Andrew Montford


Andrew W. Montford

Credentials

  • Bsc, Chemistry, St Andrews University. [1]
  • Registered Accountant.

Background

Andrew W. Montford is an English writer, editor, chartered accountant, and the voice behind climate change skeptic blog Bishop Hill. He is also the author of The Hockey Stick Illusion  (2010). He currently lives in Scotland.

Montford set up the company Anglosphere in 2004 which provides editing services to the publishing industry and business.

Montford was named the Deputy Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation in 2017. [12]

Stance on Climate Change

April 4, 2010

“I believe that CO2, other things being equal, will make the planet warmer. The six million dollar question is how much warmer. I'm less of a sceptic than people think. My gut feeling is still sceptical but I don't believe it's beyond the realms of possibility that the AGW hypothesis might be correct. It's more the case that we don't know and I haven't seen anything credible to persuade me there's a problem.” [1]

Key Quotes

June 12, 2019

In an article for the Conservative Woman, a right-wing blog closely linked to the anti-BBC group, News-watch, Montford attacked alleged bias from the BBC on the issue of climate change and energy policy, writing: [24]

“In the political bubble, every major political party is hell-bent on driving us on to their centrally planned renewable future, regardless of the cost.”

“… like so many trips to promised lands, you can be sure that the journey to a renewables-powered future will exact a heavy cost.” [24]

August 24, 2010

“… of course mankind has always affected the climate. If I had my time over again, I would have made this point more clearly. I don't think you can get away from the radiative physics arguments for AGW. It seems likely to me that it has some effect, but as I tried to make clear in my 10 secs, we just don't know how big.” [2]

“The CRU disclosures demonstrate that the peer review process can be subverted by a small but influential group of scientists.” [3]

Key Deeds

October 6, 2020

Montford criticised a pledge by Boris Johnson that the UK would become “the world leader in clean wind energy”, after the PM pledged that investment in offshore wind farms would generate enough electricity to power every home in the UK by 2030.

Writing in The Spectator, he claimed the implications for business and households in the UK were “horrifying”. He asked: “Who would want to live in a country that was set on such a destructive path? Who would want to invest in it? And when the Prime Minister claims that he’s going to create 60,000 jobs with his green spending spree, you have to wonder how many jobs he will destroy along the way. We can only hope and pray that he is playing to the crowd again.” [33] [34]

April 6, 2020

Writing in The Conservative Woman, GWPF Deputy Director Andrew Montford stated that “with the data refuting the climatologists’ predictions so clearly, it isn’t time that hydrologists shifted their attention away from prophecies of doom, and back on to making a real contribution to people’s lives?.” Montford, arguing that the amount of water vapour in the air was only increasing at a third of the rate predicted by the IPCC, denied that droughts or increased flooding could result from an intensification of the hydrological cycle [32]

February 24, 2020

Montford authored a paper for the GWPF titled “£3 Trillion and Counting” (PDF), which summarised a series of four reports on the cost of the UK reaching “Net Zero” emissions. The paper claimed that attempting to meet the 2050 net-zero target in the way the government’s Committee on Climate Change and National Grid envisaged, will “do more harm than good” and concluded by suggesting that renewables “represent a monumentally expensive dead end”. [28], [29]

At the same time, a second paper authored by Montford was published which covered two alternative technologies for reducing carbon emissions instead of what it called the UK’s “extremely silly” wind and solar-centric policy –‘small-scale nuclear’, which involves putting a system of smaller reactors in factories, and the use of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels to drive turbines. Montford concluded the paper by suggesting we are at “the threshold of a revolution in the way we generate electricity”. He went on to say: [30]

Not a manufactured revolution, like the one that has brought the environmental horrors of wind and solar, and has filled the pockets of rent-seekers at the expense of everyone else, but a real revolution that makes power cheaper and more reliable, and one that rewards innovation and risk-taking rather than political influence. What a pity it would be if we were to cover our landscapes with unreliable wind turbines at just the moment when a better way forward emerged.” [30]

The GWPF reports and subsequent coverage were strongly criticised for being misleading. [31]

October 15, 2019

Montford wrote an article for the right-wing blog site the Conservative Woman claiming that renewables subsidies were costing UK households an average of £340 each. The article was based on a recent post by the GWPF's Energy Editor John Constable. [25], [26]

He ended by saying:

“It’s worth remembering why we are doing this. It’s certainly not going to make any difference to the Earth’s temperature: our carbon dioxide emissions are a tiny fraction of the global total, and smaller than annual increases in China and India. No, we are doing this as a gesture: a way to show our leadership on climate change, setting an example to the rest of the world.”

In August, the GWPF announced one of the editors of the Conservative Woman, Kathy Gyngell, had joined its board of trustees. [27]

April 9, 2019

Montford wrote an article for The Spectator, claiming that a famous scene in a new documentary by David Attenborough, showing walruses falling off a cliff as a result of shrinking Arctic sea ice, was “not quite what it seems.” Called the programme “an eight-part, multi-million pound fundraiser” for the environmental organisation WWF, which co-produced it, Montford refers to work by well-known climate science denier, Susan Crockford. [21]

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has published a number of pieces of work by Crockford, largely revolving around Crockford's claim that polar bear populations are “continuing to thrive” and changes in their populations are not linked to climate change. Crockford has worked for the free-market, Koch-funded thinktank the Heartland Institute and gave a presentation to the 2019 annual meeting of the Canadian climate science denial group, the so-called Friends of Science.

A similar article by the director of the GWPF, Benny Peiser, was published on the Conservative Woman website. [22]

The director of the documentary explained the “heartbreaking” scene in a Telegraph article. [23]

March 15, 2019

Montford was invited onto BBC Scotland's “Nine” news programme on the day of a global climate strike by school students. The move led to green groups refusing to appear on the show and the segment was eventually cancelled. [20]

On the same day, the Global Warming Policy Forum, campaigning wing of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, re-published a 2014 report by Andrew Montford and John Shade, entitled “Climate Control: Brainwashing In Schools,” which argued that “eco-activism” was being given “free rein in many UK schools.” The report warned: [17]

“There are clear grounds for very serious concern. We therefore call upon the Secretary of State for Education and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to undertake urgent inquiries into climate change education in our schools.” [17]

Michael Gove, then Education Secretary, said he had “read with concern” the report, with a spokesperson of his saying: [18]

Schools should not teach that a particular political or ideological point of view is right – indeed it is against the law for them to do so.” [18]

The report includes a foreword by Professor Terence Kealey, then vice-chancellor of the private University of Buckingham. Kealey joined the GWPF as chair of a so-called international temperature data review project in April 2015, with the aim of investigating the reliability of current temperature data. It was accused of attempting to create a “fake controversy” ahead of the Paris climate summit later in the year by Bob Ward, policy and research director at the London School of Economics' Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. [19]

November 23, 2017

After the GWPF published a book by Bernie Lewin titled “Searching for the Catastrophe Signal: The Origins of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” Montford interviewed the book's author in a GWPF video (see below). [14], [15]

“It was only when the IPCC was threatened with alienation from the climate treaty process that it suddenly concluded “a discernible human influence on global climate,”  the GWPF press release reads. [16]

November 25-26, 2011

Montford appeared at EIKE's International Climate and Energy Conference in Munich, Germany. His speech was on “Climategate” and the Hockey Stick graph. [4]

The European Institute for Climate and Energy is a German climate skeptic organization with possible connections to the Committee for Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).

September, 2010

Montford was commissioned by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) to write an inquiry into the “Climategate” e-mails. He was compensated £3000 for his services, and GWPF released the results in September, 2010. [5], [6]

Three British enquiries, one by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, one an independent panel chaired by Lord Oxburgh, and an independent review led by Sir Muir Russell, had all exonerated CRU scientists from any misconduct or fraud before GWPF insisted on the additional effort.

According to Montford's own report, the other three enquiries were “rushed, cursory and largely unpersuasive.” He also criticizes the enquiries' lack of climate change skeptics on their panels, despite the fact that at least one known climate change skeptic, Graham Stringer, was present.

Montford could not be ignorant of this fact, as he recorded a conversation with Stringer on his blog, who he described as “the sole dissenter from the majority opinion represented by the report.” [7]

The GWPF also submitted a Memorandum by Nigel Lawson and Benny Peiser, while Andrew Montford submitted one of his own.

March, 2010

Montford released The Hockey Stick Illusion, published by Stacey International.

The book received mixed reviews. RealClimate concluded that “the real goal of those whose story Montford tells is not to understand past climate, it’s to destroy the hockey stick by any means necessary.” [8]

The Guardian also examined Montford's book and found numerous “glaring inaccuracies” that would be cause “to treat with some scepticism Montford's assessment of the validity of the inquiries into the hacked email messages.” [9]

Alastair McIntosh, writing for the Scottish Review of Books, concluded that “Montford’s analysis might cut the mustard with tabloid intellectuals but not with most scientists. The Hockey Stick Illusion might serve a psychological need in those who can't face their own complicity in climate change, but at the end of the day it's exactly what it says on the box: a write-up of somebody else’s blog.” [10]

According to a review by Geoscientist, “Montford's book presents McIntyre's case, complete with speculations about his opponents' motives, and gives little space to the detailed rebuttals provided by Mann and his co-authors. Indeed Montford admits in his Preface that the book grew out of a summary of postings on McIntyre’s blog 'Climate Audit'. This explains the bias in his story.” [11]

The book received positive reviews from sources including Matt Ridley in The Spectator and Christopher Booker in The Telegraph.

September, 2006

Andrew Montford began posting at his blog Bishop Hill.

While the blog first focused on British politics, it later devoted a large portion of coverage to “Climategate,” and Montford has since called his site “one of the main websites for global warming sceptics in the UK.” [3]

Montford said that his interest in the issue surrounding the “Hockey Stick” graph was piqued when he came across Climate Audit, a website run by Steve McIntyre  — a climate change skeptic and past mining-industry executive. [1]

Affiliations

Publications

Andrew Montford has never published an article in a peer-reviewed journal.

His most notable publication has been his 2010 book The Hockey Stick Illusion, published by Stacey International.

Resources

  1. Bruce Robbins. “Bishop Hill: the blogger putting climate science to test,” The Courier, April 4, 2010.

  2. Newsnight reactions,” Bishop Hill, August 24, 2010.

  3. Memorandum submitted by Andrew Montford (CRU 36),” Parliament.uk, February, 2010.

  4. Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill blog,” YouTube Video. Uploaded by user EikeKlimaEnergie, April 2, 2012.

  5.  Andrew Montford. “The Climategate Inquiries,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation, September 14, 2010. Archived January 24, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. 

  6. Fred Pearce. “Montford lands some solid blows in review of 'climategate' inquiries,” The Guardian, September 14, 2010.

  7. A chat with Graham Stringer,” Bishop Hill, April 10, 2010.

  8. The Montford Delusion,” RealClimate, July 22, 2010.

  9. Bob Ward. “Did climate sceptics mislead the public over the significance of the hacked emails?”, The Guardian, August 19, 2010.

  10. Alastair McIntosh. “Reviews: THE HOCKEY STICK ILLUSION,” Scottish Review of Books, Volume Six, Issue Three (2010).

  11. Bob Ward. “Not so jolly hockey stick,” Geoscientist, Vol. 20, Number 10 (October, 2010). Retrieved from The Geological Society website.

  12. (Press Release). “ANDREW MONTFORD APPOINTED GWPF DEPUTY DIRECTOR,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation, May 2, 2016. Archived May 3, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/d0Hm7 

  13. James Randerson. “'Climategate' inquiries were 'highly defective', report for sceptic thinktank rules,” The Guardian, Septebmer 14, 2010. Archived May 3, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/dpfep

  14. Searching for the Catastrophe Signal: The Origins of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” Amazon.co.uk. Accessed December 4, 2017.

  15. The Climate Policy Cart Led Climate Science Horse,” YouTube video uploaded by user GWPF, November 23, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  16. NEW BOOKCLIMATE POLICY CART LED CLIMATE SCIENCE HORSE,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation, November 23, 2017. Archived with FreezePage December 4, 2017.

  17. Andrew Montford, John Shade. “Climate Control: Brainwashing In Schools,” Global Warming Policy Forum, March 15, 2019. Archived March 19, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/YiYh6

  18. Daniel Martin. “Heads are breaking the law if they preach eco agenda, warns Gove: Education Secretary's 'concern' at report that accuses 'activist' teachers,” Daily Mail, April 10, 2014. Archived March 11, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/kj2gC

  19. Ben Tufft. “Leading group of climate change deniers accused of creating 'fake controversy' over claims global temperature data may be inaccurate,” The Independent, April 26, 2015. Archived March 26, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/bIk9R

  20. Mike Small. “Comment: The BBC Broke More Than its Editorial Guidelines in Inviting a Climate Science Denier to Discuss the School Strikes,” DeSmog, March 18, 2019.

  21. Andrew Montford. “Has Netflix’s Our Planet hidden the real cause of walrus deaths?The Spectator, April 9, 2019. Archived April 24, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/2zcvi

  22. Benny Peiser. “Attenborough and a shaggy walrus story,” Conservative Woman, April 10, 2019. Archived April 24, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  23. Joe Shute. “Our Planet's director reveals the heartbreaking truth behind its dying walrus scene,” The Telegraph, April 9, 2019. Archived April 24, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/hUoBl

  24. Andrew Montford. “The BBC’s biased guide to renewable energy,” Conservative Woman, June 12, 2019. Archived June 19, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/e4SbB

  25. On your utility bill, the soaring price of green gesture politics,” Conservative Woman, October 15, 2019. Archived October 15, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/TCPXx

  26. John Constable. “Current Costs of British Renewables Subsidies per Household,” GWPF, October 14, 2019. Archived October 15, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/et4bp

  27. Richard Collett-White. “Cambridge Professor and Anti-BBC Campaigner Join Board of Climate Science Denial Campaign Group,” DeSmog, August 9, 2019.

  28. Andrew Montford. “£3 Trillion and Counting” (PDF), The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  29. Cost of ‘Net Zero’ Will Be Astronomical, New Reports Warn,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation, February 24, 2020. Archived February 25, 2020. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/ocScu

  30. Andrew Montford. “Reducing Emissions Without breaking the bank” (PDF), The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2020. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  31. Simon Evans. “The UK is aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050 Because climate change is “the greatest and most pressing challenge facing the modern world” (UK govt Jan20) But what will it cost to get there? Let's take an “honest” look at the evidence, shall we? (source,” Tweet by @DrSimEvans, February 25, 2020. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  32.  Andrew Montford, “Flood and drought predictions don't hold water”, The Conservative Woman, April 6th 2020. Archived on 07 September, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/HoFyg 

  33. Andrew Montford. “Boris’s wind power pledge won’t be cheap”, The Spectator, October 6, 2020. Archived October 6, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/El32g 

  34. Boris Johnson: Wind farms could power every home by 2030”, BBC News, October 6, 2020. Archived October 8, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/d1RrD

     

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