Shooting CRU, the climate change messenger


Saudia Arabia’s announcement that the CRU email hack will have a “huge impact” on the Copenhagen summit is unsurprising but deeply unsavoury.

Al-Sabban, the Saudis’ lead spokesman on this, is now saying:

“It appears from the details of the scandal that there is no relationship whatsoever between human activity and climate change”.

But let’s remind ourselves of the long and deep history of Saudi Arabia’s support for the  denial of man-made climate change; the concrete actions that they have taken to prevent timely action; and their pitiful failure to take any action themselves over the greatest of all threats to our species and our living world.

Climate-deniers don’t like to focus on the role of the likes of Saudi Arabia and Exxon in backing them up. They prefer to talk about things like the minutiae of the programmer’s code used in working on the CRU data. For example, on last night’s Newsnight (11’45”) in which the new ‘Harry’ programmer’s code controversy is presented.

As has been shown expertly here and here, there is no smoking gun at all; just a vague suggestion that the way that the CRU data has been worked with has not been as flawless as the way that NASA’s has been. For more, watch this video:

Does this cast any doubt at all on their fundamental findings, or suggest any kind of conspiracy? The answer is simple: No.

The bottom line is this: There are many people out there, some of them just wilful contrarians, some of them directly profiting from the continuation of the fossil-fuel-economy, who are desperate to do whatever they can to try to hold off the moment when they have to change. CRU is one of the messengers saying that change in the way we live is necessary, if manmade climate change is not to overwhelm us. At the end of the day, the mad furore around this hack is simply a new case of a very old phenomenon: shooting the messenger.

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  • http://twitter.com/rupertread/status/6337655844 RupertRead

    http://www.leftfootforward.org/2009/12/shooting-cru-the-climate-change-messenger/ My latest on the #UEA #CRU hack, replete with great links

  • http://twitter.com/greenfeed/status/6337808144 GreenFeed
  • http://twitter.com/transitionlouth/status/6337877059 Transition Louth

    RT @GreenFeed: #RupertRead CRU: Shooting the messenger: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2009/12/shooting-cru-the-climate-change-mes… ht …

  • Anon E Mouse

    Rupert Read – Why is it you Climate Cooling Deniers don’t address the issue?

    You claim at the end of your article that it is shooting the messenger while at the beginning of your article you smear a whole country.

    Silly videos do not change the fact that in black and white the programmer has set up the software to give bogus results. Why are you not angry Rupert?

    He’s made a fool of you Rupert – the IPCC is taking the matter seriously. Phil Jones has stood down and Moonbat in the Guardian along with your own leader, Caroline Lucas say how serious it is.

    Why don’t you stop pretending nothing is wrong and instead of trying to invent ways to suggest it isn’t important Rupert, tell the truth please and address the issue before it’s too late.

  • Anon E Mouse

    And stop banning my posts from your blog as well – are you afraid of the truth Rupert?

  • http://www.twitter.com/GreenRupertRead Rupert Read

    Anon E says: “…the fact that in black and white the programmer has set up the software to give bogus results…”
    As so often from you climate-deniers, nothing more than a scurrilous and potentially-defamatory lie. If you actually watch the Newsnight clip that I link to above, you’ll see that it is pretty clear that the software had an accidental bug in it that the programmer ought to have removed. That’s all. No conspiracy. Just a minor cock-up – the kind of thing that happens all the time in real life / real science / real computer-programming, and that the IPCC process is precisely designed to overcome the significance of. The CRU data matches the NASA data very closely – there is almost certainly absolutely nothing significant wrong with it.
    As for why I prevent most of your posts from going up on my blog, Anon E: it is because you frequently choose to personally attack/insult me in them. If you refrain from doing so, then we can engage in debate there too. I am not afraid of your misrepresentations – but I will not tolerate personal attacks.

  • http://twitter.com/greenrupertread/status/6342422294 Rupert Read
  • Anon E Mouse

    Rupert – I call you a “Global Cooling Denier” because you are and even though Caroline Lucas admitted the planet was cooling on Sunday morning to Andrew Marr you won’t answer that fact here because she is right and the planet is getting cooler but that doesn’t suit your case.

    I don’t care what that news clip says, I write software now in my job (mainly C now for pics and avrs) and I have friends, including university lecturers in computing and C programming and they know more than the biased/ill informed/uneducated/whatever person who said that.

    Rupert, a bug is not a piece of code that is intentionally written in a program – it is a mistake in what has been written, hence it is called a bug.
    All bugs by their nature MUST be accidental or they wouldn’t be bugs.

    Or will you now smear my character again with your “Brave” prefix as you often do and claim that last statement is wrong?

    Let me be clear Rupert, that program routine was deliberately included – it says so in the comments of the software, that’s why it has been highlighted – it is not a bug.

    I can accept that you passionately believe in this pseudo-science – I’ve seen pictures of you from every angle on your website with a “Stop Climate Change” placard. Fine.

    What you do in your free time is up to you but to come into an open forum and claim that code which is deliberately written and included is a bug, when that is simply not true, is in my opinion wrong.

    You do your case no favours and do not call me a liar please, it is not true and it is rude. I do not tell lies. If something is true, even if I wish it were not so, I will say it is true. If it is not true I will also say so.

    Kindly stop your personal attacks against me – I expect more from an elected council member in Great Britain in 2009. Please play the ball Rupert Read.

  • http://twitter.com/greenhumansimon/status/6345524303 Simon Arnold

    RT @GreenRupertRead: CRU: Shooting the messenger: http://www.leftfootforward.org/2009/12/shooting-cru-the-climate-change-messenger/    h …

  • http://twitter.com/RupertRead Rupert Read

    Sigh…
    It really ain’t worth debating with someone who pretends that [Green Party Leader] Caroline Lucas has “admitted that the planet is cooling.” You are evidently a bit like King Midas, my dear Anon – everything you touch gets misrepresented.

  • Anon E Mouse

    Rupert Read – So you deny that last Sunday morning on the Andrew Marr show Caroline Lucas agreed that the planet had cooled for the last decade?

    Simple question Rupert. Did she agree it had cooled. Yes or No.

    *Sigh* btw – Everything King Midas touched turned to gold and was not misrepresented as you suggest – what exactly are your educational achievements?

    You are evidently a bit like Walter Mitty, my dear Rupert – everything you touch gets (I suppose) misrepresented. Now that’s more accurate….

  • http://twitter.com/RupertRead Rupert Read

    [Sigh...]
    As I’ve explained before, what Caroline allowed was the fact that 1998 is the warmest year on record. It is ludicrous beyond words or reason to pretend that that means that the planet has been on a cooling trajectory since then. Depending on which figures you take, between 5 and 7 of the warmest years on record have been during the last 10 years. That is terrifying.
    It’s simple: The planet is heating up, and will continue to do so, unless we stop polluting it. Caroline says that every day, and it really is quite pathetic for you to pretend that she has said anything different. I can’t think what you hope to gain by it, other than what is perhaps your real goal: wasting the time of people like me, and casting tiny shadows of doubt that may undermine people’s commitment to action. Hoping that your hot air will get in the way of us doing something to stop the planet burning.
    …Anyway, enough of words. I’m off to London for the climate march now. Time for action. ‘Deeds, not words.’

  • Lynda Edwards

    It was Andrew Marr who asked Caroline her comments on the fact there has been no appreciable global warming in the last ten years. Caroline emphasised we are looking at long-term trends and not merely the last ten years.

    A few years ago I attended a talk by someone who had data collected by scientists which showed global temperatures had increased since the time of the Industrial Revolution – which says a huge amount about our present way of life doesn’t it?

    Anyway, if the overall global warming melts the polar ice caps what is going to happen to the Gulf Stream? Our own climate may well cool a little but the global temperature will still be rising…..

  • http://www.greenreading.blogspot.com/ Adrian Windisch

    Sad that people with little knowledge of science assume that they must know more than scientists. As though global warming means that every year there must be an increase, when its about long term trends. http://greenerblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/climate-change-skepticism-science-logic.html is good on this.

  • Anon E Mouse

    Rupert Read – the planet is not burning. It is more than pathetic to suggest that it is. Grow up. This is not a James Bond movie you know.

    Once again you are denying the truth because you are afraid of it and you are twisting the situation to suit your position. That is both deceitful and dishonest and you should be ashamed of yourself for doing it.

    Stop telling lies and behave like an adult. I do not deny that the planet is increasing in temperature (not in the last ten years though) and I accept I do not know why.

    Neither do you Rupert Read – no one does but I do not like it when people such as yourself make statements that are simply not true. Then you smear and make up stories about peoples characters instead of addressing the issues and I find that behavior disgraceful – especially when I am being effectively pilloried by those very comments.

    I have voted for the greens on more than one occasion but never again after seeing the dishonest position you are allowed to adopt and promote on blogs like these, seemingly with impunity.

    Finally do not accuse me of having a goal to “waste the time of people like me (you)”. Define “people like me” Rupert. I have no interest in people like you who fabricate stories to act as a vehicle for their self promotion – you are not important to me.

    However I will not stand for anyone suggesting that my comments are anything but honest in any forum, private or otherwise, so do not not make any comments about anything I have said that are factually inaccurate Rupert.

    My comments are my opinion – I am freely entitled to hold them and anyone should be free to challenge them which is fine.

    What is not fine is to suggest that I am acting in a dishonest manner just because I do not share your minority view. Tread carefully Rupert Read.

  • Rupert Read

    Question: Are people always ‘entitled to their opinion’?
    Answer: NO. Not if that opinion is based on wilful ignorance.
    You are only entitled to your opinion, if that opinion is based on an effort to think straight and not to deceive yourself or others.

  • Anon E Mouse

    Rupert Read – One mans ignorance is another mans salvation.

    Richard Dawkins, the renowned atheist, would say that the Pope in Rome is ignorant because of his belief in God.

    The Pope in Rome would say Richard Dawkins is ignorant because of his lack of belief in God.

    (I only use these examples to illustrate a point not start a debate on religion)

    The answer to your own question: “NO people are not entitled to their own opinion” shows exactly why your view on (man made CO2 driven) climate change is the minority held opinion in this country.

    If the science was set you would have a point. It is not set. The CRU and IPCC have blocked articles which contradict their opinion on the matter instead of debating, using science to prove their case.

    Caroline Lucas, seemingly not sharing your control freak tendencies, agreed, quite correctly, that for over a decade the planet is cooling.

    The long term trend she said is upwards but based on what data over what length of time? That would be a scientific response – an unambiguous reply to this.

    Firstly define “long term” and do not go back to the industrial revolution please – we need data before the burning of fossil fuels to show a difference.

    Secondly produce the original data the CRU used prior to show warming. Raw and unmodified data please – the way normal science works.

    Oh you can’t do that because the CRU destroyed it. They should be arrested for that kind of behaviour…

  • Lynda Edwards

    Anon E Mouse – when did Caroline Lucas say the planet was cooling? Certainly not in last Sunday’s Andrew Marr programme which I watched carefully on BBCi after reading your post of December 4 at 9.46 pm. I posted above a repeat of what was actually said in response to Andrew Marr’s question about the subject of there being no appreciable global warming. There was no mention by anyone on that programme to say the planet is cooling! Our local papers today are full of the fact there has been climate change; if you don’t believe it just ask anyone involved in helping the poor countries in, say, Africa.

    Some parts of Australia are suffering excessive heat at the moment – is that global cooling? No.

  • Anon E Mouse

    Lynda – I have never said the planet’s climate isn’t changing. I have also never said that it isn’t due to man made influences.

    My point is that all these Climate Cooling Deniers immediately start to claim that the planet is getting warmer, even when the facts (not opinion) show otherwise.

    Caroline Lucas knows full well that bending the statistics to suit here case eg Overall trends, long term statistics etc blah blah is just bogus science.

    She knows the planet is getting colder – everyone does – that’s why she never challenged Marr on it when he (politely) used the word appreciable – he meant cooling. Remember the planet always changes in temperature:

    1882 – 1910 Cooling
    1910 – 1944 Warming
    1944 – 1975 Cooling
    1975 – 2001 Warming
    2001 – present is cooling again, it’s the way they altered the method of measuring temperatures in 2003.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8299079.stm

    That’s why the decription went from Global Cooling in the 70’s to Global Warming and now (since the planet is getting colder again) Climate change. They just keep changing the term to suit the situation and that is wrong, bad science.

    What I have said is that there is no evidence to prove it conclusively and although I believe we should recycle, have renewable energy and Nuclear power and stop pollution I just wish people would quote the facts and not what they would like to be true.

    My occupation involves (partly) designing energy saving equipment, I recycle, compost and have and always have done – I don’t need some jumped up little prat like Ed Miliband forcing me to do it – I do it because it is the right thing to do.

    I personally *hate* the fact orangutans are being killed and orphaned so selfish misguided people in the developed world can feel good about continuing to drive gas guzzling cars while the rain forest is destroyed for palm oil bio fuels. It’s wrong…

  • http://twitter.com/RupertRead Rupert Read

    You don’t have ‘a right to your opinion’ if that opinion expresses wilfull prejudice or self-deception. We don’t think that anti-semites or sexist prigs have ‘a right to their opinion’ – and quite right too.
    For full argumentation to this conclusion, see Jamie Whyte’s useful book, Bad Thoughts.

  • Anon E Mouse

    Rupert Read – I have a right to any opinion that does not incite others to acts that are considered unlawful.

    Opinion polls show that your opinion is in the minority. Therefore it is your opinion that displays both wilful prejudice and self deception.

    You may disagree with what I say but only a Stalinist would close down debate like you want to.

    It is shameful behavior Rupert Read and since you offer advise on literature I should read why don’t you try anything by the French philosopher Voltaire.

    He said: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”.

    Your control freak narrow minded views means you are blind to the truth. Everyone knows the earth is cooling, why don’t you answer that fact Rupert?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8299079.stm

  • http://twitter.com/efgreens/status/6410327575 Epping Forest Greens

    Rupert Read on the climate-change data "scandal": http://bit.ly/6525Aj

  • http://www.shamik.co.uk Shamik Das

    Anon, throwing about words like Stalinist is both offensive and unhelpful.

  • Pingback: Liberal Conspiracy » Copenhagen does not go far enough()

  • Anon E Mouse

    Hi Shamik – Rupert Read said: You don’t have ‘a right to your opinion’ if that opinion expresses wilfull prejudice or self-deception.

    This morning on the Today Program a Climate Change scientist said that 46% of the UK population believed in man made global warming…

    …I’m in the majority here, in the 54% in not knowing if it does or not so Rupert Reads comment therefore has no validity regarding prejudice.

    Since he holds the minority opinion, yet is still prepared to tell me I have no right to my majority opinion, how am I expected to respond?

    What’s great about LFF is the fact open and often dissenting opinions are allowed in healthy debate. On another section of this blog Rupert Read “Condemned me to the dustbin of history” amongst other such remarks in one of his numerous rants. I find that offensive but didn’t complain.

    I just couldn’t think of a better description of his behavior than “Stalinist” but since I don’t want to cause offence I withdraw it and use the adjective “oppressive” instead.

    Sorry Shamik.

  • Henry

    The irritating thing about climate change deniers is that they drivel on about wanting an endless ‘debate’ after there is clear evidence that urgent action is needed. Typical middle class dinner party stuff. I can see why Rupert Read is frustrated.

    At what point do we close down these discussions & actually do something about what is probably the biggest issue that faces us?

  • Anon E Mouse

    Henry – Since I am not, as you would describe a “climate change denier”, I fully concur with your most of your comments.

    I am also 100% working class and I never do dinner parties – full of too many Champagne Socialists for my liking – all educated in Karl Marx quotes without any real idea about what he meant. Not my background I’m afraid.

    The biggest issue that faces us is a nuclear armed Iran, especially with the Labour Party and it’s love of supporting US Presidents in overseas wars. That worries me more.

    Regarding the Climate Change stuff I do not like self appointed “experts” such as Rupert Read constantly making false statements in a bid for his self promotion – especially when the poor are the ones who will pay for this lot.

    “Closing down discussions” I’m afraid I cannot go along with Henry. Who does the closing down? People like you and Rupert Read?

    Funny thing democracy and although your party loves laws to control the population I seem to be in a minority on this blog being Real Labour.

    Regarding my views on (man made) CO2 driven Climate Change I hold the majority opinion and the working classes in this country detest this Climate Change stuff as much as they detest Gordon Brown but then I suspect people who read this blog have as much in common with the working man as Harriet Harman.

    Oh and I exaggerated the Gordon Brown bit – he is TRULY detested by the plumbers, chippys and sparks the country over. Up the workers!

  • Anon E Mouse

    Dave Cole – Where are you man? Missing our discussions dude…

  • Henry

    Anon: Um, I’m not some Labour hack. I sometimes vote Labour, sometimes LibDem!

    I don’t think the issue about climate change is what some poll says(& there have been several recently that you can interpret in different ways). The real question is this: what is the consensus amongst scientists who have the relevant expertise?

    I’m not qualified to pontificate on it any more than Nigel Lawson (who has a degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics).

  • Anon E Mouse

    Henry – My problem with this knee-jerk, reactive, fag-end government, is they will grab anything they can as a means of winning over the voters and this is just another example.

    As I have mentioned previously I do more than most people with recycling and not driving etc in my personal life. Same in my professional life and the technology I work with is energy saving related.

    I just see no concrete evidence of the increase in man made CO2 being the main cause of the climate change. The problem I have is when links are posted showing CO2 absorptions, planet cooling, water vapour effects etc the Climate Cooling Deniers simply ignore the point and carry on.

    Prime example is this guy Rupert Read. It is glaringly obvious he has no scientifically based education yet feels qualified enough to make untruthful statements, like his “accidental bug” line above without being challenged.

    Like it or not that software was written to produce a dishonest result. That’s a fact and no matter what the gloss, spin – whatever that is put on it can change the fact that the data from the CRU cannot be trusted.

    A judge would throw it out in a heartbeat but when the matter is brought up Rupert Read goes into smear mode with his disparaging and unfounded remarks. He even has the audacity to suggest that “The whole species is under threat” blah blah – rubbish.

    For some reason the left seem blind to anything they disagree with and are unable to face the truth. Prime example on this site was the thread elsewhere where people kept repeating that Spain was in the G20 when it clearly isn’t.

    It concluded with the statement: “As for definitive evidence of whether or not Spain is in the G20, G20+ or G∞, your guess, mes amigos, is as good as ours…” What a crazy position we on the Centre Left are currently in with remarks like that.

    I feel the same on this Climate Change stuff. Answer every point please, prove your case and stop smearing people who disagree with you.

    Finally the most stupid political move I have personally ever seen was Sunday when Gordon Brown called people who disagree with his view Flat Earthers and deniers.

    I know the worst chancellor in British history and the least popular Prime Minister since polling records began knows in his gut he is despised by the electors in this country but to alienate people who hold the majority view is crass and arrogant. Stupid man.

    As for Lawson please remind me again what qualifies Ed Miliband to be right while he is wrong?

  • hono

    i don’t even see the issue as being whether humans affect climate or not. they do – it’s simple physics. the question is ‘how much, a lot or a little’.

    this is something the climate scientists don’t really know which is why they have large error bands on the predictions from their models.

    simple physics says 0.6 C rise per 100 ppm CO2 increase. will it be less or more? the answer is as yet unknown. there are both +ve feedbacks and -ve feedbacks. the -ve ones are the least well known because the behaviour of clouds is too complex.

    but it must be reminded that many years ago when there was 6000 ppm CO2 rather than the current paltry 380 ppm, life was very happily evolving thankyou.

    if you want to know what the most extreme scenarios give us for a climate in 2100 or whenever (and these really are the most extreme), look up the Eemian period when it was much hotter than today, sea levels 6m higher, hippos living in the Thames and forests where there is now tundra. I’ll happily admit that that scenario is a domesday one but I will need to see some evidence first.

  • hono

    in addition, polar bears survived the Eemian

  • Anon E Mouse

    hono – I agree mankind alters the climate but I see it from the perspective of the poor peoples of the world who will have to pay for the 20,000 “delegates” in Copenhagen and the limos and the gross expenditure involved and the forthcoming taxes…

    …because like it or not that’s what’s going to happen I guarantee it.

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