Oxburgh at Sci Tech Committee Tomorrow

Notice of the Oxburgh hearing is here at 10.30 am UK time ( 5.30 am Eastern).

The Science and Technology Committee will hold an oral evidence session following-up to the previous committee’s report on the disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

The session will be on Wednesday 8 September 2010 at 10.30 am in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House.

The Committee will take evidence from Lord Oxburgh, who headed the International Panel that was set up by the University of East Anglia to assess the integrity of the research published by the Climatic Research Unit.

The session will focus on how the review responded to the former committee’s recommendations about the review and how it carried out its work.

Watch the meeting live: Parliament TV http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=6581

Report: The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (PDF)

An oral evidence session with Sir Muir Russell, who headed the Independent Climate Change E-mails Review, will be announced in October.


  1. Dave L.
    Posted Sep 7, 2010 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps someone will ask Lord Oxburgh who at the Royal Society selected the 11 papers for the Inquiry to review. In other words: Who determined that the 11 papers constituted a “fair representation” of the more important CRU papers?


    • Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 5:11 AM | Permalink

      Well Graham Stringer asked and I don’t think he liked Lord Oxburgh’s rambling answer.

      • Brownedoff
        Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

        The Oxburgh Report had Appendix B which gave a list of 11 documents “Peer-reviewed publications for assessment”.

        See document: http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/SAP

        A lttle while ago someone on Bishop Hill pointed out that the 10 of the 11 papers mentioned above in Oxburgh’s Appendix B were also included in the list of papers handed over by UEA to the HoC Science and Technology Committee for the meeting held on 1 March 2010.

        See page 27 of:

        Click to access 387ii.pdf

        So, UEA give a list of 25 papers to HoC in February 2010 and, by some mechanism which is unknown to his Lordship,
        10 of them are included “for assessment” by his panel and another 3 are classed as “supporting documentation”.

        Therefore, irrespective of any involvement by the Royal Society in the selection process, the papers offered for consideration were selected by UAE.

        Graham Stringer is surely aware of this and no doubt he will be giving his Lordship a good scragging later.

  2. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted Sep 7, 2010 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

    It would be nice if there was someone asking the questions who was knowledgeable about the important points and issues you have illuminated at this blog. But so far what we’ve seen has been disappointingly superficial. Thanks for bringing our attention to the meeting. I’ll be watching!

  3. bob
    Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 12:53 AM | Permalink

    With all the money EAU has attracted for research in the last few years, there is no doubt that there will be another typically British whitewash, complete with titles, decorum, and an absolute disregard of the truth.

    The pattern has been set.

  4. Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

    Dave L, Perhaps you know this already, but nobody at the RS selected the papers. They were selected by UEA, who then wrote to Martin Rees at the RS asking if they could say that they were selected in consultation with RS, to which Rees said OK. In the report, Oxburgh spun this further to “selected on the advice of the RS”. The fully story is at Steve’s June 10th post “British Due Diligence – Royal Society Style”.

    There’s a good summary of today’s hearing at Bishop Hill, plus comments. Seems that Oxburgh is confused on the above point and also still in disagreement about what his remit was – UEA announced it as a Scientific Assessment Panel, but Oxborough thinks it was about honesty.

  5. Bernie
    Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Bishop Hill has provided a real time summary. It does not look good for Oxburgh or Acton – if the Committee pursues the issues raised to their logical conclusion.

  6. Stacey
    Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    He arrives poorly.

    He reluctantly took the job on.

    Was the coughing fit deliberate?

    Talk about trying to get the sympathy vote

    His terms of reference were to determine integrity of the scientists but he did not read the emails as that was Laird Wash’s role?

    If he was a car trader I would not buy a new car off him?

  7. Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    This was another fine performance of an establishment figure. Patronising ‘engineers’, because while they keep all their labnotes, ‘real scientists’ don’t really have to do this – or so Lord Oxburgh insinuated.
    The ubiquitous ‘old lady’ who doesn’t ‘believe’ in climate change because of God – argh, I just waited for the ‘turtles all the way down’!

    Far more sinister was what the Lord said at the end. He advised the chairman of he committee that it would be time to look at the provisions of the FOIA again, because it isn’t good if anybody, even ‘people without good cause or from foreign countries’ could ask for information. And indeed, according to the chairman’s answer, a new look at the FOIA is on the cards, with a meeting of both HoL and HoC committees taking place in October.
    That is the one to watch out for, never mind the whitewashes.

    (HoL = House of Lords/HoC = House of Commons)

    • David Holland
      Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

      Re: Viv Evans (Sep 8 09:17),
      Viv, Re FoiA

      Oxburgh was just reciting the mantra that Russell put in paragraph 34 on page 90 of his Report. Myles Allen made similar comments at the Royal Institution debate as did Trevor Davies and Bob Watson at the Guardian debate. Roger Harrabin went on about it in pub afterwards. They just “don’t get it”. Two days ago the midday Radio 4 programme had a phone in on FoIA. The overwhelming public opinion is for more not less FoI.

      What they are missing is that what they are really moaning about is the Aarhus Convention, a United Nations Treaty which has been adopted as European Law. Governments have so far only paid lip sevice to it. The IAC also ignored it. However it binds all EU countries to promote the principles of the Aarhus Convention in international bodies such as the IPCC and to progressively publish environmental information on the Internet. It also binds them to consult the public on environmental decisions.

      How the IPCC is reformed is the most important environmental decision I can think of. If at the IPCC Plenary next month European governments do not honour their treaty obligations they could find some one challenges them. When Greenpeace did it the British government had redo its consultation process at considerable cost to the taxpayer. service

  8. mpaul
    Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    It went very badly for UEA today. Steve, I think your earlier communications with Oxburgh was key to exposing the fact that he did not review the science. Once again, your attention to detail has made a difference.

  9. Slabadang
    Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    Mr Holland!

    Whats the latest on Mr Mitchells refusal to make his data available?
    Concerning the reformation of IPCC I really hope that Pachauri stays.Because that will totally kill the the trust of IPCC permanently.
    Oxbourg is an embarrasment and an insult to everyones intellect.The low scientific standards of climate science is appalling.

    • David Holland
      Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

      Re: Slabadang (Sep 8 11:30),

      It seems that the MOD are giving the ICO a hard time. It has been agreed that I would repeat the request for one email about the “new guidelines” which the Met Office said they held but have refused to disclosed.

      I made the request on Whatdotheyknow and the Met office should reply by 23 September. The ICO have the email and say they don’t know what the fuss is about and if it is refused again they will deal with it separately from the the general complaint.

  10. Ron Cram
    Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    Lord Oxburgh, I don’t think anyone disagrees with the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “trick.” Did you happen to look up in the Oxford Dictionary the meaning of the term “hide?”

  11. PhilH
    Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    The more one observes this kind of stuff, the more it reminds you of watching a collection of villains from the works of Dick Francis.

  12. Stacey
    Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    No aspersions cast but I thought that it was a criminal offence to lie to a parliamentary commission.

    Cough Cough

  13. Ron Cram
    Posted Sep 8, 2010 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    I would like to rephrase the question.

    Lord Oxburgh, I don’t think anyone disagrees with the Oxford English Dictionary that the word “trick” can carry the meaning you have given. But there are seven meanings listed and if you want to know the meaning intended by the author, you have to look at context. Did you happen to consult the Oxford Dictionary regarding the meaning of the term “hide?”

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