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A timeline

15 December 13:05 GMT: Media Matters publishes its Foxleaks story.

15 December ~21:00 GMT: Largest sceptic blog, WUWT, publishes a response: Clueless bloggers attack Fox News..."

15 December 21:04 GMT: Largest UK sceptic blog publishes a response: Uncertainty? It's old hat.

15 December ~23:00 GMT: Guardian's Leo Hickman tweets: "And still the megaphone climate sceptics are ignoring the Fox memo"

16 December ~14:00 GMT Guardian's Damian Carrington retweets Leo Hickman.

Clueless indeed.



Uncertainty? It's old hat

In the wake of Climategate there were many earnest expressions of concern about the way that uncertainties had been downplayed by many climate scientists. Even some of the people most associated with the CAGW cause were heard to repeat these statements of regret.

Remember that?

Apparently, it doesn't apply any more.

There has been a bit of a kerfuffle (well, quite a lot of a kerfuffle actually) among the same kind of people over a report that a Fox News editor had told his staff to make sure that viewers were told that any claims about temperature trends were based on disputed data. His email apparently found its way into the public arena.

"[We should] refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."

To me though, this looks rather commendable. The data (and indeed the adjustments applied to it) are hotly disputed, so what the viewers were being told was undoubtedly true. And Fox's actions seem admirably even-handed too, with journalists told that statements about both warming and cooling should carry this same caveat.

So why then have all the usual suspects suddenly gone into overdrive as if heresy had been committed?

To me it seems that Fox News are being crucified for failing to make clear statements of faith. And despite all the repentance expressed by the sinners of the past, it appears that no lessons have actually been learned.

Postscript: Tom Nelson notes that Revkin, who has been enjoying Fox's discomfiture, seems to have changed his position on writing about "illegally acquired" material...again.

Postscript 2: This is the Guardian's take on the affair. They seem to have some different threads to the story that are not supported by the email as published at Media Matters - I can see nothing in it to support their position that "Bill Sammon, imposed an order to make time for climate sceptics within 15 minutes of the airing of a story about a scientific report showing that 2000-2009 was on track to be the hottest decade on record."


Climate cuttings 45

Blogging will remain light for the time being, as I try to get on top of the day job and the house ahead of Christmas. In the meantime, here are a few bits and pieces I've noticed recently.

A German meteorologist wonders if we are about to enter another little ice age.

Click to read more ...


Irish Examiner on post-Cancun world

The Irish Examiner takes a look at the climate world post-Cancun and sees a changed landscape. The author sees campaigning against economic growth as a vote loser in the current circumstances. There is also this:

The talk about a "climate change consensus" never was a scientific consensus about climate change but at most as a political agreement to act and speak as if the major questions surrounding climate change had already been answered.



Green bank to be scaled back

The Guardian is reporting that the proposed green bank for the UK is to be scaled back, starting life as a mere "fund". This means that it will be unable to raise capital on the markets.

In an interview with the Guardian, Huhne said the government remained committed to setting up a bank and an initial fund was only one option. But the prospect of a delay on implementing this key green policy will dismay environmentalists.

Who knows, maybe reality is slowly dawning.

(H/T Munroad)


Armstrong and Miller on climate

H/T Dellers.


Greens don't like technology

Stephen Budiansky wonders why environmentalists dislike economic activity so much. In passing he notes Prof Kevin Anderson's contribution to this blog the other day, and is very amused.


Cancun deal

A number of people have asked for a dedicated thread for discussing the deal at Cancun. I'm out tonight, so behave yourselves while I'm away.


Climate Resistance on Cox

There is an excellent and very thoughtful analysis of Prof Brian Cox's RTS lecture over at Climate Resistance.

Brian Cox is a great science communicator. That is to say, he makes very effective TV programmes, which do not condescend, and do much to encourage an interest in science. But there is surely science as process, and there’s ‘science’ as an institution. It’s not clear which one Cox – who gave this year’s Royal Television Society Huw Wheldon Lecture –  was speaking for. His lecture, given the title, ‘Science: a challenge to TV Orthodoxy’ was disappointing given his previous arguments for scientific research, and didn’t challenge orthodoxy as much as it reproduced it, almost entirely uncritically.

Read the whole thing.


Josh 62

Josh writes:
I thoroughly enjoyed all the helpful comments on both your blogs about Kev's  4 legged climate table. I have tried to put a few of them in... the result was of course entirely predicted by my own highly sophisticated computerised climate cartoon you can see.


Holland on TV

David Holland mentioned that he may appear on BBC Ten o'clock News tonight, talking about the Russell review. His appearance appears to be a backup for the Beeb, to fill a gap if nothing interesting comes out of Cancun. So it may not happen.


Josh 61

Josh did a draft of a cover for Tim Worstall's book. Stacey decided to go with a photo instead, keeping the style consistent across the series, but Josh's version is rather lovely...

More cartoons by Josh here.


Snow fun at all

Well, it has its moments...


Chasing Rainbows

My review of Tim Worstall's book, Chasing Rainbows, has been slightly delayed, the reason being that my copy has been purloined by the missus. Now this is a rather remarkable thing, as 'er indoors more normally reads Aga-sagas and other genres of girl book. Economics just isn't really her thing.

But that's the nice thing about Chasing Rainbows - as a primer in environmental economics, it's wonderfully approachable, with Tim's good humour and good sense suffusing the whole thing. It's also admirably concise, running to little over a hundred pages, so few people are likely to be frightened off on that score.

Click to read more ...


+++Check this out+++

From Jo Nova

Western countries will jointly provide $100 billion a year by 2020 to an unnamed new UN Fund. To keep this sum up with GDP growth, the West may commit itself to pay 1.5% of GDP to the UN each year. That is more than twice the 0.7% of GDP that the UN has recommended the West to pay in foreign aid for the past half century. Several hundred of the provisions in the Chairman’s note will impose huge financial costs on the nations of the West.

This looks gobsmacking. Needs careful checking though.