Move along taxpayer, nothing to see here

A few weeks ago this blog was preparing a post about the Committee on Climate Change and fired off a FOI request for details of funding and Committee member remuneration (more on that further down).  But after consideration it seemed the post would not provide a great deal of value and it was not published.

So it was with interest that a scan through Thursday’s Parliamentary Written Answers from Ministers turned up a reply to a question about the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) that offers the opportunity for a worthwhile post.  It was Craig Whittaker MP who asked:

…the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has made an assessment of the diversity of the range of scientific opinion on climate change that is represented on the Committee on Climate Change.

The reply was the kind of non-answer one would expect from the closed minds of those who are engaged in furthering vested interests, which singularly failed to address the point.  Surprise surprise, it is the Met Office’s protector-in-chief Greg Barker who is continuing the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) effort to shield the climate change true believers from proper accountability:

The Climate Change Act 2008 sets out a list of desirable expertise (including climate science, and other branches of environmental science), which is intended to broadly mirror the range of factors which the CCC is required to take into account in considering its advice. Taking this into account the membership of the CCC is kept under regular review with specific attention given to whether their work programme calls for additional expertise at either board level or by consulting outside when required.

I believe the current membership of the CCC contains a good mix of the relevant expertise (including scientific), and creates a committee which is focused and dynamic.

Whittaker had clearly asked about an assessment of CCC membership on the basis of the diversity of scientific opinion.  Barker’s mealy mouthed answer confirmed the composition of the CCC is based upon having a united outlook commensurate with climate change orthodoxy and the only mix being one of expertise rather than opinion.

This is the problem.  The government is not interested in scientific balance or considering viewpoints and evidence that run contrary to the so called consensus.  How can we ever have hope that new evidence or substantial doubt about the climate change creed will be looked at impartially when all the existing structures, such as the CCC, have been built on the premise that the science is settled and the debate is over?

What makes this situation all the more galling is that our tax pounds are used to fund the CCC and pay its members to maintain the status quo irrespective of anything that contradicts their beliefs.  All the members of the CCC are committed climate change advocates and have vested interests in furthering the policy agenda they themselves inform.  When you look at the CCC members you can see that science is the last thing on the mind of the government.

Take for instance the Chairman of the CCC, Adair Turner, now known grandly as Lord Turner of Ecchinswell. His biography on the CCC website describes him thus:

Lord Turner of Ecchinswell is the Chair of the Committee on Climate Change and Chair of the Financial Services Authority. He has previously been Chair at the Low Pay Commission, Chair at the Pension Commission, and Director-general Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Curiously, despite History being part of his degree, there is no mention of his previous role as a Trustee of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who of course are infamous for their involvement in Amazongate. Turner also leaves out his role as a member of the International Climate Change Taskforce. He is doing rather well out of climate change for an Economist who also lectures part time at Bob Ward’s Gadaffi School of Economics (LSE).  Of course, any allegation of bias would be grossly unfair…

Or we could take the Chief Executive of the CCC, David Kennedy:

David Kennedy is the Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change. Previously he worked on energy strategy at the World Bank, and design of infrastructure investment projects at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He has a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics.

So we have the two most powerful members of an ‘independent’ committee on a scientific subject and not one molecule of scientific experience between them.

The LSE links continue with Dr Samuel Fankhauser, Principal Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics and a Director at Vivid Economics (yes, another economist). He is a former Deputy Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, but now he works with Bob ‘Mad Dog’ Ward, a specialist in hectoring, ranting and misinforming while failing to refute the points made by climate realists.

Continuing the LSE linkage (albeit loosely) the CCC also has as a member the Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change’s sibling organisation at Imperial College, Professor Sir Brian Hoskins.  Not only is Hoskins a Grantham man, he is also Professor of Meteorology at the University of Reading.

Significance? Reading is one of the Met Office’s partner universities tackling ‘the problems of climate change’ and trying to ‘understand the impact of extreme weather’. Hoskins is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, who of course are infamous for having been forced by a number of scientists to admit the science of climate change is far from settled, before being forced to correct their false statements about the length of time CO2 stays in the atmosphere.

So what is the butcher’s bill for taxpaying public?  That FOI request I referred to earlier lays it bare… Just click to enlarge the following.

First we have the funding from DECC:

Then there is other public funding given to the CCC:

Then we see how much the CCC members are getting for presenting their ‘ideas’ and wheezes for tackling CO2 even though there is no evidence it has caused any of the warming that records suggest has taken place:

It’s always nice to see our money going to such a worthwhile organisation that serves its own our interests… Move along now. Nothing to see here.

4 Responses to “Move along taxpayer, nothing to see here”

  1. 1 WitteringWitney 20/03/2011 at 6:25 pm

    AM, Excuse for appearing a tad ‘thick’, but:

    “The government is not interested in scientific balance or considering viewpoints and evidence that run contrary to the so called consensus.”

    If they were ‘interested’, what exactly could they do whilst this country is a member of the EU? For that reason alone any government paper, committee, whatever, has to produce data to confirm the project is worthwhile and is compliant with EU demands on climate policy.

  2. 2 microdave 20/03/2011 at 6:29 pm

    So we have a bunch of non-scientists passing judgement on the advice of the IPCC, which itself is composed of people of questionable scientific background.

    Wonderful, truly wonderful….

  3. 3 Phillip Bratby 21/03/2011 at 7:56 am

    There is absolutely no doubt that it is impossible to get past the guardian’s of the climate change concensus in the EUSSR and in the the UK government. I don’t know what the solution is, short of a revolution. UKIP anyone?

  4. 4 Sceptical Me 22/03/2011 at 9:09 am

    There was a time when the UKIP posters really used to irritate me. But seeing no end to the bludgeoning, unaccountable costs of the EU bureaucracy, I realised that I could either try helping the country extricate itself (I would now vote UKIP) or retire to France, a country that is better able to exploit the EU, and through its Nuclear power stations, will keep the lights on during my old age.

    Its sad, but with our establishment so removed from scientific fact, so wholly enchanted by CAGW, England has no real future other than internal revolution or civil war.

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