Hard for climate sceptics
It has been regularly commented on that a remarkably high proportion of those scientists willing to put their sceptical heads above the parapet over warming are emeritus professors – this not depending on approval or grants in any way.
A couple of years ago, the head of the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc), the government's grant- giving body, publicly challenged sceptics to a public or online debate on warming, and though he ceased responding when his challenge was accepted by a number of sceptics and the debate never took place, it must be difficult for any scientist seeking funding to believe the 370 million Nerc dispenses will go equally easily to sceptics as to alarmists.
Your report on skiing (10 February) and Ombudsman column (16 February) identify Alex Hill as a chief government adviser with the Met Office and a credible authoritative expert, but neither backs the "expert" claim with evidence, such as peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals. As an ITV weather forecaster, he presented information given by meteorological experts. Then he worked at London Met Office, and on 9 April, 2006, talked on radio about meteorologists predicting weather. He has been appointed chief adviser on climate to the Scottish Government, starting in March.
On 11 February, the Met Office head of climate change, Dr Vicky Pope, called on scientists and media to rein in some of their headline-grabbing assertions on climate change. Her wise words have been given scant heed.
(DR) ADAM WATSON