Monday, November 30, 2009

Official inquiry into the hacked climate e-mails coming

Details of a university inquiry into e-mails stolen from scientists at one of the UK's leading climate research units are likely to be made public next week. Announcement of a chair of the inquiry and terms of reference will probably be made on Monday, a source says. The University of East Anglia's (UEA) press office did not confirm the date. But a spokesperson said information about the investigation into the hack at UEA's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) would be made public very soon.

Scientists will be scrutinising the choice of chair and the terms of reference. One senior climate scientist told me that the chair would have to be a person accepted by both mainstream climate scientists and sceptics as a highly respected figure without strong connections to either group.

BBC News understands that senior individuals at UEA have acknowledged the potential damage to the university's reputation from the CRU affair and are anxious to clear the institution's name.

But there is a risk that some people will not accept the findings of any inquiry unless it is fully independent, as demanded by the former UK Chancellor Lord Lawson earlier in the week.

A petition is running on the 10 Downing Street website calling for CRU to be suspended from preparation of any government climate statistics until the allegations have been fully investigated.

Some researchers would not comment until they had seen UEA's nominated chairman and terms of reference. But Professor Sir John Houghton, chair of the IPCC's first science panel, said he would not support an inquiry as many of those demanding one were biased.

Phil Willis MP said the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee - of which he is chair - had written to UEA asking for copies of the e-mails and an explanation. Depending on the response, the committee will decide whether to proceed further.

Professor Sir David King, the former government chief scientist, told BBC News there are three key issues:

* how did the leakage occur - was there any payment in the process?

* the alleged behaviour of the scientists indicated by the e-mails

* does this have any impact on the scientific conclusion?

If an independent inquiry encompassed all three aspects, Professor Sir David said he would support it.


BBC coverup

The BBC has become tangled in the row over the alleged manipulation of scientific data on global warming. One of its reporters has revealed he was sent some of the leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia more than a month ago – but did nothing about them.

Despite the explosive nature of some of the messages – which revealed apparent attempts by the CRU’s head, Professor Phil Jones, to destroy global temperature data rather than give it to scientists with opposing views – Paul Hudson failed to report the story.

This has led to suspicions that the scandal was ignored because it ran counter to what critics say is the BBC’s unquestioning acceptance in many of its programmes that man-made climate change is destroying the planet.

Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said: ‘We need to know more about the BBC’s role in this affair. Was Mr Hudson told by the BBC not to use the story?’

It was only after the same emails were published on a blog called Air Vent that Look North climate correspondent Mr Hudson owned up in his own blog to the fact he had also had the material. In a bizarre twist, he claimed the leak had been triggered by an article he had written that questioned global warming. Mr Hudson, 38, last night declined to comment. A BBC spokesman said: ‘Paul has nothing to add to what he has already said in his blog.’


This is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with the Climategate whitewash, says Christopher Booker

A week after my colleague James Delingpole, on his Telegraph blog, coined the term "Climategate" to describe the scandal revealed by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, Google was showing that the word now appears across the internet more than nine million times. But in all these acres of electronic coverage, one hugely relevant point about these thousands of documents has largely been missed.

The reason why even the Guardian's George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Philip Jones, the CRU's director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC's key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it.

Dr Jones is also a key part of the closely knit group of American and British scientists responsible for promoting that picture of world temperatures conveyed by Michael Mann's "hockey stick" graph which 10 years ago turned climate history on its head by showing that, after 1,000 years of decline, global temperatures have recently shot up to their highest level in recorded history.

Given star billing by the IPCC, not least for the way it appeared to eliminate the long-accepted Mediaeval Warm Period when temperatures were higher they are today, the graph became the central icon of the entire man-made global warming movement.

Since 2003, however, when the statistical methods used to create the "hockey stick" were first exposed as fundamentally flawed by an expert Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre, an increasingly heated battle has been raging between Mann's supporters, calling themselves "the Hockey Team", and McIntyre and his own allies, as they have ever more devastatingly called into question the entire statistical basis on which the IPCC and CRU construct their case.

The senders and recipients of the leaked CRU emails constitute a cast list of the IPCC's scientific elite, including not just the "Hockey Team", such as Dr Mann himself, Dr Jones and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa, but Ben Santer, responsible for a highly controversial rewriting of key passages in the IPCC's 1995 report; Kevin Trenberth, who similarly controversially pushed the IPCC into scaremongering over hurricane activity; and Gavin Schmidt, right-hand man to Al Gore's ally Dr James Hansen, whose own GISS record of surface temperature data is second in importance only to that of the CRU itself.

There are three threads in particular in the leaked documents which have sent a shock wave through informed observers across the world. Perhaps the most obvious, as lucidly put together by Willis Eschenbach (see McIntyre's blog Climate Audit and Anthony Watt's blog Watts Up With That), is the highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues have for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.

They have come up with every possible excuse for concealing the background data on which their findings and temperature records were based.

This in itself has become a major scandal, not least Dr Jones's refusal to release the basic data from which the CRU derives its hugely influential temperature record, which culminated last summer in his startling claim that much of the data from all over the world had simply got "lost". Most incriminating of all are the emails in which scientists are advised to delete large chunks of data, which, when this is done after receipt of a freedom of information request, is a criminal offence.

But the question which inevitably arises from this systematic refusal to release their data is – what is it that these scientists seem so anxious to hide? The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programmes, always to point in only the one desired direction – to lower past temperatures and to "adjust" recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. This comes up so often (not least in the documents relating to computer data in the Harry Read Me file) that it becomes the most disturbing single element of the entire story. This is what Mr McIntyre caught Dr Hansen doing with his GISS temperature record last year (after which Hansen was forced to revise his record), and two further shocking examples have now come to light from Australia and New Zealand.

In each of these countries it has been possible for local scientists to compare the official temperature record with the original data on which it was supposedly based. In each case it is clear that the same trick has been played – to turn an essentially flat temperature chart into a graph which shows temperatures steadily rising. And in each case this manipulation was carried out under the influence of the CRU.

What is tragically evident from the Harry Read Me file is the picture it gives of the CRU scientists hopelessly at sea with the complex computer programmes they had devised to contort their data in the approved direction, more than once expressing their own desperation at how difficult it was to get the desired results.

The third shocking revelation of these documents is the ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning of the findings they have arrived at by such dubious methods – not just by refusing to disclose their basic data but by discrediting and freezing out any scientific journal which dares to publish their critics' work. It seems they are prepared to stop at nothing to stifle scientific debate in this way, not least by ensuring that no dissenting research should find its way into the pages of IPCC reports.

Back in 2006, when the eminent US statistician Professor Edward Wegman produced an expert report for the US Congress vindicating Steve McIntyre's demolition of the "hockey stick", he excoriated the way in which this same "tightly knit group" of academics seemed only too keen to collaborate with each other and to "peer review" each other's papers in order to dominate the findings of those IPCC reports on which much of the future of the US and world economy may hang. In light of the latest revelations, it now seems even more evident that these men have been failing to uphold those principles which lie at the heart of genuine scientific enquiry and debate. Already one respected US climate scientist, Dr Eduardo Zorita, has called for Dr Mann and Dr Jones to be barred from any further participation in the IPCC. Even our own George Monbiot, horrified at finding how he has been betrayed by the supposed experts he has been revering and citing for so long, has called for Dr Jones to step down as head of the CRU.

The former Chancellor Lord (Nigel) Lawson, last week launching his new think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, rightly called for a proper independent inquiry into the maze of skulduggery revealed by the CRU leaks. But the inquiry mooted on Friday, possibly to be chaired by Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society – itself long a shameless propagandist for the warmist cause – is far from being what Lord Lawson had in mind. Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with a whitewash of what has become the greatest scientific scandal of our age.


Emails spreading the word

Just a few considerations in addition to previous remarks about the explosion of the East Anglia Climategate e-mails in America. The reaction is growing exponentially there. Fox News, Barack Obama’s Nemesis, is now on the case, trampling all over Al Gore’s organic vegetable patch and breaking the White House windows. It has extracted some of the juiciest quotes from the e-mails and displayed them on-screen, with commentaries. Joe Public, coast-to-coast, now knows, thanks to the clowns at East Anglia’s CRU, just how royally he has been screwed.

Senator James Inhofe’s Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works has written to all the relevant US Government agencies, acquainting them with the nature of the e-mails. But the real car crash for Obama is on Capitol Hill where it is now confidently believed his Cap and Trade climate legislation is toast. It was always problematic; but with a growing awakening to the scale of the scientific imposture sweeping the world, as far as the Antipodes, the clever money is on Cap and Trade laws failing to pass, with many legislators sceptical and the mid-term elections looming ever closer.

At the more domestic level, the proposed ban on incandescent light bulbs, so supinely accepted in this servile state of Britain, is now provoking a huge backlash in America. US citizens do not like the government coming into their houses and putting their lights out. Voters may not understand the cut and thrust of climate debate at the technical level, but they know when the Man from Washington has crossed their threshold uninvited.

The term that Fox News is now applying to the Climategate e-mails is “game-changer”. For the first time, Anthropogenic Global Warming cranks are on the defensive, losing their cool and uttering desperate mantras such as “You can be sceptical, not denial.” Gee, thanks, guys. In fact we shall be whatever we want to be, without asking your permission.

At this rate, Copenhagen is going to turn into a comedy convention with the real world laughing at these liars. Now is the time to mount massive resistance to the petty tyrants and hit them where it hurts – in the wallet. Further down the line there may be, in many countries, a question of criminal prosecution of anybody who has falsified data to secure funds and impose potentially disastrous fiscal restraints on the world in deference to a massive hoax. It’s a new world out there, Al, and, as you may have noticed, the climate is very cold indeed.


Skeptical journalists excluded from climate conference

The Warmists have learned nothing from the CRU affair. Suppression of dissent is in the bones of Leftists

Attorneys for WND today threatened the United Nations with a lawsuit for its refusal, thus far, to issue press credentials for coverage of the global climate-change convention next month in Copenhagen. WND's senior staff writer Jerome Corsi has been seeking the credentials from the U.N. Framework Convention for Climate Change for weeks – providing all of the documentation requested and establishing his bona fides as a full-time reporter for the largest independent English-language Internet news organization in the world.

Until today, despite repeated requests, the UNFCCC had refused to acknowledge whether Corsi, a two-time No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, will be permitted to attend the meetings that have been hailed by organizers as a major step forward in "global governance."

The UNFCCC press office sent an e-mail to Corsi today insisting the agency had not responded because it is dealing with more than 4,000 applications and must "examine each on a case-by-case basis." "We regret that you have had to wait so long; however, it is not for any political reason. We would be happy to refer your application to New York for further consideration," the e-mail said.

"It takes time to make arrangements to travel to Copenhagen for an extended period, and I began to believe the U.N. was stalling," said Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND. "So we are formally putting the U.N. on notice that we will not accept its nondecision lying down." The conference begins Dec. 7.

"Your refusal to respond to these contacts leads to the conclusion that UNFCCC believes that if it ignores Dr. Corsi, he 'will go away,'" wrote Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice Foundation. "Nothing can be further from the truth. If he is denied press credentials to this event as a result of the acts, or omissions, of UNFCCC, litigation will ensue that will result in substantial negative press coverage for UNFCCC, and for the attendees at the Copenhagen Conference as well. The specter of UNFCCC trying to allow attendance at the conference only of journalists who will report in what UNFCCC views to be a positive manner on the conference will not sit well with the American public, no matter what the outcome of the litigation."

Last year, the Department of Transportation barred Corsi from attending a news conference in which Secretary Mary Peters defended the controversial Bush administration program allowing Mexican trucks to travel freely on U.S. roads. Corsi, however, received White House press credentials to attend summits of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America in Quebec and in New Orleans.

Last weekend, the first president of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, affirmed in a speech captured by the BBC his belief that "2009 is the first year of global governance with the establishment of the G20 in the middle of the financial crisis. The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step toward the global management of our planet."

Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, asserts the real purpose of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen Dec. 7-18 is to use concern over "global warming" as a pretext to lay the foundation for a one-world government. At the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen "this December, weeks away, a treaty will be signed," Monckton told a Minnesota Free Market Institute audience at Bethel University in St. Paul.

Monckton warned that President Obama supports the idea and is ready to sign on the dotted line. "Your president will sign it," he said. "Most of the Third World countries will sign it, because they think they're going to get money out of it. Most of the left-wing regimes from the European Union will rubber-stamp it. Virtually nobody won't sign it. I read that treaty and what it says is this: that a world government is going to be created. The word 'government' actually appears as the first of three purposes of the new entity." He has warned the proposal would cede U.S. sovereignty, mandate a massive wealth transfer from the United States to pay reparations for "climate debt" to Third World countries and create a new "world government" to enforce the treaty's provisions.

Meanwhile, in recent days, as WND reported, documents and e-mails retrieved by a computer hacker from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit indicate top climate-change scientists have manipulated data to hide cooling trends and worked together to marginalize scientists with opposing views.

The U.S. Senate's leading global-warming skeptic says he plans to demand an investigation into the allegedly fraudulent data manipulation unveiled at the highly influential British research center. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said he knew scientists were "cooking" information years ago. The e-mails, he said, were the proof, and now something needs to be done. "It is pretty serious," Inhofe said. "And since, you know, Barbara Boxer is the chairman and I'm the ranking member on Environment and Public Works, if nothing happens in the next seven days when we go back into session a week from today that would change this situation, I will call for an investigation.

Inhofe said he would ask for an investigation into the United Nations and its climate-change committee "on the way they cooked the science to make this thing look as if the science was settled, when all the time of course we knew it was not."


Australia's kindly "Green" bureaucrats at work

A warning about giving them any more power. Anybody else would have just sent the document back for re-signing instead of applying the guillotine. And, far from apologizing, they are digging in their heels over their obnoxious behaviour. Just the usual Greenie people-hatred, I guess

A WOODSIDE pensioner has condemned "dead headed" government bureaucrats for refusing to pay a grant for an $8000 solar panel - because he signed the form in the wrong place. Don Purvis and his neighbours applied for funding under the federal Solar Homes plan, but his application was rejected because he signed his name in a box reserved for the installer's signature.

Eight other households at the Woodside Lodge Retirement Village are now looking forward to cheaper electricity, but not Mr Purvis, whose appeal was flatly turned down. "I signed where the installer should sign. The forms went off to Canberra and some less-than-nice public servant picked up that mine was signed in the wrong place," the 72-year-old said. Mr Purvis said he had to fill in the forms quickly after the Government announced it was closing the scheme 18 months early.

Despite writing to apologise and begging officials to reconsider, his appeal was rejected. "It could be they're trying to keep the numbers (of applicants) down after they brought forward the cut-off date. But I also think there is some dead-headed public servant not even bothering to read the letters," Mr Purvis said. "It's obvious my intent was there, the signature was on the paperwork."

Mr Purvis, a former Ansett employee who spent more than 50 years in the travel industry, is an AGL customer who spent $301 on his last quarterly electricity bill. He lives alone with Bernice, his golden retriever, for company. "I'm a pensioner. I can feed the dog and have a drink, that's all I need. It would make a difference,"' he said. "His neighbours have called for a change of heart.

A woman who lives nearby but asked not to be identified, said: "I was accepted along with several other people and assumed Don was too - there needs to be a little bit of leverage there."

Mr Purvis' local MP, Jamie Briggs, described his plight as "outrageous" and wrote to Environment Minister Peter Garrett urging him to overrule the decision, but has not yet received a reply. "Common sense would say this is a stupid thing for the Government to do," he said.

Mr Purvis also appealed for the Environment Minister to reconsider. "Hopefully, if Peter Garrett intervenes, they'll see the light, because it's just so bloody stupid," he said.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


No comments: