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Amazon availability

A couple of readers have said they have received emails from Amazon UK saying that delivery of the Hockey Stick Illusion is now going to be delayed into February. This is not correct.

The stock was shipped over the last two working days. My publisher is going to contact Amazon to try to get this updated. I'll post an update when I have it.



Patchygate update

The momentum over Patchygate seems to be building and has now merged with the parallel furore over the IPCC's glacier story, with Richard North noting that the source of the original story about melting glaciers was a scientist who now works for Pachauri's TERI organisation.

Anthony Watts notes that Pachauri doesn't seem to separate his TERI and his IPCC roles in terms of his email communications either. Roger Pielke Jnr says the whole thing stinks. In the comments to Pielke Jnr's article, the economist Richard Tol makes the first of what is likely to be many calls for Pachauri to resign or be fired.

The furore has garnered huge attention in Pachauri's native India, with environment minister Ramesh claiming vindication of his argument that the IPCC was being alarmist. It's interesting too to read the author's observation that dodgy environmental claims about India seem to have been something of a theme of the past few years, with western governments and environmentalists using faulty evidence to try to push India around.

And Pachauri himself? He has just found another new role for himself, this time as romantic author (!), launching a novel entitled Return to Almora at what sounds like a suitably glittering occasion. I'm not joking by the way.



Glenn McGregor in NZ Herald

Glenn McGregor is a climatologist who is best known to sceptics from his appearances in the Climategate emails where Hockey Team members explain that he is willing to delay sceptic papers and pick "suitable reviewers" for warmist ones, in order to make life difficult for those who might question the global warming hypothesis.

McGregor made a brief appearance in the New Zealand Herald over the weekend, where he is quoted in an article about Kiwis' lack of confidence in global warming science:

Dr McGregor said if climatologists explained their research processes better, they might be able to avoid popular criticisms, such as recent accusations of scientists "fiddling" with climate records.

"When people don't understand the process they just pick up on, 'oh they've adjusted the (climate) record'," he said. "That probably creates a lot of mistrust."

Professor McGregor has been caught red-handed and nobody is going to be fooled by an argument that they are too stupid to understand.

When in a hole, one is normally best advised to stop digging.



Intriguing new details on the glacier story

The Hindustan Times has picked up on the glacier story that is proving so embarrassing for Rajendra Pachauri and the IPCC. But as well as repeating the details from the New Scientist and Sunday Times stories, there are a couple of new details.

Firstly, Syed Hasnain, the scientist who made the original claims about the Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035, has gone to ground:

Attempts by Hindustan Times to reach Hasnain failed. His family said he was away and there was no telephone number at which he could be contacted.

I suppose it is a little embarrassing, but hiding from the press does seem like a bit of an overreaction. And surely he has a mobile phone?

The other interesting news is that the IPCC are going to make a statement on glaciers in the coming week:

Pachauri said IPCC would issue a statement on the glaciers “by the middle of this week”.

We will watch with interest.



National Domestic Extremism Team


IPCC glaciers - some explanation

Photo by RichDrogPa under Creative Commons. Hot on the heels of New Scientist's story about how the erroneous Himalayan glacier story found its way from the lips of an Indian Scientist called Syed Hasnain, via the World Wildlife Fund, to the pages of an IPCC report, comes this article from Jonathan Leake in the Sunday Times, which fills in much of the detail. Amazingly, the claim that Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035 was not even remotely credible in the first place

Professor Julian Dowdeswell, director of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, said: "Even a small glacier such as the Dokriani glacier is up to 120 metres [394ft] thick. A big one would be several hundred metres thick and tens of kilometres long. The average is 300 metres thick so to melt one even at 5 metres a year would take 60 years. That is a lot faster than anything we are seeing now so the idea of losing it all by 2035 is unrealistically high.”

This rather begs the question of how such a remarkable claim managed to pass through the allegedly bulletproof peer review process of the IPCC and the New Scientist journalist, Fred Pearce, is demanding answers. It will be interesting to see if the IPCC deigns to respond.



Hockey Stick Illusion for US readers

While my publisher has made valiant efforts to sell the US rights to The Hockey Stick Illusion and I've made my own attempts too, we've had no joy so far. US readers can buy the book direct from Amazon UK, but this may be relatively expensive. Could someone perhaps find out how much it would cost to buy and ship a single copy to the US?

I'm still very tempted to self-publish in the US. There's a typeset manuscript ready to go, which would just need a cover design. However, wiser heads are advising me to hold on, and of course if I can make an impact in the UK there's always the possibility that someone will pick me up for North America.

What do readers think?



New Scientist on glaciers

Ten years after publishing some outrageous claims about disappearing glaciers, New Scientist comes clean:

This sudden burst of inquiry from Britain's premier science magazine is certainly welcome. We've had twenty-odd years of, at best dumb acquiescence and at worst dumber cheerleading. What have the New Scientists been thinking of these last two decades?

We are entitled to an explanation too.



Reviews - 1

I thought that people might be interested in some of the pre-publication reviews of The Hockey Stick Illusion - I'll post these up over the next week or so. Here's the one that was chosen for the cover:

This is a thriller about codebreaking – not Napoleon's or Hitler's codes, but computer codes that generated a false signal to the world about runaway global warming. Like most codebreaking it was painfully slow but Montford keeps the drama pacy as the years pass, while he explains the intricacies in the plainest possible language. By military codebreaking, the likes of Scovell and Turing helped to change the course of history, and McIntyre and McKitrick should soon do the same, when the statistical fudges that misled the politicians become more widely known.

Nigel Calder
Former editor, New Scientist
co-author, The Chilling Stars



Hockey Stick Illusion ships Monday

I've had word from the publisher that The Hockey Stick Illusion will start to ship from the warehouse on Monday.

Phew! That was a long haul. Amazing to compare the turnaround at a traditional publisher to the speed with which Fuller and Mosher have produced their Climategate: The CRUTape Letters.



A BBC approach to NASA

Here's the fair and balanced BBC approaching NASA for an interview, in another email from the NASA collection.

From: James Morgan-GW
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 21:00:21 +0100
To: Leslie.M.McCarthy
Subject: BBC TV series

Dear Lesley,

I am a researcher from the BBC, in the UK. I am developing a landmark television series, looking at the effects of artificial chemicals (all things toxic!) on our environment on a global scale. It will be the ultimate global health check - an update on where we stand now, 45 years since Rachel Carson wrote her influential and controversial book Silent Spring. Using similar headings as Carson for the chapters in her book, the six episodes will be as follows:

Oceans (and Rivers)
Insects, Soils and Funghi
Animals, Birds & Fish
Our Green Mantle (trees, plants etc)

Regarding the first episode, "Planet", I am keen to speak to NASA scientists who are using satellites to measure atmospheric pollution from space. Your colleague Rob, in the Goddard media relations office, has recommended four scientists, who you may be able to put me in touch with:

James Hansen
Drew Schindel
Gavin Schmidt
Reto Reudy

I am keen to get a clear and informed idea of how the Earth has changed in the past four decades, how NASA is measuring these changes, and how we could illustrate these changes in a TV programme in the future. Also, I would like to know about any new and positive developments where chemicals which have been a problem in the atmosphere have been remedied by new and advanced methods?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards


Can anyone tell the difference between James and a green campaigner?



Did NASA throw away data too?

The NASA emails are interesting, but I haven't noticed anything too scandalous, apart perhaps from this. After the initial furore over the discovery of the error in their temperature data, NASA bigwig James Hansen decides the correct response is to show that the impact of the correction is small. Unfortunately Makiko Sato, the scientist who maintains the temperature data tells him there's a problem:

On Fri, 2007-08-10 at 11:59 -0500, James Hansen wrote:

Makiko, Reto,
r am being beseiged by these (see below), The appropriate response is to show the curves for U.S. and global temperatures before and after (before and after McIntyre's correction). Makiko doubts that this is possible because the earlier result has been "thrown away", We will never live this down if we give such a statement. It must be possible to reconstruct the "before" result. Unfortunately, this needs to be done soon, as there are various writers with deadlines this afternoon. I hope that is possible -- this should have a higher priority that the
calculation that we mentioned yesterday.


By the way, I think that we should save the results of the analyses at least once per year, so we will have a record of how they change.

Oh goodness, not NASA too, I hear you cry. Surely they haven't been ditching data just like their colleagues at CRU? And it's all very well saying that results should be saved "at least once a year", but that's not much good after the bird has flown the coop.

Fortunately, Reto has better news...

From: Reto Ruedy
To: James Hansen
Cc: Makiko Sato, Reto Ruedy
Subject: Re: Fwd: FW: GISS - Truth driven vs agenda driven
Date: Frt 10 Aug 2007 13:09:56 -0400


Nothing was thrown out ~ I made the corresponding graphs.


Well that's a relief, but one can't help but wonder if they actually found their earlier results, or if they managed to reconstruct them from scratch.



Judicial Watch obtains NASA emails

This is hot off the presses - Judicial Watch has obtained NASA emails relating to the furore over Steve McIntyre's discovery of an error in their data back in 2007. The revelation of the so-called "Y2K error" lead to a reassessment of climate history in the US, with 1934 being promoted above 20051998 as the hottest year on record.

Judicial Watch article here. The emails are here. Enjoy.



Guardian moderates

That's odd - when I look at Comment is Free threads I get a message above the comment box saying that "This comment will be held for moderation". Does everyone get this or am I on some sort of a blacklist? If the latter, I'm rather bemused as I can't think of anything I've said that would upset the Graun. I don't even post there very often.

Perhaps the Domestic Extremism Team have told them that I'm persona non grata?



PSU inquiry to be held in private

The inquiry into the Michael Mann's conduct launched by Penn State University in the wake of the Climategate revelations is to be held in private, with only PSU staff present.

The initial probe involves a committee of just three, all of whom are Penn State employees with a clear interest in preserving the reputation of a university ranked ninth in the nation in receiving government research and development grants. It may raise some eyebrows to know that no outsiders will monitor the proceedings.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. The perception of integrity in the climate research community will likely determine whether trillions of dollars are pumped into less-developed nations in the form of virtual reparations to atone for 150 years of unequal occupation of the so-called “carbon space” by more prosperous nations.

Still, the public is asked to trust the findings of a secret probe conducted by the colleagues of the accused.

Meanwhile there is no information at all about the parallel inquiry into CRU. I'm trying to rectify that and will report back as soon as I know something.