Leakegate: Corrections needed from ...

Following the Sunday Times's retraction of the fraudulent Jonathan Leake story, there are a whole bunch of people who relied on Leake's story that would seem to need to make corrections.

Most notably, The Australian reprinted Leake's story, so you'd think they'd have to retract too, but you never know with The Australian.

But there's many more. In no particular order:

In comments, feel free to add to the list, note those who made corrections and post responses to polite requests for corrections.


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McIntyre fails as an auditor yet again.

Retraction by The Australian? Don't hold your breath. It's a tabloid dressed in broadsheet clothing.

Similarly, I wouldn't expect anything from the Daily Fail. If they were to make amends for every bogus story they printed, they'd end up with more column space devoted to apologies and retractions than anything else.

i have a pretty important addition to that list. my dear friend Tom Fuller.

[here](http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m1…) is an example, of what he had to say on the topic:

Grey literature has cropped up frequently in Work Group 2 contributions to IPCC reports. They have permission to use material outside the peer-review process, but they've apparently abused it, publishing activist articles and treating it as peer-reviewed gospel truth. One story in particular, about the Amazon rain forest's vulnerability to climate change, was wildly exaggerated.

and [here](http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m2d3-…) is his article, referencing the Richard North nonsense:

On the Amazon issue, the IPCC is clearly guilty of serial exaggeration and taking reports from an activist organisation, compiled by freelance journalists, and presenting them as peer-reviewed science. They are wrong on the facts, wrong on their presentation, and wrong in their defense of their shoddy work. See here and here.

his conclusion is a simple one: this "shoddy" work by the IPCC is demonstrating, that global warming is in "ruins" (title of his post)

but [this](http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m2d14…) is my favourite one. because i had posted quite a lot of rebuttal on the Amazon forest stories, his claim was formulated a little weaker this time. but he decided to draw an important analogy:

They also defend the IPCC reporting on potential effects on the Amazon rain forest. I am not familar enough with this to comment.

However, they also say it is similar to Climategate, which they characterise as a 'few emails plucked out of context, deliberately misinterpreted and then hyped into Climategate.' If that's true, we need to look more carefully, as it means the IPCC is in real trouble. Climategate emails were not few--there were more than 1,000 of them. They were not plucked out of context--context makes the behaviour of the principals look worse, not better. They were not misinterpreted. They were analysed, put into context and reported, both in our book and in Bishop Hill's competing offering. Climategate is real, and it is a problem for those involved. That's why Phil Jones stepped down, Real Climate. If the errors in the IPCC report are of the same scale, it's a problem.

so let us use his own logic: Tom Fuller says, if the errors in the IPCC report are on a similar scale to "climategate", then it is a real problem. now we have learned, that this error claims were based on a completely false article. what does that make of "climategate"?

Tom Fuller's unwillingness to admit his obvious errors, stopped me from further commenting on his blog. (my final post is in that last link i gave above)

i am looking forward, to see, how Tom will react to the facts.

ps: [Tim had pointed out](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_how_jonathan_leake_c…), that Leake is getting information about (false) climate stories from Richard North. the dates on the amazon stories show a similar pattern, to what Tim found about africa: the first North post was written on January 25. the retracted Leake story is from January 31.


What about all the other purported journalists who've made bogus claims? I'd hate David Rose to feel left-out!
Can we have another list?

Great suggestion Tim. Lets call them to account.

By Watchingtheden… (not verified) on 21 Jun 2010 #permalink

The Global Warming Policy Foundation under its director Benny Peiser carried the retracted Leake story.

nice link, they carry a [story](http://www.thegwpf.org/energy-news/1129-green-subsidies-wreak-havoc-on-…) at the moment, which complains about TOO MANY solar panels being installed in germany in 2010.

The trade magazine "Photon" calculates that solar cells with a capacity of 8,800 Megawatts (MW) are added in 2010: the Rhine-Westphalian Institute for Economic Research (RWI) believes a figure of up to 9000 MW for more realistic. Compared to 2006, the newly installed capacity has increased by a factor of eleven. Even in 2007 it was assumed that a maximum 700 MW will have been added by 2010.

I'm sorry, but the only way these incorrigible liars will publish retractions will be if they are forced to by an authority such as the PCC, which Lewis used to force the Leake retraction. In the case of blogs, what authority is there, and do other countries have their equivalents to the PCC?

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 21 Jun 2010 #permalink

Anthony Watts is an obvious omission from that list. I'm sure he'll be penning a contrite retraction right now.

Ooh, look! A flock of lesser spotted pigs flying past the window!

good catch David. [here](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/25/d-jour-gate-flavor-amazon/) is, what seems to be the first full post on WuWt on the topic. though the North post was mentioned in comments earlier.

an [error correction](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/26/amazon-flavor-gate-de-jour-leaves…) on the next day somehow didn t cast a bad taste on North's work, but made the IPCC look worse.

sound bite to take away from this one:

Read the rest at Dr. Norths website, the EU Referendum (please send the man some hits, it will be worth your while â A)

yes, the now completely debunked nonsense was seriously worth reading...

final [post](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/24/complaint-issued-on-amazongate-re…) of interest already focuses on the complaint by Lewis. Anthony's take on it: happens all the time! it even happened to me!

Heh. This must be the first time Lewis has been interviewed by the press. From experience I can tell you that in matters of science, the message is often muddled by the time it gets to print.

ps: doing some research on this topic is scary. constant quoting of the same sources, without any "sceptical" approach what so ever.

I emailed Richard North to get his reaction. I simply enquired:

"The Sunday Times has retracted their 'Amazongate' claims. Will you be doing the same?"

His reply:

"Nope ... the Sunday Times did not refer to me, did not consult me, and caved in to the pressure, ending up printing something by way of a "correction" which is neither factually correct nor honest. I do not intend to follow them.

The degree of pressure from the warmists, however, adequately indicates how dangerous the article was to them, and how important the Amazon is to the warmist cause.



The Lorne Gunter piece apparently ran on the National Post piece website and in the Edmonton Journal (both CanWest newspapers).

The National Post website version appears to be gone but Google cache is here:


Likewise, the Edmonton Journal version now shows a blank:

But the cache is here:


Besides the Edmonton Journal, the Gunter's column was also reprinted in the Calgary Herald and the Vancouver Province, according to the FPInfoMart database.


> an error correction on the next day somehow didn t cast a bad taste on North's work, but made the IPCC look worse.

Heh. No surprises there - never admit any fault and cast all evidence that undermines their denial and propaganda as part of the fiendish conspiracy.

Good work, Tom (#15). That reply is exactly what I expected -- denialists are, at base, conspiracy theorists, and when conspiracy theorists are confronted with evidence that runs counter to their worldview, they simply expand their conspiracy to fit.

" ... how important the Amazon is to the warmist cause."

Maybe someone should tell Richard North that the Amazon, while important to the planet, is not even slightly important as proof of Global Warming. Thermometers, Richard, thermometers. On land, at sea and (ok, not actual thermometers) via satellite observation.

I find it highly amusing, yet very disturbing all the same, that someone like Richard North calls people "warmists". The planet is clearly warming, over the long term. Aka, "warmist".

So this is a bit like trying to be derogatory towards someone by calling them a "round-earther", or a "heliocentrer", or perhaps even a "water-is-wet-er".

Has this irony been lost upon him?

>"The degree of pressure from the warmists, however, adequately indicates how dangerous the article was to them, and how important the Amazon is to the warmist cause."

What gets me is the continual assumption that practicing science and proving something is correct, is political.

I have come across people (AGW skeptics and environmentalists) that put huge emphasis on rainforests rather than CO2 or combating climate change.
There are many, many reasons for placing greater political importance on forests.

22 Mike,

You never know with denialists. He might believe it's not warming at all because, you know, the figures have all been faked, or the data are fake to begin with because of UHI and bad siting, and anyway it's been cooling for 10 years and we're about to plunge into a little ice age.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

well, it looks like [Tom Fuller](http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m6d21…) will not admit and correct the errors he made, based on North/Leake:

Tom Fuller says:
Sod, I've seen what you've been writing on other weblogs, including Deltoid. You just scurry on back to that hole and keep on ranting.
June 22, 2:35 AM

ps: the post, by pure chance, is also talking about the "blacklist" of 2% sceptical scientists...

I, personally, am shocked that Tom Fuller doesn't have the personal integrity to admit to and correct his errors. Any of them, not just this one.

Oh, Lord, I can't even type that without laughing crazily!

it looks like Tom Fuller will not admit and correct the errors he made, based on North/Leake

In other news, a dog bit a man, and Dave Andrews still beats his wife.

By Former Skeptic (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

Hang on, is this not the, cough, "auditor's" job??

Good job as always Tim!

And Hello there Mr. Fuller. Your refusal to correct your error is not consistent with what a reputable, professional and ethical journalist would do. Had you agreed to print a correction about "Amazongate" you might have gained a bit of credibility. Alas, we now have to lump you in with the discredited media personalities and groups cited above, or is that discredited story fudgers (a play on words used by Mr. Gunter)? That said, it is never too late to issue a correction and/or apology Thomas.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

Tom Fuller would apologize, I'm sure. It's just that the people asking him to do so are uncivil, as well as incapable of understanding that he's always right.

If he's ever actually wrong, and it's pointed out to him in a way that doesn't offend him, by people who are as perfectly neutral and rational and civil as he is, and it won't do any lasting damage to the vital field of pseudo-statistical anti-alarmist quasi-skeptical climatographical discoverism to admit that he made a tiny little mistake, I'm sure he'll be quite willing to apologize, eventually, unless he doesn't feel like it for some reason (e.g., it's raining, or not).

Because he is, after all, a Man of Honor.


You seem to have caught Fuller out.

Your post has been deleted, as has Fuller's response to it. I'm glad that you managed to at least quote the latter here, with its timestamp, just to show what ol' Tommie is up to.

Integrity seems to be Fuller's oil to Journalism's water.

Seriously, if that guy can be paid to write what he does, I wish that someone would wave a salary at me to do a similar job. At the least, I'd be thinking carefully about the accuracy of each word that I write - in Fuller's case such an endeavour seems to be an annoying inconvenience to his compositional process.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink


Could you please clarify. Fuller says over at Bart's place that your comment did appear, now Bernard J @32 says it is not there. Did your post appear and was then subsequently deleted?

Could you please provide us with an approximate time line? Thanks.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

>*Your post has been deleted, as has Fuller's response to it.*

Bernard, could you be mistaken? I have it on [Tom Fuller's word](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/lets_hope_this_reference_check…) that he hardly ever removes comments and then only for profanity or after repeated warnings?

Could it be that Fuller actually deletes posts that show him up?

It seems important to Fuller that he is not seen to be removing comments, as he keeps on telling posters that he doesn't do such things.

Tom Fuller deleting comments? But I always thought he had so much integrity.


A text search for "sod" reveals that currently the only reference to Sod is this, by a poster named Duncan:

>*Sod's comment made me bark outloud with laughter. This is a scientific study!!!!1!!one!!*

Proof that it was there and is now removed.

Tom, has ways of not looking as bad when he has the editing power.

The real killer for Tom is that he deleted his own reply to sod.

Verbatim from Bart's place

Tom Fuller Says:

"June 22, 2010 at 15:37
Your comment went up on the site with no problem, Sod. Are you saying it isnât up there?

Tom Fuller Says:
June 22, 2010 at 15:56
Sod, you are twisted. You say you canât post on my site when your comment is there. You have spread lies and insults about me all across the internet. And then you want to ask me to do something?

No. I will not do anything that is asked of me by someone who slimes me as a hobby."

I will reserve judgement on the allegations of posts being deleted until sod provides a summary of what happened.

Sod, maybe next time make a screen capture of your post?

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

Thanks jakerman @36. Did not see your post, busy typing mine.

OK, so Fuller did remove the post. It seems to me that Fuller deleted it after reading sod's comments at Bart's place. The time of Duncan's post quoted at # 36 might constrain the time line.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

What's with Roger Pielke Jr.? Is someone paying him big bucks to deceive? Why is he misrepresenting this paper and NAS, why is he posting to WUWT, and why does he not disabuse any of the deniers in his comments if he and his father are not among them?

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

Oops, sorry, it wasn't RP who posted to WUWT - his piece was posted there without his permission.

Still, it's hard to credit him when he seems too cowardly to address the deniers who populate his comments section. He does interviews with Tom Fuller without ever taking Fuller to task for his distortion and denial of science and his pejorative references to "warmists", or his sliming of scientists.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

It's hard to take RP Jr. seriously anymore, more so after he declined an invite as a lead author for WG2 in AR5 without explaining why. That's rather odd given his criticisms of the IPCC in the past.

In other news, apparently my post above riled up a nobody over at Lucia's.

It's hilarious to see how that nobody wants to lump in an edited comment of mine as an illustration of Tim's comment policies with respect to the sheer lunacy of Brave Sir Greg Goodknight over at Tamino's.

By Former Skeptic (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

sorry guys, but i fear this is nothing special.

i wrote my first post over on Tom Fuller's site, after a long time.

in contrast to Tom, i don t assume a conspiracy whenever one of my comments doesn t show up. i think it was just a technical problem. but i din t want to lose the post, nor spam it, constantly, as the examiner software is prone to cause double posts.

i had Bart's blog open and did notice that Tom was the last poster. i reposted (part of) the text via copy paste, just changed the first sentence from a comment on the backlist to an address to Tom on Bart's blog and my opinion that this is a good example of what Bart was talking about under that topic.
i tried to repost the comment on Tom Fuller's blog when i left the computer a little later. it worked.

that the comment and Fuller's reply are gone now, is caused by a completely different aspect of the examiner blog.
the "next" and "previous" buttons at the bottom are not really working. so comments vanish automatically over time. this makes it pretty futile to write comments there and has been the case for a couple of months now.

so i don t think that Tom Fuller removed my post. it just vanished.

on the other hand, this vanishing posts are a big advantage to Fuller. as you can see in recent topics, people constantly point out obvious errors to him. (here for example, that the paper doesn t contain any list of scientists)
in all but one example that i witnessed (he had made false claims about Oreskes and Peiser's critisism of her work) he denied to make a correction to his false claims.

this is in stark contrast what he claims he is doing.

Former skeptic that would be this comment:

>*Speaking of one-sided controlled conversations and libel. Here is a comment posted on Deltoid where Tim Lambert controls the conversation with an iron fist.*

>>âIn other news, a dog bit a man, and Dave Andrews still beats his wife.

>>Posted by: Former Skeptic | June 22, 2010 11:22 AMâ

>*Stay classy in what you let through Tim. Be sure to keep deleting all those comments you donât agree with.*

Posted by Jon P.

Well Jon P. could perhaps post his strongest scientific arguement and see if it survives. In my experience of more then 12 months reading deltoid its only OT trolls that get disemvoled or removed to their own threads.

I wonder if [this is](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/brent_thread) what Jon P confused with: *"deleting all those comments you donât agree with*"?

Or perhaps Jon P meant [this](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/06/how_to_figure_out_what_the_sto…)?

>*so comments vanish automatically over time. this makes it pretty futile to write comments there and has been the case for a couple of months now.*

Thanks for the clarification sod. So Fuller may have been accurate when he stated that **"he" didn't remove** certain poeple's comments (such as dhogaza's).

Neat trick.

But it would be less than honest to accuse of dishonesty, those who complain that he had removed their comments.

channeling my inner frank luntz:

Let me politely remind everyone - again - that examiner.com is one of the more bizarre RW "beat the internets" schemes. It's deeply seedy, not-at-all journalistic, and it will repay everyone handsomely to ignore it. And that Fuller is just another Regnery factotum who's crawled perhaps a foot up the 100-foot troll tower. When your sole claim to fame is being Steven Mosher's ghostwriter or whatever, you suck so much normal people should not be wasting time in disputes with you. It's like a drunk asking you for a dollar and you say sorry, and he cusses you out - and you spend the rest of the afternoon disagreeing with him and defending yourself.

It's pretty much a big "don't."

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

My alter ego had a bit of a go at Jon P over there on Lucia's blog, exploring the sort of person he is.

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 22 Jun 2010 #permalink

Just to note: The Australian printed a retraction (basically a reprint of the Sunday Times' retraction) today. Page 2 in the usual correction spot, with the whole thing in their online Climate section.


George Monbiot is suggesting that rather than being Leake's fault it was someone else at the paper fiddling with his story after it was written:


"after 25 years in journalism it looks pretty obvious to me that Jonathan Leake has been wrongly blamed for this, then hung out to dry. My guess is that someone else at the paper, acting on instructions from an editor, got hold of Leake's copy after he had submitted it, and rewrote it, drawing on North's post, to produce a different â and more newsworthy â story. If this is correct, it suggests that Leake is carrying the can for an editor's decision. The Sunday Times has made no public attempt to protect him: it looks to me like corporate cowardice."

Given the amount of other bogus stories that have been carried under Leake's name (Dawkins endorsing astrology etc.) i'm skeptical of this theory. Surely Leake would have spoken out or left the paper if it bothered him to have his work turned into pseudo-science by editors?

Richard North has posted a *very aggressive* reaction over at his eureferendum bogspot. He says the Sunday Times are a bunch of wimps and that Simon Lewis was too chicken to contact North directly, or to challenge the other newpapers that referred to the story (like The Telegraph). The fact the story was originally published in the S Times and that the Press Complaints Commission have upheld Lewis' complaint seems to be lost on him.

Do we confer the order of the Black Knight on North?

By lord_sidcup (not verified) on 24 Jun 2010 #permalink

Mr M,

Monbiot may well be right on this. The other stories may have a similar background for all we know. This is the first one that was challenged.

About resigning, easier said than done with mortgages to pay. I don't envy Jonathan Leake right now.

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 24 Jun 2010 #permalink

On Klimazwiebel Dennis Bray pleaded ignorance when challenged by a commenter called "ghost" ("I have no idea what you are talking about. 'Wrong story?''Hard on myself?' 'Irresponsible?' "), and never responded to my clarification (he erroneously attributed the original challenge to me).

But Eduardo came to his rescue, challenging the IPCC again...

Ockham's Razor cuts against Monbiot's assumption of an evil editor constantly interfering with Leake's work to add nonsense and then later implicitly blaming Leake, while Leake sits there and says nothing.

Brian, also against Delgado's Razor

It's a time-honored tool of discourse, much favored by Francis Bacon, Roger Bacon and even Bacon-Bits.

It's usually expressed thusly:

"George, where do you get off telling people to trust your judgment in these matters when you said any number of false and destructive things about CRU and never once admitted error or apologized or corrected a damned one of them?"

Some have complained of its narrow applicability, but by Delgado's Razor itself, they are wrong.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 24 Jun 2010 #permalink

James Delingpole at the UK's Telegraph stands by the original story:

For some bizarre reason, the Sunday Times decided not to stand up to the Press Complaints Commission â despite the fact that the substance of the story was entirely correct. ...

...and never mind that the Sunday Times issued a retraction specifically saying that the substance of the story was entirely wrong.

North implies that he might see Monbiot in court:

And while I am very much in favour of open debate, even I tend to draw a line at being accused on the website of a national paper of "peddling inaccuracy, misrepresentation and falsehood."
This is not debate. It is libel. ... this is also a case of Moonbat going too far.

I'm getting some popcorn.

[RobH said:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/06/leakegate_corrections_needed_f…)'North implies that he might see Monbiot in court:

"And while I am very much in favour of open debate, even I tend to draw a line at being accused on the website of a national paper of "peddling inaccuracy, misrepresentation and falsehood." This is not debate. It is libel. ... this is also a case of Moonbat going too far".'

Stupidity, indignation and impotent gesturing - and possibly also impotent, stupid indignation - are all those milquetoast, mountebank clowns are left with.

Von Monckenstadt is of the same mould, for entertainment value and as a target for derision only.

I hope their solicitors are fawningly smart enough to milk them dry.

Re. 55 RobH

Looks to me like there's a fistfight brewing. First round sounds like it'll be North making a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission, and if he wins that one it might give him ammo for a libel case. Who knows, though, perhaps Lewis will make his own complaint against the Torygraph.

"Thanks for the clarification sod. So Fuller may have been accurate when he stated that "he" didn't remove certain poeple's comments (such as dhogaza's)."

Well, I haven't been over there in so long that I've not experienced the stuff Sod's discussing. And I don't know if Fuller deleted any of my comments when he first started his column and I had yet to learn what a lying sack of shit he is, and that every visit to his blog put a fraction of a penny in his pocket.

Why I do know is that posts of mine wouldn't show up, as though they were moderated and not approved. But examiner.com simply being broken is another possibility.

I'll never learn if Tom would unapprove my comments now because after a few weeks of his crap, I swore never to visit his place, as I don't care to contribute to his blog-for-pay income.

You know, Tim Lambert, you never allowed my comments to appear here at Deltoid. That motivated me to dig further into the 'Leakegate' that you pushed so much

Thanks :)


I'm glad also that the Sunday Times finally looked into leakegate as well!

So Eli, I'll ask the question that troubled others so much,...

Would you stand by this statement made in the IPCC AR4?

"Up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation;..."

@Shub: both Simon Lewis and Dan Nepstadt, expert of Amazonian vegetation, stand by that statement. But it's no surprise that certain other people don't want to accept expert assessments; it doesn't fit their desired narrative...

Shub, we responded to you. You never responded back. Do you have any evidence that a change in precipitation won't affect the Amazon, or are you just shuffling chairs in the deck of the Titanic?

You seem to have an aversion to publishing the full IPCC quotation in its actual context. Will you or will I?


I replied, but the posts never appeared. They have appeared now. Why do you think I am starting off again from the same point?

Daniel Nepstad, expert of Amazonian vegetation, supports the IPCC claim with references. One of these references is dated 2007. The ones dated 1994, 1999 and 2004 do not support the IPCC claim.

You and I can assess the evidence directly right? The question is very limited and does not require Amazonian expertise which neither of us possess.

At the basic level, there are claims in the literature that:

1) large areas of the Amazon are susceptible to forest fires (water depletion)
2) Severe and less-than severe *drought* conditions can cause sudden changes (flips)
3)Poor logging practices can compound problems seeded by ground-water depletion and fire susceptibility.

How can you combine the three to get at the IPCC statement?

A good bit of work has transpired after the IPCC published its AR4. Much of it seems to supports the IPCC conclusion.

Why are the scientists making the strategic error of saying that all the new evidence supports the IPCC claim, when that only raises the question of how the IPCC made that claim in the first place without the evidence available to it?

Sorry, Shub, but the 1994, 1999, and 2004 paper DO support the statement. *You* may not believe so, but I'm afraid I'm going to do an Appeal to REAL Authority, and trust Nepstad. In particular the 2004 paper noted that about HALF (that would be more than 40% !) the Amazon had drought conditions that were very, very close to the same drought that caused significant tree death in 1998.

That recent work confirms that is merely more damning to the huff and puff so many detractors have made about the IPCC statement.

Bolt has made a correction the only way he can, by continuing to attack the IPCC:

>This claims (sic) about dodgy research on the Amazon have been withdrawn and apologised for, although there is still doubt about the basis for the IPCC assertions.

Was Jonathan Leake hung out to dry by The Sunday Times? George Monbiot, The Guardian
"But the interesting question is how the Sunday Times messed up so badly. I spent much of yesterday trying to get some sense out of the paper, without success. But after 25 years in journalism it looks pretty obvious to me that Jonathan Leake has been wrongly blamed for this, then hung out to dry. My guess is that someone else at the paper, acting on instructions from an editor, got hold of Leake's copy after he had submitted it, and rewrote it, drawing on North's post, to produce a different â and more newsworthy â story. If this is correct, it suggests that Leake is carrying the can for an editor's decision. The Sunday Times has made no public attempt to protect him: it looks to me like corporate cowardice."


Should LeakeGate be HellenGate? Independent newspaper names Nick Hellen, news editor of the Sunday Times as real author of infamous Amazon story http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/the-feral-beast-mills-1-h… The Sunday Times ran a prominent apology last week over a story by Jonathan Leake about rewriting the UN climate panel. It's not the first time Leake has been in hot water: there are blogs dedicated to following his tussles with green groups. But is Leake entirely to blame? News editor Nick Hellen is said to have been particularly enthusiastic about (rewriting) the UN story. Is that what the correction meant when it said: "A version of our article...underwent significant late editing and so did not give a fair or accurate account of Simon Lewis's views." ?

instead of correcting their errors, an irritating number of "sceptics" is reposting false claims about the amazon.

North and Willis, over on WuWt keep ignoring the facts. sad truth.

the source of the 40% claim is Nepstad.

and he has confirmed repeatedly, that the 40% claim is correct.


In sum, the IPCC statement on the Amazon was correct. The report that is cited in support of the IPCC statement (Rowell and Moore 2000) omitted some citations in support of the 40% value statement.

the error was a tiny one. (quoting the WWF article, instead of the real source, and getting sources wrong)

the term "......gate" is completely out of touch with reality.

the Leaky article was demolished by the retraction.

Isn't a large point being missed here? Nepstad is not claiming that climate change is the major driver in forest loss. He acknowledges that deforestation and economic growth are the major contributors.

So why does the IPCC put a climate change gloss on the Amazon and, moreover, reference a WWF source?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 28 Jun 2010 #permalink

Dave, which part of the following sentence did you fail to comprehend?

"The IPCC statement on the Amazon is correct...", Daniel Nepstad.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 28 Jun 2010 #permalink

Dave Andrews @ 70:

Nepstad is not claiming that climate change is the major driver in forest loss. He acknowledges that deforestation and economic growth are the major contributors. So why does the IPCC put a climate change gloss on the Amazon

Well exactly. I mean, it's not as if rapid economic growth and deforestation have anything to do with climate change, is it Dave?

Isn't a large point being missed here?

No, fool, the statement is about the consequences of reductions in rainfall; the current leading causes of forest loss are irrelevant.

So why does the IPCC put a climate change gloss on the Amazon

Because it's the IPCC, not the IPFL, silly.

and, moreover, reference a WWF source?

Just above your comment, sod wrote "the error was a tiny one. (quoting the WWF article, instead of the real source, and getting sources wrong)". What part of that are you too stupid to understand?

By truth machine, OM (not verified) on 28 Jun 2010 #permalink

From [Monbiot's Blog](http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/jun/24/sunday-…)

28 Jun 2010, 4:42PM

George Monbiot's article (on "Amazongate") and the Sunday Times decision is an important victory for science and the public good. As the lead scientist on the research that underlies the IPCC statements about the sensitivity of the Amazon forest to reductions in rainfall, and after 25 years studying this question, I can say that the evidence has only grown stronger in support of this statement. I ran an enormous rainfall exclusion experiment in an Amazon forest that identified the rainfall threshold beyond which giant forest trees die quite suddenly (published in the journal Ecology in 2007). During the 2005 Amazon drought, tree mortality spiked up in permanent forest plots across the region (Philips et al. 2009 Science), providing further evidence of the drought threshold. The critics have latched onto two papers that seem to contradict our results, both using the same satellite sensor (MODIS). The forest canopy appears to get a bit greener in some Amazon regions during the dry season. Deeper analyses of the same data have found that these studies probably were seeing leaf-changing episodes and changes in cloudiness (which declines in the dry season) which are not evidence that the forests were not drought stressed. In a recent letter signed by 18 scientists including many of the world's authorities on tropical forest response to climate change, we found the IPCC statement to be sound and the NASA study involving MODIS data to be irrelevent to the IPCC statement. I would be happy to explain the science behind the IPCC statement. Daniel Nepstad

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 29 Jun 2010 #permalink