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


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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 [...]

UK Parliamentary Report busts all climate scientists

The UK Parliamentary Committee was always going to be a whitewash. They put no skeptics on the committee; they interviewed no skeptics; they didn’t ask Steven McIntyre to speak. The chairman was the “impartial” Phil Willis, who had already made up his mind in January and announced it in the Telegraph:

“There are a significant number of climate change deniers, who are basically using the UEA emails to support the case this is poor science that has been changed or at worst manipulated. We do not believe this is healthy and therefore we want to call in the UEA so the public can see what they are saying”

It’s no wonder the committee made a spin-like press release with wishy-washy weasel words. What’s amazing is that under the spin, they can’t help but bust all of modern climate science.

The UK report: [press release]

“The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the Committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community but that those practices need to change.

The slow road to… getting things right

I watched part of the UK Parliamentary Committee Panel investigations with Phil Jones, and my main thought was ferrgoodnesssake! The nation of the Magna Carta, Newton, and the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution: Can’t the UK empire just fly Steven McIntyre in, and sit these two men down in the same room at the same time? You know, ask questions of one then the other, drilling down with no tea-and-cakes breaks, till they sort out each item on a prearranged list?

Billions of lives depend on figuring out whether CO2 matters, and trillions of dollars rest on the scientific output of East Anglia CRU.  If it’s so important, why don’t the UK Government get serious? Or for that matter, why doesn’t the IPCC volunteer to arrange this, all televised and restore its credibility; show they are take “unscientific behaviour” seriously?) Note that I’m not suggesting that the panel members aren’t serious, only that they have a long learning curve in this incredibly detailed saga, and McIntyre could save everyone some time.

Steven McIntyre has written an excellent submission (worth reading). That will have to do…

I did like that the dialogue was so civilized (that’s such a rare thing), but [...]