Damning New Investigation Into Climategate Inquiries

  • Date: 14/09/10

London, 14 September – The Global Warming Policy Foundation today publishes a detailed assessment of the Climategate inquiries set up by the University of East Anglia and others which finds that they avoided key questions and failed to probe some of the most serious allegations.

The report The Climategate Inquiries, written by Andrew Montford and with a foreword by Lord (Andrew) Turnbull, finds that the inquiries into the conduct and integrity of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia were rushed and seriously inadequate.

In particular, the report finds that:

  • none of the Climategate panels mounted an inquiry that was comprehensive within their area of remit
  • insufficient consideration in the choice of panel members led to a failure to ensure balance and independence
  • none managed to be objective and comprehensive
  • none made any serious attempt to consider the views and submissions of well-informed critics
  • terms of reference were either vague or non-existent
  • none of them performed their work in a way that is likely to restore confidence in the work of CRU.

Andrew Montford, the author of the GWPF report, said:

“The lack of impartiality manifested itself in the different ways the panels treated CRU scientists and their critics. While CRU justifications and explanations were willingly accepted without any serious probing, critics were denied adequate opportunity to respond and to counter demonstrably inaccurate claims.”

“All in all, the evidence of the failings of the three UK inquiries is overwhelming. Public confidence in the reliability of climate science will not be restored until a thorough, independent and impartial investigation takes place,” Andrew Montford warned.

Lord Turnbull, who wrote the foreword to the GWPF report, said:

“The report by Andrew Montford clearly demonstrates that all three inquiries have serious flaws. The result has been that the three investigations have failed to achieve their objective, ie early and conclusive closure and restoration of confidence.”

“The new House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology, which has rightly reopened the issue, would do well to study Andrew Montford’s report and take evidence from him. It needs to satisfy itself as to whether the criticisms made are valid and whether the exoneration claimed is justified.”

“Only if the integrity of the science is re-established and the strengths and weaknesses of the main propositions are acknowledged will there be the basis of trust with the public which policymakers need,” Lord Turnbull said.

Lord Turnbull also called on the Government to look at the serious criticisms of the IPCC made in the recent InterAcademy Council Report. He said: “The Government should demand that the fundamental reforms recommended by the IAC in the practice, governance and leadership of the IPCC are implemented immediately for its Fifth Assessment.”

The full report can be downloaded here

Hard copies can be ordered for £10.00 from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, 1 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DB, UK

About the author

Andrew Montford is the author of The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science (2010), a history of some of the events leading up to the release of emails and data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. He writes a blog specialising in climate change issues at http://www.bishop-hill.net and has made many media appearances discussing global warming from a sceptic perspective.

Lord Turnbull

Andrew Turnbull was Permanent Secretary, Environment Department,1994-98; Permanent Secretary to the Treasury 1998-2002, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service 2002-05. He is now a Crossbench member of the House of Lords and a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

GWPF Reports

Views expressed in the publications of the Global Warming Policy Foundation are those of the authors, not those of the GWPF, its Trustees, its Academic Advisory Council members or its Directors.