Steve Brown sends in this report from the Guardian Debate on ‘Climategate’:

I’ve just got back from the Guardian “ClimateGate” debate in London and here are some of the notes I made of the event.

On the panel chaired by George Monbiot was Fred Pearce, Prof Trevor Davies (Vice-chancellor at UAE and former Director of CRU), Steven McIntyre, Prof Bob Watson (UK Gov scientific advisor and former IPCC chair) and Doug Keenan.

In the audience were various luminaries: Benny Peiser, Piers Corbyn, Roger Harribin and……Jonathan Leake!!

The format was 5 mins for each panelist, 15 mins of open discussion, then audience questions for 45 mins.

Prof. Davies: Said CRU will be exploring initiatives later in the year to open up public space for engaging in the scientific discussion. Also said that lessons have been learned.

Steve McIntyre: Gave an overview of his main criticisms aired on ClimateAudit in recent weeks – nothing really new. Monbiot tried to challenge him about the Muir Russell finding that any competent individual could reproduce a temperature series from publicly accessible data, which McIntyre deftly sidestepped.

Bob Watson: Thinks reviews had high integrity and gave a robust rebuttal of criticisms. He accused the printed media of being guilty of getting carried away with the “skeptic” allegations” (and made a specific dig at the Guardian), though thought the TV media were much fairer in general. Says we need more balanced reporting and that he estimates that 95% of scientists accept the mainstream consensus on AGW.

Doug Keenan: Says he will not retract fraud allegations made against Phil Jones over Chinese station data. Says bogus fraudulent research is rife throughout science. Seemed to say that because Phil Jones is not as good at statistics as him, AGW is a fraud.

Fred Pearce: Said reviews didn’t go far enough and that he is still disturbed by some of the e-mails. The enquiries were not a “whitewash” and this saga is more a tragedy than a conspiracy. He though the 3 CRU inquiries were better conducted than the Penn State Uni one, which he described as “kafkaesque”.

Over to the audience….Bob Watson says that CRU had nothing to hide – all data is available if you approach the national weather agencies who own the data. Made a good point about the Saudi Govt hiring “some very good” people to find problems in the last IPCC assessment, so they could have an excuse to drill for more oil. They found nothing.

Keenan said that peer-review is rubbish on the basis that he’s submitted a paper 35 times to journals for it to be rejected each time.

McIntyre is asked to explain the source of energy that has warmed the planet since 1980. Deftly sidestepped by claiming he’s more interested in ancient proxies and hockysticks and not CRUtem. When pressed further he said he agrees with what Lindzen says.

Monbiot is asked if he thought he was a bit quick and rash to fall for the serious allegations when the “scandal” broke. He replied “The Guardian chose me to chair as I’ve alienated everyone in the debate”. He also admitted his judgments were hasty.

Keenen then claims that none of the evidence for AGW stands up to scrutiny and Piers Corbyn starts heckling.

Piers Corbyn gets the chance to ask a question, but ends up making a speech on how AGW is a fraud and it’s really the Sun and the Moon that cause climate to change. They move to a different questioner. Corbyn continues to heckle and interrupt. Monbiot tells Corbin he’ll have him ejected if he doesn’t shut up.

Jonathan Leake asks McIntyre about the “explosive” allegation that Muir Russel didn’t interview Phil Jones. Prof Davies said Muir Russell did meet Phil Jones and the detailed interviews were conducted by the expert members of the inquiry.

Expect an expose in the Times tomorrow about how AGW is a scam because Phil and Muir didn’t do a round of golf together.

Monbiot finishes off by saying “An interesting and fiery debate and as usual we’ve got absolutely nowhere”.

All in all, it was a fascinating experience to attend and to see the main players in the flesh. I thought Fred Pearce and Bob Watson came across well. Pearce has gotten a bit of stick over this, but he’s certainly in the premier league of science journo’s. Doug Keenan is a fascinating character – very sinister looking and would make a great Dr Who baddy. McIntyre was quiet spoken and reserved – didn’t really set the ground on fire. There was about 300 in the audience – judging by applause, I’d guess a third were “skeptic” faithful and the rest were normal people and journalists.

Update: Report from Damian Carrington at the Gurdian, along with audio is here.


  1. #1 Wow
    July 29, 2010

    “Which actually caught out a lot of older cars, that the poorer members of the public might be driving, ie 8 year old 2.0l mondeos, ,etc. not just big expensive 4×4’s”

    But if the big expensive 4x4s are less polluting, then there’s less externality.

    And cash-for-clunkers gave the owners of the trading in of old 2L mondeos a better deal than those who traded in big expensive 4x4s.

    And, having traded down to a newer efficient 1.4L supermini or small estate, the running costs were halved, making much greater difference to the poor old 2L mondeo driver than the rich person driving a new 4×4.

  2. #2 sunspot
    July 29, 2010

    Barry, increased fuel tax’s have only ever slowed the usage for a week or two. Just as increased tax on tobacco never decreased smoking. A carbon tax will do absolutely nothing that improves the environment, the consumer will pay more and not reduce CO2 output at all, the powers behind this scam know that it doesn’t matter though because CO2 is not the major cause of the warming we have seen, only a moron would think that it was, plenty of them in here as you are starting to see.

  3. #3 jakerman
    July 29, 2010

    Barry writes:

    >*If the american public will NOT put up with this sort of taxation, everybody in the US, can ‘discuss the science’ for ever on blogs.*

    Barry, the price of oil is [going up]( regardless of carbon pricing and the US is suffering for short sightedness in this respect. The blind who fail to see this inevitable rise are setting populations for further and deeper suffering.

    But this topic is another diversion on your series of shoot and run claims. I note your [continued refusal]( to substantiate your claims with evidence. Why the need to make [unsupported claims](

  4. #4 jakerman
    July 29, 2010

    >*increased fuel tax’s have only ever slowed the usage for a week or two.*

    Evidence spotty?

    >*Driving one mile in the United States currently requires 37 percent more fuel on average than in Europe, due to both the larger average size of vehicles and to less efficient engine technology. McKinsey Inst, 2007*

    You are funny spotty!

  5. #5 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    196 jakerman,

    Thanks. I’ve not see that before. Useful info.

  6. #6 sunspot
    July 29, 2010

    History of fuel taxation in Australia

    ask yourself akerz, who doesn’t drive or heat their house because these taxes have been increased over time.

    another tax wont save the world, the masters are too greedy for that

  7. #7 jakerman
    July 29, 2010

    Look at [the data]( spotty, it aids in the process of sorting reality from misguided reckoning.

  8. #8 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    206 sunspot,

    This is a ridiculous argument. No one stops driving or heating their homes when fuel prices rise (unless they were only just able to do it before). They realise: this is costing me a lot more; perhaps I’ll walk or cycle instead of drive for short journeys, and I’ll buy a more economical car next time. When my boiler (furnace) needs replacing, I’ll replace it with the most efficient one available (as I did last year).

    What you get is a *trend* towards greater efficiency as fuel prices rise (for whatever reason). Nothing happens overnight.

  9. #9 sunspot
    July 29, 2010

    trueseptic, so your saying that it’s a good idea to implement a co2 tax so then the people that can’t afford to use their heater will now freeze to death because they can’t drive to their low paying job because they can no longer afford the fuel, or at 60 yrs of age they should ride a push bike ? just because you think it will save the world ?

    Petrol tax scams

    akerz, i think your barrel of laughs tooo

  10. #10 jakerman
    July 29, 2010

    >*so your saying that it’s a good idea to implement a co2 tax so then the people that can’t afford to use their heater will now freeze to death*

    Why the need to misrepresent?

    Petrol taxes have driven innovation and efficiency. The welfare state provides the necessities of welfare. The poor are better cared for in the UK than the US. Its a matter of priorities. Carbon tax will provide revenue that can be distributed to prevent unintended perversions.

  11. #11 sunspot
    July 29, 2010

    shake shake shake, wake up akerz !!!
    your talkin’ in yer sleep

  12. #12 John
    July 29, 2010

    >Why the need to misrepresent?

    I assume you’re being rhetorical.

  13. #13 sunspot
    July 29, 2010

    “unintended perversions” healthcare will go through the roof !!!

    Fiasco for planet-healing L.A. mayor: After getting on a bike “for the first time in years”he almost immediately collides with a taxi and breaks his elbow…
    He’s then taken to the hospital by the security officer trailing him in a car. Afterwards, he claims that he likes to bike in L.A.


  14. #14 Wow
    July 29, 2010

    “Why the need to misrepresent?”

    Because representing the actual situation is devastating to his case.

  15. #15 jakerman
    July 29, 2010

    >*healthcare will go through the roof*

    Windy UK and much of Europe already have [green taxes]( and their healthcare is in [better shape]( at [lower cost](

  16. #16 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    209 sunspot,

    It seems you can’t read. Try again.

    In response to one of your questions, though, I’ll still be riding a bicycle next year, when I’ll be 60. This is hardly unusual, at least among people I know.

  17. #17 jakerman
    July 29, 2010

    Did I mention at [lower cost]((

    Worse for spotty, you are also ignoring the rise in revenue to fund the better allocated spending.

  18. #18 jakerman
    July 29, 2010

    Life [style illness]( are the largest burden on the healthcare system in rich nations. [Shifting people]( out of their cars will reduce health costs.

  19. #19 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    213 sunspot,

    So one politician having an accident invalidates the use of bicycles? No doubt when you next hear of a pedestrian falling over, you’ll say that no one should ever walk any further than from their house to their car.

  20. #20 jakerman
    July 29, 2010

    >*So one politician having an accident invalidates the use of bicycles? No doubt when you next hear of a pedestrian falling over, you’ll say that no one should ever walk any further than from their house to their car.*

    And no climbing trees, nor swimming, and football in dangerous better stop that hey spotty?

  21. #21 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    218 jakerman,

    Yes, it’s a win-win. More walking and cycling is better for everyone. It even makes it easier for sunspot to cruise the less congested roads! He should be all for it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  22. #22 sunspot
    July 29, 2010

    The CO2 tax will do nothing for the environment, oil, coal, gas ect are economically too important to power brokers, they won’t stop selling them.

    If you understand quaternion algebra then you might see the demise of CO2 here.

    Or maybe pump a few bucks into Stan Meyer’s contraption’s, there are many other alternatives.

  23. #23 Barry Woods
    July 29, 2010

    This article in the Times Higer Education Supplement may be interesting to many.. They are not generally sceptical, far from it.

    The Danish windfarm energy experience described may be a lesson, that I hope the UK learns.. Wind is expensive, and only half a solution, ie the other half is the need is for energy storage.

    Regardless of AGW or not a transition (if only for energy security) to non fossil fukes would be desireable..

    The problem withthe current rush/subsidy to green energy, is the technology is not yet mature enough to take up the demand. And a few will get rich (due to subsidy) at the expense of the poor.

    So the public face , higher energy costs and CO2 taxes without the means to fully replace the old.

    If the sensitivity of AGW proves to be low, then the rush, is just an uncessary damaging expense.

  24. #24 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    223 Barry,

    Fossil fuels won’t last forever and the price will escalate as reserves are depleted. The cost of exploring and exploiting new reserves, wherever they might be, will also escalate (hint: BP in the Gulf!). This will increasingly make renewables more attractive.

    I can’t see renewables ever replacing fossil fuels, though: we simply use, and are used to, too much energy. Nuclear is the only answer, and I hope fusion can be made to work in the next few decades.

  25. #25 John
    July 29, 2010

    No kidding Sunspot. The same Tom Bearden who can also cure AIDS. Monckton has some competition! Yet another example of your skeptical mind completely failing you.

  26. #26 Lotharsson
    July 29, 2010

    > A carbon tax will do absolutely nothing that improves the environment, the consumer will pay more and not reduce CO2 output at all…

    Ah, so sunspot is not only widely acknowledged to be an irrefutable source for debunking conventional climate science, but also for debunking rather fundamental economics as well. Who knew?!

  27. #27 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    225 John,

    Sunspot has to be fooling with us. I’ve never heard of Tom Bearden but that site is one of the most insane I’ve ever seen.

  28. #28 Barry Woods
    July 29, 2010

    I think some sceptical minds ๐Ÿ˜‰ have a sense of humour..
    Tom Beardon. wow.. Where can I buy one ๐Ÿ˜‰ !

  29. #29 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    228 Barry,

    Buy a Tom Bearden? I don’t know, but that one looks a bit old. I’d get a younger one.

  30. #30 sunspot
    July 29, 2010

    john said, ‘The same Tom Bearden who can also cure AIDS.’ Tell me john, where did he say that ?

    and maybe the other moron’s in here would prefer the working class to pay for this this and this stealing resources requires massive funding, admit it, you all are only glorified bean counters that need dysfunctional computer models to see the future, Madam Harvey uses tea leaves.

    If Bearden, Tesla, Meyer and others had been given the budget for this then you all wouldn’t be suffering from aGw phobia’s now. Not one of you has the foresight to look for real solutions.

  31. #31 jakerman
    July 30, 2010

    Spotty have the black helicopters been to visit you? The military already take the lion share of the budget.

    And you’ll be paying [more tax]( to keep [the poor out]( as the climate worsens.

    So if you want the working class to pay more to the military, just keep denying AGW and keep denying the impact of pricing carbon.

  32. #32 Vince Whirlwind
    July 30, 2010

    Sunspot, I have successfully taught my 7-year-old the correct usage of apostrophes.

    If a 7-year-old can do it, what do you think is the major flaw in your make-up which prevents you from displaying a similar simple skill?

  33. #33 sunspot
    July 30, 2010

    it’s a dog eat dog world akerz, i thought you wanted to reduce CO2 ? I have asked you before about alternates to a tax, you still only follow the pied piper.

    vince, are you sure your 7 year old is your seven year old ?

  34. #34 jakerman
    July 30, 2010

    >*it’s a dog eat dog world akerz, i thought you wanted to reduce CO2 ? I have asked you before about alternates to a tax, you still only follow the pied piper.*

    I see that spotty resorts to gibberish as a substitute for reason.

    Spotty no even you knew what you were trying to say do you?

  35. #35 sunspot
    July 30, 2010

    akerz, open your eyes.

  36. #36 jakerman
    July 30, 2010

    Using random comments to introduce your links now spotty.

    As I said:

    >*I see that spotty resorts to gibberish as a substitute for reason. Spotty no even you knew what you were trying to say do you?*

    How about a little tiny bit of coherence?

  37. #37 jakerman
    July 30, 2010

    spotty’s link from 2008:

    >*the system alone costs about ยฅ2,000,000 (roughly $18,000 U.S.) but if mass produced, the cost can be reduced to about $5,000 or less. Some people have reacted with disbelief and questioned the carโ€™s legitimacy, claiming that the technology appears to violate the First Law of Thermodynamics . Genepax is reportedly in the midst of filing a patent for its groundbreaking technology. Without more in-depth details, we canโ€™t say for sure if the car is too good to be true*

    Wow not only would that make cars CO2 free, but the units also would also enable generation of year round clean power for homes and industry. Did you feel the least bit skeptical about this spotty?

    Genepax message fom 2009:

    >*We at GENEPAX have strived to develop new technologies to enable environment friendly energy systems […]ใ€€The systems that we have proposed have received warm words of support from many people. However, we have yet to overcome the many obstacles we face in the current world, to bring our systems to market. Moreover, the costs of development have become very large. As our resources are very limited, we need to retrench and reassess our resources and our development plans at this time, and we are accordingly closing our website.*

  38. #38 sunspot
    July 30, 2010

    If you lived in 1865 would you have believed the realities of this ?

  39. #39 jakerman
    July 30, 2010

    Spotty I think you need to see a doctor. Your mind appears to have closed in on itself.

    Was it your goal to come here and prove you could make denialsts look worse?

  40. #40 sunspot
    July 30, 2010

    sorry akerz, i should have pointed more accurately at this.

    The world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine, the United States Navy’s USS Nautilus (SSN-571) was named for Verne’s fictional vessel.

    The breathing apparatus used by Nautilus divers is depicted as an untethered version of underwater breathing apparatus designed by Benoit Rouquayrol and Auguste Denayrouze in 1865. They designed a diving set with a backpack spherical air tank that supplied air through the first known demand regulator.

    and so on, some things once fiction can become real

  41. #41 jakerman
    July 30, 2010

    >*some things once fiction can become real*


    This can be enabled and accelerated with provision of incentive (price singnal) to bring forward important future innovation.

  42. #42 John
    July 30, 2010

    Sunspot, from Wikipedia:

    >Bearden has extended his views on electromagnetism to encompass the effect electromagnetic fields have on biological cells. He has stated that, as a result of his theories, “inexpensive, quick, nondebilitating, cures can be developed for most major dread diseases, including cancer, arteriosclerosis, and AIDS”.

    Impressive, no?

    Free energy for all! Funding a pie-in-the-sky free energy machine is *far* more sensible than investing in rewnewables, according to Sunspot.

    I wonder how he finds the time to post here in between building his perpetual motion machine.

  43. #43 John
    July 30, 2010

    >and so on, some things once fiction can become real

    Except global warming, obviously.

  44. #44 TrueSceptic
    July 30, 2010

    228 Barry,

    In your opinion, how amusing does sunspot think Bearden is? Very, fairly, slightly, or not at all?

  45. #45 TrueSceptic
    July 30, 2010

    235 sunspot,

    Are you having us on again? Do you have any idea what this claim entails?

  46. #46 sunspot
    July 30, 2010

    Lutec has sold out to the highest bidder, and no doubt will never be seen again.

    trueseptic are you technologically advanced enough to use a screwdriver ?
    Do you think science is at an end, and we’ve discovered all there is to know, right or wrong, anything can be debunked to throw punters off the trail, you should know that.

  47. #47 sunspot
    July 30, 2010

    John @ 242,

    A few years ago I was inflicted with acute osteomyelitis in my femur, it was brought under control with IV antibiotics in hospital and then I was to take large doses of ciproxin at home, supposedly for eternity, they didn’t agree with me. So I built a Rife/Bare device, stopped taking the cipro and used the device instead. After 4 mths of using the device, 6 mths after being released from hospital, I had a follow-up MRI, the infection specialists jaw hit the floor, it was completely gone ! He was amazed, elated even, until I told him what I had done. So basically John, your a numb nuts that doesn’t have a clue what you are talking about. The Rife/Bare device has been heavily debunked as a fake by morons that know nothing !

  48. #48 Lotharsson
    July 30, 2010

    > I wonder how he finds the time to post here in between building his perpetual motion machine.

    Isn’t the process of building the perpetual motion machine – by definition, as it never ends and always seems to generate more motion and no-one involved in building one will ever admit they wasted any efforts on it – a kind of recursive perpetual motion machine?

    ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  49. #49 Ian Forrester
    July 30, 2010

    What spottyface meant to say:

    The Rife/Bare device has been heavily used by morons that know nothing !

    There I hope you are glad you have been corrected, since I don’t want other morons to be deluded by junk science.

  50. #50 John
    July 30, 2010

    Sunspot, I will be in my cold, cold grave before I believe a word that comes out of your mouth. You’re a gullible sucker who believes whatever they want.

    That said, I have some magic beans you may be interested in…

  51. #51 chek
    July 30, 2010

    Lotharsson @248 kinda gave me an idea for an ad slogan in the same vein:
    “Denialism – it never stops, so you don’t have to”.


    “Rife/Bare devices – because there’s one born every minute”.

  52. #52 sunspot
    July 31, 2010

    yes…. a relation of mine told me it was a load of crap, she even brought around her fancy microscope and lots of different little critters, we hooked the scope up to a computer, this was very beneficial to me as it allowed me to do some fine tuning, she now has her own plasma device. Like I have said before most of you have done nothing and as a consequence you know nothing ! The dogma has you all dumbed down.

  53. #53 chek
    July 31, 2010

    sunsplat @ 252.
    Well it’s like this. On the one hand a miracle, moncktonesque cure and on the other, yet another of the many, many contrarian liars. Then Occam’s razor is applied and it doesn’t cut in your favour spotty.

  54. #54 TrueSceptic
    July 31, 2010

    246 sunspot,

    Very funny. Do you fall for every scam going, no matter how idiotic? Do you have any idea at all about basic physics?

  55. #55 sunspot
    July 31, 2010


    1/ do you believe there is a higgs boson ?

    2/ do you believe that a new energy source is more important than spending it at CERN ?

    3/ is the scalar field theory to much for your puny brain ?

    4/ how do you think 1 2 & 3 may be connected ?

  56. #56 Bernard J.
    July 31, 2010

    Damned Spot’s modus operandi:

    Hey, wanna see a naked girl?

  57. #57 Wow
    August 1, 2010

    “4/ how do you think 1 2 & 3 may be connected ?”

    By the insane ramblings of an internet troll, sunny side up?

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