what we do and don't know....
As the UK's national academy of science, the Royal Society has a responsibility to speak out when scientific evidence is misrepresented. We will continue to do this on climate change and on other issues.
It is essential that the scientific evidence on climate change is accurately represented so that policymakers, industry, the public and other stakeholders can make informed decisions about what actions to take.
I think all sides can agree that misrepresentation of the science to policymakers must be prevented. Informed decision-making by politicians is vital. Again, the need for a statement from the Royal Society is overwhelming. It is clear at least from "Mike's Nature trick" that scientific evidence has been misrepresented. (The argument that the word "trick" means "technique" when used in the context of "hiding the decline" is foolish in the extreme. The ready acceptance of this wordplay by journalists has brought them nothing but ridicule.) Removing evidence that tree ring proxies are failing to capture temperature changes is simple misrepresentation.
This is an important moment for the Royal Society. The evidence is clear - scientists at the CRU have misrepresented our understanding of the Earth's temperature history to policymakers. The Society must speak out now. If it does not, then the fellows must take a stand against the Society's leadership. Failing that the premier scientific body of the UK will forever be brushed aside as another mouthpiece for the environmental movement.