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Bolivian cold snap

Severe cold in Bolivia has killed millions of fish in tropical Bolivian rivers.

There's a text report here.


Matt Ridley at TED

This is fun...


Josh 30

More cartoons by Josh here.


Nature tries to move on

Nature Geoscience is trying its darndest to move on from Climategate, with an editorial declaring the affair closed and accompanying articles looking at where we go from here (although the latter are behind a paywall, one is discussed at Klimazwiebel).

There is an interesting point made about climate scientists at CRU, the ones whose "rigour and honesty as scientists" has been found to be beyond reproach...

[I]n an exchange in late July 1999, climate scientists discussed how to present projected climate change scenarios to best serve the purposes of the WWF (who had apparently expressed concern that the initial presentations were more conservative than those from other sources and asked for one section to be 'beefed up' if possible). Such considerations should not enter into scientific debate.

Indeed they should not. Honest and rigorous scientists do not change their presentations for the benefit of environmental campaigners. I wonder how Nature Geoscientist reconciles the contradiction between the findings of the Russell panel, which it appears to support, and its observations about the conduct of the scientists in this instance?


Climate change change

Australians' views on climate change have changed, according to a poll conducted by Gallup. As the poll says, Australians appear to be among the best informed populations on the subject so they can be seen as something of a leading indicator.

In the wake of Climategate, only 44% now believe recent changes in the climate are caused by humans, down from 52% a couple of years ago.


BBC review "proceeding with vigour"

I emailed Professor Steve Jones, who is heading the BBC review of science coverage. Prof Jones has said that the rumour of its cancellation is incorrect and I've now had this confirmed by a third party who has discussed the issue with the BBC direct. Apparently the review is "proceeding with vigour".

But without any input from critics of the BBC's science coverage.

This is probably a good point to bring in this transcript of a meeting of top journalists back in 2005. I chanced upon this while looking for something else. These top truthseekers were discussing how to deal with coverage of global warming and I certainly found it fascinating to see Jon Snow cheerleading for the AGW cause and a man from Greenpeace on hand to make sure that everyone is getting the correct message.

Is it any wonder that the mainstream media is on the wane?


Rees transcript

The transcript of Martin Rees' recent evidence session at the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is now available. The relevant excerpt for readers here is as follows:

Click to read more ...


Thoughtful comment in the Atlantic

From the comments on Clive Crook's Atlantic piece:

Clive Crook.

You deserve to die and your children need to be taken out of the gene pool...

You are so incredibly fucking retarded you rival even McMegan. It's ridiculous how a child-raping mongrel like yourself can be hired by the same magazine that employs Andrew Sullivan. I should flay you and your wife and have you trade skins, you absolute waste of all human components.

"Had Crook actually read the link he provides, he would know that since it clearly states that after thoroughly reviewing all of the relevant material, “The Inquiry Committee determined there was no substance to this allegation and further investigation of this allegation was not warranted,” for each of the first three allegations.

I have no idea where Crook came up with the phrase he puts in quotes “lack of credible evidence” — if anyone can find the source for that exact word-for-word quote, please let me know. Note: The original report (which Crook seems unaware of) uses the phrase “there exists no credible evidence” a number of times, but that is not the same as what Crook wrote.

To assert that Penn State “will not even investigate” three of the four charges and imply that they dismiss them out of hand without thorough examination is, I think, libel."

You can't even read, you useless little academic. Tell me again, why do you think you deserve to live when you continue to embarrass everything connected with yourself?



More Russell review evidence

The CCE review has just posted up a letter responding to an inquiry from Graham Stringer as to how the panel dealt with the recommendations of the Science and Technology Select Committee. I don't recall having seen Stringer's original letter. Anyone know if it is there?


Bunfight at the Wiki corral

The bunfight over the Wiki page for The Hockey Stick Illusion continues apace, with the whole article now locked down. One of the bones of contention is whether the NWT review that I posted about is allowable, with one participant arguing that the review (which was by NWT's editor) was "a comment to promote a product in a webshop".

The idea that the magazine's editor should be writing sales copy for a webshop is rather extraordinary, so I queried this with Marcel Crok, who ascertained that the review had appeared in the magazine proper...

...and in a sister publication called De Ingenieur....

One word for readers here - I suggest you don't get involved in the bunfight. Leave it to those who have been dealing with the issue already. We don't want to fall foul of Wiki's proscriptions against canvassing.


Crook feels the hairdryer

Clive Crook is on the receiving end of a typically mild and philosophical discourse from Joe Romm, entitled "Atlantic Shocker". Crook isn't impressed.

[T]he evident fondness of climate-change activists for delegitimizing dissent and spinning the facts to make them more "understandable" is simply not working. Cap and trade just died for lack of public support. I think climate-change activists are partly to blame, as I argue in this recent FT column. They are harming their own cause.

Romm exemplifies the tendency to the point of caricature. He delights in splenetic hyperventilation. This is his brand, so to speak. It goes down well with the faithful -- but persuading the faithful is not the challenge. He needs to convince the unconvinced. Operatic ranting is not, I would submit, likely to succeed.

Incidentally, Romm says that a proper journalist would have noted that the emails do not contain the phrase "trick to hide the decline". Oh dear, well, yes, I suppose it doesn't. Here is the exact quote:

I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps  to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline.

But so what?


UEA on the New Scientist editorial

A few days back I linked to a New Scientist editorial on the Russell review, noting that it was surprisingly critical of CRU. (It's behind a paywall now, so you will have to take my word for it.) I noticed the other day that UEA have issued a rebuttal of sorts, which is, frankly, weird.

The editorial pointed out, quite correctly, that neither Oxburgh or Russell had looked at the science:

After publishing his five-page epistle, Oxburgh declared "the science was not the subject of our study". Finally, last week came former civil servant Muir Russell's 150-page report. Like the others, he lambasted the CRU for its secrecy but upheld its integrity - despite declaring his study "was not about... the content or quality of [CRU's] scientific work"

So this doesn't appear to be something that can reasonably be debated, I'm sure you would agree. Not so the University of East Anglia, whose response begins thus:

It is depressing that the New Scientist follows parts of the blogosphere, and some other sections of the press, in asserting that of the three independent investigations into Climategate "none looked into the quality of the science itself".... Our hope was that New Scientist would have a more informed understanding of the method of science research.

There follows a bizarre argument that a search for blatant dishonesty is the same thing as an assessment of quality. It then gets even stranger, with UEA first noting Oxburgh's statement that 'he Panel was not concerned with the questions of whether the conclusions of the published research were correct', and then, with a rhetorical flourish, asking 'New Scientist, when do science conclusions become “correct”? as if they were quoting from the editorial rather than the report they had commissioned. The editorial didn't discuss the question of the science being correct at all.

Quite the strangest document.


Pielke Jnr on the Climate Fix

RP Jnr's talk on climate policy is well worth a look, if nothing else for the perspective it gives on UK energy policy. One can't help but be mightily embarrassed by the 'solutions' put in place by our political leaders and mightily concerned that our energy policy is now being dictated by 'Howlin mad' Huhne.


JG-C on code availability

John Graham-Cumming argues for the availability of scientific code.


Judy C at C-a-S

Keith Kloor is interviewing Judy Curry at Collide-a-Scape about her recent treatment by the hordes at RealClimate and Climate Progress. She shows little sign of being bloodied, let alone bowed by the brickbats flung her way.

...the level of vitriol in the climate blogs reflects the last gasp of those who thought they could influence national and international energy policy through the power politics of climate science expertise.

Feels that way to me too.