IOP: we were hopelessly wrong

Scientists cleared of malpractice in UEA’s hacked emails inquiry says the IOP, which isn’t quite the headline I chose, but once again you’ll have to forgive a little poetic licence on my part. The Grauniad says much the same, as does Aunty. Perhaps more tellingly, The Torygraph and Times have ignored it entirely.

The report itself is here. Thankfully, it is quite short.

[Update: other views:

* Eli
* TL
* Keith Kloor – for the “opposition”
* HT
* mt – this is well worth reading for mt’s thoughtful take on what is and what is not worth noting about the report.
* CA – McI is deeply miffed that Oxburgh doesn’t love him.

Update: as noted in the comments, this report picks up on a point the weaselly MP’s evaded, that Monbiot still hasn’t realised and that JA blogged: that the main problem with data availability comes from the gummint. So we may quote conclusion 3:

It was not the immediate concern of the Panel, but we observed that there were important and unresolved questions that related to the availability of environmental data sets. It was pointed out that since UK government adopted a policy that resulted in charging for access to data sets collected by government agencies, other countries have followed suit impeding the flow of processed and raw data to and between researchers. This is unfortunate and seems inconsistent with policies of open access to data promoted elsewhere in government.

Ha ha, I was too kind on the Torygraph: the toerags have gone for ‘Climategate’ scientists criticised for not using best statistical tools (mind you Nurture is a bit crap too). They even manage to stuff up the main conclusion: However, there was no evidence of “deliberate scientific malpractice”, meaning the conclusion that mankind is causing global warming is probably correct. is wrong, too. But even they can’t find a septic to stand up and be counted. Come on Lawson, where are you when you’re needed?

Oh, and

We have not exhaustively reviewed the external criticism of the dendroclimatological work, but it seems that some of these criticisms show a rather selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU. They seem also to reflect a lack of awareness of the ongoing and dynamic nature of chronologies, and of the difficult circumstances under which university research is sometimes conducted.

is nice to have, too.


Monbiot is still rubbish

Hacked climate science emails: were requests for information vexatious? asks Monbiot, and then proceeds to get the wrong answer (though it isn’t as bad as his previous nonsense). “Framing” all this in terms of FOI is silly and wrong. Monbiot loves FOI ‘cos he is a journo and it is a one-way street for him: more info, formerly hidden, equals stories. Reality isn’t so important to him it would seem.

In terms of science, this is all just wrong. In my experience, and it seems to be true in this case too, the restrictions on revealing info are imposed by govts and their agencies. The UKMO was very bad in this regard. And why Monbiot thinks that Willis Essenbach was acting in good faith will remain a mystery. We all know that there were commercial-confidentiality agreements in place for the data… or do we? Because I can’t see the tiniest hint in Monbiot’s piece that he is aware of this. How could he possibly get so far into this story and yet not know that, or think it irrelevant?

Foaming at the mouth with me

So much to rant about, so little time. Where to start?

How about with that fool Broon, who is now reduced to “it was the wrong sort of recession”. Not quite literally, but very very close (for those not blessed with residence in the Sceptered Isle, “The wrong sort of X” is now a saying, begun by our much-beloved British Rail a few winters back when after a very thin snowfall brought all the trains to a standstill (again) they earned derision for saying that it was “the wrong sort of snow”). So what happened? It was on R4 this morning, Broon appearing for an interview. The obvious question: “you said, mutliple times, that you and your government had abolished boom and bust. so, how come we got a boom and then a bust?” Broon’s answer: “Ah, when I said that, what I meant was that I’d abolished inflation, and therefore inflationary boom and bust. Sorry I forgot to mention that before” (actually he didn’t add that last bit or anything like it, of course).

Next up are the trigger-happy Yanks, as exemplified by this horrific video as posted by CM. And they wonder why people don’t like them: what could possibly be wrong with giggling when you think the arriving tank has run over someone? Unless I missed it, this didn’t show up in the UK press much: the only Grauniad ref I can find is under meeja because two Reuters journalists died in the incident, and because it raises FOI issues. No, I’m wrong: there is some brief BBC converage (they have put a twee little banner over the video: “warning: this contains some disturbing images”). The US military say everything is all just fine oh and by the way we’ve lost our copy of the video.

And (rather small beer by comparison) Monbiot thinks that cliamte scientists are like paedophiles (I exaggerate just a little for effect, you understand). But its still hopeless stuff, even if mt likes it. The best defence of Monbiot I can think of is that he is just using this incident to push his pet point of view with no great interest in reality, which is sad.