Andrew Montford is a Scottish-based climate 'skeptic', author of "The Hockey Stick Illusion" and a blogger on his website Bishop Hill. Montford says "I believe that CO2, other things being equal, will make the planet warmer. The six million dollar question is how much warmer" On his blog he writes "of course mankind has always affected the climate."
Montford objects to a description of his work seeking to debunk climate science but has a shaky grasp of objectivity at best. In a short Bishop Hill article Montford asks "Should we believe anything the Met Office says?" His concerns are based on nothing more than Chairman Robert Napier's CV. A few months later he warms to the theme and claims in a memorandum to the UK Parliamentary inquiry into the CRU hack that Napier is an "environmental activist" (although he gives no evidence and does not even reference his point).
Montford also claims in that submission to have "no financial or other vested interest in the outcome of the inquiry." However the memorandum lobbies for the review to take evidence from skeptics, and claims climatology has lost it's objectivity.
The Bishop Hill blog consists entirely of musings by Montford and endless repetition of the same denialist mantras in the Comments section by his followers. Any attempt by 'warmists' (sic) to engage the Bishop's groupies in rational debate results in them being labelled a troll and bullied savagely until they desist.
Montford's magnum opus is his book The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science attacking a reconstruction of past temperature for the northern hemisphere covering the last 600 years by Mike Mann, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes. This reconstruction using 'proxy' data is, Montford claims, a fraud perpetrated by a massive conspiracy of climate scientists and politicians in order to guarantee an unending supply of research funding and political power. Click the link above to read some reviews on Amazon or, for a more devastating critique, read The Montford Delusion on thte RealClimate website.
How much weight should be placed on a particular type of evidence? For Andrew Montford the answer depends on whether the evidence is good or bad for your case.
"The latest bright idea" writes Montford in May 2011 "from CAGW subscribers is to use opinion polls to measure climate change. I kid you not... " Well Montford may not be kidding but he is certainly being economical with the truth. He is referring to researchers taking evidence from remote villagers in the Darjeeling Hills and suggesting that amounts to 'opinion polls' . It's Montford's way of ridiculing a scientific study that produces evidence he disagrees with.
In March 2011, in his write up of the Spectator debate there was no doubt about the most impressive argument "Benny Peiser's talk was the one that intrigued me. He essentially argued that the science is irrelevant - that the public have made their minds up and that they vote out any party that pushes the green line too far." Doctor Peiser's argument relied solely on opinion polls . And on that occasion Montford found opinion polls very impressive.