Sunday, 29 November 2009

Climategate: Bearing Fruit?

Two fairly devastating Sunday Telegraph Climategate stories have just popped up on their website, one of which will appear in print in today's newspaper. Both of them reveal in their different ways that the captured, self-censoring, dinosaur MSM in the UK is finally beginning to wake up to the scale of this scandal and that the pressure of the sheer fury being vented all over the world - at least on the internet - at the CRU and their cabal of intellectually incestuous, mutually peer-reviewing, manipulating, unethical, activist-scientists, is starting to bear fruit - already.

The first one:
Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data - dubbed Climategate - have agreed to publish their figures in full.

The U-turn by the university follows a week of controversy after the emergence of hundreds of leaked emails, "stolen" by hackers and published online, triggered claims that the academics had massaged statistics.

In a statement welcomed by climate change sceptics, the university said it would make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements.

The publication will be carried out in collaboration with the Met Office Hadley Centre. The full data, when disclosed, is certain to be scrutinised by both sides in the fierce debate.

A grandfather with a training in electrical engineering dating back more than 40 years emerged from the leaked emails as a leading climate sceptic trying to bring down the scientific establishment on global warming.

David Holland, who describes himself as a David taking on the Goliath that is the prevailing scientific consensus, is seeking prosecutions against some of Britain's most eminent academics for allegedly holding back information in breach of disclosure laws.

Mr Holland, of Northampton, complained to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) last week after the leaked emails included several Freedom of Information requests he had submitted to the CRU, and scientists' private responses to them.

Within hours, a senior complaints officer in the ICO wrote back by email: "I have started to examine the issues that you have raised in your letter and I am currently liaising with colleagues in our Enforcement and Data Protection teams as to what steps to take next."

The official also promised to investigate other universities linked to the CRU, which is one of the world's leading authorities on temperature levels and has helped to prove that man-made global warming not only exists but will have catastrophic consequences if not tackled urgently. Mr Holland is convinced the threat has been greatly exaggerated.

In one email dated May 28, 2008, one academic writes to a colleague having received Mr Holland's request: "Oh MAN! Will this crap ever end??"

Mr Holland, who graduated with an external degree in electrical engineering from London University in 1966 before going on to run his own businesses, told The Sunday Telegraph: "It's like David versus Goliath. Thanks to these leaked emails a lot of little people can begin to make some impact on this monolithic entity that is the climate change lobby."

He added: "These guys called climate scientists have not done any more physics or chemistry than I did. A lifetime in engineering gives you a very good antenna. It also cures people of any self belief they cannot be wrong. You clear up a lot of messes during a lifetime in engineering. I could be wrong on global warming – I know that – but the guys on the other side don't believe they can ever be wrong."

Professor Trevor Davies, the university's Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research Enterprise and Engagement, said yesterday: "CRU's full data will be published in the interests of research transparency when we have the necessary agreements. It is worth reiterating that our conclusions correlate well to those of other scientists based on the separate data sets held by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

"We are grateful for the necessary support of the Met Office in requesting the permissions for releasing the information but understand that responses may take several months and that some countries may refuse permission due to the economic value of the data."

Among the leaked emails disclosed last week were an alleged note from Professor Phil Jones, 57, the director of the CRU and a leading target of climate change sceptics, to an American colleague describing the death of a sceptic as "cheering news"; and a suggestion from Prof Jones that a "trick" is used to "hide the decline" in temperature.

They even include threats of violence. One American academic wrote to Prof Jones: "Next time I see Pat Michaels [a climate sceptic] at a scientific meeting, I'll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted."

Dr Michaels, tracked down by this newspaper to the Cato Institute in Washington DC where he is a senior fellow in environmental studies, said last night: "There were a lot of people who thought I was exaggerating when I kept insisting terrible things are going on here.

"This is business as usual for them. The world might be surprised but I am not. These guys have an attitude."

Prof Jones, who has refused to quit despite calls even from within the green movement, said last week in a statement issued through University of East Anglia, "My colleagues and I accept that some of the published emails do not read well. I regret any upset or confusion caused as a result. Some were clearly written in the heat of the moment, others use colloquialisms frequently used between close colleagues."

He suggested the theft of emails and publication first on a Russian server was "a concerted attempt to put a question mark over the science of climate change in the run-up to the Copenhagen talks".

He added: "Our global temperature series tallies with those of other, completely independent, groups of scientists working for NASA and the National Climate Data Centre in the United States, among others. Even if you were to ignore our findings, theirs show the same results. The facts speak for themselves; there is no need for anyone to manipulate them."

Message ends. But despite the typical hedging and the dogwhistle ad hominem against the 'sceptic', brave David Holland who's been taking on these bozos ("Mr Holland, who graduated with an external degree in electrical engineering from London University in 1966 before going on to run his own businesses..." - and is therefore an amateur crank with an axe to grind, we are meant to infer, presumably), this report if nothing else serves to demonstrate that the CRU's 'Hockey Team' of AGW fundamentalist, anti-science manipulators has finally been disciplined by their hitherto blind-eye-turning bosses. Well, it's a start, I suppose - and I fully expect that sacreficial resignations will soon follow. Don't be fooled by a stunt like that, though. The true scale, gravity and penetration of this scandal is still only emerging, and the second article serves to reinforce this view. Penned by Damian Thompson, the DT's blogs editor who, some might say appropriately, is usually associated with religious matters, the implications for the (current management and future of the) BBC are simply enormous:

I think we need to take a closer look at this intriguing story in the Mail:

One of [the BBC's] reporters has revealed he was sent some of the leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia more than a month ago – but did nothing about them.

Despite the explosive nature of some of the messages – which revealed apparent attempts by the CRU’s head, Professor Phil Jones, to destroy global temperature data rather than give it to scientists with opposing views – Paul Hudson failed to report the story.

This has led to suspicions that the scandal was ignored because it ran counter to what critics say is the BBC’s unquestioning acceptance in many of its programmes that man-made climate change is destroying the planet.

But hang on – wasn’t Paul Hudson the “climate change correspondent” who, as I reported on October 11, filed a story reporting that global warming stopped in 1998? I wrote at the time:

Hudson’s piece must have been a nightmare to write: talk about an inconvenient truth. All the caveats are in place, distancing him from hardline sceptics and giving plenty of space to the climate change orthodoxy. But, in fact, his scrupulous approach only makes matters worse for BBC executives who have swung the might of the corporation behind that orthodoxy, often producing what amounts to propaganda.

Back to the Mail story:

Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: ‘We need to know more about the BBC’s role in this affair. Was Mr Hudson told by the BBC not to use the story?’

It was only after the same emails were published on a blog called Air Vent that Look North climate correspondent Mr Hudson owned up in his own blog to the fact he had also had the material.

In a bizarre twist, he claimed the leak had been triggered by an article he had written that questioned global warming.

Mr Hudson, 38, last night declined to comment. A BBC spokesman said: ‘Paul has nothing to add to what he has already said in his blog.’

OK, so let’s have a look at that blog entry by Paul Hudson. I’ve marked a couple of sections in bold:

Like many of you I’ve been watching the story at the University of East Anglia develop with interest. I first became aware of the news late last week, but because of my weather and filming commitments couldn’t deal with it myself and so passed the news on to some of my colleagues in the BBC’s environment and science team, including our environment analyst Roger Harrabin who wrote about it on saturday morning, and Newsnight, who covered the story last night.

As you may know, some of the e-mails that were released last week directly involved me and one of my previous blogs, ‘Whatever happened to global warming ?’

These took the form of complaints about its content, and I was copied in to them at the time. Complaints and criticisms of output are an every day part of life, and as such were nothing out of the ordinary. However I felt that seeing there was an ongoing debate as to the authenticity of the hacked e-mails, I was duty bound to point out that as I had read the original e-mails, then at least these were authentic, although of course I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the others.

There are clearly some very serious issues that arise from the information that has been released. Some people are suggesting that spin has infiltrated science. Others worry that there are suggestions that the peer review process has been compromised and those with contrary views are being frozen out. There are issues regarding data; how has it been used? But those scientists that are convinced that man is responsible for global warming are troubled that all this takes attention away from the real issue here: that action is needed to be taken from the world’s biggest polluters to cut carbon dioxide emissions. This was certainly the message that came across this morning, in this story on our science website.

How will this all be resolved? Momentum does seem to be growing, from people on both sides of the argument, behind calls for a full independent enquiry that can once and for all get to the bottom of the many issues that have been raised. A recent survey showed that climate scepticism in this country is growing, and this episode may increase it further. Some would say that an enquiry is the only way to bring clarity to the science of global warming and climate change that has enormous implications for all of us.

Reading Hudson’s blog entry, I can’t help wondering whether he was instructed to “pass the news on” to the likes of Roger Harrabin, upholder of the AGW orthodoxy, who conspiciously failed to examine the content of the emails properly. Then notice the clever language in which Hudson’s blog entry is phrased: he hasn’t retreated from his position that there’s a question mark over global warming, and he wants an independent inquiry “to bring clarity to the science of global warming and climate change”.

No wonder he was encouraged to “pass on” his story to BBC experts who believe that the science of global warming is quite clear enough already, thank you, and don’t want to see the public confused by those pesky emails.

It seems that Christopher Booker might finally be exerting some long-overdue influence on the Telegraph's hitherto schizoid editorial policy which allowed him to write seriously damning articles, week after week, about the climate change fraud, and then placed them in a comments section often right next to some dumb, ovine, AGW, goodthink editorial about the end of the world.

It also seems pretty clear that Climategate has just graduated to the "major story" division, at least in one part of the MSM. One thing is certain, the heat - and the pressure - is building. And the biggest scientific myth of all time has just come one step closer to being exploded. How big a threat the warmists regard this will be measurable by the viciousness of their propaganda backlash, something which has already begun.


  1. And about time too. Shame on the Telegraph for sitting on this for over a week especially when James Delingpoles excellent blog remained their top online read for over a week.

    This will be the CRUs get-out clause "once its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements" which they will ensure takes months, if not forever.

  2. I must be a Libertarian (you know, all these Libertarian comments and such).

    But I'm gonna vote Tory to make sure we get rid of Brown and destroy Labour forever.

    It's not rocket science. And it's certainly not climate change "science".

  3. I can't wait until this whole bullshit house of cards collapses,D - the MSM, (or parts of it), are only now starting to catch up with the blogosphere on this - I can foresee some sweeping changes occurring at the BBC after the GE!

  4. Didn't quite make the leap to the Andrew Marr show. Just had Mariella Frostrup harping on about how 'Our children are going to die!'. That's another fantasy ruined.

  5. It'll be interesting to see how this sudden appetite for glasnost on the part of Hadley CRU and the Met works out in practice. What is actually required is something akin to an evidential integrity protocol where all results can be traced right back to the raw sensor readings, tree cores, sediment samples, dung beetle remains or whatever - with the ability to reproduce each data processing step exactly.

    None of this "here's all our data but it's actually the product of other data which you can't have" bollocks. If the proposed transparency doesn't dispel all reasonable doubts as to the collection, processing, archiving, methods and conclusions then it's not transparency and certainly not science.

    It aught to go without saying that results from any papers where the data has since been 'lost', as Dr Jones is want to say, should be withdrawn from publication and debate until the same results can be reproduced from trusted data and transparent methods. We are under no obligation accept any scientific result which cannot reasonably be reproduced on demand by a third party (it's not like we'd be asking them to build a new LHC, after all).

    Any scientist worth his salt, at Hadley, the Met, or any other climate research outpost, aught to welcome proper archiving and version control of their work. I actually have a hard time imagining how they could possible get on without it. Perhaps the sensible conclusion to be drawn from HARRY_READ_ME.txt is that they can't and don't, consummate professionals that they are.

    We shall see =)

  6. Just found this:

    A new one from Michael "Mike" Mann. Someone in the comments dryly observes "Not long ago they were calling for 'deniers' to be imprisoned?"

  7. Yes, it is startling, but these people aren't the softy green types of our childhoods. They are fanatical, basically misanthropic and therefore very definitely extremely dangerous. That's why they simply have to be defeated. Imprisonment for 'deniers' (heretics) would be only the beginning of what would become a campaign of hatred the likes of which are historically only too familiar to humanity.

    The stakes have never been higher, though.


Any thoughts?