Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The UK's Government Office for Science


2013-03-25 More nonsense from the retiring Chief Scientist Professor Beddington?

A review of “The science of climate change” Web-pages

"Farewell" to Chief Scientist Sir John Beddington

That staunch defender of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change (CACC) religion, our "beloved" BBC, provided the thankfully outgoing chief scientist Professor Beddington with another opportunity to push the CACC propaganda. On BBC News this morning he was there claiming that atmospheric CO2 levels have been pushed up to dangerous levels due to our use of fossil fuels and the consequence would be drastic weather conditions with more extreme changes between flooding and droughts.

" .. Prof Sir John Beddington warns of floods, droughts and storms .. The UK government's chief scientist has said that there is already enough CO2 in the atmosphere for there to be more floods and droughts over the next 25 years .. " (

It seems that neither Sir John nor the scare-mongering environmentalists at the BBC have noticed the colder and colder winters we have been getting in recent years as we head into another period of NATURAL cooling that is predicted to last for DECADES. As we head into another Little Ice Age (or worse) perhaps Sir John will have a rethink about his support for the CACC propagandists.

One thing that Sir John forgot to mention was that the scientists upon whom he depended for advice while in office have no more idea than he does about what has caused such weather extremes since the world began 4.5 billion years ago.

He appears to have forgotten what he was saying back in 2010 about it being time to start listening what the scientists who are sceptical of the CACC hypothesis were telling us. The BBC too seems to have chosen to ignore what one of their more down-to-earth presenters Andrew Neil said back in 2010 " .. Global warming sceptics are having a field day amidst fiercely cold temperatures in many parts of Northern Europe and North America .. " (

Andrew also reminded us of the similar environmentalist nonsense in 2000 from Dr. David Viner of the infamous University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit when he pontificated that snow in our future winters would become " .."a very rare and exciting event" (

NB: This is a “work-in-progress” reflecting my first impressions as a sceptical lay person, so all constructive comments are welcome, not only from sceptics but from those who are convinced of the validity of The (significant human-made global climate change) Hypothesis. All comments will be given fair consideration as to whether they should be incorporated into any updates. This draft issue has been copied to the Energy, Food & Environment Issues Team at the Government Office for Science for their consideration.

Part 1. Background

On 17th September an article “Climate change website launched” was published on the “Public Service” Web-site of PSCA International Ltd. This article included comments attributed to Professor Sir John Beddington, the government's chief scientific adviser since 2008. Some of these comments, taken out of context, might sound reassuring for those of us who are sceptical of the doctrine that our increasing use of fossil fuels to power growth in developing economies will lead to catastrophic changes in the different global climates. For example, he said “ .. there is much we need to understand better .. ” .. uncertainty exists in climate science, as it does in other fields .. “ “ .. an appreciation of the nature and degree of uncertainty .. is critical if the science is to properly inform decision-making", but could sceptics expect the new Web-site to covered these deficiencies in the science in an openly critical manner? We shall see!

On 30th September environmental activist charity 10:10, gave what environmental activist newspaper The Guardian called a scoop news item. The Guardian’s scoop “There will be blood – watch exclusive of 10:10 campaign's 'No Pressure' film” provided access to a vile short film which was subjected to so much adverse reaction from normal people world-wide that it was hastily withdrawn by the charity. The Guardian added the charity’s withdrawal statement as an update to its “scoop” that evening which attempted to laugh off the film as just a comedy gone wrong. Here is what they ended with. “At 10:10 we're all about trying new and creative ways of getting people to take action on climate change. Unfortunately in this instance we missed the mark. Oh well, we live and learn. Onwards and upwards, Eugenie, Franny, Daniel, Lizzie and the whole 10:10 team”.

The charity’s founder is Franny Armstrong, a one-time pop drummer and self-taught director of her company Spanner Films, which produces scare-mongering films about global warming.

One might ask what the charity 10:10 and its dubious activities have to do with the Government’s chief scientist. Well, on 11th October, less that two weeks after this explosion of disgust from people around the world about the 10:10 charity’s film, the UK Government Office for Science proudly announced that Chief Scientific Advisor “John Beddington pledged his support for the 10:10 campaign”. Bear in mind that "the 10:10 campaign was founded by Franny Armstrong .. The idea came to Franny while walking through Regent’s Park in London on her way to a debate with UK Climate & Energy Secretary Ed Miliband. Two things sprang to mind: a recent George Monbiot article had laid out the kind of policies we’d need to cut the UK’s emissions very quickly, none of which sounded impossible. And the Climate Safety report had identified a 10% cut in the developed world's emissions by the end of 2010 as the kind of target we should be aiming for to maximise our chances of avoiding a climate catastrophe”.

What motivated such a senior government scientific advisor to give what can only be interpreted world-wide as his full support to a non-scientific charitable organisation and campaign that:
- was inspired by an article written by a staunch environmental activist and partnered by a newspaper that is dedicated to supporting environmental activism,
- fully supports the doctrine that our continuing use of fossil fuels will lead to catastrophic global climate change and
- sees fit to promote extreme violence against any, including children who reject this doctrine.

This is the same charity that was set up with the full support of the previous Labour Government’s international development and environment secretary Ed Milliband, who has been closely involved with its founder Franny Armstrong since at lease March 2009.

On 19th March 2009 the BBC reported that Sir John had made the following comments in his presentation to the government's Sustainable Development UK conference in Westminster “By 2030 the demand for resources will create a crisis with dire consequences. Demand for food and energy will jump 50% by 2030 and for fresh water by 30%, as the population tops 8.3 billion. Climate change will exacerbate matters in unpredictable ways. It's a perfect storm”. That BBC report ended with “He wants policy-makers in the European Commission to receive the same high level of scientific advice as the new US president, Barack Obama. One solution would be to create a new post of chief science adviser to the European Commission, he suggested”.

Those comments with reference to climate change, along with full support for the 10:10 objectives give the unmistakable impression that Sir John has already made up his mind that our continuing use of fossil fuels will lead to catastrophic global climate change.

This article is not intended to ask questions about the motives of the Office for Science giving its full support to an organisation like 10:10 but there could be other than scientific motivations behind support for the opinions expressed in “The science of climate change” Web-pages. There is no doubt in the minds of sceptics about the political motives that influence the manner in which the supposed science in the assessment reports of the UN’s IPCC is presented. The question to be addressed here is to what extent is the “science” presented in the Web-pages of the UK Government’s Office for Science similarly affected.

Here in full is what the “Public Service” article reported Sir John to have said about his “The science of climate change” Web-site. “Reporting on climate change science has often created more heat than light. The evidence is compelling that climate change is happening, that human activities are the major driver for this and that the future risks are substantial. At the same time, there is much we need to understand better; for example, the pace and extent of the changes we can expect, and regional impacts. The fact that uncertainty exists in climate science, as it does in other fields, does not detract from the value of the evidence. But an appreciation of the nature and degree of uncertainty, and of the likelihood and potential severity of risks, is critical if the science is to properly inform decision-making".

In the introductory page of “The Science of Climate Change” Sir John said “The evidence is compelling that climate change is happening, that human activities are the major driver for this and that the future risks are substantial. This evidence includes wide-ranging, long term and robust observations of changes that are taking place, and projections of possible future changes that are based on basic physical laws”. Sceptics argue strongly that there is no convincing evidence that “ .. human activities are the major driver for .. “ any significant changes to the different global climates that may be happening.

In saying “There are also many areas where major uncertainties remain and where more research and long term, reliable observations are required” Sir John shows that he understands such scepticism even if he disagrees with it. He goes on to say “In developing this section of the Government Office for Science website I have drawn upon the expertise of many leading scientists, including the network of Departmental Chief Scientific Advisers across Government. My consultations have included discussions with those sceptical or agnostic on aspects of the science”.

A few days after the announcement of their “Climate Change” Web-pages I asked the Office for Science for the names of the scientists, including sceptics, who had advised during the preparation of the pages. Two weeks later I was provided with a list;
Prof Julia Slingo OBE, Chief Scientist, Met Office
Prof John Mitchell OBE FRS, Director Climate Science, Met Office;
Dr Peter Stott, Head, Climate Monitoring and Attribution, Met Office
Dr Olivier Boucher, Hd Climate, Chemistry and Ecosystems, Met Office
Prof Keith P Shine FRS, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading
Dr Eric Wolff FRS, British Antarctic Survey
All of the scientists named are well known for their support of the UN-inspired doctrine that our use of fossil fuels would lead to catastrophic changes to the different global climates. All excepting Keith Shine are signatories of the Met Office's "Statement from the UK science community" just ahead of the UN's COP15 fiasco in Copenhagen.

Already there was evidence of overwhelming bias at the UK Government Office for Science in favour of the doctrine so I wondered if this bias also permeates the information provided on “The science of climate change” Web-site. After an initial review of what is offered on those Web-pages I concluded that it is totally biased in favour of the doctrine. As a result of a request from Sir John’s Energy, Food & Environment Issues Team I have a work-in-progress detailing what I consider demonstrates this bias.

This is presented in Part 2.

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