Former oil boss to lead inquiry into 'climategate' scandal

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Washington, March 23 (ANI): In an ironical turn of events, a former oil boss will lead the latest inquiry into the 'climategate' scandal over the science of man made global warming.

According to a report in the Telegraph, Lord Oxburgh, former non-executive chairman of Shell, will head up a team of leading scientists looking at claims that fossil fuels cause global temperatures to rise.

The new inquiry will look into the mountains of research by the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

The university is the leading institution for climate change research and has influenced government policy around the world.

But the theft of thousands of emails cast doubt on the science in a scandal known as 'climategate'.

Skeptics claim that the emails show scientists were wiling to manipulate the data to show global warming.

Already, there are various ongoing inquiries into the behaviour of the scientists involved and legal implications.

But Lord Oxburgh is leading the first inquiry to look at the science being discussed in the emails.

Lord Oxburgh trained as a geologist and has been chief scientific adviser for the Ministry of Defence and Rector of Imperial College and chairman of the Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology.

Climate skeptics questioned whether Lord Oxburgh, chairman of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association and the wind energy company Falck Renewables, was truly independent because he led organisations that depended on climate change being seen as an urgent problem.

Andrew Montford, a climate-change skeptic who writes the widely-read Bishop Hill blog, said that Lord Oxburgh had a "direct financial interest in the outcome" of his inquiry.

Lord Oxburgh has said that he believes the need to tackle climate change will make capturing carbon from power plants "a worldwide industry of the same scale as the international oil industry today".

The university appointed Lord Oxburgh, a geologist and former chairman of the Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, after consulting the Royal Society, of which he is a fellow.

Professor Trevor Davies, the university's pro-vice-chancellor for research, said that the university had been aware of Lord Oxburgh's business interests but believed that he would lead the panel of six scientists "in an utterly objective way".

"The shadow hanging over climate change and science more generally at present makes it a matter of urgency that we get on with this assessment. We will undertake this work and report as oon as possible," Lord Oxburgh said. (ANI)

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