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Saturday
May152010

Everybody does it

RP Jnr links to a review of the Climategate story by Der Speigel and has a fascinating discussion with his readers in the comments thread below.

The point at issue is Mike's Nature Trick and the question of whether it amounts to scientific fraud. Der Spiegel describe the trick as follows:

Click to read more ...

Friday
May142010

Interacademy Council hearings

The Interacademy Council hearings into the IPCC have commenced and there are some presentations here. I can't say they look desperately interesting. No mention of the problems that the panel is to investigate as far as I can see.

Richard Black has a report here.

Friday
May142010

Elizaphanian on science and the Hockey Stick

Sam Norton, who by day is a churchman - the Rector of West Mersea in Essex - has written a very interesting post about the Hockey Stick and how layman can assess the competing arguments.

When McIntyre started up his Climate Audit blog, it was the equivalent of the 95 theses. In just the same way as Luther believed himself to remain a faithful Christian, and not be inventing a new religion, (and, in fact, had the church responded with integrity, he would have remained a Catholic) so too do McIntyre's criticisms not raise any questions about the theory of scientific investigation. Instead, the questions raised are about the current practice of that scientific investigation, most especially with regard to paleo-climatology and the weight given to certain alleged results in that field.

Read the whole thing.

Friday
May142010

Stott on Huhne

Philip Stott has now written two articles in the last two months, but the latest was worth the wait. His taken on the appointment of Chris Huhne to the post of energy minister is a must read and frankly rather scary.

The lamentable fact that David Cameron has appointed Chris Huhne, Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh, Hampshire, as the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, underscores one’s profoundest fears that our leading politicians have still still not grasped, despite all the red flag warnings, the depth and urgency of the UK energy crisis. This, after all, is the man who is avowedly opposed to the development of a new generation of nuclear powers stations, who believes that we can fill our looming energy gap with wave, wind, and waffle, and who is totally uncritical of the ‘global warming’ message.

Friday
May142010

The ascent of Mann

Climate Realists has an interesting article that looks at the extraordinary rise to prominence of the hockeystickmeister, Michael Mann. This is one of the angles of the hockey stick story that is still something of a mystery - how did such an obscure scientist, one who had just completed his PhD, get to be lead author on the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May132010

Nature on the Hartwell paper

Last night I posted a comment on the Nature Climate feedback posting about the Hartwell report. I said that it was odd that they gave earnest consideration to the sources of funding for the Hartwell group but, in giving space to some critical comments by Bill Hare, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, they failed even to mention that he is an advisor to Greenpeace.

My comment doesn't seem to have made it past the moderators yet. Perhaps it's their day off.

Thursday
May132010

Clive Hamilton in Oxford

This is a guest post by "DR".

This is my report of a talk by Clive Hamilton in Blackwell’s bookshop Oxford on 10 May 2010, on themes from his recent book Requiem for a Species. This is a write-up of my hand-written notes. I hope I’ve represented what Hamilton said accurately.  I’ve not read his book.

Hamilton started by describing the upsurge in ‘climate denial’ – describing deliberate attempts in the 1990s by US Republicans to link climate change and left-wing beliefs, he said that climate denial has been absorbed by right-wing populism. However, despite efforts from deniers such as Sarah Palin, Christopher Monckton, the American Tea-Party, and the UK’s BNP, it has become clear that if anything the IPCC AR4 understated the risks, for instance of sea-level rise.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May132010

Back in the saddle

I'm back in the saddle, but overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do to catch up after a couple of days' break.

I may get to post something this evening.

Monday
May102010

Light blogging

I'm off to the big smoke for a couple of days, my first trip to the capital for a very long time. I'm going to meet a few people and then I'm listening to Martin Rees give a Reith Lecture tomorrow night.

Blogging will be non-existent.

In the meantime, here's something non-climate-related.

I was pondering the sad state of the education system when I chanced upon the clause in the Human Rights Act which says

the state shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and to teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.

Now, as someone with a deep philosophical objection to state education, I wondered if the state's respect for my convictions would extend to providing me with an education voucher to allow me to send my children to a private school.

Neat idea eh?

Is it a goer though? Well, I asked the Human Rights experts at the Guardian's Liberty Clinic and they have posted up a reply.

Saturday
May082010

Josh 22

More cartoons by Josh here.

Friday
May072010

Grilled Cuccinelli

Washington radio station, WAMU, is going to be interviewing Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli later today. If Cuccinelli's case against Michael Mann is as thin as it looks, this should be quite interesting.  The podcast link is here and should be available at approximately 13:30 EST, which is about 18:30 UK time.

Thursday
May062010

Josh 21

More cartoons by Josh here.

Thursday
May062010

HSI at the London Book Fair

I'm grateful to Amelia's Magazine for mentioning the Hockey Stick Illusion on her blog today - even if she says she's not going to read it. Amelia came across the book at the London Book Fair where my tome was placed just above hers.

Thursday
May062010

House hearings on Oxburgh

The US House of Representatives Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming has been having hearings on Climategate and more particularly the Oxburgh report. In the words of the committee's web page.

The scientists addressed the claims of deniers head-on. Thursday’s panel featured a member of the investigative panel convened by the University of East Anglia and led by Lord Ron Oxburgh to review the stolen emails from that school’s Climactic Research Unit. The “Oxburgh Inquiry” exonerated the scientists who were attacked following the emails, saying they “saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work.”

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May062010

Ferman on Oxburgh

Joe Farman, the scientist who discovered the hole in the ozone layer was interviewed on BBC radio's Today programme this morning and made some trenchant remarks that will be of great interest to readers here.

Farman seems to have a pretty low opinion of climatology and how it spends its money..

Too much too much money is going into expensive climate modelling computers, and not enough into basic observational science, he says.

and he thinks sceptics have been ritually ignored...

Dr Farman also blamed the science establishment for "brushing aside" specific criticisms of climate science.

Farman seems similarly underwhelmed by Lord Oxburgh's review of the probity of CRU's work.

He said the teams investigating the controversy at the University of East Anglia should have invited some climate sceptics on board. "Lord Oxburgh's review (which cleared researchers at the Climatic Research Unit of any wrong-doing) was not convincing, he said.

Lord Oxburgh has been criticised for completing his review too quickly. But he stressed at the time that his remit was to determine whether the researchers had conducted their work honestly, not to make judgements on the quality of their science.

He told me he had not chosen to put a climate sceptic on his review team because their meetings would have degenerated into polar arguments on the science, rather than concentrating on the key issue of probity.

It's remarkable to compare these remarks with the way Lord Oxburgh's report was relayed to the public by the media, who portrayed the report as complete exoneration for Jones et al. Scientists know the Oxburgh report was a farce. Why not environment correspondents?

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