Climategate external review chair picked

from the BBC

Sir Muir Russell will head an independent review into the e-mails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in Norwich, UK.

Sir Muir, a former civil servant, will look into allegations that have arisen from the security breach.

http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/images/UGSP00499_m.jpg

[As a measure of how out of touch UEA is, they apparently have little idea that the title "former civil servant" does not inspire much confidence from skeptics, since it has been "civil servants" who have been blocking access to the data and procedures all along. Here is Sir Muir's Wikipedia page and his biography page on the University of Glasgow web site - Anthony]

The review will examine whether there is evidence of manipulation or suppression of data “at odds with acceptable scientific practice”.

The CRU is based at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The e-mails issue arose two weeks ago when hundreds of messages between scientists at the CRU and their peers around the world were posted on the world wide web, along with other documents.

It appears that the material was hacked or leaked; a police investigation has yet to reveal which.

CRU maintains one of the world’s most important datasets on how global temperatures have changed.

Professor Phil Jones, director of the unit, has stepped down pending the review, and has said he stands by his data.

At the time that the theft of the data was revealed, some climate sceptic websites picked up on the word “trick” in one e-mail from 1999 and talk of “hiding the decline”.

Professor Jones said the e-mail was genuine but taken “completely out of context”.

He added: “The first thing to point out is that this refers to one diagram – not a scientific paper.

“The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward.”

UEA has said the review will:

  • Examine e-mail exchanges to determine whether there is evidence of suppression or manipulation of data at odds with acceptable scientific practice which “may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes”.
  • Review CRU’s policies and practices for acquiring, assembling, subjecting to peer review and disseminating data and research findings, and “their compliance or otherwise with best scientific practice”.
  • Review CRU’s compliance or otherwise with the UEA’s policies and practices regarding requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) for the release of data.
  • Review and make recommendations about the management, governance and security structures for CRU and the security, integrity and release of the data it holds.

Sir Muir commented: “Given the nature of the allegations it is right that someone who has no links to either the university or the climate science community looks at the evidence and makes recommendations based on what they find.

Read the complet article here

h/t to Leif Svalgaard

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128 thoughts on “Climategate external review chair picked

  1. Wapedia on Sir Muir Russell:-

    “……. He was widely believed to be primarily responsible for the massive overspend on the new Scottish Parliament Building and was criticised by Lord Fraser of Carmyllie’s enquiry for failing to keep the politicians informed that the expenditure was far in excess of the budget…..”

    and

    “….. Scheduled to open in 2001,it did so in 2004, more than three years late with an estimated final cost of £414m, many times higher than initial estimates of between £10m and £40m. A major public inquiry into the handling of the construction concluded in September 2004 and criticised the management of the whole project from the realisation of cost increases down to the way in which major design changes were implemented…..”

    Sound like a safe pair of hands then.

  2. Ann coulter comments:

    “Global warming cheerleaders in the media were quick to defend the scandalous e-mails, explaining that, among scientists, the words “trick,” “hide the decline” and “garbage” do not mean “trick,” “hide the decline” and “garbage.” These words actually mean “onion soup,” “sexual submissive” and “Gary, Ind.”

    (Boy, it must be great to be able to redefine words right in the middle of a debate.)

    Also, of course, the defenders said that the words needed to be placed “in context” — the words’ check was in the mail, and they’d like to spend more time with their families.”

    This is a Mann made crisis. Mann and Jones may have more time to pursue other opportunities and time for their families. That is how they define getting fired.

  3. Hmmmm, I wonder why they selected this guy? Does he have any experience conducting investigations? How will we be able to tell if this is a real investigation or a whitewash? I would love to hear some opinions…

  4. One hopes that Sir Muir does not prejudge his enquiry by reading the editorial in this week’s issue of Nature magazine.

    Whilst a barrister for the defence would be admiring the handiwork, it might be considered more prudent in the long-term not to take such a hard-line view, unless of course those on the inside of that august publication already know that a political whitewash is about to occur…….one wonders how they would know that and what that would say about probity in UK public life, were that to be the case……

    1. Do ‘skeptics’ continually bombard CRU for FOI requests, or do they need to make repeated requests due to the refusal to provide the data?
    2. If the science behind the assertions can not be checked independently, which does, I am sure 100% of practising scientists would agree, require THE SAME DATASETS USED BY THE INITIAL RESEARCHERS, would you agree that it cannot be described as VALIDATED?
    3. If commercial agreements prevent data being released, would CRU and Nature magazine agree that no earth-changing, multi-trillion dollar global initiatives should be undertaken until the period of those commercial agreements is past and the research HAS been validated?
    4. Would Nature magazine agree that if data is so unimportant as to be ditched, then clearly the scientific conclusions drawn from it are equally unimportant? If so, why are we bombarded with disaster scenario after disaster scenario on a daily basis leading up to Copenhagen?
    5. Would Nature magazine agree that many skeptics are not ‘creationists’ as a particularly arrogant researcher at UC Irvine described them, and would they agree that such arrogance is hardly likely to inspire confidence in grant awarding bodies, who generally value the ability to manage resistance, overcome objections and engage respectfully rather more highly than bullying assertions of false superiority?
    6. Would Nature magazine agree that public sector funding of climate science is ultimately answerable to the taxpayer, not to the funded climate scientists, and hence scientists who say that only scientists can judge or evaluate them may be more likely to be on the receiving end of funding rejections in the era of austerity which we are about to enter into?
    7. Would Nature magazine agree that, whatever else may or may not be true, that the nature of the engagement by climate scientists with Governments and the general public bears all the hallmarks of the cock-ups made by the GM crop multinationals over the past 20 years and that concerted global action concerning climate change over coming decades is more likely to be productive if the next three years are used in ironing out objections through constructive dialogue and confirmatory research rather than bullying autocrats bulldozering through ill-thought-through proposals at Copenhagen next week?

    I’m sure many others, after reading that editorial, will dream up questions far more cogent than mine.

    Perhaps someone with influence might like to forward the collected questions to Sir Muir to ensure that a cover-up/whitewash only occurs with his explicit consent, collusion and personal responsibility……

  5. I think there is a clear risk that somebody coming to this question without knowing anything of the “epic struggle” that has been going on between the “ins” and the “outs” will have problems understanding “the scandal”. I do hope Sir Muir will study some of the main sceptic blogs and papers in parallel to “the Mails”. There has been an alternative “truth” and that is what “they” have been fighting.

    Gösta Oscarsson
    Stockholm

  6. Climategate was the first item on BBC Radio4 PM (an hour long news programme) I was surprised to say the least.

    Unfortunately I didn’t hear the full item as we got home, I am going to search the i-player to see what was said.

  7. I’ve commented over at Bishop Hill and am optimistic that we may see a thorough review. I perceive a subtle change in the UEA’s response to this unfolding crisis. They’ve been way behind the curve and committed just about every faux pas possible when handling the public relations aspect.

    First their initial public statements were self serving and self pitying. They talked about illegal hacks, stolen emails, so called independent studies, missing the point if we are to carry on living on this planet etc. They let Trevor Davis handle the public statements on 24.11.09 and 28.11.09. This was madness since Professor Davis could hardly be considered objective, a former Director of CRU and also mentioned in some of the emails.

    Now, today we have this statement which on first reading seems to address the key points and puts some distance between the UEA and CRU. The bottom line is the academic credibility of the UEA which has taken a sizeable hit over the past few weeks.

    I also note that Sir Muir Russell will have a free hand to assemble a team of experts (I suggest some software engineers from industry) and will be able to amend and add to the terms of reference. I hope that he also can call on evidence from those affected by the emails, press ganging and general mendacity of the team.

  8. Sounds like his appointment is a “make-work” project. Oh, not for him, but for the auditors that will be hired to double and triple check the committee’s accounting. But the big question is, is he an AGW believer?

  9. Further on in the article (I don’t know if it has been added to the article referred to above)

    In another development, Saudi Arabia’s chief climate negotiator, Mohammad Al-Sabban said that the CRU e-mail issue will have a “huge impact” on next week’s UN climate summit.

    Mr Al-Sabban made clear that he expects it to derail the single biggest objective of the summit – to agree limitations on greenhouse gas emissions.

    “It appears from the details of the scandal that there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change,” he told BBC News.

    “Climate is changing for thousands of years, but for natural and not human-induced reasons.”

  10. This is a positive step. The scope of the investigation is sound and the head of it appears to be an outsider to the AGW profession. The University will first be motivated to restore its credibility over any desire to further the actions of rogue scientists.

    There is simply too much scrutiny today for this panel to whitewash its findings. In the past such panels could rely on th MSM to provide support. But no more. Climategate has gone viral. Put this genie back in the bottle? Sorry, no can do!

  11. The efforts of the person or persons who “hacked” the emails are being taken completely out of context. “Hacked” was really un-constraining the science.

    Mann, Jones, Trenberth, Santer and all the rest should be proud that their scientific discourse is now out in the open for all to see the proof of their altruistic goals, and how they meant to achieve them. In reading through the emails, it becomes apparent to me that these guys are genuine in their belief that they’re right, and the end justifies the means.

  12. I’d have preferred Justice Burton who seems to have a good record in evaluating the merits of AGW and the belief system that it inspires.

  13. Sandyinleeds

    Don’t bother searching for the radio 4 item – Roger Harrabin was wheeled out to do the familiar BBC line – climatgate no, no, nothing to see here, but lots of Oil rich countries will surely try and derail Copenhagen with these emails….

    The BBC is surely now held in ridicule by all those in the know?

  14. Al Gore has this morning told Berlingske Media’s great annoyance has canceled his planned major climate talks for Danes 16th december i Tap 1 på den gamle Carlsberg grund under titlen ”Klimakonklusion”. December 1 Tap in the old Carlsberg because, under the title “Climate Conclusion”.

    Aflysningen kommer med henvisning til uforudsete ændringer i Al Gores program for klimatopmødet, COP15. Cancellation comes with regard to unforeseen changes in Al Gore’s program for the climate summit, COP 15

  15. ““The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward.””

    Why doesn’t Jones understand that the problem isn’t with the word “trick?”

    Even if the word “trick” is substituted with the term “clever technique” then we’re still left with the fact that the ‘clever technique was used to HIDE THE DECLINE.’

  16. Oh no, not that! A “civil servant” is going to “examine email exchanges” and “make recommendations!” This could get ugly.

    You don’t mind if I don’t look?

    The UEA should go ahead with this process of self-examination. But it is my hope that legal proceedings are already underway against these global rackateers, and the courts will make some real findings. How is that going to look if there is a great disparity between the two?

  17. Just reviewing the emails is inadequate. How about the computer code and the comments therein by the programmer?

  18. Re: Joseph
    I read the ‘greenjobs’ news item to say that he sits on the Advisory Board for Scottish Power – I wouldn’t on that basis rush to conclude that he is biased.

  19. Chopping up

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/03/nasa-embroiled-in-climate-dispute/

    a bit, but that GISS’s public affairs director is “unfamiliar with the British controversy” is very damning for the GISS:

    “Christopher C. Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act…”

    Mr. Horner suspects the same sort of data shaving (as with CRU – plm) has happened at GISS, a leading climate change research center. Mr. Hess said he was unfamiliar with the British controversy and couldn’t say whether NASA was susceptible to the same challenges to its data.

    (“Mark Hess, public affairs director for the Goddard Space Flight Center, which runs the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) laboratory, said officials are working on Mr. Horner’s request, though he couldn’t say why they have taken so long.

    “We’re collecting the information and will respond with all the responsive relevant information to all of his requests,” Mr. Hess said. “It’s just a process you have to go through where you have to collect data that’s responsive.” )

    The White House has dismissed the British e-mails as irrelevant.

    “Several thousand scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is happening. I don’t think that’s anything that is, quite frankly, among most people, in dispute anymore,” press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters this week. ”

    And Hansen keeps shooting his mouth off. Keep it up, Jim.

  20. Don’t be too convinced that this guy is going to allow a complete white wash of this issue. He’s politic enough to know that a complete dismissal of this issue could cause severe public outcry which would hurt his cause more than help it.

    And any type of corrective action he recommends could scare enough data fakers to amend their ways in the future. Without faking the data, no warming will be observed.

  21. Don’t see anything in his bio or in Wiki that says much about him other than being a public employee with excesses at a gov’t trough. But wait, is he not to investigate the same sort of excesses at CRU? At least he has experience in the arena.

  22. Prof.Piers Corbyn asks “SIGN the Downing St Petition!* http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/UEACRU/
    ‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to suspend the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia from preparation of any Government Climate Statistics until the various allegations have been fully investigated by an independent body.’
    The link is easy to use It Emails you back for ‘signature’ confirmation. Please sign & forward to someone else to sign.
    Then ask your MP to sign too and Oppose any Copenhagen Deal (*only British subjects; other countries have other petitions).”

  23. “Several thousand scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is happening. I don’t think that’s anything that is, quite frankly, among most people, in dispute anymore,” press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters this week. ”

    Yes, Gibbs, they came to that conclusion after looking at massaged data.

  24. “CRU maintains one of the world’s most important datasets on how global temperatures have changed.”

    CRU formerly maintained what was one of the world’s most important datasets on how global temperatures have changed.

  25. He only has a B.Sc. in Natural Philosophy in the U.K., which I gather translates into a B.S. in Physics in the U.S.A. The bio doesn’t list any scientific publications or research, and historically he comes across as being primarily a bureaucrat. Doesn’t sound like the right kind of qualifications to be investigating problems dealing with advanced statistics, computer programming, dendrochronology, and meteorology/climatology — not to mention the legal issues involving FOIA obstruction and fraud. Where is Inspector Clouseau when we need him?

  26. According to this “Chair for climate e-mail review ” BBC piece on Russell we may have the entire winter to collect more “global warming” data. At the rate at which the Arctic ice is melting (alarmingly according to yesterday’s House Administration’s testimony), etc. the globe may continue to be the best advocate against AGW, regardless of Russell’s decision. At the rate the GISS is responding to Chris Horner these data release controversies will be continuing through the SC 23-24 minimum.

    I got a kick out of this:

    “This is probably necessary to allow a thorough investigation, but it does mean that those who are using ‘climategate’ as a propaganda tool for their own political ends might be able to enjoy many more weeks of mischief-making.

    “The big question is whether so-called ‘sceptics’ will complain because the investigation will not be headed by one of their own, and whether they will suspend their campaigns of disinformation about this affair until the investigation is completed.”

    UEA has asked for the review to be completed by the Spring of 2010 and this will be made public along with the university’s response.

  27. John Good (09:47:22) : “Climate-gate 28,600,000 hits on google now though no sign (of) any auto prompt”

    Now count hits for “climategate, treason”

  28. There is no question that Muir Russell is already compromised due to him being a member of the nine person Advisory Board connected to Scottish Power.

    http://www.scottishpower.com/PressReleases_1612.htm

    On the “greenjobs” website, it quotes:

    “In closing the meeting, First Minister Alex Salmond commented, “Scotland has a vast future as a green energy powerhouse for Europe. We have the natural resources to succeed, the skills base to drive research and development, and a government with the will to ensure that renewables generation is allowed to thrive.

    “ScottishPower are well placed to take a central position in Scotland’s greener future. The significant investment in renewables, outlined in their latest strategic plan, sets ScottishPower on the path to enjoying the success our global potential has to offer.”

    No question of bias. The investigation will be a greenwash.

  29. OK, own up, who here has said that Prof Jones and his Crew had been guilty of “exaggeration”?

    Unless I have been following all the wrong blogs, exaggeration ain’t in it. Unless, of course, its one of those handy euphemisms like “Economical with the truth”, “Quantitative easing” and from the climate world, “Value added data”.
    If so and it means something a great deal worse but which can’t be mentioned before the watershed or on public internet, then I’d agree.

    Still, you have to hand it to Wiki (whose credibility ain’t so hot either these days) who said:

    “In Dec 2009 he was tapped to head an independent investigation into allegations that the causes of climate change were exaggerated by The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) based out of the University of East Anglia (UEA).”

    Oh and how is it that the “causes” are exaggerated? Surely it was the temperature data? and unless I’m wrong the temperature is a symptom, not a cause or would be if the data weren’t “value added”.

  30. He said:

    ‘My first task is to scope the project, gather the information I need and source the additional expertise that will be required in order to investigate fully the allegations that have been made. Once this has happened I will be in a position to confirm timescales for publishing the review’.

    It will be interesting to see
    -How the project is scoped
    -How the information is gathered
    -What additional expertise is required
    -What timescales are confirmed for publishing the review

    (Also what the review will cover)

  31. “As a measure of how out of touch UEA is, they apparently have little idea that the title ‘former civil servant’ does not inspire much confidence from skeptics, since it has been “civil servants” who have been blocking access to the data and procedures all along.”

    Speaking in general yes, that’s true. Anyone who has ever watched “Yes [Prime] Minister!” has seen Sir Humphrey cook the statitistics to say whatever he wants them tosay and block access to the public.

  32. Phil Jones: “The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do.”

    Definitions of trick on the Web:

    * a cunning or deceitful action or device; “he played a trick on me”; “he pulled a fast one and got away with it”
    * a period of work or duty
    * an attempt to get you to do something foolish or imprudent; “that offer was a dirty trick”
    * antic: a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement
    * magic trick: an illusory feat; considered magical by naive observers
    * whoremaster: a prostitute’s customer
    * flim-flam: deceive somebody; “We tricked the teacher into thinking that class would be cancelled next week”
    * (card games) in a single round, the sequence of cards played by all the players; the high card is the winner
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    * This is a glossary of nautical terms; some remain current, many date from the 17th-19th century. See also and .
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick_(nautrical_term)

    * A Trick-taking game is any one of a class of card games where play centers around a series of finite rounds or units of play, called tricks. The object of such games is then closely tied to the winning, or “taking”, of these tricks, or of the cards played in taken tricks. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick_(cards)

    * Trick is a 1999 American independent gay-themed romantic comedy directed by Jim Fall.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick_(film)

    * Trick is the seventh studio album released by J-Urban singer Kumi Koda. It was released on January 28, 2009 in Japan and is in CD and CD+2DVD format. The CD contains ten brand new songs as well as the single releases: Moon Crying, That Ain’t Cool, Taboo, and Stay With Me. …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick_(album)

    * TRICK is an album released by Panic Channel on March 24, 2005.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRICK

    * Trick was a comedic Japanese television dorama and movie series (three seasons, two movies, and a feature-length special), as well as associated …
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trick_(TV_series)

    * Something designed to fool or swindle; A single piece (or business) of a magician’s (or any variety entertainer’s) act; A sequence in which each player plays a card and a winning play is determined; An act of prostitution. …
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/trick

  33. Dave (10:09:49) :
    You do know that “Yes [Prime] Minister!” was a comedy series and not actual fact I hope.

  34. @ John Luft,
    You know, I should say up front that I tend to agree there will be a whitewash, it has already begun and it will succeed unless the “people” maintain their attention on this issue.
    However, it is always going to be easy to dismiss the person leading the investigation on the basis of his credentials.
    The problem is that when it is complex and scientific issues that are to be investigated you need someone who has some suitable history that suggests he might understand the issues and be less easy to fool.
    Naturally enough there may therefore be some areas where his interests will be associated with various aspects of that which he is to investigate.
    If, on the other hand, the only way to find a totally independent chairman, we exclude any and all possible areas of possible conflict of interest, we may find the selected candidate has insufficient understanding of the issues to be able to chair the investigation properly.
    I think it well to be anticipatory, but let’s let the actions speak for themselves.
    By the way, as Michael Man and J Hansen go into CYA mode, and many others as well, it may just be that this investigation will find it convenient to come down very hard on Professor Jones as he would seem the ideal scapegoat.
    But I guess if we are expected to settle for him and him alone then that too is a whitewash.

  35. If the focus of this review is on the emails it will be a white-wash. The true fraud, clear to anyone who has done any type of scientific computer programming, is in the software and in the programmer’s comments. Notice that this is not within the scope of any of the four points of investigation listed above.

  36. Regarding Wikipedia, the Climategate article there (rather clumsily entitled “Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident”) has been locked down since Monday.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_e-mail_hacking_incident

    An admin inserted brief information about Jones stepping aside today, but other than that no one is allowed to edit it.

    It seems to me that someone is afraid of a little discussion, or that Wikipedia readers might learn of something beyond the party line. A sad day for Wikipedia.

  37. “Examine e-mail exchanges to determine whether there is evidence of suppression or manipulation of data at odds with acceptable scientific practice which may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes”.

    So nothing about examining the code/data/comments to determine if there is evidence of manipulation of data at odds with acceptable scientific practice…

    “Review CRU’s policies and practices for acquiring, assembling, subjecting to peer review and disseminating data and research findings, and their compliance or otherwise with best scientific practice”.

    So nothing about people at CRU interfering with the peer review of data and research findings that other people are trying to disseminate.

    Perhaps I’m overly suspicious. Then again, their head was on British radio tonight saying that “95% of the data we use is available on the internet”. Which given that they don’t “use” the raw data which they’ve been refusing to release for years strikes me as a singularly carefully-worded true yet utterly dishonest phrase. These terms of reference strike me as similarly weaselly-worded.

  38. UAE missed one area of investigation: bullying and coercing editors to not accept contradictory papers, i.e. subversion of the peer-review process.

  39. breaking news!
    At 1816 on the BBC 1 national tv news they finally told their viewers that the UEA had it computer “hacked” and emails published.
    The Saudi Arabian chief IPCC negotiator told the BBC that this would have serious consequences for the Copenhagen climate change meeting and needed to be investigated.
    All in about 15seconds – obviously hoping that most viewers would miss the item.
    Wonders will never cease.

  40. *sigh*

    We need more than one person to chair this commission…we need not politicians but ENGINEERS…people who can read the frickin’ code and know what it means.

  41. bill (10:21:12) : Yes, Minister may well have been a comedy series, but it was uncannily close to the truth….

  42. Well, I wouldn’t be too worried about Sir Muir himself. This guy is basically a bureaucrat, and bureaucrats, especially the British sort, follow rules to the letter.

    Where public enquiries in the past have failed to reveal the truth it is because of the deliberately restrictive terms of their remits. Sir Muir’s remits appear a little suspicious in that although it includes investigation of whether the books have been cooked, it does not appear to include an investigation of whether there has been collusion to pervert the course of science by attempting to manipulate the peer review process. If that is the case, then this would constitute a serious omission and be a cause for worry.

    The inquiry should proceed by calling expert witnesses. This is another area for worry, since he may allow himself to be “guided” by UAE to select “friendly” witnesses. We shall see.

  43. Don’t rule out a “it started in America” conclusion (our dear leader’s favourite excuse for Britain’s financial meltdown caused by his own recklessness and inattention to that of British banks).

    At least that might give Mann et al some awkward questions to answer.

  44. “You do know that ‘Yes [Prime] Minister!’ was a comedy series and not actual fact I hope.”

    I guess you missed I was responding regarding the public perception of civil servants, which was what I was talking about. That show by the way was a fictionalization of many things that have gone on in government as the creators of the show used to work in government (having done so, they knew first hand that it was rife for comedy) and they consulted others who used to work in the government.

  45. There is no way to prop up the fraud, what is done is done, and tossing the raw surface temperature data nullifys all research done using the “fixed up fudged data”.

    The only thing valid man has is the satellite data since 1979 or so, providing that hasn’t been ‘fixed up’ as well.

    Assigning blame is easy, just look at who was in charge.

    [snip]

  46. As far as Muir Russell is concerned – those who do not live in the UK have no idea how efficient the British establishment is at creating ‘investigations’ which always get the accused off the hook. There have been no less than FIVE official enquiries into WHY Tony Blair declared war on Iraq illegally – and nothing has ever been allowed into the light of day. The ‘suicide’ of Dr Kelly was investigated – and nothing was found.

    Muir Russell is as cheesy as they come. The Enquiry into why the Scottish Parliament (the ugliest building in the entire world) was planned to cost £15 million but ended up costing £450 million -was a complete waste of money. The ‘judgement’ was that ‘nobody was responsible’ . .and everybody got promoted!! Muir Russell was the top civil servant at that time and was supposed to be controlling costs – so he allowed a budget of £15 million to be overspent by a factor of 3000% – but he got a nice job running Glasgow University.

    Mark my words – if he wasn’t going to protect the guilty he would never have been chosen. Which raises a more fundamental point: ‘Why was the University of East Anglia allowed to choose the investigator in this case? This is the greatest case of scientific corruption in the history of British science – so why is the university that allowed it to happen being allowed to choose the investigator. Should it not be a truly independent panel setting up the enquiry?
    Preferably an international scientific body?

    The sceptics should set up their own parallel enquiry and hold public hearings at the same time – to show how they are going to bury the evidence.

  47. Can anyone tell me where I can find the source code for the computer programs? I used to be fairly good with FORTRAN, I have some simulation and control-system experience, and I’d like to do my part. If anyone knows about any organized groups working on this (like the Open Source folks), that would be great, too.

    It’s not all that often that an ordinary computer engineer has the opportunity to help save the world from dictatorial autocrats.

  48. Comments on the UAE’s “review” announcement

    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/dec/homepagenews/CRUreview

    Appointing tame insiders to head “inquiries” has been standard (though not, it should be stressed, the invariable) practice for the British political establishment since at least the time of the Napoleonic wars. Little in Muir Russells’ biography leads one to hope that this is an exception to that rule.

    As it suggests, he is tainted with a more than a whiff of scandal, has a reputation (which may well be unjustified) for greed and remains close to Scotland’s political, legal and academic elites. A few weeks ago, he ended an at times controversial six-year term as a university chancellor.

    He is, if ever there was one, an insider. Many will feel that this makes him the ideal person to head the UAE’s “review”. Should fraud be proven, the political consequences for the reputation of the university, the government and sections of the civil service could be devastating. It is reasonable to assume that Russell will be sensitive to that difficulty.

    The UAE’s announcement stresses that it has organised an “Independent Review”. It is not an “Inquiry”. The legal differences (if a “review” even has a legal status) will elude many but the clear implication is that it is to be a low-key affair held entirely behind closed doors.

    It seems that it can submit its report either in the run up to next year’s General Election or its immediate aftermath.

    The UAE’s remit includes examination of “the hacked e-mail exchanges . . . and any other information held at CRU to determine whether there is any evidence of the manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice”.

    This could also give grounds for concern. Although the statement’s “Notes to Editors” confirm that “A police investigation is currently underway into the source of the theft”, it has not been established that the documents were stolen.

    “Hacking” is an illegal act though in this case one with a potential public-interest defence. (By a curious irony, the grounds on which would-be saboteurs of the Kingsnorth coal-fired power station avoided punishment in a recent case might also be invoked.)

    However, many believe that the documents were “leaked” by an insider. Such conduct is almost certainly covered by the UK’s 1998 Public Interest Disclosure Act. It is disingenuous to describe that as “theft”.

    It is not the first time this has happened. Last Tuesday, a statement from Professor Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research noted that:

    “The publication of a selection of stolen data is the latest example of a sustained and, in some instances, a vexatious campaign which may have been designed to distract from reasoned debate about the nature of the urgent action which world governments must consider to mitigate, and adapt to, climate change. We are committed to furthering this debate despite being faced with difficult circumstances related to a criminal breach of our security systems and our concern to protect colleagues from the more extreme behaviour of some who have responded in irrational and unpleasant ways to the publication of personal information.”

    Some may feel that the UAE is attempting to restrict the remit of the “review” with the effect of downplaying the value of critical evidence and of seeking to prejudice elements in the press against certain witnesses and of picturing the university not as the perpetrator of fraud but as the victim of a criminal act.

    Reports in today’s Times and elsewhere suggest that the tactic may have already been effective.

  49. We’ll learn precisely how “independent” Sir Muir Russell is when we discover who hired/recommended him for this job. Anyone know who it was?

  50. Google “bob ward grantham research institute” – they are really beginning to panic reading his hysteria – berhaps a touch of PMT.

  51. The remit does say :

    Examine e-mail exchanges to determine whether there is evidence of suppression or manipulation of data at odds with acceptable scientific practice which “may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes”.

    Rather than: ‘Accepted scientific practice’

  52. His job is to stonewall this and take as long as possible to reach anything. That’s the left’s method of suppressing this.

    We need to do a FOIA request of Mr Muir’s emails as they relate to this matter. I would bet he has dirty laundry as well based on his bio of being a warmer advocate. Now that would be a surprise to the other side now wouldn’t it.

  53. One of the top three news stories on Excite ! News under “World News” was this AP
    story that is a nice overview of the way things are:

    http://apnews.excite.com/article/20091203/D9CC0CT01.html

    It’s the first time any part of the story has made it Excite.

    Note House Select Committee Republicans reading e-mails into the record. This
    activity was not reported in US MSM Wednesday afternoon or evening.

  54. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8393449.stm

    “The big question is whether so-called ‘sceptics’ will complain because the investigation will not be headed by one of their own, and whether they will suspend their campaigns of disinformation about this affair until the investigation is completed.”

    That is two questions, but neither qualifies as big. It does give insight into the mindset though.

  55. Good.

    The Scots as a race are not swayed by sassenach politicians AGENDA’s, nor are they easily taken in by bullsh1t.

    The Uni of Glasgow is not a hotbed of climate nonsense, and has a rep for the practical application of solid science.

    I’ll reserve judgement, but I have hope this won’t be a whitewash.

  56. I particularly liked two bits on ‘PM’ tonight. Firstly Roger Harriben
    describing Climategate as a huge controversy. Which is strange when the BBC
    has almost forgotten to mention it until today.
    And secondly a nice piece
    about nomads in Mali & Mauritania complaining about having to flog (eat?)
    their camels and move salt from the salt mines in trucks because the camels
    couldn’t cope with the ‘drought’.
    Drought in the middle of the Sahara Desert?
    Hoodathunkit?
    Worse than we thought.

  57. In the terms of the review, there is no mention about examining the code only the emails.

    Isnt that a huge gap in the terms of reference?

  58. Rhys Jaggar (09:14:17) :

    One hopes that Sir Muir does not prejudge his enquiry by reading the editorial in this week’s issue of Nature magazine.

    Rhys, I expect that the reputation of Nature, Science and climate journals is now suspect. Once the cabal and its stranglehold on “reputable” publishing is brought into the open – they will lose their luster. Not a bad thing as the wider the base of publishing the better for dynamic science. It is doubtful that either Science or Nature will fully recover from Climategate.

  59. I agree with Vincent.
    I have served on many Commissions of Enquiry and learned in the very first one that politicians love them because it takes them out of the spotlight, makes them appear wise and independent, but they retain control through the terms of reference. In my first experience we couldn’t even get the data we needed let alone reach any conclusions. I told the chairman that I would go public telling them the Minister had tied our hands. Apparently they decided that was a bigger political problem than allowing a full examination. Incidentally, in that case there had been three prior Commission beginning in the 1870s. The very first one identified the problems and provided appropriate solutions but by the time the report was submitted the problems had faded past the incumbency of the Minster, but re-emerged three more times as nature went through its normal cycles.
    In the CRU case the first coverup will be of the University’s involvement, they have already been conned by Jones, here is a portion of an email from him to Santer;
    “When the FOI requests began here, the FOI person said we had to abide
    by the requests. It took a couple of half hour sessions – one at a screen, to convince them otherwise showing them what CA was all about. Once they became aware of the types of people we were dealing with, everyone at UEA (in the registry and in the Environmental Sciences school – the head of school and a few others) became very supportive. I’ve got to know the FOI
    person quite well and the Chief Librarian – who deals with appeals. The VC is also aware of what is going on – at least for one of the requests, but probably doesn’t know the number we’re dealing with. We are in double figures.”

  60. “external review”

    LOL!! Is *that* how they plan to ‘handle’ this!? [ :

    Everyone knows these university “external reviews” are a collegial JOKE!

    Too funny.

    For anyone who doesn’t know, here is how external reviews work:

    A top rep of the folks under review meets with the externals to informally (i.e. don’t look for it in the ‘official’ protocols) discuss how it will go. Usually 3 untroublesome (i.e. manageable) criticisms will be “cordially” agreed upon. They usually involve changes the department was already planning.

    Then the input of all department members, including underlings of various descriptions, is welcomed (but it won’t necessarily make the report – I ASSURE you the most d*mning notes fall straight into the dustbin of the collegial hush-hush lullaby – that’s what collegiality at universities is all about! – the cloak of the ivory tower that outsiders are assumed too dumb too ever see through (insert coy smiles of smug ivory tower superiority here…))

    Not gonna work this time admina-freaks.
    CYA time… I advise letting the profs take the hard fall this time. No need for your families to become threatened by the inexcusably poor judgement exercised regarding the VERY LARGE role of natural variations in the Earth system. Scientists from other disciplines who study related time series are laughing at untenable abstract unidisciplinary notions which have emerged at UEA under the watch of one of your directors.

  61. As a measure of how out of touch the BBC is, when was the last time anyone here referred to the “world wide web?”

  62. Bishop Hill (12:12:40) : I’m running a survey on whether skeptics think he’s the right man for the job or not. Take a look at his Wiki page if you like, then take the survey here.

    Your Ecclesiastical Eminence – we have very little to judge Sir Muir Russell on.
    He is a scott, Glasgow Uni, tough man (lecturers’ strike, attempts to close the University’s Crichton Campus in Dumfries) – that goes in his favour. Who knighted him? Thatcher or Blair? Looks like he might just be a fair man. Fingers crossed.

  63. “The Scots as a race are not swayed by sassenach politicians AGENDA’s, nor are they easily taken in by bullsh1t.”

    Not, sadly, true. The Scots led New Labour’s “greener-than-thou” agenda and the current, even more parochial “nationalist” administration is even worse.

    “The Uni of Glasgow is not a hotbed of climate nonsense, and has a rep for the practical application of solid science.”

    Scottish academia is a hotbed of climate change nonsense. Glasgow University is not immune in that regard.

    The country (more accurately, the region) is, for all practical purposes, run by (Spanish-owned) ScottishPower and the (for now) locally-owned Scottish and Southern Energy PLC. Both are managed by subsidy junkies who peddle the climate change agenda at every opportunity.

    “I’ll reserve judgement, but I have hope this won’t be a whitewash.”

    Agreed – but it looks very like being a whitewash.

    I’d lay money that Jones is made the fall guy and is fired for being a naughty boy, that the data fraud is covered up, that a new guy – even worse than the old one – is appointed, that ways are found of evading FoIA rules in the name of “openness” and that the report (vindicating New Labour’s policies) comes out a week before the General Election.

    Yours,

    Despairing Scot

  64. “Trick” out of context? How can it be out of context when juxtaposed to “hide the decline”? Both are in the very same sentence, for crying out loud. Jones is grasping at straws. You can’t get a context any tighter than that.

  65. Let’s call a spade a spade here.

    Question: When was the last time an enquiry such as this was deemed by the public to have concluded satisfactorily? That’s right, -never.

    The “Establishment” uses this device to bury embarrassing facts, buy enough time to let the public forget what it was all about, get politicians off the hook, and issue the most mild rebuke to the guilty parties, assuming they can actually find anyone guilty of anything. They will NEVER wash their dirty laundry in public. The whole idea of using inquiries and “reviews” such as this is to get control of the situation, limit any further damage to the institution involved, and save the reputations of the Establishment’s insiders.

    The only way to avoid the sleep-inducing effects of this review and drag all the outrageous facts kicking and screaming into the light of day, is to prosecute all those involved through the civil and criminal courts.

    Everything else is just a waste of time.

  66. Martin Brunby

    ‘Nomads…..having to flog (eat?) their camels’

    ‘Flog’ means ‘sell’ (very common English slang term)

  67. I think it should be more than one “trust-looking” guy, perhaps two, so that a competing analysis can be put forward. That is the whole point. If the competing analysis is transparent, it may have a chance to gain the trust. What is at stake here is the credibility. It is more than one guy. One from the Royal Society does not seem to fit the bill.

  68. I think it should be more than one “trust-looking” guy, perhaps two committees, so that a competing analysis can be put forward. That is the whole point. If the competing analysis is transparent, it may have a chance to gain the trust. What is at stake here is the credibility. It is more than one guy. One from the Royal Society does not seem to fit the bill.

  69. Dave B (13:17:53) :

    “The Scots as a race are not swayed by sassenach politicians AGENDA’s, nor are they easily taken in by bullsh1t.”

    Not, sadly, true. The Scots led New Labour’s “greener-than-thou” agenda and the current, even more parochial “nationalist” administration is even worse.

    “The Uni of Glasgow is not a hotbed of climate nonsense, and has a rep for the practical application of solid science.”

    Scottish academia is a hotbed of climate change nonsense. Glasgow University is not immune in that regard.

    Yours,

    Despairing Scot

    Ah, now it is true that the Scots are a dour and pessimistic race. ;-)

    I checked Glasgow Uni’s news pages. Not a climate change story to be sen in the last three months anyway.

    We live in hope, have a dram on me.

  70. Kate is exactly right. If they had decided to fire Jones or anyone else, they would have done it. This ‘independent review’ is simply cover for exonerating the CRU crew from anything except a “tut, tut” for some minor infractions.

    Look at who they [and who exactly was 'they'?] have selected to head the investigation: click As we can see, Muir Russell is truly a member of the status quo; he is a colleague, not a representative of the taxpaying public, which was injured by CRU’s fixing of the data. Muir Russell will not rock the boat.

    Two requirements for an honest inquiry are missing: skeptical scientists, as counterparts to Russell and his investigating team, and transparency [full transcripts and evidence publicly provided immediately following the conclusion of the inquiry and the inquiry's official recommendations – but prior to any discipline being issued. The public will be denied input].

    Neither the requirement for skeptical investigators chosen by their side, nor a full account of the investigation will be met. Because an honest inquiry is not the purpose of this investigation; damage control is.

    The public’s taxes paid the salaries of Jones and the rest, and the public is fully entitled to know if they were defrauded. But based on the selection of Russell, who has already been lavishly rewarded by the system as Phil Jones and the others were [see the link], it is clear that the fix is already in.

    With no skeptical investigators appointed [who must be named by the opposition, not by either Russell, or those who selected him], it means that no individual on this rubber stamp inquiry can be held accountable for the upcoming whitewash because “the committee” will have made the decision, not any particular individual; there will be no minority report. And the public will never be provided with the transcripts and all of the evidence submitted.

  71. Previous experience – a first in Natural Philosophy, and a lay Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotlan.

    Looks like the makings of a whitewash to me. Some psuedo qualifications in science and law. If they really wanted independence they would have picked someone with real qualifications in one, the other or both fields.

  72. …”former civil servant” does not inspire much confidence from skeptics…

    Pardon me, but here in the UK “former civil servant” does not inspire much confidence from anyone! If you really want an independent enquiry, you get a High Court judge; “former civil servants” are what Whitehall use for whitewashes.

  73. You missed out Bob Ward’s comments from the article.

    He his poking his head out of the trench quite a bit these days and was very quick to point out a mistake on Lord Lawson’s website.

    IMHO he hasn’t time for these shenanigans he still has a PhD to write up!

  74. naturally sceptic (14:00:53) :

    I think it should be more than one “trust-looking” guy, perhaps two committees, so that a competing analysis can be put forward. That is the whole point. If the competing analysis is transparent, it may have a chance to gain the trust. What is at stake here is the credibility. It is more than one guy. One from the Royal Society does not seem to fit the bill.

    We should remember that it was the Royal Society which forced Briffa to publish his tree ring data.

  75. PaulinManchester (09:38:41) :

    Re: Joseph
    I read the ‘greenjobs’ news item to say that he sits on the Advisory Board for Scottish Power – I wouldn’t on that basis rush to conclude that he is biased.

    No? From the greenjobs mission statement:

    “Man’s impact on the planet is no longer in question. There is now no “reasonable doubt” that our carbon-emissions have altered climate in a way that demands an immediate change in behavior: we have all noticed the breakdown in seasonal patterns, and the general increase in temperatures – these belie a chain-reaction that is altering the near-future of life on Earth before our very eyes, and one which we, over just the last century, have caused.”

    http://www.greenjobs.com/Public/Info/mission.htm

    It is self-explanatory.

    UEA is going to white-wash this just sure as heck. They investigating the actions of themselves is just like “The Team” “peer-reviewing” each others papers with a rubber stamp of approval. I have an image in my mind of a failed tap-dancer who cannot stop tap-dancing because he doesn’t know what else to do. Sad and comical at the same time.

  76. Re: Joseph (16:35:15)

    Please note that what is quoted about Sir Russell on the greenjobs web site is actually a news release from Scottish Power, original ref:
    http://www.scottishpower.com/PressReleases_1612.htm .

    It is not clear to me how quoting the greenjobs mission statement is relevant? A link between Sir Russell and greenjobs is not apparent.

  77. @ GEO
    Yes, I too am waiting for the rest of the purloined data to be released.
    I have suggested previously that if this was an inside job, and that seems t be the view, and that the “Hacker” had plenty of time to select his material, which, based on the lack of extraneous material seems probable, then it also seems probable to me that what has been released so far was carefully selected and therefore not a representative portion of a homogeneous whole but merely an attention getter.
    I suspect (hope) there is at least one more tranche of material to be released and I would guess that it may be a bit more explosive.
    This close to Copenhagen (and with the warmist PR campaign in full swing but now seeming somewhat of a fantasy) f we are going to get anything, we’ll get it soon.

  78. Dave B (11:11:15) : Thank you for your contribution(s). I have read them with interest.

    Along with many that have commented above, I doubt that this independent review will allow much sunlight to fall upon CRU’s hallowed science.

    But it might be worth remembering that the Titanic did not sink all at once. At first, all that was felt by most was a gentle shudder that persisted momentarily. Of course, we all now know that the Great Ship was doomed – but at the time, none of the passengers knew that at first – and nor, indeed, did the crew.

    This review is akin to the Captain sending a junior engineer down into the bowls of the ship to assess the extent of the damage and to report back on options for repair. Nothing more. It is not the sinking itself.

    The drama of Climategate will take many months for events to fully unfold and for political elites to register the true significance of the damage.

  79. “As a measure of how out of touch UEA is, they apparently have little idea that the title “former civil servant” does not inspire much confidence from skeptics, since it has been “civil servants” who have been blocking access to the data and procedures all along.”

    Anthony, when I read “former civil servant” in the opening parapraphs your post is exactly what I thought myself. And knowing a top “civil servant” in New Zealand who, jokingly states “I don’t have to be civil nor do serve anyone.”, sums them all up IMO.

  80. I got a laugh out of this: “CRU maintains one of the world’s most important datasets on how global temperatures have changed.”

    Sure, they maintain the dataset if you call corrupting, hiding and destroying “maintaining”.

  81. Given the seriousness of the allegations in some instances, I’m not sure what any external review that does not have supoena power and the ability to compel testimony under oath (and potential penalty of perjury) can accomplish.

  82. Why are we talking about a special inquiry by the University of East Anglia? They’ve already blown it. This is a cover up, trying to pre-empt an investigation by Parliament or Her Majesty’s Government. The investigation properly belongs in the public sphere with maximum transparency. If the Windsors can not grasp the idea that they have put their prestige behind a con job, they deserve what is about to happen. HRH Wales needs to take the lead on this.

  83. With GE divesting NBC (it’s “green” drum) and Gore not going to an event he has waited a decade to crash, I have a gut feel there are some other shoes in the process of dropping…

    What could those be ?

    Is there a NASA download out there ??

    Maybe a IPCC disc ???

  84. F@*! this bullsh!$. [snip] I’m telling you, we will all lose are freedom and rights if we allow these spooks to tax us to no end with bullsh!# carbon cap and trade. This civil servant was cherry picked, and are we going to let a biased investigation take place? We must not. There has to be a true revolution. If this climategate comes to pass as just another simple “misunderstanding” and AGW still holds its ground, then anything goes. We might all as well just stick pineapples up our @$$es and sing “God bless America”.

  85. Here is a link to an interesting article on iceagenow:

    http://www.iceagenow.com/Climate_Change_Fraud.htm

    Maybe one day, we shall live in a world where preying on less educated people and their naivete will be outlawed. Finally we might stop having our brains pumped with infomercials, marketing schemes, and we shall break free from the swindling practices of the intellectual elite.

    One day, the word “fraud” might even disappear from the human language! I see two possibilities for this: One: we would live in an utopian world where fraud really no longer exists, or Two: Fraud would be so widespread that the word would basically become an onomatopoeia.

  86. Keith G (18:24:46) :

    “It might be worth remembering that the Titanic did not sink all at once. At first, all that was felt by most was a gentle shudder that persisted momentarily. Of course, we all now know that the Great Ship was doomed – but at the time, none of the passengers knew that at first – and nor, indeed, did the crew.

    This review is akin to the Captain sending a junior engineer down into the bowels of the ship to assess the extent of the damage and to report back on options for repair. Nothing more. It is not the sinking itself.

    The drama of Climategate will take many months for events to fully unfold and for political elites to register the true significance of the damage.”

    There’s an interesting additional parallel. According to a recent book, The Last Log of the Titanic, the ship could have stayed afloat at least until the next day, giving time enough to rescue those aboard by other ships, if it had just stayed put. Staying put is what was recommended practice after suffering the sort of damage the Titanic had.

    Instead, the head of White Star, Ismay, who was aboard, decided that, since the pumps were keeping ahead of the inflow, and since it would look bad if people had to abandon his unsinkable ship, it would be better to get under way for Halifax. This loosened the damaged plates on the bottom of the ship and scooped in lots more water, causing the ship to go down in short order.

    What really doomed the ship was the decision to Move On.

  87. Sir Russell Muir is the perfect man to conduct a whitewash.

    1. He will steer his panel well away from the truth.

    2. He will skirt around the issues.

    3. He will find nothing wrong.

    4. He will exonerate everyone involved.

    5. He will be made a Lord of the realm.

  88. Tallbloke,
    I wish I could be as convinced as you but there is a worry.

    Scotland, facing a future without North Sea Oil is pinning its hopes on being the next jolly green giant in the field of green technology.

    I hadn’t realised quite how serious this was till I attended a Sustainable Scotland Conference in Edinburgh.
    I was surprised at the presumption that Scotland would/could be the worlds leading technology innovator in green energy since that would mean overtaking Holland at wind farms and Norway on Hydro, but they believe they can take the technical skills they have developed on North Sea Oil and morph them into green energy skills. It is a nice idea and sensible if they want to retain leading edge skills in Scotland.
    Scotland has an abundance of wind, and lots of coast line for hydro but not too much else (whatever happened to Silicon Glen? Scotland recognises it needs something…. but in the Climate Change world, it has something of its self that it can exploit, its natural resources. With computer technology it is not fundamentally different to anywhere else.)

    But it means that there is a degree to which Scotland relies on green energy skills and which they in turn depend on global warming alarmism.
    If this doesn’t all happen, what does Scotland do when North Sea Oil runs out and the oil industry packs up shop and moves those skills to deep water field locations or shale oil territory?
    What if no one wants all those green technologies quite so ardently as with AGW?
    What does it do instead?

    Hence, to what extent is this choice an attempt at suggesting impartiality and to what extent do they hope that there is, underlying that, an even keener self-interest to be tapped into?

    http://www.publicserviceevents.co.uk/main/overview.asp?ID=97

    http://www.sustainable-scotland.net/

    http://www.sustainablescotland.com/

    By the way, the description in wiki on Muir Russel:

    “In Dec 2009 he was tapped to head an independent investigation into allegations that the causes of climate change were exaggerated by The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) based out of the University of East Anglia (UEA).”

    Has now been changed to:

    “In Dec 2009 he was appointed to head an independent investigation into allegations regarding research by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) based at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The allegations surfaced after a security breach made public hundred of emails between the CRU’s head Professor Phil Jones and other climate researchers.”

    I guess we now need to question the word “independent” – just who is conducting the investigation? Any government body? The police for conspiracy to destroy documents under an FOIA? or the university for “exaggeration”? Maybe wiki was right the first time?

  89. As a Scot myself I am concerned about the appointment of a Scottish Academic in a management role in a University. His institution will be benefiting from numerous research grants which specifically mention Global warming in their “case for support” if not their title.

    Scotland is trying to position itself at the forefront of renewable energy research which I applaud given the enormous renewable energy resources that the Altantic coastline and oceanic climate provide. However the politicians are not capable of disassociating the real need for alternative energy from the imaginary need to reduce carbon emissions. If they stop believing in “Thermageddon” they may stop investing in renewable energy research. That would be a tragedy as we desperately need a coherent energy strategy that makes optimum use of renewables.

  90. Just as Nicholas Stern in the UK and Ross Garnaut in Australia were carefully chosen to perform an “objective” review of the science so does this guy seems to be carefully chosen. The others have done what their masterd bid and received their 30 pieces of silver. No doubt Sir Muir Russel also will.

  91. Sir Muir Russell was the chief civil servant in Scotland when the Scottish Parliament building was being put up. That casued considerable scandal here because it was initially promised at £40 million & actually cost £430 million. Sir Muir was criticised by the report on this for having concealed from all the politicians that costs were going thjrought the roof. So either he is grossly incompetent & fraudulent or he knows how to provide cover for politicians. Since his subsequent career in various sorts of government service has been lucrative I susopect the latter. Either way he is clearly somebody that can be relied on to achieve the desired results in any enquiry.

  92. Sir Muir appears only concerned with the leaked e-mails. Some of the leaked documents are fun, too. Try IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report; Expert and Government Review Comments on the Second-Order Draft, Reviewers Comments 6-1114, -5 and -6. File 4RSOR_BatchAB_Ch06_KRB_1stAug in FOI2009\FOIA\documents
    There you will find some reviewers comments on the unacceptability of certain papers that the drafters hoped to use in Chapter 6. The reviewer’s comments were obviously correct – they merely referred to the IPCC’s rules – yet the papers were not only used in Chapter 6 of FAR but form a cornerstone of the argument. This is a marvellous example of just how far from true scientific review the IPCC process has moved.

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