Roger Tattersall

Roger Tattersall

 Credentials

Roger Tattersall describes himself as “a qualified engineer and a graduate of the History and Philosophy of Science.” [1]

 Background

Roger Tattersall, known by his online persona “Tallbloke,” is the owner and operater of the skeptical blog Tallbloke's Talkshop, which was set up in November 2009, around the time of the first release of hacked e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.

Tattersall is a web content editor at the University of Leeds. He also appears to run an IT service at tallbloke.net entitled “StressFree.IT ltd”. [2]

Tallbloke's Talkshop was one of four blogs to receive a comment by “FOIA” in November 2011, which linked to hacked e-mails obtained from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) - popularly dubbed “Climategate.” [3]

Stance on Climate Change

“Why do we spend our time working on obscure stuff about the way the planets and sun bob about in space? Because changes in solar output are the primary driver of climate change on Earth not changes in the atmosphere.” [4]

Key Quotes

“I have no problem standing shoulder to shoulder with the owners of the other blogs who have had comments placed on their sites by 'foia'.

Providing pointers to where people can find information they paid for in the first place is a great deal less heinous than conspiring to delete or hide it IMO.” [5]

Key Deeds

December 14, 2011

Tattersall became part of an investigation by UK Police into the e-mail hacking at the East Anglia CRU. Police entered his apartment and seized two of Tattersall's computers and a router.  

According to The Guardian,

“Both Tattersall and a US-based climate sceptic blogger known as Jeff Id said they had received a 'formal notice' stating that their blogging platform WordPress.com had been asked by the US Department of Justice's criminal division, dated 9 December, to preserve 'all stored communications, records, and other evidence in your possession' related to their blogs as well as to Climate Audit, a climate sceptic blog run by a Canadian mining consultant called Steve McIntyre. All three blogs had received messages from 'FOIA' last month pointing to the link hosting a second tranche of emails first taken from the UEA in 2009.” [3]

The notice was also published on Tallbloke's Talkshop on December 14, 2011.

Since the intervention by police, skeptical science blogs including Watts Up With That and Bishop Hill have lent their support to Tattersall's “fighting fund” designed to “mount a proper legal response” against what Anthony Watts describes as “actions taken against innocent climate enthusiast Roger Tattersall aka 'Tallbloke' as a result of the unsought anonymous drop of data from the person or persons known as 'FOIA'.”  [6]

November 2011

Tattersall's blog, as well as skeptical blogs Wattsupwiththat, ClimateAudit, and AirVent were among the first to receive a comment by a user called “FOIA” linking to the hacked e-mails of climate scientists.

This is the second release of hacked e-mail, the first batch appeared on November 17, 2009 in a file called “FOIA2009.zip”.

It is notable that Tattersall's blog, small in the scheme of skeptical blogs when compared to the likes of Bishop Hill, was chosen by FOIA as an ideal release point. Tattersall speculates on the issue here.

November 29, 2009

Tattersall published his first post at TallBloke's Talkshop, twelve days after the initial release of the FOIA2009.zip hacked emails from the CRU.

January 26, 2011

Tattersall attended a conference in Lisbon, Portugal, hosted by the Gulbenkian Foundation and facilitated the EU’s Joint Research Committee. He describes himself as an “ad hoc member of the invite committee.”

Fred Pearce from the New Scientist described the meeting as “the brainchild of University of Oxford science philosopher Jerry Ravetz, an 81-year-old Greenpeace member who fears Al Gore may have done as much damage to environmentalism as Joseph Stalin did to socialism,” and attendees including the “heroes of the sceptics such as statistician Steve McIntyre and economist Ross McKitrick, plus writers and bloggers such as Steve Mosher, the man who broke the Climategate story, and ‘heretical’ scientists such as Georgia Tech’s Judy Curry and Peter Webster.” [7]

The event was presented as an attempt to get climate scientists and skeptics to agree on “middle ground.” If legitimate climate scientists did show up, however, they would be conceding that there is a legitimate scientific disagreement.

Gavin Schmidt had reportedly refused to attend because the “science was settled and there was nothing to discuss.” That was how New Scientist’s Fred Pearce described it, adding that the conference was “a group of 28 climate scientists, bloggers and professional contrarians who spent three days discussing how to encourage reconciliation in the increasing fractious debate about the science of climate change.”

Pierce's statement, however, had been a misquote introduced by Tallbloke, aka Roger Tattersall, who had leaked a truncated portion of Gavin Schmidt's e-mail. Tattersall replied that he “quickly hacked just the response into notepad, accidentally missing off Gavin’s final single sentence para in my hurry” which had led to the error. [8]

Tattersall also commented on DeSmogBlog that he had apologized to Schmidt for contributing to the misquote.

Video of Tattersall giving Judith Curry a “Climate Scientist of the Year Award” at the dinner in Lisbon (the “Award” is a T-shirt depicting Climate Science as a trash bin):

 Affiliations

  • FOIA” ???

Tattersall has referred to the mysterious person(s) who released the stolen East Anglia e-mails as “our old friend FOIA,” although he suggests that he doesn't know the hacker's identity and claims the police have told Tattersall that he is not a suspect in the ongoing investigation into the identity of the hacker. 

 Publications

Most of Tattersall's publications are on his blog Tallbloke's Talkshop, although he regularly comments on other sites such as Bishop Hill.

According to Google Scholar, Roger Tattersall has never published in a peer-reviewed journal on any subject.

 Resources

  1. About me,” Tallbloke's Talkshop. Accessed December 18, 2011.

  2. Mr Roger Tattersall: Web Content Editor,” University of Leeds. Accessed December 18, 2011.

  3. Leo Hickman. “Hacked climate emails: police seize computers at West Yorkshire home,” The Guardian, December 15, 2011.

  4. Why the sun is so important to climate,” Tallbloke's Talkshop, January 4, 2010.

  5. Comment on “Breaking news: FOIA 2011 has arrived!”, November 22, 2011.

  6. Anthony Watts. “Tallbloke to take to torts,” Watts Up With That?, December 17, 2011.

  7. Fred Pearce. “Climate sceptics and scientists attempt peace deal,” New Scientist, February 2, 2011.

  8. “Post Normal Meltdown in Lisbon Part 1,” Deep Climate, February 7, 2011. See comment #7862 by user “tallbloke,” February 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm.

[x]
Solar farm

Pressure continues to grow for European politicians to agree to further reductions of greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030.

The European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package, which is binding legislation, calls for emissions to be cut by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. In addition, the plan calls for energy efficiency savings of 20 per cent and a 20 per cent increase in renewable energy technologies.

While the European Union seems largely on track to meet those targets, later this month...

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