Booker on BBC's Science Under Attack

Christopher Booker on BBC and The Royal Society bias, ClimateGate, The Met cold winter forecast and 2010 hottest year ever:

Horizon’s “Science Under Attack” turned out to be yet another laborious bid by the BBC to defend the global warming orthodoxy…… Hours of film of climate-change “deniers” are cherrypicked for soundbites that can be shown, out of context, to make them look ridiculous…… Although Sir Paul presented himself as the champion of objective science, he frequently showed that, for all his expertise in cell biology, he knows little about climate.

The fact that someone is an expert in one particular field – even if he is President of the Royal Society – gives him little more authority to pronounce on issues with which he is unfamiliar than a man holding forth in a pub……. the BBC has been turned, in Peter Sissons’ words, into a mere “propaganda machine”……. Comparing the actual data…… shows that for four years the original figure has been adjusted downwards. Only for 2010 was the data revised upwards, by the largest adjustment of all, allowing the Met Office to claim that 2010 was the hottest year of the decade……

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/8290469/How-BBC-warmists-abuse-the-science.html

h/t to Amino Acids in Meteorites

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Just imagine how desperate they will become if a significant cooling period kicks off for the next ten years. Any rational person familiar with climate recognizes that such an event will happen. Could be starting now in fact.
Such a natural reversal means little, but the claim of warming is the only basis the warmists have. The desperation will be impressive. Maybe they will even claim that the new wind power has made a difference.
John Kehr

“He who controls the past, controls the future” — George Orwell in 1984
What the warmist scientists are doing is no different than what Winston did (airbrushing out unpersons from news photos, etc.) in Orwell’s 1984. It was a fraud in his book and it is a fraud now.
But of course it furthered the cause of the party which made it justifiable.

Al Gored

Ah yes, the BBC. I find Richard Black’s blog to be relentless propaganda. Here’s the latest example:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2011/01/if_the_arctic_is_really.html#comments
Back in the good old pre-Climategate era, it used to be great fun watching the BBC’s almost daily ‘Global Warming Catatstrophe Report’ by David Shukman, but he seems to have melted away much faster than the ice cap did. Now their propaganda is more subltle. They can always seem to find some sign of ‘climate disruption’ to cover, including minor ones on slow news days, which has the cumulative effect of delivering that message to viewers without explicitly stating it. Lots of networks doing that trick these days, and with video cameras everywhere they have coverage of everything. Look! A mudslide in some remote corner of Bolivia! That previously no one except locals would ever have heard about…
Back on topic, if this dustup between the BBC and the MET doesn’t shake something up, the UK truly is hopelessly enslaved by the AGW industry.

Bill in Vigo

Makes on wonder!!!! What about all those that aren’t properly trained in the correct field to study or comment on the climate science. It appears that It is only if your are in disagreement with the “consensus”.
Bill Derryberry

Cassandra King

Actually science is under attack, it has been under attack for some time yet the BBC are trying to portray the perpetrators as victims.Paul Nurse has no expertise in climate science and his breathtakingly ignorant prejudice only confirms this, he is interested in defending the CAGW narrative. The Royal Society has a terrible track record over the last couple of hundred years in selecting and defending ridiculous assertions and consensus ignorance, if there has been a dragging anchor holding science back it has been the RS.
The BBCs sole purpose and aim in making this propaganda film was in order to smear unbelievers and sceptics, the BBC has much invested in CAGW both in fiscal and ideological terms, they believe and they are not just believers but leaders of the CAGW narrative.
This programme by the BBC was in fact an admission of failure, it will be seen in the near future for what it is and will I believe undermine and help to destroy the BBC. I see this effort from the BBC coming back to haunt them.

David Ball

Cassandra King says:
January 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm
One can only hope. Goes double for the CBC, as well.

vigilantfish

Is this comment actually being published in the paper (as opposed to one of the Telegraph’s blogs)? I certainly hope so, as it is a crushing rejoinder to the Beeb’s propaganda piece and needs the widest possible readership. Imagine stating that human beings are responsible for putting out 7 times more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than natural processes! Nurse should be removed from his position in the Royal Society for his abuse of science and sheer carelessness with facts. When will the membership of the RS wake up?

pat

Again we see ill-educated politicians, many ignorant fools, professing “special knowledge” that is neither backed by facts or logic. An attempt to subject populations to a system of regulation that will stifle all scientific research and leave industry to Asia and other countries that realize this is nothing but nonsense.

Malaga View

BRAVO BOOKER!

Far from it being “science” which is under attack from all those experts who dispute the orthodoxy on global warming, the truth is the very reverse. It is the dissenters who are trying to speak for genuine science, against those who misuse its prestige to promote a cause which has too often betrayed the very essence of proper scientific method.
The fact that the BBC has been turned, in Peter Sissons’ words, into a mere “propaganda machine” is scandal enough. But a far greater scandal is the way the authority of science has been hijacked to serve a fatally flawed belief system which threatens to inflict irreparable damage on the future of us all.

charles nelson

Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
January 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm
frank verismo says:
January 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm
@RockyRoad:
This is what happens when a cult replaces science. The faster the MET and BBC are discredited the better.
Funny you should mention those two in the same sentence. Further to my previous post:
Head of the BBC’s pension fund: Peter Dunscombe
Head of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change: (wait for it . . . . ) Peter Dunscombe!
Does anyone else detect a pattern here?
====================================================
Yes, I do. It’s called manipulating the market.

I do hope someone in England files a complaint about (or to?) the BBC in the same manner as the warmistas did against “the great global warming swindle” a few years back.
Thanks
JK

xyzlatin

I believe that there is a mixture of incorrect reasoning when attacking Nurse for his lack of credentials in climate science. Firstly, is it right to exclude someone simply because he has no formal training in the climate field? If so, this is a slippery slope for any skeptic as well who does not have formal qualifications in that field, including Booker. That is a two edged sword.
It is also raising the science of climate change as is practised by the CRU and the team, into a higher realm than it deserves. In fact, from what I have learned, in general, the so called climate science teaching at many universities right round the world is short on the science skills such as required by mathematicians or astrophysicists, but long on activism and politics.
One does not need a degree in anything to work out that there is something shonky going on with the thermometer placements conveniently being reduced in colder areas.
One also does not need a degree to read emails written in English language in particular the Harry Read Me file, which is full of comments telling everyone he has to make a lot of the figures up.
In fact, one does not need anything other than commensense, to be able to work out that if the theory is that the temperature will rise with increased C02, and it hasn’t, then the theory is wrong.
So why is Nurse backing the wrong science (as will eventually be shown)?
The answer is something for the psychology folk to ponder on in the future when the scam is finished, on their grants!

Steeptown

The most interesting bit is discussed by Biship Hill at http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/1/29/booker-wades-in.html#comments.
More data manipulation by the Met Office. Talk about corruption of science. No wonder it is under attack.

Baa Humbug

I’ve read in a couple of places now about data from 4 years being adjusted down and data from 2010 being adjusted up, but I haven’t seen actual figures.
Does anybody know where one can see these figures? I’d like to know how much was adjusted down/up.

tango

the blind leading the blind very sad

TFNJ

But it was good to see Phil Jones back from his stint as curator of the Turin shroud…
Wasn’t it?
Pity about the purple shirt tho’.

Roger Carr

Thank all things beautiful for the “Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate”.
    All of these pesky facts and fancies will be reconciled there and no argument or disagreement will remain, leaving us free to glory in all ice, snow, flood, drought and famine in the true innocence of our noble savage ancestry.

Scottish Sceptic

Science under attack
It is not us, but people like Trenberth trying to reverse the Null Hypothesis that are attacking science.
Nothing could be so fundamental to science as having to prove your assertions rather than putting the onus on other people to disprove them.
It is like having a criminal justice system, when one day, a prosecutor on a difficult high-profile trial, stands up before the jury and says: “I think this case is so important that from now on it should be up to the defendant to prove they are innocent and not up to the state to prove they are guilty”.
N.B. They’d make global warming “denial” a crime – which means if it was up to Trenberth, we’d all be guilty unless we could disprove their ridiculous mumbo jumbo. It’s hot: global warming. It snows: global warming. Wet: global warming. Dry: Global warming. And if there’s no extreme weather: It’s global warming

Jimbo

Instead of asking the cell biologist Sir Paul Nurse to present the show why couldn’t the BBC use Dr. Paul Jones of CRU to do the presenting? ;O)
Apparently Sir Paul posed a question to Delingpole of the Telegraph:

“…if a dear relative was suffering from a fatal disease, would he opt for the “consensus” treatment recommended by doctors, or advice to drink more orange juice offered by a fringe maverick quack?”

My answer would be that I would opt for any treatment that is effective even if it’s orange juice. Consensus does not come into it. Why? Well in 1982 two Australian scientists, Robin Warren and Barry J. Marshall, showed that most stomach ulcers and gastritis were caused by colonization of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori and not by stress or spicy food as had been assumed by the consensus. I wonder how Einstein would have progressed today?

Jimbo

I would like to remind Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, about the institution’s motto:

“The Royal Society’s motto ‘Nullius in verba’ roughly translates as ‘take nobody’s word for it‘. It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.”

AGW’s forecasts are failing and yet we are told to abandon scepticism.

Green Sand

vigilantfish says:
January 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm
Is this comment actually being published in the paper

Yes, it is in the main paper. Booker has a weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph.

Stephen Brown

@vigilantfish, the article is in the print version of the Telegraph see here:
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2011/01/back-to-nursery.html
for a picture of the page.

Ian W

xyzlatin says:
January 29, 2011 at 11:08 pm
I believe that there is a mixture of incorrect reasoning when attacking Nurse for his lack of credentials in climate science. Firstly, is it right to exclude someone simply because he has no formal training in the climate field? If so, this is a slippery slope for any skeptic as well who does not have formal qualifications in that field, including Booker. That is a two edged sword.

It is a two edged sword if it is _just_ making a non-expert comment. However, this was not ‘just a non-expert comment’ – this was The President of The Royal Society who I am sure at no time stated that he had no expertise in the field. If you are asked to comment -as a scientist- in a field in which you have no expertise, then you state that clearly and ensure that the people you are talking to are aware. Then you act like a scientist and are sceptical about everything you are told and ask for some level of support for assertions.
Had The President of The Royal Society acted like a scientist he would have corrected the totally false statement ” 7 gigatons (billion tons) are emitted each year by human activity while only 1 gigaton comes from natural sources such as the oceans” but it would appear that in this regard at least he was notacting like a scientist. One starts to wonder in how many areas are we trusting those in authority and their reporters when they are not acting with professionalism.

Jordan

Horizon was once one of the great general science TV programmes of the UK. Now it is trash.
This latest eposide is truly disgraceful. Nurse harps on about the public not accepting the global warming catastrophe theory, and asks why that should be. But I cannot see how this programme is supposed to improve anything.
Horizon probably still keeps a reasonably highbrow audience, and I don’t think neutral observers would have been much impressed by the cringeworthy scenes of Jones explaining how he decided it was better not to show all of his data, or playing the victim card because he felt harassed by FOI requests.
Horizon was very quick to portray Jones as the victim of the FOI requests, without any background to how things got to where they did. There was no attempt to approach the people who were asking for information, or what had led them to go down the FOI route. That made this part very one-sided indeed.
Horizon tried a real stitch-up on James Delingpole – although I think it will have backfired.
At his blog, James explains how Nurse visited him for 3 hours to discuss climategate. Nurse tried to throw a curveball with a question on who to believe when you have cancer. James pointed out that it’s a bad analogy and insisted they stick to climategate. And out of 3 hours discussion together, what did Horizon choose to show? You guessed it – James appearing to refuse to answer the question.
The programme also shows James Delingpole admitting that he’s not a climate expert and doesn’t read the primary research literature. Also a clar attempt to discredit Delingpole.
This is a classic example of demanding higher standards from your opponents: there is no doubt that many public supporters of global warming catastrophe theory do not read the primary research literature, but will appear in the media to make their point. Did Nurse suggest that they should butt-out of the discussion because they are not experts? Nope – missed that one completely. It’s only dissenting non-experts who are to be questioned on their qualifications.
In fact most people feel entitled to have an opinion on many things. They may have their own insights on a topic, their own interests, and do their own examination of the issues, without feeling it necessary to go to the primary research literature. I’m sure Nurse is in exactly the same poisition on many issues.
On the point of reading the literature, Nurse failed to deal with the issue that the global warming catastrophe theory is so poorly defined that it cannot be explained. That’s a major part of the issue. The Horizon programme acknowledged the uncertainty in clouds. But you can go over to Judith Currie to see endless debate about fundamental points such as the role of feedback in sensitivity, questions like whether the “zero feedback sensitivity” has any physical meaning or is it just an abstract construct.
In early December, poster “Nullius in Verba” wrote this at Currie’s blog:
“A great deal of confusion is caused in this debate by the fact that there are two distinct explanations for the greenhouse effect: one based on that developed by Fourier, Tyndall, etc. which works for purely radiative atmospheres (i.e. no convection), and the radiative-convective explanation developed by Manabe and Wetherald …. Climate scientists do know how the basic greenhouse physics works, and they model it using the Manabe and Wetherald approach. But almost universally, when they try to explain it, they all use the purely radiative approach, which is incorrect, misleading, contrary to observation, and results in a variety of inconsistencies when people try to plug real atmospheric physics into a bad model. It is actually internally consistent, and it would happen like that if convection could somehow be prevented, but it isn’t how the real atmosphere works.”
Climatologists don’t have a consistent explanation to support the catastrophe theory. Now THAT would have been a good point for Nurse to have addressed if he hadn’t been so occupied in trying to discredit dissent.
Then there was the irony of Nurse’s starry-eyed visit to the RS archives, seeing some of the works of his science heroes. But many of these people were dissenters of their day – many of them never received recognition in their own lifetime. So what the hell did Nurse think he was doing when he attacked modern-day dissent and defended his assumed consensus.
Well done Christopher Booker – we need you to speak out on these things.
And to the the folks of WUWT – please show your support to James Delingpole. In one respect, James has arrived through this programme (that’s why I think the smear tactic has backfired). But James will be the UK whipping boy for the climate extremists and that’s not going to be easy.

EFS_Junior

[snip– stop using the D word to label individuals – keep it up and you’ll be banned – Anthony]

Stacey

Nobel Prize winner so what.
Some of them went on to be active nazis and if Al Gore can get it. Well?
The thing that I find base is that Nurse is the President of a learned institution and should he should therefore be above the fray, also I would have thought that they would have rules on professional conduct?

Scottish Sceptic

It’s all over folks! The shere scale of the evil denier empire has been exposed in the Guardian
the secretive Global Warming Policy Foundation(http://www.thegwpf.org/), founded in November 2009, is funded by anonymous donors, compared with income from membership fees. Its total income for the period up to 31 July 2010 was £503,302, of which only £8,168 came from membership contributions. The foundation charges a minimum annual membership fee of £100 .
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/20/global-warming-policy-foundation-donors
Compare that with these:
A loss of £4.3m ($7m) funding will hit the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Changehttp://www.enviro-live.com/news/science-technology/met-office-funding-cut.html A loss of £4.3million!
‘Climategate’ professor Phil Jones awarded £13 million in research grants http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/copenhagen-climate-change-confe/6735846/Climategate-professor-Phil-Jones-awarded-13-million-in-research-grants.html

cal

I wrote to the BBC about this. Only the second time I have been compelled to do so (the only other time was after that terrible experiment with the CO2 in a bottle).
Most of the points I raised have been covered by Booker and others on this thread but one of the false arguments has not been covered and it really got me annoyed because it sounded so reasonable.
Nurse asked Delingpole how he would react if a consultant told him that he had cancer and that the consultant and his colleagues agreed that a particular treatment was best for him. Would he not go along with that consensus. It was a difficult for Delingpole to argue against this as the question was put and of course the viewer was left to make the parallel with “consesus” in climate science.
However the question should have been put in this way. What if a consultant funded by a the world’s biggest drug company said that you had cancer and that the drug made by the same company was best for you. Consultants working for the suppliers, distributors and shareholders of that company all agreed with him. When pressed he would have to accept that there were other consultants who disagreed but they were not to be believed because they had not published in the journal owned by the same drug company.
I think I might ask for a second opinion!

Les Francis

Forget about the science and climate change.
The UN Sec gen Ban Ki Moon has laid it out : Capitilism is evil we need a revolution

Chris Wright

vigilantfish says:
January 29, 2011 at 10:22 pm
Is this comment actually being published in the paper (as opposed to one of the Telegraph’s blogs)?
Yes, it’s in today’s printed Sunday Telegraph. Booker’s column appears every week in the printed version. He has done fantastic work, shining a pitiless light on both the wretched state of climate science and the equally wretched European Union.
Chris

Richard Lawson

Paul Nurse reads this blog (which he referred to as a ‘denier web site’ in the programme) and commented to Anthony on the story of midges in Alaska saying “please stop this cherry picking”
[Reply – er, that was a regular commenter changing aliases ~jove, mod]
This man is not only a disgrace to his position of President of the Royal Society (motto: On the word of no one) but a disgrace to his entire profession of ‘scientists’.
This man knows nothing on climate science, yet uses his position as some sort of High Priest on the topic. He has the audacity to tell others to stop cherry picking after colluding with the BBC to produce the most cherry picked diatribe possible.
This man should resign his position immediately simply for ignoring the Society’s motto and the BBC Trust needs to investigate the non-impartiality that coursed through the veins of this editorial.
Paul Nurse (you do not deserve the courtesy of your full title) if read this take note. You are a hypocrite. Resign your post immediately. The Royal Society is, historically, a great organisation. I simply cannot be great with you as President. Your fore bares must be turning in their graves!

Chris Wright

Jordan says:
January 30, 2011 at 2:33 am
“Horizon was once one of the great general science TV programmes of the UK. Now it is trash.
This latest eposide is truly disgraceful.”
I agree. It showed two sceptics, Fred Singer and James Delingpole, and they both came over as very weak. Doubtless they recorded several hours of conversation with nurse, but they showed two brief pieces that were almost certainly selected to show them in the worst possible light.
Nurse’s analogy about the doctors was bad, but if I had been Delingpole I would be kicking myself. I would have said something like: “Yes, I would probably accept the doctor’s concensus because I have no reason to believe they have been cooking the books”. Simple. But instead Delingpole seemed stuck and tried to change the subject. So naturally that’s what they showed.
Thinking about it, I think this Horizon program is actually worse than Climate Wars, as it does seem to contain an outrageous lie (about human versus natural emissions). In Climate Wars the presenter actually showed evidence that supports the sceptical case, in particular UHI at Las Vegas.
Chris

Anthony Hanwell

Following the BBC Horizon programme I wrote to Sir Paul Nurse as follows: Didn’t even get round to the IPCC!
Sir Paul Nurse
President
The Royal Society
6-9 Carleton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AG
Dear Sir Paul,
I watched with interest your contribution to the global warming debate last night on Horizon. I think it was a pity that your genuine wish to find out why there is such a public mistrust of science was bound up with the BBC who have publicly acknowledged that they are not impartial on this issue as they believe the “science is settled.”
I am sorry that several personal attacks on you have appeared on the blogs – such ‘ad hominem’ criticisms have no place in scientific debate.
I also feel it was regrettable that opposition to GM food was coupled with opposition to the current global warming theory. As a global warming sceptic, I find myself on the opposite side to environmental activists who both object to GM but have also co-opted AGW for their own ends.
I apologise in advance for the length of this letter, but you have asked the question and I want you to know why this scientifically educated (M.A. Ph.D (Cantab) and Hon D.Eng (Sheffield)) member of the public is a global warming sceptic. Below are a few of the many reasons which have pushed me from a neutral to a strongly held sceptic position.
1. Informed observers agree that there may be a degree or two of global warming going on. By comparison with the annual fluctuations at any place on earth, it is small and arguably may be beneficial.
2. Your programme elegantly explained the difference between correlation and causation. Nowhere have I been able to find convincing proof that increasing CO2 levels cause global warming.
3. You harped on the argument of ‘consensus’ but having worked in the medical industry, I well remember the consensus on the causes of gastric and duodenal ulcers and the major surgery patients were obliged to endure until a small voice from an Australian doctor piped up to some derision that “it’s all down to a bacterium Helicobacter pylori” And so it proved.
4. I do not believe that there is a conspiracy but the sheer weight of money thrown at research to prove AGW has caused groupthink and made it very difficult for doubters to advance their career in the face of it.
5. Even a cursory examination of the global temperature records will give any reputable scientist food for thought. Climate scientists indulge in ‘homogenisation’ so that the record the public is allowed to see has been substantially altered from the raw data. Worse, as Phil Jones confirms, the audit trail is often lost so that the adjustments cannot repeated. Another cause for concern is the tinkering with the historical records and the frequency with which the recent data tends to be adjusted upwards and older data downwards to exaggerate the warming trend.
6. A recent example is from New Zealand. The official record has now been disowned after skilful criticism from sceptics and it is now accepted that no warming has occurred (in New Zealand at least)
7. An American schoolboy and his father demonstrated that in their area of the USA, a comparison of the temperature record in rural areas compared with urban areas showed warming in the latter but not in the former. Phil Jones says that the urban heat effect on the record is only very small and is allowed for in ‘homogenisation’. Common experience suggests this is highly unlikely.
8. Anthony Watts at the blog WUWT has shown just how questionable is the land temperature record. A large proportion of the recording stations making up the global record were first put in place for aviation purposes and can be affected by aircraft jet exhausts and the heat retaining properties of airport runways and aprons. Aviation activity has grown vastly in the last century and will have undoubtedly affected the global temperature record.
9. You went to NASA and saw some pretty video of the world’s cloud movements compared with such movements modelled on a computer. Didn’t that just prove that we are now pretty good at forecasting the short term weather? But extrapolating to the end of the century? Really?
10. It was noticeable that you did not choose to interview NASA’s most (in)famous climate scientist James Hansen. How can we be expected to trust him and his science when he spends so much time in AGW advocacy, such as his recent participation in the demonstrations at Kingsnorth power station?
11. You appeal to us to have faith in the peer reviewed science. However, in your look at Climategate you only questioned Jones on ‘hide the decline’. What about his attempt to control the peer review system as it applies to climate science. Serious scientists who do not subscribe to AGW have difficulty penetrating the journals within groupthink and have to resort to publishing in journals from peripheral fields.
12. The UEA claimed that the Russell and Oxburgh enquiries confirmed the AGW science. On their own admission they did no such thing. NOBODY has held an enquiry in to the SCIENCE behind AGW. Today’s report by the House of Commons is pretty uncomplimentary about the quality of those enquiries.
13. Phil Jones has admitted on the record that there has been no significant global warming for 15 years in spite of rising CO2 levels. With so much uncertainty, can we risk spending vast resources on an attempt to influence the climate?
I could go on about the vast carbon trading commercial interests that have grown on the back of AGW and who do not wish it to end, but that’s politics not science.
The biggest contribution you could make on your watch at the august Royal Society would be to take your own advice (i.e.trust no-one) and undertake a very careful independent review of the science underpinning AGW including evidence from not only the climate science community but the several highly qualified sceptics who are household names in the blogosphere . Such an enquiry could do much to salvage the reputation of the Society on this subject, which was so damaged by your predecessors as to call forth protest from 43 of its members.
Finally, and on a lighter note, here is a link to ‘a complete list of things caused by global warming’. I hope it will amuse you as well as illustrating the groupthink to which I have referred.
http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm
Yours sincerely,
Anthony Hanwell

John Marshall

This is typical of BBC science. They get an expert who does not know the subject under discussion, in this case an expert geneticist who has to discuss climatology, and browbeat the viewer. I do not know why I pay the licence fee for this rubbish.
Well done Mr Booker.

Archonix

Stacey says:
January 30, 2011 at 2:34 am
Nobel Prize winner so what.
Some of them went on to be active nazis and if Al Gore can get it. Well?

Gore got the “peace prize”, which is handed out by a separate institution for political reasons. It’s not easy to get a nobel prize for physics, for instance, as you have to actually do something worthwhile.

Pete Hayes

Nurse really should be ashamed of himself for getting involved in such a base BBC program, taking into account his position within the RS. I would only hope the decent members rise up and ask for his resignation.
A once famous and respected institution joining in with other institutions that have been taken over by politics and money!

Rowland Pantling (UK)

The BBC is actually screening a documentary on the opposite view – not on the mainstream channels but on BBC4. This is on Monday 31 Jan at 10pm. “Storyville – Meet the Climate Sceptics” apparently is to include interviews with the likes of Viscount Christopher Monckton. It will be very interesting to see how they are treated. Hopefully, it should be pretty even handed since the journalist, Rupert Murray, recently covered the the EU approved environmental crime of fish discards.

Slabadang

This will defenitely not be maentioned by BBC or “The Office”!
Its a killer!!
http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010JPO4410.1?journalCode=phoc
The warming of the Atlantic until 98 is wiped out!! Its cooling faster than it was warming.

EternalOptimist

Surely the reason why the common man is becoming disillusioned by the scientific process is because it is being politicised by failed politicians, hijacked by zealots , milked by unscrupulous reasearchers , used as a doomsday authority to sell papers and shoddy journals and blamed for everything when someone breaks a nail.
To bring it all down to the agw debate was itself shoddy, and didnt do the perception of science any favours at all

frederik wisse

The problem with Mr Jones cs is mainly a psychological one . Once you start to manipulate the truth , science is included herein , and you are organising your mind in such a way that the manipulations are becoming settled , is this settled science ? ,
in your own mind , you are going to loose the ability to seperate facts from fiction .
To put it bluntly : You are going to believe in your own lies . And if then you wish to sacrifice human life for your ideas , you are doing what many did before you , acting like a criminal . Instead we should love each other , but does a global warming alarmist show real warmth ?

P Wilson

I watched that presentation by the president of the Royal Society, and he came across, disingenuously or not (Its hard to tell) as someone who didn’t have much clue about science generally, and thus seemed like the sort of 2nd rate journalism that is normal for newspapers like the Evening Standard or the student’s union paper.
i hope he was being disingenuous. (pretending to be naive but really promoting an agenda), since it would be unfortunate for a president of a scientific organisation to be little more than a social butterfly within his organisation.

rbateman

Piltdown Climate Man is once again paraded about as the new King Tut of Science.
The cheap gold leaf and costume jewelery of the Mask is coming apart, it’s painfully obvious and it really looks bad.
Didn’t anyone tell them that streaking is now relegated to nostalgia commercials?

pesadia

I find it to be very discouraging that the new head of the royal society, (in his debut) has revealed to the world that his head appears to be well and trully deep in the sand. The horizon production will be seen as a classic demonstration of how to turn a personal triumph into a propaganda disaster. Not a very good start for Paul Nurse.

P Wilson

addendum to
P Wilson says:
January 30, 2011 at 4:54 am
of course, he’s an expert in genetics (obviously a man of science in his field) . An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less in these days of specialist knowledge.

Wucash

Horizon has been used a lot this season to drive the AGW agenda forward. Brian Cox seems to mention it everytime he’s on one of their shows, although thankfully he’s careful about talking about human influences. So was the ‘1 degree’ Horizon episode with the comedian and past phycisist Ben Miller. He also hasn’t mentioned anything about human influence, but showed he has disdain for those who are sceptical of the ‘mainstream consensus’. And he had a lovely time bigging up the Met Office, which seemed more like a product placement than a reasoned opinion. (He put up a weather station he got from the Met and bragged how accurate the thermometer is, discarding the fact he put that weather station up on his black roof, which at least to me, is silly because of all the heat emissions coming out of his house).
I haven’t seen this episode yet, but the title says it all and I don’t think I even want to. They can’t seem to grasp the fact that science itself isn’t under attack, but bad, ‘voodoo’ science, which gives real science a bad name. Besides, since when is being sceptical an attack on science?

A Lovell

I wonder if Nurse would dare to put his consensus analogy to Prince Charles?

Kate

Les Francis says: The UN Sec gen Ban Ki Moon has laid it out : Capitilism is evil we need a revolution
…I’m glad you mentioned Ban Ki Moon. He has just made a significant change in his approach to this subject (or rather, the language used when addressing this subject) which the UN as a whole and the IPCC in particular must follow. He has also sacked most of the AGW team that have been following him around for years and advising him on policy.
The UN has dumped the phrase “global warming” from its statements (I am tempted to call them “emissions”). The phrase “climate change” is on probation and will eventually be retired, having done its job. The word “green” is being played down because of its unpleasant associations with taxes and bureaucracy.
From now on, there will be “clean energy” (who would support “dirty” energy anyway?), and “sustainable development” (anyone out there want “unsustainable” development?) and there’s also something called a “clean development mechanism” which amounts to billions in taxes being transferred to African countries for so-called “low-carbon” projects.

Alexander K

As a British Commonwealth citizen who has ‘right to remain’ status in the UK thanks to my Yorkshire-born Grandfather who emigrated to avoid starvation in the 19th century with many from his community to our former colony of New Zealand, I am hesitant to criticise the venerable institutions of the UK, but my reading of history tells me the Royal Society has ‘form’ and has usually opted for questionable ‘concensus’ formed by a few wealthy and aristocratic ‘scientific’ dilletantes rather than examining new discoveries with the proper rigor and scepticism that science demands. The Society and its leardership has frequently not behaved according to it’s own elegant motto and has often been to a willing tool of the establishment of any era, so history repeats itself.
But the BBC, which I was bought up to believe to be a model of fairness, elegantly phrased truth and honesty, is fair game for my criticisms of it, as I am forced to pay a considerable sum each year to support it. Every day, without exception, the great and egregious fraud of Man-made global warming (or whatever guise du joir it is presented in) is rolled out in the most reasonable tones, without even the feeblest attempt to achieve the oft-quoted ‘fairness’ and ‘balance’ the BBC trumpets.
The Met Office too is significant beneficiary of the Revenue and appears to see its obligations to the public as being of no moment or importance whatsoever; the fact that some of its more public employees have been lying to the public and attempting to obscure that organisation’s incredibly poor performance should be the subject of a fraud action brought by some representative of the usoverburdened taxpayers.
I once had faith in Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Enquiries, but to find that all of the enquiries into ‘Climategate’ have not examined the science and produced only one honest, intelligent and forthright politician whose dissenting opinion was written out of the Parliamentary report by craven colleagues, the admirable Graham Stringer, is disappointing to say the least.

P Wilson

Of course, if a climate scientist were pontificating on genetics, or medicine – or bioengineering, or even of a cosmologist were presenting the case for latest techniques in medicines, then we’d be suspicious and would deem it inappropriate, which is telling of the fact that there is little room for propaganda in such crucial branches of science as these, where life depends on empirical evidence an findings. This leads one to believe that anyone can promote the consensus on climate change, so so little depends on its factual presentation.
IE, there is nothing at stake (catastrophe etc) from climate change, that isn’t already established from pre alarmist days

kcom

“Nurse asked Delingpole how he would react if a consultant told him that he had cancer and that the consultant and his colleagues agreed that a particular treatment was best for him. Would he not go along with that consensus. It was a difficult for Delingpole to argue against this as the question was put and of course the viewer was left to make the parallel with “consesus” in climate science.
Chris Wright had a good answer (and it has the advantage of brevity): “Yes, I would probably accept the doctor’s concensus because I have no reason to believe they have been cooking the books.
But there’s also this. There’s actually a track record in treating cancer. Thousands and thousands of cases have been treated over the years with various approaches and protocols so the general parameters of the outcome are known. From diagnosis all the way to death or long-term survival we have examples of “what happens you do this” versus “what happens when you do that”, i.e. complete case histories. Even then, though, no individual case is predictable. A certain cancer might have a 40% five year survival rate, but when you get diagnosed you have no idea (and no one else does either) if you’ll be in that 40% or not.
Now compare that with climate science. We don’t have a single complete case history. We have one patient with a tentative diagnosis. We don’t know what happens when you do this versus what happens when you do that for this patient. We don’t have thousands of examples over the years. We can’t run multiple experiments with real world conditions and see what happens. In this case, consensus isn’t about data, it’s about opinion. They have a purported consensus of opinion about unknowable events in the future, versus a consensus of data about specific outcomes in the past (i.e. in the cancer case). Comparing those two examples is disingenuous and wrong and it highlights the weakness of their case.
As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Their god-awful certainty is not a sign of the strength of their case, rather it’s a sign of their overweening hubris.