Mar 31, 2010

Money to Burn

Given that the World Wildlife Fund raises half a billion dollars a year, one wonders what they do with this abundance. A peek inside the Economist magazine provides a revealing example. On page 22 of the March 27th - April 2, 2010 edition appear two half-page executive recruitment ads. (Click the image above for a larger view.)

The top one has been paid for by the WWF - which is searching for someone with 10-15 years experience to lead its global climate initiative. The successful candidate will orchestrate "intensive national efforts to promote low-carbon development in key countries" and will guide "policy interventions."

Directly below is an ad purchased by the International Monetary Fund. This organization is using the same amount of ad space to recruit - count 'em - 20 individuals (each with a minimum of 10 years of experience). As public financial management specialists, these people will advise national governments in various parts of the world.

To the right, over on the next page, two more ads appear. One has been placed by the UK's MI6 - which is looking for intelligence officers, language specialists, administrators, and technology professionals. The other has been purchased by the Competition Commission - "one of Europe's foremost competition agencies" - and advertises for two positions.

(The following three pages of the magazine are devoted to four recruitment ads apiece. One of these quarter-page ads seeks a president and chief executive officer for a "leading international reproductive health provider." Another has been purchased by a hedge fund. A third seeks someone to serve as secretary general of the German Council of Economic Experts. Two of the 12 quarter-page ads were purchased by United Nations organizations.)

What does all this mean? First, in five pages of ads devoted to executive recruitment, the WWF ad represents the largest spend to fill a single position. Second, the company it keeps tells us a great deal about how the WWF both behaves and regards intself. The IMF, MI6, the United Nations, a hedge fund. These are large, influential, high-profile heavy hitters. There are no shoestring operations here - no small, volunteer-run, community groups battling the establishment like David against Goliath.

When it comes time to fill a senior position, the WWF doesn't place ads on Craigslist or in the back pages of left-leaning Rolling Stone. It goes where the big boys hang out. It behaves, in other words, exactly like any other large corporation.

see a closeup of the WWF ad here
see a closeup of the IMF ad here


>> Earth Hour 2010
>> Independent bloggers vs corporate environmentalists
>> More dodgy (WWF) citations in the Nobel-winning climate report

Mar 26, 2010

Earth Hour 2010

Tomorrow's the day we're all supposed to turn off our lights for an hour. The Earth Hour campaign is organized by the World Wildlife Fund. While the point of the exercise is apparently to "take a stand against climate change" it might be argued that Earth Hour is a wildly successful fundraising tool in which the WWF receives oodles of free publicity from media outlets, politicians, celebrities - even Google.

The high profile nature of Earth Hour is surely one of the reasons the WWF is now the world's wealthiest environmental organization. According to publicly-available figures compiled by, the World Wildlife Fund raised $3.1 billion in just six years (2003-2008). That's half a billion dollars annually.

The hype and silliness associated with Earth Hour 2009 was what finally pushed me, personally, over the edge. It was then I decided to begin researching the global warming debate in earnest. Too many things didn't seem to add up. Too much of what I was reading and hearing seemed to be mindless hype reported by people who had no real idea of what they were talking about.

This year I'll be joining those folks who are deliberately turning on all their lights during Earth Hour - to demonstrate that I am aware of Climategate and consider it an important matter.

Fellow Canadian Ross McKitrick teaches economics at the University of Guelph. After being questioned by a journalist regarding Earth Hour he has written up a short statement in PDF format explaining why he "abhors" this campaign. Two of my favourite quotes:

I don't want to go back to nature. Haiti just went back to nature. For humans, living in "Nature" meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance.

...through the use of pollution control technology and advanced engineering, our air quality has dramatically improved since the 1960s despite the expansion of industry and the power supply. If, after all this, we are going to take the view that the remaining air emissions outweigh all the benefits of electricity, and that we ought to be shamed into sitting in darkness for an hour, like naughty children...then we are setting up unspoiled nature as an absolute, transcendent ideal that obliterates all other ethical and humane obligations. No thanks. I like visiting nature but I don't want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization is something to be ashamed of.


See also, Canadian newspaper columnist Lorrie Goldstein's views here

>> Independent bloggers vs corporate environmentalists
>> Green time capsule: 1970s eco ideas weren't pretty
>> Global disaster is so 1976
>> That's it, I've had it

Mar 23, 2010

Does the IPCC Prefer Grey Literature to Peer-Reviewed?

Economist Richard Tol has written a series of guest posts over at Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog outlining his concerns regarding the Working Group 3 portion of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

Many of these concerns involve the use of non-peer-reviewed literature to neutralize peer-reviewed research findings the IPCC writers apparently preferred to disregard.

Today Tol sums up his thoughts and findings. Read his post here.


>> Almost half non-peer-reviewed
>> The great peer-review fairy tale
>> The citizen auditors list

Mar 16, 2010

The Auditor - A Cartoon by Josh

Cartoons By

This cartoon pays homage to founder Steve McIntyre - a fellow Torontonian (whom I've never met). Steve spent much of his career in the mining sector and is shown here wearing the kind of headlamp hardrock miners typically wear.

It isn't an overstatement to say that the years he's devoted to challenging the hockey stick graph, among other issues, have altered the course of scientific history. (See The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science book here.)

The more than 40 people from 12 different countries now participating in the Citizen Audit of the UN's 2007 climate report are, it seems to me, following in Steve McIntyre's footsteps.

Hooray for us all!

h/t to Herve Deveaux and Bishop Hill

>> see more Josh cartoons here
>> read a magazine profile of Steve McIntyre here
>> read a newspaper profile here


>> Almost half non-peer-reviewed
>> Who's concerned about the climate report?

>> Help audit the UN climate report
>> The great peer-review fairy tale

Mar 11, 2010

Who's Concerned About the Climate Report?

It's a wonderful world, and technology makes it even more marvelous. On the evening of March 8th I called for volunteers to help audit the references cited in all 44 chapters of the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

By last night, roughly 48 hours later, 19 people whose acquaintance I'd not made before had been in touch. By this morning, our ranks had grown further. These people live in different parts of North America but also in Australia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK.

Many hold math, science, or engineering degrees. One is a medical doctor, another is a lawyer. Two have commerce degrees. Some are retired. Five of us are girls.

We are, therefore, an impressive random sample of citizens of the world who think the climate report requires a second look.
There is no evidence to suggest we are anti-science - quite the opposite. There's no evidence to suggest, as someone unkindly implied on Twitter, that we're morons. Again, quite the opposite.

Together we've already audited several chapters while collectively producing a stream of ideas, tips, and suggestions regarding possible future avenues of research. To have accomplished so much in so little time is amazing. It is also a testament to the power of ordinary people - once we're equipped with potent tools such as personal computers and e-mail.

Without the World Wide Web, a project like this would have been difficult, expensive, and horrendously time-consuming. Instead, conducting a citizen audit of this kind is now relatively painless logistically speaking, allowing us to focus our energy on the important tasks.

Long live the Internet. And long live independent thinkers who refuse to accept the word of authority figures. We are experienced, intelligent, worldly adults who expect to be treated as such. Now we're examining the climate report for ourselves.


>> Help audit the UN climate report
>> The great peer-review fairy tale
>> Independent bloggers vs corporate environmentalists
>> Let there be no more scientific consensuses

Mar 8, 2010

Help Audit the UN Climate Report - Crowdsourcing Project

Volunteers needed for 3-10 hrs. Read through the list of references appearing at the end of one of the IPCC report's chapters and count up the peer-reviewed sources vs the grey literature.

How much of the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report is based on peer-reviewed literature? Recent examinations of two random chapters found only 25 percent and 58 percent of the sources cited were peer-reviewed journal articles.

These numbers conflict sharply with declarations by IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, that only peer-reviewed literature is relied on. Are these two chapters unrepresentative outliers? It is important that we find out. This, therefore, is a call for volunteers.

There are a total of 44 chapters in the reports written by Working Groups 1, 2, and 3. Each chapter ends with a list of references ranging from a couple of hundred to more than 800. Between three and ten hours are required to highlight and count the peer-reviewed sources versus the non-peer-reviewed ones.

The goal of this project is for each chapter to be counted thrice, by three volunteers working independently of one another. In the event that tallies differ dramatically, further examination will occur. Should they differ only marginally, the count that is most favourable to the IPCC will be used.

This project will not address the report's content. It is instead an audit of how well the IPCC lives up to its own peer-review standard as that standard has been described by its chairman and by news reports.

Because transparency is important, all documents produced during this audit will be made available online at the end of the project. An example of highlighted references in Chapter 5 of the Working Group 3 report appears here. (Originally a Microsoft Word document, it was converted automatically to HTML.)

If you wish to participate in this audit please give some thought beforehand to how you wish to be identified. The use of one's real name (first and last) is always preferable from a credibility perspective. Citizen auditors will be publicly recognized, in alphabetical order, on the auditor's list.

Understandably not everyone can risk repercussions in their employment situation (for example). Should you instead prefer to use a pseudonym – or to be identified as "anonymous" – your choice will be respected. Each chapter will be audited by at least one person willing to use their real name.

If you wish to be a citizen auditor for this project your task will be to read through the list of references and to highlight (and ultimately count) the ones published in academic peer-reviewed journals. In the event that you are uncertain about the status of a particular reference, you can request a second opinion by highlighting it in an alternative colour. [see FAQ here]

If you can complete this task within a week (and no later than the end of March 2010) please e-mail me at AT I will respond within 12 hours by sending you a Microsoft Word document in which the references from a particular chapter have been cut-and-pasted and already numbered.

Please indicate from the outset how you would like to be identified on the auditor's list. As well as your name, your city and country, your academic degrees, website URL, and e-mail address can be added at your request. If you require material to be sent to you in a non-Microsoft Word format please advise.

Let's count 'em up!


>> The great peer-review fairy tale
>> About half non-peer-reviewed
>> More dodgy citations in the Nobel-winning climate report
>> Yes Virginia, the climate bible relies on newspaper clippings
>> Greenpeace and the Nobel-winning climate report

Mar 6, 2010

The Great Peer-Review Fairy Tale

In June 2007 Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), gave an interview to an Indian publication that appeared in five parts. In the section titled "The science is absolutely first rate," Pachauri declared: "The IPCC doesn't do any research itself. We only develop our assessments on the basis of peer-reviewed literature."

A year later, in June 2008, during a visit to New Zealand, Pachauri told a journalist: "People can have confidence in the IPCC's conclusions…Given that it is all on the basis of peer-reviewed literature."

A few weeks afterward, in San Francisco, he again told an audience that IPCC reports are "based on peer-reviewed literature." On that occasion, he mocked the idea that his organization might "pick up a newspaper article and, based on that, come up with our findings." IPCC reports rely, he insisted, "on very rigorous research which has stood the test of scrutiny through peer reviews." [hear a sound clip here] [see the video here – these remarks begin at 1 min, 15 seconds]

The more one examines IPCC publications, however, the more evident it becomes that we've all been told a fairy tale. Andreas Bjurström of Sweden's Göteborgs Universitet, had a guest post on Roger Peilke Jr.'s blog yesterday regarding the previous IPCC report. Among his startling findings: only 62 percent (less than two-thirds) of the sources cited by the IPCC back in 2001 were peer-reviewed.

In fairness, Dr. Pachauri didn't become chairman until 2002. So while we may accuse him of paying little attention to his organization's previous publication, it’s only the 2007 report for which he bears responsibility. A couple of days ago I blogged about a chapter in the latest report which, I discovered, relies on peer-reviewed sources only 58 percent of the time. That number seems shockingly low when one considers that the IPCC's expert reviewers complained bitterly about the quality of the citations at the time the report was being written.

Yet that may be the IPCC on a good day. Chapter 5, from Working Group 3's report - which I randomly chose to examine next - is far worse. Only 61 of the 260 references relied on in that chapter have their feet firmly planted in peer-reviewed literature – an abysmal 24 percent. Put another way, three-quarters of the material cited there is grey literature. In a chapter devoted to something as tangible as the transportation sector. [CORRECTION: 64 references were peer-reviewed, bringing the overall percentage to 25 percent. Please accept my apologies.]

What's bizarre is that an examination of the comments submitted by IPCC reviewers following both the first and second draft of Chapter 5 - and the responses to them - suggests that those involved appear to have taken part in a shared hallucination. A great deal of lip service was paid to peer-review, but in practice it was a next to meaningless concept.

When Takayuki Takeshita, a researcher associated with the University of Tokyo, suggested that a presentation he'd helped prepare be cited by the IPCC, the chapter authors advised him that "the use of a presentation would not satisfy the requirement for published literature." This is all well and good, but had that standard been applied uniformly the list of references at the end of the chapter would contain closer to 64 entries than 260.

Elsewhere, when Takeshita said he considered a statement in the chapter to be "doubtful" and noted that it conflicted with almost "all of the literature I have ever read" on the topic, he was told: "Rejected; text simply quotes the study, and good chance the study is correct."

The full citation for that study looks like this:
MIT, 2004: Coordinated policy measures for reducing the fuel consumption of the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet. Bandivadekar, A.P. and J.B. Heywood, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Laboratory for Energy and the Environment Report LFEE 2004-001, 76 pp.
Despite the fact that it is not peer-reviewed, the chapter authors think there's a "good chance" it's correct – and that's the end of the matter.

This is the celebrated IPCC internal peer review process in action. The reviewers don't get to make their case to a neutral editor who then arbitrates. Instead, the authors are at perfect liberty to ignore comments submitted in good faith by expert reviewers - to decide that the source they've cited is probably right.

The shenanigans don't end there. Another reviewer, Danny Harvey from the University of Toronto, pointed out that the descriptive text written by the IPCC's authors was at odds with the labeling on a graph. The authors' response: "Rejected. The figure came from [non-peer-reviewed] literature, it was not built by the authors."

On two separate occasions, John Kessels from the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands, complained that press releases were being cited to support statements of fact. "Not referenced adequately, is a press release scientific literature?" he asked, and then again: "[this] is a press release not a journal or scientific literature."

In the first instance, the authors replied: "We will add ref for cost estimate." In the second case, he was advised: "Rejected, information on this type of high-edge technologies is not gotten from the scientific journals."

Would it surprise you to learn that both press releases are, in fact, relied on in the final published version (Power System, 2005 and Yuasa, 2000)? Would it surprise you to learn that while this travesty was allowed to occur, a comment submitted by the government of Australia was summarily dismissed because, according to the chapter's authors, Australia's contention wasn't "supported by available literature."

There is no doubt about it. Pachauri has repeatedly misled us. The IPCC does not rely solely on peer-reviewed literature - not by a long shot. Moreover, his penchant for declaring that he "can't think of a better process" than the one employed by the IPCC and that there "is not a parallel on this planet" starts to look pathological once one has peered under the hood.

Others also have some explaining to do. According to the IPCC (see a graphic here), 2,500 people served as expert reviewers on the 2007 report. Eight hundred more were contributing authors, and another 450 were lead authors. That's roughly 4,000 souls who were in a position to know that the claim that the IPCC report is based solely on peer-reviewed literature is absolute fiction.

How – and why - have we been deceived about this for so long?

If the amalgam of people and institutions that comprise the IPCC can't be trusted to tell the truth about something so simple, why should we pay attention to anything else the IPCC says?


IPCC reviewer comments and author responses may be accessed here. Takeshita's first-draft comments appear on pp. 15 & 87 of this 91-page PDF. All other comments are from this 186-page PDF. Harvey's appears on p. 88. Kessels' are on pp. 102 & 104. See p. 159 for Australia's comment.

>> Let there be no more scientific consensuses
>> Systemic failure: invasion of the drama queens
>> We're always out-of-touch with the future
>> Almost half non-peer-reviewed
>> More dodgy citations in the Nobel-winning climate report

Mar 4, 2010

Almost Half Non-Peer-Reviewed

Despite protests from expert reviewers, 42% of the documents cited in one chapter of the climate bible are grey literature rather than peer-reviewed.

Economist Richard Tol has been taking another look at everyone's favourite mega-document, the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. In guest posts on blogs here and here, he argues that while one section of the report (produced by Working Group 2) "appears to have systematically overstated the negative impacts of climate change," another section (written by Working Group 3) appears to have systematically understated the costs to society associated with emissions reduction.

Click image for larger version. From p. 7 of a Dec. 2009 document issued
by the US Environmental Protection Agency (39-page PDF here)

At this juncture it's worth remembering that the IPCC's chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, has repeatedly claimed that the IPCC relies solely on peer-reviewed material to make its case. By now we know this isn't remotely true. Tol highlights passages in Chapter 11 of the Working Group 3 report that further demonstrate this.

On this page, the IPCC discusses emissions reduction studies. Tol points out that although the third paragraph cites three documents – Stern (2006), Anderson (2006) and Barker (2006a) – not one of them has been peer-reviewed. Indeed, of the seven studies mentioned in total on this page only one was published in a peer-reviewed journal. (All reference material for that chapter is listed here.)

Tol further notes that on another page, devoted to the rather important question of what effect reducing emissions might have on employment (in the US climate change policies are currently being sold to be public as job creation plans), a total of six "studies are cited to support the notion that emission reduction creates jobs. Only one of the six is peer-reviewed."

If this seems rather sloppy, Tol says it gets worse. The academic literature in this area, he says, suggests that the relationship between emissions reduction and job creation is a weak one, and that job growth only occurs in certain circumstances – namely when government policies are "smart and well-designed." If "emission permits are given away for free – as is common," he points out, "no positive impact on employment" is achieved. The IPCC report mentions none of this, however.

Tol doesn't talk about it in these blog posts, but he was an IPCC expert reviewer for this chapter. After reading the first draft, he raised a number of concerns. Below are some choice remarks appearing on pages 2-3 of the 65-page PDF of reviewer comments available here:
In a number of instances, authors mainly quote their own work. This is unworthy. In a number of instances, authors mainly quote other IPCC material. This is incestuous. The quoting of IPCC material is most pronounced in the scenario discussion, which can be summarised as "We, the IPCC, declare that all previous IPCC work is great." This is silly.

…In many places, the authors are out of their depth; the selection of papers is haphazard, the assessment superficial. I also found too many references that are simply wrong; the authors cannot have read these papers. For a supposedly expert panel, this is very serious.

…In a number of instances, the draft material reads like a political manifesto rather than a scientific document. In other instances, the authors have tried to hide their political message in pseudo-scientific language. For a supposedly independent panel, this is very serious.

…Part of the literature review is haphazard; it seems as if the authors have not systematically searched the literature, but simple [sic] quote a few papers that happened to lie around. Another part of the literature review is severely biased; the authors quote their own work, and that of their friends, but systematically ignore the work of many authors. This is particularly true in the presentation of model results; results are shown for a subset of models only…
Tol complains repeatedly elsewhere in the reviewer comments. In one instance he says that "much of the material is based on papers that have not been peer-reviewed." In response, one of the chapter's authors acknowledges this to be true:
There is much material that is grey literature in the chapter. This is generally in the form of research reports to governments (e.g. US Congressional papers, such as the Lasky review)…Specific grey literature will be reviewed by Chapter 11 authors and made accessible following IPCC procedures. [bold added]
Annoyed that a European Union document is cited by the IPCC as proof of a particular point, Tol protests:
EU communications are not peer-reviewed. On the contrary, the Commission is known for manipulating research and hiring manipulable researchers. [sic]
Two responses appear on page 36 of the PDF. The first, in a normal-coloured font (after two initials that apparently identify the writer), rather incoherently says: "We will try." An unidentified person, using red-coloured font and underscoring, then adds:
(not an answer! The point by Tol is perhaps a brutal statement but needs consideration because it is true in some way. Some people at some directorates prefer ‘willing’ consultants above ‘independent’ analysis, and IPCC should be cautious in accepting this grey literature! [bold added, closing parenthesis missing in the original]
There is no guarantee, of course, that research papers published in peer-reviewed journals are correct. (As climatologist Phil Jones recently testified, no peer reviewers even asked to see his raw data.) Conversely, just because a study hasn't been peer-reviewed doesn't mean it's wrong. But if peer-reviewed literature exists and the IPCC chooses instead to cite non-peer-reviewed sources produced by potentially politically-motivated government bodies, surely that's a problem.

Tol wasn't the only person expressing these concerns during those early days (the second draft and a second round of reviewer comments were still to come). On page four of this PDF, Mohammed Alfehaid observes:
Chapter 11 is one of the most important chapters as it is supposed to be the crux of [Working Group 3] where cross sectoral mitigation should have been adequately addressed. Only positive potential views are represented while the costs and adverse effects are mostly neglected…There is not adequate references, reference mostly chosen on a personal preference rather on scientific finding and unbiaseness. [sic]
The chapter authors' response includes the following:
The team will seek to ensure that the references are balanced and adequate in that all are peerreviewed, or otherwise acceptable to the team. [sic]
Another reviewer, Bert Metz, asked: "Why is only one EU study discussed here. There must be many more similar studies…" Another, Jim Ragland, commented: "This section…presents a one-sided review of the literature which ignores or distorts the views of researchers who have alternative views on the subject."

Given that so much concern was expressed about the quality of the sources being cited one would think the ratio of peer-reviewed to grey literature citations would be high in the final product.

But an examination of all the references ultimately cited shows something rather different. Tol and others may have kicked and screamed, metaphorically speaking, about the lack of peer-reviewed sources. They may have done so since the earliest opportunity afforded to them by the IPCC process. The authors of Chapter 11 may have acknowledged these concerns. But because it's the authors themselves who ultimately decide what gets included and what gets left out, little progress seems to have been made.

I counted the references cited in the final, published version of Chapter 11 and got a tally of 330. Of those, fully 139 – or 42 percent – were non-peer-reviewed grey literature.

This is worth repeating: despite vigorous protests from its own expert reviewers, in this chapter only 58% of the documents cited by the IPCC were peer-reviewed.


>> Let there be no more scientific consensuses
>> The battle for the soul of science
>> More dodgy citations in the Nobel-winning climate report
>> Greenpeace and the Nobel-winning climate report
>> Yes Virginia, the climate bible relies on newspaper clippings

Mar 2, 2010

The Battle for the Soul of Science

At long last, the giants have begun to stir. Like the ents in the film version of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, they've taken their time about it. While climate war wounded sway, buckle, and fall, the giants are are so ponderous they take days just to greet each another.

Pippin, Treebeard & Merry, The Two Towers

Now, however, they're stepping into the sunlight, making their voices heard in a battle over the future (indeed, the very soul) of science.

For too long we, the public, have been told that science academies don't just endorse the theory of dangerous man-made global warming, they also support specific political responses (including emissions reduction and transitioning to a low-carbon society). We've been told that science journals and magazines agree.

We've been lectured by scientists, politicians, journalists, filmmakers, and celebrities about how our lives need to become less pleasant and less free because "science says" so. We've been told that to doubt global warming is to be anti-science, that to question behaviour reminiscent of adolescent gamers is to "attack" climate scientists for doing their job.

But the distressing fact of the matter is that much of climate "science" has been conducted by people who - as evidenced by their refusal to share their data or explain their methods to third parties - are blatantly unscientific in their approach. Much of climate science appears to have been produced by people who would prefer to destroy their evidence instead of sharing it with critics. Who have tried to circumvent Freedom of Information laws. Who have advised other scientists to delete e-mails.

While this shocking behaviour unfolded in excruciating slow-mo in recent years, the science academies of the world averted their eyes. They refused to see or to hear – never mind investigate and call people to account. Instead, they inappropriately inserted themselves into the global warming debate by declaring support for one perspective. In doing so they abandoned their core mission – which is to defend and uphold the scientific method. They not only permitted people who'd abandoned the scientific method to speak with the authority of science – they stood behind them in public and thumped them on the back.

An investigation is currently being conducted by the Science and Technology Committee of the British Parliament. Yesterday Phil Jones, the head of Climatic Research Unit and a key participant in the UN's climate consensus process, testified. He confirmed that it hasn't been standard practice in climate change research to disclose all of one's data to third parties. (Which means we're just supposed to take the word of these researchers that abandoning the entire fossil-fuel-based world economy is necessary.) Jones also admitted that, during the peer-review process, no reviewers had ever asked to see his raw data.

(Incidentally, it's fascinating what different people watching the same proceedings see. According to Simon Hoggart in the Guardian, Jones "looked taut, nervous, often miserable. At times his hands shook." You "had to feel sorry for him," says Hoggart. Meanwhile, over at the London Times, Anne Treneman insists that Jones "seemed eerily calm," that his "face was immobile, eyes steady behind wire specs. He seemed, like a dead calm sea, almost glassy." Video of Jones' testimony appear HERE.)

In any case, those giants I mentioned begin with the Institute of Physics. A scientific charity with a worldwide membership of 36,000, it has submitted a formal statement to the British parliamentary committee. The statement says the Climategate e-mails raise "worrying implications" regarding the integrity of climate research and "the credibility of the scientific method."

According to the physics institute, it's vital that scientists "expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others." The institute also says it's concerned by the "intolerance" on display in the Climategate e-mails, since this attitude impedes "the process of scientific 'self correction', which is vital to the integrity of the scientific process as a whole, and not just to the research itself."

The second giant is Britain's Royal Society of Chemistry, with its membership of 46,000. It, too, has submitted a formal statement to the parliamentary committee. The chemistry society reminds us that the "true nature of science dictates that research is transparent and robust enough to survive scrutiny." It points out that, since "advances in science frequently occur when the prevailing view is challenged by informed scepticism, this is fundamental to the scientific method and should be encouraged…"

The third giant is the Royal Statistical Society, with a membership of 7,000. Its submission to the parliamentary committee declares that "the data, the analysis methods and the models" used in climate research should all enter the public domain so that findings may be independently verified. The statistical society statement continues:
…science progresses as an ongoing debate and not by a series of authoritative and oracular pronouncements…the quality of that debate is best served by ensuring that all parties have access to the facts...The best guarantor of scientific quality is that others are able to examine in detail the arguments that have been used and not just their published conclusions. It is important that experiments and calculations can be repeated to verify their conclusions. If data, or the methods used, are withheld, it is impossible to do this.
Amen and hallelujah. The forces defending the scientific method have begun to gather. Now it's time for others to step forward. Science academies, meteorological associations, science journals, science funding bodies – that means you.

Do it soon - before disgraced climate scientists drag you down with them.


>> Let there be no more scientific consensuses
>> Systemic failure: invasion of the drama queens
>> Is this politics or science?
>> Independent bloggers vs corporate environmentalists