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a forensic examination,
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This review is from: Hiding the Decline (Paperback)This is a forensic examination of what happened after the Climategate e-mails went public in late 2009, and in particular of the three main inquiries that were conducted: two at the behest of the University of East Anglia, chaired respectively by Lord Oxburgh and Sir Muir Russell, and one by the House of Commons Science Select Committee. There is also reference to an inquiry by Penn State University into some of Michael Mann's activities, and to a second review of the issue by the Select Committee. But the main focus is on Russell and Oxburgh.
What emerges is a curious mixture of incompetence and wilful ignoring of some important issues. The University of East Anglia clearly decided early on to defend one of its most prolific and high-profile research units, and set up its inquiries accordingly. The Select Committee simply seems to have been out of its depth, although I don't think it was reasonable for lay people to apply the same rigour as a person close to the issues such as this author. And he does rather labour some not very material points.
One thing that doesn't come across is that although Jones, Briffa, Mann and co escaped without obvious penalty from the inquiries, it was pretty clear to any discerning observer that the inquiries had not been much good. This even found its way into some of the newspaper accounts (by the likes of Fred Pearce), some of which are quoted here. It's good to have this on record, but I did not feel that it was quite such an eye-opener as The Hockey Stick Illusion.