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Anglia defends Oxburgh's eco network ties

He's still our man for the job

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The University of East Anglia has defended the choice of Lord Oxburgh to head its enquiry into Climategate.

On Tuesday we revealed Oxburgh's leading role in a global warming campaign network called Globe International. Funded by the UN and the World Bank, Globe is a network for legislators. Oxburgh had disclosed a slew of other eco interests - but not Globe. He's a director of the organisation, which flies sympathetic lawmakers around the world, and has close ties with the anti-industrial lobby group, the Club of Rome.

We found all this in the Company House filings for Globe - a new organisation to us, and I suspect, many of you too. The story quickly made its way round the blogosphere - thanks to Bishop Hill, Climate Audit and others. Commenters have picked up the ball and run with it.

Today, East Anglia has emailed us this statement:

The University does not see any conflict of interest in Lord Oxburgh's affiliation with Globe UK, a small parliamentary body from which he receives no financial reward and whose members include well-known parliamentarians such as Ken Clarke, Chris Huhne, Lord Fowler, Simon Hughes and Tim Yeo.

Lord Oxburgh's  views on climate change are a matter of public record.

The University fully expects that Lord Oxburgh and the panel will question CRU's work in the most objective way, and is committed to taking whatever action is necessary following publication of his report.

So there you go. We have fired back a number of other points, and are waiting to hear back.

The claim that Globe UK is a small parliamentary body may raise eyebrows. Globe is a worldwide network with funding it acknowledges from: "the United Nations, The Global Environment Facility, The World Bank, European Commission, the Governments of Canada and Great Britain, the Senate of Brazil and Globe Japan." Globe UK is a local branch.

Oxburgh's job at CRU is to augment the primary enquiry by Sir Muir Russell into the leak of the "climategate" archive. The charges against the CRU academics fall into a number of areas: that they attempted to control the publication process (aka "peer review") to discredit opposing views and further their own hypothesis; that they manipulated data; that they they withheld and destroyed data they should have released as a) good scientific practice and b) in response to FOIA requests; and that they were rude.

Oxburgh's views on global warming are far less equivocal than those of many climate scientists who support the theory but temper their view with acknowledgement of natural variability, unknowns and other forcing factors. Oxburgh has no such doubts: he says believes manmade greenhouse gas emissions are the single biggest factor in climate change, and says he can see no other explanation. ®

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