Oxburgh blesses Climategate boffins
Keep on keeping calm, and carry on
All's well at CRU. The University of East Anglia's scientific enquiry into the Climategate affair, led by Lord Oxburgh, has exonerated the staff involved.
After just 15 days on the job, Oxburgh has dismissed the charges in a brisk five-page report. The academics under fire were the IPCC's leading authorities on temperature reconstructions, and their work was central to the claim that recent temperatures are anomalous.
Oxburgh finds space, however, to blame the Climatic Research Unit's external critics for taking a "selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU". These critics failed to account for the "difficult circumstances under which university research is sometimes conducted".
However Oxburgh admits the enquiry team looked at the issue with one eye shut. No critics of CRU's work, Stephen McIntyre or Doug Keenan, were interviewed, and the enquiry admits "We have not exhaustively reviewed the external criticism of the dendroclimatological work".
The only criticism is mild. The enquiry notes:
"It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this work because it is fundamentally statistical. Under such circumstances there must be an obligation on researchers to document the judgemental decisions they have made so that the work can in principle be replicated by others."
Oxburgh concludes: "We found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention."
McIntyre calls the report "flimsy and embarrassing" and "a feeble sleight-of-hand" in his initial commentary on Oxburgh's conclusion. McIntyre says the conclusion that the team "regrettably" "neglected" to indicate the divergence problem - when tree data disagrees with the instrumental temperature record - is incorrect
"The Climategate emails show that they did so intentionally," counters McIntyre.
The choice of Lord Oxburgh was questioned by critics, one of whom compared it to "putting Dracula in charge of the Blood Bank".
Oxburgh has paid directorships of two renewable energy companies, and is a paid advisor to Climate Change Capital, the Low Carbon Initiative, Evo-Electric, Fujitsu, and an environmental advisor to Deutsche Bank. Last month we revealed that Oxburgh had failed to declare his directorship of GLOBE, an international network of legislators with ties to the Club of Rome.
Oxburgh's is the second of two 'independent' enquiries commissioned by the University. The other, led by Sir Muir Russell, continues.
You can download the Oxburgh report here. It won't take you long to read. ®
Too much money, too few brains
There is simply far too much money at stake for the Climate Alarmists to stop trying. That there is no longer any rational basis for enormously disruptive, wasteful, and impoverishing laws and regulations does not matter. Yes, it may turn out that we're heading for climatic trouble, but that is only a conjecture now that even the temperature data bases are known to be corrupted.
It is just about time for pitchforks and torches, tar and feathers.
A few things missed out of the article
I'm sure Mr Orlowski is a busy man and didn't have the time to put more of the findings into the article. That's OK, that's why we have comments.
Oxburgh's main conclusion was: "We found absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever. That doesn't mean that we agreed with all of their conclusions, but these people were doing their jobs honestly."
Take that together with the "why the hell didn't you use actual statisticians?" comment, it's clear he's attributed any dodginess to cockup rather than conspiracy.
Also, according to Prof Hand (who was on the panel), he reckoned that in the CRU research papers, they were open about the uncertainties in the figures. Apparently, though, as we know, scientific publications for the masses don't like to mess about with things like that and the panel noted that these and other qualifications over the data were left out in these publications. In fact the IPCC comes in for some stick as, apparently, the IPCC had "oversimplified" the CRU data it used.
So the removal of caveats and qualifications of the data and filing off the corners of the numbers to make them fit was, apparently, not down to the climate science bods at CRU.
That's the bottom line of this, admittedly rather brusque, report.
Looks like I got downvoted for telling the truth.