I’ve been semi-purposefully holding back on the ClimateGate (ugh, I hate naming anything “-gate”) scandal to see how this plays out. And from what I can tell, there are two camps (surprise!), one group that denies that the problem is not the scientists but the “hackers” that released the data, and another group that seems to think these emails prove that the world is cooling.
From my perspective, I think that turning this on a hunt for the “hacker” is crazy. It’s obvious from the files that this was a pre-compiled list of information for an FOI request. It’s also obvious that someone involved in the compiling had a change of heart after reading through some of the material they were compiling, and then decided to release it. The alternative theory is that someone knew there was an FOI document that was compiled at the CRU, stole it, then looked for information to discredit it. Both would be released close to the Copenhagen meeting for maximum damage, and that’s what we’ve seen.
Does this disprove Anthropogenic Climate Change? No. ( AGW has yet to be concretely proven anyway.) Does it prove there is a worldwide conspiracy to promote AGW? No. However, if there was any good science to come out of the CRU, this document release pretty much discredits it, and I’ll explain why.
- In the code for computer “models” that were supposed to account for planetary temperature changes and predict future changes, there are plenty of comment lines that talk about temperature adjustments to make the data fit the the theory. Scientists aren’t supposed to do that. We’re supposed to form theories based upon collected data. There are many entries of this in the released data from CRU. Add to this the “trick” to “hide the decline”, and you’ve got people doing things that they shouldn’t be doing. If there is a decline, report the decline. Don’t falsify the data.
- The deletion of raw data to avoid an FOI is damning. Scientists don’t delete data unless it’s garbage, and even then, the methods to collect data are often rerun. This is physical science as well, so hard, raw data is something you spend years collecting.
- The refusal to cooperate with an FOI request is damning. All science should be transparent. If a center is designed to collect climate data, it should be open with that data. Hiding it makes us wonder what they are hiding and why they are hiding it. As they say in politics, it’s not the crime that gets you, it’s the cover-up. And here some very prominent climatologists are hiding things.
- Putting pressure on editors of peer-reviewed journals to exclude “denialists” is probably the biggest sin here. When you attempt to exclude scientific conclusions to push your own agenda, you are no longer playing the role of scientist, but the role of ignorant Luddite. Imagine some physicists put pressure on journal editors to exclude Einstein’s work on relativity to push their own Newtonian agenda? Imagine what the world of physics would be without Einstein’s contributions? These guys were attempting to bully scientific opinion. The most memorably example of that is the Church bullying Gallileo. I now consider these “scientists” more of an AGW “inquisition”. They’re already using Saul Alinsky’s tactics against the scientists who dispute dangerous AGW. You can see the faith-based mentality in the people who want to sock it to Pat Michaels. You don’t see me bent out of shape about the guys who believe in the Electric Sun to the point I want to kick them in the privates. That kind of emotion should be pulled out of science, but instead we see it permeating the ranks of the AGW proponents.
People who ignore this scandal do so at their own peril. There are serious problems that should be denounced by the total of the scientific community.