the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Barry Woods on Guardian Panel

Posted by Jeff Id on July 16, 2010

Comment left by Barry Woods on the last thread regarding the Guardian Panel.  He attended the meeting and this was some of his quick comments.

Before anybody criticise me, I put a $100 into Climate audits Tip Jar, to help pay for Steve Mcintyres trip to LOndon… (so put up everybody, donate at watts up, Bishop Hill, or climate audit)

The Guardian did not invite Steve as such (they all ready had Doug Keenan) it was the climate audit commentors, that invited him over by offering donations to pay for the trip… and the Guardian were pleased to have him, and surprised about the donations. Over 200, Steve Mcintyre told me on Wednesday in London.

George Monbiot was actually a very good chair overall..
And I have been VERY, very critical of George.

You do really need to see listen to ALL of the audio, and unfortuanetly miss out a lot of Doug Keenan (the journalists seemed very impressed by him!) Just to witness how bad the UEA’s Trevor Davis was, especially how, the admission that PHil Jones was not seen by Muir Russell after the enquiry panel had formed, was dragged out of him…

I think the Time journalist, asked for confirmation from Davis, whether Mcintyre account was correct, ie the head of the enquiry, had not the head of the department (Phil Jones) to be formally interviewed, after the panel had formed.

George to his credit, did not allow Davis (UEA) to get away with anything, stonewalling after Steve Mcintyres, filleting of the enquiry, George pursued the question, with Davis, until after much note shuffling, not sures, mumbling, refering to notes, Davis eventually mumbled Phil Jones,- met Muir Russell in January, Steve Mcintyre said, ‘confirming’, BEFORE the panel had formed.

Bob Watson’s admission, that he had only read a FEW emails was just laughable, given the debate…
Bringing forth, from the audience. “Do you always forget to do your homework!”

Fred Pearce did come across very well (Fred and George came across as journalists)

Keenan was very concise and tough, maybe overstepped the mark, saying all climate science was rubbish (assuming man made kind)

What may be lost because he said that, is he talked about the human ‘cost’ of it all, hundreds of millions of poor affected, because we ‘must’ do ‘something’ about AGW,even as the uncertainties get bigger for AR5.

His other valid point, that struck a chord, was how there is no processes, for challenging academic fraud, incompetance, no way to hold anybody academic to account,(fraud/incompetance) Citing an example, (not climate science) that he was pursueing, where the university, said no method to do this.

Keenan I think impressed the journalists, like Fred George Roger Harrabin, The Times, etc with his conciseness, and interest in accountability of academia, no ‘waffle’.

Former IPCC man Bob Watson, could only keep repeating, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, 95% scientists agree, very superficial platitudes, that just did not work in a debate, where every one was knowledgable.

Roger Harrabin (bbc) asked him a question from the audience, and the response from Bob was very poor, totally not answering the question, whijh I heard at least one of the journalists present, saying Bob did not answer the question.

Fiona Fox asked a question, pretty much attacking the Guardian journalists, for being irresponsble for reporting about climategate.

Fred Pearces reply was perfect, comparing to how reporting MP’s expenses was referred as attacking democarcy initially, but long term better fro democarcy (cf climate science)

Fiona Fox,(director Science and Media ) sounded to be like a very strident ‘activist’, really need to hear it for yourself.. (which the other journalists, surely picked up on)

Personally, it was good to finally meet people, Fred Pearce was very easy to talk to, glad to meet Roger Harabin, if only so that I could introduce him to ‘Josh’ and a couple of others.

The journalists present could not fail to see, what the Muir Russell enquiry was really about, following UEA’s and Bob Watsons poor performance here

George Monbiot, WAS a very good chair, overall…

I had thought – oh huh, when he started of with the ‘Climate Change DENIAL community’, but it would be picky to highlight any detail.

He fulfilled the role of chair correctly. (if only he’s stop denial stuff in his blog – that totally alienates me, annd many others,)

He came across well, with a sense of humour saying:

“He was the ideal chair, beacuse he had managed to alienate, everybody!”

It was a good debate, with sceptic and pro AGW people chatting, getting to no one another, even I believe Bob Watson and Doug Keenan going to keep in touch..

Piers Corbyn came across very badly,

And again, Steve Mcintyre, came across as a courteous canadian gent, whose portayal as some sort of sceptical/denying big oilf funded deniar, by the ‘alarmists’ just now looks ludicrous…. AND the Journalists could see this, VERY well attended by journalists…

23 Responses to “Barry Woods on Guardian Panel”

  1. kim said

    Some saw precipice,
    Some disbelieved the panic.
    The mad crowd reflects.

  2. I agree with Barry. We are all indebted to Steve Mcintyre for his auditing skills, persistence, and gentle ways.

    My efforts to make a credit card donation were unsuccessful, and I declined instructions to join “Pay Pal.”

    Have others encountered this problem?

    Fears in the science hierarchy from the Climategate scandal may explain sudden moments of candor in seemingly unrelated fields of science.

    A recent news report “All Stars are Born the Same Way” from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn:

    Seems to confirm that stars recycle and reform on the collapsed core of the precursor star, as suggested 33 years ago for the Sun [“Strange xenon, extinct superheavy elements and the solar neutrino puzzle”, Science 195, 208-209 (1977)].

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  3. Don B said

    The Guardian may have had an opening-the-mind experience when they read the full interview of James Lovelock, during which he said that the great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak the science is. The grandfather of environmentalism was saying what the “deniers” have been saying.

  4. P Gosselin said

    Sounds like progress was made.
    Good report!

  5. Brian H said

    When forced out from under their rocks, the CAGWers have a distinctly slimy look and smell!

  6. Brian H said

    😀 😀 Antarctic Ice Increasing AND Decreasing! 😀 😀

    Check out the sidebar stories, too. Gems all.

  7. Hoi Polloi said

    “George to his credit, did not allow Davis (UEA) to get away with anything, stonewalling after Steve Mcintyres, filleting of the enquiry, George pursued the question, with Davis, until after much note shuffling, not sures, mumbling, refering to notes, Davis eventually mumbled Phil Jones,- met Muir Russell in January, Steve Mcintyre said, ‘confirming’, BEFORE the panel had formed.

    Monbiot wants Jones´ head, already from the beginning. To him Jones made him look silly after all the attacks on the Deniers based on the CRU data. He truly felt let down by the CRU and the Climategate emails.

  8. Steven Mosher said

    The questions and answers for the most part were stupid. with Keenan being the worst.

    Climategate is not about C02, not about the land record, not about China. As Steve struggled to explain its about FOIA and hockey stick. Its about

    A. The creation of a bunker mentality that cast McIntyre into a role where his work can be thwrted and ignored with

    B. The creation of a conspiracy mentality, where people assumed that reluctance and defiance in sharing data and code
    was soley motivated by a cover up and Not by things more mundane. sloppiness, pettiness, personal animus twoard Steve.

    C. The violation of FOIA law to cover up the irregularities in the authoring of Ch06

    That is what people should discuss. Not whether or not Crutemp can be reproduced.


  9. Laursaurus said

    You can listen to the audio on the Guardian website. Someone in the audience confronted Monbiot directly on this. He gave a very candid response about feeling betrayed after he read the emails, and perhaps, just possibly, this might have been an over-reaction. But didn’t exactly disavow himself from his statement.

    (My first attempt at XHTML…….hope I did it right).

  10. Laursaurus said

    Guess not. Here is the link to the Guardian

  11. xyzlatin said

    My efforts to make a credit card donation were unsuccessful, and I declined instructions to join “Pay Pal.”

    Oliver, I agree with you on this. Paypal is tremendously annoying. However, usually there is a small clause at the bottom of the Paypal page (either the first page or the second) that says you can pay direct with your card without joining. I don’t know whether it is the case here but you might want to check it out again.

  12. Sir, (Jeff Id)

    “THAT” (How I came across) is your opinion.
    I was approached afterwards by a number who had an opposite assessment and I had useful conversations with both sides. But, anyway what about the message not what you thought about how it ‘came across’? Are we all meant to be game show hosts? (The answer for you is probably yes since the Guardian urged the public to vote for one in the election. However now we know it was unwise to choose form over content).

    I wasn’t a speaker anyway so it was a bit difficult to come across at all! – and I would have come across better given longer! (although you would think it worse perhaps?). But what is this little corner of stress about? I surmise Monbiot was distressed that a number of people including me (but I was the only one he knew) in the audience challenging his repeated use of the pejorative phrase ‘Climate Change Deniers’ and more significantly he was doubly distressed by me attempting to raise some matters of science.
    On this I make no apology for interrupting Bob Watson’s remarks of strained credibility on Mars, Earth, Venus and CO2; and I humbly urge you have a look at Climate Realist web site for my comments on this in the report of the meeting =

    Thank you Piers Corbyn (& How does that come across?)

  13. Jeff Id said

    How you came across, was described by attendee Barry Woods, not by me.

    Barry is more in tune with personalities and how the public perceives debate than I. I simply hear facts, as proven by my perception the three Obama presidential debate losses/disasters in the US. I’m an impossibly lousy judge of what wins a “debate”.

  14. Jeff,

    Well, Barry Woods then – my apologies.

    Nevertheless it was a rude put-down intended to avoid the CONTENT of my question (which was interrupted by the chair) – and you chose to repeat it. Or maybe any publicity is good publicity but really I would prefer reportage on content rather than perceived opinion of form.

    What I really object to in this type of reportage – which pervades most of the media – is suppression of content in favour of form.

    It is THIS which actually suppresses individual and public expression. Lots of people starting from children fear expressing themselves lest they “don’t sound good enough” and where does that lead us? Toffs in power and acres of well-meaning Guardian articles about the poor communication skills of the under-classes – which would come across so well wouldn’t it?

    Thanks anyway,
    Piers Corbyn (How does that come across?)

  15. kim said

    If it’s any help, P, I’ve read at least eight accounts and you came off well in most of them.

  16. Jeff Id said


    I know you’re new to this blog, but I invite you to revise and extend your remarks (a common US congressional statement) as a blog post – short or long. All real scientific views are accepted here, send anything you like to my email on the left – anything! Doc form is working well these days.

    I expect that you will find that whatever you write, this is a well blended forum.

  17. Barry Woods said

    Piers.. (and I’m a man made catastrophic, climate change cynic – (media dimension sometimes)

    I think the majority of the audience saw you as a heckler, and were spoliing a good balanced debate, and that the chair was right and proper, to stop you. ANY chair would have done the same.. Listen to the audio again.

    Over a hundred hands were reaching to the sky to ask questions..

    The chair had NO need to ask you one, he COULD have completely, legitimately ignored you. He knows who you are, and what you represent.

    So why do you think he picked YOU out? (over a hundred other hands)

    To be a fair chair, and allow a known sceptic to ask a question?
    Or, to allow someone to speak, he knows will present themselves badly.
    And make the sceptic case look bad.. (fair/cynic?)

    George allowed the Time correspondent to pursue Trevor Davis on the Muir russell not meeting Phill Jones line of questioning, the Times journalist said this was SHOCKING (maybe not heard on the audio, I was 2 seats away. )

    My question did not get asked, was George ignoring me, far better the person in the blue shirt, that I thought was me, turned out to be that Times journalist.

    You came across to the majority as a heckler, which was wrong for this audience, whilst a subset of the sceptic tribe may think you did well, and how bad George was…

    The mood of the audience did not see that..

    It was pretty evenly sceptic /pro mix (lots from Bishopl Hill had come along) and a LOT of JOURNALISTS, and it was largely GOOD natured. Doug Keenan said far more damaging things, but he was listened to, and his sincerity, conciseness and passion came across by the way he handled himself.

    The mood also picked up on how BADLY Fiona FOX, came across.. NOT as impartial disspassionate Director of the Science annd Media Centre (that advices government) but as a stident ANGRY AGW activist…

    There were very many journalists present, they may have pause to think – Fiona Fox is advicing government of climate science bias in the media, maybe she is a little biased herself.

    (see newwatch a while ago, where she said this
    Richard Black (BBC environment)

    “to have a sceptic in every interview is misleading the public about ‘climate science’” – Fiona Fox – Newswatch

    “People like Richard Black , fighting internally (at the BBC) to say we DON’T have to have a sceptic every time we have a climate story.” Fiona Fox – Newswatch

    So please Piers take it constructively, your message in that forum was lost(to the JOURNALISTS) by the way you handle yourself.. Doug Keenan and Steve Mcintyre came across well, some people may still think they are wrong, but they were listened too.

    Steve filleted the muir russell enquiry, the time looked for clarification, and Steve was prooved right!

    Piers frequently outperforms with his weather/climate predictions embarrasing the big boys (met office, etc) yet he allows the establishment to easily dismiss him..

    Think carefully, WHY did George pick you Piers to ask a question…….
    (from a hundred other hands)

    A good chair or a cynical way to let a sceptic look bad?

    I thought he was a good chair , so one the other or both.

    As some who ALSO comes across badly, I find it an effort to contain myself sometimes, but I am ‘becoming’ selfaware enough to do this…

    I introduced Rogar Harrabin (BBC) (who I’m sure thought I was some sort of ‘loon’ as well, when I started emailing him, some time ago) to ‘Josh’ and together to Doug Keenan.. The journalists seemed very interested to speak to Doug Keenan, I would have thought twice about introducing anybody to Piers.

    Of course, all the above is just my own perception of events, my thoughts are my own.

  18. Barry Woods said


    You ‘reaaly’ had to be there, the AUDIO CUT out most of what Doug said that impressed the journalists. (I don’t blame them!!!, any newespaper would have been very wary, legally)
    Track down Doug Keenan’s opening statemnet transcript (bishop hill, Climate audit)

    Hios point about no mechanism for accountability for academic fraud/incompetance came across WELL to the journalists in the audience I think…

    His LInux analogy, WORKED for that audience about how an established consensus built up, I could see The TIme journalist, nodding his head to this….

    This was a Guradina organised event, it totally exceeded my expectations of how it might turn out. It was definetly worth my $100 dollar contribution to Steve’s tip jar, to help get him there..

    The journalists, I’m sure, saw how poorly the ‘consensus’ establishment came across vs Steve and Doug., (trevor Davis – empty suit – Bob watson, nice, sincere, but a bit hopeless waffler’) It was a debate, largeyly focussed ob Muir Russel enquiry, and a bit of climategate emails.. It would have been impossible, to cover everything…

    To repeat myself:

    “And again, Steve Mcintyre, came across as a courteous canadian gent, whose portayal as some sort of sceptical/denying big oilf funded deniar, by the ‘alarmists’ just now looks ludicrous…. AND the Journalists could see this, VERY well attended by.”

    Doug Keenan also came across well, privately apparently as well, post the debate, see Richard Drakes comments at Climate Audit/ Bishop Hill

  19. Kim – Thanks, Jeff, Barry.

    Come on Barry. If it was the other way around and I had been chairing a meeting on the subject I would have let Monbiot speak from the floor – assuming he might have had something to say. Your remarks are brimming with comment on form rather than on content. I frankly don’t care how well anyone came across in anyone’s book, I want to know what they said.

    The fact Monbiot allowed me to speak doesn’t mean he wasn’t biased. But I think a good chair would have pursued the question (despite it being via interjection) I posed against Watson’s absurd claim re Venus etc. Of course I am well aware that interjections can be dicey but let’s be clear there was no other way to challenge that nonsense from Watson and after all THAT is what people are now discussing after they’ve got over the shallow question of the manner in which I made the point.

    The alternative would be Watson getting away with nonsense Scott-free. I don’t mind a few scratches (they are inevitable) in the fight for integrity in science. I’m not trying to be a game-show host though I daresay that would be fun.

    Please also have a look at a few other ongoing comments on WeatherAction and Climate Realist sites – (twitter link )
    More CGateDebate Watson’s daft claim +Monbiot threat against those who want integrity. Comments +

  20. Jeff Id said


    I’ll do the same thing that I always do. If you wish, you can place your opinions on line here as a guest post. It is an unmoderated forum basically, but I don’t allow it to get out of control. This is not a ‘denier’ blog or that sort of thing, it’s actually attended by quite a few scientists as indicated by the ‘reader background’ post in the header bar.

    Take a chance, you wouldn’t be the first.

  21. Barry Woods said

    Piers, Steve and Mcintyre came across well, you did not.. You need to adapt to the mood of the audience..

  22. papertiger said

    Is there a transcript? I’d like to read Watson’s outlandish Venus thing, and then Corbyn’s answer.

  23. learning1 said


    […]Barry Woods on Guardian Panel « the Air Vent[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: