27 November, 2011

Climategate II: Awarmists Advised Biassed BBC

The Daily Mail’s David Rose again describes the BBC’s awarmist bias, in “BBC sought advice from global warming scientists on economy, drama, music ... and even game shows”; and, since his last article was withdrawn (at least temporarily—see “What a Shame; What a Price”), we provide a copy here:
Britain’s leading green activist research centre spent £15,000 on seminars for top BBC executives in an apparent bid to block climate change sceptics from the airwaves, a vast new cache of leaked ‘Climategate’ emails has revealed.
The emails—part of a trove of more than 5,200 messages that appear to have been stolen [or leaked] from computers at the University of East Anglia—shed light for the first time on an incestuous web of interlocking relationships between BBC journalists and the university’s scientists, which goes back more than a decade.
They show that University staff vetted BBC scripts, used their contacts at the Corporation to stop sceptics being interviewed, and were consulted about how the broadcaster should alter its programme output.
Like the first ‘Climategate’ leaks two years ago, they were placed last week on a Russian server by an anonymous source.
Again like their predecessors, they have emerged just before a United Nations climate summit, which is to start this week in Durban.
BBC insiders say the close links between the Corporation and the UEA’s two climate science departments, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, have had a significant impact on its coverage.
“Following their lead has meant the whole thrust and tone of BBC reporting has been that the science is  settled, and that there is no need for debate,” one journalist said.  “If you disagree, you’re branded a loony.”
In 2007, the BBC issued a formal editorial policy document, stating that “the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus”—the view that the world faces catastrophe because of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. 
The document says the policy was decided after “a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts”—including those from UEA.
The ‘Climategate 2’ emails disclose that in private some of those same scientists have had doubts about aspects of the global warming case.
For example, Professor Phil Jones, the head of the CRU, admitted there was no evidence that the snows of Kilimanjaro were melting because of climate change, and he and his colleagues agreed there were serious problems with the famous ‘hockey stick’ graph—the depiction of global temperatures that suggests they were broadly level for 1,000 years until they started to rise with industrialisation.
But although there is now more scientific debate than ever about influences on climate other than CO2, prompted by the fact that the world has not warmed for fifteen years, a report from the BBC Trust this year compared climate change sceptics to the conspiracy theorists who blame America for 9/11, and said Britain’s main sceptic think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, should be given no air time.
The man at the centre of the BBC-UEA web is Roger Harrabin, the Corporation’s ‘environment analyst’, who reports for a range of programmes on radio and TV.
Last week The Mail on Sunday revealed that in 1996, he and his friend, Professor Joe Smith of the Open University, set up an informal two-man band to organise environment seminars for BBC executives.
Known as the Cambridge Media Environment Programme (CMEP), it operated until 2009, and over three years (2002 to 2005) received £15,000 from the Tyndall Centre.  Mr Harrabin did not derive personal financial benefit, although Prof Smith was paid.
Yesterday Mike Hulme, UEA’s Professor of Climate Change, who set up the centre in 2000 and was its director until 2007, said he planned to fund CMEP from Tyndall’s outset, as an “integral part of our outreach and communication strategy”. 
Mr Harrabin was also appointed to the Tyndall advisory board—an unpaid position he held for five years until 2005.
The Climategate 2 emails suggest Prof Hulme expected something in return—the slanting of BBC coverage to exclude global warming sceptics.
On February 25, 2002, the climate change sceptic Philip Stott, a London University professor, debated the subject with John Houghton of the Met Office on the Today programme.
This prompted an angry email to colleagues from Prof Hulme.  “Did anyone hear Stott vs Houghton on Today, Radio 4, this morning?” he wrote.
“Woeful stuff really.  This is one reason why Tyndall is sponsoring the Cambridge Media Environment Programme, to starve this type of reporting at source.”
Last night Prof Hulme denied he was trying to deny space to sceptics, saying: “What I wanted to ‘starve’ at source was ‘this type of reporting’—in which the important and complex issues raised by climate change are reduced to an argument between two voices representing different positions on climate science, as though there is one right and one wrong answer to climate change.” 
Far from wanting to narrow it, he said, he had tried to widen debate about the issue for years.
This was not the only time there was talk of sceptics being shut out.  On December 7, 2004, the BBC’s then-environment correspondent Alex Kirby wrote to Prof Jones.
He had, he said, succeeded in blocking one sceptic from the BBC, claiming his work was “pure stream of consciousness rubbish”.  But to his regret, he had been unable to stop a group of scientists who said there were flaws in the hockey-stick graph being featured.
“I can well understand your unhappiness at our running the other piece,” he wrote.
“But we are constantly being savaged by the loonies for not giving them any coverage at all ... and being the objective impartial (ho ho) BBC that we are, there is an expectation in some quarters that we will every now and then let them say something.  I hope though that the weight of our coverage makes it clear that we think they are talking through their hats.”
Prof Jones commented:  “I thought you exercised some caution with crackpots.”
Mr Kirby replied:  “Oh Phil, what can I say ... I hope you’ll still talk to me despite this.”
Yesterday Mr Kirby explained his joke, saying that editors often asked him to include sceptic views in his stories, in order to provide balance.
“I felt then and I feel now that it’s not our job to inject artificial balance into an unbalanced reality,” he said.
He believed scientists such as Prof Jones had got the subject “mainly right”, while those who rejected their conclusions were often not worth hearing.
In November 2008, in an email to his UEA colleague Claire Reeves, Prof Jones expressed his satisfaction that “the reporting of climate stories within the media (especially the BBC) is generally one-sided, i.e., the counter argument is rarely made”.
But alas, there was “still a vociferous and small majority [sic] of climate change sceptics ... who engage the public/govt/media through web sites”.
He suggested UEA should set up a project to curb their influence, writing:  “Issues to be addressed include:  should a vociferous minority be able to bully mainstream scientists?  Should mainstream climate scientists have to change the way they have worked for generations?”
Mr Harrabin shared his UEA contacts throughout the BBC.
For example, in October 2003 Vicki Barker, a presenter on the World Service, wrote asking to visit Prof Hulme, saying:  “My colleague Roger Harrabin suggested I contact you.  I am about to spend several months attempting to answer the following question for senior BBC managers:  If we were to reinvent economics coverage from scratch, TODAY, incorporating what we now know (or think we know) about global environmental and economic trends, what would it look like?”
She said she had noticed “environmental undertow” that was “beginning to tug at economies around the world ... I have wondered if current newsgathering practices and priorities are conveying these phenomena as effectively as they could be.  Is this a question you and some of your colleagues feel like pondering?”
The same year, BBC1 broadcast a series on the British countryside presented by Alan Titchmarsh.  The last programme presented a deeply pessimistic view of future global warming and before it was transmitted its producer, Dan Tapster, asked Prof Hulme to vet the script.
“I’d be grateful if you could send me your hourly/daily rate as a script consultant so that I can budget your time,” he wrote.  Prof Hulme said he remembered going through the script, adding that he was not being paid, and was  “certainly not an official adviser”.
Mr Harrabin knew that if he was seen to be too closely associated with green campaigners—in earlier years CMEP had accepted funding from activist organisation WWF—the impartiality he was supposed to demonstrate as a BBC reporter could be jeopardised.
In July 2004, in an email to Prof Hulme that asked him to continue funding CMEP seminars, Prof Smith explained:  “The only change I anticipate is that we won’t be asking WWF to support the seminars:  Roger particularly feels the association could be compromising to the ‘neutral’ reputation should anyone look at it closely.”
Prof Smith told Prof Hulme that the seminars’ purpose was to influence BBC output.
He spoke of finding ways of getting environmental issues into ‘mainstream’ stories “by stealth”, adding:  “‘It’s very important in my view that research feeds directly back into decision-maker conversations (policy and above all media).  I hope and think that the seminars have laid the ground for this within the BBC.  ...  There is senior BBC buy in-for the approach I want to pursue.”
Yesterday he said he had always ensured there was a range of views at the seminar, while by using the phrase “by stealth” he simply meant that “sustainability stories are elements of mainstream stories, but the complexity and uncertainty inherent in them make them difficult to report in isolation”.
In September 2001, another email reveals, Mr Harrabin and Prof Smith wrote to Prof Hulme, asking what the BBC should do  to mark a climate summit the following year.
They said his suggestions would be “circulated among relevant BBC decision-makers”, while instead of confining himself to news and current affairs, he should also feel free to recommend ideas for “drama, music, game shows”. 
Labour MP Graham Stringer last night said he would be writing this week to BBC director-general Mark Thompson to demand an investigation into the Corporation’s relationship with UEA.  “The new leaked emails show that the UEA scientists at the Tyndall Centre and the CRU acted more like campaigners than academics, and that they succeeded in an attempt to influence the output of the BBC,” Mr Stringer said.
Conservative MP David Davis said:  “Using research money to evangelise one point of view and suppress another defies everything I ever learnt about the scientific method.  These emails go to the heart of the BBC’s professed impartiality ... its actions must be investigated.”
But the BBC insisted its relationship with UEA had never been “unhealthily close”, saying it was always impartial.  A BBC spokesman said:  “We would reject the claim that the Tyndall Centre influenced BBC editorial policy.”
As for Mr Harrabin’s place on the Tyndall board and the advice he gave, he said:  “The idea was for him to look out for potential stories for the BBC and to offer academics a media perspective on climate change and policy. We do not believe that compromised impartiality.”
Mr Harrabin added:  “It was right that the BBC decided not to give sceptics parity on climate change,” saying there was a “cross-party consensus.”  But he said he had maintained they should still be given some air time.
Prof Jones was not available for comment last night.
See also Another Gem from ClimateGate II, which shews collusion between Jonathan Renouf (a BBC Series Producer) and Keith Briffa (a corrupt climatologist from the University of East Anglia’s discredited Climatic Research Unit).

One of its key supporters headed the official investigation into the so-called “Climategate emails”, producing a report which cleared experts of deliberately attempting to skew scientific results to confirm that global warming was a real threat.
Another scientific expert linked to the group came forward to praise a second independent investigation into the Climategate affair which also exonerated researchers.
Set up with the backing of Tony Blair, then the Prime Minister, and run by a group of British MPs and peers the organisation, Globe International, started life as an All Party Group based in the House of Commons.
It is now run as an international climate change lobbying group flying its supporters and experts club class to international summits to push its agenda.  Last year, it said, it spent around £500,000 flying its supporters to these meetings.
Back in February, in “The BBC became a propaganda machine for climate change zealots, says Peter Sissons ... and I was treated as a lunatic for daring to dissent”, Peter Sissons described the bias of the BBC and its increasing political correctness:
the most worrying aspect of political correctness was over the story that recurred with increasing frequency during my last ten years at the BBC—global warming (or ‘climate change’, as it became known when temperatures appeared to level off or fall slightly after 1998). 
From the beginning I was unhappy at how one-sided the BBC’s coverage of the issue was, and how much more complicated the climate system was than the over-simplified two-minute reports that were the stock-in-trade of the BBC’s environment correspondents. 
These, without exception, accepted the UN’s assurance that “the science is settled” and that human emissions of carbon dioxide threatened the world with catastrophic climate change. Environmental pressure groups could be guaranteed that their press releases, usually beginning with the words “scientists say ... ” would get on air unchallenged.
On one occasion, after the inauguration of Barack Obama as president in 2009, the science correspondent of Newsnight actually informed viewers “scientists calculate that he has just four years to save the world”.  What she didn’t tell viewers was that only one alarmist scientist, NASA’s James Hansen, had said that.
My interest in climate change grew out of my concern for the failings of BBC journalism in reporting it.  In my early and formative days at ITN, I learned that we have an obligation to report both sides of a story.  It is not journalism if you don’t.  It is close to propaganda. 
The BBC’s editorial policy on ­climate change, however, was spelled out in a report by the BBC Trust—whose job is to oversee the workings of the BBC in the interests of the public—in 2007. This disclosed that the BBC had held “a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus”.
The error here, of course, was that the BBC never at any stage gave equal space to the opponents of the consensus.
But the Trust continued its ­pretence that climate change ­dissenters had been, and still would be, heard on its airwaves.  “Impartiality,” it said, “always requires a breadth of view, for as long as minority ­opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space.”
In reality, the “appropriate space” given to minority views on climate change was practically zero.Moreover, we were allowed to know practically nothing about that top-level seminar mentioned by the BBC Trust at which such momentous conclusions were reached.  Despite a Freedom of Information request, they wouldn’t even make the guest list public.  [...]
It’s the lack of simple curiosity about one of the great issues of our time that I find so puzzling about the BBC.  When the topic first came to ­prominence, the first thing I did was trawl the internet to find out as much as possible about it. 
Anyone who does this with a mind not closed by religious fervour will find a mass of material by respectable scientists who question the orthodoxy.  Admittedly, they are in the minority, but scepticism should be the natural instinct of scientists—and the default setting of journalists.
Yet the cream of the BBC’s inquisitors during my time there never laid a glove on those who repeated the ­mantra that “the science is settled”. On one occasion, an MP used BBC airtime to link climate change ­doubters with perverts and holocaust deniers, and his famous interviewer didn’t bat an eyelid.
Meanwhile, Al Gore, the former U.S. Vice-President and climate change campaigner, entertained the BBC’s editorial elite in his suite at the Dorchester and was given a free run to make his case to an admiring internal audience at Television Centre. 
His views were never subjected to journalistic scrutiny, even when a British High Court judge ruled that his film, An Inconvenient Truth, ­contained at least nine scientific errors, and that ministers must send new guidance to teachers before it was screened in schools.  From the BBC’s standpoint, the judgment was the real inconvenience, and its ­environment correspondents downplayed its significance.  [...]
A damaging episode illustrating the BBC’s supine attitude came in 2008, when the BBC’s ‘environment ­analyst’, Roger Harrabin, wrote a piece on the BBC website reporting some work by the World ­Meteorological Organization that questioned whether global ­warming was going to continue at the rate ­projected by the UN panel.
A green activist emailed him to complain.  Harrabin at first resisted.  Then she berated him:  “It would be better if you did not quote the sceptics”—something Harrabin had not actually done—“‘Please reserve the main BBC online channel for emerging truth.  Otherwise I would have to conclude that you are insufficiently educated to be able to know when you have been psychologically manipulated.”  [...]
Did Harrabin tell her to get lost?  He tweaked the story—albeit not as radically as she demanded—and emailed back:  “Have a look and tell me you are happier.”
This exchange went round the world in no time, spread by the ­jubilant activist.  Later, Harrabin defended himself, saying they were only minor changes—but the sense of the changes, as specifically sought by the activist, was plainly to harden the piece against the sceptics.  
Many people wouldn’t call that minor, but Harrabin’s BBC bosses accepted his explanation.
UPDATE II (8 December)see also Christopher Booker’s “BBC’s bias on global warming: An inconvenient truth on climate change:
In 2009, the BBC’s journalists could scarcely hide their dismay at the collapse of the UN’s great Copenhagen climate conference, which planned to cut the world’s ‘carbon emissions’ to such an extent it would have landed mankind with the biggest bill in history, at an estimated cost of hundreds of trillions of pounds.
They tried to brush aside the huge embarrassment of the so-called ‘Climategate’ row in 2009 when hundreds of emails from the Climate Research Unit in Norwich were posted online and which revealed how some of the top scientists had been fiddling their data.
They downplayed scandals erupting round the IPCC when it was revealed that many of its more alarming predictions had not been based on proper science at all, but only on scare stories dreamed up by environmental lobby groups.
Then, last summer, in a bid to justify its conduct, the BBC Trust commissioned one of the Corporation’s regular contributors, the geneticist Professor Steve Jones, to review its science coverage, notably on climate change.
Professor Jones made the astonishing claim that the only problem with the coverage of climate change was not that it was too biased, but that it wasn’t biased enough.
All this is why I am far from alone in concluding that the BBC’s coverage has, on this key issue of our time, gone hopelessly off the rails.  The Corporation has been guilty of three separate betrayals.
By making its coverage so flagrantly one-sided on the environment issue, it has betrayed its statutory duty to report on world events impartially.
Second, it has betrayed the basic principles of science by giving such unquestioning support to a theory which the evidence has increasingly called into doubt.
Above all, however, the BBC has betrayed the trust of its audience, by failing to give a fair and balanced picture. 
UPDATE III (9 December):  Booker’s full report, The BBC and Climate Change: A Triple Betrayal (published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation), is available hence.

Prof. Phil Jones and Alice

From Through the Looking Glass of Post-Modern Science and What Alice Observed There:
“There’s consensus for you!”
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘consensus’,” Alice said.
Professor Jones smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you.  I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’”
“But ‘consensus’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word (or write an e-mail),” Professor Jones said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.  Anything else is ‘out of context’, brought about, usually, by a conspiracy of evil, anti-science denialists—funded by Big Tobacco and Big Oil—who believe, stupidly, in bizarre conspiracy theories.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words and alleged statistical analyses mean only what you say they mean.”
“The question is,” said Professor Jones, “who is to be master of climate-science—that’s all.”

Climategate II: Phil Jones Schooled in Statistics

30 Oct 2009 05:26:48
from Don McNeil
subject: Re: statistical methods
to p.jones...

Dear Phil:
The treatment of anomalies versus absolute temperatures is not quite as simple as you say.  It might be if there were only 12 monthly constants in all, but in fact there are 12 for each region, and there are a lot of regions, and as we know the regions have different patterns of temperature increase.  So creating anomalies is essentially the same as fitting a model with a large number of parameters (12 times the number of regions) to the data for the 30-year period 1961-1990 and then using this model to adjust ALL the data.  As a result, the variability of the data outside the period used to fit the model is generally not the same as the variability within this period.  The extent of this difference will depend on the distribution of the data, but for the hadCRUT3 data the variability increases with year after 1961.  The reason for this is that the temperatures are generally increasing with different rates for different regions, so they are increasingly “getting away” from the model based on the 1961-1990 data.
If you are just doing descriptive analyses based on anomalies this increasing volatility is not obvious and might not matter too much, and we didn’t see it at first.  It was only after we fitted the “Lee-Carter” regression model (a model that allows for different temperature increases in different regions) to the anomalies that we realised the problem, which disappeared when we reclaimed the absolute data by adding absTem3 to the anomalies.  That’s why statisticians like myself prefer to start with absolute data, rather than “anomalies” that already have been adjusted.  We can make the adjustments ourselves, ensuring that these adjustments apply equally to the whole period.  (I guess this is what you meant when you said “this is always a problem for statisticians, but ones like Peter Bloomfield, Richard Smith and Rick Katz (who have all worked extensively with climate data) understand why.”)
Peter Bloomfield was my close colleague in the Statistics Dept at Princeton from 1970-1976 (with John Tukey who suggested the Winsorizing you use for your data cleaning), and he suggested I contact you when I told him that my students and colleagues in Thailand were interested in looking at global warming data.  He also suggested I contact the NCAR people, and they put me on to Richard Smith's work. (But Richard’s a Bayesian and therefore on a different planet to us mainstream statisticians!)
I’m puzzled by your comment that precip[it]ation is more likely an effect than a cause of temperature increase.  Isn’t precip[it]ation due to atmospheric water vapour, one of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming?

See also “CRU’s Dr Phil Jones, world renowned climatologist, can’t even plot a trend in excel”, at Watts Up With That, and “0435: Briffa: Pathetic GRL Hockey Stick Paper a Step Backwards in Time and- Understanding”, at The Unbearable Nakedness of Climate Change (wherein Edward Cook is quoted conceding, “we know with certainty that we know fuck-all”), and Steve Goddard’s “Phil Jones Gets Slammed by Reviewer for GCM Nonsense”, at Real Science.

Climategate II: Three Different Responses

The Telegraph’s Christopher Booker, in “Is the global warming scare the greatest delusion in history?”, rightly explains that the modern, awarmist cult of CAGW is suicidally irrational:
While our Government remains trapped in its green dreamworld, similar horror stories pile up on every side, from that UBS report on the astronomically costly fiasco of the EU’s carbon-trading scheme, to our own Government’s “carbon floor price”, in effect a tax on CO2 emissions rising yearly from 2013. This alone will eventually be enough to double the cost of our electricity, and drive a further swathe of what remains of UK industry abroad, because we are the only country in the world to have devised something so idiotic.
All this madness ultimately rests on a blind faith in the threat of man-made global warming, which no one has done more to promote than the scientists whose private emails were again last week leaked onto the internet.
It is still not generally appreciated that the significance of these Climategate emails is that their authors, such as Michael Mann, are no ordinary scientists: they are a little group of fanatical insiders who have, for years, done more than anyone else to drive the warming scare, through their influence at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  And what is most striking about the picture that emerges from these emails is just how questionable the work of these men appears.
We see how they torture the evidence to support their theory—even to the point where some of them seem to lose faith in the story they are trying to tell.  And we also see how rattled they were as soon as their work was challenged by expert outsiders such as Steve McIntyre, the mathematician who exposed the methods used to create Mann’s “hockey stick” temperature graph, which the IPCC had made Exhibit A for their theory.
Again and again we see them trying to defend the indefensible, giving vent to wild personal abuse of the enemies of what they call their “cause”, and stopping at nothing to keep their critics’ evidence out of IPCC reports and scientific journals, and prevent dissenting views from getting media attention.
This is no longer science worthy of the name.
The Australian, in an editorial, titled “Rational approach on climate” explains that the paper still accepts—without bothering to explain why it accepts—the completely discredited awarmist, alleged consensus—without realising that consensus is not science—whilst “stringently” analysing those bogus claims:
This newspaper always supports a rational approach to climate science, accepting the scientific consensus that carbon dioxide emissions are warming the planet, and supporting market mechanisms to reduce emissions—while favouring stringent analysis of alarmist claims.
The Age, in denial that CAGW has been completely discredited, and taking a little time out from trying to scare its few remaining readers that the world must be doomed, and soon to be destroyed by more or fewer droughts and floods, more or fewer storms, and the loss of the last remaining wild herds of lovely unicorns, chooses to rely, in “Climatologist speaks out after new leak”, on the self-interested analysis of Prof. Phil Jones, a corrupt, incompetent scamming pseudo-scientist who (inter alia) fails to understand basic statistical methods:
The British climatologist ensnared in a major new email leak has taken his case to the public, arguing that he and his colleagues' comments have again been taken out of context.
UPDATE I:  see Shub Niggurath’s “Climategate II: Contradictions and Hypocrisy”.

UPDATE II:  in comments at Bishop Hill, Richard Drake provides useful definitions:
a) To take an email in context – to ignore it.
b) To take an email fully in its context – never to have heard of it.
c) To take an email out of context – to read it.
d) To take an email grossly and willfully out of context – to tell someone else about it.
UPDATE III (18 December):  see Cristopher Booker’s “The BBC’s myth makers serve up a double helping of propaganda”.

26 November, 2011

Another Gem from Climategate II

1683, Proof of Collusion
7 Sep 2005 13:56:57
from Jonathan Renouf [BBC Series Producer, Science Department]
subject: Final thoughts
to Keith Briffa

Hi Keith,
Good to talk to you this morning. Just a few thoughts to reiterate what we’re hoping to get out of filming tomorrow.

1) Your interview appears at a crucial point in the film [released as Meltdown: A Global Warming Journey (2006)].  Up until now our presenter (Paul Rose, he’ll be there tomorrow) has followed two conflicting thoughts.  On the one hand he’s understood that the world is currently getting warmer.  But on the other he's discovered lots of historical stories (the Bronze Age, the MWP, the LIA) which tell him that climate changes naturally all the time.  In trying to resolve this paradox he’s come across this thing called the hockey stick curve, and he’s come to you to explain it to him.
2) Your essential job is to “prove” to Paul that what we’re experiencing now is NOT just another of those natural fluctuations we've seen in the past.  The hockey stick curve is a crucial piece of evidence because it shows how abnormal the present period is – the present warming is unprecedented in speed and amplitude, something like that.  This is a very big moment in the film when Paul is finally convinced of the reality of man made global warming.
3) The hockey stick curve shows that what Paul thought were big climate events (the Bronze Age maximum, the MWP, the LIA) actually when looked at in a global context weren’t quite as dramatic as he thought.  They’re there, but they are nothing like as sudden or big.
4) Paul can question you on things like:  How reliable is the hockey stick curve?  How do you work out past climate (cue for you to talk about proxies)?  What drives all the “natural” fluct[u]ations in climate (this can be answered in very broad terms e.g., it’s down to changes in the sun’s output, volcanoes etc.)
5) In terms of filming my first choice is to do it as a projection in Zicer, where you show the Mann curve, then flick up as many other ones as you think are important (within reason!) and elaborate the point that what’s happening now is unprecedented compared to these historic records.  In my ideal world, you walk right up to the projector image and point things out on the screen, with parts of the projected image falling on your heads and shoulders.  Stills of tree rings or anything else climate related e.g., ice cores, corals, would also work as powerpoints, because you could talk about them as egs of proxies.

Hopefully this makes it clear what I’m trying to achieve.
Look forward to tomorrow.
All best

UPDATE Isome BBC reporters fail to realise that their job is to represent the consensus of Mann and Jones and nought else.

Mar 17 15:05:38 2005
from Phil Jones
subject: Re: BBC E-mail: New row on climate ‘hockey stick’
to Michael E. Mann

If you do it’s worth sending also to this guy, Alex Kirkby. […]
This guys higher up.  He got them to check more the items they post on their web site from members of the public. […]

At 14:27 17/03/2005, you wrote:
Hi Phil,
Might be worth sending in a letter of complaint to BBC.  They should know that the scientific community is unhappy w/ their flawed reporting on these matters.
I’ve already brought this up w/ Ben Dempsey (who is supposed to call me shortly—sounds like you’re talking to a different person at Horizon),
At 03:26 AM 3/17/2005, Phil Jones wrote:

I tried to convince the reporter here there wasn’t a story, but he went with it anyway.
At least he put in a quote from me that there are loads of other series that show similar-ish series to MBH and MJ.  Had to mention the Moberg et al. series to achieve this.
The reporter said he’d not seen Moberg et al., and it wasn’t flagged up by Nature to them at the appropriate time.  Odd!  Then why are you running with this GRL paper as there are 10s issued each week.  Well, it turns out, not surprisingly, that MM have issued numerous press releases themselves – using their networks.  [...]
His quote is typical of many I get to here.  Pity the reporter didn’t mention this to me.
UPDATE II:  at Paul Rose’s site, he describes the alleged documentary, Meltdown: A Global Warming Journey, humorously:
Examining all sides of the argument, this compelling film seeks the truth behind what has become one of the most important issues of our time.
UPDATE III:  for more BBC bias, see Bishop Hill on e-mails 0306 and 4894.

UPDATE IV:  sometimes, proleptic criticism is penned using, no doubt, the pure anticipatory cognition which the fraudsters have so successfully used over the last decades to make such accurate predictions.

10 Nov 2003 15:23:04
from Asher Minns
subject: Horizon
to m.hulme@uea...
I have had this reply from Mark Maslin at UCL – he was one of the consultants on an earlier Horizon series – see below.  As an exercise, I have drafted a letter for the Director/Producer, perhaps BBC Wildlife or the Radio Times, which is from me personally – also below.  Of course, I will wait to see the programme first.  Any comments?  […]

1) Dear Asher
I think (and hope) that the BBC are just recycling the title.  As I know that Jochem Marotzke (Southampton), Peter Cox and Adrian Lister (UCL) and others have put alot of time in trying to give the BBC a clear view of the current science and how we got to it.  My own meetings, however, suggest they will be going down the Deep Ocean Circulation in the North Atlantic will fail and be bad for Europe/USA.  Not sure how much wider the program will be than that despite my efforts to suggest a wide view including the possible shut down of AABW.  They also seemed to be very keen on discussing and filming the history of the Palaeoclimates which led from the 1970’s to the realisation that the deep ocean could changed and rapidly.
So simple answer is it should not be a repeat of the 1999 Big Chill program ... otherwise I will want my licence fee back!  But I do not know how many of the interviews/films they will re-use.
all the best

2) The science of climate change, and BBC Horizon
BBC2 broadcast The Big Chill on Thursday 13 November as part of its series of Horizon programmes, suggesting that Europe and the US will be plunged into a mini ice-age through global warming.  There are fundamental differences between the chilling certainty of Horizon’s claims for the next 20 years, and the global warnings of the UK’s climate change research experts.
The UK Government and academic community is unique in the world in having a state-of-the-art understanding of climate change predictions for the nation, published first in 1998 and re-researched last year.  The UK’s climate predictions state that the collapse of the Gulf Stream is unlikely to lead to a cooling of the UK climate within the next 100 years.  Apart from a general concern for the misrepresentation of science by mainstream media, inaccurate science communication gives mixed messages to the wider public about what scientists understand about climate change, and the choices that we have in responding and adapting to the impacts of climate change.  If Horizon is to advertise itself as a science documentary, then it has to maintain the respect and support of scientists and public alike.
Asher Minns
Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research HQ
University of East Anglia

23 November, 2011

Micellaneous Gems from Climategate II

5287, a direct carbon dioxide effect ... is far from proven”
22 Sep 2000 06:22:50
from mhughes...
subject: Re: old stuff
to: tom@...

I tried to imply in my e-mail, but will now say it directly, that although a direct carbon dioxide effect is still the best candidate to explain this effect, it is far from proven.  In any case, the relevant point is that there is no meaningful correlation with local temperature.  Not all high-elevation tree-ring records from the West that might reflect temperature show this upward trend.  It is only clear in the driest parts (western) of the region (the Great Basin), above about 3150 meters elevation, in trees old enough (>~800 years) to have lost most of their bark – ‘stripbark’ trees.  As luck would have it, these are precisely the trees that give the chance to build temperature records for most of the Holocene.

5305, “independent” peer-review
Jun 26 14:38:23 2008
from Keith Briffa
subject: Re: in confidence
to: drdendro...

Only you could confuse me with a yes or no answer!!!  Is it yes or no?  [The previous question was: “have you been asked to review a paper by the New Zealanders for Nature?  Just yes or no”]  When I have finished reviewing it (to ensure independence) I would value a few words with you about it

5322, there was a Mediæval Warm period?
Oct  7 12:49:12 2002
from Keith Briffa
subject: Re: NER/T/S/2002/00440
to: RAPID...

The last 1000 years are important.  But several paleo records show the period ~1000-1500 years ago encompasses the very warm earliest part of the Medieval Warm period.  This period is critical in assessing 20th century warming but prior widely cited studies (Mann et al, Crowley) are limited to the last 1000 years yet form the basis for statements about the causes of relative warmth in the 20th century.  Effort should be made to include even the few proxy record going back 1500-2000 years before present.  We agree entirely with this referee that the period just prior to the last 1000 years has relevance to the issue of  climate change detection.  Yes, we will make efforts to collect and amalgamate data prior to AD 1000, but this will not be a priority in the final analysis because the synergy in the work we propose lies in analyzing the overlap between empirical data and model-derived (principally GCM) data and this is clearly limited to the more recent period by the availability of appropriate simulations.

5323, manufacturing consensus
30 Jun 1997 20:54:29
from Mike Hulme 
subject: Re: Climate Statement Version 4
to: alcamo...

This is the current idea:
1.  You, Rob Swart and I should first consult with a manageable-number of people about the content of the Statement.  The three of us would act as “Coordinators” of the Statement. 
2. After this fairly small group agrees on the content of the Statement we should try and convince ten or so “prominent” scientists from different parts of Europe to be official signers.  The names of these prominent people would appear on the same page as the Statement.  Rob and I have not discussed who these ten people should be.  Some could be from the original circle that we consult in step 1.
3.  After “The Ten” have signed on, we need an enthusiastic organization to carry out the time-consuming task of collecting as many signatures of scientists in Europe as possible,  so that we can say “1,865 European scientists, including (the prominent ten) have signed a Statement that says .. and so forth”.  I don’t think that either you or Rob or I have the time to do this.  For the American statement this job was done by an organization called “Redefining Progress”.  Perhaps for us it could be WWF.  What do you think.
4.  The last step would be to hold a press conference(s) to announce the Statement.  For this we would try and get as many of “The Ten” as possible to attend.  My idea would be to aim for the AGBM meeting in October, when the debate should be pretty hot, and media interest in anticipation of Kyoto should be increasing. 

5329, the “trend runs absolutely counter to everything we know”
14 Apr 1999 16:01:45
from Michael Mann
subject: reply to comments on Science piece
to: k.briffa..., mann..., mhughes..., rbradley..., t.osborn...

The 2000 year trend runs absolutely counter to everything we know about the mid holocene.  Extratropical Northern Hemisphere summer temperatures should have been at an absolute peak 4000-6000 ybp, and the 2000 year trend *ought* to at least be heading in that direction.  The fact that is doesn’t, and that the trend hasn’t been verified in the sense discussed above, causes me real concern.  It would be misleading to argue we have any reason to believe that NH mean temperatures have done what that series does 2000 years back in time... 

The alternative is that true NH mean temperatures and extratropical NH mean temperatures must be shown on separate plots, because adjusting them the way Keith has provides a misleading picture, and one that I don’t believe can be justified for the purposes of IPCC, regardless of what you choose to do with your Science piece.

5341,  “an excellent case for adaptation ... so why are we worrying about mitigation?
09 Oct 1998 16:09:24
from Robert Nicholls
to: m.hulme..., nwa1..., arnell61...,  PARRYML...

All numbers are correct and I find the new text fine.  The two additional paragraphs make an excellent case for adaptation.
However, an implicit message of Table 2 is that adaptation could handle climate change alone (the -15% option), so why are we worrying about mitigation? I think that this will be noted by many readers and it would be best if the piece had an explicit view on this, or delete the -15% option.

Climategate II

1. Conjecture:
Tall Bloke quotes selected admissions, in recently released e-mails by “scientists” who continue pushing the pseudo-scientific AGW conjecture, that they have no proof of AGW:
Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.
 I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.
From Age UK:  “Last year in Britain, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics, there were an average of 200 excess deaths every day, many of which could have been avoided by people adopting simple measures to stay warm.”  Michelle Mitchell, charity director of Age UK,  claims that avoidable winter deaths are a disgrace:  “We like to think of ourselves as a civilised society which protects the most vulnerable”, she says, according to the BBC, “but the numbers of older people who do not survive the winter here is far higher than most European countries where the weather is far colder.”
Why are so many elderly people dying in cold weather?  They cannot afford to keep their dwellings warm because stupid government policies, based on a silly, unproven conjecture, have ensured that electricity for heating is too expensive.
Even if the conjecture that industrial emissions of CO2 caused dangerous globe warming were true, governments’ expensive actions, for the most part, have been worse than useless.  See “Europe’s $287bn carbon ‘waste’: UBS report”, by Sid Maher of The Australian:
Swiss banking giant UBS says the European Union’s emissions trading scheme has cost the continent’s consumers $287 billion for “almost zero impact” on cutting carbon emissions, and has warned that the EU’s carbon pricing market is on the verge of a crash next year.
In a damning report to clients, UBS Investment Research said that had the €210bn the European ETS had cost consumers been used in a targeted approach to replace the EU's dirtiest power plants, emissions could have been reduced by 43% “instead of almost zero impact on the back of emissions trading”.
Describing the EU’s ETS as having “limited benefits and embarrassing consequences”, the report said there was fading political support for the scheme, the price was too low to have any significant environmental impact and it had provided windfall profits to market participants, paid for by electricity customers.
As the person (or persons) who released these latest e-mails noted, nearly 16,000 children die every day from avoidable hunger and similar, related causes, yet incompetent and corrupt governments, instead of spending resources on schemes which would assuredly alleviate or prevent suffering, conspire to enrich scammers, con-artists and grasping, simoniacal or usurious cronies. 

UPDATE I:  see Pointman’s “Happy Birthday, Climategate”:
Climategate was at last the great confirmation of a deep suspicion many of us had entertained for a long time; we were not contending with an honest scientific debate but dealing with a bunch of cheats, liars and spin merchants.  Following it, anything they said was going to be examined critically by a fresh army of sceptics and the pickings since climategate have been rich.
The floodgates opened and there were a lot of gates, glaciergate, pachuraigate and amazongate to name but a few.  On hard examination, so many of the outrageous claims being made by the IPCC turned out not to be based on their much trumpeted peer-reviewed papers but press releases, undergraduate scribblings and the furtive handouts of quasi-political activist organisations like Greenpeace and the WWF.  A recent survey by a corps of volunteers found 30% of the references in the last IPCC report tracked back to sources like those.  So much for their exclusive use of gold standard science.
UPDATE II:  even The Guardian has noticed; but, naturally, The Guardian had to ask the truly pathetic Prof. Michael Mann to provide some rationalisation for his and his fellow conspirators’ scamming; Mann responds by calling the latest release of e-mails “truly pathetic”—perhaps unconsciously quoting e-mail 3373: “the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published.”*

UPDATE IIIthe BBC’s environmentalist hack and leading apologist for scamming pseudo-scientists, the mendacious Richard Black, also leaps into his customary, deceptive, rationalisation mode.

UPDATE IVNature News Blog

UPDATE V:  Ben Pile contributes “Climategate II—Derailing the Re-Railing” at Climate Resistance. 

UPDATE VIat Climate Depot, Marc Morano provides an accurate analysis:
The new emails further expose the upper echelon of the UN IPCC as being more interested in crafting a careful narrative than following the evidence.  The release of thousands of more emails is quite simply another victory for science.
UPDATE VII:  see John O’Sullivan, as well.

UPDATE VIII:  see Alan Caruba’s “Climategate, Part Duh! at Climate Change Dispatch; of course, Climategate would not miss eponymous details; see Bishop Hill here and here and (UPDATE XII) the bishop’s summary of media accounts here, and (UPDATE XVII) another good one here; and see “A Man with a Cause” at Autonomous Mind as well as a comment thereto from Stuck-Record:
To my mind the most interesting aspect of this second release (since we already know that Jones, Mann, Schmidt, et al. are second rate hucksters) is the proof of perjury.
At the whitewash Parliamentary inquiries, the usual suspects, and the UEA authorities, defence was ‘context’ and ‘interpretation’. i.e., that the emails didn’t actually say what normal people could clearly see they said.  A great many hoops were jumped through in order to create that impression and get it on the record so that a tame media could then reference it, as in: “Everyone was cleared by the inquiries.”
Now it is clear, from even a cursory reading of the second batch, that they were all lying through their teeth.  Even the UEA FOI man looks caught with his pants down.
UPDATE IX:  see The Hockey Shtick here and here (UPDATE XI) and here.

UPDATE Xsee, in “Another Treaty Negotiation, Another Batch of Climate Science E-Mail”, NYT’s Andrew Revkin bending over backwards to spin the latest e-mails as old, irrelevant, intended only to be distracting, and already parsed by his awarmist, pseudo-scientific buddies as safely disregarded.

UPDATE XIII:  recommended reading at Watts Up With That is “Mr. David Palmer Explains the Problem”, by Willis Eschenbach (with emphasis added):
My conclusion after all this time is that Phil [Jones] truly didn’t get it.  He actually didn’t understand.  He was not the owner of private data.  He was the curator of public data.  He didn’t understand that FOI requests are legal documents.  Throughout the whole episode he treated them as some kind of optional request to grant or not as he saw fit.  In this he was aided and abetted by David Palmer.
Upon reading this email, I was very curious to find out what had gotten Phil’s knickers in a twist regarding “what has been said on the Climate Audit website from Friday”. Upon looking up the ClimateAudit post from Friday, April 20, 2007, I laughed when I found out that what Phil was referring to as “bullying and virtual harassment” was the post I cited above and requested that you read.  I’m sure you picked up on how I was “bullying and virtually harassing” Professor Jones.
So that was what Phil was complaining about—my pointing out the foolishness of their various excuses.  And on that basis he said that would not make the raw data available, as though my laughing at his transparent dodges were a valid exemption to an FOI request.
I note that over at RealClimate they are desperately trying to spin this as two-year-old turkey.  However, it’s not just my case that has new information. Regarding a host of other issues, the recent emails contain much previously unrevealed evidence of the perfidy, subversion, misdirection, and malfeasance practiced by the Climategate un-indicted co-conspirators.
UPDATE XIV (24 November)a searchable database of the Climategate II e-mails is at http://foia2011.org/(UPDATE XVIIIMore tools are at Climate Audit.  (UPDATE XIX)  Search both Climategate I and II at http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php.

UPDATE XV (24 November)at The View from Here, hro001—Hilary Ostrov—provides recommended reading, “IPCC: Fix it or fold it, McKitrick says”, on Prof. Ross McKitrick’s What Is Wrong with the IPCC? Proposals for a Radical Reform.

UPDATE XVI (24 November)Roger Pielke demonstrates, with one quotation (from John Neilson-Gammon—who, apparently, has never heard of the motto, nullius in verba), how supposedly intelligent scientists come to accept a fraudulent psuedo-scientific conjecture:
When I’m reading science outside my field, where I can’t judge for myself whether it’s right, I’m quite happy to assume that anything that comes out of the National Academy of Sciences is correct.
UPDATE XX (02 December):  see Shock ‘Climate Change’ News: Media Bias!”.

*  Raymond S. Bradley wrote to Keith Briffa (09:56, 12/10/03, -0500): 
I don’t think Mike is thinking of coupled AOGCMs here, which would be ideal, but mostly energy balance models and MICs, and it’s hard to use these to look at anything but the very largest scales.  Furthermore, the model output is very much determined by the time series of forcing that is selected, and the model sensitivity which essentially scales the range.  Mike only likes these because they seem to match his idea of what went on in the last millennium, whereas he would savage them if they did not.
Also—& I’m sure you agree—the Mann/Jones GRL paper [
Mann, M. E., and P. D. Jones,Global surface temperatures over the past two millennia, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30 (15), 1820] was truly pathetic and should never have been published.  I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year “reconstruction”.