The Guardian’s reporting of the leaked climate change emails

Below are links to criticism of the Guardian’s coverage of the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia and the response to the criticism from James Randerson at the Guardian .

I must add that the Guardian’s reporting of science issues is normally excellent and they have an experienced team of science writers, who also produce excellent science podcasts.  The problem only arose due to a series of articles by Fred Pearce who seems to have been less than thorough in his research with the result that a number of serious factual inaccuracies appeared in his articles.  The issues are so important that any mistakes will be exploited by other papers and commentators who are only interested in furthering their own politcal agenda.

The Guardian Disappoints

The Guardian responds

Institute of Physics and the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the disclosure of climate data

Here are three emails that I sent to Dr Beth Taylor (Director of Communications and External Relations) at the institute of Physics (IoP) following the submission of a memorandum to the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the disclosure of climate data. (To be compliant with Dr Taylor’s desire for openness and transparency I have taken the liberty of posting her replies).


Subject: IOP and the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the disclosure of climate data

Dear Dr Taylor,

As a member of the IoP I am very concerned at the way the Institute has handled the recent memorandum submitted by the IoP to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.  I will not go over the serious failings of this document or its factual errors – these have been extensively discussed elsewhere. However I must emphasise that the criticism of the memorandum is not connected with the IoP’s commendable desire for greater transparency and openness but is directed at the memorandum’s unfounded pre-judging of independent inquiries, based on apparently no more than what the writers of the memorandum had read in the media. Continue reading “Institute of Physics and the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into the disclosure of climate data”

Letter to the Guardian

Here is a copy of an email I sent to the Guardian ( copies to the letters page, the editor and the science team). I did not get a reply from the editor but James Randerson of the science team did send a lengthy and positive but not entirely satisfactory reply.  I have not shown his reply out of respect for his privacy.

Dear Letters Page,

I am a Physics teacher and long time Guardian reader.  I have been disappointed with the Guardian’s coverage of the “Climate Change Debate” over the past few months. I do not wish to defend errors by the IPCC or any professional misconduct by scientists. Even the issue of  whether the science is correct or not is secondary to whether the science should be tested by weighing evidence against theories, or by a campaign of disinformation, deceit and out right lies.  Superficial investigation shows that a significant, possibly a majority, of the criticism of the science has come from commentators intent only on destroying the credibility of the science by whatever means is to hand – they do not seem have any interest in finding out the truth.  There is a once in a lifetime chance for the Guardian to make a real difference by doing some thorough research into what is going on, and where the truth lies.  If we allow the forces of unreason, political fundamentalism and shoddy journalism to take a hold in the way they have in the US then we have no hope of surviving this century – climate change will be the least of our worries.

Best regards,

Colin Lawson