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One lone East Anglia man stands up against poor practice. Where are the rest?

The other headline I could have used: Jo Nova and Watts Up graphs used in UEA lectures!

It doesn’t get much better than this. Imagine finding out your work helped to support a university course in a place right at the center of the dogma and unscientific reasoning you are working to expose? Well I’m chuffed. 🙂

Allan Kendall is a lecturer at the University of East Anglia (UEA) with principles and an open mind, who gave his students the whole story. I applaud his brave approach, he would have known he risked castigation and exile in his workplace, and that there would be little reward.

Curiously a small storm erupted  on Bishop Hill. Alan Kendall is defending UEA, saying that not everyone or every branch of research at UEA ought to be tarnished with the poor behaviour of the Climate Research Unit. And his behaviour rather proves his point, but many commenters at UEA are bagging him for expecting anyone to take UEA seriously, and in a sense they are right too. Therein lies the rub.

People of Kendall’s quality are either rare or silent at UEA. As long as the Chancellor of UEA continues to deny that it was wrong for the Climate Research Unit to hide and lose data and methods, or wrong to destroy emails subject to FOI’s, or wrong to hide declines, or wrong to manipulate the peer review process, then UEA deserves a shellacking in my opinion, even as Allan Kendall deserves high praise. It’s been a lonely battle for him. The world needs to see more of the UEA workers and students protesting that one small group is dragging their reputation down. Those other good workers like Kendall did not do anything wrong, and did not ask for this reputational disaster to be imposed on them, but the test has come. Will the workers of  UEA stand up for the tenets of science? Will they allow their university to be called the “University of Easy Access”, and the name UEA to be synonymous with corruption?

Sadly it’s not just UEA where scientific standards are haphazard. Can anyone name a university anywhere in the world where the Science Department maintains good practices and speaks out against? My alma mater, the University of Western Australia, allows Stephen Lewandowsky to utter anti-science, bizarre, “psychological” comments on how anyone who dissents from the government-approved-opinion has a mental condition and a faulty brain. The Soviets would have given Lewandowsky a job in a flash. Yet UWA Science stands silently by as if breaking laws of reason is a fair thing. (See The death of reason at UWA  The hypocrisy of the annointed,  Picasso Brain Syndrome and other of my posts about Lewandowsky)

Kendall was the lone voice of reason working with UEA to do the right thing

The ClimateGate emails show that Kendall was the one who let UEA management know in 2007 that Climate Audit was writing about the UEA in “unfortunate ways” that they ought respond too. Alan Kendall read both Real Climate and Climate Audit, thought that solar physicists had been ignored and hard done by, in 2008 he wanted to take a £100 bet with Phil Jones that the world would cool. Phil replied “It would be unfair to get involved in a bit (sic) with you, as I know a couple of things you don’t”.  (Such arrogance). Kendall probably would have won that bet.

There was clearly a permitted view at UEA and Kendall was facing opposition. The emails show that it was unquestioned among professors and others at UEA that students ought to be taught what to think, not how to think: Tim Osborne was concerned about Kendall’s module full of “climate skeptic nonsense”; Professor Neil Adger was worried that Kendall’s slides could “confuse” students; Mick Kelly responded “amazed” suggesting they ought to sic Greenpeace onto Kendall to silence him.

That’s amazing re Alan Kendall (always thought he was rather a loose
cannon). And, no, he didn’t contribute to 1A01 in my day – sure I’d have
spotted had he done so! Who’s convening 1A01 nowadays? I’d call his bluff
and constructively suggest that he might ensure consistency between what you
say (assuming you give the lectures I used to cover?) and his account – for
the students’ sake at least! Alternatively, could always threaten to have
Greenpeace invade his lecture 🙂 Good luck!

Phil Jones was not happy:

 This annoys me too. I’d read up and talk to people if I were to ever attempt moving to
another field! It is just common sense. Neil Adger has taken over the running of First
Year course here in ENV. He asked Alan Kendall for the ppt for 2 lectures he gives. He sent
them and 40 slides are taken from Climate Audit! A student asked Neil why Alan was saying
things opposite to what Neil and Tim Osborn were saying!!!

Alan is retiring at the end of this year….thankfully.

Allan Kendall  posted at Bishop Hill 

that the  slides didn’t come from Climate Audit but from Watts Up and JoNova’s, and that he was astounded by the attacks on himself at Bishop Hills site:

“First a needed correction. It is alleged that I used Climate Audit material in my teaching materials. Upon reviewing this material I find not a single instance of illustrations from that estimable site (sorry Steve). Instead most came from Watts up with That or from JoNova’s excellent site.” This relates to email 2639, where Phil Jones (incorrectly apparently) said that Kendall used CA.

My, my, how quickly it becomes evident to me that hitherto I was wise to refrain from blogging. By trying to defend UEA as an institution I only gave opportunities for further attack .

1) I choose not to add to the criticism heaped upon some of my colleagues; in my judgement this would add little – I’m sure that they are fully aware of my opinion of them. To refrain from adding to their woes is my right and those of you who choose to question my motives here only shine a light on their own predjuces.
2) I have criticised from within, but mine was almost alone voice and easily ignored. I have always been concerned about the fallout from Climategate, for the university’s good name (which in many respects it fully deserves) but advice I offered was ignored – as is its right to do so.
3) I still teach part-time at UEA, and still ask students to question the evidence about AGW for themselves – but not to first years students anymore. I never preached an anti AGW message (how could I, I don’t have a grounding in climate science) instead I showed students evidence and argument they were not hearing and asked them to draw their own conclusions – FROM ALL OF THE EVIDENCE.

I am truly astounded by the attacks on myself and from people I would previously have considered to on the same side of the fence.

I am also appalled by the rightious indignation expressed by some respondents. As if they have a god-given right to criticize and further to suggest/ insist upon the wholesale destruction of an institution on the basis that some of its actions offend.

Lesson learned

Apologies from my typos and spelling. Latter never my strong suite and always believed the old saying that poor spelling a sign of intelligence. Perhaps too much reliance upon “spellchecker” in recent years.

Dec 2, 2011 at 11:02 AM | ‘@lanK

The comments changed tune

People were impressed with Allan Kendall, even if they were still not enthused about UEA.

In my opinion what you have done in 24 hours on a blog will do more to redress the reputation of the University than the management along with their expensive “spin doctors” have achieved in their 2 years of obfuscation.

Thank you

Green Sand

If CRU represents 10% of UEA the other 90% should be up in arms. The fact that they are not does not speak well for academe.

Sorry but I would not let any of my children anywhere near UEA.


I wonder how long it will be before those happy BSc Climate Science graduates from CRU realise that they have accumulated all that student debt in exchange for what must be about to become one of the most valueless degrees of all time.

Thinking scientist

The bullying here of Alan Kendall, a single voice in a department of trolls, is shamefull. Utterly shamefull!

Alan Kendall lectured on what he thought appropriate, and caught heat for that. Instead of being supported here as a lone voice in the wilderness, he’s being bagged by Russell Group boosters.

When Russell Group universities and alumni grow the balls to take on the CRU, future criticism of UEA will be valid. As it stands, Alan Kendall was hung out to dry by ENV and is still being hung out to dry by gutless Russell Group institutions and individuals here.


Hector Pascal


Alan Kendall was described by his colleagues as a “loose cannon” whose opinions were considered to be not that of the School of Environment.

So it is very noble of Alan Kendall to stand for UEA when it is clear UEA people thought very little of him.


H/t Paul who let me know almost straight away. Fascinating. Thanks!




K. Short, knows UEA and writes in the comments

(thanks K. Short (my bolding) :

Dear Jo,

Re your 4 December 2011 article “One lone East Anglia man stands up against poor practice. Where are the rest?” regarding UEA lecturer Allan Kendall (link below).

UEA is my old alma mater and I can tell you that Allan Kendall may be even more of a hero than you realise. Norwich, the City in which the University is situated, is a relatively small tight-knit community and I believe has the greatest per-capita concentration of warmist ‘greens’ in the UK. From bitter experience, at least some of these warmists were far from averse to employing ‘climate denier’ labels and other denigrating fascistic epithets to those who thoughtfully questioned AGW. I know that all scientists are supposed to have scientific-integrity and courage of conviction but, frankly, for Allan Kendall to stand up for balanced climate-science in such adverse local circumstances is likely to have cost him socially and he deserves high praise indeed. I’m sure other UEA staff members think likewise and I suspect that more of them will begin to openly dissent from AGW theories and Climatic Research Unit practice in the coming months.

Kendall has certainly lived up to the university motto – “do different” – but then, in his own perverse way, so has the CRU’s Professor Phil Jones… I think that a reputation/standards restoring UEA purge of the CRU is long overdue and must be on the cards now given ongoing exposure of scientific failings and skewing politics. Under current direction, the CRU is certainly not worthy of funding from British taxpayers and has done incalculable harm to them.

Greens so often cite the ‘precautionary principle’ in support of their calls for draconian AGW-mitigation policies which, in the case of Surrey University’s Professor Tim Jackson and his CRU-citing ‘sustainable development’ colleagues for example, is positively anti economic growth. Given the repeated exposure of questionable practices of the UEA Climatic Research Unit, and demonstrable failure of so many CRU/IPCC alarmist predictions to materialise or stand up to scrutiny, the general public has a much more tenable right to demand the precautionary principle be applied in defence of economic growth: particularly given current austerity measures. Economy-damaging AGW-mitigation policies should therefore be abandoned pending scientific proof of catastrophic AGW. As a priority, the UK climate change act should be repealed without delay. For more information see: http://www.repealtheact.org.uk/

Thank you for your own commitment to honest climate science. The Jo Nova website is a beacon of fairness, good sense and, very importantly, good humour in an inhospitable sea of collective madness.

K. Short.
[permission to repost].

Anthony Watts puts his spin on it too. Cheers Anthony, and well done 🙂


Alan Kendall comments at #26

I not only used Joanne’s illustrations but also the same approach as she used – namely provide evidence, then consider the counter-arguments, then reach a conclusion. I have, in the past, asked students to do their own research on an aspect of climate change science using this approach from both the pro- and anti-AGW stances. Results are impressive, all students leave with the idea that science is never settled and many become really worried that what they had previously accepted without question (because authority tells them this) is not supported rigourously. Many students retain their AGW beliefs but are the stronger for it. I liked this method because students reach their own conclusions and I always feel uncomfortable about pushing my own biasses. So thank you Joanne for your material and approach.


The man deserves a medal.

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