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Here is the link to the BBC World Service Interview I did earlier today. There is also a podcast here.


Intriguing possibility

From Lord Oxburgh's report, paragraph 3 of 26.

The eleven representative publications that the Panel considered in detail are listed in Appendix B. The papers cover a period of more than twenty years and were selected on the advice of the Royal Society. All had been published in international scientific journals and had been through a process of peer review. CRU agreed that they were a fair sample of the work of the Unit. The Panel was also free to ask for any other material that it wished and did so. Individuals on the panel asked for and reviewed other CRU research materials.

So, not only did the Royal Society pick the members of the panel, but they also picked the papers that were to be examined.

I wonder who it was within the Royal Society that might have done this work. I mean, one would need a pretty in-depth understanding of climatology to be able to pick a representative sample of papers from the CRU oeuvre would one not? That sort of understanding isn't found on every street corner. So who might they have turned to?

How about the Royal Society Advisory Group on Climate Change? You know, the one with Phil Jones as a member.

They wouldn't have would they?


More radio

I've just returned from Edinburgh where I did an interview for the Newshour show on the World Service. Listeners in the UK should be able to hear it again on the iPlayer shortly. They are also going to use a clip on the 1800 news too (presumably Radio 4).

The interview went much better than the last time. I made the point that the scope of the panel missed key allegations and cited Ross McKitrick's point that Jones had inserted baseless statements into the IPCC reports.

The interviewer came back asking whether sceptics would ever be satisified. I said that we would, if presented with evidence that the allegations were false. For example I pointed out that Ross McK had listed the evidence that would have to be produced to disprove the allegation that Jones had fabricated parts of the IPCC report.

At this point they cut me off, which was a pity, because I wanted to point out that the panel's point that the IPCC had misrepresented CRU science was risible, the IPCC authors in question being CRU people anyway.

Still, all in all, I'm not too unhappy with my performance.


The Oxburgh report


It's the climate, innit?

Matt Ridley:

A scientist does a study of how Arctic seabirds die. It's not a bad idea: die they do, but not from the usual diseases and predators that kill birds in more temperate zones. So what does kill them?

He pores over thousands of records from birdwatchers in the Arctic and concludes that weather-related events kill a lot of them. Fulmars run into cliffs in fog, Murres get buried in landslides when cliffs collapse. Birds get swept away in storms. And so on.

Now the scientist has two options. He can say in a paper that a lot of Arctic birds die due to `factors related to weather' and bask in perpetual obscurity. Or he can slip in, just before the word `weather', the phrase `climate and'...

Read the whole thing.


Slap it on all over

Rumour has it that Lord Oxburgh has completed the scientific review of the CRU, which will be published tomorrow. That was quick, wasn't it? I don't know about you but I haven't even seen terms of reference yet. Whitewashing is a quick job isn't it?

Is anyone going to take any bets as to whether the scope of Lord O's work is so restricted as to prevent him investigating the most serious allegations?



It's true!

Regular readers may recall a short piece I posted a few weeks back in which a correspondent alerted me to the potential for fraud in the solar power industry. The prices paid for green energy were so high that it appeared to be profitable to generate that energy by shining conventionally fuelled arclights on the solar panels.

Although the exact details are slightly different there is now an intriguing report of the scam in practice. The text is based on a machine translation of the original German text:

After press reports,  it was established during inspections that several solar power plants were generating current and feeding it into the net at night. To simulate a larger installation capacity, the operators connected diesel generators.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said one industry expert to the newspaper "El Mundo", which brought the scandal to light. If solar systems apparently produce current in the dark,  will be noticed sooner or later. However, if  electricity generators were connected during daytime, the swindle would hardly be noticed.

As I said last time around, this is the insanity of greenery.


Courier feature

This is the feature about yours truly that appeared in the Dundee Courier a couple of weeks ago.

Climate of change

TAKE AN ice hockey stick and lay it on its side. The now horizontal shaft, according  — while the blade, pointing practically straight upwards, is temperature over the last few decades. Accelerating, running away, threatening the planet.

Click to read more ...


A chat with Graham Stringer

A few days ago I wondered how the Science and Technology Select Committee had managed to exonerate Phil Jones on several of the charges against him without actually having any evidence for the defence. Despite having previously expressed a willingness to discuss the report, committee chairman Phil Willis was subsequently refused to explain this extraordinary set of circumstances.

Somewhat exasperated, I dropped a line to Graham Stringer, who, readers may remember, was the only member of the committee who seemed to have any great interest in probing for answers to the questions raised by the Climategate emails. He was also the sole dissenter from the majority opinion represented by the report.

Click to read more ...


The modern climatologist

What a poetic bunch my readers are. This (IMHO) is the pick of the comments on the Milibandias thread although the whole lot are well worth a read. This is by Geoff Chambers, with apologies to WS Gilbert.

I am the very model of a modern climatologist
I’m partly statistician, partly palaeo-phrenologist
I’ve temperature readings from thermometers coniferous
my data are the same (or not, well, maybe) as Keith Briffa has
I bought them from a bloke who brought them hotfoot from Siberia
and mixed them with some algae from the mud in Lake Superior.
When counting different isotopes I’m really in my element
and sucking up to journalists from Guardian Environment
I know what makes the treerings from Siberia to the Rockies tick
And I can make spaghetti and transform it to a hockeystick.
My data’s got dark matter that would shatter a cosmologist
I am the very model of a modern climatologist



Diggers wanted

There has been some interest expressed in the idea of doing some more digging into the extent of green propaganda in schools. If anyone wants to get involved please could they drop me a line.



Reader Dreadnought has been moved to poetry:

I met a traveller from a distant shire
Who said: A vast and pointless shaft of steel
Stands on a hill top… Near it, in the mire,
Half sunk, a shattered turbine lies, whose wheels
And riven blades and snarls of coloured wire
Tell that its owners well their mission read
Which did not last nor, nowhere to be seen,
The hand that paid them and the empty head.
And scrawled around the base these lines are clear:
‘My name is Millibandias, greenest Green.
Look on my works, ye doubters, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round this display
Of reckless cost and loss, blotless and fair,
The green and pleasant landscape rolls away.


Josh 17

More cartoons by Josh here.



George signs off

There is a curious article by George Monbiot in the Guardian, in which he looks at the question of whether requests for Phil Jones' data were vexatious and concludes that the data should have been out in the open anyway.

What is interesting is that George suggests this will be his last article on the Climategate affair.

This is probably the last piece I'll write on the hacked emails saga. Unless the two remaining inquiries throw up something unexpected, there is not a lot more to say.

Click to read more ...


Acton in the THES

The Times Higher Educational Supplement has secured an interview with Professor Edward Acton, the vice-chancellor of UEA. Professor Acton sees the possibility of positive outcomes to the Climategate affair.