Climate change debate: ‘calm, civilised, informative’ Andrew Neil #GrubStreetJournal @afneil

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Climate change debate: ‘calm, civilised, informative’

Andrew Neil | 10:28 UK time, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Yesterday the Daily Politics broadcast a debate on global warming between two leading professors in the field. It was calm, civilised and informative.

Above all, it showed that there are real differences to debate and that those who’ve tried to shut debate down — not just scientists, the green lobby and politicians but many in the media too — might be doing us a disservice.

We plan more debates on the run up to the Copenhagen climate summit.

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Professors Singer and Watson in the Daily Politics’ climate change debate

President Obama echoes most mainstream politicians in the Western world when he insists “the science is settled”. Many viewers watching yesterday’s debate must have wondered if that is really true.

Moreover our debate was staged in the aftermath of leaked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s climate research centre, a leading advocate of man-made global warming of international repute, suggesting something of a cover up when it comes to the raw data on which it bases its conclusions.

Even George Monbiot, one of the country’s leading exponents of global warming, describes these e-mails as “a major blow” to his side of the argument.

Indeed in this morning’s Guardian he says they could “scarcely be more damaging” and confesses to being “dismayed and deeply shaken by them … There appears to be evidence here to of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request … worse still, some of the e-mails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics or to keep it out of a report by the IPCC [the UN’s official body on climate change] … the head of the [university’s] unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the e-mails should be re-analysed.”

Mr Monbiot, quite reasonably, doesn’t think the e-mails are “the final nail in coffin” of global warming theory, as some sceptical bloggers are claiming. His faith in the theory remains pretty much intact; but he is enough of a believer in full disclosure and transparency to be shaken.To call for Phil Jones to resign is quite remarkable: he is probably Britain’s leading global warming scientist.

Mr Monbiot’s honest and fair reaction to the e-mails is in stark contrast to David Aaronovitch’s response, who (for reasons he doesn’t give) dismisses the e-mails as “quite inconsequential” in today’s Times.

Some will wonder what his qualifications are for such a de haut en bas judgement. Whether you agree or disagree with Mr Monbiot, nobody can doubt his expertise in such matters, which is why many will conclude that his response is much more significant (and reasonable).

One thing seems pretty sure: the debate certainly isn’t over!
Correspondents are reminded to keep their comments brief and relevant to the content of Andrew’s blog.

Scepticism alive and well found living in the Memory hole AKA Room 101. #ClimateSceptics #DumberandDouma #ClimateGate 10 years after. @rdrake98 @cliscep #GrubStreetJournal @di2nu

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Memorandum submitted by Richard Tyrwhitt-Drake (CRU 37)

Climatic Research Unit

 

1. I am a UK subject, a software consultant and entrepreneur of thirty years standing. After graduating in Mathematics at Cambridge, in 1983 I co-founded and in 1986 became managing director of Objective Computer Systems Limited, the first consultancy in Europe to specialise in the application of object-oriented programming to commercial systems. I served on the committees of the British Computer Society’s Object-Oriented Programming and Systems group 1986-90, the European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP) 1989, the European Java User Group 1997-99 and the first two Extreme Programming conferences in Sardinia, in 2000 and 2001. I served on the committee and was a speaker at the Charles Babbage Awards for UK IT innovation at the House of Commons in 1998. Having suggested Tim Berners-Lee for inventing the World Wide Web I was able to present the award and meet Tim at his office at MIT and a year later draw his attention to the Wiki idea invented by Ward Cunningham, which came to such prominence later in Wikipedia. Sir Tim’s role in open systems for government in the UK, reportedly at the initiative of the Prime Minister himself, which I highly applaud, is I believe highly relevant to the current issues with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and climate science generally.

2. In my commercial work I have consulted and helped manage projects for various companies, including work on mathematical modelling and forecasting of time series for TSB Hill Samuel and Sabre Fund Management and a large initiative on discrete event simulation for the Defence Research Agency in Malvern. Objective also worked for over four years on systems for the exploration geologists of Rio Tinto. This work has I believe given me some useful additional background with which to approach the current situation in climate science. Other than that, I have no personal axe to grind.

3. What are the implications of the disclosures for the integrity of scientific research? The first implication is that the integrity of scientific research is bound to increase. But it is starting from a very low base, which should be a concern to UK citizens and to those across the world wondering whether to put their trust in the findings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It is hard not to agree with Douglas Keenan, as quoted in one of the leaked emails: “almost by itself, the withholding of their raw data by [climate] scientists tells us that they are not scientists”. [ http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=972&filename=1241415427.txt ] Reproducibility has been key to the scientific method since the pioneering work of the Iraqi scientist al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham a thousand years ago and was of course more recently emphasized in the western tradition by Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes. The refusal of CRU to provide data and source code to Keenan, Steve McIntyre and others was enough to convince me some years ago that this area of science was in deep trouble. That is now bound to change.

4. To restore trust there is a great need for an Open Climate Initiative, in line with Tim Berners-Lee’s work on open government and the profound impact of the Internet in other areas of life. The Open Climate Initiative would comprise four principles and developing areas of praxis: open data, open source (program code), open preprints and open review. In opting to support these principles, for the public good and against all vested interests, you have a great opportunity to change the direction of history for the better.

5. Are the terms of reference and scope of the Independent Review announced on 3 December 2009 by UEA adequate? Last week Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick informed me by email that they had not been contacted by Muir Russell. If that is still the case the scope of his review is inadequate. I also support Nigel Lawson’s call for a Public Inquiry. But the Open Climate Initiative is the most important solution to the problems of climate science, revealed only in part by the leak from CRU, and it is vital to stay focused on that point.

Richard Tyrwhitt-Drake
February 2010

 

 

https://rdrake98.github.io/posts/ossat-nodejs-and-johnson.html

I was going to finish with an account of my chat outside the pub after OSSAT with Jordan Hatcher of Open Data Commons about the Open Climate Initiative. Of course I mentioned my promised lunch with Stephen Fry next month, where OCI is squarely on the menu. But that’s got to be a separate post now. Yes I know, I need to break things up a little more, which I will do on this blog in future, I promise. But here’s a neat connection I hadn’t spotted until writing this: I went off to GNU because R is one of their languages (heavily used by the best climate auditors like Steve McIntyre and Willis Eschenbach) and, lo and behold, there was Fry’s avuncular visage on yet another online video, this time celebrating the birthday of Richard Stallman’s crucial baby. ALMOST AS UBIQUITOUS AS JAVASCRIPT? (The caps lock came on by mistake there but it seemed to fit.) But, joking apart, what a good man, a genuine modern-day polymath. More for sure in the next post and I hope beyond.

 

Russians Stole My Emails, Climategate Flashback. #GrubStreetJournal

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Row over leaked climate emails

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A row has broken over illegally obtained emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The emails, written by some of the most respected scientists in the field, were hacked and leaked, and have been seized upon by climate change sceptics who say they suggest that there is manipulation of data by climate change scientists. Climate change policy sceptic Lord Lawson and UEA Professor Robert Watson discusses the incident.

 

http://12160.info/group/climategateglobalwarminghoaxblowwideopen

 

Phil Jones

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Data horribilia: the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file

With the CRU emails having been examined, it seems that some people—mainly techies—are really starting to dig into the data files. These files are, as far as we can tell, temperature data, modelling results and other such useful files, i.e. these are the files produced and worked on by the CRU teams, as well as considerable amounts of information on—and code from—the actual computer modelling programmes themselves.

In other words, these are the guts of CRU’s actual computer models—the data, the code and the applications.

And they are, by all accounts, a total bloody mess.

++++ START INSERT ++++

So, come with me on a wonderful journey as the CRU team realise that not only have they lost great chunks of data but also that their application suites and algorithms are total crap; join your humble Devil and Asimov as we dive into the HARRY_READ_ME.txt (thanks to The Englishman) file and follow the trials and tribulations of Ian “Harry” Harris as he tries to recreate the published data because he has nothing else to go on!

Francis Turner said…

The one thing I get from “HARRY_READ_ME” is that when Jones said that he didn’t have the original HADCRU data he was probably correct. He really doesn’t have it or if he does he doesn’t know where it is and how he munged it into the processed for.

I’ve stuck all the code up on my webserver as I intend to join in the code review as time permits – the critical directory is http://di2.nu/foia/cru-code/

11/23/2009 12:26:00 pm

 

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About understanding, Grey Space , Joining Dots and Federated Scepticism. @TiddlyWiki @Jermolene @cliscep @devilskitchen

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https://tiddlywiki.com/

via About

 

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The climate sceptic blogosphere is becoming crowded

The climate sceptic blogosphere is becoming crowded to the point that it’s difficult to keep up. Several of us (all British or UK based so far), are getting weary of the effort of grinding out several articles a month simply in order to remain visible. It’s not that we haven’t got something to say – rather that we’d like to take the time to say it as audibly and as clearly as possible.

Our thinking in launching this new blog (called – very originally – Climate Scepticism) is that a joint site, with more frequent and more varied articles, would be more visible and possibly more useful. We don’t aim to compete with Bishop Hill or WattsUpWithThat on the news-gathering front, but to assemble a number of disparate voices in a joint venture. There’s no “party line” or rulebook, and certainly no 97% consensus about anything.

So far we are:

Geoff Chambers – geoffchambers.wordpress.com
Alex Cull – alexjc38.wordpress.com & sites.google.com/site/mytranscriptbox
Richard Drake – rdrake98.github.io
Tom Fuller – 3000quads.com
Jaime Jessop – climatecontrarian.wordpress.com
Brad Keyes – climatenuremberg.com
Paul Matthews – ipccreport.wordpress.com
Ben Pile  – climate-resistance.org
John Ridgway
John Shade – climatelessons.blogspot.com
Danny Weston
Ian Woolley – livefromgolgafrincham.org

You can follow us on twitter at @cliscep

If you’re interested in joining us, for example by contributing an article, drop us a line here. In the immortal words of Professor Phil Jones: “The internet has allowed all these people to find one another – unfortunately”

[The image shown here and on our masthead is of the Greek philosopher Pyrrho, founder of philosophical scepticism. Hover over the image for an explanation of the Latin and German text.]

 

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if you do get in touch!

New Blog: cliscep.com

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