By Stuart Agnew MEP << We were left with the impression that... the CRU believed that they were above reproach and doing excellent work. My own belief is that the “other side” of the scientific debate will now be allowed to participate in the work of the IPCC and that there will be a quiet move away from the dramatic predictions of the past. The real problem is how do we stop the head of steam that has been built up in the EU, giving it the excuse to legislate in all sorts of areas in the name of “fighting climate change”? >> • My colleague in the European Parliament, Roger Helmer MEP mentioned to me that he had a meeting set up with the Vice-Chancellor of the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, to discuss the various climate change issues and the role of the Climate Research Unit (CRU).
I immediately asked Roger if I could join him, as I am the local MEP and this was agreed by all parties. He had also invited Lord Christopher Monckton (deputy leader of UKIP and an ardent spokesman for scientists who dare to hold a sceptic view of the man-made global warming theory). The other guest was a Daily Telegraph journalist.
Two days before the meeting, the UEA suddenly announced that Monckton and the journalist couldn't come after all. Monckton had already cut short a visit to China so that he could attend and was on his way back to the UK. The compromise eventually agreed was that Monckton could see the Vice-Chancellor and his climate team, but at a "second sitting," after our session, on his own. The journalist appeared to have been deleted from the proceedings altogether.
At the UEA, we were treated to a sit-down buffet lunch, during which Roger wasted no time in launching into the scandal of the infamous leaked e-mails and the issues generated by them. Namely, the resistance to FOI requests, the incestuous arrangements of close friends reviewing each other’s work, the financial arrangements of the IPCC boss and other more specific topics, such as the positioning of weather stations, the "hockey stick graph" and the timing of CO2 increases.
The Vice-Chancellor produced a substantial tome that apparently vindicates the e-mailers. He has let me have a copy. As it happens, I have nearly finished reading "Climategate - The Crutape Letters" by Steven Mosher & Thomas W. Fuller where these e-mails are placed into context and analysed. I will be asking my researcher to compare the widely different comments on the same e-mails.
I urge everyone to read these e-mails. They tell a story of a handful of academics (notably Stephen McIntyre) who smell a rat when informally reviewing the work of the climate scientists at the UEA and try to get the original data released, so that they can replicate the work. They are met with a wall of obsfucation but, little by little, get what they need and proceed to expose these experts and the way they have manipulated the data.
My own contribution was to point out that the work of the UEA had been pounced on by drama queens such as Al Gore and a huge head of steam had built up to such a degree that politicians were expected to act. I felt that as a result of announcements in 1985 that sea levels would rise by at least a metre in 30 years and that we would increasingly experience a more Mediterranean type climate, which had not happened, there was real doubt about the climate change “religion.”
However, those who did not believe it were dismissed as flat earthers and deniers. This for me had been exacerbated by the misleading (now acknowledged as such) “hockey stick graph,” the “climategate” e-mails and, above all, the fact that last winter really did happen. I stated that that there were two aspects to this; the first was that it obviously shot the whole theory below the waterline, but secondly the CRU had completely failed to forecast it and if they were unable to get that right was it reasonable to ask politicians to make laws on the strength of their forecasts of the weather several years hence?
I mentioned that I had made a long term business decision based on their pronouncements in 1985. This was to grow a significant area of durum wheat in most subsequent years on the expectation of a move to warm, wet winters and hot, dry summers. (I was not alone in this, and in fact a durum wheat processing factory was built in Great Yarmouth for the same reason), but threw in the towel in 2001 after the eleventh crop had been spoiled by normal British weather. I had also believed their forecasts for mild winters in 2008/9 and 2009/10 and purchased increased numbers of fattening lambs for my airfield winter grass. The resultant cold weather reduced grass growth and dramatically increased feed bills.
I wanted them to know what the law makers had in store for agriculture as a result of the CRU’s dire global warming predictions. Namely suggestions that tractors must pump their exhaust emissions under the ground via their trailed soil engaging implements (eg a plough), with the huge increase in energy that would be involved, and that domestic ruminants would be fed more grain and less grass to reduce methane emissions. This despite the fact that methane was only 0.00002% of our atmosphere and nearly all of it arose from rotting vegetation in swamps and rain forests.
Their response was to take great offence at my use of the word “religion,” they said that they were only dealing in evidence and that I must understand the difference between long term climate movements and short term weather events.
We were left with the impression that apart from some tidying up with the way FOI (Freedom Of Information) requests were handled, the CRU believed that they were above reproach and doing excellent work. My own belief is that the “other side” of the scientific debate will now be allowed to participate in the work of the IPCC and that there will be a quiet move away from the dramatic predictions of the past.
The real problem is how do we stop the head of steam that has been built up in the EU, giving it the excuse to legislate in all sorts of areas in the name of “fighting climate change”?