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Roger Harrabin, Climategate & His Pro-Active Campaign Against Climate Sceptics

BBC journalist advised University of East Anglia on a pro-active campaign against climate sceptics.

#2974 is an email from Prof John Shepherd, a Tyndall advisory board member, to RealClimate’s Stefan Rahmstorf. Dated December 2003, it is a response to an email in which Rahmstorf has suggested setting up a website to counter sceptic arguments (perhaps the germ of the idea for RealClimate itself?). That’s not the point though. The point will be clear when you read Shepherd’s report of a meeting of Tyndall’s advisory board.

Many thanks for your very helpful comments. Essentially I agree on all counts, and indeed the “sceptics ask, scientists answer” web-page that you have set up is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind as a possible minimal response that we (Tyndall et al, and even maybe the Royal Society if it wants to get involved) might undrertake. Wherever possible this could/should refer to other reputable sites (incl IPCC, Hadley Centre, the ones you mention, etc etc) rather than duplicating the material. I would envisage that such a site could be maintained by a consortium of the willing, in this case involving (say) Tyndall, Hadley & PIK. We could then asked the RS (et al) to mention it and link to it on some sort of “sound science” page on their own web-site(s) (Rachel, do you think that this might fly ?).

We had an interesting debate on this at the Tyndall Advisory Board last week, and the consensus was very much in line with your views, except for the journalist present (Roger Horobin), who wanted something more pro-active. I am more sympathetic to his view than most of you, I think, but the question is what more would be useful, effective, and not too burdensome ? So far I don’t think I have identified anything, but I do think that the sort of web-page mentioned above would be a start, and so I am copying this to Asher Minns, for him to consider and discuss with John & Mike at Tyndall Central.

Bishop Hill, 30 November 2011