Roger Tattersall

Roger Tattersall

Credentials

  • History and Philosophy of Science —  University of Leeds (1984 – 1988). [18]
  • HNC Mechanical and Production Engineering — Leeds Metropolitan University (1981 – 1985). [18]

Background

Roger Tattersall, also known by his online persona “Tallbloke,” runs Tallbloke’s Talkshop, a skeptical blog 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. [19], [20]

Tattersall was the former web content editor at the University of Leeds, a position he appears to have held until 2016. He also appears to have run an IT service at tallbloke.net entitled “Stress free I.T.” although the website no longer appears in operation. [2], [21]

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]

According to his LinkedIn, Tattersall worked for a number of groups pushing for Britain to leave the UE (Brexit), including Assistant Director at Leave.eu and Regional Campaign Executive at Grassroots Out. [18]

Tattersall is also listed as the Chief Executive of Clexit (Climate Exit), a group formed shortly after the UK‘s decision to leave the EU. According to Clexit’s founding statement (PDF), “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade. Man does not and cannot control the climate.” Notable climate change deniers serving on the “Clexit Committee” include Christopher Monckton (President) and Marc Morano (Vice President). [33], [34]

Pattern Recognition in Physics

Tattersall was briefly the editor of a journal titled Pattern Recognition in Physics, along with fellow climate change deniers Nils-Axel Morner and J.-E. Solheim. The journal was dissolved after publishing only two issues. [37]

The publisher, Copernicus Publications, terminated the publication after “the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal as well as the malpractice regarding the review process.” [38]

“The editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors,” Copernicus noted. [38]

Copernicus Publications pointed to one particular issue entitled  “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts” — the same issue that Tattersall proudly displayed on his blog, highlighting his position as editor. Copernicus Publications noted: [38]

Besides papers dealing with the observed patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they ‘doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCCproject’ (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).” [38]

Describing that issue on his website, Tattersall had said:

“We hope this publication will be looked back on in future years as the seminal work of the paradigm shift to a new understanding of the Solar System and especially the Sun-Earth relationship.”  [37]

Stance on Climate Change

2016

In an interview published by “Energy Live News” via YouTube, Tattersall said: [36]

“We think that the variation of the sun, and the variation of the orbital parameters of the planets in the solar system has a much bigger effect on changes in Earth’s surface temperature than the changing concentration of a minor trace gas such as carbon dioxide.”

January 2010

In a post at his blog, Tattersall said the sun was the primary driver of 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]

Comments Surrounding 2021 Capitol Insurrection

Roger Tattersall (@RogTallbloke on Twitter) was among dozens of the individuals and organizations profiled in DeSmog’s Disinformation Database who posted online or gave interviews about the events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol insurrection. Some posted claims of election fraud, similar to those that drove the Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6. Some circulated dubious information about the insurrection itself. DeSmog has preserved a selection of notable posts related to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, including some that were later deleted or removed.

The man depicted, Jacob Chansley (a/k/a Jake Angeli) is in fact also known as the “QAnon Shaman,” and, according to an article published in Nature on social media disinformation, “a known superspreader of conspiracy theories.” [47], [48]

Key Quotes

December 2015

During his talk at the Paris Climate Challenge, an event hosted by the skeptical Independent Committee on Geoethics (ICG), Tattersall concluded:

“I’m not a statistical expert […] but I think from an engineer’s perspective, this is a reasonable assessment of what’s going on. We’ve got a strong sun, we’ve got CO2 going up, we’ve got the positive phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. All from 1976 to 2003. No wonder the temperature went up. The question is, what was causing it?” [39]

November 2011

Tattersall responded in the comment section at his blog, Tallbloke’s Talkshop, discussing “FOIA” in 2011

“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

October 2017

Tattersall attended the “4th World Conference on Climate Change” in Rome. He also interviewed conference speaker Nils-Axel Morner. [43]

DeSmog investigation of the conference found that the event had been hijacked by climate science deniers who had previously called for climate scientists to be investigated for fraud. The conference was organized by ConferenceSeries, also known as OMICS, which promotes hundreds of meetings around the world. [44]

The U.S. government’s Federal Trade Commission launched a court action against the group in August 2016 that alleged deceptive marketing practices. Nils-Axel Morner is listed as one of the Chairs/Co-chairs of the conference, and also helped organize another climate change denial conference in London in September 2016. [45], [46]

After being contacted by DeSmog, several presenters said that their names “should not be on the program” of the conference in Italy. OMICS, who was also contacted, said it would “investigate” the line-up for its conference and if it found “unnecessary science,” it would contact attendees to inform them “about the real faces of those who are looking to make a platform for spreading the nonsense through our forum.” [44]

August 22, 2017

Tatersall promoted a study by Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) senior fellows John Abbot and Jennifer Marohasy at his blog, TallBloke’s Talkshop. The study, titled “The application of machine learning for evaluating anthropogenic versus natural climate change,” was published in the soon-to-be discontinued journal GeoResJ. [9], [10]

The study was  picked up by a range of conservative news outlets including The Daily CallerBreitbart, and Watts Up With That among others. Marohasy herself wrote on it at The Spectator and at her personal blog. [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16]

Graham Readfearn, reporting for The Guardian, contacted five scientists to review the paper. “They variously summarised the research as ‘junk science’ and seriously flawed,” Readfearn said. He noted that one of the study’s co-authors, John Abbot, “claimed an academic affiliation to James Cook University that, according to that university, had expired more than six months before the research was submitted to the journal.” [17]

Replying on Twitter, climate scientist Gavin Schmidt had this to say:

Speaking with Readfearn, Schmidt added that the paper was worthless “on a number of measures” and was an example of “what happens when people have their conclusions fixed before they start the work.” [17]

Readfearn contacted Dr Gavin Schmidt, director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Prof Steven Sherwood, deputy director at the University of New South Wales climate change research center; and Prof Piers Forster, director of the Priestley international center for climate at the University of Leeds, all who pointed out serious flaws in the paper. [17]

September 8, 2016

Tattersall spoke at the Independent Committee on Geoethics (ICG) “New Dawn of Truth” conference in London. He presented on the first session alongside Richard Salvador in a presentation titled “Does solar system orbital motion and resonance synchronize solar variation, LOD and ENSO?[41], [42]

December 2015

Tattersall was a speaker at the “Paris Climate Challenge” (PCC) an event featuring prominant climate change deniers like Lord Christopher Monckton, the now-deceased Bob Carter, Donna LaframboiseNils-Axel Mörner, Ian Plimer, Piers Corbyn and others with the goal of “Challenging the groupthink of COP21.” [39]

Tattersall is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Independent Committee on Geoethics (ICG), the sponsoring group of the PCC whose membership also includes many of the PCC‘s speakers. [40]

View his speech below:

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. [22]

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], [23]

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. [25][24], [26]

This is the second release of hacked e-mail, the first batch appeared on November 17, 2009 in a file called “FOIA2009.zip.” [27]

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. [28]

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. [29]

January 26, 2011

Tattersall attended a conference in Lisbon, Portugal, hosted by the Gulbenkian Foundation and facilitated the EU’s Joint Research Committee. In a comment at Judith Curry’s blog Climate Etc., he described himself as an “ad hoc member of the invite committee.” [30], [31]

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.  [7]

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.”  [7]

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. [32]

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

Possible (Unverified) 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. 

Social Media

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. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/LUnqm

  2. Mr Roger Tattersall: Web Content Editor,” University of Leeds. Archived January 3, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/DK54D

  3. Leo Hickman. “Hacked climate emails: police seize computers at West Yorkshire home,” The Guardian, December 15, 2011. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/fxal6 

  4. Why the sun is so important to climate,” Tallbloke’s Talkshop, January 4, 2010. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Ss4yS

  5. Comment on “Breaking news: FOIA 2011 has arrived!Tallbloke’s Talkshop, November 22, 2011. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/w8RZV

  6. Anthony Watts. “Tallbloke to take to torts,” Watts Up With That?  December 17, 2011. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/iYOIc

  7. Fred Pearce. “Climate sceptics and scientists attempt peace deal,” New Scientist, February 2, 2011. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/smLOr

  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. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/b7ovk

  9. Most of the Recent Warming Could be Natural – Jennifer Marohasy,” Tallbloke’s Talkshop, August 22, 2017. Archived September 1, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/NUEOu

  10. John Abbot and Jennifer Marohasy. “The application of machine learning for evaluating anthropogenic versus natural climate change,” GeoResJ Vol. 14 (December, 2017). Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: 

  11. Advanced Computer Models Suggest Most Global Warming Is From Natural Forces Photo of Michael Bastasch,” The Daily Caller, August 22, 2017. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/6sfLq

  12. Marohasy’s Machine Learning Paper Gets Schooled,” DeSmog, August 27, 2017.

  13. James Delingpole. “Delingpole: Global Warming Is Almost Entirely Natural, Study Confirms,” Breitbart, August 22, 2017. Archived August 23, 2017, Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/xyart

  14. Most of the Recent Warming Could be Natural,” Watts Up With That, August 21, 2017. Archived September 1, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/2dbTQ

  15. Jennifer Marohasy. “Big data finds the Medieval Warm Period – no denial here,” Spectator, August 22, 2017. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/aQXhI

  16. Most of the Recent Warming Could be Natural,” Jennifer Marohasy, August 21, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/c40SL

  17. Graham Readfearn. “Why the IPA‘s claim global warming is natural is ‘junk science,” The Guardian, August 25, 2017. Archived September 1, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/bb283

  18. Roger Tattersall,LinkedIn. Accessed November 24, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  19. The Talkshop: second anniversary,” Tallbloke’s Talkshop, November 29, 2011. Archived November 24, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/C9DVV

  20. Brad Johnson. “Watergate Redux: Break-ins Reported At Another Top Climate Research Center,” ThinkProgress, December 4, 2009. Archived December 31, 2011. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/2bwcz

  21. about us,” Tallbloke.net. Archived October 25, 2014. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/7P171

  22. Tallbloke towers raided: many computers taken,” Tallbloke’s Talkshop, December 14, 2011. Archived November 24, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/xNvwY

  23. Tallbloke legal fund,” Bishop Hill, December 18, 2011. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/v9onz

  24. New Climategate Emails,” Climate Audit, November 22, 2011. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/yYEli

  25. Climategate 2.0 emails – They’re real and they’re spectacular!Watts Up With That, November 22, 2011. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/KrVsV

  26. Climategate 2.0,” The Air Vent, November 22, 2011. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/AswdY

  27. Morgan Goodwin. “Climategate: An Autopsy,” DeSmog, March 30, 2010.

  28. Opinion: FOIA and where it’s at with the global warming issue,” Tallbloke’s Talkshop, Decembe 5, 2011. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Fm6c5

  29. Planetary – solar – climate connection found,” Tallbloke’s Talkshop. November 29, 2009. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/G9G97

  30. On Parade: Lisbon Conference – Updated,” Tallbloke’s Talkshop, January 26, 2011. Archived November 24, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/sZDSo

  31. Judith Curry. “Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation: Part IV,” Climate Etc. February 4, 2011. See comment #37569 February 4, 2011 at 9:11 am. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/YSWlU

  32. Richard Littlemore. “New Scientist Weasels Out of Apology,” DeSmog, February 7, 2011.

  33. After Brexit, Clexit” (PDF), Clexit.net. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  34. Clexit now comprises 190 members from 26 counties” (PDF), Clexit.net. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  35. About/Join,” CLEXIT. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ZTPTv

  36. Roger Tattersall says sun is causing climate change,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Energy Live News,” September 9, 2016. Archived. mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  37. Special Edition of Pattern Recognition in Physics,” Tallbloke’s Talkshop, December 13, 2013. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/XJdsP

  38. Termination of the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics,” Pattern Recognition in Physics, January, 2014. Archived July 28, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/W7TDl

  39. About PCC15,” PCCC15.org. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/iyGdB

  40. Membership,” Independent Committee on Geoethics. Archived November 25, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/5zLKc

  41. “London Conference 2016,” Independent Committee on Geoethics. Archived November 24, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ML54C

  42. “The Conference Volume: Extended Abstracts & Commentary Notes” (PDF), Independent Committee on Geoethics. Archived at DeSmog.

  43. Niklas Morner interview,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Rog Tallbloke” on October 23, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

  44. Exclusive: UNEU Agencies Reject Ties to Conference Hijacked by Climate Science Deniers,” DeSmog, May 31, 2017.

  45. Climate Change 2017 Report,” Conferenceseries.com. Archived January 4, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/6XxPC

  46. FTC Charges Academic Journal Publisher OMICS Group Deceived Researchers,” Federal Trade Commission, August 26, 2016. Archived January 4, 2018. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/1i1Ua

  47. Cam Cabral and Roderick Macleod. “Capitol riots: Five takeaways from the arrests,” BBC News, February 8, 2021. Archived February 12, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/Nz5CX

  48. Tracking QAnon: how Trump turned conspiracy-theory research upside down,” Nature, February 4, 2021.

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