The Climate Scandal That Never Was

By Chris Mooney | July 6, 2010 9:39 am

theclimatefiles-thumb-175x277-80973New Scientist has just published my review of the first book on “ClimateGate”–Fred Pearce’s The Climate Files. It’s based on a series of 12 investigative reports by Pearce in the Guardian, and, well, I have to say I had real problems with it (just as the RealClimate guys had problems with those reports).

My issue?

[Pearce] takes a “pox on both houses” approach to the scientists who wrote the emails and the climate sceptics who hounded them endlessly – and finally came away with a massive PR victory. But that’s far too “balanced” an account.

In truth, climategate was a pseudo-scandal, and the worst that can be said of the scientists is that they wrote some ill-advised things. “I’ve written some pretty awful emails,” admitted Phil Jones, director of the CRU at the time….

So why did ClimateGate get to be such a big deal?

Because [the emails] were taken out of context and made to appear scandalous. Pearce repeatedly faults the sceptics for such behaviour. Yet he too makes the scientists’ private emails the centrepiece of the story. Pearce’s investigations don’t show any great “smoking gun” offences by the scientists – yet he still finds fault. And who wouldn’t, when they can read their private comments in the heat of the battle? (I can’t help but wonder what Pearce might think if he had the sceptics’ private emails too.)

Like Pearce, I’m a climate journalist. We both know this ground; but boy do we see the ClimateGate story differently. I certainly think it’s important to cover it. But I don’t think the way to do so is to follow the scientists’ private emails down the rabbit hole, and thereby end up dignifying complaints that have been repeatedly found unsubstantiated upon investigation.

Rather, I think there’s a very different story here, one about science and the media, science and the blogosphere–and how weak claims get trumped up into a mega-scandal, even as scientists themselves don’t know how to respond…they’ve never been trained for this. Pearce gets this, too, but it isn’t the main story he tells. He’s in “investigative” mode, but I just don’t know that there’s much of anything to investigate.

Granted, I have a lot of respect for Pearce’s work and knowledge. And, I know how hard it is to write a book. Still, I really, really disagreed with this one. There’s no other way to say it.

Anyways, you can read the full review here.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Books, Global Warming

Comments (25)

  1. Ecocampaigner

    Hi Chris,

    This isn’t the first book on Climategate, but it is the first book on Climategate by one of the former Warmists. There have been quite a few books published from skeptical sources, just check Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dus-stripbooks-tree&field-keywords=climategate&x=0&y=0

    Do you have any new insight for us beyond the standard narrative of defining climategate as a non-scandal? You obviously believe it was not, but publicly, this was a scandal, deserving or not. Public opinion polls conducted by non-stanford-warmists, like the Gallup Poll people, show a consistent aversion to any global warming policy that costs tax payer money.

    The G20 has removed all references to climate change from their latest report. France, Australia and the US have all shelved their plans for a Cap and Trade system, and Copenhagen was a catastrophe. To claim that Climategate was a non-issue, and to pretend that a cold winter caused the drop in belief, is to greatly underestimate the digital age public.

    Chris, the skeptic thought leaders aren’t fooled by out of context emails. We read the entire trove, and come to our own conclusions. As a computer programmer, I personally found the computer code used to make the models to be the real smoking gun of corruption or incompetence, not the emails.

  2. Steve H

    Ecocampaigner,

    We eagerly await your peer-reviewed publication detailing the alleged errors in the code. Please let us know when it has been accepted. You see, we are not modeling experts here. And as such, it would be most appropriate for you to bring your concerns to those who are experts.

    Your (with baited breath),

    Steve H

  3. Ecocampaigner

    Steve,

    Neither Fred Pearce’s book, nor Chris’s review, nor my comments are subject to peer review. Demanding your critics peer review their opinions is not the ultimate rebuttal you seem to think it is.

    Climate Science peer review lost all credibility after the Climategate emails demonstrated over and over how a small group of influential scientists acted as gate-keepers. In their own words they described how they would prevent skeptical papers and scientists from publishing. They went so far as to orchestrate the removal of boards that published skeptical papers. Its all their in black and white in their own words.

    Its easy to say that Climategate was a non-scandal. Its a great deal harder to discount the massive abatement of belief in the cause. As I mentioned in my first post, the governments of the world don’t seem any more impressed by climate science peer review than I do.

    Naked elitism isn’t good enough anymore. Climate Science can keep its journals and its peer review.

  4. SLC

    Re Ecocampaigner

    I always get a kick out of the Ecocampaigners of the world who, when challenged to provide peer reviewed literature to back up their claims, immediately bad mouth peer review. It’s an old, old tactic, the favorite one of the HIV/AIDS deniers, the Holocaust deniers, the evolution deniers, the CFCs/ozone depletion deniers, the cigarette smoking/lung cancer deniers, the moon landing deniers, the birthers, etc. The bleating is always the same, it’s those old meanies at the professional journals who are suppressing our ground breaking, cutting edge research.

  5. Nullius in Verba

    SLC,

    Demanding peer review as a basis for judgement is a simple case of Argument from Authority. Any scientist ought to know better.

    But since you chose this test, perhaps you could help us out by providing such an example yourself?

    In the (famous!) HARRY_READ_ME.txt file, you will find the following comment.

    “I am seriously worried that our flagship gridded data product is produced by Delaunay triangulation – apparently linear as well. As far as I can see, this renders the station counts totally meaningless.”

    Can you provide for me evidence of the peer-review of the code that generates this product – that explains how this interpolation is done, why it is actually correct, and/or gives us assurance that we can rely on the output of this process? Why was Harry worried?

    Since we have had several independent reviews of the CRU’s work, you can probably just look it up in one of the reports exonerating the CRU crew, to see how they dealt with the HARRY issue. They have examined the Climategate documents and work in detail and they do exonerate them, right? So they must have obtained and provided some evidence to prove to us that this is nothing to worry about, right?

    Thanks ever so much. It’s really great to have someone to consult (who would only form their opinions with peer-reviewed back-up) who knows where to find the properly documented code reviews by means of which they know with such certainty that there’s nothing of substance in the Climategate scandal.

    Now that you have been “challenged to provide peer reviewed literature to back up their claims”, let’s see how you react.

  6. Chris Winter

    Ecocampaigner wrote: ”Chris, the skeptic thought leaders aren’t fooled by out of context emails. We read the entire trove, and come to our own conclusions. As a computer programmer, I personally found the computer code used to make the models to be the real smoking gun of corruption or incompetence, not the emails.”

    In his reply to Steve H, he writes: ”Neither Fred Pearce’s book, nor Chris’s review, nor my comments are subject to peer review. Demanding your critics peer review their opinions is not the ultimate rebuttal you seem to think it is.”
    So it’s just your opinion that the CRU data analysis program is defective? I’m disappointed. Like Steve, I was hoping for more — not a peer-reviewed paper necessarily, but something more substantial.
    ”Climate Science peer review lost all credibility after the Climategate emails demonstrated over and over how a small group of influential scientists acted as gate-keepers. In their own words they described how they would prevent skeptical papers and scientists from publishing. They went so far as to orchestrate the removal of boards that published skeptical papers.”
    Can you show that they actually did this (as opposed to proposing it, or wishing for it)? Also, can you demonstrate that the papers they proposed to prevent being published were in fact worthy of publication?
    ”It’s easy to say that Climategate was a non-scandal. It’s a great deal harder to discount the massive abatement of belief in the cause. As I mentioned in my first post, the governments of the world don’t seem any more impressed by climate science peer review than I do.”
    I agree it was a scandal. It’s just that my meaning of “scandal” is diametrically opposed to the way you mean the word. What I mean is that it’s a far-fetched misinterpretation of stolen private communications intended to derail the COP15 Conference.
    ”Naked elitism isn’t good enough anymore.”
    What does Elle Macpherson have to do with any of this? ;-)

  7. Ecocampaigner

    “So it’s just your opinion that the CRU data analysis program is defective? I’m disappointed. Like Steve, I was hoping for more — not a peer-reviewed paper necessarily, but something more substantial.”

    I wish I could oblige, but the CRU has yet to release its aggregated data, as promised. So yes, I wouldn’t claim this is anything but my personal opinion as a data management / analysis expert, thought not a climate scientists. Take it for what is worth.

    “Hide the decline” was taken out of context. The numerous discussions around peer reviewed journals, which papers they were reviewing, which papers they liked, which papers they disagreed with and which journals they wanted to purge, are not taken out of context. I don’t doubt they felt their motives were pure, but the effect was skeptical papers, journals and editors were attacked, and non-skeptical papers were fast tracked for publication.

    Fred Pearce, who’s book Chris Mooney is reviewing / commenting on, wasn’t a hacker who stole the emails. He was dedicated warmist, who was given “the big cutoff” over his skepticism in the wake of Climategate.

    I followed the Climategate email stories as they broke, and it didn’t hit the MSM till well after Copenhagen. Copenhagen didn’t fail becasse of some hackers and bloggers. It failed because of economic and political realities.

  8. SLC

    Re Nullius in Verba

    The standard for showing that one has expertise in any area of science is that one has published papers in the peer reviewed literature in that area. Mr. Nullius has at no time provided any such evidence that he has done so. Therefore, we are left with the choice between believing Mr. Nullius’ quote mines or the experts who publish in the peer reviewed literature. We will take Mr. Nullius seriously when he provides such evidence of his own expertise or provides citations to the peer reviewed literature that support his claims. Thus far, he has done neither and hence will not be taken seriously by anyone on this blog, other then, of course, his fellow deniers like Mr. Moptop. In other words Mr. Nullius, put up or shut up.

    Just as a matter of information, I will quote physicist Bob Park, who, unlike Mr. Nullius, has a long career of publishing papers in his area of physics in the peer reviewed literature, on the subject of arguments from authority. The fact is that all scientists depend on arguments from authority in areas outside their fields. Anyone who says that he doesn’t is a liar because nobody these days can be an expert in every existing field of science. An example of someone who declined to do so was the eminent 19th Century physicist James Clerk Maxwell who famously rejected the Theory of Evolution and Darwins’ book, “Origin of Species, ” based on his religious beliefs. Thus, I accept the Theory of Evolution based on the writings of the experts in the field which I have read (e.g. Ken Miller, Ernst Mayr, Richard Dawkins, Stephen J. Gould, etc.) as someone with a PhD in elementary particle physics who has no background in biology.

    1. CLIMATE CHANGE: WHICH SIDE IS BOB ON IN THE CLIMATE WAR?
    I’m getting a lot of mail asking where I stand on climate change. You’re entitled to know. But first, I’ve gotta own up: I’m not a climate scientist. I rely on information gathered and interpreted by other scientists, everybody does. My source on climate is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) established by the United Nations in 1988, soon after I began writing WN. Along with most scientists, I concluded that anthropogenic warming is real and dangerous; 20 years later I still do. If warming is caused by human activity, and we have taken no steps to modify our behavior, the result will be catastrophic. A long-term solution calls for two changes throughout society: higher efficiency and lower fertility. If warming turns out not to be caused by humans, we will still have left our progeny with a better world.

  9. Nullius in Verba

    Chris Winter,

    Perhaps you would like to try the HARRY challenge, too?

    There are plenty of programmers who have looked at software standards as revealed by Climategate, and made substantial criticisms. There is a limit to how far we can go with this because even now, not all the code and information we would like to see is out in the open – something that we have long complained about. Peer-reviewed papers are published, but the data and code needed to check them is not. Nor do reviewers get to see it either – Steve McIntyre was once threatened with being thrown off the IPCC if he persisted in his requests to see data.

    But it is quite typical of this area for the researchers to publish papers, to withhold the means to check or challenge any of them, and then demand peer-reviewed proof that they’re wrong and the errors are significant before their “trust us, we’re scientists” position can be dented.

    And of course any such sceptics trying to publish those papers would have to get past the sort of peer-review in which they say things like: “It won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically”.

    What does this mean? Why would anyone want to dismiss it, if it was correct? What paper was it, and what happened to it? We would expect the independent enquiries and reviews into Climategate to discuss these issues, and give us the context/justification/explanation we need to understand why it doesn’t mean what it perfectly obviously means. Perhaps even the report of some expert reviewers who have examined the code and are willing to declare it to be acceptable? But you won’t find that in any of the reviews. No, you’ll find how they asked the scientists whether they had done anything wrong, how the scientists replied “no”, and this conclusion reported as “no evidence of wrongdoing found” to all the world. Did they even look? Is that why they didn’t find anything?

    We are still left with the same set of unanswered questions. We are assured that the matter has been enquired into and nothing of significance has been found, but we are still none the wiser as to what HARRY means, if not what it appears to be. It clearly looks bad, even to non-programmers, but the pro-AGW fan club are noticeably reticent about discussing it (it’s down in the “details”) so we don’t understand why it isn’t seen as a problem. We’re supposed to just take your word for it, or somehow get our blindingly obvious concerns published in your favourite journals before you’ll even consider the question.

    So tell me, what did you think of HARRY, when you examined the issues before coming to your judgement?

  10. shash

    I wish I could oblige, but the CRU has yet to release its aggregated data, as promised. So yes, I wouldn’t claim this is anything but my personal opinion as a data management / analysis expert, thought not a climate scientists. Take it for what is worth.

    And I wish this one would just die its natural death – CRU have been releasing much of their data here, and it’s only laziness (or an easy way to scapegoat the CRU, maybe?) that keeps people from going there to pick it up.

    As for the original station data, maybe you ought to ask the original stations themselves, instead of pestering the CRU?

  11. shash

    Nullius in Verba, maybe you could use the full quote, instead of cherry picking?

    It won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically,
    but it suffers from the classic problem of pointing out theoretical deficiencies, without showing that their improved inverse regression method is actually better in a practical sense. So they do lots of monte carlo stuff that shows the superiority of their method and the deficiencies of our way of doing things, but NEVER actually show how their method would change the Tornetrask reconstruction from what you produced.

    Again, selective quoting turns legitimate scientific criticism into something sinister…

  12. Jim Ramsey

    Chris — or anyone out there.

    Has there been any criminal investigation to identify whoever stole the E-mails in the first place? I’ve heard exactly nothing.

    I would be even more interested in learning who financed the theft.

  13. Ecocampaigner

    There has been a criminal investigation in Britain, there were stories about the police interviewing people who worked there looking for a mole, at the very least. The short story is that the hacker was smart enough not to be caught, and not even for us to have a guess where he/she is.

    Of course the police’s publicly visible investigation suggests they thought it was an inside job by a whistleblower, as opposed to some faceless hacker. Some of the other evidence points to it being an inside job, in the way the files were compiled, and where they were stored before being lifted to the russian server where they originally propagated from.

  14. Jim Ramsey

    @ Ecocampaigner #13

    Thank you. I hadn’t seen any of that.

    I wonder, if it was an inside job, was it someone who was planted there to aid in the theft or an unhappy employee.

    The other interesting part is that no one has come forward to claim responsibility — as far as I know, that is.

  15. Nullius in Verba

    #11,

    Sorry, I had assumed that everybody here would be familiar with the passage, and that if they weren’t they would Google it. I was trying to save space.

    I have given the full quote on past occasions. Actually, it goes as follows.

    Hi Keith,
    Okay, today. Promise! Now something to ask from you. Actually somewhat important too. I got a paper to review (submitted to the Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Sciences), written by a Korean guy and someone from Berkeley, that claims that the method of reconstruction that we use in dendroclimatology (reverse regression) is wrong, biased, lousy, horrible, etc. They use your Tornetrask recon as the main whipping boy. I have a file that you gave me in 1993 that comes from your 1992 paper. Below is part of that file. Is this the right one? Also, is it possible to resurrect the column headings? I would like to play with it in an effort to refute their claims. If published as is, this paper could really do some damage. It is also an ugly paper to review because it is rather mathematical, with a lot of Box-Jenkins stuff in it. It won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically, but it suffers from the classic problem of pointing out theoretical deficiencies, without showing that their improved inverse regression method is actually better in a practical sense. So they do lots of monte carlo stuff that shows the superiority of their method and the deficiencies of our way of doing things, but NEVER actually show how their method would change the Tornetrask reconstruction from what you produced. Your assistance here is greatly appreciated. Otherwise, I will let Tornetrask sink into the melting permafrost of northern Sweden (just kidding of course).
    Ed.

    OK, context has been provided. Now, is Ed’s criticism valid? What we have is a mathematical paper that demonstrates that an algorithm is statistically biased so that comes up with the wrong answer. The maths alone ought to be sufficient, but how can we confirm that experimentally, just to be sure? Well, we have to apply it to some data, where we know what the right answer is and show that the algorithm gets it wrong. That would show it in a practical sense. You can’t prove anything by applying it to real world data in which you don’t know the real answer, the “ground truth” so to speak.

    So in fact Ed Cook is entirely wrong – the only way you can address the problem is to test it against artificial data where the correct answer is known – so-called Monte Carlo trials – and this is exactly what they do. And even Ed admits that the Monte Carlo experiments verify their findings.

    What I suspect Ed is trying to do is one of the common tactics of the Hockey Team – he is trying to prove that the biases “don’t matter”; that they don’t make a material difference to the conclusion. To do this, he has to apply it to the real world data they used and show that when suitably re-interpreted he can still draw the same conclusion. ‘Right’ answer by the wrong method – this is what they mean by “better in a practical sense”. It’s not certain that this is what he’s up to, because he doesn’t say, and the enquiries didn’t ask, but it’s for definite that he isn’t going to refute mathematics with anecdote.

    So how about answering the question? Why would anyone want to “dismiss out of hand” when the maths appears to be correct? Ed himself gives the reason – “If published as is, this paper could really do some damage” – but damage to what? Science? But science is improved when bad hypotheses are rejected. How can any serious scientist criticise a paper on the grounds that it is too mathematical? Time series analysis is the bedrock of paleoclimatology – doesn’t he do “Box-Jenkins stuff” every day as part of his job?

    And why didn’t the enquiries say?

  16. SLC

    Re Nullius in Verba

    I don’t know what Mr. Nullius’ experience is in software development but he is obviously ignorant of how it is done in university environments where most of it is done by graduate students. Graduate students are not interested in taking the time to produce well structured and well documented code. Their only interest is in producing programs which can be shown to be accurate with whatever data may be available and in getting their degrees as fast as possible so they can go out and make some money. Thus, code developed by graduate students at universities is almost always poorly structured and poorly documented. Even worse, if the computer programs are at all large and complicated, they were almost certainly written by many different graduate students at different times, making them almost incomprehensible.

    The fact is that, for the most part, the institutions that sponsor the research don’t want to spend the money required to develop high quality computer code or allow the PIs to hire professional programmers. This is true in all scientific fields, not just climate science.

    This does not mean that the programs turn out bad results. Given sufficient data and intuition, one can determine whether the programs appear to be operating correctly, i.e. whether their predictions agree with observations. Thus far, the overwhelming consensus in the climate modeling community is that they do.

  17. Mike Laursen

    You’re both missing the real story, which has not been settled: questions about the competency of data curatorship, statistical analysis, computer algorithms used. The actual scientific work.

  18. Mike Laursen

    SLC, as a Software Engineer with tons of experience, I have to disagree. If care was not taken in writing the software, it is is guaranteed to be chock full of bugs.

  19. Mother Earth

    NEWS: “there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness”, notable over complying with Freedom of Information (FoI) requests.”

    Hey, failing to display the proper degree of openness is typically in sync with HAVING SOMETHING TO HIDE like cooked books or data. Who spearheaded the major investigation of the CRU? AlGore the Carbon Hore (aka “The Poodle”)?

    Oh, and its’ so fun to see scientific morphology at work. g l o b a l w a r m i n g takes on tarnish as it’s scrutinized so all media shifts to c l i m a t e c h a n g e. Too funny!

  20. Matt

    There is another scandal that never was.

    The scandal reported by Tom Johnson and taken up by Mooney. Johnson , said to be a graduate student, claimed to have witnessed atheists haranguing religious believers at a scientific conference.

    Mooney claimed that he checked and verified Tom Johnson.

    Not sure how you managed that Chris, since it was all made up. Tom Johnson is a pseudonym of the person behind the “You Are Not Helping” blog. The same person who commented here under a number if different names and was undetected by Mooney or Kirshenbaum.

    So tell us Chris, just how did all that happen and you failed to notice ?

  21. Nullius in Verba

    SLC,

    I agree with all of that. The software generating the results on which AGW science is based are frequently (although not always) written by students, and people who still think like students; in a rush and without any coding standards, configuration control, replicability, documentation, or proper archiving. It has been long suspected; was partially confirmed when the GISTEMP code was released (after several bugs in it had been located through laborious reverse-engineering); and now HARRY most definitely puts the cherry on top.

    And had the IPCC reports, media statements, Oscar-winning films, and Nobel-winning global campaigns happened to mention that a bit earlier, I’m sure we would all have been much happier.

    It’s true that code that has been hacked together can give correct results, but beyond a certain level of complexity the probability becomes vanishingly small, and HARRY is certainly testament to that.

    And with regard to normal academic research, I don’t have a big issue with that. It’s an inefficient use of tax-payer’s money, but government in general so abounds with those that this is surely lost in the noise.

    But it isn’t normal academic research. It is, we are told, THE END OF THE WORLD. It is the most important issue facing our generation. It involves mass extinctions, wars, famines, refugees, death and destruction. And it requires hundred million dollar advertising campaigns to drive trillion dollar decisions to restructure our entire industrial civilisation – energy generation, travel, manufacturing – and the potential denial of energy-driven development to the poorer nations just as they were on the cusp of emerging from poverty.

    And people are telling me that we can’t afford to employ some software engineers to make sure we’ve got it right? That we’re going to rely on some amateur grad students knocking up some code? That issues of intellectual property, academic funding politics, claims of academic priority and reputation are going to be allowed to get in the way?

    Do these people actually believe it themselves? Because I can tell you, if I was sat there staring at the end of the world on my computer screen, I’d be screaming for help. I’d be telling anyone who would listen anything they wanted to know, everything I’d got, to repeat the calculations, replicate it, prove it. Somebody do it properly, because I can’t, and it’s too important for my petty pride to get in the way. I certainly wouldn’t be flying to the IPCC or standing up in front of the TV cameras while sitting quietly on a code disaster, hoping nobody would find out. Not if the world really was at stake.

    But people do the strangest things.

    Anyway, I guess that’s a lot nearer than I expected to get to an acknowledgement that there might be an actual issue with the code. I’m impressed. My thanks, sir.

  22. SLC

    Re Mike Laursen @ #18

    Provided that there is a sufficiency of data for verification, calibration, and validation, even poorly structured and poorly documented computer code can be debugged. It’s just a lot harder. Unfortunately, funding agencies fail to understand that there is a trade off between saving money at the front end by producing such code and spending money at the back end for debugging it. They seem to feel that the cost benefit analysis favors not spending the money up front to produce high quality well documented code, particularly for programs that have limited numbers of users (we’re not talking Windows 7 or Snow Leopard here; of course, even commercial programs such as these are not fully debugged when released, Windows XP is up to Service Pack 3 and still downloading updates while Leopard is up to 10.5.8).

  23. Nullius in Verba

    Code is debugged in proportion to the perceived importance of getting it right. The space shuttle control systems, or nuclear reactor control systems, or the financial systems used in the major stock exchanges; the funders are perfectly willing to spend what it needed. Nobody cares, comparatively speaking, if home users have to reboot occasionally when their home computer OS crashes – it’s annoying, but nothing critical depends on it.

    And while safety-critical software is indeed expensive to write, a lot of the problems we see here could be fixed very cheaply. We have used configuration control software in our work for years. You can download it free, and it’s very easy to use. And the basics of writing technical code with replication and reliability in mind can be taught in a couple of days. It’s mostly common sense, once you have the attitude to want to do it. Any university with a computer science department knows all this.

    I think that if you had gone to the government and said you wanted to do some work getting some professional help making the software unassailable, now that it was a more important subject and the basis of policy making, they’d have agreed. It isn’t the funders that are the problem. I know the attitude of academics on this – they want to concentrate on the fun and interesting science, and regard all the nagging to follow coding standards as a wasteful distraction. They want to explore, and to play. They don’t want to spend hours of every day filling in reams of stupid forms and records, guarding against eventualities that will probably never come up.

    I know, because I’ve been there. In academia, you can get away with it. But when there’s big money riding on your science, they won’t let you do that. And once you have got used to the idea, it really is much better.

  24. Windy City Kid

    The only member of Parliment with a PHD (Chemestry) is speaking to the press on how he feels that the Russel inquiry was inadequate.

    Parliament misled over Climategate report, says MP 9th July 2010 14:54 GMT

    Parliament was misled and needs to re-examine the Climategate affair thoroughly after the failure of the Russell report, a leading backbench MP told us today.

    “It’s not a whitewash, but it is inadequate,” is Labour MP Graham Stringer’s summary of the Russell inquiry report. Stringer is the only member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology with scientific qualifications – he holds a PhD in Chemistry.

    Not only did Russell fail to deal with the issues of malpractice raised in the emails, Stringer told us, but he confirmed the feeling that MPs had been misled by the University of East Anglia when conducting their own inquiry. Parliament only had time for a brief examination of the CRU files before the election, but made recommendations. This is a serious charge.

    Full story: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/09/stringer_on_russell/

  25. Some people say global warming is really a farce. Others say it is a very significant phenomenon which will continue to affect not only our lives, but the lives of our kids and grandchildren as well. Personally, I believe in global warming, but I also think that there is a such thing as global cooling as well. This has been studied for years, and scientists know that there have been warming and cooling trends of the earth since the beginning of time. It just so happens we’ve went (or are going through) – a warming trend. How many people here think a cooling trend is next?

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »