Friday, December 04, 2009

What Happens When You Disagree With Climate Change Fundamentalists

I have never heard of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change. I have no idea who funds it. But whoever it is ought to be looking for a new director after this appalling performance from its current director Bob Ward. What a thoroughly nasty individual. Well done to Fraser Nelson for keeping his cool.

UPDATE: Newsnight had an extended report on all of this at the beginning of the programme HERE. There was a debate between a UEA Professor called Andrew Watson and an American climate change sceptic Mark Morano. It ended with Watson calling Morano an "Asshole". Admittedly, he had a point (!), but this is now a trend. It seems to be the only way these people can defend themselves cf Sunny Hundal.

UPDATE: From a reader...
Apparently - and I kid you not - there are two Grantham Institutes on Climate Change. One is the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial - website here - I am vaguely familiar with the work of some people there and they seem to be a sound bunch (then again I'm not in climate science, so caveat lector). On the other hand, there is the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at *snicker* the LSE. This is a very different bunch indeed. It's run by Lord Stern, who is an economics/government professor. The whole bunch is basically people with economics and policy degrees - the only two scientists they have is a physicist and a statistician. The whole thing feels to me like a major passing-off operation, the policy Grantham institute feeding off the scientific reputation of the real scientists at the scientific Grantham institute, although I may well be wrong on this one. These people, let's make no mistake, are hardcore policy makers and advocates, not scientists and fact-finders. They have sweet nothing to do with science - they are riding on the wave of scientific findings they themselves do not understand, and pretend to be the scientifically enlightened side when all they are doing is using misunderstood science to promote misguided policies - in many ways, they are the 'cargo cults' of the modern science-oriented world. They are NOT scientists, and judging from some of the stuff they produce, their grasp of the scientific methodologies their policies rest on is very sparse indeed. These people are pretending to have their arguments grounded in hard facts and science, which is not the case. This is absolutely misleading, and they deserve to be called on it.


steveal said...

The Grantham Institute for Climate Change is a very well respected scientific institution attached to the Oswaldtwistle Centre for Heavy Rainfall.

Glyn Davies said...

Iain, did you see the professor from the University of East Anglia on Newsnight to nonight. He was even worse. He finished up referring to the sceptic he was debating with by saying "What an a***hole". Did a lot of damage to the cause of the scientists.

Martin Wellbourne said...

Funnily enough I was looking for a good place to post a few thoughts about Newsnight tonight and this will do nicely.

I don't think my ticker can stand looking at that clip you have up, Iain, but Newsnight featured a "debate" between an American sceptic, whose name I cannot remember, and the truly repellent Andrew Watson from the University of East Anglia.

Now he is someone we should attempt to get onto the screens at every conceivable opportunity. A supercilious, contemptuous, sneering, bouffant-haired "intellectual", he was outright abusive on camera and presented what must surely have been an alarming and disturbing picture to any half-way neutral viewer.

A couple of weeks ago, when "CRU-Gate" first broke they had another member of the UEA team on - one Bob Watson. (Related? Who knows?) He also was disturbing - not in the way of someone whose politics you disagree with but like someone from a powerful and sinister cult. Strange eye-rolling etc. Very weird.

The accusation that they are just staying dumb and hoping that it will all go away is hurting them. It's forcing them to break cover. These are NOT people who like to show themselves. They are odd, sinister, unsettling, un-nerving, peculiar, frightening. The more they are forced onto the screens, the better.

Insist that they appear and defend themselves. Keep up the accusations that their silence is a sign of their guilt. Our vile government has conditioned the population to think that silence is a sign of guilt. Let's use that against these dangerously strange people.

Alex said...

Tiresome stuff... does anyone want to offer a link to a peer reviewed journal paper which suggests that there isn't anthropomorphic CC?

Norton Folgate said...

Did you see the opening interview on newsnight?

The scientist from east anglia literally told the sceptic to shut up half way through his turn to speak and called him an arsehole at the end of the interview.

The host actually had to apologise to the viewers.

Man in a Shed said...

It would be interesting to learn about the bloke on the right's politics.

Chris said...

Why are their heads tipped over like a curious dog

Man in a Shed said...

Its interesting to see the line that's being taken. The old Gordon Brown line of wait for the review - ignore what you've seen and read, and when we've figured out how to spin this we'll tell you your opinion.

I think Fraser is too quick to accept the premise of the Warmists - that CO2 drives climate change. There is serious doubt about even that aspect.

Its time to stop destroying our economy and get the science right - and get these idiots who use science as a cover for politics out of the process.

Martin Wellbourne said...

Funny thing to say, I know, extreme - well maybe - but both the UEA bloke on Newsnight tonight and the UEA bloke on a couple of weeks back did a bizarre "scary eyes" thing that reminded me immediately of old footage of Charles Manson, after his arrest, as he tries to psyche people out. Not a good look. Get them onto the screens as often as possible.

James Mackenzie said...

Seconded the call for some actual science. Being nice doesn't equal being right. A loose correlation only, one might say.

Johann Hari's nice, though. Read this, Iain, and tell us it's all a myth/conspiracy, done up by some hippies to confound the massively wealthy but still hard-done-by oil industry.

Anonymous said...

You are tiresome Alex.

There is a lot of peer reviewed papers decrying AGM. one popular conclusion is that the sun explains the rise in temperature since about 1850.

But anyway since you ask there are at least 450 such peer reviewed papers.

Please do pass this information on to all of your friends and maybe spend some time discusing whether all the money spent as a result of the IPCC could have been better spent - say abolishing malaria which kills a million children a year in Africa

D. Quail (expat) said...

The Grantham Institute for Climate Change. Imperial College London.

That took literally 3 seconds of Googling to find out. Here's a hint: it's the top result.

This is why everybody thinks bloggers are idiots. They generally are.

Iain Dale said...

Frankly the guy was such a twat he didnt deserve three seconds of my valuable time.

no longer anonymous said...

Evidently taking advice from Mr Hundal.

allnottinghambasearebelongtous said...

Ooh Mr Dale I thought 'twat' was a swearword and thus in breach of your lovely guidelines.

But yeah, Mr Q was a bit quicker than me but seems like they are pretty well respected.

And if they not very nice does that make them wrong?

Leg-iron said...

And if they not very nice does that make them wrong?

It does if they're BNP, doesn't it?

So how come one skinhead is evil and another is sent to save the world? I've met skinheads and didn't come out of the exchange intact. Perhaps I now have a somewhat biased view towards that look but I have the scars to explain that bias.

Talk about science. I'm a scientist. Show me science and I'll look at it. If you want me to agree with it, convince me. Science is never settled. If it's unquestionable it's not science, it's religion.

Call me names and you have lost the argument because you have proved you don't have one.

Justify your position. That's real science.

Anonymous said...

The Grantham Institute for Climate Change might be attached to Imperial College, but it is funded by the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.

This foundation was established in 1997 by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham. Mr Grantham sits on the management board of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College.

Mr Grantham is also chairman and co-founder of GMO, which is a large American investment management company.

Make of that what you will.

Mark M said...

Oh loved that on Newsnight. If the woman hadn't interrupted the 'sceptic' he was about to say "warming doesn't prove it's man-made" and I think this is the problem with the MMGW argument. They say the sceptics deny the warming. Not all sceptics do. Some sceptics agree that the trend is upwards, but that it has nothing to do with human emissions.

Jabba the Cat said...

The AGW brigade is so arrogant and have their heads stuffed fully up their arses to realise that they are not going to be taken seriously or given any respect if they continue to behave like they do.

golden_balls said...

its called passion iain

you find him a "nasty individual" without even knowing the person concerned a cheap jibe iain not worthy of you.

I do hope this post was writen after a few drinks and this isn't your normal attitude to people.

golden_balls said...

Regarding the interview on newsnight
the professor was being shouted down by the american sceptic. I think he even asked him to stop shouting at him no wonder the guy got peeved half way through the interview.

Robin said...

I actually thought Fraser a bit weak for Fraser - saying calm down is often the refuge of those who are finding it difficult to argue. It is your blog Iain - but I thought you over exposed your pejudices a bit(tw*t etc)

tapestry said...

Fraser said that Climate Science is in its infancy.

If it wasn't the politicians wouldn't be able to play all these games with it.

New science is always very dangerous (a little knowledge is a dangerous thing).

Morus said...

Climate change aside, Alex:

Whilst Anthropogenic Climate Change might be in doubt, I don't know anyone who believes in Anthropomorphic Climate Change.

"Hello children - I'm Climate Change, and I'm going to be wreaking death and destruction for the rest of your lives!"

That's just crazy talk. If scientists can prove anthropomorphic climate change, this debate is radically different to how I expected it to be!

jbw said...

Alex said...
"... does anyone want to offer a link to a peer reviewed journal paper which suggests that there isn't anthropomorphic CC?"

Try this

I found it well argued.

Jimmy said...

Who to believe, the director of a scientific institute or a man with his own column in the News of the World. It's a puzzler isn't it.

I know which one I wanted to slap.

Ricardo's Ghost said...

The lesson appears to be clear. If you want to win the debate keep all the scientists away and make sure you have some good PR men fronting your case - Fraser Nelson and Marc Murano are not climate scientists, so you've to question the extent to which they know what they're talking about. Murano in particular seemed very reluctant to talk about any substance of the allegations on Newsnight. Perhaps he knew he'd be out of his depth.

jbw said...

For investors this is a good read...

Johnny Norfolk said...

What a nasty man. they just do not want a debate.The Met Office have now anounced that they are going to check all the data that has been used so they must be concerned as well. This is the beginging of the true debate not the end.

Swiss Bob said...

I wondered where all the views were coming from and then I find it here, remarkable.

You should have put the second part up as well, it makes Fraser's arguments more cogent:

Fraser Nelson takes on Bob Ward, Sky News Dec 4th.

talwin said...

For a skeptic's view check out and click on the heading 'Fraudulent Hockey Sticks and Hidden Data'.

The title says it all but the article seems to be doing the rounds and getting some attention.

On the same site may be found 'The Skeptics Handbook'; veeeeery interesting.

Anonymous said...

Verbal (and physical) abuse is always, always the last resort of a defeated protagonist. The fact that two supposedly intelligent representatives of established academic bodies independently behave in such a fashion tells us all we need to know. They know they cannot prove their pre-determined position. Even Brown has sunk to name-calling of those with a balanced view ... though that's no surprise.

Anonymous said...

The Grantham Institute also has strong links to the insurance industry.

Sean Haffey said...

Well I watched that carefully.

The scientist didn't come across too well. However, Fraser came across as patronising at times and didn't answer the point about waiting to see the outcome of the investigation.

The current issue of the Spectator has some well-written and thought provoking articles on climate change but they are all written by sceptics.

AndrewSouthLondon said...

Someone must be using the wrong Google - Bob Ward was introduced as Policy and Communications Director and his position with Grantham is confirmed here, under the London Scool of Economics
You will note the chair is none other than Lord Stern - Gordon's front man on Climate change and green taxes

So the repulsive Bob sits in that left-wing infested "London School of Comics" as my taxi driver called it.

Abusiveness to opponents is a trademark of the the MMGW cult, similar to another totalitarian cult from the Middle East - no discussion necessary, no criticism allowed.

Anonymous said...

Given that Fraser Nelson has published articles denying the link between HIV and AIDS and supported a documentary that disputes this link what on earth makes you think he is a credible voice on scientific matters?

david jenkins said...

Bob Ward was introduced as Policy and Communications Director and has a degree in geology - obviously someone who could not cut it in the word of science as a working geologist

jbw said...

vervet said...
"Verbal (and physical) abuse is always, always the last resort of a defeated protagonist..."

Quite so.

Is that why Brown is now calling us "flat earthers"?

Unsworth said...

Watson's appalling 'debate' on Newsnight confirmed that the scientists really don't want close scrutiny of their theories and are not prepared to put forward their case without personal vituperation.

Why? What have they got to lose?

It's part of the old academic game - peer review as a tool of the mony-go-round. Who funds these people? Follow the money. That's where it's at.

Cynic said...

Yes, Bob Ward is actually a PR man, not a scientist. He did start a PhD but never finished (ie failed) it

Now why does a scientific institute find the need to employ a full time PR man?

Nigel said...

Not very keen on Bob Ward, but respect to Andrew Watson.

There's the unflinching voice of science, calling the evidence as he sees it. :)

(Though clearly a man with little media experience.)

simonh said...

This is the second time recently that I've seen Fraser Nelson using his position as a columnist on the News of the World as validation of his views, as if he were some sort of tribune of the people. The Screws readers didn't elect you, Fraser. I suspect mos didn't even vote for you.

Hamish said...

Totally frivolous.
I was distracted by the difference in accent between the protagonists.
Better than the Prescott and Pickles show.
Fraser seems to be aspiring to a Morningside accent, but with too many soor plums in his mouth. Malcolm Rifkind does it slightly better.
Fraser reminds me of Edward Heath who, when pronouncing the word No, included every vowel apart from 'o'.

Martin said...

So why doesn't the climate change lobby EVER use the famous Hockey Stick graph any more? Oh hang on it turned out to be a fake and a lie, now totally ignored yet Al Bore's shite film used it, a film by the way still being used in our schools, yet I remember the eco loons attacking people for daring to suggest that the Hockey Stick was a pile of crap. Oh and those great science experts (not) called the IPCC also based their reports on the Hockey Stick.

None of the data or findings can be trusted now. They need to start again with REAL scientists and ALL the data must be published for proper peer review.

Jules said...

I get really irked with the pro-AGW lobby - right up to the PM - now abusing sceptics as "flat-earthers" and "anti-science."

You want to trade insults for once? I've been looking an appropriate handle. Simon Heffer put it brilliantly today in the Telegraph - "thermomaniacs."

Stick that up your arse Miliband, Monbiot, Brown et al. You self-righteous, arrogant left-wing prigs.

Stephen said...

Another day, another extraordinary outpouring on this subject here.

You *can't* debate the undebatable.

The axiomatic vs wishful thinking does not constitute a debate or even much of a discussion.

Claiming climate change is not man made is, as far as I'm concerned, pretty far- out territory (fundamentalist you might even say).

Judging by who is saying what, this increasingly seems to be UKIP/BNP/ED territory.

Frankly it's slipped off the cliffedge of sense along with the rest of the ultraright fringe.

WoollyMindedLiberal said...

Martin said...
So why doesn't the climate change lobby EVER use the famous Hockey Stick graph any more?

I think you mean Mann-98. A lot of science has been done since then and there are even better and more convincing papers so they are preferred but it is still in the IPCC 4th report as you would know if you bothered to look or check facts.

Oh hang on it turned out to be a fake and a lie

No, it turned out to be correct. It has been replicated multiple times with different methodologies and withstood all scientific criticism. You would know this if you bothered to check the facts.

Oh and those great science experts (not) called the IPCC also based their reports on the Hockey Stick.

Yes, the are the world's experts in this field. The Mann paper is not particularly important these days to the experts. Even if it was totally discredited the scientific consensus would not be altered due to the depth and quality of other evidence.

thehoatzin said...

everything that Stephen said

reading these comments is like being cornered by know-nothing loudmouths in a pub.

directing people to links of non-peer reviewed articles or the views of non-climate scientists, as if it means anything at all, is the highest level of debate here.

Ricardo's Ghost said...

That there are two Grantham Institutes is not 'a major passing off operation' as you put it.

One at Imperial appears to deal with the climate science. The other at LSE deals with economics of what you might wish to do given the climate science.

The economics is actually quite important. John Redwood has put forward a number of questions for the 'warmists' to answer. His last two asked them to show:

'5. That it makes more sense to try to stop the CO2 increases and the warming, than to invest in ways of handling the adverse consequences
6. That taxing and regulating is a better way to change human behaviour than incentives and technology'

Those are economics questions. Questions incidentally that the LSE and Lord Stern are well-placed to answer.

Summer said...

tephen 12.55pm

Anyone who still thinks there is no debate to be had, is sitting in 'la, la land with their eyes shut, and ears blocked.

You should have your vote taken away until you can prove you are capable of understanding the issues in a situation and weighing them up. And if you still refuse to be reasonable and examine the issue then you should, as our ancestors did, be exiled as a danger to society.

And as for your stupid and fankly offensive comment about UKIP/BNP/ED many of their supporters have thought a lot harder about the situation than you, who just parrot what your puppet masters tell you to. What is the point of you other than an orc for your evil masters?

Little Black Sambo said...

Talwyn, what is your intriguing avatar a picture of? I have been meaning to ask for some time.

Mirtha Tidville said...

If you look closely you will see just why this Bob Ward is actually the new Uk National Gurning Champion 2009..........

Newmark said...

Cynic said...
Bob Ward is actually a PR man, not a scientist. He did start a PhD but never finished (ie failed) it.

He is a PR man (a pretty hopeless one if his performance on Newsnight is anything to go by) but he is a scientist. He has a BSc in Geology and did research on palaeopiezometry.

He didn't fail his PhD. Like about half of PhD students he just didn't finish it. You only fail a PhD if your thesis is rejected or you perform badly at the oral exam.

Osama the Nazarene said...

What I found most irritating in the Newsnight clip (apart from that UEA professor who appeared as a real asshole) was the presenter, that Kearney woman. She insisted on interrupting the American bloke. She was supposedly trying to "control" the debate but effectively did not allow anyone to develop their points. What is more she kept diverting any points made to points which SHE thought were important! This was not an interview but a discussion and aljabeeba should have given sufficient time to the "debate" instead of having to artificially curtail it.

The dotty prof conveniently did not know "anything" about the FoI requests and insisted on defending the data. Well maybe the Met Office finally issuing ALL of the data will shed some light on this. It seems that NASA also have been holding back US FoI requests for a couple of years!

Unsworth said...

@ simonh

"This is the second time recently that I've seen Fraser Nelson using his position as a columnist on the News of the World as validation of his views, as if he were some sort of tribune of the people."

You're a bit new to this game, aren't you? He's a columnist, he's agreed to take part in a televised debate and that is exactly what he did. And WTF does 'validation' mean anyway?

You don't have to buy the newspapers or watch the TV, do you? Rather than address the argument you'd obviously prefer to attack the man. Utterly cretinous.

Anonymous said...

the point by your 'reader' is a good one.

The whole farrago is being exploited by self interest.

Anyone remember Galileo? The received wisdom, the consensus, was that the earth was the centre of the solar system, the universe even. Galileo knew different. But the Inquisition was having none of it and brought him before them and showed him the instruments of torture.
Galileo recanted. He told what he knew to be a lie in order to preserve his fingernails.

You might have hoped we would have moved on from those days.

Gerry57 said...

Bob Ward wants us to wait for the enquiry into the University of East Anglia because he knows it will be another establishment whitewash.

talwin said...

Little Black Sambo.

Thanks for your interest. It's an interior page design from a series 'The Red Letter Shakespeare' (1904) by the publisher, Blackie and Son. The design was executed in the art nouveau style by their art manager, Talwin Morris (1865-1911), and may be found in 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'.

Stephen Gillespie said...

Watson was right out of order. He was trashed by the brilliant Mark Murano and descended to the gutter by way of acknowledgement that he'd got the worst of the argument. I agree wiht the poster who recommended that we ahve him on our screens all the time - he represents the worst in British academia.

jbw said...

Another good read re:


The Purpleline said...

Iain- you are not going to like these comments, but it has to be introduced into the debate.

Man is causing the Earths resources to be depleted and far too quickly. Do I believe climate change is man caused, let us face it, nobody knows definitively.

What do we know- Well there are far too many people on the planet.

6 billions people, who need to live and procreate, producing more and more negative effects on the planet.

What can we do.

Well we need to reduce the amount of people on the planet and those about to come on the planet.

Where do we start - well for one we need to stop expensive medical science that is connected to increasing life expectancy levels. Use the money wisely on those we can help now.

So for twenty- thirty years we should allow people to die naturally, providing them with free pain killing drugs to reduce their suffering, while at the same time injecting Babies >both sexes < with long-term contraceptive locks to stop them procreating.

After the twenty or thirty year’s moratorium, we can if conditions dictate turn off the contraceptive switch, in certain countries, where death and birth rates have reduced the population size.

Earths resources will improve back into balance with the reduced population

Productivity growth rates will increase and life will improve for those on the planet
as incomes and wealth are increased.

In conjunction with the above programme we can re-settle Bangladeshi people who live in flood plains, we can modernise our natural defences against adverse weather, build up coastal regions and stop building in flood prone areas across the globe.

The above is not nice but would stop the climate geeks from making billions on a false premise of stopping climate change, our planet is working its way on a path a natural life cycle, the only assistance man can do is to reduce its own numbers and slow resource requirements..

neil craig said...

The Grantham Institute is part of Imperial College's website so who funds it is us. This is unsurprising - I have been asking alarmist sites if they can name 2 scientists in the alleged "consensus" who actually say they believe in catastrophic warming & aren't funded by government or alarmist lobbies. So far they have produced none.

Bob Ward, a PR hack not a scientist, also has previous - he wrote just before the emails broke on Douglas Carswell's blog lecturing him that it was his duty as an MP to promote alarmism. Douglas took some pleasure a few days afterwards in reporting a statement from Ward saying that there was a duty to be open minded (though clearly not that open minded).

It is clear the entire warming scam is government funded. How fortunate we aren't in a recession & can afford so many billions on such lies.

Zoran said...

neil craig said..."The Grantham Institute is part of Imperial College's website so who funds it is us."

Bob Ward works for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. It is at LSE not Imperial College.

It is privately funded.