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When Trevor tricked John

Among the extra information released by Professor Beddington's office today, there were also some attachments to a message sent to him by Professor Trevor Davies of UEA. The message itself was released last time round, sans attachments, so I wrote back requesting the missing detail. They have apologised that the attachments "had become disconnected from the IT record".

The message concerned was the one in which Davies invited Beddington to "warm up" certain panel members before they received their official invitations to take part in the Oxburgh inquiry. Having made this request of Beddington, and explained the need for speed, Davies continued as follows:

For background I attach (1) a draft letter which will be sent to David [Hand, one of the panellists] by Ron [Oxburgh] (2) a list of papers we anticipate will be examined.

The letter is essentially just the invitation. I don't see anything of interest. The list of papers meanwhile is more intriguing. It can be seen here. While the papers mentioned appear to be identical to the versions seen previously (although I've not checked them in detail), at the bottom there are some words I hadn't seen before:

These key publications have been selected because of their pertinence to the specific criticisms which have been levelled against CRU's research findings as a result of the theft of emails.

Oh dear.


The boy played a blinder

Professor John Beddington, or Sir John as we must start learning to call him soon, was the man who suggested Lord Oxburgh as the head of the inquiry into UEA's scientific oeuvre (or at least those parts that were likely to be uncontroversial.

As readers here know, I have previously obtained some of Professor Beddington's emails under FoI and I've now obtained one more.

It's pretty interesting.

It was sent on the afternoon after the publication of the Oxburgh report.

Click to enlarge

This is the text:

Dear Ron

Much appreciated the hard work put into the review, general view is a blinder played. As we discussed at HoL, clearly the drinks are on me!

Best wishes, John


Fred Pearce at the RI

Here is a fuller report on Fred Pearce's lecture at the Royal Institution, courtesy of reader, Atomic Hairdryer.

The Climate Files; The battle for the truth about global warming

Royal Institute 14th June

Audio archive here.

Speakers: Fred Pearce, Dr Myles Allen, Dr Adam Corner
Host: Damian Carrington of The Guardian

A smaller audience than for the Pielke lecture, with the theatre roughly half full with what looked to be a lot of journalists. The event was also filmed.

Click to read more ...


Murray-Rust on Pearce

Peter Murray-Rust, a Cambridge chemist who is also a bigwig in the Open Knowledge Foundation, has written a report on Fred Pearce's presentation at the Royal Institution last night.

As far as I can tell, Fred's book is going to conclude that CRU scientists didn't do anything bad, and he certainly seems to have persuaded Peter of his case:

I would agree from his analysis that there is no “smoking gun” and that many of the emails were unfortunate rather than malicious.

However, Peter concludes also that there are serious issues over data availability. I particularly liked this:

Climate research appears to have generated a priesthood which controls the release of information. For a science with global implications this is not acceptable.

Some common ground at least then.

This was interesting too:

My superficial analysis is that the CR community has retreated into defensive mode and has not changed its communication methods or interaction with the community. This is perhaps understandable given the hostility and publicity of much of the media coverage and further comment (and UEA has put a ban on staff speaking on the issue). Such bans can recoil, as it is then easier to believe there is something to hide. It may be difficult, but it seems essential to radically overhaul the governance and communication.

I think this would explain why my emails to UEA's Paul Dennis have gone unanswered.


M&M honoured by CEI

Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick have been honoured with this year's Julian Simon Memorial Award by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The Hockey Stick Illusion gets a mention in the press release too.

Anthony Watts has the story.


Ring-fenced spending

SIR – The British embassy in Bangkok is advertising in the local press for a climate change officer, which involves working with colleagues in other British embassies in south-east Asia, and reporting to a team leader based in Singapore.

It is comforting to know that such vital positions have escaped the spending cuts.

Letter in the Telegraph


HoC Climate change committee notes the appointment of chairmen to the select committees of the UK's House of Commons. This one is striking...

Energy and climate change committee - Tim Yeo (Con)

Yeo has easily made the transition from the environmental audit committee, which he chaired in the last parliament, after that committee's chair passed to Labour hands. He beat Philip Hollobone despite declaring an impressive range of interests, including a non-executive directorship of Groupe Eurotunnel, a non-executive chairmanship of AFC Energy and a consultant role for Regenesis.

It is very hard to look an anything that goes on at Westminster without getting a faint whiff of something unpleasant.


Josh 22


Gongs for greens

Congratulations are due to Professor John Beddington, the government's chief scientist and the man who put forward Lord Oxburgh as the "best candidate" to chair the inquiry into UEA. Professor Beddington has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours list.

Other climatological gongs are:

  • Professor John Shepherd of Southampton (OBE)
  • Peter Betts, Director of International Climate Change, DECC (OBE)
  • Kirsty Schneeberger, Co-ordinator, UK Youth Climate Coalition (MBE)

(The UK Youth Climate Coalition is an organisation I came across recently. It was founded in 2008).


Butterflies of the soul

I chanced upon this page of images from a book of scientific illustrations - images like the one below. I thought they were rather lovely.

I love the intricacy of it. Look at the detail...

It's hard for someone as artistically challenged as myself to comprehend the skill that produces such an amazing piece of work.



The book has the delightful title of Cajal's Butterflies of the Soul and is published by OUP.


IAC notices McKitrick

It looks as though the pressure has paid off. Ross McKitrick has emailed to say that he has now been invited to submit to the Interacademies Council inquiry into the IPCC.

Better late than never, I suppose.

I've also had an email from Marcel Crok, who has also been speaking to the IAC. Marcel's information seems to suggest that McIntyre will be contacted too, so this may well turn out to represent a small step forward.


Hockey Stick Illusion abroad

I've amended the link in the sidebar for non-UK readers who want to get hold of the Hockey Stick Illusion. The link now points at the Book Depository, a UK seller who will ship worldwide for free.


Thompson's data

In honour of the long, long Climate Audit thread discussing Lonnie Thompson's long, long-lost glacier data, something from the Josh archives.

Josh is currently busy with the day job.



Lord's letterhead revisited

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.


Quote of the day

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.