Flawed ‘Climategate’ Inquiries Failed To Restore Confidence In UK Climate Science

  • Date: 24/01/11

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) remains deeply concerned about the failure by academic and parliamentary inquires to fully and independently investigate the ‘Climategate’ affair.

The latest follow-up report by the Science and Technology Committee on the disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) confirms that the Climategate inquiries had serious flaws, lacked balance and transparency and failed to achieve their objective to restore trust and confidence in British climate science.

The report by the Science and Technology Committee shows that the inquiries into the conduct and integrity of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit were deficient and biased.

In particular, the report finds that:

  • UEA Vice-Chancellor Professor Acton misled the House of Commons Committee over the nature of the Science Appraisal Panel (paragraph 23).
  • As Graham Stringer MP, a member of the Committee, has pointed out: “The Oxburgh panel did not do as our predecessor committee had been promised, investigate the science, but only looked at the integrity of the researchers… This leaves a question mark against whether CRU science is reliable.”
  • Lord Oxburgh’s Science Appraisal Panel may have not been wholly independent (paragraph 32).
  • The review by Lord Oxburgh lacked rigour and diligence (paragraphs 33; 61).
  • The Inquiries failed to investigate the serious allegation relating to the deletion of  e-mails in response to an FOI request (89).
  • None of the inquiries have determined if CRU staff actually contacted the journals they discussed threatening. The alleged threatening of the highly respected journal Geophysical Research Letters, arguably the most important incident in this area, has yet to be examined at all. The committee’s finding in this area is shameful.

Andrew Montford, the author of the GWPF’s report “The Climategate Inquires” said:

“The committee suggest that we should all just move on. That may be what suits most politicians, but the public deserve to know the truth. The committee have turned a blind eye to the abundant evidence of wrongdoing at UEA and in the Climategate inquiries.”

We share the view by Graham Stringer that the UEA failed to set up independent panels that would have ensured an independent and objective scrutiny of the Climategate affair.

Mr Stringer’s conclusion encapsulates the utter failure of the Climategate inquires:

“We are now left after three investigations without a clear understanding of whether or not the CRU science is compromised.”