December 2, 2009
The correspondence I have received on Climategate — the leak two weeks ago of emails and computer files from Britain’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) that show global warming to be grossly misrepresented, if not an out-and-out fraud — can essentially be sorted into two categories: “Why isn’t this a bigger story?” or “Why does this matter?”
This should be a bigger story, because it matters a great deal.
The American and British scientists who control much of the UN’s climate reporting through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)have been caught manipulating the temperature records to make the 20th century appear warmer than it was (and preceding centuries cooler), leaving an exaggerated impression about how unique and dangerous our current climate is.
They were also shown doing their level best to control the peer-review process at major scientific journals so those who disagreed with them were silenced. Countless times in the past decade, scientists skeptical about the man-made global warming theory have been scoffed at because their work does not appear in publications that ask other scientists to vet the credibility of articles in advance. Now we know why.
Understanding that it is easier to criticize papers published in unreviewed journals, the CRU scientists and their colleagues at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) — the other major source of UN IPCC data — and elsewhere are seen through their correspondence colluding with one another to control peer-reviewed journals and keep skeptics from contributing to the IPCC’s five-year reports.
The latter is critical. The IPCC is the so-called scientific consensus on global warming. When you see reports that claim 2,500 of the world’s leading scientists agree that warming is man-made and destructive, that collection of scientists is the IPCC.
Now we know why they all agree; very few, if any, scientists who disagree have been allowed to participate in the drafting of the IPCC’s reports.
The most damning evidence, though, may be in the Harry Read Me files, the significance of which is only just now being deciphered. Being computer files rather than emails, they have been a tougher nut to crack.
Harry Read Me (Google them to read the originals), shows CRU computer scientists balking at making the “artificial adjustments” to the raw data demanded by their colleagues in the field. They know the original data does not show sharp warming in the late 20th century and the only way it can be made to show warming is to put apples-and-oranges data together, to graft weather station observations from the past 40 years onto the historic temperature records gleaned from tree-ring and lake-bottom sediment analyses. This is the “trick” to “hide the decline” that has received so much coverage online.
At one point, a computer researcher writes on the files that he has given up trying to torture the raw data to produce the temperature “hockey stick” desired by his colleagues.
This should be a huge story. Tens of billions of taxpayer dollars have already been spent on public policy solutions to global warming. And if next week’s world climate summit in Copenhagen produces any agreement at all among world leaders, it will be to spend hundreds of billions — even trillions — more to “save the planet.” This would be a travesty if the whole thing turned out to be the biggest scientific hoax in a generation or more.
But to those who believe there must, therefore, be a journalistic conspiracy to keep the story under wraps, I say: There is no conspiracy. There are too many thousands of journalists worldwide to keep this quiet. Besides, we are as a group too disorganized and talkative to all sit on a story on purpose.
There may be some examples of deliberate silence being maintained in order to keep the global warming eco-cause alive. The New York Times, for instance, claims it is refusing to cover Climategate because the private emails and files were obtained through electronic theft. Of course, the Times had no such qualms about publishing the stolen, top-secret Pentagon Papers that showed the United States had manipulated events to justify the Vietnam war.
This is a story of equal importance. What is keeping this story from being reported is a mindset rather than a conspiracy. It is socially and intellectually easier to take the word of the pleasant, safe crowd claiming to be interested in saving the Earth. Standing with the skeptics is harder work, not to mention riskier.