A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper




The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Public are terminally bored with climate. Anderegg denies devastating Climategate damage

The big news from this new study is no news — the public are more bored with climate change than ever, and the trend is down. The fever peaked in 2007, and the last great spike of interest was in late 2009 when ClimateGate finished it off. Though that’s not the way Anderegg sees it.

Anderegg infamously published the blacklist of scientists in PNAS, so we know he struggles with the scientific method. Here, flawed assumptions render the conclusions a wishful fantasy. Anderegg argues that ClimateGate was not a big deal, didn’t affect opinions much, and (yawn) climate scientists need to do better communication. He’s wrong. His study misses the major damage — by assuming that the public are a uniform block his research could never uncover that the real effects of ClimateGate were devastating and irreversible. The scandal changed the opinions that matter — those of the smart engaged thinkers and leaders. I noted at the time that ClimateGate had put a rocket under the layer of influential busy achievers like never before. Suddenly people who hadn’t taken much interest in the debate were fired into action by the fraud. The nodes of influence shifted – as I said [...]

ClimateGate III — the password is out

FOIA has been in touch with skeptics today. Here is the email below, sorry, without that password. There are 220,000 emails in the file. There may be private information which could cause grief that is not related to taxpayer funded work. Obviously that large file is not in a form that can be released publicly yet. I do hope people are very very careful with the password.

This is your chance to understand why FOIA did what they did, and your chance to say thanks to the person who quite possibly saved us from a bureaucratic coup in Copenhagen in 2009. The draft treaty promised to take up to $140 billion from some and redistribute it to others. As Christopher Monckton revealed, sovereign nations would be ceding powers to a group of foreign officials, but the document did not have the words “election” or “democracy” or “vote” or “ballot”.

To all those who think, post hoc, that Copenhagen was never going to succeed anyway, I say that in November 2009, when I asked the carbon traders which outcome the money was betting on. The answer was: we don’t know. The players are out of this market.

You can leave your [...]

East Anglia University are trying to spot hoaxes

Oh the irony?

Three years after the scandal that was ClimateGate, the University of East Anglia has a campus wide poster program to teach staff and students how to protect themselves from pfishing. (Thanks to reader pickabelief). Could this be a plan to protect the university from more embarrassing hacks and leaks too?

(Given other standards at UEA*, we have to ask if this is the rapid-response-squad?)

*With apologies to good scientists and workers at UEA. You didn’t ask for this test, but if you want to protect your reputation, you need to speak up. You could start with explaining why you do things differently to the people who use tricks to hide declines, avoid FOIs, and consort to delete taxpayer funded email records.

Some at UEA applaud work where random numbers produce the same “result” as a poor-censored-and-truncated-proxy does, and you might think, rightly, this is not science. But as long as sloppy, inept activist-scientists use the UEA brand to bolster their credibility, everyone who tacitly supports them gets tarred with the same brush.

The hoax that matters is the one that billions of dollars depend upon ($257 billion are invested in renewables per annum and $176 [...]

Richard Black — the fastest apologist for misbehaving scientists

Black thinks the BBC reported on ClimateGate, instead they rushed to report a “hacking” that may not even have been a hack…

Richard Black thinks the BBC was the first to “report” Climategate in the mainstream press.

@BBCRBlackvia TwitterTired old meme that BBC was slow to report “ClimateGate” is circulating again – for record we were 1st main news org

But the BBC didn’t report ClimateGate in that story at all. What they reported was a hypothetical hacking of a university in the UK, one which (two years later) still remains a claim that has no evidence in support of. Was it was illegally hacked or legally leaked? Don’t tune in to the BBC for the answer. They don’t even ask the question.

If the BBC had reported on Climategate, we could tell, because they would have reported what the emails actually said, not just the opinions that said “they don’t matter”.

Let’s compare Black’s reporting of Climategate and FakeGate

On ClimateGate, Black waited until after he had a spokesman from the CRU to comment, and having confirmed the emails were from the CRU, Black quoted exactly none of them. On FakeGate, Black posted so quickly that he [...]

Tallbloke’s computer seized, Jeff ID threatened in Climategate retaliation: It’s intimidation

BREAKING: As Jeff ID says, “The Empire Strikes Back”

Industrial wall in Donetsk, Ukraine. Photo: Борис У.

UPDATED: See Washington Examiner story below.

Tallbloke’s computers were confiscated by police today, allegedly in the search for the climategate leaker. But it’s obvious that there won’t be any clues left on Tallbloke’s computer (it would have no record of comments dropped onto, a US service). See Watts Up.

The point of this is not to catch the leaker, it’s to intimidate bloggers.

 Jeff ID writes:   Tallbloke a fellow recipient blog of the climategate emails, and linked on the right, was raided today in what seems to be a coordinated effort by Metropolitan Police, the Norfolk Constabulary and the Computer Crime division and the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division.  His home was raided and computers were taken for ‘examination’.

They don’t really want to catch the leaker, because a whistleblower is protected by UK legislation. The proof that this is aimed at intimidating bloggers rather than catching the climategate leaker is the coordinated and pointless US dept of Justice action through wordpress. To wit:

Both Tallbloke and JeffID received “the following notification from the U.S. [...]

ClimateGate II: Handy Guide to spot whitewash journalism – The top 10 excuses for scientists behaving badly

Sorting real journalists from sock puppets is not too tricky: real investigators tell you what the story is about; PR writers tell you what to think.

Do they “discuss” ClimateGate emails … without quoting the emails?

Who digs for details, and who hides the evidence?

The PR writers for Big-Government were quick to come up with excuses for ClimateGate II. Which is all very well, but it’s blindingly obvious where their own personal prejudices lie if they won’t print the emails that they are supposedly discussing. It’s not so much cherry-picking, but cherry-denial. “Don’t mention the radioactive cherries, but lets discuss how cherry farmers have been victimized, talk about the history of cherry tree farming, and hear their excuses and assertions that the cherries are an essential part of our diets. Don’t mention the Geiger counter. OK?”

The top 10 excuses for PR writers  who pose as “journalists” to ignore ClimateGate emails

This is standard issue damage control for ClimateGate — protect the cheats and liars, attack the whistleblower, and  use excuses and padding-fillers to cover a story without actually giving the public any information on the [...]

Pointman — A dead man’s hand detonator on hidden emails may protect ClimateGate whistleblower

In the high powered risky game of whistleblowing there are ways to make the the leaker a less attractive target.

Pointman analyzes the ClimateGate whistleblower’s tactics and explains why he, she or they probably released those other 200,000 emails but kept them hidden behind the 4000-8000 character almost unbreakable password. He points out there are no emails released yet between key scientists and people in power, hence the worst, most damaging emails may be kept under a ” dead man’s hand detonator”. If politicians are afraid of what might be in those released-but-hidden emails, they may not want to expose or attack the whistleblower for fear of unleashing the other emails. The hidden emails buy the whistleblower protection.


Some thoughts and some questions about the Climategate 2.0 release

Guestpost by Pointman

Two years ago, I did what can only be described as a highly speculative profile of the climategate leaker. You can find it here. I strongly suggest you read it now or you’ll have some difficulty following the rest of this piece. Reading it again in the light of what more can be deduced about them from the second release, it holds up surprisingly well. Where it [...]

Hot new search tool for Climategate – I and II combined

Behind the scenes, I’ve been playing with a new neat tool for hunting hypocrisy, corruption, bias and unprofessional behaviour and I’m pleased to announce its ready to share with the world. The kudos for this all belongs to, as usual, a skilled volunteer. Thanks to EcoGuy for turning his rapid-fire coding ability onto this.

On the  EcoWho site he has helpfully placed all of Climategate I and II together into a combined searchable database. It’s fast, easy to scan, it copes with tricky search requests and provides a link to the full email from the results page of the search.


Welcome to the ClimateGate FOIA Grepper !!!


  Click on the image or the link above.

Happy Hunting!




UPDATE: EcoGuy tells me that searches are coming in a stream about  one-every-5-seconds. Do tell us what you find!


UPDATE: Ecoguy adds: you can put ‘.*’ between words you are looking for to find them apart but in the same order (i.e. paper.*fraud) – you can do what is called basic Regex matching, so if you know Regex you can really go to town. Putting a space at the beginning and end will just [...]

More emails: Phil Jones paid £13.7 million in grants but “not a public servant”

Up to £13.7 million in grants have been paid to Professor Phil Jones, from a number of funding bodies including the European Union, NATO, and the US Department of Energy. But the intellectual and philosophical climate is so weak that Jones doesn’t even consider himself to be paid to serve the citizens of those countries. No wonder he feels that people asking for “his” data are nuisances and pests.

Usually in Science-World, scientists don’t have to deal with pesky FOI’s — because they make their data and methods available for free upon request. It should never come down to legal action for citizens to get what is rightfully theirs.

Phil Jones is Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. He’s one of the key climate scientists behind the IPCC reports (he and James Hansen of GISS in NASA are the two leading alarmist climate scientists).

Emails released in ClimateGate II that show he deletes emails, rationalizes that he is a not really a public servant, and discusses ways to hide from FOI requests, even as he admits the models are all wrong.

Prof Phil [...]

Breaking! Apparently, more emails released. Climategate II?

Five hours ago, FOIA left a link on my blog to a Russian site (I had been away). Emails and comments are streaming through to let me know that the Tallbloke, and Jeff ID have also got them. Tallbloke has opened it and checked for viruses. Jeff ID confirms there are thousands of emails readable and 220,000 more locked behind a password. (H/t Foia (!) Ripper,  hunter, RoryFOMR,  Janet J,… thanks!)

Assuming (I stress) assuming that these are indeed real, and not an elaborate hoax, wow.

It appears it’s all on again. The sordid details, honest thoughts, and human folly on display. (If true, thank you to Foia.) We need confirmation.

UPDATE #3*** It appears the Guardian is onto this already and  Michael Mann is suggesting the emails are real”: “Well, they look like mine but I hardly see anything that appears damning at all”. Hat tip: Tom Nelson

The BBC likewise is reporting this, and confirming it — it appears the emails are from 2009 or earlier, and if that’s the case, it means these were probably held back from the first batch. This will be described as being “rehashed old news”, which committee’s have investigated, blah blah blah, [...]

An insight into Hacker-land

UPDATED: Posted the full Pointman article instead of the much abbreviated edit version. Thanks to Pointman.

Hacked or leaked?

Pointman argues the case for the emails being leaked from inside. Part I of his thesis is that an expert hack takes a lot of money, patience and a rare personality. (And after reading his article I believe him.) In Part II Pointman suggests that there is not a lot of money or inclination to pay such an expert. Call me  unconvinced on this second clause. Even though I’ve seen no evidence of big dollars at work in the skeptic case* I can imagine in any market worth 130 odd billion per annum that there would be players with handy shorts-ready-to-place who might like to pull some strings.

That said, the fact that the police investigation into the leak or hack has failed to find any answers combined with the obvious motivation for any half honest civil servant with a modicum of altruistic honor to act as a whistle-blower, means I find the whistle-blowing theory much more believable.

The ilk of the money-driven  sociopathic derivative trader who makes money from shorting markets, [...]

Soul searching enviro-journalists admit they look duped and should have talked to sceptics

There is much introspection going on among environmental journalists. Last week, in a remarkably candid piece, Margot O’Neill of the ABC revealed for the first time what the flummoxed and frustrated would-be journalists are  discussing behind the scenes.

The admissions are extraordinary. Despite the fact that hardly any of the journalists wrote about Climategate, for many the emails from East Anglia were not just important, but a defining moment (though not, apparently, because it dented their faith in the global warming dogma). Instead, it was the effect Climategate had on editors and others in the office: people who had previously thought climate science was scientific, and environmental journalists were journalists. Suddenly, others realized they had been cheated of the real news, sideswiped by a development none of the supposedly “investigative” reporters saw coming.

Now for the first time, we find out that the formerly respected writers got looks of betrayal.

Probably the most important reaction to the UEA hacking for journalists was in their own newsrooms, among their own editors who are the gatekeepers controlling if your work appears and how prominently. While some UK surveys show no dramatic loss of credibility for climate scientists with the public, here’s how [...]

The ranks are splitting, tossing incantations as they go

We always knew Climategate would the test the cohesion of the “team”. The reputations of good greens, good journalists, and decent politicians (there are a few) are on the line. They have to draw a line somewhere, and six months later, a few more cracks in the wall are showing.

Even people who think we need action against CO2 are not convinced by the whitewashes. And for many of them, it’s not the ClimateGate emails themselves which pushed them over the edge, but the blatantly surreal nature of the so-called inquiries that don’t ask the basic questions or invite the key people.

Phrases about how the science is still settled (even though the scientists themselves might cheat) are like a pass-code that allows commentators to say something pointed against the tribal witchdoctors without getting too many nasty spells cast on them by the disciples.

Of course, in order to attack any part of the great facade, it’s important to recite the incantation against bullies. Phrases about how the science is still settled (even though the scientists themselves might cheat) are like a pass-code that allows commentators to say something pointed against the tribal witchdoctors without getting too many nasty spells [...]

Who needs a committee report to spot rank deception?

Last week I was invited by the ABC to respond to Clive Hamilton and the Parliamentary Committee report on ClimateGate. It was published a couple of hours ago on the ABC Drum. (Or Try this link, who knows why the article moved? 14-4-09)

The issue of the ClimateGate emails leaked or hacked from the East Anglia CRU is not that complicated. The emails are damning because anyone who reads them understands that they show petty, unprofessional, and probably criminal behaviour. We know the guys who wrote them are not people we’d want to buy cars from. They are hiding information. We don’t need a committee to state the obvious.

The emails show some of the leading players in climate science talking about tricks to “hide declines”, they boast about manipulating the peer review process, and “getting” rid of papers they didn’t like from the IPCC reports. It’s clear the data wasn’t going the way they hoped, yet they screwed the results every way they could to milk the “right” conclusion. Above all else, they feared freedom of information requests, and did everything they could to avoid providing their data. ClimateGate shows these people were not [...]

Spiegel online

Did I say a few days ago there would be more feature articles? Well already, here is another long professional article.

Don’t be put off by the start. The sympathetic treatment of Jones is faint praise, not unreasonable, and in the end, taking an impartial line means telling something of both sides of the story. Articles like this will help skeptics far more than they will help the Big Scare Campaign.

There is plenty of ammo, and punches are landed:

On balance, the entire profession has been seriously harmed by the scandal. “We are currently suffering a massive erosion of trust,” concludes German climatologist Hans von Storch. “Climate research has been corrupted by politicization, just as nuclear physics was in the pre-Chernobyl days, when we were led to believe that nuclear power plants were completely safe.”

That any reasonably unbiased view ends up being supportive of skeptics is, of course, just what you’d expect of a topic where skeptics have so much of that essential ingredient reality on their side. I found the whole article worth reading, and I expect Parts 3 & 4  are the most interesting to skeptics. It’s good to finally see the work of people like McIntyre and [...]