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There has been a curious by-product of the attempts being made by the University of East Anglia to whitewash last November's embarrassing leak of documents from its Climatic Research Unit. Since it set up not one but two supposedly "independent" inquiries into the "Climategate" affair, climate sceptics were intrigued but not entirely surprised to find that almost all their members were committed, even fanatical advocates of global warming, and hence unlikely to be over-critical of the CRU's bizarre record.
Most recently, the sceptics have been particularly intrigued by the background of the man chosen by the university to chair an assessment of the CRU's scientific record. Lord Oxburgh declared on his appointment that he is linked to major wind-farm and renewable-energy companies. He admitted that he advises Climate Change Capital, which manages funds worth $1.5 billion, hoping to cash in on the "opportunities created by the transition to a low-carbon economy", in a world market potentially worth – its website boasts – $45 trilllion.