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Professor Catherine Mitchell is one of the those public funded political activists who masquerades as an academic researcher. She has come to the attention of this blog from time to time over the years.

Today's Telegraph carries a letter from the good professor, responding to a Rupert Darwall article about the UK's energy crisis. Here it is:

SIR – Rupert Darwall’s polemic on our energy crunch makes three major mistakes.

First, Britain is not going to see a US-style “shale revolution”; the economics don’t stack up, and British people don’t want fracking.

Secondly, wind and solar do not impose significant “hidden” costs on consumers. The Committee on Climate Change, which advises the Government, calculates the cost at about £10 per year per household.

Thirdly, Mr Darwall assumes that climate change is not a serious issue. It is serious, so a fossil-fuels-as-usual electricity system will not do.

Renewable energy can deliver the market-based electricity system that Mr Darwall wants, but getting there entails some years of transitional support. Renewables will not need the endless subsidies associated with nuclear power and fossil fuels.

Catherine Mitchell
Professor of Energy Policy, University of Exeter
Penryn, Cornwall

Of course, the Committee on Climate Change's estimate on the cost of renewables policies are based on a comparison of renewables against a theoretical world in which fossil fuel prices start high and then get even higher. It's hard to imagine that a "Professor of Energy Policy" is unaware of this.

File under "barefaced".


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Reader Comments (187)

I have sent this reply to the Telegraph Letters Column:

Dear Sir

Catherine Mitchell is being rather economical with the truth when she claims that the hidden costs of wind and solar power costs “about £10 per year per household”. (Letters 10th March)

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, the projected cost for this year is £6.3 billion, or about £240 per household.

This is forecast to more than double to £12.8 billion by 2020/21.

Mar 10, 2016 at 1:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Homewood

Spectator, you forgot CO2 emissions from the drinks industry, soft, and alcoholic. Why is it that the Green Blob don't take on any of the biggest producers, and toast their success with some bubbly wine, or cola, or just fizzy water?

As for making leavened bread with cultured yeast, that would be Rank Hovis stupidity.

Mar 10, 2016 at 1:46 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It's good to see them break cover occasionally. It gives the (usually uniformed) general public a chance to see the enemy within.

Mar 10, 2016 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterCheshireRed

We should not dismiss subsidies for fossil fuels! Remember that we are about to subsidise fossil fuels to compete with subsidised renewables (to sensibly help to keep the lights on). Yes I know you couldn't make it up but this time a computer model couldn't make it up either.

Mar 10, 2016 at 1:59 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Spectator , Dung

OCO2 = yup! - not exactly up there with dark energy and dark matter in the we don't know / can't explain what's going on stakes - but observation trumps theory eh?

What I find more than a bit suspicious is that at least one Cooky Skeptical Science (spit) associated vocal scientivist is on the OCO-2 data processing and interp team at NASA - I never bothered to follow up - but does anybody know if OCO-2 processing and interpretation is one of Gavin Schmidt's projects? - his paw prints are all over the RSS adjustment stuff.

The hiatus in CO2 observation has been interrupted by Erik Swenson at WUWT going on for 6 months ago - there's still some shoving and pushing and stuff going on - it is most definitely one to watch.

The OCO-2 Twitter feed barely has a pulse ... might we be looking at a beneficial failure?

Mar 10, 2016 at 2:05 PM | Registered Commentertomo

@golf charlie: I rather suspect an MP being appointed to the DECC is akin to one being appointen to Minister for Northern Ireland, that always seemed to be the poison challice to me.

@Spectator: The UNIPCCs own figures from AR4:2007/WG1, state that total emissions from CO2 represents a mere 0.04% of the atmosphere & of that, only 4% is attributable to Human activity of all kinds. This indicates, according to their own data, that having reduced & mutiplied the figures through, Human emissions represent a 1/62,500th part of the atmosphere, whereas by default, the remaining 62,499/62,500ths are completely natural. Hardly numerically convincing of a Human trigger for global warming. If the numbers don't add up?

Mar 10, 2016 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Paul Homewood, for clueless Green Blob experts on energy policy, the difference between £10 and £240 per household, per year, is outside their limits of comprehension, therefore it can be ignored. That is the beauty and simplicity of Green Blob Maths and Science, and it is programmed into computer climate models.

Mar 10, 2016 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Uncle Badger. Universities employ all sorts of people with differing viewpoints. Those with tenure are guaranteed freedom from their adminstrators to a freedom of expression. The professor in question has published views that you do not agree with - but almost certainly her views would be supported by many. So who are you to call her a "clown" or her institution a "circus".

Why are you so very sure that you are right and she, and her supporters, are so wrong? I don't believe you are wrong but I don't know this for certain. For this reason I would never characterize an opponent as a "clown". I don't know, and I suspect neither do you, what work she did to obtain her history doctorate - it could be excellent and on a completely different subject. Like other commentators I can legitimately question her qualifications to comment on energy matters but not her motives nor use disparaging comments about her as a person

Where oh where has politeness gone. We criticize our opponents for their character assassinations and then do the same and "justify" this on the basis that AGW supporters do the same (when did two wrongs make a right?).

Mar 10, 2016 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall

Perhaps you are one of those who joins in discussions without reading what has gone before? I have been trying so hard not to repeat previous posts but you have forced me into it :(
I posted about the benefits of extracting our own shale gas, you missed that.
This woman has no idea how much shale gas we have in the UK, I do not forgive her even though the government has no idea either. The thing about BH regulars is that we do not just accept what we are told; we go and find out for ourselves.
Let me give you one piece of information that you will not get anywhere else. The Bowland shale deposit in Lancashire is at least 6000 feet thick; it may be thicker because Cuadrilla stopped drilling at 6000 feet. after drilling the exploratory well Cuadrilla said they could get 40% of the gas reserves out with the then best technology but that technology is now old and there is much better available. The so called 'big shale plays' in the USA are 600 to 1400 feet thick max. This woman tells us there will be no shale revolution in the UK and I say BOLLOCKS to that and I do not care if that offends you.
OK sorry for my anger but I think Mike Jackson explained how I feel.

Mar 10, 2016 at 2:36 PM | Registered CommenterDung

OK, I admit it. I looked at her CV. It is incredibly depressing to see how someone with a track record of uselessness, has made a career out of it, and is considered credible to lecture others, and profess expertise.

IPCC AR5 Lead Author. Tells anyone, more than they need to know about the quality of the UN IPCC's mutual appreciation and self selection criteria.

Mar 10, 2016 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Alan Kendall - I am polite to those I respect and I do not respect people who are paid a great deal of money from the public purse and then lie in pursuance of political goals. That Mitchell is telling untruths has been clearly established by others here (see Paul Homewood's comment, above, for example). She is, clearly, not a stupid woman, so what she is doing is even less worthy of respect than if she were stupid enough to believe it.

Moreover, unless the institutions which waste our money on such dissembling are not robustly and regularly reminded that they are accountable to the public, they will continue to do it.

I realise it is unfashionable, but most people understand that actions have consequences - even academics.

Mar 10, 2016 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterUncle Badger

Alan Kendall

I wouldn't claim that numeracy , history and geography never intersect - but to be a "Professor of Energy Policy" with that sort of background and a track record of undiluted activism is simply farcical and begging to be taken down in a Sokal sort of way. The concept of upward academic mobility for all - regardless of ability, race, gender and actual achievement will have its own reward especially if you attend as many committees as is reputed in this case.

When one looks at the politic-ing, coercion and tinkering from the research funders and with prevailing academic fashions it's sort of understandable how stuff like this happens - but really...

Mar 10, 2016 at 2:59 PM | Registered Commentertomo


I apologise for not commenting on your allusion to gender in an earlier post ^.^ made me laugh hehe

Mar 10, 2016 at 3:07 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung & Uncle Badger nicely put!

If the Green Blob afficionados had a track record of being right about what they say, they would be worth listening to.

Fat Green Blob Cheques pay for supressing dissent. This Professor's letter is an excellent example of what is wrong in the academic world of theoretical climate science, and taxpayers have to pay for it. Taxpayers also pay for the consequences of this selfish, self interested, self appointed, elite clique.

A wealthy society can afford academic research into 16th century Madagascan nose flutes, but not whilst Madagascans are still dying through lack of mid 20th century technology , in the 21st century.

Mar 10, 2016 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Alan Kendall
I take your point though increasingly there are bits of academia that have long since abrogated any rights they may have had to be treated with anything less than contempt. I don't know whether that applies to Exeter but I would say that any university that values its reputation has lost the plot when it starts appointing anyone to a professorship in a discipline in which they do not even have a semi-relevant undergraduate degree.
And if they are naive enough to fall for the ravings of eco-loons, forgive me if I stop taking them seriously. I stopped taking my local eco-loons seriously 20 years ago and have never had cause to believe I was wrong.

Mar 10, 2016 at 3:13 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Dear all that disagree with my attempts to install a bit of civility I to our proceedings - I maintain that it is.better to attack the views and arguments of those you disagree with than the people expressing them and certainly not the academic institutions of which they are part. I doubt that you can convince me otherwise.

Of those you disagree with [perhaps including me], surely it is better to "believe" they are misguided than to impute other causes. Idiots show themselves for what they are by what they say, write and do. They need educating and what is better than to grind their views into the dust with hard evidence and reasoned argument? - as many have already done here. Some of the comments I have objected to are mere opinions backed up with no evidence or argument - it is those I object to.

I am criticized for not being aware of the shale gas situation by someone who believes I don't know the facts (because I may not have read his previous blogs on the subject (what presumption!)). Perhaps that blogger should have researced me because he would have found that I am a fully qualified geologist who spent 14 years in the oil industry and a geological survey (researching the oil and gas potential of Saskatchewan) followed by 22 more years teaching the subject. So I am as informed as anybody outside of Quadrilla or the BGS. I am also aware that shale gas in Britain depends on more than just geology,it depends on accessible reserves which in turn depend on economics, future technologies, and political will - much influenced by the willingness of the electorate to allowing drilling and production. So the opinions of non-geologists are perhaps just as much valid.

Mar 10, 2016 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

I think quite a few of her colleagues would be very embarrassed to have her on the staff.

Mar 10, 2016 at 3:57 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

By the way, I've just written A complete description of factors affecting global temperature

Although when I say: "complete" I think I may have forgotten to explicitly mention man-made CO2. Not because it's not there, but because there are so many other important things to mention.

Mar 10, 2016 at 4:01 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

"Her undergraduate degree is History (London);
So she is well-qualified to drone on about the use of windmills as a primary energy source in the pre 19th Century.

But not a lot else...

Mar 10, 2016 at 11:08 AM | Bitter&Twisted"

Count yourselves lucky over there in Blighty: here in Canada, we have a guy whose sole scientific expertise is in fruit flies, but because he's been a TV presenter for 45+ years, thinks he knows everything (although having a full staff of producers, writers, researchers and editors will make anyone SOUND smart).

BTW, here in Ontario, Canada, our Auditor General took a close look at our "green" energy policy. Its a long read, but to save you the trouble, [spoiler alert]...its porkies all the way down:

She is formerly an executive at a power company, yet the Energy Minister (whose sole "skill" is getting elected mayor to a medium-sized city) basically called her stupid (and was admonished by his female boss for sexism).

"Global Adjustment fees, which are the excess payments to generators over the market price, amounted to $37 billion from 2006 to 2014, and these payments are projected to cost electricity consumers another $133 billion from 2015 to 2032."

Mar 10, 2016 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaligula Jones

This silly girl's off her tiny rocker. The ivory towers become ever more divorced from reality as time goes by. That such as this one have a job for life is an appalling insult to the hard working poor who are forced to stuff her pockets not ungenerously every year whether they like it or not. About time somebody started thinking seriously about the role and scope of higher education when it has become so abused by the left.

Mar 10, 2016 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Reed

Dr Alan Kendall

Many of us (and most a great deal more than I) have spent years writing to politicians, scientists and civil servants either asking questions or offering advice but they are simply not interested. You come late to this debate and are obviously well meaning but even one such as you would (after those many years) count the billions of pounds of tax payers money that they have wasted against any rights they have to fair treatment. You will note however that we do not go out and obstruct roads and places of work in order to gain attention, we are extremely well behaved compared to t'other lot'^.^

Mar 10, 2016 at 4:19 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Alan Kendall:

Are you protective of this lady because you were a UEA lecturer or a personal friend of hers?

I can understand helping out a friend, but when they utter easily disprovable 'untruths', one has to draw a line.

The stakes are so high that any deliberate deception of the public by people who hold perceived 'high positions' needs to be addressed robustly.

Your article in the Independent shows a clear line of thinking.

Mar 10, 2016 at 4:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Alan Kendall, Exeter University employs this Professor, because currently it is politically correct, and financially rewarding to do so. Her letter sums it up, complete with her lack of technical and factual accuracy. She is a 'Professor of Energy Policy', and her CV confirms her status as a policy wonk, without a shred of practical experience.

Having her letter published in a National Paper is a good way of expressing an opinion to a wider audience without technical review. These are the tactics of academics not wishing to be troubled by minor details such as accuracy.

How can anything stated by this mercenary academic be treated as impartial professional advice? This is the sort of politicised activism that discredits all academics. The rights and wrongs of political and economic doctrine are always going to attract criticism, but advocating false theories based on incorrect information would be fraud in many fields. She should change her title to Professor of Energy POLITICS.

Mar 10, 2016 at 4:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Have just taken the opportunity to examine professor C Mitchell's cv and am impressed - she has been In the energy policy field since the 1980s. She is certainly no 4th rate academic nor a clown. I would suggest her views are worth considering, if only because she may well be representative of a large group of influential people. Note.consideration does not mean believing. Of her three points. I cannot comment on the second because of lack of expertize, I believe she is wrong about the third, but have some sympathy for her first point (see earlier post). Overall I would criticize strongly the degree of certainly with which she expresses her views on these controversial subjects in her letter.. She appears to have developed a rather rigid mindset and,if so, is typical of many academics who have little experience outside of academia - although I note she has been a consultant.

Mar 10, 2016 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

I was hugely successful in Goodyear SALES for over 30 years but somehow I did not become a Professor, shucks.

Mar 10, 2016 at 4:40 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Alan Kendal

I hadn't noticed that the " willingness of the electorate to allow" the construction of utterly useless wind farms has ever had any significant influence over their construction in defiance of the wishes of the electorate or the local population. Wind farms are of course nothing less than a form of protracted economic suicide as well as being environmentally disastrous. We know from the US example that shale is just about everything that wind farms are not. We also know that it is in the main only criminally misinformed opinion that stands in the way of shale and that this once industrialised country is facing a potentially disastrous impending energy crisis which shale developments could do much to offset. Yet suddenly the willingness of the electorate to oppose becomes important. Very odd.

If Mitchell is no 4th rate academic or clown as you say why does she insist on behaving exactly like one? Why for instance after 4.7 billion years or so of climate change is the climate (which governments have no power over) suddenly such a serious issue that it necessitates an energy policy amounting to nothing less than sheer lunacy. If for example mean global temperatures in the LIA and today were to be represented on side by side mercury thermometers I'd challenge you even to see the difference without a magnifying glass. So much for catastrophic climate change.

Mar 10, 2016 at 4:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Reed

"SimonJ (Alumnus of Loughborough University OF TECHNOLOGY - as it was then)"

Two of the most competent engineers who worked for me were both Loughborough graduates.

Alan Kendall, if she has been in the energy policy field for years, it might be expected that she would have learned something from other people's failures and disasters. Perhaps a years sabbatical divided between North Korea, Mali and Zimbabwe might help her discover the consequences of bad energy policy, if she can manage to survive a year deprived of what she takes for granted ( and other taxpayer handoutery)

Mar 10, 2016 at 5:19 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

'barefaced' certainly, but how about 'criminal' as well? Over in the States, Roy Spencer is not mincing his words much:

“I would like to see RICO investigations for people on the other side of this,” demanded Climatologist and former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer, at a CATO Institute climate forum in DC today. Spencer is the leader of a climate research group at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“People have been pushing for energy policies for people that we know will kill them. And they know that, and yet they have hidden that information from the public and from politicians for the purposes of advancing an agenda,” Spencer said.

Mar 10, 2016 at 5:36 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

John Shade, Shukla has had unprecedented success, in redefining the concept of shooting yourself in the foot. His marksmanship seems to have targetted himself, his wife and daughter, as well as an unknown number of like minded friends and acquaintances.

To 'Shukle', or Shukling', really ought to pass into the dictionary of stupidity.

Mar 10, 2016 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Meanwhile, down under, the admirable Jo Nova draws attention to an academic study that points to bad habits in academics. Here is an extract from the abstract of that study:

In this article, we consider how academics sacrifice scholarly integrity when selling their research ideas, or more specifically, the non-academic impact of these, to research funders. We review attitudes towards pathway to impact statements – formal components of research funding applications, that specify the prospective socio-economic benefits of proposed research – from (n = 50) academics based in the UK and Australia and how the hyper-competitiveness of the HE market is resulting in impact sensationalism and the corruption of academics as custodians of truth.

Now Alan Kendall might wince at 'the corruption of academics as custodians of truth', since it is verging on the rude. But I hope that he will forgive those of us who feel dismay, and perhaps even some foreboding, at what does seem to have been an institutional decline.

Mar 10, 2016 at 6:09 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

John Shade

And as you know Remote Sensing Systems in Huntsville has a satellite that keeps on asking What f*****g warming?

Mar 10, 2016 at 6:10 PM | Registered CommenterDung

golf Charlie

Please do not mention dictionaries, The Beast of TBHDF appears at the faintest whisper of its name :(

Mar 10, 2016 at 6:20 PM | Registered CommenterDung

At my place of work we recently hired a fresh faced Exeter mathematics graduate, mainly on the strength she had a first class degree and therefore had 'potential' (we've given up trying to hire graduates who know anything). She didn't last the probation period - my boss sacked her. Obviously only a sample of one, but she showed zero attributes I would associate with someone who had such credentials. Sorry mr Kendall, but my view of Exeter uni was dimmed by the experience. And Catherine Mitchell doesn't enhance it in any way.

Mar 10, 2016 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAbc

Apologies, it should be 'The University of Alabama in Huntsville' not Remote Sensing Systems in
Mar 10, 2016 at 6:10 PM | Registered Commenter Dung

Mar 10, 2016 at 6:30 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Steve Richards, I wondered just how long it would take before my motives came into auestion. I have not defended this lady I was questioning the tone and lack of critical content of some of the posts.

I do not know Prof. Mitchell but you may be correct in your comment about the reason for my posts being that I was a lecturer at UEA. But not for the reason you might be implying. At UEA I taught a module on fossil fuels which incorporated elements on climate change and peak oil. Some of the most enjoyable components were debates I undertook with my colleagues who had opposing.views to my own. I never "won" (but neither did I lose) against my economist colleague because we both could advance valid evidence or argument and w e respected each others viewpoints. The better students appreciated our often heated contributions. There I learned how to debate with respect and how to put myself in my opponent's shoes. I had different experiences in the climate change debates. With one colleague (a well known treering specialist) I had a similar positive experience (as did my students). With others, who insisted on the rightness of their cause and who would not debate rationally, I won the argument hands down. This was especially true when one of them (of no more snow fame) insisted of le turing my students about the "true faith" ( I neverwon bigger and the students' annoyance was palpable. Of course I had prepared my students beforehand, getting them to research different topics from the viewpoint of AGW supporters, AGW opponents, but critically how each side responded to the.criticisms of the others. They independently came to the conclusion that the antiAGW side was the more worthy, particularly because of how it responded to.criticisms.

My motives are to keep this advantage we have. Please do not squander it.

Mar 10, 2016 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall, interesting comment. Unfortunately UEA is now so tarnished by the antics of a few. I personally believe that CRU was 'scientifically corrupted' by powerful forces exerted, mainly outside the UK.

Dung, the problem with dictionary definitions is deciding which dictionary to depend on, and knowing whether someone else is depending on the same one. Climate science defies accurate definition, as it is not a science as most would define it, and nobody has defined what the best climate is, other than to say that what it is now, is getting worse, and not as good as it was before.

Mar 10, 2016 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Renewables will not need the endless subsidies associated with nuclear power and fossil fuels."

Last I heard the Cardiff Tidal Lagoon people were looking for a 90 year subsidy. That is literally endless for most people alive today.

Mar 10, 2016 at 7:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterTed

"instead I was commenting about unwarrented smears on academic institutions."

This Professor proclaims loudly, the locality, name and institution, her seat of scholarly supposition and its crass expostulation. Through publishing the name of her institution, is it not the truth of it, that, the Professor speciously lays claim to greater gravitas.

In carrying on digging and thus burying herself - by way of credulous arguments demonstrating her almost total lack of understanding of the subject matter, and which, a 12 yr old could easily counter, indeed defenestrate.

Unless Exeter does the sensible thing and cuts her adrift, then we must conclude, in standing by their loose cannon, the institution is complicit, thus, is it exposed to ridicule and quite rightly so. We do not impugn Exeter university students, we merely beg - Exeter should know and do so much better.

Mar 10, 2016 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Alan Kendall: So you lectured on aspects of 'peak oil'. You should ask the Bish to give you a blog post so that you can enlighten us as to your thoughts on peak oil. I would - seriously - love to hear them - and set them against the old "Limits to Growth" idea of peak oil (which said we should have run out of the stuff by now). I bet you have a copy: I have.

Also, I would dearly like to know when it was that a Professor of Energy Policy adopted the (novel) idea that fossil fuels are (endlessly) subsidised. I mean, did she at one point in her career just accept that tax breaks for oil exploration were the norm - to be set against a bonanza of future tax receipts for the wells that came in? (Which of course, is not the same for the subs we pay for windmills: we never get a payback from them for the subsidies we pay).

Mar 10, 2016 at 7:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

This whole "Professor" thing is a classic example of pay grade inflation. When I was an Undergraduate studying geology in a (then) world ranking university we had but one Professor of Geology R.G.S.Hudson

The eldest son of Robert Spencer Hudson, Mayor and first Freeman of Rugby, Professor Spencer was educated at the Lower School of Lawrence Sheriffe, Rugby, and at University College, London, where he obtained his B.Sc. (lst hons.) in 1920,M.Sc. in 1922 and D.Sc. in 1929. He served in France during the First World War and was mentioned in despatches.
From 1920 to 1922 he was demonstrator in Geology at University College, London, and between1922 and 1940 he held the posts of Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer and Professor of Geology at the University of Leeds, where he was awarded a Re-search Fellowship during the Second World War. During the War period also he was consultant geologist for Petroleum Exploration in Great Britain. Later he joined the Iraq Petroleum Company as a geologist and led field parties in Kurdistan and the Oman Mountains.Professor Hudson became an Iveagh Research Fellow in Geology in 1960. He was Chairman of the Geological Conservation Council from 1957 to 1959 and for a long period was a member of the Board of Studies in Geology in the University of London, and an examiner in the Universities of Oxford, London, and Birmingham. He held many awards from geological and palaeontologial societies and he contributed many treatises on his subjects in scientific journals, including those of the Royal Dublin Society. He was Chairman of the R.D.S. Science Committee.His appointment to the Chair of Geology and Minerology in T.C.D.was in succession to Professor William D. Gill, D.Sc. Professor Hudson was also President of the Irish Geological Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society,and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. His home was at Keighley,

Now that is what I call a professor - and he was the ONLY Professor of Geology in the University. Nowadays they a ten a penny and I would hate to consider that the Title Professor as applied to Ms Mitchell bears any relationship to that of a REAL professor like Hudson.

Can some one file a FOIA and find out how she got appointed - hardly on her Academic record1
Yorkshire. --Courtesy
Irish Times

Mar 10, 2016 at 7:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpectator

Dr Alan Kendall

I would quite like it if you spent a bit more time with us, our noble leader, 'His Grace The Bishop' is just about the most tolerant and fair minded blog host in the universe. In my opinion this is the only climate blog with a sense of humour as well as a desire for truth and we read the arguments for both sides of the debate. We are not clones and have arguments between ourselves quite frequently (ouch!)

Mar 10, 2016 at 7:39 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Regarding Man made versus natural CO2 emissions. I was under the impression that the human contribution was about 3.5%. There was the incident when Paul Nurse said on a BBC TV show that human caused CO2 emissions were seven times the naturally caused ones. He was informed that the actual figure was 3.5% but didn't feel the need to issue a correction.

Mar 10, 2016 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterStonyground

is nice to call for civility while your one of those (or defending one of those) that live the easy life while crapping on the heads of others.

mandating lusenko ideas the marxist way, via cheap propaganda and exploiting undeservedly grabbed status, costs too much to too many people.

the elaborate erudite geography professor should come out with the hard facts of what she claims in her letter, as it so differs from common knowledge in the industry, or she should be LAUGHED AWAY as a professor in climate warmism / energy policy.

Mar 10, 2016 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenusNotWarmerDueToCO2

"My motives are to keep this advantage we have. Please do not squander it"

Well said Alan but, judging by some of the responses above, your words are falling on deaf ears or maybe that should be there's none so blind etc.

It really seems as if it was a lifetime ago when one could easily differentiate between sceptic and consensus blogs just by the level of invective applied to contrarian visitors. I, and I've heard many people say something similar, instinctively drew away from unwelcoming and angry viewpoints and was attracted by the more reasonable tone of sceptical commentators. This factor was instrumental in getting people to keep coming back to a site, seeing an alternative dialog and then making up their own mind.

Notice that this says nothing about the application or misapplication of logic or cool appraisal of the factual evidence. I, like most, am not equipped to judge all the nuances of the system we call weather never mind its bigger, wickedly-complex big brothers - climate and society but I am an expert in making decisions about whom I can or cannot trust.
I regularly pop into Climate Audit to goggle at the words and pictures; usually with minimal understanding. Why? I trust Steve implicitly.

Trust takes a long time to build up but only a moment to lose - and probably forever. I'm not expecting to swop Xmas cards with Mann, Cook, Oreskes, Rice, Lewanpoxdoctor and their like anytime soon and, despite my concerns, I still trust the judgement and integrity of the vast majority who comment here although the apparent level of anger has ramped up over the years.

The anger is understandable but it has to be managed carefully otherwise new entrants to the debate will be turned off or worse, turned away. Calm polite posts, often with a bit of humour thrown in, are far more effective at gaining trust than angry rants, hobby-horsing or personal attacks. People like Tony Brown, Geoff Chambers, Alex Cull and Golf Charlie, amongst many others, rarely disappoint. Facts are important but when hearts and minds are the goal, they need to be well packaged so that they don't fall apart in the post.

Alan with his "My motives are to keep this advantage we have. Please do not squander it" was spot on. Don't let anger let you lose sight of the target. The dish is best served cold.

Mar 10, 2016 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

Slacktivism personified and of course the obvious, epitomisation of the Peter Principle.

Mar 10, 2016 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

Paul Homewood
£240 is only £30 less than it costs me to heat a 4 bedroom house and hot water for a year at current oil prices.

Mar 10, 2016 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterLilith

My complaint was not about criticism of the comments expressed in the letter - anyone expressing debatable views in public is fair game (but ideally attack the views not the person), instead I was commenting about unwarrented smears on academic institutions.
Mar 10, 2016 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Professor Catherine Mitchell is a senior member of the academic staff of her university. What she says in a letter to a national newspaper in her academic role, and not as a private individual, reflects upon the university.

Mar 10, 2016 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

You'll get no soul searching from me, over cultivating and sheltering, defending fragile hothouse flowers.

As you well know, 'The Climactivists Consensus' seeks to close down all debate, because at every turn they are undone, and we and they know it well.

What really gets the goat as it were, is, those ersatz experts and egregious pickpockets of the public purse (Catherine Mitchell Professor of Energy Policy for one) and who make it their raison d'etre to cling to the coattails of what can only be described as the political scam of this, the previous and any other century. Scam it is - the myth of man made CO2 is somehow causing thermageddon... causing the planet to buckle and burn due to ever increasing temperatures, "it's all our fault" - as the subtext goes and therein: is the burden of guilt in which we must all share..........WELL Bollocks to all of that.

Riding the green bandwagon are the pedlars of half truths and lies, pretending to be speaking from authority when all that they do is exhibit their complete lack of awareness, procrastinating on subject matter in which they have little understanding. In my book, for me, they make themselves fair make your own bed.

The world, is a harsh and unforgiving place, the debating arena is no place for faint hearts nor, is it a good place for liars to frequent, even to dip their toes.

Exeter University makes itself a target, in seeking publicity and making a statement of extremely dubious assertions,through her own words, a Professor damns herself.

Mar 10, 2016 at 9:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Alan Kendall:

"Professor" is a given academic rank, not an earned qualification.

As pointed out by previous commenters, Catherine Mitchell's CV suggest that she is unqualified to comment professionally on the subject of energy policy, or to hold a senior academic position on the subject.

You say she has held positions as a 'consultant' relating to energy policy. But did these precede her professorship. or were these as a result of her professorial tenure?

Mar 10, 2016 at 10:16 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

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