How independent was the panel?
Muir Russell's team heard only one side of the story, failing to call witnesses who were the subjects of the emails - Stephen McIntyre of Climate Audit is mentioned over one hundred times in the archive - who may have given a different perspective. Nor was any active climate scientist supportive of climate change policy but critical of the CRU team's behaviour - Hans Storch or Judith Curry, let alone the prominent sceptics, for example - summoned. Stringer feels their presence would have provided vital context.
University of East Anglia Vice Chancellor Edward Acton
The panel included Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet and a vocal advocate of mitigation against climate change (in 2007 he described global warming "the biggest threat to our future health") and Geoffrey Boulton a climate change advisor to the UK government and the EU, who spent 16-years at the University of East Anglia - the institution under apparently 'independent' scrutiny.
In several areas the CRU academics were given the benefit of the doubt because a precedent had been set - often by the academics themselves.
The British establishment has a poor record of examining its own conduct. The 1983 Franks Report into events leading up to the Falklands Invasion exonerated the leading institutions and decision-makers, so too did the Hutton Report into the Invasion of Iraq.
For Stringer, policy needs to be justified by the evidence.
"Vast amounts of money are going to be spent on climate change policy, it's billions and eventually could be trillions. Knowing what is accurate and what is inaccurate is important."
"I view this as a Parliamentarian for one of the poorest constituencies in the country. Putting up the price of fuel for poor people on such a low level of evidence, hoping it will have the desired effect, is not acceptable. I need to know what's going on."
Climategate may finally be living up to its name. If you recall, it wasn't the burglary or use of funding that led to the impeachment of Nixon, but the cover-up. Now, ominously, three inquiries into affair have raised more questions than there were before. ®