Evidence Provided In UK Parliamentary Inquiry Into Climate Scientists Was Prepared By Oil and Gas Industry Consultant

Thu, 2010-03-04 18:42Brendan DeMelle
Brendan DeMelle's picture

Evidence Provided In UK Parliamentary Inquiry Into Climate Scientists Was Prepared By Oil and Gas Industry Consultant

The Guardian just broke the news that a consultant to Shell and other oil and gas interests was the source of ‘evidence’ provided by the Institute of Physics in the current UK parliamentary review of the controversy in England over climate scientists’ emails stolen from servers at the University of East Anglia.

The Guardian reports:

“Evidence from a respected scientific body to a parliamentary inquiry examining the behaviour of climate-change scientists, was drawn from an energy industry consultant who argues that global warming is a religion

The Guardian has established that the institute prepared its evidence, which was highly critical of the CRU scientists, after inviting views from Peter Gill, an IOP official who is head of a company in Surrey called Crestport Services.

According to Gill, Crestport offers “consultancy and management support services … particularly within the energy and energy intensive industries worldwide”, and says that it has worked with “oil and gas production companies including Shell, British Gas, and Petroleum Development Oman”.

Gill’s LinkedIn profile reveals that, in addition to his post at IOP, he works for the Energy Institute, a “leading professional body for the energy industries” that advocates “the safe, environmentally responsible and efficient supply and use of energy in all its forms,” and that he started his career with an outfit called Coal Processing Consultants LTD.

Perhaps the parliamentary inquiry should pause for a second to ask Gill and the Institute of Physics a few questions, especially in light of the fact that the IOP was recently forced to issue a clarification stating that the evidence it submitted on the topic of the CRU hack “does not undermine the scientific basis for climate change.” 

That weak clarification is insufficient in the mind of at least one IOP member scientist, who wrote in an open letter to the IOP that its allegation that CRU scientists suppressed data is “incorrect and irresponsible” and that “If the IOP continues to stand by this statement then I will have no other option but to reconsider my membership.”

Gill sits on the IOP’s energy subcommittee that prepared the evidence submitted to Parliament for the inquiry.  Gill acknowledged that he “helped prepare the submission” but the IOP refuses to name the rest of the members on the subcommittee because it fears getting “dragged into a very public and highly politicised debate.”

Just to put this in context, the IOP released a statement claiming that its main criticism of the CRU scientists at East Anglia was that “science should be practiced openly and in an unbiased way” and that IOP “believe the case for openness remains just as strong.”

But when it’s revealed that one of the sources of its ‘evidence’ against climate scientists is horribly conflicted by ties to the oil and gas industries, then apparently it’s ok for the IOP to shun transparency and circle the wagons.

Read more over at The Guardian.

Previous Comments

Stoat has three very informative posts on the whole thing:

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/03/the_iop_fiasco.php

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/03/irony_can_be_pretty_ironic_som.php

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/03/iop_i_hate_it_when_they_do_tha.php

BigCityLib notices, in his March 5 post, that the IOP has quietly changed some of the language in its statement today: http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/search/label/Institute%20of%20Physics

Smoke and mirrors, thats what the opposition is made up of.

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