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.
Posted in politics, SciBlogs, science, Science and Society
Tagged climate change, Climatic Research Unit, Climatic Research Unit hacking incident, George Monbiot, global warming, journalist, Muir Russell, Phil Jones, University of East Anglia
Well, the latest report from inquiries into the “climategate” affair confirm that the scientific conclusions of climate scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), University of East Anglia stand on “solid ground.”
The report is clear – relatively short and well worth reading. (Download Report of the International Panel set up by the University of East Anglia to
examine the research of the Climatic Research Unit). Here are the conclusions:
- ” We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal.
- We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians. Indeed there would be mutual benefit if there were closer collaboration and interaction between CRU and a much wider scientific group outside the relatively small international circle of temperature specialists.
- It was not the immediate concern of the Panel, but we observed that there were important and unresolved questions that related to the availability of environmental data sets. It was pointed out that since UK government adopted a policy that resulted in charging for access to data sets collected by government agencies, other countries have followed suit impeding the flow of processed and raw data to and between researchers. This is unfortunate and seems inconsistent with policies of open access to data promoted elsewhere in government.
- A host of important unresolved questions also arises from the application of Freedom of Information legislation in an academic context. We agree with the CRU view that the authority for releasing unpublished raw data to third parties should stay with those who collected it.”
Posted in Environment and Ecology, human rights, politics, SciBlogs, science, Science and Society
Tagged climategate, Climatic Research Unit, Climatic Research Unit hacking incident, emails, Freedom of Information, Pennsylvania State University, UEA, University of East Anglia
The UK Institute of Physiscs (IOP) is currently the darling of the climate change deniers, but has upset its own members. The Guardian has found their submission to the UK Parliamentary “Climategate” Hearing was prepared by a small clique, including a well known climate change denier. Now members are protesting. Some may even resign. The IOP may be forced to withdraw their submission.
Climate change politics can be a poisoned chalice for scientists. Trained to deal with objective reality and to test statements and ideas against that reality they are ill-equipped to confront the prejudice, misinformation, emotion and outright nastiness of the political world.
Unfortunately “climategate,” the hysterical anti-science campaign organised around the release of selected stolen emails from the Climate Research unit of the University of East Anglia, is beginning to bring that political world to the scientists themselves.
Posted in Environment and Ecology, New Zealand, SciBlogs, science, Science and Society
Tagged climate change, Environment, global warming, Institute of Physics, IOP Energy Group, New Zealand, Science and Technology Select Committee, University of East Anglia
Prepare for another round of “climategate,” misinformation and distortion of climate change news. This time conservative news media, denier organisations and bloggers will be concentrating on the current inquiries taking place in the UK. These will be considering issues related to the illegal hacking and release of emails from the Climate Research Unit and the University of East Anglia. One of these is the Science and Technology Committee of the UK Parliament inquiry which hears oral submissions this week.
Already we have seen some selective and biased reporting of written submissions and I am sure this will continue. However, there are important issues at stake to do with freedom of information (FOI), harassment of scientists and the responsibility of those making freedom of information requests or using publicly available data. I hope the inquiries will deal with the underlying principles as well as making determinations on the specific cases considered.
Clearly many of the FOI requests made to the CRU were malicious. The UEA submissions says:
“In July 2009 UEA received an unprecedented, and frankly administratively overwhelming, deluge of FOIA requests related to CRU. These amounted to 61 requests out of a 2009 total of 107 related to CRU, compared to annual totals of 2 in 2008 and 4 in 2007 (University totals for those years were 204, 72 and 44 respectively).”
I wonder if the requesters were building up to something?
(Graphics thanks to Going on a Bear Hunt).
Posted in Environment and Ecology, Science, Science and Society
Tagged ACT New Zealand, Add new tag, climate change, Climate Science Coalition, Environment, Freedom of Information Act, global warming, New Zealand, peer review, Right-wing politics, University of East Anglia
This is a sane word of advice at the time of hysterical attacks on climate science and scientists under the “climategate” tag.
It comes in a submission from the University of East Anglia to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Science and Technology investigating the “climategate” business. It finishes with the comment:
“Given that the stakes for humanity are so high in correctly interpreting the evidence of global warming, we would meanwhile urge scientists, academics, journalists and public servants to resist the distortions of hearsay evidence or orchestrated campaigns of misinformation, and instead to encourage open, intelligent debate.”
Ah, if only! Recently on another thread we had a denier accusing scientists of “Lying” and being “eco-fascists,” “lying parasites,” and “parasites of the environmental movement.”
For those of you who want a bit more sanity in this discussion have a read of the university’s submission. It’s avalable as a word document (submission) and together with an appendix.
The submission covers the key accusations being made by the climategate deniers and might be an eye-opener to some.
They say “Lies get half way around the world before truth gets its boots on.” It takes time but truth will eventually out.
I look forward to the time that all these inquiries report their findings.
Update (or BREAKING NEWS as Ian Wishart would claim): It’s also worth having a read of this statement Climate change and the scientific process from the Office of the NZ Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee. A printable version of “Climate change and the scientific process” is available for download here ( PDF file, 139 kb).