Novel And Interesting But Not Necessarily True


Richard Black



Some interesting climate stuff via Bishop Hill that keeps us informed of the climate change media ‘environment’ putting much into context:


Richard Black has resurfaced, you can’t keep a good man down.

He is now running the ‘Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit’…an independent, impartial think tank (No sniggering) that:

 ‘supports informed debate on energy and climate change issues in the UK.’  (OK you can snigger)

Of course it does.  Richard Black being well known for his intelligent and impartial reports whilst at the BBC…any suggestion that he was a climate activist masquerading as a journalist would be very, very wide of the mark.  Really.


Who else is there at this august body bringing us informed debate?  The Team is made up of media, PR and communications specialists and someone who has worked for the UN advising it on climate.

So not looking too impartial, or scientific, so far.

Who funds this vital think tank might also give us a clue as to the  direction it really takes….

‘All of our funding comes from philanthropic foundations. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the European Climate Foundation, the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, and the Tellus Mater Foundation.’


The European Climate Foundation (ECF)  is a supposedly independent body….but you might suspect it was a part of the EU……it

was established in early 2008 as a major philanthropic initiative to promote climate and energy policies that greatly reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to help Europe play an even stronger international leadership role to mitigate climate change.

The group of philanthropists who founded the ECF were deeply concerned over the lack of political action and the lack of general public awareness around the devastating future consequences implied by climate change. They formed the ECF – a ‘foundation of foundations’ – to collaborate in ensuring the necessary transformation from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy.

We do not consider applications for activities outside the scope of EU climate strategy.’


So presumably the ECIU is acting on behalf of the EU climate strategy?  Follow the money!


Tellus Mater was founded by Jamie Arbib who invests in renewable energy and wants to drive government policy in that direction:

He is interested in driving new business models that align incentives and reduce the barriers to adoption of resource efficient technologies.

He founded Tellus Mater out of frustration at the perverse incentives, regulations, business practices and behaviour that prevent adoption of these technologies.


The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment  needs no introduction and is a well known climate change campaigning organisation….home to the greater spotted Bob Ward, not a scientist, just another media PR monkey like Black.



‘Climate Resistance’ looks at this in more depth:

Does the UK Need Another Climate ‘Unit’?



Bearing in mind all those climate PR experts hammering away at the coal face of our ignorance the below from the BBC might indicate we should take everything the ‘Lobby’ communicates to us about climate with a large pinch of salt:

Everything We Know Is Wrong

The programme tells us that much scientific research and published findings may be ‘novel and interesting but not necessarily true.’

It tells us that financial and career incentives drive scientists to do research and claim results that don’t hold up to inspection.  The findings are hyped and distort the scientific process.

There are no results, we are told, that you can’t make seem plausible….and that is ‘close to fraud’.


Here is the blurb from the programme:

Every day the newspapers carry stories of new scientific findings. There are 15 million scientists worldwide all trying to get their research published. But a disturbing fact appears if you look closely: as time goes by, many scientific findings seem to become less true than we thought. It’s called the “decline effect” – and some findings even dwindle away to zero.

A highly influential paper by Dr John Ioannidis at Stanford University called “Why most published research findings are false” argues that fewer than half of scientific papers can be believed, and that the hotter a scientific field (with more scientific teams involved), the less likely the research findings are to be true. He even showed that of the 49 most highly cited medical papers, only 34 had been retested and of them 41 per cent had been convincingly shown to be wrong. And yet they were still being cited.

Again and again, researchers are finding the same things, whether it’s with observational studies, or even the “gold standard” Randomised Controlled Studies, whether it’s medicine or economics. Nobody bothers to try to replicate most studies, and when they do try, the majority of findings don’t stack up. The awkward truth is that, taken as a whole, the scientific literature is full of falsehoods.

Jolyon Jenkins reports on the factors that lie behind this. How researchers who are obliged for career reasons to produce studies that have “impact”; of small teams who produce headline-grabbing studies that are too statistically underpowered to produce meaningful results; of the way that scientists are under pressure to spin their findings and pretend that things they discovered by chance are what they were looking for in the first place. It’s not exactly fraud, but it’s not completely honest either. And he reports on new initiatives to go through the literature systematically trying to reproduce published findings, and of the bitter and personalised battles that can occur as a result.



As an example of that you might like to look at something Black and his ‘Black’ propaganda unit has produced as their initial offering to a sceptical world (and one snapped up by the Guardian, of course)…

Nearly half of the UK population (47 percent) think either that most climate scientists reject the idea that human activities such as fossil fuel burning are the main driver of climate change (11 percent), or that scientists are evenly split on the issue (35 percent). Several recent studies [ Cook et alTolVerheggen et al] show that more than 90% of climate scientists agree that the main cause of climate change is human activity.



Interesting that Black references ‘Cook et al’….someone whose work Bishop Hill and others have been examining and found wanting for a long time..and yet Black uses him as proof for his conjectures….and not just Black…he’s in good company…despite the dodgy provenance of the ‘research’:


More on Cook’s 97%

Duarte is again openly referring to the paper as fraudulent. Yet this paper was cited approvingly by Ed Davey and Barack Obama. And the Institute of Physics is standing by it. Shameless, every one of them.


Not a good start for the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit bringing us duff intelligence that is famously wrong.

Still, good to see the BBC looking at science with the blinkers off for once….and so far nobody at the BBC seems to have referred to the Black propaganda unit yet…early days though, it only started life two days ago (still didn’t stop Guardian getting on board):















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8 Responses to Novel And Interesting But Not Necessarily True

  1. Rufus McDufus says:

    Tellus Mater, Tell Mama, hmmm.


  2. Philip says:

    I am one for a good conspiracy theory, especially when it appears to be true. The only fact is that the BBC are Green conspiracy deniers (they are the UK’s most secretive organisation – for a monolithic public service broadcaster), but ‘joining-the-dots’ of particular BBC liberal and social bias constructs a liberal / Marxist ‘virtual BBC world’ where nothing is real and facts don’t matter as (rather like statistics) can managed to read any way to suit a political agenda.


  3. The Beebinator says:

    “any suggestion that he was a climate activist masquerading as a journalist would be very, very wide of the mark”

    funnily enough, its 2 years exactly since dick black was pushed off the bbc gravy train, and he hasnt published a single journalistic article since he left

    so i think its safe to say, as we always knew, dick black the eco twat was certainly a climate change activist, not a journalist


  4. The Beebinator says:

    Scientific Fraud is Rife

    “A recent paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that since 1973, nearly a thousand biomedical papers have been retracted because someone cheated the system. That’s a massive 67% of all biomedical retractions. And the situation is getting worse – last year, Nature reported that the rise in retraction rates has overtaken the rise in the number of papers being published.”

    “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…
    climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
    bring about justice and equality in the world.”
    – Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment


  5. Richard Pinder says:

    The problem is that I have no idea what the energy policy has to do with Climate science, or how an army of leaders could stop the Climate from changing.

    I suppose this proves the point that the lefties with arts qualifications think like small children, by making a judgment about a scientific subject based on what they think someone with superior intellect, like a parent, thinks, rather than thinking for themselves.

    But the BBC used to have enthusiastic science teachers like Johnny Ball and David Bellamy who wanted the viewer to understand the science.

    Personally, I find that the Unified Theory of Climate by Ned Nikolov & Karl Zeller, contradicts the trend towards zero, by accumulating answers for all sorts of scientific subjects.


  6. Merched Becca says:

    Here is one for the ‘climate scientists’ – we in Britain get ‘global warming’ which in turn, means less central heating on in the winter and hence less ‘carbon footprint’?


  7. DICK R says:

    Strange how the coldest August in living memory isn’t a sign of global cooling !