BBC on Climategate program now available

After some false starts, I have access in the USA now. Keep trying.

Click this link for the radio broadcast, 28 minutes. If anybody has a transcript, please leave a link in comments.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nl8gm

UPDATE: Alternate link if having trouble with BBC audio (thanks to Dave Ward):

http://soundcloud.com/dave-ward-10/bbc-radio-4-climategate

Climategate was the term quickly applied in 2009 to the mysterious appearance on the internet of large numbers of emails and documents belonging to some of the world’s leading climate scientists.

This happened just a month before the Copenhagen climate change conference, which failed to meet the expectations of many for agreement on international action. The timing may not be coincidental.

For some climate change sceptics, the emails were a disturbing revelation of the real thoughts and manoeuvrings of scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Centre and their international colleagues. The scientists argue that while some of the phrasing may have been unfortunate, there is nothing in the documents to undermine the validity of mainstream climate science.

Climategate certainly inflamed the debate over climate change, in the UK, the US and elsewhere.

In 2012 the Norfolk Police announced they were abandoning their investigation into who hacked into the university’s computer and then distributed what they found.

But what have been the longer-term consequences of this incident, for public opinion, media reporting and international policy-making on climate change? Chris Vallance investigates, asking if this was it a political crime, and, if so, how effective has it been?

Producers: Martin Rosenbaum & Catherine Donegan.

UPDATE: Transcript here http://pastebin.com/nF395WBK

thanks to FergalR

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76 thoughts on “BBC on Climategate program now available

  1. Doesn’t work for me :(. “The playlist contains invalid data. After filtering out invalid data, there are no objects in the playlist.’

  2. Steve, .. any way you can transfer it to somewhere so others can get it too ?
    As Amr says.. not working in Australia

    Thanks..

    Of and MANY, MANY thanks for keeping track of all the statistical shenanigans of the climate hypochondriacs. :-)

  3. There exist many ways to avoid geographic restrictions. Thry this: http://www.theninjaproxy.org/tv/how-to-use-a-bbc-iplayer-proxy/

    If that does not work, google for ‘bbc’ and ‘proxy’. Something else must work.

    I’ve listened to it and I think it sounded better than we thought it would. It sounded mellow. It was low on propaganda and among all the people interviewed Steve McIntyre and Andrew Montford were given the most weight (as well as time), although everything they were heard saying also sounded peaceful and not terribly significant, in my opinion. I think it was intentially made boring.

  4. I have SteveM’s link but it is stuck on “loading”….

    On this Halloween, perhaps it might just be another:
    Mike’s Nature TRICK or perhaps his upcoming legal defeat TREAT?

  5. Thanks. The new link works.
    Two random thoughts not really on topic. Would it be possible, without invading personal privacy, to compare and contrast several CAGW skeptics vs advocates incomes, funding sources, carbon footprints? And, in light of Mann’s suit, would it be possible to initiate a class action suit against the vitriolic and fraudulent attacks on skeptics? The last not against one individual.
    I’ll answer the lawsuit question myself. Not worth it, and would inflame an already overheated situation.

  6. It’s Halloween so here’s a thought … if you were the secret service and wanted a simple way to check every sceptics computer for evidence of the “hacker” … how would you do it? How would you get everyone to download an app which would trawl your computer for half an hour?

  7. I nominate the climategate perp for a Nobel Prize. He/she saved humanity from certain destruction by the enviro crazies like Greenpeace & WWF.

  8. ranchorelaxo61 said I nominate the climategate perp for a Nobel Prize. He/she saved humanity from certain destruction by the enviro crazies like Greenpeace & WWF.

    WWF? What do pro wrestlers have to do with it? ;-)

  9. ranchorelaxo61 says:
    October 31, 2012 at 10:28 pm
    I nominate the climategate perp for a Nobel Prize. He/she saved humanity from certain destruction by the enviro crazies like Greenpeace & WWF.
    ======
    Agreed. FOIA for the Nobel.

  10. Quite benign. Apart from the expected references to ‘hacking’, no ‘whitewashing’ and allusions to the possibility of CG3, oddly, nuff’n much to report. Clearly, all’s quiet on the western front…

  11. I’m still waiting on the BBC computer hacking scandal to break wide open, which is much larger and more sophisticated than the phone hacking that closed down the news of the world.

  12. Perhaps it was because I expected the worst, but I was pleased by the reasonably even-handed nature of the program. Sure was a lot better than the crap I get from PBS and NPR.

  13. I agree with Gene Selkov, that the BBC made it intentionally boring. “Nothing to see here, folks, please move along.” They’re reassuring the British public that it was all of no real account, so they can continue their brainwashing.

  14. The poor old BBC is feeling particularly vulnerable at the moment. I think you will find that they are trying hard not to put foot wrong, and will be looking most critically at the words and actions of any of their more eccentric employees. Reputation and integrity, once lost, are not easily regained, and should never be taken for granted.

  15. Really balanced interviews. Surprisingly, giving equal time to each point of view without interruption or distortion of what is said in each direction. One of the better investigating journalisms I have heard in recent times..

    Mann of course was his own himself and the police investigator was clearly biased too…

  16. Sceptics are routinlely accused of quoting out of context. Here is a quote from Mike Hulme (CRU) at 22.02min that taken as a stand alone statement succinctly explains why sceptics make FOI requests for raw data:- “Whether that’s low or high depends on how you interpret the data”

  17. Timeo danaos et dona ferentes.

    I refuse to believe the BBC suddenly became reasonable, and anyway it in no way counterbalances the enormous load of CAGW propaganda spouted and still being spouted via the BBC

    This is imho just faking a balanced view so that the next odious piece gets more credibility.

  18. Petrossa says:
    November 1, 2012 at 1:45 am

    “This is imho just faking a balanced view so that the next odious piece gets more credibility.”

    Little doubt this is true. The question is how long to they think they need to fake balance until they can go full retard again…

    I think it depends on alot of factors not just in the UK but outside as well. Mann’s lawsuit depending on the result could have a huge effect on coverage. Some other events in the US may effect coverage as well. If Mann gets completely destroyed in courts with NRO getting the chance for discovery the BBC is going to have to walk the balance tight rope(at least in reference to AGW) for a good few years.

  19. stephen richards says:
    November 1, 2012 at 2:21 am
    “Strange, why revisit now ? What is their purpose? The BBC does nothing without reason.”

    Because they are in court at the moment trying to hide the names of those who attended the infamous conference which agreed that the BBC should not report a skeptical view of cAGW. If they lose they need to be able to point to something and say, ‘ well, we were always balanced really’.

    By the way, it’s Helen Baoden of the Newsnight/Savile cover-up who’s backing the BBC in their fight against openness, once again.

    The Bishop has been following this.

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/10/29/boaden-on-the-stand.html

  20. Do I detect a slight change in approach by the BBC. We are starting to hear occasional views from sceptics. Yesterday, for example, we had Benny Pieser (GWPF debating on Radio 2 (a popular music channel). Furthermore, this ‘climategate’ programme was remarkably balanced for the BBC. We heard from Steve McIntyre, Andrew Montford and Lord Lawson who were all allowed to finish a sentence without being interrupted – very unusual. Lord Lawson was even broadcast saying that the BBC had become propagandists for the Global Warming cause. Maybe the lack of warming for the last 16 years is persuading them to hedge their bets.

    Of course, we also heard from the likes of Bob Ward, who said that the disreputable scientists at the University of East Anglia had been ‘cleared’ by several inquiries. And also from Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt.
    Michael Mann was the only one to resort to claiming that his critics told lies. This reminded me of the Danish saying given to us by Lief Svalgaard, to paraphrase – “A liar thinks everyone tell lies”

  21. I’d like to hope that this fairly bland program is a sign of dear old Aunty Beeb returning to what she always did best – reporting facts and opinions with balance and allowing the listener to draw their own conclusions. If you wanted sensationalism and letting the Editor think for you you used to read the tabloids, if you wanted facts to help make your own mind up you tuned into the BBC. That’s how the licence fee was justified,

    Being a realist, I’m not hoping too hard but, as with AGW itself, time will tell.

  22. @stephen richards says

    Strange, why revisit now ? What is their purpose? The BBC does nothing without reason.

    It might be a pre-emptive strike to minimise CG3’s potential impact?

  23. Both Mann and Jones continually live in denial and both make the claim that the emails and their comments were either taken out of context, exaggerated or lied about. Disgusting and preposterous behaviour by both. How can any written document be lied about when they are exposed as written. Both have zero credibility.

  24. this is radio 4. excellent.

    however, i am sure BBC would believe using glenn beck to voice some of the most damning quotes from the climategate emails would be a mark against the sceptics. not so. whilst i personally have issues with beck, on geopolitical issues in particular, i have long felt it was beck’s persistent and influential exposure of the CAGW cap’n’tax scam – which took hold in the Tea Party movement – that lost him his job at fox.

  25. ranchorelaxo61 says:
    October 31, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    I nominate the climategate perp for a Nobel Prize. He/she saved humanity from certain destruction by the enviro crazies like Greenpeace & WWF.

    ———————————–

    If not the Nobel Prize,..then many virgins in Paradise. And may Greenpeace and WWF be subject to all that reputed warmth of the Heavenly opposite.

  26. Just realised that pastebin might mess up the formatting so I’ll dump it here for you to copy and snip:
    —————————————————————
    This transcript is for educational purposes only.

    “Climategate Revisited” Broadcast on BBC4 radio on October 31st 2012 at 9pm GMT:-

    Continuity announcer: This is BBC Radio 4. Three years ago thousands of documents were obtained from climate scientists at the University of East Anglia and released online in the affair that became known as Climategate. Chris Vallance examines the continuing legacy of this incident in “Climategate revisited”.

    Gavin Schmidt: So I woke up on – I think it was a Tuesday morning – and at the time the first thing that I would do on waking up would be to check the blog. And so I tried to log on and I couldn’t log on for some reason and I thought “Oh, there’s something odd there”.

    Chris Vallance: On November 17th, 2009, New York based NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt discovered a break-in in progress. His blog – RealClimate – was being hijacked.

    Gavin Schmidt: We interrupted them just as they were about to go live. They were drafting a post that would have announced the emails to the world from our site. There was a big file of all these emails and so I started looking through this and going “Oh, this is very strange, I wonder where this came from?”. It was quite clear that it came from the University of East Anglia and so I notified some colleagues there and I said “You guys – I think you’ve been hacked”.

    Chirs Vallance: Although Schmidt had slammed shut the water-tight doors to RealClimate the flood of information could not be stopped. Thousands of private documents and emails obtained from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit were soon posted elsewhere online. A global media storm was about to break and it quickly became known as Climategate.

    News reader: The headlines this morning: The UN says it will investigate claims that British experts manipulated scientific data about the effects of global warming.

    News reporter: In one of the emails the unit’s director Professor Phil Jones talked of using “a trick” with data – though he says the word was meant as “a clever device”.

    Another news reporter: … are calling this Climategate. They point to requests to delete email correspondence and apparent attempts to keep raw temperature data away from the public.

    Another news reporter: Climategate set to break wide open; new developments today involving those hacked emails from Britain suggesting scientists are fudging data to make their case.

    Chris Vallance: Previously undisclosed emails between leading climate scientists were revealed and quoted with glee by their opponents around the world; such as the Fox News presenter Glenn Beck:

    Glenn Beck: Kevin Tentberth [sic] – he’s a climatologist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Research – he wrote “The fact is we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we cant”. How about Phil Jones? “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is.” Here’s Phil Jones writing Michael Mann – the scientist that came up with that hockey stick graph – he said “Mike, can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith RE: AR4. Keith will do likewise”.

    Chris Vallance: The thousands of documents covered everything from detailed scientific technicalities to caustic views on criticism from sceptics and tactics on how Freedom of Information requests should be handled. To some the emails lifted the lid on a murky world of scientific misconduct. To others these were informally-worded exchanges misrepresented to further a political agenda. And the dispute was bitter.

    Steven McIntyre: I know the ins-and-outs of what happened in that diagram as well – or better – than anybody and I can guarantee you it was a deceit.

    Chris Vallance: That’s Steven McIntyre; a Canadian mathematician and a prominent sceptic blogger. Next is Michael Mann; a scientist caught up in the controversy and a leading American climatologist:

    Michael Mann: These lies about us as climate scientist, these lies about the science of climate change being used in such a disingenuous way to try to essentially hijack the discussion of what to do about climate change.

    Chris Vallance: For him there is nothing in the disclosures to undermine the core scientific consensus.

    Michael Mann: There are certain propositions that are about as accepted as anything in science when it comes to climate change and one of those is that we are, in fact, warming the planet. The science is in on this – the national academies of all the major industrial nations, including the UK – are on record as stating that human-caused climate change is real and that it does represent a threat.

    Chris Vallance: The story broke just before a major United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen. It was now an international incident. Detective Superintendent Julian Gregory of Norfolk Police swallowed hard and launched an investigation.

    Julian Gregory: It was a case that caused me to take a deep breath. When I was first briefed – one night at home – it was very apparent to me that there would be significant global interest in it. If you then make the link through to the publication of the data in a way which would appear to have been intended to influence the climate conference – and world-wide debate on climate change – you then get right to the highest level that this has got the potential to influence every person on this planet.

    Chris Vallance: Some argue Climategate was the work of a leaker, a whistle-blower, but the police investigation treated it as a criminal breach of the Computer Misuse Act. But nearly three years later, in July of this year, they admitted defeat. The inquiry was closed.

    News reader: Police described the hacking as sophisticated and orchestrated and said there was no realistic chance of finding those responsible within the three-year time limit imposed by the law.

    Chris Vallance: Back in 2009 Climategate stoked the fires of an already white-hot dispute between some climate change sceptics and mainstream scientists. Sceptic bloggers like Steve McIntyre had been trying for some time to get scientific data from the University of East Anglia: submitting a barrage of Freedom of Information requests. Now there was a deluge of material sitting on a Russian webserver. One of those interested was Andrew Montford: a sceptic who’s written books on Climategate and calls his blog Bishop Hill:

    Andrew Montford: I found out probably three or four hours after the news first broke. So I got hold of the emails and basically spent the next 24 hours reading them and writing blog posts about them. My initial reaction was that it was too good to be true: there could be traps in there, there could be fakes. But once people realised the magnitude of the email disclosures it was fairly clear that they couldn’t have been faked; there was simply too much detail in there.

    Chris Vallance: Was there a lot of excitement within what one could call the sceptic blogosphere?

    Andrew Montford: Absolutely. There was huge excitement. This confirmed what we had saying for years and, yes, it was vindication.

    Chris Vallance: NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt, from RealClimate, wasn’t so excited:

    Gavin Schmidt: There were a lot of my emails in there and suddenly we had to be providing context and explanations for all sorts of random, out-of-context, quotes.

    Chris Vallance: What was the immediate impact?

    Gavin Schmidt: A tsunami of misinformation.

    Chris Vallance: The point of this programme is not to assess the rights and wrongs of the dispute. Instead, three years on, we’re looking at some of the continuing consequences of the affair on politics, the media, public opinion and science. And exploring why the person, or persons, behind it may never face criminal prosecution. We begin with one result of Climategate; observable to anyone who tries to visit the academic team at the heart of the controversy. … I’m at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. There’s a steady stream of students coming past but this was the centre of the Climategate row and here at the door is some evidence of how heated an issue it became. The intercom has been covered by a block of wood. The door: a new key entry system and it’s kept locked and University of East Anglia staff here say that’s because of the level of press interest from media organisations in the UK and around the world. At the CRU there’s still an air of mistrust of the media. Why, we were asked, did we want to dredge up this issue again? The scientists most involved did not want to record interviews about their recollections of the time. The Unit’s head – Professor Phil Jones – who’s emails attracted some of the fiercest criticism has talked of receiving death threats and admitted to buckling under the pressure. Professor Andrew Watson is a close colleague in the UEA school of environmental sciences:

    Andrew Watson: It rapidly became something of a nightmare and the really emotionally draining thing is that the internet explodes against you and some of it was very disturbing. Everybody felt under siege and we were called together and told that the Daily Mail was camped outside and we shouldn’t talk to them and all that kind of stuff. And we found ourselves painted as villains, as conspiracists [sic]: as the dark side.

    Chris Vallance: However in a lab not far from the Climatic Research Unit another UEA scientist – Paul Dennis – thinks both sides need to moderate their language. He’s a geochemist who says he’s open-minded about the extent of the human contribution to global warming:

    Paul Dennis: The key problem is that it’s often presented as a majority of scientists and then the minority are whackos or deniers or something else. They’re not. They’re intelligent people who are coming to a different conclusion from the same sets of data. I’ve seen horrific language on both sides of the debate. It’s not very pleasant if it’s directed against you as somebody who’s active in climate science. It’s not very nice if it’s directed against you as somebody who is on the sceptic side of the debate as well.

    Chris Vallance: As the CRU scientists struggled to cope world leaders were gathering for the Copenhagen climate change summit which took place in December 2009. The Danish politician Connie Hedegaard – now EU Commissioner for Climate Action – presided over the conference well aware of the Climategate disclosures.

    Connie Hedegaard: It came at a time that it was very, very hard to consider that that should have been a coincidence. That was, at least, very much how I saw that also in Copenhagen.

    Chris Vallance: Did it have an effect on the negotiations?

    Connie Hedegaard: I do not know if it had an effect on the negotiations but I think it had an impact on what came after. I still think that what lacked in Copenhagen in the end that was the political will of the parties but I think that in the time after Copenhagen it was so easy for people just to point to this and say “Oh there is doubt”. And I think that it also impacted the press. So in that sense it also made a negative impact.

    Chris Vallance: So even if the Copenhagen summit failed for other, more fundamental political, reasons is Hedegaard right that a longer-term legacy of Climategate was a change in the media?

    Bob Ward: So we’re in my office and in front of me is a filing cabinet and on top of it are three big stacks of newspaper here, yellowing newspaper, then it’s the collection of coverage of climate change in the months around the big UN …

    Chris Vallance: Bob Ward is from the London School of Economics.

    Bob Ward: … and it includes that coverage of the Climategate controvesy itself.

    Chris Vallance: Do you mind if we dip in at random?

    Bob Ward: Sure. So this is basically The Times from the Janurary the 28th 2010. Here’s a headline – it’s on the front of The Times: “Scientists in stolen emails scandal hid climate data”. So that was an example of the kind of front-page coverage that these controversies were getting which caused so much damage to public trust.

    Chris Vallance: And, he says, the impact has continued:

    Bob Ward: Surveys of the media show that the UK newspapers have become far more sceptic in the last two years and I think that’s definitely a direct result of the emails.

    Fiona Harvey: I’m Fiona Harvey. I’m the environment correspondent for The Guardian. I think it had a huge impact on the press. It came as a major shock in climate change terms. In terms of sort of the way people who were looking at the science. The other way in which it changed things was that there was a lot more pressure to put climate sceptics in the story. Now; in some ways that’s a good thing but in other way it can be rather distorting.

    Chris Vallance: And where was that pressure coming from?

    Fiona Harvey: From editors. I think editors all over the place were thinking that.

    Chris Vallance: There was suddenly a feeling that you couldn’t just have the view of scientists: you had to have the other side in the story as well?

    Fiona Harvey: Yes; and more prominantly. And in some ways it’s good to have a range of voices but you have to acknowledge that, actually, to give equal weight to climate sceptics – given the mainstream view of climate science – is a distortion.

    Chris Vallance: So what do sceptical bloggers think? Andrew Montford shares his thoughts with the world at his blog, Bishop Hill:

    Andrew Montford: The media have realised as a result of Climategate that there is a huge pool of knowledge out there that they can tap into. We can tell them the other point of view and I think that’s extremely important. For the first two or three years I think there was a lot more openness toward sceptics. In the last six months to a year there has been a big pushback against that and particularly the BBC now talks about false balance a lot and doesn’t like to give sceptic views an airing.

    Chris Vallance: Nigel Lawson founded the Global Warming Policy Foundation in 2009 in part to encourage the media to become more balanced in its coverage of climate change. The foundation has caught flak from some quarters for demanding transparency in science while being merely translucent about its own sources of funding. So where does the money come from?

    Nigel Lawson: Well I started, or course, with friends of mine, as one would, and my wealthier friends obviously. They tend to be richer than the average person and much more intelligent than the average person; that’s why they can see the flaws in the conventional wisdom.

    Chris Vallance: Last year a BBC review of its science coverage concluded that it should avoid giving as much exposure to marginal viewpoints as to the mainstream scientific consensus. Lord Lawson is not impressed with the BBC’s reporting:

    Nigel Lawson: I think, with the exception of the BBC: which on this issue is a completly propagandist outfit and has no objectivity at all, with the exception of the BBC – and I’m glad you’re allowing me to say this on your programme – there has been a marked move in the media.

    Chris Vallance: For some Climategate had another effect on the media. Fiona Fox is from the Science Media Centre which provides media support for scientists:

    Fiona Fox: All of us felt like this is a critical moment and to some extent something changed and those journalists have since been scrutinizing climate science to a greater degree. And you know what? I think that’s good. I’m really conscious that when we ran climate science briefings – prior to that – people quite often packed up before the end of the hour and went to file because they had; “We’re close to the tipping point”, “It’s worse than ever before”, front-page story, catastrophic climate change. But what they didn’t do was say “Show me that graph again”. Briefings now: they do that. And one of the things I kept saying throughout this is “Everything I know about climate science, that I’ve learned in this job, is that it can stand up to better journalism. And if the outcome of this is better journalism, more scrutiny then good: bring it on.

    Chris Vallance: And it has been brought on. In print and online Climategate still generates interest, discussion and all-too-often anger. But away from the lab and the laptop how far has this detailed and complex scientific row filtered down to the man or woman in the street? What impact has Climategate had on public opinion? Peter Kellner is from the polling organisation YouGov:

    Peter Kellner: The immediate impact of Climategate was to make millions of voters in Britain, America and other countries sceptical of the scientific consensus. YouGov found that just after Climategate broke that only 41% of the public trusted the scientists on climate change and that distrust seems to have carried on.

    Chris Vallance: For Lord Lawson the explanation is simple:

    Nigel Lawson: It affected public opinion on two grounds. First of all it showed that scientists, or at least some scientists, were not the paragons of rectitude which they wished to present themselves as. And also the ordinary person feels – if they had such a good case – why would they engage in such tricky and disreputable behaviour?

    Chris Vallance: And you think that view persists?

    Nigel Lawson: I suspect it does, yes, and understandably.

    Chris Vallance: But for the prominent sceptic Steve McIntyre, who runs the Climate Audit blog, it was more to do with how climate scientists behaved after the disclosures:

    Steven McIntyre: The climate community – if they wanted to maintain the public regard for their field – needed to be offended by things like tricks to hide the decline. They needed to say, “This is not how we do things in this field and if we have done it in the past we’re sorry: we’re not going to do it in the future”. And the same with the refusals of data and all that they’d say, “Look; this is unacceptable”. They’ve drawn back into a situation where they say, “Well our only problem is climate communications”.

    Chris Vallance: The LSE’s Bob Ward disagrees with McIntyre about the reliability of the science but when it comes to the issue of openness there is some common ground:

    Bob Ward: Despite there being a number of independent investigations – which pretty much cleared the scientists of any suggestion that they’d been fiddling their data or behaving inappropriately in terms of the science – it’s quite clear that they weren’t being as transparent as they should be. And I think that is a long-standing legacy. The problem is that when you lose the public’s trust you cannot expect it just to go back to what it was before. You have to work very hard to earn that confidence and trust again.

    Chris Vallance: As Ward indicates there have been a number of inquiries into various aspects of the affair. These have rejected the charges of falsifying data but upheld some other accusations against some of the scientists: such as a lack of openness. The sceptics and the scientists disagree, unsurprisingly, on how good the reviews were. Here’s Steve McIntyre, followed by the climatologist Michael Mann and the blogger Andrew Montford:

    Steven McIntyre: I wasn’t interviewed by any of them. Any inquiry that is seriously trying to resolve a situation has to involve all the concerned communities and interests. So it’s a pretty unimpressive performance.

    Michael Mann: The very individuals who were claiming that these leaked emails indicated impropriety, misconduct and such; they were allowed to make input into the inquiry process. The critics would like you to believe that their voices weren’t heard but it simply isn’t true and so in their mind the fact that their charges are found to be without merit simply must indicate that the entire system is corrupt. I mean it’s the sort of conspiracy theory spiral that undermines the possibility of talking about anything factual.

    Andrew Montford: I think there’s absolutely no doubt that there was no conspiracy. All the inquiries were deficient for their own reasons. So if I was running the country there would be a public inquiry into Climategate because the people who have been tasked with investigating it have failed to do so.

    Chris Vallance: But has all this made any difference to scientific practice? The scientists argue that the email releases do nothing to undermine the fundamentals of the science. The work at UEA on the temperature records was only one particular aspect of climate research; although an important one. But perhaps there’s a broader question. Mike Hulme is another professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia:

    Mike Hulme: If we look at the three years leading up to Climategate, and we look at all the papers that were published in the scientific literature about climate change, and then we look at all the papers published in the three years after Climategate – and then we say, “What proportion of those papers about climate change also in their abstract used the phrase ‘uncertainty’?” There’s a 50% increase. And I would suggest that that is a direct consequence of the sort of readjustment in practice that occurred after the controversies around Climategate. The climate scientists were much more careful not to over-claim.

    Chris Vallance: Okay, Professor Hulme, but could that be a small increase from a low base?

    Mike Hulme: Well, okay so, the figures are roughly around about from 6% of all papers to 9%. Whether that’s low or high depends on how you interpret the data.

    Chris Vallance: As he says; that’s up to you. Fiona Fox of the Science Media Centre thinks Climategate may lead to healthier debate:

    Fiona Fox: Some of the really intelligent debates that have come out of Climategate have been those where people admitted, “I, as a scientist, didn’t want to be as open about the uncertainties” because of this war they were in. They were on a war footing and rather than thinking about communicating the best possible science in the most accurate and measured way they were also thinking over their shoulder about how it would be recieved by the sceptics. But they have to somehow work out a way of behaving as scientists rather than behaving as if we’re in a war. Because that would distort the best science. And that will be exposed.

    Chris Vallance: Last November in the run-up to another UN climate conference a second batch of thousands of emails from the Climatic Research Unit was released on the internet. It was called “Climategate II”. But these were less dramatic than the first set and attracted much less attention. There are still many more CRU internal documents locked up in a password-protected file which could be unveiled at any moment. Perhaps, judging by previous events, this might happen ahead of this year’s climate summit in December. Somewhere someone will be weighing up that decision now knowing that the police have given up trying to identify the perpetrator. … We’re just across from a roundabout, behind us is a garden centre and in front of us is the tall radio mast and the red brick of Norfolk Police Headquarters. In November 2009 this building because the hub for a global cyber-crime inquiry. Responsibility for piecing together the story of how the emails were obtained fell on the shoulders of Detective Superintendent Julian Gregory. He was convinced it was a breach of the Computer Misuse Act. … So this is the Climate Research Unit’s website as it would have looked back in 2009. The front page shows a picture of the unit, there’s also a graph showing a rise in global air temperature from around the 1860’s up to the past decade. Julian Gregory’s account of what happened begins with the computer – the webserver – that hosted this site:

    Julian Gregory: The attacks were into a webserver in the Climate Research Unit and from there access was gained through to a back-up server and that’s where, if you like, everybody’s machines backed up on a single server and that’s where the data was taken from.

    Chris Vallance: And how did they get into the servers?

    Julian Gregory: Without going into the specific detail: an attack was made on a password file.

    Chris Vallance: Intriguingly Gregory revealed that there was an attempt to frame an innocent party – someone who had the right to access the system – by leaving a false trail in the logs or records of activity on the servers:

    Julian Gregory: There was some attempt to mislead us: to point us in the direction of another individual legitimately accessing the webserver so we followed that line of inquiry and were able to eliminate that person.

    Chris Vallance: So who was this sophisticated attacker? Speculation continues online that this was an inside job: a leaker or a whistle-blower. Many such incidents are. The police, too, considered the possibility:

    Julian Gregory: We spoke to people who were connected with the Climate Research Unit but once we’d established that it was an attack from the outside then obviously that line of enquiry took on a lot less significance. So I can’t 100% say that it wasn’t an internal person or a whistle-blower or whatever you like to call it but all the indications were that it wasn’t.

    Chris Vallance: Although, of course, an insider could decide to hack in from the outside perhaps in order to disguise their identity. But Gregory does see a possible link to the series of Freedom of Information requests sent to the CRU:

    Julian Gregory: I’m hypothesising here: you know I can’t say for sure that the apparently orchestrated campaign of FOI requests is directly linked to the hack. But there is a potential link.

    Chris Vallance: There’s, if you like, an association between the FOI’s and the hack that is suggested?

    Julian Gregory: Yes that would be right. It’s suggested but we can’t prove it.

    Chris Vallance: It’s a theory roundly rejected by Steve McIntyre who encouraged his blog readers to make requests:

    Steven McIntyre: I think that’s about as misguided a theory as exists and I think that the police wasted a lot of time pursuing the FOI inquirers. So, for example, I was interviewed by a British anti-terrorist officer about my views on climate and my first reaction was, “Well shouldn’t you be investigating Al-Queda or something like that?”

    Chris Vallance: The inquiry had assistance from counter-terrorism specialists and other teams but it was still unable to build a chain of evidence from the crime to a perpetrator. Is there somebody you suspect?

    Julian Gregory: No. No the hypothesis, unfortunately, remains today where it started. It ranges from a lone individual through to commercial and governmental interests. You know; you look at a subject matter and it could have been anyone on that spectrum. We can’t say.

    Chris Vallance: So the police investigation ran out of evidence and it ran out of time. Prosecutions under the relevant part of the Computer Misuse Act have a three year time limit. In a few weeks the hacker, or leaker or whoever they are will be beyond the reach of that law. With the second tranche of emails that appeared online last year the person responsible also included a text statement of their own; read here by my laptop:

    Synthetic voice: Today’s decisions should be based on all the information we can get and not on hiding the decline. This archive contains some 5,000 emails picked from keyword searches …

    Chris Vallance: With the threat of prosecution soon over perhaps the mysterious instigator of Climategate will choose to step out of the shadows. Then they can explain to supporters and critics alike what they see as the real legacy of Climategate.

    Continuity Announcer: “Climategate Revisited” was presented by Chris Vallance and produced by Martin Rosenbaum.

  27. Approaching the 3rd anniversary of “Climategate” I was prompted to do a search on Google, and found an intriguing list of results led by an article from the first days which focused upon some key aspects as a “case study” right out of the block (I’m cross posting with BH):

    loose cannon

    The Alarmists Do ‘Science’

    It is fascinating to think about what was going on in 2009 with Yamal and tree rings, FOIA requests stalled and denied, tensions and panic within The Team, CRU’s scientific credibility in doubt…. Why did The Team have such trouble giving an honest accounting of long-term proxy studies (especially tree rings)? Why was a “loose cannon” on the CRU scientific team not to be contacted about these matters?

  28. ^^ Just realised that pastebin might mess up the formatting. Let me know here if you want a clean copy and how I’d send it.

  29. Thanks FergalR – Its essential to retain the text as the radio recording by BBC will be wiped in six days

    This is a BBC production and therefore is NOT bound to give a balanced picture. Lawson is correct. There is a policy document that defines how reporting should be biased where the truth is incontestable – as in AGW. This can be seen very readily by the drift from a vague discussion about the validity of the science to all the trivia about the police investigation. Such meat as there is in the programme is sandwiched between journalistic guff at the start and finish: neat and deliberate! Locked doors, death threats, broken scientists, references to terrorism etc. These sceptics must be out to destroy us all!

    Much emphasis on the expiry of the 3 year time limit for police investigation and an invitation for the still unpublished emails to be revealed on the pretence that there can be no prosecution. This is nonsense of course. As soon a more emails appear the clock gets reset and Inspector Plod has another three years to expose the villain.

    This is just a more subtle whitewash than the two ‘impartial’ inquiries; but whitewash it is.

  30. For those who could not access the broadcast – you missed nothing. It was bland and conservative. If anything the bias in favour of AGW was still there. BBC have learnt nothing. It put `scientists` against` skeptics` – are the latter not scientists? A classic example of a slow withdrawal from their previous all-knowing AGW position. But they `protested` too much. Nobody should praise this broadcast. Given recent discoveries and re-evaluation of data it was pathetic. BBC continues to declne in impartiality and authority – who is really `at the controls`?

  31. Martin Rosenbaum, the producer and FOI specialist, has some additional comments on the police approach:

    “Another document shows that the police decided not to make a media appeal for information to assist the investigation during the Copenhagen climate summit (known as COP15), because “with COP15 still underway in Copenhagen raising awareness still further may have an negative impact on the conference”.

    Some may be surprised that the police would allow these apparently political considerations to affect their conduct of an investigation.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20159417

  32. @stephen richards:
    “Strange, why revisit now ? What is their purpose? The BBC does nothing without reason.”

    Agreed. They needed to pre-empt any more damaging revelations by FOIA ahead of the Doha UNFCCC meeting (November 26th to December 7th 2012).

  33. From the gratefully received transcript. A couple of issues:

    “Mike Hulme: If we look at the three years leading up to Climategate, and we look at all the papers that were published in the scientific literature about climate change, and then we look at all the papers published in the three years after Climategate – and then we say, “What proportion of those papers about climate change also in their abstract used the phrase ‘uncertainty’?” There’s a 50% increase. And I would suggest that that is a direct consequence of the sort of readjustment in practice that occurred after the controversies around Climategate. The climate scientists were much more careful not to over-claim.

    Chris Vallance: Okay, Professor Hulme, but could that be a small increase from a low base?

    Mike Hulme: Well, okay so, the figures are roughly around about from 6% of all papers to 9%. Whether that’s low or high depends on how you interpret the data.”

    From 6% to 9% = I am not a mathematician but, that looks like a 3% increase to me :)

    and:

    “Steven McIntyre: I wasn’t interviewed by any of them. Any inquiry that is seriously trying to resolve a situation has to involve all the concerned communities and interests. So it’s a pretty unimpressive performance.

    Michael Mann: The very individuals who were claiming that these leaked emails indicated impropriety, misconduct and such; they were allowed to make input into the inquiry process. The critics would like you to believe that their voices weren’t heard but it simply isn’t true and so in their mind the fact that their charges are found to be without merit simply must indicate that the entire system is corrupt. I mean it’s the sort of conspiracy theory spiral that undermines the possibility of talking about anything factual.

    Andrew Montford: I think there’s absolutely no doubt that there was no conspiracy. All the inquiries were deficient for their own reasons. So if I was running the country there would be a public inquiry into Climategate because the people who have been tasked with investigating it have failed to do so.”

    Mann’s narcissism shining through in a ” conspiracy theory spiral”, exaggerated falsehoods type of … thing.

    This could have been better but, it was better than nothing, which is the weak sauce we have been served up by the establishment since the dam broke.

  34. For some climate change sceptics, the emails were a disturbing revelation of the real thoughts and manoeuvrings of scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Centre and their international colleagues.

    Let me re-edit this nonsense.

    For some catastrophic anthropogenic runaway global warming sceptics, the emails were a disturbing revelation of the real thoughts and manoeuvrings of scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Centre and their international colleagues.

    They used to use the latter but realised it wasn’t working. They then shifted to calling us climate change deniers / sceptics. Over the years I have not yet read anyone who denies that the climate changes. Anyone who does belongs in the mad house.

  35. David Ross; I used to transcribe for a living a long time ago so It’s no big deal. It would have taken me half the time if I’d had an mp3 instead of that awful BBC player that kept skipping. I can see a couple of typos and a pretty glaring mistake so I must be pretty rusty – I somehow managed to type and proofread “In November 2009 this building because the hub for a global cyber-crime inquiry.” :/

  36. Whoop. Not such a breakthrough on PBS. My comment there was disappeared by their moderator. What I said was:
    Thank you for presenting two viewpoints on this important issue. There needs to be a debate whether to respond through mitigation of CO2 (Romm’s position) or to adapt (Green’s position). I don’t think we can afford to do both, so choices must be made. I hope in a future program there can be different voices speaking to CO2 vs. natural variability factors in climate trends.

  37. From the the transcript: Paul Dennis: “The key problem is that it’s often presented as a majority of scientists and then the minority are whackos or deniers or something else. They’re not. They’re intelligent people who are coming to a different conclusion from the same sets of data. I’ve seen horrific language on both sides of the debate. It’s not very pleasant if it’s directed against you as somebody who’s active in climate science. It’s not very nice if it’s directed against you as somebody who is on the sceptic side of the debate as well.”
    Remember this man is a scientist within University of East Anglia! From his site:
    Research Interests

    Stable Isotope Geochemistry; in-situ cosmogenic isotope chemistry; noble gas chemistry; terrestrial and marine palaeoclimate analysis, Landscape evolution; hydrology and hydrogeology; isotopic oceanography; atmospheric chemistry; stable isotope instrumentation and techniques” …….NO WONDER he’s been “accused” of being the “the inside man/mole”
    Thank you very much Paul Dennis!!

    Biography

    My research interests lie in the application of natural stable isotope chemistry to environmental and palaeoclimate studies. I am also very active in instrument design, developing new, high sensitivity isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS)in order to analyse small samples with a high degree of precision, measure ‘isotopic clusters’, noble gas isotope ratios and the natural variation of oxygen in the atmosphere.

    In my laboratory we use stable isotope geochemistry to help us understand aspects of past and present climate and environment change. The isotopic composition of fossil rainwater trapped in stalactites and stalagmites collected from caves helps us to unravel details of the climate in western Europe over the past 11,000 years. An analysis of magnetic dust and the isotopic composition of tiny marine creatures known as foraminifera in deep sea marine cores gives us clues to the processes that occur at the end of an ice age 130 thousand years ago when the climate changed rapidly from a cold glacial to a warm interglacial world. Even further back in geological time, some 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period. There is speculation as to the cause of the extinction: meteorite impact or volcanic activity with the huge eruption of the Deccan Traps in India. An analysis of dinosaur egg shells, collected from sediments that intermingle with the Deccan Trap volcanic lavas has helped us to understand the climate and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at the time the dinosaurs became extinct.

    Currently I am working on new isotope techniques for measuring palaeotemperatures using isotopic clusters or isotopologues and developing a high sensitivity noble gas mass spectrometer for in-situ cosmogenic isotope studies (tritium and neon)as a dating tool for groundwaters and landscape evolution studies.

  38. From the transcript…

    Detective Superintendent Julian Gregory of Norfolk Police, AKA “Knacker of the Yard”:
    It was a case that caused me to take a deep breath[, Brian].
    Yes, he really said that!

    When I was first briefed – one night at home – it was very apparent to me that there would be significant global interest in it.
    Greased lightning on steroids, and razor sharp!

    Knacker continues:
    If you then make the link through to the publication of the data in a way which would appear to have been intended to influence the climate conference….
    Gosh, I think he could be onto something there.

    … – and world-wide debate on climate change – you then get right to the highest level that this has got the potential to influence every person on this planet.
    Unbelievable. Plod at his most magnificent. Just think about it — 6 billion+ people being ‘influenced’, with or without their consent. My God! It’s not just minors that are potentially being interfered with here but every human being on the planet, including great aunt Gladys, a 104-year old lifelong spinster! The vileness of it all!

    Clearly, this ‘potential global influencing’ has got to be stamped out. We can’t have shadowy types going around wielding their exposed emails in public with intent to ‘influence’ the whole ‘planet’. FOIA is mega orders of magnitude more evil than Jimmy Savile or Gary Glitter.

    I can hear Knacker now, practicing before the mirror: “I arrest you for the crimes of exposure and global influence. Anything you say may be taken down….

    On the bright side, looking at today’s plod you can see we’d have no problem in recruiting concentration camp guards if we ever needed them.

  39. Thanks for the recording. It was a lot more like the BBC one used to admire, although always with a tinge of scepticism.

    And it was nice to hear the voices of the protagonists – it makes them more real, somehow. Mann still came across as a creep; whereas McIntyre and Lawson seemed straightforward, somehow.

  40. I’ve recorded the program and have it available as a 13MB mp3 file. I will happily upload it somewhere if anyone can suggest a suitable site.

  41. Another time line that needs exposure is the media coverage of the CRU emails.Pravda covered them way faster and more honestly than CBC.BBC and ABC. But I still have to cough up tax dollars for the Constantly Biased Corporation.

  42. correction to my 3:48 am above…. oooh, just realized that is Tim Osborn, not Phil Jones, who used the “loose cannon” phrase and cautioned his recipients not to contact Tom Melvin directly about Yamal issues… in any case my interest remains the same but it is Osborn not Jones who wrote that email.

  43. After much fun and games I’ve uploaded it here:

    It won’t work in Firefox unless excluded from Flashblock and AdblockPlus.

  44. Re the BBC Climategate Revisited.
    Surely a subtle BBC Warmist bias was created….

    I notice that the dark side are called scientists and the enlightened are called sceptics

  45. Anthony: Thanks for the link.

    I read the transcription. I must say that it was very disappointing. Inspiring in a tired sort of way.

    There were several sections where I thought the narrator/interviewer was onto a blood trail, only to end it with a disappointing false answer from Mann or Schmidt or even a curious phrase of ‘Bishop Hill, Andrew Montford’ that I have to wonder if it’s use was in context with how he stated it.

    Still, it was far more fair than many another ‘media review’ and it left the full answer hanging, for future use. Isn’t that the classic BBC ending for shows? There lies the tired inspiration, will someone in a major media outlet actually sink their teeth into some of the real issues climategate revealed and root out the corruption revealed? Stay tuned, maybe, just in case, here’s hoping for the password to FOIA’s cache of evidence.

  46. Communist spy Guy Burgess was recruited by the Russians while at university and his first job was not in intelligence – it was with the BBC. Now I wonder why the KGB was so keen he should work there?

  47. Fascinating stuff. Good to see the BBC relatively evenhanded. If only our Oz ABC could emulate. A couple of centuries ago the BBC management would have had the presenter tried, & convicted of treason, the sentence commuted to transportation; so we would have finished up with this traitor. He would make an excellent town crier. Cheers from chilly Sydney.

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