When at the launch of the Sir Muir Russell inquiry I asked about the credibility of the review panel in the blogosphere, Sir Muir dismissed the enquiry with the flick of a wrist - he had been a senior civil servant and he had run a university, his bona fides were beyond question.
But the blogosphere does not respect past reputations, only current performance. And some of the top performers in the blogosphere are critics of the establishment.
There is so much wrong with this I don't know where to start. The blogosphere is not a monolithic enterprise, so you can't make assumptions about what a platform (it's not a person) is/does/thinks. How do you asses 'top performers'? It's almost like you need some kind of criteria to asses the validity of information, else the 'top performer' just comes from selection bias. Something like peer-review? But we already have that and it's spoken. Clearly.
Not only that this article assumes that climate change breaks down into two factions:
Even at the Heartland Institute climate sceptics' conference in Chicago last week most scientists seemed to agree that CO2 had probably warmed the planet at the end of the 20th century, over and above natural fluctuations.
But they did not agree that the warming will be dangerous - and they object to being branded fools or hirelings for saying so.
This is simply not true. The Heartland Institute climate
Steve McIntyre, for instance, is a mining engineer who started examining climate statistics as a hobby. He has taken on the scientific establishment on some key issues and won.
He arguably knows more about CRU science than anyone outside the unit - but none of the CRU inquiries has contacted him for input.
He arguably does not. His ham-fisted attempts at science have never passed a proper peer-review process because it's crap. Other bloggers have taken his rubbish to pieces (e.g. part 1 and part 2) concluding:
So parting questions are these: Why should anyone take Steve McIntyre seriously? And how long will it be before responsible journalists and commentators expose his baseless “analysis” for the nonsense that it is?
Clearly it is going to take Roger Harrabin longer to get the message that provably McIntyre is full of shit. But he goes on...
I have been told by the review teams that they can read McIntyre's blog if they want to learn about his views. But they can't have read all his blog entries surely? And they would have saved a lot of time and effort if they had asked him to summarise his scientific scrutiny on a couple of sheets of A4.
McIntyre submitted to the house of commons on the CRU hack - and they concluded that the CRU were right. Nothing has changed since - except more analysis of McIntyre's work showing more holes in it.
PS. On a brighter note, it is good to see the Guardian starting to name people's area of expertise when quoting them:
Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University who is the foundation's director, said in December last year: "We look out of the window and it's very cold, it doesn't seem to be warming."
Yup - what the fuck does a social anthropologist know about climate? Judging by his comments, zero.