Tag Archives: George Monbiot

Climategate – Journalist withdraws and apologises

George Monbiot

George Monbiot: Image via Wikipedia

Hot Topic has an informative article covering the the Independent Climate Change Email Review chaired by Sir Muir Russell (see Climategate’s final fizzle). The report can be downloaded here (FINAL REPORT). It’s 160 pages and appears very thorough. But it will take a little time to read.

Listen to the press conference where the report was launched this morning (download mp3 file Audio recording of the press conference (mp3 format approx 14MB). I think this gives a good idea of the flavour of the report and the effort that went into it. There is also of Transcript of Sir Muir Rrussell’s opening remarks.

Hopefully this report will do a lot to help reverse some of the misleading press and internet coverage of this unseemly climategate affair.

One journalist who has already admitted to have been mistaken is George Monbiot. Back in November he called for professor Phil Jones resignation. Now he says  he was wrong to call, soon after this story broke, for Jones’s resignation? (See The ‘climategate’ inquiry at last vindicates Phil Jones – and so must I).

There were a few local bloggers who echoed Monbiot’s mistaken call – I wonder if they will now withdraw and apologise. At least Monbiot has the honesty to admit his mistake.

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I thought the award for mistakes was mine!

Glacier-gate – the current feeding frenzy for climate change deniers brought back memories.

Any publishing scientist will have experienced the problem of errors getting through the review and checking process. Of course you notice them immediately when you proudly read through you masterpiece in the print journal.

However, I burst out laughing when I read this  post by a local blogger – IPCC: Earning the award for greatest number of errors per page. Because I was convinced I won that award years ago!

One of my old papers has far more errors than the IPCC reports. These were all misspellings of my own name in the reference list.

Bloody spell checkers!

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“Blithering idiocy”

Guardian journalist George Monbiot recently described some of the more blatant media attacks on the science of climate change as “blithering idiocy” (see The sceptics are skating on thin ice). He gave examples from the Telegraph claiming that the current weather in the UK supported the idea of a looming ice age rather than global warming (eg. Global warming: Al Gore’s convenient untruth freezes over). Monbiot asks: “Is there any other subject on which journalists can make such magnificent idiots of themselves and still keep their jobs?”

We have seen a bit of the same confusion of weather with climate amongst bloggers in New Zealand. Ian Wishart (TBR) and Poneke gloated over that lovely satellite picture of the UK covered in snow (see Here’s what British crow looks like… and Yet another Unfortunate Truth too delicious to ignore).

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George Monbiot on ClimateGate & the climate denial industry

Lord Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Public comments on the “climategate” emails have certainly been varied. From one extreme like Lord Monckton who uses it to justify his outlandish giant conspiracy theory, to the more rational discussion by science journalists.

George Monbiot, who writes for The Guardian, has made some of the more balanced comments. He is not dismissing the significance of the emails but at the same time puts them in a proper context. He is particularly warning that they are in no way evidence of a conspiracy, or that the current assessment of the threat of global warming is compromised.

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“Climategate” – the smoking gun?

Some of the more extreme climate change deniers, and others who have an anti-science agenda, continue to dredge through the domestic debris of the emails stolen by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia. Their conclusions are, of course, predictable.  Meanwhile, the balanced media summary oif this fiasco is probably well represented by George Monbiot in the Guardian: “The leaked exchanges are disturbing, but it would take a conspiracy of a very different order to justify sceptics’ claims.” (see Global warming rigged? Here’s the email I’d need to see ).

I particularly liked his depiction of the email that the climate change deniers and their allies would dearly love to find. It’s a great satire and portrays some of the silliest conspiracy theories promulgated by deniers. Continue reading