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Myles Allen on Climategate

Paul Matthews points us to this video of Myles Allen speaking at the Communicate 2011 conference in Bristol last year.

The segment on Climategate has to be seen to be believed.

And they wonder why nobody believes them.

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Reader Comments (77)

He seems to be describing a completely different controversy to the one I have been following for some years!

May 23, 2012 at 8:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

The segment on Climategate has to be seen to be believed.

I've seen it, and I still don't believe it.

May 23, 2012 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

"whether climate is happenning or not."

What a nonsense. Did he go to school?

May 23, 2012 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterEdim

I see that another speaker at the meeting, in the same session, was Aubrey Manning, Patron of Population Matters. So there was a healthy dose of malthusianism too...

May 23, 2012 at 8:49 PM | Registered CommenterJeremy Harvey

Very confused. Only the summing up was perfectly clear

... because Climate change has become boring. But the question we’ve got to ask ourselves is - I don’t know - maybe that’s a good thing, because maybe the idea of selling this as something that people were going to deal with as a great collective action enterprise was never going to work, and that actually, the way it’s going, the whole climate change issue will be played out by professionals, largely leaving the public out of the picture. That’s sad for democracy, but it may ultimately be the best for the planet.

May 23, 2012 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Notice how he chastises the "Science Communicators" for the public's lack of interest in climate change at the start of his session

May 23, 2012 at 8:56 PM | Registered CommenterAndy Scrase

Very interesting, thank you. For myself, the reason I don't believe them any more is because Myles Allen and his colleagues are completely unable to explain either the 30+ year variability seen in geophysical time series, or the inability of GCMs to reproduce such variability. The idea explained in his conclusion, that this issue be used to transfer people’s democratic rights to individuals like him, I think demonstrates precisely the reason behind his spin.

May 23, 2012 at 9:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Richens

What a smug pompous a*se.

Reminded me very much of Arnold Rimmer from "Red Dwarf" - all he needed was the "H" on his forehead.

He's certainly perfected the ancient climatological folk art of "straw man weaving" - his "climategate" was a masterpiece.

Must remember though - he has some very influential green friends. No lesser personage then of The Voice (me neither - I had to ask the missus) has visited him at his lair in Oxford only this week.

Apparently he (Will thingy not Myles) flew in on his private chopper - but cycled the last few yards to show green solidarity.

Clearly a communion of intellectual giants.

May 23, 2012 at 9:08 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose


Rimmer - I knew he reminded me of someone who has impeccable scientific credentials.

But aside from the mickey-taking can someone comment on his argument that the IPCC prediction has been borne out by the subsequent temperature measurements?

May 23, 2012 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterArgusfreak

Actually thought it was standard climate salesman stuff - the company’s going bust will spin the setbacks for the faithful using as many straw men out as will suit. Let’s face it he’s talking to “environmental communicators” here; you know? Morons.

It was his ending point that made me wakeup (I notice geoffchambers above spotted this too). I didn’t realise that Allen has a technocratic outlook that is really quite chillingly anti-democratic with his breezy banal delivery, I’m going to pay attention to what this guy says in the future but not because I like him, but because he seems to have quite creepy aspirations.

You should listen to what he says right at the end of the talk, at the last minute and half after 12:00 . Essentially he admits the low hanging fruit of scare stories have run out, and for this he first blames his audience of “environmental communicators” - no doubt the usual suspects - for exhausting the mantra. So what conclusion does he take from this? I had to get his words down to be sure I had him right:

Maybe that is a good thing, maybe the idea of selling this as something that people were going to deal with as a great collective action erm enterprise, was never going to work, and that actually the way it’s going the whole climate change issue will be played out by professionals largely leaving the public out of the picture. That’s sad for democracy, but it may ultimately be best for the planet.

Let us get this clear - the scare stories have been exhausted, the public have been treated like idiots and now they have reacted with apathy in his eyes – he obviously had a hard time dealing with this at one time, but now he has cheered up First he blames the “environmental communicators” he can do this cos he's a scientist and pure and good (also he seems bitter Al Gore didn’t use his loaded dice analogy* ;) )

And so now see the public apathy as a “good thing” and with faux regret he wholeheartedly embraces the idea of a future with the public left in the dark and technocratic elites managing the policy in the background.


*remember his embarrassing use of "loaded" dice on Newnight?

May 23, 2012 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Climate has always changed???? So why does he keep talking about the climate change debate????
Why does he not discuss CAGW?
Why does he sidestep the real issues of climategate? Oh yes nothing to see here move on
Like Michael Mann he is in denial

I can't remember seeing such a bad presentation before. Even Michael Mann is not this bad!

May 23, 2012 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

That's very odd. Is this guy in a parallel universe? I seem to recall that the issues that concerned me in Climategate were:

1. The Hockey Stick
2. Hide the decline
3. Mann's "dirty laundry" of verification statistics
4. Withholding data
5. Yamal
6. Upside down Tiljander
7. Blocking papers during peer review
8. Redefining peer review
9. Conspiring to have editors removed that climate scientists didn't like
10 Etc etc

I don't remember anywhere hearing about a tiny correction to HadCru data being very important.

As for suspension of democracy - I think Myles Allen pretty much demonstrated Godwin's law before the thread even started! Green Dictators Rejoice!

RE: Foxgoose mentioning Rimmer - Spot On! I'll have another beer to celebrate that astute observation!

May 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

'That's sad for democracy, but it may ultimately be the best for the planet'.

Inspired by this non-sense I went and observed the waste of time and money that Allen presides over here. Please tell me that this is not funded by a democracy's tax paying public...

May 23, 2012 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

Correction - its Crutem3 not HadCru. Same difference.

May 23, 2012 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

...can someone comment on his argument that the IPCC prediction has been borne out by the subsequent temperature measurements?
May 23, 2012 at 9:21 PM Argusfreak

As far as I could make out, it's just the stale old argument of where you start plotting your linear trend. He starts it 30 yrs ago an shows continuous slight warming, we could start it 15 yrs ago and show slight cooling.

The dishonesty of his patter is mixing that up with decadal comparisons and claiming that this somehow clinches the argument.

I thought I noticed another pea under the thimble when he spoke of IPCC's year 2000 future prediction being proved right by a graph which showed the "prediction" line and error bars starting about 20 yrs earlier. The IPPC have always been pretty good at predicting the past.

May 23, 2012 at 9:34 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

He came across to me as a bit of a fantasist, pushing bizarre views about the nature and impact of Climategate and the extent of mass media attention it gained, claims that ‘the public doesn’t understand that we understand’ {count me amongst them Myles!}, sees IPCC temperature predictions as looking good over tenths of a degree, climate prediction a lot more straightforward than many feared it was {run computer model, believe selected outputs? – easy peasy indeed!}, and talks of serious debate over whether climate is changing or not {who doubts it?}

He is also troubled by the lack of public support {for what? - for mass panic?, for even more resources to go to windfarms and Met Office computers?, for more draconian legislation than the Climate Change Act?}

He has clearly spotted how easy it has been to ridicule such as Gore and expose their errors and tricks, and to poke fun at others who have gone a bit over the top in their tales of catastrophe. He can see that relentless catastrophism could be very bad for his line of work and wisely distances himself a bit from it.

His one point of more substance, his one ‘teccy bit’ is some model plot claiming a big increase in the odds of a relatively rare event – a very severe heatwave in Russia. This sort of thing has launched many a press story for healthcare worries or studies talking of dramatic increases in risk due to factor X or drops due to treatment Y for some rare complaint. Calmer study reveals they may have found the risk has changed from tiny to slightly bigger than tiny, but oh how the ratio of the change sounds dramatic! I suspend judgement on Myles’s plot and claim, but I did detect that it triggered in me at least an amber alert.

Mercifully, he notes that there is ‘no point in running scare stories in the media', but that is not within his control. Scare stories are loved by the media: see the alternating stories about floods and ice ages through the 20th century on roughly the 30 year cycle of warmings and coolings observed then (see e.g. I hope he has made substantial efforts to refute 'scare stories' from time to time - that would be more within his control.

Ending on a possibly sinister note, given the extremist views of some on his ‘side’.
‘leave it to the professionals – that's sad for democracy but ultimately may be the best for the climate’

To end on a more amusing note, try this for a display of professionalism on live TV:

May 23, 2012 at 9:35 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Thinking Scientist,

Harry Read Me.

Someone should simply list all the choicest comments in a book as a testament to the competence and integrity of climate science.

May 23, 2012 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

RE: John Shade.

That clip is just amazing! He can't even get the right answer from a loaded die and then claims afterward that he threw more sixes than he did!

Hilarious! What a prat.

May 23, 2012 at 9:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Does God play dice?

May 23, 2012 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

To end on a more amusing note, try this for a display of professionalism on live TV:
May 23, 2012 at 9:35 PM | John Shade

....... and this from the guy who wants to suspend democracy so he can run our lives for us.

The words "piss up" & "brewery" spring remorselessly to mind.

May 23, 2012 at 9:44 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

@Foxgoose thanks for bringing this about to our attention. Makes me feel guilty about attending a Black-eyed Peas concert two years ago. I unwittingly helped pay for that helicopter. LOL.

May 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJungle Jim

That's just advice from Ooutside Oorganization

Just characterize the whole brouhaha as though it only were about questions of the temperature record and then brush it away.

Richard Black did it.

The reason why he can do it is the same reason he gives at the beginning: people have forgotten climate change and they have forgotten what Climategate was, too.

May 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

"Research Spotlight: Deadly 2010 Russian heat wave not a consequence of climate change"

Myles, try to keep up!

May 23, 2012 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

I find it surprising that he's (presumably) getting paid to berate those who came before him because they weren't effective enough to suit him. And where was he and his omnipresent brain when the debate was going on?

I get the impression that he hasn't made the slightest attempt to look into the matter of Climategate. He's perhaps read a couple articles. He's been focused more on the outcome of Climategate rather than the event itself. And because the outcome was a non-event, he's concluding that Climategate was therefore a non-event. But he clearly known nothing of the details.

May 23, 2012 at 10:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreg Cavanagh

Myles Allen: "The way things are going, the whole climate change issue will be played out by professionals, largely leaving the public out of the picture. That's sad for democracy, but will ultimately be best for the planet."

What planet does Myles Allen live on? Let's revise and try again: In nations where representative government really exists, the whole climate change thing WILL be decided by democracy. That's sad for elite climate scientists, and probably best for the PEOPLE of the planet*.

May 23, 2012 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Rather than repeating the comments above, which I generally agree with, I was surprised and a little disconcerted that the electrode marks on his skull are not visible; whoever assembled him in the android factory left out a few logic circuits.

May 23, 2012 at 10:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

I unwittingly helped pay for that helicopter. LOL.
May 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM Jungle Jim

You're obviously considerably younger than I am then - but you got your moneys worth - Will's chopper is so enormous it's got luxury seatrs for 9 and it's own bar & loo!

Uncompromising Executive Travel
In today’s travel environment, executives and heads of state require aircraft that
are comfortable, safe and productive. In service and available now, the S‑92®
helicopter excels on these accounts – and does even more.
The Sikorsky S‑92 helicopter offers a standard 9-passenger interior within its
spacious cabin, and can incorporate custom features including a galley, wet bar,
closets, and even a lavatory.

But Will seems to think it runs on green fairy juice -

Entering the event on a green carpet, was asked by reporters how he is green in his personal life. The singer drives an electric car, which he references in his song. "I know we all as a people know that our dependence on fossil fuels - it's tired, it's old," he said. "The technology is there for us to run cars off of electricity. I'm living proof."

Perhaps, when he met Will, old Myles Rimmer had a vision of the glorious future - when all the creaky old democratic nonsense has been abolished for good and Klimate Kommisars like him and his mates will be able to travel in a style befitting their superior intellect.

May 23, 2012 at 10:48 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

John Shade,

I think he's a fantasist too!

'Billy Liar' would be an appropriate moniker!

May 23, 2012 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

He has no integrity what so ever, how typical of the climate scientists.

May 23, 2012 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocmartyn

Pointman has a perfect guide to the Myles Rimmers of this world in his blog this week -

"Climate Alarmism and the Prat Principle"

Watching Miles' video again - Pointman's observations are uncannily perceptive.

Myles is definitely a Prat.

May 23, 2012 at 11:32 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

He does rather love himself, doesn't he?

By the way, he's a scientist.

One other thing, he's a scientist — he said so.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to mention it — he's a scientist. Did you know that he is a scientist? I didn't, but I do now because he kept telling me that he is a scientist.

The trouble is I'm not sure that I believe him. I don't think I'm alone either — indeed I suspect he doesn't believe it himself but thinks that if he says it often enough then it will come true. Some people are like that.

He's clearly not a physicist, otherwise he would have said so.

I wonder what sort of scientist he thinks he is. Does he actually do any, does anyone know?

Incidentally, I could have sworn he said he was a scientist. Remarkable.

May 23, 2012 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Archer

Re: Foxgoose says:

"Myles Rimmers of this world".


May 23, 2012 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

"whether climate change is happening or not."

He's making a mistake. It is indeed correct the warmistas are currently recasting the debate to "whether climate change is happening or not." They are doing this in the face of the reality that the CO2 effect may be very real, but very small, as the so-called "deniers" have always said. Instead of conceding a point or to, they retroactively recast the narrative. The "debate" in the past 10 years is over any anthropogenic cause for global temperature, and how much. The big time, rent-a-warmistas are merging out of it. Even the big NGO's are dropping focus on warming.

He is also not quite right to criticize warmist discourse about calamities. Those visions of calamities served the purpose of pushing through cap and trade. They served a purpose, which the public relations folks understood well.

May 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterFollow the Money

Wow. Another scientist to add to my list of liars.


May 24, 2012 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterDevil's Kitchen

He showed graphs drawn against a horizontal axis that implies 0 degrees "anomaly".
What is the physical sense of zero degrees "anomaly"?

He mentions that there is a conflict between economists pro and contra growth .
Not aware of that one recently.

I think the only economists that are against growth are those that have their afternoon with Clare Short.
(she wants everybody to just, you know, take it easy. so she can have a nice life when she goes shopping)

Even Paul Krugman is pro growth and he is a doppelgaenger of Pol Pot, economy wise.

May 24, 2012 at 12:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterptw

Wow. Another scientist to add to my list of liars.

Steady on there, DK. We only have his word for it. He is a CAGW alarmist after all.

Talking of whom, do you happen to know if Michael Mann has ever claimed to be a scientist? I think we should be told.

I suspect he isn't though. Not with the bollocks he comes out with. He's probably a wannabe physicist but couldn't cut it in any proper field so he went into graphic design instead. That's my theory.

Right, off to knock up a model....

May 24, 2012 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Archer

"Sad for democracy"

and [paraphrasing], 'better if left to the professionals'.

Utter trip but at the last, some very ominous bombast from a fellow who, sees not much and only dimly.

May 24, 2012 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

tripe if only.

May 24, 2012 at 12:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.


THe main comment I'd make on is assertion that it is a "prediction" is that he is being more than a little tricky here. The prediction was made around 2000, from what he said, which means that the first two thirds were "predicting" the past. The only prediction is the post 2000 portion. Imagine a trend for that section (to my eyes flat or decreasing), and then compare it to the rising trend they predicted (which also seems to be only around 1.5 C per century, which would be the lowest prediction I've heard from them).

As others have said frequently, one must keep a close eye on that pea under the thimble.

May 24, 2012 at 1:03 AM | Unregistered Commenterjim west

You fools! Everything he says is TRUE!

No only that, WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!

May 24, 2012 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterMyles Alien


My apologies, I see you pointed out the same thing, much earlier.

May 24, 2012 at 1:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterjim west

P.S. I'm not sure I mentioned it before but I feel obliged to tell you that I am a scientist.

I am a scientist.

There, I've said it. That'll make it true.

And if I say it again it'll make it even truer.

But I'll have to say something else in the meantime or people might think I'm a bore.


I know because I am a scientist.

Whoops! Perhaps that was too soon. What about now though? Should I, shouldn't I?

No. Leave it a while....

May 24, 2012 at 1:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterMyles Alien

When I came into the meeting I couldn't even spell syuntist, but now I are one!

May 24, 2012 at 2:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterRKS

Well that's 13:23 of my life I'd like to take back!

He can chastise "science communicators" but his own messaging seems rather (1) muddled when it is not (2) appalling or (3) incoherent.

May 24, 2012 at 2:50 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil


I'm a scientist.

I really am. Honestly. That's why I can tell you you I'm a scientist.

But to digress, at this point I think I ought to let you know that I'm a scientist ... because I am a scientist.

The main point, however — and this is the message I'd like you all to take home with you tonight — is that I am a scientist.

I can go over that again if you like, or if you found anything unclear? Any questions?

You can ask me — I'm a scientist.

May 24, 2012 at 3:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterMyles Alien

Well, I suppose there's something to be said for his recognition that the scary stories are just not cutting the mustard - except amongst the political elites who are, as usual, way behind the times when it comes to new, improved mantras.

Talk about cherry-picking, though ... in his "summation" of Climategate, Allen hangs his "argument" not even on a single cherry, but on a portion of the skin of a single cherry! Certainly makes one wonder about his mode of "doing science".

It seems that in our post-modern world, we have "journalists" (e.g. Goldenberg, Revkin, Hickman & Black) acting like PR hacks, "scientists" who don't seem to have a clue about the scientific method, and advocacy groups pretending that their "reports" are "scientific".

Meanwhile, over in Bonn, the delegates from so-called developing countries are throwing their weight around and complaining that:

US$100 billion per year of long-term finance would be 'grossly inadequate' for assisting countries in adaptation.

while the so-called "Durban Platform" (pasted together at the last minute at last December's disastrous UNFCCC meeting) is on the verge of crumbling before it gets off the ground. After almost two weeks, delegates can't seem to "reach consensus" on a Chair - or an agenda, let alone a "work plan"!

Whatever happened to shoemakers who stick to their respective lathes, eh?!

May 24, 2012 at 3:05 AM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Whatever happened to shoemakers who stick to their respective lathes, eh?!

May 24, 2012 at 3:05 AM | Hilary Ostrov>>>>

It's the new management class - Once you've got an ology in management you can handle absolutely anything without specialist training.

And if you can't hack it in the private sector the civil service is always looking for more bureaucrats.

May 24, 2012 at 3:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterRKS


May 24, 2012 at 5:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavidCH

OK, I know that "communicators" have fouled up and let the public believe that us Professional used car salesmen are not always to be trusted.

I have to admit that there was an unfortunate case some years ago when a Jaguar went off the forecourt with a dirty ashtray. A cigar butt, I believe.

But just because of this and although we are grateful that that was pointed out, it doesn't mean we can't be relied upon.

Just look at this little sporty model here which I valetted only this morning.

OK, it does look a bit like a battered Trabant. But, if you look at this nice sales literature, you've got to appreciate that it is actually a late model Lomborghini Gallardo Superleggera. Owned since new by a little old lady who just uses it to pop across town once a fortnight to see her granddaughter.

Why don't you kick this tyre? OK, not that hard!

But us Professional used car salesmen know best. Just pop into my office and we'll sort out the details. A shame you can't look under the bonnet but it's OK. We know best.

May 24, 2012 at 6:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

I once had a pair of shoes made on a lathe. They didn't last. I kept walking round in circles.

May 24, 2012 at 6:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones

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