I'm reliably informed that the letterhead in the Oxburgh letter is genuine. I'm also informed that its use in chairing the review panel would not count as non-House-of-Lord activity. This seems rather odd to me, but I stand corrected.
Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields.
Mike Hulme in a forthcoming paper about the governance of the IPCC.
From the Mail
Global warming scepticism is rising, a major poll shows.
It found that 78 per cent of Britons believed the world's climate was changing, compared to 91 per cent five years ago.
The Ipsos Mori survey of 1,822 people for Cardiff University found 40 per cent believed the seriousness of global warming was exaggerated.
But the vast majority believed in climate change and that human activity was to blame.
Only 18 per cent thought it was mainly or entirely caused by natural processes.
Updated on Jun 11, 2010 by Bishop Hill
Steve McIntyre has an amusing piece about the briefing letter written by Lord Oxburgh to Kerry Emanuel, one of the panellists on his inquiry into the science of CRU. Oxburgh seems to have given his address as "care of Lisa Williams at UEA" - Williams being someone in the vice-chancellor's office.
This does rather suggest a certain lack of independence by Lord O, but something else has caught the eye of the observant readers at Climate Audit - something that makes the story even stranger than it at first seems.
Reader "Mac" at CA makes the following comment:
The Interacademies Panel - the one that is investigating IPCC process and procedures as a result of Climategate - is going to be holding hearings in Montreal.
Great, I hear you say. That means that they'll be able to invite McIntyre and McKitrick.
The invited speakers do include a sceptic, in the shape of John Christy. They are even flying in Bob Watson from the UK and Hans von Storch from Germany. But will they invite the two people who have been at the centre of criticisms of the IPCC, who know more about the breaches of rules and procedure that went on ahead of Climategate, and who live, if not just round the corner, then at least handily close?
Don't be silly.
The IAC is inviting comments on its website. I think this omission is worthy of (polite) comment, don't you?
The Foundation for Science and Technology is a charity that allegedly promotes science and technology and aims to bring about "the greater efficiency of the industry of the United Kingdom".
A brief glance at some of its council members might suggest a different view, however.
- Lord Rees
- Lord May
- Lord Oxburgh
- Lord Browne (head of BP)
While I was last down in London I attended Matt Ridley's lecture at the Royal Society of the Arts. During the Q&A session at the end, someone asked an question and I gathered that he was the author of a book on plant breeding. It sounded absolutely fascinating. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to corner him and get the details, but now, by the wonders of the internet, I have tracked him down. (From here).
Noel Kingsbury turns out to be the author of Hybrid, which looks like a splendidly iconoclastic take on plant breeding and, inevitably, on GM. It's on my shopping list already.
Kingsbury also has a blog here which looks quite interesting - this piece on invasive exotic plants is a good alternative take on what is generally perceived as a major problem.
Updated on Jun 9, 2010 by Bishop Hill
Fred Pearce has new book out on Climategate and will be speaking about it at the Royal Institution on Monday. Readers will remember Pearce as the author of a detailed series of postings on the Climategate emails in the Guardian at the start of the year. The book sounds pretty interesting...
To coincide with the launch of his new book, The Climate Files, the veteran environment journalist Fred Pearce discusses how the emails raise deeply disturbing questions about the way climate science is conducted, about researchers' preparedness to block access to climate data and downplay flaws in their research."
I hear on the grapevine that Sir Muir Russell's panel will be reporting "imminently". I imagine that means in the next few days. My guess would be that they will make the announcement on Friday so that they can run for cover straight afterwards.
Only a rumour, but I thought it was worth passing on.
Afficionados of the Climategate "inquiries" (as it seems we must now call them) will be interested in this article by Douglas Carswell, the maverick Conservative MP for Clacton.
Scientists who drew up the guidelines advising governments to stockpile drugs in the event of a flu pandemic allegedly had previously been paid by drug companies which stood to profit, reports the Guardian.
As he points out, there is a revolving door between the civil service and big business and conflicts of interest are two-a-penny. Sound familiar?
...or something like that. Lord Monckton is apparently to be the new deputy leader of the UK Independence Party and politicalbetting.com is wondering if global warming sceptics will now all leave the Conservative Party.
George Monbiot has written the most extraordinary review of the book I'm currently reading - Matt Ridley's Rational Optimist. I'm not sure I've ever read such a bilious review of a book before, and certainly few that have been devoted quite so much space to ad hominems. If anything, Monbiot comes over as slightly deranged. Ridley has nevertheless posted a polite and detailed rebuttal here (James Delingpole weighs in here). But despite appearing to be the rantings of a lunatic, Monbiot's is still an interesting piece - mainly for what it leaves out.