New Scientist – Those cursed climate emails

Guest post by Barry Woods, UK

The last 2010 edition (Dec 25th 2010) of New Scientist (UK) has a review of 2010 and a preview of 2011 section…

…and they are rather optimistic that the world has finally moved on from the Climategate emails.

Those Cursed Climate emailsNew Scientist Jan 1, 2011

Thousands of them were hacked off the servers of the University of East Anglia, home to one of the UK’s leading research units, in November 2009. In 2010, their content was dissected, re-dissected, and then dissected some more, amid claims that some climate scientists had engaged in fraudulent behaviour. Four independent reviews exonerated them, and datasets were made public that were previously under lock and key. And finally, the world moved on.”

(behind a paywall, but in their blog)

This would just appear to be the time-honoured PR strategy  ‘Nothing to be seen here, move along please’ and an attempt at controlling a message.  So there is to be no optimism from New Scientist that the world could now be safe from Thermageddon (NS October 2010).

It seems that the great CAGW delusion, early 21st century ‘modern end of the world cult’, cultural phenomenon or whatever else history will call it, has not quite yet had its bubble pierced.

In 2010, I personally thought that perhaps the lowest point of climate science reporting in the UK, was the New Scientist, Age of Denial issue with a Special 10 page report.

When organisations of whatever type start speaking of ‘truths’ rather than ‘facts’ it is perhaps a worrying sign of a political position and message rather than a scientific position. This particular issue linked Climate Denial with, Evolution Denial, Holocaust Denial, Aids Denial, 9/11 Denial, Vaccine Denial and Tobacco Denial. It even included an article from Richard Littlemore (one of those behind DeSmogBlog) which  stated that;

“The Doubt Industry has ballooned in the past two decades. There are now scores of think tanks pushing dubious and confusing policy positions, and dozens of phoney grass-roots organisations created to make those positions appear to have legitimate following.”

I would be very interested in finding out which current ‘phoney grass root organisations’ and ‘thinktanks’ that Richard Littlemore of DeSmogBlog is thinking of.  I am not aware of any behind or encouraging the popular global warming sceptical blogs, least of all my own. No doubt DeSmogBlog and other similar AGW advocate sites,  sincerely believe that this accurately describes the cause of the explosion of sceptical blogs and opinions on the internet.

This is perhaps the only explanation that fits the world view of some of the CAGW consensus advocates, that the popularity of blogs  like Watts Up With That, Climate Audit, Bishop Hill, Jo Nova, The AirVent, Harmless Sky and many others, is because organisations are creating an environment that allows these blogs to flourish.

This is the same type of groupthink that led to thinking that the 10:10 Campaign ‘No Pressure’ video was a good idea. There is actual belief in a current multi million dollar fossil fuel denial machine as it fits the romantic vision of environmentalism vs ‘big corporate’.

A regular Climate Audit reader started the UK Bishop Hill Blog, he then wrote a certain book, ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’ to describe the team vs Climate Audit history. That book is now prominently displayed on the front page of Watts Up With That (and many other blogs). I started my own blog after reading Bishop Hill, as have  many others, Haunting the Library being one of the latest excellent spin offs by a Bishop Hill reader.

Those consensus advocates may perceive this as evidence of an astroturf coordinated multi million dollar funded, fossil fuel funded PR denial machine. If they spent time actually reading them, it would become evident that it is just individuals reacting to events.

The internet has allowed any individual to put their views to a world audience, anybody with an internet connection, a blog and a domain name only costs a few dollars.  My own blog cost less than £20 for the domain name and a few pounds a month for a website host. It is possible to create your own blog, with the same world presence for even less than this and anyone can do this.

Sceptical websites only become successful by word of mouth and because of the quality of the articles, individual commentors spread the word and create a popular website and make news viral, it is driven by the reader NOT the website owner. CAGW consensus advocates do not understand that the game has changed, they seem to think ‘pushing’ content onto a passive audience is still the only way to communicate.

So, in my opinion, the New Scientist’s optimism about the world moving on from the climategate emails is totally unrealistic, particularly in light of all the recent Met Office stories of failing to predict another harsh winter in the UK.  This was immediately followed by various reports and denials  that actually the Met Office did predict it, but had kept it ‘secret’ from the public, followed by numerous stories about who exactly knew this information. Today another inquiry is being considered in the UK, following pressure from the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Back in December BAA announced an inquiry into what went wrong due to the snow in the UK at London Heathrow airport. The fact that since then that ‘secret’ harsh winter predictions had been made by the Met Office to the Cabinet Office are surely very applicable to that inquiry, which leads to some obvious awkward questions.

Did BAA go with the earlier Met Office predictions of a mild winter?

Were BAA aware of the ‘secret’ prediction?

Was the Cabinet Office really warned by the Met Office?

Did The Cabinet Office (coalition government) fail to pass on this warning to, Airports, councils, etc?

All very relevant to this earlier BAA inquiry. Is it now a coincidence, that following all this news, that Virgin Airlines and others are now withholding landing charges and are demanding compensation from BAA and are awaiting the results of the earlier BAA inquiry?

This particular story has, in my opinion, larger implications than the Met Office, ‘climate scientists’ or ‘climate change’ lobby groups are  aware of:

Because the Politicians in London and the UK have been made to look publically foolish, again by the Met office and it is all being played out in the mainstream media, reported by the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Mail.  There are also millions of pounds of potential compensation to the airlines and other businesses.

“This type of thing cannot keep happening and consumers cannot be ignored,” said a Virgin Atlantic spokesman. “We want the inquiry to be robust. If we can add impetus to that by any action we are taking, then so be it.” – Guardian (Jan 10, 2011)

“At one point Prime Minister David Cameron intervened to express his frustration that it was “taking so long for the situation to improve”. – Telegraph (Jan 10, 2011)

“Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is withholding the fees it pays airport operator BAA because of its “slow reaction” to last month’s heavy snow.” – BBC (Jan 10, 2011)

“We want this inquiry to really focus on what happened and when the airport reasonably should have reopened and then we want compensation for all the costs we unnecessarily incurred after that,’ said Mr Ridgway. We’re going to do that by holding back the fees we pay BAA and when the inquiry comes out we will happily sit down and work out what the right numbers are.’ – Daily Mail (Jan 10, 2011)

This time it cannot be waved away as obscure climate sceptic propaganda when the newspapers in the UK report the comments of the BBC’s Environment Analyst Roger Harrabin:

“The trouble is that we simply don’t know how much to trust the Met Office.”  – Roger Harrabin, BBC

or that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson had this to say back in December, before all the recent secret prediction news, about the second transport fiasco due to  weather in London and at Heathrow in 2 years:

“….So let me seize this brief gap in the aerial bombardment to pose a question that is bugging me. Why did the Met Office forecast a “mild winter”? – Boris Johnson

The Met Office and the Hadley Centre is an influential contributor to the IPCC, they are at the heart of climate science in the UK and it is the same computer predicting the weather and climate.  In ‘weather’ mode there are continued updates with new information, as time progresses on a rolling basis to predict the weather. In ‘climate’ mode the computer is used to predict future climate scenarios, when this is done no updates are added. Politicians will I am  sure be taking a very hard look at the Met Office, no doubt quietly and in private.

I would like to wish a very belated Happy New Year from to all readers of Watts Up With That. Let us all be optimistic about whatever the New Year brings, even if it is to be the start of  a decade or two of cooling or even another  ‘mini ice age’ because forewarned is to be prepared.

Thanks again to Anthony Watts for indulging my sceptical thoughts from the UK

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January 11, 2011 3:37 pm

Please note that as a result of the recent shooting in Arizona, there are legislative moves afoot to ban words and symbols that connote any kind of violence. Although you have written a fine piece, it contains far too many of the soon to be forbidden words; ie explosion, bombardment, piercing, etc. Please be aware that should the proposed legislation be enacted you will likely face severe penalties from the newly formed Pre-Crime division of Homeland Security. Have a nice day, and please do watch your language henceforth. 🙂 😉

January 11, 2011 3:45 pm

Just a small note on the history of sceptic blogging.
Bishop Hill started as a general blog and was turned on to climate blogging by another UK blogger called Tim, (it is generally thought to be Worstall but I think it may have been me.)
I only note this because it highlights the good that non-specialist bloggers can do by highlighting items from specialist blogs. And as such it becomes a plea to non-specialists to shout out and not hide behind their lack of detailed knowledge. The circle of sceptics can only be enlarged by appealing to those outside, just preaching to the converted isn’t enough.

January 11, 2011 3:46 pm

barry –
new scientist says:
– In 2010, their content was dissected, re-dissected, and then dissected some more” –
but left out “on the WUWT, Climate Audit and other sceptic blogs”.
imagine how well informed the public would be by now if indeed they and harry-read-me had been dissected in the MSM!

Mike Haseler
January 11, 2011 3:57 pm

What amazes me with people like this is that they don’t credit the people who read these emails with any intelligence. Everyone knows what was going on – people aren’t stupid! Most of us are parents and you here these kinds of excuses from kids and you don’t need proof to know what has gone on.
So everyone expected there to be serious repercussions for those involved.
The fact that there were no repercussions, far from instilling any confidence in the CRU, simply undermined confidence in the scientific “elite” who were clearly giving a nod and a wink to behaviour everyone thought was unacceptable.

January 11, 2011 3:58 pm

“(it is generally thought to be Worstall but I think it may have been me.)”
No, I’m Tim! And so’s my wife! 😉
You’re entirely right, I think. There’s something very comforting about having your views affirmed in what amounts to an echo chamber but, though it can be somewhat arduous when interacting with stubborn and made-up minds, posting as a model of reason and rationality in an open space does serve to spread the word of realism and expand the reach of reasoned scepticism.
The real challenge is to keep your cool in the face of idiocy.

Alex the skeptic
January 11, 2011 4:06 pm

Sir Richard Branson is a leading proponent of the AGW/CACW religion, besides owning one of the largest airlines in the world. So now, that he has had his share of global warming snow delivered to his front door and airplanes idley parked in European airports, he wants to get his pound of flesh. Well, Sir Richard, try to listen tot he sciene instead of the hype, and then repeat after me: Snow is a the product of cooling. And there has been a lot of snow on this planet these last few years, globally. And the planet is cooling not warming.
And with great joy we announce that our children and grand children are not gonna burn of the heat, but instead are knowig hat snow is. And we had told you so. Ask Piers Corbyn and many other scientists.

Anything is possible
January 11, 2011 4:13 pm

“Those consensus advocates may perceive this as evidence of an astroturf coordinated multi million dollar funded, fossil fuel funded PR denial machine.”
Yeah, because the CAGW scare is absolutely crippling the financial performance of the big oil companies :
Or not.
So, just who is REALLY financing the warmists?
Ever heard of secret holding companies….

January 11, 2011 4:14 pm

“If you lie, lie big, for a little of even the most outrageous lie will stick if you press it hard enough.
Never hesitate, never qualify, never concede a shred of validity or even decency to the other side. Attack, attack, attack!”
AH-circa 1920 (p38, the Third Reich at war by Michael Veranov)
Does the above quote strike a chord with the following extracts from 
the green-agenda dot com website?
“It doesn’t matter what is true,
it only matters what people believe is true.”
– Paul Watson,
co-founder of Greenpeace
“We need to get some broad based support,
to capture the public’s imagination…
So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
make simplified, dramatic statements
and make little mention of any doubts…
Each of us has to decide what the right balance
is between being effective and being honest.”
– Prof. Stephen Schneider, 
Stanford Professor of Climatology,
lead author of many IPCC reports
“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
we will be doing the right thing in terms of 
economic and environmental policy.”
– Timothy Wirth, 
President of the UN Foundation 
“No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…
climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
bring about justice and equality in the world.”
– Christine Stewart,
former Canadian Minister of the Environment
“I believe it is appropriate to have an ‘over-representation’ of the facts 
on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience.”
– Al Gore,
Climate Change activist and beach front dweller

January 11, 2011 4:22 pm

desmogblog, the Suzuki Foundation Chairman blog, Hoggan supported by some Canadian billionaires, PR of BC Hydro… These guys are anything but grassroots…

January 11, 2011 4:22 pm

One skeptical blog definitely worth a mention is Roger Pielke senior’s. Now that he doesn’t accept comments any longer it’s readability and attraction has gone down somewhat, but around 4 years ago it was active and very informative and he blogged on wide variety of questions with vast interests and took regularly part in discussions.
Back then it helped my conversion from alarmism to first skepticism that he was someone who was a professional and educated climate scientist (former state climatologist and one of the pioneers of climate computer modelling) with 30+ years of expertise in the field. And he always referred his points to peer reviewed studies. That helped to broke the spell and illusion of consensus and the resumed authority it supposedly carried and was therefore important ‘psychologically’.
Later on I of course came to understand that in climate science peer review was not what it was supposed to be. But that came only later after the initial helpful first steps.
It would be interesting to hear other conversion stories. I’m sure many (most?) here had initially bought into the climate scare narrative. Or am I wrong in assuming this?

Theo Goodwin
January 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Thanks for this wonderful post. There are many good things to be found in it. I want to focus on just one. The bottom line is that one day the claims made by Warmista will actually matter to businesses, governments, and the general public. When that day comes, it will be a day of harsh reckoning for Warmista. Maybe the airport fiasco in London and other parts of Europe will prove to be that day. I hope so. Otherwise there is even greater suffering to come for businesses, governments, and the general public.

January 11, 2011 4:39 pm

‘Thousands of them were hacked ‘
Something’s never change, this claim is still being made with zero evidence to support it, given that it’s just as well this is not a serious journal where the need for evidence is consider important.

Richard S Courtney
January 11, 2011 4:42 pm

It is bad manners to post very similar comments on different blogs but I am breaching that protocol because this is a version – with significant amendments – of a post I have made elsewhere. And I present it because I think it is very pertinent here.
Every expert in anything knows a large amount about very little. Indeed, becoming an expert consumes so much time and effort learning the ‘large amount’ that experts lack time to gain expertise in other things that all non-experts learn.
So, scientists are poor politicians. Becoming an effective politician is not easy: many people try to become politicians but very few are successful. Hence, if a scientist wants to become a politician then she/he needs to give up science and put in the time and effort needed to become a successful politician: some have (e.g. Mrs Margaret Thatcher). But learning how to do politics while acting as a scientist is a challenge that few – if any – people could achieve.
Every scientist has a duty to research in his/her field of study. And if he/she discovers findings of that research which he/she thinks has significant social implications then he/she has a right – many would say a duty – to report those implications.
But no scientist has special gifts in deciding what could or should be done in response to his/her findings. If some scientist feels so moved as to want to make such decisions and to proclaim that they must be implemented then he/she should give up being a scientist and become a politician instead.
The anthropogenic global warming (AGW) activist-scientists should trust in the importance of their work if it is solid science. Inform the public and politicians of what they have found and trust that the findings will encourage correct response. Indeed, there is no reason for anybody to think scientists have any special ability to make political decisions, and scientists harm respect for their science when they pretend a special ability that everybody knows they do not have.
Incredible proclamations of certain future disaster from AGW are only accepted by a few ‘true believers’, and their one-sided bigottry is rejected by most people who know that nobody can be that certain of what the future holds.
So, the ‘activist’ AGW scientists have ‘spoiled their nest’.
The behaviour of James Hansen as an Expert Witness in a sabotage trial has resulted in the pro-AGW UK government hunting down power station saboteurs, and each conviction of such saboteurs hardens public interest against assertions of AGW: the public sees Hansen and those who act on his words as being dangerous loonies.
The ‘climategate’ emails reveal attempts at usurption of the practices of science to promote AGW. The ‘true believers’ say the emails do not change the science – which they do not – but the contents of the emails changed views of news Editors so they have reduced their willingness to publish one-sided polemic from Environment Correspondents.
Claims that AGW would cause snow to disappear from the UK ‘back-fired’ when unusually heavy snow fell on the UK in two successive winters: few in the UK except ‘true believers’ now accept as true anything said about AGW by the UK Met. Office.
And so on.
Simply, overstating a case is very, very bad politics.
So, scientists should say what they know, what they do not know, and how they know it. Deciding actions on the basis of what is known and not known is the job of politicians: politicians make all their decisions by balancing varieties of inputs of incomplete information. A scientist is not a politician. And the AGW-advocate-scientists have proven that they are totally inept when they try to act as politicians.
They should stop trying.
But, personally, as an AGW-skeptic, I am very pleased that they only want to act ineffectively. More of the same, please, I say.

January 11, 2011 5:01 pm

The people who leaked the Climategate emails should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for saving the world from irreversible economic damage.

January 11, 2011 5:11 pm

Let us all be optimistic about whatever the New Year brings, even if it is to be the start of  a decade or two of cooling or even another  ‘mini ice age’ because forewarned is to be prepared
Great sentiment. But I find this all a trifle weird.
On the one hand:
complaints about actual government reports and government taking action to prevent it getting too hot.
On the other hand:
complaints about the need for government reports and government not taking action to prevent it getting too cold. And this from Benny over at GWPF??
I wonder what would have happened if the ice age thing of the 70’s had turned at to be correct. Would the current crop of climate skeptics have turned into ice age skeptics?
Maybe it’s an old man thing. Old men don’t like the cold. Personally I like cold.

Steven Kopits
January 11, 2011 5:22 pm

“publicly”, not “publically”

Graham Dick
January 11, 2011 5:26 pm

@Alex the skeptic says:
January 11, 2011 at 4:06 pm
“Sir Richard Branson is a leading proponent of the AGW/CACW religion…”
Indeed, and not only a useful idiot, but a dangerous one. If he could, he would “scrub CO2 from the atmosphere”.

January 11, 2011 5:42 pm

The Internet and the blogosphere are undoing decades of social engineering within a matter of years. This is why the control freaks and our overlords hate the Internet so much. I am enjoying watching it happen in real time. Making their heads explode is my favorite pastime.

el gordo
January 11, 2011 5:42 pm

‘Thousands of them were hacked off the servers…’
Well, that’s not quite true, the local police looking into the matter haven’t come to any conclusions on that score. From my understanding the system was insecure and the boffins are too embarrassed to admit it.

January 11, 2011 5:43 pm

“personally I like cold”
I’m old, LT, very old and live in a country that rarely warms my bones but I’m grateful for the times that it has.
I like cold too. There’s little better than returning to a warm house and a hearty meal after a brisk winter walk.
I like life as, I guess, you do.
I’m happy that you still have a long life ahead of you. I was, once, like you.
And I’m still happy for my life and hope that you stay happy too.
Best wishes.

P.G. Sharrow
January 11, 2011 6:03 pm

LazyTeenager says:
January 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm
Maybe it’s an old man thing. Old men don’t like the cold. Personally I like cold.
Obviously someone that has never HAD to work and live in cold weather. There is nothing the government can do about climate change except plan for it. I remember when the great global climate disaster was the human caused cooling, a tipping point to the next Ice Age. Actually the same idiots, then 10 years later, started the Global Warming scam when the cooling stopped and warming began. As long as politicans and bureaucrats are being lied to they will make the wrong decisions and people will suffer and die.
I have lived and worked in 120 f to -40 f. With over 60 years experience I prefer heat to cold. pg

Bob Diaz
January 11, 2011 6:04 pm

The simple truth of the matter is that in order to be real science, it has to be open and transparent. That is, all should be free to review, without restrictions; source data, methodology, re-analyze everything, and report their findings pro or con. Anything short of that runs the risk of the possibility of being a scientific con job. Given that scientific fraud has occurred, only an open system should be trusted.
We know that the CRU tossed out their source data and the only thing we can see is their processed data. There’s no way to verify that in processing the data, they didn’t bend it to fit their theory and there’s no way to test for accidental error. The fact that source code was revealed that arbitrarily modified the results is a major red flag. The explanation, “it was stub code for testing”, is unacceptable, because we have no way to verify that. The burden of proof is on them, not us, and that proof was trashed long ago.
While it’s very nice that New Scientist wants to believe that science done behind closed doors and hidden from full review is acceptable. However, in my book, “trust me I’m a scientist”, doesn’t cut it.
The believers of Global Warming can call me a “denier” or act like I’m some sort of ignorant fool, it proves nothing. I know how good science should be performed and this isn’t it.

Julian in Wales
January 11, 2011 6:10 pm

Interesting piece; I would like to add that the impressive thing about these blogs run by enthusiasts is how quickly they mine into stories and drag out the truth. We hear so much from the supporters of the IPCC about the “peer review” process which is now being dubbed “pal review”, it is almost as if they want to say this research has the official blessing of the church and we need only to look at the conclusions. Don’t ask difficult questions.
I cannot believe the mistake of inverting 2320 into 2035 would have lasted ten minutes on one of the climate blogs, the mistake would have been noticed and corrected at once. Or that anything that is not backed up by the raw data would ever be given serious consideration. This difference demonstrates to me the different dynamic of science that is published on blogs to science that published through peer review in official journals.
Lastly I would like to mention that I value the passion of the blogging world. It really bothers me, even as a non scientist, that so many scientists have not stood up and said they cannot tolerate the corruption that we have seen in the CRU documents and at the top of the IPCC. I am always relieved when I find so much passion in the comments of the sceptical blogs, please keep your passion alive because the future of science is with you lot.

Amino Acids in Meteorites
January 11, 2011 6:20 pm

Thousands of them were hacked off the servers
Hacked? Uh,,,they were? This is a science magazine?

January 11, 2011 6:23 pm

el gordo says:
January 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm
‘Thousands of them were hacked off the servers…’
So it has been said, EG, but millions more were “hacked off” by those who claimed to serve!

Bob of Castlemaine
January 11, 2011 6:36 pm

From the ministry of thought control:
Global Warming Panic explained

January 11, 2011 6:57 pm

I think when you get People like Branson into the fray, him being of the warmer style, and also some other very powerful business men/women, it is going to be hard for the government to spin the results of an inquiriry.

January 11, 2011 7:02 pm

Lazy, yes it is more then likely an older generation thing, we have lived through numerous appeals to the apocalypse to get some sort of policy passed. And as NONE of these past endings have occured, unless of course I am actually in a cryogenic state, and this all just a dream, then we WISELY know that this latest countanance to our fear is also just a sham.
In past generations in many cultures, it was the old that were looked to for the proper guidance of problems. Why? Because we have lived through these experiences and have the WISDOM that the young still have not attained.
“Those that forget the past are damned to repeat it”

January 11, 2011 7:16 pm

Global Warming Panic Explained

January 11, 2011 7:17 pm

Post normal science does not allow debate because the conclusion was agreed before the results were in. The only area of disagreement then is how much the data has to be bent to fit the conclusion. Since that is decided by “peer review” there can be no argument and consensus is achieved. This is science by marketing, therefore all their ploys in defence of CAGW are marketing tools.
Let me tell a joke.
A dog food company was having its annual conference. The employees were not too bouyant, so the CEO thought he would lift them evangilist style.
Who has the best marketing team in our field?
We do!
WHo has the best advertising campaign?
We do!
WHo has the most recognisable tin inthe industry?
We DO!
So why aren’t we sell sell selling more?
Apparently, the dogs don’t like it.

January 11, 2011 7:33 pm

Wikileaks !
could you please enlighten us, what makes the New “Scientist” make such statements ?

January 11, 2011 7:49 pm

I decided long ago that “New Scientist” represented a contemporary view of science that was at odds with my old school Feynman notions of doubt. And anyone who sees no room for doubt in climate science is simply not paying attention to the science of climate.
Their complete embracing of the consensus view and utter lack of wonderment about alternative views coupled with a rather insulting regurgitation of blame against humans for all things deemed not normal in the world became to much to accept as science reporting. I’ve not been back in years.

Mark Twang
January 11, 2011 8:02 pm

Enough is enough. I am going to stop reading and commenting here unless I get a check for my share of the Big Oil AGW Denial money.

January 11, 2011 8:12 pm

With regards to the comments on funding ….
I doubt the major energy companies spend anything like our governments on ‘Climate Challenges’ and more than likely only claim to spend on their own account monies that they wouold otherwise pay in taxation or have somehow managed to appropriate with the collusion of government anyway.
For the warmists to continue the old old claim of Exxon (or whoever) funding the ‘sceptics’ to any substantial degree suggests they have even less grasp on 21st century reality than we might give them credit for.
Well, either that or they are simply lying without caring one iota about it.
In which case one has to wonder seriously about their apparent claims to be presenting the truth about any science, economics and social impacts.
So far as I can tell all the big money is behind the CC story simply because its an easier way to grab personal riches for the most affluent than having to trade for it. An offically mandated Ponzi scheme that doesn’t even have to deliver anything back to its enforced investors within the scale of their lifetime.

January 11, 2011 8:14 pm

The whole “secret prediction” from the Met Office stinks to high heaven.
Why the need to two different predictions ? … fool the public, hedge your bets ?
Who got the “secret prediction” and how much did they make on energy futures ?
Can the Met Office actual predict that the sun will rise tomorrow, or do they have a secret prediction to cover their asses ?
Why spend the money on a Met Office that can’t find their own asses using two hands ?

John Blake
January 11, 2011 8:15 pm

Mega-byte Climategate downloads were carefully edited, organized, specifically designed for explicating an anti-Global Warming thesis. Most certainly, this material was not “hacked,” that is burgled by lurking interlopers. Whoever relayed those files to servers overseas from UEA carefully erased all trace of the transaction.
Paul “the Menace” Dennis having rudely rebuffed accusations; the local constabulary either co-opted or ludicrously inept; UEA panjandrums concerned only with idiotic denials of reality– the question remains, who is the best candidate for perpetrating such a data-dump, one expert and withal sufficiently knowledgeable to bring UEA’s criminally malfeasant role to light? We suspect Keith Briffa; but whoever is Climategate’s “Deep Throat” will likely don his mask for decades.
On ‘tother hand, any time our revelatory friend desires a few million extra British pounds, he need only submit a well-crafted memoir such as Clifford Stoll’s “The Cuckoo’s Egg” (1990) to put AGW, UEA, GISS/NASA, Penn State et al. in properly perjorative context. We await “Breathe C02 and Die!” with bloody-minded eagerness.

JRR Canada
January 11, 2011 8:21 pm

Both the article and the magazine name demonstrate the power of wishful thinking. Wish all they want, the CRU emails said all I needed to see. I am amused by those defenders of “context” who forgot to read the emails.2011 will be a good year.

January 11, 2011 9:01 pm

“The ‘climategate’ emails reveal attempts at usurption of the practices of science to promote AGW. The ‘true believers’ say the emails do not change the science – which they do not – but the contents of the emails changed views of news Editors so they have reduced their willingness to publish one-sided polemic from Environment Correspondents”
On this we can agree.

Gary Hladik
January 11, 2011 9:09 pm

Thanks to Bob of Castlemaine and Michael for the links to “Global Warming Panic Explained”. Hilarious!

January 11, 2011 9:15 pm

The New Scientist is to science as NewsWeak is to news. A splashy cover with rot inside. I subscribed once upon a time and then figured out that it was wasted money. Even Scientific American is a waste these days.

January 11, 2011 9:18 pm

On the occasion of the new year, a big vote of thanks to Anthony Watts, for tirelessly keeping us up to date with the absurdities of Global Warming Mantra, and New Scientist’s Fictions in particular, from down-under, where floods and cold weather are sweeping away warmist droughts. Nicholas Tesdorf

January 11, 2011 9:30 pm

Speaking of Thermageddonal Obsession, how’s about those SE snowdumps and UK winters? New York is crackling with another mess of ice bearing down on them. Nah, it couldn’t be the weather, that’s too easy. All those people yearing for escaping South to warmer climes are just plain wimpy.
Let’s just pretend it’s summer and toss another Carbon Share on the Barbie.

eric anderson
January 11, 2011 10:57 pm

The reason the Doubt Industry has ballooned is an increasing awareness by the public that it is being lied to and spun from every direction. The media is now perceived as an organ that not only reports spin, but engages in it actively and enthusiastically. The old joke about how to tell when a politician is lying (his lips are moving), is fast being seen as applicable to numerous government initiatives, corporate interests, and not least of all the news media themselves.

Al Gore's Holy Hologram
January 11, 2011 11:05 pm

When they call you frontmen for oilmen or government, they are trying to deflect attention from themselves…
We know full well that the US and UK govs have been paying phoney grass root orgs with taxpayer money to lobby government

January 11, 2011 11:49 pm

Lazy Teensger – seven freezing weeks here and I think it would be fair to say that the local bird population doesn’t like the cold. Lucky that we feed them – but feeds are made of seeds that probably were grown using fertilisers produced using fossil fuels.
I’m sure there are many other examples, such as increased heating of our houses when it’s cold, leaving a choice of increased energy use, or death. Shorter growing season for our own food supplies.
What do you like best then LT – warm, cold, fossil fuel consumption, or wildlife starving to death?
Personally, I prefer warm because complex life dies very quickly as temperature moves towards the freezing point of water.

January 12, 2011 12:01 am

The truth will out.

January 12, 2011 12:29 am

With respect to all the climate bloggers out there, I would suggest that many ordinary folk (who dont visit blog sites) will hardly ‘see’ the skeptical stance.
From my personal experience – I can categorically say that down at my local pub, many are skeptical of AGW for many of the ‘common sense’ reasons and also because of the obvious tax revenue government ‘purpose’ in its promulgation! However, very few will bother to check it out or research further, and even fewer will probably bother to delve into the science to try and understand it. These are ‘normal’ folk, too busy with their lives to realise they are being stuffed – or, in the traditional British apathetic way, they know they cannot beat those in higher authority and simply must accept whatever will be handed down!
I would simply ask that readers help educate other ‘normal folk as often as possible!

January 12, 2011 12:58 am

@ Buddenbrook (Jan 11, 4.22). I too have found Roger Pielke Snr’s blog an instructive and authoritative resource on a surprisingly wide range of issues within climate science, including climategate. True, he doesn’t accept comments but that is an understandable policy; moderating the floods of comments he would probably receive could be a full-time job on its own, and he wisely prefers to concentrate on research. He also makes rather a lot of typo errors – too busy to hit the spell-check key I suppose – but he’s not the only one.
As Buddenbrook mentions, Pielke Snr backs up his blog statements with frequent references to the peer-reviewed literature. He has also publicly and acrimoniously parted company with the IPCC – much to his credit.
Perhaps also worth noting that Pielke Snr rejects the label ‘climate sceptic’ and explains why on his blog. Not all is rotten in the state of mainstream climate science.

January 12, 2011 1:05 am

This week’s New Scientist has one or possible two articles that are relevant to the subject of climate change. They are behind a paywall so I haven’t read them but the details of the contents are given below.
Last chance to hold Greenland back from tipping point
“New data and models show that Greenland’s ice cap, the world’s second largest, is on track to hit a point of no return in 2040.”
Mysteries of Lake Vostok on brink of discovery
“For 14 million years, Antarctica’s Lake Vostok has been sealed off, but now a Russian drill is nearing the surface.”

Adam Gallon
January 12, 2011 1:10 am

Prof Pielke Snr has an interesting comment, wrt the cursed e-mails!
“Kevin (Trenberth) has apparently learned nothing from the released East Anglia e-mails. To refer to a published paper as “rubbish” without substantiating that claim is arrogant. This behaviour is what has gotten us to the politicization of climate science”
Note the use of the word “released”.

January 12, 2011 1:42 am

Interestingly. the Met Office may have shot themselves in the foot here.
If they had simply got the forecast wrong, there is no way a company could sue them. I am sure their forecasting contracts preclude that possibility. However, if they can be proved to have deliberately withheld vital information, then I am sure someone can sue them. Perhaps they should have kept their collective mouths shut.

charles nelson
January 12, 2011 2:12 am

Jack is right, global warming is a dying brand.
But, I’m guessing that there is a young smart generation inside the Met Office, clever kids who know the game is up for the ‘ancien regime’ and personally doubt AGW.
They are under cover right now but have no doubt, they are biding their time. They will have to act soon because the longer they play along with this farce the less crediblity they can claim.
As for the old high-priesthood, reality is savagely, biting them on the arse right now thanks to the coldest NH winter for generations and likewise cold wet SH summer.
Factor in the internal dynamics of all organizations which ultimately must renew themselves in order to survive, and you can imagine that sooner or later there will be a coup. Oh joy.

Robert Christopher
January 12, 2011 3:08 am

“I decided long ago that “New Scientist” represented a contemporary view of science that was at odds with my old school Feynman notions of doubt. And anyone who sees no room for doubt in climate science is simply not paying attention to the science of climate.”
Agreed! I stopped my subscription to New Scientist two years ago.

Dizzy Ringo
January 12, 2011 3:16 am

You are aware that Harrabin is one of the BBCs most fervent AGWers. Could it be that the Beeb sees this as a way to torpedo the coalition – which they appear to loathe?

Alexander K
January 12, 2011 4:25 am

An excellent article, which makes the point that freedom of expression (which, of course, includes discussion) is essential to the disemination of knowledge. The New Scientist encapsulates the old idea that all knowledge must be handed down by societally-approved ‘gatekeepers’, such as the village shaman, priest or teacher, who was the only person in the village who held the required and approved knowledge which the remote chieftan/royalty/church/education authority required to be diseminated. The New Scientst’s editors have not caught up with the universal freedoms the Blogosphere bestows and has to think in terms of vast imaginary organisations opposing ‘the settled science’ to rationalise the organic spreading of ideas among intelligent non-specialists who freely communicate the ideas of specialists, accepting or rejecting those ideas as they communicate their discussions. The medieval concept of the university, wherein learned people would gather within the university to discuss their ideas with each other and hand on what they agreed they knew to students, who themselves neither formally enrolled or presented any qualification for university attendance, without any thought of formal examinations or testing, seems to have arrived again, facilitated by the internet. I suspect we are witnessing the death of the modern university, itself a formal construct which has everything to do with authority and very little to do with actual knowledge.
Journals which adhere to the relatively recent model of authority-by-peer review and rely on outmoded ideas of scientific authority are rapidly becoming outmoded and irrelevant, condemned by their own inability to be open, honest and to admit ever getting anything wrong.
Release of the Climategate emails was a very big push in the direction of freedom from bogus authority.

January 12, 2011 4:37 am

Gatwick coped rather better with the snow than Heathrow, I believe, and it’s difficult to imagine that the former had access to ‘secret’ forecasts that the latter didn’t.

January 12, 2011 4:47 am

Those consensus advocates may perceive this as evidence of an astroturf coordinated multi million dollar funded, fossil fuel funded PR denial machine. If they spent time actually reading them, it would become evident that it is just individuals reacting to events.
Exactly! The reason for the proliferation has been caused by:

“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !
Phil” [Jones]

June 4, 1999
“Warm Winters Result From Greenhouse Effect, Columbia Scientists Find, Using NASA Model”
Science Daily | Abstract

Nov. 17, 2010
“Global Warming Could Cool Down Northern Temperatures in Winter”
Science Daily | Abstract

“…(CO2) in the atmosphere will slow the Earth’s rotation.”BBC | Abstract

“Global warming will make Earth spin faster”
Live Science | Abstract

Failed predictions and forecasts
James Hansen’s activism puts objectivity into question
Al Gore buying a beach front property
Thermometers near airport tarmacs
Endless contradictory claims fro AGW
1,200 km smoothing (guesswork)
Coldest December in the UK for over 100 years
Return of rains to Australia
ACE Hurrican index at 30 year low
Island Atolls have risen or stayed the same in the past 60 years of sea level rise
Co2 amplification is less than previously thought
and much, much more…

January 12, 2011 5:23 am

When was the last time we were accused of being funded by ‘big oil’..?
One step at a time, eh..??

George Lawson
January 12, 2011 6:44 am

If the government won’t say what was purported to have been said by the Met Office, then why don’t the Met Office release exact details of what they said to the government?

January 12, 2011 7:00 am

LazyTeenager says:
January 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm
Maybe it’s an old man thing. Old men don’t like the cold. Personally I like cold.
Good for you. But a question — work outside much?
As a teenager, I didn’t mind cold at first, until I had to deliver newspapers for several winters. As my exposed skin chapped & turned to leather, and several instances of mild but very painful frostbite, I came to the realization — I hate this stuff. In fact, it’s downright dangerous.

January 12, 2011 8:59 am

beng says:
January 12, 2011 at 7:00 am
As a teenager,

Hehehe – yes, as a child, we would play all day in the snow! Our parents forced us to come in. Then, like you (instead of a paper route, I had to cycle to school), responsibility hit and being out in the cold became a chore, not a lark.
Your sentiment is indicative of the Climate debate as well – those that have no responsibility can afford to be frivilous with their claims. They are users, not producers and figure to live off of others regardless of the results of their actions.

January 12, 2011 1:26 pm

I like the outrage from the Virgin Atlantic spokesman. Richard Branson is an industrial sized AGW firebrand.

Dave Andrews
January 12, 2011 1:41 pm

New Scientist was a serious ‘ popular’ science magazine in the 1960s/1970s. It maintained some gravitas into the 1990s. Since then it has become a tabloid journal.
Unfortunately, it has merely followed the trend of all journalism since Murdoch’s rise. Nature and Science are little better now. That man has a lot to answer for!

January 12, 2011 2:35 pm

Simple solution, just stop buying New Science, Nature, Science, on and on, stop going to their sites, giving them hits, and for goodness sake drop your subscriptions if you have some. Tell your friends and colleagues to do the same. Journals and associations are now following the same track. They will either change when the bottom falls out or a new, fresh science publication or journal will come that fill the gap, back to real science as it has been for prior decades. Real scientists and science enthusiasts will flock to it if you will let other know. No one I know likes what has happened to science recently.
So stop playing into their hands. When you see the sensationalism and scare tactics come in, just leave. What’s the old saying: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil ( so stop reading evil, it will do your blood pressure wonders! ) Do your good work in the invisible background.

Brian H
January 13, 2011 1:39 am

Dave A;
I believe Nature and Science and New Scientist are controlled by German warmistas. Check before you buy the “evil Murdoch” meme.
The “airport tarmac” thermometers are a convenience issue; the airports need and use them there. They should not be used for other purposes (weather stations); their value is strictly local, to do with aircraft safety.

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