Tallbloke talks climategate with the BBC

Posted: October 19, 2021 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics
Tags: , , ,

I got a phone call from a nice lady called Sally at the BBC a few weeks ago. Would I be prepared to take part in a programme about climategate? After bending her ear for 45 minutes I asked her to email me an outline of what the programme was going to cover so I could decide whether or not I wanted to be involved.

After due consideration, I agreed to be interviewed, but the timing was such that I’d be abroad, and we’d have to conduct it via WhatsApp. To ensure decent voice quality, I offered to record the interview locally using another phone and send them the file afterwards. This of course means I have a permanent record of the full interview, and it’ll be fun to have a talkshop sweepstake on how many seconds of it will survive the editors scissors. Here’s the full 23 minutes.


  1. Jim Hunt says:

    I’ll bid 23.5 seconds.

    When will we all find out the correct answer?

  2. tallbloke says:

    As long as that? I doubt it.
    Sally promised to contact me to let me know when it’ll be aired. I’ll remind her about that.

  3. Presumably the programme was this one (producer Sally Abrahams)
    “The Hack that Changed the World” part one available here:

  4. Terence CAIN says:

    The next episode covers the investigation I think.

  5. tallbloke says:

    Released On: 01 Nov 2021 ??

  6. oldbrew says:

    The Trick was shown on TV yesterday, didn’t see it. Another attempted defence of the indefensible, if this Guardian article is anything to go by.

    ‘This is a story that needs to be told’: BBC film tackles Climategate scandal

    Scientist Philip Jones is resigned, but ready for a fresh wave of abuse when drama The Trick tries to put the record straight on accusations that he falsified data on global heating [sic!]


    It will tell the story, sympathetically, of his tribulations at the hands of climate change deniers.

    It won’t be discussing the incriminating emails much then 🙄

    Or mentioning his escape from likely prosecution due to a 6-month rule?
    – – –
    Guardian (2010): Leaked climate change emails scientist ‘hid’ data flaws

    Exclusive: Key study by East Anglia professor Phil Jones was based on suspect figures

    That was 2010, but now the same Guardian says ‘The Trick tries to put the record straight on accusations that he falsified data’. 🤣

  7. Mack says:

    Excellent interview Roger. I thought you cam across exceptionally well and, to be fair, the interviewer let you put all of your points across and his questioning didn’t seem to indicate that he was after the scalp of a dirty rotten denier! However, I suspect your comments in relation to data manipulation, the ‘non’ climate consensus and historical temperatures might just get the snip! Let’s hope there’s at least one even handed producer left at the Beeb.

  8. tallbloke says:

    Climategate was about a lot more than Phil Jones and his spreadsheet anxieties.

    * Intimidating journal editors who dared to publish contrary scientific studies
    * Putting non-scientists in charge of the production of the ‘Summary for Policymakers’.
    * Hiding the uncertainty from the public and govt.

    To name just a few.

  9. Ron Clutz says:

    In 2019 John Walker responded to a Quora question “Why Are There So Many Climate Skeptics?” Out of his extensive research, he limited his reply to 12 points, one of which concerned the impact of Climategate. Here is that segment:

    Climategate. Climategate was a notorious event initiated by leaked emails in 2009 (with a second batch released in 2011) allegedly revealing the deceit and deception practiced by a prominent group of British (Climatic Research Unit or CRU) and American climate researchers (including Michael Mann of Penn State) who promote the theory of CAGW and supply much of the climate and temperature data and reports to the IPCC. The latter gives this group tremendous influence regarding the UN’s climate change agenda.

    “There are three threads in particular in the leaked documents which have sent a shock wave through informed observers across the world. Perhaps the most obvious, as lucidly put together by Willis Eschenbach (see McIntyre’s blog Climate Audit and Anthony Watt’s blog Watts Up With That ), is the highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues have for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.

    “But the question which inevitably arises from this systematic refusal to release their data is – what is it that these scientists seem so anxious to hide? The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programmes, always to point in only the one desired direction – to lower past temperatures and to ‘adjust’ recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. This is what Mr McIntyre caught Dr Hansen doing with his GISS temperature record last year (after which Hansen was forced to revise his record), and two further shocking examples have now come to light from Australia and New Zealand.

    “The third shocking revelation of these documents is the ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning of the findings they have arrived at by such dubious methods – not just by refusing to disclose their basic data but by discrediting and freezing out any scientific journal which dares to publish their critics’ work. It seems they are prepared to stop at nothing to stifle scientific debate in this way, not least by ensuring that no dissenting research should find its way into the pages of IPCC reports.”

    Walker’s Quora response is here:

    My synopsis with added images:

    Q&A Why So Many Climate Skeptics

  10. Ron Clutz says:

    I just noticed that Quora buried Walker’s 12 point answer to the query, and only show people comments afterward. In order to see the actual response you have to go here:
    and then search for “skeptics”. There are many persuasive exhibits there, perhaps a reason to suppress it

  11. Coeur de Lion says:

    There are useful insights by Ross McKitrick who dissected the four whitewashes after Climategate. All were partisan and incompetently conducted. Penn U in particular did not want the grant funding tap turned off, so Mann was not pressed . The Wegman enquiry exposed the pal review network.
    Listened to Tallbloke’s discussion with the Beeb. Didn’t ask whether the police really TRIED to discover who it was. Waste of police time: if UAE and CRU can’t look after their stuff then bad luck. Crowd of self important dandies; pfui

  12. stpaulchuck says:

    this is all coming back up due to the wind down in the Great Scamdemic, so the NWO pols needed a fallback boogeyman and CAGW was a natural for them. They already have so many people convinced we’re all going to die as the world catches fire due to my backyard grill.

    The Green Blob is already mandating EV’s and other nonsense. Mexifornia (California to the rest of the world) has mandated all local haul TRUCKS to be EV’s. The Congress is trying to sneak in the infamous carbon tax in their massive “infrastructure” bill as well as EV mandates.

    I followed the link over to Science Matters. It’s a good read. I like that site anyway. Lots of good articles there IMHO.

  13. Jim Hunt says:

    Good evening Ron (UTC),

    Given your abhorrence of the alleged “ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning” perhaps you wouldn’t mind digging this comment of mine out of your moderation queue?



  14. Jamie Spry says:

    Nice work, Rog. Look fwd to their program and how they inject your common sense story into it. Jamie.

  15. tallbloke says:

    From Sally:

    I did say I would let you know when it’s on air.
    So the series starts on BBC Radio 4 on Mon 1 Nov – running all week at 1345.
    We also have made available the first episode on BBC Sounds. 

    The rest of the episodes will be added to BBC Sounds once they are completed, so you might get access to them before 1 Nov. 

  16. tallbloke says:

    Oh, and Jim, wind your neck in mate.

  17. tallbloke says:

    Jamie, thanks.
    let us know what account you’re using on twatter please.

  18. Stephen Richards says:

    It’s clearly a BBC attempt to support COP 26 Glasgow so be prepared to be annoyed

  19. tomo says:

    One thing that’s come up this time that I don’t recall being mentioned first time around is the involvement of high end rock n roll reputation managers with Phil Jones ….

    Neil Wallace and Sam Bowen of The Outside Organisation – I wonder at what they charged for their services and how the relationship with some provincial academics was forged ?

    I see Wallace was tried for phone hacking and acquitted – but oddly went out for meals with the investigator who was ahem… apparently, not unfamiliar with Norfolk Constabulary…

    I see Twatter has been blocking access to @ClimateAudit thread about this…

  20. tomo says:

    I wonder how many peeps actually watched the drama?

  21. Jim Hunt says:

    Thanks Rog,
    “We also have made available the first episode on BBC Sounds”
    The Hack That Changed the World
    I’ve put Melvyn Bragg on the BBC Sounds back burner for the foreseeable future!

  22. tallbloke says:

    The BBC are sure it was a hack rather than an inside job. Maybe they should share what they know with the police.

  23. oldbrew says:

    From Don Keiller’s link:

    In fact it is noteworthy that, despite all the official “investigations”, Jones has never been required to answer questions under oath or provide a signed declaration.

    Unsatisfactory, to say the least.

  24. Thanks Roger, interesting interview, and you come across very well. I suspect that the only bit that will make it into the Gordon Corera radio programme will be the bit about the police raid. The first part is already put, see link from Geoff. It’s only 15 minutes per episode.

    I wonder why the Beeb is digging up climategate again now? It seems like an odd time to do it.
    Alan Kendall (who worked at UEA at the time) has a blog post reviewing the TV fiction.

    Tricks of the trade and other treats – comments from a UEA veteran

    It’s amazing that the BBC seem to think that it was an organised hack. All you have to do is look at the text of the original 2009 FOIA post and the Readme file in the follow-up in 2011 that was posted here at the Talkshop to see that whoever did it was very knowledgeable on the details of climate science.

  25. Jim Hunt says:

    An “UEA/CRU inside job” then Paul?

  26. tallbloke says:

    Speculations on a postcard to the usual address. But as I said in the interview, it’s unlikely an external hacker would have obtained emails going back to 1997 in 2008.

  27. Paul Cottingham says:

    As a Mensa member with an IQ of 164. My understanding of the Hockey Stick fraud, is that it has incorrect assumptions about tree rings, making it not show the medieval warm period seen in 485 other papers, or the warming after 1960. So to “HIDE THE DECLINE” in temperatures seen in tree rings after 1960, the ”TRICK” was to hide the decline by substitution of tree ring data by thermometer data from 1960. With the scientific fraud before 1960, the thermometer data from 1960 gave the desired “HOCKEY STICK” shape. It was Phil Jones who suggested that they use “MIKE’S NATURE TRICK” to “HIDE THE DECLINE”. Which refers to the fact that Michael Mann also used “The Trick” to impress the IPCC into using the fraudulent Hockey Stick graph.
    The scientific fraud used assumptions that thin tree rings were caused by cold weather. But Isotopic evidence in tree rings showed that the temperature does not determine the width of tree rings. Climategate emails, hacked or leaked by an insider, verified that the tree ring data would not show the upturn in temperature after 1960. In fact, they showed a decline. So the contrivers said, “Hide the Decline” by replacing it with grafted on thermometer measurements. Also, the reason that the temperature does not determine the width of tree rings is that sometimes the tree rings are thin because of hot droughts, as well as the assumed cold used in the Hockey stick. Isotopic evidence showed that many of Mann’s assumptions for tree rings were wrong, and therefore constitute evidence for scientific fraud. So the nature of the “scientific fraud” is that hot dry years are depicted as cold years in the Hockey Stick, except after 1960.

  28. neilhamp says:

    Watched the trick all the way through. I doubt if many people could follow the detail. They did however try to cover the detail associated with “hiding the decline”.
    If you don’t want to watch it all the way through the critical discussion occurs at 40 minutes.Phil Jones and his PR people are trying to decide how he can best present the famous email to the general public.
    Unless I am misunderstanding what he is saying, Phil seems to admit to “hiding the decline”. If anyone else watched I would be interested to know their opinion.

  29. Jim Hunt says:

    Afternoon Rog (UTC),
    Unless I’m very much mistaken (which doesn’t happen often!) your dulcet tones are being broadcast to the World during the intro to episode 2?

  30. tallbloke says:

    Jim, I wouldn’t know, as I’m not a bbc license payer.
    I’ll be able to listen on Nov 2nd without breaking any rules.

  31. tallbloke says:

    Paul C, the lack of correlation between tree rings and temp is just one of the many issues with paleodendroclimatology. They seem to think there’s no problem with pre-selecting which series to use by filtering them according to how well they concur with the instrumental temperature record at the modern end…

  32. As Jim says, part 2 is now out on BBC sounds. You appear for about a minute in the middle. As I guessed, they only played the bit where you talk about the police raid (preceded by a door knock sound effect!)

    The only interesting thing I learnt from part 2 was that the original UEA servers have been wiped. Gordon Corera seemed to think that if they hadn’t been, modern forensic techniques might have been able to learn something from examining them, but that doesn’t make much sense to me.

  33. Johna says:

    Roger you did a great job in what I think was a brazen attempt by the UK imperialist establishment to rubbish you – and the contra AGW findings by thousands more technicians scientists engineers physicists – who also know that this is a literal war on the general public to make us all poorer have less freedoms and dance to the tune of our new would be masters – a kind of neo imperial fascist leaning dictatorship with coordinated global implications.
    From what I’ve experienced it was Thatcher’s vendetta to put down all democratic gains the trade unions made for the working and middle classes. And faced with almost loosing the miners fight (even with the army on stand by) she made the Hadley Centre for Climate Predictions (CRU) with the aim of proving a link between CO2 and global warming – primarily from coal fired power stations. She then forced through more nuclear power and totally undermined the UK’s erstwhile pragmatic energy mix policy by allowing our North Sea natural gas to be used for power generation, even against the expert advice by energy and industry leaders that this was most unwise as they knew just how precious it was.
    Now and as a direct result of this stupidity we have little gas and oil left and an utter maniac who has put our beloved country in great peril as it would not take much to paralyse the UK and walk in with an army to end his reign – but what would that mean for us? Indeed what will this green fascist leaning ideology mean for the World where billions strive to have the basics in life that we take for granted and some discard as not fashionable?
    May I suggest that in order to avoid such a potential mass loss of life and to restore democracy and Christian values we coordinate our efforts to face off the voice of the state (The BBC) with a panel of experts who can convey to the public what’s really going on with our climate. Tony Heller (corrupted data laid bare) Joseph Postma (the spherical model represents what actually happens with radiant heat dynamics) William Happer (can convey the details of atmospheric gases and heat transfer) Richard Lindzen (consolidate all the technicalities to the politics). But we also need a leader/spokes person who can face the BBC at their level and champion the public’s aspirations to have a true level playing field – any thoughts then?

  34. tallbloke says:

    Johna, thanks. I think we’ll see a front runner for job of being the figurehead emerge over the next year. I reckon the greentories will call an early election in the hope of catching us unprepared.

  35. Johna says:

    Let’s see and I’m sure the majority of your readers will help in finding our pending leader. For sure whoever he or she may be they will need to be fully in tune with the sciences and politics and have a cast iron affinity with the poor and all others affected Worldwide.
    With respect the scary thing I see about an early election (and one I despair with) is that we don’t have a political opposition party that’s capable of ousting these stupid and ignorant people as they have infiltrated all political parties Worldwide. And that includes Russia and China as they too are living high on the profits of capitalist inspired exploitation because they have the oil gas coal and a labor force that are forced to work for peanuts and understandably are too scared to rebel for fear of being jailed or summarily executed.

  36. Jim Hunt says:

    Jeez John,
    That was a rant and a half!
    However I have to say that I heartily agree with your “an utter maniac who has put our beloved country in great peril” assertion.

  37. Paul Vaughan says:

    what really (CO[tooII], wash in tune) caught my attention:
    the interviewer’s (apparently 6000 year) response II “little ice age”

  38. tallbloke says:

    Well I got just over a minute in episode two, but no discussion of the science was included. As I suspected, they just wanted me for a bit of colour.

  39. tallbloke says:

  40. oldbrew says:

    Ross Clark: ‘Climategate’ still matters – but not how the BBC thinks it does
    6 November 2021

    Theft or no theft, Climategate revealed important matters of public interest – especially given the extent to which we are now being asked to adjust our lifestyles to reduce carbon emissions – and the BBC is quite wrong to try to dismiss the public interest side and present it merely as some dark and dastardly crime.


  41. […] Roger Tattersall, subsequently had his computers confiscated by the Police. You can hear his full interview with Gordon Corera here (only a short excerpt made it into the Radio 4 […]

  42. […] Roger Tattersall, subsequently had his computers confiscated by the Police. You can hear his full interview with Gordon Corera here (only a short excerpt made it into the Radio 4 […]

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