Climategate was the scandal that erupted in the lead-up to Copenhagen resulting from the release of over one thousand emails detailing correspondence between leading climate scientists exposing conspiracy and collusion including how to stack review committees, exaggerate warming trends, and avoid the disclosure of sensitive information.
Today in the UK, the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology released its second report into the scandal:
According to David Holland, this report is one for which it definitely makes sense to start by reading the ending first. On page 39, the Committee minutes show that of its eleven members only five met to consider and approve the final report. Graham Stringer MP proposed that paragraph 98 be rewritten as below, but was in a minority of one against three with the Chairman not voting:
“The disclosure of data from the Climatic Research Unit has been a traumatic and challenging experience for all involved and to the wider world. There are proposals to increase worldwide taxation by up to a trillion dollars on the basis of climate science predictions. This is an area where strong and opposing views are held.
“The release of the e-mails from CRU at the University of East Anglia and the accusations that followed demanded independent and objective scrutiny by independent panels. This has not happened. The composition of the two panels has been criticised for having members who were over identified with the views of CRU. Lord Oxburgh as President of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and Chairman of Falck Renewable appeared to have a conflict of interest. Lord Oxburgh himself was aware that this might lead to criticism. Similarly Professor Boulton as an ex colleague of CRU seemed wholly inappropriate to be a member of the Russell panel. No reputable scientist who was critical of CRU’s work was on the panel, and prominent and distinguished critics were not interviewed. The Oxburgh panel did not do as our predecessor committee had been promised, investigate the science, but only looked at the integrity of the researchers. With the exception of Professor Kelly’s notes other notes taken by members of the panel have not been published. This leaves a question mark against whether CRU science is reliable. The Oxburgh panel also did not look at CRU’s controversial work on the IPPC which is what has attracted most series allegations. Russell did not investigate the deletion of e-mails. We are now left after three investigations without a clear understanding of whether or not the CRU science is compromised.”
Read more from Mr Holland here:
UPDATE FROM DAVID HOLLAND
Its worth noting that the Committee has published the unsolicited evidence it received after announcing that it planned to interview Russell and Oxburgh. It is here:
I think historians will wonder how climate scientists managed to get away with it for so long.
And in a paper entitled,
ACCESSING ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION RELATING TO CLIMATE CHANGE: A CASE STUDY UNDER UK FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LEGISLATION
Environmental Law and Management, Volume 22, Issue 1, pgs 3-12
John Abbot and I draw on evidence from David Holland to show scientist at both the CRU and the Met Office are part of a culture antagonistic towards disclosure of information and why this has serious implications for both the effective operation of FoI legislation and the openness and transparency of climate change assessments.