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The idea of Oxburgh

Updated on May 19, 2010 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

One of the most troubling aspects of the scientific inquiry into the Climatic Research Unit was the appointment of Lord Oxburgh as chairman. Oxburgh's many links to the renewables industry and to green campaigning organisations (disclosed or otherwise) are now common knowledge among followers of the climate debate.

Click to read more ...


American Spectator on McIntyre

The American Spectator has picked up on the Heartland conference's muted reaction to Steve McIntyre's keynote presentation. was an extremely odd audience reaction: McIntyre received a standing ovation upon his introduction, thanks to his dogged research and unrelenting demand for information and accountability, but then his blase' attitude about scientists' behavior -- particularly Mann's -- left most of the audience cold and some even angry. The applause for McIntyre was tepid upon the conclusion of his remarks. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

As Roger Pielke Jnr has explained, the Nature trick doesn't seem to amount to fraud "as it is defined in the academy". I must say, I'm not sure I understand how the academy defines such things, but there are clearly many who would apply real world definitions in these circumstances rather than one used solely in academic circles. The question is, who is right?


More from Heartland

Another Roger Harrabin report from the Heartland Conference, this time looking at the question of whether sceptics are all right-wingers.

Audio stream here. MP3 below.




Harrabin on Heartland 2


Harrabin on Heartland

Roger Harrabin has posted a short report from the Heartland Conference which is actually not too bad. There are a couple of irrelevant asides about tobacco funding, but there is a definite change in tone.

I wonder why?

There's an MP3 attached below.


Harrabin on Heartland


More on fudge and fraud

RP Jnr says I've misrepresented his views in the post before last. If so, then I apologise.

I'm still not sure that I understand Roger's views precisely. I think the confusion may be based in the semantics of the terms "fudge" and "fraud" and I want to explore the subject again here.

Click to read more ...


David Mackay at Oxford

This is another guest post by DR. David Mackay is Professor of Physics at Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Climate Change.

Another talk from Oxford. This is my report of David MacKay’s talk on Sustainable Energy – without the Hot Air in the Department of Engineering Science on 13 May 2010.

Click to read more ...


Everybody does it

RP Jnr links to a review of the Climategate story by Der Speigel and has a fascinating discussion with his readers in the comments thread below.

The point at issue is Mike's Nature Trick and the question of whether it amounts to scientific fraud. Der Spiegel describe the trick as follows:

Click to read more ...


Interacademy Council hearings

The Interacademy Council hearings into the IPCC have commenced and there are some presentations here. I can't say they look desperately interesting. No mention of the problems that the panel is to investigate as far as I can see.

Richard Black has a report here.


Elizaphanian on science and the Hockey Stick

Sam Norton, who by day is a churchman - the Rector of West Mersea in Essex - has written a very interesting post about the Hockey Stick and how layman can assess the competing arguments.

When McIntyre started up his Climate Audit blog, it was the equivalent of the 95 theses. In just the same way as Luther believed himself to remain a faithful Christian, and not be inventing a new religion, (and, in fact, had the church responded with integrity, he would have remained a Catholic) so too do McIntyre's criticisms not raise any questions about the theory of scientific investigation. Instead, the questions raised are about the current practice of that scientific investigation, most especially with regard to paleo-climatology and the weight given to certain alleged results in that field.

Read the whole thing.


Stott on Huhne

Philip Stott has now written two articles in the last two months, but the latest was worth the wait. His taken on the appointment of Chris Huhne to the post of energy minister is a must read and frankly rather scary.

The lamentable fact that David Cameron has appointed Chris Huhne, Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh, Hampshire, as the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, underscores one’s profoundest fears that our leading politicians have still still not grasped, despite all the red flag warnings, the depth and urgency of the UK energy crisis. This, after all, is the man who is avowedly opposed to the development of a new generation of nuclear powers stations, who believes that we can fill our looming energy gap with wave, wind, and waffle, and who is totally uncritical of the ‘global warming’ message.


The ascent of Mann

Climate Realists has an interesting article that looks at the extraordinary rise to prominence of the hockeystickmeister, Michael Mann. This is one of the angles of the hockey stick story that is still something of a mystery - how did such an obscure scientist, one who had just completed his PhD, get to be lead author on the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC?

Click to read more ...


Nature on the Hartwell paper

Last night I posted a comment on the Nature Climate feedback posting about the Hartwell report. I said that it was odd that they gave earnest consideration to the sources of funding for the Hartwell group but, in giving space to some critical comments by Bill Hare, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, they failed even to mention that he is an advisor to Greenpeace.

My comment doesn't seem to have made it past the moderators yet. Perhaps it's their day off.


Clive Hamilton in Oxford

This is a guest post by "DR".

This is my report of a talk by Clive Hamilton in Blackwell’s bookshop Oxford on 10 May 2010, on themes from his recent book Requiem for a Species. This is a write-up of my hand-written notes. I hope I’ve represented what Hamilton said accurately.  I’ve not read his book.

Hamilton started by describing the upsurge in ‘climate denial’ – describing deliberate attempts in the 1990s by US Republicans to link climate change and left-wing beliefs, he said that climate denial has been absorbed by right-wing populism. However, despite efforts from deniers such as Sarah Palin, Christopher Monckton, the American Tea-Party, and the UK’s BNP, it has become clear that if anything the IPCC AR4 understated the risks, for instance of sea-level rise.

Click to read more ...


Back in the saddle

I'm back in the saddle, but overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do to catch up after a couple of days' break.

I may get to post something this evening.


Light blogging

I'm off to the big smoke for a couple of days, my first trip to the capital for a very long time. I'm going to meet a few people and then I'm listening to Martin Rees give a Reith Lecture tomorrow night.

Blogging will be non-existent.

In the meantime, here's something non-climate-related.

I was pondering the sad state of the education system when I chanced upon the clause in the Human Rights Act which says

the state shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and to teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.

Now, as someone with a deep philosophical objection to state education, I wondered if the state's respect for my convictions would extend to providing me with an education voucher to allow me to send my children to a private school.

Neat idea eh?

Is it a goer though? Well, I asked the Human Rights experts at the Guardian's Liberty Clinic and they have posted up a reply.