Last week the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in the UK confirmed that its computer had been hacked. It has also confirmed that thousands of e-mails and other information have been taken public.
The CRU is one of the leading research units behind the theory that increased CO2 is causing global warming (this theory is called anthropogenic global warming or AGW). The released e-mails are extremely damaging to the scientists involved, and, depending on how this all plays out, this incident could end up being the end of the global warming movement as we know it. Some of the leading climate scientists are likely to have their reputations destroyed and some of them could end up in jail. Leading environmentalists, sympathetic to the AGW theory, are warning that Phil Jones, the director of the CRU, should resign and that environmentalists need to be aware how serious this scandal is.
I’ve been following this issue closely since the 1980s. At the time, I was living in Miami and the Miami Herald (where I worked) published a series of articles predicting that Miami Beach and Key Biscayne would be underwater within a few decades because of the melting polar ice caps. Well, it is 22 years later, and, except for a serious real estate crisis, Miami Beach and Key Biscayne are still there and doing well.
I am old enough to remember some climate scientists going crazy about global cooling in the 1970s. In elementary and middle school in those days, we were told that the Earth would freeze up by the 21st century.
Needless to say, given the contradictory nature of such warnings, I’ve learned to be skeptical of climate scientists’ exaggerated claims. For good reason: we now learn that many climate scientists have deliberately been exaggerating for their own political reasons since the 1980s. Back in 1989, Prof. Stephen Schneider said it is necessary to create over-wrought “scary scenarios” to justify action on “potentially” harmful climate change. In this 2006 interview, Al Gore admitted to exaggerating the dangers of global warming because his cause is so sure and right.
The CRU e-mail leaks are only the latest proof that “scary scenarios” are only the tip of the global warming alarmist ice berg, as it were.
- The e-mails show that climate scientists deliberately falsified data to make global warming appear more alarming than it is.
- The e-mails show that climate scientists plotted to make sure no articles skeptical about global warming were allowed into peer-reviewed journals. This is especially ironic because AGW supporters always claim skeptics are not legitimate because their views are not published in peer-reviewed literature. And at least part of the reason they cannot get published is because AGW supporters are working behind the scenes to prevent publication.
- The e-mails show that the climate scientists predicted 2009 would be an unusually hot year, but in fact it has been pretty darned cold. Instead of cheering this development, they lamented the fact that the earth is not cooperating with the global warming models and pooh-poohed science that may explain why.
- The e-mails make it clear that the climate scientists have absolutely no interest in objective science. They are pursuing a political agenda and are bending science to fit their political viewpoints. Also see here.
- On a humorous note, the scientists discuss ways to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, leading to this hilarious parody suggesting that Al Gore may end up in jail for fraud.
- On a more serious note, the e-mails show the scientists tried to delete information in a deliberate attempt to circumvent the UK’s Freedom of Information Act.
- Some document indicate that Phil Jones (director of the CRU) has received about $20 million in grants for his work on climate change, and this blogger wonders about his motives.
So, to sum up: the leading climate scientists, who have been pushing for a worldwide regime to control CO2 emissions, have been perpetrating a fraud, ignoring the scientific method, hiding information, and possibly committing seriously illegal acts. And one of their motives may simply have been grant money. In the words of one scientist, “you should be angry. Very angry.”
I have written about global warming several times. You can read here and here, for examples. In this post I discuss the reality that it is a generally accepted fact that the Earth has not warmed in 11 years. I want to make it clear that many scientists, certainly the majority, are honest, simply curious people trying to figure out the complex system that is our planet’s climate. These scientists have been duped by Phil Jones, Michael Mann and their ilk just as much as we all have.
It is also clear that there was a warm period in the 1990s that was unusually warm by historical standards. It is also clear that CO2 is rising. But as any scientist will tell you, correlation is not causation. The global climate is extremely complex, and CO2 is only one of the factors that may or may not be affecting the weather.
If the people involved in this scandal had been honest from the beginning and stuck to true scientific methods, they would not be in this mess. But they let their political agendas skew their thinking.
But the good news is that the cap-and-trade bill, which would have caused the loss of millions of jobs in the U.S., is apparently dead in the Senate. Hopefully it will not be resurrected. The other good news is that the scandal takes place right before the climate conference in Copenhagen and should hopefully derail any agreement that will hobble the global economy.
Hopefully this scandal will bring a new era of honesty in the climate change discussion. That is change we all can believe in.
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