ClimateGate

ClimateGate.  That has a nice ring to it.

Writing over at The American, Jay Richards has some thoughts on the continuing story of the leaked documents from the Climate Change crowd.

Several troubling themes have emerged so far (h/t to “Jeff C” in comments at the Air Vent):

1. Data manipulation: Several times the scientists discuss ways to massage and cherry-pick data and spin presentations to give the strongest impression of warming, and to downplay contrary evidence—just as they have been suspected of doing.

2. Evading Freedom of Information inquiries: In many emails the scientists are clearly colluding to avoid releasing correspondence and data that they are legally obligated to release. They discuss deleting emails after being directed by officials not to do so.

3. Manipulating peer review: They discuss how to blackball scientists who don’t tow the orthodox line, get journal editors fired who allow “skeptical” papers to be published, how to destroy the reputation of journals that allow such papers to be published, and how to prevent “contrarian” research from being included in UN reports. Since the catastrophist crowd speaks so loudly and insistently about “peer-reviewed” research, it’s stunning to find out what this really means in the scandal of contemporary climate research.

Though it is not mentioned in this discussion, one aspect of the debate has always bothered me.  Proponents of anthrogenic climate change like to point out that some skeptics receive funding from energy companies, accusing the skeptics of skewing their research in order to please their benefactors.  However, isn’t that a two-way street?  Given that the believers also get funding based upon their results, and that Al Gore stands to make millions from Cap and Trade, should that same logic not apply to the Michael Mann’s and Al Gore’s in this debate?

I submit that they cannot have it both ways.

These leaked emails, which now look to be the result of an insider whistleblower, are the smoking gun that skeptics have been looking for.  The True Believers are not likely to be swayed.

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One response to “ClimateGate

  1. “Climategate” started out when there appeared on the Internet a collection of e-mails of a group of climatologists who work in the University of East Anglia in England. These documents reveal that some climatologists of international preeminence have manipulated the data of their investigations and have strongly tried to discredit climatologists who are not convinced that the increasing quantities of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are the cause of global warming.

    It is true that a majority of the scientists who study climatic tendencies in our atmosphere have arrived at the conclusion that the world’s climate is changing, and they have convinced a group of politicians, some of whom are politically powerful, of the truth of their conclusions.

    A minority, however, is skeptical. Some believe that recent data that suggest that the average temperature of the atmosphere is going up can be explained by natural variations in solar radiation and that global warming is a temporary phenomenon. Others believe that the historical evidence indicating that the temperature of the atmosphere is going up at a dangerous rate is simply not reliable.

    Such lacks of agreement are common in the sciences. They are reduced and eventually eliminated with the accumulation of new evidence and of more refined theories or even by completely new ones. Such debates can persist for a period of decades. Academics often throw invective at one another in these debates. But typically this does not mean much.

    But the case of climate change is different. If the evidence indicates that global warming is progressive, is caused principally by our industrial processes, and will probably cause disastrous changes in our atmosphere before the end of the twenty-first century, then we do not have the time to verify precisely if this evidence is reliable. Such a process would be a question of many years of new investigations. And if the alarmist climatologists are right, such a delay would be tragic for all humanity.

    The difficulty is that economic and climatologic systems are very complicated. They are not like celestial mechanics, which involves only the interaction of gravity and centrifugal force, and efforts to construct computerized models to describe these complicated systems simply cannot include all the factors that are influential in the evolution of these complicated systems.

    All this does not necessarily indicate that the alarmist climatologists are not right. But it really means that if global warming is occurring, we cannot know exactly what will be the average temperature of our atmosphere in the year 2100 and what will be the average sea level of the world’s ocean in that year.

    It also means that we cannot be confident that efforts by the industrialized countries to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will have a significant influence on the evolution of the world’s climate.

    Alas, the reduction of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would be very costly and would greatly change the lives of all the inhabitants of our planet–with the possibility (perhaps even the probability!) that all these efforts will be completely useless.

    Harleigh Kyson Jr.

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