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« Climategate press | Main | Part deux - Josh 128 »

Newsnight does Climategate II

H/T JabbaTheCat

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Reader Comments (23)

It's deeply concerning, especially given that the BBC is itself compromised by both recent events and the e-mails themselves, that their science editor would report on this apparently without bothering to read any of the e-mails herself. Helping 'the cause', along with many other exchanges has no place in the 'normal banter' that passes between scientists, as I think Mann put it. It is the kind of banter that is clear evidence of 'scientists' corrupted by a commitment to a noble cause higher than that of the proper conduct of science. The BBC is in serious dereliction of duty to let this nonsense pass.

There is a clear suggestion that (as many have suspected) sulphate aerosols were used as a fudge factor to account for the lack of post-war warming. There is evidence of the difficulty in hiding the MWP in Greenland, of an awareness of problems in the warming of the Antarctic Peninsula. These people were controlling peer review, and then controlling the IPCC process. They have destroyed the reliability of most of climate science. As a 'luke warmer' who thinks there is a problem to be considered (albeit an exaggerated one), it is deeply disturbing that a public broadcaster would put this nonsense to air with so little scrutiny.

Nov 23, 2011 at 6:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAynsley Kellow

Not much depth to the coverage. Leak mentioned at the start, hack mentioned at the end. True to BBC form, only Mann is interviewed. No sceptic is allowed a voice. The police will be interested in what they can learn from the message with the files? They sure could do with a fresh lead - it had clearly become a cold case.

Nov 23, 2011 at 6:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Mann in wriggle mode already. I wonder why she called Mann in the U.S. rather than Jones just up the road. Would have saved on phone costs.

Nov 23, 2011 at 6:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Impressive to see the shameless pofaced dishonesty of the BBC in action - how can they think that they'll manage to hide this information from the public? In other news - Roger Harrabin turned out to be crooked. Now over to Jim for the sport.

Nov 23, 2011 at 6:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterZT

It's fairly lightweight stuff, but there is enough in there to make the disinterested viewer wonder whether all is well.

Nov 23, 2011 at 7:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterSummertown

"It's fairly ligthweight stuff". When Susan Watts first appeared as a BBC science correspondent, I thought there was a chance at last of a bit of scientific integrity. But no, she quickly had the BBC implant and has followed the BBC biased line ever since. Since Richard Black did the first piece on the BBC, I wonder why he didn't do this piece? Perhaps the BBC thought that they'd better wheel out someone who was scientifically trained and whose name wasn't in the emails as a BBC man who "does a great job" for the Team.

Nov 23, 2011 at 7:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

what is the context of this?

From: Mick Kelly
To: Phil Jones
Subject: RE: Global temperature
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 09:02:00 +1300

Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used
to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a
longer – 10 year – period of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you
might expect from La Nina etc.
Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.
Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I
give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects
and the recent cold-ish years.

Nov 23, 2011 at 7:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterthe other steve jobs

More about Susan Watts over at Harmless Sky

"Last night I was reading through the full text of Barack Obama’s speech just before the BBC’s daily current affairs magazine, Newsnight, came on television. So his words were fresh in my mind when Susan Watts, Newsnight’s science editor, presented a piece on the implications of the speech for science in general and global warming in particular. I was surprised when it started with this sound bite from the inaugural speech:

"We will restore science to its rightful place, [and] roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories."

I didn’t seem to remember him saying that at all.

When the program was over, I went back to the text and this is what I found.

It would seem that someone at the BBC had taken the trouble to splice the tape so that half a sentence from paragraph 16 of the inauguration speech was joined on to half a sentence from paragraph 22, and this apparently continuous sound bite was completed by returning to paragraph 16 again to lift another complete sentence.

Nov 23, 2011 at 7:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

Black is the new whitewash at the BBC. But Richard gets pwned in the comments...

Nov 23, 2011 at 7:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

So in defence the BBC say the emails are out of context by using selective out of context quotes

Nov 23, 2011 at 7:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterjason f

If anyone is expecting the BBC to do anything more than state there are two sides to the case and that the emails are taken out of context they're wasting their time. I believe Susan Watts(Watts?) did a fair job in putting what they knew on air without prejudicing the arguments one way or the other.

One thing for sure any doubts I may have had about Dr. Jones' character have now departed.

For those who read Steve McIntyre's blog thefordprefected has been outed. In an email to Jones he identified himself as Mike Tuppen. Unfortunately I don't know who Mike Tuppen is either!

Nov 23, 2011 at 8:55 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

The other Steve Jobs:

"Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I
give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects
and the recent cold-ish years."


Nov 23, 2011 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterJit

The BBC is disgraceful is this the same organisation that told us a million people could die of BSEC? Was Watts the reporter?

Nov 23, 2011 at 9:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

With, Allegra Stratton formerly of the Ilk of grauniad, having been appointed Newsnight Editor, is it any wonder?

Nov 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

[Recycled from a prior thread: (See, I'm being green!)]
geronimo -
Mr Tuppen, aka "thefordprefect", was mentioned here at BH a few months ago. He had submitted a request to UEA for Paul Dennis's emails to Stephen McIntyre, "Jeff Id", and others. [It seems likely, based on the selection of correspondents, that Tuppen suspected Dr Dennis of being the source of the Climategate emails.]

Paul Dennis had the unMannly response of "you're welcome to my emails!" (or words to that effect).

Nov 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

"Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I
give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects
and the recent cold-ish years."

Hide the Decline 2.0

Nov 23, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterrc

Nov 23, 2011 at 7:37 AM | Jack Hughes

Noting one of the first lines spun...

'Without context, it's hard to work out the true meaning...'

True. However, often context, when added, can be a bit of a problem as it raised some questions at the time.

Luckily, for some, this was soon 'dealt with', if mainly by time, 'moving', on, yawning, etc, until of course we got to a certain Professorial report that formalised the process to a much more 'official' level of satisfaction.

Nov 23, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJunkkMale

'Are there any other implications to this...?'

One would hope, this time, after the last that seemed to get 'moved on' from.

But Gavin probably wasn't referring to the BBC's reputation.

Nov 23, 2011 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJunkkMale


I believe Susan Watts ... did a fair job in putting what they knew on air without prejudicing the arguments one way or the other.

Agreed. Just watched this for the first time. I'm glad Watts ended with FOIA's concern that climate policies will hurt the poor. She looked suitably shamefaced at that point I thought. We all should.

Nov 23, 2011 at 5:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

I don't think it matters that the bbc is trying to spin this along to save face, no one intelligent believes the bbc on anything anyway...and no-one, er...shall we call it "less inclined to look in depth" will be watching Newsnight or similar stuff. However....tabloids will love to have a go at the BBC/Guardian nexus over this, so Joe Public will get a simplified "global warming proven to be a hoax" (unless they have too much money tied up in the scam themselves of course) as we can see from some journo's starting to peek under the stone.
Most importantly, other scientists in other areas will not be fobbed off by the BBC wand waving...these emails are, as someone commented recently, going to be veiwed by the other 'Judy Currys' out there so that the establishment itself starts to call foul on it........there is far more damaging stuff in this release than the last one. Sceptical scientists will be strengthened, on the fence ones more doubtful of the trust they had. Naive pocket grabbers may still cling on of course.
Arguements about context will not wash faced with the full emails....what say you now Brian to read for yourself? Wonder what Richard Muller cares to say about it now...?

Nov 23, 2011 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermikef2

Susan Watts BBC bio dated 2005:

She joined Newsnight in January 1995.

Since then science, health, medicine and technology - and their
social and political impact - have become central themes on the

Susan has broken major stories on issues including climate change,
GM food, nuclear power, human cloning, HIV vaccines and biochemical

She was a prominent witness at the Hutton inquiry, a judicial
investigation in summer 2003 into the death of biological weapons
expert Dr David Kelly.

Susan was responsible for much of Newsnight's coverage of the
unfolding BSE crisis, for which Newsnight gained its first Bafta

She has received the Royal Television Society award for Specialist
Journalism for her coverage of genetically-modified food and human
genetic science.

Susan joined Newsnight after ten years in print journalism.

She was science and technology correspondent for the Independent
newspaper, where she won many awards for her investigative reporting
including the Environment Council's Science in the Environment award
for a story on Oxfordshire tests of engineered crops.

She was technology correspondent at New Scientist magazine in the
late Eighties and, before then, news editor at Computer Weekly.

She has a degree in physics from London's Imperial College.

Nov 23, 2011 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennis A

Why on earth didn't she read the mails herself or ask a respected sceptic like the Bish to provide an overview of the juiciest items (in context)?

Instead, only asking the accused for his view evidences the default bias of the Beeb. In all fairness though Susan Watts didn't look at all comfortable toeing the party line in this piece.

Nov 24, 2011 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

If you have seen the BBC youtube video impartiality and reporting. then see this video report for news night. There is only one thing I can say about the report. BULLSHIT!

Nov 25, 2011 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan Summerell

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