BBC asks WUWT for help

I received this email this morning from Roger Harribin, the BBC’s environmental analyst. It’s interesting because I received an email from the Guardian yesterday asking if I’d like to write a 200 word guest piece. Unfortunately it somehow ended up in my spam filter (which I found this morning) so I missed the 3 PM GMT deadline today.

Roger Harrabin

Here’s what Mr. Harrabin wrote. I hope WUWT readers will come to aid, especially since skeptics are now apparently getting a voice in UK MSM.

From: Roger Harrabin – Internet

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 6:10 AM

To: [Anthony]

Subject: BBC query

Dear Mr Watts,

I am trying to talk to UK scientists in current academic posts who are sceptical about AGW.

I’m struggling to find anyone – but there may of course be a number of reasons for this. Please could you post my request on your website – and ask people to email

We are looking for scientists, of course – not insults.

It strikes me that it might be useful to meet sometime to discuss a project I am planning on the weather.

I enclose my latest column

which touches on the difficulties of reporting climate change FYI.

I look forward to hearing from you


Roger Harrabin

If you know of a skeptical scientist in the UK that may be interested, please advise them of this. Thanks to all for your consideration. – Anthony

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John Diffenthal
February 3, 2010 9:08 am

A slight format problem on the Harrabin link – this one works:

Thanks, that was the way the email program formed links automatically, looking for an ending space, fixed now. -A

February 3, 2010 9:09 am

Amazing! 🙂 Kudos to Watts!

Richard Saumarez
February 3, 2010 9:10 am

Britain has embraced climate alarmism for so long that there probably aren’t any sceptical climate scientists who will admit to the fact. I suggest that you nominate a few of the leading lights from the US. Lindzen would be good place start as he obviously erudite and sensible.

February 3, 2010 9:10 am

Oh, and I would like to nominate Wibjörn Karlén of Sweden!

John from MN
February 3, 2010 9:12 am

One word….WOW…..I hope you and others can give them some good rebuttal. The door is open. I also hope you and other contributers don’t go to far over the top with hyperbole. As you are well aware there is a sweet-spot. You don’t want to fall into the trap people like Jim Hansen have fell into. Sincerely, John

February 3, 2010 9:14 am

Missed the boat again, someone else got in first about the link, delete my last one if you want.

Thanks all the same – Anthony

Peter Miller
February 3, 2010 9:16 am

The problem is climate sceptics have been systematically rooted out of the UK academic establishment by Jones et al over the past decade.
There obviously are still some British academics who are climate sceptics, but are probably too scared to come out and be counted for fear of losing their jobs and/or support grants.
I am a geologist, a chartered scientist and a sceptic, but not an academic. For what it’s worth, I do not know any geologists anywhere – and believe me I know a lot – who believe in AGW.

February 3, 2010 9:16 am

wow… I guess the BBC has come under fire for one-sideness of its reporting on the issue. What surprised me was the Guardian’s stance. I’m skeptical about the Guardian though. If they seem unbiased, more people will believe what they say. Polarised views do not work on everyone.

Steve Goddard
February 3, 2010 9:17 am

Lord Monckton would probably have some good names.

John W.
February 3, 2010 9:17 am

“…I received an email from the Guardian yesterday asking if I’d like to write a 200 word guest piece. Unfortunately it somehow ended up in my spam filter…”
That’s a very good spam filter.

Maybe I wasn’t clear, I only found it today. – A

February 3, 2010 9:17 am

There are no scientists who are sceptical about AGW because they can’t get any funding. Maybe he will settle for a honest one.

stephen richards
February 3, 2010 9:20 am

[snip – but thanks for the note ]

Dave B
February 3, 2010 9:21 am

I’m currently researching a longish piece on the politics of AGW and received a reply (see below) from a friend in UK academia. It explains why it may be hard to meet Roger Harrabin’s “in current academic posts” criterion.
A British scientist of unchallengeable repute who might be available is of course Peter Taylor, author of “Chill”, the best book-length critique of AGW theory I’ve read.
“‘. . . research council funding is moving increasingly from ‘responsive mode’ (proposing to work on whatever takes your fancy) to being directed into strategic areas. How these areas are selected is heavily influenced by government agenda with a strong steer for applications to address priority areas such as climate change. At, say, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, topics include engineering of drought-resistant plants, development of biofuels etc. Given the current financial crisis in the university sector with academics losing jobs for not bringing in grant income (there is no academic tenure in the UK any more), it is inevitable that just about anybody in the business with kids and a mortgage is going to buy into the climate change thing if it will help bring in the grants.’

David Ball
February 3, 2010 9:22 am

I nominate my father, and if anyone disagrees, I request explanation as to why. Please and thank you. Anthony, you have become a household name. I am curious that he said he could not find any skeptical scientist. Does this not strike anyone as odd? My father on the Michael Coren show out of Toronto
REPLY: He’s asking for scientists in the UK – A

February 3, 2010 9:22 am

As a British BBC viewer I would add this warning:
Do not trust this man.
Do not trust this man.
Do not trust this man.
Do not trust this man.

Well I wouldn’t know, the BBC won’t let me watch their programs here in the USA with their iPlayer, citing only UK licensees or some such issue. Maybe that can change. I wanted to post a link to Newsnight yesterday but was thwarted. Mr. Harrabin perhaps you can inquire? – Anthony

Steve Goddard
February 3, 2010 9:22 am

I also have a geology degree and worked for many years as a geologist. Likewise, I don’t know any geologists who are concerned about catastrophic global warming.

February 3, 2010 9:22 am

Wow! That is quite a refreshing tone from Mr. Harrabin (and the BBC, I might add). I think the important thing to get across is that yes, climate warms, and yes, climate cools. It is rarely stable and we have been able to notice long-term natural cycles such as the PDO cycle that lasts around 60 years (30 years or so of warming and 30 years or so of cooling). So maybe when we see warming and the timing, rate, and amplitude of that warming is consistent with a known natural cyclical event, it might not be prudent to predict the warming will continue forever.
In the 1970’s when we were in the cooling phase of that cycle, the scientists (including Hansen) were convinced it would continue cooling and we were headed for an ice age. When the other phase of the cycle began and things began to warm, they were all convinced that it would continue warming and all the ice would melt.
Those people must have a very difficult time riding the roller coaster at the park.
I would point him to Dr. Roy Spencer if Dr. Spencer has the time.

February 3, 2010 9:23 am

Philip Stott? David Bellamy?

February 3, 2010 9:23 am

And Roger Harrabin, if You read this: Well spoken in Your column! Science should always be open to debate. The opposite is truly a dangerous route.

February 3, 2010 9:24 am

There are more than a few down under too. Dr. Bob Carter of James Cook University is my favorite.

Brian Johnson uk
February 3, 2010 9:24 am

Mr Harrabin says…..
“We are looking for scientists, of course – not insults.” [Bit rude, that remark.]
He is more likely to find scientists via WUWT than insults.
He obviously does not look at RealClimate!

Robert Rust
February 3, 2010 9:24 am

I’m a skeptical skeptic. I figure that it’s far more likely that they will try to cast as dim a light as possible on AGW skeptics.

David Ball
February 3, 2010 9:24 am

I see he framed the request with “in current academic posts”. Hmmmm,….

rb Wright
February 3, 2010 9:25 am

Perhaps Mr. Harribin would also like to speak with a few Canadian scientists, or a few Indian scientists (Himalayan glacier scientists)?

Leon Brozyna
February 3, 2010 9:25 am

After a couple decades of quashing dissent, it looks like the UK’s media have finally wised up. Unfortunately, thanks to Phil Jones and crew and government disincentives, skeptics are a rare commodity. Oh well, better late than never.
While the media seems to still be hanging onto AGW, they are also looking at some serious ethical breeches; let’s face it — a story is still a story.

February 3, 2010 9:26 am

Sent a note to Lord Monckton for you

February 3, 2010 9:26 am

Harrabin is a long-time good egg. Go for it, people, I mean scientists. (I am not a scientist, sadly, but look forward to the BBC rediscovering its reputation for balance, thanks to Harrabin.)

Peter S
February 3, 2010 9:29 am

I don’t think David Bellamy is working – the BBC sacked him for his views on global warming.

February 3, 2010 9:30 am

Run quickly away.
This man is not to be trusted at all. He is weak.
It’s an attempt to get some skeptics on board so they can be shot down and made to look foolish.
Please don’t fall for it, we have legions of these people in the UK.

Peter Miller
February 3, 2010 9:30 am

In an earlier post, I should have said I was a British geologist.
If anyone knows of UK academic climate sceptics, it would be Nigel Lawson, who is probably as well connected as you can possibly get in the British Establishment.

February 3, 2010 9:31 am

Does this chap have the required background to view climate science as a multidisciplinary field and not a monolith? It would seem to me to be easy to find someone sceptical of models, for example.

February 3, 2010 9:32 am

I am sure David Bellamy would love to be included.

Mick J
February 3, 2010 9:35 am

This could all be a ruse to shake out any remaining dissenters of the “thermogedon” message in the UK scientific community. 🙁
The government honcho Ed Milliband has threatened war against climate change deniers (do they ever think about that phrase?), using their propaganda arm, the BBC would be a natural route for them to pursue and reveal such.
Also if none are turned up by WUWT sources they can claim that none exist.
Now where did I leave the meds. 🙂

Dan in California
February 3, 2010 9:36 am

I’m an engineer, not a scientist, and an American, but I have some relevant comments for Mr Harrabin. Thank you for having an open mind. Skepticism is part of science. If it can’t be challenged by an outsider, it’s dogma, not science. Third, and most importantly, if you accept the truth of the linked chart, it shows that CO2 concentration in the past is not correlated to global temperature; it has been as much as eleven times higher than currently. How do climate scientists accept this and simultaneously claim that an increase in CO2 will lead to amplified temperature runaway?
Thank you

Daniel H
February 3, 2010 9:39 am

There is always Philip Stott. Also, isn’t Mike Hulme a skeptic now? Those are the first two that come to mind.

February 3, 2010 9:39 am

Hi Anthony
Have you got a long, long spoon?
Be very careful and very sure before supping with this man.
He only has one agenda, that is the gospel of the true warmers.
He has seldom presented a balanced account of any view that opposes his own.
He never allows discussion of contrary views on his column, (no comments allowed).
You can see the sub text in his next program already, i.e. that is there are no scientists in the sceptic camp, therefore the sceptic view can be dismissed
I believe he is an English graduate, so ask him if he is qualified to comment on technical matters?
I do not see the need to be a scientist to be able to comment on AGW, I am a retired aerospace electronics designer engineer, and I can read a thermometer as well as Hansen or any of the pathetic CRU can!
Just “Google” on “Roger Harrabin”, and read the hundreds of posts about this guy and his position in the warmist camp
Patrick, (in the UK and a long time BBC correspondent disbeliever)

February 3, 2010 9:40 am

Mr Roger Harrabin,
“Thank you!”

February 3, 2010 9:41 am

Prof. Ian Plimer (Australia) maybe British don’t know. Someone needs to contact him

February 3, 2010 9:43 am

This should be cross posted at CA, Sure to find quite a few scientists/academically involved in climnate science there

The ghost of Big Jim Cooley
February 3, 2010 9:43 am

Philip Stott is surely the obvious choice – the man is a diamond. More than that, he appears weekly on the BBC!
However, I wouldn’t trust Harrabin either (though Stott can manage him), nor Richard Black. They are tarred with the BBC climate brush, and there’s no way back for them. They are on my ‘List of fools who write without researching’. I’d better leave it at that as my doctor says that it’s not good for my blood pressure.

February 3, 2010 9:44 am

It would be advisable for him also gather all the information about how this issue of global warming/climate change came about. As I have cited many times, a good source of information can be found at:
and, about its historical origins at:

February 3, 2010 9:45 am

Well done Anthony Watts – I just wonder at what level his “insults” filter is set?

Richard M
February 3, 2010 9:46 am

The interesting thing about this is that it does not take an academic scientist to point out many of the flaws in AGW. The science really is not that difficult to understand.
In fact, it’s more likely that an academic would simply believe the consensus science argument is valid without really reviewing the work. Most of them are quite busy in their own areas of research.

Jeff Kooistra
February 3, 2010 9:46 am

Freeman Dyson. though at the Institue for advanced study in Princeton, he is, of course, a Brit!

February 3, 2010 9:48 am

Lord Monckton is as far as his competencies a scientist. He even has peer-reviewed papers published. They never heard of his name? It’s Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.

February 3, 2010 9:49 am

Prof John Brignell through his wonderful web site ‘Number Watch’ has been at the forefront of UK opposition to AGW for years. Sadly he’s not so well at the moment, but I’m sure he’d love to have the chance to have a go.

February 3, 2010 9:49 am

Stuck-Record (09:22:56)
So, the plan is that this Harrabin guy already knows the answer to his question (ie there are no UK scientists in current academic posts who are sceptical about AGW) and then he writes an article detailing how after X days, WUWT could not recommend a single credible UK scientist to challenge the consensus?
Pretty paranoid, but I think it would be worth investigating before having made this post if your reasons for mistrust have any solid grounding.

February 3, 2010 9:49 am

Oh dear – Sunny Hundal a Guardian commentator isn’t going to be happy. Today he accuses the BBC of having become a right wing ‘troofer’ supporting organisation due to the fact that it is finally starting to report on Climategate.

February 3, 2010 9:51 am

That Register story is nearly two years old. A lot has happened since then, principally – of course – Phil Jones’ comfortable little world being blown out of the water just before the Copenhagen conference. If Richard Black, BBC darling of Phil Jones and Michael Mann, was writing to this blog like that – which, note, HE ISN’T – I might be urging people to question his bona fides. But Harrabin has been an environment correspondent at the BBC for (to my knowledge) nearly 20 years – imagine what it’s been like to work at the BBC while only the Richard Black version of everything was allowed to be broadcast.

February 3, 2010 9:53 am

Who is that chap who predicts the weather/climate on solar activity? He is a physicist and in academic post.
Nigel Calder is well known and is a past editor of New Scientist.
A guarded congratulations on this to WUWT. Please can I join the others who warn to be very very careful how this is presented. The whole point of the programme may be to show what a load of nutjobs we skeptics are. See if you can set any conditions on how you are edited in the final cut.

February 3, 2010 9:54 am

Dan in California (09:36:46) :
How about this one, see the correlation between temperature and CO2.

February 3, 2010 9:54 am

The ‘real story’ for Harrabin is how the public policy regarding research funding has distorted and politized science in the UK. The absence of skeptics in any scientific field should be a bright red flag. This is particularly true when that absence has a distinctive geographic dimension — no skeptical scientists in the UK, but plenty in other countries. What’s causing this?
“..the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.”
Source: Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035- 1040

John Hooper
February 3, 2010 9:54 am

Great opportunity, just make sure you have your facts and credentials in order. It’s Harrabin’s duty to shoot holes in your case. Don’t hold that against him.
If you can hold your own, then he – and other journalists – will feel more comfortable taking your arguments to alarmists, knowing they won’t be instantly shot down for their source not being “peer reviewed” or “being a scientist.”
Although very recently we’ve seen instances which bring into question the integrity of the IPCC, CRU and other researchers, it hasn’t negated the overall theory.
Why? Because the media takes one look at Christopher Monckton and says “he’s not a scientist, he’s not peer reviewed, he doesn’t have a Nobel Prize (really), and we can see straight away he’s overblowing the Haitians eating mud pies.”
So if you want to defeat NASA, like I’ve said many times in here: you have to trump NASA.

February 3, 2010 9:55 am

Dr. Donald Keiller seemed pretty skeptical re Briffa’s Yamal et al.

George DeBusk
February 3, 2010 9:57 am

Philip Stott, a prominent biogeographer at the University of London is the first name to come to my mind. He has no use for global warming alarmists.

February 3, 2010 9:58 am

Be very wary. I would not be the LEAST bit surprised if they try to spring some sort of “gotcha!!” moment on you.
Picture the BBC as Grima Wormtongue and you should be ok.

February 3, 2010 9:58 am

isn’t prof. fred singer english? altho he’s based at virginia

Charlotte Jackson
February 3, 2010 9:59 am

Try to find somebody ‘new’ – although I have immense respect for those who have fought this battle for a long time (Stott, Lindzen, Michaels etc.), a new face would show that this is not a small band of inveterate ‘doubters’. Further, I think it should be someone who is involved in the basic science (otherwise we always get the mantra that ‘well, people may have been careless, but the basic science is still valid’) – that is, a specialist in temperature measurements and analysis, and/or someone who understands the impact of greenhouse gases. Maybe a look at participants in the Heartland Institute Conferences?

February 3, 2010 9:59 am

I think Patrick is right. Now RH can say “I asked Anthony Watts if he knew any ‘in post’ climate sceptics…but there are none. Sigh, well I tried”
It is an odd request – I cannot believe he cannot find them himself. It is his job after all, isnt it – to find stuff out?
Why does he not ask Christopher Monckton? Surely he is better placed to source such people – maybe he has.

D. King
February 3, 2010 10:00 am

This is simple; just ask the MET office, CRU, or any university
using the scientific method, to give you a list of scientists studying
AGW. Otherwise, you’ll just get a list of advocacy groups. Sorry
Anthony, but this is not an honest request.

Tom in Florida
February 3, 2010 10:00 am

Is this man playing nice to get your attention? Perhaps, as others have stated, he is looking for the “there aren’t any” answer. He could then report that “he inquired the biggest, most popular skeptic blog in the world and they came up empty”.

Henry Galt
February 3, 2010 10:02 am

He wants a list of the currently employed who secretly deny the State mantra and its right to dictate the science.
There are sceptical scientists who are not dependent on science for their incomes, one of whom is an actual part of the State;
A physicist. The only hard science grounded member I believe. Maybe the only PhD. Definitely the only member of parliament to stand up and object to the Climate Change Bill – you remember, the one where it was snowing outside, in October, for the first time in decades……
The Speaker actually threatened him into silence. I would bet he has been biding his time. (He used to work for Nigel Lawson)
Piers Corbyn.
Harribin was at the recent Weather Action exhibition. Stood at the back with Roger Black. Neither of them would interact. Upon his return to Stazi headquarters he told Paul Hudson to stop writing about climate.
There has been nothing forthcoming from Harribin as apology for slandering Piers via the BBC website, although not spelling his name correctly might not have helped. Astrophysicists eh? All barmy 😉
The salient points, IMHO, are the lack of evidence about anything to do with CO2 and climate at all actually and the metrics, such as sea-levels and temps and their total and utter normalcy in natures’ rise out of an ice age.
All the rest is distraction.

Jack in Oregon
February 3, 2010 10:03 am

I am an American in Oregon, and I watch BBC via their I player. If you use a proxy server based in England, the shows are available.
FWIW, if you want more details, email me,

Peter Miller
February 3, 2010 10:04 am

Sorry to harp on about geologists, however:
In the 1990s there were several spectacular stock exchange scams, the best known being Bre-X, the $3 billion Indonesian gold deposit that never was.
As a result our industry has been purged of those who make disingenuous public statements and claims.
I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that if Jones, Mann, Hansen, Pachauri, Gore etc had followed the equivalent professional guidelines of Australia’s JORC code, or Canada’s NI 43-101 code, their ‘findings’ would have been so full of disclaimers to make their ‘work’ essentially worthless and Copenhagen almost certainly would never have happened.
So much original data has been lost or more likely deliberately destroyed. All too often the amount or reason for adjustments/manipulations of the original data is unknown or unrecorded. Insufficient adjustments are made for UHI, the data base is skewed towards urban sites, probably representing less than 1% of the Earth’s surface – the list of scientific irregularities, taken as gospel is almost endless.
But as several posts have commented, I would be extremely cautious with this individual from the BBC, he almost certainly has only one purpose and that is to discredit and distort the truths in the sceptic cause.

Marlene Anderson
February 3, 2010 10:05 am

Piers Corbyn is a candidate and he has alternate theories that are working in practice.

February 3, 2010 10:05 am

I am a Physicist, with three years Geology study also.
Physics is a science, Geology is a science. I don’t know many physicists who feel comfortable embracing AGW.
My training in both makes me extremely sceptical about AGW.
I’m not convinced we should use the term ‘climate science’, until such time as they publically and auditably prove that they are following scientific. It’s a proto-science – still ‘under development’.

February 3, 2010 10:06 am

Anthony, Maybe you could remind Roger H that categorising science and scientists by nationality does not have a great track record here in Europe. I suggest you go for quality not grid reference. DavidS

Marlene Anderson
February 3, 2010 10:08 am

I also agree with some of the other posters – proceed with caution. There may be a hidden agenda and honest people are always at risk of innocently blundering into a trap.

hotrod ( Larry L )
February 3, 2010 10:09 am

Perhaps the story that they should be writing is that the effects of a systematic propaganda campaign, intentional corruption of the peer review and the grant writing process, they have driven skeptical academics either under ground or out of academia.
That the “appearance” of consensus was a facade created by this Orwellian propaganda campaign and not a valid assessment of the quality of the science.
They are paying the price for a 20 year long scientific inquisition that has muzzled the loyal opposition to the popular view.
To restore honest and reputable dissent and the scientific process that absolutely requires the presence of an honerable dissenting voice to test a hypothesis honestly.
They could do more good for the system by pulling back this curtain of manipulation and inquisition than they could searching for the skeptics. The honorable skeptical scientists will appear of their own initiative when the muzzle has been removed by exposing the corruption in the system and the fact that the public has been intentionally fed one sided information to serve a political and financial agenda, not good science.
Pull back the curtains and let the sun shine in, and good science will emerge like the spring flowers.

February 3, 2010 10:10 am

Benny Peiser at Liverpool University – if not him, then he probably has some contacts through CCNET
Surprised that Roger Harrabin couldn’t find anyone and ended up coming to WUWT to ask for help! I thought he was supposed to be a journalist? (sorry – couldn’t resist the dig!)

February 3, 2010 10:11 am

David J. Bellamy OBE
Martin Cohen
Sammy Wilson, the Minister for Environment in Northern Ireland government.

February 3, 2010 10:12 am

Peter Miller (09:16:02) :
I am a geologist, a chartered scientist and a sceptic, but not an academic. For what it’s worth, I do not know any geologists anywhere – and believe me I know a lot – who believe in AGW.
The geologists I know have been saying that AGW was “bad science” since at least 2004. I recently asked one of them why the “rock guys” haven’t been more vocal about why they came to that conclusion early in the game, and he just said, “We like our jobs — and we like *keeping* our jobs.”

Mike Ramsey
February 3, 2010 10:13 am

Roger Pielke, Jr.has been doing interviews for the BBC.
Mike Ramsey

February 3, 2010 10:13 am

Do not trust the journalists. If you do an interview, record it yourself. Record every conversation you have with him.
He has been exaggerating and lying for years. He is not well intentioned. He will not treat you fairly. He will misquote you. He will outright lie about your positions.
It is right and proper for you to assume that he is a man totally devoid of any integrity what so ever.
And remember, he’s gonna retire in a couple of years, so he knows that he does not have to make a public recantation. Unless forced otherwise, he’ll just let the matter drop and hope everyone forgets. He has many more reasons to toe the AGW party line than do you; his career, his credibility, the financial security of his family,…..not to mention being embarrassingly, stupidly wrong.
The only thing driving Mr. Watts is scientific integrity; it is a dangerous mis-match of motivating forces. Please be careful.

February 3, 2010 10:14 am

Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen emeritus of Hull?

February 3, 2010 10:15 am

“I am trying to talk to UK scientists in current academic posts who are sceptical about AGW.
I’m struggling to find anyone …”
A UK scientist in a “current academic post”, would have a vested interest not to voice any sceptical views. This is like asking a team of scientists who have researched a drug, and found it helpful, to voice sceptical views against it. Though in the case of Climate Science this maynot be impossible.
Why not suggest to the BBC that they extend their criteria to scientists other than those in a “current academic post”?

Steve Goddard
February 3, 2010 10:16 am

There is a strong possibility that the purpose of his article is to show that in spite of the CRU scandal, global warming skeptics still have no legitimacy.

February 3, 2010 10:17 am

David Bellamy is beyond the pale as far as the BBC are concerned for his skeptacism. So I think he would be worth adding to the list.

February 3, 2010 10:18 am

I’ve suggested Sonja B-C to him, who I had lunch with this week. She can look after herself!

February 3, 2010 10:18 am

PS Bill Tuttle above has stated what I said about geologists. People in “Current academic posts” are there because they have wholeheartedly supported AGW and “Climate Change”, they are not likely to commit hara kiri.

February 3, 2010 10:20 am

Re not trusting Harrabin, i wouldn’t know, but i have been startled by the quality of Fred Pearce’s pieces in the Guardian given his views and previous articles – the tide has turned a bit.

mike core
February 3, 2010 10:20 am

The problem here is the term ‘climate scientist’. I have heard of Physics, I have heard of Chemistry, I have heard of Geology and Biology. But I have not heard of climate science. Is it something to do with jografy?
I once coloured in a climate map of Europe. Does that make me one too?
Harrabin could find what he is looking for in any Physics or Geology department and pretty quickly.
Go for it Anthony. I think Harrabin and others are desperate for a way out. The zeitgiest is changing.

February 3, 2010 10:20 am

Dr David Whitehouse
David Whitehouse, who has a doctorate in astrophysics, was successively BBC Science Correspondent and Science Editor BBC News Online. He is the author of a number of books on solar system astronomy and the history of astronomy.
Professor Anthony Kelly
Anthony Kelly FRS, a metallurgical scientist, was formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey. He is a former Founding Fellow, and currently a Life Fellow, of Churchill College, Cambridge.
Dr Terence Kealey
Terence Kealey, a medical biochemist, is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. His latest book is entitled Sex, Science and Profits.

February 3, 2010 10:20 am

Here is a suggestion… ask yourself UK Scientists to publish something here on WUWT. Forget about the BBC… it’s a trap… else they publish something you wrote in full and without editing it.

dave ward
February 3, 2010 10:24 am

Another reason to be suspicious of the BBC is the investment strategy of their pension fund:
And poor old Phil Jones is looking rather haggard in the latest article in the Norwich paper, where he is STILL insisting he’s right:
“It makes me quite worried people are beginning to doubt the climate has warmed up,” he said.

February 3, 2010 10:24 am

Why do they have to be “in current academic posts”. What’s wrong with retired scientists?

February 3, 2010 10:25 am

Freeman Dyson would be a good person to highlight.
How about Terri Jackson, seems like she gives a good interview:
Google is your friend, Roger.

February 3, 2010 10:25 am

Professor Philip Stott is a regular contributor to the BBC. You can’t get better than him.

February 3, 2010 10:28 am

Harrabin’s article sounded good until that last sentence, where I sense he betrayed his AGW side. He wrote “The pity is that it’s public understanding of climate change that’s being damaged, and maybe the planet as well.”
I would have preferred “The pity is that it’s public understanding of climate change that’s being damaged, and maybe the planet or the world’s economy as well.”

February 3, 2010 10:28 am

Philip Stott, David Bellamy, Lord Monckton and at a push Nigel Lawson as a knowledgeable non scientist.
A leopard changing it’s doesn’t seem that likely though.

February 3, 2010 10:28 am

Seems to me something amiss here! First The Guardian showing a little less bias, now the BBC interested in a project on the weather. I guess it will take a brave scientist to put their head above the parapet. I wonder if the BBC could ask David Bellamy, there is history between them.
“For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

Al Gore's Brother
February 3, 2010 10:29 am

In my opinion, Mr. Harrabin would be better off investigating why he is having such a difficult time finding skeptical scientists in academia. There are several reasons but this is a sad comment on the state of science in the world of academia. Seems it is difficult to find any sort of balance of opinion in academia whether it be politics, medicine, science, economics, etc. Sad indeed…

Steve Goddard
February 3, 2010 10:30 am

The Guardian’s agenda is to quickly weed out tainted scientists so that they can get back on the AGW bandwagon.

February 3, 2010 10:30 am

It might be a good idea to talk to the scientists and get their consent before recommending them.

February 3, 2010 10:30 am

OT – is it my imagination or has RealClimate gone to sleep?

Retired Dave
February 3, 2010 10:31 am

The problem in the UK is that there are only really three climate research organisations – Hadley Centre (Met Office), CRU and Reading University. One or two other universities do bits and pieces but ……
These three are hugely incestuous. Many scientists will have worked for two of them. I can’t think of anyone off-hand who has worked for all three. I think the famous (or is that infamous) Phil Jones worked for the Hadley Centre at one time (though I can’t be certain) and the current Chief Scientist at the Met Office was a Reading Uni Prof until last year.
The upshot is that there have been no jobs in the UK for climate sceptics (that’s not necessarily deniers) for a long time. Turn up at any of these establishments with an open mind, and you will be working in MacDonald’s.
On top of that a whole generation of climate science students who have been educated by CRU and Reading have been taught to be warmists. Just like any other religion teaching the fundamentals, they have been quite successful.
The Hadley Centre were in at the beginning of AGW, when John Houghton (first Chairman of the IPCC) was the Director General (post now Chief Executive) of the Met Office, but until 2003 the Hadley were kept pretty separate in a different building in Bracknell, Berkshire. Since 2003 when the Met Office HQ moved to Exeter, the Hadley is much more integrated in the same building. The same people who are driving the warming story now appear to be running the Met Office, and that is why it shows in every pronouncement they make – hot summer, mild winters, warm years, and warmest decades.

February 3, 2010 10:32 am

I fear I have become deeply cynical and untrusting in my dotage. I am baffled why Harrabin did not simply go to Lawson or Monckton in the first place. I smell a very whiffy rat.
And I regret to say that for more years than I care to recall I worked with geologists both in and out of academia. Taught many, a few whom still hold chairs around the globe. I have to report I have found among them a number who today outwardly profess belief in man-made climate change. They would appear to do this for one of three reasons: party political, ensuring a regular input of research funding, or, importantly, not giving a Warmer Dean an excuse to block their promotional prospects – plus get their papers published of course.

February 3, 2010 10:34 am

Vivian Moses
University College London
Professor Antony Trewavas edinburgh
Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen hull uni

February 3, 2010 10:34 am

Get with it Harribin
follow the links to the conspiritors
What too big to handle.

February 3, 2010 10:35 am

@ mpaul (09:54:52), The ‘real story’ for Harrabin is how the public policy regarding research funding has distorted and politized science in the UK.
Yes, and it looks as if there has been a deliberate policy of skewing the national curriculum: how long have schools in the UK been turning out AGW-ers, I want to know?

T Johnson
February 3, 2010 10:35 am

The man is completely disingenuous. He was exposed in The Real Global Warming Disaster, written by Christopher Booker (a Brit) for caving in to blog pressure to change a story for the BBC. All he has to do is read the book (don’t tell me he doesn’t know about it) and he will find plenty of names. “Can’t find anybody”? Give me a break.

February 3, 2010 10:36 am

Mr Harabin needs to clarify his request.
If he wishes to find “UK scientists in current academic posts” realted to climate science, he may have a long search and will find relatively few. If OTOH he is interested in “UK scientists in current academic posts” in related and unrelated disciplines who, nonetheless, are capable of understanding the science and are sceptical because of that understanding, he potentially would find a huge number. Whether or not they wish to talk to him is another matter.

February 3, 2010 10:37 am

It’s like a mafia lawyer asking a crime reporter if he knows of any good snitches.
Just kidding…
I think good can come of this regardless of the man’s intent. See the MIT Climate gate discussion. Obviously Lindzen was outnumbered there but he clearly came out on top because his arguments were the most rational and the least sensationalist.

Odd G.
February 3, 2010 10:37 am

Maybe OT: but finaly in one of the biggest newspaper in Norway:
“Here is the climate fraud.”

February 3, 2010 10:41 am

Prof Paul Reiter is British, currently in post at Institut Pasteur, and has a few things to say about the IPCC. Would he do?

February 3, 2010 10:42 am

Ross McKitrick is at the University of Buckingham:

February 3, 2010 10:43 am

“I am struggling to find one”. LOL.
Well, we are trying to find a news service which isn’t biased and we can’t find one either!

patrick healy
February 3, 2010 10:44 am

That knighthood is looking more realistic by the day!
The two most prominant sceptics in the Uk are Prof David Bellamy and Prof Jonny Ball. Both have long since been ostricised by the bbc and the MSM, so it would be an unprecedented volte face by Roger Harrabin to talk to them.
despite my comment last night re ‘the BBC has cracked’ in retrospect, we should all be wary. the old cliches about ‘Greeks bearing gifts’ ( apologies to our Greek readers) and ‘leopards changing their spots’ (apologies to leopards) are still apposite. They are probably just reacting to all the Broadsheet coverage and attempting to show they are ‘impartial’.
never- the- less we should be magmanamous and give them the benefit of the doubt. it is an earthshattering event when Roger Harabin contacts WUWT, and i for one admire his humility. after all we have only been asking to engage in some grown up discussions for years on the Blogsphere
I do think it is a good idea to discuss with Monkton, Bishop Hill and other UK blog site authors. there is a wealth of knowledge on the blogsphere.
we should not, and must not let this opportunity slip by.
best of luck Anthony, and keep up the good work.
One day the world will realise what a debt of gratitude we owe for your indefatigutable efforts.

February 3, 2010 10:44 am

Ross McKitrick, Prof Bob Carter, Dr. Andrei Illarionov, S. Fred Singer, Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D., Nir Shaviv, Ph.D., Willie Soon, Ph.D., J. Scott Armstrong, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Syun Akasofu, Ph.D. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Frank Clemente, Ph.D. Penn State University, David Douglass, Ph.D. University of Rochester, Christopher Essex, Ph.D. University of Western Ontario (Canada), Michelle Foss, Ph.D. University of Texas, Center for Energy Economics, William Gray, Ph.D. Colorado State University, Fred Goldberg, Ph.D. Royal School of Technology (Sweden), Kesten Green, Ph.D. Monash University (Australia), Craig Idso, Ph.D. Center for the Study of Carbon
Dioxide and Global Change, David Legates, Ph.D. University of Delaware, Benny Peiser, Ph.D. Liverpool John Moores University (United Kingdom), Arthur B. Robinson, Ph.D. Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine

February 3, 2010 10:47 am

there is a seven-minute link here of Roger Pielke’s Newsnight interview on the BBC News site (rather than BBC iPlayer), which should be visible from outside UK.

February 3, 2010 10:47 am

Call me untrusting but it maybe wise not to actually name names here, but I guess that’s a job for the moderator.

February 3, 2010 10:48 am

Dr Roy Spencer

D. Patterson
February 3, 2010 10:49 am

I have to thank Roger Harrabin for at least one contribution.
Searching the lists of hundreds of so-called climate skeptics, including scientists and non-scientists, a very interesting trend and difference between the listed skeptics in the United Kingdom versus many other nations anywhere else in the world is becomng quite prominent. It appears as though climate skeptics in the United Kingdom are to be found in private business and retirement, but rarely if ever in academic or government employment. By contrast, climate skeptics are also mostly found in private business in other nations, but their employment in academic and government is far more common than anything found in the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
This peculiar disparity between the UK and the rest of the world suggests there is something about the academic and government institutions of the UK which is discouraging and/or barring skeptics from participating in those institutions and/or enjoying the right of free speech in regard to AGW Alarmism.
Thanks to Roger Harrabin for highlighting this apparent ongoing problem with scientific free speech in the public institutions of the United Kingdom.

February 3, 2010 10:49 am

Wouldn’t trust that BBC guy as far as I could throw him.
Just remember, Anthony, that you’re involved in a bit of a tussle with NOAA right now. The AGW crowd would love to have some journalist do a hit piece on you.

February 3, 2010 10:50 am

To be even handed Mr Harribin should also find a proper academic mathematical physicist or group of mathematical physicists who can put a proper, rigorous, successfully unchallenged by other mathematical physicists, detailed mathematical, scientific case based on publically validated data that dangerous AGW is over 30% certain based on business as usual growth in the production of anthropic CO2. And he can choose those scientists from anywhere in the world. Because he’s so confident maybe Al Gore could put up a $2M prize to be taken by either the successful team or the last mathematical physicist who causes the proving team to give up. We have plenty of time.

Marlene Anderson
February 3, 2010 10:51 am

Quoting Harribin:
“I am trying to talk to UK scientists in current academic posts who are sceptical about AGW.
I’m struggling to find anyone – but there may of course be a number of reasons for this.”
It may not be a dearth of skeptical scientists in academia, it might actually be a matter of no one trusting Harribin enough to talk to him. The man has past allegiances and dangerous allegiances that put people on their guard. If any scientist does agree to speak, they should be given a list of questions beforehand and then make sure the interview is recorded independently.

February 3, 2010 10:51 am

This new departure is entirely due to ME answering a short poll on the BBC news website asking my opinion on its layout and news coverage. I mentioned the lack of balance on AGW SEVERAL times!!! After that, the Beeb had no choice but to find a balanced viewpoint from somewhere. (LOL)
But seriously, what the guy needs is a sizeable panel of various credible people, otherwise it would be all too easy to single one sceptical expert out and hang him out to dry.
Anthony – you da MAN on this subject, even Auntie Beeb recognises that!
His mate Mr Black is even more worrying than Harrabin is.

John Galt
February 3, 2010 10:53 am

Don’t fall for it! As soon as you come forward as an AGW skeptic they send you off to the re-education camp.

February 3, 2010 10:53 am

P.S. There is nothing to be gained from talking to the MSM. They can’t reach anyone with their newspaper you can’t reach with your blog. Less actually. As you noted, you can’t even view some BBC stuff.
All they can do is filter what you say as it suits them. Take a look back through 20 years of their publication to see what suits them.

Indiana Bones
February 3, 2010 10:56 am

Henry Galt (10:02:42) :
He wants a list of the currently employed who secretly deny the State mantra and its right to dictate the science.

Part of the Ed Miliband war strategy now is to capture and silence the speech of “dangerous” skeptics:
“‘There are a whole variety of people who are sceptical, but who they are is less important than what they are saying, and what they are saying is profoundly dangerous…’ The danger of climate scepticism, he said, was that it would foster dissent against unpopular decisions such increases in energy bills and investment in wind turbines…” Ed Miliband, UK Climate Secretary
This Stazi attitude has infected the minds of alarmist bloggers now turning brown shirt for the cause. Witness this comment from an alarmist on a popular green site recently:
“I want to know who is exactly commanding who and how it is being done and since when this has been going on and what hard evidence you have to prove this.”
Mr. Harrabin is probably just following marching orders from Ed.

Ron de Haan
February 3, 2010 10:57 am

What? There are no skeptic scientists in the UK?
How is that possible?
Professor Philip Stott certainly knows where he is talking about!
Lord Monckton is in Australia and what about Piers Corbyn.
Oh yes, I see, Mr Harrabin wants them in a current academic position!
That’s like finding a Jewish shop owner open for business in Germany in 1944.
Isn’t it a shame they are still talking about “balanced science” over there.

February 3, 2010 10:58 am

re vjones (10:47:36) :
Argh – the link is here:

D. King
February 3, 2010 10:58 am

“Dear Mr Watts,
I am trying to talk to UK scientists in current academic posts who are sceptical about AGW.
I’m struggling to find anyone – but there may of course be a number of reasons for this. Please could you post my request on your website – and ask people to email”
What color eyes did you want on that scientist?
I think one passed by here, but I’m not sure.
This is so insulting!

Chris H
February 3, 2010 10:59 am

Mr Watts
The BBC have always promoted green agendas frequently to the point of idiocy, producing programmes that prozelytize the environmental memes ad nauseum.
I believe Mr Harrabin has even been bullied by environmental campaigners into pulling factual reports,you might ask him about the emails from Jo Abbess (Blog bully crows over BBC climate victory) ,thats one from The Register
They will no doubt cut you short in favour of any half witted malcontent whos mindset conforms to the BBC groupthink.The BBC is alas no longer what it keeps telling the world it is. Perhaps you can dig out a few nuggets at Biased BBC blogspot,I can only concur with Stuck-Record,
Do not trust this man.

Rhys Jaggar
February 3, 2010 10:59 am

Thing is:
There aren’t that many places in the UK where climate science research takes place.
Met Office and Hadley Centre certainly unlikely to be tolerating skeptics. And I do think that Imperial College may be rather warmist in outlook too…..
I’d tell Piers Corbyn about this – he’s the most likely to know if there are any. will guide you to his email address.

February 3, 2010 11:02 am

I would recommend BBC reporters to watch Fred Singer’s lecture and maybe read the NIPCC report. That should be a solid introduction to AGW scepticism.

February 3, 2010 11:03 am

Every AGWr. will recognize the following words, of one their forefathers:
“When people attempt to rebel against the iron logic of nature, they come into conflict with the very same principles to which they owe their existence as human beings. Their actions against nature must lead to their own downfall.” “Mein Kampf”

February 3, 2010 11:05 am

“Freeman Dyson. though at the Institue for advanced study in Princeton, he is, of course, a Brit!”
As I recall, he renounced his British citizenship and became a U.S. citizen. Something to do with not being able to get British citizenship for his American-born children.

February 3, 2010 11:05 am

Slightly off topic, but I keep getting emails from David Milliband the UK environment minister. Latest text below, but I have to admit my responses are less than polite:
For those of us who believe that climate change is the issue of our times, this year is absolutely crucial.
Internationally, we’ve got to firm up what we got at Copenhagen and then push much further. At home, we’ve got to cut our carbon emissions and challenge the sceptics.
There’s a lot to do and a lot of priorities to choose from
In Copenhagen, countries agreed to state their next steps around the 31st January – so why not get your views to me by then?
Should we spend more of our time focussing on the domestic arena or the international? Is climate finance the key issue or is it the nature of the treaty that we should focus on?
As someone who cares passionately about t hese issues, I want to know your priorities.
Tell me what your climate change priorities are for the year
Of course we can do more than one thing at a time and all of these issues are important – but we do need to prioritise.
Your campaigning over the last year pushed climate change to the top of the agenda – we need to keep up the push to take on the sceptics and expose those who only pay lip service to our issue.
Together, we’ll win

February 3, 2010 11:06 am

Jasper Kirkby
Of course that is just a ‘real’ scientist, he probably wouldn’t say anything he wasn’t sure of. That said, I doubt he is losing sleep at night worrying about the earth baking.
Maybe they are just looking for a negative Gavin Schmitt and think that makes balance. Note anyone who says we aren’t sure Global Warming will be a catastrophe is a skeptic (a healthy thing).

February 3, 2010 11:08 am

It’s amazing that after reporting on climate change for several years, Harrabin doesn’t know any sceptics and obviously has never spoken to any of them. For too long he has had a direct link to all the alarmists at UEA, CRU, Met Office, Hadley Centre, Reading University. BBC bias is exposed by his lack of knowledge of sceptical scientists.

February 3, 2010 11:13 am

Isn’t it ironic that the man can’t find himselve the required people?
He never read something that is skeptical of AGW?
Watch it!

Henry chance
February 3, 2010 11:20 am

Trust. From my view as a psychologist, why was he crude and non receptive before now? His behavior tells us he is not to be trusted. Is he trying to “justify” his own bias and now suddenly put on an unbiased face?
Apologetics that are symbolized by jumping on the band wagon are very shallow. It seems he is facing a trainwreck and now is trying to jump on a safer boat. It is called media bias.

February 3, 2010 11:21 am

guardian motivation
elevation evil influence, green thinking..

Layne Blanchard
February 3, 2010 11:22 am

Nils Morner?

February 3, 2010 11:27 am

On reflection, do not accept the premise of the question. WUWT now holds the high ground and you should be negotiating the terms of engagement. The MSM will be doing anything to undermine the credibility of this new sociological phenomenon. Also record all conversations!
REPLY: I think that is the wrong approach. Cautious bridge building might yield more results – Anthony

West Houston
February 3, 2010 11:28 am

Consider this comment of Mr. Harrabin:
“We are looking for scientists, of course – not insults.”
Wel, Roger, folks in your line of work were mighty quick to insult those same skeptics and call them every foul name in the book.
But, no insults for you, eh! Well, aren’t you special!

February 3, 2010 11:29 am

I have an audio recording of the newsnight programme. If you want me to send it just e-mail me.
REPLY: Thanks, I’m hearing impaired, and with Brit accent and no lip reading (visual) I won’t be able to comprehend much. – Anthony

Gail Combs
February 3, 2010 11:31 am

He asks for “UK scientists in current academic posts who are sceptical about AGW.”
I would suggest ex-patriots only who fill this criteria to emphasize how the UK has a “brain drain”

Henry chance
February 3, 2010 11:34 am

He plays the big oil big funding card.
“You have to survey the history of the debate to see why: from the early days when climate science was emerging, the fossil fuel industry funded multi-million dollar campaigns promoting uncertainty to delay action to control emissions. ”
Climate science emerged thousands of years ago, buddy. where have you been. Frightfull global warming is what has emerged recently.

a jones
February 3, 2010 11:36 am

This strikes me as a deeply duplicitous. note the emphasis on being in a current academic post: a ploy specifically designed to exclude genuine expertise from the broad swathe of independent scientists whilst maintaining the fiction of some kind of balanced view so beloved of the BBC.
The same famous BBC balance which allows one major figure to present current affairs whilst being an avowed member of the Labour party who not only gave it donations but spoke on it’s behalf.
It is part of a counterattack as is the Guardian’s apparent change of heart but it is a pretty feeble one in view of how fast events are moving.
No this merely designed to show that could not find any serious sceptics so they can say nobody was willing to appear. And so cover their collective backsides if the worst comes to the worst, which it likely will.
Interesting though, I shall put into my submission to the Select Committee.
Kindest Regards

February 3, 2010 11:37 am

Sounds like a job for Diogenes.

Indiana Bones
February 3, 2010 11:41 am

Anthony may be correct. Keeping in mind that Chamberlain-esque appeasement may feed, not tame the beebeast.

Gail Combs
February 3, 2010 11:42 am

There is also the “500 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming”
Perhaps Roger Harribin should do a report on this topic instead. After all despite the “science being settled” and the pressure of public opinion papers DID get published.
A determination of how many of these papers were written by “UK scientists in current academic posts” should highlight the state of suppression of independent scientific research in the UK. I leave the work of determining who fits the criteria to Mr Harribin since he is supposed to be an investigative journalist after all.

February 3, 2010 11:42 am

Retired Dave (10:31:40) :
The upshot is that there have been no jobs in the UK for climate sceptics (that’s not necessarily deniers) for a long time. Turn up at any of these establishments with an open mind, and you will be working in MacDonalds.
…Too right. I would never run the risk of being stitched up by the BBC and having my work rubbished just to provide Harrabin with his global warming vindication. My brother-in-law is a Professor of Geomorphology who never believed in the global warming fantasy from the day he first heard it, and he won’t speak to Harrabin either.
Look for your Aunt Sallys in another country, Harrabin. You are poison to working scientists here.

February 3, 2010 11:43 am

Phillip Bratby (11:08:59)
Yes, isn’t that quite amazing. I’m surprised it took so many replies for that to be recognized.

February 3, 2010 11:45 am

200 words for the Guardian! – the spam filter did you a favour. You can be quite sure George Monbiot’s scathing response to whatever you said would not be restricted to 200 words. As for the BBC – up until Newsnight last night which was a breath of fresh air – they have been almost as biased as the Guardian. They still haven’t investigated the real scandal which is the apparent scientific fraud in the adjustments to the surface temperature records.

February 3, 2010 11:45 am

2010 Background Info:
BBC Trust to Review Science Coverage
Outlet’s “accuracy and impartiality” to be scrutinized following criticism
By Curtis Brainard

Peter Miller
February 3, 2010 11:46 am

Re: your comment: The geologists I know have been saying that AGW was “bad science” since at least 2004. I recently asked one of them why the “rock guys” haven’t been more vocal about why they came to that conclusion early in the game, and he just said, “We like our jobs — and we like *keeping* our jobs.”
Good point. I forgot to mention something: all the geologists I know work in the private sector, where individualism is encouraged and they are not required to have pre-approved views like those working in the public sector.
Oops, that brings up another good point: Are there any climate ‘scientists’ working in the private sector?

Mark Fawcett
February 3, 2010 11:48 am

Will you be taking Mr Harrabin up on his offer to meet regarding a weather related story?
REPLY: If he pays air fare and lodging to London, sure why not? -A

February 3, 2010 11:53 am

Struggling to find anyone? Has the world become so tribalized that a professional journalist can’t find someone of an opposing viewpoint?

February 3, 2010 11:56 am

Another vote for Peter Taylor.
Well qualified, onside, and cognisant of the political and academic currents.

Nigel S
February 3, 2010 11:59 am

Gail Combs (11:31:48)
It is depressing how many expatriates are expatriots.

February 3, 2010 11:59 am

CRU’s own website might give Mr. Harribin some insight:
“Since its inception in 1972 until 1994, the only scientist who had a guaranteed salary from ENV/UEA funding was the Director. Every other research scientist relied on ‘soft money’ – grants and contracts – to continue his or her work. Since 1994, the situation has improved and now three of the senior staff are fully funded by ENV/UEA and two others have part of their salaries paid. The fact that CRU has and has had a number of long-standing research staff is testimony to the quality and relevance of our work. Such longevity in a research centre, dependent principally on soft money, in the UK university system is probably unprecedented. The number of CRU research staff as of the end of July 2007 is 15 (including those fully funded by ENV/UEA).
The early priority of CRU was set against the backdrop of there having been little investigation before the 1960s of past climatic changes and variability, except by geologists and botanists, although there was an excess of theories. The objective of CRU, therefore, was “to establish the past record of climate over as much of the world as possible, as far back in time as was feasible, and in enough detail to recognise and establish the basic processes, interactions, and evolutions in the Earth’s fluid envelopes and those involving the Earth’s crust and its vegetation cover”. The early efforts towards this objective were the interpretation of documentary historical records. This was painstaking and challenging work and progressed through the 1970s.”
Who would dare to go against the flow when people’s jobs were so tenuous? There’s a Wigley quote I wish I could find right now.

Tom G(ologist)
February 3, 2010 12:00 pm

Simon Blackburn, Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge Univ. is a big AGW skeptic and might know some U.K. climate scientists who are also less than friendly to AGW. Blackburn was the one who first turned me on (years ago) the the late great John Daly’s excellent page Still Waiting for Greenhouse.
He has a web page here:
that might have an e-mail to contact him.

February 3, 2010 12:01 pm

Anthony, I recommend Mr Harrabin be asked provide a return favor to post here at WUWT on the topic of why it is that he finds “I’m struggling to find anyone – but there may of course be a number of reasons for this.” It would be professional behaviour for him to accept.

Jim Cripwell
February 3, 2010 12:01 pm

I have not seen the names Alister McFarquhar and Richard S. Courtney mentioned.

Brian Williams
February 3, 2010 12:02 pm

Will they be given anonymity? The reason he is having trouble may be because scientists don’t want to be labelled “deniers” by “da man” (Monbiot) and lose all chance of government grants.
It really is 1984 in Guardianland. Thought crimes, newspeak etc.

David, UK
February 3, 2010 12:03 pm

The most openly sceptical scientists are often the wise old retired ones. The ones who have no self-interests – no government grants – to protect, and are old and ugly and hardened enough not to care about any damage to reputation. I think some of these old guys and gals would have a field day if given an outlet to voice their opinions and concerns, and would be a rich source of wisdom.

Calvin Ball
February 3, 2010 12:05 pm

Delingpole might have some suggestions, but his last piece on this isn’t very encoraging.

I first met Professor Stott a couple of years ago. He’s emeritus professor of biogeography at the University of London, and I tracked him down because in those days he was pretty much the ONLY senior scientific academic anywhere in Britain brave enough publicly to dispute the AGW ‘consensus.”
We had lunch. “There are many more scientists who think the way I do,” he told me. “But they don’t want to stick their heads above the parapet. They don’t want to lose their jobs.” We talked a bit about the loneliness of our position, how impossible it was to place dissenting articles anywhere in the media, how people who thought like us were treated like pariahs.

Then he lets us know how he really feels:

Now suddenly it has all changed utterly. And you know what? I’m in no mood for being magnanimous in victory. I want the lying, cheating, fraudulent scientists prosecuted and fined or imprisoned. I want warmist politicians like Brown and disgusting Milibands booted out and I want Conservative fellow-travellers who are still pushing this green con trick – that’ll be you, David Cameron, you Greg Clark, you Tim Yeo, you John Gummer, to name but four – to be punished at the polls for their culpable idiocy.
For years I’ve been made to feel a pariah for my views on AGW. Chris Booker has had the same experience, as has Richard North, Benny Peiser, Lord Lawson, Philip Stott and those few others of us who recognised early on that the AGW thing stank. Now it’s payback time and I take small satisfaction from seeing so many rats deserting their sinking ship. I don’t want them on my side. I want to see them in hell, reliving scenes from Hieronymus Bosch.

Yeah, maybe it isn’t the Christian way. But screw ‘em. It’s not as though they haven’t all been screwing us for long enough.

February 3, 2010 12:05 pm

I agree Jeremy but in this case it may come down to “accuracy and impartially” – if he selects the source he can become the story.
It looks like a good opportunity and an honest request on his part. The only question is where you’ll find qualified critics who like throwing themselves under this political bus.
2010 Background Info:
BBC Trust to Review Science Coverage
Outlet’s “accuracy and impartiality” to be scrutinized following criticism
By Curtis Brainard

February 3, 2010 12:07 pm
February 3, 2010 12:08 pm

The BBC is a political tool. The decision to change tack will have been political.
I read this as a political back door being opened.
This is an election year, and with the continuing revelations since Climategate only a political fool would not be preparing for a huge shift in public opinion and, would need a face saving strategy in what may necessitate a u-turn.
A political someone, at sometime soon, must come out and admit that there is a serious problem with ‘the science’.
David Cameron (Conservative) is a political fool and is increasing speed in digging a green hole for himself.
Watch for a shift in thinking from Brown (Labour) and the use of the BBC as a platform to convey it.
Its also a good time for skeptics to be heard.

stephen richards
February 3, 2010 12:09 pm

Thanks for the snip. Its the first time and I shall ware it like a badge of honour.
BUT I say again do not get involved with the BBC, Harabin or Black. I have had some very bad experiences with these people. The BBC is not to be trusted. They are well aware of ‘scientists’ with opposing views. They have interviewed Corbyn, Moncton etc in the past and have ridiculed them. They are manipulative and evil. I’ll say it again. You do not need to go any where near them and you would do well not to. Any bridge you build will merely lead to a death by troll at the other side.

February 3, 2010 12:09 pm

I nominate Will Alexander (at climaterealist).
He has some science that is immediately applicable to droughts in Africa. But his government will not listen.

February 3, 2010 12:12 pm

the other Kate wrote:
Too right. I would never run the risk of being stitched up by the BBC and having my work rubbished just to provide Harrabin with his global warming vindication. My brother-in-law is a Professor of Geomorphology who never believed in the global warming fantasy from the day he first heard it, and he won’t speak to Harrabin either.”
Please reconsider. I know this sounds strange. But Harrabin needs to hear that from you!!!!!

February 3, 2010 12:12 pm
February 3, 2010 12:12 pm

Gosh, some of these commentators here would have sent The Prodigal Son away again with a thick ear.
I’ve read somewhere recently that the BBC Trust decreed that “the science is settled” (ie that global warming was man-made). I don’t carry a candle especially for Harrabin but the BBC is a very peculiar place where, if the official line is that the “science is settled”, it would be reckless (if you don’t want your career to end suddenly) to give the impression that you think otherwise. Especially as the Government had also decided that the science was settled and was busy brain-washing the next generation, too, through the national curriculum.

Hank Henry
February 3, 2010 12:24 pm

Freeman Dyson is now an American citizen but is really British.
Nigel Calder.

g smiley
February 3, 2010 12:28 pm

How about Piers Corbyn
He prdicted this segere winter (in UK) six months prior – He uses Solar activity

g smiley
February 3, 2010 12:28 pm

Sorry – predicted and severe

Dave Andrews
February 3, 2010 12:29 pm

Remember, this is the Roger Harrabin who changed a slightly sceptical article on BBC online because he came under pressure from climate campaigner Jo Abess.
I, too, have some experience of him over a programme in the early 2000s about depleted uranium that was markedly one sided. He promised to respond to my concerns but never did.
I’m wary that his initial assertion that they can’t find any UK academics who are sceptical is part of a ‘set up’

February 3, 2010 12:31 pm

Be careful- I was interviewed in 2006 by a very friendly BBC chap regarding AGW, who took my words out of context and parsed them up to denigrate me and misrepresent my beliefs.
I would at the least go in with a private, undisclosed recording device. Anything in writing should be time stamped to show what you actually said.
The BBC is, and has been for years, deeply committed to propaganda-style journalism on this, and likely other, topics.
If their journalists are finally seeking to regain their integrity, I would apply the proven safety measure of ‘trust, but verify’.

g smiley
February 3, 2010 12:31 pm

@{Peter Miller (09:16:02) :
There is a guy here in the UK who posts on blogs as “Slioch” – he is a geologist by training and he definitely believes in AGW – look it up – he is quite fervent

Hank Henry
February 3, 2010 12:32 pm

I would bet there are plenty of geologists to be found who would not be uncomfortable about expressing skepticism about what is known about the climate – past, present and future.

Nigel S
February 3, 2010 12:33 pm

“People who know a lot more than I do may be right when they claim that [global warming] is the consequence of our own behaviour. I assume that this is why the BBC’s coverage of the issue abandoned the pretence of impartiality long ago”,
Jeremy Paxman
Media Guardian, Jan 31st, 2007
You might get a fair interview from the Great Paxo but otherwise be very careful of their trying to skewer you as Cletus’s dimwit cousin. This is a $5 billion p.a. state funded propaganda outfit that is so far up its own fundament that it is in complete denial of that obvious fact.
Oh and don’t forget the garlic, stake and silver bullets (not for Paxo!).
If you do come over I know a lot of people would like to buy you a beer or two.

g smiley
February 3, 2010 12:35 pm

@ Dave B
Peter Taylor – an excellent nomination.
He is available on google videos giving a very good presentation on Climate

February 3, 2010 12:37 pm

I understand why you feel that bridge building is better than confrontation. But to paraphrase John Le Carre, be “ultra, ultra cautious.”
RH is not just a BBC correspondent. He is also:
As a journalist (if that is what he is), he must know that he looks weak in making this approach. I’d advise asking him what his take is on the “number of reasons for this.”
Very best regards. You and Mr McIntyre are stars.

stephen richards
February 3, 2010 12:37 pm

There is nothing about this request that smells sweet. All those proposing a snuggle-up should think about whether they would snuggle up to a black and harabin widow. snake you know !! This stinks !

February 3, 2010 12:37 pm

Professor Robert Carter.

February 3, 2010 12:39 pm

He can’t have looked very far Professor Stott who was recently interviewed on Radio Fours the World this Weekend 1pm Sunday 30 Jan 2010?
Robert Carter
Freeman Dyson
Who’s the Professor who is an expert in malaria?
If you come to London I’ll buy you a beer?
Harrabins next move will be to say that he could not find any scientists who are skeptical?

Layne Blanchard
February 3, 2010 12:39 pm

There is the possibility that you’re being baited. If the list is short, they could simply turn this into a headline that the stronghold of skepticism could only find a handful of representatives.

February 3, 2010 12:40 pm

About Robert Carter. Mr Harrabin, just watch the youtube;
There are four parts;

February 3, 2010 12:40 pm

Er, didn’t you receive a request for assistance from someone else who then used it all against you?
By the way, is Harrabin really interested, suddenly, in the BBC being opne or is this a desperate search for retrospective credibility?

February 3, 2010 12:41 pm

basically – watch out, they will stitch you up.
However having said that – there was as reasonable coverage as we could expect on last night Newsnight.

g smiley
February 3, 2010 12:45 pm

apologies for postiag corbyn as several people already suggested him- i had searched and ddin’t find but I had mispelled his name 🙂

Peter Miller
February 3, 2010 12:49 pm

g smiley (12:31:23) :
@{Peter Miller (09:16:02) :
There is a guy here in the UK who posts on blogs as “Slioch” – he is a geologist by training and he definitely believes in AGW – look it up – he is quite fervent.
Never seen him post, but if I had to guess he probably is a frustrated individual working in some dead beat, dead end, third rate, university – unfortunately, that describes too many of the universities here, the product of social engineering by our socialist masters.

February 3, 2010 12:51 pm

Guardian is spouting on about Yamal now:-
Climate scientists withheld Yamal data despite warnings from senior colleaguesAncient trees dragged from frozen Siberian bogs do not undermine climate science, despite what the sceptics say

February 3, 2010 12:55 pm

” wws (11:37:28) :
Sounds like a job for Diogenes.”
Good one!

Sydney Sceptic
February 3, 2010 12:55 pm

How about one of the 31000 scientists that signed the petition project?

Alan Wilkinson
February 3, 2010 12:56 pm

“I am trying to talk to UK scientists in current academic posts who are sceptical about AGW.”
Science doesn’t rely on authority figures within the UK establishment.
However, he could ask any UK climate scientists what are the weaknesses in the IPCC analyses and if they say there are none then the obvious question is why we are funding any further research.

Tor Hansson
February 3, 2010 1:00 pm

How about suggesting scientists from the Commonwealth countries? I don’t know whether that would be acceptable, but it would certainly make the list a whole lot longer. There are scientists in India, Canada, Australia, and so on that would seem to make fine candidates.
My personal favorite is Dr. Bob Carter, James Cook University, Australia. He is a folksy no-nonsense type that speaks in plain words, and stands on solid scientific ground. He comes across well in television interviews, and has a fully formed narrative on AGW. (His narrative: is human activity causing dangerous changes in our climate? NO.)
The latter is possibly the most important. What I find problematic with the likes of Dr. Lindzen, for all his strengths, is that he does not have a story to tell that readily satisfies the curiosity and confusion of lay people. I would extend significant effort towards finding a person who can offer such a narrative.
The BBC is a media company. It has its feelers out and smells a sea-change. People like Mr. Harrabin will obviously be very cautious in their selection of skeptics, as they need the cover of solid science to begin admitting the uncertainties. I would dispute the idea of John Harrabin as the second coming of Joseph Goebbels. As a journalist he lives inside the zeitgeist, and must be expected to reflect it. His article also points to a desire to protect science.
He is reaching out. This is the time for skeptical points of view to demonstrate that there can be no mainstream discussion without them.
Anthony, I would strongly urge you to get help from a capable publicity professional at this point. I would be surprised if there isn’t one on this forum. This is an opportunity to do a whole lot of good. It can also be botched. I would say that the most important issue is to make sure that the skeptic message is as sticky as the alarmist message (polar bears, climate refugees, glacier melt, and so on. Or the message may be entirely different: Impartial science is under attack. It’s entire future hangs in the balance.) I know that this is not necessarily on your plate, but you have an opportunity.
Proceed with caution, but also with confidence. And kudos to you. Those many nights of thankless work are paying off, ever so slowly.

February 3, 2010 1:02 pm

So Harribin wants to talk to academic in-post AGW sceptics.
Note that he doesn’t say what it is he wants to talk about.
Most respondents here assume it’ll be about the science. Don’t bank on it,
since he’s no scientist, sure as eggs, his main thrust will not be the science of AGW, it’s probable it’ll be in an area where he feels much more in control and an academic wouldn’t be.
This character is totally untrustworthy, a proven liar, a pal of Jones’ and one of the select band who gathered together a bunch of ‘experts’ who advised the BBC that there was no need to present the sceptic’s case because the science was in.
Don’t do it is my advice. He’s a beeb-clone and a warmist through-and-through. He’s looking for an edge – or a potential mugging victim.

February 3, 2010 1:03 pm

He wants a scientist, no insults? Send him the big guy from this american Bullshit programme.

g smiley
February 3, 2010 1:05 pm

@{Peter Miller (09:16:02)
no not frustrated in a university – he is happily living in the Scottish Highlands -He’s been quiet of late on Climate blogs _ wonder why? But quite active prior to Copenhagen/climategate and this cold winter.

Richard M
February 3, 2010 1:13 pm

Well, I’m not in academia, I’m not a climate scientist, I’m not an Earth scientist, I don’t live in GB but I’d be happy to do the interview. Besides I’m a distant relative of Sir Francis Drake and I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express a couple of years ago.
So, exactly what is going to be discussed that can be understood by the BBC audience? The physics of CO2 IR absorption bands? Maybe the affect of ENSO on global weather patterns? How about the statistical analysis of tree ring chronologies?
Naturally, all of these things would put the audience to sleep. So, why do they want an academic? There’s hundreds of Brits that can discuss cooling for the last 10 years, increasing Arctic ice extent, hiding of data and processes as sell as a few dozen other topics discussed here. What more does he need?

February 3, 2010 1:21 pm

Philip Stott would be a brilliant choice. His ideas can be summarised by a paragraph from a piece he wrote in the Telegraph June 10, 2005:-
“Climate change has to be broken down into three questions: ‘Is climate changing and in what direction?’
‘Are humans influencing climate change, and to what degree?’
And: ‘Are humans able to manage climate change predictably by adjusting one or two factors out of the thousands involved?’
The most fundamental question is: ‘Can humans manipulate climate predictably?’ Or, more scientifically: ‘Will cutting carbon dioxide emissions at the margin produce a linear, predictable change in climate?’
The answer is ‘No’. In so complex a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system as climate, not doing something at the margins is as unpredictable as doing something. This is the cautious science; the rest is dogma.”

February 3, 2010 1:22 pm

Harrabin, he of re-writes due to Greenie pressure now seeks WUWT to find him “current” UK scientific sceptics.
If you agree to help, and nobody wants to talk (why should they?) then the BBC can say “even the most powerful online centre of climate “sceptics” It will be in quotes to emphasis our ignorance and deviancy), failed to find anyone who disgrees with the mainstream view. Case closed”.
This is an ambush. Do not walk into it.

February 3, 2010 1:23 pm

I’d stay well clear of Harrabin. The Beeb Trust need to put on a show of ‘scientific balance’ so he is out looking for a Judy to go with his Punch.
Harrabin makes a good living reporting on climate science, but instead of doing a proper journo job he has apparently been taking it easy and stooging around with the advocates!
Now, because his bosses are having their collars felt and they are leaning on him; he is pretty desperate and admits he does not know any proper climate scientists and is reduced to advertising in the Blogosphere!
The basic problem that the BBC and the MSM have, is one of technique. They have to exaggerate to provide an ‘interesting story” aka a Rumble. Ideally they would like two advocates beating the hell out of each other but as we know proper scientists are not like that, and to quote Yeats ” The best lack all conviction” . And as we have seen over the past year, the Blogosphere is a far better medium for discussing major scientific issues than the MSM, which is precisely why the Beeb and the MSM find themselves on the back foot.
Also, behind Harrabin and the Beeb, in government we have a ‘Minister of climate-change’ whose job it is to carry out the Warmist policies of the Prime Minister. It follows that his whole political career and those who work for him is directly threatened if the AGW case is shown to be weakening rather than strengthening. So any skeptical scientist who enters the public domain will become a personal threat to him and his party. As we have seen from the Iraq affair, New Labour are not nice people and this is another reason to stay well away from Harrabin and the Beeb/Guardian media.
The Blogosphere is doing a good steady job of getting at the truth of what is happening, and also cannot be nobbled or muzzled by the likes of Milliband ….. so why bother with Harrabin, Beeb, Guardian and the rest of the MSM. Let the dead bury the dead.

TomTurner in SF
February 3, 2010 1:24 pm

Five (5) scientists who are skeptical of AGW: (unfortunately, they are not UK based)
Jorgen Peder Steffensen
Niels Bohr Institute, Department of Geophysics
Professor John Cristy
University of Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama, USA
Dr. Sallie Baliunas
Astrophysicist, Harvard University, Boston, MA, USA
Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner
Stockholm University
Dr. David Legates
Center for Climate Research
University of Delaware
Written and directed by Lars Oxfeldt Mortensen
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
The 5-part video series includes statements from these academics:
Dr. David Legates
Center for Climate Research
University of Delaware
A computer model is a very sophisticated computer program that attempts to simulate all of the processes associated with the atmosphere. In particular therefore, what we need to have is as much data as possible to be able to fire the model, to be able to understand the processes. Generally what we find is that many of the processes that work in the climate work at a variety of scales that a computer model simply cannot resolve. One of the things we do not do well in climate models is simulate precipitation. And again precipitation is affected by virtually every component of the climate system, and in turn, every component of the climate system affects precipitation. So precipitation is a very good diagnostic as to how well the climate model is doing. And most climate models don’t do precipitation well at all.
A computer does only what it is programmed, and in particular, … (part 5 of 5) garbage in , garbage out.
Dr. Jorgen Peder Steffensen
Niels Bohr Institute, Department of Geophysics
Ice from Viking age – 1.5 degrees warmer than today
Inland icesheet, Greenland, 2003
NORDGRIP = Greenland icecore project
DRILL down to rock at bottom of Greenland icesheet – ice core is 3 kilometers in length
Get temperatures back 10,000 years.
Greenland temperature was at its coldest in 1875, exactly when humans started measuring temperature by thermometer!!!
Other core samples from Greenland confirm that the little ice age ended about 140 years ago at the coldest point in the last 10,000 years.
The natural pronounced alteration of warm and cold periods has also been confirmed in other ways:
>Carbon 14 dating of organic matter from peet bogs and tree rings
>Data from CyTi caves in China and North Africa
If Greenland and Antarctica melted tomorrow, sea level would rise about 100 meters. That process would take 2,000 to 3,000 years. If east Antarctica melted, sea level would rise 80 meters. But the temp in East Antarctica is so far below zero, that it will not melt. If temps rised 10 degrees, the result would be more humidity in the atmosphere from the evaporation of sea water, that would increase snowfall significantly in Antarctica, causing the ice to INCREASE. Therefore, if warmer climate, then East Antarctica will grow!!! The warmth of the tropical ocean generates enormous amounts of water vapor which is distributed to the rest of the world and falls as rain or snow. So water vapor, clouds and precipitation play a decisive role in the climate throughout the atmosphere. The United Nations Climate Panel bases its various scenarios on what will happen if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This would not only result in a climatic disaster, the calculations say that more carbon dioxide would also increase the amount of water in the atmosphere. It is this cocktail, more carbon dioxide and water that according to the theory must lead to a greenhouse effect many times as great as carbon dioxide on its own. The trouble is, temperature increases in the atmosphere just don’t seem to have happened to the degree that the models predict.
Professor John Cristy
University of Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama
Used weather satellites – brought together data from 7 or 8 satellites- strung the data together- result: no change in atmospheric temperature!!!!
Climate scientist once said, “My model is right, it’s the real world that’s wrong.”
Dr. Sallie Baliunas
Astrophysicist, Harvard University
Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Dr. Baliunas speaks to the inadequacy of climate models, and to the historical record indicating that 20th century temperatures are well within the normal range.
Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner
Stockholm University
The Maldives
Sea level fell 20-30 centimeters in last 30 years, since 1970-1975
He believes it is from strong evaporation of equatorial waters.
Evaporation of tropical seawater moves the masses of water to the poles where it falls as snow.
Cannot have increased precipitation at location “A” without increased evaporation at location “B”, and that is the balance of the globe.

February 3, 2010 1:26 pm

Beware! This is a spurious attempt to discredit the sceptical side of the AGW debate by claiming that no sceptical British scientist could be identified.
It would take a very brave scientist to appear on the Beeb and express a sceptical viewpoint. This is how Prof David Bellamy was treated when he did just that.

Rob R
February 3, 2010 1:44 pm

Roger Pielke Snr for a balanced view of human impacts on climate.
John Christy is one who actually knows something about global temperature and atmospheric heat content.
I can’t see why the BBC should restrict itself to Brits. Surely they should go for quality.
How about Svensmark? Svalgaard has a level headed view. Lindzen is another.
Ross McKitrick is a must (Canada, British by proxy).
Chris de Freitas (Auckland, British by proxy)
Bob Carter (Queensland, Kiwi expat but either way British by proxy)
Ian Plimer (Aussie, British by proxy)
Christopher Landsea- balanced viewpoint
Robert C Balling
CJ Butler: Armagh Observatory, Nthn Ireland
Timothy Ball: Climatologist
Bjarne Andresen: Neils Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
WD Braswell: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California
Ian Castles: Economist and critic of the Stern Review. Former head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics
L Debontridder: Royal Meteorological Service, Belgium
Chriss Essex. Prof mathematics, University of Western Ontario
Robert Giegengack: Chair, Dept Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania.
David Henderson. Former head of the Economics & Statistics Dept of the OECD
Kalnay, E. University of Maryland – Impact of land-surface forcings
William Kinimonth, Former Head, National Climate Centre
Prof. Hubert Lamb. (founder of the Climate Research Unit, East Anglia University)
Ahilleas Maurellis. Earth-oriented Sciences division, SRON National Inst for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan, Utrecht, Netherland
Nils Axel Morner: Sea level expert
Aksel Wiin-Neilsen. University of Copenhagen. (Former Director, European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting; Former Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organisation)
Tim Patterson. Prof of Geology, Dept Earth Sciences, Carleton Uni, Ottawa, Canada
Arthur Rorsch. Prof Molecular Genetics, Leiden University
Stephen E Schwartz: Brookhaven National Laboratory
Fred Singer. Prof Emeritus Environmental Science, Uni of Virginia
Robert E Stevenson- Oceanographer. Consultant, formerly of the US Office of Naval Research and former Secretary General of the International Assn for the Physical Science of the Oceans
Johnathan Tennyson. Head of the Atomic, Molecular, Optical & positron Physics Group, University College, London
Hendrik Tennekes: Former Director of Research, Netherlands Royal National Meteorological Institut
David Beerling, fossil CO2 measurements . Dept Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, UK
Prof dr C de Jager (Extensive study of solar influences for the Netherlands Govt)
Not sure if all these affiliations are still current.
A Wegaman- Statistician
There are lots more but thats not a bad start.
Reply: So why are people not emailing these suggestions directly to Roger Harrabin as he requested? ~ ctm

February 3, 2010 1:46 pm

Anthony, I would have to agree with the cautious approach. This apparent reaching out is carefully planned. He/they will have both ends covered. He will appear to be cordial, but will have a chosen end game in the AGW camps favor. If nobody is willing to take him up, they will confirm that there are no skeptic scientists. My opinion – on their terms – a win – loose game.

Fasool Rasmin
February 3, 2010 1:51 pm

Britains voice in the world is becoming smaller and smaller. Ignore him.

Veronica (England)
February 3, 2010 1:54 pm

David says “The most openly sceptical scientists are often the wise old retired ones. The ones who have no self-interests – no government grants – to protect, and are old and ugly and hardened enough not to care about any damage to reputation. I think some of these old guys and gals would have a field day if given an outlet to voice their opinions and concerns, and would be a rich source of wisdom”.
I think that is the same reason why the politicians speaking out on this issue are members of the House of Lords rather than MPs from the House of Commons. The latter will have to be elected again soon, the former don”t give a stuff any more, they are there for life and can say what they like. First time I ever saw the advantage of an appointed House.
Harribin could look at Jonathan Leake’s big article in last Sunday’s “Sunday Times”; there are a couple of names in there who might be happy to speak out in their prticular field of expertise.

February 3, 2010 1:54 pm

supercritical (13:23:28) :
hear hear ditto ditto

Stephen Skinner
February 3, 2010 1:56 pm

Gerry (10:05:52) :
“Physics is a science, Geology is a science. I don’t know many physicists who feel comfortable embracing AGW.”
Indeed. And the correct heirarchy is Meteorology is a branch of Physics and Climatolgy is a branch of Meteorolgy.

February 3, 2010 1:58 pm

I would just like to clear up for some posters that the UK is not a US state, nor does it encompass Europe and although an ex-colony Australia is not part of it either. – sorry.

February 3, 2010 1:58 pm

Anthony – by the way well done to you & Joe D’Aleo for your EXCELLENT Surface Temperature Report
Anything Harrabin does on this is highly suspect.
He might be looking for a way out of the false picture of Man-made-climate-Change he has been pushing for years but frankly I have no confidence in him and think he should be removed from his post along with the falsity he has been central in creating.
I have held a number of physics and maths academic posts:-
[Lab demonstrating & Tutorial work in Imperial College Physics a long time ago when I was doing research and in charge of the tutorial group which included Francis Wilson now of Sky Weather (an example for topicality!), then various lecturing posts at South Bank University and Goldsmiths College University of London where I ran a course on Electromagnetism, and various FEs etc] but of course THESE ARE NOT NOW so he is ruling-out me and various other very well QUALIFIED UK scientists who -eg- also presented at our WeatherAction conference in Imperial College on Oct 28th 09 [Peter Gill, David Bellamy, Hans Schreuder, Prof Philip Hutchinson + Chair John Sanderson. Joe D’Aleo and Kirill Kuzanyan also appeared on weblink].
Harrabin attended that conference where we soundly refuted man-made climate Change and he clearly decided we were too good to be heard further and set a trap for me in order (I am advised by a source) to try to make me look bad.
He has not even replied to the public e-mail I sent him pointing out a lie he concocted and published against me. See the link:
Reply To Article: Met Office’s debate over longer-term forecasts by Roger Harrabin =
I feel no inclination to write to Harrabin because I do not trust him. I suspect his game is to declare he has looked high and low in current UK academia and can find none to speak therefore he will infer Man-Made-Climate-Change is all OK.
If people feel inclined to respond I would suggest they nominate former UK academic post-holders & qualified professional scientists in relevant fields and list – for example (and readers may know of others) – all the UK speakers at our conference
(= Piers Corbyn, Peter Gill, Dr David Bellamy, Hans Schreuder, Prof Philip Hutchinson, John Sanderson)
ALL of this list are more qualified and scientifically experienced than all the BBC experts and interviewers and the typical environmentalist types the BBC wheel out for supposedly ‘both’ sides. Please visit for more info on these names.
As far as I can see the BBC is deliberately seeking to quote unqualified ‘skeptics’ from the UK and prefer foreign ‘expert skeptics’ in order to paint a sort of view that its all OK really in the UK – sceptics are all foreigners – when the truth is otherwise.
Piers Corbyn MSc (Astrophysics), ARCS, FRAS, FRMetSoc (corp), WeatherAction long range weather & climate forecasters

February 3, 2010 1:59 pm

I expect Roger is following this thread.
Here is a good source:
Of course, given the need to find funding to support academic research, it is as hard to find a skeptic employed in current academic climate research as it is to find a turkey who will vote for thanksgiving or christmas. As we well know from Climategate, it is nigh impossible to get skeptical climate papers published in respected journals. Without respected published results it is even harder to get research grants.

Mike Spilligan
February 3, 2010 1:59 pm

I totally agree with the many who urge ultra caution in any dealings with Harrabin/BBC. Before it commissions any output the “team” must agree on an “angle” – objectives, how presented, etc. In any recorded discussion they may use only 5% in the final cut, and it’s often been noted that the sequence of recording has been changed to give a completely distorted message. Sorry! but that’s what the formerly totally trusted BBC has become. To a great extent they’ve undermined their own credibility.
It is also a propaganda arm of our present government and has proven direct contacts with ministers (Miliband in this case) and their advisers – the wires buzz between the two on a routine basis – so this could be part of the Miliband “war”.

Britannic no-see-um
February 3, 2010 2:02 pm

Philip Stott is a professor emeritus of biogeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a former editor (1987-2004) of the Journal of Biogeography). He is well known to the BBC and has often been invited to comment, so Roger Harrabin should be well aware of him.
Stott’s blog essay of last Saturday is magnificent:

February 3, 2010 2:03 pm

When he says he’s having trouble I hope he has already found:
As she has written to the BBC on the topic.

February 3, 2010 2:07 pm

WOW – that link was really interesting and very very scary.
Thank you.

Stephen Skinner
February 3, 2010 2:08 pm

I wonder what Stephen Hawking thinks?

February 3, 2010 2:10 pm

Professor (Emeritus) John Brignell, University of Southhampton
Now just because he’s emeritus doesn’t mean his views are any less valid. I regularly consult with a Professor Emeritus for the main reason that he is the top of his field.

February 3, 2010 2:11 pm

Congrats to Anthony and all the other hard working persons who labored to keep the skeptical voice alive. I nominate Henrik Svensmark. Not British, but certainly an articulate and informed skeptic with a powerful alternative model of the basic underlying causes of climate change on the planet.

February 3, 2010 2:14 pm

IPCC reviewer

David Petch
February 3, 2010 2:15 pm

Helen Roe at Queen’s University Belfast and Graham Swindles from the University of Bradford have put themselves forward to speak at the Heartland Institute gathering in Chicago in May. From their description they are both current employed as academics teaching Geography. I don’t know anything about their stance on this issue but if they are willing to speak in that company then I presume they are of a sceptical frame of mind .
However I think it would be polite to check with them both before putting their names forward. As a Brit I have had to suffer the BBC’s tendentious coverage of this topic over the years and would advise any sceptic sitting down to sup with a BBC environmental reporter to go equipped with a long spoon.

February 3, 2010 2:16 pm

congrats Anthony. have been wondering lately when these MSM journos in uk (where i live) would get around to giving you some airtime – so to speak. I’m skeptical – oh the irony – they have obviously been instructed by their editors to get some balance into the thing, the BBC announced as much when they launched an inquiry into their coverage of the whole debate some weeks ago.
i just cant believe they have not been taking a peak at sites such as yours and the literally dozens of others that have been pointing out the problems with ‘the consensus’ for years.

February 3, 2010 2:18 pm

University of Newcastle Upon Tyne

Jason S
February 3, 2010 2:20 pm

Simple Google search:
Dozens of UK Skeptics in the first link that I opened. Did I misunderstand something here? What does he mean he can’t find any?
Give him enough rope to hang himself.

Rosie Young
February 3, 2010 2:21 pm

I agree wholeheartedly with those who have nominated Bob Carter – he is, indeed, no-nonsense and straight to the point. By the way, Christopher Monckton is playing to packed houses in Australia at the moment, despite the media’s continuing attempts to discredit him.

February 3, 2010 2:24 pm

just one problem Anthony, you cant really say ‘no’. they will [perhaps] try to do a hatchet job, but given the current sensitivities on this issue at home right now, the hatchet job could be exposed whereas a refusal to be a part of the balance might look suspect, you can be sure they would flag it that way at least.

February 3, 2010 2:24 pm

I apologize up front for this but isn’t this a great opportunity for Science and isn’t this a true indicator “The Science Community” can’t “figure out a way” to solve the communication issue with the public insightfully?
We like to blame the press but where does the buck stop without commitment from Science?
In my opinion, this is a perfect opportunity to bring scientists into a public round-table discussion – each side by side with their respective organizations.
I guess the question is, are you smart enough to sell a world-wide media event and can you negotiate with BBC over the details on their behalf? ; )

John Finn
February 3, 2010 2:25 pm

The UK scientist who best understands the role of CO2 in the atmosphere is Jack Barrett. Jack crossed swords with the IPCC on a number of occasions in the 1990s. He tends to adopt a low key profile these days so I’m not sure he’d be willing to participate. Another, who has already been mentioned, is Richard Courtney. Richard posts on WUWT from time to time.

Peter Miller
February 3, 2010 2:27 pm

g smiley (13:05:29) :
@{Peter Miller (09:16:02)
no not frustrated in a university – he is happily living in the Scottish Highlands -He’s been quiet of late on Climate blogs _ wonder why? But quite active prior to Copenhagen/climategate and this cold winter.
OK, then I suggest he is one of those many Scottish socialists with an evenly balanced view on life – in other words, a chip on each shoulder, one of spite and one of envy.
Consequently, he believes AGW offers a golden opportunity to substantially increase taxes for those with less pointless lives than himself.

February 3, 2010 2:29 pm

There is something wrong with this picture. When an honest debate is set up, it is not the prerogative of one side to select all the participants.
Each side should choose their own representatives. But of course the alarmist side has been spanked in debates with skeptics, so now Harrabin is trying to stack the deck in this project by getting to pick the writer himself. Looks to me like he’s ethics-challenged.

Dodgy Geezer
February 3, 2010 2:30 pm

I also am very suspicious of Harrabin. I understand that bridges need to be built, but this is proposal does not fill me with confidence.
Harrabin has a strong track record of presenting AGW stories as if there is no disagreement with them beyond a few kooks. You might like to ask him if he has ever done a story with a skeptic before and whether you could have a reference?
You should also ask him why the scientist has to be a UK citizen and in a current UK academic post. Point out strongly that skeptics are not employed by UK universities in Climate Science posts, and that that is the reason he is having trouble finding one.
It would be like running a program discussing the BBC license fee (which is how the BBC is funded), and asking for the names of some current BBC employees who think the license fee should be lowered….

John Finn
February 3, 2010 2:34 pm

piers corbyn (13:58:25) :
Anthony – by the way well done to you & Joe D’Aleo for your EXCELLENT Surface Temperature Report
Anything Harrabin does on this is highly suspect.

I’d give Harrabin a chance. It’s true that he was a major cheerleader for AGW for a number of years, but some time back he (I think) was the victim of an aggressive verbal assault by Al Gore since when, I’ve noticed, he’s been a bit more even-handed.

February 3, 2010 2:35 pm

Hi everybody.
Exciting times!
Peter Taylor would be a solid choice. I can recommend his stimulating and well argued book ‘Chill’.
His environmentalist credentials are beyond dispute and his style would make him ideal.
However I am not certain that he is currently in an academic post but has been much consulted by governments and NGOs on various environmentalist issues.

February 3, 2010 2:38 pm

I’m just smiling like a fool – the answer is pretty easy. Each world-wide science org. or university sponsors an internet media event to present scientific facts. The peer-review rebuts and the final presentation ends up pointing to the process that was lacking and the elevates understanding.
Pretty healthy and promotes hard Science?

John Hooper
February 3, 2010 2:38 pm

Seriously, some of you need to grow up.
A journalist has merely asked you to put up or shut up. If you can’t put up, then have the dignity to shut up.

February 3, 2010 2:40 pm

It seems that they are beginning to realise that the game has changed forever. The Guardian, The BBC, whoever next? They are in retreat, but they may be most dangerous when cornered. I sense that people higher up in these organisations have ‘got the wind up’ and maybe Harrabin and co are getting instructions from their superiors. None of them wants to be caught out now… Thanks to Anthony and all at WUWT for persistence and honesty and telling it straight.

February 3, 2010 2:43 pm

Been said I presume….
Harrabin is going to conclude (in writing)
…a search for aqualified acedemic in the UK, who does not believe in AGW, proved fruitless. Not ONE acedemic in England believes that GW is anything but man-made.
I’d bet five bucks on it. Bah.
And of course, as everyone has already said, Darwinism has selected out of academe any soul who would not toe the AGW line. “Adapt or die” works both ways. No place for truth and questioning any more. Pretty damn sad.

Peter Plail
February 3, 2010 2:44 pm

The insistence on scientists in current academic posts would disqualify such eminent academics as Philip Stott and Steven Hawking, mentioned earlier.
This requirement suggests to me a hidden agenda in Harrabin’s approach.
It is also surprising that he doesn’t mention climate scientists. I had understood from comments by most of the warmist MSM that only climate scientists were qualified to comment on climate matters, but now it seems that any scientist will do as long as they are working. Now, there is the catch, if they are working they are unlikely to want to put their heads above the parapet, even though there is evidence that cracks are starting to appear in the AGW edifice. I imagine it will take many more months if not years before they feel confident enough to risk their longer term funding by expressing anti-establishment opinions.

February 3, 2010 2:47 pm

It might be worthwhile responding to this. But I would forget about bridge-building and think of it as a game to be played.
It is a good sign.

February 3, 2010 2:47 pm

This is a decent and fair attempt by Harrabin to source contributors. He is diplomatic and fair in his language – and, regardless of what you may think of his reporting, he is an honourable man. He may have reported ad nauseam the ‘alarmist’ science, but for a long, long time they were the only papers which carried the stamp of authority which the BBC is compelled to report.
They can’t report blog posts or their comments. This is an opportunity for people to ‘come out’.
The BBC – despite what many believe – can only report on what they regard as the most authoritative papers on climate science – that is their job, to present the scientific discourse in a way that viewers, readers and listeners will understand.
You can read elsewhere, and I’ve had a long day so can’t be bothered to find a link, that they accepted the IPCC as the main authority on this and it was for this and other related reasons that they dropped their standard procedure of ensuring a conflicting view must be included in all reports.
The tide has turned – the IPCC is now compromised – but they need proper, working scientists to come forward to satisfy public scepticism – and, crucially, their own, rigorous editorial guidelines.
I have a lot of time for Roger Harrabin, and I believe he is genuinely interested in informing his audience about the science of climate change. He’s a good man – and I’m a sceptic.
So, if someone is reading this, is involved in current research, then now is your chance.
I do believe the fear of being ostracised has diminished considerably.

Richard Sharpe
February 3, 2010 2:49 pm

Perhaps the BBC needs help with its pension fund now that the whole Carbon Trading scam is falling to pieces and green jobs have been shown to be a gold-plated turd.
Follow the money.
Which defined-benefit pension funds in the US were betting heavily on the same action?

February 3, 2010 2:49 pm

Freeman Dyson
Freeman Dyson
Freeman Dyson
and Philip Stott. But Dyson is one of the handful of ‘celebrity’ scientists out there on a name-recognition par with Hawking and Feynman etc.

February 3, 2010 2:49 pm

I still don’t understand
– a BBC correspondent who has worked for 20 years in the field doesn’t know of any sceptic in post! If he reflects on this fact, he should recognise something has gone horribly horribly wrong, either with his network of contacts (and journalism skills) or UK research or both
– anyone can google to find out the name of prominent sceptics. Is he trying to find an unknown sceptic for the BBC to flatten? Has he bothered going through the list of global warming scientist sceptics to find anyone from there? Why come to you Anthony? Is he trying to find someone you specifically know is sceptic who is not well known – if so, to reveal that person may put their career in jeopardy IMO
The BBC through Newsnight last night and also the Guardian this week have clearly signalled an editorial change in approach to global warming. This is significant. And the approach to you may be a part of that. But we don’t know yet what their new position is.
I would proceed with extreme caution.

February 3, 2010 2:51 pm

Oh – and this:
“We are looking for scientists, of course – not insults.”
is of course an insult!

February 3, 2010 2:52 pm

but for a long, long time they were the only papers which carried the stamp of authority which the BBC is compelled to report.
They can’t report blog posts or their comments. This is an opportunity for people to ‘come out’.

Can I just clarify this? In terms of the blizzard of debate, the BBC decided that they needed to look at what was regarded worldwide as the most authoritative body on this subject – and that was the IPCC.
The BBC, in light of recent events, have obviously revised and are revising that – with a vengeance.

David Alan Evans
February 3, 2010 2:59 pm

Any sceptic scientist who watched climate wars knows what to expect from the BBC. They will be cut to look like idiots!
Incidentally, from that same program, watching M. Mann; I got the impression of a spoiled little brat, caught with his hand in the cookie jar, & that was cut to be favourable LOL

Ian Proctor
February 3, 2010 2:59 pm

I was going to warn you about Harrabin, but reading through all these posts it seems not to be needed.
He has consistently pushed AGW on the BBC over the past year or so. I finally wrote a complaint to his producer about an exceptionally outrageous piece. No reply of course, but he was suddenly off the air for six weeks, so I thought I had made a difference. No such luck!
Latest ploy is to apparently present both sides, but the sting is always in the tail – in the last phrases of his own summary.

David Alan Evans
February 3, 2010 3:02 pm

BTW. David Bellamy qualifies as he has a chair at Durham University. He lives in Bishop Auckland which is quite near to me, (20 miles).
No secrets, all public record.

Dodgy Geezer
February 3, 2010 3:03 pm

Anthony needs to note this comment from the Guardian, explaining why they seem to be addressing the skeptical line for the first time. It seems they are building the story into a big ‘disproof’ of the skeptical position. Find it at:
Question – What is the purpose for publishing all these articles by Fred Pearce?
Many thanks for your comments and questions. The fall-out from the hacked UEA emails is the hottest story in climate science at the moment and a lot of claims about what they tell us have been flying around since they were made public in November.
The Guardian’s editorial line is that global warming is happening and caused by human actions, but that does not mean we are blind to contradictory evidence. It would be remiss of us journalistically to ignore a story like this where the actions of leading scientists are being seriously called into question.
We asked Fred to do a thorough investigation into some of the unanswered questions.
Is there evidence in the emails of data manipulation? Is there evidence of abuse of peer review and FOI? Is there evidence of “hiding” temperature declines? Is there evidence of fraud and conspiracy? etc etc
The answer to most of these questions turned out to be no. But it would be wrong of us not to have asked them. The aim of this investigation (which continues tomorrow) was to produce a more nuanced account of what went on behind the scenes of climate science than has appeared elsewhere. Some of it is not pretty, but significantly, the science of global warming has not been seriously challenged.
J Randerson

goodluck with that
February 3, 2010 3:03 pm

Global warming is a paradigm

February 3, 2010 3:05 pm

From the Susan Watts narration on BBC’s Newsnight, 2 Feb.: “Away from the anxious frenzy of how climate science is being conducted there’s quiet contemplation from all sides over what comes next for climate policy when the turmoil subsides. Deep in the Buckinghamshire countryside a splinter group of climate experts is about to begin a three-day strategy meeting. They say they’re not climate skeptics but they are disenchanted with the way the world’s governments have responded to climate science. They say Kyoto – and now Copenhagen – have failed, and what’s needed is a radical re-think of the world of climate science and how it interacts with international politics. Newsnight’s been given exclusive access to their meeting. Some of those at the meeting were happy to be identified, others not.”
I think “others not” is the key phrase here. What do they fear? If non-skeptical but disillusioned scientists are afraid to speak on the record, is it any wonder that skeptical voices are so rare in British academia?

Cold Englishman
February 3, 2010 3:08 pm

Proceed with great caution, they will edit what you say and make you look stupid.
Don’t go near this fellow

February 3, 2010 3:09 pm

If the BBC and Roger were to publicly admit their guilt with regard to advocacy journalese, renounce their stated policy on climate reporting and give full details of who was at That Meeting that lead to the policy then there may be a foundation for tentative trust. Given that WUWT has a rapidly expanding global audience you may be in a position to request this…

Jimmy Haigh
February 3, 2010 3:09 pm

Peter Miller (09:16:02) :
Steve Goddard (09:22:57) :
I’m a geologist and sceptic too. I did see some geologists as signatories on that pro-AGW list which was released not long after Climategate.

Britannic no-see-um
February 3, 2010 3:11 pm

What about Jasper Kirkby, the particle physicist leading the CERN FULL CLOUD experiment? He’s a British scientist in an ‘academic’ post, he is certainly sceptical s. l. , as all true scientists should be, but whether or not he qualifies depends on Harrabin’s precise definition of ‘sceptical’. It is not clear-cut but rather a continuum of views on the state of knowledge and on the magnitudes of natural v anthropogenic processes and perceptions of negative or positive enviro-socialogical effects.
Here is a link to a useful Kirkby downloadable pdf paper

Tor Hansson
February 3, 2010 3:15 pm

John (14:24:43) :
I guess the question is, are you smart enough to sell a world-wide media event and can you negotiate with BBC over the details on their behalf? ; )
That’s why a professional publicist would be a good thing. This publicist should make himself/herself available to help set up the interview on behalf of whoever goes on air, and work with the interviewee on his or her narrative.
No one here doubts that the skeptics have the goods. It’s the framework that is critical.
Reply: You volunteering Tor? I’ll personally vouch for you to Mr. Watts in spite of your [snip] [snip] Norwegian attitude. ~ charles the moderator

February 3, 2010 3:16 pm

Hi Anthony,
As a brit, and someone who has come to distrust the BBC ( I was quite a lefty in my youth, I have realised that the BBC lies by omission, and what I believed from them in my youth was only half the story, in full context, the opposite view was just as convincing).
Do not trust the BBC, do not trust Harribin.
Somebody famously once said that you can tell a mans character by the company he keeps. If RH had any real chracter, he would have left this debacle years ago, once it was obvious that ENSO held sway, and the CO2 theory was a myth, or at least he would have reported on it.
Are we to assume he is a stupid man? I do not think so, so we can only judge him by the company he keeps. Personally, I could not broadcast stuff I knew to be false, or at least suspect. He has chosen too do so. I cry no tears for RH.
Ok, as a Brit, I have to say that we are a people obsessed with ‘class’ structure, so what I am going to say now is maybe lost on our American friends but here goes…
Piers corbyn
Piers, I love your telly spots, the way you almost threw up when that Russian guy was pretending there was no maleria in the early 1900s was brilliant. I would be like you, frustrated that people could so blatantly lie. Trouble is, we are a snob culture, the Guardinistas look at your hair, accent, and turn off. Thats not my view, but its the view of our crap elitist establishment. The fact that you run a private enterprise is also a no no…’its easier for a rich man to get through the eye of a needle’ is the potent stuff of our upbringing…anyone with the audacity to run a business gets stuffed in our country. Sorry, its not you.
Viscount Moncton
Love the way you fight fire with fire. But sometimes you overcook it, Lucia suggests you don’t need to push the envelope quite so far. I don’t want you to become Michael Mann or Al Gore with the chartmanship. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you do need to push hard.
Your involvement with Mrs T is going to set half the country (that half that does not realise that she was, overall, right – and remember I was on picket lines at the time) against you. Too much baggage. Sorry, its not you.
David Bellamy
Love the way you stuck to your views when lesser people went with the flow. But there is a generation that does not know who you are now, you would be spun as ‘out of touch’. Sorry, its not you.
Ian Pilmer
Whilst you may be right, Monbiot made you look like ‘red neck old man’…sorry, its not you.
Philip Stott
Possible. Academic that plays into our snob culture. Comes over as everyones fav teacher. Perhaps a bit too connected with the right of the political spectrum.
Roy Spencer
Sorry but the religion question would straw man the debate (though RJP as a someone who believes in re-incarnation gets a free pass of course…)
Ok…did I miss anyone? Apologies if so. The thing is RH did his homework. He knows no one is going to stick their neck out – they saw what happened to David Bellamy.
Personaly, I think you (we) need to produce a 10min clip which we insist is aired in its complete form, with clips from various people around the world covering salient points. The GGWS was almost it, but overcooked it, and the audience was not ready back then.
I would certainly have Bob Tisdales ENSO explanation as a prominent place, alongside all the competing theories and such to show there is really little need for CO2 as a driver, as its pretty much all wrapped up naturally (and spun with temp tweaks).
Points that make us skeptics should be stated as near one liners – Manns Hockey Stick debacle with He Who Must Not Be Named, the Yamal trees and Briffas ‘confession ref the MWP. Pielke Sr’s ‘wheres the OHC that you promised Mr Hanson’ article. EM Smiths march of the Thermometers. Anthonys SS UHI check. The Steig Antartica joke.
We should just do a list of all the things that observationally suggest CO2 is not a driver. We then say its very complex, we do not know. But we know enough to say its not CO2.
Thats it. If the BBC declines to show it, we tell the world, there is face book etc.
RH is trying to protect his turf. Do not give him what he wants (which is either “no-one willing to debate” or an edited hatchet job).
Give him something he does not want – a filmed slot he cannot edited and dare him to show it. And then suggest following ‘debate’ be held in a proper forum that they can film if they wish….alongside Fox and You-Tube.
Apologies to all the names I’ve slandered above and who’s shoes I readily admit I’m not fit to clean (theres that British ‘I know my place’ stuff again) and please understand its nothing personal, without all you guys we would be even more down the road to 1984.
I need to add here, on my list…
Richard Lindzen
Would be perfect..has a beard. Always good to have a beard, esp a big ‘I have not trimmed this for 111 years’ one like Richards. I’d love to meet this guy.
Roger Pielke Jr
Really really good on TV. Would make opponents look shrill. But Roger is a lukewarmer (no problem there, maybe I am too) and is not ‘british’

February 3, 2010 3:17 pm

Some posters seem to have missed the point … that the AGW movement, like most of our our current politics, is a creature of the MSM. And the Titanic scale of the Copenhagen disaster not only killed-off AGW, but it has also killed off the power of the MSM. And, by extension, large chunks of our current political processes, too !
Frankly, who needs issues to be somehow made real by the MSM these days ?
Why should a return to proper climate science await a televisual ‘Dog & Pony show’ for it to be authenticated, validated, declared orthodox, and put on the agenda as it were?
Here, on Anthony’s excellent blog and in other places, is where you will find the new public forum. It is here in the Blogosphere that you will find proper meetings of minds, and discussions with consequence, rather than the Gog-Magog one-way transmissions of the MSM.
The MSM no longer controls the formation of ‘public opinion’ and the setting of the ‘political agenda’.

February 3, 2010 3:18 pm

How about ‘Richard S. Courtney’
More details about him are contained here:

February 3, 2010 3:19 pm

I would suspect that while he’d prefer UK, he might take some non-Candadian commonwealth types (Aussies) and then other english-speaking Euros as preferable over Americans and Canadians. . . just because American and Canadian skeptics (as we’ve seen all too often) have been heavily vilified as in the pockets of big oil. Harder to do that Aussies and most Euros (outside the Russians).
Jennifer Marohasy probably knows some Aussies to point at for him. . .

g smiley
February 3, 2010 3:21 pm

Miller (14:27:20) :
OK, then I suggest he is one of those many Scottish socialists etc
actually he is english not sure of his politics but he is a keen environmentalist – not that there is anything wrong with working for a clean, healthy environment- he possibly has an agenda for which AGW provides the nourishment

Robert Christopher
February 3, 2010 3:23 pm

This may have been posted under an earlier heading, but is worth a reminder before you engage with the BBC:
It is from Harmless Sky, “Jeremy Paxman, the BBC, Impartiality, and Freedom of Information” and this, in turn, refers to this document:
The BBC Trust
Safeguarding impartiality in the 21st century, June 2007
The report, on page 40, states:
“Climate change is another subject where dissenters can be unpopular. There may be now a broad scientific consensus that climate change is definitely happening, and that it is at least predominantly man-made. But the second part of that consensus still has some intelligent and articulate opponents, even if a small minority.”
Guess who they are!
“The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus.”
It goes on to say:
“But these dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this debate. They cannot be simply dismissed as ‘flat-earthers’ or ‘deniers’, who ‘should not be given a platform’ by the BBC. Impartiality always requires a breadth of view: for as long as minority opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space.”
Note the words: “minority opinions”.
Harmless Sky makes this comment:
“Years of watching the BBC’s coverage of this subject – with growing astonishment – during which numerous ‘scientific experts’ who clearly hold very partisan views on climate change, have been interviewed to provide viewers with what they were lead to believe were objective opinions on the evidence for anthropogenic global warming, has made me despair of BBC impartiality. I am thinking of people like George Monbiot, Mark Lynas, Professor Chris Rapley, Lord May of Oxford, Sir David King and Professor Tom Burke in particular. Anyone who has followed this controversy will be well aware that, although such people may be experts on the subject, they are anything but impartial or objective.”
In an attempt to discover whether the BBC had organised this seminar in order to acquaint itself with the issues, or whether the purpose had been to obtain some kind of spurious authority for an editorial policy that had long since become ingrained in their news coverage, I thought that it would be worth trying to find out who had been invited to advise them. Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations I made the following request to the BBC for information:
1. What was the name or title given to this seminar?
2. Where and when was this seminar held?
3. When did the seminar start and when did it end.
4. A copy of the invitation that was sent to prospective participants.
5. The agenda for the seminar together with any notes that were provided for the participants.
6. The names of all those who were invited to attend the seminar as participants, observers or in any other capacity together with their job description, organizational affiliation’s or any other information relating to their eligibility for being invited to be present.
7. The names of all those who attended the seminar as participants, observers or in any other capacity together with their job description, organizational affiliation’s or any other information relating to their eligibility for being invited to be present.
8. Any minutes, notes, electronic communications, recorded material or other records of the proceedings of the seminar.
After an exchange of letters, the application was referred to the Information Commissioner’s Office for adjudication. After a delay of almost a year, they are just beginning to investigate. Future developments will be reported on this blog. (For fuller details of the above and for future developments, follow the Harmless Sky link.)
I hope a new wind is blowing at the BBC; it would make the UK TV licence better value.

February 3, 2010 3:28 pm

I give up – all the subsequent posts cite conspiracy and sweat paranoia…
As do all the former.
Engage with the man – he’s genuinely interested.
Is there anyone out there?

Jose A Veragio
February 3, 2010 3:28 pm

Why , you must ask, are the the Two main defenders of AGW, in the MSM, the BBC & the Guardian, all of a sudden coming out with this show of even handedness ???
Come on you Sceptics. Think about it.
How could the Guardian be so incompetent as to break with their Own, very first ever, ‘exclusive’ Expose on the Chinese Ground station data yesterday, which Proff. Jones was able to defend , and so effectively, on the BBC almost the same day ?
No, he was primed and ready for it.
It would be no surprise if the Guardian also knew it would be so easy defend.
Is this just designed to put you off your guard ?
Does it herlad a new style of attack journalism, realising the sceptics cann’t be dismissed and have to be taken seriously – not their arguments ‘though, just the threat they present ?

February 3, 2010 3:29 pm

Mr. Harrabin’s article gives reason to conclude that he is still very much of the warmist faith, and hopes fervently that there will be solid science supporting his beliefs “that increasing levels of CO2 are stressing the planet beyond its capacity for self-regulation.
I come at this last as a person with an undergraduate degree in biology, postgraduate training in medicine, and such “scientific” credentials as might be expected of a practicing physician who first began directing patients to disrobe for indignities back in the Ford Administration.
This understood, however, I have what might be called a fairly robust idea of homeostatic mechanisms on both the micro and macro levels, and I find it difficult to credit the concept that the very small present (or anticipated future) levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels could or would overload the Earth’s chemical and biological sequestration modalities, thereby “stressing the planet beyond its capacity for self-regulation.”
Is there really any justification for Mr. Harrabin’s sustained grope at AGW alarmism, or is he (in the immortal words of Mel Brooks) “just jerking off?

Gary Hladik
February 3, 2010 3:35 pm

Mike Spilligan (13:59:08) : “In any recorded discussion they may use only 5% in the final cut, and it’s often been noted that the sequence of recording has been changed to give a completely distorted message.”
If I were ever interviewed on camera by the BBC (BWAHAHA!) I’d insist on having a friend/colleague also record the interview, with the right to put my version on the internet (e.g. YouTube) after the program aired.
Paranoid? You bet!

February 3, 2010 3:35 pm

watt in the world is going on?
does President Obama know about this change in tide in the global warming world??

February 3, 2010 3:41 pm

mikef2 (15:16:52) :
I saw the Ian Plimer—Monboit video. Monboit was a rabid a@@.

Stephen Brown
February 3, 2010 3:42 pm

I live in the UK, I listen to the BBC (mostly Radio 4) and I frequent their news web-site. I would urge you to consider a lot of the advice given in this thread, the most apposite being to avoid having anything to do with Mr. Harrabin.
He is BBC to the core. The Corporation is funded, via the licence fee (yes, we in the UK need a licence to watch TV) which is administered by the Government. The Beeb is very little more than the propaganda arm of our increasingly-vicious Socialist Government. Milliband the Younger has declared ‘war’ on the unbelievers and AGW heretics within the last couple of days.
Harrabin serves the same masters. He is searching for a presently employed academic ‘sceptic’? To step forward as a presently employed academic sceptic would be the fast track to being an un-employed academic!
Harrabin is looking for a some poor innocent to stand up in all honesty, only to skewer him or her with a carefully constructed set of questions and suggestions laced with innuendo.
I recommend that you rebuff him gently but firmly on the grounds that, until you receive unsolicited agreements from the individuals concerned you are unable to give any names to him. Please, please keep the BBC at arm’s length; be polite with them but try very hard to have little to do with them. They are not to be trusted. At all.

Dave N
February 3, 2010 3:52 pm

You might like to ask Roger Pielke Jr how he fared with the beeb, too.

Julian in Wales