Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Politics, The Media & The UK's “Climategate” Enquiries

On 31st March the BBC News TV channel enthusiastically announced the Commons Science and Technology Committee’s whitewash of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit’s scientific practices. I then published my article “Can There be an Independent Investigation of IPCC?” (Note 6) concentrating on the UK enquiries - although there are others going on elsewhere which may be less of a whitewash, e.g. in the USA.

An associate asked today QUOTE: are people in the UK all that aware of what has happened in UAE & Hadley CRU ? Are they aware of the fuss that it has caused in the rest of the world ? Are they aware of the Enquiries/Reviews, the results of the 1st & the world's reactions to these ? How much of it is driven by political expediency & need to retain 'integrity' of the CRU data ? UNQUOTE. Here is a summary of what I found about UK mainstream media reporting of the ludicrously short (one month) Commons Science & Technology Committee enquiry into the UEA CRU’s “Climategate” activities.

Other than their presenting chosen facts about the committee’s expected political whitewash report, here are some additional comments from components of the mainstream media that I found particularly interesting.

The Telegraph’s (Note 1) James Delingpole on 31st March:-
In contrast to environment correspondent Louise Gray’s laclustre article “University of East Anglia refused to share information on global warming” on 30th March, Dellingpole’s article “'Lying, cheating, defrauding taxpayer are all OK' announces panel of MPs” ignores the political propaganda and addresses the real issue. He concludes QUOTE: How entirely typical that a body representing the most corrupt, money-grubbing taxpayer-funded roach pit of the lot – our Houses of Parliament – should have found it so very easy to exonerate the Climategate scientists of all wrongdoing.UNQUOTE.

Timesonline’s Ben Webster, Environment Editor on 31st March (Note 2):-
In “Climate-row professor Phil Jones should return to work, say MPs” Webster says QUOTE: An MP on the committee told The Times that, before this month’s public hearing, the members had agreed not to question Professor Jones too closely because of his fragile condition. UNQUOTE.

The Guardian’s Fred Pearce, environment writer, on 31st March (Note 3):-
In “Hacked climate email inquiry cleared Jones but serious questions remain” he said QUOTE: Climate inquiry has dodged key questions in its rush to clear the name of the harangued head of the Climate Research Unit. .. Phil Jones is the fall guy for the wider failings that triggered the hacked climate email scandals. But at its hearings into the affair a month ago, the Commons science committee was kind to the director of the Climate Research Unit (CRU), but short-tempered with his grinning sidekick, the University of East Anglia's vice-chancellor Edward Acton. ., Jones gets the benefit of a few doubts. At their final drafting meeting last week, only the MPs' in-house cryptosceptic, Graham Stringer, voted against a sentence saying that, on the evidence they had, "the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact". Instead, the university administration gets chastised for presiding over a culture of secrecy and possible illegality within the CRU that led to a public relations meltdown UNQUOTE.

Regarding the second of the three UK enquiries, that for the UEA, chaired by Lord Russell, Pearce more significantly said QUOTE: The MPs agree.. that Russell's inquiry should conduct his interviews and hearings "in public wherever possible". Unless Russell has spoken to nobody in the past four months, he evidently is not doing that. They say his inquiry should "publish all written evidence on its website as soon as possible". Yesterday, a month after the deadline for submissions closed, none had been posted.
.. the MPs have given him long list of things to investigate or rule on, such as deciding whether emails were deleted in breach of FOI law .. coming up with rules for CRU on sharing data .. deciding whether Jones "subverted the peer-review process" .. a test of how truly independent the Russell inquiry is will be whether it gives the UEA an advance copy. This story is far from over yet UNQUOTE.

The Guardian article and others by Pearce are worth further reading.

BBC Environment analyst Roger Harrabin’s blog on 31st March (Note 4):-
In “Climate science must be more open, say MPs” he says QUOTE: But Dr Evan Harris, science spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, disagreed and said that scientific inquiries were, by their nature, sceptical. Setting up oppositional positions within a committee tended to hinder its work, he said. 'Scientists are human'
Labour MP Doug Naysmith said he hoped the committee's report would prove to be a "corrective" to climate sceptic hysteria UNQUOTE.
Harrabin did give the last word to sceptics with QUOTE: Climate sceptics on the sceptic website Bishop Hill ridiculed the MPs' findings. One asked: "Is it April fools already?" Another commented: "No-one with half [a] brain cell will view this conclusion as anything other than a hasty and not very subtle establishment cover-up." UNQUOTE.

BBC Science Correspondent Susan Watts on 31st March (Note 5):-
In “Why 'Climategate' may be good for climate science” she says QUOTE: The MPs acknowledge throughout their report that they have had to rush through this inquiry, with no time to explore all of the questions that they might have wished to UNQUOTE.
She also deals with the more general need for openness about political activities. It concludes QUOTE: Importantly, the MPs threw down a challenge for lawmakers under the next government, post election. They want a change in the Freedom of Information laws themselves. At the moment if someone breaches the FoI Act, but this comes to light more than six months later, they cannot be prosecuted. The committee found prima facie evidence that CRU has breached the FoI Act, but it appears to be too late for prosecutions. This needs resolving, the MPs say, and want the law itself revised whatever the outcome for the CRU. A neat ending then, if the machinery of FoI itself gets a shake up now that it has dealt with MPs and their expenses and climate scientists and their data UNQUOTE.

There is always clear bias in support of the UN’s propaganda about our use of fossil fuels causing catastrophic global climate change in the reports by the BBC but one comment from 31st March is worth repeating QUOTE: There remain plenty of questions for the other two teams. Sir Muir Russell's UEA inquiry into how CRU operated, and the other under Lord Oxburgh, which will examine any implications for climate science itself.
The MPs acknowledge throughout their report that they have had to rush through this inquiry, with no time to explore all of the questions that they might have wished to UNQUOTE. Of course, the question still remains “Can There be an Independent Investigation of IPCC?” (Note 6).

In conclusion, I see the only useful comment coming out of this enquiry was the call by the committee that the Freedom of Information Act’s time bar of 6 months after the offence to be removed. As for awareness among the public, the information was made available in the media with each component demonstrating expected bias but the impression that I get from discussions with friends and family is that the majority have far more important matters to worry about. Even the politicians no longer seem to consider that global climate change is “the greatest global challenge of our time”. Political interest has moved on to greener pastures since December 2009 and the UN’s COP15 fiasco in Copenhagen.

The most reassuring thing is that among the interested general public, the overwhelming majority reject the UN’s propaganda. The comments by readers of the media articles demonstrate this quite clearly and not only in the most popular UK newspaper the Mail (despite its weak commentary on the committee’s findings – Note 7). Hopefully this will be reflected in the voting at the general election. Politicians of all of the three major parties have paid lip service to the UN’s propaganda. Only the smaller parties like UKIP have been prepared to speak out against it.

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6) see
7) see

Best regards,


  1. Thanks Pete, definitely interesting..

  2. Hi admrich, thanks for the comment. There is someone usng the same pseudonym contributing to Australian Senator Steve Fielding's threads. Are you and he the same?



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