Listening to the Today programme radio this morning I couldn’t understand how John Humphrys could decide that the Climatic Research Unit at UEA had some how mislead us all on the basis of a reports he hadn’t even read. What ever happened to objective, fact based, reporting? The news agenda seems to hijacked by small lobby groups, it used to be Greenpeace on the loony left, but they have been replaced by the loony right climate deniers, nether group bothered with the science or with all of the facts. The facts and the science are somehow lost along the way, it doesn’t help that Humphrys, by his own admission doesn’t understand the scientific issues, and can’t count (later in the programme he was insisting that 1968 was over 50 years ago). Professor Tom Burke, did try his best to show the story up for the a storm in a tea which it really is, but was constantly interrupted by Humphrys, who was determined to show the depth of his ignorance. He also seemed to be insisting that one small group of climate modellers, were central to the whole of the climatic change research, which is also a massive exaggeration. Some members of the group may have egos big enough to think they are the centre of the universe, but the fact is this group only plays a small part in trying to predict the future impacts of climatic change. Their work is based on a far larger body of evidences which shows clearly that the global climate is changing and that the current change is largely driven by human activity. That is the thing we need to understand and focus on.
Listening to The World at One, Martha Kearney was asking if there where any “climate sceptics” on the review panel which looked at the work published by CRU. This is worrying as it show that BBC News readers can tell the difference between science and politics. The word Science is from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”, it includes the use of careful observation, experiment, measurement, mathematics, statistical analysis, and replication. To be considered a science, a body of knowledge must stand up to repeated testing by independent observers. The word “Politics” comes from the Greek word politika, it is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions, this is based opinion (facts are not . Politics can be informed by science, but science should not be driven by politics, that just leads to bad sciences.