Parliament misled over Climategate report, says MP
Russell report is inadequate, says Stringer
Parliament was misled and needs to re-examine the Climategate affair thoroughly after the failure of the Russell report, a leading backbench MP told us today.
"It's not a whitewash, but it is inadequate," is Labour MP Graham Stringer's summary of the Russell inquiry report. Stringer is the only member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology with scientific qualifications - he holds a PhD in Chemistry.
Not only did Russell fail to deal with the issues of malpractice raised in the emails, Stringer told us, but he confirmed the feeling that MPs had been misled by the University of East Anglia when conducting their own inquiry. Parliament only had time for a brief examination of the CRU files before the election, but made recommendations. This is a serious charge.
After the Select Committee heard oral evidence on March 1, MPs believed that Anglia had entrusted an examination of the science to a separate inquiry. Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia Edward Acton had told the committee that "I am hoping, later this week, to announce the chair of a panel to reassess the science and make sure there is nothing wrong."[Hansard - Q129]]
Ron Oxburgh's inquiry eventually produced a short report clearing the participants. He did not reassess the science, and now says it was never in his remit. "The science was not the subject of our study," he confirmed in an email to Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit.
Earlier this week the former chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Phil Willis, now Lord Willis, said MPs had been amazed at the "sleight of hand".
"Oxburgh didn't go as far as I expected. The Oxburgh Report looks much more like a whitewash," Graham Stringer told us.
Stringer says Anglia appointee Muir Russell (a civil servant and former Vice Chancellor of Glasgow University), failed in three significant areas.
"Why did they delete emails? The key question was what reason they had for doing this, but this was never addressed; not getting to the central motivation was a major failing both of our report and Muir Russell."
Stringer also says that it was unacceptable for Russell (who is not a scientist) to conclude that CRU's work was reproducible, when the data needed was not available. He goes further:
"The fact that you can make up your own experiments and get similar results doesn't mean that you're doing what's scientifically expected of you. You need to follow the same methodology of the process."
"I was surprised at Phil Jones' answers to the questions I asked him [in Parliament]. The work was never replicable," says Stringer.
In 2004 Jones had declined to give out data that would have permitted independent scrutiny of their work, explaining that "We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it."
This policy is confirmed several times in the emails, with Jones also advising colleagues to destroy evidence helpful to people wishing to reproduce the team's results.
"I think that's quite shocking," says Stringer.
Thirdly, the University of East Anglia failed to follow the Commons Select Committee's recommendations in handling the inquiry and producing the report.
Stringer said, "We asked them to be independent, and not allow the University to have first sight of the report. The way it's come out is as an UEA inquiry, not an independent inquiry."
Stringer also says they reminded the inquiry to be open - Russell had promised as much - but witness testimony took place behind closed doors, and not all the depositions have been published.
Next page: How independent was the panel?
That's the point. Science investigates using the scientific method. These guys did not, period. I don't have to take any theory seriously when it is not supported by scientific evidence. I don't even need to argue about it. It's just guff.
Anyone who thinks these guys did science doesn't understand what science consists of. That doesn't surprise me, as we have now had several generations of people that have been indoctrinated rather than schooled.
A Massive Fraud
But the establishment has closed ranks and has no intention of listening to it's critics. Thus, has it ever been. With government media in the form of Auntie all too willing to resolutely tow the line (gotta protect that license fee in these hard times, after all) I really can't see how legitimate critics of AGW, the IPCC and ClimateGate can get their message heard clearly.
Slowly, and before our very eyes, the pro-AGW establishment, after a nasty little scare to their well-laid plans, are realigning media and comment back 'on message'.
Here's what it always takes
Skeptic or not, any truly scientific research must be reproducible and open to peer review. CRU failed on both accounts. Personally, I consider myself a skeptic, but not because I don't want to believe in a human cause for climate change. I'm a skeptic because I don't just believe what I'm told, but want to examine facts for myself (as much as I have the ability to).
In the case of the Climate Change debate, anyone willing to stand up with a hypothesis has to be prepared for skepticism on all fronts, including for, against, and neutral to Global Climate Change. That's not the view of a person wanting to push a political agenda (which is really the problem with the current debate). That's the view of the topic through glasses tinted with the Scientific Method. Without an open debate of all parts of the study (assumption, data collection, interpretation, revise assumptions, and repeat over and over again), there is no real debate, just people spouting political rhetoric in hopes of being heard over the rest of the idiots in the crowd.