The Pearce “Inquiry”

One inquiry into Climategate by a non-skeptic is not a total whitewash. Fred Pearce actually read the emails and makes some important findings.

Fred Pearce’s book on Climategate and the events leading up to it (The Climate Files) has just been published. (Pearce kindly sent me a copy.)
Pearce has been involved in environmental reporting for the past 15 or so years and, like George Monbiot, is a strong supporter of climate policy.

On many points, Pearce (in my opinion, far too readily) accepts Team excuses for their conduct and untrue Team characterizations of scientific issues. Nonetheless, even with this too-ready acceptance of Team rationales, Pearce, like Monbiot, has harsh words for their conduct. Pearce:

The evidence of scientists cutting corners, playing down uncertainties in their calculations and then covering their tracks by being secretive with data and suppressing dissent suggests a systemic problem of scientific sloppiness, collusion and endemic conflicts of interest, but not of outright fraud. (p. 241)

As some (but not enough) readers realize, the hurdle to show “outright fraud” is much higher than to show “cutting corners, playing down uncertainties in their calculations and then covering their tracks by being secretive with data and suppressing dissent suggests a systemic problem of scientific sloppiness, collusion and endemic conflicts of interest” – all of which are issues that the Oxburgh “inquiry” and Penn State “inquiry” should have addressed.

Pearce also renders an opinion on the important issue of violation of IPCC rules through the surreptitious exchange between Wahl and Briffa in summer 2006 that led to Wahl inserting language favorable to them that had never sent to external reviewers – the exchanges that were the subject of the “delete all emails” request that Mann told Jones that he would pass on to Wahl.) Pearce:

These back channel communications between the paper’s authors [Wahl] and IPCC authors [Briffa], including early versions of the paper, seemed a direct subversion of the spirit of openness intended when the IPCC decided to put its internal reviews online. p. 101

On the difference between what people presumed climate science peer review to be and what it actually was (here talking about Jones at the Parliamentary Committee):

Following that came the most startling observation, when Jones was asked how often scientists reviewing his papers for probity before publication had requested to see details of his raw data, methodology and computer codes. ‘they’ve never asked’, he said. The rigour of peer review came crashing down before our eyes. p. 217

It’s amazing that Penn State and Oxburgh see nothing when Pearce sees “evidence of scientists cutting corners, playing down uncertainties in their calculations and then covering their tracks by being secretive with data and suppressing dissent suggests a systemic problem of scientific sloppiness, collusion and endemic conflicts of interest.”

Makes one wonder a little about a university “inquiry” which asked the following “hard-hitting” question:

Do you believe that the perceived hostility and perceived ulterior motives of some critics of global climate science influenced your actions with regard to the peer review process, particularly in relation to the papers discussed in the stolen emails?

There are numerous interesting issues regarding The Climate Files, that I’ll try to discuss. Pearce discussed the book at a recent Royal Institution symposium here (noted by Andrew Montford here.)

The Guardian plans to hold another symposium on July 14 to discuss the Muir Russell report. Pearce had sounded me out about attending, but the Guardian decided against inviting me for cost reasons.


  1. Posted Jul 1, 2010 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    Yeah, I’m sure it was for reasons of cost :-\

    I was one of the slower readers to understand the extent of leeway in conduct afforded to academics. Having now gathered a better understanding of what constitutes academic fraud, and how many hoops a scientist must jump through to achieve it, I’ve sadly been forced to further lower my expectations of work performed within academia.

    It’s a bloody good thing that scientists in industry are not held to comparably low standards as in academia, or half of us would be dead by now as a result.

    • JamesG
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 3:20 AM | Permalink

      Or so you think….

      • stephen richards
        Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

        NO James G, as one who knows. I worked in a commercial research organisation and believe me , the conduct shown at CRU etc would be a sackable offense. AND incidently, I collaborated on projects with other Unis which my company was funding. Funds would have been withdrawn tout de suite on behaviour shown by this bunch of …….

  2. RoyFOMR
    Posted Jul 1, 2010 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps the costs of inviting you were in excess of what the Guardian could afford but, given the importance and relevance of what you could have brought to the debate, may well have proven to be a wise investment!

  3. TA
    Posted Jul 1, 2010 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    What exactly would be the cost? If it seems to be a worthwhile cause, perhaps we can take up a collection! However, if they would just give you the cold shoulder anyway, then it’s a waste of money. Since you haven’t been invited to any of the major investigations, if you did attend a symposium and were given fair treatment, this would throw a whole new light on the ensuing discussions.

  4. JAE
    Posted Jul 1, 2010 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    This whole thing reminds me very much of the OJ Simpson mess. Everyone who is paying attention knows the truth, but the “system” simply has no way to accomodate all the politics, confusion and obfuscation. So…relax and laugh; nobody who is paying attention has been fooled by this comedy.

    • Posted Jul 1, 2010 at 11:10 PM | Permalink

      There’s a difference with the OJ Simpson situation: the “corruption of science”, as Andrew Montford calls it in the subtitle to his book, was part of a propaganda war to make the world accept far-reaching and diverse policies, all claimed to help limit carbon emissions, such as subsidies for biofuels and the bureacratic infrastructure for carbon permits leading to carbon trading.

      I say ‘world’ there but countries like China and India don’t seem too bothered about reducing emissions, though happy to make money from the more ridiculous aspects of the resulting schemes. And the credit crunch has surely put paid to the more excessive subsidies envisaged for ‘alternative energy’ in the West.

      I don’t claim to know how it’ll all pan out. But an OJ Simpson-level injustice it ain’t (taking your word for it about OJ – being in the UK I’ve never taken the slightest interest in the case.) It’s part of something bigger. And I’ve always felt, instinctively, based on past record, that the poorest in the world, such as those without electricity, are likely to pick up far too much of the tab for our folly. With the “corruption of science” slap bang at the centre of that folly.

      I was at the Royal Institution event at which Pearce presented his findings, sitting next to Professor Peter Murray-Rust, a chemist from Cambridge, who I’d met at the Open Knowledge Foundation conference in London in April and who I tipped off about this event. OKF have some great ideas about open science but in the past in the climate area they’ve been happy to lean on the ‘expertise’ of the IPCC, UEA and the Grantham Institute, so I was told with some pride and not a trace of irony at a long after-meeting on the subject with Peter that I helped initiate in April. The Royal Institution event seemed to open Peter’s eyes about a ‘priesthood’ among climate scientists. We’ll have to see where that all leads.

      And, based on what Pearce presented, I agree with Steve: he’s got far more of substance out of the emails than any of the official inquiries – Graham Stringer’s valiant efforts in the parliamentary committee notwithstanding. The debate continues. It’s a pity Steve won’t be there next week. But as Pearce shows, the man’s impossible to ignore in any even half-honest account of the Climategate story.

      The other thing that registered strongly for me at the RI was a possible switch in role of The Guardian itself, a senior editor of which was in the chair. I felt their journalistic instincts were kicking in, as was their natural inclination to oppose a new government led by a Tory which currently buys all the dodgy science going in the climate area. It will be interesting to see if Pearce is an outlier or indicator of future direction there.

  5. Steven Mosher
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 1:00 AM | Permalink

    A primary motivation behind holding the bar so high (proving outright fraud) is preservation of the agenda. The science is right;we need to act. As long as a charge doesnt go to the heart of the agenda, the team defenders will look the other way or make lame excuses.

    if you want to see this in action go visit Arthur Smiths site (no link)
    where Amac and I try (in vain) to get the Team defenders interested in cases of sloppy science. ( thread is “where’s the Fraud) Since we can’t prove murder of science, they are content to let people mug the truth or beat it senseless.

    • AMac
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

      Re: Steven Mosher (Jul 2 01:00),

      Steven Mosher: the situation is much better than you suggest — and that isn’t an assertion one often gets to make! Since I became acquainted with ‘Tiljander’ in Oct. 2009 (at Roger Pielke Jr’s), it’s been eight months of can’t-see-the-forest-or-the-trees exchanges with AGW Consensus advocates. Now, for the first time, a couple of Consensus hard-liners are beginning to grasp that this simplest of methodological problems with Mann08 might be approached as… a technical issue.

      I can’t say whether either Arthur Smith (#1 #2) or Ari Jokimäki will arrive at the painful realization that the Tiljander proxies are not calibratable to the instrumental record (and, of course, “it doesn’t matter” is already on deck). But they have begun to write as though the calibratability question has merit, in evaluating a paleotemperature-reconstruction paper that requires the calibration of proxies.

      That may be a modest step, but it’s movement in the right direction.

      There was an advertisement about 15 years ago for Certs – in which one twin said Certs was a breath mint, the other twin said Certs is a candy mint. And the punch line was that Certs was “two, two, two mints in one”. The modern portion of Tiljander was contaminated by bridges and farming; in the absence of Tiljander’s interpretation of the orientation being contested, Mann08 used the series upside down. Two, two, two mints in one. As you’ve observed so often, that climate scientists should be bewildered by trying to understand something this simple is pretty strange. It makes it impossible to advance the analysis when such unarguable points are not conceded.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 11:08 AM | Permalink


        I’m thinking of collecting a series of “it doesnt matter” matters.

        Let’s take Kaufman. The change in slope from .07 to .06 doesnt matter. well its a decrease, so of course it doesnt matter. That got me thinking. Why do small Positive changes get made and small negative changes don’t matter? More later.

    • Gord Richens
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

      1. Attempting to publicly impute motivation is a non-starter and Steve has wisely avoided doing so.

      2. Climate Gate was never going to change anybody’s mind. All one can do is side with transparency, let those who don’t be recognized, and leave the job of quietly imputing motivation to the individual observer.

      (Enjoyed your book.)

      • sHx
        Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

        Climate Gate was never going to change anybody’s mind.

        Well, I disagree. It changed my mind. I was a climate agnostic who completely ignored the debate for more than a decade while voting for Aussie Greens out of sheer political loyalty. When I finally dipped my toe into the debate I was completely underwhelmed by the strength of the scientific evidence. It certainly wasn’t enough to justify a new world order.

        Then the Climategate happened and I declared my change of mind in the Guardian CiF with a single statement: “the revelation that finally tipped me over the fence.” That comment somehow survived the then moderation policy of CiF. My second, third and fourth comments, in which I declared that my loyalty to scientific principles trumped my loyalty to political principals did not make it past the CiF censors.

        You can say Climategate changed the Guardian’s moderation policy too. In the immediate aftermath of the scandal, huge numbers of skeptical comments were culled by the Guardian commissars, which had the effect of distorting what the readers were actually saying. The CiF Green comment pages of the recent weeks and months however suggest perestroika is in effect. This would not have happened without Climategate.

        • sHx
          Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 11:03 PM | Permalink

          Ahh! Moi! Please excuse the mistake I made with ‘principle’ and ‘principal’. Obviously I meant principles, ie, ideals. I was always afraid that this might embarrass me one day. Don’t nobody dare to laugh at that!

  6. JimD
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

    TA is right – I’d have chipped into a collection to get you to the event.

    I wonder if Fred will announce that he’d sounded you out, but there wasn’t enough money available to fly you in?

  7. P. Solar
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 4:03 AM | Permalink

    The platform Steve has created for himself with this site far out-weights a symposium hosted by the Guardian. So I don’t think it will hurt the exposure of what Steve has to say.

    I guess they have austerity measures too and figured that they could get away with Doug Keenen as a token sceptic much cheaper than paying Steve to attend.

    I would imagine Steve wants more than free flight and a can of coke for flying half way around the world.

  8. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    I’ve offered to attend if they pick up half my travel costs. Unlike Muir Russell panelists who were offered business class, I travel economy.

    • matthu
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

      The Guardian would get a whole lot more mileage / column inches out of the whole event if they took you up on the offer, Steve … have you calculated how much they would need to come up with? Maybe there are others who would make a contribution.

  9. Judith Curry
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    I’ve just heard (from Fred Pearce) that the Russell report will be out Wed. Any thoughts on what has changed as a result of climategate?

    • kim
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

      Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

    • Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

      A thoughtful friend and new energy entrepreneur that I had tea with on Wednesday, who’d kindly attended the first meeting I’d convened in London to talk through the ‘Open Climate Initiative’ – a proposed collaboration between technologists, guys from the Open Knowledge Foundation, sceptics and (mostly) those convinced of AGW, to push openness of climate science – believes that after Climategate IPCC AR5 will not be able to get away again with such bad science as the hockey stick in TAR and AR4. That kind of thing’s all over, he said. But, I replied, all the remaining good guys like Pielke and Tol are opting out this time and one of the guys from UEA is a lead author again. There’s no money for subsidies of dud renewables in the West was his other strong point. But he admitted he could be wrong. It’s hard to tell. It’d be great to see Steve arguing the case in detail in London in twelve days.

    • Latimer Alder
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

      I first got interested in AGW just a little before Climategate, so mine is a relatively short perspective. But my impression is that the overall atmosphere of debate is swinging towards a more sceptical viewpoint. Like a football team that has hit the heights, their only way now is down. As age creeps up on them and injuries and transfers mean that their star players are leaving the game.

      For many years their position went largely unchallenged and they could work in much their own sweet way..with a supine press and overflowing with public money they had carte blanche to issue ever more spine-tingling warnings of a temperature-driven apocalypse. And with the exception of a few gallant and brave members of the resistance (MM for example), they had little opposition behind their defensive walls of ‘peer review, consensus, IPCC…)

      But Climategate caused a huge breach in all of those arguments. Peer-review is shown to be nothing more than ‘scratch my back’ deals and blackballing the outsiders. The consensus is composed of maybe 50, not 2500, and the IPCC process is a bent as a nine bob note.

      And because it takes time for people to change their entrenched attitudes, it has taken time for the mood to alter. But alter it has. In many areas we see a lot more hostile questionning and a lot less unthinking acceptance of the received wisdom. Members of the Team have begun to withdraw from some of their wilder positions. I doubt of anyone will ever again try so feebly to hide behind FoI laws. Public opinion (at least in UK) is swinging away from acceptance…and this wil mean our politicians will have a much harder time adopting ‘climate change’ policies.

      Was Climategate the decisive incident in the history of CAGW? Too early to say. But even from a six month perspective it was a very very important occurrence. And the fact that it was probably self-inflicted adds a further twist.

      Last word to George Monbiot who I shall meet in person at the Guardian bash in ten days or so

      ‘I have seldom felt so alone. Confronted with crisis, most of the environmentalists I know have gone into denial. The emails hacked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, they say, are a storm in a tea cup, no big deal, exaggerated out of all recognition. (…)It is true that climate change deniers have made wild claims which the material can’t possibly support(……)

      But it is also true that the emails are very damaging’

      The first and last time I have ever agreed with him . Very damaging.

      • Orson
        Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

        I can echo Latimer Alder’s report form the UK, but in the US.

        I gave a talk on the climategate scandal to a local skeptics group in Colorado, and while preparing my presentation and deciding on what emails to cite, I decided to email someone still interested in the Hockey Stick from not long before the news broke.

        This prominent member of the 2006 NAS panel (who shall go unnamed because I have not received, nor yet asked, permission to post publicly) swiftly responded to my update of the past year’s events:

        “I found the climategate emails to be extremely disturbing.  They do throw doubt on all the work published by the Hadley CRU team, and those who worked with them.  I am equally disturbed by their blatant manipulations of the peer-review system.

        “Also disturbing are the revelations of the various investigations into the procedures of the IPCC.  I had not previously been aware of their extensive use of grey literature, or the apparent fact that authors of sections had the right to overrule referee demands.”

        This scientist’s climate related work is ongoing, but interestingly emphasized to me its openness, replication, and above all, the transparency missing in too much of the IPCC world. The scientist did not say that public trust was at stake, but could well have.

        Thus, as Latimer Alder says, the values Steve has fought for for so long – only recently gaining due recognition for many, many years of service to science – are finally taking hold among the reachable and reasonable middle. Or perhaps those previously convinced are now forced to come to grips with the skeptical side’s criticism? Or is there little difference?

        There are the activists who readily embrace politics; those who are sensitive to the climategate crisis; and those previously repulsed by the firsts ilk, previously unconvinced. But no one has shown the patient fortitude Steve has upheld from the get go.

        • sHx
          Posted Jul 6, 2010 at 12:23 AM | Permalink

          Latimer, Orson thank you for chaneling my thoughts as well. I was fortunate enough to dip into the debate (as a reader not commenter) 3-4 for months before the Climategate scandal broke out. This meant an opportunity to watch the evolution of the debate.

          For example, Real Climate blog was a ‘one thought rule them all’ environment where the resident climate experts shepherded a drooling gaggle of admirers.

          Once the Climategate scandal hit the news and grew and grew as people delved into the vast cache of emails and computer codes. Real Climate suddenly enforced a policy of glasnost.

          And here is the surprising part. This time most of the commenters were not the usual RC devotees and groupies but new people and new names; professionals from other walks of life, especially scientists from other disciplines (or so they declared themselves to be). The number and the quality of criticism directed at Climate Science increased tremendously.

          Most laymen may not be aware that there is a rule in scientific/academic circles that one must not declare an ‘expert’ opinion outside their own areas of expertise. However since Climategate emails showed that basic principles of scientific inquiry were violated, many scientists from other fields felt obliged to speak out. Any loss of public trust would not be confined to Climatology, but would reflect badly on the science as a whole. This concern helped mobilise what would normally be an educated but passive audience into providing a fresh slice of highly critical, expert opinion. Climategate made them sit up, pay attention, stand up and speak out. Previously, it was mostly ‘citizen scientists’ who carried the load. Now, ‘scientist citizens’ are helping out.

          The world of science and academia moves slowly. The real effects of the Climategate scandal won’t be felt in its first or second years but in its third and fourth years and onwards. The only book-length treatment of the event thus far have been provided by journalists and bloggers. In coming years and decades, however, the issue will be the subject of many scholarly studies, and many books and journal articles discussing all the implications of the event in all angles will fill university library shelves. This will happen regardless of whether Climate Science and its catastrophic predictions prove right or wrong.

    • Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

      Re: Judith Curry (Jul 2 06:24)

      I’ve just heard (from Fred Pearce) that the Russell report will be out Wed.

      Those of us addicted to Bishop Hill learned that on 16 June.
      Latimer Alder (Jul 2 07:01),

      Was Climategate the decisive incident in the history of CAGW? Too early to say. But even from a six month perspective it was a very very important occurrence.

      Good summary. Those who came late to the scene often have some useful perspective to add. Just look at S. McIntyre, who admitted in Chicago that he hadn’t even heard of the IPCC in 2002!

    • Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

      Judy, there are many of your previous colleagues at Penn State that I know are aghast at the negative attention received by certain media, blogs, and politicians directed towards the department. In my opinion, I would not characterize the sentiment of many there as a “circling the wagons” mentality.

      Climategate has therefore continued to deepen the gulf between climate scientists who are vocal and political advocates for their cause (cap & trade at any cost) and those that are only interested in understanding the mechanisms and dynamics of the climate system for the sake of good science. The latter group I think is growing but very slowly because funding agencies are now beholden to the alarmism. A new generation of program managers might be a good thing for the field…

    • don
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

      Yeah, if the hockey stick don’t fit, you must acquit. Great moments in the annals of academic quality control, that’s change.

  10. Stethoscopic
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

    The Guardian lost £90 million last year.

    So they must be conscious of costs. wrote this:
    “I see they’ve already unevenly matched Bob Watson and Fred Pearce against Doug Keenan — even having Moonbat as chair is unlikely to save that hapless pair against the well-informed Keenan.”

  11. Latimer Alder
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    ‘The evidence of scientists cutting corners, playing down uncertainties in their calculations and then covering their tracks by being secretive with data and suppressing dissent suggests a systemic problem of scientific sloppiness, collusion and endemic conflicts of interest, but not of outright fraud.’

    If the subject in hand was something arcane with few practical consequences, I guess I too would turn a fairly blind eye, while regretting a taxation system that allows these children to play with their toys and have their quarrels at my expense.

    But is isn’t. Or so they would have us believe.

    It is ‘the most important problem Mankind has ever faced’. As such, I don’t think it is at all unreasonable to expect that it is analysed and reported to the highest standards that civilisation has manged to invent/discover.

    And if we are to be obliged to change the way of life of billions of people around the world to solve the problem, I don’t think it is unreasonable that every step in the argument should be rigorously and robustly tested along the way.

    And over and over wherever we look at the behaviour of the lead investigators, we see examples of ‘a systemic problem of scientific sloppiness, collusion and endemic conflicts of interest’. This is not the behaviour I require from those charged with solving the biggest problem known to Man(n). It is the behaviour of spivs and charlatans and dodgy ‘quality pre-owned vehicle’ salesman the world over. That it seems to be the ‘normal behaviour’ of all others in the field is not a justification…it is an indictment of those others as well

    These are not the mechanisms of science that I learnt 35 yeas ago. The truly great names of Science must be rolling in their graves that the field they so graced is now the preserve of such moral and intellectual pygmies.

    Richard Feynman, come back to us now! We need your coolheaded and objective approach without fear or favour.

  12. curious
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been meaning to hit the tip jar for a while. Hope they take you up on your kind offer. Given all the official Inquiries have studiously chosen to ignore your contibution, if the Guardian have any sense as a news operation, they’ll see the absolute scoop they could serve up to the establishment at a bargain price! I’m also guessing you’d not be short of offers of hospitality.

  13. curious
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    btw – another bonus of having the UK exclusive on a star speaker will be to help the Guardian’s £12 ticket sales. Say £400 one way travel costs? 35 more sales and they are into the black:

    Surely Fred can see this is too good to miss?

  14. Barry Woods
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    Geroge Monbiot is the CHAIR!!!!!

    Monbiots Royal Flush: Top Ten Climate Deniars

    How the Guardian allows this is ridiculous, George is linked to calling american politicians, like Senator Inholfe, and Sarah Palin ‘deniars’ (whatever you may think of the politics) also calling scientists like Professor Pat Michaels and Professor Ian Plimer ‘deniars’ and other journalists.
    George monbiot as well as the Guardian environment team, wil only be seen in may people eyes as activists..

    Anybody, that sponsors a ‘deniars hall of shame, shall we say, appear a little’ biased and unsuitable..

    As advertised by his: Campaign Against Climate Change – George Monbiot is the honourary president of it..

    Someone please let the Guardian know that the choice of George, is completely lacking any goodwill, last time I checked I’m still blocked from – Guardian’s comment is free website..

    How about Andrew Neill (BBC) for, chair (used to dealing with politicians tactics)

    Fred Pearce’s book is well worth a read, even though RealClimate is part of the Guardians Environment network, it is damaging to the reputation of CRU and the team, and the IPCC, whilst somehow still believing the ‘science is sound’

    What is left out – ie Harry_read_me.txt, etc, is also interesting..

    No doubt certain climate scientists who will not read, despite some scientists saying it is worth a look.

    ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’ – A J Montford

    will also find excuses not to read

    ‘The Climate Files’Fred Pearce-GuardianBooks

  15. Latimer Alder
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

    If we all clubbed together and bought you a ticket, would you come and just be in the audience? It’s supposedly an open meeting. Free board and lodging chez moi (comfortable but not luxurious…British breakfasts, convenient for Heathrow and Central London)? WiFI. You’d be welcome.

  16. Barry Woods
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 7:22 AM | Permalink

    Whilst some may not think the BBC as impartial as they could be with respect to AGW..

    Why not suggest Roger Harribin (BBC environment analyst), as Chair..

    As he did the interview with Phil Jones post climategate, he would definetly be perceived as a less partisan Chair than George Monbiot.

    • Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

      Good idea. When I saw Roger at the Fred Pearce do at the RI mentioned above he said he’d just come back from Monbiot at his place in North Wales. They both agreed that Steve was a fine, conciliatory chap in person, nothing like the ogre painted in some quarters. Roger having first met him at the Heartland conference in Chicago, George at the time of a post-Climategate debate in Toronto.

  17. stephen richards
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    Steve MC if you can go officially I will contribute $50 if I can get paypal to work. If not your account details for transfer purposes will suffice.

  18. stephen richards
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 9:13 AM | Permalink


    contact me by email if you want to take me up on it

  19. Les Johnson
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    Steve M: If you can wrangle an invite from the Guardian, you can put me down for $1000 CAD.

  20. Hector M.
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    Slightly off topic, but also referring to a critical view of the “consensus” on climate change: Jason Scott Johnson’s article “Global Warming Advocacy Science: A Cross Examination” (University of Virginia – School of Law) available at the U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 10-08 and downloadable also at
    He emphasizes the distance between the rather guarded and moderate conclusions of peer-reviewed literature and the much more audacious claims of what he calls “the climate establishment”. And supports his views with a systematic literature review. Quite interesting.

  21. kim
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Would he be allowed a blackboard and chalk in the audience?

  22. Barry Woods
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    snip – OT

  23. Steven Mosher
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    Put a number out there for travel expenses bro. We got your back.

  24. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    OK, just bought my ticket to London.

    I’m headed out from Toronto on Saturday July 10, arriving July 11. And returning on Saturday, July 17. I haven’t been to England for years so I decided to spend some extra days. I’m sure that Fred Pearce and the Guardian will accommodate me at the symposium. I’ll try to figure out some other things to do. Maybe I’ll try to visit Phil Jones (seriously.)

    Given the Guardian’s financial situation, there’s no reason for them to pay my way. I wouldn’t in their shoes.

    • Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

      Welcome, already.

    • Patrick M.
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

      “Maybe I’ll try to visit Phil Jones (seriously.)”

      What and throw the ring into Mt. Doom?

      • sHx
        Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

        “What and throw the ring into Mt. Doom?”

        Cue ‘touché!’

      • BillN
        Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

        With apology to J.R.R.T.,

        “…one tree-ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them…”

        YAD061 does have an orcish alliteration?

        Cheers all,

    • Latimer Alder
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

      Way to go Steve. Tip jar hit and I hope to be able to say ‘hi’ at the debate. I hope you enjoy your time in UK.

      If you want to do any sightseeing in London. I’d be happy to act as a bit of a guide for you.

    • benpal
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

      My contribution to the tip jar, too.

    • Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (Jul 2 11:25),
      Small contribution to your tip jar. Thanks a lot for your work, Steve.

    • Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

      I think visiting Phil Jones is a great idea. I think it unlikely that he would be able to put aside the adversarial history, as I think he perceives it, though. He seems to always have received your attentions as a personal conflict, and your challenge of his work as aggression towards him – and that’s rather different from how I think you’re predisposed to perceive it. He will, almost certainly, perceive any approach from you as you seeking an opportunity to “rub his nose in it”. I don’t have any good ideas how to resolve that.

    • mark ryan
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

      Here’s a little help(tip jar) give them hell. Thanks for all your work.

    • EdeF
      Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

      Small hit on the tip jar, let’s try to get Steve upgraded to business.

  25. Barry Woods
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    snip – let’s keep this to Fred Pearce.

  26. Robert Austin
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Just hit the tip jar with a contribution to your trip.
    All the best.

  27. Les Johnson
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    Tip jar hit. Keep us posted.

  28. Chris S
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    > OK, just bought my ticket to London.

    Tip jarred.

  29. Messenger
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Welcome to the UK, wish I could be there to hear you. Best wishes from the Bishop’s mum.

  30. Robert E. Phelan
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    At the risk of sounding like a drone thinking up new chores for the guy who does all the work anyway, I hope you are inundated with speaking and interview requests.

    Enjoy your trip.

  31. Hollando
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    I’m skint, but you’ve got $5 off me

  32. AndyS
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    Small tip, not enough for an upgrade, sorry. If you decide to visit CRU in Norfolk during your visit I will be glad to help in any way.

  33. Dan Robinson
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    Just off the tip jar, one pint with fish & chips on me. Go get em Steve.

  34. Scotty
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    If you want to visit the Lake District, you are welcome (<4hrs train ride London-Euston to Penrith or Carlilse). Sorry, haven't figured out PayPal yet but will get around to that in the next few weeks.

  35. Liam
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    I’ve just made a contribution towards your travel costs as suggested on Bishop Hill. Good luck.

  36. Bruce Cunningham
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Tip jar hit. Enjoy the time, and don’t let them push you around.

  37. Judith Curry
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    hot off the press, check it out, about the impact of climategate on the loss of public trust

    • kim
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

      Yep, it’s those doggone people who want to think for themselves. What can be done about them?

    • GTFrank
      Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 9:31 PM | Permalink

      pretty much pegged me and my libertarian worldview.

    • P Solar
      Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 4:12 AM | Permalink

      It’s worth noting that the Guardian’s star eco-journalist, Fred Pearce, was the author of the New Scientist article reporting the ridiculous himalayan glacier prediction, then sourced by WWF brochure that was improperly cited as a reference by the IPCC.

      This probably qualifies Fred for a Nobel Peace Prize!

      I think just one phrase from that paper Judith linked sums up the whole problem with the way the media present this to the public.

      Those who volunteered the answer “both human and natural changes” increased 1 point to 6 percent.

      The overwhelming public perception is that this is a yes or no question.

      This is not what IPCC says, it is not what any peer reviewed papers say but it is very much the way the media present it and I definitely include the Guardian in that statement.

      I don’t agree with much that G. Monboit says but I was impressed by his reaction to climategate emails. I think he has the integrity to be a good chairman.

      The 14th should be an interesting debate now Steve is able to attend.

    • Tom Gray
      Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

      I found the discussion of “motivated reasoning” interesting. Motivated reasoning describes how people will seek out evidence that supports their political and other preferences and distrust evidence that is contradictory to them. The report used this as a reason why certain people discounted or agreed with reports of climate science results. The report did not discuss the possibility that the climate science results themselves were influenced by motivated reasoning. Certainly the Climategate emails showed that the peer review process was influenced by the pre-existing opinions of the climate science in-group

  38. John A
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    Steve Mc

    As some (but not enough) readers realize, the hurdle to show “outright fraud” is much higher than to show “cutting corners, playing down uncertainties in their calculations and then covering their tracks by being secretive with data and suppressing dissent suggests a systemic problem of scientific sloppiness, collusion and endemic conflicts of interest”

    …unless that “outright fraud” was committed by Dr Hwang woo Suk whose trail of evidence included “cutting corners, playing down uncertainties in [his] calculations and then covering [his] tracks by being secretive with data and suppressing dissent”.

    One does not preclude the other. For some reason, you appear to think that evidence in favour of systematic deception is not strongly suggestive of systematic deception, ie fraud. I’ve no idea why that is.

    In the case of scientific fraud, there appears to be no objective threshold across academia as to what constitutes fraud from scientific misconduct, except whether or not the academic institution feels under strong financial or political pressure one way or the other. And if the academic institution doesn’t want a verdict of fraud, then it conducts an “investigation” that fails to ask any questions that it does not want to hear the answer to.

    • TA
      Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

      I am not a lawyer, but I have heard that fraud is difficult to prove. Here are the elements of common law fraud, according to Wikipedia:

      1. a representation of an existing fact;
      2. its materiality;
      3. its falsity;
      4. the speaker’s knowledge of its falsity;
      5. the speaker’s intent that it shall be acted upon by the plaintiff;
      6. plaintiff’s ignorance of its falsity;
      7. plaintiff’s reliance on the truth of the representation;
      8. plaintiff’s right to rely upon it; and
      9. consequent damages suffered by plaintiff.

      Can all 9 of these elements be proven beyond a reasonable doubt?

  39. Britannic no-see-um
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Judith
    Perhaps these surveys have still not yet fully grasped the ever-increasing importance of internet debate, which has now mushroomed to the centre-field information base.

  40. matthu
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for taking the plunge and coming to England! I hope your trip is worthwhile – and let’s hope we get some decent coverage of your visit while you are here.

    (Just topped up your tip jar.)

  41. Robert E. Phelan
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    Judith, thank you for the link. The PDF carries the header “Working Paper Subject to revision” – I certainly hope they do. My first question for the authors would be how they managed to get more Republicans in their sample than Democrats, since registered Republicans make up less of the population than Democrats. Before you can extrapolate to a population you have to be sure your sample mirrors that population; this paper, despite talking about confidence intervals, gives no indication that it does. The one easily grasped set of numbers they offer, the number of Democrats, Republican and Independents in the sample, indicates it is badly skewed.

    It’s nice that someone has tried to quantify the effect of Climate-gate, but a biased sample produces biased results. The whole tone of this paper is that we need to do more to avert catastrophe and the press has to be whipped back into line. Frankly, I suspect that this study is over-stating the effect of Climate-gate. From a skeptical perspective, more needs to be done to promote awareness of climate-gate and the degree of corruption that the marriage of progressivism and climate science has produced.

    • ZT
      Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

      No doubt there is much subtlety in the mechanics of polling…

      But I can’t help but think that there is something deeply wrong with a scientific subject which has to invest any time at all in polling.

      • sHx
        Posted Jul 6, 2010 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

        Also irksome is the way ‘science’ and ‘climate science’ is used interchangebly. The fact that confidence in ‘science’ is high does not mean confidence in ‘climate science’ is high also.

  42. woodentop
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    Interesting talk here:

  43. dougie
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    good for you Steve.

    no mean feat for you to make this effort.
    much appreciated by me & hopefully all lurkers/commentators in the UK will make you welcome.

    give them the benefit off your many years devoted to good scientific v industry practice on data analysis & results thereof.

    can only offer accomadation help if you end up in the isle of man (honestly, only 1 ‘n’) however the original manx spelling is mannin. it’s a small world init!!

    have a good trip,stay & return.

    i’ve hit the tip jar & hope this helps your cause (if you get enough are you taking the other half by the way) & advise any UK lurkers who know the story to do the same.

  44. Larry G
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Tipped. Have been lurking now for several years and felt a pang of conscience for riding free for so long, particularly now that Steve is putting his hand in his pocket – again. I – and many of my colleagues – really appreciate the work that Steve does to bring honesty and transparency to this strange discipline they call “Climate Science”, one that threatens to have a truly profound effect on our economic well being. Somebody needs to keep these fellows honest, as clearly the Academy has failed in this role.

  45. Josik
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    100$ from Norway added to your tip jar. Enjoy your trip!

  46. Tom Oliva
    Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

    tip jar hit. Your perseverance is appreciated out here – have a good visit.

  47. Posted Jul 2, 2010 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    Thanks again for your untiring efforts. Small contrib in tip jar. Have fun, give em hell!

    Cheers — Pete Tillman

    “It’s not what we don’t know that’s the problem, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”
    — Mark Twain (probably)

  48. Ed Waage
    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 12:27 AM | Permalink

    A tip for the trip.

  49. Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 2:12 AM | Permalink

    Count me in with a tip for your trip … go get ’em Steve!

  50. stephen richards
    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 2:48 AM | Permalink

    As promised, $50 in the jar. Give us a report after. Enjoy London but keep your hands in your pockets.

  51. Ed Snack
    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 5:07 AM | Permalink

    Tipped also, go and have a ball (not too literally) Steve.

  52. John F. Pittman
    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    Tipped. Sorry Bishop, will have to buy your book next month.

    • Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

      E-mail me a shipping address and I’ll send you one, John. If I find out you drive a BMW and vacation in the Azores, I’ll feel stupid. Ha!

  53. GrantB
    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

    Taken this site and the efforts of the proprietor for granted. For much too long. AUD$60.91 to the trip tip jar.

  54. Jacob
    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

    “And if we are to be obliged to change the way of life of billions of people around the world to solve the problem..”
    Latimer Adler, July 2, at 6:39.

    All the cap&trade and “green energy” schemes won’t reduce emissions at all, but if they are serious about reducing emissions by, say. 50% – it implies a ban on carbon and oil. That won’t be a “change of the way of life”, but a death sentence to a couple of billion people in the world.

  55. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    TJ, but please don’t release the list to PNAS.

  56. Michael Edwards
    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    I had been negative about climate warming way back when it was called that, before the millennium. Colleagues thought me a crank. Will be 60 this year, and remember clearly the calls about global cooling in the 70’s, as a chem engineer. Funny enough, some of the same people showed up again in the newest scare. Just like researching icons like “Silent Spring” and all its lies, esp re DDT, I found the same again, only easier this time with online access to the pertinent REAL scientific findings. So have followed Climate Audit with interest since first I found it some years ago. Best wishes MM, and hope you “give them hell”, in the nicest possible way, which we have all learned is the way you rumble. Side note, I lived in China (married there to Chinese wife), then Singapore for 6 years, now living/working in India – those of you who comment on the disregard of environment in China and India may not have had the luxury of living in these countries. If you did, it may give you a different perspective on what is most important to life – food, water. Not to minimize the terrible disaster building in China especially, but that can only be fixed by a change in their government, not in their government’s stated objectives.

    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    Small tip incoming plus although I am not central London (Warwickshire) Steve is welcome to food, a double bed and free transport if he needs it since I am retired.

  58. Coalsoffire
    Posted Jul 3, 2010 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    I hit the jar to show my support for a fellow Canadian. You make us proud. It’s really wonderful how much the team fears you, and more than that, WHY they fear you. You do science. They know just enough about science to realize you are their biggest nightmare. In a perfect world they would be inviting you to co author all their papers. This would give them instant credibility and take away the annoyance of you finding problems with the papers after they are published. Of course they would have to quit publishing papers where hype trumps the science. Wouldn’t that be great?

    Sun-tzu in 400 BC said that we should keep our friends close and our enemies even closer. Good advice like that has passed unnoticed by the team. What legitimate scientist doing statistically rich work would not want the help of an audit from someone proven to have a brilliant nose for mistakes? (Well, maybe a “scientist” who is more interested in a result than an honest process would not want that sort of review of his work, to answer my own question). Of course I have the trust and sense that Steve would willingly help anyone honestly with their climate stats and let the results be what they are. That won’t go over well with people who don’t think they can afford to live with results unless they fit the party line.

  59. E O'Connor
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 12:01 AM | Permalink

    I didn’t post when I tipped from Australia yesterday.

    On reflection, the Guardian and others watching this and Bishop Hill’s site may care to ponder on the spontaneous international financial donations and offers of other assistance from within the UK to assist Steve to attend the debate.

    Now hopefully, the Guardian will extend an invitation so that Steve is on the panel.

    Not knowing the country of origin of every poster, this is what I am able to deduce so far (alphabetical order)-


    • stephen richards
      Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

      and France

      • Dominic
        Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

        I live in France too and I will be there (fortunately my work brings me to London that week). Just bought my ticket.

        • Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

          By the way, has the guardian actually invited you to participate as a speaker ? If they haven’t then it smacks of censorship, especially as they used the “costs” excuse not to invite you initially.

          PS Just made a donation to your costs.

    • Ed Snack
      Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

      And NZ

  60. geronimo
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    Fred Pearce is a warmist to the core, as is George Monbiot. Fred has looked at the emails in detail and finds them, shall we say, unattractive, but concludes that they don’t show any signs of fraudulent science and certainly don’t disprove the AGW theory. What we have to bear in mind, both for Fred and the excerable George Monbiot (He revels in the use of “denier” and “denialist”)is that they both have a lot invested in the warmist theory, both have invested 20+ years of their lives in what could turn out to be one of the greatest confidence tricks in scientific history. It’s going to be hard for them, and many others who’ve invested their trust in the writings of a scientific community that appears, at first blush, to be shaping the science to suit their advocacy.

    Good luck on Wednesday Steve, it will be interesting to see how George

  61. geronimo
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, bit premature/

    It will be interesting to see how George Monbiot chairs the debate.

  62. Andrew Russell
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

    I have also hit the tip jar. I’ve done it before, and I’ll probably do it again! Good luck on the trip.

    Off-topic suggestion: The Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in the WW II underground bunkers at Whitehall were very interesting, when I visited last summer. But then, I am a fan of Winston Churchill…

  63. E O'Connor
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 2:28 AM | Permalink


    Oops, this is what I tired to convey –

    Hopefully, the Guardian will extend an invitation to Steve to be on the panel now that expenses are not an issue.

  64. E O'Connor
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 4:45 AM | Permalink


    Grammatically speaking, I correct myself to –

    Hopefully, the Guardian will extend an invitation to Steve to be on the panel as the expenses are not an issue.

  65. Craig Bear
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    Stevie, $50 USD coming at you from Oz. 😉 Good luck and have fun. Keep them honest.

  66. FrankR
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    Tip jar donation from a grateful lurker in Oz

  67. Barry Woods
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    As a number of people have signed up from Bishop Hill (me included) it will be an interesting debate, if ther are a larger number of ‘lukewarmers’ present (ie AGW, or aGW) that ‘alarmist’ CAGW advocates.

    I intend to be ‘nice’, I just wonder if George Monbiot ( the chair) can do ‘nice’

    A close friend co-edited the Scientifc Basis report, with Sir John Houghton, my friend can do ‘nice’ so can I, but oddly as a scientist, has divorced themselves away from the politics of it all.

  68. geo
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    I just hit the Tip Jar for the suggested amount as well, to help finance Steve’s trip to Jolly Olde.

    Go, y’all, and do thee likewise.

    I hope you do go visit Jones, Steve, and that he agrees to see you, even if we don’t hear much about the details other than it happened. Not that I expect you to fall into each others arms weeping or anything.

  69. artwest
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    A tentative step in the right direction – and a fair bit of climbing from under the wreckage…

    “Science has been changed forever by the so-called “climategate” saga, leading researchers have said ahead of publication of an inquiry into the affair – and mostly it has been changed for the better.”

    It even finishes with:

    “But greater openness and engagement with their critics will not ensure that climate scientists have an easier time in future, warns Hulme. Back in the lab, a new generation of more sophisticated computer models is failing to reduce the uncertainties in predicting future climate, he says – rather, the reverse. “This is not what the public and politicians expect, so handling and explaining this will be difficult.””

    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    WoooHooooooooo Got me a ticket and my dragon is researching horrendous travel and accomodation, I will be there 🙂

    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

    Ref the link by Judith Curry:

    Truly admirable determination to discover reasons for public reservations about AGW, all possible avenues were explored apart from the possibility that AGW is not happening.

    Gud e job

    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    Update on E O’Connor

    New Zealand
    United Kingdom
    U S A

  73. Britannic no-see-um
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    I would recommend Steve makes contact with the GWPF. Lord Lawson et al would, I am sure, be delighted to extend cordial hospitality.

  74. Judith Curry
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    Fred Pearce’s latest article on the subject:

    • David Jay
      Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

      Pielke Senior would just love the end of the article, where Hulme starts to talk about “new, better models”.

      Yep, that’s science…

    • ianl8888
      Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

      Hulme, quoted from the Guardian article:

      [Back in the lab, a new generation of more sophisticated computer models is failing to reduce the uncertainties in predicting future climate, he says – rather, the reverse. “This is not what the public and politicians expect, so handling and explaining this will be difficult.”]

      Oh dear, yet another double negative – the new models are not not failing to reduce uncertainty

      And this in an article extolling openness … still such a long, long way to go before communication is honest

  75. Gixxerboy
    Posted Jul 4, 2010 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    A small contribution from New Zealand towards your trip has hit the jar. Go get ’em tiger.

  76. matthu
    Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    Presumably … SM has been in touch with the Guardian by now and confirmed that he will be attending the debate.

    But how did they respond? Have they welcomed his attendance? Have they re-invited him to be a speaker?

  77. Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Another beer and chips in the tip jar from downunder. Best of luck.


  78. Kendra
    Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    Those of you keeping the triptipstats! Note Switzerland!

  79. geo
    Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Re Pearce latest:

    And there will be other changes, said Hulme. The emails made him reflect how “astonishing” it was that it had been left to individual researchers to police access to the archive of global temperature data collected over the past 160 years. “The primary data should have been properly curated as an archive open to all.” He believes that will now happen.

    Hulme being a CRU scientist (I think –at least East Anglia).

    IMO, this is actually the most important and needed result of all from CimateGate, particularly if it pervades the entire field and doesn’t stop with that particular store of data.

    I personally think it was always too much to expect (for those who got ‘a bit excited’) to think ClimateGate would just slay the AGW dragon completely. There is still a great deal of work to be done on the actual science/understanding end of things, but this allows the opportunity for it to be done in a more transparent way, with genuine give and take, which is the only way for a real consensus to develop (if one can at all –one certainly can’t without it).

    • Mark F
      Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

      And let us NOT forget that Steve’s blog provided the “receptors” for virtually all of the key elements of the Climategate letters. Without the well-documented diary of events, frustrations, facts, and the slimings by the hockey team, Climategate may never have been noticed. Thank you, Steve, Mosh, Bender and all the others who have kept the watch! And thank you to the courageous folks like Judith, Manuel etc. for taking up the fight against the tyranny of the cabal!

  80. Malcolm Chapman
    Posted Jul 5, 2010 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    I sent some for travel expenses. Keep up the good work.

  81. Faustino
    Posted Jul 6, 2010 at 6:04 AM | Permalink

    BBC online noted some concerns with the UK inquiries at

  82. Faustino
    Posted Jul 6, 2010 at 6:10 AM | Permalink

    The Economist online reports that the Dutch government asked “the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), an independent body, to look at all the regional chapters in the working group II report and make sure they were up to snuff. This the PBL has now done; its report was published on July 5th.” The report had some concerns. See:

  83. Dung
    Posted Jul 6, 2010 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    New Zealand
    United Kingdom
    U S A

  84. Dung
    Posted Jul 6, 2010 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    On the basis that faustino Uno is and excellent Spanish wine, I am assuming faustino is Spanish ^.^

    Tipjar roll of honour:

    New Zealand
    United Kingdom
    U S A

  85. Posted Jul 7, 2010 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    So what constitutes “outright fraud”, as presumably different from other flavours of fraud?
    Was “hiding the decline” by producing difficult to read thoroughly graphs, or incomplete graphs, or whatever went on there, fraud?
    Of course some people are “shady”, skirting the edge using plausible deniability.

    Suppose you are discussing buying a used car and you ask if it is complete, to which the salesperson replies “yes”. You walk around the car and see that one hubcap is missing – no big deal to you, but shouldn’t the salesperson have seen it was missing thus known that the car is technically not complete. You open the trunk and discover the spare tire is missing, the sales person says “gosh, I didn’t know that, I haven’t had to use a spare tire in years”. Or you unwisely say something like “This is xxxxx isn’t it?” and the salesperson mumbles in a way that you take as a yes, then you see later it is not so. (A Douglas aircraft sales rep did that to me – in contrast, Boeing would fall over themselves to educate me out if they suspected I misunderstood. Guess which company is still in business?) None of those are of the nature of rolling back the odometer or advertising that the engine is the heavy duty version when it clearly is not, but by the end of the scenario I paint you are wondering about such things and others like is there sawdust in the differential to quiet it.

    You see a pattern of behaviour so make a judgement for your life and move on to talk to another seller, while the shady sales person moves on to another potential sucker.

    (Though a car dealer from Portland who expanded to the Seattle area retreated after several months – its reputation followed it, even physically as some of its unhappy customers from Portland journeyed up to Seattle with picket signs. Even good organization can go bad – the owner of a long-established major dealer in the Seattle area started paying less attention to the business due other interests, the key people he had in charge defrauded a disabled customer big time and eventually got caught and convicted, the state and the car maker made sure he didn’t own the dealership anymore. IOW, “sunshine”, the justice system, and the market place eliminated those who ownership problems.)

    Problem is in the climate case politicians are such suckers they keep funding the sleazeballs – so far (I can hope they’ll wake up and smell the red ink as they try desperately to balance the budget without raising taxes which would be fatal to their re-election).

    It’s a problem of epistemology – knowledge. Shallow people who go on appearances and shady promises seem poor at seeing the charlatans targeting them, probably because their means of acquiring knowledge are poor. Just look at the high incidence rate of politicians getting conned or bribed, a common topic in the Canadian federal government and a big court case now in B.C.). So how do politician fools get elected? V O T E R S

  86. bender
    Posted Jul 8, 2010 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    The evidence of scientists cutting corners, playing down uncertainties in their calculations and then covering their tracks by being secretive with data and suppressing dissent suggests a systemic problem of scientific sloppiness, COLLUSION and endemic conflicts of interest, but not of outright fraud. (p. 241)

    Now where’s Boris, to accuse Pearce of being a whacked-out conspiracy theorist? Hey, Rattus?

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] like he was interested in truth, unlike most of those who have had a vested interest in promoting their pet Belief The evidence of scientists cutting corners, playing down uncertainties in their calculations and […]

  2. By Top Posts — on Jul 3, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    […] The Pearce “Inquiry” One inquiry into Climategate by a non-skeptic is not a total whitewash. Fred Pearce actually read the emails and makes […] […]

  3. […] publiceerde hij een boek over climategate (The Climategate Files) en McIntyre schreef er dit […]

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