The most telling moment came in an interview between Nurse and a computer-modelling scientist from NASA, presented as a general climate expert although he is only a specialist in ice studies.
Asked to quantify the relative contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere by human and natural causes, his seemingly devastating reply was that 7 Gigatons (billion tons) are emitted each year by human activity while only 1 Gigaton comes from natural sources such as the oceans.
Another came after Nurse had defended his old university’s part in the Climategate emails. Inevitably he claimed that various reports had cleared the scientists involved of any wrongdoing, without mentioning that every one of the inquiries had carefully avoided the scientific questions at the heart of the row. (Yet another superficial parliamentary report last week, despite the heroic efforts of Labour MP Graham Stringer, was rendered meaningless by the same central evasion.)