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Jones in Nature

David Adam is a name that may well be familiar to readers here - we have come across him before in pursuit of the Institute of Physics regarding their submission to the SciTech committee inquiry, and also at one of those "how do we persuade people now they know what we're up to" meetings that were held in the wake of Climategate.

Adam has now left his position at the Guardian and has moved on to Nature, where I'm sure he will fit right in. Today he has written an in-depth interview with Phil Jones himself, which can be seen here. I found this a very frustrating experience. Take this for example:

So why did he urge colleagues to delete messages in which they discussed, among other things, the preparation of a report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? An attempt to thwart critics, perhaps? “That was probably just bravado at the time,” he says. “We just thought if they’re going to ask for more, we might as well not have them.”

The question we have to ask is whether David Adam was aware that the email in question had as its subject line David Holland's FOI request number the words "IPCC & FOI" - clearly relating to the request in which David Holland asked for emails relating to the IPCC assessment report.  Either way, the reader comes away from from Adam's article completely misled.


German sceptic conference

EIKE, the organisation for sceptics in Germany, is organising a conference in Berlin on 3-4 December 2010, to coincide with the global knees-up in Cancun. The meeting will be held in English and German, with simultaneous translation. Confirmed speakers include Carter, Plimer, Veizer, Singer and Svensmark.

Details here. Registration here.


Graun podcast dull

The Guardian's science podcast this week looks at the book Climate Wars by Gwynne Dyer, which looks as though it's Mark Lynas's Six Degrees all over again - the subtitle is The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats, so I think you probably know the story already. Judging from the number of reviews on Amazon (four), so does everybody else.

The podcast is rather dull in terms of its scientific content, although there's plenty to enjoy, but for all the wrong reasons. Alok Jha, the presenter and Tim Radford, who runs the Guardian Science book club, nod sagely at every single one of Dyer's predictions of doom (and he packs a great many of them in). Not a question is asked, not a hypothesis probed. With such an array of extreme predictions made, you would have thought that it would have been enlightening to challenge one or two of them - or perhaps enlightenment is not the objective. This is what groupthink looks like. 

Do have a listen, and feel free to fact-check some of Dyer's more outlandish claims.


JEG on McShane & Wyner

Julien Emile-Geay, who has been very critical of McIntyre in the past, has emerged from blogging hibernation with a posting on McShane and Wyner, the paper about multiproxy methods as seen by two professional statisticians.

JEG's post has something for everyone, but readers here will be most struck by this:

Finally, I agree with [McShane & Wyner's] main conclusion:

“the long flat handle of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth. Nevertheless, the temperatures of the last few decades have been relatively warm compared to many of the thousand year temperature curves sampled from the posterior distribution of our model.” 

That being said, it is my postulate than when climate reconstruction methods incorporate the latest advances in the field of statistics, it will indeed be found that the current warming and its rate are unprecedented…the case for it just isn’t completely airtight now.


Climate cuttings 41

This week marks the first anniversary of Climategate and it looks as though the media are not unaware of this.  As a result there are a number of stories on the climate front today.

The Guardian sets out their case that the scientists have been exonerated but that damage may have been done to "the cause". 

Booker reckons the climate change movement is dying on its feet, but says that politicians are carrying on regardless. Booker's ideas seems to be echoed by who report the Scientific American poll results and conclude that it's curtains for the warmists.

If the global warming movement is about to meet its demise, then it's probably a good idea for warmists to have their fun while the going is still good. A trip to Bangladesh to play with the idea of a court where poor countries could sue rich ones over climate change probably sounded like a good wheeze.

It was only a mock tribunal, organised by Oxfam, but it explored the growing idea that the largest carbon emitters should be bound by international law to protect the lives and livelihoods of those most at risk from the impacts of climate change.

I can hear standing orders to Oxfam being cancelled as we speak.

David Henderson has picked up on the Deutsche Bank sceptic-bashing paper and the embarrassing shambles the scientists concerned seem to have got themselves into. As Henderson asks "It would be interesting to know whether The Deutsche Bank officials who sponsored and approved this deeply flawed initiative took the precaution of submitting a draft for expert review to persons not already firmly convinced that the 'skeptics' have been refuted."

The Scotsman reports that the lights are going to go out in Scotland shortly. The politicians can't say they didn't know.



Ofcom and an Inconvenient Truth

Tony N has a must-read story about his travails with Ofcom over Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

This story begins with Ofcom, the public authority that enforces broadcasting legislation in the UK, telling me that Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth (AIT) is not a ‘factual documentary’, and ends with them deciding that climate change - the subject of the film - is not a matter relating to current public policy. You may well wonder how this could have happened, and it will take some time to explain.

Read the whole thing.


Great minds

What an extraordinary coincidence...










Dellers is tops

More congratulations - this time to James Delingpole, who has won the Bastiat Award for online journalism, with his coverage of Climategate apparently a key factor in his victory. James' appears to have accepted the prize with his customary understatement.

Why does the Bastiat Prize matter so much? Because it’s about the only prize left which celebrates those true journalistic virtues of scepticism and inquiry which our libtard MSM [mainstream media] has all but abandoned in its eagerness to suck up to whichever bunch of statist shysters currently happen to be in power. It’s about free markets, about small government, about liberty


Advancing hard astern

Congratulations to Nicholas Stern who has been awarded the Leontief Prize for "Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought".

Is it just me that thinks that this award is a pretty damning indictment of the corruption of academia?

Report here.


Ciccerone circumspect

The Columbia Journalism Review reports on Mann's comments at the ScienceWriters2010 conference, which I posted about here. The report also covers comments made by NAS boss, Ralph Ciccerone, at the same meeting. Ciccerone of course needs little introduction to readers here because of the role he played in the shenanigans over the Hockey Stick hearings.

Asked in an interview about what he thought of media coverage over the past year, Cicerone was characteristically circumspect: “I don’t have any fault with the media coverage. The media was covering the news. That was no surprise.”

Looking ahead, given the politicized environment in Washington, Cicerone said he was counting on science media coverage of new evidence documenting the impact of climate change around the globe “to help clear the air.” He noted that ongoing measurements of surface temperature, ice, and sea level provide “consistent signals that the planet is warming…. We need to keep watching the data. We’re confronted with a long-term issue that isn’t going to go away. We need to keep the focus on this issue.”

Many commentators have suggested that the Climategate story was blown up from nothing by a coalition of sceptics and media pundits. It's therefore interesting to see Ciccerone putting this argument to bed.


CRUTEM code still not fixed

Readers may remember that back at the start of the year, John Graham-Cumming found some errors in the CRUTEM code. He very helpfully notified the Met Office, who subsequently confirmed JG-C's findings.

The odd thing is that, according to JG-C's latest posting, the Met Office haven't actually managed to get round to fixing their live version of the code yet.


Purdue climate confab

Video of the Purdue University event featuring, RP Jnr, Judith Curry and Andy Revkin is now available.

WMV file is here.


TV times

A couple of dates for your diary. As several people have noted, Judith Curry is to give evidence on uncertainty and science policy at the US House of Representatives on 17th November. This is at 10:30am EST, which makes it 3:30pm GMT by reckoning.

Not on quite the same scale of importance, but David Holland has been speaking to BBC Norwich about Climategate and the programme will go out on Monday 15th November at 19:30. Details here.


Journos come running

As soon as the global warming movement puts out the call, much of the press simply comes running, ready to repeat the mantra on request. The latest to involve themselves in the Mann media movement is MSN.

"They can threaten whatever they want," the Penn State professor told me on Sunday, after his talk at the New Horizons in Science meeting at Yale University. "I'm quite confident to fight those sorts of witch-hunt attempts."



Some of you may remember Deutche Bank's amusing attempt to address "major sceptic arguments". I posted something on this back at the start of September.

Ross McKitrick has now posted up a back and forth between himself and the authors, Mary-Elena Carr, Kate Brash, and Robert Anderson. These three were joined by a fourth author, Madeleine Rubenstein, for the subsequent responses to McKitrick. McKitrick uses the shorthand "CABR" to refer to the four, and I've adopted the same style here.

There's quite a bit of reading, but it's certainly worth investing the time. The work of the CABR team is, quite frankly, extraordinary. It is so bad I'm going to refrain from further comment.