Reader Dreadnought has been moved to poetry:
I met a traveller from a distant shire
Who said: A vast and pointless shaft of steel
Stands on a hill top… Near it, in the mire,
Half sunk, a shattered turbine lies, whose wheels
And riven blades and snarls of coloured wire
Tell that its owners well their mission read
Which did not last nor, nowhere to be seen,
The hand that paid them and the empty head.
And scrawled around the base these lines are clear:
‘My name is Millibandias, greenest Green.
Look on my works, ye doubters, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round this display
Of reckless cost and loss, blotless and fair,
The green and pleasant landscape rolls away.
There is a curious article by George Monbiot in the Guardian, in which he looks at the question of whether requests for Phil Jones' data were vexatious and concludes that the data should have been out in the open anyway.
What is interesting is that George suggests this will be his last article on the Climategate affair.
This is probably the last piece I'll write on the hacked emails saga. Unless the two remaining inquiries throw up something unexpected, there is not a lot more to say.
The Times Higher Educational Supplement has secured an interview with Professor Edward Acton, the vice-chancellor of UEA. Professor Acton sees the possibility of positive outcomes to the Climategate affair.
David Henderson's letter in the FT yesterday has prompted a couple of responses.
Bob Ward seems to admit that there is a problem with a lack of openness, but maintains that the temperature records are sufficiently rigorous. It seems to me that it is quite clear that the temperature records are not sufficiently rigorous because, as everyone agrees (I think), the surface stations do not meet the standards set for them. Whether the result is affected is another, as yet undecided, question, but "sufficiently rigorous" they most certainly are not.
Mike Post meanwhile thinks that FT readers should get hold of a copy of the Hockey Stick Illusion, an idea which to me seems to be very sound advice.
A guest post by Messenger
The Climate Change Schools Project (CCSP) brings together organisations, schools and teachers around the North East to support a novel approach in bringing climate change to the heart of the national curriculum. The CCSP has established a network of ‘Climate Change Lead Schools’ who [sic] in 2008-2009, consisted of 80 schools across North East England. Thousands of young people took part, representing a minimum of 14,000 hours of climate change related activity across the schools.
For those of you dear old-fashioned things who still think that 14,000 hours of education might be better spent on education in English, maths, science, history, a modern language or two and perhaps art or music or woodwork, think again.
In the wake of the rather peculiar findings of the Science and Technology Select Committee, I wrote a letter to chairman, Phil Willis, explaining the concern among sceptics over the findings and inquiring if he would be able to answer some questions for BH readers.
There was a swift response, indicating that Willis would be willing to answer questions, provided they were within the remit of the report itself.
David Henderson has a letter in the Financial Times:
In an area of policy where so much is at stake, and so much remains uncertain and unsettled, policies should be evolutionary and adaptive, rather than presumptive as they are now; and their evolution should be linked to a process of inquiry and review that is more thorough, balanced, open and objective than has so far been the case.
The Royal Society of New Zealand has issued an interesting statement on the shambles that is climate science. Prof Keith Hunter's position is nuanced and seems a long way from the political utterances of the Royal Society. Hunter's is not a sceptic position, but there is at least some common ground.
The Washington Post has an interesting article on climate models which features Gavin Schmidt making a robust defence of their usefulness:
Put in the conditions on Earth more than 20,000 years ago: they produce an Ice Age, NASA's Schmidt said. Put in the conditions from 1991, when a volcanic eruption filled the earth's atmosphere with a sun-shade of dust. The models produce cooling temperatures and shifts in wind patterns, Schmidt said, just like the real world did.
If the models are as flawed as critics say, Schmidt said, "You have to ask yourself, 'How come they work?' "
Now last time I heard, the models could get into an ice age but couldn't get out again, so I'm not sure whether Gavin is being entirely straight with us here. Perhaps the models have moved on though, although one could still wonder if they could move so quickly from not being able to get out of an ice age to being useful.
Fox News is reporting some interesting details of the second investigation into Michael Mann.
It was those e-mails, stolen from British university East Anglia's climate study group, that sparked Penn State's probe into Mann's work. On Feb. 3, he was exonerated on three of four charges, and the investigation of the fourth charge will be concluded by June 3.
But the final say will be in the hands of a skeptical inspector general at the National Science Foundation, the primary funder of the research into global warming. According to published documents obtained by FoxNews.com, the IG must determine whether Penn State's investigation was adequate.
I'm not sure why they refer to him as a skeptical inspector general though.