Report From Climategate Guardian Debate with Monbiot, McIntyre, Pearce, Watson, Keenan and some uea guy

As posted by Latimer Alder in my previous post:

Just back from the Climategate debate run by the Guardian tonight. We’re assured that the Guardian website will have a full video of the whole proceeding sometime tomorrow. So just some very sketchy impressions.

Steve obviously read the remarks from last night’s meeting and insisted on speaking from a lectern. This was a good move as it gave him more ‘authority’. And he was (mostly) crisper…making his points more directly. The others spoke while seated.

George Monbiot chaired the meeting and I think he did a fair job of it. He tried hard to be unbiased, and only once or twice strayed into partisan territory. And he managed to keep the speeches and questions mostly to time and to the point

Fred Pearce took a longer perspective than the others. He spoke well and described Climategate as a tragedy rather than a conspiracy…the tragedy being that the CRU guys had adopted siege mentality. Climategate has certainly widened his perspective.

Trevor Davies representing UEA/CRU was appallingly bad. He mouthed platitudes by the shedload, but was unfamiliar with the details of any of the subjects likely to be raised. And was several times embarrassed by doing so. Apart from the fact that he had a sharp suit. I can find nothing positive to say about him. Struck me as a devious smooth cove.

Bob Watson opening remark was that he hadn’t read the e-mails in question. This was a bad mistake – many in the audience were very familiar with them, and not happy to be lectured by somebody who wasn’t. IPCC was imperfect but the best that could be devised 95% of scientists agree…it is now just a risk management exercise. Errors corrected quickly…As good as having Ravendra, but no need for the extra slot at Heathrow for him to land his jet. Very much the Scientific Establishment figure.

Keenan was interested in research fraud and the lack of accountability in science as a whole. He accused Jones of committing fraud, even after being given a chance to withdraw the remark. Davies tried to defend Jones but had no details. Keenan showed a more street-savvy business approach than any of the other participants. I’d like to have heard him at greater length.

Overall conclusion: there was no conclusion. Everybody agreed that openness and transparency were good, that debate should be with all parties and that uncertainties should be made more clear.

But my own view is that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. This one still has legs and will run and run.

The National Trust Wants You To Emit Greenhouse Gases

Attack of the Killer Orange Groves? The Day of The Palm Triffids? London’s California Horror?

Apart from being scientifically flawed in the extreme (with an ocean next door, one should compare Britain to Portugal, not Sicily or Greece), the latest attempt by the National Trust to “highlight how gardens will look if global warming brings Mediterranean weather to Britain in the next few decades” might turn into a PR disaster.

People are spending thousands of pounds every year to get from Britain to somewhere sunny, and the thought of having it all at home might as well entice a good increase in GHG emissions…

National Trust: Britain today
National Trust: Heavenly (?) Britain today
National Trust: Britain today
National Trust: Hellish (??) Britain +2C
National Trust: Britain today
National Trust: Hellish (????) Britain +4C

Notably, Monbiot himself made a similar point a few weeks ago

The Union of Soviet Climate Change Writers

The Union of Soviet Climate Change Writers
– a guest blog by Geoff Chambers

I have an unhealthy obsession with Guardian Environment and their Climate Change web site. As the unofficial voice of the worried middle classes, they have (of course) every right to express the consensus views of their readers on global warming – but twenty times a day?

In the year or so that I have been following their climate change coverage, the Guardian has foresaken all pretence of rational argument. Monbiot’s “Bullshit” campaign; the use of the terms “denier”, and “climate creationist”; and the savage censorship on the so-called “Comment is Free” blogs, all disgrace the reputation of this once respectable newspaper.

This weekend they have reached a new lowpoint with their invitation to “ten of our greatest writers” to treat the subject of Global Warming.

There’s a wonderful moment in “the Office” when a confused Brent is trying to dig himself out of the racist hole he’s dug for himself, and his colleague (the sane one) whispers “He’s going to mention ‘Melting Pot” – and sure enough he does.

UPDATE – Geoff might be referring to this clip

You can get a similar buzz by clicking on Jane Winterton’s prose poem which begins:

I am your inner polar bear

or by reading Andrew Motion’s:

Here are the baffled species taking to high ground,
the already famously lonely polar bear and caribou

The most ardent warmist, the Greenest believer commenting on a Guardian blog would know better than to utter these ineptitudes, simply because a few hours on a climate change blog would make you savvy enough to know that polar bears are passé; everything that needs to be said about polar bears has already been said a million times.

The only people who don’t know that are the country’s greatest writers, apparently.

Not only is there not a single murmur of doubt or dissent from the consensus view of imminent catastrophe; but the sickening regurgitation of the tiredest warmist clichés demonstrates that not one of “our greatest writers” has spent a single hour researching the subject of AGW.

They don’t need to – They Know, and their warning to the doubters is terrible. Here’s Helen Simpson:

Nobody will be able to plead ignorance, either. We can all see what’s happening, on a daily basis, on television

That’s right. Our greatest writers know what’s going on, because they saw it on the telly.

These are proper writers, with talent. But so were the Union of Soviet Writers who extolled Stalin’s five-year plans. No-one is threatening our best writers with the labour camp if they don’t conform. So why do they do it? Are they too stupid, or too lazy, or too cowardly, to confront received opinion?

What’s happening to the intellectual life of our country?

Monbiot, Stern and…Schadenfreude