Climategate Inquiries

Andrew Montford’s review of the Climategate Inquiries is released today and is online here.

Ross McKitrick’s is online here.


  1. Bernie
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    There seems to be an error with Ross’s link.

  2. Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    I just finished my first cover-to-cover read of Montford’s review. As always, Montford demonstrates an extraordinary ability to guide his reader through minuscule detail, delivering crystal-cut clarity while somehow not dropping any of the detail essential for full comprehension.

    I imagine there is no knot known to man which Montford could not untangle in seconds flat.

  3. Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    Just to say that my live microblogging of today’s presentation of the Bishop’s report at the House of Lords, is available on twitter under the account @mmorabito67

    Link should be but can’t check it at the moment.

    Personally the highest (lowest) point has been the realisation that both Jones (directly) and Briffa (via Oxburgh) appear to have admitted they can’t replicate their data. Unless I have misunderstood?

    Steve: I think that Stringer meant to ask about the report that Jones admitted that the reconstructions couldn’t been done with any accuracy. Stringer mis-expressed this in terms of from original data. Oxburgh free-lanced his answer.

    • Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

      Working and helpful, thanks Maurizio.

    • Phillip Bratby
      Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

      Maurizio: Do you know if anybody from the BBC was there?

      • Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

        I think there was nobody today from the BBC.

        They were busy reporting the result of yet another public inquiry, that has now established that terrorist-inmates can commit a murder in a maximum security prison, without the Authorities being involved at all.

        Yes, it’s whitewash time!


        • Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

          Re: Maurizio Morabito (Sep 14 11:55),

          however, Andrew’s classically excellent report also deliciously summarizes how tardy all the MSM were in reporting Climategate days or even weeks after they were well-known on the Internet; Andrew also notes some MSM’s censorship (Grauniad) though he does not mention that suspected of Google.

          I think it less likely this time that MSM will invite further ridicule to be heaped on themselves in the same way…

          …well, I live in hope.

        • Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

          I’ve read the bulk of Andrew Montford’s report and it is a deep pleasure to read such lucid, measured prose. It tells a story which makes it readable, indeed it almost feels like a film script. It is really useful to read each “finding” in bold type as it emerges as the distillation of the previous paragraphs, simple and obvious and adding weight upon weight to the gravity of the corruption, yet without ever descending into emotional horror.

          I hope it finds a lawyer who takes it on not just for itself but also because IMHO it is a real classic which deeply embodies the true spirit of law and justice, and I’d love to see it as a good teaching model for future law students.

  4. Stacey
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    Ross’s link doesn’t appear to work?

  5. Stacey
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    Sorry for the stereo statement?

  6. Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    My link is fixed now.

    • Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

      Immediate thumbs up for including a Table of Contents and analysis of the IAC review of the IPCC (key for the complete post-Climategate picture). What a feast we have this week!

  7. Craig Loehle
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    On p. 10 of Ross’ summary, “Blocking publication of opposing findings” there are 2 issues that they ignored. 1) Selective refusal to cite or discuss publications they did not like in IPCC repts. 2) Direct efforts to block publication of skeptics, including Steve’s work, the von Storch affair, getting editors fired for “incorrect” views, the Soon and Baliunas work, etc that is visible in the emails. It is clear that none of the review panels bothered to read the emails or CA for context. Simply shabby. It is as if there was surveillance video of a crime but instead of watching hours of tape, the cops just asked the suspect what happened.

    • Salamano
      Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

      Sometimes I get the impression that the evidence they are looking at IS a surveillance-video of sorts…

      But they then declare that because they don’t have access to all video everywhere in a 360-degree panorama, nor any video xxx hours before or yyy hours after the event in question…They couldn’t possibly know for sure if a diamond-tip-specific crime was committed, or if it was just idle talk, or what-have-you. = ignored.

  8. Hector M.
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    Excellent news. I have already downloaded the report.

    One editorial glitch I found immediately was that at Lord Turnbull’s preface the University of East Anglia is repeatedly identified by the acronym UAE (which would be better suited for the United Arab Emirates) rather than the correct one, UEA. Montford, fortunately, has it right throughout his full text. He nonetheless correctly uses UAE in a footnote (# 90) concerning an article published in The Gulf News, a newspaper at the Arab Emirates.

    • Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

      Re: Hector M. (Sep 14 10:53), This gives an excuse to quote a line from Jack Hughes at Bishop Hill:

      “Don’t confuse the UAE and the UEA.

      One is a dysfunctional autocratic place where backward-looking religious views dominate. The other is a country in the middle east.”

  9. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    With Steve, Ross and Andrew, we have all bases and all angles meticulously covered. Congratulations to all three for such arduous attention to facts and details. The world will one day be truly grateful.

  10. Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Two very thorough and detailed reports that deserve careful study. It is good to see both reports close with a call for a proper enquiry.
    The Bish Report:

    Public confidence in the reliability of climate science will not be restored until a thorough, independent and impartial investigation takes place.

    The Ross Report:

    The world still awaits a proper inquiry into climategate: one that is not stacked with global warming advocates, and one that is prepared to cross-examine evidence, interview critics as well as supporters of the CRU and other IPCC players, and follow the evidence where it leads.

    Both reports are also very clear on the false claim by the Russell Report about no attempted email deletion – spelling out the timing of the Holland request just before the Jones email (Bish p 48, Ross p 31).

  11. Bernie
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    Ross’s summary is extremely clear and well constructed. The case for a more rigorous and complete investigation is unequivocal.

    The substantive issue that needs most emphasis are the points raised by Prof. Michael Kelly (pages 18 & 19). They represent an indictment of both the shoddy inquiry and the integrity of IPCC science presented by Jones & Briffa.

    Let’s hope this re-ignites the issues exposed in Climategate.

  12. glacierman
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Its like climategate for dummies. Every fact is spoon fed to the reader with references. If someone chooses to ingores the facts, it is on them to explain why; it will be hard to hind behind nuances now that these two reports are in the public realm.

  13. Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

    Excellent work by both Prof McKittrick and Andrew Montfort.

    For Great Britain, Montfort’s report is of importance because of the ‘blessings’ given by Lord Turnbull in his preface, who is a proper Mandarin, former top civil servant, and thus has the ear of people in the top levels of the civil service who are the ones that tell government ministers what to do.

    I would like to think that GWPF will see to it that this report finds its way into the hands of MPs and others who don’t have the time nor inclination to follow the debates, revelations and exasperations here and on the other important blogs.
    Such a report, brief, to the point, written in clear language, polite but devastating, may have an impact larger than we think today.

  14. Ted Swart
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Not a word — as yet — from Real Climate about either of the reports. Do they even bother to read such incisive critiques?

    • ML
      Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

      I suspect that they will start new topic with this sentence again.

      “We’ve been a little preoccupied recently……..”

  15. apl
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    Lord Turnbull’s line “The reports have been more Widgery than Saville.” is very telling to UK readers.

    Widgery was seen as a whitewash inquiry into the Bloody Sunday killings in Northern Ireland in 1972 – it largely cleared the soldiers involved. Saville completed his new inquiry a few months ago after spending 12 years and tens of millions of pounds. It led to an apology by the British Prime Minister.

  16. martyn
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    Andrew Miller, chairman of the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee, who was not involved in the GWPF report, agreed that the IAC’s recommendations on changing leadership of the IPCC should be taken very seriously.

    But he rejected a separate demand from Lord Turnbull for a parliamentary review of climate science. “Lord Lawson (founder of the GWPF) appears to be trying to re-write the basics of climate science, but neither science committee in the Commons or Lords would waste its resources on such a futile task,” he said.

  17. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    The BBC (Roger Harrabin) has commented. See

    It focuses an the IPCC and leaves the last word to UEA.

  18. pauld
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    IMHO if we want a thorough investigation, we an need an inquiry that has a top-notch staff lawyer. A sharp lawyer could get up to speed quickly on the science issues and would have the experience and training to do the type of investigation needed. Completing discovery with depositions, requests for documents and interragatories to get to the bottom of complex issues is what top-notch lawyers do on a day-to-day basis.

    • AusieDan
      Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

      I agree completely.
      Bringing in a sharp legal mind, with the necessary research backing and funding is essential.
      That was done in Australia some years ago with the Costigan report into police corruption.

      This wll happen EVENTUALLY.
      Let’s hope we’re still alive to see it.

  19. dahuang
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    I have read Ross’s report (August 9 version, 41 pages) last month, and now it is updated and expanded, but I could not quite catch where is the difference so that I have to read it again…but no problem because the writing style is so enjoyable and worth reading again 😉

    For me, although the British part is important, most of my concern is on the IAC part. Clearly biased inquiries and reports are the easier enemies to fight with: their misdeeds are too obvious once they are pointed out. But the more “balanced” view of IAC is another story. Honestly speaking, after reading the August 9 version, I am quite pessimistic that the IAC report would just resemble the British reports. But the political struggle inside UN seems very intriguing, and the diplomacy there is really top-standard, so that the output at last is a difficult-to-comment artwork, let me quote Ross on the only information currently available about what happened:

    The highlighted claim was false: neither of us had been contacted for interviews, nor were we even sent the email questionnaire that had already been sent to hundreds of people, the replies to which had been requested by June 8, a deadline that had, at that point, already passed.

    The next day we received survey forms by email, with a requested response date by 25 June 2010. On June 13 we each wrote to Kearney asking him to retract his claim that the IAC was interviewing them. Neither of us received a reply, although McIntyre later had a telephone interview with Committee chair Harold Shapiro.

    Anyway, I hope Steve and Ross could devote a standalone analysis of IAC report on IPCC soon (already promised to us though), since IPCC would meet in South Korea in October to discuss the report. The prospects of further British investigations rely more on the appraisal of IPCC than its internal political actions, I believe.

    • Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

      One of the differences in the final edition is I now include a summary of the IAC findings. In my view they ended up presenting quite a serious critique of the IPCC, and they reiterate complaints that IPCC critics have been making for years. But it is all so tactfully and diplomatically stated that a reader could come away thinking they had only minor concerns.

      • Posted Sep 16, 2010 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

        I agree. In one of my previous incarnations, I did much “bureaucratic” writing (and reviewing) consequently to me, the IAC report, for all its “diplomacy” is very damning of the IPCC. But for me, the most telling part of your report is your Conclusion 7:

        Is the science concerning the current concerns about climate change sound? […] none of the inquiries addressed the question.

        Yet all of the enquiries made declarations that nothing undermined “the science” (owtte)

        One might conclude that on this matter as on others there was a determined effort to ask the wrong questions of the wrong people in order to ensure that they always got the right answer.

  20. Paul-in-CT
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 8:22 PM | Permalink

    Please forgive my ignorance, but does Ross have any legal training? His report generally reads as if he does (and I mean that as a compliment!)

    If you’re reading Ross, great job in saying what you mean to say and nothing else, regardless what seem to be some powerful temptations…


  21. stephen richards
    Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    I like both ‘reports’. However, the bishop’s report appears to be more of a press report whilst Ross’ report really is a report. For that reason they are both equally good but serving different purposes.

    Thanks to both authors for their work.

  22. Craig Loehle
    Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    Something I see quite clearly in Ross, Montford, and Steve, among other critics, is lucid analysis. It is impossible for those acting as advocates or apologists to think or write so clearly because their agenda does not allow them to let facts speak for themselves and logic to be a priority. This is really an acid test of truth-telling, and these guys have it.

  23. Alfred Burdett
    Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 10:50 AM | Permalink


    • Stacey
      Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 12:35 PM | Permalink


      • nevket240
        Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 9:24 PM | Permalink



  24. Stacey
    Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    I wonder whether Mr McKitrick would be prepared to become involved with distance learning.

    My thought is that he could give a tutorial to Mr Russel, Lord Oxborough et al on how to professionally deal with facts and compile a lucid report.

    • Mark F
      Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

      Ahhh, but Oxy knows that fiction pays so much better than non-fiction.

  25. Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    Ross mentions UEA’s announcement that the science would be examined by the second committee convened under the “guidance” of the Royal Society. Indeed, the RS announces the same thing

    Advising UEA on independent scientific experts (12 February 2010)

    The Royal Society will provide advice to the University of East Anglia in identifying assessors to conduct an independent external reappraisal of the Climatic Research Unit’s key publications.

    Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society, said: “It is important that people have the utmost confidence in the science of climate change. Where legitimate doubts are raised about any piece of science they must be fully investigated – that is how science works. The Royal Society will provide advice to the University of East Anglia in identifying independent assessors to conduct this reappraisal.

    • LearDog
      Posted Sep 16, 2010 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

      In my opinion the RS forfeited its role as arbitar when it took its advocacy position on AGW. They are invested in an outcome and therefore can no longer ‘advise’. Time to adopt an advesarial approach to investigation – including ALL of the emails….

    • TedSwart
      Posted Sep 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

      The RS announcement was way back in February. On paper it looked and looks potentially like a real investigation at last. But I have not seen anything more about it. Would it be utterly foolish of us to wait with baited breath?

  26. Dave L.
    Posted Sep 15, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    I have read both reports. Very commendable.

    I have one question that periodically resurfaces in my thoughts: Will there ever be a public examination of the remaining unreleased e-mails on the Climategate Server? Could an FOIA eventually gain access to them?

  27. OYD
    Posted Sep 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    Montford really gives the subject a very thorough check and puts to rest all the nonsense that the establishment would want us to believe. I wonder who would put together the next IPCC report. Will it be Steve or Mr. McKitrick?

  28. Jockdownsouth
    Posted Sep 19, 2010 at 4:50 AM | Permalink

    I trust that the authors of both these excellent reports will make sure they find their way into the hands of the House of Commons Select Committee.

  29. Gilbert K. Arnold
    Posted Sep 19, 2010 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    As of 07:20 EDT in the US, no mention in RealClimate about the Montford air McKttirick reports. The last post is dated Sept. 13th. The silence is deafening/

  30. Gilbert K. Arnold
    Posted Sep 19, 2010 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    Hmm typing gremlins got my fingers…. McKittrick

  31. rafnics
    Posted Sep 22, 2010 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    Just had facebook block me from posting the link to McKitrick pdf on grounds that it was “abusive”.

    • TedSwart
      Posted Sep 22, 2010 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

      Thought police in action? McKitrick’s writing is so well crafted and fair minded that the word “abuse” would never enter any normal person’s head. Maybe it is just because the truth hurts.

  32. Posted Oct 2, 2010 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Viv Evans
    Posted Sep 14, 2010 at 1:47 PM
    …For Great Britain, Montfort’s report is of importance because of the ‘blessings’ given by Lord Turnbull in his preface, who is a proper Mandarin, former top civil servant, and thus has the ear of people in the top levels of the civil service who are the ones that tell government ministers what to do.


    The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) …
    We are funded entirely by voluntary donations from a number of private individuals and charitable trusts. In order to make clear its complete independence, we do not accept gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company.

    They do not mind employing Mr Turnbull who has interests in energy .
    Lord Andrew Turnbull
    Since retiring from the Civil Service in 2005, Lord Andrew Turnbull has joined Booz & Company as a Senior Advisor. … He entered the House of Lords in December 2005 and is a non-executive Director of Prudential PLC, The British Land Company PLC and Frontier Economics Ltd, and is Chairman of BH Global Ltd.
    Frontier’s energy work relates to electricity, gas and oil and covers production, networks, storage, trading and retail. Frontier is recognised as one of the leading energy market, modelling and regulatory experts in Western Europe and Australia and the Pacific and has worked widely on the detailed quantitative and qualitative aspects of environmental policies

    His directorship of BH Global. Is interesting (especially if I could understand this document prospectus looks most unsavoury to the uninitiated!)

    Page 79 of the document
    Investment Profile by Sector (percentage of capital allocation) energy = 6%

  33. Punksta
    Posted Jan 5, 2011 at 1:37 AM | Permalink

    The link to Monford’s report is broken.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Bishop Hill Review of Reviews « the Air Vent on Sep 14, 2010 at 3:06 PM

    […] More discussion at CA Climategate Inquiries […]

  2. […] __________ You may be tempted (and should be) to read authoritative comments by climate scientists on all of this.  For that check Steve McIntyre’s blog entry Climategate Inquiries. […]

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