Scientific Appraisal Panel chaired by Lord Oxburgh

Posted 15th April 2010

No sooner had one expressed doubts about the prospects of a thorough review of the science supporting the man-made global warming hypothesis, than another report is announced.  The Oxburgh panel has been investigating the work of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU).  Contrast, if you will, the conclusions reached by the Wegman Committee in respect of the MBH98 paper produced by Dr Michael Mann and colleagues, with the conclusions reached by Lord Oxburgh and his panel.

The Wegman Report, produced in 2006, concluded: “It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimatic community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community.  Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done.  In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent.  Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicised that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.  Overall our committee believes that Dr Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium, cannot be supported by his analysis.” The body of the report refers to basic errors in the use of statistical methods and highlights subversion of the peer review process: “at least 43 authors have direct connections to Dr Mann by virtue of coauthoring papers with him”

Whereas Lord Oxburgh’s panel states: “Although inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used by some other groups, presumably by accident rather than design, in the CRU papers that we examined we did not come across any inappropriate usage although the methods they used may not
have been the best for the purpose. It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results.”

The differences between the two reports in this regard are subtle but crucial.  The Oxburgh panel is clearly aware of the criticism of all the papers used to produce “hockey stick” graphs.  Yet, although there was clear collusion between Mann and CRU, Oxburgh reached a very different conclusion on the soundness of the underlying science and failed to identify the well publicised flaws in CRU’s science.  Oxburgh claims the panel spent a full fifteen man days to establish the validity of CRU’s science.  Given the years spent by other scientists trying to verify CRU’s work, it was woefully inadequate.

Prior to the CRU leak, the corruption of science by the IPCC and its supporters was obscured from view, except on the web and to those prepared to explore, for themselves, the current state of knowledge of the climate.  It is no easy task.  There are many scientific disciplines involved, working independently and feeding papers into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  The IPCC, with its focus on “human induced” climate change, is highly motivated to select papers supporting the global warming agenda.  Authors of these papers played key roles in the creation of  IPCC reports.  As we have seen from the evidence presented to parliament’s CRU Inquiry, the IPCC’s claims were reinforced by subversion of the peer review process and suppression of publication of scientific papers undermining them.

Anyone prepared to do the work to understand the many different aspects of climate science will learn that CO2’s influence in the recent warming period is at best negligible or possibly non-existent. There is no real world evidence supporting the theory of man-made global warming.  The theory is founded on flawed climate models which failed to anticipate recent cooling nor do they account for cooling between the 1940s and late 1970s.  Similarly, all of the other alarmist claims are exposed as false by many scientific studies.  Numerous studies reveal more compelling evidence of various natural influences on climate.  Furthermore the recent warming period is neither unprecedented nor as acute as has been claimed by the paleoclimatic climatic community.  However, as long as the truth failed to gain traction in the mainstream media, all was well until some altruistic soul(s), or possibly someone with a grudge, leaked a carefully chosen selection of emails, documents and programs onto the internet.  Apparently, they were previously sent to mainstream media outlets but none of them took up the story.  That email addresses were redacted and material selected to tell enough of the story to expose the truth, suggests it was an “inside job”.

We have a schizophrenic attitude to “whistleblowers”.  Look at what happened to David Kelly, a decent man of conscience, who was crushed by the state.  When the man-made global warming theory is exposed as invalid, the individual or group responsible for the leak should be lionised rather than pilloried as is so often the lot of people who stand against the tide.

We digress.  The UEA and the global warming establishment had a problem.  The CRU leak drew back the curtain on the intellectually isolated group of paleoclimatic scientists, in the UK and elsewhere, colluding to prove a theory in which they believed and were funded to prove.  The pro-global warming lobby immediately swung into action: “nothing to see here, the science is settled”  However, there remained the knotty problem of damning evidence supporting the claims of so called “sceptics”.  Seekers of truth is a more accurate description in contrast to those who are supposedly “saving the planet”; Nobel Peace Prizes abound.

Divide and rule is a classic approach to opposition.  First divide up the problem into manageable “issues”:

The Science & Technology Committee’s CRU Inquiry showed the issue was being treated seriously – its remit was sufficiently narrow to defer to subsequent panels to adjudicate on the science, details of the leaks and potential contraventions of the Freedom of Information Act.  The Inquiry was conducted in haste rendering it superficial and biased. Its findings do not reflect the evidence presented to it.  “Nothing to see here, the science is settled”

The Scientific Appraisal Panel chaired by Lord Oxburgh to validate CRU’s science – this “independent” inquiry was appointed by the offending institution (University of East Anglia) and chaired by someone with a clear financial interest in the demonisation of carbon.  A full 15 man days of investigation have revealed that CRU’s science is sound. “Nothing to see here, the science is settled

The Climate Change E-mail Review – again appointed by UEA.  One is tempted to provide a summary of the findings in advance but that would be the act of a “sceptic”.

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