Parliament misled over Climategate report, says MP

Via the SPPI blog

From Cartoons by Josh via invitation

[Note: The original picture of the parliament build has been replaced by this excellent cartoon by Josh via his email invitation]

Source:  The Register (please visit as they are online advertiser supported only)

Russell report is inadequate, says Stringer

By Andrew Orlowski (andrew.orlowski@theregister.co.uk)

Parliament was misled and needs to re-examine the Climategate affair thoroughly after the failure of the Russell report, a leading backbench MP told us today.

“It’s not a whitewash, but it is inadequate,” is Labour MP Graham Stringer’s summary of the Russell inquiry report. Stringer is the only member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology with scientific qualifications – he holds a PhD in Chemistry.

Not only did Russell fail to deal with the issues of malpractice raised in the emails, Stringer told us, but he confirmed the feeling that MPs had been misled by the University of East Anglia when conducting their own inquiry. Parliament only had time for a brief examination of the CRU files before the election, but made recommendations. This is a serious charge.

After the Select Committee heard oral evidence on March 1, MPs believed that Anglia had entrusted an examination of the science to a separate inquiry. Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia Edward Acton had told the committee that “I am hoping, later this week, to announce the chair of a panel to reassess the science and make sure there is nothing wrong.”[Hansard – Q129]] [1]

Ron Oxburgh’s inquiry eventually produced a short report clearing the participants. He did not reassess the science, and now says it was never in his remit. “The science was not the subject of our study,” he confirmed [2] in an email to Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit.

Earlier this week the former chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Phil Willis, now Lord Willis, said MPs had been amazed at the “sleight of hand”.

“Oxburgh didn’t go as far as I expected. The Oxburgh Report looks much more like a whitewash,” Graham Stringer told us.

Stringer says Anglia appointee Muir Russell (a civil servant and former Vice Chancellor of Glasgow University), failed in three significant areas.

“Why did they delete emails? The key question was what reason they had for doing this, but this was never addressed; not getting to the central motivation was a major failing both of our report and Muir Russell.”

Graham Stringer

Stringer also says that it was unacceptable for Russell (who is not a scientist) to conclude that CRU’s work was reproducible, when the data needed was not available. He goes further:

“The fact that you can make up your own experiments and get similar results doesn’t mean that you’re doing what’s scientifically expected of you. You need to follow the same methodology of the process.”

“I was surprised at Phil Jones’ answers to the questions I asked him [in Parliament]. The work was never replicable,” says Stringer.

In 2004 Jones had declined to give out data that would have permitted independent scrutiny of their work, explaining that “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

This policy is confirmed several times in the emails, with Jones also advising colleagues to destroy evidence helpful to people wishing to reproduce the team’s results.

“I think that’s quite shocking,” says Stringer.

Thirdly, the University of East Anglia failed to follow the Commons Select Committee’s recommendations in handling the inquiry and producing the report.

Stringer said, “We asked them to be independent, and not allow the University to have first sight of the report. The way it’s come out is as an UEA inquiry, not an independent inquiry.”

Stringer also says they reminded the inquiry to be open – Russell had promised as much – but witness testimony took place behind closed doors, and not all the depositions have been published.


How independent was the panel?

Muir Russell’s team heard only one side of the story, failing to call witnesses who were the subjects of the emails – Stephen McIntyre of Climate Audit is mentioned over one hundred times in the archive – who may have given a different perspective. Nor was any active climate scientist supportive of climate change policy but critical of the CRU team’s behaviour – Hans Storch or Judith Curry, let alone the prominent sceptics, for example – summoned. Stringer feels their presence would have provided vital context.

University of East Anglia Vice Chancellor Edward Acton

The panel included Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet and a vocal advocate of mitigation against climate change (in 2007 he described [3] global warming “the biggest threat to our future health”) and Geoffrey Boulton a climate change advisor to the UK government and the EU, who spent 16-years at the University of East Anglia [4] – the institution under apparently ‘independent’ scrutiny.

In several areas the CRU academics were given the benefit of the doubt because a precedent had been set – often by the academics themselves.

The British establishment has a poor record of examining its own conduct. The 1983 Franks Report into events leading up to the Falklands Invasion exonerated the leading institutions and decision-makers, so too did the Hutton Report into the Invasion of Iraq.

For Stringer, policy needs to be justified by the evidence.

“Vast amounts of money are going to be spent on climate change policy, it’s billions and eventually could be trillions. Knowing what is accurate and what is inaccurate is important.”

“I view this as a Parliamentarian for one of the poorest constituencies in the country. Putting up the price of fuel for poor people on such a low level of evidence, hoping it will have the desired effect, is not acceptable. I need to know what’s going on.”

Climategate may finally be living up to its name. If you recall, it wasn’t the burglary or use of funding that led to the impeachment of Nixon, but the cover-up. Now, ominously, three inquiries into affair have raised more questions than there were before.

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75 thoughts on “Parliament misled over Climategate report, says MP

  1. All these so-called inquiries/investigations are the equivalent of parents of schoolyard bullies admonishing their little delinquents to play nice while pretending that their little angels did nothing seriously wrong.

  2. Whitewash works for me.

    What did you expect, when government stooges investigate government stooges about a program that would brings oodles of new taxes to government stooges. It’s not hard to see the real problem.

  3. There have been three ‘independent’ enquiries now.

    It would be very useful if anyone has the original terms of refernce to post them here. I suspect it was never in the original remit to ask ‘awkward’ questions.

    Tonyb

  4. I keep reading about the great intellects in this government. How come, then, that they cannot see how unsatisfactory these inquiries have been? Do they really wish to cripple the UK economically – Blair and Brown probably, but I had hoped Cameron might be able to see the truth when it stared him in the face, even against his rather settled prejudices. I guess it takes a bigger man than Dave!

  5. Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although she leaped with all her strength. As she went away, the fox remarked, ‘Oh, you aren’t even ripe yet! I don’t need any sour grapes.’

  6. I don’t think academics can be independent – they would be too afraid of the blackballing they would get and the career-ending cut-off of funds for their research, even if it was in a field far removed from climate science. Basically, all academic institutions are tied up in this inglorious affair. I hope the MP has a lot of clout in this area. If so, we may spawn a real inquiry with all the actors on both sides participating.

    What is stopping a different group from conducting a real enquiry? Maybe a retired member of the Supreme Court as chairman.

  7. I really don’t believe that warmers are that stupid…

    But can’t come up with any other explanation as to why they would think some game like this would work.

    Just for entertainment value alone, claiming scientific work can be reproduced, when the source claims the data was lost and can’t be retrieved, is worth it’s weight in gold.

  8. villabolo says:
    July 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm
    Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although she leaped with all her strength. As she went away, the fox remarked, ‘Oh, you aren’t even ripe yet! I don’t need any sour grapes.’

    But some of the grapes in the bunch were rotten and very soon the whole bunch was overcome by the corruption and fell upon the ground, whereupon neither beast nor fowl would touch them and left them to wither and turn back to dust. Eventually all that remained to be seen was the stain, and the stain was called climategate.

  9. What I would Like, personally, would be for several, actual independant, investigations into this whole climategate thing, not from the organization iteslf!!

    What do you think they will say if they are, (In a Sense) investigating themselves?

  10. Certainly it can be reproduced! It was made up originally. Just make it up again! I think I detect a Freudian Slip.

  11. villabolo says:
    July 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm
    How would you feel if only Steve McIntyre and company had been questioned in this “investigation”? How balanced is an enquiry that only questions the defense? You and your ilk would be screaming bloody murder !! We are only crying foul, as it certainly applies in this case. Muir Russel’s selection was clearly made to bias the inquiry, never mind the rest of the panel. None of the questions that should have been asked of Phil Jones was never even close to being addressed. Questions that are relevant to the case. The determination that CRU should be more “open” with their research is probably still being giggled about at the U of E. A. The scientific method has been left out in the cold (pun intentional).

  12. If you recall, it wasn’t the burglary or use of funding that led to the impeachment of Nixon, but the cover-up.

    Ok, so there’s a glimmer of hope.

  13. Did the regime stooges believe that their whitewash cover ups would work and that nobody would ask awkward questions? Just how stupid do you have to be to commit such a slapdash cover up and expect to get away with it?
    Did the regime and its stooges expect the media to cover for them? Well yes they did and the media by and large will cover for them, the new media is a different kettle of fish altogether. It seems the establishment regime and its stooges have yet to fully comprehend that the old way of doing business is finished, the establishment can buy many things and it has great power but all that power and influence counts for little now.
    Those with nothing to gain from the establishment cannot be bought off with titles and high positions and so the mighty state has a weakness after all doesnt it? Who would be a regime stooge pimping out their integrity for a few coins and petty trimmings and who would sell their honesty for the states favours? I have little else but my integrity and I wouldnt sell it for all the titles and baubles in the world.

  14. Villabolo,

    You may not have noticed, but the guys crying foul are Willis and Stringer, members of the British parliament who sat on the first enquiry and are claiming to have been misled. Not being avowed sceptics, they can hardly be accused of demonstrating sour grapes.

    Stringer is still on the parliamentary science and technology committee, and so still has clout. I believe he’s an ex party whip, which means he knows how to get things moving, and unlike few others in the whole sorry affair, actually understands science. He’s totally the wrong guy to have antagonised. My guess is that Acton et al are currently apprehensive; and if so, with good cause.

  15. They are painting themselves into a corner. The evidence of a catastrophic warming of the earth is not there for the man in the street to see. The rising cost of energy is hurting the man in the street who cannot afford the cost needed to keep warm in winter. The sight of thousands windmills being built in the landscape offends the ordinary people. While the MSN may not be reporting much of this or perhaps reporting ‘slanted’ versions of it, the responses to writers of articles on this subject in these papers show that the public is becoming increasingly aware of the scam. Graham Stringer’s comment will resonate with the general public. I expect a groundswell of public opprobrium to develop over this, especially in Britain where the new stringent tax burden is hitting hard. Ordinary people can spot a cover up quite well (Watergate comes to mind). Nobody likes being lied to. The people simply cannot tolerate the crippling cost of this nonsense. Ultimately, the politician is answerable to the people. When they see a change in public opinion, and that is already evident, then they will abandon their support for AGW to remain in power.

  16. Its gobsmacking arrogance.
    Acton and the University of East Anglia failed to follow the Commons Select Committee’s recommendations in handling the inquiry and producing the report.
    They must have felt that all parts of the Establishment were “onside” and all that was required was “to go through the motions” of an enquiry.
    Their blatant bad faith will dig a bigger hole for themselves and their bogus trickery.

  17. Does Muir Russel and the East Anglia Chancellors drive clown cars to work … or, do they believe the general public does?

    W-H-I-T-E-W-A-S-H

  18. tonyb says:
    July 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm (Edit)

    There have been three ‘independent’ enquiries now.

    It would be very useful if anyone has the original terms of refernce to post them here. I suspect it was never in the original remit to ask ‘awkward’ questions.

    If you want to avoid having to give awkward answers, keep ‘em asking the wrong questions.

  19. Stringer is of course spot on in characterising the report as not a whitewash, it is a thorough and extraordinarily well-evidenced exoneration of the CRU on all consequential charges. But the ‘Register’ (A UK IT Gossip site) article does have problems ….Stringer is the only member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology with scientific qualifications – he holds a PhD in Chemistry.

    Ooops! Orlowski has not done his homework. Dr Brian Iddon is a distinguished organic chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Des Turner holds a Doctorate in Biochem.

    And I’m not sure that Stringer actually has a PhD, Wiki only lists his BSc (gained 39 years ago) and the report always has him as plain ‘Graham Stringer’, whereas all the other Doctors are shown as such.

    However I’m sure the rest of the piece has been better-researched …

  20. I feel for Mr Stringer MP for going out on limb, he’ll be given Hell by Parliament. As Mr Churchill MP was in his wilderness years, mid-wars, when he warned a disbelieving House of the military buildup of the third Reich!
    KBO, Mr Stringer, KBO!

  21. While it may all blow over, if he does get this pinned down as misleading parliament it could get very nasty indeed for the warmists.
    There aren’t many things parliament takes as serious, but misleading them is one of them. If he can pin this one down, all the fellow-travellers and helpers in parliament will suddenly become unavailable -noone dares to be accused of helping to mislead

  22. I think the people at the CRU need to be afraid, be very afraid. Graham Stringer is no push-over and I’ve heard that there is a small group of other MP’s from all parties who are getting suspicious that all is not well with the CAGW hypothesis.

    In the current political climate of more taxation and drastic cuts to services, I’m sure climate change, donations to 3rd world countries and other ‘sacred cows’ will come under extra scrutiny. More so when the second dip of the recession hits us all in a few weeks time.

  23. There is something called Momentum, THEY have it, and it’s BIG. It comes from money, and money talks BIG. I’m afraid it’s going to be a while before this issue becomes just another blip in the history books. The important thing in my view is that everyone keeps talking about how much this AWG is going to cost – billions, trillions I read. What nobody talks about is that for something to cost a trillion dollars, SOMEONE is MAKING a trillion dollars. And to me, this is the key – because be it Dollars, Pounds, Yen, you name the currency, someone is going to get VERY rich from this AWG stuff and they are the ones that must be under the microscope – not 2000 thousand year old trees.

    Sorry about the rant but it needs to be said…….

  24. Tenuc says:
    July 10, 2010 at 3:42 pm
    “I think the people at the CRU need to be afraid, be very afraid. Graham Stringer is no push-over and I’ve heard that there is a small group of other MP’s from all parties who are getting suspicious that all is not well with the CAGW hypothesis.[...]”

    I’d wish Germany had some people like Stringer. But nobody here opening their mouth. AGW is religion here.

  25. Phil Clarke says:
    July 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm
    However I’m sure the rest of the piece has been better-researched …

    Your certainty is accurate. Unless Graham Stringer MP disavows the words as reported, I’d say that the importance of this piece was what he said.
    He’s an MP and he said what he said. Don’t you believe that’s he’s a Member of the British Parliament?
    Perhaps you are correct about the scientific qualification “Whose Who” that you trotted out. He may have a solitary GCSE (a somewhat lowly academic qualification to some) in woodwork for all I care.
    It’s who he is now and what he said that matters. Anything else is just irrelevant!

  26. So long as the general public allow our politicians to treat us with contempt, we will be continually be shafted with the rough end of the pineapple.
    Case in point, our Prime minister here in Australia made statements on national television news about establishing a refugee processing centre on East Timor. This refugee centre was initially rejected by the East Timorese president Jose Ramos-Horta, and when asked about the plan, the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, asked “ what plan”.
    Next day, back on national television, our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, denied she planned on establishing a refugee center on East Timor. Even though this lie was witnessed by 22 million pleps, Julia’s feathers were never ruffled.

    Until the public can dismantle the networks that run government we will be continually be dictated to. Some examples here in Australia, a Labor member of parliament married to the Governor Generals daughter, the family connections to the WWF, CSIRO, and the Department of Climate Change head, the ACTU can dictate who is removed as Prime Minister and who will replace him. The list goes on and on without any input by the voter.
    Our Democracy is stuffed !!

  27. Hi Roy

    My point was about the quality of fact-checking in the article, sorry ‘great article’ by ‘fine fellow’ Andrew Orlowski. (Its loyal of Evan to enthuse about The Register, as he writes for them; coupla years back the Register posted a piece by Evan where he confused ppm of CO2 with Co2 equivalent (CO2e) among other scientific blunders? Perhaps not the go-to source for facts, then), which apparently does not extend to Googling the Committee members and their credentials.

    But if we want to engage with what Stringer has to say, about the Panel’s temperature reconstruction Stringer says …

    “The fact that you can make up your own experiments and get similar results doesn’t mean that you’re doing what’s scientifically expected of you. You need to follow the same methodology of the process.”

    But that was not the point, it was not a reproduction or replication that was attempted, this is clear from Section 6.3

    In order to test the principal allegations of withholding data and making
    inappropriate adjustments, the Review undertook its own trial analysis of land
    station temperature data.

    That is the test was whether a legitimate temperature reconstruction from public data, with no adjustments produced a comparable outcome to CRU, they were not testing the methodology as such.

    Plus, I know it’s only a soundbite for an interview, but reproducing exactly the methodolgy (i.e running the same code with the same data) is not generally useful as a means of verification. It just tells you the methodology ‘works’, not whether it is the right method. See RC on replication :

    It is a little surprising that Stringer seems to have been surprised by the Panel’s remit – as it has been published on their website since last December, if he had any misgivings then he was strangely silent …..

  28. Phil Clarke says:
    July 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm:

    “Stringer is of course spot on in characterising the report as not a whitewash, it is a thorough and extraordinarily well-evidenced exoneration of the CRU on all consequential charges.”

    Phil, yours is the planet that has two suns and an orange sky, right? ☺

    Internal investigations never clear the air. Never.

    Do you really believe that this is the end of it?

  29. Doug in Dunedin says:
    July 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    They are painting themselves into a corner. The evidence of a catastrophic warming of the earth is not there for the man in the street to see. The rising cost of energy is hurting the man in the street who cannot afford the cost needed to keep warm in winter. The sight of thousands windmills being built in the landscape offends the ordinary people. While the MSN may not be reporting much of this or perhaps reporting ‘slanted’ versions of it, the responses to writers of articles on this subject in these papers show that the public is becoming increasingly aware of the scam. Graham Stringer’s comment will resonate with the general public. I expect a groundswell of public opprobrium to develop over this, especially in Britain where the new stringent tax burden is hitting hard. Ordinary people can spot a cover up quite well (Watergate comes to mind). Nobody likes being lied to. The people simply cannot tolerate the crippling cost of this nonsense. Ultimately, the politician is answerable to the people. When they see a change in public opinion, and that is already evident, then they will abandon their support for AGW to remain in power.

    DOUG

    I totally agree with your summation, it will smoulder and eventually ignite into a wite hot issue. Did they ever think that the little people of society (who vote these guys in) won’t have the capacity to think about the issue as the sit trying to keep warm in a cold winter and facing 20 to forty percent rises in electricity, gas, and coal and being told by politicians in their warm cars and homes (not to mention centrally heated parliamentary buildings!!) they must bear further crippling costs to avoid global warming?
    Boy, even the dumbest of the dumb voters will soon see the stupidity of that spin, and the duplicity as coal exports accelerate to the rest of the world to burn. Well that’s the plan in Australia – the only change in climate will be the lack of even small change left in your pocket, and that chills me to the bone!!

  30. Hi Smokey, always a pleasure!

    Do I believe this is the end of it? Well, all the significant and/or consequential allegations of scientific misconduct raised by the unauthorised release of internal, private correspondence have now been investigated many times over and judged to be baseless. The M-R exercise in particular, has given the scientists the opportunity to give their side of the story – in detail and in public. For your reference, here is a list of the people who signed off on the honesty and rigour of the CRU staff:

    House of Commons Science and Technology Committee:

    Mr Phil Willis (Liberal Democrat, Harrogate and Knaresborough)(Chair)
    Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (Labour, City of Durham)
    Mr Tim Boswell (Conservative, Daventry)
    Mr Ian Cawsey (Labour, Brigg & Goole)
    Mrs Nadine Dorries (Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire)
    Dr Evan Harris (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West & Abingdon)
    Dr Brian Iddon (Labour, Bolton South East)
    Mr Gordon Marsden (Labour, Blackpool South)
    Dr Doug Naysmith (Labour, Bristol North West)
    Dr Bob Spink (Independent, Castle Point)
    Ian Stewart (Labour, Eccles)
    Graham Stringer (Labour, Manchester, Blackley)
    Dr Desmond Turner (Labour, Brighton Kemptown)
    Mr Rob Wilson (Conservative, Reading East)

    The Oxburgh Report

    Chair: Prof Ron Oxburgh FRS (Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool)
    Prof Huw Davies, ETH Zürich
    Prof Kerry Emanuel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Prof Lisa Graumlich, University of Arizona.
    Prof David Hand FBA, Imperial College, London.
    Prof Herbert Huppert FRS, University of Cambridge
    Prof Michael Kelly FRS, University of Cambridge

    Muir Russell

    Sir Muir Russell KCB FRSE
    Professor Geoffrey Boulton OBE, FRS, FRSE
    Professor Peter Clarke, F.InstP, C.Phys, F.IET, C.Eng
    David Eyton M.A. M.IoM3 C.Eng.
    Professor Jim Norton FIET FBCS FIoD FRSA

    In the US, Michael Mann’s conduct has been investigated, not only was he found innocent of any research misconduct, his investigators decided to add:

    Dr Mann’s success in proposing research and obtaining funding to conduct it clearly places Dr Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession. Dr Mann’s work, from the beginning of his career has been recognised as outstanding [...] clearly, Dr Mann’s reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of the accepted practices in his field.

    Phil Jones has been given a pay rise and a senior researcher role that frees him from direct responsibility for dealing with the kind of vexatious and time-wasting ‘dirty tricks’ that now seem to be part of the ‘scientific processs’. (Example: submitting an FOI request designed to be rejected).

    It will never ‘end’ in some quarters, however the distinction between propaganda and science grows starker by the day.

  31. Hmmn my reply seems to have hit the “black hole” too!
    Not sure why?

    [Reply: it was in the spam bucket. Rescued & posted now. ~db stealey, mod.]

  32. Kudos to Graham Stringer and Andrew Orlowski, both. I clicked on every advert on the web page. Hope it helps. The duplicity, disingenuousness, and selective examination and reporting of information by the Oxburgh and Russell commissions is breathtaking. I can’t help but wonder if Stringer is aware of the comments made by panel member Professor Michael Kelly in his email to Oxbridge (ignored in the report) raising serious questions the methodology and conclusions of the CRU and other IPCC scientists, but reported at Climate Audit.

  33. Phil Clarke,

    That list is a breathtaking Appeal to Authority. But as Einstein noted… it only takes one fact to falsify it.

    Prof Michael Kelly, who is on your list, stated:

    I take real exception to having simulation runs described as experiments (without at least the qualification of ‘computer’ experiments). It does a disservice to centuries of real experimentation and allows simulations output to be considered as real data.

    This last is a very serious matter, as it can lead to the idea that real ‘real data’ might be wrong simply because it disagrees with the models! That is turning centuries of science on its head.

    If you accept what Kelly wrote, then you can see that these committees are simply a series of whitewashes that condone and excuse pseudo-science.

    Until an opposing point of view is allowed, they are a sham. Wouldn’t you agree?

  34. Phil Clarke says:
    July 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm
    Ooops! Orlowski has not done his homework. Dr Brian Iddon is a distinguished organic chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Des Turner holds a Doctorate in Biochem.
    And I’m not sure that Stringer actually has a PhD, Wiki only lists his BSc (gained 39 years ago) and the report always has him as plain ‘Graham Stringer’, whereas all the other Doctors are shown as such.
    However I’m sure the rest of the piece has been better-researched …

    Oh yeah. Like how Al Gore, in his film, showed us how closely CO2 and temps are matched – only he implied that the timeline was the other way round (i.e. we know that CO2 fluctuations historically follow temperature fluctuations).

    However, I’m sure the rest of the Warmist findings have been better researched.

    Like how up to 40% of the Amazon could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation. Oh yeah – that turned out to be without basis in science too.

    However, I’m sure the rest of the IPCC’s findings have been better researched.

    Like the claims that the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035. Oh, darn – that was without basis too.

    However, I’m sure the rest of the IPCC’s findings have been better researched.

    Thanks Phil, I think you may have started something here.

  35. Phil Clarke July 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm says: The U.S. investigation adds “…had his [Mann's] activities in reporting his work been outside of the accepted practices in his field.”

    This speaks volumes about the present standards and state of climatology research, perhaps – but I hope not – about science in general. The damage to the public reputation and trust of science done by these rogues is incalculable, and no amount of whitewash is going to cover it up. When has a political or academic investigation really aired out the dirty linen of their colleagues? Only the Wegman report that I can think of.

  36. KenB says: July 10, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Ken. Well I write this in my frozen office in Dunedin A heavy frost last night and 10 degrees inside today. I have just had insulation installed in my house and am getting quotes for double glazing too. Its all I can do to avoid the inevitable cost spiral. Our incredibly perceptive government has just passed into effect our ETS laws that raise the price of electricity over and above the regular 8% or so annual grab by the utility companies. Meanwhile, we are building windmills for alternative (expensive) sources of energy while our coal is sold to India where they have the acumen to burn it. It offends our green sensitivities to burn coal in NZ any more. So that was a good move! Even the most obtuse of us can see that we are both being robbed and conned at the same time. We all know that the climate in NZ has not changed – just that the data has been ‘homogenized’. So eventually someone has got to say ‘hang on a minute mate’ .
    Doug

  37. The email scandal should have been the subject of a judicial enquiry, an enquiry conducted with rules of evidence, and with examination of witnesses by all interested parties.

    In the Colonies, we can do this with a “Royal Commission”. Does the UK have the same beast?

    If it does then the question must be asked why that was not the chosen mechanism for examination of what were very serious charges, for which prima facie cases exist? (prima facie cases which have not been answered or addressed by the 3 “enquiries” so far. In at least one of those cases, the government has stated that the UEA engaged in criminal behaviour, but that they were unable to prosecute because of statute of limitations considerations).

    Is it not the case that a Royal Commission was not used because the truth would then have come out?
    Instead a series of whitewashing machines was set up.

  38. Smokey : That list is a breathtaking Appeal to Authority

    No, just an appeal to reason. How likely is it that all these individuals and institutions are going to endorse a finding, when if it is false, they will be eventually be exposed and embarrassed? It’s possible, but engage your reality checker for just one moment …

    Here’s the paragraph that precedes the one you seem to find significant from the 14 page report:

    There’s no evidence as far as I am concerned, of anything other than a straightforward scientific exercise within the confines described above. The papers are full of suitable qualifiers about the limitations of the data and the strength of inferences to be drawn from them. I find no evidence of blatant mal-practice

    So it goes.

  39. “Climategate may finally be living up to its name. If you recall, it wasn’t the burglary or use of funding that led to the impeachment of Nixon, but the cover-up. Now, ominously, three inquiries into affair have raised more questions than there were before.”

    Richard Nixon was not impeached.

  40. DirkH wrote:
    “I’d wish Germany had some people like Stringer. But nobody here opening their mouth. AGW is religion here.”

    Surely there must be some notable German scientists that were signatories to the skeptical position on AGW. They should be the ones to initially bring pressure on the German politicians to re-examine biased beliefs.

  41. Phil Clarke,

    If it weren’t for red herring arguments, you wouldn’t know what to say.

    Here is my question again:

    “If you accept what Kelly wrote, then you can see that these committees are simply a series of whitewashes that condone and excuse pseudo-science. Until an opposing point of view is allowed, they are a sham. Wouldn’t you agree?”

  42. Phil Clarke says: July 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm
    Smokey : “That list is a breathtaking Appeal to Authority”

    ‘No, just an appeal to reason. How likely is it that all these individuals and institutions are going to endorse a finding, when if it is false, they will be eventually be exposed and embarrassed? It’s possible, but engage your reality checker for just one moment …’

    Phil, – er no, it is not an appeal to reason. Reason was not permitted there. Nor was balance. It’s called papering over the cracks. It is commonly done. A time honoured technique perfected by the British. Sir Humphrey would have approved.
    Doug

  43. or dealing with the kind of vexatious and time-wasting ‘dirty tricks’ that now seem to be part of the ‘scientific processs’. (Example: submitting an FOI request designed to be rejected).

    I’ve processed FOI requests in New Zealand, but I imagine the law is basically similar.

    There is effectively no work in processing one “designed to be rejected”. If they do not meet the criteria, then they get a polite letter saying so, and the matter rests. This has never been the situation here, as the MPs found clearly in their report.

    Accepting an FOI request can be a lot of work, but usually isn’t if the material is well organised/filed. Any large request (100+ pages or more than an hour’s work) can be charged for, and is usually processed by someone fairly junior.

    There is an enormous amount of work in rejecting a FOI request that actually meets the requirements. Large amounts of time need to be spent searching for loopholes or obscure criteria for rejection, and usually that involves lawyers – so costs in money as well as time.

    Basically, the whole idea that FOI requests are vexatious is a fiction. They are only vexatious if your intention is to not release any material. If you are open to them then you give the work to a junior member of staff and charge heftily for the privilege.

    People who are not open to releasing their material find FOI requests vexatious because they object to them on principle. Not because of the work involved. A good test would be to ask Phil Jones what sort of FOI request he would not consider “vexatious”. I bet he cannot describe such a thing.

  44. Greenhouse gas warming. Must be a heap of those things, greenhouse gasses, in my auto here in Phoenix, AZ in summer.

  45. Mooloo…

    You have it spot on!

    That is why some of us have our ‘tidy-whities’ in a bind. It is a “creep factor” that will continue for some time.

  46. Graham Stringer is a Labour MP. I don’t remember his voice being raised in protest when his boss, Gordon Brown, very publicly called climate sceptics a bunch of anti-science flat earthers earlier this year. Yes, Stringer was one of the back-benchers calling for Brown’s resignation but I think it’s quite possible his action was out of a sense of political survival rather than what was best for the UK.

    However, since he has now come out of the climate closet and is speaking up for common sense against the Con/Lib coalition (who are even bigger warmists) that kicked Labour into the cold, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt – for now.

  47. I’ve just done a little bit of research and discovered Graham Stringer voted against the Climate Bill. He did put his money where his mouth is. I think he just earned the benefit of my doubt.

  48. Phil Clarke,

    are you sure Iddon and Turner are on Science & Technology? I don’t believe the order has been published yet, but the only Dr. on Science & Technology I caught on the unofficial list was/is Blackman-Woods (Social Science). I would be very surprised if Iddon and Turner are on the committee as neither is an MP (after the last election). Iddon and Turner used to be on the committee but are not on the committee currently. And yes, Stringer is a BSc (hon) not a PhD.

    Just as any internet post criticizing another person’s grammar will contain a grammar error, I am certain that this post criticizing you for using the old S&T select committee roster to criticize Orlowski for poor research also contains an example of something I have overlooked or just missed.

  49. Perhaps a good analogy here would be a public enquiry into the activities inside Auschwitz from 1941-1945.

    The guards are the only people questioned and the investigating panel is made up mostly of former members of the SS.

    Obviously, you would expect and get a whitewash.

    This analogy is certain to upset somebody, but can anyone come up with a better one?

  50. Perhaps we should keep a running list as more and more come out of the woodwork.

    House of Commons Science and Technology Committee:

    Mr Phil Willis (Liberal Democrat, Harrogate and Knaresborough)(Chair)
    “sleight of hand”

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/07/harrabin-on-ueas-sleight-of-hand-phil-willis/

    Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods (Labour, City of Durham)
    Mr Tim Boswell (Conservative, Daventry)
    Mr Ian Cawsey (Labour, Brigg & Goole)
    Mrs Nadine Dorries (Conservative, Mid Bedfordshire)
    Dr Evan Harris (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West & Abingdon)
    Dr Brian Iddon (Labour, Bolton South East)
    Mr Gordon Marsden (Labour, Blackpool South)
    Dr Doug Naysmith (Labour, Bristol North West)
    Dr Bob Spink (Independent, Castle Point)
    Ian Stewart (Labour, Eccles)
    Graham Stringer (Labour, Manchester, Blackley)
    “The Oxburgh Report looks much more like a whitewash.”

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/09/stringer_on_russell/

    Dr Desmond Turner (Labour, Brighton Kemptown)
    Mr Rob Wilson (Conservative, Reading East)

    The Oxburgh Report

    Chair: Prof Ron Oxburgh FRS (Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool)
    Prof Huw Davies, ETH Zürich
    Prof Kerry Emanuel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Prof Lisa Graumlich, University of Arizona.
    Prof David Hand FBA, Imperial College, London.
    Prof Herbert Huppert FRS, University of Cambridge
    Prof Michael Kelly FRS, University of Cambridge
    “That is turning centuries of science on its head.”

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/06/22/kellys-comments/

    Muir Russell

    Sir Muir Russell KCB FRSE
    Professor Geoffrey Boulton OBE, FRS, FRSE
    Professor Peter Clarke, F.InstP, C.Phys, F.IET, C.Eng
    David Eyton M.A. M.IoM3 C.Eng.
    Professor Jim Norton FIET FBCS FIoD FRSA

  51. I realise I am paraphrasing, but “all that is required for evil to thrive is for good men to do nothing.” I am very grateful that good men, such as the two Ms and Mr Stringer MP are putting their hands up in greater numbers and with some determination.

    I remember seing a very enigmatic and spot-on accurate sprayed-on graffiti in Auckland (NZ) some thirty-plus years ago – “Slinky Pink sings in the Rat Race Choir” – to me, this graffiti just about sums up the enquiry memberships and their ‘findings’ to date, with the exception of some notable dissenters such as Mr Stringer, Phil Willis (now a member of the House of Lords) and Prof Michael Kelly.

    Phil Clarke could profitably think about the immortal words of Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess in his illogical defence of the indefensable – ” It ain’t necessarily so!”

  52. are you sure Iddon and Turner are on Science & Technology?

    I am sure they were coauthors of the Committee report, and members at the same time as Stringer, who incidentally left the Committee on 11th May.

    http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-archive/science-technology/science-technology-members/

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Graham_Stringer&mpc=Manchester%2C_Blackley&house=commons

    He was actually absent for the Climate Change Bill 3rd reading, the Bill was passed overwhelmingly

    the bill was passed with an overwhelming majority – 463 votes for, and just three against.

    But who were the three who refused to fall into line with both their party hierarchy and the unerring demands of climate change science.

    Three Conservative MPs voted against the bill: Christopher Chope MP for Christchurch, Peter Lilley MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, and Andrew Tyrie MP for Chichester.

    http://blog.businessgreen.com/2008/11/businessgreenco-2.html

    Thanks for the offer Smokey, however I’ll carry on expressing my own views, not your version of same.

  53. Doug in Dunedin,
    If I was living in NZ I would be buying or making deals to control some of the millions of acres of scrub-land ( tea-tree etc. ) that you have in your country, and can be got for cents per acre, referenced in the article ‘ Amazongate’ here on WUWT you will find that the WWF, etc., have got financing from the’ World Bank’ to the tune of $80,000,000 to “arrange” the ownership and or custodian of large areas of the Amazon forest, which, will bring them an estimated $60,000,000,000 ( yep that’s billions ) in yearly revenue on the carbon credit market. (for just being there first )
    ATTENTION New Zealand Scrub farmers !!!! Double attention ‘Tasman Pulp and Paper Ltd’ (millions of acres, got to be the best buy on the NZ stock exchange ) !!
    Farmers;
    that back 20 that is no good for nothing can now bring you a government ‘climate credit’ that is worth more than the whole farm, who needs to milk the cows anymore ? just let the land go back to bush and transfer to one of those ‘Bay of Islands’ paradises and collect you hard earned millions.
    (sarc off )

  54. Phil Clarke:

    “Thanks for the offer Smokey, however I’ll carry on expressing my own views, not your version of same.”

    It wasn’t an ‘offer,’ it was a question.

    So here is my question again, for the third time:

    “If you accept what Kelly wrote, then you can see that these committees are simply a series of whitewashes that condone and excuse pseudo-science. Until an opposing point of view is allowed, they are a sham. Wouldn’t you agree?”

    Please explain why you think it is OK to bar any opposing points of view.

  55. Phil Clarke says:
    July 10, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Stringer is of course spot on in characterising the report as not a whitewash, it is a thorough and extraordinarily well-evidenced exoneration of the CRU on all consequential charges. But the ‘Register’ (A UK IT Gossip site) article does have problems ….Stringer is the only member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology with scientific qualifications – he holds a PhD in Chemistry.

    Ooops! Orlowski has not done his homework. Dr Brian Iddon is a distinguished organic chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Des Turner holds a Doctorate in Biochem.

    And I’m not sure that Stringer actually has a PhD, Wiki only lists his BSc (gained 39 years ago) and the report always has him as plain ‘Graham Stringer’, whereas all the other Doctors are shown as such.

    However I’m sure the rest of the piece has been better-researched …
    ____________________________________________________________________
    .Stringer is the only member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology with scientific qualifications…..

    I think you have it wrong and the Register has it right. If there were any others in Parliament who had “scientific qualifications” they would be howling BLOODY MURDER because of how CRU has bastardized science. The fact they only Stringer is howling means everyone else is a politician, not a scientist no matter where they went to school or what their course work.

    A piece of paper with words written on it does not a scientist make. The crew at CRU certainly has show that is true, they are politicians one and all.

  56. Doug in Dunedin says:
    July 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    They are painting themselves into a corner. The evidence of a catastrophic warming of the earth is not there for the man in the street to see….
    ______________________
    KenB says:
    July 10, 2010 at 5:48 pm
    DOUG

    I totally agree with your summation, it will smoulder and eventually ignite into a wite hot issue. Did they ever think that the little people of society (who vote these guys in) won’t have the capacity to think about the issue….
    ___________________________________________________________

    The people behind this scam really do not care. They are not nationalists but internationalists who owe loyalty to no one but themselves, they are above the laws of a mere nation. A must read is:
    UN REFORM – Restructuring for Global Governance http://www.iahf.com/world/un-refm.html

    The goal is to destroy western civilization and soften her up for a takeover. The political disruption caused when the man in the street finally wakes up is what is wanted. As the people of a nation one by one rebel against the increasing stranglehold of the green monster, UN “peace keeping forces” will be called in to “restore peace”

    The door of foreign soldiers to occupy the USA during a “domestic civil emergency” has already been opened in the USA and Canada.

    “..In a political move that received little if any attention by the American news media, the United States and Canada entered into a military agreement on February 14, 2008, allowing the armed forces from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a domestic civil emergency, even one that does not involve a cross-border crisis,…” http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8551

    Maurice Strong was the point man in this power grab. He is a Canadian. At one point he was going to run for political office in Canada but backed out. Why? because he has more power in the UN and as a string puller than he would as a politician and he answers to no one.

    Take a quick look at history. Paul Warburg, a German came to the USA, wrote the Federal Reserve Act 0f 1913 and shepherded it through the US Congress by sleight of hand. His brother Max financed the Bolshevik Revolution. The bankers have made a killing financing the war machine on both sides ever since, national loyalty, what loyalty?

    So where is Maurice Strong now? In China of course, working for a construction and engineering firm and as Advisor to the Chinese government. According to http://www.canadafreepress.com/2005/cover012205.htm
    Maurice Strong is an unabashed advocate for China as the next world power and he is making darn sure he is in position to take advantage of it.

    Strong was Senior Advisor to the World Bank, Trustee to the Rockefeller Foundation and the member of the of the U.N.-funded Commission on Global Governance
    Maurice Strong was a senior advisor to United Nations’ Secretary General Kofi Annan. Strong directs the U.N.’s Business Council on Sustainable Development -Agenda 21. Strong is involved in the U.N. Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which he uses to promotes Gaia, the Earth God. Strong is the director of The Temple of Understanding in New York used to encourage Americans to replace Christianity with the worship of “mother earth.”

    http://sovereignty.net/p/sd/strong.html

    http://www.nationalcenter.org/DossierStrong.html

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GlobalGovernance.htm

    http://isgp.eu/organisations/introduction/PEHI_Maurice_F_Strong_bio.htm

    And here is the Guardian’s interview with Strong: (remember he likes to be the power behind the throne so he has no desire to be on the political hot seat. Strong is too smart for that. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/23/maurice-strong-reacts-to-glenn-beck

    And here is the rebuttal: http://www.wiseupjournal.com/?p=1568

    A questionable source: http://www.larouchepub.com/other/1999/2605maurice_strong.html Says:

    “Strong was a co-founder with Prince Philip of the secretive 1001 Club, the main “piggybank” of the green-genocidalist World Wildlife Fund (WWF)…

    It is therefore not surprising that another hat that Maurice Strong has worn is that of Treasurer, now Fellow, of Lindesfarne, New York, whose founder, William Thompson, conceived it as a medieval village into which the remnants of humanity might be herded as a feudalist “concentration camp,” once genocidal eco-facist policies of the sort advocated by Maurice Strong had taken hold. And, for good measure, Strong is the president of the World Economic Forum, the Davos, Switzerland annual summit of the world’s private bankers’, which will be keynoted this year by Vice President Al Gore….”

    Oh and we can not leave William Connolley out. Here is his Wiki version of reality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_conspiracy_theory

  57. Phil Clarke says:
    July 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    ….It will never ‘end’ in some quarters, however the distinction between propaganda and science grows starker by the day.
    ____________________________________________________
    Oh I quite agree. I think people are starting to wake up and see the politicians, media and the CRU scientists are engaged in propaganda not science. The internet has done wonders in bollixing up the attempts at damage control and white wash.

    I do entertainment at parties on the weekends and I have seen a major change in the public attitude towards “Global Warming” since last year. The mess with the bank bailouts and the “town hall meetings” on Obamacare did not sit well with many people. It sensitized them to political deceit. Even most diehard greens could see the moneymaking scheme in the leaked Denmark Papers.

  58. I am sure they were coauthors of the Committee report, and members at the same time as Stringer, who incidentally left the Committee on 11th May.

    Urm, all MPs left every select committee about then, something to do with the new PM and new Parliament and all that. Stringer was elected to the S&T committee (new procedure this parliament is to elect committee members by party caucus, we’ll see how well that works) and was a member of it when Orlanski wrote the piece while Iddon and Turner obviously are not currently members of the committee.

    I didn’t intend an attack that was to be defended and refuted, it doesn’t undercut your main point and is a minor side issue. I made an observation of the amusing incidence of your charging “Orlowski has not done his homework” based on evidence no longer valid after the 2010 general elections. All your mistake demonstrates is a lack of ready familiarity with the arcane workings of the UK Parliament and the politics of the UK, hardly a failing that a US-based blog on climate-change can criticize a poster for. It is amusing, but irrelevant to the argument.

  59. Overheard in a Pub,

    “The ‘Greatest Sin’ falls upon the souls of those who allow, permit, condone, foster, acquiesce, and vote for the worthless blighters who sit in Parliament and who do nothing to truly represent their constituents.”

    or maybe she said:

    “The ‘Greatest Sin’ falls upon the souls of those who allow, permit, condone, foster, acquiesce, and vote for the worthless blighters who sit in Parliament and who do nothing to better represent their constituents.”

    anyhow, after that outburst, she said,

    “We’re going to pay the piper now, and in the next life, for the shoddy way these weasels have managed the country for us. Guess we should’a kept a better eye on the lot of ’em.”

    Bet there’s a lot of Yanks in Bars, saying the same thing.

  60. Phil Clarke says: July 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Smokey : That list is a breathtaking Appeal to Authority

    No, just an appeal to reason. How likely is it that all these individuals and institutions are going to endorse a finding, when if it is false, they will be eventually be exposed and embarrassed? It’s possible, but engage your reality checker for just one moment …

    What Reason tells me is that I fear greatly for a place where there are so many blind and evasive Phil Clarkes around, as well as so many name-callers who rely on the “info” of these Phil Clarkes, as well as so many blind “authorities” Sir This-and-That, who say they will examine the science then welsh on it, as well as so many alarmist scientists degrading Scientific Method, flouting FOIA, bullying the top science mags into what is said and what is not said, and rigging the “independent reviews” with their own boys.

    Climategate may finally be living up to its name. If you recall, it wasn’t the burglary or use of funding that led to the impeachment of Nixon, but the cover-up.

  61. UK Sceptic says: July 11, 2010 at 1:48 am

    UK Sceptic, Graham Stringer was the only member of the Parliamentary panel of inquiry to ask any sensible and searching questions but was voted down at the end.

  62. Gail Combs says: July 11, 2010 at 8:08 am
    ___________________________________________________________
    The people behind this scam really do not care. They are not nationalists but internationalists who owe loyalty to no one but themselves, they are above the laws of a mere nation.

    Gail, I am sure you are right when you say that the people behind the scam do not care a jot about national interests.

    The debacle over the sub prime affair in the US, UK and Europe and the way that it has been handled (you know banks too big to be allowed to fail) is an example where it has been demonstrated that even the US treasury and the UK Bank of England have been used to prop these ‘people’ up. It was a Ponzi scheme on a massive scale – and they got away with it. Well – this little baby has even bigger potential as far as I can see.

    I do not dare to think about UN REFORM – Restructuring for Global Governance but I have read about Maurice Strong’s background and of course that little toad William Conolley who seems to spend his time fooling around in Wikipedia on anything remotely connected with climate. It is mind boggling and certainly provides a good reason why everything is covert and never reaches the MSM. The scientists at CRU and elsewhere seem to me to be pawns in the bigger game.

    Doug

  63. @ phil clarke, i think you’ll find its common in the civil service and other public funded areas to “promote” someone out of the way. Its takes the individual out of the spot-light. (for a while).

  64. @ Gail Combs says: July 11, 2010 at 8:08 am

    “The door of foreign soldiers to occupy the USA during a “domestic civil
    emergency” has already been opened in the USA and Canada.”

    That was why King Charles I lost his head: not for waging war on his own
    people, but for trying to raise a foreign army (in Ireland).

  65. Hi Lucy,

    as well as so many name-callers who rely on the “info” of these Phil Clarkes

    Hmmm, so can we rely on the ‘info’ at your site? Cataloging all the factual errors would take too long but here are a few that you could fix quickly …

    “Sir John Houghton, first co-chair of the IPCC, said, “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen”. No he did not.

    Beck’s CO2 measurements are balony and the relevant lifetime of CO2 is not 2-12 years, see Mr Eschenberg.

    If you’re going to direct your readers to Monckton’s APS piece, you should mention the errors in it.

    Indeed The Viscount gets over 40 mentions, though Professor Abraham’s recent critique that the papers Monckton cites never actually support his arguement, is strangely absent.

    My assumption is that you are interested in presenting a balanced picture.

    regards,

    PC.

  66. @Phil Clarke: “Ooops! Orlowski has not done his homework. Dr Brian Iddon is a distinguished organic chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society.”

    Brian Iddon is not an even MP – he retired in April.

    As you might say — Ooops!

    Warming activists are quick to play the man not the ball (“The Register – a gossip site”…”And I’m not sure that Stringer actually has a PhD”) but very careless with the facts themselves.

    No wonder they have lost so much credibility recently – the public doesn’t believe them any more.

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