A new controversy involving another “trick” by the Boulton-Russell Inquiry. Today’s post is prompted by a new sentence added to the Inquiry FAQs and an article by Channel Four on the controversial Boulton CV here. As so often, a bit of a backstory.
In the press conference announcing the Inquiry, Sir Muir Russell made the following undertaking:
Given the nature of the allegations it is right that someone who has no links to either the University or the Climate Science community looks at the evidence and makes recommendations based on what they find.
The day after submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry closed, Russell revealed that this undertaking had been betrayed, first with the appointment of Philip Campbell, editor of Nature (who honorably resigned within hours of being challenged) and second with the appointment of Geoffrey Boulton, who had worked at UEA for 18 years from 1968-1986 and who had multiple links to the Climate Science community – making over a dozen speeches and interviews on climate change in the past two years.
The Boulton-Russell Inquiry played down both Boulton’s links to the University of East Anglia and especially to the Climate Science community. In the week following his appointment, Boulton’s links to the Climate Science community were gradually reported on here, at Bishop Hill’s and elsewhere.
On Feb 16, 2006, CA reader oneuniverse pointed out that a Boulton CV online in China here said that Boulton had been a “contributor to G8 preparatory groups and Intergovernmental Panels on climate change” (also discussed in CA thread here.)
The Boulton-Russell Team has taken note of this discussion, with the CRU Inquiry FAQs adding the sentence bolded below to the FAQs on controversial Team member Geoffrey Boulton – the addition is undated, but is new in the last few days. (They adopt the practice of the other Team in not actually citing their critics)
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 purported CV of Professor Boulton in circulation contains a line claiming he has contributed submissions to the IPCC. This is false. He has not, and his name does not appear on any IPCC contributor list.
Channel Four’s article (today) has a lengthy discussion of the curious Boulton CV, in which Boulton strongly implies that the line in the CV was recently added and, in response to a question about whether he was implying “dirty tricks”, said that “people are free to draw their own conclusions as to why it seems to have appeared now”
And when Channel 4 News asked about the claim on the CV, we received this puzzling reply: “The CV published online today is not correct. Professor Boulton has no idea where the final statement referring to the G8 and IPCC comes from, or where/when it has been added. The statement has not featured in his previous CVs.”
Professor Boulton sent Channel 4 News a copy of his 2007 CV which did not have the final line. Asked whether he was implying dirty tricks we received another email: “Professor Boulton has no CV with that line on it, because there is no reason for it”, adding: “people are free to draw their own conclusions as to why it seems to have appeared now”.
Boulton’s insinuation that the embarrassing last line was inserted by Team opponents is total disinformation.
Demonstrating Boulton’s claim is disinformation is complicated by the fact that Boulton and/or his allies have deleted the Boulton CV from the original location. As a result, people can no longer inspect the original Word document for themselves. Channel Four has posted up their copy but the document properties in their saved version are changed in the save.) However, a CA reader wisely took a screenshot of the document properties of the controversial Boulton CV prior to its deletion (see below).
Figure 1. Document properties of Boulton CV downloaded from http://spa.xmu.edu.cn/edit/UploadFile/2007101883249846.doc before its deletion
Nini Yang is also mentioned in the version online at Channel Four. Nini Yang is an employee of the University of Edinburgh in his China Office. I wrote to Nini Yang on Feb 19 and again on Feb 22, unsuccessfully requesting an explanation of the situation.
However, in one of Boulton’s speeches in early 2008, he told the organizers that he had “recently arrived back from China where he has been having discussions there with governmental and NGO representatives around global climate change” – discussions that seem to have taken place around September 2007, when Boulton’s presence in China was attested at the website cited above (prior to the deletion.)
The sentence “contributor to G8 preparatory groups and Intergovernmental Panels on climate change” in the Boulton CV was demonstrably no more recent than September 2007 – perhaps to enhance Boulton’s standing with the “governmental and NGO representatives” with whom he was discussing “global climate change”. Perhaps it was in the CV for some other reason. But whatever this claim being in the Boulton CV and whatever the provenance, it was in a September 2007 CV and not inserted by Boulton opponents in 2010.
Boulton and Nini Yang know this. Boulton should have admitted it, rather than insinuated that this clause was inserted by Boulton opponents in 2010 (“people are free to draw their own conclusions as to why it seems to have appeared now”).
Maybe Boulton thinks that the deletion of the online CV and, after removal of the online evidence, the insinuation that his opponents inserted the controversial clause, is a “good way of dealing with a problem”.
But it isn’t. It’s a trick.
Needless to say, this is only one incident involving Boulton that makes his participation in the Inquiry a mockery of Russell’s original undertaking that “it is right that someone who has no links to either the University or the Climate Science community looks at the evidence and makes recommendations based on what they find”.
A reader at Bishop Hill and here points us to http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/presse/news08/pm281027-1boul.html for use of the term G6 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
Geoffrey Boulton wirkte im „G8 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change“, erhielt die Kirk Bryan Medal der Geological Society of America, ist Empfänger des „Seligman Crystals“ der Internationalen Glaciological Society (2002) sowie des David Tedford Award for services to science. Eine herausragende Ehrung ist die „Lyell Medal“ der Geological Society (London, 2006); ihm wurden ferner drei Ehrendoktorate verliehen.
This was dated October 18, 2008.