Lawson and the think-tank bent on hijacking global warming debate

The leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia could not have come at a better time for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a "cross-party political think-tank" set up last week to counter the supposed lies and distortions of the climate science community.

Chaired by Lord Lawson, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher, the foundation's stated aim is to "help restore balance and trust in the climate debate that is frequently distorted by prejudice and exaggeration".

"Our main purpose is to bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant," said the foundation, which has half-a-dozen peers, a bishop, a banker and an economist as trustees.

In a newspaper article, Lord Lawson said the leaked emails from the CRU appear "at first blush" to show that scientists have been manipulating the raw temperature figures "to show a relentlessly rising global warming trend".

The foundation's own logo emphasises the point by showing that global mean temperatures for the 21st century have not in fact been rising, but, if anything, getting cooler.

"It is curious that, whereas their models predicted an acceleration in global warming this century... so far this century there has been no further warming at all," Lord Lawson said.

But for an organisation set up to expose such data manipulation, it was indeed unfortunate that the logo was itself a travesty of the truth. For a start, it contained at least one obvious error, spotted by Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

The original logo depicted 2003 as having the highest global temperature of that highly selective series of years, which was not the case. Benny Peiser, the director of the new foundation and a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University, admitted that there had been a "small error by our graphical designer".

Mr Ward also points out that the data used in the logo comes from a dataset compiled by the Met Office and the very same Climatic Research Unit that the foundation criticises for data manipulation. Even the amended version of the logo appears to show that 2006 and 2007 were warmer years than 2004, which is not the case.

"I am surprised that the members of the foundation's academic advisory council have not been scrutinising the information on the website to ensure it is correct," Mr Ward said.

It is also odd that the foundation chose to represent just eight years of data, from 2001 to 2008. If it had included 2000, and the latest data on what is known of 2009, then the shape of the logo would look very different – even more so if the past 150 years of data were included.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
i100
Life and Style
tech

Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments

Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

Technical Sales Manager

£45000 - £53000 Per Annum plus bonus plus package: The Green Recruitment Compa...

Humanities Teacher

£110 - £135 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Outstan...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor