Here’s an interesting bit from The Guardian:
Evidence from a respected scientific body to a parliamentary inquiry examining the behaviour of climate-change scientists, was drawn from an energy industry consultant who argues that global warming is a religion, the Guardian can reveal.
The submission, from the Institute of Physics (IOP), suggested that scientists at the University of East Anglia had cherry-picked data to support conclusions and that key reconstructions of past temperature could not be relied upon.
The evidence was given to the select committee on science and technology, which is investigating emails from climate experts at the University of East Anglia that were released online last year.
The committee interviewed witnesses on Monday, including Phil Jones, the scientist from the university’s climatic research unit (CRU), who is at the heart of the controversy.
The Guardian has established that the institute prepared its evidence, which was highly critical of the CRU scientists, after inviting views from Peter Gill, an IOP official who is head of a company in Surrey called Crestport Services.
According to Gill, Crestport offers “consultancy and management support services … particularly within the energy and energy intensive industries worldwide”, and says that it has worked with “oil and gas production companies including Shell, British Gas, and Petroleum Development Oman”.
Dear Institute of Physics
As a member of the IoP I am very concerned about the recent memorandum submitted by the IoP to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.
In my view, it is unfair to criticise the CRU on the basis that they did not comply with data sharing standards that, at present, don’t exist. There is clearly a need for rules regarding openness in relation to data and methods but it is foolish to retrospectively admonish people for not following them! Do the journals currently published by the IoP employ the data policies suggested in your statement?
There also seems to be some misunderstanding in the statement of the particular issues relating to the data that the CRU use in their research and how some of the issues discussed in the private and incomplete email records were resolved in the peer reviewed literature and other open arenas. In particular, point 5 of your evidence is incorrect and irresponsible given that it casts unwarranted doubt over the findings of the IPCC.
Furthermore, your statement gives no recognition to the efforts of the scientists in question to engage with their critics before they were subjected to unfounded attacks on their work and integrity and orchestrated FoI request campaigns.
Finally, I am confused as to why the Energy group was tasked with preparing the statement and not the Environmental Physics group, who would have been more aware of the particular issues in this case.
I realise that a small clarification has been issued but if the IoP continues to stand by this statement then I will have no other option but to reconsider my membership of your organisation.
Andy Russell MInstP
As a member of the Institute of Physics I would like to register my extreme displeasure and unhappiness at the IOP submission to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee regarding the leaking of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (reproduced here) . In my view this submission will damage the scientific reputation of the Institute amongst scientists and other learned societies. This submission will prejudice my future confidence in any policy statements that the IOP makes.My specific complaints of the submission are as follows:1. Item 1 mis-represents the current scientific practice of sharing of data and methodologies. Currently methodologies are generally shared by publication in scientific journals not by the explicit sharing of computer source code. Raw experimental data from third parties is not routinely shared. To imply that the researchers at CRU are acting out of step with current practice is false.2. Item 4 specifically casts doubt on the historical temperature reconstructions based on proxy measures whilst not acknowledging that such reconstructions have been repeated by a range of research groups using a range of methodologies, as described in the IPCC 2007 report.
3. Item 5 accuses the researchers at CRU of “suppression” of the divergence between proxy records and the more recent thermometer based record. This is ridiculous, the CRU has published on this very divergence in Nature.4. Item 6 makes no recognition of the un-usual circumstances that CRU found themselves in, subjected to a large number of Freedom of Information requests, culminating in the publication of a substantial fraction of their private e-mail correspondence.The subject of climate science and it’s relationship to anthropogenic climate change is an area subject to political interference, in my view the IOP’s submission is a political attack on the CRU at East Anglia University dressed in a flimsy scientific cover.I expect the Institute to fully withdraw this submission to the Science & Technology Committee. I feel that the subsequent explanatory statement by the IOP is insufficient in addressing the shortcomings of the original submission. It also takes no cognisance of the fact the IOP position will be taken publicly to be the sum of all it’s published statements, and indeed that this submission will be preferred, over all others, as a presentation of the IOP’s policy by those who wish to deny the position on climate science that the IOP claims to hold.I will be cancelling my direct debit mandate to the IOP now, I may decide to continue with my membership when it comes up for renewal.yours sincerely,
Dr Ian Hopkinson
Looks like there’s a bit of explaining to do…