|Back to SCIENCE Homepage
Sir Muir Russell's inquiry team into UEA's
Climate Change Unit has a resignation
before it begins.
There are many inquiries of various sorts being set up to investigate the alleged goings-on at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. These range from the police to an "independent" inquiry paid for by the University of East Anglia under the chairmanship of the former civil servant Sir Muir Russell, recently retired vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow.
But many of us have become disillusioned by the frequent use of the word "independent" when the subject of the inquiry is paying for it. Too often the results have shown that independence was in reality conspicuous by its absence. Even if this inquiry proves to be the exception there are too many strings that can be pulled within the UK's scientific community to give such an inquiry credibility. There should have been an international presence. A climate change sceptic should have been included.
Instead the following have been appointed to Sir Muir's team:
Geoffrey Boulton, General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh;
Dr Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Nature,
Professor Peter Clarke, Professor of Physics at the University of Edinburgh;
David Eyton, Head of Research and Technology at BP
Professor Jim Norton, Vice President for the Chartered Institute for IT.
Dr Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief of Nature, resigned
But before the inquiry had got underway Dr Philip Campbell resigned.
Last year in an interview with the Chinese media he had effectively stated that there was no problem with the activities of the UAE Climate Research Unit. Also, it would seem to me inappropriate that the editor-in-chief of the prestigious journal that published many of the important papers on climate change should be on an independent panel as to whether the data was flawed or not. He should have kept himself at arms length from such an "independent" inquiry.
From the statements from the Royal Society of Edinburgh it would appear that they are convinced about man's contribution to global warming, such that their own inquiry into climate change (2) seems to assume the worst. It intends to seek ways of trying to mitigate global warming, and so meet the Scottish Government's unachievable targets - or targets only achievable at horrendous cost to the Scottish and the UK economy while making little impact globally.
With so much research funding being supplied (and essentially directed) by Government it must be very difficult to find persons who are truly prepared to state their opinions for fear of adverse repercussions should they speak against the government's wishes. Remember, Gordon Brown is set on leading the world in mitigating climate change: the extent and consequences of which may be grossly exaggerated.
The credibility of UK scientists in the public's mind is at a low ebb. Likewise internationally. Witness the serious cracks that are appearing in the United Nations Independent Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Chief Scientific Adviser to Defra, Professor Bob Watson of UEA, who gave what amounted to an evangelical sermon on the evils of climate change in a public lecture to the Royal Society of Edinburgh (3), was ousted from the chairmanship of the IPCC by another highly controversial character, Dr Rajendra Pachauri (4).
1. Kinver, Mark (2010). Climategate e-mails inquiry under way.
BBC News, 11 February 2010 Click Here to Read
2. Royal Society of Edinburgh (2010). Inquiry: Facing up to climate change Click Here to Read
3. Watson, Bob (2010). Video recording of public lecture by Professor Watson, Defra Chief Scientific Adviser, at the Royal Society of Edinburgh on 10th December 2090
"The technology - policy changes to address climate changes and biodiversity loss." Click Here to View
4. Irvine, james (2010). Major flaws are being revealed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: and there could be more to come
See HOMEPAGE, filed 24Jan10, www.land-care.org.uk www.land-care.org.uk Click here to View