Sci Tech Committee Again

New report from the UK Sci Tech Committee. (I’m traveling – see Bishop Hill for link.) My take is that the Committee was annoyed with the University of East Anglia, being quite critical of the inquiries in the running text, but have decided that there are other more pressing priorities and that it’s time to “move on”.
In some cases, they seem to have gritted their teeth and accepted untrue statements at face value. Graham Stringer, by far the most knowledgeable member of the Committee on matters UEA, moved a critical amendment to the conclusions that is an honest appraisal of the situation.

Stringer’s Amendment
Stringer proposed the following final paragraph for the report:

98. The disclosure of data from the Climatic Research Unit has been a traumatic and challenging experience for all involved and to the wider world of science. There are proposals to increase worldwide taxation by up to a trillion dollars on the basis of climate science predictions. This is an area where strong and opposing views are held. The release of the e-mails from CRU at the University of East Anglia and the accusations that followed demanded independent and objective scrutiny by independent panels. This has not happened. The composition of the two panels has been criticised for having members who were over identified with the views of CRU. Lord Oxburgh as President of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and Chairman of Falck Renewable appeared to have a conflict of interest. Lord Oxburgh himself was aware that this might lead to criticism. Similarly Professor Boulton as an ex colleague of CRU seemed wholly inappropriate to be a member of the Russell panel. No reputable scientist who was critical of CRU’s work was on the panel, and prominent and distinguished critics were not interviewed. The Oxburgh panel did not do as our predecessor committee had been promised, investigate the science, but only looked at the integrity of the researchers. With the exception of Professor Kelly’s notes other notes taken by members of the panel have not been published. This leaves a question mark against whether CRU science is reliable. The Oxburgh panel also did not look at CRU’s controversial work on the IPPC which is what has attracted most series allegations. Russell did not investigate the deletion of e-mails. We are now left after three investigations without a clear understanding of whether or not the CRU science is compromised.”

Instead, the Committee adopted the following:

98. The disclosure of data from the Climatic Research Unit has been a traumatic and challenging experience for all involved and to the wider world of science. Much rests on the accuracy and integrity of climate science. This is an area where strong and opposing views are held. It is, however, important to bear in mind the considered view of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, that “the general issues on overall global temperature, on sea level and so on, are all pretty unequivocal”.132 While we do have some reservations about the way in which UEA operated, the SAP review and the ICCER set out clear and sensible recommendations.In our view it is time to make the changes and improvements recommended and with greater openness and transparency move on.


Comments

The Committee noted the following criticisms of the Muir Russell report:

As with the SAP, there has been criticism in the press of the ICCER that:
• it did not adequately test the science;
• it only examined three instances of possible abuse of peer review, and just two cases when CRU researchers may have abused their roles as authors of Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports;
• it did not study hundreds of thousands more unpublished e-mails from the CRU;
• it failed to investigate whether e-mails were deleted to prevent their release under freedom of information laws;
• none of CRU’s critics were interviewed by the two enquiries; and
• the membership of the Panel had excluded reputable critics of climate science.25

They didn’t refute any of these criticisms. After noting the criticisms, they didn’t specifically address them, but, to the extent that they did, the validity of the criticisms is conceded.

Deleting Emails
As has been discussed previously, despite an explicit request from the Sci Tech Committee, Muir Russell did not investigate deletion of emails as that would have been actually investigating potential malfeasance. Muir Russell admitted this at the hearing in October. They expressed dissatisfaction that all that they got was a “verbal reassurance” from VC Acton that the emails still exist and can be produced.

We find it unsatisfactory that we are left with a verbal reassurance from the Vice-Chancellor that the e-mails still exist.
tha

He told us “Can those e-mails be produced? Yes, they can. Did those who might have deleted them say they deleted them? No. They say they did not”.116

Unfortunately, out of the other side of their mouth, the University of East Anglia says that it can’t produce the Wahl-Briffa emails (with attachments) that were the epicenter of Jones’ deletion request. I sent an FOI to UEA, which was refused on the grounds that the UEA no longer had the documents.

We were unable to provide the following four documents as we had determined that these were no longer held by the University and cited Reg. 12(4)(a):
AW_Editorial_ July15.doc
AR4SOR_BatchAB_Ch06_ERW_comments.doc
Ch06_SOD_Text_TSU_FINAL_2000_12jul06_ERW_suggestions.doc
Ch06_SOD_Text_TSU_FINAL_2000_25jul06KRB-FJRV_
ERW_suggestions.doc

One of these statements by the University is untrue. Either they have the documents and the claim in their FOI refusal is untrue or Acton’s statement to the Parliamentary Committee was untrue. I guess the Committee was too polite to call Acton out on the contradiction.

Some Other Comments
There was much commentary last spring on the inconsistency between Acton’s press releases and evidence to the Committee on the scope of the Oxburgh inquiry and what Oxburgh perceived as the scope. The Committee didn’t call Acton a liar, but commented a little sourly:

23. It is our view that the most reasonable interpretation of the UEA press notice of 11 February 2010 and the Vice-Chancellor’s statement on 1 March 2010 was that the Scientific Assessment Panel would examine the quality of the science as well as the integrity. In the event, Lord Oxburgh and his colleagues on the Panel carried out a narrower inquiry that focussed on the Climatic Research Unit’s methodologies and the integrity of the research. Had the scope and purpose of the SAP been made clear from the beginning of February it would have avoided much confusion and the inevitable allegation of manipulation.

32. Lord Oxburgh’s explanation for the brisk timetable would be understandable if there was a pressing deadline. In this case, as Lord Oxburgh explained, the urgency came from UEA, the report “had to be done rapidly [...] they [UEA] really wanted something within a month”.48 Lord Oxburgh’s statement could also be construed as indicating that the review was not operating wholly independently. Had the SAP been in less of a rush, they could have investigated the integrity of the science with more rigour, particular with regard to CRU scientists’ ability to repeat their own experimental work, an issue we discuss in paragraph 60.

33. The disparity in length between the SAP and ICCER reports is striking. When
compared to the ICCER, the SAP report—a mere five pages—reads like an executive
summary, with none of the detail of the ICCER. From Lord Oxburgh’s evidence to us,
the report does not appear to explain the detailed work carried out by the SAP. That in itself does not invalidate the SAP report but it does foster an impression that it was not as thorough as the ICCER and was produced quickly in an attempt to be helpful to UEA.

They stated that working papers of the Oxburgh panel should have been made public. They drew attention to the Oxburgh finding of dangers of “selection bias” (cherrypicking) – one of the longstanding concerns of CA;

39. In the interest of openness and transparency, supporting documents including the working documents of Professor Kelly and others on the Panel should have been made publicly available alongside the report and should now be made available. Unfortunately, Professor Kelly’s comments—which have been published in isolation online—can now be read out of context. Had these been published alongside the comments of the other Panel members with an outline of roundtable discussions we consider that this would not have been a problem. The importance of Professor Kelly’s work is that it clears CRU of deliberately falsifying their figures but, as the SAP report put it, “the potential for misleading results arising from selection bias is very great in this area”.

They ruminate briefly at the 11 papers selected by Trevor Davies – where Davies had simply used the papers selected by CRU to put themselves in a good light – in particular, the early papers in which the divergence problem was discussed, rather than the later papers and IPCC where it was disguised. The Sci Tech Committee uncritically got taken by Oxburgh’s statement:

CRU publications repeatedly emphasize the discrepancy between instrumental and tree-based proxy reconstructions of temperature during the late 20th century, but presentations of this work by the IPCC and others have sometimes neglected to highlight this issue.66

We’ve discussed the absurdity of the above statement attributing blame for hide-the-decline on “IPCC and others”, given that post-1960 hide-the-decline data was deleted in CRU publications not included in the Eleven and given that CRU authors were active in the IPCC texts for both the 2001 and 2007 reports – with Briffa specifically refusing the request of one IPCC reviewer to show the decline.

They comment on replication:

61. Lord Oxburgh said that CRU was not able to make accurate reconstructions in every case, particularly of old material. Professor Davies from UEA confirmed this but said CRU scientists would be able to do this given a number of weeks. This is precisely the sort of work we would have expected the Scientific Assessment Panel to conduct—had it been less concerned about rushing to publish its report—during its inquiry into methodologies and the integrity of research at CRU.

They re-iterate their insistence that data and code be archived. However, as CA readers are aware, in paleoclimate, nothing has changed e.g. the recent PAGES compilation co-authored by Jones, where the data hasn’t been archived other than in a password-protected site for friends of the authors.

The discussion of peer review is pathetic. They asked Muir Russell about the three case studies and uncritically accepted Muir Russell’s untrue statement that these three were at the top of the headlines when the story broke. This was discussed previously at CA. Other instances were more at issue e.g. Jones’ going to town:

75. On questioning Sir Muir Russell about the choice of the three examples, he informed us that “they were the three that had been at the top of the head [...] in the comments that were made when the whole story broke […] We couldn’t do everything but we looked at three very solid accusations”.102 He explained that the ICCER team were advised by their peer review adviser, Richard Horton, that it was “entirely natural that people should take a robust view about their own work” when peer reviewing the work of others with a different disposition.103

Horton’s article was totally fatuous for this sort of inquiry. He said that the issue was whether the CRU guys had crossed the line – which Muir Russell didn’t do. Nor did they investigate pal review.

They accepted Muir Russell’s false statement that they had seen “no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect of a request already made.”

85. The ICCER also stated “there seems clear incitement to delete emails, although we have seen no evidence of any attempt to delete information in respect of a request already made.”113 We questioned Sir Muir Russell about what this statement meant. He explained that the e-mails “do still exist”;114

Rather than grasping this nettle, the Sci Tech Committee pronounced itself content with recommendations that the university do better in the future. Not that the University has shown itself more willing to respond positively to FOI requests.

All in all, another very “British” inquiry. None of the famous Cambridge spies were ever arrested. Indeed Anthony Blunt’s complicity was concealed for over a decade.

The Committee did seem to be exasperated at the execrable “inquiries” and the exasperation showed through here and there. But in the end, it was a stiff upper lip and “move on”.

44 Comments

  1. mpaul
    Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    I think this report will certainly have the effect of energizing the skeptics. I got a chuckle when I saw that they used the phrase ‘move on’. Surely they are unaware of the ironic meaning this phrase has in the skeptic community (and particularly the CA crowd). It’s a bit like when they named the Russell Inquiry the “Team”.

  2. Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    I’m sure that great things will happen to Graham Stringer. He’ll either be bought off with a fancy title, or his impressively rational comments will lead to increased influence.

    I wonder if the BBC will be able to ignore an MP going on record like this?

  3. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    I really don’t know what this means:
    ‘This is an area where strong and opposing views are held. It is, however, important to bear in mind the considered view of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, that “the general issues on overall global temperature, on sea level and so on, are all pretty unequivocal”.’

    Is “issues” the concept that is intended here? We can probably all agree what the issues are, but this statement leaves me with the impression that Sir Beddington really intends to say that the “facts” of global temperature, sea level and so on are without significant doubt. So I am left not understanding whether the statement quoted is benign or inherently contradictory and controversial.

    • John Carpenter
      Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

      Go back an re-read the original proposed statement made by Stringer

      “The disclosure of data from the Climatic Research Unit has been a traumatic and challenging experience for all involved and to the wider world of science. There are proposals to increase worldwide taxation by up to a trillion dollars on the basis of climate science predictions. This is an area where strong and opposing views are held.”

      and then compare with the final version

      “The disclosure of data from the Climatic Research Unit has been a traumatic and challenging experience for all involved and to the wider world of science. Much rests on the accuracy and integrity of climate science. This is an area where strong and opposing views are held.”

      In Stringers proposal, he gives a very good reason why the need to get the science right is necessary and why it is “an area where strong and opposing views are held”, while in the adopted version the specific reason is replaced with a more general reason on maintaining scientific integrity. The adopted version replaces a specific reason, taxing people trillions of dollars (needlessly), with a true statement that most people would not find controversial, “Much rests on the accuracy and integrity of climate science”. Who would argue with that?

      As such, the reason for “strong and opposing views” is lost and why the panel retained the statement in the final version is puzzling. Regardless, the statement originally refers to the spending of lots of money and not to whether the issue of global temps, sea level rise, etc… are the reasons for “strong and opposing views”. In short it is not benign, contradictory or controversial, it is simply misrepresented :)

    • Tom Ganley
      Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

      “So I am left not understanding whether the statement quoted is benign or inherently contradictory and controversial.”

      It’s none of those things. The phrase “pretty unequivocal” is an oxymoron, which is the backbone of all political equivocation. If you act mostly serious and throw in the occasional nonsense, it diverts attention from the point while everyone stands around scratching their heads.

      Pretty clever, really.

      • sleeper
        Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

        Re: Tom Ganley (Jan 24 22:27),
        Yes, a statement made by the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington no less. Impressive.

      • Shallow Climate
        Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

        …which reminds me of a comment once from Voltaire: “To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered.”

      • Spence_UK
        Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

        Nice, another one to add to my list. It can join the climatological phraseology of “nearly unprecedented”, not to mention “almost unique”.

        Superlatives are best accompanied by a little “plausible deniability”, or so I’ve heard.

        • UC
          Posted Jan 26, 2011 at 2:30 AM | Permalink

          Hah, how about “previously unprecedented”, or “for the first time we have unprecedented warming”

  4. Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    If we’re expected to move on, then we can only assume policy makers will ignore any science associated with this debacle.

    I won’t hold my breath.

  5. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

    Read the embargoed report yesterday then did not sleep well. The motion by Graham Stringer that you quote was the most telling part, though it was opposed by Gregg McClymont, Stephen Metcalfe & Stephen Mosley. The rest can be summarised as “we found this odd, but are going to nothing about it”.

    My take is that the Inquiries combined have done nothing to assure other acientists that there is a reliable global temperature data base that is unadjusted except obvious errors. Nor have the Inquiries resolved to make such files vailable.

    There is too much smoke for there not to be fire. I shan’t be one to “move on” as the final Sci Tech recommendation suggests.

    BTW, the story on sea level change is altering with new technology inputs. For Sir John Beddington to infer – kind of – that it’s settled is profoundly disturbing.

  6. Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

    All in all, another very “British” inquiry. None of the famous Cambridge spies were ever arrested. Indeed Anthony Blunt’s complicity was concealed for over a decade.

    I was twenty one when Margaret Thatcher chose to expose Anthony Blunt in the House of Commons, after Andrew Boyle had uncovered his identity during research for his book The Climate of Treason but was unable to name him lest his publishers be sued out of business. It was one of the first big decisions Thatcher had to make. As an impressionable youth I will never forget Boyle’s reaction in an interview in the immediate aftermath. Asked whether he was surprised by the new Prime Minister’s response, he said “I was very surprised … and delighted.” When asked what he thought of the ‘old boy netword’ that had protected Blunt and the other spies he said simply “I abhor it.”

    You’re right about a very “British” way of doing things Steve. But sometimes somebody dares to break the mold. Graham Stringer is one of those agents for change. His stand for truth won’t be forgotten.

    • Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

      Frightfully British inquiry, old chap. Like that Sir Humphrey Appleby chap – frightfully sound. Not like that Mandy Rice Davies woman – the one who said: he would say that wouldn’t he.

  7. Timbo555
    Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Let me begin by saying I have the utmost respect for the work you’re doing. I am knuckle dragging Neanderthal when it comes to climate science and model uncertainties and the like; I am not mathematically inclined.

    Having said that, I have always been skeptical of the environmental sciences; I have never been comfortable with the myriad ways in which the world as we know it is going to end within the next century according to “some” scientists or “most” scientists.

    This gut instinct goes all the way back to Rachel Carson, the NRDC, the end of DDT, the snail darter vs. the TVA, and the wholesale co-opting of environmental science by the leftist progressive movements of the sixties and seventies.

    As I read your blog, I see you trying to correct the science and hold those responsible for bad and lazy and sensational science accountable and I think it’s great.

    What I would like to know are your views on AGW; for instance:

    Do you believe that CO2 emissions are causing a gradual increase in the earth’s temperature? The atmosphere’s temp?

    Do you believe the folks at NOAA and NASA and Hadley etc. are cooking the books to give the impression of such?

    Or do you believe that the one degree upward tick over the past century the last century is part of a natural cycle caused by a host of other variables, CO2 being a statistically insignificant part of that warming?

    I would appreciate a brief response to these questions. Nothing is definitive of course, but you and your associates have been at this for a long time and must have some conclusions you can share regarding this topic.

    Thanks for helping a layman out….

  8. Ted Swart
    Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

    What puzzles me greatly is that, despite the mounting evidence,the McClymonts, Metcalfes, Mosleys and Beddingtons of this world continue to oppose Stringer’s manifest honesty. It seems to be the case that there is a singular lack of courage to face up to the truth. Where is the Iron Lady’s counterpart when we need her.

  9. Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    I wonder if it’s time Graham Stringer put in an FOI for all the things you’re waiting for, Steve. Given his rejected comments, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d agree.

    Of course it wouldn’t resolve the institutionalised problem of data transparency, but I suspect it would certainly get you the data you’re seeking. Would the UEA/CRU dare refuse a request from Stringer??

  10. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jan 24, 2011 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

    The quote from the Iron Lady that this Committee should have memorised and followed: “Consensus: The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: ‘I stand for consensus’?”

  11. Mark V Wilson
    Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 3:04 AM | Permalink

    “This is CRU. We do what we like.”

  12. oldtimer
    Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmsctech/444/444vw11.htm

    …are notes made by MJ Kelly (the statistician on the Oxburgh panel), submitted by Graham Stringer MP and included at his insistence. No doubt Mr McIntyre will read this both with interest and a well practised eye.

    • oldtimer
      Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

      A correction to my post with aplogies:
      Prof Michael Kelly of Cambridge Uni is an engineer/physicist. The statistician on the panel was Prof David Hand of Imperial College.

      • Viv Evans
        Posted Jan 26, 2011 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

        Thanks again for that link – these notes encompass what we’ve been saying for some time now.

        It comes as no surprise at all that Prof Kelly is an engineer/physicist! He would know …

    • mpaul
      Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

      Kelly’s note are really quite good and balanced. I’m going to cherrypick few things, which will loose a bit of his balance. But I think these points are spot on:

      (1) “… Here the starting data is patchy and noisy, and the choices made are in part aesthetic, or designed to help a conclusion.” Yup.
      (2) “Up to and throughout this exercise, I have remained puzzled how the real humility of the scientists in this area, as evident in their papers, including all these here, and the talks I have heard them give, is morphed into statements of confidence at the 95% level for public consumption through the IPCC process. This does not happen in other subjects of equal importance to humanity, eg energy futures or environmental degradation or resource depletion. I can only think it is the “authority” appropriated by the IPCC itself that is the root cause.” Yup
      (3) “How can we be reassured about the choice of which raw data from which stations are to be homogenised and then included in the gridded temperature data bases? Is there an algorithm that establishes the inclusion/exclusion of particular stations? If I were setting out to establish the lowest possible net temperature rise over the last century is consistent with the available data, what fraction of stations would then be included/excluded? Indeed, could the same data be “coerced” to support a null hypothesis on global warming? Incidentally, how much lower could that temperature be?” Yup.
      (4) “What is a sceptical outsider to make of “degrees of rigour of homogenisation” of the data, and also the variety of adjustments that have to be made on an ad hoc basis? How do you ensure that adjustment of adjustments do not introduce biases that are a significant fraction of the century temperature rise?” Yup.
      (5) “Given that the outputs of your work are being used to promote the largest revolution mankind has ever contemplated, do you have any sense of the extent to which the quality control and rigour of approach must be of the highest standards in clear expectation of deep scrutiny?” Yup
      (6)”In the range of papers we have reviewed, you have used a variety of statistical techniques in what is a heroic effort to get signals from noisy and patchy data. To what extent has this variety of techniques be reviewed and commented upon by the modern statistical community for their effectiveness, right use and possible weaknesses?” Yup

      One would get no sense at all from the report that Kelly had questions of such penetrating quality.

      • JohnH
        Posted Jan 26, 2011 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

        And we don’t know if they were asked directly (well maybe some as Dr Kelly has 2 lists of questions each for Jones and Biffa), don’t know if there were any answers and if the answers were credible or the usual ‘everthing is Robust’.

        So you don’t get a lot for, what was it? , £250K over the 3 inquiries.

  13. Louise
    Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

    I see Stringer said “No reputable scientist who was critical of CRU’s work was on the panel”

    Perhaps that’s because there aren’t any?

    • RomanM
      Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

      Re: Louise (Jan 25 06:23),

      Such wit! Such blind faith in the integrity of one’s heroes!

      Unfortunately, when some people are unable to address the issues, they are reduced to trolling:

      In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

      Recommended cure to prevent infestation: Do not feed.

  14. Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

    Just parsing.
    Italics are the words that replace Stringer’s words deleted. Highlights are my own.

    98. The disclosure of data from the Climatic Research Unit has been a traumatic and challenging experience for all involved and to the wider world of science. There are proposals to increase worldwide taxation by up to a trillion dollars on the basis of climate science predictions. Much rests on the accuracy and integrity of climate science. This is an area where strong and opposing views are held. The release of the e-mails from CRU at the University of East Anglia and the accusations that followed demanded independent and objective scrutiny by independent panels. This has not happened. The composition of the two panels has been criticised for having members who were over identified with the views of CRU. Lord Oxburgh as President of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and Chairman of Falck Renewable appeared to have a conflict of interest. Lord Oxburgh himself was aware that this might lead to criticism. Similarly Professor Boulton as an ex colleague of CRU seemed wholly inappropriate to be a member of the Russell panel. No reputable scientist who was critical of CRU’s work was on the panel, and prominent and distinguished critics were not interviewed. The Oxburgh panel did not do as our predecessor committee had been promised, investigate the science, but only looked at the integrity of the researchers. With the exception of Professor Kelly’s notes other notes taken by members of the panel have not been published. This leaves a question mark against whether CRU science is reliable. The Oxburgh panel also did not look at CRU’s controversial work on the IPPC which is what has attracted most series allegations. Russell did not investigate the deletion of e-mails. We are now left after three investigations without a clear understanding of whether or not the CRU science is compromised.” It is, however, important to bear in mind the considered view of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Sir John Beddington, that “the general issues on overall global temperature, on sea level and so on, are all pretty unequivocal”.132 While we do have some reservations about the way in which UEA operated, the SAP review and the ICCER set out clear and sensible recommendations.In our view it is time to make the changes and improvements recommended and with greater openness and transparency move on.

    • Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

      Re: Lucy Skywalker (Jan 25 07:48), “the general issues on overall global temperature, on sea level and so on, are all pretty unequivocal” Oh no they are not unequivocal. As MM2004 also shows, only this was concealed in the IPCC report by sleight-of-hand by Jones/Trenberth. See Ross’ report on the Climategate “enquiries”.

    • Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

      But you’re a denialist, always wanting to highlight trivia like a trillion in taxes. We’re the consensus and our peer review said delete it. (Which peer was it again – Lord Oxburgh, Lord Deben or Lord Haw Haw? It’s hard to remember.) It’s for everyone’s greater good not to be disturbed by the maverick ideas of a puny elected representative who, we tell you now, will never be made a peer.

      • Posted Jan 28, 2011 at 12:29 AM | Permalink

        my God, I think he’s got it!
        now repeat: “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”
        (With apologies to both Rex Harrison and the ghost of GBS).

  15. Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    It’s the ultimate quiz question: what do the Labout MP Graham Stringer and CO2 have in common?

    • kim
      Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

      Ad lib, and ex lab.
      ==========

      • Geoff Sherrington
        Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

        Kim, Ouch, that hurts. Too close to home. But it’s not judgemental. Ta.

  16. EdeF
    Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    I vote to include Stringer’s amendments as written.

  17. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    Unfortunately the guv(s) appeared all shagged out, but I dare say good show, lads, and pip pip cheerio and all that rot.

    I personally think in a similar situation in the US, the verdict would have been the same – as would the MSM interpretation of it. In a different world at a different time Stringer’s amendment might be given its proper place in these discussions. The current requirement to not question the consensus on AGW and its mitigation remains in place and explains much of what see described on these pages.

    The consensus take away from all these “investigations” will thoroughly ignore any dissenting opinions or alternative analyses and come up with a complete vindication. From a pure advocacy and political point of view, I think they have to take that stance if they think the “cause” is more important than revealing any chinks in the consensus armor.

  18. JCM
    Posted Jan 25, 2011 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    Any word from Norfolk Police re the 14 month investigation into the appearance of the UEA emails ?
    Or are they busy ‘undercover’ with comely lady ‘terrorists’ ?

    • David S
      Posted Jan 26, 2011 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

      I seem to remember that the investigation was under the auspices of the ACPO’s special ops unit, just like PC Mark Kennedy. Since the unit has had its funding cancelled by the Association of Police Authorities as a direct result of PC Kennedy’s comical but expensive activities, we can rest assured that the investigation will prove conveniently inconclusive, allowing the UEA, BBC and others to continue to refer to “stolen” emails without any supporting evidence.

  19. hunter
    Posted Jan 26, 2011 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    Historians will be puzzled as to how the organs of society that claim to look for questionable practice and claims so resolutely declined to do so regarding climategate and climate science in general.

    • hunter
      Posted Feb 1, 2011 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

      Tom,
      Excellent point.
      We seem to be stuck in an eddy pool.

  20. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jan 28, 2011 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    Kim,
    Haiku is a form of Oriental poetry, consisting of 17 moras in three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 moras respectively. This one is short.

    The poem “V-2″ is your shortest yet. Is it an Oriental haiku_ZIP?

    • kim
      Posted Jan 28, 2011 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

      Just as Steve is let
      Graham Stringer be a Bulldog.
      Buzz, buzz, bombs away.
      ===============

  21. AngusPangus
    Posted Feb 2, 2011 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    O/T

    Eric has posted on O’Donnell at SurrealClimate….

  22. Alexej Buergin
    Posted Feb 2, 2011 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Maybe Steve McI is doing something important at the moment; if not he could have a look at this

    http://www.buentgen.com/graphs.html

    and find out how this fellow gets his hockey-stick.
    It seems interesting to me because it uses other data than usual, and, who knows, it is maybe aviable.

  23. al
    Posted Feb 2, 2011 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    I sent an email to Stephen Metcalfe MP at 10:38pm on Thursday 27th asking him to explain which parts of the conclusion proposed by Mr Stringer that he disagreed with and why he voted for the severely cut version instead.

    I was very surprised to receive a phone call from him less than an hour later at 11.30pm!

    He mentioned lots of people talking about party whips being the reason he voted (and that not being the case) and that the summary had been written by the chairman, although he backed down later on this and said it was written by the committee. He said that Graham Stringer was not willing to modify any of his conclusion and that is why they were forced to come up with an alternative. I tried to ask him about some particulars of Mr Stringer’s conclusions and he would not go into them as he was away from the office. so I arranged to phone him back the next day in office hours.

    Unfortunately the next day he sent me an email saying:
    Thank you for taking the call last night. I think in hindsight we are never going to agree on this and so why waste each others time. All I can say, is that I vote in a way I thought best represented the evidence we had taken.

  24. Jbor
    Posted Feb 2, 2011 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

    What is it about Toronto based geologists upsetting the ruling establishment? :-)

    Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code

    http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/ff_lottery/all/1

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