The Team That Can’t Shoot Straight

Minutes after the Team announced its members, with Team captain Muir Russell emphasizing their impartiality, a commenter at Bishop Hill posted up an interview between Team member Philip Campbell, editor of Nature, in which he told Chinese radio that there was nothing to see here and people should just move along.

INTERVIEWER: I think you must have heard of the Climategate scandal recently. Some renowned global warming proponents showed a conspiracy to produce fraudulent data to support the global warming scenario. How do you see this scandal? Some say that this breaking couldn’t come at a worse time because of the upcoming Copenhagen conference. What’s your opinion.

CAMPBELL: It’s true that it comes at a bad time but it is not true that it is a scandal. The scientists have not hidden the data. If you look at the emails there is one or two bits of language that are jargon used between professionals that suggest something to outsiders that is wrong. In fact the only problem there has been is some official restriction on their ability to disseminate their data. Otherwise they have behaved as researchers should.

INTERVIEWER: So you think there has been some misunderstanding between the scientists and the outsiders?

CAMPBELL: Absolutely, absolutely.

Campbell immediately resigned. Channel Four has video and commentary. BBC

Update: Nature blog reports that the Team defended their “independence”, even though Philip Campbell’s presence on the Team was already in question. I guess Nature didn’t get the memo yet.

Head of climate-gate inquiry defends independence – February 11, 2010

The team reviewing allegations of poor scientific practice at the University of East Anglia set out its stall today, and immediately faced questions about its own independence….

Review head Muir Russell staunchly defended the independent nature of the review when questioned about the fact that it is funded by the university itself. Russell, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, also faced questions about the inclusion of Nature’s editor in chief Philip Campbell on the review team, as some of the questions to be answered concern research and researchers published in the journal.

“We are completely independent,” Russell told reporters. “We’re free to reach any conclusions that we wish. We are free to follow questions wherever they take us.”

Campbell added that he would be happy to excuse himself from any discussions that concern Nature. “Either you accept that the process is being as open as it can be, or you accuse us of covering up,” he added.

Russell’s ‘Independent Climate Change Email Review’ is now one of five separate inquiries into the climate-gate emails

Full disclosure: Daniel Cressey is an employee of Nature and is ultimately answerable to Philip Campbell.

72 Comments

  1. Jeremy
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Well, this at least clearly shows we’re past that ‘first they ignore you’ phase. This happened far too quickly. It makes my mind boggle at how in the very recent past, posts in this community would be ignored for months.

    • ianl8888
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 12:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

      The urgency for the investigation is in the rapid application of whitewash (to help calm a fractious public) – Campbell’s position on the panel was easily expendable in pursuit of this. No biggie at all …

  2. kim
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What on earth allowed Muir Russell to believe that Philip Campbell was unbiased?

    Actually, where are they going to find people expert enough who aren’t already on one side or the other?

    Do they ever need to get this right. Fortunately, the work will be in a fishbowl.
    =======================

  3. Jeff C.
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Amazing. I wonder if Campbell originally disclosed this to Russell. Assuming he didn’t disclose it, did Campbell forget that he gave the interview, thought no one would notice it, or just didn’t think it made any difference? Any of the three reflect poorly upon him.

  4. Steamboat McGoo
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kim,

    They’re not going to “get this right”.

    That is a foregone conclusion, IMHO.

  5. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Campbell is peanuts. Here is the big problem:

    “David Eyton, head of research and technology at BP”

    British Petroleum. One of the earliest and biggest backers of AGW financial games. How can he be “fair” when such would be a fiduciary breach to his employer (let alone government partners) if he finds AGW exaggerated?

    Look here, e.g.:

    http://cmi.princeton.edu/events/special/

    “BP Research and Technology Group Vice President David Eyton said: “The challenge of climate change requires policy development at all levels: global, national and local. Our work with Princeton is an example of BP’s commitment to collaborative research, and has already provided a vital contribution to the pace of policy development. We trust that governments will be successful in reaching a consensus for significant action, and we are working to inform their actions based on our experience of low-carbon technologies and businesses.”

  6. theduke
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Congratulations to Bishop Hill. When a post on a blog can effectuate this kind of decision, it’s an indication that the powers that be are listening to both sides of the story. The leak changed everything.

    “All changed, changed utterly: A terrible beauty is born.” Yeats

  7. Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Anybody who is a tiny bit informed in this matter, knows that “Nature” is not impartial wrt climategate.

  8. Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The real problem is that they still can shoot at all, although not straight. Unfortunately, the government is apparently on their side and keeps giving them guns and ammunition no matter how ridiculous they become.

  9. ZT
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Prof Geoffrey Boulton Edinburgh University (Team member) was a signer of the 1700 scientist document…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6950783.ece

    ‘As professional scientists, from students to senior professors, we uphold the findings of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, which concludes…’ (etc.)

    He is a glaciologist – he probably hasn’t had time to pounce on the IPCC report and read it yet.

    • Dave L.
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 7:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Yes indeed, Boulton signed the Met Office Petition. How can he be impartial? If you don’t understand the concern, read the actual Petition.
      [ .....we uphold the findings of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, which concludes that "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal" and that "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations".]

      Steve: The issues for the inquiry on misconduct not AGW.

  10. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 5:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Nature blog reports that the Team defended their “independence”, even though Philip Campbell’s presence on the Team was already in question. I guess Nature didn’t get the memo yet.

  11. theduke
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 6:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Here’s another tidbit on Campbell. He addressed the Euroscience Open Forum in July of 2008. I can’t find a text or an audio of the speech, but I did find the following from what appeared to be a power point presentation that accompanied the speech:

    Data Access: the responsibilities of publishers

    Political tussles over the climate “hockey stick.” People requesting access to data had a political agenda, the authors were not very forthcoming, and the paper was many years old (raising issues of changing standards in archiving source data.)

    Whenever anyone accuses someone of having a political agenda, that’s an indication that he’s defending a political agenda.

    Steve: do you have a URL for the PPT?

  12. Pat Frank
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 6:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I liked how Channel Four averred that, “The revelation is evidence of the well-organised and highly-motivated campaign by climate change sceptics….”

    Highly-motivated, yes. In the interests of honest science, mostly.

    But “well-organised”? Imagine that! Was there ever a better example of a spontaneous, ad-hoc, grass-roots, highly dispersed, emergent but individualistic group of motivated people? The group of scientific critics of human-caused global warming “theory” will be a primary case study of toposynclastic association by common interest.

    And “climate change sceptics” is yet another knowingly tendentious and prejudicial misnomer. How many times must it be repeated that “climate change” is *not* under critical review? Instead it is the assertion of anthropogenic climate warming in its many manifestations; at Climateaudit, the corpus of proxy thermometry. The critical distinction between climate change and AGW has been made many times in many places, and yet journalistic outlets such as Channel Four are relentless in misrepresentation.

    • theduke
      Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Pat Frank (Feb 11 18:15),

      This also from Channel 4 in which they quote Bob Ward, who was quoted last week in the slime piece on Steve and other “deniers”:

      Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Changement said: “Some commentators have already taken on the role of judge and jury, pronouncing on the guilt of those involved and calling for their resignations.

      “The Review team need to be fair to all concerned, but they may ultimately have difficulty persuading people to accept a verdict that does not match the conclusions that they have already reached themselves.”

      According to Ward, those with dissenting views about the dangers of climate change feel they have not been represented on the enquiry’s panel.

      “They’re motivation here is probably because Nature published most of the papers on climate change that they are trying to discredit,” he said.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 3:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Pat,

      I joined the sceptics because I was told there was a
      lot of funding coming from the fossil fuel lobby. Several years down the line I’m still waiting for my first cheque. I feel cheated!

      /sarc off.

    • Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 6:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Dear Pat,

      Apologies only picking up this thread very late. It’s been a busy few days… It’s not for me to comment on my colleague Tom Clarke’s choice of words, but as the producer working to the climate emails story, rest assured that we are pursuing all angles and with an open mind. Our news editors are very keen that we keep the pressure and scrutiny up on the whole area of climate science both at UEA and at the IPCC.

      Regards

      Nick Scott Plummer
      Science Producer – Channel 4 News
      0044207833 3000 x 3149

      • Posted Feb 15, 2010 at 8:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Nick Scott Plummer (Feb 15 06:11),
        Nick, it is encouraging to see that Channel 4 is reading Climate Audit! I hope Channel 4 News will run something on the Geoffrey Boulton story? He now seems to be denying any bias, despite the fact that he spent 18 years at UEA, making the whole ‘Independent Review’ a farce. Yes it has been a busy time and things are moving fast, but you guys must be used to this.

  13. Fred
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 6:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What a team . . . the Maple Leafs of the Climate Science League.

    They can’t even organize a whitewash power play.

  14. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 7:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Would his resignation be “positive feedback” or “negative feedback”?

  15. Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 7:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Concerning how this was exposed and I am reminded of the MIT Darpa Challenge.

    The challengers set out to “explore the role the Internet and social networking plays in the timely communication, wide area team-building and urgent mobilization required to solve broad scope, time-critical problems.”

    http://balloon.mit.edu/mit/rules/

    I wonder if they are watching?

  16. Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 8:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The big problem with this situation is that anyone with two working neurons knows good and well this guy can’t be independent. Even if he wanted to, which I doubt very much, Campbell has to deal with constant submissions from this huge UEA organization.

    The thing which is most stunning to me is that he would initially accept the invite, I mean how slow witted do you have to be to put yourself in his situation. For a doc, it ain’t that bright. All the guy had to do was say no thanks, there are conflicts of interest, but nope he said, oh heck yeah, I’ll be impartial.

    What it means is that they are not listening to the message yet. The appropriately named ‘team’ is not taking this seriously yet. They really believe that by ignoring and misconstruing the emails they can get away with this.

    • theduke
      Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 9:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jeff Id (Feb 11 20:10),

      I agree with this. Apparently Nature published much of the material that “settled” the science. If it turns out that the science is not “settled”, the reputation of the magazine will suffer. If the science as published in Nature is profoundly in error and a conspiracy to disseminate pseudo-science is uncovered, Nature could be accused of being party to the hoax.

      I’m not saying these things happened, but certainly they could have. No one knows for sure that they did not happen.

      As you say, not exactly a disinterested observer and a very bad choice to be on Team2.

      • Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 11:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Well Nature published papers referencing Piltdown ( in a positive way) after dating proved it was a fake. And everybody remember that Lamb figure from the early IPCC? They knew it was wrong but didnt want to correct it and embarrass henry.

        • theduke
          Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

          Re: Steven Mosher (Feb 11 23:52),

          Mosh: I’m going to disagree here. I’ve only read that Nature published doubts about Piltdown Man in 1950, before it was exposed definitively in 1953. You probably know something I don’t. But Piltdown was increasingly viewed as an anomaly in the scientific community decades before the hoax was exposed.

          Iow, the science was not settled :)

        • Jimchip
          Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

          Re: Steven Mosher (Feb 11 23:52),

          And everybody remember that Lamb figure from the early IPCC?

          If it’s the one I think it is, even the CRUTeam couldn’t remember where that figure came from. Serious email conundrum for them on that issue. I’m sure they were telling Nature, “Not a problem, just a figure, not peer-reviewed, data good, not a problem…”

  17. BarryW
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 8:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is something of the reverse of “we’ll give him a fair trial before we hang him”. In this case it’s “we’ll give him a fair trial before we exonerate him”.

    The concept of partiality is lost when those making the selection are on one side of an issue and believe themselves to be impartial. I don’t think it was intentional, just a blind spot, like not being abel to look at papers that refute AGW positions.

    The 911 commission had a similar conflict but got away with Jamie Gorelick serving on it although she was involved in issues related to the investigation.

    I’m surprised they didn’t just brazen it out.

  18. Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 9:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “We are completely independent,” Russell told reporters. “We’re free to reach any conclusions that we wish. We are free to follow questions wherever they take us.”

    I would think one would want to come to the proper conclusion, not just any old conclusion they wish.

  19. pete m
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 10:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bishop Hill ought to be added to your blogroll Steve.

    Nice work by commenter “Mac” – h/t.

    There should be many scientists who have no bones in this fight and can sit on this review.

    • Alan S. Blue
      Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 10:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: pete m (Feb 11 22:19),
      “There should be many scientists who have no bones in this fight and can sit on this review.”

      Frankly, I’m done with that.

      I’d like the review performed by chemical engineers, aeronautical engineers, computer engineers, and statisticians.

      • stephen richards
        Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 3:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Alan
        I’m with you. You don’t have to be a climate science to whether there has been some skullduggery, and you sure as hell need a stats man as Steve and Ross proved.

  20. Peter Wilson
    Posted Feb 11, 2010 at 11:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It seems to me that the fact that Muir thought that a professed team groupie like Campbell would be an acceptable person to review the teams activities tells us all we kneed to know about the likely tenor of the eventual report.

    I also note the following quote from Geoffrey Boulton, on Bishop Hill’s blog:

    “We have the evidence, we have a consensus on scientific interpretation, we have the investment, we know (Stern) that mitigation now rather than later is cheaper. But, we have not sorted out the politics and started to adapt behaviour to minimize risks. We cannot do this without public support. If we fail, we will be risking the consequences of catastrophic climate changes.”

    Oh yes, very impartial……

  21. geronimo
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 1:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Mmmn. I had thought that, whether he was going to do whitewash, or whether he was going to do a thorough investigation that Sir Muir Russell, distinguishe civil servant, and top mandarin, was at the very least a highly intelligent person and would be extremely thorough in that mandarin way.

    Let’s see. He announces his fellow investigators, and two of them are out and out warmists. One was the editor of a magazine that had failed in its duty to make the data and methods available for papers it published. The other has already signed a petition exhonerating the CRU. Add to this that he seems blithely unaware that the people at the centre of WG1 and it’s shenanigans in censoring and distorting the truth call themselves The Team. It has all the hallmarks of a man of mature years given a job he’s not up to.

    I knew Jim Norton years ago, although a decent enought fellow, he’s an establishment man and won’t do anything to rock the boat. So the team is led by a man who appears not to have done the slightest homework on his topic with an establishment man and a professor who has already declared the CRU innocent.

    Do you know what? I think Sir Muir is unaware of the blogosphere and is assuming that he’ll get the “right” result for the establishment and that it’ll then blow over.

  22. Jean Demesure
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 1:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Finding a 4 member Team of independant auditors for climategate, a big challenge for British science definitely!

  23. Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 2:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There is no way they can get it right. The ploitcians and civil servants ahve to much to lose and the media are already trying to rash the nay-sayers and the conclusions will say something like this: -

    1. The e-mails may have been badly worded due to the frustration the scientists concerned felt at the constant attacks on their research, but do not imply any attempt to hide information or obstruct proper assessment of all the data.
    2. The data used was the best avaialable and the models developed from it were, at the time, the most reliable.
    3. There has been no political pressure to “sex up” the reports and findings.
    4. The Taxpayers have had value for money from the research.
    5. The Climate Models are reliable.
    6. We have no vested interests in wind farms, solar power or electric cars and hybrids.
    7. We were told to say this by the Civil Servants handing out our research grants…

    Well, perhaps not the last one. It certainly won’t include any suggestion that there was anything wrong with the science or the way the information has since been used, abused and disseminated and Anglie will continue to get the truck loads of our money for their pseudo science.

    Job done, Civil Servants happy, Polticans off the hook and “Climate Scientists” on the Gloabal Warming End vindicated.

    What did you really expect?

  24. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 3:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    ““We are completely independent,” Russell told reporters. “We’re free to reach any conclusions that we wish. We are free to follow questions wherever they take us.”

    No, Sir Muir, you are obliged to report the facts, whether you wish to or not; or whether the path pleases you or not.

  25. Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 4:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Geoffrey Boulton must go also.
    The info on the panel members states that
    “None have any links to the Climatic Research Unit”,
    a misleading piece of spin.
    He spent at least 10 years at the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA,
    so he cannot be regarded as objective.
    Curiously, this fact is omitted from the biographies of the panel members at
    http://www.cce-review.org/Biogs.php

    • bobdenton
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 6:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

      He was employed by the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia for 18 years, from 1968 to 1986. It was there that he established his academic career. He owes a lot to UEA.

      From his CV:

      “3. CAREER SINCE GRADUATION:

      1962-64: Scientific Officer, Geological Survey of Great Britain
      1964-65: Demonstrator, Department of Geology, University of Keele
      1965-68: Research Fellow, Department of Geology, University of Birmingham
      1968: Hydrogeologist – Kenya Department of Water Supply
      1968-86: School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia. Lecturer:1968-76, Reader:1976-86 (half-time, 1982-86)
      1982-86: Extraordinary Professor at the University of Amsterdam
      1986-: Regius Professor of Geology, University of Edinburgh
      1986-1993 Head of Department of Geology and Geophysics
      1994-1999 Provost and Dean of Science and Engineering
      1999 – Vice Principal”

      The CRU is part of the School of Environmental Sciences though separated from the main building by about 30 metres. The CRU was established in 1972 as part of that School while Prof Boulton was a member of the academic staff. Tom Wigley, who you will have read of in the leaked emails, was a fellow member the academic staff of the school from 1978, when Wigley joined as Director of CRU, to 1986 when Boulton left. The must have shared many a beer in the common room.

      One of Prof Boulton’s areas of study is Himalayan Glaciers.

      http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/people/person.html?indv=437

      How did he perform in terms of GlacierGate? Did he contribute to or comment on AR4? Did he speak out when he read the disappearing glaciers claim, or is one who sat on his hands so as not to dilute the message?

      • Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 6:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: bobdenton (Feb 12 06:18),
        Bob, you beat me to it with these details. His CV can be found on the web. His affiliation is given as “School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia” on many of his papers from the 70s and 80s. The CRU website states that “The Climatic Research Unit is part of the School of Environmental Sciences” and that CRU was founded in 1972.

        So the statement at

        http://www.cce-review.org/About.php

        that

        “None have any links to the Climatic Research Unit”

        is false.

        • justbeau
          Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

          Wow! This new Team cannot even figure out the conflicts of interest among its own members, let alone investigate anyone else.
          An apt review panel would include people genuinely agnostic and open-minded about climate change; have a lawyer to help on legal issues; and some scientific methologists (aka statisticians) to sort out the robustness of relevant evidence.

        • ZT
          Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

          Regarding this ‘Team’ FAQ:

          “Do any of the Review team members have a predetermined view on climate change and climate science?
          No. Members of the research team come from a variety of scientific backgrounds. They were selected on the basis they have no prejudicial interest in climate change and climate science and for the contribution they can make to the issues the Review is looking at.”

          A Delingpole today provided a link to a talk that Boulton gave in 2008 where Boulton says:

          ‘Calculations by glaciologists now suggest that by 2050 most of the Himalayan glaciers will have gone and the impact on dry season flow of those great rivers will be dramatic in the extreme.’

          http://www.gcph.co.uk/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,385/

          Even Pachauri has admitted that this is false.

    • AWatcher
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 12:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Boulton

      http://www.thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/529-russell-panel-needs-complete-overhaul.html (second half)

      http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/2/12/everybody-needs-good-neighbours.html

      http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/2/12/more-boulton.html

      And:

      http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/news/Copenhagen-Summit-Scientists-unite-to.5903406.jp

      Some of the scientists who signed the Met Office petition told The Scotsman they were wary of adding “flames to the fire”, but thought it was right to stand up for the integrity of climate research.

      Prof Boulton said he was worried the scandal might have damaged progress on thrashing out a deal to tackle global warming at the summit in Copenhagen.

  26. P Gosselin
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 5:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I have to ask: How are they ever going to find a way to whitewash this? The e-mails are so damning. I suspect they’ll use a trick and leave it up to the media. Expect something like:
    1. The Team will put out a jumbo-sized comprehensive report of several hundred pages that’s hard to get through.
    2. The report will say in an indirect way that there was a lot of wrongdoing.
    3. The Team will slip in a few passages that imply there wasn’t much there, and it’s time to move on.
    4. Just before releasing the report, the Team will tip off the media exactly where to find this slipped-in passages.
    5. At release, the media will pounce on them and run like a bat out of hell, milking it for all it’s worth.
    6. The rest of us will spend days going through the report only to realise the Team had found a lot of wrongdoing, but obscured it.
    7. But by then the media will have already moved on to something else.

    Call it a sophisticated “hide-the-real-crime” trick.

    • PhilJourdan
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 10:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Damn Devious! But my cynicism says you are probably right.

    • WillR
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 11:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: P Gosselin (Feb 12 05:27),

      I think it’s a lot simpler than that. I made a Reply to RossM on this issue in the last thread.

      All they have to do is “find” a few agreements, realize they cannot discuss the important issues and haul out the nearest broom… a few lumps under the carpet — but no lasting damage — and nothing to see.

  27. Jeremy Poynton
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 8:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    And don’t expect any help from the BBC; here’s a response I got from their complaints department, having emailed them re the reference to “stolen emails” made on the Today programme yesterday, in an article about tine investigation
    ———————————————————————

    Dear Jeremy Poynton

    Thank you for your email concerning the use of the word “stolen” in relation to the “Climategate” emails, which raised an interesting point. I have spoken to the Radio Newsroom editor, Richard Clark, and he has discussed it with his team and also taken advice from the BBC lawyers. On balance, they feel that using the word stolen” – when data was taken unlawfully taken – is not inappropriate. And furthermore, would stress the BBC does not have a “view” and we would argue it’s a big step, then, to conclude that use of this word puts us in one particular camp.That said, “stolen” is not the only word we use – in fact, in most instances we refer to the date being “hacked into.”

    Yours sincerely
    Kate Riley
    Assistant Editor, News Programmes

    • ErnieK
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 10:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jeremy Poynton (Feb 12 08:01), Perhaps you could reply back to them and ask if they have received any information or evidence that has not been made public that even suggests that the “data was taken unlawfully taken” or “hacked”? So far, I have not seen anything other than speculation for either one (an open ftp server or whistle blower are also possibilities). If they have such evidence, they should say so.

    • David A
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 9:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Maybe they could explain the difference between hacked and stolen, and why they never state leaked.

  28. Gord Richens
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 9:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sheesh. The first bullet point in Mr. Campbell’s presentation is priceless:

    “An inherent principle of publication is that others should be able to replicate and build upon the authors’ published claims. Therefore, a condition of publication in a Nature journal is that authors are required to make materials, data and associated protocols available in a publicly accessible database or, where one does not exist, to readers promptly on request.”

    • Gord Richens
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 9:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Referencing theduke’s comment of Feb 11, 2010 at 6:12 PM above.

  29. Fred
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 9:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Do you know what? I think Sir Muir is unaware of the blogosphere and is assuming that he’ll get the “right” result for the establishment and that it’ll then blow over.”

    Geronimo . . . if your assessment is accurate – I think it is, then poor Sir Muir is in for an exceptionally painful education on the power of the Blogosphere to inflict “learning”. He’ll end up thinking that chasing parked cars with his face is a pleasant experience.

    Life is a series of lessons
    Lessons will be repeated until learned

  30. Pedro
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 9:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Let’s face it. The only unbiased people who could be appointed to the inquiry panel are CA bloggers.

  31. Stacey
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    An extract from the the Channel 4 interview:

    John Snow: “Is there a skeptic on the panel”

    Tom Clarke: “No”

  32. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    There’s a lot that I find puzzling about the list of questions now that I’ve looked at them in more detail. Shouldn’t they be asking CRU scientists about all relevant questions? rather than trying to “distill” them. And their FAQ says that they haven’t read all the emails yet. Shouldn’t they try to do that before sending their list of questions to CRU?

    • gimply
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

      It strikes me that the motivation is to draw out all of the skeptics and their arguments, without publishing same, in order to craft a grand, unified counter-attack. Sigh…

    • Jimchip
      Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Steve McIntyre (Feb 12 11:02),

      I’ve been having a hard time with the questions. Some are just too narrowly focused and I worry that if the focus is maintained that the context will be lost. However, responses can’t be too broad, either. Perhaps that’s a warning to anyone writing submissions. I’m not, and that’s good, ‘cuz I wouldn’t be able to walk the tightrope.

      Steve: The questions are a big issue for me. Do these guys even know how to run an inquiry .. an inquiry should look like a legal process, not a term paper.

  33. Brian B
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    –Russell told reporters. “We’re free to reach any conclusions that we wish. We are free to follow questions wherever they take us.”–

    What a disingenuous comment.
    Of course they can do the right thing.
    The concern is that they won’t, not that they can’t.
    And a corollary concern is whatever conclusion they reach will be tainted by uncertainty as to how and why they came to it.

  34. Dave Leary
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The THIRD word of the remit of ‘The Team’ reveals their bias:

    “1. Examine the HACKED e-mail exchanges ….

    That word dear sirs, is a value judgement – and subject of a current investigation. The template reveals itself..

  35. Stacey
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 1:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    With one exception it looks as if the I Team members are either directly or indirectly on HMG’s payroll. The head of which thinks that people who question man made global warming are “Flatearthers”.

    I cannot understand how an inquiry into such a serious matter is not headed up by a Judge with a broad spectrum of advisers to give him advice.

  36. Stacey
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 1:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is bizarre.

    Luther Pendragon have been appointed to deal with the press.

    This from here
    http://www.spinprofiles.org/index.php/Luther_Pendragon

    When Luther Pendragon was finally asked to provide details of correspondence between the PR company and CoRWM as part of the FOI request, Adam Lewis from Luther replied:

    “We estimate that it will take a consultant around 7 hours in total. As per the contract this time is charged at £200 per hour bringing it to a total of £1400.”
    On receiving this, Adam Scott from CoRWM wrote to a colleague that:

    “this is ridiculously expensive, please can you check urgently with defra FOI people whether we have to spend this kind of money as a result of their ‘advice.’”
    In the end, sources from CoRWM have told NuclearSpin that the money was not paid.[6]

    CoRWM = Commitee for Radioactive Waste Management.

    • mpaul
      Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 2:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

      So their new PR guy has a history of advising clients on how to evade FOIA requests.

      You know — the problem is not that Muir shot himself in the foot. The problem is that he re-loads so quickly.

      • Tony Hansen
        Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 4:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

        If one has a habit of shooting oneself in the foot, one should avoid the habit of putting ones foot in ones mouth.

  37. LibertyMark
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 1:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    They need to find people who are familiar with the scientific establishment – people that publish in journals, participate in peer review, compete for grants, and are familiar with statistics – but that are in fields completely unrelated to any of the fields in question – meteorology, paleoclimate, climate modeling, even astrophysics.

    This should be doable – psychiatrists, cancer researchers, and academic engineers all come to mind.

    The fact that they didn’t do this obvious bit of conflict-of-interest prevention speaks volumes.

  38. jazznick
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lord Lawson call for a complete inquiry overhaul following Campbell-Boulton cock-up.

    http://www.thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/529-russell-panel-needs-complete-overhaul.html

  39. EdeF
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 4:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Any statisticians on the team?

  40. Ray Girouard
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 6:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    OT but I am not sure where this should go. Please move as appropriate.

    I did a bit of googling on the topic of HadleyCRU funding sources and found that their acknowledgements include BP, Shell and the Sultanate of Oman. It is at the bottom. web.archive.org/web/20080627194858/http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history which is HadleyCRU’s web site. I also noticed that they have received funding from the U.S. DOE and EPA. These research grants are public information and must be made available on request. I wonder what king of Terms and Conditions were accepted by UEA with these grants. It is possible that by accepting our $$$$$$$, they also accepted provisions that open them to FOI requests for work supported under these grants.

  41. Ray Girouard
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 6:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE my previous post, one clarification. The grant documents must be open to public review by the agency that awarded the funding.

  42. Tiny CO2
    Posted Feb 12, 2010 at 6:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Explanations are coming out in advance of the inquiry?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8511701.stm

    Roger Harrabin

    Phil Jones, the professor behind the “Climategate” affair, has admitted some of his decades-old weather data was not well enough organised.

    He said this contributed to his refusal to share raw data with critics – a decision he says he regretted.

    [snip]

    But he agreed that two periods in recent times had experienced similar warming. And he agreed that the debate had not been settled over whether the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the current period.

    cont.

  43. Jimchip
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Conflicts of Interest, Independence, Objectivity (if that’s still a viable concept today) are crucially important. Campbell was a poor choice and the choice might say something about how well-informed the other committee members were, going into the investigation. However, it was not necessarily a mistake having a Nature editor on ‘the (new) team’ <—last time I'm typing (new).

    Nature has quite a history with all of this and sometimes it is prudent to have a Trustworthy insider on investigation committees so that they are privy to the whole story, can help with the investigation, and can take ethical and appropriate action after the public conclusions are announced. I want to ignore the fact that the choice was Campbell so I can remain optimistic but I can't ignore facts.

  44. C.W. Schoneveld
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 2:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What a pity that Philip Campbell has seen fit to withdraw from the committee; he could have explained the workings of the pal review system better than anyone else.

  45. John Murphy
    Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 7:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Can anyone tell me if teh Russell inquiry is open to the public? Are the transcripts to be published daily?

    If not, it’s a whitewash.

6 Trackbacks

  1. By Rubber Stamp « the Air Vent on Feb 11, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    [...] The Team That Can’t Shoot Straight Climate Audit [...]

  2. By Climategate, what is going on? - EcoWho on Feb 11, 2010 at 6:00 PM

    [...] The team that can't shhot straight [...]

  3. [...] CA’s The Team That Can’t Shoot Straight: Minutes after the Team announced its members, with Team captain Muir Russell emphasizing their [...]

  4. [...] relevante links met analyses rondom het aftreden van Campbell zijn: Channel4, ClimateAudit.org, Bishop Hill met alweer nieuwe onthullingen over andere panelleden, BBC en hopelijk kunnen we dit [...]

  5. [...] Scientists start to resign from institutions, Alarmist editor of Nature forced to resign from climate panel, The team that cant shoot straight, [...]

  6. By Top Posts — WordPress.com on Feb 13, 2010 at 7:08 PM

    [...] The Team That Can’t Shoot Straight Minutes after the Team announced its members, with Team captain Muir Russell emphasizing their impartiality, a [...] [...]

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *

*
*

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,882 other followers

%d bloggers like this: