Sunday was speaker orientation and the evening reception/dinner. I met up with Willis Eschencbach, watched and listened to him play the piano in the lobby. I took some photos with my cellphone camera, but they turned out badly. Willis and I had an interesting talk with Gary Sharp about Tuna acting as ARGO buoys.
Apparently the Tuna have a daily habit of feeding near the surface, then diving deep, repeating the process later in the day. Just like the ARGO buoys dive then float to the surface, so do the Tuna.
Somebody (and I don’t recall who) is fitting Tuna with temperature loggers that take a measurement every 20 seconds. Gary says that prelim tunatemp data isn’t showing different than ARGO.
That prompted me to recall a old TV jingle (being in TV for 25 years my head is full of them) that some readers may remember but I added a twist when I recited it at the table with a musical lilt.
Ask any Tuna you happen to see, where’s the global warming? It’s not in the sea!
I thought Willis might need resuscitation he was laughing so hard.
I had an afternoon meeting where I saw some extraordinary data cleaning and homogenization methods applied to surface temperature data to clean up the train wreck that it is now. It was quite impressive and far better than anything I’ve seen from NOAA or NASA. It makes their QC look like, well, Tuna salad. Or maybe a PBJ sandwich.
I met many people, including Donna Laframboise of Toronto who runs “no Frakking Consensus“who seems much younger in person than shown in her photo. I met with E.M. Smith (Chiefio) and Verity Jones (Digging in the Clay) also, and sat with them along with Joe D’aleo at the dinner reception.
Steve McIntyre gave his keynote presentation on the “trick” at dinner, along with Apollo 17 astronaut and Geologist Dr. Harrison Schmitt who talked about his views on current science. Both were well received. It was carried on live video streaming. PJTV is providing live video coverage (streaming and otherwise) at the PJTV CLIMATEGATE 2010 MICROSITE.
Bob Carter gave me his new book to read Climate: the Counter Consensus.
I gave a couple of interviews today. The interview I had in the evening after the keynote dinner with an independent crew working for BBC on some documentary on “The Skeptics” was unscheduled. They caught me in the grand hall asking if it could do an interview. It started out pleasant enough, but soon deteriorated. They had no organization at all and had no idea where to shoot it. They suggested we shoot the interview in my room, because they wanted to have me set in front of my computer. I thought that was more than a bit forward and suggested the foyer, we got there, setup and then after starting decided they didn’t like the setting. They they suggested that we go to the media room (which they apparently just discovered) so they tore down and went there.
After a couple of false starts the questions started coming. I started to wonder where they were going with this, and when they started asking about what I thought about Dr. Phil Jones “wanting to commit suicide” I realized that it wasn’t going to be factual, but more emotionally spun. I told them flat out that question and what went on in Dr. Jones mind/intent wasn’t something I could or would comment on since I have no information beyond the press report.
These two independent filmakers were just kids, early 20’s and were struggling to come up with questions. They kept trying to get me to use the word “fraud” as applied to Dr. Jones. There were about five attempts to do so in questions, asking essentially the same question over and over again in different ways.
They also asked why climate skeptics are so “angry” and why there are so many nasty comments on forums. I pointed out that they should visit some of the entertainment forums where people talk about celebrities like Britney Spears etc if they wanted to see some real vitriols, and that nasty comments are a part of the blogosphere, particularly when anonymous commenting is involved. Alarmists make a lot of nasty comments. Look up dhoghaza and Joe Romm.
The capper came at the end when they asked me to sign a release form. I was shocked, because standard procedure is to have the interviewee look over and sign the release form before the interview.
Reading it was like reading no other release form I’ve ever seen. It had a clause that said “gives us the right to use your content however we see fit” which concerned me because usually an interview for a documentary is limited to that venue. For all I know they may put me on a political comedy show.
Then there was something I’ve never encountered in all my years of television. An oath of “honesty and factual accuracy” was in the release. While I certainly thought I answered honestly and factually, this clause concerned me. When somebody interviews me on a contentious subject like climate, I’m giving my opinion. Opinions are almost always disputed. I was sure mine would be. To have such a clause connected to one’s opinion is just insane because then someone can hold up anything and say “but scientific consensus says..etc…etc…so Mr. Watts lied and violated his contractual oath in the release form”. It’s not a court of law, it’s an interview. Jeez Louise!
The release was obviously written by amateurs, and I refused to sign it. They then admitted that “it’s being revised to ‘simplify it’ and ‘could we send you a revision?’. I said I’d look at it, gave them my card with email address, told them that I thought they had the process backwards and that I was unhappy with being confronted with flawed legal language after giving a good faith interview, and left.
My impression is that whoever hired these two kids for the BBC is in for a peck of trouble down the road. I doubt the documentary on skeptics will be little more than a slam job. We’ll see if they try to use me even though I have NOT signed the release.
That’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back.