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Baroness Buscombe

Now here's a thing. Do you remember the various Press Complaints Commission decisions that have interested us sceptics in recent years? There was the Sunday Times sudden and rather odd decision to take down the Amazongate article apparently under PCC pressure. The other one that comes to mind is the highly odd decision that climate change is not a matter relating to current public policy.

So would it surprise you to know that Baroness Buscombe, the chairman of the PCC, is also vice-chairman of GLOBE UK? That's `Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment', for those of you who don't remember. She has occupied the latter position since 2007.

It's a very small world, isn't it?


Greenery BC

More evidence that greens are in retreat, with candidates for the premier's job in British Columbia sounding distinctly cool on the idea of ever-increasing green taxes.

If there was any doubt that the climate-change push is in retreat, have a look at the race in British Columbia to replace outgoing Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell.

Candidates for the premier's job are raising questions about whether the province should rethink its climate-change program, one of the most aggressive in North America.

It's the first positive sign for business that B.C. is not going to continue to strike out on its own with environmental regulation and put large sectors of its economy at a severe disadvantage.



Toronto Sun on Climate Files

Lorrie Goldstein of the Toronto Sun asks if maybe climate science shouldn't be just a bit more open, and citing Fred Pearce's The Climate Files as evidence. The tone of the article is interesting, with Goldstein noting that Pearce is not a "denier", but pointing out his criticisms of the climatology community's failure to check its findings.

As well as taking pot shots at climatology peer review, he also has things to say about the Climategate inquiries:

Simply having panels of sympathetic academics (or politicians) take a cursory look at the work of climate scientists and pronounce it sound — what happened following Climategate — doesn’t cut it.


Josh 65


A smear piece

The main target of Adrian Kelleher's article in Ireland's Village magazine appears to be Richard Tol, with Ian Plimer referred to as a "fraud" for good measure.


Fun with Brenda

Brenda Ekwurzel is discussing cold winters on the Huffington Post:

Even with climate change, you're still going to wake up on a January morning and see snow falling. I walk to the bus stop, too, so I know about cold ears and fingers.

In the comments, mean-spirited sceptic Alex Cull has this to say:

This made me smile, though..

It's from the conclusion of the BBC World Service's One Planet programme, broadcast in February 2007, presented by BBC science correspond­ent Richard Hollingham­:

Richard Hollingham­: Those of us who grew up with very cold winters, who tell our children that winter's not what it used to be, we're right aren't we?

Brenda Ekwurzel (Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists­): Yes. Absolutely­. It has changed.

Hansen's predictions

A wonderful roundup of some of James Hansen's predictions and how they turned out. No guesses who has put this must-read post together...


Climate cuttings 48

Still lots of interesting stuff around, so...

First up is the news that even though the legal wranglings over Cuccinelli's attempt to get the Mann emails continue, it is likely that they will be revealed by another route. Christopher C. Horner of the American Tradition Institute’s law center, David W. Schnare, a federal attorney and Bob Marshall is a Virginia Republican delegate have requested the same information as Cuccinelli, but under FOIA, which has few get-out clauses for the university. A response should be swift.

Also interesting is an article in Forbes magazine by Larry Bell, author of a forthcoming book called Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax.

Click to read more ...


The Royal Society and alarmism

A very interesting essay on the Royal Society and its sudden change from a body that promoted science as the antidote to apocalyptic vision, to one that used the same tool to promote the idea of disasters.

It is true that the Society’s president is not proclaiming divine direction and screaming fire-and-brimstone from a high pulpit. Yet behind the sober and reasonable façade there is the horror of imminent annihilation.



Quote of the day

Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by the Met Office computer.

Phillip Bratby, in the comments.


Big freeze in Guizhou

The BBC report that that big freeze has spread to southern China:

Freezing temperatures in south-western China have forced the evacuation of 58,000 people from their homes, according to the Chinese authorities.

Ice and snow have closed roads, leaving thousands of motorists stranded.

This is all happening in Guizhou province, which I visited in the 1990s. Guizhou is subtropical - right down on the border with Vietnam - so this must be pretty unusual.


Climate cuttings 47

There is still quite a lot of new material around on the climate front, so once again, here are the links catching my eye this morning.

Steven Hayward notes climatologists' recent explanations of the factors that are (allegedly) making global warming cause so much cold weather in parts of the northern hemisphere. If this is so, he asks, why didn't they include these factors in their original models?

Tom Crowley has issued an apology for misrepresenting his early correspondence with Steve McIntyre. Five years after the event is a long delay, but the correction is welcome nevertheless. I will have to add a footnote to future printings of the Hockey Stick Illusion.

Paul Hudson notes that in the UK, December was the second coldest since 1659. Things are not looking so hot in the USA either, according to Steven Goddard. Or Asia.

Roger Pielke Jnr notes the continuing failure of the disaster records to pick up a global warming signal. With weary inevitability, Joe Romm is unimpressed.

One for the statisticians among you - Barry Brook looks at Phil Jones' claim that there has been no significant warming since 1995.

Chris de Freitas looks at public understanding of climate science.

Much fun is still being had at the expense of the Met Office. Anthony Watts has a round-up here. Matt Ridley thinks the weather guys at the Met Office would be better off separating themselves from the climate people.


Better propaganda

Nature wonders how to make green propaganda more effective.


Josh 64


Planning for power cuts

Commenter Lord Beaverbrook has asked if we can have a thread to discuss solutions to the power cuts that so many are predicting now that successive governments appear to have saddled us with a power generation system that will not provide sufficient power.

I think we should consider two issues - firstly whether there is a genuine need for households to get back up power supplies and secondly, if backup power is required, what form it should take.