Monthly Archives: October 2010
With the waterpipes frozen and snow outside we are very happy to finally be able to sleep in our house. No heating yet, but thanks to half a meter of insulation we can heat the rooms quite well with very little.
Matt. Your a dude from radsworthy, Narlington. The backbone. Living legend. A Hero. A Master of plaster. 1.5mtrs wide. A chode. A horse of a man. A strange dancer and a good mate. Safe travels man. You will be missed by all of us here. (@Floda31). Out.
It’s November 2009, I’m tired, it’s been a busy year. Copenhagen UNFCC conference negotiations are on the horizon, lots of people say it’s our last big chance to get an international framework for reducing carbon emissions. Then “climategate” happens; a series of leaked emails from the University of East Anglia. Research by prominent scientists at one of the most prominent climate change research units is called into question. Quite honestly, I don’t care. I don’t read any of the news reports. Then Copenhagen happens and it’s a failure so I take Christmas off, eat lots and forget there is a world beyond afternoons spent watching old James Bond films.
Eleven months later people still reference “climategate” in conversations and I just nod along. I’m sure I’m right to assume it’s something the media has blown out of proportion, but I don’t know. I muster up the energy, I read the reports. In a nutshell, this is it:
1,000 emails, 3,000 documents hacked into and stolen from UEA server. 160mb of data. “Controversial” documents refer to emails between 4 scientists. The controversy surrounds how some of their data was used in a few reports and the fact they didn’t want to respond to FOI (freedom of information) requests.
One of the news reports noted that the leaked emails contained the line “Oh MAN! Will this crap ever end??” Jesus, if that was the worse swearword they could find they’d be in for a big fucking surprise if they ever got hold of my cocking emails.
To recap; all the controversy at a time when we should have all been focussed on getting an international framework for emissions reduction is down to 160mb of data and emails between approx 4 people. 4. Four. The number of British scientists who signed an open letter to The Times to say that in no way did any of the leaked documents effect the quality of the research/data that had been meticulously collected over decades and indicated human activities as a cause of global warming? 1700. The population of our fair planet implicated in the lack of progress at Copenhagen? 6.6 billion. 4 vs 1700 vs 6.6 billion. I’ll take the 4 please Bob.
In July 2010 an independent report concluded that The rigour and honesty of the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit were found not to be in doubt, they did not subvert the peer-peer review process, they didn’t tamper/withold temperature data (which is still available should the public wish to download it). They did say the team should have been better at handling public requests for info. The independent review is a 160 page document. So that’s that then.
I’m writing this not to prove that I was right to presume that the reporting would be overblown (although I am) but because it’s a perfect example of our uniquely human ability to put our hands over our ears, rock back and forwards and ignore the big problem. My family lived in the east end of London during the Blitz, my Great Grandmother was pissed with the Germans not because they obliterated London but because all but one of her crystal glasses was smashed during the raids. We still have that single glass.
The big picture is thus; there is no controversy, we’re putting shit into the atmosphere and the atmosphere doesn’t like it. Debate the destruction of the crystal glasses if you will but lets move along and at the speed of a slight trot rather than a slow meander.
I should note that Norfolk constabulary still don’t know who hacked into the system and stole the data, but then I’ve seen Hot Fuzz and know how rural policing works. It might take a while and it will certainly take a lot of tea.
5 October 2010