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Bob's boss in bizarre hoax

It's not often I link readers to the Sun, but this turned up via a Google alert. It appears that Bob Ward's colleague at the Science Media Centre, the former revolutionary communist, Fiona Fox, is something of a practical joker. Fox, readers may remember, has called for sceptic views to be avoided in media coverage of global warming.

She is also apparently a close friend of Jim Devine, a former Labour MP who is now facing fraud charges over his expense claims. She appears to have got herself involved in a bizarre and rather nasty practical joke involving Devine and his office manager, and which has now led to a substantial damages award against the politician.

They're a rum lot at the Science Media Centre aren't they?



William Connolley has been topic banned by Wikipedia. Climate change is now off-limits for WC.



Patchy is apparently staying on at the IPCC.


More Bob bashing

In the wake of Delingpole's wading into Ward, Jo Nova has picked up on the LSE man's (ahem) critique of Bob Carter on ABC in Australia the other day.

Ward produces a file of typos and inanities so long, hardly anyone will read it. It allows him to make vague claims about “inaccurate data” and hidden in the fine print it turns out the inaccurate data was made by someone else, not Bob Carter, and when corrected, it doesn’t change the meaning of Carter’s message anyway.


New historic temp series

There is a new historic temperature series available. There is a small problem though: the data is all handwritten. Volunteers are therefore being sought to translate the data into machine readable formats.

World War One ships chart past climate

The public are being asked to revisit the voyages of World War One Royal Navy warships to help scientists working on a JISC project to understand the climate of the past and unearth new historical information.

Visitors to, which launches today (12 October 2010), will be able to retrace the routes taken by any of 280 Royal Navy ships including historic vessels such as HMS Caroline, the last survivor of the 1916 Battle of Jutland still afloat.

The naval logbooks contain a treasure trove of information but because the entries are handwritten they are incredibly difficult for a computer to read. By getting an army of online human volunteers to retrace these voyages and transcribe the information recorded by British sailors we can relive both the climate of the past and key moments in naval history.


Delingpole on Bob Ward

James Delingpole takes aim at Bob Ward.



Wonky code

Nature has an article up about wonky computer code, with particular reference made to the Harry Readme file and Nick Barnes' efforts to get climatologists to do better on the coding front.

This struck me as interesting:

When hackers leaked thousands of e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, last year, global-warming sceptics pored over the documents for signs that researchers had manipulated data. No such evidence emerged...

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but none of the inquiries actually looked at the computer code, apart from there being a brief word from Tim Osborn in evidence to Muir Russell, denying that the bodges he'd mentioned affected published results. I'm pretty sure the Harry Readme was not looked at by any of the inquiries.

There is an accompanying comment piece by Nick Barnes here.



I have had a couple of people (quite justifiably) criticise me for not putting them in my blogroll. In essence I've never had a proper blogroll, the relevant section of the site having half a dozen sites that represented a half-hearted attempt to rectify this, plus a few where I'd come across new sites.

Back when I had a hundred readers a day nobody gave a damn whether I linked to them or not, but nowadays these things matter and so I consider myself suitably reprimanded.

I've added the main climate blogs I follow (in no particular order) and will add the political ones over the rest of the day. I've also set up a public Netvibes page (see navigation section) where you can see these sites as feeds.

If I've missed anyone out, do drop me a line.


BBC will stop being biased

New editorial guidelines have been issued by the BBC and the Telegraph is reporting that these are likely to force the corporation to take a more balanced approach to scientific issues, presumably including global warming climate change disruption.

But the BBC’s new editorial guidelines, published yesterday after an extensive consultation that considered over 1,600 submissions by members of the public, say expressly for the first time that scientific issues fall within the corporation’s obligation to be impartial.

“The BBC must be inclusive, consider the broad perspective, and ensure that the existence of a range of views is appropriately reflected,” said BBC trustee Alison Hastings.

I feel certain that the head of factual programming will be telephoning to commission a miniseries based on The Hockey Stick Illusion, so I'll wait by the phone today...


Josh 48


Cowrin', timorous beasties

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie, O, what a panic's in thy breastie.

Big, bad Pielke Jnr is in town next month and has invited the Grantham Institute to debate some current global warming issues with him.

Unfortunately, the academic staff are apparently unavailable.

All of them.

For the full ten days of Roger's visit.

You have to laugh...


Chemistry World

Anyone have members' access to Chemistry World? I'm trying to see what this says.


Hal Lewis sightings

A few MSM outlets have picked up the Hal Lewis resignation story.

(Updated to make clear which sites are blog only)


HSI hits big time

The Hockey Stick Illusion seems to have hit the (comparatively) big time, spending most of yesterday between around the 5-600 mark on the Amazon chart in the USA. The root cause seems to have been Hal Lewis's resignation letter which was picked up by Instapundit, among others.

It's currently at number 532.


Charles Babbage - pioneer dendro

John Graham-Cumming, familiar to readers here as an occasional auditor of the Met Office's computer code, has a new project afoot - he wants to recreate Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine:

It's time to build the Analytical Engine

I hope to finish Babbage's dream and build an Analytical Engine for public display. I've launched a project called Plan 28 to raise the money and bring together people to work on the Engine. Babbage left behind extensive documentation of the Analytical Engine, the most complete of which can be seen in his Plan 28 (and 28a), which are preserved in a mahogany case that Babbage had constructed especially for the purpose.

Details of the plans are here. As always, there's a need for money, detail here.

And lastly, and also from JG-C, there's this interesting snippet:

So, who's the father of dendroclimatology? Charles Babbage has a strong claim.

I bet you didn't know that. Details here.